Saturday, December 31, 2011

Going from Guy Lombardo to Justin Bieber: Happy New Year, 2012!

There's a wind advisory out for my part of Minnesota tonight: 30 to 35 mph with gusts to around 50 mph. Judging from the sizzling sound I hear on the north and west walls of the house, there's occasional sleet coming down, too. Or maybe really hard snowflakes. Or freezing rain, or something else.

I watched the Waterford crystal ball drop over New York City's Times Square, about 20 minutes ago. On television, of course: I'd just as soon not stand outside for hours, this time of year. Not even in comparatively temperate places like New York City.

It's officially 2012 on the east coast now. Here in Minnesota, we've got about 40 minutes of 2011 left, as midnight sweeps across our part of the globe.

New Year's Eve on television used to be mostly about dance bands like Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians. And the big parties.

America has changed a lot since I was a teenager. The music's different, the faces on television aren't the same, and the culture's changed. I'm not happy about every change that happened. But my memory is pretty good: and I remember what 'the good old days' were like. Even if I could, I'd never want to go back.

Happy New Year, 2012!

Related posts:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas, 2011

My wife, son, and #1 & #3 daughters, are in the other room, playing a game one of them got this Christmas. I plan to join them in a few minutes, but figured it would be a good idea to get slightly caught up in this blog.

I started working for my son-in-law this month: answering phones and helping with a massive spreadsheet. He and #2 daughter started a candle-making company this year, and need more space to make the things. I posted about that in another blog.

I also set up a 'between checkups' checkup at the eye doctor this week. A 'floater' had popped up in an inconvenient spot in my right eye.

It's a sort of 'good news/bad news' situation.

First, the bad news: "Degeneration" is in the name of what I've got. It's vitreous degeneration, a fancy way of saying that the gel in my right eye is shrinking, and pulled away from the back of the eye.

Now, the good news: Vitreous degeneration is normal for someone like me, who is 60: and hasn't died yet. It's one of those things that happen to folks, if we live long enough. In my case, there's no damage in the eye, and I've got a short list of things to be aware of.

Apart from that, I'm trying to lose weight and move around more. Which is a little at odds with my new 'telephone answering' job: but that's just a matter of creative scheduling.

There's more that's happened since my last post: but I'm itching to join the rest of the family.

Merry Christmas!

Somewhat-related posts:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Case of the Capricious Cruise Control

I've been putting in very long hours since Monday before last, getting a spreadsheet ready for a meeting about Spiral Light Candle, my son-in-law's company. I'd been getting maybe five or six hours of sleep for ten days, then drove up to North Dakota for a meeting.

That was time well spent: I slept over at #2 daughter's and son-in-law's place, got some work done. And some 'just visiting,' too. I got back to Sauk Centre yesterday evening.

Today, the lack of sleep with a longish trip to top it off caught up with me. I may be getting a cold, and might not be feeling well - if I had enough energy to notice such things.

A few 'normal' days, with exercise and adequate sleep, should help. A lot. I'm looking forward to that.

Routine Checkup, Normally Non-Routine Blood Test

I had rescheduled a checkup earlier, to get more time for working on that spreadsheet. I figured that I'd have time Tuesday morning for the checkup, and be able to get off after eating lunch. I was right, but the checkup included a blood test: and that went as smoothly as such things normally do for me.

I'm a cooperative patient, clenching my fist and holding still on cue. It's my veins that won't play along. I don't think they actually dodge away from the needles: but the effect is similar. They collapse easily when pricked, too. Frustrating, for everyone involved.

But the second set of attempts was successful, and I was ready for a nice, normal drive up to North Dakota.

Not-Entirely-Uneventful Trip

The trip up to North Dakota should have been routine. I'm on the Interstates all the way from Sauk Centre to the Hillsboro, North Dakota, exit, and have been driving the route for decades.

Expired Credit Card

I got off a few minutes later that I'd expected to, but still had plenty of time to fill the van's tank before setting off. That's when I tried to use an expired credit card. Not intentionally. I'd just forgotten to swap out the old one in my wallet.

That's one thing about living in a small town, and having regular habits. Folks at the convenience store where I get gas know me, know where I live, and were comfortable with letting me drive off to get the right card. Quite aside from a reputation for trustworthiness, there's a practical factor: If I had decided to skip paying for the gas, what would I do after that? Those folks know me.

