July 2006 Archives
Sanding is, by far, the least enjoyable part of carpentry. I often wish I could just toss whatever it is in a big drum full of sand and roll it around for a while, or something. :-P
No, it's not a vacation. :-P An anti-vacation, in point of fact. This is Jen's last week at TIP. I know going in we both thought it would be fun for her, that the time would fly by. Instead it's been quite the reverse; Jen made the comment Saturday that it's a good thing she's mostly dissociated the whole thing from Duke TIP, because as an experience it would otherwise have polluted the fond memories she had of her own time there. Which is really too bad; I had hoped to send our own kids there someday, and from Jen's experience, I wouldn't do so if they paid me at this point. And I'm not even talking about the things Jen has had to deal with--just the way the kids are treated and the program is run. To be honest I'm not sure whether to blame their expansion away from the Duke campus (and the resulting loss of central program culture) or the societal changes (technological and otherwise) that result in parents who panic if their kids don't have cellphones and threaten lawsuits for any imagined breach of idyllic perfection. I will never be that parent, I want my kids to learn independence, learn to deal with problems on their own, learn to make friends and experience technology as a tool, not a substitute for their own intelligence and creativity.
Anyway, Jen was in town again this weekend; she and some new friends managed to make it to one of my games for the first time this season--against the team that won the championship last season. We won, of course (it's totally her fault our record's no good... ;)), which was lots of fun. It's funny, we tend to play very well against this team (both seasons), I don't know why. I still have no points this season (2 penalty minutes, though!) which is kind of disappointing since I won't be playing this fall (or next spring). I'd like to get a goal before I have to lay off for a while, but we'll see.
I can't decide if I like the Mary J. Blige version of "One" better than the original, or vice versa. I told Jen I liked the original better earlier today, but then I just listened to the new version and I can't decide. It might be novelty, though; the song is a classic either way.
I need something new to read. Lately (okay, like the last eight years) I've been on this intelligence sort of kick, but I feel like I haven't read anything challenging on the subject in a while. There was a good article in the NYTimes magazine today about intelligence (short version: heredity rules if your environment is sufficiently challenging to allow you to reach your full potential), and I wrote about an interesting study about learning to program over on my "other" blog--the one that nobody ever reads unless they need help with the Windows Scheduler ;)--a few days ago, but I feel like there must be something new and exciting in either related philosophy or science. Hofstadter has a new book coming out, which is exciting, but I'm thinking about looking for something to read on the plane to NYC.
Which is a separate excitement. Work is pretty busy right now; I have a metric ton of work to do before Sep. 15, and I can definitely use two weeks of R&R; I know at least some of it will be spent Kokai-style "commando raid" vacation, but hopefully I can sleep in at least once. ;) Either way it should be fun, with everyone from both families in one place, plus Simon & Fiona.
Sorry, I'm a little scatterbrained right now. I've got so much going on mentally that I've had trouble sleeping, something that hasn't been true since probably sophomore year of college, when I considered it a relaxing day if I got to sleep before 2 a.m. ;) I probably left something out of this update, but I can't "feature" what (as they say in Deadwood ;)).
I actually had a really good day today--the sort of day that could only be made better in a single way, and that's if Jen were here to share it.
I slept in (as much as the animals ever allow), had a leisurely cup of coffee, then gave the dogs baths (so they're fluffy and they smell good now). Of course, since the dogs were clean I had to wash Charlie's crate (since if he'd laid down in it he'd have needed another bath at this point), and then I had to sweep the house in case there was any dust or dirt that might undo the baths as well. :) They were really good about the baths, usually Cara goes all "oh my god I can't believe you're abusing me this way", but today she just kind of sat there and accepted it. Charlie does this hilarious thing after baths where he rubs up against anything he can find--couches, chairs, beds--as if trying to wipe off the water or the conditioner or something. Of course both of them shed something fierce after a bath, so I've been brushing them every hour or two.
After that I cleaned myself up (it's amazing how wet and dirty one can get cleaning two dogs) and went to Lowe's. I bought the supplies (including most of the paint--excluding the polka dots) for painting the baby's room. My mom commented on how matter-of-fact I am about that at this point ("painting the baby's room"), but to be honest, we're 4 months into this and I'm more or less used to the idea now, you know? ;) Jen and I got some super cute baby outfits while she was in town. Our baby will be dressed up in growling, stomping dinosaurs, or a sweater that makes him/her look like a monkey (complete with hood with ears), or a hooded towel made up to look like a crab. (My mother found that last very funny, we'll have to put pictures up once the baby is made to look like a monkey/crab/etc.)
Lowe's was also having a sale on a combined normal/handheld shower head, so I went ahead and grabbed that, figuring that it would be useful for washing both dogs (sadly, I bought it after I washed the dogs--tactical error there) and babies at some point. Even better, that allowed me to take the shower head from the guest bathroom and use it to replace the POS $2 (I am not kidding, I priced it at Lowe's) shower head that was in the master bath. Which should be nice.
Then I played hockey this evening. Our hockey team isn't doing as well as last season--I don't know if I jinxed us or not, but we're 1-4-2 on the season, tied for last place. Still, it's a lot of fun, we just aren't scoring enough. Every game we've lost has been by a single goal, so it's not like we aren't competetive, we just can't finish off the other teams. It does feel like the level of competition has gone up--there's an "informal" league, with no refs, as well, and I think a lot of the more marginal players dropped down to that, so the regular C league is more difficult by comparison with last season. Also, the last few games the refs had gone completely crazy; two games ago, we spent nearly the entire second period short a player (at one point we had four players in the box at the same time), which is just nuts for a rec league. I took my first two-minute penalty in that game, for cross-checking (which was nonsense--the blade of my stick was on the ice; it should have been either elbowing or boarding, if they were going to call anything at all. :-P) Either way, any day I get to play hockey is pretty much a good day, and I'm used to being on last-place teams, so it beats not playing at all. :-D
Other than that, not much to report; work has been busy but not unreasonably so, I'm at least getting to work on new-ish problems. Missing Jen a lot, of course, but there isn't much I can do about that. :-P
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