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May 28, 2001

Holiday Activities

We didn't have much planned for today. I went down to Mentor and did strength training. We were planning on going to Juan Colorado for lunch, but Jean seems to be coming down with the same ailment which attacked Kelly yesterday. Kelly's fine today, so we're hoping Jean recovers as quickly.

Posted by dpwakefield at 02:18 PM

Word of the Day

Hiatus. More daughter-inspired nonsense.

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:05 AM

Ginnungagap

I didn't feel like hunting up appropriate links for Memorial Day (it's being hyped by Hollywood enough this year as it is), so in honor of my daughter's lost tooth, here's a pointer to a relevant tidbit of Norse Mythology.

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:53 AM

May 27, 2001

Rent This Space

In the banner for this weblog, you'll now find an image of Kelly, displaying her first ever missing tooth. Click on it for a larger version.

Posted by dpwakefield at 05:38 PM

Crazy Taxi

As I foretold in an earlier post, I bought a copy of Crazy Taxi recently, and I've been playing it sporadically. It is a real hoot, and I'd recommend it to anyone with an anarchistic streak in them. If only my reflexes were snappier, I could do some real damage!

Since I think I'm going to have to wait for quite a while to get Black & White on the PS2, I'm gonna have to start looking for other games where the emphasis is on planning, as opposed to reflexes. Maybe I'll pick up one of the Final Fantasy games?

Posted by dpwakefield at 03:09 PM

QOTD

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

Winston Churchill

Posted by dpwakefield at 02:46 PM

Shoe Thing

I got my Wissota Trader Walkabouts this Friday, and wore them all day Saturday and today. They seem to fit well enough, so I'll keep them, but I'm already pining for a new pair of Nikes. My feet just got used to that ultra-stable feeling that comes from wearing running shoes all the time. At least I know I can get by in Italy without being mistaken for a German. Sorry, German folks, no offense intended.

Posted by dpwakefield at 02:38 PM

Ever the Critic

Yesterday we took Kelly down to the Wilsonville Cinemas to meet with her friend Ashley. The date was to see Shrek. Maybe ten minutes into the show, as a dragon was stomping about, Kelly told me she wanted to go home. "Right now."

Well, I assumed this was about the scary dragon, so I assured her it turned out friendly later on, and went into the lobby with her. We sat for awhile, then we went back in. Time passed, and suddenly Kelly declared "Daddy, I think I'm going to throw up!"

Jean jumped up with her and took her into the lobby. It turns out she didn't make it to the restroom initially, and threw up on the carpet. Then she made it to the restroom and had another hurl. We apologized to Ashley and her grandma and took Kelly home.

After an early bath, Kelly nested the rest of the day, and went to bed feeling a little out of sorts. Our best guess is that the 'fresh' chicken tortellini she had for lunch wasn't so fresh. Jean had tasted it and reported feeling a little queasy later that day, though that may be the power of suggestion.

Now it's Sunday, and Kelly seems fine, to the point of being obnoxious .

Posted by dpwakefield at 02:30 PM

May 25, 2001

Aukusti?

Found a link today to the Ellis Island archives. For chuckles I typed in 'wakevainen' (my original family name) and found:

   Aukusti Wakevainen

Apparently came here from Wupuri, Finland in 1913 at the age of 24, via Liverpool, on the Cedric. Wonder if he's related?

Posted by dpwakefield at 10:56 AM

What Goes Around

A while ago, one of our neighbors were visited by a friend of theirs who drove a huge mobile home. In parking, he knocked over the tree in front of our property. Our neighbors were very apologetic and offered to help cut it up, and help us buy and plant a new one.

We got some estimates on adult trees, and the neighbors began hemming and hawing. They suggested that our tree should not have been extending over the street, even though it was well over ten feet above the ground. We gave a disgusted sigh and bought a sapling instead. When I called the neighbor, he told me it was between me and his friend. I called his friend and he said he was thinking of suing for damages to his vehicle. According to the city official we talked to (and the police officer who took the original damage report), we were in the right, but it would be a huge hassle to take these guys to court over damages.

At this point I decided that my karma didn't need the hassle, so we paid for the tree, planted it, and never spoke to these losers again. So our tree is growing slowly, and so far survives the onslaught of the incompetent contractors passing through our neighborhood burying phone lines.

But here's where the karma really kicks in. Our neighbors' tree was knocked down by the contractor bozos! Sometimes life is good .

