April 2003

April 2003

April 30 — I just updated my books page. Mmmmmmmmm, books. Oh, last night Dan realized that a couple of grocery stores around here will allow you to order your groceries online and will then deliver them to you — what geek could pass up trying that at least once? :) So we went to to www.albertsons.com and I did my weekly shopping online. (Vons does it too but I won’t shop at Vons because of the damn Club Cards) The Albertsons website was well-made and easy to manage and I found everything I needed. It cost $9.95 for the delivery — that’s for any size order — and you get to choose a 90-minute delivery window. When the Albertsons guy came today, he brought all my groceries upstairs for me, and they were nice and cold from the refrigerated truck. It was so luxurious! So the only shopping I had to do today was the Trader Joe stuff :) We’re watching Enterprise right now… every week they reach a new low! It’s almost impressive.

April 29 — Went to the library and got a stack of tempting new books, yay! I got another by Jeanne Ray, and I looked for more Mark Dunn but they didn’t have any. And I found a huge book full of the artists’ sketches and designs and stuff for TTT, which thrilled Henry completely.

April 28 — We finished “Little House on the Prairie” today! At bedtime we started “On the Banks of Plum Creek” (we’re skipping “Farmer Boy” because I’ve already read it to Henry two or three times). We curled up on my big cushy bed (we have a new thick featherbed) and I read to Henry for hours. It was lovely :)

April 27 — Henry and I went geocaching again today and had a great time. We found the cache, and then went back to the playground where we had parked and he played for hours with a ton of little kids who were there for a couple of birthday parties, and I read my book (“The Sticklepath Strangler”). We didn’t get home ’til about 6! While he was eating dinner I finished hemming my new pants and they are so cute! I practiced my banjo for a long time tonight, too. I’m working on “June Apple”.

April 26 — Spent most of the day making a pair of pants out of some nice brown & tan plaid cloth I bought ages ago. I made the pattern myself – they’ve got a faced waist (I love faced waists) and a side zipper and they fit very nicely! I wore a hole through my favorite linen pants and wanted some new good pants for work. They’re almost done — just have to handsew the hems, which I was going to do before bed but I think I’m too tired now. So I’ll finish them tomorrow. Tonight Dan and Henry took things apart and played with electronic stuff for a long time, while I sat on the sofa and read. It was so nice hearing the two of them chatting and looking at capacitors and resistors and whatnot :)

April 25 — Took Henry geocaching today! We found two caches and had a great time hiking around. I lost my shoes today. I had them last night, and then this morning I couldn’t find them anywhere. I’ve looked and looked all over the house! WHERE ARE MY SHOES??? I must have done something really insane with them like stuffed them into a pillowcase and shoved them in the freezer or something… They’re red, too, so it’s not like they’re hard to see or anything. Grrrrrr.

April 24 — Started “Little House on the Prairie” with Henry today and read him the first six chapters. It’s so much fun reading great stuff to him. His dental checkup went great and the lovely hygenist said he has been doing a really good job keeping his teeth clean, so that was a relief. We went to the bookstore for a little reward — wanted to get a hardback copy of “Betsy-Tacy and Tib” but all they has was crummy paperbacks so we got a Harry Potter TCG booster pack instead and come home and admired the new cards and played a few times :) Kyle came over tonight for dinner and hanging out, very nice.

April 23 — We got a giant box of girl Scout cookies from the UPS man today! I don’t like the peanut buttery ones but we got Thin Mints which are good and also “Samoas” which I’ve never had before but they get the Kayray Stamp of Approval. Oh I practiced my banjo tonight for the first time in a while! I think I might need new strings. The three tunes I had memorized are still memorized and will sound good again very soon. I didn’t work on anything new because my fingers started hurting very quicky (lost my calluses), but I probably will tomorrow! ok now I swore I would get to bed by 10 so if I start doing my teeth now I can just make it!

April 22 — Henry and I finished “Betsy-Tacy” today! Now we need to get the second book, and I want to find “The Betsy-Tacy Companion” at the library too, so I can show Henry photos of the people and places that the Betsy-Tacy books are based on. I made two pairs of nice stretchy little shorts for Henry today, out of a couple of thick soft sweatshirts that Mom didn’t want. Oh, Dan fixed my car audio problem! A little background… my car originally had an AM radio which stopped working many years ago. About 5 years ago, I acquired a second-hand tape deck and Darren hooked up some speakers for me. So I had tapes for a while, but then the tape player went bad a couple years ago. So then a year and a half ago, for my birthday, Dan and my parents gave me a Riovolt (spiffy mp3/cd player) and a cassette adapter thing that let me send sound out the riovolt, into the cassette player, and out the speakers. Nifty! but then several months ago one speaker quit working and then the whole thing developed a horrid loud staticky buzz, so I was music-less again. Well, Dan checked everything out a couple days ago, thinking maybe the speaker wires had become messed up or something but it turned out that the tape player was unfixably dead. So wonderful Dan created a solution for me! He took a pair of his computer speakers and created a cable that would power them off the cigarette lighter in the car, and of course they plug right into my Riovolt! We tested it out today and it works wonderfully well. Yay we have music and audiobooks on our long drives again!

