Friday, August 27, 2010

Why Remember?

In a couple weeks, my grandson will have reached his 53rd week of life. A pretty good accomplishment when you consider the crying, the sleepless nights, and the unfathomable tantrums. If only I were that cute. Actually, I had no doubts that he would reach his first year in fine fashion. In the days that have passed so rapidly, he and I have shared several very unique and fun filled moments.

I understand that I had similar fun times as a baby with my grandfather in England. Sadly, I don't remember any of them. My earliest memory is sitting and playing in a mud colored running stream of water that resulted from a flash flood in Texas. And I'm pretty sure I wasn't in Texas as part of a witness relocation program.

Anyway, how many people have we delighted and had wonderful experiences with but can't remember a single moment because of our immature brains? I can't help but wonder if we might have become better people had we had those enduring memories to get us through those tough days of youth. Or, at the very least, I wish that my grandson would remember our special times … especially in the coming days when I can't.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hide Away

Aside from the shininess, you wouldn’t give the metal drum another thought. (Unless you were temporarily blinded by a flash of light and tripped over it. In which case, please sign this release form before reading further.) Poised under the shady back corner of the weathered roof, this metallic cylinder is filled with clear water that you assume rode off the top of my home during one of the many torrential summer down pours. Yet, if you know which of the three steel bars that surround the drum to move, you can pivot this deceptive rain barrel on the fourth bar and reveal an opening to a tunnel lined with stainless steel drums. A short drop down finds you navigating through an exciting but dimly lit human-hamster trail. (Yes, a brief exclamation of "Weeeeee!" is expected.) Then, at last, you discover my secret den, my man cave, my fortress of solitude, my reclusive refuge from the daily demands of family and work. (You've come this far so I can trust you not to tell. Please?)

The air is fresh and bug free by vents I specially designed to pierce the ground that hides under the canopy of my home’s crawl space. Depending upon the time of year, you would find yourself luxuriously cooled or warmed by the unchanging temperature of the surrounding earth. The allure of a deliciously stocked refrigerator and soft lights powered by tapped electricity seductively beckon you to stay.

But you can’t. This is my domain. Stealthy and slavishly built. This is my attempt to recharge --- so I can fight good fights of righting wrongs, of providing to those in need, of teaching by example and … of staying alive long enough to make a difference. Your overwhelm desire to remain doesn’t matter. For the brief time I am In this sanctuary, I can selfishly ignore what you and everyone else wants. How did you get here anyway? OH, wait. I guess every super hero needs a trusty sidekick.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Testing a new blogging Tool


I’ve read quite a bit lately on Microsoft Live Essentials.  Included in their package is a new version of Live Writer.   So here is a test of Live Writer to place a post on this blog without having to sign in first.

Spell checking works.  Word counting works and will be very helpful for assignments.

Here is an insertion test of a map.  Unfortunately, Live Writer uses Bing for its maps.  So when I ask for the location of “Jack Britt High School” (#4 in the state of public high schools and in the top 100 in the entire United States), Bing wasn’t even close.  Fortunately, I could manual direct the map to the proper location.  Insertion works fine.

Map picture

Previewing an unpublished post works.  However, you don’t see the first post on your blog, only the second and subsequent entries.  Minor annoyance…

Thursday, August 12, 2010

a ring?

My friends at work have been asking when I'm going to buy a wedding ring for my fiancee. A wedding ring? So far, it's been a few dollars to add her to my Sam's membership here, AAA membership there, moving truck cost, apartment fees and other expenses -- all motivated by my love for her. At this point, a wedding ring is just a formality after I've regained a financial hold, isn't it ...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Romantic Lighting

The newest green, making-money-through-guilt technology is the LED light bulb which uses about a tenth of the electricity of regular incandescent bulb. Unfortunately, there is the tiny detail of having to pay almost a gazillion times the cost of our current anti-save-the-planet lighting globes. There is also the matter of not having the same bright, diffused light pattern. This isn't a problem if you are going for that romantic, over-priced mood that drives women wild, especially as kitchen lighting. Of course, I've found that you can get the same effect of dim lighting without a large after-dinner price tag. My frightened dates often refer to it as an uncontrolled fire. I call it a meal (and kitchen) well cooked. Somehow, the romance ends charred as well ...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Were Oreos really that important?

Yes, I know Oreos are a tasty, life-giving treat from the gods. And I completely understand why I would be asked to pick up a package or two (or hundred) from the store. Still, I had spent the week and a better part of the day running around to save the world. Retrieving Oreos were the last thing on my mind when I stopped to get other much more urgently needed supplies.

But, like you've heard, it only takes one mistake to whip out a million good deeds. The undelivered Oreos infuriated its intended devouree. So much so that they informed the world of their displeasure with furious "WTF" Facebook post.

Here's where you have to decide what the mature response should be. Do you flame back on the post? Do you start pointing out all the good that you've been doing to enhance their life? Do you remind them that they aren't 5 years old? Or, do you ignore this public tantrum and go on with your life?

Sometimes, it's better to ignore what people put on Facebook and hope that they realize how silly it reads to other people. That was my strategy. And the Oreos? They were delicious!