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:27 AM

May 24, 2001

We're Professionals, Ma'am

Yesterday Jean was trying to study for her midterm. Trying, because she was getting interrupted every thirty seconds. One of Kelly's friends is Ashley, and her aunt was trying to set up a play date at the park. Outside, the sidewalk was getting torn up by contractors laying new phone lines (all utilities are buried in our neighborhood).

So she came home from running errands to find several trucks parked haphazardly around our street, workmen standing around, and a guy reading them the riot act. It seems this gentleman was named Mike Darby, an engineer for the City of Tualatin. People all up and down our street have apparently been calling the city to complain about these workers.

I forget the name of the outfit these yoyos work for. They are contractors, not directly employed by Verizon (the phone company). So far they've torn up sidewalk without giving any indication when (or if) they'll be replacing it, chipped property retainer walls with their tractors (ours included), flooded the basement of a house on the corner with sewage by rupturning their pipes, the list goes on.

They apparently nicked our sewage line as well, but claimed that they didn't actually break it. Mr. Darby forced them to call in a professional plumber to fix it (they had tried to fix it themselves using caulk). He's going to inspect it and make them pay for it. Same for the damaged stones on our front property wall. I'm guessing these contractors are going to be out of jobs after Verizon gets through covering all the damage they've done.

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:12 AM

Milestone

Kelly lost her first tooth! I've seen something like three of her friends lose their first teeth recently, and it's always the same tooth! Just to the left of center, bottom tooth. What gives?!?! Anyway, I'll try to take a snapshot and post it soon.

Jean and I have a conference tonight to decide how much a tooth goes for nowadays (and does the first tooth go for a higher price, or what?).

Posted by dpwakefield at 08:43 AM

May 21, 2001

Weekend Movies

One last entry today while I digest my salad . Saturday was a NOVA weekend, and I got a chance to see the Region 2 DVD I had bought, Wild Zero. This thanks to Dan, who has a Multi-region DVD player, and could record a tape of it for me.

This is one weird movie, somewhat reminiscent of Bio-Zombie. You have to have a pretty twisted sense of humor, as I do, and a tolerance for somewhat cartoony gore, but I was cracking up all through the show. All I can say is rock-and-roll, shades of Elvis and U.F.O. zombies go together all too well.

After the meeting, we went to see Shrek. Compared to The Emperor's New Groove, which deserves a 10, this movie was a 7 or an 8 (Tom says 6 or 7). I'm going to take Kelly to see it next weekend, I think.

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:23 PM

Music To My Ears

My office has been without music for a couple of weeks. Ever since the sysadmins installed my new Linux box, neglecting to compile sound support into the kernel. Curse them!

So while I was at Fry's this morning, I picked up a power converter, a.c. -> 4.5 volt d.c. I hooked it up to my little Panasonic portable CD player, then hooked that up to my Benwin 2000 flat-panel speakers (which even include a small subwoofer). The volume was set up for the output of the Linux box, so I kinda blasted the hallway on the first experiment (sorry Carsten!) but things are working fine now. I didn't realize how much I missed the music.

So what's playing? Why Moshi Moshi of course. Now that I can play it in the background at work, maybe I'll get around to writing those reviews sometime soon...

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:11 PM

Games, Games, Games

I really should try to read the manual once in awhile. Jean was getting higher in levels on Bust a Groove 2, but annoyingly couldn't save. So she was forced to play from the beginning each time to get to the level she last left off at. I tinkered and tried to save a game for her, but the PS2 kept reporting 'no memory card in slot 1', which is incorrect, as there is a PS2 memory card sitting right there!

A brief perusal of the PS2 manual, followed by a chat with my friend Alan Matzka at NOVA this weekend, confirmed that I need a PSX memory card to save PS One games. I need to swap it in and out with the PS2 memory card according to which type of game I'm playing. So I swung by Fry's on the way to work and picked up one. We'll see if it works as advertised.

Since I got in late today due to the periodontal visit, I may call it a half-day and leave early so I can go to Toys'r'Us and pick up a copy of the PS2 port of Crazy Taxi. Ya gotta love a game which lets you run rampant over the streets of San Francisco!