April 21 — I just put Henry to bed. He asked me to read his copy of “Betsy-Tacy” that I gave him for Christmas! Oh how I love those books. We read the first three chapters tonight, and we plan to spend most of the morning tomorrow reading it too. Dan and I took him geocaching today, to let him find the nice easy cache that we found a couple of weekends ago. We let him hold the GPS receiver and decide which way to hike and everything, and he found the cache right away. Fun :) I’m kind of tired right now. I might work on the pants pattern that I’m making, or I might play games on my computer, or I might practice my banjo. Or i might invite Dan to watch Seinfeld with me. Hmm…

Later… Kirsten came over tonight and we ate and watched a James Bond movie (The Living Daylights) :) Fun!

April 20 — Hmm, what happened today… well, I started some auctions for some of Mom’s old stuff, and drove to Temecula to pick up Henry, and Dan and I finished watching the “Dune” miniseries thing. It was pretty good, quite entertaining. The set designer guy used too many colored lights, though :) I got tired of all the fights-to-the-death. Seems like an unsound survival policy for desert dwellers who probably need as many able-bodied men around as possible.

April 19 — Henry and I watched Looney Tunes together this morning until Matthew picked him up. Lots of them were bad but some were really funny :) Went with Dan to the RC heli field and had a lovely relaxing time watching him fly, reading my book, listening to music (made a new mp3 cd and took along my riovolt and my super-nice padded headphones), doing puzzles in my GAMES magazine, and playing Warioland 4. I beat another level (toxic landfill) but am stuck on the darn “40 below fridge” level. ARGH. Tonight we rented the Sci-Fi channel “Dune” miniseries/movie thing on DVD and watched the first three hours of it. Pretty good! Started getting a migraine in the videostore and by the time we got home it was bad but Dan took very good care of me and made me feel better :)

April 18 — Henry, Sal, Jean, and I (four generations!) took a trip down to San Diego on the coaster today. (The Coaster is a double-decker commuter train which runs along, you guessed it, the coast) It was lovely. We got on at the station in Carlsbad, rode down to SD, hung around in the station for about half an hour and then rode north again. It has rained quite a bit lately so the canyons were lush and green and flowery. Really pretty. Now I want to take a real train trip!

Later… Well we just watched Enterprise. Here’s a tip for all you writers-of-episodes: have SOMETHING happen. Thank you. What else… oh yes last night I finished my book “Step-Ball-Change” which was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time — and i’ve been reading a lot of excellent books lately. I can hardly wait to read her other novel; I sure hope they have it at the library. Tonight I started a murder mystery about a chef called “Beat Until Stiff” but I don’t think I’ll be able to read much more of it. Not very good. I had my doubts on the very first page when Character 1 said to Character 2, “You’re the pastry chef at the hottest restaurant on the West Coast… I’m merely the controller.” Maybe you don’t see what’s so bad about that but it seems like an extremely lazy and bad way for the author to let me know what these people do. There’s got to be a better, less awkward way. Now I’m not fussy enough (barely) to let that stop me from continuing, so I read another chapter or two. The stylistic irritations and unlikable characters have piled up deep enough that I don’t think I can go on, but I have several more tempting new books on the shelf :)

April 17 — Henry and I took turns playing Warioland 4 on the gameboy today after he got home, and I read several chapters of his Henry Huggins book to him. Very pleasant. Mom came over tonight and we watched “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” together. Lol :) I really want to see “A Mighty Wind” (the new Christopher Guest mockumentary). It’s only playing in 130 theaters in the country but lucky for us there’s a theater in San Marcos playing it so I’m hoping we can go on the weekend sometime. Slept in this morning but I’m super tired so it’s bedtime. Goodnight!

April 16 — The TiVo got an episode of the Antiques Roadshow that I’ve never seen before! Oh, that’s a fun show. As I was driving home tonight I watched to full moon coming up all huge and orange. Does everyone feel happy when they see the moon or is it just me? I started reading “Step-Ball-Change” last night and it’s wonderful so far. Another lucky pick from the “new books” shelf, where I stand and judge books by their covers, usually with quite a bit of success.

