Friday, April 30, 2004

A neverending battle 

Victory is mine. The rebellious drive has been put in its place. Thanks to my superior intellect, I was able to copy all my relevant files over to the new drive and the old drive shall be sent back to RE-PC for recycling.

Now I get to fight other bugs.

Yesterday, on the family walk, I saw a big mass of tent caterpillars. When I commented on it, Noodles said that they were bad this year. Upon further inquiry I found out that our lone tree--a sad excuse for a cherry tree that doesn't actually produce cherries--has tenants. Now you must understand that I am the anti-gardener. Despite the long heritage of farmers in my family, I have never been a man of the soil. My parents spoiled me terribly and so I didn't do any yard work except the rare cutting of the lawn. (Hamburger Dad being the type to just go and do a job himself rather than nagging someone else to do it.) The first blissful years of my marriage were spent in apartments--which is good, because you don't want to have honeymoon activities out in the garden where the neighbors can see it, cam it and put it on their website. When we finally made the transition to a house, we moved in the fall, after the season of serious yard care had passed. Come spring, Noodles had become a stay at home mom who insisted on doing the domestic chores. This continued the following fall when we bought our little castle in Seattle. So I have the barest minimum of yard work experience. And when it comes to tent caterpillars, all I remember from watching my dad was that you cut the branch on which the nest is built and dispose of it. I forget if he tossed them in a fire or just sacked them up in a Hefty bag. So anyway, it was with this limited knowledge that I went to war.

As Noodles left for work this morning, I pulled on some work gloves, grabbed a bucket and hand shears and schlepped them over to the tree. Inside the house, Poodlepums--raised on a steady diet of National Wildlife federation publications and Zoobooks--bewailed the destruction of the cute little caterpillars' habitat. I cut down one nest and another branch that was squirming with 'pillars. Then I had to go back inside for some hedge trimmers because the second nest was a bit too far out of my reach. Returning, I got the second nest and a third I discovered. I peeked some more and found a fourth. This one, unfortunately, was on the west side of the tree, overhanging the slope. Instead of hedge trimmers I needed a cherry picker. However, I can be a clever lad and found that by using the fence I could get myself up onto a branch which would put the vermin in reach of my deadly trimmers. So, for the first time in over a decade or two, I climbed a tree, cursing my sedentary lifestyle and the extra pounds I've been carrying around. Once firmly situated, I had Bunnah hand me the trimmers. (If she was mourning the caterpillars' fate, she bore it with courage and stoicism.) The job was somewhat awkward, as I kept hitting my head against the upper canopy of branches. I could just imagine guardian caterpillars circling around me and leaping down upon me from above--perhaps even into my ear, as I had to tilt my head to the side to look up at the offending tents. And then, who knows what havoc they could cause! They might be content to just crawl about and freak me out, maybe defacing my eardrum with caterpillar graffitti. Or they might get real insidious and worm their way through the ear canal into my brain, where they would whisper caterpillar thoughts and slowly destroy my sanity.... But I digress.

Anyhoo, I managed to take down the fourth and fifth nests. (I know I didn't mention the fifth nest, but by now it should be no surprise that further investigation always reveals new tents.) Given the awkwardness of my position, I really wasn't able to grab hold of the freshly cut branch, but instead had to let them drop to the ground. I hoped that the 'pillars would be freaked out enough that they would think to escape into the tall grasses until after I had a chance to gather them up. Unfortunately, 'pillars seem to be quite unflappable and were already crawling upon the grass when I got to them. I managed to pick up a small handful, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few managed to escape. Those that did fall into my clutches were quickly hustled over to the yard waste container. Given my latent pyromaniacal tendencies, I would have preferred to have burnt them up, but I don't have any container suitable for such a bonfire. Taking them indoors to the fireplace seems just wrong, somehow. And I could just see Poddlepums erecting some sort of monument on the hearth to her departed, non-vertebrate friends.

...Where the heck was I? Oh yes, disposal. I dumped the 'pillars in the yard waste container, then dumped on some other branches that had drooped too far over the sidewalk and had met the vengeful power of my garden shears. I securely fastened the lid and... saw the sixth and seventh nests. Both out of reach. In fact, #7 was right there on top of the tree. This time I tried to use technology on 'em. I pulled out the garden hose and tried to wash them out. The smaller, lower nest succumbed to the artificial downpour. (and uppour--I tried to shoot from beneath as well.) My mighty stream couldn't quite last the distance to the upper nest, and that seemed to weather my attack. Disgusted, I retreated to my home to give the matter further thought and to give my hair a washing. The former might have been a mistake because from the higher vantage point of my front window I saw tent #8--the largest, meanest, most unreachable and probably most impervious caterpillar nest of them all. As I carefully rinsed away nature's debris from my brown locks, I began to wonder if Home Depot carried fire arrows. Little did I realize that the final insult was yet to come.

