Sunday, Feb.01.2009

jpg Born in February? Well, then ....
"You were fortunate enough to be born under the humanitarian zodiac sign of Aquarius. You are therefore ruled by electric and progressive planet Uranus making you forward thinking and self-directed. You're a born revolutionary so no one can tell you how to live your life. Your clear-cut approach makes it perfectly clear just how differently you wish to experience life."

So ... my forward-thinking, revolutionary thought for today is .... clean up the basement.

jpg 2:27PM
.... hard to tell, but it's neater than it was this morning...

gotta do something about that floodlight over the plants, and i'm thinking a flatscreen TV on the wall right there....hmmmmm... yeh, that would get us to 4 TV's in the house !!

A Theme for February's Journal

this month i will wander around the internet and find stuff about the Golden Age of Movies (i think 1900 - 1950) and post some (shamelessly stolen) images and my (invaluable and amusing) commentary.

i am thinking .... if you are under 50, the "Golden Age of Movies" is probably 1960 - 2000 ... you poor, sorry fool.

look at that image on the right .... you could write a movie script around those faces, those eyes and that body language..... is that guilt behind her eyes? ... or is it inevitability? .... will this all end tonight? .... what is he about to tell her? .... what must she tell him?


when great products suck

two events this week highlighted the fact that APPLE (the computer company) sucks. (recall my episode with itunes software a few months ago!)

this is one the two stories....

a buddy of mine called today. he has an apple mac x.x.x and his son has the same computer. his son created a CD of baby pictures, using APPLE iphoto software, and sent them to grandad, who cannot open the files on his identical computer that also has iphoto software on it.

turns out that his son had dropped $80 on an iphoto upgrade to version 7.x .... grandad dad still had version 6.x.

i'll bet my shoes that i dont have to write the rest of this story (but i will) .... if grandad wants to see the pictures, he's has to send $80 to APPLE to upgrade his software as well.

M$ is not the only software company that sucks. APPLE sucks too, despite their great product features.

The Golden Age of Movies

From about 1900 to about 1950, movies were (in retrospect) magical. America was in hard times (WWI, the Depression, WWII) and audiences were happy to see romance, adventures, and heroisms (large and small) on the silver screen.

Movies started to change in the 1950's and, by the 1960's, had become radically different than the movies of the 1940's. To me the biggest difference was the 1960's creation of the "anti-hero" (Steve Mcqueen, Clint Eastwood, etc.).jpg Second was the growing audience desire to escape life's middle-class suburban blahs. Third was the accelerated advance of technology into the movie-making process.

The Golden Age was definitely over.

Merriam's Secret (1919)

Cuba (1980)

jpg jpg jpg

The Mophead Event

jpg on the path to nirvana, i knew that i would need to make the basement neater, and on the path to a neater basement i knew that i would need to clean the basement floor.

but i never thought that on the path to a cleaner basement floor i would need a victory over the common business practice of product obselescence.

i was victorious, and i'm here to brag about it.

that mophead over there is a year old, mechanism is built like a brick shytt house and cost me about $20 at the time. today a little plastic thingy on the disposable sponge head broke. hardware store had 3 other slightly different models of this mop (by the same company!) that took slightly different mopheads, none of which would fit on my mop..... i left for home with a plan, actually several plans, all of which required a manual redesign of the mop i had and an old sponge.

several hours, and 3 design failures later, i am back at the hardware store with my ruler...... measure ....measure .... measure ..... aha !!! .... i buy a mophead made by a competing company, and it works perfectly..... why? ..... because there's a limit to how many stupid design tweaks they can make to a mophead to make it obsolete .... somewhere out there is something that will work, made by a competitive company .... which ironically shreds the concept of product obselescence.

who ever thought you could get so much karma from a mophead ?

and.... my basement floor is now washed and waxed and i am only a few baby steps from the nirvana i so well deserve.


today was a soft day .... i made basement progress then did the Jr Engineer's Club .... the kids (all 3 of them) have very impressive computer skills and are very casual about it .... they finish my activities and cruise on the internet to kill time..... they are great students.

the basement is taking on a new persona.


jpgmike showed me a supreme utility that was on my linux box. it's called tsclient and allows me to run a virtual connection into my WinXP computer and run applications there...... this means i can disconnect the monitor, keyboard and mouse and run all XP programs from my linux box .... better than sliced bread !!

this is a screencap of my linux desktop, showing a window into the XP computer as i run the epson scanner thru it.

once again i am astounded by the great free software out there in the linux/unix world !!

