So, I made it home after about 7.5 hours.  Woohoo!  There were many points along the drive where I said to myself and anyone who happened to call, "What the fuck was I thinking?!"  Anyway, I'm glad I did.  I get to hang out with the fam, watch Planet Earth on BlueRay, play with the pooch and cat, AND play Crazy-Hat Monopoly... or Mexican Train dominos.

Happy Holidays.  Travel safe.  Or stay home and reschedule your festivities.


a mixed bag, but on the whold, pretty good

Things to report from the last week or so:
  • being iced in is lame. even with the latest technologies to keep me entertained. much prefer the option to leave.
  • migraines have been scarce lately. BUT! I did have a glass of wine last night and do have something extremely funky going on in my head at the moment. there could, however, be another explanation... no established patterns regarding wine yet.
  • my powers of persuasion and coordination combined with a general feeling of if-not-now-when? to create an extended international trip this spring. On the docket we've got Germany, Ireland, a certain trailer in the Alps with a hot cup of J├Ągertee, and mayhaps even Istanbul (not Constantinople)
  • I'm behind in my Christmas shopping.
  • I'm extremely happy with the fact that I won't be working at all next week.
  • I'm extremely happy with the fact that I'll be working the week after next.


Ice and Snow, Snow and Ice

So, there's a "snow and ice emergency" in effect. Move your cars from the main roads so they can plow/sand/de-ice/et cetera. We finally saw snow when we woke up this morning, a bit later than predicted. I can hear people spinning their tires trying to move their cars. Three things to carry to help you out of such a situation: kitty litter, carpet sample (I hear it does in fact work), or..... Yeah. That third one escaped me.

Anyway, if you're after a look at the snow, try the U of O Webcam. I tracked it down from a distant memory for y'all to enjoy. Besides, its cold outside. I don't want to go take a picture of people sliding around. Big Ups to the ability to work from home.

As a side note, I braved the mall yesterday for the first time this holiday season. One of the more entertaining thins I saw was a mom trying to convince her little son that he should want to give his dad a Christmas present. He refused. She kept at it. He caved. "So what would you like to get him, then?" Mom inquires. Kid: "A bag. A paper bag."


the longest week ever... maybe

I don't know if its because we're just now at the midway point between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this week just seemed to drag on. and on. and on. That okay though. Its Friday. I really have no pithy comment beyond that. It is the end to a long week, after all. Anyway, we're on the final slide towards the holidays so I thought I'd share some things that have kept me going. Apply liberally.
  • coffee
  • toast with peanut butter and jelly
  • elbow (see video below)
  • new adventures! I used my butcher block table!
  • dodgeball playoffs... alas, we did not win.
  • Deadwood... I feel as if I reviewed my notes from Advanced Cussing 401
  • evolving schemes of travel

chop chop on the butch block table!

Elbow - One Day Like This

Elbow - Grounds foe Divorce


Thanks, yo

Generally speaking, I like to hide under a rock on my birthday. Thanks to KFR, I cannot do that this year. Its not that I don't enjoy birthdays, I just like to run away from the extra fuss and attention that can accompany them. And this applies only to my own. Anyway, a couple of years ago I really had no say in the extra fuss. I took to calling it my birthday week, actually. That was a bit much. I annoyed myself by the end. Anyway, to my birthday wish list:
  • may you raise a drink to good friends
  • may your play list include the following songs: Sin Wagon by the Dixie Chicks, Speaking in Tongues by the Eagles of Death Metal, and The Happy Song (Dum Dum) by Mr. Otis Redding.
  • may you be able to enjoy the sunshine this fine Friday
Mazel tov!


chicken tic tac toe

In my auspicious home town there was once lovely store aptly named "The Country Store". Its difficult for me to describe how grand this store was. They had a fantastic shoe section (my love of shoes started early), sold industrial amounts of toilet paper in large cardboard boxes (before such things as Costco arrived), and had a Tic Tac Toe game where your opponent was a chicken. That's right. You could play Tic Tac Toe against a real, live, and dare I say cunning, chicken. Visits to this store always meant fun. And how could it not be? Honestly? I mean, you match wits with a chicken and then leave the store with the knowledge that the giant toilet paper box would soon turn into a play house. Like magic. All one had to do was to get an adult to turn the box upside down and cut out windows and a door. If you had a marker you could even tell the adults where to cut.

Little did I know that you can now play Tic Tac Toe against chickens in casinos all across this great land. Oh, and that the Country Store would soon die and be replaced with a Home Depot. Such is life.

I hope to never encounter chicken Tic Tac Toe again. I'd like to keep that one locked away in a happy place of distant memory rather than some smoke-filled, sleazy, small-town casino... not to mention that whole animal cruelty thing.


in the land of migraines.

Things have been worse than normal in my head lately. "Normal" is, of course, a very relative term. Its gotten to the point where I'm keeping a journal. A migraine journal. I keep track of all sorts of fun things, like what I eat and drink, exercise, migraines, weather, etc. The hope is to write all this crap down for at least a month or so and then tease some patterns out of it. I've got a good handle on a couple triggers, both of which I can do very little about. The trick is to separate that business from other potential triggers. Therein lies the rub.

I didn't attempt this particular tactic sooner for completely irrational and selfish reasons. Quite honestly, I don't want to know if chocolate or red wine are triggers for me (though I don't believe they explicitly are). Well, hell, who am I kidding?! That's a completely valid reason to stick my head in the ground! So, we shall see where this business leads. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the wine.


company for the brick wall

So, my brick wall finally has something to keep it warm, namely an awesome map of Seattle I picked up at an antiques & collectibles show a number of weeks ago. I've been eyeballing the map for sometime and finally took the plunge. That brick was is just so ugly, and the map is just so cool. To me anyway. Though I did realize that this is the 3rd map I have up in my apartment, so perhaps I should stop with the maps for now.

Please disregard the flash in the full picture of the framed map. Its not very bright out right now. What can you do?

framed seattle kroll map
woodland park zoo
seattle kroll map


New Look, Option Two

Okay, here's another option. I really enjoy the green of the brown. If that makes sense. And I have to say, it looks much warmer for those of you with Macs. My work PC doesn't do it justice, but it doesn't look bad. For comparison, here's an image of the first New Look:

Anyway, let me know what you think.



New Look

Okay people, as if I don't sit in front of a computer long enough, I got caught up making changes to my blog's look and feel. So, I burned through about 3 different layouts before I returned to where I started. Meh. I like it, what can I say. So I guess that means the only thing different is the color palette. Let me know what you think. Do you have to strain your eyes? How's the link color? Visited links? and so on and so forth. I'll gladly accept comments such as, "that looks like someone vomited on my screen."