Dinner time arrived, Noodles came home from work and I gave her my somber report of the day's battles. At one point in the meal, Poodles got up to get something from the kitchen and glanced out of the front window. Laughing, she suggested that I look outside at the yard waste container. I don't know who the doofus was who designed the lid with a hole in the top, but I'd like to let them know that they provided the perfect escape route for a determined group of tent caterpillars who were staging a mass exodus across the top of the yard waste bin. Noodles, with no consideration for my male ego, exercised her admittedly superior gardening skills and carried the lid to the greenbelt across the street where she released the enemy combatants into the wild. She expressed a slight fear that the 'pillars might inflict their havoc on the neighbors' trees, but I know that those furry little #@%^$es will be back to mock me and continue their development efforts. No doubt this Sunday will see dozens of little open house signs in the neighborhood, all pointed to my cherry tree.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Movin' on up 

And the first contender to use the post-mortgage savings is... the computer! My second hard drive has been acting up--randomly spinning down at odd intervals. Yesterday it began misbehaving in earnest so it was really unusable. I'm really not a hardware guy--something I should remedy if I'm going to stick with old computers--so I checked into getting it fixed. RE-PC charges $37.50 for the initial diagnostic, which is more than I paid for the silly thing. So I bopped by the RE-PC store today and picked out a new drive. Ah, what a pleasure and temptation it is to visit there. I resited the siren calls of the $300 iMac systems for sale, as well as the 56K modems. (Though I may head back for those on Saturday.) I picked up an external drive, not having the time to try my hand at installing an internal one, as well as some cables. If I can hook it up properly, it'll give me a whopping 4 GB of space compared to the 1 GB my old drive offered. I don't really need that much, but it will give Poodlepums and excuse not to clean out her folder. Of course, I'll also have to think of a name for the new drive. (Poodles was nagging about that on the way home from the store.) I could be boring and name it "Lebensraum II" after the dying drive. But then I'd hate to repeat myself. Oh, well, first things first. Let's see if I can find a karmic SCSI sequence that will work and then get the silly thing formatted.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

It's mine! All mine! Hahahahaha... 

Well, this past Wednesday Noodles and I became honest-to-Ghandi home owners instead of home owers. We made our final payment on our mortgage. Then we went to lunch to celebrate. We went to Jack in the Box because, well, we just paid off our mortgage and that was all we could afford. Seriously, I guess I should be more excited. The lady in the escrow office and my mom were both quite enthusiastic when I told them. Me, I just figure that some other expense will crop up to take the place of the mortgage payment. Money's like that. But part of me also feels like I should be more, um, giddy or something. Ah, well. I suppose I could have a big blowout party. Except that our house is quite small. (One reason why we could pay it off in such a short time.) I don't know. Still seems more like finishing a chore than achieving some grand goal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Singing the blues... 

I just heard the second most depressing song in the world. (The first most depressing being the song Kilkelly, Ireland. That one always brings a tear to my eye.) It's called Gone Forever, a song about a father with Alzheimer's. I heard it performed on the radio by the duo Curtis and Loretta and just had to look for the lyrics on the web. Now you can hear it to and get depressed too. (Isn't that what the internet's all about: sharing?)

I don't know why the song touched me--my life's never been really touched by Alzheimer's. Sure, my grandfather got confused the last years of his life, but I was safely in Seattle by that time--sheltered from the sorrow of watching im slip away. Ah, who am I kidding. I'm obviously just reacting to the fact that my folks and other beloved elders are getting older and frailer. The obscenity of death and disease stealing the life of my heroes. It makes me wonder how folks who don't believe in life after death handle it. I think I'd get swallowed up in grief and despair.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

You've no idea how much I've to do 

Whew, what a busy day we had yesterday! Started out with a dim sum birthday luncheon for a friend of the family. (Actually, Noodles and the girls ran down to Tacoma to catch the annual Daffodil Parade before that. I had a lazy morning instead. But then I did stay up late watching a vid the night before.) Then we ran up north to the semi-annual Friends of the Library Book Sale. After that we scooted back down to Burien to pick up some books from the Library. (A fine way to celebrate Earth Day by offering a burnt offering of fossil fuels.) While we were in the area, I stopped in at Wonderworld Comics and Games to pick up a few comics and the four of us took a nice walk in Seahurst Park. 'Twas a combo beach stroll and forest hike. Then home for supper, dishes and a bit of relaxing. I was quite eager for the bed when the time came.