Sunday Feb.08.2009

went to circuit city .... they are mostly sold out of stuff .... only the biggest TV's are left .... looks like a garage sale .... i left. went to lowe's, scheduled a carpet guy for the basement stairs, bought a light for the plants and other stuff.

spent a lot of time scouring the internet for good junior engineering websites to link to for my engineering club web page ..... found a few very great free programs for them (and me!) to play with. they all run on MS windows PC's so my tsclient virtual connection (see above) came just in time!!. i simply created a fourth workspace on my linux box and opened a window into the WinXP computer .... too neat.

this is an incredible free program from West Point .... designs truss bridges (really! .... stresses, deflections, cost of materials, etc.)


Digging up Bones

looking for a photo of the kitchen being framed, i stumbled upon a scrapbook of the original "engineers club" we ran out of fitchburg HS in the early 1990's.

those first graduates (1992) were Josh Aldrich, Pete Benson, Adam Cordio, Rikki Nguyen and Brendan McAndrew. the engineer on the right is Doug Blair, but i don't recognize the young guy on the far left.


Pete (who is, not coincidentally, John and Pat's kid) is an engineer in Idaho. Adam teaches at FHS. Brendan has a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. I am sure Rikki and Josh are doing just fine, whatever they are up to.

Samsung LN26A450 26-Inch 720p LCD HDTV

just bought one from amazon for $458, for my newly-re-ambienced basement.

Woz Will Dance ?

it's true. Steve Wozniak ("Woz", the inventor/builder of the first Apple Computer) will dance on Dancing with the Stars.


he's a techno-world legend, but i don't even think he walks that well !!

if he gets teamed with Edyta, i will spit venom.

Fallen on Hard Times

At first glance it might seem that I am printing my own money, which, if I may speak honestly, is true .... I am printing my own money. And, true, I did try to slip a few bills by the (cute) clerk at the grocery store, but (as i have learned many times in the past) "cute does not equal stupid" and she caught me. jpg But it was easy to talk my way out of it, because I had my cane with me and was wearing my hearing aids and took off my hat to show my humility (and much-grayed hair), and we all laughed and I gave them real money and left with my groceries (under the skeptical eye of the store manager and the security guard with his hand on his mace can).

On the other hand, there is the truth....

I am printing money because i dreamed up this neat marketplace game for next week's JA class.

A Large Mass of Americans don't believe in science

40% of Americans disbelieve the overwhelming mass of scientific evidence of physical evolution.

for example, they don't believe that viruses and bacteria mutate to new species that are immune to the vaccines and antibiotics used to kill their previous generation.

i'd like to recommend to these people that the next time they get sick, or one of the kids gets sick, to ask the doctor NOT to use the latest weapon against the germs .... use some concoction they swirled together back in the 1800's .... see if the kid survives.

they also don't believe that animals and man have physically evolved from simpler (physically simpler) species.

some people even believe that Noah had dinosaurs on the arc !! (imagine coaxing 2 T-rex's, 2 brontosaurs, etc etc onto a boat, using your little shepherds cane..... not to mention travelling over all the world - on foot - to collect the various dinosaur types!!)

somewhere along the way, we stopped believing in science and retrogressed to believing whatever we desire to believe, simply because we have the freedom to do so...... somewhere along the line, people confused "the right to have an opinion" with "seeking, understanding and believing in the truth"..... somewhere along the way, we threw away God's gifts of curiosity, intelligence, capacity to learn and (to steal from George Carlin) we sold our souls for "cheap sneakers and cheeseburgers".

Dinosaurs on Noah's Arc

i'm sorry, i can't put this subject down just yet.

this is not a joke.... there ARE people out there who actually rationalize that dinosaurs had to be on Noah's arc. the internet wasn't polluted enough with mindless teeny videos of kids making flamethrowers in the garage, or throwing animals off bridges. add to that people who spew forth the crap that follows here....

i am NOT going to link to the website i copied this from .... that would offend me too much, but i cut and pasted this text (over there in the right column) from someone who (she/he claims) is in direct contact with God...

kindly note (among the other dribble) the writer's hypocracy in saying that horses, zebras, donkeys, dogs, etc etc are "descended" from only one specimen of horse, etc .... that is, in order for the arguments about dinosaurs on the arc to fit together, you must accept that physical evolution of animals exists because Noah only needed one pregnant dog to save all the various "kinds" (species) of dogs.

not to ask ... what do you feed twenty or thirty 50ton dinosaurs that are confined for 40+ days on a boat (that this guy claims had room for the animals to move around !!! .... they weren't in cages ??? .... wasn't filth an issue? ).


okay, i've had enough of this topic for now.