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:55 AM

False Alarm

I saw Dr. Levin this morning, to have him double-check the left-lower graft, since Dr. Kierkegaarde was unsure if it was 'okay'. I don't mind telling you that I was a bit depressed about the possibility of having to redo the damn thing. Anyway, Dr. Levin's diagnosis:

Everything is fine. He told me "the best complement I can get is if a dentist can't tell I've done the work." The other side is fairly obvious, but he was trying to compensate for two teeth. The left blends so well it is not apparent there was ever surgery there. So I'm happy once again.

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:46 AM

R.I.P. EOD

Just as I took the trouble to add An Entirely Other Day to my links sidebar, he decides to go and get a life. Doh! Too bad, as I've enjoyed reading Greg Knauss' daily observations about the oddities of life and family.

On a much less disturbing note, Dack.com is also shutting down. Is the weblog 'craze' dying out?

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:36 AM

May 19, 2001

Draught Horse Exhibition

We spent a few hours at the Washington County Draught Horse Exhibition today. It was located at the Rock Creek campus of Portland Community College. In addition to teams of huge horses, the likes of Percherons, there were also historical displays, craftspeople and food stalls.

My favorites were the blacksmiths, the antique two and four-stroke (and steam) workhorse engines (hauled around the farm to supply horsepower for tasks as diverse as grinding grain and sawing lumber), and the spinning wheel and loom. Each of the latter two were modern lightweight wooden renditions of their colonial counterparts. The friction clutch on the spinning wheel was ingenious.

Kelly helped pick out a pattern for a charity quilt, made a card using tatted flowers and ate snowcones and cotton candy. Jean said her favorites were the period clothing on display in the museum. There was also a bit of bluegrass music, and we rode in a wagon pulled by two Percherons. Lots of fun.

I just finished eating lunch, made with Sauce Mayonnaise, which I made successfully in our new blender. The first time I tried to make it in a blender it was more sauce than mayonnaise. Of course, I was recreating the recipe from memory, and my memory was very bad. Following the written one worked like a charm.

Once I finish this entry, I'll get cleaned up and ready for NOVA. I'm pretty sure that we'll be seeing Shrek afterwards, so it'll be a late night.

Posted by dpwakefield at 03:26 PM

May 15, 2001

Don't Walk Like a German

Today I towed Kelly from Bridgeport to Kid Connection, then swung by Fred Meyer on the way back to work. My mission: talk to the cobbler about shoe sizes. I needed to find out because I'm trying to buy shoes off the Internet, and don't want to guess at the size. I am buying shoes off the Internet because there is this one company which has a rep as a great company for orthotically sound shoes. They claim to have the widest range of shoe sizes and shapes of any shoe company.

So why bother? I've been buying running shoes for my everyday walking shoes for several years now, ever since my chiropractor pointed out that I pronate like crazy and need very stable shoes. So why stop now? Because Jean wants to go to Italy. Jean's sister, who has lived in Italy twice, says that Italians hate Germans. Germans, she says, wear running shoes. Ipso facto, you want good service as a tourist, don't walk like a German.

So I'm looking for some nice Italian-looking shoes which nevertheless provide great stability. Mr. Cobbler tells me I'm a 12 1/2 C. I go to Wissota Trader and look up this size, and find that their sizes run 10 1/2, 11, 11 1/2, 12, 13, 14! So I'm gonna order a pair of 12 C Walkabouts. Whattaya think? The 'Quick Grip' feature too geeky?

Posted by dpwakefield at 10:22 PM

Uber-geek Humor

Jean dissected a sheep brain today! Imagine getting this message on your answering machine: "I dissected a sheep brain today! It was fun!" She's taking a biology course, and this was her lab work. So tonight before I put her to bed we were talking about that, and other biology stuff, when the subject of how bones grow came up.

I mentioned that I'd seen an animation of some 'scrubbing-bubbles' sort of blood cell eating up old bone, and new bone growing in it's place. Jean said, "osteoclasts break down bone, and osteoblasts build them back up." Without missing a beat, I blurted out H. R. Osteoclast'n'Blast and started to giggle.

Jean said "that isn't even funny." Of course I started to laugh uncontrollably. "It is to me!"

Jean told me that 'over the years' she's come to realize that this sort of severely retarded humor of mine pops up whenever I'm under a lot of stress and that it is a signal trait of uber-geeks. I guess so, 'cause I'm cracking up right now!

