Last night's visit from USPS brought the balance of the weekend updates that I didn't have electronically, so I spent some time getting started typing those. I also read a fair amount, from "The Breakthrough Strategy" which has hardly any pictures and "Powder Magazine" which has a bunch. Also spent a fair piece on the phone with points north. I really like the idea that phones connect not just people but geography as well, so when I speak to someone in my mind our conversation is both a name and a place; last night was Bethesda and East Lansing, both of which are snowier than SRQ. Also note today's new title image from my FSC (or, as East Lansing put it: 'Frank Lloyd Wright house-ville'...what fun! ) trip last weekend. That is, you guessed it, Dartmouth Chapel.
posted at 12:55 PM - comments
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Helping a fellow Webbie learn Rhino and helping a church get a Habitat house underway have filled my last two evenings, working on Chris Crafts has filled my past two days, and that is really about all I have to say about that. I've been taking care of odds and ends, too, and took some time to catch up with an old friend who's getting into the fun I know as 'furniture-shopping.' Had the occasion to look back at some digital shots of when my sofa arrived and the walls were bare and there was no table and no plant and boy did 511 look sparse....what a rewarding project that has been.
posted at 12:54 PM - comments
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Marsovers.jpl.nasa.gov has been feeding my lust for information and images from afar lately - I cannot believe how strange it is to gaze onto the floor of a distant planet with such clarity. Perhaps Spirit and Opportunity have cooler digital cameras than me, but I'm pretty pleased with the results I got from this weekend's foray with my Sony DSC-P8. At Mom's suggestion I'm thinking about doing a black and white from one of the pictures I took (likely of Dartmouth Chapel) to add to my collection. Last night I felt like a little kid: had ice cream for dinner, read two books that are pure fun, including that grand passage from "Islands in the Stream" when Davey hooks the billfish and the boys and their father spend a day off Bimini bonding on a boat. Timeless. Sometimes I worry that what I do doesn't matter, but when I read that I find myself at peace with the world. Especially when there's ice cream, too.
posted at 1:20 PM - comments
Monday, January 26, 2004
Got up semi-early on Saturday and headed to Florida Southern College Architectural District to take in the seven Frank Lloyd Wright buildings there. Dartmouth Chapel would have to be my favorite, although the entirety of the campus was very nice. The arrogance of the architect shone through, though, in the 76" tall esplanades that track 1.4 miles around the grounds between the buildings. Later in the day I caught up with some people, did some reading, re-attached the passenger side door panel in the Jimmy, and collapsed early with a massive headache. Sunday was AV duty, then a long afternoon at Selby Gardens with a book, then off to Selby Library to check out "Islands in the Stream" to rekindle my boating passions before the boss' return today. In the evening I watched "The Cup" and realized that I enjoy movies that take place on the Himalayan plateau..."Himalaya" is another favorite.
posted at 12:49 PM - comments
Friday, January 23, 2004
Strange news from down the street this week as a murder shakes up Palm Avenue and the otherwise placid downtown of our fair city. The news from Mars was much improved this day, though, and hopefully people will keep some trust in NASA (in your eye, CNN!) and their ability to fix things from afar. That's why Spirit cost $420m and my car cost less than that - remote diagnostics and self-repair really run up the pricetag. Got a tour of Donzi in the AM today before work. Never thought I'd hear myself utter (or pen) this phrase, but it was good to smell the MeK and hear the grinders and see the foreigners with the rollers. Oooh boy do I ever covet the 22 Classic, too. That's what boating is supposed to be about I think.
posted at 1:28 PM - comments
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Oh nooo! Troubling news (or lack thereof) from Mars this morning. It must be a simply overwhelming feeling of helplessness knowing that several hundred million dollars worth of machinery is stuck on the Red Planet and there is just nothing hands-on you can do about it. Dang. Got the last domino erected last night, then toppled them this morning. Now I'm a starter in the waiting game until the news trickles back, hopefully with more promise than that of Spirit.
posted at 1:06 PM - comments
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
I've been stewing all morning and now it is time for a tirade. Hit the Daiquiri Deck last night with Chris, then headed home to take in that fondest of Constitutional requirements, the so-called State of the Union address. My thoughts on President Bush have appeared in this feature before, but now I find myself primed to get personal and to speak out more than I have previously. There are, naturally, broad points on which I agree with Mr. Bush: thank the troops you see, support those you don't. Let's not allow role models like athletes turn into bad role models - not that I find this to be a topic worthy of the bully pulpit from which he speaks. At this point, though, we part ways. In his speech he said we should remember our allies and then turned on our allies saying we won't wait for a "permission slip" before riding roughshod over countries against which we have a personal vendeta. He talked proudly of how diplomacy led North Korea to back down from their nuclear stance, and spoke of how diplomacy didn't work in Iraq. It seems contradictory to me to say that diplomacy didn't work when, in fact, he didn't ask the right questions: before the war we asked to see Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, to which Iraq responded "hey we got no weapons o' mass destruction." Turns out, they were telling the truth. So, Mr. Bush, I'd say it was you who sold diplomacy down the river, not Mr. Hussein.