Like I've said before: I love it here.

So, after burning time with an eminently-avoidable return home, which included hearing my wife say "WHAT?!!" when I explained that I had used an expired card - a perfectly reasonable reaction on her part, under the circumstances - I finally paid for the gas and headed out for North Dakota.

Seemingly-Malevolent Hardware

By the time I reached Fargo, North Dakota, the van's cruise control had tried to kill me. Twice. Putting it less dramatically, I discovered that the cruise control gets stuck when more power is needed: like when climbing one of the steeper hills.

The first time was a surprise, when I noticed that the engine was still revved up and the speedometer was passing 80 miles an hour: but shutting the cruise control off restored normal operation. I used cruise control again: partly for convenience, partly to see if it malfunctioned again, under similar circumstances.

Which it did.

Using a defective cruise control wasn't as daft as it may seem. I'd been able to turn it off with no problem, and knew what to be aware of the second time. A worse-case scenario, where the cruise control wouldn't shut off, would have meant shutting off the engine entirely and coasting to a stop on the shoulder: annoying, frustrating, and requiring an explanation later, but very far from lethal.

Blood Test Results: It Could Be Worse

Late this afternoon, I heard from the clinic. The blood test results were back. My blood sugar levels are okay, but one of the prescriptions wasn't playing well with my kidneys: so I was told to stop taking that and come back in a month. Hey, at my age: it could be worse.

It's late: time to quit.

Good night, and may God bless

Sort-of-related posts:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Candles, a Spreadsheet, and a Really Long Week

I've been working for my son-in-law since last Monday, getting Spiral Light Candle's budget and sales forecast set up for next year. He provided the math, and how data is supposed to relate to other data.

I set up a spreadsheet, turned his math into functions the spreadsheet understands, put the pieces in place: and then tried to figure out why the results looked funny.

After that, I'd do the same thing over again. All week.

I took Sunday off, pretty much, got back to work last evening, and around 4:30 this morning noticed that I was making lots of mistakes. The good news is that by that time I was also working very slowly, so I hadn't messed up too much of the analysis.

After over half of a good night's sleep later, I got back to work this morning. My son-in-law generously estimates that I've saved him well upwards of a thousand dollars in consultant's fees: but hey, that's what family is for.

Now, some blatant self-promotion:That's it. I've eaten lunch, had a cup of coffee, and written this post. Time to get back to work.

Related posts:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Watermelon, and an Unexpected Errand

I put photos from my 60th birthday celebration in another blog:
Here's what I wrote:

The Big Six-Oh and a Birthday Watermelon

My family did a good job of seeming to have forgotten my birthday. I nearly lost track of the date, myself. Which would have been awkward, since I had a driver's license renewal coming due this year: and that's another topic. I passed the vision test, by the way, and the photo looks like me: which can't be helped, and that's yet another topic.

My wife and #3 daughter came in at noon, with balloons and presents in tow. That's the nicest surprise I've had in - can't remember. A long time. We've now got the complete Danger Mouse series to watch, thanks to my son's efforts. It's not Shakespeare or Lucas: but I think we'll like it. Danger Mouse, that is.

#3 daughter explained that they couldn't find any balloons with "60" on them, but I think the slogans they found were at least as appropriate. Those balloons have 'attitude,' of which this family has at least its share.

"It's not the age ... it's the attitude."
"Age is just a number. (A high one in your case - but just a number.)"
That evening they brought out the birthday watermelon. I'd wonder if they'd find a cake analog: being diabetic isn't as big a problem as it could be, but there are foods I definitely shouldn't eat. Not in any significant quantity, anyway.

Birthday Candles: on my birthday - - - watermelon.

Those curly candles? Nobody said "screwball," but I suspect that may have been an inspiration for the shape.

As my father used to say: "And a good time was had by all."

Time, Schedules, and Getting a Grip

Earlier this month, I finally changed my blogging schedule. Partly to free up time for projects that have been on the back burner for years. Make that decades, in some cases; partly because even in my 20s, there was only so much I could pack into each 24 hours. And I've been 20 three times now. More about that in yet another blog:

Once a Dad, Always a Dad

#1 daughter was here over the weekend, with her cat. Twitches, the cat, was almost frantically fascinated by my wife putting plastic sheeting up on the window by my desk. She was outside, the cat was inside, trying to track every movement.