Of course, the highlight of the day was supposed to be the Library sale. We've made some great scores there over the years. Noodles did real good this year in her quest for kids' books. Me, I came home a tad disappointed. Now some may think that means that I came home empty handed. Far from it, I bought 9 items for myself. Nothing I'm really excited about, however. I mean, I wasn't necessarily looking for anything, except for some Robert Sawyer books. (He's my newest addition to my list of favorite authors.) But I have discovered some gems before as I browsed the sale. You know, you gaze over the rows of books and one grabs your eye. You either say, "hey cool!" or "this might be interesting." This time, I was saying "Aa, might as well grab this--it's cheap." So I ended up getting a web page design book in case it might contain a useful tidbit. A local history book of one of Seattle's suburbs because it was only two bucks. A graphics utility called Debabelizer since it was only three dollars and you never know when it might come in handy. A book called Handbook for Storytellers since I do have to do Sunday School opening every now and then. A CD from the band Damn Yankees because I had seen a video of theirs years ago and had kind of liked it. And three comics and an obligatory Star Trek book. Nothing that's going to occupy the top of my reading stack, that's for sure. But on the other hand, I only spent $10.50 on the lot, so I really can't complain.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

A time for war... 

Ah, all the news about the war in Iraq is so depressing. So what do I get in my daily Bible reading today? Words of joy? Words of peace? No, I get the laws of warfare laid out for the ancient Israelites in Deuteronomy 20. Actually it wasn't a bad thing, it was quite interesting. The chapter starts out with Moses saying that when Israel goes out to battle, they shouldn't worry because "Yahweh your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt is with you." Then he describes that when all the men gather for war, the officers will start sending folks home: those who just built a house, or planted a vineyard, or are engaged to be married. Go home and enjoy these things, they say. Ironic when compared to today, when soldiers in Iraq are having their tours of duty extended three months. But the Biblical standards just strike me as so right. Go home and enjoy some life before you go off to war. We can cut you young guys some slack. The rest of us can take care of things. Of course, under such a system, I would probably find my own middle-aged butt in Iraq, having already enjoyed the fruits of marriage and home ownership. But then again, if we had a system where every able-bodied person was called up to serve, maybe we'd be less likely to go to war.... Nah, humanity is just as stupid en masse as we are by their lonesome.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Ask the Lad 

Okay, here's a silly concept I picked up from Sherri, who lifted it from someone else:

Everyone who reads this can ask me 3 questions via comments. Ask me anything you want, and I shall answer truthfully. (However, "none of your business" counts as a legitimate answer.) Then go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including me) to ask you anything.

It's like truth or dare without the dares. (I know, what fun is that?)

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Next slide please... 

Another business thought occurred to me this morn. (I'll be off this business kick in a day or so, don't worry.) The big kahuna--in our own little pond, of course--had set up the LCD projector and had his points all nicely organized in a Powerpoint presentation. So this morning, I tried to think when the last time he just talked to us en masse, without the benefit of his visual aids. I think it was a few years back, when one of our co-workers died suddenly and he had to give us the bad news. Anyway, I wonder if this dependence on Powerpoint visuals is a phenomenon unique to my boss, or are all business professionals enhancing their communication skills with this electronic marvel? And if so, is it limited to the corporate environment? I mean, I can visualize some executive type sitting down with his son, booting up the laptop and saying, "Son, as this graph shows, your room has been consistantly messy over the last three quarters..." Or worse yet, having an argument with his wife: "Now dear, the statistical analysis is quite clear that my response to requests to take out the garbage have shown a 7% increase..." Well, maybe not that, because wifey-poo might pull out her own laptop and show how he's skewed the data or something. Oh, well. I doubt if I'll ever understand the corporate mind.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Contract update 

