Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Posted: 30 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tonight was a 30 minute stroll around the neighborhood with both boys and the wagon. BB took the soccer ball, and we saw lots of mushrooms brought up by the recent rains. There was also a fire engine that swept by on the way to a call. A good night.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Posted: 26 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
It's a dreadful day in the most literal sense. The glowering sky and oscillating air pressure have filled me with a sense of impending doom. Innocuous conversations seem fraught with intimations of ruin, and all I want to do is crawl into bed and hide.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This morning I chose to bike to work. I made the 12.9 miles in an hour and 9 minutes, for an average speed of 11.2 MPH. Not bad, considering it's my first real ride since last fall and I was fighting a southerly headwind most of the way.
I was also proud of the fact that I hadn't forgotten anything. I often forget to pack a belt or some other small thing, but today I got it all right. Unfortunately, there was one minor snag.
A pair of Kim's pants had ended up in my closet by mistake.
Needless to say, I mitigated the carbon savings of not driving to work by having her bring me a pair of my pants. I was, naturally, quite embarrassed at wearing women's slacks around the library for half an hour, but on the other hand, if I hadn't told anyone, they might not have known! My shirt hid the fact that I couldn't button them up, and other than that, they fit pretty well. Yet another milestone in my waist-loss regime. :-)
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
On Friday, I had the day off. Kim was working, so I had LB with me all day. Usually, this would mean the two of us vegging out in the living room (him playing, me watching Scrubs and hoping he'd fall asleep so I could take a nap).
This time, though, we had obligations. BB had a "Mini Marathon" field day at his school, and we wanted to go see him run. We also decided to have lunch with him there, and there was an assembly for the field day runners in the afternoon. That meant I was supposed to be at the school at 9:00, 11:30, 1:30, and then at 3:05 to pick him up.
Now, travel time from home to the school is only about 10 minutes, so it would have been easy for me to shuttle back and forth all day. Except that would be a lot of wasted time and fuel. So I decided to put LB in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood between the run and lunch.
There's not much to do that's close to the school. I thought about walking to a library, but the closest one is the Genealogy Center, not really conducive to toddler entertainment. I walked aimlessly for a bit, and then I remembered that there was some greenspace between a church nearby and the highway barrier, so we headed over there, and I took him out and let him walk around in the grass. We played with sticks and leaves and rocks, and he got to teach himself to get on his feet in the grass, even though he didn't like how it felt on his hands at first.
I was reminded of something Colin Beavan (the No-Impact Man) said recently when asked about the biggest surprise from his experiment:
The change of rhythm. Whether hopping in taxis or talking on your cell phone, everything is a big rush. Even on a Saturday, which is supposed to be one of the rest days, you're like okay, I'll have brunch with you at ten, and then I'll head up to the MoMa at noon, and then some friends are having a party for the kids at three, and then you guys are having a dinner at seven.
We just can't move that fast on our bikes and by walking. At first you think you're losing out, but on a weekend day basically we can do one big thing and we savor it much more. That was kind of surprising to me.
As we sat there, I could actually feel the world slow down. We watched the cars go by on the highway for a bit. We saw a train. We went over to a very large and battle-scarred tree, and LB got to feel the trunk and touch the ground underneath. I thought of the thousands of people who pass that spot every day and never even glance at that tree, which certainly predates the highway, and probably the state of Oklahoma.
It's something that has to impress itself on me every once in awhile. "Quality Time" with the kids doesn't have to involve a planned activity, or even any activity at all. It's about stopping the flow of the everyday and focusing on them. Watching LB laugh and cry and explore and learn was the highlight of my month. Maybe even my year.
Today's moral, stop and smell the flowers, people. Even if they're growing by the interstate. It's worth the time.
Posted: 20 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
My first walk in more than a week, I think. I went on my lunch hour to get oil for the car and a chocolate bar. I realize that walking to the store for candy is right up there with ordering two pieces of cheesecake and a TAB, but at least it was dark chocolate!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Posted: 16 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Posted: 15 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Monday, May 14, 2007
Last night I stepped on the scale before bed, and I was at 217. That's 43 pounds lost in about two months. Other positive signs include having to tighten my watchband and the fact that my shoes are loose. I don't know if this is because my feet are skinnier, or because I've stretched them out by walking more.
