Saturday, July 29, 2006

Parenthetical phone post

In the prehistoric era otherwise know as the 1980's there appeared a very catchy tune called New Toy from a singer called Lene Lovich. The first line of the chorus goes:

I get a New Toy (oh ay oh), to keep my head expandin
I know it sounds like a dumb song but it is what it is. (The song is about how the singer wants stuff like a car and a stero and a freezer so accepts a relationship that she didn't want in order to get the things, then she ends up falling in love with the fellow. How sweet.) So a couple of nights ago we all got New Toys replacement mobile phones for ours that were variously: Just fine, breaking, uncool, and adequate but staid.

So now we're all getting our act together to learn how to use the things cause they are so um... advanced. I thought my phone before had more menus and options than I could figure out. Now that one seems like a set of Lincoln Logs (for you youngsters out there like Jes and Grace, Lincoln Logs is a set of dowels that are cut like logs in a log cabin (Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin, get it?) that you can use to build an almost endless variety of some square or rectangular log cabin models. It could keep children busy for hours in the days before video games. Sales for these type of toys are down these days for some odd reason.) that is all worn out. The new one does everything but take out the recycling to the curb every other week. Most of it seems geared towards providing you with a way to use services that Cingular will happily add to your monthly bill, but I really like it even without all the added services.

For me, the killer app was the 1.3M pixel camera and a very nice display. (I'm so visual) Now I'll be able to get pretty good snapshots of things when it was inconvenient to bring along my real camera.

I'm such a geek. I have a blog, AND I just posted about my new cellphone. Sheesh. I need to get a life.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


orange fragile
nestled together for warmth
shocking me with color

bent low to the wind
whispering a riot
beckon my gaze
like flaming velvet butterflies

sun comes and goes
you follow
blind but seeing the sun

night comes
you rest
without sleep

Sunday, July 23, 2006


It was FAR cooler today. What a relief. It was only 103.

We did some retail therapy, looked at a house our friends are selling, and floated in the pool. We had one of our Lisa friends over, had a little dinner, and generally did very little. I did manage to fix a screen door and trim back some rampaging bushes, but I skipped the foot-high "lawn". There's always tomorrow when it won't be so damn hot.

Note to all those pissed off people in the middle east, sub-Saharan Africa, Indonesia, and all those other fine places where moms and kids and dads are getting murdered for political gain:
Stop killing each other you fucking barbarians. Sit down and work it out. Just how fucking hard could it be, really? Need more land that some special deified person walked around on a really long time ago? Work out a fucking schedule already. Need more political power? Set up a transparent democracy so you can get a mandate from the people who really matter. Don't like it that other governments think you are hostile muderers? Suck it up until you change their minds. How many more decades are you going to keep pretending that your religious story trumps theirs? How many more thousands of your people have to live in fear and die in poverty to serve some ancient grudge? Make something useful. Do something positive. Give things away. Most of all: Stop Threatening Everyone you disagree with with unilateral death sentences just for getting up in the morning and having breakfast at home. NOBODY in their right mind thinks that's OK you fucktards.

I'm sure that will help a lot.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm hot

It's kinda warm here today, 105 this afternoon. Fortunately most of the afternoon was spent in San Francisco at the side of Stowe lake. We had all of our hot weather Victorian clothes on. We played croquet, ate, drank, boated, drank, had three legged races, drank, took pictures, drank a bit, and had lots of fun.

Then we drove home. When we opened the car door, hokey smokes it was hot. It was still 103.6. We got in the pool and ordered pizza.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Self Indulgence Thursday

This is my answer to that self portrait Tuesday thing I can never seem to remember to participate in.

So like about twice a year, just at this particular stage of getting over a cold, for a few hours, I can smell things just as well as normal people. It's kind of like putting on you glasses (for you laser radial keratotomy surgery type people glasses are the things you once spent all that money for so people would say , "cool glasses" but you not quite so secretly hated them so much you were willing to undergo unpleasant procedures to rid yourself of the damned things forever, FOREVER do you hear me!) (for those of you at the tender age of less than several decades and your perfect eyes have not begun to betray you just like your now luxurious non-grey hair also has not, glasses are something you wear over your eyes to make everything (except your body and hair) look like you were 15 again) (for the rest of you I wear contacts/glasses and my diopter numbers are both less than 1, so, "Nyah!") just for a few minutes so you can see all the beautiful and ugly things around you sharply, but then taking them off for six months at a time.