Then, later in the speech, after talking at some length about how government holds the answer to education and health care, he arrives at the topic of the Constitutional definition of marriage. I fail to see how we as a people and he as a leader can condone this trivializing of the single most important document in the western world. If Mr. Bush gets his way, he will have made a mockery of the law of our land, ratifying a notion that will make the very foundations of our country a hotbed of hypocrisy. It strikes me that to achieve his goal, Mr. Bush will have to not only amend the details of our Constitution, but the very Preamble itself since it will no longer include the collective 'we' but rather a diminuitive "some" of the people. What's more, his beliefs fly in the face of the Declaration of Independence, and who are you, Mr. Bush, to trump your own forefathers? To disagree with our nation's founders is one of the rights for which they fought and died, but to desecrate that which they risked everything to form should be an insult to every American. I say to Mr. Bush go ahead and develop what legislation you must to feel all is right in the world, but as a sanity check I want you to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when you pitch it to the nation. If you can, in good conscience, devalue a few members of our society from that spot where Dr. Martin Luther King spoke, in the shadow of our greatest President's legacy, then I maintain you are unfit to lead the nation.
My final point of contention is with the federal funding of religious charities. I agree with the President that these groups tackle some of the hardest challenges with the most resolve, but I find it rare that such a group is not working towards an evangelical end. That's not to say I view it as a problem, but I don't feel that the taxpayer's dollars should be directed in a way that may lead towards the beliefs of the few, especially on matters of religion. Our country is based on a religious exile and for nearly 228 years separation of church and state has been a pillar of our laws...to revisit this establishment now seems to me very thin ice indeed, especially for a leader with as dubious a track record as our current Chief Executive.
I close with this. The language isn't mine, but shouldn't we unanimously attach ourselves emotionally to the message - in it's entirety?
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Got the sweet lowdown on Karyn & Rob's Hawaii trip last night...oohhh is travel ever fun. Plus, it's nice when you are close enough to people that their going is almost the same as you going yourself. Also had a stereotypical mobile phone conversation with Kyle, which is never anywhere short of entertaining. Also got chinos by mail, and they're killer. I love shopping online. Today at lunch I had to zip down to Sunset Chevrolet to pick up some minor parts, so while I was there I hit the Hot Button. I was really feeling confident, thank you very much John Palmer, but my assertions that victory was at hand didn't lead me to own a new Chevy Impala. Blast.
posted at 1:41 PM - comments
Monday, January 19, 2004
Hummm not a ton to say about the weekend just passed. Worked the sound board for Kieser College graduation, which was, well, an experience. That cooked my Friday evening, then Saturday I took care of some errands, worked some more on polishing dominos, and laughed hysterically at Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Sunday was Art Day downtown, so I checked that out and was as disappointed as can be at the lameness of the entire goings-on. Somehow I thought Art Day would actually be more like an art fair, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Also took in some conference championship action from the NFL and kept up my reading of non-fiction.
posted at 9:17 AM - comments
Friday, January 16, 2004
Happy Festivus touts Blogger's front page. Happy Seinfeld syndication touts me! Been staying up later in an effort to jumpstart my productivity, and the carrot for that is the late night appearance of Jerry, George, Cosmo, and Elaine. Started hoisting the last domino last night, which is a pleasant task to have underway. It has also been nice, lately, to turn off the air conditioning and survive on real, cool, outside air - just like they have up north.
posted at 1:22 PM - comments
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Revisited a couple of things last night: Mexican food, the role of tech support, and my need for intrinsic complexity to my life in the form of a second credit card. But, Blue Cash is sweet in appearance and perks, so I guess a little bit more confusion isn't too high a price. Incredibly, I've been mulling over a new, rock and rollier look to the site, just to break away from the conservative mold in which this little undertaking has lived out its first half-decade. We'll see.
posted at 3:45 PM - comments
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Interesting budgetary news from Washington DC today. I'm all about the new space initiative, even at an additional $1bn in 5 years: if I'm going to work one day a week for the fed, then by all means in addition to building roads and keeping my semi-safe yes, let's explore somewhere new. For this reason I guess a moon base isn't my favorite plan, but in the name of science I say let's forge ahead; plus it's more achievable. For once I tend to agree with him, "there's much more to learn and explore." Later in the day I read about a Bush plan to pump $1.5bn into promoting marriage among low-income members of the population. Don't get me wrong, I think helping low-income families is an important priority, but should the government be stepping in to provide marriage counseling? What? Marriage counseling provided free by Uncle Sam? It just seems to me like that is a pretty low return for the taxpayer's dollar, with minimal benefit to the common good. That's my two cents.
posted at 4:22 PM - comments
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Game on. Took in "Radio" last evening because Cobb is so stinking cheap and it was rumored to be a good show, which it was. It was the kind of movie that makes you want to walk out of the theater and be a coach, mentor, and all-round better person. Had tortellini again last night, and boy oh boy is that tasting good. It had been awhile since I'd ponied up for pre-treated pasta, but one of the great things about being a Sam's Club member is that you can get that sort of thing in bulk, along with 4 sticks of deodarant for the price of 2, and the only cost to you is the bitter bitter reminder of the hosing you took when you bought 0.5 large worth of tires last month.