April 15 — Mom came over tonight and we watched her “Bagdad Cafe” dvd together. That’s a good movie, except for the lame part when everyone starts singing near the end. Anyway we had fun!

April 14 — It rained all day. Really odd for April, and it was cold too. It was the kind of weather we wish for at Christmas time, and instead we get hot summer weather. Crazy. The rain was so beautiful and smelled so good! Henry helped me with the housework and then we played a game and did a puzzle and he read me “Chicken Little” and I read him “Henry and the Paper Route”. His reading is getting so good! Tonight Dan and I are watching Saturday Night Live and it’s actually pretty funny so far. They did a “Wake Up Wakefield” sketch (Megan and Sheldon). We always like those!

April 13 — Dan and I went geocaching this afternoon! It was great. We found the first cache right away, after a short and pretty hike. The second one we looked for turned out to be on the OTHER side of a lake… so we gave up on hiking around it (it was a lot bigger than it looked) and we’ll try again another day and try to park a little closer to the proper side :) Six Feet Under tonight was kind of blah again.

April 12 — I just added Henry’s new doll to my crafts page! This morning I drove Henry down to SD and then came back up here and spent the rest of the day with Dan out at the field. :) I read my book (“Money for nothing” — lol!) and played Warioland 4 on the gameboy. I beat The Doodle Woods! I was stuck on that level FOR-EV-ER but I finally did it! Oh also we went out for dinner and conversation with Rod, a super-nice heli-pilot-friend of Dan’s. That’s something we don’t do often (understatement) and it was a very pleasant experience. On the way home some idiot almost ran a red light as we were driving through the green, jammed on his brakes, and narrowly avoided broadsiding us. Next time, dude, DRIVE SLOWER and WATCH THE LIGHTS!!!

April 11 — It was a good day. I did a lot of stuff. Took Henry out first thing to rent the 2nd Harry Potter movie and let him watch it twice. While he was thus occupied, I cleaned all the kitchen counters and inside the microwave etc and the kitchen looks great! Makes me happy to be able to walk in there anytime and not stick to the floor and be able to find clean dishes and to have counter space for cooking. Also finished the dress and pinafore for our new doll. I’ll try to take a picture tomorrow! And, hmm, what else did I do… well, more house stuff, laundry etc, and did a bunch of math worksheets with Henry. I printed them out for him a few days ago and he adores them. We did a page of number line problems, and then a page of greater-than/ less-than ones, where it’s like 4+5 ___ 6+7 and you put the appropriate symbol in the blank. Man, he thought that was just great! These worksheets are intended for 3rd/4th graders, so I think it’s pretty neat that a little guy who’s only 7 and hasn’t ever been to school or had any formal lessons understands and enjoys them. Oh, and I made good stir-fry for Dan for dinner! oxoxoxoxox :)

April 10 — Bah, tired. Got some Wodehouse at the library, yay! I just started “Money for Nothing” and it’s lovely so far, heheh. Henry chose some Henry Huggins books and I started “Henry and the Paper Route” tonight for his bedtime story. Makes a nice change from Tolkien, although I’m enjoying TTT more now that we’re past the super-epic Helm’s Deep part and are back with the hobbits who speak nice plain english… Wierd weather today, cold then hot then cold. I was wearing the wrong thing at all times.

April 09 — We finished our little rag doll! She is super-cute and I will post a picture soon, after I get her clothes made. I need a new bedtime book, so I hope I get a chance to go to the library soon. Maybe Friday. I started reading “Catch 22” on Dan’s recommendation, but it’s wayyyyyy to tragic to make good bedtime reading. I think I’d better get some Wodehouse or something. I’ve got “Catcher in the Rye” in my palm and that will tide me over until I get something else, not that I don’t like Catcher but I’ll be done with it pretty soon. It’s short. Poor Holden, he sure hates those phonies.

April 08 — Whew it was hot today again. Henry and I worked on our little rag doll — got her sewn, turned, stuffed, and assembled! Now we just have to do face and hair and make clothes for her :)

April 07 — Happy birthday Kirsten! She came over tonight and we had a great time watching wierd tv (Gidget, Kids in the Hall, Futurama) and discussing the relative merits of all the Star Trek movies :) Henry and I met up with Schmit family at the ice arena, and the kids skated for hours and had a great time, and I worked on my afghan a ton — I’m probably about halfway done with the final step of connecting all the flowers together with black. It looks so good!

