Week of August 29, 2004

August 29, 2004 16:18 – 16:18

Friday, September 3, 2004

9:55 pm

Gripping. In America was gripping. Katie & I sobbed through the last 30 minutes of it. Karen was misty-eyed, but wasn’t gripped quite as much as we were. It’s a true story, and was written by the family it happened to. None of the cast looked familiar. The acting was phenomenal. If it didn’t win any academy awards, I have no clue why. It goes on my top 10 list of movies that have most moved me, and I’m not even sure there are 10 on the list: (First Contact, In America, Sounder, It’s a Wonderful Life, … and others. I’ll have to look at some old lists to see what else is on my list.)

7:45 pm

Tonight’s dinner was… Marinated jumbo CostCo prawns in balsamic vinegar dressing & lime juice… cooked it on the new grill… over mesquite. Served Caesar salad, then had the prawns with brown rice (jazzed up a little with various things, like crab seasoning, italian dressing and other stuff). “Definitely a keeper” recipe, was Karen’s assessment.

Me: You do realize these shrimp have been peeled, and there are no shells, don’t you? The whole thing is edible.

Katie: I don’t want to eat their little feet!

Me: Those aren’t feet. The feet were here [points], and are now walking to the sanitary landfill.

Katie: I don’t want to eat their little feet!

Me: Those bits you’re discarding are edible.

Katie: I don’t want to eat their little feet!

Me: <sigh>

I didn’t have the heart to say “Those aren’t their feet. Those are the tails!” because, well… it under the circumstances, I suspect it wouldn’t have been any more attractive to her than feet.

We have two movies to watch: In America and the original Manchurian Candidate. I’ll let me know how they were later. We’ll prolly watch the former tonight, and the latter tomorrow night.

Ran for an hour this morning (ran 60 minutes, walked 30). Decided not to do the 12 mile jaunt from TJ. Karen took KT and CC to TJ, instead. Then, I picked up KT from TJ and went to CC (CostCo).

I will keep the 12-mile TJ jaunt in mind, however, for some nice morning when the temps are in the 30s or 40s. Maybe I’ll catch a ride in with KT, then hoof it home. But… not until I’ve paid a visit to Famous Footwear to procure some replacement footwear for my famous feet.

At some point today on the way home from CostCo, I decided to count political signs. Coming through a neighborhood that’s been heavily republican in the past, I was surprised to see nothing but Kerry signs… and most of the Kerry-signed houses also displayed large U.S. flags.

I counted some 25 Kerry signs between there and home. I didn’t see any Bush signs — none at all. Very surprising. Maybe they don’t think they need to campaign, because Katherine Harris clones are standing by to fix the election. Or, maybe they’re planning to pull Osama out of a hat in the last week of October.

That’s what I think’s going to happen. On October 30 (the 29th & 31st are too value-laden), they’ll announce Osama’s capture. Then, a week after the election, they’ll say “Whoops! Our bad. It was just one of his many look-alikes!”

7:45 am

Two blondes are in Los Angeles

One blonde asks the other….

“Which is further, London or the Moon?”

The other blonde replies:

“HELLOOOOO!!!!!!

Can you see London from here?????!!!!!”

Thursday, September 2, 2004

7:50 pm

Note: we rented Duplex, with Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller. I’ll let me know later whether I liked it.

Later: Funny and good, but with too much nausea-inducing stuff. That seems to be the pattern for Ben Stiller flix. I don’t know if it’s that he wants to insert the n-i material, or if it’s already there in the script, and casting thinks… Hmmm… Ah! Stiller! I especially love the scene where Drew & Ben exchange their naughty thoughts about their lovely tenant. I solved most of the “mystery” fairly early on, for the most part, which to me justified the main characters’ motivation. There were only like 4 or 5 deleted scenes in the “Extras” section. Now, I know why. This 97 minute movie contained a number of scenes that SHOULD have been deleted, but weren’t. Next Stiller/Barrymore movie: please — a lot
more
Drew, and a lot
less
Stiller.

