Monday, November 30, 2009

Go Monday!

Today the weather turned nice in the afternoon after being breezy and cool all morning. I walked down to the courthouse to get my license tags for my pickup truck (the old ones expired today) and then around the park for a bit. It was 60 degrees and sunny and calm. Slightly unseasonal weather for this time of year, but boy was it nice! I got back to the house about 4:30 and immediately re-tagged the truck so I wouldn't forget.

It was then that another shining example of small town service occurred. This morning I had sent an email to the local fiber optic company about a pair of consumer unfriendly oddities in their digital PBX setup for the phone service here at the house (based on their fiber).  Dave, the telephony guy, and I hashed it out via a couple of emails and got all working fine well before noon. This evening as I finished up with the license plate re-tagging, the front door bell rang. It was the owner of the fiber optic company just stopping by to make sure his people had solved the problem and done so to my satisfaction. Can you imagine getting that kind of service from one of the baby Bells? I can't. I always suspect this is closer to the big company view:

Time to get ready for the football game. It should be a good one.

And by the way - I made it! A post every day for NaBloPoMo!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sleepy Sunday

It is good that there are only a few more days left in the month of November and thus only a few more days left in the daily postings for NaBloPoMo. My fingers have begun their annual cold weather crack and split along the corners routine. That can make typing excruciating - especially when you beat the keys as hard as I do. I suffer from a certain lack of feeling in my finger tips due to neuropathy and thus appreciate the full scale tactile feedback that banging the old keys supplies just to make sure I have actually struck the key. That is how I explain the blood all over my keyboard while not even writing a novel!

On a different topic, do you ever find yourself trying to remember how to do some simple task that you do once in a blue moon? I do. It usually involves something changing the behavior of my computer desktop or some other task that I typically attempt only once every few years. Instead of having written it down the the last time I did it, I invariably am on my own yet again. You'd think something like "stand on your left foot while rubbing your tummy with your right hand and pressing the 5th mouse button 3 times with the left hand" would be intuitively obvious. After all, the software publisher and their support organization certainly think so. (This rumination was triggered by trying to remember a simple tweak to the server I had apart yesterday and then wasting hours using Google to find the key step I was forgetting.)

Finally, the odd question of the Sunday. You have been digitized like the protagonist in the movie Tron and released on the internet. What is the first site you would visit? Why?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

More of the Bore

Most of today was spent in various domestic things. Like changing bedding and laundry and ... Not exactly the material that anyone with a life is really interested in. The highlight was spending time with L and watching parts of several football games.

To make up for all the excitement earlier in the day, I spent this evening pulling my server rack apart to attempt to cure some nagging issues. Once again not exactly the type of gripping story that you just can't put down.

Does this mean that I have no life?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Redux

Since I do not suffer from the dementia of shopoholicism, I had no problem avoiding shopping today. No battling the crowds, no spoiling the beauty of a warm 60 degree day, no avoiding a walk in the park with L and Molly, ...

(L came in and was reading over my shoulder and got all huffy that the reason that I avoided Black Friday shopping was that I don't like to shop period. I always figured that lacking the desire to shop any time and not suffering from dementia were synonymous. She didn't think so. {*grin*})

L and I and Molly went for a walk in the park this afternoon, but I got way-laid about half way through to visit with a friend and help him put up his elaborate Christmas display. So L and Molly moseyed on home and I followed somewhat later. It was an ideal day for it, mid-60s and no wind. Especially since it is only supposed to hit the 40s tomorrow and be even cooler on Sunday.

I'll end tonight with this picture L took looking out the door at her place in the mountains. Note little Foxy sitting and watching. It has a damaged leg and has become a mascot of a sort. The assumption is that someone might be feeding Foxy given its complete lack of fear of people and the way it hangs about. Sometimes you see not only Foxy but the siblings and even mom and dad fox as well. Somewhat more calming than the bears at the previous abode.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Five

Time once more for

As I sit here waiting for the Broncos game to start so I can properly nap through it like any other stuffed turkey (or is that stuffed with turkey), I am thankful for many things. So here is my highly edited

Thankful Five

  • Family and friends.
  • L and the time we get to spend together over this holiday.
  • Sharing in a huge feast on a beautiful day. 
  • The fur shedding machine known as Molly, even though all of my black clothes look as tho they are sprouting white hair due to her talents.
  • Those who stop by and read and comment on the blog.
  • Those who write the blogs I read and (occasionally) comment on. Without you, my day-to-day life would be a lot more boring.
  • Those who are filling the upcoming month with parties and gatherings of good will. (And especially if they invite me!) 
  • That I am going shopping tomorrow. Not!

OK, I admit it, I fibbed and listed more than 5. So sue me. {*grin*}

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tom In 101

This week's Writer's Challenge from Mama Kat tickled my fancy with the topic:
4.) Write a story in exactly 101 words. (winner gets a 25 dollar gift card!)
(inspired by Jennifer from The Peterson's Go Public)

The Story of Tom

Tom gazed back across the open field to the river bottom that beckoned so promisingly. Nothing was better than eating his fill of the grain and berries laying on the ground followed by a drink, a dust bath, and a nap in the warm late afternoon sun.

Alas, Tom would not be able to enjoy this idyllic spot. Just this morning someone with a bow and arrow had narrowly missed making Tom the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving feast. Now it was the time for Tom Turkey to hide in the upland hedgerows. His normal life could resume in a few days.

So there you have it - my 101 word semi-coherent paean to Tom Turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! (And if you are one of those odd crews that celebrate at a different time (eh too, Cannuk) or don't celebrate Thanksgiving, you can content yourself with a picture me getting stuffed.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Out and Gone

This morning after introducing the Governor for his Town Hall meeting, I sat silently in the audience and let everyone else try to make a political statement. (There are seldom actual straight questions at such a meeting, just a lot of people trying to get their view out there. Generally in the manner of the old "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" type questions. There were finally a couple of good questions from the high school government classes in attendance.) The new mayor and I sat side by side exchanging sarcastic comments about many of the evasive answers from the Governor. You could sure tell the Governor was an attorney!

As we walked out of the auditorium, groups of people came up to congratulate me, checking to see if I was overjoyed to be free at last, then offering condolences to the new mayor. Larry (the new mayor) and I thought it was hilarious.

