bunrab: (Default)
Since connie doesn't have a computer, let alone wifi so we can use our notebooks, I couldn't post from her house. Thank goodness for coffee shops!

we had a great stay in Katy with Pam and Dan! As we were leaving Wednesday a.m., Pam gave us a HotShot water heater for our tea, and pillows! Which, you will recall, are one of the things we forgot to pack. So now we have pillows.

The drive to Austin was straightforward enough - we don't need GPS for that one. We stopped at Mikeska's in Columbus for a quick bite to eat (and enough of a dose of rural Texas to remind us why we wouldn't want to live there).

To a large extent, who we see during the short amount of time we're in Austin is determined by who is willing to come to far south Austin. The RV has a mileage charge, as well as paying for gas (it's been getting between 11 and 12 mpg), and also, although it is small for an RV, there are still many places we won't even try parking (condo complex parking lots, for example). And as usual I've overestimated how much energy I might have - after a few days of driving, I needed to sleep till 11 a.m. And we can't stay in Austin longer - one of our stops is in Oakland, CA to visit my brother, and he and his family leave the next day on vacation, so if any of the trip got pushed back, we'd miss them. So, this is a whole bunch of excuses to say, I'm sorry, we are not going to be able to see everyone in Austin. Our range is pretty much from Connie's in Oak hill to the parkking lot in Westgate Mall (at Ben White & S. Lamar). Thank you so much to the people who have been willing to drive down here to get together! We've given the short tour of the RV (well, there really isn't a long tour one can give of a 19-foot RV) to Jerry & Kathy, and Susan & Scott. We got to see Anita and Dana for a few minutes, as they live near Westgate Mall and dropped over here for a bit just before I started this post. (Yes, they are close enough that it wouldn't have been any trouble to drive there, but remember I mentioned our unwillingness to tackle crowdede condo complex parking lots? Case in point. We'd never have made it through there to their condo.)

Tomorrow morning, we leave Austin and plan to get as far as Van Horn. There's a KOA there, so I should have wireless, and since there's not much else to do there, I probably will sit around playing Farm games on FB. The 21st century is certainly weirder than I ever thought it would be. None of the science fiction writers got it right, that we would be doing everything with our cell phones (including camera) and looking at Lolcats online - the power of the World Wide Web, devoted to lolcats and trading imaginary farm animals.

I need to mail a few things - postcards, etc. Next post Friday night!
bunrab: (Default)
Here we are at Pam & Dan's house in Katy! We will sleep indoors tonight and use a real shower and brush our teeth with potable water! Seriously, the RV is great, but it'll be nice to have a break.

Let's see - yesterday! We left the suburbs of Birmingham, AL; ate lunch somewhere - nothing special - filled up with gas at the Medgar Evers Memorial Interchange in Mississippi, crossed the Mississippi River at Vicksburg - gambling boats! Then three hours of extrEMEly boring I-20 in EXTREMELY poor repair across Louisiana; we arrived at Gerald Savoie's Cajun Cooking in Shreveport, where we were meeting Mary, at 8:30. The food was great - oyster po'boy for me, shrimp po'boy for Steve, and bread pudding with hard sauce for each of us. (Hard refers to the fact that it has hard liquor in it, not to its texture.) Afterwards, we yakked away in the RV for hours. Mary gave me some great tea I've never had before, and I gave her tea and one of my "famous" knitted tea cozies - red, white and blue fuzzy yarn. And she gave me the loveliest beaded booksmarks she made. It was so great to meet her in person after what, 15 years? of internet and snail mail friendship, and to discover that we have even more interests in common than we knew. Toasted almonds! Crockpot recipes! What a great evening. We collapsed somewhere near 1 a.m., which is why no post last night, and I was a bit slow to wake up this morning, which is why we didn't get out of the RV park till 11 instead of 10. The RV park, by the way, is one I can recommend highly if you're in the area, Tall Pines RV on West 70th, pads in excellent condition, individual waste dump at every pad instead of one station at the edge; extensive store, good maps, easy hookups... very nice condition overall, and nice people running it, who are eager to give discounts.

Leaving Shreveport this morning, we ate lunch somewhere near Nacogdoches in a cafe called Country Kitchen, which was rather smoky - smoking still allowed indoors there. The buffet was inexpensive, but also nothing to write home about, though the mashed potatoes were tasty. The peach cobbler dessert that came with it was undistinguished.

We sort of left our printed instructions and GPS route to try to avoid some Houston traffic, so we used the Loop 8 tollway off of I-45, and didn't hit traffic till we got on I-10, where we hit plenty of traffic, as it was right at 5 p.m. Nonetheless we got to Pam's before 6. I took a nap - it's amazing how tiring wrestling that RV through stop and go traffic - and through toll booths! - is. Our EZ Pass did not work here, needless to say. Then Pam and Dan took us out to dinner, along with their kids, the kids' spouses, and the kids' kids - baby Jack and baby Scott, whom we had not met. I gave them their blankets, and both babies drooled quite appreciatively. We had a good supper - haven't had Tex-Mex in so long!