Sisy is here to spend the night with Katie. The sadist in me is looking forward to Katie’s having to wake up at 7 tomorrow morning. The TJ choir is singing for freshman orientation tomorrow. It seems to me that having them get up so early, they’re more likely to be DISorientated than orientated. Yes. I know that ain’t no word. In any event, since Sisy’s parent’s are worried about her riding with another 16 year old driving, the current plan is for me to drive them to TJ tomorrow morning–in the BOAT–and then to run/walk home. It’s about 11.6 miles. I’m thinking about taking the subway to shave three miles off the trip. Holy cow! That means I have to be up & out by 7:30. Ouch.

We went to Karen’s annual divisional picnic at Ft. Ward Park this evening. It was rather interesting. Normally a conservative lot, a lot of the usually-staunch republicans there are defecting to Kerry. Reason: Iraq. They know people who are there, or they have actually been there, and they know how mismanaged it all is. They’re not too keen on Bushy’s management style. Go here for an interesting perspective on Iraq, by the way. It’s Peg Bartel’s recent address to MVUC.

Made some progress on the new study today… but not much. I’m still worried about being able to produce anything useful over the next two weeks. Legislative history is not my cup of monkey spit.

Monet stopped by and took a snapshot of me:

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

7:40 pm

Whoa. September, already.

If you didn’t catch the Barbara and Jenna show last night, you missed a doozie. Gad, those two are stupid. They exist so the word “bimbo” has some handy examples standing by. GWB should turn the campaign over to them. Honestly.

And what was the deal with that constant husky giggle one of them kept emitting? I’ll bet the tobacco lobbyists were really proud to be represented in such an exemplary fashion.

Bushy.

Oh, please!

We’re almost out of toilet paper, so, I thought I’d sneak up to MSG and “borrow” a few rolls of the top-quality TP that the RNC is using. But, wait a minute! What’s this? Every sheet of every roll is imprinted and embossed. And, what’s this say? It’s hard to tell, because the writing is so small. Here’s a sheet of what the republicans are using for toilet paper. Maybe you can make out the writing… it’s too small for my bad eyesight.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
7:45 am

Conceptual breakthrough! I finally am beginning to understand VBA object model programming. Now, why the hell doesn’t the Help make an effort at Helping the hapless Word/Excel/Etc. user understand?

At the top of many Help screens is some bit of nonsense that looks like this:

Multiple Objects
Selection
Multiple Objects

This made no sense to me until this morning. If, instead of “Multiple Objects” they had given the list of applicable objects, then this all might’ve made sense to me 10 years ago. Presented this way, it just seemed like BS jargon. And, indeed, that’s really what it is. Very badly written jargon, ostensibly put there simply to fill space, with the ancillary benefit that it also obfuscates and renders VBA inaccessibly unintelligible (i.e., presents it in a totally fucked-up way).

But, this morning… BING! It suddenly made sense. The bit in the middle is the Object you’re currently working with. It has other Objects before it in precedence, and could have multiple Objects following it. So, if you record a macro and it includes (among other things)

With Selection.Find

{Other crap}

End With

Selection.Find is a shorthand for a longer statement that includes all of the other objects where the current selection resides, such as:

With Application.ActiveDocument.ActiveWindow.Selection.Find

And Find contains other objects, as well. You just keep drilling down until you find what you need.

Granted, it’s still a bit of a pain compared to good old fashioned WordBASIC, but I’m getting there.

Monday, August 30, 2004

9:30 pm

Another fizzle. The remnants of TS Gaston were supposed to cause minor havoc here this evening. So far, just a little bit of rain. 150 miles southeast of here, however, my mom & dad are without power, and are huddled in their camper with the generator running (my mom has trouble breathing, and needs A/C, thanks to 60+ years of smoking and an ardent refusal to quit, even now, when beset with emphysema and chronic bronchitis. So, anyone who thinks smoking is cool… how cool is it to never be able to inhale or exhale without hearing a loud gurgling noise of mucous and phlegm bubbling down in your lungs? Every second of every day, feeling like you have pneumonia. Yeah. Cool.

