Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fool You Once...

What did I do on my birthday? I worked until 11:09pm (that's the current time).

Ha ha, April Fools!

Wait, it's still the 31st...

Damn, I did work that late.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Click Clack Moo

The other day, Simone wanted the typewriter so she could write some stories. She wrote a long story for Memere using 6 or 7 pages of typing, with an illustrated cover.
The next day she decided to type some more, but wanted to do it on the floor, as you can see:
She began typing away, then pulled the sheet out and told me I was the farmer, and she was the cow. She put the letter on the floor and said, it's on the barn and the cows were cold and wanted electric blankets.
She typed another page, put it on the floor/barn door and said the chickens were cold, there was no milk and no eggs. She told me that I, the farmer, was supposed to say, "No milk?! No eggs?!"
I think there was another page of demands, but don't recall what they were.
We haven't read "Click Clack Moo Cows That Type" in at least a year or year and a half, and here she was, reciting most of the story from memory.
Very cute, very impressive, and a good reminder to watch what I say.
On a related note, the Bauerschmidts visited (great time, another post) and brought a copy of "Click Clack Moo" for Simone (having no idea she'd just re-enacted the story). That's synchronicity for you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Old

The other day I was driving home, thinking about someone at work and how to describe him. He's older than me ... but not so much that I'd consider him "old."

That's when it hit me, the gap between my age and what I consider "old" is getting smaller rapidly. Uh-oh.

Fittingly, Pearls Before Swine ran this comic the next day:

And while I remember them, my first thought was, "The TARDIS isn't red." Which shows I'm both nerdy and old.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yay, The U.S. Bombs Yet Another Islamic Country! (Libya)

Not only are we not out of Iraq or Afghanistan yet, we're now bombing Libya. Sure, it's "sanctioned" by the U.N. Security Council, but since when have we let the U.N. say when we can (or cannot) use our military? I thought acts of war (i.e. bombing another country) needed to be approved by Congress.

Oh, no, that's not the case says the Obama administration. From NPR's story, Libya Overshadows Obama's Latin America Trip:
Now, over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the administration would certainly welcome a congressional seal of approval for this action but that the president is acting within his existing authority.

In his letter, Mr. Obama pointed to the Security Council resolution and his authority to conduct foreign relations and as commander in chief.
Glad to hear it.

Two more eloquent analyses of the attacks on Libya, one by Scott Adams, and one by Glenn Greenwald.

And it should be remembered, the two wars (now 3, including Libya) is completely ignoring the unmanned drones bombing Pakistan (and the incursions across the border from Afghanistan), but who's counting.

Oh, NPR today did have a story that makes a little more sense: If This Is Not 'War' Against Libya, What Is It? That's more like it NPR.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mustard, take 1

There's a gal who makes mustard for sale at the local market. We've chatted a few times, and I even volunteered to help make a batch, but so far she's not taken me up on it.

Mary pointed out that a (somewhat) recent edition of Sunset Magazine had some recipes for mustard. They looked pretty easy and fun. Mary even bought some mustard seeds and powder from the bulk bins at the co-op, so I had no excuse not to try them.

Simone and I mixed up 3 different batches. Two have to soak for at least another day to let the seeds hydrate, but the other was made from powder/ground seeds and just sat for a few hours - at which point I finished it up. It is the Hot and Tangy Mustard Recipe, and I think it's pretty good. It's got the heat of Chinese mustard, but is definitely more complex - like a cross between Chinese and dijon.

The other two are Rosemary Thyme Mustard and Cognac Mustard.

The next thing is to figure out how to use 3.5 cups of mustard...


Mary spent the day with some friends, so Simone had me to herself. We watched a little March Madness (I don't think she was so crazy about the basketball, but she liked the mascots), cleaned the bathrooms, made some rolls, drank hot chocolate, and had a good time all around.

Yesterday, we all went to the hardware store and picked up some shelving pieces. I had planned on installing it while Mary was gone. Murphy stuck hand into things twice, and the project is not yet complete.

The first was my fault of not double checking the orientation of the support bar, and so I cut it on the wrong side. It's not a big deal, it just limits the 2nd set of shelves to have a little less clearance than I'd planned, and I have to now make a 2nd cut with the hacksaw.

The second was the kicker. My 2nd battery for the cordless drill died. No juice means no screwing in the support bar, means no shelves.


Potty Humor

The other day I went to our half-bath to use the toilet (Mary was taking a shower in the other bathroom), and I found Simone sitting there. She looked up at me and said, "The other one is available." - available, that struck me as hilarious.

