Friday, January 29, 2010

A Rabbit, a Vest, and My Family

My wife's fitting a new harness/vest onto Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit just now. The rabbit chewed through part of his old one: which was pink and a sort of bright yellow-green. This one is a tannnish brown. Giol looks like he's wearing a vest now.

#1 daughter came home for the weekend, arriving a little before supper. She's been researching towns in this general area, looking for the optimum place to live after Tech. school.

Back to the rabbit.

As #1 daughter said to Giol, "now you're very stylish: and your butt looks big." Well, it did before: Giol's a rabbit, you know. The new harness does look a bit better on him than that, ah, brightly-colored one did. And, seems to work quite well as an attachment for his leash: which is the main idea.

I'll be reading Garfield with my son, soon.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday: One More Day and It's the Weekend

Another day's done.

My wife, #3 daughter and son went to Soo Bahk Do class tonight and got a thorough workout. Someday I ought to get involved in that again.

My day was mostly writing posts - including one for Narcissus-X that's more the result of desperation than inspiration on my part: "Narcissus-X Contemplates the Viscous Chartreuse Torrent." My schedule says that there's a Narcissus-X post due today - and there's some small virtue to sticking to a schedule.

If nothing else, I figure it's keeping my creative muscles limber. Although, judging from today's results, a re-evaluation of that assumption may be called for.

It's getting late, I'm tired.

Goodnight, and may God bless.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Same Blog, New Look

Yes, this is "Through One Dad's Eye," my personal blog.

No, it doesn't look the way it did yesterday.

I've changed the look of "Through One Dad's Eye," to make my life a little easier - and maybe yours, too, when you visit this blog. It should load faster, and have fewer things to go wrong.

The old template looked fine: but it was starting to look, old fashioned. To me, anyway.

Brian H. Gill
Sauk Centre, Minnesota
"in the heart of darkest Minnesota"

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Can Feel Crumbs! Wow!

I ate lunch today, which is a routine event.

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I swept crumbs on my plate up with a finger. Again, routine.

And could feel that there were crumbs between my finger and the plate.

Not so routine. Not with that finger.

I'd been using the index finger of my right hand - the one next to the thumb. There was a time, before 2006, when I couldn't feel anything except pressure or pain from the thumb and adjoining two fingers on either hand: carpal tunnel trouble. Inconvenient.

Surgery corrected the carpal tunnel situation in 2006, and the nerves have been growing back ever since.

I checked, after sensing the crumbs, and the usual pattern is still in play. I can feel crumbs with my right middle finger - almost as well as I do 'normally.' The first finger: the sensation isn't as clear, but I can definitely feel that there's something between my finger and the plate. My right thumb? I can tell that I'm in contact with something that's more of a surface, than an edge: but that's it.

Well, it's an improvement.

If this keeps up, it won't be too many years before I can draw again. When the sense of touch in six of my ten digits went offline, I discovered how much I relied on feedback, for fine motor control in my fingers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Sunday Done

#1 daughter's gone back to Alexandria. She visited family friends - and their baby rabbits - late this afternoon, after spending the weekend here.

I've read Garfield and sung with my son: a pleasant routine.

And, the New Orleans Saints are going to the Super Bowl: Which is quite a big deal. It's the first time the team made it that far.

I'm a bit divided in my feelings about the Saints' win. I'm not a really huge football fan - but they were playing the Vikings, and I've a long and deep history with the state of Minnesota.

And, since late January of 1986, as I recall, I've been living near the center of Minnesota - and loving it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No Soo Bahk Do Today

I just got word: My wife, #3 daughter and son won't be going to Soo Bahk Do class today. The weather's okay now, but it looks like a little weather's headed this way:
  • Light freezing rain
  • Sleet
  • Snow and patchy light freezing drizzle in the evening
  • "...then patchy light freezing drizzle after midnight. Areas of fog in the evening. Widespread freezing fog after midnight...."
Fairly routine stuff for central Minnesota, this time of year: but people tend to live longer if they maintain situational awareness.

Disappointing for them - my wife sent my son to this end of the house, so that I wouldn't be surprised, a few minutes from now, if I noticed they were still here. Good for her.

So, for them it's some unscheduled free time. For me, an opportunity to hang out with them. Provided I get the day's tasks done.

Being self-employed is okay: but a downside is that no employer in his right mind would work someone the way I do with myself.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Of Sinks, a Rabbit, and an Apple Core

Another day's just about over.

My wife and #2 daughter were out today, looking at sinks. I have no idea what their selection process was, but my wife told me that she's found something suitable. Now, the issue is finding faucets, I'm told.

She'd have been doing this last year, but this household was in crisis mode for most of 2009, economically anyway. Typically, the new sinks are being selected partly on aesthetic grounds: but the need is practical, not decorative. The hardware we have now could be repaired - but I'm told that repair costs would be about what it takes to replace the things.

Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, had is 'people time' up in the kitchen this evening. And got an apple core from me. He's calmed down a great deal since #1 daughter picked him up from - the pound, I think - in Alexandria.

My son and I read Garfield and sang, as usual. And, I see I've still got a task left to finish.

Wednesday: a Phone Call

I had a short talk with my son-in-law over the phone, then he and my wife talked for a bit. Part of what they said had to do with the Colorado ski/family trip #2 daughter and her husband took.

As my wife said: "It was a real vacation. They didn't have to bury anybody."

After last year, that's something to celebrate.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Day in the Heart of Darkest Minnesota

Fog overnight and this morning left frost on the trees.

South Ash Street here in Sauk Centre. I took this picture about 9 this morning. Yes: It was that dark. January 19, 2010

My wife and #3 daughter watched the shop for my father-in-law this afternoon. I'm glad we're in town, to take care of that sort of thing.

My son mentioned that he could build a computer for me, when I mentioned wanting to separate webcam support from my 'main' computer. I may take him up on that.

I lost the habit of checking on Facebook and MySpace late in 2009 - that was an interesting year. Now, I'm getting touching base with those communities back in my routines.

Another hour or so, and I'll be reading Garfield with my son.

And, I see that someone brought Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, up. He's in the kitchen. I've got an apple core - two, actually - waiting for him.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Three-Day Weekend

A three-day weekend is over for #1 daughter. She spent it with us. I rather liked that. She's now back in Alex, and is scheduled for classes as usual tomorrow. I learned that she's planning on taking an 'extra' course in animation next fall: pretty good idea, I think. Particularly considering some of her interests.

#2 daughter & my son-in-law are (or were, up to yesterday, I think) in Colorado. Skiing. With his parents. #2 daughter was quite impressed with the scenery. Good for them: it's great to be able to travel. There's quite a remarkable world out there.

I heard a guitar earlier today: I suspect it was #3 daughter, but I haven't confirmed that.

Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, has had two apple cores this evening. That's quite a treat for him. He'll get up on his hind feed and reach for them.

My son and I read Garfield tonight, as usual, and I sang the tune that I've sung for each of the kids. It's pretty close to something my father sang to me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Orleans Saints Won! After That, What is There to Say?

The New Orleans Saints won!

My wife and #3 daughter have been watching the game. We got interested in the team, when #2 daughter married a fellow from Louisiana.

I'll say that again.

The New Orleans Saints won!


Anything, after that, would be something of an anti-climax, I gather.

Noted, from this hour's news:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Baby Shower, Eye Exam, Digging Out a Car, and Brainstorming

My wife and #3 daughter went to a baby shower today, for Our Lady of the Angels' choir director. The choir director's husband was there (brave man), and maybe four others guys from the choir. The invitation had been to all choir members. I guess this is another indication that it isn't the fifties any more. Can't say I'm sorry about that.

My wive and #3 daughter made a baby-size choir robe for the choir director's new son. I'm told it was something of a hit. As were the other gifts, of course.

#1 daughter came home for the weekend around supper time - which is roughly 5:00 p.m. in this household. She needed some help getting her car unstuck, I gather. Apparently it got mired in snow when she drove it in the 'other' driveway.

I got my eyes examined today: an annual process, now that I've got diabetes. Good news: I've got two, and they both work. No problems. Between the pupil-dilating drops, and the ones that anesthetized my eyes for the pressure test, though, I'm having a bit of time focusing. Oh, well: that will, I trust, pass.

Good grief: I checked my task list, and I've got two posts left to write. And no clue what to write about for one of them. Both, actually: but I can fake it for one.

The other? That's the Loonfoot Falls Chronicle-Gazette blog. I think I'd better pull in #1 daughter and do some brainstorming. Our brains - God help both of us - work about the same way, and we've been able to help each other out on creative projects before.

My son? He and I will, I think, be doing the same sort of thing as he gets older. Not about the same things, though: he's more like my inner geek than my inner writer and artist.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Locking the Family Out: Or, the Knock

My wife, #3 daughter, and son were at Soo Bahk Do this evening. I wrapped up (most) of the day's tasks while they were out. And, fiddled around a bit on the keyboard.

Fiddled? Keyboard? Uf da: not the best metaphor. Let it pass.

I checked the garage while I was over there: the light was on, which I decided must have been intentional, so they wouldn't be in the dark on their return.

Then I (quite automatically, without thinking or even being aware of it) locked the inside door of the garage, and settled in, two rooms away, to get a little further along on a fiction project.

After a time, I realized that someone was knocking at a door.

The garage door! I'd locked it.

Oh, well: they didn't have to wait more than - maybe a minute?

