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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Happy Saturday!


Does This Look Like Happy To You?
I had just set her down on the floor, and she became very unhappy. Could she possibly look any more sad? :)
By the time most anyone reads this, it will be Sunday (or later), but that's alright. The principle still stands. Happy Saturday!

It's been cold outside the last few days, and all indications are that this will continue to be the case for the next week or so. And that's fine by me; it is December, after all. That, and we've got the snow cover.

I didn't write anything last night because, well, because I decided to go to bed. I didn't get to bed until nearly 1AM on Thursday night, so by the time Friday's bedtime rolled around, I was a bit on the tired order. So I took another night off. :)

Today's projects were varied and fruitful. I spent time at home -- just Kirstin and myself -- for a while today. That was nice in ways (I was able to read the paper while Kirstin had her morning nap) and fun as well. She's quite the little character, really.

Anyway, this afternoon I decided that I was going to have to at least attempt to get something done, so I brought Kirstin up to her room, set her in the crib, and I then proceeded to install plastic shrinkwrap on her bedroom window. I really should've done this some time ago, but I didn't have/take time to do it. So she played a little bit and mostly watched me work and dance (the radio was on). Shortly after I got her bedroom window completed she had her lunch and then Beth was back home.

So I finished the other two window sets upstairs and also shrinkwrapped the bathroom window. Basically all the windows that have those shitty aluminum storm windows that just don't fit quite right. Note to self: I really need to replace those some time. I've been telling myself that for the last three years. In an ideal world, it would probably just be easier (and cheaper) in several regards to replace all the upstairs windows (since they're the ones that are in the worst shape) and be done with it. But that's a topic for another day...

I also raised the dog water bowl this afternoon. After our official (at least at the airport) 8" snow last week, their bowl was pretty much buried. That in and of itself isn't that big a deal, but then the dogs have to more or less lay down (especially after a few storms) in order to drink liquid water.

I basically just put a few concrete blocks on the ground (after I chipped out the bowl which had frozen to the ground), which makes the base stick up about 6" from the current top of the snowcover. Should be good for some time. They were happy pups, but that really had nothing to do with their water bowl. Mostly since I was out there with them for a while.

Then I finally came inside and mounted the structured wiring enclosure! I've only had it for three years. Go me! I hear it was national procrastination week -- guess I'll celebrate tomorrow. :)

The real problem (or catalyst, as it were) is that Kirstin likes to grab on to the old POTS wire that runs from the office, through the hallway (past the bathroom), into the living/dining room, up the stairs, and into our bedroom. This gives us phone service upstairs.

I've had the low voltage stuff terminated upstairs for some time, but the basement end has never been completed. So seeing as how we need to get that cord out of the way, now was the time to get this done. I've only got two telephone extensions currently wired -- the living room extension and one of the extensions in our bedroom -- but that's all that's absolutely necessary at this time. They both work, so that's a Good Thing. It means the old cord can be removed and everyone's happy again. :)

So I've managed to get a few projects done. It's been a pretty busy day, so I'm going to call it a night. Well, after I go watch the 10PM news and be a part of the Flickr community again. :)

So until next time...
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true."
- James Branch Cabell

--MZ

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Read A Book!


Don't Shoot!
Just like she reacts for the 'How Big Is Kirstin?" thing, so she also reacts to the "Don't Shoot!" thing. That's right -- I taught her that. :)
An actual book. Cover to cover! Go figure! Go me!

Every day I read a lot. I mean a lot. It's predominantly in electronic form, short of my twice-weekly newspaper reading. But as far as bound books go, it's not that often I actually sit down with a book proper (short of reference materials)...let alone read one cover to cover.

Well anyway, I finished Canoeing With The Cree tonight, and it was definitely worth my time. It really only took a few hours to read, but I spread it out over several days' time. It's an interesting and very unique story; something that (for very obvious reasons) probably won't ever happen again...so that's cool.

We didn't get any snow today, and that's okay. I like snow, but what we've got is good enough for now...until it starts to get dirty looking (which will happen soon). Then it can snow again and freshen things up. :)

The co-op had fuel oil delivery day today, though. Ten days short of two months since the last fill, and we went through approximately 75 gallons in that time. Not too bad, really.

I'm always curious about what the sticker price will be for fuel. It's usually around 25-50 cents cheaper than the advertised diesel fuel (for road use) price on the sign (namely due to the absence of tax). Since the current price of road diesel fuel is still at $3.499, I was curious as to what I would pay this time. $3.18/gallon. Which is a big jump from the fill in October, when it was $2.57/gallon.

At least we only go through about 70 gallons in the coldest month of the year (usually January or February). The rest of the heating season is somewhere between 30 and 60 gallons in a month. It could always be worse, though. I know people who go through at least two full barrels (over 550 gallons) in a season. That would get to be on the average order of 100 gallons per month.

I took some really cute pictures of Kirstin tonight. It was fun; she was having a generally good time, and that makes for a fun picture session. And short of that, I don't really have much new to report. I'm looking forward to the weekend, when I can hopefully tackle a few random projects (video capture, Christmas picture session, etc.). So since it's now getting quite late, I'm going to call it a night and go catch my beauty sleep. Or my beauty, in sleep. Or just reclaim my space in bed. :)

Until next time...
"All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher."
- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

--MZ

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Have You Been Drinking, Sir?


Laughing At Mom
Beth was tickling her and she gives the funniest looks.
So I'm on my way home this evening, and it's pretty dark by this time. I can see several miles in front of me that someone's pulled over on the side of the road. Lights are flashing.

Not all that normal for the stretch of road I drive, but not terribly uncommon either. As I approach, I notice that this is a large vehicle mostly on the shoulder (but there's not much shoulder at this location). A little closer, and I notice that a sheriff's deputy has a beer truck pulled over!

