Saturday, December 27, 2008


So I made some changes in the template here... I hope it bowls everyone over and generates a ton of buzz.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Twas a busy day today getting everything perfect for tomorrow. Haircut, pick up repaired car, see doctor, prescription pickup, clean up a bit, shopping, watching A Christmas Carol, watching A Christmas Story. My family is all here around me, and tomorrow we'll all have a (rare) meal together as a family.

Sharon is making it all come true, just like she always does. If Christmas was left up to me, it would be a flop indeed. With Sharon, it's always magical. Thank you sweetie.

And to all a good night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Post #445 - Delighted

Sorry about the drought there. Just finished up Dickens Fair and it soaked up every last morsel of time I had - with the exception of all that loafing and stuff.

So here are the pictures of the event that I know you are itching to see.

And before any of you forget, I had a birthday in there too. It was a great party (for those of you wo missed it), instead of the usual dinner with family thing I decided that we should have Bad Movie Night. So we watched Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. Holy son of God it was SO BAD. In the first five minutes, Jesus Kung Fu fights with lesbian vampires on the shore of the lake, then there is the first MUSICAL number. Later, God speaks to Jesus through a bowl of ice cream, and reminds him to call his mother, "She misses you." It is a new high water mark of badness.

Dickens was OUTSTANDING. There were so many delightful moments, but it all comes down to spending time with people you love doing the thing that delights them, all while entertaining the public who came in record numbers to experience our play time.

Work is still OK - with the exception of the company getting smaller to match our sales volume. Those of us who are still there have some more work to do. For those who were let go, it is never a good time to be laid off but right now must be exceptionally difficult. For me personally one of the departures made some things easier, but another made some things more difficult. I suppose there will be a balance of sorts.

So it's on to Christmas in a day or two. I have some presents to wrap, another to make and wrap, and a few things to still looka around for. I'd like to put up a few lights, if the rain holds off. Better get to it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Not so full now

It took a few days to get over the overeating. :-) Fortunately we can has Dickens Fair to distract us from our distended stomachs. Here is what the dessert table looked like before the demolition.

Now I know what you are thinking, "Who is the artist behind those pen and ink drawings?" My mom, that's who. Here is a closeup of one of them.So these are done ALL will a black ball point pen. Check out the detail.And this is AFTER her major stroke. She is doing these in color now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blog? What blog?

Oops, looks like the blog has been getting cold just sitting there like that. I better pick it up and sprinkle a little fairy dust on it, er sumpthin.

So what the heck is going on... Hmmm... let's see...

Work - pretty good. We are on the way to meeting our sales goal for the year and our new product development project is going far better than the last one. That's not to say that it is world-class, just an improvement. Lots of room for more improvement - that's my job.

Plays... Yeah - we do those. Sharon and I were asked to help crew Once Upon A Mattress which was truly a LOT OF FUN. I never thought that there would be so many kids with so many phones texting each other all through the show.

It was also fun to see Gail, a good friend of mine from high school who shares my birthday. I can't remember which of us is a few hours older than the other. Her daughter (who looks just like she did when she was in high school) played the Minstrel and was in my opinion the most talented singer of the cast. Gail was there at one of the first performances and saw my name in the program and wondered to herself "Is this the real deal?!" (this is what she said she thought). It was nice to see someone that I haven't seen in 30 years and have them remember me so fondly.

Then, there's Dickens Fair. Wow. We are lots more organized this year in both of the casts that I am in. We've held productive rehearsals (shocking, I know) and I feel very good about our theatrical readiness. Costumes are all in place and all I really need is a new hat box. For that I already have the foam core, I just need to make it.

Rehearsal last night for the NFP show went until 1:15 AM. I was kinda tired after that. I dragged into work about an hour and a half later than usual and about 3PM my brain went into power-saver mode.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be an all-relatives day with all of us going to my Uncle PJ's house for a small family gathering of about 35 people. Remember to bring camera...

And the new roof looks pretty good. It was simply amazing to see how fast ten people can remove a roof.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Too busy to sleep

So I got a call from a friend asking if I could help out on stage crew for a musical. Once Upon A Mattress. Done at my high school.

How could I say no.

So it overlaps a tiny amount with Dickens Fair workshops and stuff. But we can work around that. And besides, it's a really fun show.

