April 23, 2007

am I a real Californian now?

Someone accused me of being a "real Californian" now. That person's nose will heal somewhat less quickly than my fist.

The reason for their insult is that part of our large backyard makeover includes installation of an in-ground spa. That's "hot tub" to you on the east coast, but a true "hot tub" is actually one of those redwood tubs you think of when you envision naked people in Marin on a big deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean at sunset with glasses of wine in their hands. But that's not us. (And don't pretend you don't envision naked people. I know you do.)

For one thing, we're not in Marin and you'd have to be in a damned tall building to see the ocean from our town. In fact, I don't think you can see it from the top of the mountain because the Oakland hills are too tall. For another, it's unlikely we'll spend much naked time in the spa because we have no fence, so we have about thirty feet of clear, unfettered exposure to the street. Plus, we're about two hundred yards from the local elementary school. So that's pretty much out, at least until we get some sort of barrier up.

But no, I'll never be a true Californian. My heart will always be where my home was when I was little, and I don't think that's terribly uncommon. I've lived in this state approximately half my life, yet I still feel more at home in Seattle than I do here, and I only lived in Seattle one year. Hell, I felt more at home in Santa Fe, and I spent only three days there. But "home" will always be in New England.

Anyway, the point is, we have this new spa, and the installation was completed Saturday. The boys jumped right in, but I'm waiting until the patio is finished at the end of the week. It'll take a long time to pay it all off, but at least I'll be relaxed when I write the checks each month.

April 18, 2007

stop being so vague

OK, so I loved this sign in the kitchen at work today. But it came down this morning. Not sure who took it down. Maybe they thought it was in poor taste given the recent Virginia Tech thing.

I thought it was hilarious.

Needless to say, it is not my food, and I am not the bandit.

April 17, 2007

I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

Saw this link on Miss Snark yesterday. Or rather, on Miss Snark's blog. I've not seen anything on Miss Snark. Which is not to say I've seen Miss Snark with nothing on. That's not what I'm saying, not what I'm saying at all. No, I saw that link. The first one. On her blog. So I clicked it. One has to be careful clicking links from Miss Snark's blog because quite frequently they go to YouTube videos with sound. But this one doesn't. It goes to a decidedly quiet place, LibraryThing.

I've only just started trying it out, but it looks very well done. I'm trying the free version now and may even pony up for the full version if I really like it, but that's off in the future.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get the "recent books" list to show the books in the right order, and when I do I'll replace my hokey book list here with a more robust LibraryThing.

Writing Update
Nothing written recently. I did submit something to the "stolen" issue of Thereby Hangs A Tale, but work has been so busy that I haven't had time to think about writing let alone write anything. Although I need to change that, I don't see it changing any time soon.

April 12, 2007

snow in Flagstaff?

So we're staying overnight in Flagstaff on our way from Santa Fe to Ventura for a wedding that became a non-wedding when it was called off at the last minute. The drive through New Mexico was beautiful--green high plains hills, the colorful and dramatic mesas stretched across the skyline. The Arizona desert wasn't so beautiful, but it was an easy drive, until we got to the Meteor Crater. We didn't go see the crater because it seemed expensive and because we had a tight schedule, but shortly after that highway 40 dips down into the Flagstaff area... and that's where the hail and sleet hit. And snow. Snow? It's April 12th. I'm not sure I've ever been snowed on this close to tax day.

Anyway, we went out to dinner while large flakes drifted down. I won't be surprised if we get an inch or more overnight. The roads seem clear, but it's still coming down outside.

So tomorrow is our penultimate day of long-distance driving on this ten-day vacation, which has become a nine-day vacation due to the wedding's cancellation. The itinerary:

  • Friday: Drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas (550 miles)
  • Saturday: Hike to the top of turtle peak in Red Rock Canyon. This is a "difficult" hike that both boys completed with energy to spare and no whining at all. Everyone we passed was thoroughly impressed.
  • Sunday: Easter baskets in Vegas. Lunch in Kingman, AZ. Dinner in Gallup, NM. Check in to the hotel in Santa Fe near midnight. (650 miles)
  • Monday: Santa Fe museums and shops. Dinner at Maria's New Mexican Kitchen. The best chile rellenos I've ever had. Although we did not have the $45 margarita, the $12 margarita was outstanding. HIGHLY recommended.
  • Tuesday: Seeing long-lost relatives and work colleagues in Albuquerque, along with a walk through Old Town and a visit to Explora. Highly recommended. (120 miles r/t)
  • Wednesday: More Santa Fe shops and museums.
  • Thursday: Driving from Santa Fe to Flagstaff. Finally, high speed internet! It's like returning to civilization after camping in the wilderness. The Santa Fe hotel had only dial-up, which worked at 26k most of the time! Can you believe it? (330 miles)
  • Friday: We will drive to Ventura and visit with other long-lost relatives. (550 miles)
  • Saturday: We will visit Mission Santa Barbara and head home, trying not to think too much about the wedding we won't be attending because it won't be happening. (300 miles)
  • Sunday: Laundry, lawnmowing, cleaning the litter box, dreading the return to work on Monday.
Total road dogging: 2,500 miles in six days of driving in a nine-day vacation.

April 3, 2007

how to pronounce my name

I just found out that Merriam-Webster can help people pronounce my name! There are three possible ways to pronounce it. Click the links below to hear your computer say them out loud. These links will pop up a new window.




Thanks to Miss Snark for the tip.