Archive for May, 2007

Pond revisited

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Here’s another recent look at the pond. Note that we still need to put in the bamboo water pourers. We’ve already getten more plants in with more to come. It’s looking great and only getting better.

The work week’s over! More or less, anyway. I still have to do several work things tomorrow and be on some phone calls and file an expense report and try to hire some people, but I can do it all from the comfort and privacy of my own home.

Which is a good thing. The family is leaving for a week in Utah on Saturday morning, so it will be nice to have the whole day with them before they go.

Let’s see, what’s newsworthy in my world today? I was pleased to hear that Apple is finally starting to sell some DRM-free music through iTunes. Then I read on Engadget yesterday that they are including the purchaser’s name and iTunes account number in the purchased music, presumably to allow the record companies to persecute prosecute pirates. Engadget says they think that sounds like a fair tradeoff, and I mostly agree, but apparently a large swath of the iTunes-purchasing community feels otherwise.

I can sort of see their point. If you rip music from CDs, you end up with high-quality, non-personally-identified music files. Why should music bought over the internet be any different? On the other hand, why should I care if they put my name in my music files? I’m not going to pirate it. On the other other hand, I’m against privacy invasions in any form, regardless of the fact that I’m not up to no good, and this can certainly be construed to be an invasion of my privacy.

In any case, it doesn’t matter much. I upgraded iTunes last night and checked whether any of my purchased music is eligible for the 30 cent upgrade. There’s one song. I might buy it just to see if I can tell any difference between the lo-fi old version and the hi-fi new. But I might not.

Anyway. The broken toe is even better today than it was yesterday. I still don’t like to walk very far, but there’s no limp and only minor numbness. I didn’t even take any Tylenol today. I even think the allergies are doing a bit better. The nasal spray isn’t supposed to kick in for a week to ten days, so the big difference is probably the Allegra I’m now taking as opposed to the Claritin I was taking. Loyal Reader Number Two is now taking the Claritin, though, and it imagine it’s helping him out. Is it, LRN2?

That’s it for today. I’ll see you tomorrow, rested and relaxed.


Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Here’s Loyal Reader Number One and a group of his closest friends perfect strangers of various heights at the end of his recent piano recital. LRN1 is the one over there on the left.

Another crowded trip on the train. There are about 150 eighth-graders up in the front cars this afternoon, and it shows. Practically every seat on the train is taken. They know ahead of time when one of these student groups is coming, of course. It would be nice if they would add an extra car to handle the crowd. Maybe they don’t have an extra car. But I suspect they do. Sigh.

In any case, it’s still more pleasant to being crowded in here watching video podcasts (Strongbad emails! (link warning: Strongbad sings)! MacBreak!) and writing the blog than to be in the car. At least for now.

My world is back in alignment today. The problem was, you see, that I rode the train in to work one day WAY back in September or October. I bought Loyal Reader Number One’s car that day, so I drove home, thus leaving my train ticket unevenly punched. This situation propagated across a few more tickets, leaving my cosmic balance seriously . . . ummm . . . unbalanced. Well, I was complaining about this situation to my friend Dan a couple of weeks ago, when he pulled out a ticket with a single ride left on it. A couple of days before Christmas, a friend offered him a ride home. Hence, his world was unbalanced. I bought his single ride today and am using it on this trip. Ahhh . . . balance.

Maybe I already mentioned this issue on these pages. Anyway, I think it was amusing that Dan never used the odd ride on his ticket. He couldn’t stand to be out of balance either.

My broken toe is much better today. It’s just barely numb and as long as I don’t walk much, it doesn’t really hurt. I had to call the shuttle bus this morning and afternoon. They actually came! The danger here is that I’ll get too used to calling the shuttle bus and won’t get any exercise anymore. Must . . . walk . . . between . . . buildings.

Loyal Readers Numbers Five, Six, and Twelve headed for home today. We were sorry to see them go. I expect it to be pretty quiet around Chateau Saindouxville this evening. Maybe it will be easier to get to bed on time, though.

And that’s about it for today. See you tomorrow.

The pond

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Here’s the (nearly) finished pond, with the pool forming an exceptionally attractive background. Not shown: three brand spankin’ new fellas! I’m finally happy again.

I’m back! There’s good news and bad news about the weekend. The good news is that we went up to girls’ camp on Friday. The bad news is that we couldn’t get the accommodations we needed to make it possible to stay, so Loyal Readers Number Four and Twelve and I came back home that night. Loyal Readers Numbers One and Two stayed up there and had a fun and productive weekend.

The rest of us, on the other hand, also had a busy, fun, productive weekend. LRN4 and I got a bunch of flat rocks and installed them around the edge of the pond. It now actually looks like a pond! We also bought three fellas and stuck ’em in there. They’re doing just fine and eating like horses. LRN4 bought some more water plants and put them in there this evening – my Father’s Day presents. That pond is really shaping up, as evidenced above.