I just don't have enough time for sleeping.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Shock Treatment

Obama wins. Best news I've heard in a long time. FINALLY we can begin to recover from the unspeakable damage that has been done to our country, our liberties, and our dignity as a people by the likes of George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove. Someday, now I believe we can begin to overcome the "War on Terror" that has perverted our nation, wrecked our standing as a nation of liberty and justice, and has ushered in the abrogation of our civil rights in the name of "security".

That said, I am deeply ashamed that California has apparently voted by a 3 to 4% margin to ELIMINATE the legally gained civil rights of a protected minority. The fight to eliminate these rights was fought with dastardly lies and distortions, by a majority group, to enshrine their religiously based discriminatory view on the minority in the constitution - expressly to avoid judicial and legislative control. I am disgusted by the lies, the fear mongering, and the lawbreaking that was resorted to in order to perpetrate this act of cowardice and bigotry.

And to hear "them" tell about it - they were saving the rest of us from ourselves. They opined that if gays were allowed to marry that children would be targeted by gays, that somebody would find a way to argue that animals were now suitable spouses, and that - best of all - it was a SIN against nature to call a homosexual union "marriage".

I've spent the whole last 24 hours grieving over this.

To everyone, all 5.something million or so, who voted to eliminate the right of gays to marry - You all entirely misunderstand what it means to have ACTUAL FAITH in your fellow Californians to be responsible human beings. Your behavior is an apostasy to our constitutional democracy. To the perpetrators of this grotesque obscenity of democratic gang rape, FUCK YOU, you bigoted scum. Yes, I mean you - the Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Mormon Church, and all of the organizations the told the lies, broke the laws, and fanned the flames of homophobia to prevent the "Armageddon" that you described as the failure of proposition 8.

Gay people are not going away. Ever. And since they aren't, and they fall in love just like everyone else, and because they are going to want to form permanent relationships to share their lives with another, just like everyone else, we as a society owe them the same respect and stature in these relationships that everyone else enjoys. Doing so benefits us all, and makes us all stronger as a society of contented families.

I have NO fear that these relationships will harm anyone, nor do I fear that honoring these relationships will in any way diminish the relationships of anyone else.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


There is a terrific video about families and children that will be negatively affected by California Proposition 8 if it were to pass.

I found it here in a very well written blog post.

What message are we sending to the 52,000 children in California being raised by gay or lesbian parents? If proposition 8 passes, the message is that their parents are not as good as other parents - because of their parents' sexuality.

Only 14% of families fit the "perfect" definition. What about the rest?

If a majority vote can take away rights to dignity and respect for a class of people, no rights we have are safe. Vote NO ON Proposition 8.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


As I drove home, all peaceful and stuff looking forward to Halloween... I spied them on the corner... PROP 8 supporters - with signs waving - saying lies like:
Prop 8 = religious freedom
Prop 8 = free speech

I was so incensed that I took the dog on a walk to go and talk to the peppy liars.

One of them insisted that her husband who teaches at Carlmont high school was REQUIRED to teach that mommies and daddies were no longer required, that gay marriage sent a message that children don't need a mommy, and that her husband NEEDED that job to support their five children.

The others calmly tried to get me to believe that somehow, civil unions were EQUAL to marriage, and that people being denied normal family rights was a thing of the past!

I am deeply afraid that will all the lies, all the money from outside the state, and with all the smokescreen about "saving marriage" by denying it to a class of "unworthy" people, that PROPOSITION 8 MAY PASS.

If the proposition 8 forces win, they will win by two means - convincing neutral voters that proposition 8 will ensure religious freedom and free speech (and other LIES), and through the failure to vote on the part of people who are only weakly committed to the defeat of prop 8.

Polls are showing that Obama and Biden are likely to win California by 22 percentage points 55-33. If this handsome lead causes lots of voters with common cause to fail to vote, WE COULD LOSE.

So FOCUS people - find the people in the middle, the ones that can go either way on prop 8, and make sure they understand the lies they are being fed are FALSE. Proposition 8 says NOTHING about free speech, and NOTHING about religious freedom.

The free speech religious freedom angle is that somehow, because the state recognizes that its adult citizens are not all heterosexual and the state fulfills its legal obligation not to discriminate against several hundred thousand of its citizens, that churches will (somehow) be prevented, by law, from opposing homosexuality or homosexual marriage. Bullshit. Since when are churches sanctioned for taking moral positions?