I got a call that evening, while my wife and #3 daughter were at Soo Bahk Do. It was #1 daughter. She'd gotten back to Alexandria just fine, been sitting down, stood up, passed out, and had taken book shelving with her on the way down.

Later, after talking with my wife, she called the emergency ward of Douglas County Hospital. They said she should come in to get checked out. We weren't going to have her driving under existing circumstances, so I drove the van up to Alex and took her in.

We arrived at the emergency ward at about 10:00 p.m., and we had a nice long chat about "random" topics, as she put it. An old-fashioned exam, and up-to-date lab work, showed the probable cause of her passing out: which had an easy fix.

I took #1 daughter back to her place, drove back to Sauk Centre, and got to bed well before dawn.

For some reason, though, I'm feeling a little tired today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Visiting Old Neighborhoods

My wife, son, and #3 daughter, are at my father-in-law's place over on Main. I'm 'holding down the fort,' here on Ash: as usual on Wednesday mornings. So far, that's pretty much routine at the Gill household.

What's not so routine is that I'm borrowing my wife's laptop, doing a little online nosing around while letting cable programs wash over me. At the moment, that's a Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen nightmares rerun. The show's an occasionally-fascinating look at how smallish medium-to-high-end restaurants work. Also a reminder that I haven't plumbed the depths, when it comes to workplace conditions.

I decided to take a trip to the west coast: San Francisco downtown, to check out the places I lived there. I've just been on the 700 block of Bush Street, just off Powell, where I had a good-enough-for-a-bachelor set of rooms at the back of a building, a few floors above a French restaurant.

The restaurant is still there, although the swank place across the street is now another sort of business. Change is no surprise: I left that part of the world in the '70s.

The "Y" is still there, over the top of the hill north on Market, wrapped around the corner of Market and Sacramento. I had a room there, one floor over the lobby, overlooking an airwell/entry-level court. It's still called the YWCA. That neighborhood hasn't changed quite as much, although there's an acupuncture health center on one corner, and the British (style) pub is gone.

There's also a sign telling about a summer children's program in front of the Y, in English and Chinese. No surprises there. Although the 'tourist' Chinatown district is a couple blocks east, that part of San Francisco was part of the 'real' Chinatown when I lived there. My quarters weren't as nice as the Bush Street address, but I liked the neighborhood. I also noticed that folks there weren't as diffident as Euro-Americans tend to be, about using color on buildings. Especially red. And yellow.

I 'really ought to' get back to work now.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday in Steubenville, Ohio

Yesterday, about 6:00 p.m., we stopped at a toll booth in Pennsylvania, a bit short of Pittsburgh. At that point, the alternator failed. Quickly and thoroughly.

We spent most of Saturday evening on an Interstate shoulder, got towed to a Pep Boys parking lot in Monroeville, and settled in for the night.

By about noon today the alternator was fixed, the RV's battery charged, and my son-in-law had found Denny's Tire Service, a business east, more or less, from Monroeville, Denny was the fellow who could swap out the RV's front tires. It cost quite a lot - and that's another topic.

I got to see some of the scenery we'd passed twice, going back past Monroeville, through Pittsburgh, and then down to Steubenville, Ohio. I think I got some photos - but I'm going to wait until I'm back home in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, before I take a close look at them.

It's after sunset now, I've washed some of the dishes in the RV, and have two of the more recalcitrant pans soaking. My son-in-law and #2 daughter are enjoying a movie here in Steubenville - and I'm getting caught up on posts.

More about the trade show and me:Related posts:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bad News: Or, Rather, Good News

I'm on my way back from that trade show, where I helped #2 daughter and my son-in-law. Mostly by babysitting a video system, and minding Spiral Light Candle Corporation's booth.

Or, rather, I'm sitting in their RV, in a Pep Boy's parking lot.

The explanation is a sort of bad news/good news thing.

First, the Bad News

At a toll road gate, the RV's alternator failed. Abruptly and completely. My son-in-law used - the emergency starter, I think - to coax another thousand feet of progress out of the RV. Which got us past the toll booths and to a spot where a tow truck would have a chance of picking us up.

It was about 6:00 Saturday evening. Not every towing service has a truck that'll haul a 33-foot RV. Not around Pittsburgh, anyway. In central Minnesota and North Dakota, we need to drag farm implements and semitrailers out of mud now and again - and that's another topic.