Tonight I opened the city council meeting as normal, then led the council through accepting Larry's resignation (so he could take office as mayor) and then turned it over to the judge to swear in the new council so they could be seated (during which time we outgoing dinosaurs repaired to the gallery to watch). The first act of business was to call me back up to get my plaque and chamber name tag from Larry. So this is what I got for serving the maximum three terms as mayor (sort of like a repeat offender sentence):

All in all not a bad haul.

It was  interesting to watch Larry discover the difference between attending a meeting as a council member and running the meeting as mayor. I think he'll soon settle in and do a great job. Here's wishing him and the new council a successful future!

Now I have to edit the sidebar spiel and I can return to my normal sarcastic self just in time for Thanksgiving. {*grin*}

Monday, November 23, 2009

Short Week Monday

The air carried a definite tang of cold and the clouds in the distance were looking a lot like snow all day. It was the perfect day to complete my Thanksgiving shopping, and the store was packed with others in a similar mind. Thanksgiving looks to be a small crowd here, consisting of Mom, MIL, L, Uncle J and Aunt J, possibly cousin D and me sitting down to pick the carcass of the bird. (Which is currently residing in the refrigerator waiting for a nice warm up on Thursday morning.) Looks like L will be getting into town on Wednesday, so a lot of the cleaning and prepping has been left in my dubious hands. The Son has to work in the mountains over the holiday, so he won't be here. Maybe we'll save him a drumstick or two since he really likes them.

Preparatory to making the official announcement about running for a partisan office as first mentioned here, I spent part of the afternoon filing the necessary pieces of paper with the county and the state. Come December I hope to have my finance committee up and running along with all the other things needed to be a real candidate. Now all I have to do is write the press release announcing my candidacy for early December release. Then it is a matter of getting people organized and ...

As regular readers know, tomorrow will be my last day as mayor. After three terms, it is going to be different to be able to blame someone else. {*grin*} But before I depart, there are still a couple of last acts. In the morning, the Governor and his Town Hall Meeting will be in the area and I get to do the honors of introducing him. That will be my next to last official act as mayor. (The incoming mayor and I flipped a coin to see who would do the honors since he will be sworn in and me out as mayor in the evening city council meeting. Given that the governor is a {*gasp*} Democrat out here in a rural Republican area, I leave it up to you to guess whether I won or lost the coin toss to introduce him.) My last duty will be to convene the city council meeting tomorrow night so that the new members can be sworn in and assume the meeting. I'm still waiting to see what the surprise I have been threatened with is going to be.

Time to get back to reality. Besides, I may have to rewrite my sidebar after tomorrow night.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Glossophobia and Beer

In lieu of watching the Broncos lose yet again, I did the crossword puzzle. What to my wondering eyes should appear but the clue "Overcome glossophobia." The appearance of that particular word made my day.

Why? I can't tell you the number of people who have stated to me that they suffer from glossophobia. Usually in a meandering manner because they don't know that what they suffer is called glossophobia. And usually directly after I have evinced an utter lack of the affliction. Have you caught on to what glossophobia means yet? Here's the definition from Wikipedia: glossophobia. Clearer now?

Now that you know what it means, you have probably figured out that the answer to "Overcome glossophobia." is orate. I.e. if you have a fear of public speaking, the cure is to speak in public.

I suffered from glossophobia in my teens and twenties. Speaking in public had some aspects of pulling teeth without anesthetic. Not pleasant at all. But then somewhere along the path of life, I realized that most people dread public speaking and are just so happy it is you standing up there in front that you could recite the alphabet and they would applaud. That recognition coupled with the realization that I have already embarrassed myself in almost every way possible and survived leads to a complete lack of fear of blithering in public.

I'll leave you with a section from this post of long ago.
  • You have lost all fear of public speaking, no matter how small, large, friendly, or angry the audience. (You figure that by now you have already embarrassed yourself in every way possible. The challenge now is finding creative new ways of attaining embarrassment. After the time you drunkenly recited the Beer Prayer, nude, from the second story balcony, to an audience of thousands, everything else is simply anti-climatic.)

For those who don't know the Beer Prayer:

The Beer Prayer

Our lager,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk,
At home as it is in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillage,
As we forgive those who spill against us.
And lead us not to incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers.
For thine is the beer, the bitter, and the lager.

(This version from Ted Guhl)

P.S. No, I haven't ever recited the Beer Prayer in the nude from a balcony. Close, but not quite.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fun and Oddities

I was visited this afternoon by another member of our Boy Scout committee to do some bookkeeping (I am the treasurer and he is the leader) related to the popcorn sales. Thank heavens the annual popcorn ordeal is about over. Once we completed the business at hand, the conversation began to drift. He and I were both Scouts in the troop some 40+ years ago and his sister was in L and my high school class, so we go back a ways. There is never a shortage of hot air to be exchanged.

The conversation went from hunting (and how neither of us does much of it anymore) to changes in the meat eating patterns of society at large. Sparing you the lean versus fat and wild versus range versus feedlot arguments, we finally landed on meats of our childhood that have become scarce to see in the stores. We both noted that you don't see the huge displays of cow tongue anymore. (And we both agreed that we neither were big tongue fans.) But then we went on to note that we both love beef liver and onions, but don't eat it anywhere near as often as we did in our youth. That led naturally to beef heart. He loved it in his youth but seldom finds it on the meat counter now. I am neutral on the topic since I can't remember eating all that much of it at any time. That in turn led to a whole slew of foods like venison salami and antelope sausage and ....

Which leads me to some questions for you. What cuts of meat from your youth do you no longer find in abundance in the store? And what wild meat concoctions do you remember fondly from your youth?

Now on to the amusement of the day - a story courtesy of the local paper about another Colorado town of similar size to ours about 450 miles from here.

DURANGO (AP) — A person in a chicken costume ruffled the feathers of Durango's city council as its members discussed rules for backyard fowl.

At a council meeting Tuesday, someone in a chicken costume quietly entered the council chambers just as the mayor was discussing a recently-passed backyard hen ordinance.

The costumed chicken took a few turns, flapped its arms, then took a seat in the nearly empty gallery.

Several minutes later, the big bird left — without identifying itself — after laying an egg on the floor.

Council members told The Durango Herald they were perplexed by the costumed chicken but found the visit humorous. The council voted 3-2 earlier this month to make it easier to keep backyard chickens.

Makes me think I'm leaving the mayor business at the perfect time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dream Awakening

Do you ever have dreams that feature something just so wrong that it wakes you ranting out of a sound sleep? I sometimes do. In fact I had a dream like that last night.