I have to admit, I like the colors in theory. But in practice it seems a bit too, I don't know, precious. And lame. I've had the charcoal gray for so long, perhaps the memory is just interfering...

Anyway, I have another color scheme up my sleeve.

Over and out.


sunday update

This isn't so much a complaint as an acknowledgment of all I have to be grateful for. I've been gone each of the last 4 weekends, mostly for family stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. But at one point last week I realized that I'd been so busy I hadn't sat on my couch in a week. A WEEK. Today marks the end of that weekend trend, at least until Thanksgiving. Relaxation and accomplishments mark my Sunday. I slept in, made a nice breakfast & coffee, read the paper past noon (on my couch, thank you), cleaned, did some grocery shopping, watched some TV courtesy of the BBC, and have a delicious soup simmering. All in all, a good day.

It is officially soup and sweater weather.



Those who study history tend to be among the more cynical. I don't think they're necessarily more cynical than the next person, but in their historic brains lies a sundry list of how things go terribly and inextricably wrong. Cynicism is self-preservation. Tempered by years of historical study and the Bush years, you could say my heart was two sizes too small to allow myself to hope. So it is that last night my small, disbelieving Grinch-filled heart grew three sizes.



a day for nerves

Already voted. Saw lots of smile. Now to sit and wait with the rest.

Completely off topic... if you're ever in Seattle, go to Lighthouse Roasters. They roast the most delicious coffee and their baristas know a thing or three about pulling a shot.

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goodbye, october

Ah, bittersweet remembrances of the best set of leaves I've seen in 4 years. Its fitting that the rain should come today to scare the last hints of gold and red from the trees. Le sigh. How I love October. The leaves. The crisp air. The necessity of sweaters. The beasties. The fact that October falls so close to two of the lamest months on record (August for the never-ending heat and November for the simple fact that it is not, and never can be, October) only adds to the wonder.

May you have wonderful Halloweens to set you down the path of November. And may I have a reprieve from the migraines that feel like my head is trying to turn itself inside-out through my right eye socket. Just thought I'd add that last bit in there for some good virtual thoughts.


late announcement

finished table

For those still interested, I finally finished my butcher block table a few weeks ago. The top is securely fastened and it is pretty, if I do say so myself. I'm so happy with it, in fact, I have not used it yet. I just can't bring myself to cut anything on it. I have this overwhelming desire to protect the table, keep it pristine, untouched by my dull knives. This too shall pass. But I do feel the need to plan a fantastic meal to complement the table. We shall see.

Other projects are now in the hopper. More to report at a later date.


tuckered out

fisherman & boatsdrive-by sea food
city peak-a-boowinging in

Yo yo yo. So, I'm tired today. The culmination of a long weekend marked by a long day yesterday. I can't complain too much though, it was pretty much all fun. Friday saw a return to the corn maze. It was entertaining as ever with M. making her inaugural run through the corn. Just in time as she's leaving in just over a month. Hmmmmm, lets see here. There was also a day-long Soprano's marathon, a trip to a big city, and a day trip to an even bigger city. I had to go to San Francisco yesterday for work. The timing kind of sucked as I was only able to walk around for around an hour down in the Embarcadero area. You know, Fisherman's wharf touristy. Then it was into a workshop and back into the car to fight the rush-hour traffic to SFO. Meh. Anyway, I didn't get home until just before 1:00AM. So I'm tuckered.



the Dude abides

Glamour Shot: Loving the Camera

I just got final word from my parents that they finally had to put our cat Scruffy down. He was pushing 15 and really held on a lot longer than any of us really thought he would. Scruffy, if it is at all possible, was basically the equivalent of The Dude from The Big Labowski. Temperamentally speaking, anyway. We called him the Dude because it just fit. Anyway, he had many fantastic attributes (not all of them entirely cat-like), but I'd like to highlight one particular episode rather try to explain him further.

Picture it: a beautiful May evening featuring a blooming pink dogwood, clear skies, and my sister in a gorgeous Jessica McClintock black satin dress, the princess kind. Her potential suitor arrived looking snappy in his tux and my parents commenced the Prom picture-taking ritual. Standing in front of the dogwood, they struck a striking figure. Wanting to make nice (or so we assumed) Scruffy sauntered up to my sister. Now, this could have been problematic as Scruffy was known to roll in dirt to the point that he appeared a dull gray/brown color. But he seemed clean enough. Besides, everyone was all smiles with the nattily attired gent, the princess dress, and blooming dogwood. Much to our amazement, Scruffy walked up to my sister and peed on her. Sprayed her. Completely marked her as his and decidedly not the nattily attired gent's. Witnessing this I almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard. Scruffy ran off with the screams (mostly laughter, really) and a clean-up crew went to work on the dress. Luckily it was a very heavy satin and the offending liquid rolled off without much issue. Eventually the young people went to their dance and Scruffy eventually returned later that night.



things I like that I already own, continued: smurf glass

Bad pour for bad dynamic duo: gargamel and azrael

First up in the queue was the fantastic Red Chair which is held in a very serious Chair Trust. Next on the list are my Smurf Cups. I have 4 glasses that feature Brainy, Smurfette, Gargamel and Azrael, and "Party Punch" (which showcases Papa and others with a cauldron of some smurftastic beverage that I imagine sends the smurfs dancing like Batman after his orange juice is spiked by some Riddler femme fatale while Robin-the-voyeurist watches from the Batmobile). Um, yes. Sorry. Anyway, the point is, these glasses are most entertaining and they hold liquids (water, beer, G & Ts, milk for cookies) quite well.

As the price of stocks, etc. declines perhaps I'll just switch over to collecting the whole lot of Smurf glasses.


things I like that I already own: red chair

It occurs to me that during this time of financial insecurity one better get busy liking what they've already got. Never mind that I have a small mountain of things piling up that need to go to Goodwill. This, my friends, is a celebration of things I already have. I encourage others to take inventory as well.

I thought about doing this in list form, but that doesn't seem appropriate. So much of what I have that I truly value (whether for the item or more often times the sentiment) deserves a bit more than a one-off list.