My son-in-law found a company that had a couple of tow trucks that could handle us. Both needed to be towed, themselves. Looks like they were having a worse day than we were.

We got towed, after several phone calls and several hours.

Now, the Good News

Turns out, one of the RV's front tires was ready to fail. The other wasn't good for too many more miles, either. If we'd followed plans, #2 daughter would have been driving when one or two of the front tires blew.

These days, we call that sort of thing 'being lucky.'

More about the trade show and me:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Trade Show Trip: Everything's Ready (I Think)

24 hours from now, I'll most likely be on my way to Pennsylvania with #2 daughter and my son-in-law: leaving home in the capable hands of the rest of the family.

I spent part of the morning talking with two pharmacies and a clinic in St. Cloud, down the road. A routine prescription-filling - wasn't routine this time. The written document went in the mail in St. Cloud - and hadn't arrived at this end. Letters and packages don't, really, get lost in the mail very often - but this time, I got lucky. The situation's sorted out now - I hope - and that was the telephone: the pharmacy called, and the prescription's ready.


So now, all that's left to do is pack and make sure I don't forget anything vital and/or important.

Happily for me, my son-in-law and #2 daughter are doing the 'heavy lifting' when it comes to preparations for the trade show.

We'll be showing off Spiral Light Candle Corporation's new (production started this summer) spiral-wick candles, Oasis Productions' Art of Serenity video - and doing a lot of meet-and-greet. The latter is mostly my son-in-law's pleasant task. I'm the company's gopher at the trade show.

It's going to be fun, I think.

Related post:Background:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Birdbath, Bingo Booth, and Trade Show

Getting caught up:

July 19, 2011. I see I didn't mention it that day, but on the 19th, our birdbath basin reappeared. It blew away in the July 10 storm. Someone must have found it, and figured out where it came from. And left it by the birdbath column. Thank you!

New-to-us pool table. July 3, 2011.

My wife bought a pool table around July 3, at a rummage sale. It's not perfectly flat - but it took a bit of play to be sure about that. The folks who had it asked for about 1/10 to 1/100 of what I've seen this sort of thing selling for - and I'm pretty sure that they knew it wasn't exactly up to tournament standards. So I think it was a satisfactory trade for both of us.

I've gotten another bulletin out for the Knights of Columbus local council. We're getting the Bingo booth set up at the Stearns County Fair. And for the first time in many years - I won't be calling numbers at the 6:00-8:00 p.m. Saturday shift.

I've got a pretty good reason for not being there. My son-in-law and #2 daughter are taking me to a trade show in Philadelphia: where I'll be the company gopher and booth-sitter-in-residence. It's the first time in many years that I've been at a convention and trade show, and the first time ever being in Philadelphia. Near the city, actually. It's going to be a long week, the trade show lasts Monday through Friday: but I think it's going to be a good experience.

Sort-of-related posts, not necessarily in this blog:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Of Exercise, Heat, and Melting Butter

I've been adding five minutes a week to my daily exercises - and would have been up to 55 minutes, as of yesterday. (June 7, 2011) Since I did 60 minutes on Sunday - without meaning to - I decided to skip to the full hour this week, since that was the goal.

I did 1:09 yesterday, in two installments: a tribute to determination, fortitude, an air conditioner and strategically placed fans. Mostly the air conditioner, I think.

There's a heat advisory on for my part of the world, until tomorrow night. It's actually not all that bad - the thermometer got below 80, Fahrenheit, last night: and inside the butter didn't melt completely. Thanks, again, to an air conditioner. Window unit. Rated to keep one medium-size room comfortable.

A system of fans gives us the equivalent of inadequate 'central air' on the first floor - which is enormously better than what either my wife or I grew up with.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day - and the Freezer Gave Up

I've had a nice Father's Day - spend largely in going to church, grilling burgers, and goofing off.

Then, in the afternoon, my wife noticed that our freezer was kaput. Defunct. No longer among the functional. And only a quarter-century or so after we bought it.

Then she disappeared.

A few hours later she was back, with an assortment of my nieces, nephews, and in-laws. Also a (huge) new freezer. She'd found one in Alexandria, down the road. With the help of the extended family, the new freezer is in - and has been stocked with the undamaged (I trust) food that had been in the old one.

The old freezer is now sitting on the floor behind where I sit - temporarily, I assume.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Maundering on About Exercise - Also Air Conditioning

I had a sore neck last week - which was good news, in a way.