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:47 PM

Blue Tuesday

Yesterday my boss said his boss was backing off from his edict to kill our six-month project, but we had to 'sell' him on it. So instead of working on moving forward, I spent half of today putting together an engineering presentation (a sales brochure, actually). Hopefully my coworker and I will complete it tomorrow. Still dunno if our work is in the tank or not.

As if that wasn't enough, I had my dental visit today, and my dentist, Dr. Kierkegaarde, says she doesn't feel 100% certain that the second periodontal surgery took. So now I have to call Dr. Levin to set up another check-up visit. Fingers crossed!

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:41 PM

May 13, 2001

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was just another Sunday at the Wakefield abode. I've turned the second Sunday of the month into the 'clean the tar out of the bathrooms' day, and generally do the kitchen the same way. This time I did the basement bathroom too, since Monday both of the main floor bathrooms will probably be out of commission, due to Greg Larson and crew installing new linoleum over the next couple of days. Then comes the repairs to the wooden fence...

Anyway, I'm trying to do extra housework to assist Jean as she takes more classes. Kelly broke out her Mom's day gifts, which were a homemade card and 'sponge stamp', and two pairs of earrings she bought last week with me. I managed to steer her away from the fist-sized pewter peacock earrings and toward a more petite pearl cluster, so that turned out okay.

We went down to Mentor after that to exercise, and I took my bike! Mein Gott! That was fine. I tooled all around the industrial park, around Mentor's and Xerox's campuses, across dirt trails, for about 45 minutes. I turned off Parkway onto the Xerox campus and nearly ran into a Guinea Hen, who was fluffing up, spreading her wings and making a general fuss. Stopped just in time and cut across the lawn to give her her space.

Reeling back a bit, Saturday was a play date between Kelly and her friend Ashley, at Bullwinkle's, a sorta Chucky Cheese kid's entertainment arcade and restaurant. They've got a dedicated play area kind of like McDonald's Playland where they hung out a lot. Me, I gotta go ride that roller-coaster simulator sometime.

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:15 PM

Best Futurama Line of the Week

The setup: Fry has 'downloaded' a Lucy Liu robot off the Internet. He is totally smitten, and the robot is programmed to like him. He says "you're cute." She says, "no you!" Then they just ping pong back and forth, you're-cute-no-you, at which point Professor Farnsworth observes:

"Oh dear! She's locked in an infinite loop, and he's an idiot!"

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:02 PM

May 12, 2001

Minion Soup

Checking out at the grocery store, Jean was having a grand conversation with the clerk, whom she speaks with just about every time. As we were leaving in the car, Jean said "I like knowing the clerks. It's nice to be able to talk with them."

I replied quite seriously "I prefer to deal with faceless minions."

Kelly piped up from the back seat "you mean onion, Daddy."

The ensuing conversation about faceless onions (including Mojo Jojo for those of you who have Cartoon Network) is left as an exercise for the reader.

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:42 AM

Reductio Ad Absurdum

Shopping for groceries today, we were accosted by a Starbuck's employee giving away a free latte. I had an attack of surrealism as she recited the name: raspberry mocha chip frappucino. How many more syllables are needed before people realize how silly this whole fancy coffee trend is?

P.S. - I took a tiny sip when Jean had had enough, and it was foul! The taste was in my mouth for several minutes. Yuck!

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:34 AM

Internet Dweeb Alert

I know I'm a geek (from the technology branch of the tree). But I realized today just how deep that runs. I was searching Google and saw the banner at the top of the page, and said to myself "oh yeah, tomorrow's Mother's Day." It was then that I realized that except for the truly major holidays, I usually have my first inkling of an upcoming holiday when I see the special graphic in the Google banner. Urgh.

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:27 AM

The Law of Unintended Consequences

In celebration of having six months of work trashed, and being urged to work hard and quickly, I took yesterday off. This time it actually worked out as vacation time. I slept in (to 7:30!), noodled on the Internet, then went for a walk around Tualatin with Jean. Afterwards I went down to Mentor to do strength training in the gym, good for my back.

By the time I got home, it was lunch time, but I ended up skipping lunch, so I could go to see The Tailor of Panama. I knew next to nothing about the movie, but had read the novel by John LeCarre, and liked it, so I decided to take the chance. I was wary because the novel is a somewhat cerebral, downbeat farce of spy stories, and the movie stars Pierce Brosnan of 007 fame. But not to worry. He plays the nasty spy Andy Osnard, and not the eponymous Tailor. That role goes to one of my very favorite actors, Geoffrey Rush. And he pulls it off admirably.

