South Dakota Abortion Ban News...

News Flash! The South Dakota abortion ban signed into law by Governer Mike Rounds may not have the overwhelming majority of God-fearing, liberal-hating conservative South Dakotans. In fact, more people may vote against the law than for it when it comes up this November. According to the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader released results of a poll of 800 people showing 47% who were against the law and 39% who supported it.

Now, I'm not saying that the law will be defeated. I'm just saying that maybe, maybe, the type of people who run around saying abortion should be illegal (rather than immoral or unethical) and everyone but whacko liberals think the same might not be correct. Not even in South Dakota. It may be that some people have figured out that screaming "I'm right and you're wrong!" may not be the best way to get what they want. On one side, anyway...

(via Boulder Dude.)

And the Guy says...

From a guy's guy at work:

"Guys are made out of bacon."


More Bishop Castle

Yours truly, intrepid stair climber, offered to take my folks and siblings to Bishop Castle this weekend.*

I tried to spot the castle from the road; even knowing when to expect it, I couldn't see the castle for the trees.

I was able to talk to the builder, Jim Bishop, this time. He was working on the outer boundaries of the property on what I had supposed to be the castle gate. Not so, he said. The arches at the front of the property were the beginning of a dungeon that would run inside the castle wall and surrounding the entire property. Further, the castle wall would have three levels facing the road, with two levels around the rest of the property. The tower at the corner he was currently working on would be about 250 feet tall when completed, slightly taller than the tallest tower on the castle itself. "God willing," he said, "I'll live to finish the wall, but even if I don't, the castle was my victory."

(He also mentioned that Bishop Castle was mentioned in a neat-looking book called Roadside Americana, by Eric Peterson, that I'll have to check out. On one page, Bishop Castle; on the other, "Can there be too many Stonehenges?" featuring Carhenge in the far, far backwaters of Nebraska.)

*Note: The other option was Boulder. Unforunately, I had not thought to research Boulder before bringing it up in front of my father, and so was unable to answer the questions "What team is UC-Boulder?" and "What colors are they?" I also missed "Where does I-25 come out" and "How far is it to Las Vegas?" (Answers: The Buffaloes; Black and Gold; North of El Paso, Texas; 790 miles (much further than I'd guessed; people who'd told me they'd made the trip in "six hours or so" must have been exaggerating).)


Christmas in July and Other Activities


I will be most likely not posting this weekend, as it's a) Christmas in July, and b) my folks will be in town.

Tomorrow's menu:

Roast pork with spices and cherry sauce
Sweet potatoes with candied, spiced pecans
Sweet corn
Fresh pineapple


See You Later Alligator

See you later alligator
After 'while crocodile
See you later alligator
After 'while crocodile
Can't you see you're in my way now
Don't you know you cramp my style

Written by Robert Guidry, most famously recorded by Bill Haley & the Comets in 1955. The voice at the beginning is not Elmo, but the lead guitarist.

(One of Ray's favorite songs.)



I got The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle, in the mail today. Now, I am not big on actually decorating cakes, but I like to make them. I mean, come on. "Cake" includes "cheesecake," and there's a whole chapter on cheesecakes.

"[Cheesecakes] first became popular in America in the late nineteenth century, after a couple of dairy farmers from upstate New York developed a rich, cream-based cheese inspired by French Neufchatel."

There's even "Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust." "White Chocolate Peach Cheesecake." Oooh, and "Chocolate Guiness Cake," which appears to be fudge with pretensions toward cakedom.

"Lemon Lust Cake:

"Lemon lovers are a special breed. They are shamelessly devoted to their favorite flavor, and they like it to be assertive and bold..."

Hm...bet I could turn that into Lime Lust Cake without too much difficulty. My passion for lemons, eh, well.

I wonder if there's a personality test for your favorite kind of dessert. Cake vs. Pie. On the one hand, we have cheesecake. On the other, pecan pie. Considering that I make at least five cheesecakes a year (and an uncounted number of cakes, both from scratch and from a mix), I'll have to go with cake.


Merry Christmas in July!

We have to wait until Saturday, but that doesn't mean I can't run around in circles and say "Wheeeeeeeee!"

Actually, Ray's not feeling well. I think the nap she took on the way home from Bishop Castle was due to coming down with (another) summertime cold.