That's why I could smell doggies who needed a bath in the next room (!) this morning when I usually can't hardly smell them when they are in my lap. I'm not sure if my condition is good or bad but it sure seems permanent. I supppose it has prevented me from becoming a gourmet giving much thought to food. Sure enough by 10 am my uncaring nose was back to "normal".

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Holy crap I'm dripping!

So I worked all day in the front yard today. It was roughly blast furnace temperature out there. (OK it was probably in the low eighties but I was in full sun most of the time.) Miraculously, it doesn't look different at all. I installed a two circuit drip system giving each and every plant its own little custom water supply.

I used a lot of 1/2 G/Hr drippers (like about 40), about 40 1 G/Hr, and a handful of 2 G/Hr. There's two kinds of tubing, wee little connectors, all the hardware you see in the picture and wires and PVC pipe and even little wire loop thingys to hold the tubing in one place. The valves and pipe I put in weeks ago, and I already had circuits left on the controller. If you plan to do this yourself remember: It is a really big project that no one will ever see and if it is successful no one will notice the system at all. Extreme gratification will be yours when you realize there are no weeds in your lush garden.

If you recall how many plants we planted please call me because I apparently can't count that high. All of the tubing is cleverly hidden under the mulch so all you can really see are the two automatic valves and the pressure regulators and the filter gizmos. I even set up a new schedule on the valve controller. (That was harder than it sounds.) As you can see from the picture, the next big project is to paint the house. This project will mostly involve writing a large check and choosing colors. Since I am colorblind I get a free pass on the color selection part.

Then I washed the Suburban. That thing has more surface area than all the supermodels in San Francisco.

Yesterday while Andy and I were making a superduper CB radio mount for the truck, a little tiny bug came to visit us and hung around on the wire fencing on the little gate. He(?) was pretty quiet and didn't *bug* us much.

Other than that it's been lonely without the ladies here this weekend. They headed to Renfaire in San Luis Obisbo for the weekend and half of Monday. I need to get myself into more of these things instead of standing around in the hot sun... Oh yeah, you do that at Renfaire too.

Bad movie night coming up on Friday. Don't say you weren't warned this time. We'll be watching The Warrior And The Sorceress with David Carradine. Grace, I'll save a seat for you on the couch.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Happy boy

Here's the middle child with his graduation present. Suffice to say he's fricken ecstatic.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

sorry about that

Looks like I have left all of you faithful readers in the dark for a few days. Nothing much has been happening, except:

Deathstalker IV. Possibly the worst movie since time began, though I am sure that there are hundreds of other contenders. 80's hair, Bulgarian extras, random nudity, deadpan jokes in the "dialog", and a pretty stupid story. Add a couple of friends, some leftover Margaritas and you have a nice night. Sharon made curry with all the fixin's which was just wonderful. We're gonna do the deed again in a couple of weeks with a horrible looking David Carradine movie The Warrior and the Sorceress. It looks like it will be just awful.

New washing machine. If you do as much laundry as we do with five of us here and a pool to generate wet towels, replacing a washing machine is an actual event. The new one is really nice.

I died again. This time it was in Stockton where it was about 100 degrees on our arrival. My friend's company, Hit and Run Productions, does murder mystery dinner entertainment among other things. This time it was at a 40,000 square foot pizza and games place. The birthday boy Steve and his whole set of family and friends were bought by Capwell Industries to study their genetics in Pakistan for six months. Then I (Harvey Capwell) died and everyone in the birthday party spent the next couple of hours trying to figure out who of the other five people in the cast killed me. What fun.