I changed the way I eat and exercise last month - May 17. It involves adding five minutes a day to time I spend on a number of Wii Fit 2 exercises each week, until I'm up to an hour a day. I hit the 25-minute mark yesterday.

The first week was not encouraging. Between a determinedly sensible set of meals each day, plus exercise, I was feeling awful. I don't think pollen in the air, or spending hours outside one afternoon helped. I'd cracked that "if this is what being healthy feels like: you can have it." I kept going, and I'm feeling not-awful now. Which is an improvement.

Last week, I started doing an exercise that works my arms and shoulders. Over-doing would be more accurate. I had a slightly stiff neck by the time I went to sleep that day, and by morning it ached and was really, sincerely, emphatically stiff.

So I started turning my head left as far as I could comfortably, turning a bit more after that, holding, and repeating with looking rightwards. Stretching muscles 101 stuff.

That stiff neck was really good news: I knew that I'd started using muscles that hadn't been attended to in a long time. I also realized that being able to do something a quarter-century ago didn't mean I could jump right back and do it again now.

There. That's quite enough of some dude who's pushing 60 writing about the state of his neck.

My wife, son, and #3 daughter set up the window air conditioner - just behind my desk chair. This is now the coolest, driest, and almost the breeziest spot in the house. #3 daughter set up a line of box fans from here to the other end of the ground floor, in an effort to get some of the 'cool' down there.

It's almost 100 Fahrenheit outside - also windy. Summer is definitely here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

It's a beautiful, clear, warm day here in central Minnesota. I've grilled burgers for lunch - and am doing a little catch-up in this blog.

My son gave #3 daughter a hangul keyboard for her birthday - which was much-appreciated. And yes, I know: it's 'supposed' to be hangeul, Hangul, hankul, Han'gŭl, or maybe something else. It's actually 한글 - hangul is one way of writing 한글 with the Latin alphabet that English uses, and I'm sticking with that. Sounded out, "hangul" is pretty close to the way we pronounce it - although I suspect we've got an upper-Midwest accent you could slice with a knife.

Moving on.

#1 daughter may be coming tomorrow - which I'm looking forward to.

I've started exercising regularly - and cutting snacks. My wife suggested an approach that seems to be working. I felt tired, among other things, the first week - but that might have been springtime. Pollen and all that.

The folks across the street north have what looks like a some-assembly-required lawn table in their driveway, sunshine is taunting me, and I've still got a task or two to do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Release the Chickens!

Our #1 and #2 daughters - the latter with our son-in-law - were home for the weekend, partly for the Mother's Day family get-together in one of the Twin Cities' northern suburbs. I made it down there for the first time in several years, which turned out quite well.

Back here in Sauk Centre, we did some more catching-up. My son-in-law told me that ticks make it hard to work with the tractor in the timber claim: a roughly 10-acre woodland north of their home.

I'd like to spin a story about those North Dakota ticks having developed a taste for motor oil. The truth is remarkable enough. Those blood-sucking pests are so thick in spots that he can see masses of them moving over the undergrowth.

He and #2 daughter have a plan for dealing with the ticks this summer. They intend to get a sort of porta-coop, a high-capacity water & feed unit, and about 30 chickens. Chickens eat ticks - which is why they've already got a small flock of free-range chickens in the yard.

I suppose I could call it 'green' pest control: but the fact is, that's the way folks in this part of the world have been keeping ticks in check for generations. Some of us, anyway.


I didn't realize, until after Easter, that this family has passed another milestone. For the first time in many, many years we didn't color Easter eggs this year.

I miss that activity: but change happens. And if parents do their job right, children grow up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Signs of Spring, or Summer, or Something

A day or so ago I saw two birds, about sparrow-size, at the bird bath. I hadn't filled it, but between snow and rain it was full. I'm not sure what sort they were - the tops of their heads were reddish - and that's about as much as I know at this point.

I spent a few minutes on the front porch/stoop/whatever yesterday afternoon, enjoying the bench, the sun, and fresh air.

This morning, noticing that my feet were over-warm in the winter slippers I've been wearing, I switched to flip-flops.

It's definitely spring. Or summer. Or something.

Whatever this time of year should be called: It's warmer, and I like it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

'It was Only a Small Fire'

First, the good news: Nobody got hurt.

