Friday, May 23, 2008

1826 White Stuff

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'll be busy for a few days, so in the meantime I leave you "Stuff White People Like". It's hilarious, and uncomfortably true!

1825 Gas Prices

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gas prices at the three gas stations in the village this morning:

I'm not so worried about the cost of gasoline for the car, on a personal level, because there are things I can do to lessen the impact. What I'm really worried about is the cost of fuel oil for next winter. I sorta like being warm.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

1824 One part of the contract

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A few posts back I mused on the unspoken but understood contract in a relationship.

I can define one part of the contract with the Man. We've made an actual agreement.

I’d read that men not only dislike but actually fear emotional discussions of the type women love. They don’t want to think about what things mean, where things are going. They want things to just bump along. Women, on the other hand, fear emotional distance. They want to know exactly what’s going on, what things mean, how he feels, and so want to discuss everything.

This is absolutely true of both him and me. Drama scares the hell out of him, and withdrawal scares me. Given that drama gives withdrawal gives drama gives withdrawal gives ... wherever you want to jump into the cycle, a few months ago I proposed an agreement.

My part is no drama, no pressuring him into “relationship discussion”.

His part is to watch the emotional distance, stay connected. No silences.

I did warn him that sometimes I will have to tell him things about how I feel, but the important part is that I promise to do so unemotionally, logically, briefy net it out, just as information for him. All he has to do is listen. I will not expect him to respond or discuss - that's the important part. He can take that information and do whatever he wants with it.

He seemed to like that a lot.

So far it seems to be working. I think we've both relaxed.

Before, when things weren't going the way we might have wanted, usually that we weren't able to get together as often as we wanted, he would go quiet and withdraw, partially because he was afraid of my reaction. As a result of his withdrawal I'd get even more upset and demanding. Now, and I hope it sticks, he knows I'll stay calm, so he continues to reach out and touch, his affection is more constant. It keeps me calm, and that keeps him closer, which is even more satisfying to me.

Damn. I wish I'd known about this when I was younger.

1823 Earthquake

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We've heard about the earthquakes in China. We've seen the pictures and heard some interviews. Leland Wong is a photographer in China, and he was photographing a wedding when the earthquake hit. His photos are at

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1822 Whoosh! Whoot!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I was driving up my street after dark last night, about three driveways from my own, when a young rabbit tore across the road close in front of my car, followed by an enormous bird. The rabbit continued to the lawn across the street on the left, but the bird made a tight turn to the right a few inches in front of my windshield, to avoid getting hit.

It was huge! Looked light gray in the headlights. Huge talons stretched out. I didn't see the body or head, it was all so quick, but the wing span had to be at least four feet. It was as wide as my car!


I guess I saved the baby rabbit, but I wonder if some owlets went hungry last night.



A little research. It could have been a Great Horned Owl, whose wingspan can exceed 5 feet. But since my impression was a blur of gray, I'm more inclined to think Great Grey Owl, also 5 feet wingspan, although this area is slightly outside the Grey's usual range. The Snowy Owl is a little too white for what I saw. I know we have Barn Owls around here, but this bird was much larger than the Barn Owl.

So, my conclusion, Great Grey. Blame global warming for the range spread. (Yeah, I know that's backward, but everything else is blamed on global warming, so why not....)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

1821 Clyde's cousin visits Sea World

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some people took their Pleo (possibly a cousin to my little Clyde) to Sea World, where the dolphins showed great interest, starting at about 1:50 (-4:36) in the video.


I wonder if the interest was simply because it was something new, or if it had anything to do with his dinosauriosity, but it does look like they're fascinated.


More and more homes are getting rid of land-line phones and going all cellular, especially younger families. Daughter and Hercules haven't had a "home phone" in several years. So this study, linking behavioral problems in children to cell phone use during pregnancy, is troubling.

Monday, May 19, 2008

1820 I Win

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'd been fussing about something off and on for two weeks.

I'd been on a committee working on a document. The committee chairman, with whom I'd had some minor run-ins in the past, had been keeping multiple successive drafts of the document on his hard disk. I did the final revisions, made some major changes with his approval, and sent him a copy of the final document. I also put a copy on the local chapter's website's document disk, and that was the version reviewed and approved by the governing board and other members. The next step is to send it to the national board for approval, and when it comes back from them, it is official and no further changes can be made without going through the whole process again.

The last time this document was updated, this same guy was the committee chairman, and what was sent to national was a mess, full of typos, inconsistencies, and flat-out impossibilities. He hasn't admitted it, and I haven't asked, but it looks like a down-level draft had been sent.

Now, this guy likes to think of himself as the one who knows all about what's going on at the national level. He likes to be the interface, possibly to be known at that level, and he gossips and name-drops like he's an insider. So when it came time to send the new document to national, of course he's the one to do it. I don't care.

Then I get an email from him. He hasn't emailed the doc to national yet because he has a virus on his laptop, his hard disk is corrupted, and he can't get to the file on his hard disk, but it should be recoverable.

Ack? I wrote back that he shouldn't use the copy on his hard disk, he should use the copy on the group site, since we are absolutely sure that's the copy that was reviewed and approved, and since he can get to the site from his office computer, he can send it right now.

I didn't hear from him again for a week or so, then I get another email that his hard disk was partitioned, and one partition was destroyed, but the other was fine. So he has lost all his email folders, but the document was on the other partition, and he should be able to recover it in a few days.

Note three things here: 1) without the emails, he'll be guessing on the date of the draft; 2) I had sent him the final copy as an email attachment, and it used a different editor than the one he had been using so it could have been stored differently; and 3) he has pointedly ignored my strong recommendation to use the copy on the group disk, while still sending me progress reports.

I sent another strongly worded email saying that he should ensure that the correct level is sent ! by sending the group disk ! copy, since we are certain ! that is the approved ! version.

No response.

I just know he's going to send a downlevel draft, probably the latest one with his editor's file type, forgetting that I used a more commonly available editor on the last revision. I was ready to drive to his house and beat some sense into him. I am absolutely thoroughly pissed that he has made no reference to my strong recommendation. Hey, fella, at least tell me why you are so determined to send the copy on your hard disk? Send national the LINK to the group disk! That's all they need!

And then I talked to My Man, and in telling him about the problem, and his laughing at me, I realized something.

If the guy happens to send the approved version, then there's no problem.

If he sends the wrong version, then I have the enormous satisfaction of telling him, and the governing board, and anyone else who will listen, what a complete and utter ass he is.

Either way, for me, it's a win-win situation.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

1819 Thud

Sunday, May 18, 2008

There's nothing on TV right now but sports and commercial programs (no cable), and a movie. The movie is about a bunch of scientists or something in Antarctica who run into two varieties of battling aliens. I happened to glance up when they discovered a cavern containing what looks like an Aztec temple. We can tell it's old and unused, because everything is covered in spider webs.

Expeditions to Antarctica go in the summer, but it's still very cold, and there are still snowstorms.

Web-spinning spiders?