Well, filler, actually. There's been no real developments in the union contract negotiations. But the company did call a meeting of us production employees today. It was basically a PR meeting to explain to us why Bloatmeal needs us to make the concessions for which they are asking. It was very well done and cordial. Basically, the industry has fallen on tough times. Through the miracle of desktop automation, anyone can do pre-press with minimal training... and they do. So now we compete with other pre-press shops, design agencies, printers and our cutomers themselves. This puts our remaining customers in a position to make all sorts of demands... and they do. They know that we can't say no to them, because we've got the competition breathing down our necks. So we accept tight schedules, inefficient but customer directed workflows, late entries of jobs. And then we pray that the company down the street doesn't come along with a cut-rate offer. Anyway, Bloatmeal has done all they can to cut overhead costs and now it's down to cut back employee compensation or go out of business. I'm guessing that the company hopes that if they spell it out for us, we'll see that accepting their proposal is the only practical solution.

The problem is, the "practical" solution really depends on an individual's ideals and values. As my bosses described the business climate in which we're operating, the thought that stuck in my mind is that the problem is our customers. In their ideal world, we would give them their jobs instantaneously at absolutely no cost to them. (Just as in our ideal world, they would just send us big fat checks and we would sit around and surf the 'net.) They obviously wouldn't expect such an unrealistic level of service, but they certainly would welcome any step in that direction that we could take. As Bloatmeal endeavors to deliver cheap, fast, 24/7 service, I become less and less inclined to do anything for our customers. Fortunately for Bloatmeal and myself, I'm not in any way involved in customer service.

Methinks the bottom line is, that that I've got to move on. I can accept that my craft no longer has the value it did ten years ago and am willing to take a corresponding pay cut. But I don't want to work for people who can't accept limitations, don't respect our expertise, give no loyalty and yet still demand high quality. Especially when the only result of our labors is to sell more stuff to consumers. (Of course, I often do what I don't want for a paycheck. I'm such a whore...)

Monday, April 12, 2004

The pen is lazier than the sword 

Hmmm, that title could use help. Oh, well, if another occurs to me, I'll change it. Anyway, I wanted to write about not writing.

I had dreams of being a wirter, back in the day, but I never really had the discipline to make anything out of what talent I had. Eventually I realized that I wasn't destined for literary fame and fortune, so I went on to other things. But I still have a few ideas parked on the shelf. And I try dabbling here and there with some group stories. There's a couple on the Unearthed Ruminations board, which I haven't touched since November. I've got new entries planned for both, but have yet to flesh them out and get them online. Then there's a story/role playing thread over at the Trek, Sci-Fi and Beyond board. I only made one entry to that but then held back. The other three folks writing it are on a roll and I don't know if they are just very used to writing with each other or if they have a definite plot in mind. Either way, I'm content to wait and see if there's a good point to jump in again.

And the there's Poodlepums. (sigh) A couple of years ago we tried to write a story together. I think she found out about one I had did at a previous incarnation of Unearthed and wanted to do one herself. So I wrote down the opening I had did on that tale and she immediately took off on her own direction. It was fun for a while, but as so often happens, we ran out of steam and the story just sort of fizzled. Then this year, she wanted to try another joint venture, so I indulged her. It's kind of amazing how she's changed over a couple of years. She still has the annoying habit of introducing characters as in-jokes that just clutter up the story, but she's definitely improved her craft. She also has more definite ideas about what she wants in the tale so I have to choose between following her lead or throwing in jokes to try and tease her. Alas, I too often opt for the latter. Not that it matters, however, as she has proven quite capable of holding her own. For example, she's been nagging me to write, so last night I finally picked up the notebook and laid down a big section with the sole intent of screwing up her plotline. She was going to marry the main character, Emma, off to the king of Hungary. I pulled the time traveller card and dragged Emma off to the future where she met her older self happily married to a poor electrician named Bill. Very devious, I thought. But then the little brat simply grabs the pen and has Emma wake up from her dream. Quite a blow to my ego. ;-)

Anyway, I've been wondering if I should take the Emma story a bit more seriously, and throw in a bit of constructive criticism. I don't want to become a stage-dad or anything, but I think a little nudge here and there is a legitimate part of raising a kid. Of course, Poodlepums is only 11, and there's something to be said for saving the career counseling for the later teen years. (Or is that the mid-40s?) Oh, well. Plenty of time to decide that tomorrow. And in the meantime I can ponder what to do with my new character, Aleshanee, and her amazing, time-travelling chronoplotz.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Our triumphant, holy day 

And so the sun has set on another Easter Sunday. My brain is fading fast, but I had quite a good day and wanted to write while it was relatively fresh. Well, actually, overall it was a good day, but getting up was painful, as it is most Sunday mornings. I worked overtime yesterday and was there past midnight. So my first semi-coherent thought today was that Jesus was very considerate, letting the disciples sleep in on that first Easter day and not appearing to them until evening. Of course then I realized, as I shuffled off to the bathtub, that Jesus Himself got up quite early that Easter morn and He is the one we Christians are supposed to be emulating. Oh, well. If I really wanted evening church I would have transferred to another congregation years ago.