After the movie I came home to an empty house, so I decided to plow through a few episodes of The Legend of Black Heaven, an idiosyncratic anime which will be the topic of my next review. I got through the first four, and will probably take the rest of the week to get through the final three and write my review. I seem to work best under pressure, even if it is of my own making .

Posted by dpwakefield at 11:20 AM

May 10, 2001

P. S.

To be fair, the PHB is doing some good things too, such as mending the relationships with another division which have been broken for a couple of years. So far, the bad experience is isolated, and I hope it stays that way.

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:38 AM

Suck It Up

For the past six months, myself and two other engineers at work have been working on a standalone product (it's more complicated than that, but 'standalone' fits the usage), implemented with a library and language we selected after arduous research. We were quite proud of the work we'd done, and eager to show it off and promote it within our division. Really only a couple of weeks work remained to finalize it.

Then two days ago news arrived that my boss' boss had heard of the technology we were using, and had, for want of a better word, an emotional response. My boss cautions me that rational discussion is not an option. So while the product is not cancelled, all our work has to be thrown out and we must start over, because this PHB overrode engineering decisions on the basis of some emotional problem.

To add insult to injury, the PHB held a project review yesterday, and his closing remarks were to urge us to work hard and quickly to beat the competition. It took all my restraint to avoid saying "except for the occasional six month irrational reschedule from above."

I know it is probably not wise to publish this, but since my weblog is really only read by my sister and a couple of friends, I thought I'd blow off steam. I'm mostly over the anger and astonishment. While the disgust and bitterness linger, I'm ready to suck it up and try implementing this thing in the PHB's platform-of-choice. Sometimes life is stupid.

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:35 AM

May 09, 2001

Colors of Imperial Russia

This is just fascinating. Several weblogs have been pointing to an online exhibition of the photography of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, who used a unique camera with three lenses and red, green and blue filters to create 'color' photographs using only black and white film. He then used a corresponding projector to show them when touring.

Posted by dpwakefield at 03:23 PM

Folkloric Phrase of the Day

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs. This link is actually a very good disquisition on the phrase.

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:32 PM

May 08, 2001

Anime Music Videos

Anime Music Videos are one of those instances of cultural fusion which result when two popular cultures collide. Briefly, a fan of Japanese animated programs will select a song, often American, and one or more anime. He or she will then edit the video sequences such that the overlaid music will meld with the images to produce a new work of art. Objectives may be humor, the invocation of a particular emotion (wistful sadness seems popular) or even just technical razzle-dazzle.

Over the years I've seen a lot of these 'AMV's, and not through any effort of my own. But if you go to conventions, or attend a club, you will eventually see many of them.. While I've seen a few which I really appreciated, I've mostly found the art form unimpressive. It is a way for fans to participate in the genre without taking the particularly difficult route of becoming an animator (difficult more due to poor pay than skills required, though those are there as well).

This weekend's NOVA meeting introduced me to two more examples. Three members of our club have been creating AMV's using fairly expensive setups--laptop computers, iMovie or Premiere, AfterEffects, totalling in the thousands of dollars. I won't discuss the actual contents of either of these videos, as they'll both most likely be submitted in the Anime Expo 2001 AMV contest. Sure, very few people read this weblog, but I want to respect the authors by embargoing the actual works until after the Con.

But I will name names, keeping to first names only. Terry and Dan have put together a traditional AMV, albeit with high-end home equipment. It is a fine example of the genre, demonstrating flawless techical virtuosity and capturing a mood extremely well. But. It is of the genre, rather than above the genre. It could very well win an award at Expo, as a superior example of a typical AMV. And that's all.

Eric, who's about as self-effacing as anybody I've ever met, is also using high-end home equipment to create his AMV. The difference is that it does more than most AMVs. It tells an original story, seemlessly blending scenes from two anime series such that what we have is a new show. The choice of music is perfect, the blending of scenes is wildly creative and the video effects only serve to move forward the story and the mood, which is anarchy! Once I saw it I knew I would do everything within my power to be there in the audience at Expo when this video had its premiere. I wanna see the applause, and maybe the standing ovation. The folks sitting on the throne of AMV producer had better feel nervous.