Anyway, tomorrow morning I am hoping to hit Yarntopia here in Katy on our way out toward Austin. We should be in Austin for late lunch/early afternoon. We'll be staying at Steve's cousin Connie's, I believe, out in Oak Hill. We'll see all you Austinites shortly!
bunrab: (bunearsword)
1. [livejournal.com profile] angevin2, have you seen this cartoon in the Jan. 26 New Yorker? Roz Chast cartoon entitled "Grad-School Parent-Teacher Conference" shows somewhat older couple sitting in front of desk of frizzy-haired, tweed-jacket type, who is saying "Barbara is very mature for a 28-year-old." and (next balloon) "And she certainly isn't drinking as much as she used to!"

2. Ad in the January 2009 The Progressive for this t-shirt and other items with slogans such as "Future Librarian" and "Knitting is Knotty."

3. I seem to have saved a page from the Nov 08 issue of Metropolitan Home, showing the new Long Center in Austin, built on the skeleton of the old Mueller Auditorium. Says the old roof tiles, hail dents and all, now line the elevators and lobby walls. I haven't been there since it was finished; what kind of effect is that, really, someone?

4. I got the subscription for free, that's why I get Metropolitan Home. I am not normally in the market for $5000 furniture and $1000 bedside lamps, though some of them are cute. It is interesting to look at the ads for the latest in sleek, modern Murphy beds.

5. An interesting article from the July 2008 issue of Discover (that shows you how long this pile of magazines has been sitting next to my computer) about Laughing. Refers back to the essay "The Laughter of Copernicus" by Jim Holt in the book Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge edited by Damien Broderick. I believe I meant to make a note to myself to look for this book and Holt's Stop Me If You've Heard This. Is that what I meant?

Yes, I have a huge stack of recent reading, and a report from the Tuba-Euphonium Conference, and numerous other things to tell. Perhaps I shall manage a post after rehearsal tonight.
bunrab: (Default)
You are trying to fall asleep on a hot summer night. Or maybe you're just standing in line somewhere, or hanging onto a pole or rail on public transportation, or listening to the automated voice calling the next number at the DMV.

Suppose you are dying. You have enough blood, and enough energy, to scrawl six characters. Maybe you were murdered and want to point police toward your murderer. Or maybe you're trying to clue in one of your family members, but not the others, toward where you've hidden the diamond bracelet. You can use any letter (any alphabet), number, character (from @ to $ to ?), an arrow pointing in any direction, a sketch of a hand pointing in any direction (you know, like a WingDing), a stick figure (line for body, circle for head, short lines for two arms each and two legs each) in any position, or any similar sort of icon that only takes a few lines to sketch - for example, a child's-style outline of a house with a door is an allowable character, but a detailed drawing of the floor plan of the second story of your house isn't - that's too complicated. So, who are you scrawling for, and why, and what do you scrawl? Note: of course it's OK to play with the number of characters, but you don't have time to write entire paragraphs. IMportant note: no, do NOT comment here with your answers; this is just a mind game to occupy your time, not something I'm challenging anyone to respond to.

And an older one, that I used to play on the trolleys all the time:
You win or inherit a certain amount of money. Where does it go to? First, think of $100. What would you do with that when it came out of nowhere? How do your thoughts about it change if it's $500? $1000? $10,000? $100,000? $1 million? Where, for you, is the dividing line between just spending it, and actually doing something with it? If you're giving a portion to charity, which and why? And how does your decision about charity change as the amount grows larger? If you are giving 10%, say, when it's $100, you're giving $10 so that probably all goes to one place, since it's not big enough to split up - but would you split up the 10% of $10,000 into several recipients of $100 each, or give all $1000 to one organization where it might make a bigger difference? When you get to the larger amounts for charity, would it make a difference to you if giving it all to one charity meant you'd get a plaque in their building or maybe even a room named after you? And on a separate tack, how do you choose to pay off your debts? Smallest ones first to get rid of some entirely? Ones with the highest interest rate first? Are you going to earmark a couple hundred to pay a lawyer to update your will? (See murder, above.) Note: No fair saying you'd put it all in your kids' college fund, or that you'd invest it all and spend it later; that's not in the spirit of the game. Important note: once again, I do not want you to tell ME what you're thinking - I'm just passing along this idea of how to waste time. If you comment at all to this post, it should only be to suggest similar ways to pass an hour's wait at the DMV where you've forgotten to bring a book.
bunrab: (bunnies)
"Caution: Blind View"
bunrab: (bathtub warning)
"I am a brown paper bag. More than likely, I'll end up under your kitchen sink with a few of my friends. I might get cut up and wrapped around an old textbook. Or just stuck under something messy. It would be nice if someone made me into a kite. I'd like to be a kite. But whatever happens, I will never forget the day I carried groceries home from Central Market."
bunrab: (Default)
Do I want to go ahead and get a Palm Treo cell phone, or do I want to wait until the Palm Centro is available for Verizon? Right now it's only available for Sprint, and there's no way I'm switching to Sprint.
bunrab: (Default)
1. Speaking of Cthulhu, I re-read Practical Demonkeeping. I had forgotten the presence of H.P.'s Cafe, where the breakfast special is Eggs Suthoth with a side of The Spuds of Madness.