It was a very detailed dream in which an elderly German gentleman was trying to convince me to buy and market a fluggenmuffler. What is a fluggenmuffler? In my dream it was a device that that performed some sort of factor of 100 conversion. I.e. if you put 100 lbs. of junk in one end, only one lb. came out the other. If you put 1 lb. in the other end, 100 lbs. came out the original end.  An amazing device that would solve world hunger and pollution in one fell swoop. After all you could put 1 grape in the front and out would come a 100. Sort of like the loaves and fishes in the bible. But you could also put 100 tons of industrial emissions in the other end and have only 1 ton come out the other. The ideal purification device. Just feed the pollution stream through it a few hundred times and your pollution issue is no more.

So what did I wake up ranting about? Well, the device neither heated nor cooled the local environment and drew no power. My poor physicists mind was immediately up in arms about the apparent violations of the laws of thermodynamics. So I woke up ranting that no fluggenmuffler can violate the laws of physics like that. Once I was awake enough to realize it had been a dream, I was busy looking around to make sure no one had heard me ranting in the night. Fortunately Molly slept right through my awakening and ranting. Since only the dog and I were in the house, my rant remained a secret.

Shortly thereafter I fell back to sleep, only to awaken with the same rant from the continuation of the same dream. I can't tell you how vivid the dream was. I finally fell asleep for the rest of the night, but, in a rarity for me, I could remember the dream in detail when I woke up this morning.

The embarrassing thing is that most people wouldn't even think of comparing the parameters of a dream to the possibilities of reality. I guess that is what happens to us physicists when our dreams intersect with the laws of the known universe - the known universe always raises a fuss.

So what wakes you ranting at the wrongness of it all?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Five Experiences of Today

Time once more for

Five Experiences of Today

  • Getting a phone call from the local businessman who wants to develop a software application. He calls every nine months or so and once I explain the costs of what he desires, he always says he'll just have his son who "works for Google" do it. I always pleasantly wish him good luck and he hangs up. He doesn't know that his son and I have discussed the matter several times and are in full agreement on what it will cost to build his dream.
  • Discovering that at least one of the Honey Dew melons I picked back at the start of October when the weather was turning freezing was edible. Note that I said edible, not necessarily the tastiest. Made a good alternative for breakfast.
  • Sitting in a community development / community assessment meeting and realizing it is the same gripes and ideas I have heard every year, just a new group vocalizing and planning. But the real key is that I could just serenely smile, since it won't be my problem anymore come next Tuesday.
  • Seeing the woman whose husband is deathly ill make the effort to attend the meeting because she feels so passionately about it. Her husband's illness has aged her tremendously, but she is still fighting the battle to ensure a better life and community for all. People like her are what has made the job of mayor so rewarding. (Of course, they are also often the sharpest thorns in the side as well.)
  • Meeting the gentleman with the most gorgeous German Shepard / Wolf mix dog I have ever seen as I walked home for the above meeting. The dog was 15 years old and deaf as a stone, but still had that absolute erect carriage and majesty so emblematic of the breed. The owner communicated entirely by hand signals with the dog due to the deafness.

I'll leave you with the lonely Honey Dews trying to ripen in the shop:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pet Foibles

This week's Writer's Challenge from Mama Kat tickled my fancy with the topic:
2.)Describe the most destructive thing your pet has done.
(inspired via Twitter by @alisha41481 from A Day In The Life Of Okie Rednecks)

L and I have had three dogs so far in our married life: Sam, Beau, and Molly. All have been either adopted from animal shelters or given to us. And all have had their foibles and destructive moments.

Sam (short for Samantha) was the first, a pit bull mix we adopted as a very young pup from the city pound in Los Angeles. She was a tiny piteous creature who looked forlornly like she desperately needed us, so we adopted her. As she grew, she was not too destructive until she hit the doggie equivalent of teething. And then ...

I came home from work one day to discover that her wooden dog house was gone - literally gone. All that was left was a couple of nails and a few splinters. She had gnawed it all to pieces, leaving nothing behind. We waited anxiously for Sam to get sick and die after consuming the dog house. We also bought a really tough plastic dog house that survived all further attempts at gnawing.

Not long after that, I came home to find all the rose bushes in the back yard were gone, thorns and all, right down to the root. Sam had gnawed/eaten them all. Not one of the finest moments in human-dog relations.

The piece de la resistance - the last act as the teething phase faded - was the attempt to install her own doggy door.  I came home to discover the a hole in the stucco beside the patio door. A certain dog had gnawed through the stucco, through the wire mesh, partway through the 2x4 framing the door, and then gotten distracted by the aluminum frame on the sliding glass door. The tooth marks were distinctive and pointed directly at the culprit - Sam.

That was fortunately the last time that the teething woes were to surface for Sam.

After the passing of Sam, we acquired our next miscreant - Beau (short for King Beauregard III). Beau was a Bassett Hound given to us when he was three. Beau was perhaps the dumbest but most devious dog we have ever owned. Beau was a closet chewer. You could be sitting at the table eating a family meal when a moment of silence would be filled with the distinctive sound of wood being munched. A quick look to the floor would show a Beau lying on the floor happily chewing on the legs of the chair. If you threw Beau off the couch, you could count on catching him calmly chewing on the fabric skirt later in the day. Slippers were never safe. Even shoe racks were an occasional target:

Fortunately, Beau turned into less of a chewer and more of a hoarder in his latter years:

After the passage of Beau, Molly came to live with us via the local Humane Society. Molly is a bit different in the mischief she gets into. Being a Border Collie mix, she is the most intelligent and most visual of all our dogs. She has an impish sense of humor and loves to play. If you have laundry sorted on the floor for washing, she will pick out a piece to come rub on your leg to see if you will play. Have anything that will roll with in her reach, she will get it and try to convince you to play, but if you won't, she'll throw and catch it all by herself. She always has the glint of fun and mischief in her eyes:

One like Molly shares with Beau - chewing on the kitchen table chairs. But unlike Beau, Molly is sneakier about it. You can be sitting there and in the sudden silent break you do not hear the distinctive chomping sounds of Beau. Instead you hear the wet sloppy mouthing and dainty nibbling of Molly, often times laying on her back so that the rungs to chew on require minimal work. And if you scold and ask her what she is doing, she just looks back at you as if to say, "I'm not the first to do this, so why the brouhaha?"