Our church service was enjoyable. It was bilingual--English and Cantonese--as has become the custom. Some of the Chinese folks sat right behind us, so I had Cantonese right in my ear, so to speak. It was amusing as we started to sing "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" in the English-Cantonese cacophany, only to become united when we sang the Hebrew "alleluia". 'Twas truly a festive event. Old friends and new faces showed up to worship with us ol' regulars. Lots of folks were decked out in their Easter finery (I even wore a tie!) and the kids were running amok as they burned off their sugar high. Truly a good church day.

Of course, the real reason--the real joy--was the event we were commemorating in the first place. The Lent and Easter season is really the spiritual high point of the year for me. There's lots of reasons, I suppose, but I think the one that really grabs hold of my heart is the story. Jesus suffering and dying and then coming back to life again in victory. When I focus on the story, as we do in Lent, I can't help but get caught up in it. I burn with shame along with Peter as he chickens out, I empathize with Pilate as he vainly tries to choose between being honest or avaoiding the consequences, I mourn with Jesus' friends as they watch Him suffer and die. And then my joy reawakens with Salome, Cleopas, Thomas and a cast of Marys as they all puzzle over an empty tomb and encounter the risen Jesus. That's why I have yet to go see The Passion--I've replayed the story in my mind year after year. Can Hollywood special effects and acting even compare?

Friday, April 09, 2004

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? 

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you don't answer; And in the night, and am not silent.

But you are holy, O you that inhabits the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in you: They trusted, and you delivered them. They cried to you, and were delivered: They trusted in you, and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, "Commit yourself unto Yahweh; Let him deliver him: Let him rescue him, seeing he delights in him."

But you are he that took me out of the womb; You made me trust when I was upon my mother's breasts.
I was cast upon you from the womb; You are my God since my mother bore me.

Be not far from me; for trouble is near; For there is none to help. Many bulls have encompassed me; Strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gape upon me with their mouth, As a ravening and a roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd; And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And you have brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have encompassed me: A company of evil-doers have inclosed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. I may count all my bones; They look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, And upon my clothing do they cast lots.

But be not thou far off, O Yahweh: O you my help, hasten to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion's mouth; Yea, from the horns of the wild-oxen you have answered me.

I will declare your name to my brothers: In the midst of the assembly will I praise you. You that fear Yahweh, praise him; All you the seed of Jacob, glorify him; And stand in awe of him, all you the seed of Israel. For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Neither has he hid his face from him; But when he cried unto him, he heard.

Of you comes my praise in the great assembly: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied; They shall praise Yahweh that seek after him: Let your heart live for ever. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Yahweh; And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before you. For the kingdom is Yahweh's; And he is the ruler over the nations. All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship: All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him, Even he that cannot keep his soul alive. Posterity shall serve him; It shall be told of the Lord unto the next generation. They shall come and shall declare his righteousness Unto a people that shall be born, that he has done it.

(American Standard Version, with some archaic language updated)
(Hey, I gotta have a religious post on Good Friday...)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that today was button day. Button Day? Well, I mentioned a union meeting we had back in March. One idea that came from the meeting was that we should make some visible show of solidarity, like wearing union T-shirts or something. The following Friday was selected as the target date and our local president said he would get us some buttons to wear. Anyway, on Wednesday, our shop steward passed out little yellow pinbacks that said "No More Givebacks" and on Friday.... nobody wore them. I put one on my coat, but when I got to work and didn't see anyone else wearing them, I didn't bother transferring it to my shirt. Such the activist, I am. ;-) Anyway, yesterday, the shop steward told me that to day was again a button day and this time.... nobody wore them. This time I can't blame folks because despite the bold type on the buttons, last week we were given a questionnaire from the union asking about how far we're willing to compromise on certain issues. Oh, well. I'm not really one for fanfare anyway. Rather than shouting slogans, I'd be content to persist in quietly saying "no" to those compromises that are unacceptable.