'How cool is that?' I think to myself. The second thought: 'Oh, to have the camera!' I mean seriously -- here's a beer truck. And a sheriff's deputy. I can just picture the conversation:
"License and registration, please."

"Have you been drinking tonight, sir?"

"Umm, no I have not, officer."

"I can smell alcohol..."

You get the point... :)

As I get past the incident, I notice that the beer truck is not running. Its flashers are on, but no headlights. And another vehicle from the beer distributor is parked nearby, which leads me to put two and two together -- the beer truck wasn't pulled over; it simply broke down.

I guess I can dream. :)

When we went back into town this evening, we saw the beer truck and distributor's vehicle parked at the co-op, with one of the workers there just putting the tow/push truck back into the shop. Confirmed: beer truck broke down.

On our return home, we got to see one of those really cool wintertime things -- water vapor crystals. It almost turns into a fog/snow look. What basically happens is that at a certain air temperature (I register that the low temp for the day was actually -10.1 at 8:15 tonight, about the same time we were experiencing this phenomenon), the water vapor in the air actually crystallizes and falls/floats through the air. It creates a prism-type effect which looks almost like a fog.

It also has the very neat effect of reflecting light (from streetlights and other sources) directly upward into the sky. So it looks like a bunch of spotlights facing upward. And that's cool. Literally.

It's actually warming up as the evening progresses. Currently registers at -0.4. It's like a heat wave!

And so that's basically how my day has been today. A normal work day, but then some interesting evening events that don't usually happen in life...so I write. :)

I've got the Celtic Woman Christmas thing set to be captured at 1AM, so I'm looking forward to watching that later. Should be good stuff.

And with that said, combined with the fact I'm now yawning compulsively, I'm calling it a night!

Until next time...
"You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it."
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

--MZ

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cold, Cold Monday


Coming To Get Me
She saw the camera (and me) and decided that I was to be crawled to.
Sometime around 3AM this morning the low here at home reached -9.4F. That's pretty cold. :) Makes me glad the [thick] flannel sheets were put on the bed. Bed was toasty! And it was good!

I forgot to mention last night that I put two new videos of Kirstin up on YouTube. She was being pretty cute and crawly, so some quick shots were taken. Good stuff!





I finally upgraded my installation of Winamp at the office today. As a result, I started using a new skin just out of curiosity and in a very specific way have come to really like it. Combined with global hotkeys, I can do many actions without bringing it to the foreground and I can see the basic title information pop up in the foreground as each new piece begins. Awesome!

So I've been playing around with it at home here a bit as well; I think I may have finally switched from my old trustworthy skin. We'll see.

I saw bits of the Christmas version of Celtic Woman on PBS last night. It was intriguing, so I intend to either watch and/or capture it to watch later when it comes back on again (which isn't until Wednesday). I don't always care for all of their stuff, but they always have some cool bits wrapped in the entire package which makes it worth watching.

I also have some other video to capture, mostly for archival purposes. Pretty much all of this stuff is on VHS, so I need to clear out some disk space and go to town. Beth might have to learn how to capture video. :) Or babysit the process, actually. But I have to move some existing stuff to [data] DVD first.

Anyway, just as a random statistic for the day. I've taken more or less exactly 6GB of pictures so far in 2007. Crazy! This compares to 289MB in 2006, 228MB in 2005, 90MB in 2004, 144MB in 2003, and 140MB in 2002 (when I first got the camera). This isn't all-inclusive; there are about 420MB worth of images from the various One-Act productions...but it's pretty obvious what my compulsive picture-taking has done...in sheer volume alone.

Since December 22, 2006, the camera has been used to take 6,747 pictures!

So now that I've bored you with strange and somewhat useless statistical data, I'm going to call it a night and sign off.

Until next time...
"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered."
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

--MZ

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It Snowed!


Please?
I absolutely love how Beth managed to get them both to look up at her while getting a cute picture like this. They're so much fun.
So it wasn't exactly the big storm they were predicting, but we did manage to get about six inches of the stuff on Saturday. Enough to justify getting the driveway blown out.

So we didn't end up going anywhere on Saturday, which in some ways was expected. It was kind of nice. We set up the Christmas stuff and did some things around the house like that. I spent a lot of time on Flickr...and I took more pictures of course. Currently have over 3,250 pictures online with a total (root) photostream visit count of over 5,000. I was able to do some catching up there this weekend, which was good.

We didn't make it to church today because of the snow event. The plow didn't go by on the road until somewhere around 9:30. I went outside to do some cleaning up (shoveling around the doors and in front of the garage, etc.) after the plow went the first time (it takes two passes). But it was pretty obvious that the driveway would need to be blown out this time. We had a few 12-18" drifts across the driveway, and that doesn't learn much for leaving the yard.

So sometime around 10:30 Josh came over on his route and blew out the driveway. I was in the shower at the time, but he knows what we like to have done with that so it wasn't a big deal. It's nice to have that 'service' available. What I find interesting is that he almost always does our driveway before he does his own -- that's awfully nice of him.

We took Kirstin out in the snow for a bit today. She didn't know what to think about it all at first, but then she got pretty cold (her face, namely) and didn't want to have any more to do with the outside. We did get her on the kicksled, though, and that was neat for a few minutes. There's even a picture of it! :)

So that was more or less the weekend in a nutshell. Not terribly exciting, but nice to really be somewhat relaxed. For once. :) And seeing as how it's now about -5.5 outside and nearly midnight, I'm heading for bed. Must get my 'beauty sleep' seeing as how I'm getting my hair cut in the morning!

So until next time...
"Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down."
- Jimmy Durante

--MZ

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  • One Gorgeous Daughter (Kirstin)
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