Archive for November, 2012

Old barracks

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Here’s the chow hall in the Old Hessian Barracks in Trenton, New Jersey.  Turns out the Hessians were only there for a very short time, preceded by the British and the Americans and then followed by the Americans again.  We still have it.  Seems like a very reasonable way to use military facilities – same fort, new army.  Saves a lot of trouble that way.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Vacation and Workbench series.

At least I assume somebody worked on all of those benches.  Eating is work, right?

Had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  We went to visit family in Michigan.  I needed to work on Wednesday, but I left at about 2:15 and we were underway by about 2:45.  Got to LRN8’s house just a minute or two before midnight.  Pretty smooth sailing all the way.  We enjoyed Thanksgiving day, Friday, and Saturday with the family and drove home on Sunday.  A few spots of heavy traffic and the restaurants and gas stations were incredibly crowded, but we managed.  All in all, we had a nice time.

Work is busy, busy, busy!  I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for our current phase, which should end just before Christmas.  After that, it’ll be another couple of weeks of extreme busyness followed by our probable return home.  Looking forward to that!  We’ve been here a bit longer than predicted, although we always knew it could be up to a year.  It’s been a great job with wonderful people, but I think I’m finally ready to move on to the next thing.  Whatever that turns out to be.

LRN4’s website attracted a bit of high-profile attention this week.  LRN15’s mom mentioned it to some visiting bigwigs at her job with a daycare provider.  The ‘wigs were impressed and are planning to recommend it to parents of their tykes.  We’re hoping a whole lot of people start using the site.  Fortune and fame are just around the corner!

Oh, and go to her website, click on her Amazon links, and then buy something.  Anything.  She’s an Amazon Affiliate, as you know.  Or click on one of [amazon asin=B0042Z55RM&text=my Amazon links] and buy something.  I’m an Amazon Affiliate too.  We both have pretty serious financial juggernauts going on here.

Time for bed.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: ice-cream woman attack!

See you tomorrow.

Dragon reader

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Here’s LRN3 posing with a new friend.  That’s LRN3 over there on the right.  I’m not sure which is scarier – the dragon statue with blood dripping from its teeth or LRN3’s t-shirt.  Let’s call it a draw.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Longwood Gardens, and part of my famous Statue series.

By the way, the blood-dripping dragon head is part of Longwood’s kiddie-land.  Pretty sweet.

Working like a dog this week.  And not one of those eat-and-sleep dogs, either.  I’ve really got the old nose to the grindstone.  Fifty-six hours so far and there’s still one day left this week.  I’m getting lots done but barely seem to be treading water work-quantity-wise.  Sheesh.  Only about two more months to go on this job, so I don’t mind it too much.  I mind it, but not too much.

Speaking of work, we got great news today!  We’ve decided we want to move the furniture and other household stuff we have here to our house in Las Vegas.  That’s going to cost a bit and we were trying to figure out an affordable way to get it done.  Since the company is moving our stuff back home after my current assignment is over, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to at least ask if they would move it to the new place.  I asked, but had next to no hope.  We heard today that they’ve approved it!  Amazing!  That absolutely made my day.  Which was not an extremely happy one, what with all the work and such.

Anyway, our stuff will go to Las Vegas and LRN4 and I will have two livable places to stay.  We’ll have to shuttle some clothes and other stuff back and forth to get everything where we want it for a while, but that’ll be no problem.  But we’ll have furniture, kitchen stuff, and pretty much all the other supplies we need in both places.  Very happy.

Let’s see, what else is going on?  LRN3 and LRN15 ended their visit on Sunday after a very nice weekend.  I worked some on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but was able to do it from home, so that was good.  I pretty much kept it to times when we weren’t doing other things, so no complaints.  Plus, I’ve made a pretty good amount of money out of it.

Anyway.  Back to our weekend.  LRN3 spent the morning and early afternoon on Friday with us at Longwood Gardens (see picture above).  They were having their world-famous Chrysanthemum Festival, which was actually nice.  Not as flashy as February’s Orchid Festival, but there were some really nice floral displays.  I’ll try to add slip in a picture or two in the near future.  We stopped for lunch on the way home and still made it home in plenty of time for LRN15’s arrival.  We didn’t do too much on Saturday – LRN4 went with LRN3 and LRN15 to the new James Bond movie, which they all enjoyed, while I stayed home and worked a few hours.  Sunday morning rolled around and they left.  We were sad to see them go, but they’ll be back again next month.

The other great news is that, after giving it very careful consideration, LRN3 and LRN15 have decided they would rather move to Las Vegas than to Mesa.  Cheaper rent, more buffets, and the Liberace Museum were what turned the tide, I suspect.  So we have high hopes that within about a year, we’ll start seeing them even more regularly than we have here.  Save your money, LRN3 and LRN15!

And it’s already time for bed, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: turkey truck hijacking!

See you tomorrow.

Corner sitter

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012


Here’s an ancient statue hiding away in a corner of the old owner’s mansion at Bryn Athyn.  It’s probably a highly-significant religious artifact.  Me, I like the dunce cap.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Statue series.

