Jan 18

Winter is actually coming

It is going to snow tomorrow. It is raining and will continue to rain and then the rain will turn into snow. We are properly provisioned. We have visited the stores and braved the crowds. I saw a Cadillac parked in a handicapped parking space at the grocery store. The driver had cared in equal parts about driving the right direction up and down the parking lot lanes, parking in the actual space and in displaying a handicapped sticker or hangtag, which is to say not at all.

I have laundered all of the clothes. If the power goes out and never comes back, my wardrobe will be in decent shape for a while.

We are prepared to salt the driveway. For not the first time I wondered if they colored this salt a blueish-green to keep people from trying to eat it. Fortunately the cars are already set for cold conditions, which we’ve been in for … oh some amount of time not yet approaching demoralizing.

But there’s no need to worry about all of that. We’re going to have a weekend of peacefully reading and doing nothing and loving every bit of that.

We won’t wake up to a winter wonderland tomorrow, it is going to appear all around us as we work and play.

Jan 18

Things you write in and on

I bought some new notebooks the other night. I have many notebooks and notepads, you see. Some I use. At the office, I work from a stack of legal pads, with each one corresponding to a different role or set of running concerns. At home I have a nice stack of old notebooks and pads and things that I’ve accumulated over the years — and years isn’t overstating it. None of them are of an special high quality, they were meant to be scribbled and written on, but for whatever reason I find I seldom use them. And when I do find a need to write in one, I have the worst time deciding which one I’m going to mark up.

But when I’m on the go I’ve found that I enjoy the one-subject, 100-page, seven-inch by five-inch spiral notebook. They fit in my bag, they are inexpensive, they come in many colors and so I can use one for each subject and they are spiral bound, which is just easier somehow.

And so, having purchased a new handful of those to compliment the two older ones, I can pare some stuff down. I have lecture notes and interview notes and random notes to myself and scribbles between me and whoever I was sitting next to at the time and all kinds of things in those two notebooks. Some of that information is still useful. Some information really needs to be separated, which I spent a bit of this evening doing. (My life, now featuring a notebook of things that just needed to be separate unto itself, in a notebook that might one day see eight percent of its pages put into use.)

While I was leafing through the pages, trying to decide if I should keep this section, or tear it out or transcribe this specific page into a new book, I ran across this page:

I’ve no idea what I was going for here.

As ever, the web helped me figure it out:

I thought that, somehow, someone’s guess might jog my memory, but I’m still at a loss. Leave your theories on what this note could possibly mean in the comments!

I visited the surplus store this evening. This is where the entire university system sends its gently and heavily used products when they’ve reached the end of their time on campus. You can find deals on clothes to cleats to sheets to desks and chairs to high quality picture frames there. So it is good to visit every once in a while, and they have later hours on Wednesday, so I can stop in on the way home and, tonight I was going with a purpose. We basically needed a computer stand and I thought I’d start looking for something I could halfway modify.

And wouldn’t you know it, they were having a half off sale tonight. And wouldn’t you know it, right by the door:

So I consulted with HQ, we took some measurements both of this lectern and of where it might need to go and, long story short, we now have a lectern at home.

What, you don’t?

I was standing in line, beating out some random rhythm with my fingertips and the couple behind me called me out on it. I thought they were trying to get me to stop, but they were just making idle talk while they stood in line with me. They were a little surprised a random guy would purchase a lectern. And they were pretty close to buying my story that I wanted it so I could practice classroom lectures at home.

In retrospect, if I’d told them about the notebook thing they would have absolutely bought that story.

Jan 18

Stiiiiiill frozen

I walked back out to more-or-less the same spot I took the picture from yesterday’s post. That was actually something I shot on Wednesday, after the Jordan River, which is really a stream, had been frozen for a few days. And today:

It is melting this weekend. We’re finally getting above 20 degrees for the first time in weeks. And then the ice will come.

But that’s for Sunday night and Monday morning. Tonight there’s a trip to the grocery store for drinks, and then another grocery store, for different drinks. This is a thing that happens for us discerning shoppers. One store simply won’t do.

So I headed north, to the next little town, to get a tea brewed from back home. The tea is made nine miles from where I grew up, actually. They ship it up here by the miracles of interstate commerce and it is sold in exactly two places here. So its a bit of home I enjoy too much. So that one out-of-the-way store has the tea. But I must also pick up some Coke. And this store doesn’t carry the proper variety.

The very large grocery store, the annoying one with the unseemly parking lot and the large crowds, has the right Coke. It is hecho en Mexico. And you can get it for a bulk rate, and use the self checkout system, which is a lifesaver, when you can catch an open unit. If they’re full, you may as well find the longest line with a human checkout. Also, you can get flowers at that store, which I did this evening, because it was Friday and that seemed like a good enough reason for a small bouquet for the kitchen counter.

Outside, in the shivering, blistering cold, there are six gas pumps and a bunch of people in cars who don’t know how to drive around gas pumps. And now I have drinks for a week, a month of fuel for the car and a few days of colorful petals to enjoy over breakfast and chicken pot pie for dinner tonight. And, also, a weekend.

Next week classes begin, there will be a lot of new stuff on Twitter and Instagram, the return of a great site feature and a lot more. Do enjoy your weekend, but come back soon.

Dec 17

December announcement

The trees are up. The ornaments will become a multi-day affair, starting over the weekend. The greenery is wound around the bannisters. A tasteful amount of Christmas decor has been displayed. December is here.

And now we have to go shopping, too? And then get ready to travel? And finish the semester in the next few days?

So site activity will be reduced this month. This is not a hiatus — I just added a cool new video to the front page, for example — but it won’t be an every day thing. Please do stop by from time to time, though.

I will be continue to be active on Instagram and Twitter, however.

See you sometime next week.

Aug 17

Operation Splinter

Best part of my day:

I also wrapped up the first stage of The Project. It needs a better name, but I’m not yet ready to name it, or even discuss it at length. What if it doesn’t work? What if I have to scrap the entire thing? What if it is just terrible? Do I really want to talk publicly about my time machine without knowing how it turns out?

I’ve said too much.

Anyway. The first stage is done. I suppose the true first step was material acquisition. This took place on Friday and Saturday. And then the first stage took place on Saturday and Sunday, and was more taxing than I’d imagined, even as I knew it would be time consuming. By Monday, though, I’d figured out how to to make the process move more quickly, and it did. Only to be slowed down, yesterday, by an equipment failure brought on by user error. So I fixed that issue today and completed the first stage.

Then I performed Operation Clean Up. The first stage took up a half of the garage, and so that ultimately led to reorganizing much of the shelf space in the garage and in bits and pieces these last few days and so even if the time machine it doesn’t work, the effort has been fruitful.

The first part of the second stage of The Project will likely take place the weekend after next. I anticipate there being three parts to the second stage, followed by a quick third stage and then tedious efforts to complete the fourth and fifth stages. When those are done, I will ready to unveil the project.

Of course I plan on documenting the entire effort. But not the garage cleaning part. No need to make you jealous. I’ve already showed you a video from Allie earlier tonight, after all. Do be sure you watch that. And then maybe watch it again. I could use the hits.

Also, stop by and say hello on Twitter and Instagram, too.