Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"No contact sports"

Gratuitous Photos (none from today)

I wish Marty could still be comforted as easily as when we could hold him while he slept.

Joy, one day.

Marty buried Holly once, a little bit. I can hear them laughing in the den. He must be feeling better.

My dishwasher repair guy was a few hours late, but made up for it with entertaining stories and showing me how to disassemble the drain, and to "reboot" the electronics.

Marty was sick and had swollen glands behind his ears that reminded me of Star Trek TNG and creepy parasitical aliens, so I took him to urgent care. I hoped for antibiotics, but instead they took various fluids, told him he didn't have strep throat, and they'd call the next day with more news. Meanwhile, he was given two written notices: no working at a restaurant until Friday (in case it's something contagious) and no contact sports (so he doesn't get hit in the spleen or other abdominal organs that aren't feeling so great).

Holly needed me to go where a permission form was for her to go to a homecoming dance this weekend with some high school girls she likes. We didn't make it before I had a 7:30 meeting scheduled...

No armored combat for Marty. No touching forks and spoons in a place of culinary business.

I was at a restaurant for an hour and some talking with friends I care very much about, on a subject I care much less about. But it was important and now it's done.

Then Holly drove me to her friend's house (many turns on curvy roads in the dark.) I met the parents and signed the papers.

I talked with Flo Gascon about some details of the Good Vibrations Conference near San Diego next September. She's the owner/organizer. I'm to be a speaker. I'm excited about it.

Tomorrow, except for going to the post office and taking some things to give to charity, I'm unscheduled. Maybe it's age or fatigue, but I'm starting to LOVE unscheduled days. I should schedule more of them!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I hadn't made one of these for a long time. I'm glad I did. It didn't go far, with five people. This is one of those things that takes way more time, money and effort to make than time to eat it. And it's not diet food. But it certainly is beautiful, for just a few minutes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cotton Candy

I usually have photos of my kids and their friends here, but today I have Keith and myself (and then some of Holly, and of Holly and her boyfriend, Brett). This afternoon the four of us went to the Honeywell company picnic at the Spanish Village at the New Mexico State Fair grounds.

There were six "bouncy houses," all of a nautical or island theme. It seemed to be "Bounce Like a Pirate" day.

Holly and Brett went through one together that was a racing maze, with a climb up into a treasure chest and a slide down, but I wasn't able to get photos. They were inside of places most of the time, and going pretty quickly.

I haven't seen cotton candy made for a long time, and have never seen it made under ceiling fans. That was unexpectedly exciting. Here's the lady who was doing the hard sugar-spinning work, and Brett and Holly in line.

Small and larger wisps of the cotton candy were being pulled up into the air and swirled around by the fans. People were catching it and eating it, but these sweet flying dust bunnies hardly made a taste when you got one in your mouth. Still, it was mesmerizing and entertaining.

Click to enlarge (these or the bouncy houses above):

Keith, Holly and Brett, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

...and days passed.

Oh! My computer was fixed on Tuesday for less than $100. Woohooo! And I looked at all the iPhones and their myriad potential docking ports, and the macbooks and the ipods that seem to do everything an iPhone does except that one thing... telephone calls.

I was at the Apple store in the new Uptown mall in Albuquerque, which is between Winrock (a dying mall from the early 1960's) and Coronado (a thriving mall from the late 1970's). But THIS mall is cool. It's like a little town with six blocks of new buildings. You can park right in front of the stores. The intersections are roundabouts, and pedestrians have the right of way more places than not. There's underground parking and a parking lot for people who want to hike. There's a spa with a pool. There are very expensive restaurants. There's a ground fountain. There's a store called Anthropology (-ie) I'd never heard of and the display art was really interesting. They have an artist who does... art! So the building is set up kind of like a dozen little boutiques, by theme and mood. I didn't have a camera with me. The window art was made of books. I should go back with a camera.

Last night Holly and I went on very short notice to see the filmed final Broadway presentation of Rent. $20 apiece, and I'm thrilled that we saw it. It's showing at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and that's it. It's at Rio 24 (for those in range) but it's showing in lots of towns, but only four times in each. So after Sunday, I guess we'll all just have to wait for the DVD. (They wouldn't cruelly decline to put it on DVD, would they?)

This afternoon we're going to see Sam Rockwell in Choke. Holly and I both really like Sam Rockwell.

I've been low-level sick for a month. Marty walked to the store with me yesterday and reviewing the week, we discovered we both have the same symptoms. It's like a head cold without fever or being really sick. So maybe we have an allergy we didn't have or didn't notice before. It's making us forgetful.

It's nearly October, and I love October. I like the days being surprisingly cold, and hot, and mixed. I like the plants going to seed and the visitor-birds coming through on their way south. We would see more if we were closer to the river. When I was a kid we were just a thousand feet or so from the Rio Grande, and now we're maybe eight miles, and for birds, that's a big difference. They're going to follow the river, not cross mountains.