Find the people who are so confident that Obama will win that their vote "doesn't matter". Remind them that it indeed DOES matter and it is their civic duty to participate in the democratic process and VOTE. Remind them that proposition 8 could win or lose by ONE VOTE - THEIR VOTE. Ask them on election day whether they voted yet - if they haven't give them a helping hand.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Do YOU matter?

Or more accurately, does your vote matter in this election? If you are like me, you don't support the GOP, nor do you agree with their platform on Gay Marriage. But maybe you don't think that your vote matters since McCain and Palin trail in the California polls and that Prop 8, the proposition to constitutionally ban gay marriage in California, is also "losing" in the polls.

Don't let complacency keep you from voting. ONE VOTE - maybe yours, could decide Prop 8. That's right, a simple majority writes good old fashioned separate but equal discrimination into the state constitution. Turnout is key. From the article:

"...the measure's fate likely will depend on turnout among Republicans – who favor Proposition 8 – and Democrats – who oppose it. "This is a case where partisan turnout will make a big difference".

Tell your friends, and your co-workers if you can. Here are some points to make:
Regardless of how you feel about same-sex marriage, itʼs wrong to treat people differently under the law.

Separate is not equal. Domestic partnerships are not the same as marriage.

State and federal laws have hundreds (if not thousands) of references to marriage, not civil unions, regarding inheritance, property ownership, health care decisions, etc., that are pretty much taken for granted. It's not the same for civil unions.

Fiction vs. Fact: rebuts the scare tactics used in the yes on 8 ads.

Tell them the story of any same-sex couples you know. Make it personal. That's very compelling.

Ask: Have the many hundreds of marriages performed so far affected YOUR marriage?


Monday, October 06, 2008

Life During Wartime

Sometimes I feel a bit under siege. There is the ever present War On [specified evil] and "we the people" AKA The Government of The United States seem to be at "war" with a lot of stuff.

War on Drugs - great big success so far. Almost nobody takes drugs and the harsh penalties have essentially prevented any further "drug crimes" through deterrence. Yeah, right. More like billions of dollars wasted trying to prevent people from getting high. The prohibition drives up the street price of the illicit goods to the maximum that will be borne by the users, and almost all of that money is spent on other, more harmful illegal activities. Meanwhile, we have one in 100 citizens behind bars, and one in NINE are black men. About half of these people are non-violent offenders, many of them incarcerated for drugs. We spend about 55 BILLION dollars a year on prisons. Nice work. Think this will change any time soon? Me neither.

War on "piracy". It used to be the case that copyright lasted for 14 years, with one 14 year renewal. Period.
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" was the first stated purpose of U.S. copyright. The U.S. Constitution ratified in 1788 proposed to do that "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." The first U.S. copyright law, passed in 1790, protected books, maps, and charts if they were created by residents or citizens of the United States. The term of their exclusive right was a mere 14 years, with the right of renewal for 14 more.
Now Big MEdia interests have perverted this into essentially PERMANENT OWNERSHIP rights (life of the original author plus 70 - 90 years) and have waged a years long war against their potential (and actual) customers to get them to PAY UP and pay restitution for their crimes of piracy and theft of property. Then they got lawmakers to take away rights from the public to unconstitutionally enrich private individuals. That's fucked up.

In my view, if it was created more than 28 years ago - it should be public domain. Period. Content creators, if they want to make a living, should continue to create valuable things and sell them under copyright. I certainly don't continue to get paid for work I did more than 28 years ago. Do you?

War on Terror
No end in sight for this one, thanks to Bush and Company's work. We'll continue to have invasive body and bag screening by low IQ TSA goons FOREVER as far as I can tell. It makes me ill how much effort is wasted and how much fear is generated by this one insane reaction. JUST LOCK THE DAMN COCKPIT like a timed safe. (Actually, I think it would be better if we were to place a bulkhead there instead of a door and make the cockpit accessible only from OUTSIDE the plane.) If some suicide bomber blows up a plane with explosives hidden in the bottle of the baby he is strolling aboard, that will be a huge tragedy but it will still be only a fraction of the 576 people killed that week in car crashes. Spend the rest of the money finding and killing actual terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan where they are hiding.

Don't even get me started on all the domestic surveillance crap. (We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that aint allowed.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In which I flash my stash

Got wood?

I know it kind of looks like bacon, but it's actually walnut. There was this little walnut tree back by the pool. After we took out the weedy plum tree (which dropped sour plums all summer onto the pool deck) there was the saddest walnut tree evar which leaned to the left about 45 degrees. Since the walnut trees are alleopathic we wanted it gone. So I cut it down.