I ended up staying home with Ray and trying to work from home. I bored her so much that she ended up taking a 2 1/2-hour nap :)



I like eating grilled food, but I can't help it. To me, grilling isn't cooking. It's just killing stuff.

Bishop Castle

Stan (Boulder Dude) and I drove out to Bishop Castle today. I think the closest thing (in spirit more so than in form) that I've seen to it is the House on the Rock. If you check out the difference in the places' respective websites, you'll get an idea of how different Bishop Castle is from a "tourist trap." Not that the pictures will really give you an idea of what the place "feels" like.

The rocks used in construction are uncut and come in all kinds of sizes and have been built over iron frameworks. Precarious-looking iron balconies and staircases are decorated with hand-wrought spirals and loops. The main rooms are open and drafty, and panes of glass have been shattered (my guess would be by storms, since the trees come up almost to the castle walls themselves) over the dirty, worn hardwood floors. It's the kind of castle that elves from The Lord of the Rings series would build, only heavier and rougher--fanciful and winningly lovely, but you wouldn't dream of trying to knock it over with anything less than a mountain, and you can see rust and repairs and wiring...

I have to say that Bishop Castle has become part of my idea of the "true" Colorado. Like barbecue in Memphis, or the big steps next to the lake by the Observatory in Chicago. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Stanley Hotel*, and this place.

*Which I haven't even seen yet, but there you go.


Stan's take on the castle.

Quote of the Day:

"Television is a medium because anything well done is rare."
--Fred Allen


Statistically Speaking...

Odds of dying...

  • In a flood: 1 in 144,156

  • After being struck by lightning: 1 in 79,746

  • By legal execution: 1 in 62,468

  • By accidental electrocution: 1 in 9,968

  • In a fire/of smoke inhalation: 1 in 1,113

  • By drowning: 1 in 1,008

  • By suicide: 1 in 119

  • In a motor vehicle accident: 1 in 84

  • Of heart disease: 1 in 5

  • Of something or other: 1 in 1

According to this month's National Geographic, anyway.

I want to see a statistical list of things your parents warned you about, like "Odds of jumping off a cliff" "Odds of being injured while running with scissors" "Odds of dying with previously dirtied underwear," that kind of things. "Odds of death by karma" would be nice, too.


I am both nervous and impatient to get on with the house-buying process. Things both are dreaded and cannot happen fast enough. I'm like that with anything new.

Anyway, since I started proceedings on Thursday, I've been restless. What needs to happen is for me to use up all my excess energy on a project, get it over with, and start something else. But no. Buying a house, at this stage, doesn't consume all that much energy. It's about waiting...to...find...out. And scrolling through listings to look at houses that may not be there when the financing goes through.

So what I've been doing with my excess energy is pace around like a recently-caged tiger, dither on other projects (because they're not what I'm obsessing about), and annoy people. Sorry, guys.


The Writerly Muse

An early-morning rumination following a dream of a bookstore:

What is the writerly muse, if not a collection of interests, curiosities, subconscious desires, obsessions, and memories that has become a individualized figure, an entity to be visualized and invoked at will? What does "I have lost my muse" mean but "I have no obsessions"?


Alice, the Other Wonderland

The illustrator who designed "Olive, the Other Reindeer," J.otto Seibold, has a new book out, "Alice in (pop-up) Wonderland." And a Flash website, too.

(Via Neatorama.)

The Devil-Devil Man Wulgaru

Reading the Otherland series* by Tad Williams, I wandered across the legend of the Wulgaru:

He chanted the most powerful incantations he knew, and tapped the figure with his woomera. The sun sank, dusk changed to dark and, daring the evil spirits of the night, Djarapa chanted and tapped without stopping on through the night and the dim light of dawn, on through the morning song of birds and the growing daylight, on and on as the sunlight dappled the ground under the trees; and all the time the Wulgaru lay motionless, unresponsive to the chanting, staring upwards with its stony eyes.

After Djarapa abandons his creation, it begins to follow him. Tad Williams puts it forth as a metaphor for machines, how they sem lifeless, but comes to possess the world one lives in, almost as a monster or spirit.