We went to our friends the Crocketts’ house yesterday for their Big Memorial Day Pool/Barbecue party. It was fun and relaxing. They have a giant backyard by any measure, but especially huge for California. There’s a very large pool with spa, a huge pavilion, a large grass area, numerous planting beds, a trampoline, a large play yard/swing set, motorhome storage area, and many walkways connecting them all. There were probably about fifty people there and it never really seemed crowded. Except when they had about twenty people in the spa.

The Crocketts had just purchased a Costco inflatable waterslide, which looks just like the huge things you rent. It could handle even people as corpulent as me, so I climbed up there and slid down. Very amusing.

Went to the doctor’s office today. I had suffered a nasty allergy attack a couple of nights ago, and I hurt my toe at yesterday’s pool party. A very nice doctor whom I had not met before gave me some new allergy medication and said I may have broken my toe. I’m welcome to come back for an x-ray, but they won’t do anything about it anyway, so I’ll just always have to wonder whether it’s broken or not. It’s been pretty achy and numb all day today, but it could certainly have been worse. I’m going to have to stop walking back and forth to my office for just a little while, though. Fortunately, there’s the shuttle bus to fall back on.

Otherwise, the weekend was calm. How about yours?

See you tomorrow.

The beach yet again

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Here’s yet another picture of the Big Sur beach. Lovely.

Not much going on today. I was plenty busy at work and didn’t even get half of my must-do items done. Must . . . work . . . harder . . . tomorrow. But I’m definitely going home at going-home time in any case – we’re going camping!

Well, sort of camping. We’re going to the local girls’ camp to help get it ready for the summer season. There’s a (motel-like?) lodge there, and the plan is to snag a couple of rooms. Our friends the Hepworths are going pretty early in the day and will reserve the first-come/first-served rooms for us. I suppose if they’re unsuccessful, we can always get the trailer and bring it up. The only question is how we’ll know whether they have rooms for us. I’m hoping I can convince them to go somewhere where there’s an available cell phone signal and call.

We really hope to get the rooms, as we’ll have Loyal Reader Number Twelve with us. Civilized quarters would be worthwhile. Although I’d really rather be in the trailer myself, I think.

We’re coming home on Monday morning so we can go to a Memorial Day party at another friend’s house. Sometimes it’s so exhausting to be popular.

With the campout, it’s unlikely that there will be any blogging on Friday. My Loyal Readers will just have to deal with the disappointment. You have my pity. Blogging will resume on Monday.

See you then. Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Here’s Loyal Reader Number Two being organic at a recital last October. That’s his teacher there on the left.

Wonders of Blogger today. The train was about half an hour late getting home because of a ground fire near the Tracy station. Doggone nicotine addicts. I was home just long enough to get part of my dinner and then went off to my church meeting. Got home too tired to post. Anyway, here’s what I wrote on the way home:

Back on the train today, thank heavens. I’m not tired of it yet, in spite of the length of the trip and the occasional invasion of my quite ample personal space by careless strangers. In fact, I bought another twenty-ride ticket this afternoon, as my current one only has a day and a half left on it. I’m still planning to buy the single-ride ticket my friend Dan has. Need to remember to do that tomorrow.

The family is getting ready to be gone in a couple of weeks. They’re going to Utah so Loyal Reader Number One can go to Especially for Youth at BYU. The other Loyal Readers will visit family and friends for the week, and I’ll work. Not to worry, though. The Loyal Pets will be there to keep me company, and we’ll have a grand old time. Watching The History Channel during dinner, probably consisting – appropriately enough – mainly of TV dinners. Reading for hours. Maybe working on my websites. Maybe working on the Miata. The possibilities are endless.

Speaking of the websites, this is the only one that’s had anything going on for at least a few weeks. I have plenty of content I’m planning to create for the others, but I never seem to get around to it. There’s always something else to do. I guess I need to either decide to work on just one site or drop some other things. The trouble is, I can’t decide which one(s) I care the most about. I really want to get the HRVA off the ground, of course, I also want to turn Gardenville Software into a viable family business for after I retire. I also want to figure out what to do with Spinfo. It’s such a good website name. Decisions, decisions. Which of these has the best chance to really become something? Sigh.

On the minor good news front, I accidentally discovered the other day that the only good show on NPR – Car Talk – is now being podcast for free. I guess they finally decided their three subscriptions were never going to make them any money, so they got a sponsor and moved to iTunes. I’ve listened to the three most recent shows and still enjoy those guys. Check it out, podcast-loving Loyal Readers!

Time to watch some TV shows. See you tomorrow.