April 06 — Ah such a nice day, even though the time change makes me feel disoriented. I hooked up Mom’s new cassette deck for her, and picked up some new shirts and things for Dan, and did two loads of laundry, and tried out quite a few super nintendo roms to see if they might be fun for Henry. Super nintendo seems to have much better games than Sega Genesis did (sonic the hedgehog is really the only fun sega one that I’ve found). The Super nintendo batman game seems pretty good, and Bomberman, and Lord of the Rings, and several others that I tried today. Tonight I worked on my afghan while we watched Six Feet Under. I was able to distract myself from the creepy poser lame-o art “teacher” guy enough that I was less homicidal than last week. I also found a pretty-good cd ripper/encoder for linux (“grip”). There doesn’t seem to be a Debian package for the lame encoder thingy anymore, so I tracked it down and compiled it myself — a simple task but very satisfying — and then ripped and encoded the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cd for Henry.

April 05 — Spent the day at the helicopter field with Dan — very pleasant and relaxing :) I finished my book (“Backpack”), played Warioland, or whatever it’s called, on the Gameboy, and worked on my afghan. You can see a photo of it in an incomplete state on my crafts page. It’s now further along than that though — I worked on joining two more rows of flowers with black circles today, and discovered that I can get thirty black circles out of one 50 gram ball of yarn. So, theoretically, I could figure out if I have enogh yarn to finish :) We went to have dinner with Chris and his parents at their house tonight (Chris is a super-nice kid whom Dan’s been helping with his helicopter). Very nice evening. Oh yes, MANY thanks to kc for the hilarious weight watchers’ cards link! ROFLMAO!

April 04 — We had a great time in the park this morning with LaRaine and the girls! I made the last flower for my afghan, and then laid them all out in a pleasing arrangement and marked them so I’ll know in what order to attach them all together. Hmm, what else… I know there was something else I was going to say. Oh well, it’ll come to me later. Oh I know! The other night we were watching Lucy, or something on TvLand, and there was an add for “Gidget” and we realized that it was something we’d never seen before so I told the TiVo to record it for us. And then last night we watched it for the first time. (“Gidget” is a sit-com from 1965, which shows you how barren of decent tv the world is, for us to get excited over it) Well, we actually enjoyed it. The plots are thin and predictable, but some of the dialogue is decent and young Sally Field is too cute for words. And I totally drool over every single one of her outfits! Oh the little green-and-blue plaid pants… the little sailor-collared dresses… mmmmm. Give me the Gidget clothes!

April 03 — Well that dear sweet pthreebot sent Henry a sound card, and a video card, and a couple of cds full of emulators and roms! Henry was SO excited to get a box full of computer parts, and he helped me install the sound card right away. Now he has sound and he can play his games again. I set up zsnes for him so he can play Mario and Megaman and his other favorite Super Nintendo games, and then after he went to bed I set up the Sega Genesis emulator and tested out some games… Sonic the Hedgehog brings back some memories! Damn that purple goop in the Chemical Zone! Man, what a cool game. I think Henry will really like that one. Tried out a Power Rangers game and a Batman game and they both pretty much stank, heh. Hard to believe they are for the same system as Sonic.

A few days ago Mom gave us a couple of kits to make lovely little old-fashioned rag dolls. They’re really intended for people who want a doll who looks like a genuine antique, so the kits come with tan dye so you can dye the doll and his/her clothes to make them look old and dirty and “played-with”, and sandpaper to wear down the cloth, lol. But we will skip that part because these dolls will look played-with really fast without any artificial help :) The kits are super-high-quality and the lady that makes them gives some hints I’d never thought of — for instance, tracing around the doll pattern on doubled cloth, then sewing on the tracing line BEFORE cutting out the fabric. That way you get a very precise seamline and you don’t have to match and pin tiny little pieces of cloth. Today I showed Henry how to wash the bits of cloth in the sink, wring them out, and iron them dry. He thought that was just great :)

April 02 — Right now I’m watching “The Man Who Would Be King”… I’ve been watching it a little at a time for about two weeks, heheh. Good movie. Christopher Plummer plays Kipling and it’s quite entertaining to see him being someone other than Captain von Trapp. And I could watch Sean Connery and Micheal Caine any day. I feel better today, almost normal.

April 01 — Bah I have a little cold and I slept extremely badly. It did not help that the sun smacked me in the face at about 6, with the brightness and intensity of a floodlight. Gotta remember to turn the blinds around the right way tonight, not that they block much anyway. I finally got all the photos unloaded off the digicam, the photos of my little cousins who came to visit and had such fun playing with Henry. Lots of great pictures. Dan found the USB cable so I can download directly off the camera and use the software that came with it, which seems pretty useful and makes more sense than firing up Photoshop for cropping and rotating :)

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