Asked how long it took him, Eric replied in his halting quiet voice, "about two months. That's two hours every night and ten hours a day on weekends." By my estimates that's over 200 hours of work that went into this 5 minute AMV! It's possible to fritter away that effort and produce crap, but it makes it easier to grasp the quality inherent in this video. I plan to ask Eric if I can 'interview' him and include his AMV in a review of AMV's post-Expo. Hopefully Terry and Dan will agree as well.

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:50 PM

Parable of the Soccer Moms

At least, that's what the title will be when I get around to writing my excoriating diatribe against SUV-driving losers who use the bus circle as their own personal helipad to drop off their genetic mishaps.

You get some perspective. I'm bitter.

Posted by dpwakefield at 12:58 PM

May 05, 2001

Play Date!

Charlotte is here. Kelly is playing with her, remarkably well, considering that when she is playing with her friend Trinity, there is usually more than one argument. Charlotte's parents have two daughters, but about seven months ago dropped out of sight. We thought we'd somehow offended them (well Jean did). It turns out that they'd had twin boys, and been totally swamped. So Charlotte's mom, Tara, dropped her off at 11am, and said, "how's 2:30 for a pick-up?" I'm sure she would have said 7pm if she thought she could get away with it .

When the visit is over, since Jean needs to get some studying done before I go to my NOVA meeting, I'm going to rope Kelly into coming with me to pick up my bike from Performance Bike. I'm taking coupons from my original purchase with me, so I can buy a floor pump. That hand pump is a pain to use to keep the tires inflated. Maybe I'll buy some shorts while I'm there.

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:37 PM

Cooking School

Well, I might have to buy a blender. I tried out the Sauce Mayonnaise recipe today. I had all the ingredients described below, but instead of a blender, I had an old food processor. The only blade I could find was not a mixing blade, but a chopping one. So I was running the thing on high, tipping it to the side to try to get the eggs and oil to mix up and hit the upper cutting blade. After running through the entire recipe, I put it into a plastic container and placed it into the freezer for 15 minutes.

When it came out, it was not runny at all, which I had feared. It had a nice light whipped body to it. I took a spoon and tasted it. Man, that was pretty strong. The cayenne was probably the most overpowering component of it. So I made a sandwich with a garden burger and spread some on that. Blended with the flavors of the sandwich it was a lot more interesting. How's that? Homemade chef-style Mayonnaise and a veggie burger sandwich .

Since the source of this article was an interview with a recording engineer who is also a gourmet, who lamented that anyone would use supermarket mayonnaise when this simple recipe is the first thing a chef student must learn, I think the combination is pretty funny.

So I'll try it tomorrow as a dipping sauce for some fish. If that works well, I'll tell Jean I want a blender for my birthday!

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:26 PM

May 04, 2001

Busy Day

My 'day off' was quite busy, despite feeling under the weather. I took my bike to Performance Bike after dropping Kelly off at Bridgeport. I was bummed that they couldn't do the tune-up on the spot. I have to go back tomorrow to pick it up. It's just as well. I had dreams of riding it today, but I didn't feel well enough.

I followed up by doing the grocery shopping as well. Big bill, this time! I also did dishes and laundry. After lunch (grocery store sushi, mmmm!) I went to take in a movie, so I did do something for myself. I saw One Night At McCool's, which was actually worse than I thought it would be, but not aweful. I just wanted to do something vacation-y so badly that I was willing to put up with a bad movie, and this was the only movie which would finish in time for me to get home and help with Kelly. Sad, huh?

When I got home, I decided to wash my car, and Kelly helped. She actually worked pretty hard. I'm going to give her a 50 cent tip on her allowance this weekend. Evening saw Kelly and I playing her own unique variation on Trivial Pursuit, which mainly involved putting pie wedges all over the board and throwing the die. Then the usual chores (baths and toothbrushing), and now I'm the only one up. Not for long. Gotta kill this bug

Posted by dpwakefield at 10:20 PM

Tres De Mayo

Mentor held it's annual Cinco De Mayo celebration yesterday. Yes, on May 3rd. I don't know why. It's true that May 5th is on this Saturday, but at least you'd think they would have held it on Friday. But onward... In the past, they've had games for the kids, Mexican music, pony rides, a petting zoo and food. In previous years, all but the petting zoo and the pony rides have been inside. This year it was all outside.

Jean brought Kelly down around 4pm, and went back to PCC to take an exam. Kelly and I stayed at Mentor to enjoy the celebration. Kelly got to see several of her old classmates from the on-campus daycare, including Charlotte, whom she'll be having a playdate with this Saturday, and Courtney, whom she wants to invite to her birthday party.