How Did Those Huge Dinosaurs Fit on the Ark?

Although there are about 668 names of dinosaurs, there are perhaps only 55 different "kinds" of dinosaurs. Furthermore, not all dinosaurs were huge like the brachiosaurus, and even those dinosaurs on the Ark were probably "teenagers" or young adults.

Creationist researcher John Woodmorappe has calculated png that Noah had on board with him representatives from about 8,000 animal genera (including some now-extinct animals), or around 16,000 individual animals. When you realize that horses, zebras, and donkeys are probably descended from the horse-like "kind" Noah did not have to carry two sets of each such animal. Also, dogs, wolves, and coyotes are probably from a single canine "kind" so hundreds of different dogs were not needed.

According to Genesis 6:15, the Ark measured 300 x 50 x 30 cubits, which is about 460 x 75 x 44 feet, with a volume of about 1.52 million cubic feet. Researchers have shown that this is the equivalent volume of 522 standard railroad stock cars (US), each of which can hold 240 sheep. By the way, only 11% of all land animals are larger than a sheep.

Without getting into all the math, the 16,000-plus animals would have occupied much less than half the space in the Ark (even allowing them some moving-around space).


John Nash, Equilibrium and Zero Sum Games

John Nash was the subject of the book and movie "A Beautiful Mind". He won the Nobel Prize in economics, although his work was primarily mathematics applied to economics, game theory and political negotiations.

His idea was brilliant, though the involved math is beyond comprehension (to us normal folk). I don't get the math, but I get the message and I'm here to spread the gospel of equilbrium.

It's actually brilliantly simple.

In team sports, one team wins and one team looses. The sum is zero (+1 -1 = 0). That's a "zero sum game".

In war, one side wins, one side looses. Sum = zero again.

Yet, although the sum is zero in each of those cases, the end result is not a balance of the two sides. In these cases, one side conquers (unbalances) the other, and "wins".

John Nash proposed an alternative game, and argued that the alternative was a game that everyone wins. The game is to find a "balance point", where most of the desires of all the opposing sides find a position of balance, like a mobile with many gadgets hanging over a baby's crib finds a balance point .... he called it an equilibrium point, and he showed mathematically that in every case, an equilibrium point existed if the parties desired to find one peacefully, rather than go to war, no matter how far apart they appeared to be initially.

His idea changed the way the world approached political diplomacy, and how companies approached business negotiations (the birth of the phrase "win-win"), and it works as long as the opposing sides desire a settlement and decide that it is better to settle diplomatically than go to war.

The attempt to a find peaceful equilibrium, of course, falls apart when someone decides he wants to make it a win-loose (zero sum) game. That is, the opportunity for peace falls apart when we face global affairs like they were a football game.

Today is Friday the 13th of February

March and November will also have Friday the 13th's this year.

From Wikipedia....

According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a "Friday the 13th" superstition before the 19th century. The earliest known documented reference in English occurs in an 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini:

"[Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died."

"Nothing is too Hard for God"

that's a sign in a window down in the center of town.

although i believe in an incredibly powerful and unimaginably intelligent creator of this universe, i gotta say that i found something even God can't do .... She / He / It cannot stop the infinitely stupid ideas people come up with.

(note: this complaint does not break my new year's resolution which was simply that i would not VERBALIZE my opinion of stupid people to debbie, and i have not done that, so there.)



sono ben.

valentine's day came and went at the over-packed Olive Garden, even as early as 3:00 yesterday. the house wine sucked but the italian chianti was very good and the tilapia was extremely good.


today i am finishing a picture frame but it is getting bumped out a few hours while i research and develop a method for staining sawdust (before i add it to wood glue to make a paste to fill cracks and loose joints).

the first batch exploded and blew Zach out the window, so i am backing off on the kerosene and naptha in batch #2.

more exciting than explosions however is .... SantaFe (my text editor) now opens the html file to be edited AND launches it in epiphany (my web browser), so i can edit and review simultaneously..... and it does so without kerosene or naptha !

well ciao for now.