In any case, the end result is kitchen chairs with the distinctive doggie seal of approval:

I'll leave you with that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Meanderings

Tonight was a city council work session on the library project. We invited all the new council members who will be getting sworn in next Tuesday to join us behind the council bench for the presentation by the architect. We might have postponed the meeting until the newbies were sworn in and seated, but we need to send the project out for bid around Thanksgiving - which is less that two weeks away. We're adding about 5,000 square feet to our existing 11,000 square foot library and making over the interior at the same time. I think it was important for all the council members to understand what the project is and will cost (~$3.2 million), even if we are the ones that got all the money gathered up and said go for it.

It was probably good to have had the meeting for other reasons as well. I needed to sign off on an FAA application for the airport runway extension project so we could get it sent in. We've only been working at getting all the OKs needed for 4 years now. But if all goes according to plan, we should see ~$4 million from the FAA for us to match with ~$100,000. I could only wish that everything worked that way!

In any case, all us lame ducks were told to be there next week since we need to open the meeting and then set the swearing in process in motion for the newbies. In addition we are to get a surprise. My guess is either a service plaque or maybe a cake party. What's your guess?

It is going to seem strange in the morning not to mosey down to the radio station for my Mayoral Midweek show. Although it will be kind of nice to sleep that extra hour. I still have a mayor related meeting at 10am and then have to journey over to city hall to sign a set of documents for the notaries. So far as I can see, that will be the last duty other than opening next weeks meeting. I still haven't really decided how I feel about the end of my (term limited) three terms as mayor. I think that in and of itself says that it is time for me to go.

Time to watch a late night movie tonight since I don't have to be radio ready in the morning.

Monday, November 16, 2009

That Season

I can't believe that the <quote>Holiday Season<unquote> barrage has already started. My email box overfloweth with absolutely unwanted and unneeded ads and promos. It is not just the spam-a-lot and no-name crowds either. Some is from top level tier-one merchandisers. They are desperately flooding my email box and my snail mail box.

Just to pick on one, HP has started adding their <quote>Holiday Season Specials<unquote> to all the other email they send me. (The result of me  delusionally letting my name be added to a mailing list to garner some tech support info long ago. I suppose I will have to drag my poor frazzled mind through the underground maze that is the un-subscribe option.) I don't want a list of tech gizmos sorted by price. I really don't care what I can get for under $300. I'd just as soon gargle live fire ants.

I find it interesting how this blizzard of stuff starts coming earlier every year. It is also interesting how the various strata of retailers adapt and market. The class C merchants like Unknown-Products-You-Never-Heard-Of send tons of junk mail and catalogs urging you to come buy at their website (since they don't list all the products in the junk mailer because, heaven forbid, that costs $$$). Buried amidst that flood is the same thing from better known merchants like Brookstone. It is interesting that this level of marketeers no longer go for the "spam the universe" via email approach like they used to. In the middle, you find companies like Dell that sends both a blizzard of snail mail and enough email to border on spamming. Finally, you get the upper tier marketeers that email every email contact that they may have collected over the years but seem to avoid paper and U.S. Postal Service like the plague. Makes me think they may have done a cost of converted sales study and ...

Most of this stuff goes in the trash, usually before torturing human eyes. But you know what makes me sad? That the one such catalog I used to enjoy reading just to see what truly outrageous items would be pitched each year is no longer with us. I refer of course to that fun place of absolutely senseless consumerism: Sharper Image.

What now extinct harbinger of the season do you miss most? What new harbinger would you like to see cease to exist? Are you beginning to be bombarded with such materials yet? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Odd Facts of the Day

First, the NWS got it partially right. We had a few inches of really wet flock snow overnight. But, it warmed up to the 40s during the day so about 80% of the stuff melted, leaving wet and mud to run rampant. Now this evening, the temperatures are already in the low 20s, so I expect the morning to be an icy slipping and sliding affair. On to more interesting fodder.

Here are three trivial questions featuring the odd facts of the day. They were brought to my (rather odd) mind by the plethora of factoids presented by the announcers at tonight's New England Patriots versus Indianapolis Colts football game. Do you know the answers?

  • NERF (as in Nerf Ball fame) is an acronym for what?
  • The very first American 911 system call was made on February 16, 1968. Who made the call and who answered the call?
  • An average person typing an average text corpus in English uses one hand more than other, which hand is used more? For extra credit, what is the percentage of characters typed by each hand? (You can assume a standard typewriter layout - no Dvorák or other special keyboard.)

(Answers are in the first comment so you can check yourself. But be honest and no fair Googling!{*grin*})

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cleaning Saturday

It seems that weekends are either ugly or great at this time of year. Since it never did snow last night nor this afternoon as I cleaned, the National Weather Service deemed fit it should happen tonight. From the sounds of things, it will be an ideal evening to curl up with a cup of soup and a good book, pull the covers over the legs and escape into a different world.

Thanks to L arriving with a few books last time she was here, I have a selection of good books to read. My soup is already on the stove; Molly is burying here nose in my lap wanting her doggy treat. (After all it is dark and so it must be that time, right?) So it is time to settle in and enjoy the moment.

As I prepare to settle in and read, I'll leave you with the words of the NWS for the evening:
Issued by The National Weather Service
Denver/Boulder, CO
4:46 pm MST, Sat., Nov. 14, 2009


(Maybe I just neet to stop reading the weather alerts!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dreary Friday

What a dreary day it turned out to be. It was sunny early and then the dull gray cloud bank rolled in with the falling temperatures. Tonight it is hanging just above freezing and drizzling with a chance of turning to snow around midnight. Tomorrow is supposed to be cold all day. I want my sun and heat back!

I went over to mom's for supper tonight, which was a real treat since it didn't involve my own cooking. Not only that, it got me away from an ailing computer so I didn't feel the need to put it out of it's misery. In fact, this post is being written on it even as I ramble on into the darkness. So maybe abscence does make the heart grow fonder - at least as far as ailing computers saved from mercy killing goes?

Think kindly of me vacuuming and cleaning tomorrow. The amount of Molly fur on all the floors has gotten to the point where even I cannot stand it anymore. So tomorrow is the day to have a cleaning and vacuuming and clothes washing frenzy. I might even have to wash the kitchen floor.