Since the trunk was about five inches across, I decided to saw it up into some bits to make "something" out of. I have about eight pieces about an inch thick and about two to three inches across. I suppose I need to figure out what to make now.

There is enough to re-saw up into thin pieces so I could glue up a panel big enough for a serving tray. Maybe I'll serve walnuts on it.

And the doors are coming along nicely if a little slowly. Every day I try to make a bit of progress. All the hardware is there, the doors are painted, and the wall is nearly ready for priming. The picture below doesn't show the drywall compound.
One thing is that the adjacent wall (to the right) is going to get demo'd in the kitchen project, and I'm not finishing that edge. One of my gentle (and attractive) readers was by the other day and asked, "Are you really going to remodel the kitchen? You have been talking about that FOREVER."

Yeah. You got me there.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

OK, a poem for my loyal readers


in something we trust
our safety assured by something all powerful
our illusion after all

as we come we go
as ourselves
by ourselves

our leaving occasions a reflection
on our life
on our illusion
on ourselves

safely passed
we are only now
truly safe

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If I write it, they will come

I don't mean it in that sense, of course.

But I was wondering what does it mean that I am writing about one post a week.
Too busy?
Disrespecting you loyal fans?
Nothing pithy on my mind?

I'll go with, I was working on finishing up those doors. They are painted on the inside and primed on the outside. The plan is to have the house painted sometime soon before monsoon season and we're just priming the new stuff for that. The other thing to do is to replace the kitchen window similarly so we can finish the outside and get it ready for paint. We should also replace that siding too and remove the window on the back porch that is mostly covered by cabinets. I think it will be just about the end of the year before all that comes to pass... Houses are a lot of work. I suppose I could PAY someone to get it all done, but that would break a lot of longstanding habits.

Oh and the wall is now insulated!!! Hooray! Tonight we dance - tomorrow we hang sheetrock!

Subject change:
When I started writing all of this nonsense it was because I was trying to be hip, because I sensed that there was a great big interwebs world I was missing out on and that I was just a noob. I quickly came to depend on it as an outlet for creative thoughts, for ranting a little, for telling a joke or two, and for relaying news of my latest "adventures" like building stuff.

I got a little carried away in the beginning. Now I think, sometimes, that I'm phoning it in now and again. But when the thought crosses my mind to hang it up, I hear Ricky Ricardo in the distance, "Bob! You got some splainin to do!"

So I'll keep coming back here and writing "it". I just need you all to keep coming back to read it too, OK?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tahoe, Baby

So we took off Friday for our home away from home, Lake Tahoe. Every year when we come up here something is disappointing, sometimes the disappointments are crushing. Not this year. The worst that has happened so far is that we didn't have bar soap. That got taken care of.

The cabin is great, the view is awesome, and we have four bedrooms to spread out into. The picture above is the lake about 150 feet from the front door.

See you all on Monday!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

More of the same

Well, despite having no pictures to show for it, I have made more, and I might add STUNNING progress on El Puerta Grande. There is now exterior trim - and we all know how important trim is. There was lots of little fiddly patching with wood filler and the ever delightful sanding. So from the outside it looks like unpainted doors in a primed frame.

But I digress.

So yesterday we went to San Jose (leaving the house was scary, but we had a map) for Aunt Mary's memorial. There were lots of hankies at the service and about 200 people there in the church. After the service we all headed over to Mary's house a few blocks away. What can I say, it was a time where you are happy to see all of your relatives, and you all say that you are there to celebrate your lost love one's life, but deep down it really reminds you that she is gone.

My older blood relatives are down to less than a handful. Mom's still there, one last aunt and two uncles. Unless something really unusual happens, I'll be attending their memorials too someday. Eventually (in twenty or forty years) all the fresh faced kids that were there yesterday will attend something to remember me. Only it won't be in a church. And I better come up with some behaviors that they'll remember as endearing or it will be a very short memorial.

And how about those funny political candidates? I'm voting for the guy with the stick-out ears. I sure hope enough people in those other states do to.

I haven't written any poems in a while. That's good for me since I only wrote them when I was depressed, but bad for you 'cause I write such awesome poems. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

El Puerta Grande

Yeah, so the doors... They look like this now.