Put that damn cigarette out and never light another one. RJ Reynolds, et al, do NOT need your money. By smoking, you’re supporting George Bush’s super-rich friends, and helping fund their election campaign. You’re supporting John Ashcroft who thinks you have a “right” to smoke, but not a right to speak or believe what you want. If you want to put a dent into the right-wing super rich NAZI group that’s trying to completely take over the world, stopping smoking is your first step.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

3:53 pm

Lazy unmotivated Sunday.
Too hot to do anything healthy Sunday.
Too hot to do anything unhealthy Sunday.
At least I baked two kinds of muffins this morning.
Now, that’s something. And required motivation.

Went to the annual poetry service at MVUC.
The poems were good.
But, two tributes to Harriet Schultz made me remember.
Harriet died this past year.
Harriet’s pen is silent.

Harriet was most of the reason I look forward to the poetry service.
Harriet’s poems were witty, wise, clever, surprising, shocking and just plain fun.
Harriet and the rest of the poets are a constant reminder that wit knows no age.
From the pens of these Would-Be-Poets flows reams of priceless wit.
Priceless lessons they willingly share with the rest of us.

Maybe someone there today will be inspired to join the WBP group.
Maybe someone old, or someone young, or someone neither.
Maybe me, but probably not.
My poetry already gets enough exposure.
In song.

Still.
It’s fun.
Sometimes it’s a relief.
To write something concise.
Something that doesn’t have to rhyme.

Yet, that part of me that defines things insists that it’s not a poem unless it rhymes and has meter and rhythm.
My grade school teachers insisted that in order to be poetry, it had to meet certain rigid and strict criteria.
Free verse, they implied, not so much said, is poetic laziness.
Part of me wants to break free of that rigidity.
Yet, part of me wants to adhere to it.

Induced Katie to install SP2 on her computer.
Induced Katie to unpack and set up the new cordless phones.
Induced Katie to vacuum the stairs.
Induced Katie to read a little about the little people.
Ah. The power of induction.

Can I summon the energy to bake a peach pie?
Should I even try?
The filling’s done.
All that remains is the willingness.
The willingness to get flour on my shirt.

PS This is not a poem. Mrs. Cross, Mrs. West, Miss Jenkins and Mrs. Cohen, all of Bayview School in Norfolk, Virginia would insist that this is not a poem. Miss Johnson, my most hateful teacher (even more hateful than Mrs. West), would agree. Of those early teachers, the only one with the courage to allow free verse was Mrs. Donohue. Thank you, Mrs. Donohue, for unchaining our imaginations. Odd… for some reason, I can no longer remember the name of my 3rd grade teacher at Rose Hill. Fourth & fifth were Donohue, Johnson, Johnson, Donohue. Sixth were Mrs. Allison (Wilton Woods) and Mr. Lacy (Bush Hill). I could probably remember Mark Twain and Edison teachers, too, aided by a yearbook or two. Here are some of them, but I’m sure there were additional English teachers, since we had thematic English at Edison, and there are some I simply cannot recall.

7: Miss Wertman (Spanish), Mrs. Burnett (ESG), Miss Allen (Art), Mr. Koelz (Science), Mr. Munn (PE), Mr. Jennings (Math), Miss Howell (Music)

8: Miss Cameron (Art), Miss Christy (Music), Mr. Munn (PE), Miss Wertman (Spanish), Mrs. Hewitt (English), Mr. Nickerson (Math), Miss Brenda (?) Sykes (Biology), Mr. Kohler (Shop), Mrs. Lester (History)

9: Mrs. Struck (Spanish), Mrs. Lewis (Earth Science), Mrs. Litvinas (Algebra), Mr. Tommy Perry (PE/Driver’s Ed.), Mr. Damico (Geography), Mrs. Cleavenger (English)
10: Mrs. Sanchez-Masi (Spanish), Mr. Coy Adams (Biology), Mr. Fox (PE), Mrs. Royall (English), Miss Peggy Hall (Typing), Miss Sarah Hinkle (Geometry)
12: Mr. Glenn Hinton (Spanish), Mr. Charlie Blevins (Physics), Mrs. Denise Brannick (History), Mr. Volta Lawler (Government), Mr. Roger Reeder (English), Mrs. Wooley (Algebra 2 Trig), Miss Kay Dopp (English)

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