I went to church after missing a couple of Sundays, and everyone who saw me either commented on my weight or the moustache. :-) Most of my clothes are looking distinctly tentlike, and I'm thinking I need to go to Macy's or somewhere else nice and get re-measured. I don't know when I'm going to be able to afford to buy the clothes, though. :-(.
I really need to pick up a tape measure and at least measure my waist, as that's supposed to be the benchmark for the You: On a Diet plan. This whole thing is honestly starting to freak me out a bit. It seemed so easy that I keep expecting it to all go wrong somehow.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
This afternoon's walk was a bit more ambitious than I'd planned. I wanted to take the boys to LaFortune Park to play, but wanted to get a good walk in, too. So I parked the car at another part of the park and took the boys and the wagon around to the playground via the jogging trail. That alone took 27 minutes. When we left, though, I assumed that I'd parked about halfway along the trail, and it would be the same distance (and more interesting) to take the rest of the loop back. Wrong! Even though I was walking considerably faster on the return leg, it took 35 minutes, and by the time we got to the car, everyone was pooped!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Posted: 11 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Friday, May 11, 2007
I've been waxing my moustache for a few months now, but it wasn't until a week or so ago that I started working the curl. My stated reason is that I'm on the committee for the library's Renaissance Faire in September, and I want to fit in with the pirate theme, but honestly, I really just wanted to try it out. It makes me think of barbershop quartets or big beer steins. :-)
Last night, though, the Loving Wife lowered the boom. "How long until the RenFaire?" she asked. "September," I replied. "Why?" "Because I hate it!" she cried. Well, She Who Must Be Obeyed has spoken. Of course, she also says she'll kick me out of the house if I ever shave my head. Do I dare defy both restrictions and go handlebarred and bald for my pirate gig? I've still got three months to decide if I should risk sleeping on the lawn.
So, I have this friend called beaglebot. I met him online a few years ago at Linkfilter. We became friends there long before I learned that he lived in Tulsa. We've since gotten together IRL a few times.
A few days ago, I was reading my Livejournal friends page, and there was a post on the tulsatime community about a very bad experience a woman had at one of our trendier local restaurants. It was posted by her husband, who turned out to be the very same beaglebot! I didn't even know he was a member of that community.
Then, today, I was checking MySpace, and found a bulletin from a friend and co-worker talking about a boycott of said restaurant. The bulletin tells the same story that beaglebot's wife told.
So, to recap: A friend I met online at community #1, who turned out to live basically down the street from me, turned up randomly at community #2, telling a story that crossed over to community #3 within a space of 2-3 days.
The web is weird.
By the way, the restaurant story gets stranger. The post on tulsatime has been removed, ostensibly because the restaurant's lawyer threatened legal action. Comments on beaglebot's LJ suggest that a story appeared on local news, and the MySpace bulletin says that the owner actually changed the tip on the credit card, adding an extra $8! I can't speak to the validity of any of these claims, of course, but it certainly makes me hesitant to go to Alioli's on Brookside in Tulsa. That's only my opinion, mind you. :-)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tonight Big Brother and I walked to the store for milk and cereal. We took the wagon so we wouldn't have to get bags. It sprinkled a little, but we had a good time, and the walk was almost 50 minutes long! Guess my ankle is healed up. No more excuses.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Posted: 08 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I had two encounters with rudeness in the last couple of days, and they've got me thinking.
Last night I had a patron at the library ask me for additional time on the computer. I knew he'd already had one extension, so I told him, "Usually we don't extend more than half an hour..." Before I could finish what I was saying, he was interrupting with, "Well, we'd better fix that, because I'm working on something very important..." etc. etc. He went on and on about how he was doing some kind of test that was very critical. He wasn't chatting or playing games like "...these kids around here." so I'd better jump right quick and give him his time. In the end, I did. I would have been willing to do it anyway, as we often make exceptions in extenuating circumstances, but he managed to convince myself, my colleagues, and every patron within earshot of his self-importance and general boorishness. I imagine that he's the same kind of person who parks their SUV on the line between two spaces because they're clearly twice as important as anyone else.
That attitude, that doing work or schoolwork on the computers is more important than playing games or checking personal e-mail, is quite common among our patrons. I wonder, if we transfer that to other library services, would they still have the same opinion? Should folks checking out non-fiction books for research get in line before those with the latest John Grisham or Stephen King? Should documentaries check out for two weeks, while feature films only get one? I'm sure some people might feel that way, but they'd agree that everyone should be treated the same. Why not computer users as well?