In a programming-ish note, please look to your immediate left and observe that those cherished bulletins, those prized letters, those fairest of telegrams, those Webb Weekend Updates, are now PDF-ed and ready for your perusing pleasure. Enjoy.
posted at 1:03 PM - comments
Monday, January 12, 2004
Cold weekend, actually, and I tailored my activities to match. Got back on the bike Saturday morning, but froze myself near to death doing 15 miles over both bridges and back. Then got some work done on the truck, had Subway, donated a double batch of blood, and headed home to crash. In the afternoon I took a luxurious, drool-producing nap on the sheepskin, then recovered and read some of "Pleasure of My Company" before making pork chops for dinner. Checked out "Lost in Translation" at Cobb in the early evening, which was fabulous. For whatever the ney-sayers say, I thought it was a terrific commentary on life and relationships. Sunday was A/V duty, football in the afternoon, more reading, a wonderful late-afternoon sojourn to Selby and Main Bookshop on what would would have been (in a previous life) a simply perfect fall afternoon. Temperature was just chilly enough to warrant bringing a jacket, but the sun was out and the gardens were empty. Since fall days are now a form of nostalgia, I got on the phone in the late evening and harkened back to the days of yore with the best of friends. Good couple of days. No regrets. Beauty.
posted at 12:48 PM - comments
Friday, January 09, 2004
Wheew the week is finally over - I'm happy. Had dinner last night with Mr. Allard, who's at Donzi for the winter and gave me the rundown on what's happening there. Also took care of some of the last dominos, which was a pleasant box to check off. Got some stuff lined up for the weekend, too. Bike riding Saturday morning, giving blood, shopping for a lamp and some sundries, playing my odds with GM's Hot Button. Now this is my kind of gambling: doesn't cost anything, the prize is a new automobile, and the projected odds of winning are 1:5500. Seriously, that is just crazy high odds.
posted at 1:02 PM - comments
Thursday, January 08, 2004
The Wing was a bit of a letdown last night, although Ed more than made up for it. I also sped through the last few hundred pages of "Architect's apprentice," a Christmas gift written by a man who commissioned and built a 42' sailboat designed by Mr. CW Paine and built in the northeast. Good clean boat-related fun, that's for sure. Now I'm diving into some not-so-light reading during the evenings and hopefully finding a lamp for my new bedside table so that I can read a few more enjoyable pages before turning in. Aaahh the pleasure of being well outfitted! Also had a revelation today about content on this site: none of those cherished memoirs from my days at the Institute, the WEUs, have made it to the new format. Can anybody else smell a weekend project?
posted at 1:01 PM - comments
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Long evening last night with a First Friday meeting that just refused to end. But, I got some good points in and helped steer the group in a more youthful, classier direction, so I guess that's the fruit of my labor. Other than that, I've been avoiding using water both at the office and at home following a mid-Tuesday break in the main, which is really cramping my style. Speaking of style that is cramped, how about the post office? The model of a modern major mess, that's all I can say. At lunch today the line was at least 45 minutes long, the supply bins were empty, and only two people were working. Madness! I mean two good credit-card based vending machines and an illegal migrant worker could solve this problem, but instead the USPS is a lumbering dinosaur of an organization. Don't get me wrong - I think privatization is beautiful - but how on earth is the mail going to last with service like that? Pretty soon it'll be cheaper and easier to courier mail to points north myself.
posted at 1:28 PM - comments
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Moved the chest of drawers into my bedroom last night with help from Drew, then reciprocated and helped him move Kim's desk into her apartment. Then baked ziti at Kim's for dinner before heading home to start moving into my new furniture. First Friday meeting tonight, but other than that things are wide open.
posted at 12:44 PM - comments
Monday, January 05, 2004
The benefits of small company-living paid off big and extended my enjoyment of small-town living in the UP. Robin and I made great time (23 hours from door to door) and that set the stage for a teeeerific break. There was skating, bowling, baking, cross-country skiing, tramping in the woods, violin playing, gift wrapping, gift unwrapping, downhill skiing, relative visiting, friend visiting, Canada visiting, football watching, Times Square ball dropping, music listening, rock and roll dancing, city walking, hockey watching, and sound sleeping. Outstanding. I suppose it's good be home, too, with a chance to see friends and get the new furniture set up and to clean the Jimmy. I've said before that Jackson Browne called it right in "The Load Out," and when he talks about driving he's right on.
Now we got country and western on the bus, R & B
We got disco on eight tracks and cassettes in stereo.
We've got rural scenes and magazines.
We got truckers on CB.
We got Richard Pryor on the video,
And we got time to think of the ones we love
While the miles roll away
But the only time that seems too short
Is the time that we get to play.