Friday, December 24, 2010

Home Again

I just returned from visiting my parents in Southern California. My mother had a re-do of her hip replacement surgery two weeks ago. Unfortunately, while she was in the pre-surgery waiting room she had a stroke. She has some major problems with her vision as a result, but few mental problems and no physical weakness.

It was great to visit with Mom and Dad. Brother number 3 (Bro3) and my sister were also there and it was a bonus to get a chance to visit with them too.

Be grateful for any time you can spend with your loved ones. Time is precious.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vote in National Geographic Photo Contest (or submit your own)

National Geographic is running a photo contest. Submit a photo if you have one.
Everyone can vote.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Wishing everyone in the US a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thing2's neck is really, really painful for her, and she isn't up to the two and a half-hour round trip to her family's event. So we are staying home today.

Here's something to make you smile.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Moving on and letting go of things

This is a close-up of the dragonfly tiffany floor lamp I am going to put on Craig's list again this weekend. We loved them, but we're over it now.

This week was unbelievable, yesterday in particular was a gem.

It started-off with a spat with Thing2. When I got to the office, my account was frozen and I was unable to log in to any computer... I won't bore you with the rest, but this was only the start.

However, today is a new day. I was planning to take all of next week off. Which gives today a light and free feeling -- even though yesterday's snafus mean time-off is more unlikely. (Denial, it's wonderful.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's summer... again

Yesterday and today have been the most beautiful November days I can remember.

We went to Ghiradeli Square yesterday and ate lunch at Lori's Diner while enjoying a beautiful view of the bay. It was sunny and the boats were out in the bay, closer-in there were children splashing in the shallow water, and adults out for a longer swim in the deeper water of the marina.

Today we stayed home and enjoyed the sunny warm weather. I washed-off the patio furniture in anticipation of a few more warm sunny mornings. Maybe I'll be able to sip my coffee and catch some morning rays on the deck tomorrow morning, if I'm lucky.

All in all, a most enjoyable weekend.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Does having sisters make you happier?

I was unaware of this recent study.

Sisters and Happiness - Understanding the Connection -
“Having a Sister Makes You Happier”: that was the headline on a recent article about a study finding that adolescents who have a sister are less likely to report such feelings as “I am unhappy, sad or depressed” and “I feel like no one loves me.”

This article discusses possible reasons for the study's results. The article links to several studies showing similar results.

I am one of 5-children, 3-boys and 3-girls. I was close to my siblings growing-up, but not so much now. However, I know I can count on every one of them if I am really in a pinch. It's nice to know they are there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Intidote du jour for Mr. S

When I saw the antidote du jour for today in one of my favorite blogs, I couldn't help but think of Mr. Scribbler.

This one's for you Mr. S. Naked Capitalism (scroll to the bottom of the post for the picture).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hawk Migration

Last Friday on my way to work I saw four large hawks soaring or perched over the course of my drive.

This morning we saw a really large hawk sitting at the top of a 60 foot pine tree. Ten crows were mobing it. Eventually they retreated and the hawk looked around for a few minutes before gracefully flying away. (I think it was looking at us, and a dog that was walking near by.)

I have been unable to find a really good internet site describing the migration. But from what I have read, they migrate in September and October from their North American nesting grounds to winter in Central and South America.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Future reading

The Chronicle reports on two new blogging platforms that purport to make it as easy to blog as it is to twitter. I'd like to take a look at them when I have more time. New platforms make blogging more immediate, mobile
New York's Tumblr, along with San Francisco's Posterous, have simplified the process even more. Their tools remove the headache of figuring out different formats for photographs, documents and other rich media. Users can e-mail, call or text message their updates. There's no need to ever log on to the site.

I hate paying nearly $90 per month for TV. I'm going to come back to this. But we are sports fans... so it may be challenging. Apple TV could let users cut their cable TV bill -
The wallet-size device gives users access to plenty of shows, movies and music without having to subscribe to a service. But sports fans won't find much to cheer about.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Canon by Natalie Angier

I'm currently listening to The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier.

It started a little slowly, but it's got an interesting slant that has captivated me now. It is fascinating to review material that I mostly learned in high school, but now I'm looking at it from a much more mature perspective -- particularly where issues of time and scale are at play as in molecules and the Big Bang theory.

It only has a 3.5 star rating, but I give it 4-stars.

Good morning blogistan

Finally a pretty good night's sleep, capping-off a not crazy week.

I almost feel like I can relax and enjoy the weekend.

Have a good day everyone!