Not surprisingly it was a lot of work to get this far:
Get some doors, door framing and a bunch of hardware - check
Demolish existing plaster wall without making a mess of the rest of the house - check
Demolish existing frame - check
Go to dump - check
Go to Home Desperate and get more framing stuff - check
Calculate and triple check all the numbers for how it will all fit - check check check
New framing and flashing - check
Build a threshold from a plank of oak - check
Modify door frame components - check
Make hinge mortising jig - check
Mortise door frames for hinges - check
Install door frame perfectly centered plumb and level and stuff - check
Install threshold - check
Set up doors for mortising
Discover matched doors are not really a matched pair after all
Return to Home Despot and return doors
Get new doors and some insulation too
Bring doors home and mortise them for hinges
Hang up doors

I was absolutely thrilled and relieved that the doors fit as well as they did.

Now all we need is exterior trim
Painting in and outside
Install the insulation and replace the wiring in that wall
Finish the wall with sheet rock, paint trim, etc etc.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm hot

No really, it's like a whole lotta degrees here and I'm sitting here topless sipping a beer. I think I'll do some physical labor and then go for a swim. I love the end of Summer.

(That's not me, it's Jewel the singer. I thought you might like her picture better than mine. It's better this way. Trust me on this one.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What the fuck is Bela Karolyi saying?

So I'm trying to listen to what Bela Karolyi is saying. It is a complete mystery.

Something something something score. Something something something Shawn Johnson. Something something something judges. Crap, I simply can't follow it.

NBC - How about some mother loving SUBTITLES for fuck's sake.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hey there, it's been a while. Not much. How 'bout you?

It's been such a long time, and I really do miss your smile.
(yeah I know, cheesy 1976 lyrics)

Well since last time we talked not much on the radar, except we had a bad movie night and Netflix didn't send Lobster Man From Mars on time. We watched Cannonball Run instead. It was really too good for a bad movie.

I started work on the front doors. In a fit of practicality I selected two 24" wide, 10 light doors at the Home Despot. I had planned on making two doors from scratch. As son as I saw those doors that were pretty close to what I was going to build anyway, I caved. I probably saved money and cut at least three weeks off the project timeline. I WOULD post a picture but at the moment it just looks like some lumber and two unfinished doors.

After that, we plan to...
Remodel the kitchen (100% DIY)
Paint the exterior of the house (0-50% DIY???)
Re-roof (we may DIY a lot of this, first estimate was north of $18,000.)
Find a way to get an in-law unit built here ($18,000 year income) (big problem here - sewer hookup)
Remodel Sharon's mom's place (totally un-planned project at this point, no scope, funding source, budget, or schedule.)

Plus Renaissance Faires and Dickens Fair and all that other stuff too.

So we are planning on selling that nifty truck that we got for Andy. (wanna buy it?) Though, with the list above... maybe I'll just keep it.

The mermaid is there just for visual interest.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saying goodbye

We spent last night with Aunt Mary and her family. Mary, you see, was dying. She had stage 4 breast cancer. The chemo had wrecked her immune system, and she got an infection. She walked into the hospital in the morning. At 11:20 PM, she was gone.

My cousins and their girls and husbands were all there. My sister was there. Sharon, Andy and Jessamy were there. We all had time to say goodbye and tell Mary that we loved her. She could tell we were there, but with a ventilator and sedation she, for once, had nothing to say.

When I got there her pastor was giving her communion. She had on her mother's cross. It was clear that she was in her very last day. Her color was pale, but OK. In a couple of more hours, she was getting mottled blue in her legs. Things happened pretty fast after that.

Once it was clear that Mary was falling very fast, even on a 100% oxygen ventilator and maxed out on four blood pressure support drugs, we met with the doctors and made the very hard decision to let her go on her own time. From the time they took her off the ventilator until she died was less than five minutes.

Mary meant a lot to me. She was my dad's little sister and her daughters and we three kids were very close when we were young - even when they moved back east. Their home was a very memorable getaway week for me when I had just hit my peak of rebellion as a teen. Mary was so much cooler than my parents (or so it seemed at the time). I adored my cousins, first because they were beautiful and ultimately because they accepted me like no one else had before. I remember the week as if it were just a few months ago - even though at least 30 years have gone by. I can still see and smell the house.

Mary remembered all the family stories, many of which went with her. Mary always laughed a lot, and in a moment would tell you precisely what was wrong. Mary gave me a perspective on what was important, and more often than not her insight illuminated something that I hadn't thought of.

