Thursday, August 27, 2009

At last, wherein I play catch-up

So, super-busy Bob has been neglecting his gentle readers. Sorry about that there. Let's go over the important crap.

So we got back from the Lake Tahoe trip after seeing this tiny car on a trailer......and eventually did all the laundry. After lots of mostly lounging around, you'd think that all we had was a few items. Not so much.

Then I got back to work the next day.

You would think that things would just go along without me and be more or less like they had been for the many weeks prior to my blissful vacation. Not so much. In a technical sense, things went kerflooie. In a schedule sense things went fizzle. Um, I had PLENTY to work on when I got back.

First up there was the instrument that reluctantly gave up its secrets (over a two-week period) about what was making it fail in all those novel ways. We mostly got to the bottom of things, though there is still some actual proving left to do before we can Make Changes.

Then there were all of the other instruments that have very reluctantly come clean about their foibles. We have been beset, it would seem, by a roomful of cranky gear. There is nothing like being stumped for a couple of weeks straight by a series of "identical" boxes with unique and new problems to disabuse you of the fantasy of real mastery of the box.

It is pretty draining mentally so my writing skills have been limited to updating my Facebook status. Also there was the trying of the "Club" brand martini in a can. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Not even the dog liked it.

Oh, and then a friend of mine up and died. He wasn't a close friend but it still affected me quite a bit. It made me think even more about my mortality than usual. When you are more than a few decades old, life seems more finite than not, even if you still have a few decades to go. Hmmm.

In the middle there we attended a memorial for Sharon's elderly Godmother. At first I was pretty cool on attending but I'm glad I went. It helped me put my thoughts about the departed in some perspective. In the eulogizing, one of the children made us all aware of his mom's little habits that we might have overlooked. She always gave people TicTac candies. So they handed out TicTac packages to everyone and reminded us to think of her each time we had one, and to offer people TicTacs. It really helped.

Then another friend of the family died. He was suffering so it was a relief for him and his family. Still, I knew him at a distance for a long time and now, well he's not there anymore.

To top off all of this death, we had a picnic. A dress up in upper-class Victorian costume and drink champagne and go boating on Stowe Lake picnic. It really was grand. See:
We were all (like thirty of us) all dressed up and hanging out on the lawn playing croquet. People in mundane clothes were all stopping and gawking and stuff. Many of them asked if they could take pictures of us and of course we obliged. How could we refuse - we looked fabulous.

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