First and foremost on the list is the Red Chair. Now, whether or not I own the Red Chair is up for debate. I think my family might argue that I hold it in some form of Trust that they could legitimately lay claim to. As much as I like to call the chair mine, their rendering is probably the more accurate of the two. Since lists are so much fun, I present a list of why this chair is RAD:
  • the fantastic red color
  • velvet!
  • it still has much of the original horsehair construction
  • we were not allowed to sit in this chair as children and now I can sit in it every day
  • it was my grandma's chair
  • the chair is facking comfortable
  • did I mention the red?

red chair

To be continued...


following the geese

So, last night I didn't sleep so well. It could have been the geese honking as they flew south. Or it could have been today's travel that I knew I had ahead of me. That's right, I followed the geese south to the Land of Strip Malls for conferencing, meetings, and a truncated visit. Its good to do the whole I-show-my-face-at-work-sometimes thing. You know, the check-in. But does the check-in have to start on the first day of fall when the leaves are changing at home and it slated to be in the mid-80s here? Bah! I don't even need the sun yet! Okay, okay, I shouldn't complain about weather in the 80s, but damn people, I LOVE ME SOME SWEATER WEATHER...

Sweater, no coat! Thank you very much.


um, yes. a hair cut.

shorter hair

So, I finally got really tired of my long hair and chopped it. I'd say it hasn't been this short since right before I went to Germany a few years ago. Interesting decision, given that summer is, for all intents and purposes, over. Anyhoo, its fun and easy, easy being the more important of the two as I'm fantastically lazy when it comes to hair.

On to more entertaining topics, its getting chilly at night and I've spied some yellow and red leaves! We're less than two weeks from October, the greatest month on record. Woohoo!


a reason to celebrate....

I went down to a local Mexican league soccer tournament this weekend in hopes of scoring some delicious tacos. You know the kind.... two small tortillas, asada, onion, cilantro, lime... They had tacos aplenty, but there was a booth with a bright golden light leading the eye to the sign that said "Pupusas". Could it be? No! Surely not! Yes, by jove, I think they do have them! Pupusas are a food that hails from El Salvador. There is not, as far as I can tell, a large Salvadorian crowd in the general area. So I took the opportunity that so delightfully fell in my lap and I stuffed myself with Pupusas all weekend long. That's right people, I went down to the tournament on both Saturday and Sunday just for the food. Even brought some pupusas home to freeze, though I doubt they'll make it into the freezer. One of the best parts of the whole pupusa experience is this delightful cabbage, carrot, and onion mixture that goes on top. Almost like a blanched, not creamy cole slaw. I doubt that would freeze well. So, really, I probably should just go ahead and eat them. For the best.

Anyway, here's to hoping others were as delighted by their weekend discoveries as I was.


Natural Light

Yes, indeedy. There I was engaging in some due diligence on the Consumer Reports web site when I went a little off track. Much to my dismay, they recommended Natural Light as a CR Best Buy for light beers. I was a little disappointed they only tested light beers, but what can you do? Of course, their descriptors were a bit disheartening. Their "fair" rated beers were classified as "skunky and oxidized," which, in my book, would rate as bad. Meh.

Since I have no pictures of Natural Light consumption, I'll throw some Natural Ice in the mix with the charming KFR.
Natural Ice


old man slippers

Oops, should've turned it
Originally uploaded by the bandits altercations

One of my finest purchases on the family vacation was a fine pair of Minnetonka mocs. Yes, I look forward to wearing these slippers for many many years to come. The above picture is just further evidence of my evolution into an old man... I'm wearing my slippers and driving an RV. So, what else qualifies, you might ask???? A list:

  • the minnetonka slippers (the RV is not mine to drive)
  • the old man Ivy Cap.... think Kangol, Pendleton (usually plaid), or Woolrich
  • I live next to Rose, Blanch, Dorothy, and Sophia
  • I like gin & tonics and other such cocktails
  • I require consistent sleep to function at a human level
Yeah. I think I need to work on being crotchety. That will really take my game to a whole new level.


images only

So, I'm back. Hence the fancy video (at Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, sipping some wine, enjoying the sunset). I'll start the task of posting my billions of pictures on Flickr sometime this week, but now I'm going to have a beer, maybe separate my lights and darks, watch the boob tube, and hit the hay. To conclude, some highlights from the last few days of the trip:
  • a fantastic thunder and lightning storm in Jackson
  • chatting with a mink farmer and his "twinkie stuffer" wife.... no joke.... she worked for Hostess
  • birthday X 2
  • there's snow on them thar hills (or mountains, whatev)!... we had some chilly nights with the storm, thus I didn't have to try so hard to pretend that fall was here.
  • family
Alas, my holiday is over. The working world demands attention tomorrow and Friday. At least the weekend is almost here.


on holiday 3.0

jackson lake sunset

Um, yes. We moved south to the land of teats.... errrrr, breasteses.... errrrr, Grand Teton. Holy crap, these mountains are awesome. I even had this whole video lined up from the sunset view from the lake just 200 yards away from where we're "camping", but no dice (see the above picture instead). It was a whole new world, taking a video from my cell phone. FYI, KFR, you can take video from your fancy digital camera. I want to see some sweet Parisian scenes. When I get back to civilization (funny considering the RV has more TVs than my apartment and I'm on the interweb) I'll post it. Anyhoo, not much to report on the animal front apart from some chipmunks. But we did go on a beautiful hike today and had fantastic weather (see the picture below). Its not often you see mountains just sticking up out of the earth, no foothills, no warning. BAM! Mountian! Perhaps tomorrow when we're out in the wilderness I'll give myself over to haiku... or not.

Grand Teton camping
Cardboard cutout of mountains
Hey! Watch out for bears!

at Inspiration Point


on holiday 2.1

Dooooby doooby doooooooooooooo, I'm in Jellystone....
Daaaa da daaaaaaa da deeeeeeeeeeeeee, it was a little stinky....

.... a cell phone photo....

Woohoo, had some issues with migraines. It was like wrastlin' a bear. Today is much better though. Things to report:
  • We saw the park ranger Matt-O annoint a new Junion Park Ranger. It was awesome. He made an announcement.
  • I did not have a heart attack on Uncle Tom's trail.
  • Many Bison and Elk were seen.
  • Even more idiotic tourists who get a foot away from Elk (and seem to think it is safe) were seen.
  • The bike gang rides again! We plan on heading down town to a dive for some local flavor and beer.
  • We had some cold weather today. SWEET!
Tomorrow we're off down the trail (adding power steering stuff as necessary). We hope to see the Paint Pots, the Lodge, and then the most metal of all American mountain chains, the Tetons.


on holiday 2.0

Ummmmmm, yes. Where to begin. Saturday, up at 6:15AM, all ready to leave by 7:00AM, and the the truck pulling my parents trailer won't get out of Park. Damnit! Somewhere around/after 8:00AM we depart, only to stop a little less than an hour later because the defrost in same said truck won't turn off and its blowing hot air. Not Nice! After changing some or all of the fuses, we set off once again with the whole defrost issue unresolved. Steady on, young sir! Somewhere east of Missoula we pull in to a rest stop to eat some chow and a kind truck driver informs us that the RV, heretofore without issue (a good track record compared to the truck) is leaking power steering fluid. You've got to be kidding me! They rigged some solution with plastic trash bags and fluid from a gas station. I'm talkin' MacGyver level stuff. Now, I can't complain because I watched Moonstruck with my sister and mom while my brother, dad, and J. did the driving. But, it was one damn thing after another yesterday and we didn't get to the RV park until after midnight (mountain time).