I'll miss Mary for a long time to come.

PS - go get a mammogram if it's time. If you find a lump - don't wait to go see the doctor, especially if you are 70 or more and smoked for decades. Seriously.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New toy

Suddenly - after a week or so - we have an almost brand new bathroom. It's green.Room with a view.
Details make it look perfect.
Having to re-mount the shower curtain mount was a big motivator.
I even re-finished the cubby holder. It still smells of Minwax.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Again! Again!

We are painting the other bathroom this time -cause as Sharon says, "We've had the paint for two years." I suppose it's been about ten years since the remodel (wow) and that's when it was painted the first time. Again! Again! as the Teletubbies say.

Working at a startup you have to ready for lots of change. In all the other departments there has been lots of it. In Operations (instrument and consumables manufacturing & materials) every thing is pretty smooth. Elsewhere - people coming and going... blah blah blah.

In that vein - do you know any software or electrical engineers? (not listed yet), or biochemist types, or sales people with strong biotech backgrounds? We got some openings.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

If you write it, they will come

Is it still a blog if I go more than a week between posts? Less a web log and more a stale web site I suppose. I was busy is the excuse I'm going with this time.

So at work there are two fellows who report to me and they build the gear we sell. One of them is on vacation for two weeks, and one of them is on restricted duty cause he hurt his hand. And it was the end of the fiscal quarter and we were trying to make sure we had enough gear to meet the projected demand. Then a testing instrument (that I am responsible for maintaining) broke and we needed it to work again. So last week I put in a lot of hours.

And last Saturday was a big wedding and I needed to fish up the white silk vest I was making to wear with my morning coat. All that got done, button holes and buttons Saturday morning, and the wedding was lovely. You can see the vest in the picture.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Do over

If you get old enough, the same bad things happen over again.

So the other day I'm just about to back into the driveway, and I put the old Suburban into reverse and then it made a funny (not the laughing kind of funny mind you) KLUNK, zush zush zush sort of sound. It did not, however, go backwards. It just kind of sat there like a wild beast that had had its neck bitten by a lion and it was wondering whether to just die or kick the lion.

So the bad thing again part is that I needed to have the beast towed to a shop where mechanically inclined persons took it apart and made it better again. For $2507.

I suppose that's about 1/10 the cost of a new car or about 1/18 the cost of a new Suburban that seats eight and hauls all my crap.

But to offset the cost of fuel and my high caloric intake of the free snacks at work, I've tried biking to work. So far I've gone about one and a half times. Each round trip saves me about four bucks. There are problems.
  1. The bike trip takes about 35 minutes - so I need to leave earlier.
  2. My mountain bike (a "free" one I got with bonus points on my VISA card) is a little small for me and less comfortable than I'd like.
  3. There are lots of cars with drivers that only take a passing interest in my feelings of safety.
  4. I get sweaty and I'm in my work clothes. I need to carry a change of clothes.
I just need to suck it up I suppose.

So after picking up the Suburban, I was just going to go swimming, cause it was hot. Instead I noticed that the toilets were not draining, and that the bathtubs were filled about an inch with not very clear water... Yes Virginia, the main drain to the house was a main plug. And it was about 90 degrees. And I had not had dinner. And I was cranky.

I'll keep this brief.

The county sewer repair fellow, Luis, came out and after half an hour figured out that he couldn't really help me. It seems my house is missing a cleanout near the street. He was really nice.

This ultimately led to me digging a hole about 30 inches deep to get to the pipe connection where I could put in a pipe flushing thingy. It goes on the end of a garden hose and expands to fill the pipe then opens up to send pressurized water down the clogged pipe. That worked.

I went for a swim. Today was even hotter.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

tschüs Mona

Mona headed home today. Her bags weighed in at 50.0 and 50.8 pounds and the nice lady didn't charge her $50 for the extra .8 pound. After a last coffee and an alles gut text message to her mom, we gave her hugs and we all shed a wee tear. We waved good bye as she went into the security area. Auf Wiedersehen Mona!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

That was so fun lets do it again

You can take a peek at the photos here from last weekend's Renaissance Faire at Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe. We all had loads of fun.

That costume that I'm in took a while to make. It is very comfortable though, if I do say so myself.