So what are you doing Saturday?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Five Experiences of Today

Time once more for

Five Experiences of Today
  • Low barometric pressure fore-running the storm and cold rolling in tomorrow.
  • Weather with 58 degree warmth after dark due to the above. (Thus was actually pleasant!)
  • A special joint meeting of the city, county and rural fire district wherein the group calling the meeting had no prepared agenda.
  • Sinus headache.
  • Dryness. With the change in the weather my nose and mouth and eyeballs are dry. You know it is bad when your tongue sticks to your upper palate and your eyeballs hurt.
A cold front is supposed to roll through tomorrow evening possibly bringing snow and wind and ... It has already brought falling barometric pressure as witnessed by my goose neck barometer:

Notice the blue fluid almost running out the top of the tube. A sure sign that the barometric pressure is really low and that all my joints are screaming. What fun!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Final Word

This week's Writer's Challenge from Mama Kat tickled my fancy with the topic:
3.) Tell a story about a moment in time when you were so happy you were you and not someone else in the room.
(inspired by Baby)

This tale harks back to a time more than a decade ago. One of my tasks as CTO of a certain company was to advise the CEO and Chairman of the Board, Mr. S, on the soundness of proposed technical acquisitions. Mr. S was a self made billionaire and had quite a few quirks and oddities. In addition, once he made up his mind, nothing on this earth was going to change it. (This is the same person I once accused of having "the brains of a kumquat" during a meeting.)

I had been tasked to look at a couple of possible acquisitions with related technologies in an emerging market. Company A was in Toronto and Company B was in St. Louis. So after visiting both companies and spending a few days going over their technologies, I came to the conclusion that the ideal would be to acquire both of them and combine their technologies. Company A had a more automated and user friendly approach to solving the problem; Company B had a much more complete solution but had almost no automation or end-user tools. Put the two together and one had a great solution that could capture what was then an exploding market. But knowing Mr. S and his strong belief in consulting rather than package solutions, the choice for him was going to be clear.

Sure enough, Mr. S decided that we would visit the St. Louis company and see if they were amenable to being acquired. (Given that the company was broke, there was little doubt in my mind that they wanted to see a cash infusion, the question was were they realistic as to amount and conditions.) We arrived at Company B and spent several hours in the general touchy-feely sizing up before getting down to work. A couple of offers and counter-offers were exchanged. Finally Mr. S pulled our VP and me out of the room for a heart to heart about the value we put on the technology.

So standing in the hall outside the meeting, I opined that I thought the base technology with the continued employment of a couple of key people was worth about $5 million and up to $8 million if all the current employees came along. The VP with us agreed and felt that joined with the consulting arm of the company, a couple of hundred million dollars a year of revenue could be generated. 

Mr. S said little, but we all walked back into the conference room interested in seeing what Mr. S. was going to do. On the other side of the table sat the three principals of Company B, all anxious and hopeful. The financial position of their company pointed to desperation.

Mr. S. took a piece of paper, wrote a number on it, and slid it face down across the table with the words "This is my number. What is your answer?"

The three guys from Company B huddled and then made a major mistake. They thought Mr. S was still open to negotiation and tried to come back with yet another counter-offer. Mr. S simply motioned to us to go and walked out of the room. My last view of the Company B guys was with the utter look of shock and devastation on their faces. It became complete as it sank in that Mr. S would not be saving the company and that they would be out of business by month's end.

That was the moment that I was extremely happy to be me and not one of the three guys form Company B.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The End of the Road

Tonight was my last regularly scheduled city council meeting as mayor. There is a special meeting on Thursday and a work session on next Tuesday and then I am done. The new mayor and council will be sworn in at the meeting on the 24th. Of course I found out tonight that the new council wants me to be there on the 24th - probably to give me my "Thanks for your service" plaque.

It has been and is amusing the way people seek you out just to say "hi, mayor" one last time at this stage of the game. I went to the store at noon today to do some grocery shopping and thought I was never going to get through the store. All the "hi mayor" and the stopping and visiting made the path through the store seem endless. I have been surprised by the number of people that have come up to me and thanked me for doing a great job. Many of them proclaim me to be the best mayor we have ever had. (I wonder if that isn't the case with any departing official - after all, what are they going to do? Walk up to you and exorcise you from top to bottom and then proclaim you were the worst mayor in history?) It does make me wonder what it will be like when I am well and truly gone from office.

The council meeting tonight was short and sweet. Mostly because of a short agenda with only a brief executive session to slow things down. One of the representatives from the press thanked us loudly for making it a short meeting. (That is because she is a reporter for the weekly paper which is published overnight for Wednesday delivery. Her Tuesday nights run well into Wednesday morning every week.)

One of the traditions we have is to allow outgoing council members five minutes to soliloquize on any topic they wish at their last regular meeting. I kept mine semi-short and to the point:
  • Thank you to the citizens of the city and surrounding area for being so supportive and willing to work to accomplish so much.
  • Thank you to the employees of the city because they embraced our emphasis on customer service and did the real work.
  • Thank you to my fellow city council members. I was fortunate to have essentially the same council for all three terms as mayor. That allowed us to work together to accomplish many things, including long term goals that might not otherwise have beem possible.
  • Thank you to the city manager for being so easy to work with and so capable. And because at every meeting over the years he has turned to me and whispered that he forgot his pen and could he borrow mine, I hereby give him my old pen that I always lent to him. (It is a measure of a good manager that through all three terms as mayor he always gave it back after borrowing it. {*grin*})
  • Thank you to Frank and Gloria Walsh and the Walsh Family for all that they have done and given to the city and the community. Their presence and gifts to the community have made my job that much easier.
  • A very heartfelt thank you to my wife and son for their support. The time when the city council meeting was on my birthday and they brought cake so we could still celebrate was very special.
  • Finally, I want to wish all the best to the new council and mayor. I hope they can accomplish as much in the coming years as we have in the past.

I figure that is a pretty good way to say it all.

Time to get going, the early morning trek down to the radio station has to happen one more time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Photo of Yore

I spent much of the day in internet and phone withdrawal as the new fiber optics running to the house were connected and hooked up. When everything is moving like that, you can expect to be down for a while, especially with special network demands. Since I couldn't leave while the guys were working away and in and out of the house, I had to find something to do that require no Google or other internet fodder. Thus you get to enjoy this little pictorial study. {*grin*}

Consider this well worn photo:

This photo has been in my pocket and wallet for more than 34 years. (Which you might spot by all the dings and water spots and the peeling layers on the edge.)  This is L and my engagement photo from long ago. I have carried it with me in my wallet, through multiple wallets, through all the ups and downs. When I close my eyes and think of L, this is the smiling young beauty I think of.