Still, with all of that, we managed to keep our sense humor. In fact, we were excellent town tourists today and bought some lovely baubles and trinkets to gather dust. Best to sleep in and stay close to home after a day of travel like yesterday. We'll head into the park tomorrow and hope to see Matt-O for dinner if he can make it down.

Perhaps the most entertaining thing today, my dad, sister, and I started a bike gang. We rode all over the town, went to the park entrance to pick up a free map, and intimidated a kid on a bike. Its pretty sweet. My bike gang dreams are coming true.


on holiday 1.1

In less than 24 hours I'll begin the journey north and thus the beginning of my holiday. I shall rendezvous with the Fam at HQ (aka: The Crack) on Friday and we depart for Yellowstone on Saturday at O-dark-hundred. Well, it will be early, but the sun will definitely be up. That's right folks, this is a family-road-trip-circa-1963 kind of affair. We shall reconnoiter (I've always loved that word, A.) the place where Matt-O spends his time, shoot on down to Grand Teton, and get some town-time in for the parental unit's respective birthdays in Jackson Hole. Phew. All in all, the vacation time is only* about 12 days, but I haven't had 12 days** since 2004. Anyhoo, I may or may not post from the field depending on how the interweb is fairing wherever I happen to be. To finish things off, a list of things I already find entertaining:
  • How loaded down my car will be getting to HQ: bike, bbq, booze, board games
  • Camping food. Hello Easy Cheese!
  • The fact that my brother, sister, and I will be crammed in the backseat on the first leg (to be joined by an RV a bit down the road. Yes. Caravan style.
  • Fighting over the radio
  • Every conversation with my family regarding meal planning for the trip revolved around some variety of meat. I'm pretty sure fruits & vegetables were mentioned at some point, but I might just be lying to myself.
*I realize this is way more than a good many people see in a two year span, let alone in consecutive days
**unemployment, most emphatically, does not count

ps: on an unrelated but related note, the holiday and coming closure of the craft center for a small amount construction means my table is now safe in my apartment, but in two pieces still, and in need of more mineral oil. I shall resume table construction upon my return and post updates of my progress. Its getting close people!


on holiday 1.0

Somewhere in the span last two years I've picked the phrase "on holiday" as a more entertaining and meaningful replacement for "on vacation." There are, I think, a couple reasons for this. First, I have cause to work with people all over the world and in their emails and on the phone, "on holiday" is routinely used. I learned the business jargon, I think "on holiday" is an acceptable addendum to that list*. Second, "on vacation" just doesn't roll around in mouth the same way "on holiday" does. Vacation, phonetically speaking, just seems so harsh to me. Holiday is just a nicer word to get out. Third, "on holiday" sounds SO much more fun that "on vacation. Think about it, growing up all time off from school was associated with a holiday of some variety (save summer break). The food, moreover, associated with holidays is way cooler**. Fourth, and finally, and embarrassingly, "on holiday" is way more fun to say in a bad British accent preferably somewhat akin to Wallace & Gromit: "Gromit, that's it! Cheese! We'll go somewhere where there's cheese!"

This is all a long winded way of announcing I shall soon be on holiday. Weeeeeeee!

*this list is also peppered with phrases like "riff-raff" that can be used to describe people, things, and ideas.
**Thanksgiving is just one easy example. The patriotic largesse of the 4th of July (bbq! potato salad! potato chips!) is another good one.


sharp tools rule!

The sharp tools, they also draw blood. But the cuts are clean, so its okay. Yeah. I managed to puncture myself with the chisel on the palm side of my thumb, just below the knuckle. Whoopsie Daisy. Everything is fine. I don't think any stitches are necessary. But bending the thumb (and I do have full range of motion, thanks!) is not so fun right now. Typing ain't easy either. So, some things I've learned:
  • always work with sharp tools
  • be careful when using chisels
  • spurting blood means an artery, dripping blood means a vein (mine dripped)
  • when one sustains an injury in a shop-type setting, invariably people come from all around to share the origin of their scars and tales of (often times) stupidity... I'll now be able to share in the fun.
  • neosporin (or generic equivalent) is good to have on hand
  • wet band-aids are bad-news-bears... change 'em out.
  • some cold water and salt can remove blood stains
In summary, try not to stab yourself with a chisel: there is blood, there are weird stories, and there is pain. At least a little.

That is all.


a word of advice:

Do not run when you have the world's tiniest sliver embedded in your foot. Its not, what you might call, conducive to effective exercise.


something I learned:

The longer one stays in bed, the easier it is to pretend there is coffee in the house.


Because I do KFR's bidding.

Kungfuramone bid us all to make lists. Thus I make lists.

Things I have been good at:
  • Creating mixed tapes. I won't even try to hem and haw around this one. I make quality mixed tapes.
  • Soccer. I've never been great at one position, but I was good at enough positions. Paid for a good chunk of college and that ain't nothin' to sneeze at.
  • Taking care of things. I mean that quite literally. Clothing, technology, furniture... they all last a long time with me.
  • Crackin' wise. Helping people chill out. Instead of say, "calm the fuck down" (sorry for the language) I joke. Defense mechanism? sure. Not always well time? perhaps. Generally needed by a good chunk of the populous? definitely.
  • Dealing with migraines. I might have slurred speech, but I'll be easy to work with.
  • Working in technology and not knowing anything.

Things I have been bad at:
  • Languages. Hands down. It's like I hit about 5 to 10 words/phrases and then the brain just shuts down.
  • I'll say networking/being among the unknown. This is a hot and cold thing for me. Never consistent. Sometimes I can charm the socks off people, others, not so much.
  • Lying. Or, rather, telling the truth. When I tell the truth I blush. So it looks like I'm lying. Its odd.
  • Swimming. Again, I would rate myself as a fairly coordinated individual, physically speaking. Put me in a pool and I can get from point A to point B. But it will be a crooked line marked by fits and starts.
  • Working in technology and not knowing anything.


the butcher block!