Today, Simone was helping me clean the bathroom, she likes scrubbing the toilet. Honest. She asked why the toilet brush was waterproof, and also commented that it was really good for scrubbing poop. hee hee

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I went on my weekly night ride tonight (becoming less and less night-like now that daylight savings has kicked in (or off, I always forget which is which)).

It was the standard spring ride, a little drizzly, a cool 57 degrees, and on-and-off fog as the clouds settled over portions of the trail.

I did my usual ride starting at home, out through Oak Creek, up to the top of Dimple Hill, out the road to Lewisburg Saddle (descending Upper Horse along the way), and coming back to the top of Dimple Hill.

I decided to go down the face of Dimple Hill as a bit of a challenge because it was pretty wet. I knew the trail would be slippery, but since it's rarely used, it wouldn't be very muddy. I did stop a couple of times (front tire side-slip is still very scary), but rode it all. The plan was to then ride out the roads to MLK Jr. park, and back home along Walnut. You can check out the forest map here.

As I was descending Dimple Hill, my bike sounded a bit funny, but I was pretty focused on just getting down in one piece. Once I hit the gravel road I did a quick check... and the rear tire was going soft. drat.

I rode it a little further to see how much distance I could make before I had to pump it up.

Not much further I pulled over and got out my trusty pump. You see, the last time I had a flat, I didn't have the right spare tube. And I wasn't crazy about the pump I'd brought. So when I got home from that, I ditched the "new" pump for my trusty old pump.

Tonight I pulled it out and tried pumping it ... it was stuck. I finally got it to go, but the pump just felt weird. So I opened it up to check it out, and the gasket was stretched out and had a ton of crud built up... Long story short, I swore loudly and packed the pump back in the bag (so I can throw it away when I got home), and began the walk out.

My lovely wife came out to get me (a friend came over to make sure someone would be home if Simone woke), and I made it home only about an hour later than I would have w/out the flat.

So... the next time I switch to a "trusty old" whatever, I'm gonna triple check that the trusty thing still works.

Life is good ... so let's complain

Not big complaints, just little complaints. Things that have been rubbing me the wrong way.

I'm hoping to release them into the ... um... universe (web?) and move on with my life, with the goal of not fretting over them (as much) from now on.

  1. Messages notifying you of messages that take as much space as the message itself. For example, my cell phone informs me that I missed a call with a little popup window that says "1 missed call" and a bunch of whitespace. They could have just as easily displayed the phone number.
  2. Daylight savings time: This has totally thrown Simone's sleep schedule for a loop, and it's not cool.
  3. People who don't push their chair in after getting up from a table. This seems to be common to most engineers at both places I've worked.
  4. People who don't close their locker after using it in the locker room.
  5. People who don't wash their hands after going potty. If you ever go to Intel, be sure to wash your hands after shaking hands with any men, because I never saw more than half the men wash their hands before leaving the restroom. At Mentor, half the people use the paper towel to open the door, and the other half just used the paper towel to dry their hands (almost everyone washes their hands).
  6. TV/Radio folks who say "backslash" at the end of their URL. It's not a backslash, it's a forward slash, commonly referred to as just slash.
  7. Programmers who can't touch type. Seriously, if you were a professional newspaper boy and needed training wheels, you'd be laughed at. What about a professional baseball player who has to use a tee? A competitive bowler who uses lane bumpers? A dancer who can't walk to a beat? An architect who can't use a straight edge? A singer who uses Auto-Tune? (oh, they're doing that).
  8. That anyone gives James O'Keefe a second of their time.
  9. Externalized costs (the environment is constantly picking up the tab).
  10. Oregon's law preventing you from pumping your own gas.
Those all seem pretty petty, eh? That's because life is good, I really can't complain. A list of things I'm grateful for is much longer, perhaps another time...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kauai, 2011

Well, we went to Kauai. The short summary is:

North side for a week, in a house in a jungle valley - where Mary and Simone were sick for a couple days, getting healthy in time for the rain. Lovely beaches, slow-paced, and very peaceful.

Second week was on the south side, in Poipu, with Nana and Grandpa. We went to our first Luau , drove up to Waimea canyon to see clouds, walked around the art night in Hanapepe (where Simone played with one of the many bands on the street), and we went swimming and sunning. Oh, and we watched whales swim/splash/breach and turtles too (no breaching turtles).

You can check out the photos I took on this page.