But enough about L and beauty, let's get down to brass tacks. You notice the pocket of the shirt on my chest? Did you spot the multiple writing utensils therein that were required even for an engagement photo by my scientist/engineer mindset? I have finally after all these years been able to occasionally forgo the multiple writing implements in the pocket in favor of a notebook, but I still suffer pangs of withdrawal when I pat my pocket and find it empty.

What ingrained habit have you tried to forgo? Have you succeeded?

Do you think that all those pristine digital pictures you are collecting now will age with the character of this lowly paper artifact of the mid 70's?

(No comments about all that black, curly hair that is now missing in places, gray colored, and rather limp! For the curious, all is now back up and running really nicely in the phone and internet world.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Conversation

As some of the clean up crew and I were killing time until we could take down the tables and chairs from the church bazaar yesterday, I was a participant in the following odd conversation between three other gentlemen and myself.

M1: Every since I turned 80, I've had to go to the 40 pound salt bags for my water softener. I just can't lift the 50 pound ones anymore.

M2: Thats too bad. Every since I turned 85 I haven't been able to carry even the 30 pound bags down the steps to the cellar for the softener. I've started keeping the bag on the porch and using a bucket to carry it down a few pounds at a time.

M3: Heck, I gave up even trying to carry them years ago. My problem is that not only can't I carry them, I can't remember why I find myself standing by the trunk of the car staring at the bag of salt. By the time I go in the house and ask my wife and get back out there, I can't remember again. It works out well - my wife has been putting the salt in for at least the last five years. The last time I remember carrying in the salt was back around my 86th birthday and I'm 91 now.

Me: I'm young enough that I can still carry salt, I can still carry two bags of salt at a time pretty easily. The bad part is that it seems like a new joint aches every morning at this age.

M2: Give it time. In another 30 years you'll be my age and then no one will even think of asking you to carry salt unless you are married to them. 

M3: Son, you've just begun to discover one of the things we all know.

Me: What's that?

M1: Getting old is not for the faint of heart or weak of constitution.

Me: Well, it likes like we can get to work.

Likewise, it is time for me to get on with real work.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Meanderings

Today was the third straight day when it reached the 70s for a few hours in the afternoon after dipping below freezing each night. A bit warmer than normal seasonal weather, but a lot closer than the blizzard a week plus ago. Of course this niceness cannot last. The weather forecast has the highs dropping starting tomorrow and possible snow on Monday. We'll probably mosey on into the drear days of November with highs in the 40s and a lot of dull colorless gray as all the color finally dies away and the landscape takes on the sepia tones of winter. At least something close to normal in the weather this year.

My first question of the day: Is there a sudden rash of blogs shuttering the doors for good or deciding to shut down the current incarnation and maybe open a new one? I know that it is happening to a number of the blogs I follow/read. On the other hand, at least three blogs I follow are slowly returning to regularity after six or more months of drought. Are all these effects simply an artifact of my selection procedure? Do you see anything similar?

Next question of the day: Has "mommy blogging" started to lose lustre in the current economy? I ask because I seem to see fewer classic mommy blogs and more humor or diarist blogs in my network traversal. This is another one that could be related to my reading and following choices rather that any real trend. It could also be because the classic mommy blog is time consuming and labor intensive. So when there is a chance of either product or $$$ renumeration to compensate for the time and labor, it may be worth it. However, as the economy continues in the doldrums, it forces harder choices on where to allocate resources.

Time to head off to dinner. Don't eat anything I wouldn't. {*grin*}

Friday, November 6, 2009

What I Did This Afternoon

I spent most of the afternoon making sun spinners for the church bazaar and crafts sale tomorrow. I thought about just putting up the picture and making you guess what it was, but then decided that might not be fair.

A few sun spinners hanging low in the shop:

You'd be amazed how much sun these doodads can sparkle and throw about with just a little air motion and some sunlight. Given I have a few thousand old software CDs (I am a true pack rat), this is one of the uses I have put them to. I also use them to make custom Christmas trees - maybe I'll finally get a picture of one of them up here one of these days. (You can also spot Molly's shop bed in the background if you look carefully.)

The only bad thing about making the spinners is that spending all afternoon beading and knotting with mono-filament line in the low humidity has left my finger tips tender and cracked. Tender enough that some keys are painful to type and makes correcting errors a interesting task.

So what did you do today?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Five Lines Overheard Tonight

Time once more for

Five Lines Overheard Tonight
  • Are you sure she isn't dead?
  • More brains?
  • The cream puffs and worms are really good!
  • More swamp water?
  • Can you pull that spear of fruit out of his head for me?
As you might have discerned, I was at the rescheduled chamber of commerce Halloween meet and greet that was prevented by last weeks blizzard. The local business hosting the event went to all the work of recreating the entire layout of Halloween food for us tonight. A great time was had my all.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My (Humorous) Wedding Story

This week's Writer's Challenge from Mama Kat tickled my fancy with the topic:
2.) Tell me your most humorous wedding experience
(inspired by Bree from Breezy Butterfly Creations)

Some background is in order before we get to the gist of the tale. Now would be a good time to put your Coke down if you are prone to snorting all over the keyboard!

L and I got married here in Colorado in the midst of going from New Hampshire (undergrad) to California (graduate school). L had arrived in Colorado well ahead of me to attend to such minor details as the wedding arrangements and her ring and all the showers and ... You get the idea. She was undergoing a whirl of showers and preparation and worry. Pretty stressed to say the least.

In the mean time I was journeying from New Hampshire with a friend from college with all our earthly goods in a U-Haul behind his old clunker of a car. To make the trip more exciting, we decided to visit the Smokey mountains on our way to Texas to drop his stuff off at his home. Now let me remind you that this was 34+ years ago and there was no such thing as a cell phone, for which I am eternally grateful. Otherwise I am sure I would have been on the phone to L hundreds of times a day. {*grin*}

Nelson, the friend I was traveling with, and I finally hit Colorado a couple of days before the wedding. He and some other friends from college were staying in the upstairs of mom and dad's house. Since we had a day free before the wedding, we all piled into Nelson's car and headed for Rocky Mountain National Park for the day since they had never been there. Of course L was stuck back down in the flatlands doing wedding type things. (Do you detect a pattern here?)