My second experience happened this afternoon. There was a cell phone left at the library more than a month ago, so I offered to take it to the Cingular dealer and see if they could track down the owner. The employee who helped me looked up the customer's record and called a couple of alternate numbers to track him down. When he got him on the phone and identified himself, "This is J___ with Cingular Wireless..." the customer responded, "Here, let me give you my e-mail. It's spelled K-I-S-S-M-Y..." Hurriedly, J___ told him that he was calling because someone had returned his phone. The customer said he'd be in to pick it up, and hung up. After J___ relayed this to me, he told me that if the guy didn't pick it up in a day, the phone was mine! This would work out very well for me, since my current phone isn't working very well.
Take this as a lesson, my faithful readers. You catch more flies with honey. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. It's true. Be nice.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Posted: 05 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Friday, May 04, 2007
Books read in April 2007:
Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. Dresden files Book 4
Death Masks by Jim Butcher. Dresden files Book 5
Blood Rites by Jim Butcher. Dresden files Book 6
X-men: Fairy Tales by C.B. Cebulski et al - This is a terribly strained attempt to use folktales from various cultures to tell stories featuring X-team characters. I'm usually all over anything having to do with retold fairy tales, but this is pretty bad. It doesn't even have the redeeming feature of good art. Not recommended.
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher. Dresden files Book 7
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher. Dresden files Book 8
Batman: Year 100 by Paul Pope et al - Very interesting story of the Batman of 2039. This future is one of totalitarianism assisted by omnipresent surveillance that owes a debt to V for Vendetta. The story has solid ties to the Batman we know today, and even back to his roots in 1939, and we're left wondering who is behind the cowl. Paul Pope's art is appealingly raw (see samples here.) but with a core of realism that shows the character's essential human weakness. Also included is an 18-page story called "Berlin Batman" which has Batman as a secret Jew in Germany at the dawn of World War II.
Batman: Secrets by Sam Kieth et al - This is a poor story made readable by striking and unexpected art. It's a classic Batman/Joker battle with themes about the media's power to determine reality. At the center of the story is a secret from Bruce's childhood that turns out to be not much at all. Kieth does an incredible job of drawing the story, however, with a style that ranges from almost photorealistic in the many flashbacks, to loopy and surreal when just Bats and Joker are in the frame. In short, fun to look at, but don't read too closely.
White Night by Jim Butcher. Dresden files Book 9
Tick Omnibus 2: Thvrsday Ad Infinitvm by Ben Edlund - [Reread] I own the first two Tick Omnibi, and I reread #1 back in January, but at the time, I couldn't track down #2. Now 2 has surfaced, and I read it again, but can't find #1. If I ever get both in my hands at once, I have a friend who I want to loan them to. If you've not read The Tick, I encourage you to track down these initial issues, fun and silly and vaguely disturbing.
Are we sensing a trend here? Yes, nearly the entire month of April was devoted to working my way through The Dresden Files. As mentioned in an earlier post, I began reading them in March (after having listened to the first book on audio back in 2006) and was just reading happily along, enjoying what I perceived as some fun, vaguely silly dark fantasy. Then I hit book 6: Blood Rites. Suddenly things started happening to Harry Dresden that made it clear this is not just the serial adventures of a modern-day wizard, but is a multi-volume work that actually has a story arc that will take several books to complete. As I continued reading, I developed a new respect for Jim Butcher's storytelling abilities, and I can't wait for the next book to come out.
By the way, for those unaware, Jim Butcher has a very infrequent LiveJournal on which he posts little writing lessons. They are some of the clearest, most concise and elegant explanations of how novels are structured that I have ever seen. Required reading for anyone who thinks they have a novel in them.
Books read this month: 10. Books read so far this year: 44
Posted: 04 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Posted: 03 May 2007 12:00 AM GMT-06:00
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Remember last night when I talked about how flexible I was at tae kwon do? Well, I'm eating those words now.
What I didn't say was that I tripped up as we were running our windsprints at the end of class. My left big toe got caught in the bottom of my right pants leg and I barely caught myself from landing on my face.
Unfortunately, I caught myself by landing with all my weight on my right foot, at an angle not foreseen in my ankle's design specs. It didn't really start bothering me until about 9 last night, and by midnight I was hobbling and whining at every step.
Today it's better, mostly because I've got an Ace wrap on it, but I'm definitely feeling a lot older and more decrepit than I was yesterday.
C'est la vie!
Posted: 02 May 2007 12:00 AM CDT