Last night I really made some progress in terms of the butcher block that will form the top of my table. I scraped the last of the glue, sent it through the planer, routed the edges, and sanded it down a bit. More sanding is on the way. But I think it will be quite nice when all is said and done. Now I need to focus on the table legs, skirt, etc. I need to make sure the base is able to handle the top, because that mofo is HEAVY. In fact, a small team will be necessary to transport the thing. Ah well.

laminating table legs smoothing the edges


ummmm, yeah.

So, for whatever reason last night I slept a grand total of about 12 hours. Um. Yeah. 12. Weird. I only do that when sick. And I am not sick. Though I had the weirdest dreams. They were so weird that one could easily associate them with those fever-induced visions we see on TV and such. "Nightmare" may be a more apt description. Let me describe just one installment: I spent what felt like 4 hours picking out 9 perfect power-ballad records (not CDs, not tapes) and the appropriate chip accompaniment. It was like I was magically transported to 1988 where I was a nerdy high school sophomore. Weird.


the checkers form!

tabletop to cut blade
exposed grain clamping the top - back view

I finally brought in my camera for some pictures of my class project, the butcher block table. Last night, in addition to cutting and gluing the strips into their checkerboard pattern, I also made the cuts for my table legs.... on the TABLE SAW! I think the table saw falls into that category where distance makes the heart grow fonder. Well, I should say I feel better about my use of the table saw this morning. The fact is, I sort of approach it like house plant: I send it good vibes, talk to it, tell some jokes. You know, as you do.

On a side note, I've felt compelled over the last couple of months to state emphatically that peanut butter is the food of the gods. Mead? Nah. Cacao? hmmmm. Coffee? Okay, coffee is close. Give me peanut butter and coffee please. I can call it breakfast and have a fantastic start to the day! Huzzah!


Projectiles and Chunks.

I, my friends, am enrolled in a beginning woodworking class.  This is not the first time I've taken such a class.  But I think we can all agree that 1997 was awhile ago.  Anyhoo, in case you're wondering, I'm building a butcher block table.  When all is said and done, the table will be approximately 17"deep x 26"wide 34"high.  Tonight I glued the strips that will form the top together (cherry and walnut! thanks for asking!).  Next class I'll cut that into strips once again on the table saw.  That's right, Bitches! The TABLE SAW!  So I'll now offer up some fun things from that class in list form of no particular order:
  • Repeated use of the words "projectiles" and "chunks" in the same sentence (with the variant "a good chunk" thrown in for good measure)
  • I was informed of a number of places to find "exotic woods"
  • Mortise hole!  (I imagine this being used as a disparaging comment along the lines of "Dill Weed!"
  • Repeated use of the phrase "decorative fashion"... Its fun to say.  Try it.  You might like it.
  • Quick drying glue!  One is magically transported back to kindergarten with a disc of glue drying in the palm of the hand.
  • Saw dust, lumber, and the detritus of woodworking in a contained room smells good.
One last  comment on the whole process of glue.  I had to use so much glue to ensure it coated all of the surface area for all the strips I had quite a bit squeeze out.  This excess glue created the coolest collection of stalactite and stalagmite forms.  Did I mention I'm a nerd?  I tried to capture it with the cell phone as it was all I had.



and on other topics

So, I'm still in the meeting. And I have to show one photograph:

"VALID ID to purchace condoms!"

While in the BCC home town we saw lots of young people walking around with youngsters of their own. Perhaps this picture is indicative of why.... apparently when shopping at a small town local grocery outlet-type establishment one can purchase a pregnancy test but not condoms unless one is also 18 years of age and in possession of a VALID identification card.

Right. Yes.

Realistic, that abstinence-only sex education class. So, just to break things down, individuals are fully capable of driving a 2,000lbs. machine around, capable of entering the military with parents' permission, capable of attending college, but not capable of making responsible decisions regarding sex. I'm sorry, I forget... is it responsible to be pregnant at 17?

8:00pm meeting.

So, by the title, one might think that I had a 5:00pm meeting (wink wink, nudge nudge) with bottle of vodka, or some such spirit. But no. I'm sitting in an 8:00 meeting that scheduled to last another 45 minutes. Sweet. Anyway, might as well talk about last weekend while I wait for things that concern me to be discussed. To that end, last weekend I spent the 4th of July with the members of the BCC on their home turf. It was a fantastic weekend of eating and sleeping. E & C call their hometown "the place where time stops." And I think that's pretty accurate, for all manner of reasons. Anyway, some highlights: sleeping, eating, a walk through the pasture accompanied by one geriatric cat, discount grocery stores, and one fantastic fireworks display.

barber shop 7 lbs. of beans
dragonfly? small road.


a trail of raspberries and other such things

I was out yesterday picking raspberries in the BCC's backyard in the early evening sun. If you've never had a raspberry straight from the vine and still warm from the sun, may you live long enough to do so.

By way of an explanation... My brother, sister, and I spent about a week with our grandparents during our youthful summers in the tiny mill town that our dad grew up in, staying in the same house he helped his dad build. This house was perhaps 40 feet from the banks of a river essentially (and amazingly) free of dams. One of the most practiced pastimes was simply sitting in the shade watching the river go by. The trees offered sanctuary from the blazing mid-day sun that the canyon could not protect us from and the river obscured the din of everyday life that we grow so accustomed to as we go about our days. It was in my grandpa's garden, just off the side of the house, protected by a fence and aromatic rose bushes, that I fell in love with the raspberry. I have been devoted ever since.

So I was thinking about the raspberries last night, the cold mountain river, and the sweet smell of ponderosa pines; if you ever have the opportunity, shove your nose right up to the bark of a mature ponderosa pine. You'll be blown over by the heavenly scent of vanilla. Anyway, I was pondering all these things... thinking back over learning how to walk on stilts, conversations about the rise of the Chicago Bulls, the latest goings-on of Days of Our Lives (yes, my grandpa watched that), Connect Four strategies, and my enjoyment of country music. I must credit my grandparents with planting that particular seed.

As a slice of my childhood, I offer up Ray Stevens singing "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival," an example of the soundtrack into the 'big' city for various provisions not available in the tiny town.....



happy friday!

Happy Friday, All! It's going to be a scorcher in my neck of the woods today. Nothing much to report, so random bits in list form:

That's all I've got. I need to water my flowers because, like I said, it's going to be a scorcher today.

Have a great one.