We stayed until about 6pm, during which time Kelly played all the games twice, procuring a heavy load of loot, most of which I got to carry. We came home, and I was so sticky from standing out in the sun that I took a shower before she had her bath.

This morning I woke up with an aching neck and a headache. I decided that I'd had too much sun the previous day, since I'm fair skinned and usually take the trouble to apply sunblock when I know I'm going to be outside any length of time. But I didn't really realize that Mentor was going to have the whole celebration outside, so I was unprepared.

I spent the better half of the day feeling crummy, even snapping at Jean when she asked me the same question about five times (I apologized later). Finally around 2:30pm I gave up and took some Alleve. By 4pm I was feeling okay. Now I find out that kids at Kelly's school have been going home sick with aching muscles and headaches. So my little disease vector strikes again. I only hope I feel well enough to go to NOVA tomorrow night. After all, I only get to go twice a month!

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:57 PM

May 03, 2001

Friday Off

I'm so excited! I'm finally getting off my duff and taking my bike in to the store to get the cables adjusted and the chains inspected/cleaned! I'm taking all of tomorrow off, so I can go for a long ride and run a few errands afterwards. 'Course, the mechanic may call in sick, but with luck...

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:15 PM

May 02, 2001

Sauce Mayonnaise

Boy are there a lot of recipes for this. Most of them are on foreign websites, but you can use the Google link that follows to have them translated ... Steve Albini's recipe for Sauce Mayonnaise via Gourmandizer

Here is a recipe anyone can use to make a wonderful Sauce Mayonnaise:

Into a stationary blender, crack one egg. Add an extra egg yolk, one garlic clove, a strong quarter teaspoon of cayenne (or a teaspoon of white pepper ground very fine) and either a slight teaspoon of salt or a tablespoon of Tamari soy sauce.

Blend at high speed until the garlic is finely divided and the egg begins to froth. With the blender still running, trickle in good olive oil until the mayonnaise thickens and will accept no more oil. (this will vary, but will usually be about a cup.)

Stop the blender and add a tablespoon of good vinegar OR the juice of half a lemon. Fold the mayonnaise once or twice with a spatula, which will loosen it considerably. Pulse the blender until the thick consistency returns.

Taste. If the mayonnaise tastes oily, add more acid (vinegar or lemon juice only. Never combine the two, as this makes for a weird bilious aftertaste).

Chill covered for at least 15 minutes. I often add a tablespoon of fresh or dried dill or thyme at the beginning of the process. Don't add the acid at the beginning, as this can prevent the eggs from emulsifying.

Ingredients:

Posted by dpwakefield at 01:39 PM

May 01, 2001

Do the Robot

It's been two days now, and I still can't get that image out of my head. The image of a giant robot (common in Japanese anime). The image of that robot dancing frenetically, jerking it's knees up to it's chest, slamming them down into the waters of a city harbor, against the night backdrop of artificially lit buildings. The image moving in concert to the sound of a frantic dancehouse ditty, while blasts of steam fire upward from the robot's head in time to the music. The robot's arms shoot out and akimbo, endangering the helicopter hovering nearby. In the helicopter, a tiny figure is visible through the open cargo door, dancing in competition with the robot.

Was it all a dream? No, it was Bust A Groove 2. Since I've bought the Playstation 2, I have been meaning to spend a block of time playing this game, but something else always seems to take priority. But Jean has not only been playing it, she's been making steady progress.

Jean is taking classes again, and as a reward she's 'allowing' herself to play Bust A Groove 2 for a half hour or so a night. It's funny, she's following the same learning curve with this game that she used to follow with games on the Super Nintendo, such as Donkey Kong Country. Initially she'll get whooped at every turn, and she carps endlessly about how the game is 'cheating', and not recognizing her moves. Then she makes a little progress and the complaints slacken. Finally, she puts her head down and masters the game.

The same thing seems to be happening here. A couple of nights ago she got so far up the game ladder that one of the 'hidden characters', Robo Z Gold, was revealed. Man did that flip me. It flipped Jean too, as she got her butt kicked in that round. A brief search of the Internet reveals that there are more of these surprise characters in store too. Since I don't have to play to see them now, I think I'll enjoy it!

Posted by dpwakefield at 04:16 PM