The day of the wedding, mom and dad's house was a total zoo. Mom was the cake decorator for the wedding, so we had wedding cake everywhere on every flat surface to be found. In addition, mom and dad's house only had one bathroom, so mom, dad, my brother, myself, and all my friends sleeping upstairs in the attic we sharing the one bathroom as we got ready. Then to top it all off, mom discovered that some of the wedding mints had gone bad. So there we are all sitting around the kitchen table molding mints like mad as we got ready for the wedding. Your only exit from the mint making line was when your turn in the bathroom was called. It may sound a bit insane, but some of my friends thought that the panic drill of sitting around the table stuffing and pressing the molds to create new mints, switching positions as the bathroom cycled, talking and laughing, half dressed for the wedding, was one of the high points of the wedding.

When I finally arrived at the church and joined up with my groomsmen, we were shuttled off to one of the warren of little rooms in the upstairs of the church. So we got to sit there and talk and wonder what was going on and when they would come to get us to get the show on the road. Unfortunately the young lady that put us in the room forgot to tell anyone else where she put us and as the time for the wedding to begin came and went, we were still sitting serenely and visiting without a clue. At long last, my future FIL happened to open the door and spot us. I think he was both relieved to have found us and disappointed - his money was on the groom (me!) having cold feet and departing post-haste.

The wedding itself went off without a hitch. Well except for the fact that I was reading the ceremony from the reverend's book upside down as he did the service and just about got lost when he skipped a bit. It is amazing how moved and shaken one is when those vows are finally said in front of all.

After the wedding, we had a reception in the church dining area. That was where the cake and mints and the food and basically a lot of visiting was going on. L and I were the oldest grandkids on both sides and were blessed to have our our grandparents in attendance. Thus there were a lot of pictures and people to be talked to at the wedding and reception. Our wedding was not small, it seemed like thousands but was probably more like 250-300 people. Once the cake was cut and the first wave of hunger assuaged, it was time for the party to get going. This was an early afternoon reception at the church with dinner that night over at MIL and FIL's.

At this point you have to know that L's maid of honor (her lifelong friend) and my best man (a friend of mine and L) are both all out jokesters. In addition, I have a huge crew of uncles that all love to give one and all a ribbing just to see them squirm. In fact it was after I first took L to a Christmas scrum at my grandpa and grandma's house and she was able to handle being around the uncles without killing me that I knew i had a real keeper.

The aforementioned crew of jokesters and fun loving rowdies then decided it would be a great idea to chivaree the bride. So the groomsmen and maid of honor, my brother, my uncles, and any other guilty looking souls they could corral kidnapped the bride. They didn't inform my new MIL and FIL of what they were doing either. So there I was surrounded by all the females at the wedding (and in on the whole affair) in an apparent flirt fest and no sign of their daughter who had just gotten married to me.

The rowdy crew took L to the local cemetery and tied her to a headstone. Then they just left. After they had left her there for a while, they came back and took her to the lowest and cheapest cowboy bar in town. So L got to drink and dance with all the toothless old cowboys in the place. And of course all of these impressive events were captured on film for later enjoyment. While that was going on, I was beginning to get the 3rd degree from my FIL, since he was convinced I knew what the heck had happened to his daughter. Boy was I happy to see the crew return with L in tow.

That evening we had a picnic type affair at MIL and FIL's house. I remember the line going out and around the house and down the block. It was a great good time for all. It was also funny because as I was standing in line with a friend I had first met in college in New Hampshire, he turned to me and said "I've been in this house before! It used to belong to the XXX family didn't it?" Sure enough it had - turned out that he used to get sent out to the wilds to stay with the XXX's in the summers. Talk about a small world.

L and I were staying in town for a few days before heading off to California, so we were at mom and dad's in the sewing room (it had been the room shared by my brother and I until we shuffled up to the larger space in the attic). But all those friends there for the wedding were staying in the attic now. The only way from the attic into the rest of the house was (you guessed it) through the sewing room. In addition, remember that mom and dad's house only had one bathroom and the only way to get there from the attic was through the sewing room where L and I were ensconced. We heard nary a peep from the captive guests in the attic all night - of course that may be because we were busy doing other things. {*grin*} In any case, L and I had to be up moderately early in the morning and elsewhere, so we got up and left, not even thinking that we should have perhaps shouted up the stairs that the coast was clear to the bathroom. You wouldn't believe the razzing I have gotten about that from the attic captives over the years.

The upshot of all this is that L and I have a litterally priceless wedding album. Any time friends drop by, all we have to do is bring it out and everyone relives one of the best times ever. And because of the chivaree and cowboy bar and the attic and the mints and ... Everyone has their own unique memory from the event. And those that weren't there can't believe they missed such an outrageous good time. Don't you wish you had been there?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Le Menu

Today was the lunch at the prison for the culinary arts program. Alma, Barb and I (Alma is the director of the inmate college program, Barb is the professor of the speech class that I guest spoke to) were seated at a small table to one side of the cafeteria area. We got the full treatment - a table cloth and plastic flowers and even individual plastic silverware. That is like being at the Ritz compared to the normal conditions for the inmates.

All of the culinary class group got involved; one inmate served as our waiter, the inmate that invited us as chef, etc. Like any fine establishment, once we had our drinks (water), the chef came out from the kitchen to introduce himself and see if we had any special requests. It was clear that this coming out and greeting "customers" was still a bit of a surprising experience for the chef.

The culinary menu for the day featured an international theme, so we could choose from the French, Moroccan, Italian, or Greek themed meals. We chose French with a sampler of the Italian. It was a hard choice to make since they all sounded so good.

We began with an appetizer of Lobster Bisque which was really tasty. Of course it was made to sound a lot less tasty on the menu because of the state mandated list of ingredients. Somehow lobster bisque seems tastier than lobster meat, green onions, vegetable oil, flour, milk, half and half, white pepper, and salt sounds.

Then came the main course - Sole Amandine with potato puffs, asparagus, lemon, and drawn butter. The almond crusting on the sole was fantastic and the potato puffs were so light that I had to verify that they were really made of potatoes. None of the potatoes I cook ever turn out that tasty and light!

We had a great time and enjoyed good conversation as we ate. All of us thought the food was very good, although a lot richer than our normal lunchtime choices. As we finished, the members of the program serving as waiters took away the dishes and then brought out our desert: Crème Brûlée. Talk about ending a meal with over-the-top richness. Of course, the state mandated description was a bit less appetizing: whipped cream, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla bean, brown sugar.

