Friday, March 05, 2010

Your Friendly "Keep Alive" Posting

Ah, the wonders of the Internet! What with all of the social media, political commentary, and general geek treats available, one could get so distracted as to ... say ... neglect one’s own blog!

(Who, me?)

Since the last time I posted, I’ve switched jobs. Kim’s gone back to work full time; she works up the pass in Skykomish, teaching high school science. (More on Skykomish to follow.) Anya goes to school with her. And we still have plenty to talk about. So, for now, here’s a simple “keep alive” message to alert the server that we're still around.

Whether you’re a mother or whether you’re a brother,
You're just stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive ...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It Was for the Scenery, Not the Schools

Your Sultan School District at work:

No, seriously, I’m stuffed to the gills. I couldn’t possibly eat a single spegetius more.

And then there’s this one, which I don’t understand at all:

Actually, if the pizza is so bad I’d rather sit in traffic, I think I’ll just stick with the spegetii, thanks.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Title Censored

One of the things most people associate most closely with Seattle and the Puget Sound region is dying off.
Faced with mounting market saturation and a tough economy, a number of espresso stands have turned to sex appeal to attract customers. Their baristas are required to report to work in halter tops and short-shorts (or miniskirts), and the stands themselves are often decorated with the “naughty girl” silhouette decals so often displayed on semi tractors.
Pretty soon, if this sort of thing catches on any more widely, women will stop buying lattes, and that will be the end of the industry.
Meanwhile, a few stands are fighting the trend. Down in the lower Snoqualmie Valley between Monroe and Duvall, the following sign was on display for some weeks:
And more recently, here in Sultan, we’ve seen this one:
So we’ll see how it turns out. Personally, I think that a nice piece of biscotti with my coffee (to the extent that I drink coffee) is plenty; cheesecake is probably overkill.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's That Time Again

Yep, it's estival season here in Western Washington. In Seattle, Seafair is in full swing, and Kla Ha Ya Days is coming next weekend in Snohomish. This weekend was the annual Sultan Shindig.

Anya rode with the Sultan Elementary School Unicycle Team as always, but sad to say, I didn't get any pictures of her. I heard a quick "Hi, Daddy," as she whizzed by, but she had disappeared by the time I turned around.

Monday, January 21, 2008

One family. FOUR operating systems.

Things have gotten a bit out of hand over the past year or so with regard to the family’s IT infrastructure.
Last year, before leaving AVST, I documented a new upgrade for one of their server-based software products. Linux compatibility was on the list of new features, so I was forced to familiarize myself with Linux.
To say I was stunned would be putting it mildly.
There are several distributions (published editions) of Linux available that are highly usable, refined, attractive, and capable. You can test drive most of them before you install them, and almost all of them are available for free. They’re not completely idiot-proof to install, but no operating system is (in my experience). So after a little bit of comparison shopping, I repartitioned my hard disk and installed Ubuntu. (Oh yeah, I still have a Windows partition. My old film scanner, for some perverse reason, works under Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows NT, ONLY.)
When Kim graduated in June, she decided to buy a laptop computer to use in her classes. Under the expert persuasive ministrations of John Hodgman, she went with a Mac. She now benefits from the Cadillac performance for which Apple is so well known.
Finally, in November, I heard about a special promotion from the One Laptop Per Child project: buy two, sponsor one for a child in a developing country, get one for your own kid. For far less than a retail computer would cost, I could make a charitable donation and give Anya a way to surf, exchange email, and so on. Anya’s little computer (it’s tiny) runs Fedora Linux, but that’s under the hood. Up front is a user interface called Sugar, which is categorically different from anything else out there. There are no files, just “activities,” and the networking manager screen is amazing. Anya is enjoying it greatly so far.
And things are running smoothly for us all. Of course, I haven’t had to set up drive and printer sharing yet ...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Almost One of the Locals

You know you’re a native or naturalized Washingtonian when ... you no longer even notice the rain.

This thought occurred to me as I was hunched down on the pavement, installing a replacement stereo speaker in my van. In the rain. My leather jacket is currently hanging in the kitchen, drying out; it had gotten waterlogged while I was out there, but I hadn’t noticed.

This happens a lot, after you’ve lived here long enough to realize that in the soggy winter months, postponing anything until the sun comes out means that it will never happen. So natives and long-timers go jogging, walk the dog, even mow the lawn in the rain. I don’t mow my lawn in the rain, nor do I ride my bicycle (I hate the feel of road film up my back). So I’m not quite naturalized yet.

However, I am no longer puzzled when I see people at the car wash, scrubbing their cars in the rain. Road film also collects on cars, of course, and one has to remove it sooner or later regardless of the car's inability to dry off afterwards.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Ah, it’s that time of year again. The other day I looked out of my office window and saw the evening sunlight on the hills ... and it was 5:30 in the evening.

In Alaska, they refer to the depths of winter as “the tunnel.” We don’t have it quite as bad here, but it’s still a tunnel. And it’s always nice to come out.