Kirby was talking about a visit home, but his seasons revolve around game releases and overtime opportunities, so I think he'll wait until right after New Year's. Keith's life revolves around government contracts, and presidential elections have a big effect on such things, so the engineers are restless. He's worked at Honeywell for over 20 years, so he's built up a lot of time off, and that's a wonderful thing. Kirby's in paid-vacation land now too.

I'm moving from one little project to another and cooking a lot this week, and sleeping a lot. It's a still place before the next adventure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

अद्दिच्शन और ड्यूटी?

Am I really being transposed to an Indian font? My computer is broken. It's been shutting itself off in ways that test my calm (and I'm usually calm, although I've lost thousands of words of good writing in the past few days). I already had an appointment for this morning at the Genius Bar, so I'll take it and say "It used to turn itself off and now it doesn't turn itself on."

Meanwhile, I thought I'll just use Marty's laptop; no problem. Well... I can't figure out how to get into my photobucket. My saved passwords aren't all memorized, and the files where the e-mails telling what my passwords are are on the other computer? Will I learn from this? Probably not. Maybe.

So I wanted to bring a cartoon here, but my hands know Mac and not PC hand movements. Seriously, I kinda wish at the moment I were a hunt-and-peck typist. People who can help me are sleeping.

Is it addiction or duty that makes me think if my computer can't be fixed I'm coming home with a new one? Obsession? Habit? Fear that I'll hurt the feelings of someone who has e-mailed me for something I can't provide (if I can even find the e-mail)?

Well... to any who read this, if anyone asks where I am, I might be working in my yard, trying not to cry. Or I might be at the Apple store, or watching a movie and eating popcorn. Things could be worse. My phone still works and my kids are all safe and well.

AH. Good. I wanted to comment on this, and the clue it might provide to why some people who come to unschooling discussions are infuriated by actual attempts to help them. Where does the urge to resist something on principle come from?

And should I stop using Macintosh computers after 20 years and break down and learn to cut and paste on a PC? But my Word files... my sense of superiority for being a Mac user... What would become of those? And how can I change the font on my title?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Play-Rock-Band-Like-a-Pirate Day?

I don't know. I came in from working in the yard and found this:

1. There is no need to flip out.

2. Where in the heck did the good sit-coms go? (gone to DVD...)

3. Hanging out with my kids is all I managed to do.

4. Prospects for a happy life look good!.

5. "Everything counts" is the message.

6. Simplicity and tranquility are better than confused ranting. People can have simplicity and tranquility in their minds and emotions regardless of surroundings.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to listening to music while I straighten up my office , tomorrow my plans include nothing, which I love! (but which doesn't mean I won't be busy doing things all day) and Sunday, I want to make some food and heat the hot tub before Keith gets home from camping!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

History of Computers

Yesterday we spent a long time in the museum, but not long enough. They closed before we had had enough fun.

We went intending to see the DynaTheater shows, and saw two ("The Alps" and "Dinosaurs Alive"), and then went to the Start-Up exhibit, on the history of personal computers as seen from Albuquerque (sort of). It was BIG and wonderful, and I didn't get to see half of it, because the parts I did see drew me in and kept me occupied.

The small photos can be clicked for details, but it was very difficult to take photos there because things were lit up from inside, and there were bright lights shining from odd angles, but you'll get the idea.

The "Rise Against the Machines" room was set up as a movie theater, but not. The show is short and funny and quite multi-media, with things lighting up hither and yon and patterns washing around the room, and computers appearing behind the screen while the movie is playing. Between showings, the screen is the monitor for a game of Pong.

That's Brett on the left, and Marty and Bo on the right, at the game controls.

Here's the first laptop:

There was a game in another room that involved plotting routes for pizza delivery on a vaguely Albuquerqeuesque map. There were four control points, so it was perfect for Holly, Marty, Brett and Bo to play while I read more and more displays (but not enough).

Holly took the two photos in the lit-up infinity mirror. I don't know, honestly, what it was supposed to be, because they were trying to get us to leave, and I was playing with a hand-cranked generator that lit up a Light Brite and some other things, but that's me in the red, in the first photo. The other is Bo, Holly and Brett.

I very much liked the fact that they credited an artist. Susan Kare was pictured lounging at her desk happily, and icons she designed were on display there, along with a create-your-own-icon toy we didn't have time to play with much, but I hope to go back and take Keith! I'd be interested in a display someday (or webpages, if anyone knows of some) talking about the artistic design of the computer cases themselves. I've had a couple of beautiful Macs, and it seems fan mail is in order sometimes. But Susan Kare was the artist spotlighted in this display, and I'm glad she was included.