b 4.0
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Google has announced that it has created and is now launching a Wiki-beater that is named within one letter of the company for which I work. I find this inconvenient.

Other people are inconvenienced by any number of things in the news: Wall Street volatility, baseball trades, America's Cup/NY Appellate Court shenanigans, and weather which is actually quite seasonal but still grounds for complaint. I find nothing extraordinary in any of these things but seem to need to be well-versed in all of them. The thing which I did find extraordinary was today's release of the IRS' household income and tax breakdown for 2006. Most folks who create news were flocking to the side of the charts where 1% of wage-earners pay 39.89% of taxes, but I did a double take at the other end of the data, where 50% - FIFTY PERCENT - of wage earners pay just 2.99% of taxes due to their AGIs of $31,987 or less. That's half of the 138,394,754 tax returns from 2006, or 69.2 million people who are feeling the hurt while a bunch of folks complain about the burden. Somewhere along the way we've lost site of the fact that taxes are still less than 100%, where as things like food and shelter are paid for in 100% dollars. So debate the fairness, you top 1%-ers, but don't do it and eat at a restaurant or buy a new car, because that's the luxury for which you are paying and I think that it's plenty fair to share.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My ankle's out again. Blast. I was starting to really get into ultimate on Tuesday evenings in the park, knowing names and making winning throws and then BAM I go up for a big D in the end zone and down on somebody's ankle and curl into a ball and curse my lowtop cleats. There was ice abundant at home, some drugs, and a brace all day at work to get rehab started. I anticipate I'll be doing this stuff for awhile - I find that my mind is focused on being healthy for skiing. If I don't play another toss of ultimate and skip all of fall EHS basketball it will be totally worth it for that first run down Elk next winter.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Hokay: yesterday we accomplished two major things and today one. Our new door hardware and undercabinet lights were Sunday's achievements, but today's was more unexpected: Ollie and Jay started playing. Together. It usually takes weeks for this to happen, so I guess Oliver was eager to have somebody to keep him company. It was exciting.

At work, busier days. I'm finding that one of the teams I worked on before the big switch is eager to retain my enthusiasm for the project and the perspective a few weeks 'off' can give. I'm also finding that the links between factory and PD are strong. I think I've been to Water Street virtually every day, which assuages a fear that had been lurking prior to my commencing to start.

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Sometimes you have to be the bear, and by "be the bear" I mean thrash around in the raspberry bushes of -------- ----- --- (name redacted to keep the crowds down) and pick 8 quarts of berries. We cleaned and froze the berries that we picked today, stocking the freezer with enough to make pies and fruit cup all winter. Mom remembered trips to John's Cut-Off when six pickers of varying voracity tried to pick five cups for a pie; on our trip on Friday there were a couple of spots where I picked five cups without moving my feet. I didn't move my feet because with every motion there was a painful shredding of raspberry bushes into my skin, so much so that even this morning on a bike ride through the valley to our west the sweat on my skin burned in the cuts.

Apart from berry fever, an emotional weekend. A trip to Macungie Animal Hospital brought some closure to Maya's passing; I didn't know how to handle this part of a lost pet and it was every bit as hard as I'd imagined.

Despite our lingering sadness we felt for Oliver, whose loneliness has been palpable. So, this afternoon, we welcomed a dark gray male kitten: Jay Gatsby. His legs are too long for his body and his feet appear to be something of an order-entry mistake, but he's going to be a great companion for Ollie and a happy addition to our home. He loves to run and jump and so far the two felines are getting on better than we had expected.

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Today I ate a tomato from our garden. Two of them, actually, both red and delicious cherry tomatoes from deep within the grape-vine-like clusters that will ripen over the weeks ahead. Then we made pesto and it was good. One of my gardening objectives for the next few days is to take a picture of our towering vines and bountiful fruits, herbs, and pepper.

Jenelle's home from DE and that means life returns to partial normalcy for the first time in awhile. We're even going to be here (!) for the weekend without too much in the hopper; we remedied that with a trip to home improvement land to stock up for the next few days. There's also berry picking and a quick visit from a few relatives on the docket.

Lastly, the blogosphere is one up today with the addition of Gram's blog. Welcome.

Monday, July 21, 2008
We were in Michigan over the weekend for a wedding and family fun time. It has to be family fun time, because if you don't have fun it is really difficult to justify 20+ hours in the car. The wedding - of Jenelle's cousin(s) Brian & Sarah - was beautiful and the reception was a good time to get to know Jenelle's family in a new setting. We also spent a bit of time under the cabana and in the pool in South Lyon and even managed a brief tour of the Main Street Art Fair in Ann Arbor with breakfast at Fleetwood and a stop for btb which are now in the freezer.

Back in the Valley, Jenelle is gone until Thursday at a conference down in Lewes Beach DE, where she's being trained and certified to teach Advanced Placement classes this fall. That means that I'm home alone with a few chores and Top Gear.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Many alert readers have reached out with messages confirming that it has been one year since our wedding... thanks for that. We celebrated in style here in the Valley; it's been a busy year and somehow a fairly traditional celebration was just fine. Top it off with cake and champers at home and that's year 1.

A designer of some repute is in the office for the first 60% of this week, which has filled my days at work. I'm also interfacing with marketing, which is a new treat for me. Marketing is a pretty nebulous verb in my mind - at the nuts and bolts level - but I think KNL does a pretty great job of keeping it real. It's fun to get to know and work with other MBAs, especially when there's a fun project at hand.

Wanted to share a weekend photo from our Friday night trip to the Valley Preferred Cycling Center for Tandemonium! This rivals a football game under the lights in my book, though I'd by plenty happy to wear a blanket rather than sit on one.

Tandemonium at the Velodrome!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Week 1 is in the bag; I celebrated with a lunch with my previous rotation boss who provided some insight and some feedback. It's funny how you keep learning what you learn even after the learning stops.

It's been a busy week during which we've done precious little: Mom is here on vacay so we've been hanging out around the table on the deck and enjoying very pleasant evenings. I've been running around, too, at ultimate frisbee on Tuesday and after the frisbee at the park last night. Not sure what the weekend holds in store but there are preliminary ideas and that's plenty.

Monday, July 07, 2008
I thought about this post for a long time yesterday, nearly deciding on separate posts for highs and lows but then realizing that they don't happen separately so why post that way?

Maya passed away unexpectedly at home last Tuesday. She was 10 months old and a ball of energy; Dad said that pets take up more space than just their little bodies and that couldn't be more true than it was with Maya. It's pretty quiet without her round-housing Ollie or bombing down stairs in search of food, which makes us sad. But part of the sadness are the memories that we love:

Maya pouncing

In the midst of the emotions we left our suddenly quieter house and headed to Austin, where sympathetic friends were ready to let us be sad and have fun. We ate quite a lot of excellent barbeque, saw Lake Travis and enjoyed locale fare and adult beverages on it's edge, and had time at home to chill and not be too distracted to forget what we'd lost. We really loved Austin and the southwest feel of everything made with Texas limestone. Somehow fireworks summed up both the highs and lows:

Fireworks at the Dell Diamond

© 2007 Corey Bruno