Archive for May, 2014

Garden dolls

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014


Here are a couple of characters in the gardens at the Bellagio hotel/casino this past February. My mom and I went over there to check out their conservatory, which was decorated for Chinese New Year. I’m not sure, but that guy in the foreground appears to be about to pick the nose of his fellow statue. Scarcely appropriate behavior for a statue. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken on February 18, 2014 at the Bellagio hotel here in Las Vegas, and part of my famous Garden, Las Vegas, and Statue series.

I’ve missed a couple posts! My evenings have gotten busy and I’ve been leaving my Loyal Readers in the lurch. So let’s go back in time and see what’s been going on, shall we?

Since my last post, Joanne and I have been to dinner at a nearby cooking school where the chefs made numerous dishes featuring bourbon (also a lot of bacon, since they had recently had an event featuring bacon and they apparently had a lot left over), attended a Jazz in the Park concert featuring The Sax Pack (at which we enjoyed a delicious Pei Wei takeout dinner), attended a birthday party for one of Joanne’s friends featuring way more karaoke than either of us really needed to hear but which was fun nonetheless, had Memorial Day breakfast together at a fun little place in Boulder City, and made a delicious dinner at my house featuring chicken picatta and a very tasty green salad. Tonight we’re going to a place called Grape Expectations where Joanne and several friends made some wine some time ago. Tonight is bottling night. I’ve never seen how wine is made, so I expect to enjoy that. Lots of other activities scheduled later in the week; I’ll mention them here as they come up.

Had one of those grief-filled moments again today. They’re getting less frequent and shorter, but they’re still there. How I miss Shannon still! Even though I once again have a sweet woman in my life and even though I’m busy and enjoying life, I’m still deeply, deeply in love with my wife. I don’t want that to change. I’m so grateful for those occasional feelings. In the grief, I can feel just a hint of the happiness we had together. So it’s worth it.

Mark has been enjoying himself in the Bay Area. We’ve only spoken a time or two, but he says things are great and it’s fun being at his friend’s house. I’m sure he’s enjoying it because he called a day or two ago to tell me he has extended his trip by a few days. Have fun, Mark!

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: hog stomach-related stabbing!

See you tomorrow.

Departing reader

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014


Here’s Mark just before he headed for San Jose, California early this afternoon. He got there safely at about 8:30 this evening. I miss him already. It’s strange that even though I don’t see him much because he spends most of his time in his room, the house still feels empty without him. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in front of our house this afternoon, and part of my famous Las Vegas, Machinery, and Vacation series.

Pretty good day. I finally figured out my problem with hash generation in my Common Core Classroom app. The good news is that I know how to fix it. The bad news is that there is no way to make hash generation compatible with the old version. So I’m going to have to put in a one-time-only routine that will check for an existing password, delete it, and ask the user to enter a new one. That’s not too bad of a solution, but I wish I could have figured out a way to use the old one. It just wasn’t to be. We’ll see how much progress I can make on the fix tomorrow.

Joanne took me out to dinner at a nice restaurant called Mundo (a Latin chic restaurant) and then to the Smith Center to see Once. Dinner was outstanding (and very chic, of course). I had excellent mahi mahi and Joanne had pork medallions that were even better. The play was just a sweet story and was beautifully performed. Very touching. Joanne looked lovely in a beautiful black dress and we had an excellent time. The tickets were given to her by her boss and we were seated next to Dave, one of Joanne’s coworkers, and his wife. Because of the nature of the play, we didn’t get to speak to them other than to say hello. They arrived just before the show began and left immediately upon its completion, so pleasantries were necessarily at a minimum. Still, they seemed like nice people.

Not a lot else is new today, so I’m going to end here and go downstairs for a Snickers ice cream bar before bed. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: lamppost-dwelling attack porcupine!

See you tomorrow.

Parade walker

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014


Here’s Mark at the other end of the Abby’s Million Dollar Dream banner. We had a great time! The only problems were the cold, wind, and rain. But the event was great and the cause was worthwhile. Please donate, Loyal Readers! Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during the 2014 Henderson Heritage Day parade, and part of my famous Event, Las Vegas, Medical, and Shannon series.

Nice day today. Joanne and I went to a very fancy Italian restaurant called Gaetano’s Ristorante. The food was excellent and the service was superb. The prices were a bit high, but we had a groupon! So we have that going for us, which is nice. It was a lovely evening out with a lovely lady. She had on a very pretty black and white sweater and looked like a million bucks. I had the prettiest date in the room.