We are off tomorrow to do it all again. Hope I see you there!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Post #420: Rambling Man (aka Wall of Text)

Well, I finally reached that pinnacle of success, 420 posts on my blog. It took a long time and I sure have covered a lot of ground. Over that time span a lot has happened to me and I've only reported the surface of it here. Sometimes I get it in my head that I ought to "tell all" but then I usually get a clue and remember that you, my gentle reader, probably don't care or actually want to hear my DEEPEST thoughts; they are mostly not that entertaining, just TMI. It seems sometimes that I have nothing to say because what happens to be happening is none of your business, no not even YOU.

But just let me say this.

When I started this blog I had a lot of stuff bottled up. In time I got through that. For a while there I was really down; I had fallen and I couldn't get up. I got over that too. It was, frankly, a very painful chapter. I wrote some really hurty poems. At this point I'm not sad enough to care enough to write poetry. I have better things to do, though it is fun to create a 'thought space'. Maybe I'll get inspired. Don't put off anything fun waiting though, OK?

In a small way, writing all of this blog to all of you helped me. It helped by focusing my thoughts. It didn't always help since sometimes I just dug a bigger hole, but mostly it helped. Thanks.

Next time I'll dredge up some witty thoughts.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I love the heat

Hot weather improves my mood. Yesterday it was about 100. Today about 95. Hopefully this weekend will remain hot so I can enjoy it.

Oh man it feels so good.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Every day I write the book

I have this annoying habit great skill of remembering titles or lyrics from popular songs and then quoting them out of context but in a way that connects with the events of the moment. I don't know or notice anyone else who does this so I will go on the assumption that it makes me weird unique.

So it looks like I post about every week, not every day, but I can assure you gentle readers that I think about you often (all four and two thirds of you) and I say to myself, "I should blog about this." at least every couple of days.

Why do modern typing tests assume you are using a non correcting typewriter? How long has it been since you have seen one let alone used it? Anyone used one at work in the last five years? Just wondering.

So now like twice I have run across bold type messages in contract language that tells you to do something counterintuitive so that you can abide by the rules and get what you think is due to you. And in both cases the bold type message was ignored. And I wonder how much penalty money is made by the promulgating organizations on the premise that people fail to read even obvious yet counterintuitive messages. Then I think that these companies have a short term interest in getting money and pissing off customers instead of creating and selling value and delighting customers. It is a stupid business practice, and I will be looking for those companies and telling them that I won't be their customer since I don't like the way they run their business. I hope the effort is wildly successful.

I have considered buying a new car, one that gets better mileage. Then I calculate how long it would take to offset the cost of driving the old car instead. If I doubled my gas mileage I would save $480/year. If I tripled it (to 45 mpg) I would save $640. So even at 45 mpg it would take about 20 years to buy even an inexpensive used car. I should just bike to work about half the time. It would be like driving a Suburban that gets 30 mpg.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I had a third mug - o - java today.

That was a mistake.

And I've been surly lately. Like a snake.

Friday, May 02, 2008

So yeah, the blog

So this is where I get to complain a little about work, then get some perspective, then express my distress about some friend and family misfortunes, and sum up with a summary of the state of my social calendar.

I seem to have plenty of time lately to watch titty nature films yet no time to blog. Perhaps it is the lack of mental effort for the former that crowds out the latter. I'll stick with that explanation for now.

I'm procrastinating more now than I remember doing before. I don't really know why. Sometimes I just feel a bit paralyzed. It's weird trying to figure out why when doing so seems so far down the list of things you are procrastinating about already.

Work is stressy. The company is working on growing itself organically by a factor of ten or so and that involves a lot of challenge and change. That makes me happy for Friday some weeks.

A very close friend got her support cut by about 2/3. That makes a lot of hard choices for her and her kids. Yuck.

And my aunt was just diagnosed with breast cancer. That makes three close relatives with cancer. I don't like that at all.

And here comes all the renfaire I can handle. I need to sew a new costume. From scratch. And a new hat too. No procrastinating allowed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


How did I forget to blog for so long. It must be the extensive brain damage from all that fun we had at Disneyland.

So we'll call this the my $0.18 post for the week...

Today I tried to apologize for having so much to say on everything (unlike here on the flaming scroll) and basically got told that if I didn't have a lot to say about something that it wouldn't be me. I suppose that's true. And I'm pretty sure that I'm never gonna be able to hold my tongue much anyway - especially when I'm always right anyway. Right?