Picture was taken during an early morning waterski lesson for my niece in Tahoe this summer. That's the back of Bro1's head in the forground.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

That Girl

I was a pre-teen when That Girl was on television, and Marlo Thomas' character was exactly my image of what life could be like when I grew up.

When she did Free to Be You and Me she just confirmed herself as one of the cool adults in my book.

This morning I listened to an interview she did on NPR promoting her new book.
Marlo Thomas Remembers 'Growing Up Laughing' : NPR
Marlo Thomas has written a memoir about the sound and spirit that was so formative in her life and the lives of others. Host Scott Simon talks with the actress and activist about her book, Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny.

I haven't read any of her books, but I'm going to check for this one at my library.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nellie Bly

Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything.
Nellie Bly's Motto

I was following a thread on the internet, and it led me to Nellie Bly. I had all but forgotten her, although I know her name, and I know that I've read little bits about her. All I remembered was her expose of conditions in a New York mental hospital.

I did not know that she is considered a pioneer of investigative journalism. Here are some other tidbits I did not know about her.

  • She travelled around the world in a little over 72 days.

  • She married an industrialist, and upon his death in 1904 she became the head of the company.

  • She was the first woman war correspondent during WWI.

  • She also has her own web site Nellie Bly Online if you want to read more about this fascinating woman.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Surprise, surprise... Not the day I expected, but good none the less

    Thing2 and I were minding our business this morning. I had just finished my first cup of coffee, and Thing2 had just discovered that our refrigerator had turned itself off. (Thing2: "The items on the door of the refrigerator sure don't stay very cold... wait... there seems to be something wrong with the refrigerator, nothing's very cold.") I get up to have a look at it and I see that the display on the door looks like "0 FF". I immediately thought it was a hexadecimal number, but then it dawned on me. OFF. The refigerator was off. And when I tried pressing buttons to turn it on, nothing happened.

    That was when the doorbell rang.

    Thing2 said, "Don't answer it." But I said, "It's OK. I can get it."

    When I opened the door, my heart sunk. There was K, a lady who we had made an appointment with, and which I had completely forgotten about. She was here to help us sort and store away all our things that we had piled-up in the den. And there she was... I wasn't sure what to do, but I invited her in. I admitted that we weren't expecting her, and I asked her to have a seat because before anything else happened I needed to get the refrigerator turned back on.

    Thing2 meanwhile was searching the bookshelf for the manual. I did a quick on-line search. Nothing. Meanwhile, the manual troubleshooting section said to go to the 'How to use the controls' section, which didn't say anything about how to turn it back on!

    I decided to try unplugging and plugging back in. No luck.

    Back to the internet. Finally I find a forum where someone says that if you hold down the temp and ice buttons for 5 seconds the thing resets. A later comment on the same thread gives the helpful hint that you must do this when the door is open.

    I try it, and viola! It's on. Whew! What a relief.

    But I still had to deal with K. After talking it over with Thing2, we decided that we could spend a few hours of unplanned work. So I had a quick bowl of cereal and got to work with K.

    Now our den is all boxed, and Thing2 and I are exhausted but pleased to have accomplished so much today (although why the refrigerator turned itself off is still a mystery.)

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Not the best day...

    funny pictures-dun worrie  I has control of everything
    see more Lolcats and funny pictures

    I don't usually blog about work, but today I'll make an exception. We had a meeting that was attended by a General Manager. (Usually these types of meetings are only attended by department heads.) The guy was unbelievably full-of-himself and rude. I don't understand all the dynamics, but I'm rarely around people that act as unprofessionally as he did.

    Not. Impressed.

    (Fine with me if he wants to be rude and obnoxious to his staff, in my book you don't treat front-line employees badly when you are a GM.)

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Stress and drinking

    Reading back over my posts, I realized that I didn't mention that my mother came home from the hospital 'Against Medical Advice' (AMA) last Friday.

    My brother has been staying with my parents, but he is going home tomorrow.

    Dad has already been doing nearly all of Mom's care, but with Bro1's departure, he won't have anyone big and strong to help him move Mom.

    Already last weekend I noticed that Dad was having a strong drink at about noon, and chasing it with beer. When he noticed me noticing his drink, he said 'liquid courage'. I mentioned this to a friend of mine, and she reported that when her mother broke her foot, her father also increased his drinking. Neither of our fathers have a history of drinking problems. It it helps him get through this time, then I guess it's what he needs to do.

    Meanwhile, my mother is working on figuring-out how she's going to get her stitches removed. She is unable to go to the doctor's office. But she insisted on going home and not to a rehab facility, so now she's got a problem....