In California I dream of snow.

berry delight

I should give a proper recounting of my latest trip down to the Bay area. It was a great visit. KFR, Re-B, and A. (+J!) were there to welcome me to the Golden state with fun and food (see the above picture). Lots of food. And vino. Not as much vino. The reunion was fantastic, particularly considering that A. was on another continent for the last 9 months and shall make another trip to other continents here soon.

On the work side, things went just as well. My presentation went swimmingly and my Big Doings meeting proved quite fruitful as well. Let's see here, what else was good??? Breeze, the nice horse I rode around for a bit, didn't buck me off. Believe me, he was so antsy in the beginning I believed getting bucked off was a distinct possibility.

Finally, I wrapped up the week with another entertaining dinner with A. and J. We went to a fantastically yummy pizza joint and stuffed ourselves appropriately. Good times.

self portrait on horse breeze



Last week I had the great good fortune to be able to reminisce about the Manchester United team of the mid-90s. Thus I offer up one of the many fantastic goals by Eric Cantona. Yes, he may have cleated a fan in the chest once. Bygones. He was a fantastic stiker.


Technology is RAD...

... except when it isn't. I probably shouldn't be on my computer at the moment. I don't get it. I return from the Mecca of technology in America (a MOST entertaining trip) and all of my own gadgets do not work properly. Its as if they know I talked to fancy people about fancy new technologies. Jealous types, my tech gadgets.

First of all, my cell phone is nothing but crunchy static that loses incoming voice mails. This must be remedied. As I go to have my phone looked at I fire up my trusty iPod for some nice tunes. Not so fast, hotshot! My iPod decides to go all SRV Diag Boot screen on me. Seriously? As I go to get the phone fixed??? I have no idea what SRV Diag Boot means. I only know that I stumped the "experts" at the Apple store (seen while the people tended to my phone) and am a hair's breadth away from losing my warranty. What to do, what to do: purchase AppleCare, have half the cost of that returned to me by saving me shipping and handling for the prostrate iPod, and then have another year of warranty for whatever refurbished replacement they send me. Phew.

Um yeah. I might have also purchased a fancy sleek keyboard as the one my computer came with drives me batty. I love the feel of the new one... like typing on a laptop. Much better. Okay, okay. Technology is still RAD. I just had a bad tech day.


Attacking Birds!

Attacking Birds!

Couple of things: first, a bird dive-bombed me in the grocery store parking lot. Twice. I had to take a picture of the warning signs put in place by the thoughtful people there. It was entertaining, if not a bit disconcerting.

Second, I make my own attacking bird! trip down to the Bay for Big Doings and important visits. I anticipate a major Hug Atttttttaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. And I anticipate being ridiculously full as A! gets her notorious Old-World-force-feeding on. I'm definitely not complaining, because everything is always SO delicious. But one must be mentally prepared for such a feast. Its very much like preparing for Thanksgiving. One should eat breakfast (check!) and one should also have some form of noon hour bit-to-eat (banana! check!).

Oh, one more thing. Yay Dad! Thanks for everything!

That is all.


coffee please.


I should say upfront that I'm currently sitting in a meeting. I should be doing work that needs to be done, but I find myself looking through Flickr and lamenting the fact that we didn't even break 60F yesterday. I'm also dreaming of more coffee magically appearing in my coffee cup. Sun and coffee, is that too much to ask?

In more entertaining news, my old college roommate sent me a lovely update of the police blotter from our college town. Classic. I offer up a selection of the goings-on in our wee little college stompin' ground:
  • A female subject allegedly hit a male with a stick on Sixth Avenue.
  • A male and female were allegedly drinking alcohol on a bench outside a Chestnut Street residence hall.
  • Neighbors reportedly blocked a driveway on Pioneer Trail Road in Easton and wouldn't let a farrier leave because he drives over the speed limit.
  • Damage to a tree was reported on Chestnut Street.
  • A woman reportedly put a man's cell phone down her shirt and refused to give it back at the Memorial Pool.


Sopranos and such

A busy weekend of not much and a few things. Accomplishments in list form:
  • Season 1 of The Sopranos taken off the To Watch list
  • BBQ --> purchased/used
  • Patio --> Cleaned
  • Plants --> potted (yay! hostas!)
  • Gnome lights --> purchased
Of course, I completely disregarded other necessary things while watching an entire season of The Sopranos. Such is life.


In other entertaining news....

I had the great good pleasure to call my boss the other morning to explain why I would be late to work. Just so we're clear, I made the call from my car in the parking lot of said work building.

Ahem: "Yeah, hi. So, I'm going to be late to work this morning. I mean, I'm at work. In the parking lot... but I seem to be trapped in my car. By my seatbelt. It won't unbuckle. At all. I can't really get out."

Um. Yeah. Oops. This, of course (and thank goodness), made my boss erupt into a fit of laughter. Well, lets be honest, I was laughing quite a bit myself. Anyway, I just started the car back up and drove to the dealer to get it fixed. And yes, I had to loosen the strap a whole bunch to crawl out. I'm glad it didn't catch and lock up as I'm not flexible. Yeah. They managed to extricate the clip from the buckle part (probably with an entire bottle of silicone) and ordered me a new part. Yeeeehaw!

Thinking back on all the reasons I've been late to work or have to step out for a while (various sundry appointments*, etc.), this pretty much takes the cake. The only thing that could possibly rival being stuck in the car was when I had to step away from work for a few minutes to wash my car as some unlucky cat puked on the hood.

Welcome to my world.

*I boldly scoff in the face of redundancies and mobster types



Well, I can't call myself a gamer. Nor would I, for that matter. But I still found
this to be entertaining.


"Hey Pal, I love you. But.....

Be a man."

I awoke sometime last night to the apparent emotional breakdown of some drunk guy in the parking lot with his buddy. From what I could gather through the pillow over my head, the Dude got some woman pregnant (relationship status unknown, perhaps lost to the pillow). Anyway, he laid his insecurities bare through tears, the resultant large gulps of air, and then drinks of beer (always in that order). His friend developed a mantra of sorts to deal with the situation.

"I love you, Buddy. But be a man."

Over and over and over. Apparently being emotional and insecure and scared is okay so long as you're drunk. Oh, expressions of love are apparently okay between men as well, so long as the individuals are drunk, use words like "Pal" and "Buddy", and temper those expressions with "manly" things.

I don't want to think about this crap in the middle of the night. Hopefully the Dude remembered his friend telling him to "Be a man" through the hangover. Whatever that means.


with the fam

S, B & B
Originally uploaded by the bandits altercations

Yo yo yo! The fam-dam-a-leeeeeeee (sub one) came down for the holiday weekend. I'm pleased to report: good times were had by all. We traipsed around a beach, ate some delicious food at a few great restaurants, and generally had a grand time. Most excellent. I count myself among the lucky for many reasons, not the least of which is having a family that likes each other.