2. Am I the last folk music geek on earth to whom it has occurred that one could refer to Current Occupant as Geordie Whelps?

3. Thunderstorms. Lightning. Not bike riding weather.

4. I had pizza and potato chips yesterday. Bad, BAD BunRab.

5. I have had an idea of how to do an easy needlepoint manta ray xmas ornament. C&V, you are forewarned that you are the likely victims, er, recipients, of my experiments thereon.
bunrab: (Sniffy)
A watched pot never boils, but an unwatched pot boils a hell of a lot faster than you thought it would. Oh well, the kitchen floor needed mopping anyway.

Another note to self: do not leave invoices and receipts where HamsterCat can get to them. How something with carnivore dentition manages to do that much damage to paper with his teeth is something I don't quite understand. He's been taking too many lessons from the chinchillas.

And further note to self, speaking of HamsterCat, I must try to track down where he is getting his endless supply of tenor saxophone parts, which he brings to the living room and shreds there. There must be a stack of sheet music somewhere, but I have no idea where!
bunrab: (bunnies)
Let's see, magazines: the usual 6 weekly suspects, plus monthlies Harpers, In These Times and Washington Monthly, plus somewhere-between-a-newsletter-and-a-magazine Freethought Bulletin, plus just-a-small-newsletter local Mensa chapter newsletter. Catalogs: not many at all, just a couple different Herrschner's needlework thingies.

The snow has melted almost completely.

My brother G has some sort of share or something like that in a resort house down in Chincoteague, on the Delmarva peninsula, so tomorrow we're gonna drive down there and visit with them for a day and a half or so. Can't stay through to Sunday, because (a) there are hungry bunnies who will go on a rampage if we don't feed them, not to mention their shedding fur will grow to block the doorway, and (b) we have tickets to the Chieftains for Sunday! Yay!
bunrab: (chinchillas)
Let's see. Another magazine received, Skeptical Inquirer. (And all the usual weekly suspects.) Another catalog: Rejuvenation. Which, even though we don't own an old house any more, is still a gorgeous catalog full of stuff I'd love to have. (http://www.rejuvenation.com/ , for those of you who want the lure of Arts-and-Crafts chandeliers.)

We had lunch Saturday with the Mature Mensans, a monthly event. One of the guys, on the younger end of "mature" (those of us between 50 and 60, rather than over 60), has brought his teenage daughter to lunch in the past, and brought both her and his slightly younger son; both are nice kids, well-educated, literate, and properly appreciative of old farts who insist on telling them about how it used to be.

Saturday evening we drove down to Fairfax to hear the City of Fairfax Band, a community band about as large as the one we left in Austin, a good 90 players or so - and an extremely well funded band it seems to be. It was quite a good concert, though the trumpet soloist, the first chair from their trumpet section, seemed rather ordinary to us; there are a couple of players in the Montgomery Village Community Band who could have done Reed's "Ode for Trumpet" better. (The whole concert was a tribute to Alfred Reed.) A nice selection of music, and a rousing job on Reed's "Armenian Dances."

Today I finally got a bunch of the Elfa shelving up on one of the basement walls, and got a dozen or so boxes of fabric unpacked onto said shelves - not quite half filling them. How long have we been in this house? 15 months? 'Bout damned time. Anyway, the basement is already beginning to look clearer; those dozen boxes cleared up some walking space. By re-arranging the cats' accessories, then the big desk, we will clear up some more space, and can then start unpacking a bunch of the boxes labelled "desk stuff." (All those who think we're going to get that much more done immediately, I have a bridge to sell you.)

And tonight I made a casserole out of macaroni, shredded and grated cheese, and leftover meatloaf. It came out surprisingly edible. It may be a truism that enough grated Parmesan cheese will make almost any entree edible.

Oh yeah, did I mention additional book read? Dana Stabenow's A Deeper Sleep, latest in her Kate Shugak series. Good series, although reading about Alaska while it's winter here tends to make one need a throw or wrap for the armchair...

I think my favorite chapter in Trilobites! is the one about the eyes. Trilobite eyes are so cool.
bunrab: (squirrel_sweater)
One of the things I enjoy about visiting with my dad is that he and I can talk rats. That is, we feel the same way about discussing lovable pet rodents, and comparative anatomy, and what's our favorite exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, and other random zoology-related nonsense, including how cute pet rodents are. Neither of us happens to own rats at the moment, but that's besides the point. It's just a comfort level of sitting on a sofa and discussing the size of guinea pig ears vs. the size of chinchilla ears, and pets we've had with odd numbers of toes or even odd numbers of feet, that I don't have with anyone else. I have friends who own pets, even pet rodents, but we don't have the years and years of history going back, where even mentioning a late pet's name brings back a flood of memories. Murray the tailless rat, Oglethorpe the Belgian hare, Plumpin Pumpernickel the beagle, etc.

[livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet and I watched the Reduced Shakespeare Company DVD this evening.

If anybody's wondering, we're doing absolutely nothing for New Year's Eve.

Whee!

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