LRN3 got here on Monday.  We’ve had a nice few days together.  I took a guitar lesson from him last night and hope to have another one tomorrow.  Needed to let my poor fingertips rest for a day.  Learned a couple of CCR songs.  Sort of.  If I keep practicing them, I might actually be able to play them someday.  Movie night tomorrow night at the Impenetrable Apartment of Doom’s cool little theater room.  Friday morning, we’re going to Longwood Gardens to check out the Chrysanthemum Festival.  We’re looking forward to LRN15’s arrival on Friday evening.  We’re planning on setting up the Christmas tree on Saturday.  I know that’s bizarrely early, but we’ll enjoy having family here to do it, and that’s the only time they’ll be here before the actual holiday week.

We’re planning to buy the cheapo $20 artificial tree from Target.  LRN4 seriously considered the nicer, taller $50 version, but it’s just too darned fluffy to comfortably fit in our little apartment.  So we’re getting the short, skinny version.  We have a few dollar-store decorations LRN4 found.  Strangely, I think the tree will look really nice.  I’m looking forward to next year’s Christmas, though, when we have our decorations.  Which are currently languishing in our garage in California.

Hopefully, she’ll have an easy trip up here.  It snowed pretty much all day today and continues at this late hour (roughly 10:24 PM EST).  We’re supposed to have up to about four inches of the stuff on the ground by tomorrow morning.  I suspect it’ll be gone fairly quickly, though.  It’s not time yet for permasnow.  Maybe in December or January.  This is just a nor’easter, which is exactly what all the people in New Jersey and New York who still don’t have electricity don’t need.  We’ll be just fine.  I only hope I can get to work tomorrow.  If not, I’m in a bit of trouble, since I didn’t bring my work laptop home.  Although that might make it a bit better, now that I think of it.

Spent some time this evening watching another in the excellent Stanford University iOS programming class.  I’m on lecture 7 in the 2011 series.  I had previously watched the 2010 version, which was also excellent, but this one adds all the cool iOS 5 stuff.  Of course, we’re already on iOS 6 but, contrary to Apple’s express wishes, I’m not ready to abandon all the devices still running iOS 5. Including my beloved iPad.  So I’m sticking with iOS 5 compatibility for now.  LRN1 has convinced me to drop iOS 4, though.  It’s time.

Speaking of my beloved iPad, I also spent some time this evening populating the excellent Flipboard content manager and linking it to the equally excellent Pocket offline reader.  Pretty sweet combination.  I loved Flipboard the first time I installed it many, many moons ago, but I never really started using it regularly.  I think now’s the time.  Just need to make sure I don’t overwhelm myself with extraneous content.  I have too much to read already.  Fortunately, it appears to be an excellent platform for Google Reader, which is where I get most of my news.  So we’ll see.  The browser-based Reader interface is simple, clean, and efficient.  I’ll find out whether the magazine-like format of Flipboard is equally efficient in terms of getting things scanned quickly and reading the stuff that looks interesting.

I also have Zite and Google Currents installed on my iPad, but I don’t think I like either one of them as well as Flipboard.  Maybe it’s just because Flipboard is the first such app I tried, but it just seems prettier and smoother to my eyes.  Not that I’m uninstalling either of those other apps now.  Need to keep my options open.

We haven’t bought much on Amazon lately, so I’ll have to start working on my wishlist. [amazon asin=B0042Z55RM&text=Here’s something I’d like to see] under the tiny little tree on Christmas morning!

And by the way, I’m an Amazon affiliate, you know.  If you click any Amazon link on my site and then buy anything, I get a little kickback – and it costs you nothing extra!  Feed the Morrowlife financial juggernaut!

Regarding last night’s election: nothing to say.  Well, one thing.  People generally get what they deserve, so I guess we’ll probably get what we deserve.

I’m rethinking what to do with my company website.  Also kind of rethinking what to do with my company.  I still hope to do iOS programming for the underserved world market, but I’m also thinking maybe I should be making use of my experience managing big-time software development and space engineering.  So I’m thinking of figuring out how to do a little consulting in that area.  One good way to start is to write a book on the topic that gets a few sales.  One good way of doing that is by writing it a little bit at a time and publishing it on my website.  So I’m working on finding a good theme that will allow me to emphasize writing a bit more while still not ignoring my programming efforts.  We’ll see how that turns out.  The problem is that the blog portion of the existing website is a bit difficult to find.  I’d like to get it back on the main page.  I think I found a good WordPress theme that will require a whole lot of modification, but provides a solid foundation with room for commercial information at the top and the blog starting underneath that.  I’ll let my Loyal Readers know when the revised website is ready to check out.  In the meantime, have a look at what we have up now.  Also feel free to check out my non-profit (well, free, anyway) programming site.

Let’s see, what else is going on?  Can’t think of a thing.  So I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this rare exciting toilet news:  the Kaiser’s toilet has been found!

See you tomorrow.