More Movies from the Golden Age

check out "The Life Cinematic". this site deserves a lot of your time .... the site author is obviously a maniac / expert on the topic of (classic / cerebral / oblique) movies ..... it is worth your time.


jpg this is a true story. Barbara Stanwyck was 23 and looking for a job. she got a screentest at Paramount to play the role of some bar-room squeezebag, and hated the part but needed the job badly.

her short scene had no spoken lines (!), but the director asked her to be as provocative as she could be to attract the lead supporting actor "upstairs". it was her decision as to how she would pantomime that.

lights on, cameras rolling.... her eyes were having sex with the camera lens .... she took a cigarette out of her pocket and touched it to her (puckered) lips and the tip of the cigarette ignited, she took a puff and blew smoke into the camera.

she got the job.

(i am still looking for archival footage of this legendary scene ... will post it here if i find it..... your kind patience is much appreciated.)

My perfectly fabulous JA Game....

I made this game up to show the cash flow through a community. Even though the total dollars in the community stays constant, products and cash move around. If you join the community and contribute to it, you will always have an equitable amount of money and all the essential products that you need.

We broke into 5 groups. Each group supplied an "essential" product to the community - food , clothes, housing, cars, electronics. Each group was given six $1000 bills. Each had to pay all the other groups for their services. We did this step one at a time, and counted money each time, and watched the money in each group expand then contract. In the end, everyone has the same amount of money they started with AND all their food, housing, etc. needs.

Conclusion: enroll in the community and you will probably have a decent life.


Princess Leia vs Ann Darrow

jpg there's a whole generation of young guys out there who think Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) was the hottest thing that ever happened on the sci-fi silver screen. they refer back to scenes of Leia in a bikini / toga outfit chained to Jaba the Hutt (a large and slimy garden slug) ..... admittedly, about as kinky a scene as the law allows in a PG13 movie.

these guys however are a pathetic lot of fools .... too young to know any better.

the hottest thing that ever happened in a sci-fi movie in the last 600, 700 or possibly 800 years was Ann Darrow (aka Fay Wray) in the (one true) movie King Kong.

for 70 years, Ms Wray has enthralled audiences for a full 90 minutes with her .... ummmm .... charm.... her allure .... her command of .... well, screaming .... her torn and water-soaked skimpy outfits .... and her well developed ummmmm .... screen personality.

Princes Leia flashed her stuff for maybe 3 minutes, and from what i can recall, most of that was wasted film (happily celluloid is recyclable).

it's a generational thing, perhaps, but it does highlight the differences between alluring, enthralling Golden Age Heroines (Ms Darrow) versus cheap new-age sluts (Princess Leia) who will even snuggle up to a huge garden slug to make enough money to pay next month's rent.

Golden Age Heroes

jpg Golden Age movie heroes were guys who rescued (generally helpless) people, made wrong things right, came from behind to win the day, always won by the end of the movie, and (ocassionaly, but not as often as people imagine) scored with the leading lady.

jpg Yes .... 98% of them were American cowboys, 1% were sea pirates, 1% were adventurers ..... and they were 100% white guys with generic names (Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Shane, Jack Driscoll, etc etc.)

Every childhood hero I can personally recall was a cowboy, until I saw King Kong (at the Venus Theater in Brooklyn). And every single one of them carried a gun and eventually solved whatever problems they were faced with by shooting someone (who clearly deserved shooting). Most often it was just a wounding shot where the bad guy grabbed his arm and dropped is gun.

jpg Shane (Alan Ladd) was the first hero I recall who actually killed the bad guys, but they drove him to it ..... he had to .... somebody had to stop them, and anyway he always let them start their draw first, so it was always fair to kill them.

jpg Hoppy (and Tom Mix) shot at stuff a lot, but the bad guys always just gave up when his two 45's started blasting away. Their guns (black metal) would go pop-pop, his guns (chrome, white handles) would go BOOOOM-BOOOOM and smoke a lot!

These weren't "leading men" roles, they were hero roles (guy roles). There was always a girl lurking somewhere, but she was in the story so guys could drag their wives and girlfriends to the theater. A few (Doug Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power) could be both hero and romantic leading man, but they never shot enough people to be really good at it.

jpg Yikes.... after a night's sleep I woke up to recall two of my favorite cowboy heroes, and one is Mexican and one is Native American. I must have had a memory "white-out" (there's a pun in there for you) when I wrote this up yesterday. Actually I had movies on my mind yesterday, whereas the next group are from the Golden Age of TV (yes, there was such a thing).

jpg The Cisco Kid (Duncan Renaldo) and his comical sidekick Pancho (Leo Carillo) brought a world of character to TV cowboys .... Cisco was always very righteous and self-demanding ..... Pancho lightened it up a bit. Episodes always ended with the two of them on horses, about to ride off to a new adventure .... they'd look at each other.... Cisco: "Hey Pancho!" .... Pancho:"Hey Cisco!" and off they'd go.