It's late, and I'm determined to get a reasonable night's sleep.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Day, More Posts; Some Research; and a Rabbit

I had a short talk with my son-in-law today, and an insurance agent. He - that's my son-in-law - is getting insurance for the house he and #2 daughter are living in. Good idea, too.

And, if I heard it right, I'll have a new niece or nephew soon. The extended family's growing. For which I'm duly grateful.

The task-list system I started last year is working. Which reminds me of the story of the speckled axe. If you've heard this before, skip the next paragraph.

A father and son were getting ready to chop wood. This was in the days when you sharpened an axe by turning a stone wheel by hand and holding the axe blade against it. The son didn't want to have a speckled axe when they were done. He wanted to get the axe perfectly sharpened and polished, with no rust left at all. The father agreed, on the condition that the son turn the wheel. After a while the son got tired and said, "Dad, I think a speckled axe is okay."

Well, I decided to accept a speckled-axe approach to the task list. I had all the tasks that could be done listed. But each day I only did those that really needed to be finished.

Today, I only have thee left undone. Not bad, actually. And, improving.

My son and I read Garfield tonight, as we usually do, before he went to bed.

He gave an apple core to Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, on his way upstairs. Giol's a bit mellower now, than he was over the last few weeks. Still, he hopped energetically on his back feet, reaching for the apple core.

Which brings me up to the present. Giol is sitting under a chair in the kitchen, washing himself. He reminds me of the cats I knew, growing pu, when he does that. Good memories.

And, good night.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Students are Coming! The Students are Coming!

It's almost 3:15, Monday afternoon. School let out a few minutes ago, and hordes of highschoolers - many (most?) in vehicles - are pouring down south 9th Street.

If you want to see the action, it's online: Small Town America: Minnesota. The streaming video there is from what may be Sauk Centre's first on-the-street webcam.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Death in the Community: This One Was Avoidable

Michael D. "Mike" Willhite's is one of three funerals this week in Sauk Centre's Catholic parishes.

According to a St. Cloud Times article (January 6, 2010)
"The driver of a roadside service truck was seriously injured Tuesday night after a pickup struck his vehicle.

"Michael D. Willhite, 49, of Sauk Centre was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital after the crash was reported at 9:27 p.m. on Interstate Highway 94, two miles east of Melrose.

"The service truck was traveling west when it was struck from behind, according to the State Patrol. The truck was slowing down in the right lane arriving at a service call that was on the right shoulder. The patrol said a semitrailer had stalled...."
The article says the pickup driver "was not able to react in time to avoid striking the service truck, according to the patrol."

And, that as of Wednesday last week, the patrol was still investigating the accident.

Why Write About This?

First, my condolences to relatives and friends of Mr. Willhite.

Second, without making any assumptions about how this accident happened: something to think about.

I haven't heard the term, "highway hypnosis" for a long, long time. And it's been a while since I read anything about driver fatigue or other safety concerns in the news. Not that I was looking for that sort of thing.

I do, however, drive fairly often, on and off the Interstate. And once in a while I notice a driver whose front bumper is awfully close to the back of the next vehicle. The word was "tailgating" in my youth. Tailgate parties: no problem. Tailgating on the road? It was a bad idea then, and it's a bad idea now.

I've gotten to close to a leading vehicle myself - it can happen. But it's one of the things on my 'don't do this' list.

Back Off: You Can Live With Three Seconds

At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, I suggest backing off.

If you're in a hurry, particularly on the Interstate, you've got the option of passing the vehicle in front of you. That's what the "left" lane is for. Obviously, on two-way roads, some extra care should be taken to make sure you don't run into someone coming the other way.

If you can't pass, or don't feel like it: be far enough back so that you can count off three seconds between the time the lead vehicle passes an object, and you do. Not my idea: It's from MinnDot. They suggest saying "one Minnesota, two Minnesota, three Minnesota" - but just about any three-or-four-syllable word between the numbers will do.

You can have lightning reflexes and all that - but at some point physics and biology make it simply impossible to stop in time. The fellow behind Mike Willhite may have had a fast reaction time, too, you know.

    Highway 55 Tailgating Safety Project, Minnesota Department of Transportation (December 2006)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday: About a Rabbit, a Leash, and School

My wife is putting Giol, #1 daughter's pet rabbit, in the basement for the night. Uneventfully tonight. He'd finished a sort of salad bar we set out for him on the floor, and I gave him an apple core earlier. I'll admit that we're a bit soft when it comes to that nibbler.

Yesterday evening, when my wife came to get Giol, he was at the end of his leash. Which was remarkable, since he'd gotten out of his harness. Apparently, he's learned that he's only supposed to go as far as the leash does.

#1 daughter is in Alex now, preparing for the start of classes on Monday. My son's homeschooling has already started - it only slowed down for the holidays, I think.

Me? I've got tomorrow's posts for Apathetic Lemming of the North to set up, so I need to get back to work.
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