Checking in... 

I'm feeling guilty, like I should write something. I actually did some work tonight. I mean, quite often I spend the night processing files--slapping on some registration marks and color IDs and then prepping the file for output. Monkey work, I call it. The advantage of that is there is often little gaps as files open or process where I can check a blog or bit of message board. But the reason I got into that habit is because that work is as boring as sweeping floors. Even more so, because you have to interrupt your daydreaming to think. Tonight however, I spent hours correcting a software carton. Lots of piddly little things which are all different enough to require my attention. It's not as satisfying as building a package from scratch or doing complex photo-manipulation, but I did feel like I earned my pay. (Which is way too much, according to the company.) (Or maybe that's just the overtime pay and benefits.)

Monday, April 05, 2004

Paperless, Shmaperless 

I spent my last half hour at work tonight updating my procedures manual. Of course, these days we don't get any printed procedures. No, Bloatmeal has embraced the 21st century and all procedural directives come to us via e-mail. However, archaic old me insists on printing out the mails and keeping them in a binder. There's a bit of lag time between when I print out the new info and actually get around to putting it in the binder. Hence the half hour spent on my procedures manual. But that's not the point of this rambling. My point is that I noticed a) how much more frequently procedures are handed down than in days past, b) how much more verbose they've gotten (Well, verbose isn't really the right word. The page count has increased, but it's more due to adding illustrations than adding words. Back in the day when the power that be had to actually print out and photocopy a procedural description, the pics were rare and small.), c) how quickly the tend to get updated (or should I say corrected?), and d) how there's more of a tendancy for individual employees to send out their own procedural declarations. (Actually, I should scratch d)--those declarations tend to be made on first shift and it could be that the individuals are acting under orders from the supervisor.) Anyway, sometimes I wonder if this increased communication is a good thing. But I can't complain too much about folks taking advantage of electronic communications. I've probably written more on this blog in the past four months than I've written in my journal during the past four years....

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Shop, shop, shop! Go and never stop! 

Oops, didn't get around to posting last night. We spent most of the day doing our spring shopping excursion--an event in which we drive about and purchase those useful things which don't rate a special trip to the store. I was going to whine about spending money, but then spent the final hours of the night searching for information about the World Book encyclopedia. The electronic version, of course. Next year we're going to be switching to a new curriculum for Poodlepums' home schooling. The Sonlight curriculum expects you to have access to an encyclopedia and World Book is the one they recommend. That's great in an of itself, however, since we are running an ancient Mac (turned ten last month!) here at home, we have to either find an old version of the software or upgrade our computer to something that can run OS X. Wouldn't you know it, I spend awhile doing Google searches and browsing the Low End Mac website, only to find that World Book's site offers an older version which should be compatible with our 8100. (I'll have to double-check this.) I guess not every software company has bought into the upgrade or be left behind mentality. I should give them a Hamburgerland award or something.

Friday, April 02, 2004

April Fooey 

Sorry I didn't do anything special for April Fool's Day yesterday. If I had all the time in the world, I would have done something witty and entertaining, keeping in the spirit of the day. In fact, if I had all the time in the world I would actually have some sort of design to this blog, complete with changing, holiday appropriate graphics. Why, there are all sorts of things I could do, if I had all the time in the world. Of course, knowing me as I do, I bet the first thing I would do is make a list of all the things I wanted to do. That's a clue as to why I don't get more things done with the time that I have....

Serves you right? 

I listen to way too much liberal media. My favorite station, KBCS has a block of news programs in the middle of my work day. I usually don't bother switching stations, since I like the music that follows the block. Not to mention that the programs are often interesting. So, a normal weekday means a dose of Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News. And on those rare days I leave work on time, I'm quite likely to catch the Mike Webb show on KIRO. Anyway, when talking about the guys killed in Fallujah, Iraq, I noticed that my media friends are quick to blame the atrocity on Bush and his war. They do have a point, but one thing that I didn't hear too much is that the gang who attacked the Americans were just plain wrong. Maybe I need to have to have my country invaded and exploited for me to see the light, but right now I can't see how anything would justify the murder and mutilation of those men. Whatever sins President Bush needs to answer for, I don't think you can lay this one at his door. Sorry if I'm not being partisan enough.