So I'm taking renaissance dancing lessons - and yes that makes me a renfaire geekus maximus - so I can keep up with the joneses in court (the Queen's court - not judge court). Let me be the first to tell you in case you couldn't guess it on your own - I have never been able to dance to save my life very good at dancing or any kind most kinds of rhythmic movement, so this dancing stuff is mind bending-ly hard.

Sharon is a whiz at it, probably since she's been doing it for several years now and she isn't teh kluttsez like moi. So she makes it look so easy, until I try it and just barely avoid falling over.

So, I am getting the hang of it but there are lots of "dark areas" where I am relying on context to tell what to do next instead of actually *knowing* the dance. Then there are all of the steps most of which I do imprecisely (grr) and I always seem to be on the wrong foot. I'm getting better, but it sure is challenging.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I just watched Team America - World Police

All I have to say is, "AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!"

I think you'd agree with me, especially if you watched it too.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

OK, Pictures already!

Well, D1sn3yl^nd was teh roxorz. Check it. I bet you can't guess our room number!Main Streeeeeeeeet!!
Our palatial crash pad. There was a second room with beds for kids.
Yes, there was eight of us which raises the "have to go to the bathroom" stops exponentially.
Art shot as required by law.
Goofy's kids.
Goofy. See the resemblance?
Welcome to the happiest place on Earth.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Every last molecule

We returned triumphant from Disneyland with visions of Fast Passes dancing in our heads. I took about 137 pictures and I'll get up the energy to post some of them real soon - I promise.

Peggy nicknamed us (Sharon and I) Mr and Mrs Fun and proceeded to thank us for ensuring that we all got ever last molecule of fun possible during the trip even if meant actual exhaustion. We can rest now.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Best part of...

Vista - The stupidly named "Documents and Settings" folder from XP has been renamed the proper name: Users (about damn time if you ask me)

Blogging - Getting to say whatever the hell you like

Being Sharon's husband - Having Sharon to spend your life with

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My new toy

I got tired of sitting out in the family room to endlessly surf the interwebs for the perfect picture of a boob. So I spent a few of the dollars that Uncle George and the Neocons have decided that us consumers need to pump into the economy. I got me a new Gateway Laptop because I like the keyboard the best. Now I can sit with Sharon as she reads and I can read /. and tribe and Ars Technica and all those other trailing edge web sites.

Dog help me, I really tried the MacBook Pro. But given that the keyboard has no "end" key that takes you to the end of the line, and I use that key all the time... I stuck with the evil empire. It was also about half the price. I also liked the keyboard better. Black keys with white letters thank you very much. I'm a look at the keys while I type sort of dude and that makes a difference to me. Productivity wins out over style. Plus I hate the Dock.

So yes, now I'm running Vista Home Premium (just used the end key there) and getting used to a revised OS. I am toying with the idea of a partition for Ubuntu, but I'm not really sure that I'd use it enough to 'get' it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


  1. My neighbor Jacque passed away. He was ill for a long time. His wife passed away a few years ago. They were both really nice. His son was one of two Air Force pilots who died a few years back when their Lear jet malfunctioned. They heroically managed to steer their stricken plane away from an apartment building as they were crashing. Jacque and Liz bought the house new in 1949. So long Jacque. We'll miss you.
  2. I need a nap.
  3. This morning I installed the lights in the umbrella. They only cost about $8 but they took an hour to install. They'll be the bees knees. (On special request see photo above.)
  4. Happy Easter!
  5. We have no idea how to select wine. We had to Phone A Friend while we were shopping last night. It was sad.
  6. I'm thinking more about that nap.
  7. I think I'm gonna buy a laptop soon. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Uh, the gardening

Right after that really serious post last Sunday I really did do the gardening. I took out a weed tree that had got the gumption to get about a six inch thick trunk. The hatchet is the thing here.

I feel so manly.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wherein I blog instead of garden

The blogger WYSIWYG interface for handling pictures blows is challenging, but I'll give this a go anyway.

On Friday, Clohe (on the left there) came over to Bad, or rather Good Movie Night and subsequently said she had a very nice time.

The next day we drove to Alameda for the St George rehearsal/meeting/party

A good time was afoot.

As you can see.

No, really.

I'm absolutely serious.

Honest, we were working on our Elizabethan characters.

And it was totally enriching!

Eventually we relaxed

and had a few laughs.

Then we got right back to work.

All of us.

While Andy stayed home and got ready for an evening out with friends.