Archive for January, 2008

On the move

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Here’s an action shot of Loyal Reader Number Twelve, taken back in her crawling days. Pathetic-quality photo courtesy of the exclusive RAZR-cam.

I don’t feel much like spending the evening in front of the computer, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that I got up (an hour late), drove to work, got to work (15 minutes late – not bad!), worked, left work (45 minutes early), drove home, got home, ate (good meal), and . . . that’s pretty much it.

No problem working a short day today. Tomorrow’s my on-off Friday. Meaning that I’m not being paid, but I’m working anyway. So it’s okay to miss an hour today. Besides, I was at a good stopping point.

More interesting post tomorrow. See you then.

Home base

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Here’s our campsite from one of this summer’s campouts . Do any Loyal Readers remember which one?

Greetings from the train. It rained all day again in Lardville. Not so much at work, but there were still plenty of puddles on the ground, so they must have had a lot of moisture overnight. Anyway, I’m beating the traffic, at least theoretically. Even though it’s taking me more time. Hmmm. Well, with the pre-tax ticket vouchers, it’s at least a lot cheaper now.

I just looked out the window at I-580. We’re coming out of Livermore, and the road up the hill towards home is backed way up. So I guess I made the right choice today.

Horrors! I’ve run out of podcasts! I’m completely up-to-date on all of my audio podcasts. There’s not even enough left for a one-way commute. I still have a few books and can get a lot more, but I’ve also been looking for a couple of new interesting audio podcasts. I can find all kinds of interesting video podcasts, but I definitely don’t need any of them – I have well over 100 in my current queue, with more coming in daily. It just seems like people aren’t doing audio podcasts anymore.

That’s a strange trend, if you ask me. Homemade TV shows are great, but I don’t think viewership is very high yet, probably because there aren’t many people with devices like the AppleTV that make it easy to watch the shows on the big screen, and there aren’t many people with the opportunity to watch them on their iPods. Those of us commuting on trains are pretty much the only viable iPod video viewing group I know of.

On the other hand, there are zillions of people who listen to their iPods when they commute, so the market for audio podcasts should be huge. It seems like the selection is getting smaller all the time, though, and the quality definitely isn’t going up. Pretty much all the interesting new shows I’ve heard lately have been repeats of previous commercial and/or public (which is commercial too, as far as I can tell) broadcasts. And audio shows are much less expensive and difficult to produce. I guess the siren song of video is just too much for content producers to resist.

Anyway. Let me know if you’ve heard anything interesting lately.

Happy birthday to Loyal Reader Number Five! I’m hoping to talk to her on the phone after I get home, and we’re planning on getting together on Saturday, either for them to move to their new place or to come over for a Very Special Morrowlife Birthday Dinner.

I’m told Loyal Reader Number Two is violently ill today. LRN2, you have my pity. Get well soon. And be careful out there.

Nothing else of note. Time to quit. See you tomorrow.

Top of the arc

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Here’s some statue or other in Paris. I found it on top of some kind of an arc.

Still no new Great Art. As you can no doubt tell. We need to go camping again.

But not today. It rained all day here in Lardville. It was clear most of the day at work, fortunately. The homeward-bound traffic was free and easy until I got almost home, at which time it started raining hard and slowed way down. Still, it only took and hour and a half.

That’s right, I was back to work today. I probably shouldn’t have gone, but the fever was temporarily gone at about 7:00, so I packed up my briefcase and box of Kleenex (actually, it was Scott tissues, now that I think of it) and left. I survived and really did have lots to get done, so I don’t regret going. But I do regret not staying home. Sigh.

One thing that really seemed to help this time was Entex. Good stuff. I used to take it for allergies but have moved on to something else. Now I wonder if I should start again. I slept better than I have in a long time, and I could actually breathe when I woke up this morning.

Need to take the train tomorrow. My before-tax tickets have started arriving, which totally changes the financial equation. So I need to ride ten days a month, starting in February. I can get a little head start here, so I will. Besides, it’s supposed to rain again, which uglifies the traffic like nothing else.

Time to get ready for my Tuesday night meeting. See you tomorrow.


Monday, January 21st, 2008

Here’s Loyal Reader Number Twelve doing her catfish imitation. I don’t think it’s a really good likeness, but she’s doing her best.

Another sick day. Sigh. I was miserable on Sunday and today – stayed home from both church and work. I have cold symptoms with a mild fever. Hopefully, I’ll be better enough tomorrow to go back to work.

Otherwise, nothing new. The Honda went to the dealer today to have a few things looked at. They fixed the brakes (resurfaced the front rotors) under warranty, ordered a new sunglasses holder, and couldn’t make the shifter get balky. It did it for me on the way home. Sigh. Well, it has to go back in a few days when the ordered part gets here, so they’ll get another chance. Need to keep bringing it to them until they fix it.

That’s all for today. Wish me better health. See you tomorrow.

Steam power

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Here’s one more locomotive from the Christmas Eve museum trip. This baby was built in Philadelphia and most likely sent to San Francisco by ship. I have no idea how they handled huge cargo like that with the primitive cranes they had. Maybe they just got a lot of people to pull on a big thick rope.

One interesting thing we learned at the railroad museum is that there was a difference between coal-burning and wood-burning locomotives. The coal burners had a narrow smokestack, while the wood burners had a great big wide one, presumably to catch the much larger numbers of burning embers produced by wood. Coal was the preferred fuel, but it was unavailable on the west coast, so they used wood out here. Check out this photograph and see if you can figure out which locomotive came from the east and which one came from the west.

Wonders of Blogger yet again today. And once again, I really have no excuse. We enjoyed a nice quiet evening at home, watched the new Monk and Psych, had a slice of two (two!) kinds of cake, and just generally hung around. And I didn’t blog.

Not that there was that much to blog about. I got out of the office a little early, so I was home by about 5:20. It wasn’t even dark yet! The Loyal Readers were in the middle of a book group meeting, which was followed by a delicious dinner and the aforementioned evening activities.

Speaking of not being dark yet, the days are definitely getting longer, aren’t they? Spring is only two months away. In fact, the hills between here and the Bay Area are already starting to green up. It seems like winter just started. How time flies.

A few things are on tap for this weekend. The primary one is the need to do our taxes (or at least a preliminary version) so we can get a FAFSA done for Loyal Reader Number One’s scholarship applications. I would like to have a look at the Honda’s brakes – there’s been some squealing lately – but that could wait for next weekend if necessary. Let’s see, I ought to check the weather and compare/contrast today with next Saturday’s prediction. Be right back.

I’m back. The Weather Channel thinks it’s going to be 57 and sunny today, and 54 and partly cloudy one week hence. Today looks like the better option. And I have the time. I don’t particularly feel like getting greasy, though. We’ll just see how it goes.

Speaking of weather, I’ve been looking at the Weather Underground site lately. In spite of its horrendous design, I like it. They take inputs from numerous privately-owned weather stations. Presumably, anybody who cares to install an automated station can participate. In fact, a tiny bit of research reveals that you can get a weather station for anywhere from $200 to $1500, including software to connect it to your computer and connect your computer to the Weather Underground and other cooperative weather services. Very cool. I think the long list down at the bottom of the page gives you a much better feel for how the weather really is in your area. Check it out.

I guess if I’m going to fiddle with the Honda’s brakes, I ought to look at the Miata’s as well. There are no particular signs of wear there, but I have absolutely no idea how many miles they have on them. And I still need to replace those poor blown headrest speakers. So much to do. And I would really prefer to lie around and read all day. Sigh.

By the way, the decision has been made. The Honda is staying in the family.

Anyway. Those things aren’t going to do themselves. See you on Monday.