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26 January 2010 @ 10:21 pm

As a child, I had several conversations with Greg about our relative ages.  With a two year difference in our ages, I would tease him about catching up to him, while he would remain grounded in the facts, insisting that he would always be two years older than me.  I often felt that he was so far ahead of me in knowledge and understanding; those two years seemed to be a big advantage he had, that I would never be able to catch up to him, to truly be his equal.

So, now that I have caught up to him on the calendar (on a purely linear time scale I know that today's not "the" day, but it feels like it) -- I find that I would trade almost anything to have him still in the race.  That's not an earth shaking revelation; I've known that for years now.  But all my life up until now, he was out there breaking the new ground in front, and I was somewhere behind,.  Now, he's not there those few hundred days ahead of me, and I'm breaking the new ground.  It's harder in a way that I can't properly describe, this new friction.

How did you do it for all those years, brother, and make it look so natural that I never even noticed?

I guess this really depends on where it was in its orbit.  It might be flung directly into the sun... or straight out of the solor system... I guess it's most likely to go careening off-course ans spend a long time trying to find a new stable orbit.

I guess it's the same with people, when our anchors disappear, it takes a long time to find a new stability.  I'm still spinning on my axis, but where the heck am I going?
21 May 2009 @ 10:55 am
Today I pick up my new car.  I'm exiting a 2004 Kia Amanti.  This was a very comfortable car, but it got terrible gas mileage, and somehow almost every time I had it in for the scheduled maintenance they found more stuff to do, so it cost me way more than it should have in upkeep.  But it was good to my family mostly, and when we bought it, I needed a family car that would accomodate TALL in the back seat, and there weren't many choices for that.

I'm moving into a "new" 2000 Honda Insight.  This is a big change for me in many ways.  I think it has the least power of any car I've owned since I had a Datsun 710.  I'm finally moving back into a daily driver with manual transmission, and it's a 2-seater.  It's really small, but I still fit in it comfortably, and so does the tall one.  It's strange to be in a place where it pretty much makes sense to own only 1 family-capable vehicle.  Oh, and the best part is that it's rated at 70MPG highway.  Better than 3x the mileage I got with the Amanti.  This will really help cut my commuting expenses, and road trips to the various places we have friends and family will be cheaper too.  I got really lucky when I started looking for a high-efficiency car... a local dealer had just gotten this car in trade.  It was clearly garage-kept and had only 27k miles on it.  During one of my test drives, the hybrid battery pack failed (it hadn't been used enough), and it's still under factory warranty, so I'm getting a new battery pack with its own warranty and a car in pristine condition.  9 years old, and very close to brand new.  Love it.
06 May 2009 @ 04:21 am
Yesterday, M took his first AP exam.  Many kids go through this and it's just a part of the high school->college track... but...   his school doesn't teach computer science.  He is the only kid in the school's history to take this exam, and ia apparently the only kid who has asked to sit for an exam for a class that wasn't offered here. 

This was the Computer Science "A-B" exam, the more advanced of the two available ones.  On Monday he took a practice Comp Sci "A" exam and scored a very strong 5, and he came away from the "A-B" exam with the same confident feeling, having finished several sections with more than 30 minutes to spare, so he had plenty of time to go back and check his work.  

I've helped a little here and there, but honestly the full credit for this accomplishment is his, he has been self-motivated and self-taught on this. 

Next up for him: AP Biology exam.  On his latest in-class practice exam he scored a very high 5, and he has a solid A+ in the class, so he has every reason for confidence there.

I can hardly wait for the scores!

If parental pride is a sin, I'm in trouble.
09 April 2009 @ 05:27 am
I'm very intererested in electric vehicles's and I'm considering trying a conversion, if I can get my hands on a reasonable donor car. I'm trying to learn more about the whole field before I jump in. So, I dragged the family out to a local Electric Vehicle Club meeting last night.

It was very different than I expected. I'm trying not to make snap judgements, but the two hours in an uncomfortable high-school classroom was a bit tough to sit through, physically and mentally (I think my butt and my mind were equally numbed). There seem to be a few people there who will actually be good and helpful contacts, but the meeting seemed unfocused and ultimately unproductive. I did, however, learn of a local hands-on 5-day workshop that will focus on getting people the skills and information they need to do their own electric conversion. That sounds like it'll have the information I want, but I'll have to take off a week of work to do it.
21 March 2009 @ 10:12 pm
Not long ago, I was contacted by some local film students who needed my help in putting together an important PSA video. It was a fun and interesting afternoon, and thought some of you might like to see the final result.
16 March 2009 @ 05:51 pm
This past weekend was a busy one, with visitors from out of town and driving T back to school, complicated by a nasty cold. I was trying not to cough or sneeze on the fgood while grilling it... fortunately the hot grill seemed to help me out in that department.

It's the week of everyone's birthday in the house except mine. Always an interesting time. This year is different; M has some friends over today, but T is back at school. I'm planning to take C to a movie on her special day, turns out her bday is opening night for a movie starring an actress she likes. I can't rememebr the last time I was in a movie theater, it'll be nice for a change.

Happy St. Patrick's day tomorrow, for anyone who celebrates it with something other than an irresponsible quantity of alcohol.
22 February 2009 @ 12:49 pm
Below the cut, a shot of the damage to my car and 3 videos from the barbershop dinner. This is the first time I've sung with the group outside of rehearsal.

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21 February 2009 @ 03:23 am
The kid finally wants to take his learner's permit test, so first thing in the morning it's off to there. Last time I was there, I waited in line for something like 2 hours, and I got there about half an hour before opening. Argh.

Then it's Braxton's. That's when the animal rescue takes a bunch of foster dogs to a locl pet supply store (Braxton's) for several hours for a "meet and greet" event, where random people get to meet the dogs. It's usually 2-5 dogs, and it gets extra crazy if we have puppies. Today, we have 11-18 puppies, plus up to 3 adult dogs. So many, in fact, that they will be giving us two places in the store, not just one.

And tonight my barbershop group is having a dinner affair, which will require me to dress more formally than I usually do (Carol loves to dress "up") and will run several hours later than I can normally stay awake.

Should be a fun and full day, so why did I get up at 2:30am, and why am I still online? I need a boot to the head.
15 February 2009 @ 02:27 pm
Strudel has moved to another foster home. I'm glad to see her go, but sad too. She was sweet and a very good puppy. We expect her to be adopted within a week.

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