Didn’t get too much work done today, but I did catch up on some communications. Still no registrations for the PhotoDoc seminar in October. I don’t think the invitations have gone out yet. At least I hope not – it would be kind of discouraging to invite 50 people and get no responses.

Carmen, our housekeeper, will be here tomorrow, so I think I’ll end here and go to bed. She gets here at 8:00 and I need to be up and ready to go before then. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: bad-driver dog!

See you tomorrow.

Electronic organ

Monday, May 19th, 2014


Here’s a bit of a modern take on the organ console. This thing appears to be made entirely of standalone electronic keyboards. Kind of an interesting idea. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in March 2012 at Northlandz in beautiful Flemington, New Jersey, and part of my famous Electronics series.

Great weekend! Joanne and I went for dinner and swimming at the home of her (and now my) friends Phil and Rosie on Friday night. Had a great time! They are such kind, friendly people. All of Joanne’s friends have just latched on to me as if I was their oldest and best friend. It’s such a gratifying feeling. Saturday afternoon, we went to a little party at her friend Kim’s home. Another very nice visit with more new best friends. We had lunch together today.

They aired an interview done by the 11-year-old girl behind Abby’s Million-Dollar Dream today. Abby’s raising a million dollars for leukemia and lymphoma research in memory of Shannon. My Loyal Readers will recall that Mark and I marched in the recent Henderson Heritage Day parade to support Abby. The interview is pretty sweet. Have a look, Loyal Readers! And please donate, even if it’s just a couple dollars. I think it will make a difference.

Got a little bit of infrastructure work done here in my office today. The hard drive containing my media files had outgrown its backup drive. I knew it would happen, as the media drive is 1.5 terabytes in size and the backup disk was only 1 terabyte. So it was just a matter of time until the media drive got full enough to result in failed backups. Well, that time came a few weeks ago. After deep contemplation on the subject, I decided to take another 1 TB drive that was underutilized and add it to the existing backup drive in a JBOD array, resulting in a 2 TB virtual drive. Got that done today and all my computers are busily backing themselves up once more. Life is good again.

Spent some time on the phone with John today, talking about recent progress on PhotoDoc. We have no conference registrations yet, which was troubling both of us. Found out on Sunday that our colleagues who are identifying candidates for our October seminar hadn’t sent out any invitations yet. No problem – there’s still plenty of time. John also showed me some very useful additions he’s making to the app. We’re going to release them sometime in the next few months.

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: car salesman-biting spider monkey! It’s your chance to be a hero!

See you tomorrow.

Jazz concert

Thursday, May 15th, 2014


Here’s the free jazz concert Mark and I attended this past Saturday evening. This was the warmup act – three jazz students from a nearby music school, as I recall. They were quite good. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the Jazz in the Park season opener here in beautiful Henderson, Nevada, and part of my famous Event and Las Vegas series.

Missed a couple more days of blogging again. I’ve been out with Joanne every night this week and I guess I’ve just been distracted. But it’s been a great week! Tuesday, we went to the Hard Rock hotel for happy hour. They had delicious pretzel fondue appetizers and amazing fried chicken. I mean amazing. Try it. Fly to Las Vegas, go to the Hard Rock, and try the fried chicken. You won’t regret it.

We went out to a really fun Italian restaurant called Capo’s Speakeasy last night. You go into a lobby, push a button and convince a guy who opens a little panel that he should let you in. Then he opens a secret door in the wall and in you go. The place is nearly pitch black inside. They seated us in a booth and brought our menus, which came with flashlights. The food was excellent, the atmosphere was fun, and we had a great time. After dinner, we went to the Fremont Street Experience and walked around for a while. It was pretty crowded and lots of fun. Some crazy stuff over there. I’m really enjoying exploring Las Vegas.

Tomorrow night, we’re going for dinner at the home of Joanne’s friends Phil and Rosie. I met them at the Hard Rock on Tuesday and like them very much. They’ve just had a koi pond built in their backyard and have invited a few friends over to see it. It ought to be fun. We have plans on Saturday too. All this social life is wearing me out!

Made some good progress on the Common Core app. I got about half the work done to allow the user to skip entering a password. Should finish it tomorrow and then I’m going to release it. Well, I do have one critical bug I have to fix first. I introduced it when I updated a bunch of variable types to facilitate Apple’s suggested change from 32-bit to 64-bit. There were some updates in the algorithm used to hash passwords. The change apparently causes the app to generated hashes differently, so existing users would be unable to get the app to accept their existing password when they update. It should be a pretty straightforward fix.

And that’s about it for today. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: lifesaving parrot!

See you tomorrow.