Went to a nice party today. Lots of laughs.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Late in the evening they come from the hills to drink at the shimmering pools of crystal clear apple juice. The eat sugar cubes from the sucre trees and laugh at the unicorns. Little men with tails lounge at the shore watching the mermaids play in the waterfall. The baby centaurs romp behind the twinkling bushes. One tall nude woman strolls down the leafy path framed by aspen saplings. She carries a baby winged kitten, clutched to her bosom to shield it from the gathering drizzle. It is warm and getting warmer and the sunlight glints from the diamonds floating overhead in the breeze having broken through the cotton clouds. The light, broken and bent, makes a thousand rainbows in the mist. The kitten meows as they come into the clearing and jasmine flowers open up in response, perfuming the air. The woman laughs and lays down in the gossamer fur that grows on the shore. A little boat appears around the bend. The woman spies her love, strong and supple, graced with powerful hands and a soothing voice. She closes her eyes and imagines a world where she and her love can escape to become their true selves, a world unlike anything they have known before this day. At first her dream is beautiful, but then her nightmare begins. Unable to wake she sees her world crumble to be replaced by an alien place.

In her imagined world there are things called cars, and people talk on little boxes they hold in their hands as they race towards certain dissapointment in stone buildings. Much of the ground is strangely hard and gray. Walls of stone divide them from the others of their kind and they wear bulky coverings that obscure their forms. The old ones grow feeble and are cast out of the so called homes. Violent suffering is common, driven by jealousy, mistrust and fantastical beliefs in mythical other worlds ruled by hate filled gods. Babies go hungry while some live in dwellings so fanciful that few can imagine. There is sickness untended for want of paper of symbolic value. A pampered few preside over the masses, making rules no one can understand, making statements that embarrass even the children. Petty fights over long dead ancestors infect the progeny with hatred. Death is the prize for a square of sand in the hot sun.

Her nightmare is broken as the kitten licks her nose. She rouses slowly as her love comes ashore. He rises from the boat, rainbows glistening off his taut flesh. He walks towards her and she rises to embrace him. As their arms close round each other, she nestles her face into the warm corner between his neck and shoulder. The press together and sigh in delight. They walk into the pool embracing each other as they float. She speaks first.

I had the most terrifying dream...

got wood?

I do.

This is the little gate that is done... Two more to go. The wider gates are going to be fancier, with doweled corners and bamboo panels. It'll be very highbrow 'n stuff.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Woodworking is just like knitting except there are spinning blades that can take off your finger in an instant, lots of sawdust to choke your lungs, and things are put together with glue instead of yarn. There are also no DPN's, or clapotis (whatever that is). I'm sure knitting can be dangerous, I just am not aware of how. Maybe there are lots of eye injuries from those pesky needle thingys.

So today in shop class I:
Made a big washer shaped item and brazed (that's molten metal ladies) the connecting pieces from a lamp harp onto it. Then I brazed the handle onto an iris assembly from a theatrical spotlight (it broke up at Danny's school and I foolishly said something like, "I can fix that!"). Then I made an eight hook hanger for swimsuits (not that I use them much).

Illustration #1

Then I made a rabbeting sled (See illustration #1) (that's a tool for making rabbet cuts) so I could make the 24 cuts in the ends of redwood 2x4's to make rabbeted corner joints in my gates. I'm making three gates for the front yard project, AKA the most beautiful front yard ever.

So I did all that and glued up the three gates after figuring out exactly how big to cut the pieces, which is a critical step if you already have the posts in place in concrete.

(insert two festive beverages (G&T) here)

Tomorrow I'm gonna make 48 dowels and drill 48 holes for them and glue all them in place. Once all the glue cures (polyurethane no less) I'll sand and stain the lot of them and hang them up and put on the bamboo and... ... ...

I'll post pictures.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Woo Hoo!

Mouse is back!

Plus the flowers are really coming out all over the place! Here are a few pix.

The yard is getting even more done. We put some canna plants around the Buddah. We got the bamboo things from Ikea thinking that spending $35 on those would be far easier and cheaper than building a half round planter. I'll be building gates this weekend out of a large pile of wood. Today we got a couple of flagstones and moved two of the ferns. I also put in a post. (exciting, I know)