*I'm almost done with Book Two, River of Blue Fire. I still haven't decided whether it's a fantasy or science fiction series. At first I thought it was a fantasy, but the fantasy worlds turned out to be VR. Now I'm starting to suspect a few fantasy elements here and there...as with the rest of Tad Williams's work, the series is one novel, split into smaller books, so you don't really get a climactic ending from one book to the next. I also haven't decided whether it's good or not, because there are so many plotlines, and he switches back and forth between them so often, that's it's hard to get a feel for what's going on at times.






If we're trying to make the world safe for democracy, wouldn't it be better to infiltrate the black market than declare war? I kept thinking about it today: sneak cells of philanthropists, teachers, jounalists, and black marketeers into a country. That way, fundamentalists can scream about how godless the US is, but what everybody's really thinking is that we make good blue jeans and can fix computers like nobody's business. We don't want enemies; we want free markets, because selling stuff is what we do best.*

*I've also been thinking about setting up categories for my blog. This entry would go under "Hare-brained Ideas." That way, you could click on the link and POW! as many hare-brained ideas as you could ever desire.

Okay, here's the deal. Any show I've watched at least three full episodes of is bolded:

7th Heaven
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Arrested Development
Battlestar Galactica [1 and 2]
Beverly Hills 90210
Boy Meets World
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Bug Juice
Chappelle’s Show
Charlie’s Angels
Commander in Chief
Cowboy Bebop
CSI: Miami
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Danny Phantom
Dawson’s Creek
Dead Like Me
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Desperate Housewives
Doctor Who (not lately)
Family Guy
Father Ted
Fawlty Towers
Get Smart
Gilligan’s Island
Gilmore Girls
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Grey’s Anatomy
Hannah Montana
Happy Days
Hogan’s Heroes
Home Improvement
Homicide: Life on the Street
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Invader Zim
Little House on the Prairie
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Lost in Space
Love, American Style
Malcolm in the Middle
Married… With Children
Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission: Impossible
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
One Tree Hill
Perry Mason
Power Rangers
Prison Break
Rescue Me
Saved by the Bell
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Sex and the City
Six Feet Under
So Weird
South Park
Spongebob Squarepants
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Teen Titans
That 70’s Show
That’s So Raven
The 4400
The Addams Family
The Andy Griffith Show
The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Brady Bunch

The Cosby Show
The Daily Show
The Dead Zone
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Honeymooners
The Jetsons
The Love Boat
The Munsters
The O.C.
The Office
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Three’s Company
Twin Peaks
Veronica Mars
Whose Line is it Anyway?
Will and Grace

...I was feeling pretty good there until I got into the '80's shows.

(Via ***Dave)



It'a slack-off, fried-chicken, read-a-novel, play-some-sudoku nite. Shhh....don't spoil the illusion by saying the word "tomorrow" yet...


Rewards and Punishments.

So, about a month ago, I had a good idea for a novel. At least, it was the kind of thing that I thought would be a good idea fora novel. So I wrote it. Finished it this afternoon. Don't like the ending,* couple of big places that could stand some additional scenes. But I'm done!

Synopsis, brief teaser, or what have you of Alien Blue:

Bill Trout, the owner of the Caveman Brewery in Haley, New Mexico, tells a stranger the story of how the alien came to town and why he's in the back room of the bar waiting to die. What he doesn't know is that the young woman is already involved...

Hey. It's my first real synopsis :)

It has to go on the back burner for a while; I have a murder mystery game (about a luau) to work on, and a house to purchase...anyway, as a reward, I ate most of a very dark dark chocolate bar, and I have made myself thoroughly sick. Some reward, eh?

*It's not a bad ending. I just didn't write it well, because I was in a hurry to get done with it.
Fawlty Towers.

The hotel that inspired the British TV comedy is getting renovated.

"The character of Basil Fawlty was inspired by a former manager at the hotel; he gave John Cleese and the Monty Python team a frosty welcome when they booked in 1971. The ferocious host berated them for not holding their knives and forks correctly and threw one of their briefcases over a wall believing it could be a time bomb."

I wonder what happened to the guy...
The Art of Forgetting.

Ever say a word over and over until it didn't make sense anymore? I was doing just that today with a character name when I suddenly wondered what exactly happens to your brain when you do that. Do you unhook synapses or something? Do you make it so all references to that word only relate back to itself, instead of to what the word means? I wonder whether you could force yourself to erase a memory that way, or at least how frequently you remember it. Hm...