But Tonto (Jay Silverheels) was no comic relief for the Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore); Tonto was serious business 100% of the time, and saved Kemo Sahbee's butt more than a few times.

Note: Kemo Sahbee is what Tonto called TLR. In the very first episode, there are two instances where Tonto explains "Kemo Sahbee .... than mean Trusty Scout". There are all kinds of silly translations of it going around the internet .... not to be believed.

Defining The Golden Age

After much philosophical soul searching, I have come to define the Golden Age of Something as the collection of all, and only, fond memories that I have of it from my childhood. As I grew older, experiences lost that wonderful Golden Age quality.

Which reminds me of a poem from A. Lord Tennyson ... (this wording is from memory and is accurate to +/- 100%)

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
the earth, and every common sight did seem
apparelled in celestial light,
and glory, and the freshness of a dream.
But things are not now as they had been of yore,
turn wherever I may, by night or by day,
those things that I had seen, I now can see no more.

Doomsday - 48 hours

i suppose there is still a sliver of hope that the doomsday asteroid will hit before saturday, but at the moment it looks like i will have another birthday instead.

in the meantime, i can watch my new basement TV, on it's (not-yet-finished) custom stand, while i sit here and grace the internet with my cutting wit and priceless wisdom.


it's a SAMSUNG and i love it for the closed captions .... options = font, size, background and foreground colors.

Generator Transfer Box

here's what one looks like.

jpg it feeds 10 circuits throughout the house, during a power outage. we fired up the generator today and supplied power to the oil burner, both refrigerators, microwave oven, entire living room and entire basement (computers, lights, TV).

the generator (5500W continuous) is very noisy, but if you have ever been without heat and lights for a few days in 15F weather, noise is not a factor.

Nail Gun (a real one)

they delivered mine today, with the compressor. i am trying to hide it from debbie, but the freekin' thing is bright red and looks like a flying saucer.


i am studying, but i need a total immersion scenario ... the words slip away so quickly. but it is stretching my brain and i am enjoying not learning it.


i am reading a book called The Shack (i'll comment when i'm done), The Jefferson Bible ( T. Jefferson was an extremely cool person), Italian for Stupid Old People(see comments above) and Rick Steve's Guide to Italy (which is very helpful).

Firely Episodes on HULU

feeling lost? feeling lonely? far from your TV set, DVD player and box of DVD's ? .... click over to HULU and watch episodes of Firefly (or other good stuff) on your laptop (or wireless media player).


watched one last night ... full screen (as full as a 9" mini netbook gets, anyway), HD version. weird and wonderful experience .... the audio is perfect, and the closed captions (YEH !)are also.... the video comes over like series of slides, giving the feature a very unique quality.

jpg The Shepherd (guy with white hair .... that's Ron Glass from 1970's TV !) is my favorite guy ... wise when needed, sarcastic when needed, and can handle a weapon like you wouldn't expect a preacher could.

The little girl on the left is River Tam ... she is immeasurably intelligent, mentally as fragile as a china cup, but, physically, she is extremely dangerous. Extremely. (The second image there shows her in a bad mood.)

On the right in front of the Shepherd is Kaylee, the ship's engineer .... she makes me wish I was 20, back in engineering school.

The guy in the back on the left is Jayne .... dumb macho type, i can't decide what he brings to the party. The guy next to him is River's brother ... his role was to bring River to the party.

Ohhh.... If you ever need to fight your way down into hell and bring back the devil's ass in a paper bag, that lady in back is the person you would want to take with you. (The guy behind her is her husband, a nice guy .... well.... he's just a nice guy.)

The chick with the cleavage is Inara; she's a traveling ...ummmm... uhhhhh.... heheheh.

The guy in your face is the captain. Ugly as a bus driver, and has a seriously negative charisma. At first i couldn't stand the program because i didn't think he should be the captain of jack shytt. But i got over that, and now i enjoy that they didn't cast some handsome charismatic dork in the roll .... hey, it's a beat-to-shytt transport ship barely converted enough to do piracy in the outer galaxies .... who the hell you think was gonna be the captain, Brad Pitt?

At the moment. i am double-tasking .... writing this while watching Star Trek: The One with the Whales. Scotty (the ship's engineer) is running through his scene about transparent aluminum ... makes me smirk every time.

Happy Birthday to Me

click the image to see photos mostly by Emma with the Leica !

here i am spitting on the cake (it's an old italian tradition).