My son-in-law had gone into the garage to get some chicken feed out of their Buick. Since the car hadn't been driven in a while, and he & #2 daughter were planning to use it later in the evening, he tried starting the engine.

He heard a "POP," and saw smoke coming out from under the hood. It's a wood frame garage, attached to their house - with a propane tank on the other side of one of the walls.

My son-in-law called #2 daughter to come and help, hooked a logging chain to that burning car, and pulled it out of the garage- - -

- - - before it got to this point. Then he told #2 daughter to call the fire department.

It only took them about five minutes to get out there - which is pretty good response, considering they're on the other side of an Interstate from the town. I'm told the fire fighters commended the young couple on quick thinking and cool heads. When they got the call, for a garage fire, they figured there wouldn't be much left of the house by the time they were through.

#2 daughter and son-in-law had a fire extinguisher out there - but they decided the priority was getting the vehicle away from flammable materials. I haven't heard of a logging chain and towing hookups being standard home emergency equipment - but it sure came in handy this evening.

I spoke with my son-in-law an hour or so ago. He figures the most likely explanation for the fire is a critter getting under the car's hood and chewing on wires. When power was applied, a short circuit could have ignited plastic, melting more insulation away.

I'm just glad he and #2 daughter are okay.

Photos by Aaron McWilliams.

Late last month, #3 daughter got promoted to 1st gup in Soo Bahk Do. Which is a pretty big deal - it's the last step before black belt. Except it's more of a midnight blue belt. Soo Bahk Do is a sort of karate, except it's from Korea. Which is why my wife and #3 daughter are learning Korean.

Also, in my wife's case, Latin - and that's another topic. She's teaching for another home-schooling family we know. So, for that matter, is #3 daughter.

Me? I spend most of my time writing posts, and nosing around the Internet to find something to post about.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Almost Spring: Soo Bahk Do, and Pets

My wife and #3 daughter were at a Soo Bahk Do clinic most of yesterday: leaving about 6:00 a.m. and getting home late in the evening. The clinic/learning session didn't take that long - but it was in Minnesota's Twin Cities area, which involves about two hours on the road, each way.

I gather that it was quite an active day, mentally and physically. (Soo Bahk Do is sort of like Karate.)

Spring, Minnesota style, is here: it rained last night, and the snow drifts are lower than they were a few days ago. They're also starting to show the dust and dirt that's been hidden inside. This isn't the most 'picture postcard' season here.

Friday night #1 daughter noticed that Eek the mouse died. She'd collected the little critter in her apartment - and made a pet of it. We've no idea how old Eek was. He'd made a daring escape several days earlier, and been recaptured in one of a number of 'live' traps #1 daughter had set up.

Twitches, #1 daughter's cat, on the other hand, is doing fine: and at this moment scampering around the house.

Which isn't all that's happened lately - but that would make a very long post.

Friday, March 4, 2011

"Leave Everything Alone"

My wife was making bread this afternoon, but had to get something done at the bank: which left me with a table covered with dough in various stages of preparation.

I asked her if there was anything she'd like me to do while she was out.

After a moment's reflection, she told me: "Leave everything alone."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Son, the Computer Technician

It's a big day at the Gill household. My son, Peter, passed his A+ certification this afternoon. He is now a computer technician with documentation that says he's a computer technician. (more about A+ certification at "Definition of: CompTIA," PC Magazine)

He's been a computer technician for some time, in the practical sense of having the knowledge and skills necessary to fix computers for members of the family - and folks he knows who needed their computers repaired. But now he'll have a piece of paper that says he is.

And contemporary culture being what it is - that piece of paper is important.

Am I a proud papa? Oh, yeah: definitely.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Afternoon: Goofing Off

Actually, I haven't been goofing off all that much - I've celebrated Mass, opined in another blog, and discussed family matters with my wife and son-in-law.

Also enjoyed, thoroughly, noticing my wife and #2 daughter discuss the layout and functionality of the kitchen in their place - #2 daughter & son-in-law's, that is. They live in the house where my mother grew up. My parents made heavy modifications when they refitted it as a retirement home for themselves: and now the next generation is doing some long-overdue repair.

They're also stripping the old southwest corner of the house to the basic structure and rebuilding it. I've seen what they have in mind: and it makes sense. For starters, the house will have a new electrical system when they're done.

About time, too: my parents brought a 19th century farmhouse up to speed with late-20th-century technology; now it's time for another upgrade.
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