Complete the Serious...

12, 8, 6, 5...

Anyway, picked up The Witches of Chiswick, by Robert Rankin:

"'Winsome Wendy Wainscott, Channel Twenty's wonderful weather woman, says it will be clear by Wednesday,' ventured Will's mum, a moon-faced loon with a vermillion hairpiece and hips that were a hymn to hamburger. 'I could call you in sick, Will, and you could apply yourself to doing a few odd jobs about the home.'

'No thanks,' said Will.

'But some of the jobs are really odd. They would appeal to you.'"

Some of his other book titles:

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocolypse
The Toyminator (Note: Picture of creature, half stuffed bear, half cyborg teddie, on cover.)
Fandom of the Operator

Being jealous would only lessen the fun...
Announcement of the Month.

Doyce and Jackie's daughter, Kaylee, is now walking.*

You'd think I wouldn't have to be the one doing the announcing. But noooooooo.

Looks like Terry Gilliam has been releasing a new movie and not telling anybody about it...

I couldn't find a copy of the movie anywhere, but here's the book, by Mitch Cullin.
Louisiana Chefs.

"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin."
-- Mark Twain, 1884

Someone was talking about famous Louisiana chefs, and we got in an argument over who says/said what:

Justin Wilson: "I guarontee." (Go to "A Louisiana Original" and scroll down.)

Emeril Lagasse
: "Bam!" and "Kick it up a notch!"

Paul Prudhomme
: I don't know of anything he "says," but I included him to rule him out of the who-said-what debate.

(I lost the argument, by the way.)


Commander's Palace.

And just for kicks (lot)), here's a link to a gallon of Louisiana Hot Sauce. Cheap, too.


The Flying Karamazovs!

I saw a video of the Flying Karamozovs back in college once...and never heard of them again. For some reason, I was thinking about them yesterday. Juggling metaphors...juggling metaphors...wonder why juggling metaphors keep coming to mind...


Quotes of the Morning.

If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again.

Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.

Room service? Send up a larger room.

She got her looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon.

When I was young I was amazed at Plutarch's statement that the elder Cato began at the age of eighty to learn Greek. I am amazed no longer. Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long.

Why, I'd horse-whip you if I had a horse.

Women should be obscene and not heard.

--Groucho Marx


Russian Practical Joke.

(via growabrain.)
Playing Games.

I love simple games, so it couldn't come as a surprise that I'll spend a night or two obsessing over Sudoku here and there (I currently struggle through the "hard" level).

***Dave, with the comment "Ho Hum" passed along an article about Sudoku that lays out basic rules for completing a puzzle.

The basic rules in the article cover easy puzzles and about 90% of medium puzzles, but won't give you the method for solving hard puzzles (I haven't played any "evil" puzzles yet.) The article puts across that all you need to do is follow some simple rules, but that isn't true any more than saying "all you need to do to play chess is to follow some simple rules." While it's true that a few simple rules will solve many instances of a game, for harder instances, all the simple rules will do is take you to a point where complex rules can be applied more easily.

For example, something that the article doesn't mention is that if two numbers in a given group can each occupy only one of two spaces (and the spaces are shared by both numbers), no other number can occupy that space. It's not a rule; it's logic. The more difficult a puzzle is, the more likely you're going to encounter a situation where you have to reason out a logical tool that you've never encountered before. Some people don't care for it, but I find it a real pleasure.

Most games have a few simple rules that can be followed to quickly put the player at an average level, able to easily beat a novice. Mastery requires going beyond a few simple rules; if all it took was a few simple rules, everyone would be a master. To reduce a game's strategy to a few rules reduces the fascination of a game to the company of the people one plays with, and, in that case, you might as well do something other than play games.

I love the catastrophic element of game strategy: one strategy works just fine until some unanticipated boundary is crossed, and then all hell breaks loose.

Oh, no! The Tetris blocks just keep coming faster and faster...!


Quote of the Day.

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Writer vs. Editor Mental Gap.

Dunno about anybody else, but if I spend the day writing, I'm usually refreshed for the rest of the day. Although if I push it too far, I'm wiped out. Go figure.