Anyhoo, I hope everyone had a splendid weekend.


Once again, The Crud; or, I blame Las Vegas

coma inducing, more like it.

If one were to look back over the last month of postings, one would see hints and glimmers of complaining... words like "am still hacking away" as well as specific number of days with said cough. Smart me, finally went to the doctor... a month after it started. Yeah. Bronchitis. Apparently bronchitis is a favorite illness of mine as this is the 3rd time I've had it in a year and a half. It was totally deceptive though! Never really noticed any tell-tale signs of sickness: chills, body-aches, fever, etc. Just the cough.

Apparently, "acute bronchitis can result from breathing irritating fumes, such as those of tobacco smoke or polluted air." Thus, I blame Las Vegas. Stupid smoking everywhere except within 200ft of food.



break away

So, I survived. My college alumni game was last weekend and I survive intact, if not sore. Even managed a few good runs. Only a few of course, because after each one I essentially collapsed. It was fantastic. Got to the point where I was so tired I was too tired to pick my ass up and get some water. Most excellent. It's good to have one's ass handed to them on a plate every now and again. Sort of like pressing the reset button.

In other news, you may or may not be aware that I have a chicken named after me. I'm told she's a rather assertive bird that chases other animals out of the yard. In her honor I present the following interpretive Chicken Run mix, found in the great world of YouTube.


The Age of Nerd

okay, so I must give props to KFR. He made me an epic mix before he left town many moons ago. I just really realized the fun of running to one particularly EPIC song, The Age of Pamparius by Turbonegro. Yeah. I've actually got big plans for some variety of movie intro. Or credits perhaps.

On that note, I'm off for the weekend: a little family, a little friends, a little hyperventilating on a soccer field in 90 degree F heat. Good times.


6, six, sixth, 6, six

  • times I've play the song "I want to sex you up" by Color Me Bad in iTunes.... woot! This one, ironically, is nestled between Ms. Bonnie Raitt ("Your Good Thing Is About to End") and Mr. David Gray ("Shine") by play count
  • weeks of bike maintenance class I had. No more. boo.
  • place (in historic stats) for number of saves in a single season
  • approximate number of minutes spent washing dishes tonight
  • multiplied by three equals the number of days with a hacking cough


a game of catch-up

So, we don't really need to make a game of it. There isn't that much to catch up on. Nothing terribly exciting. So, goings on:
  • Nurse K recommended a drug cocktail to help with the Crud one night last week. The key ingredients were 1 aspirin, 1 melatonin, and a nip of whiskey with honey. I had good results.
  • Helped some friends with yard work last weekend... am now lobster red in some areas
  • Checked out the marathon, cheered some people on... absolute madness to run for 26.2 miles
  • Am still hacking away at times... fun!
  • Realized I was living in the future. And by that I mean I was totally off in my dates by a week. A week! Who knew I was a time-traveler?
  • Am now a hit at my bike maintenance class... I brought beer for Cinco de Mayo, though I'm thinking it should be made a weekly thing.
That's about the status of the world right now. Nothing exciting or new to report. Hope all is well in your world.


Blanket Netherworld

Be warned, this will be a slightly whiny post. I came back from Las Vegas with the Crud, some sort of chest congestion/coughing thing. While not elevated to the status of the Plague, it is quite annoying, particularly at night when the coughing really kicks into overdrive.

On to the point: all this lying awake and coughing at night really hammers home the fact that I'm in a blanket netherworld. Or paradox. One or the other. It's either too warm at night for my winter down OR too cold for my summer set up. This situation is only more confused by the fact that we had snow in the area less than 2 weeks ago. I fear there is some sort of evil inverse blanket/weather relationship at play. Completely illogical I know, but that's what lying awake at 3:00am and coughing will get you.


water is necessary

Sorry for the absence of late. Had to be done. Couldn't be avoided. Was at a work shin-dig/conference last week and hanging out before that with the sis. I'm now safely ensconced in Washington (though not for much longer) and plan on a bit of yard work a bit later today.

So, some things I learned from the conference:
  • CEOs and CIOs can cry... and not simply due to poor or exceptional earnings
  • If you want to make it anywhere in the corporate world, you must train your liver
  • The art of cussing is appreciated
  • Sales people really ARE that creepy
  • to survive, you must surround yourself with at least one buddy
  • Water is necessary yet singles one out as a sissy
  • 12:00am is considered early


all in the family


There are certain times in my life, today being one of them, when I get a migraine. They come fairly regularly, I suppose, but have a reasonable enough amount of time between instances that I try to view them as little more than a nuisance. Some months are better than others, but it could be worse.

Anyway, whenever I talk to my mom on the phone during a migraine (as I ridiculously attempt to go about my daily life) she always, always, always apologizes. It is, after all, her side of the family that these little beasties run in. Not that she had any choice in the matter either, or her grandmother, or my brother, etc. etc. etc. But today she attached an addendum to her Apology:

"Well, at least you're not stupid!"

That's my mom! Always looking on the bright side of life! I'm adding that to my war chest of silver linings.


These things happen.

crushed pride?  meh. felled w/moss
IMG_6828 at the corner of deadwood and deadwood

A hike to a local Mount took an unexpected detour Saturday for doughnuts. Meh. These things happen. A jaunt to a local doughnut place took an unexpected detour for a water fall. Meh. These things happen. A step down to the river took an unexpected detour to my ass. Meh. These things happen.

Not one of my more graceful moments. But alas, I was the only one laughing as no one else saw it. Blasted! Because really, at that point I was someone laying on the ground by a river in a puddle laughing with NO ONE around. I could probably say something about a tree falling in the woods making no sound, but I'll restrain myself. One thing is for certain though, I have a pretty wicked bruise on my hip and my favorite pair of finders-keepers sunglasses didn't survive the fall... brawl, crawl, drawl, maul, Gaul, scrawl... Right-O. Apologies. Apparently the head didn't fair to well either? No no, every thing is in working order. I promise, Ma.

There was another detour on the way home. Who really wants to go back the way they came? Honestly? Let's just say we tooled around some nicely paved (and cleared of windfall trees) Forrest Service road. As a result we ended up at the crossroads of Deadwood and Deadwood. You really can't make this up, people. Deadwood and Deadwood.