Catherine's Graphic Novel

C wrote a story for Habitat for Humanity ! It is beautifully illustrated, and the dialog & narrative are most dramatic! Click the image to read it.


Report from Texas

keeping in mind that it is cold and freezing drizzle here, L reports from Texas as follows:

Our spring backyard birds are here. Every year we have a wonderful family of eastern bluebirds come and raise their little flock. They moved into the bird houses a few weeks ago. Also have a lot of House Finches. Watched a hawk out in the field yesterday for a while. He just seemed to be having a good time flying in circles and just looked like he was outside playing! He never did swoop down and pick any critters up for lunch but really looked like he was just enjoying flying around in the nice weather.


The Shack

jpg I gave The Shack 137 pages of my time whilst I hoped beyond reason that it would not degenerate into a moralistic, allegorical, psuedo-religious lot of dribble.

I was wrong, it degenerated, and I stopped reading it.

Doula (Loretta is one!)

A doula is an assistant who provides various forms of non-medical support (physical, emotional and informed choice) in the childbirth process. Based on a particular doula's training and background, the doula may offer support during prenatal care, during childbirth and/or during the postpartum period. A birth doula is a care provider for labor. Thus a labor doula may attend a home birth or might attend the parturient woman during labor at home and continue while in transport and then complete supporting the birth at a hospital or a birth center. A postpartum doula typically begins providing care in the home after the birth. Such care might include cooking for the mother, breastfeeding support, newborn care assistance, errands, light housekeeping etc. Such care is provided from the day after the birth, providing services through the first six weeks postpartum.

L is starting on her postpartum certificate this Spring.

Feb.25: Caught on Film

Reputed crime boss Don Sebastiano Corlione, the grandson of legendary Vito Corlione, was apprehended today trying to get passport photos to flee the country to Italy. "I knew it was him", said the CVS girl, "from that TV program, you know.... what's it called again [indistinct background talking] ..... no not that one.... you know, the one right after Spongebob."


The capture, however, was short lived. When the armored police van reached the stationhouse, despite having had six armored escort cars, it was found to be empty. Don Sebastiano had escaped again, and is considered armed and extremely dangerous. His wife, Seniora Deborah Lacasse-Corlione, issued a warning ... "If you see this man, do not approach him as he is always in a bad mood, and is anti-social and very grumpy."

My Cousin Joanne L.

actually she is my cousin's daughter, so we are second-cousins (?), i think. anyway, she found me on facebook and we connected.

facebook will always suck, but Joanne is a good kid, and i'm glad she found me and we can keep up with each others goings-on.

unfortunately the poor kid will soon come to realize i am not nearly as sane and well-adjusted as i often pretend to be at family parties.

anyway .... hi J !

Parlo un po l'Italiano

mio figlio Mike and mia figlia (in-law) Chris had our first sitdown italian session tonight. they are miles ahead of me and my brain is overloaded, but have until october to learn enough to survive.

applying for a passport tomorrow (that's "domani").

buona notte, miei amici.

Diggin' up Bones

being a birthday month and all, i dredged up this classic... mom wrote all the names on the back of the picture.

and, no .... that is not dorothy from the wizard of oz, sitting next to me, it's margie forte.




Happy Birthday Bob!!!


(after all these years, he's still
Mrs. Leo's second handsomest baby boy!)

Today's To-do's is Done

  • rewrite Thermo notes and post on course web page
  • bring cat to vet .... wait with patience
  • get car inspected .... wait with patience
  • apply for passport at post office .... wait with patience
  • learn how to strike-out text in html list items

the kicks just didn't stop today.

Root Beer: A Committment Renewed

only 3 people ever liked my home-made root beer batch #1 : me, mi amici John e' mia nipote Emma, and Emma happened to ask me about it during my birthday party..... which made me feel terrible in that i had disappointed my established fan base, because i never made another batch like that one.

so ... i am now committing to make another batch, similar to the first batch (major dark sugar overdose!).

so it is written here .... so it will be.

but first i have to drop $150 on a CO2 tank and other supplies of the craft.

Day #23,367

due to the kindness of God and the good fortune of being born in our country, when i got out of bed today i clocked in for day #23,367.

i am overwhelmed by that at the moment ... what have i been doing for the last 23,367 days?

had my netbook in class today, couldn't help snapping myself with the whiteboard in the back. obviously i wired up a tad too much on caffeine on my way in.


(my poor students.)


Index of My Journal Pages

The Names of 4000 Dead US Soldiers