On the other hand, if I spend a good, solid chunk of time editing, I feel disoriented afterwards. I'm more likely to lose track of time while editing.

It's like the writer part of my head uses the dominant (creative, babbling) side of my personality, and the editor part of my head uses the next strongest (computerish, analytical) side of my personality--which means I have to shut off the dominant part in order to use it.

I think my creative brain is taking one of those naps that is both too long and not long enough while I'm editing, and wakes up groggy. I tried to talk to somebody outside of the technical writer group after spending four hours editing (tables, no less), and while the people in my group understood my perfectly, the other guy looked at me like I was talking baby-talk.

"Hm..." I could see flashing across his face, "She seemed at least reasonably intelligent earlier."

Wooshie gaga!


Tower of Babel?

So I'm walking around in the rain, avoiding getting work done for a while (i.e., taking a break), when I start thinking about Microsoft and how Bill Gates is getting out of the business over the next few years.

What will happen is Microsoft no longer holds a near-monopoly over operating systems?

The more I thought about it, the more I wonder whether there's a big change coming. Apple's Ipod software is shockingly bad--how did such a non-user friendly, high-maintenance software make it out Apple's door? Isn't the whole idea of Apple to be able to do stuff intuitively, and not need to fix it all the dang time?

The Microsoft hegemony could fall through an EU decision to force them to make their code available to other companies.

Other software platforms haven't earned much respect, not even LINUX.

So what comes next? Google? A software platform that you can run on your computer for free, as long as you're willing to put up with the ads and the possibility that everything you store is subject to just flat-out disappear if Google goes down for the day?

Another thing I've noticed is that portable media devices are getting more versatile. Click here (Popular Science) for a look at the new UMPC (Ultra-Mobile PCs). So what we're going to be seeing next, technology-wise, are small, mobile units capable of handling (more or less conveniently) all the functions of a computer, a cell phone, an entertainment center, and a camera all at once. Let's say the US established a national bluetooth network. Everyone, everywhere, with the cash to pull it off, will be connected. Even the census guys are going to be online by 2010.

So where does that go? A plethora of very personalized personal devices? Proprietary software that collapses as soon as you've invested in it? An open-source MS-like OS that nobody can fix?

I really want to mess around with this, which is why I'm writing it down for later...
Vicious (and stupid) Cycle.

Ever notice how being behind on a big project can stress you out?

Ever notice how being stressed out consumes your brain, so you don't get any work done?


Sex Bomb!*

Click here for the funniest ice skating routine ever.

(Not really unsafe for work, but not all that appropriate, either.)

*The Tom Jones song.
Christmas in July.

We celebrate Christmas in July, i.e., an excuse for summertime gift-giving and decorations. We finally have the tree and leis put up, and the tiki gods overlook the fish tank.

Which reminds me...we got that fish tank a year ago. But not the fish. As Lee says, "Let's just say we recycled the fish."

Anyway, this year's it's on July 29th, because I'm not going to be able to get the 25th off...


Girl Stuff.

Mike gave Ray a belated Christmas present: a little luggage bag with kiddie makeup. Including nail polish. Hm...Barney videos? Drum set? Live animal? The glove has been thrown down, baby, and I am not afraid of the challenge.

But Ray loves it, and I've put away the nail polish so only Mom can put it on...



It stopped raining long enough yesterday for us to watch fireworks at Memorial Park with Mike and Connie and the kids, who left this morning to go back to SD. We parked down by Zorbadillos (one of my favorite restaurants ever; I'm biased) and sat near the lake.

The girls were antsy, to say the least. "Is it time yet?"* I had to laugh. These girls, they aren't actually blood relations, but you can't really tell. Mine's brunette and the others are blonde, but they were picking on each other like sisters all day yesterday.

I don't know how many people were there, but it was more than the population of most South Dakota towns. Maybe even most SD towns added together, say, if you left out the top ten. People were restless, too. The walkway around the lake was packed with people. People with cell phones. People with dogs. People hawking red, white, and blue glow sticks. People with strollers. People with wheelchairs. Even what looked like Amish folks, only the ladies didn't have the white cap thingies. There was no sitting still, not even during the fireworks themselves.