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Things are getting better

    I visited my Mom and it was a nice visit. I am happy to report that she's doing better, although she still has an incredibly long and difficult recovery ahead of her.

    I did write a post late last week, but I lost my network connection and lost my post. It was about acting before thinking when I saw a jumping spider on the edge of the table. It appeared to be sizing-up the possibility of jumping on to my knee, six-inches away. It was stepping forward, looking this way, looking that way, and then backing-up a few steps... I thought, "I wonder if it is trying to jumpt to my knee.", and I reached-out and put my hand between my knee and the table - and she liketty-split jumped to my hand, then dropped to my knee, skittered down my leg and was off and running away.

    Now I read in wikipedia that jumping spiders are considered inquisitive, and may even jump on your hand if you put it near them. Now they tell me...

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    The news could be better

    Photo from last year. The hawk was hunting a lizard or skink. She was sitting not 10 feet from the trail on a sign that said 'Environmentally sensitive area'.

    Mom is still in the hospital. She had a bad reaction to the IV antibiotic they are using to treat the infection in her hip, it was damaging her kidneys. So a week after surgery to remove the infected prosthetic hip, she is still in the hospital. She sounded pretty good this afternoon, but by this evening she called and sounded much worse.

    I'm glad my Dad's there. I'm wondering if I need to go visit sooner than I was planning to. My Aunt's memorial service is this weekend, and I was planning to be there Saturday and Sunday...

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Sunday Morning

    The pelicans have been meeting-up at our local estuary every morning after they get their breakfast. They fly in by the 10's and 20's every minute or so. Once they land, they join the flock and preen vigorously. The other day we counted more than 150 arrivals.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    5 hours of sorting and packing later...

    Kimberly arrived at 9:45 and stopped at 2:45. We went through nearly everything in our Den, and boxed-up the stuff we are keeping.

    Thing2 and I are wiped-out. We went swimming, which helped my back, but I'm still feeling pretty gimpy.

    This evening we've just been lying back and watching TV. It's nice.

    Friday, October 1, 2010


    I know I promised pictures, but all my pictures are my desktop in the kitchen, and I generally use that in the morning. In the evening, I use my work-issued laptop so I can watch TV, socialize with Thing2 and surf/play/blog. All that is a long way of saying that you are going to have to wait a little longer for any pictures.

    And I don't suggest holding your breath, tomorrow is going to be another busy day for us. When Thing2 was so sick, we got seriously behind in all the household management chores. Long story short, our house went to hell in a handbasket. We're still working on cleaning-out and cleaning-up. And this isn't easy. We've tried hiring a number of different people to help us. Everyone has their advantages and disadvantages -- but it seems like things are going so slowly even though I feel like I'm killing myself working so hard. Tomorrow we have our first appointment with someone who specializes in helping people get organized to move. I have high hopes that this will get us unstuck and moving forward.

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Go Giants!

    I've been a Giants fan ever since I listened to their games with my grandmother.
    I am enjoying the race to the finish line this season. It isn't often that their games are still significant at this time of the season.

    Maybe next year Thing2 will be well enough to go to a game. Their ball park is supposed to be really nice, but I have never been there.

    This seems like a very lame post, but I wanted to put up something tonight, and I couldn't think of anything else that wouldn't take a lot of time.

    Here's what I would write about if I had the time...
    --- Our desire to live somewhere else
    --- Girl Kitty's obsession with a baby opposum that's frequenting the back yard in the evenings
    --- New lawnmower saga
    --- Aunt who recently passed away
    --- Transformation of Boss from hell who micromanages and is incredibly critical, to a reasonable facsimile of a decent boss -- following his one-month vacation to India. Let's hope it sticks.
    --- Google recruiter who cold-called me. I owe her a resume, but I haven't written it yet. This week has not been good.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    It's been a long, long time...

    It has been so long since my last post that I don't know where to begin.

    First off, I'm happy to report that Thing2 and I are both in reasonably good healh. Today Thing2 met with her liver specialist doctor, and she's still doing OK there. My back is pretty sore from time-to-time, but I am getting by OK. Work is still there for me, which is something that I can't take for granted in this economy.

    Unfortunately, my mother had complications (infection) from hip replacement surgery 2-years ago, and had the first of 2 surgeries to redo the hip replacement yesterday. She hopes to be released on Friday, but as of this evening, she still had not been out of bed.

    I have a huge backlog of pictures that I need to post. I'll try to get started tomorrow.