Anyhoo, hope everyone had a pleasant end of week.


mini-accomplishments and tires

So. Mini-accomplishments and tires. I just wanted to let you all know that I now know how to deal with my bike tires. I can repair a flat in no time! Well, not no time, as I don't actually own a wee little repair kit yet. But rest assured! If some well supplied citizen happened to have a repair kit on their person while I was stranded due to flat, I could instruct said person on proper tire changing techniques, etc. Or just do it myself. Methinks I need to start a bike shopping list. I guess I can add this little accomplishment to the "Transportation Things I Know How to Do" List.

The "Transportation Things I Know How to Do" List:
  • change/repair a tire tube on a bike
  • true a bike wheel
  • change a flat tire on a car
  • properly use winter tire chains*
  • change the air filter
  • check the oil (changing the oil is just not something I've ever felt the need to do)
  • check and fill various fluid levels
  • safely use a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need to power my time machine.

*this one is on the list in theory as I generally don't travel if its too rough or just plow on through. I know how to use chains, but I don't know.


shed a little light

le sigh. so much work.


40 years of note

good lookin' fam
First off, I have to say a big Hells Yes to my parents. This weekend was their 40th wedding anniversary. To say that they have been married to each other for 40 years and still voluntarily talk (to each other) is no small feat. The bro, sis, and I threw a little shin-dig for them with the fam and pals. I'm happy to report that good times were had by all. There were even a few cut-throat games of Mexican Train Dominoes in the weekend mix.

Second, I've heard from the intrepid Matt-O. He is still alive. In fact, he's doing quite well by any measure. Better than well by my own summation of things. I'll let him spread the good word a bit later when he's back within range of the interweb. But rest assured, he's messing about in the Cascades, soon to be out of the country, and shall return to a job.

That is all.


thoughts on shopping

I'm not one to go shopping just for the fun of it. All that browsing and slow-walking and salesperson avoiding just isn't my idea of a fun time. With that, I offer up some decrees to make the shopping experience a better one:
  • all Tommy Bahama gear shall be banished
  • something akin to a smoke eater shall be installed above all perfume and cologne stations
  • women's sizing shall be adjusted to match men's sizing as men's sizing is fantastically practical**
  • refreshment stations shall be placed as strategic positions through malls and stores and will include, but not be limited to: wine, beer, lemonade, tea, still and sparkling water
  • the transition between the teen area and the stuffy-old-woman area shall be rationalized: I want options, people!

**as a side, I read this article the other day about how more online store fronts were targeting male shoppers as they purchased about the same as women on-line, but did so in a much more "efficient" manner and with less returns. Nary a word was said on the difference in sizing! It's EASY for men to shop on-line and not return anything BECAUSE of the uniform sizing. Hello Oxford shirts! Hello waistband and inseam! The stupid marketing group that crunched all their little numbers completely missed this critical point because they were soooo wrapped up in the idea of women as incessant shoppers that flit about stores while thinking up new casserole dishes. Phew. Rant over for the moment.


doooooby doooooby dooooo

uh, yeah. Did you ever have one of those days where you sort of consider it a crime that you don't have a valet, or a gentleman's personal gentleman (completely disregarding the insidious nature of class which makes such things)? Take this morning for instance: I woke up at a nice time, was quite comfy, nice and cool in the sleeproom... all I needed to make this morning perfect was a valet to hover in with a soft-boiled egg (with miniature salt and pepper containers), toast points, blueberries, and coffee. That can't be too much to ask, can it?

Hmmmm, I think I might be reading too many Jeeves and Wooster stories.


the namesake and bluh

the namesake

That's right. I have a chicken named after me. I feel pretty good about that fact as well. The above picture was from a webcam my friend set up so I could watch all the little peeping chicks hanging out. So cute.

In other news, the Thursday work-a-day hasn't even started and I have already worked about 32 hours this week. I'm such a wimp. I'm starting to go a little stir-crazy. The residence needs work, my brain requires interaction with something other than a computer (hence I blog!), and I need the infernal rain to stop so I can walk outside in frizz-free peace.

That is all.


piles o' things

Piles, piles, piles. Everywhere I look I see piles. Piles o' tax crap. Piles o' laundry.... another pile o' laundry. Piles o' dishes. Piles o' mail. Piles o' crap. Methinks all the piles are impacting my dream world. Last night I happened to visit China. I'm not sure if it is because the multiple piles of laundry are beginning to resemble the Great Wall o' China or not, but that's about all the effort I want to put in to finding out. Hence the piles. Laziness produces piles. Oh sure, one or two piles is fine. But multiple piles in multiple rooms is not. I want to say I've been busy, but I'm not entirely sure I have. Hmmmmmm.... today I attack the laundry piles. And then I play laser tag... 'cause what else does one do after 4 to 5 loads of laundry?


an outage you say?

Question: What happens when your power goes out for 45 minutes some point during the night?

Answer: You wake up 15 minutes before you're supposed to be at work. If you're lucky.


YIKES! from The Onion


bring me my whangee

Spring, spring, spring... so close yet so far. I've seen crocus and daffodils; you know tulips can't be far behind. The only wistful regret I have for the season thus far is that I can't replicate a morning from "Jeeves in the Springtime" by P.G. Wodehouse.

"It's a topping morning, Jeeves."

"Decidedly, sir."

"Spring and all that."

"Yes, sir."

"In the spring, Jeeves, a livelier iris gleams upon the burnished dove."

"So I have been in formed, sir."

"Right-o! Then bring me my whangee, my yellowest shoes, and the old green Homburg. I'm going into the park to do pastoral dances."

"Very good," sir

I don't want to go to work. I want to go to the park to do pastoral dances in my yellowest shoes. I'd even where a green Homburg, jauntily titled to the side. But methinks I'd leave the whangee behind as it would be a topping morning.


Illicit Bubbles!

Illicit Bubbles: spotted!
If one were to look closely at this image, one might see illicit bubbles in the fountain. C. and I spotted this whilst out'n about doing some Sunday movie-watching-craft-hunting-obscure-connector-cable-sleuthing... you know, as you do. It provided a nice little exclamation point to a moderately successful outing. Successful insofar as the movie was good and C. found all her crafting necessities and more. Meanwhile, my quixotic quest to resuscitate my circa 1999 printer with a magical cable-adapter-thingy continues. Next stop Radio Shack! C. assured me my chances of success were good at that particular establishment as that was now their entire business model: making out of date things work with shiny new technology. She was even, dare I say it, confident that they had some cable that would allow users to hook their trusty 8-track players up to their iPods so Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits could live on in the digital age.

Bubbles. Yeah. They're fun. We're hoping for some green ones on St. Patrick's Day.