Maybe it's blasphemy to say this, but the fireworks, when they did get started, lasted too long. Not the fault of the planners; everything went smoothly as far as we could tell (no flaming bodies shot off into the lake or anything). It's just that there were two very wiggly little girls on my lap through almost the whole thing, two little girls who each had butts over 50% of my own, and third who wanted attention, too. So I sat cross-legged on the ground and balanced the two little ones each to a leg and leaned the other one up against my side...and today my thighs hurt, almost as if I had been (shudder) working out.

But I'm glad I went. Lee offered to let me stay home, but I knew I'd just be whining about not going if I did that. And lo, it was fun.

(It's rained so much over the last few days that the countryside is minty, i.e., the color "mint" rather than the flavoring. Yellow-brown, yellow-brown, yellow-brown, mint. It's strange.)

*By the way, Mike said he timed the girls on the way out here. Twenty-two minutes to the first "Are we there yet?"


Independence Day Quotes.

Here are some Independence Day quotes that I found today...

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~Erma Bombeck

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. ~Thomas Macaulay

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ~Abraham Lincoln

Independence Day, as such, is always a mixed experience for me. Sure, celebrating our independence is worthwhile; however, I usually run into some ass who sets my teeth on edge today by insisting that taking away someone's rights is a good way to express patriotism.

"Marriage ain't fer gays!" "Them Mexicans are out to steal our jobs!" "Anybody who don't like America out to be shot--it's my Second Amendment Right!" "Why shouldn't it be 'One Nation Under God'?"

If you paint taking away someone's freedom (or pursuit of happiness?) with red, white, and blue, does that make it patriotic?

Hello? Beuller? Beuller?



I rode to and from work on the short bus today.

(There's a bus that shuttles people around on the base, but it's normally a full-sized bus. It had been parked off to the side today. Fuel effiency? Not a lot of people in the office today.)

It smelled terrible, as if someone had been raising chickens on it. Recently. I looked under the seats, but it seemed clean, except for the single bloodied feather stuck to the bottom of my shoe, and the mysterious clucking sound coming over the loudspeakers from whence one would normally hear "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Zoo Trip.

The Zoo trip went well. Everybody (except Mike, who is over the weight limit) got to ride both the restored antique carosel ponies and the real, live ponies. Ne-eigh! Afterwards, at the point where I (although suggesting it in the first place, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) chickened out of going to the Shrine of the Sun, Mike and Connie took all three girls with them up another couple of thousand feet and walked around some more. Come on, these people are flatlanders. Sheesh.

I went home and got some writing done, cashed my first Harris paycheck (!), and picked up some pad thai while everyone else hung out at their motel room and ate chicken. I may just make my deadline for the first draft...

Off on a tangent here, I would just like to say that pad thai would be a perfect food if people would take spring roll peanut sauce and dump it all over the noodles. It's odd. It's not like I'm a peanut-butter-and-jelly hound or anything, but whenever I can get away with adding peanut butter to noodles or something, there's me with my spoon in the jar. Anyway, our new favorite Chinese delivery place also makes a few Thai dishes, and they will send along extra peanut sauce when I remember how to ask for that specifically and not just extra pad thai sauce, so voila! the perfect food is within reach. I think my next goal will be to get them to put about a quarter-cup of chopped cilantro on top, instead of a measly sprig for garnish.

The following bit of overheard conversation appears to me to sum up the quintessence of parenting: what you don't know can't gross you out in the middle of the grocery store.

"Mom, I got boogers. See?"
"Tommy, I don't want to hear about boogers any more today, okay?"
"Okay, Mom."
"Thank you."


Family in Town.

Lee's brother Mike, his SO Connie, and her two daughters, Hannah (7) and Alexis (4) are in town visiting us. Today, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and possibly the Shrine to the Sun. We'll hand-feed the giraffes, see if the wallabies have settled down enough to want to be petted, goggle at the baby gorilla...

And ponies. There will definitely be ponies.


Eragon Forwarder.*

Lee's brother Dale pointed out the movie adaptation of Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, is coming out in 2007. Click here for the in-production-type trailer.

Dunno. Looks altogether too full of bombast. It's being directed by Stefen Fangmeier, who, admittedly, is a great visual effects guy, but who's never directed a movie on his own. Hrm....

*Trailers aren't after anything.