After the meal, we were allowed to tour the kitchen and congratulate the chef. That in and of itself is interesting because the kitchen is also the production kitchen for the prison. So the culinary arts program people also serve as the cooks for the prison operation. As they are learning fine cuisine, they are also learning everything from short order cooking to running a large eating establishment. Inmates go through being in charge of ordering, inventory, menus, preparation, catering, etc in the course of the program. Given that the prison has close to 3000 inmates and staff eating 3 meals every day, the program participants get a thorough grounding in running an eatery. In addition, the program does a lot of catering and custom baking for community non-profit groups to help pay for the overhead of running the program.

One of the more amazing differences between the prison kitchen and a normal restaurant kitchen is the fact that a couple of walls are filled with hooks and painted outlines of every utensil. Each silhouette has a number painted in it and the corresponding number etched in the utensils. That is so that every piece of metal and plastic can be accounted for before one shift of inmates leaves the kitchen and another comes in. Same kind of controls only stricter go for knives and ... The end result is an absolutely spotless kitchen with no drawers anywhere. It seems to work well to prevent the raw materials for shivs to "walk" out into the cell blocks. The same concern is why all the silverware is plastic. (And even then the plastic silverware is accounted for in the inmate serving areas.)

After we congratulated the chef, it was time to begin the journey back out to the front gate. It involves going through two different security areas and exercise yards and enjoying a stroll under some of the gun towers. Given it was time for several of the cell blocks to come out and enjoy some sun, we were basically walking through a sea of inmates. It is always amusing to watch that interaction. The inmates all know that coming too near someone wearing a red badge like ours is grounds for immediate strip search and confinement. It makes one feel like a leper must have felt in the old days. It is also interesting because inmates in the blue pants are currently demerit free (i.e. no recent "misbehavior"), whereas the ones in orange are currently under restriction for recent problems. Alma would point out this inmate or that one in orange and sadly say that they would not be able to continue in the college program next term - they must be demerit free to even be considered for attendance each term.

(I need to remember to write a thank you note - to Alma - since any contact directly with an inmate by sending a thank you is a violation of the program guidelines. Then Alma will convey the thanks to the inmates involved.)

At long last we reached the gate, turned in our badges, had our arms scanned to verify we had the appropriate ultraviolet stamps proving us to be visitors, then exited through the metal scanners. Got a chance to say hello to one of the associate wardens, one of the chaplains, and several of the guards that I recognized as well.

So what did you do for lunch today?

P.S. For the curious, here are the four menu themes:

Lobster Bisque
Sole Amandine with Potato Puffs and Asparagus
Crème Brûlée

Batin Jaan Zalad
B'Stella Cornish Game Hens on a Bed of Spicy Couscous with Roasted Root Vegetable
Coconut Cake

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Shrimp Marcella
Two Way garlic Bread with Basil Pesto
Cannoli Cake with White Chocolate Butterflies

Cilantro Beef Soup
Greek Plate (Rice with Pistachio and Almond; Served with Beef Tips and Vegetables)
Dolmadakia with Tzatzikia Sauce

Monday, November 2, 2009

Moody Monday

The weather here was weird today. Yesterday it was mid-60s and sunny, today it struggled to make 45 and appear anything but overcast, tomorrow it is supposed to be back to the mid-60s and sunny. What more could a person desire? That old aphorism that "if you don't like the weather in Colorado now, wait five minutes and see if you like that" is well illustrated this time of the year. It gave the day a definite palor of moodiness.

I had other things to get done this afternoon, but instead got hooked (thanks a lot Rich!) into a couple of meetings on economic development and the SBA. One of the things I have found is that so called "visioning" exercises and "how to save XYZ" sound and look the same year after year. That may be why the groups involved are usually either state funded or made up of college students from the business departments of the universities. Maybe I am just getting old and jaded.

I also had to sign some paperwork and take care of some other misc. business before rushing off to a late meeting with one of the poobahs of a certain political party. It is almost a certainty that I will be running for a partisan office next November after the meeting. Given that the primary is in late March, I am probably going to have to announce my candidacy and start acting like a candidate by early December (i.e. in 30 days or so). More later.

I also got more proof that this is a small town today. I got a call from a local fiber optic provider's offices "just to let me know that the utility locate service had been notified to come and mark the path for the new fiber strand to your house." Pretty standard, but the young lady continued on that she "just knew that Molly would be excited and she wanted to make sure that Molly was OK with it." Nothing like the people you do business with knowing the name of your pet and being concerned about them as well. I can guarantee that there isn't a single QWest (the local baby bell) representative that could even tell you my real name, let alone the name of my dog. Is it any wonder they are getting their lunch handed to them in this area?

Tomorrow I am honored with an opportunity to eat well. No rubber chicken or other such foods. One of the inmates from the speech class that I spoke on public speaking to was evidently much impressed. He chose me to be his invited guest at the culinary arts program's graduation / 5-star demonstration meal. Since the inmate-graduates only get one invite to give, it means that either the inmate has no family or friends capable of getting clearance into the prison or that I am displacing them. It will be interesting to see what the menu is. Given some of the events the program caters in the community, I already know they can make some pretty tasty food. But this is their chance to go all out and shine, so i expect it to be very interesting. I'd take pictures, but electronics and other such things are verboten inside the gates of the prison.

Time to get on with the duties of the evening - Molly wants her head rubbed *right now*.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Going Down

Tonight it was time to attend the annual 4-H awards banquet. I took my MIL as my guest and we had a good time, especially comparing notes to see it either of us could figure out why we thought we knew this person or that person. It is always interesting to see the kids who are doing the right stuff and working hard at it reaping the recognition and rewards they deserve.

Before the dinner, I spent much of the afternoon with my head in the innards of the partially disassembled clothes dryer isolating which part(s) needed to be replaced. Once the trouble shooting was done, it was time to order the parts so that maybe by next weekend I would have a working dryer.  (You might remember I reported on the issue when it was breaking news last weekend here.)

There is, of course, a corollary to the "fix the dryer" saga, and that is the "dry the clothes" saga. Tonight I washed a load and it was too dark to hang them outdoors, so I used my mad skillz and rigged an indoor clothesline in the family room.  So the view in the family room is a bit different for the nonce, looking like this:


Now I ask you, with my stupendous sock removal tool and now this indoor clothesline, is there any problem I can't tackle? The ceiling fans even supply the gentle breezes needed for fine drying! (Both mom and MIL offered the use of their dryers, but for one load late at night, it is easier to emulate Rube Goldberg.)

Time to head for bed; tomorrow is yet another day.
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