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10/01 Direct Link
Watching this movie Phone Booth. This is different, they use the 'picture in a picture' technique on and off throughout. It is kind of interesting, and I think clever for this particular movie. That being said, I usually do not have a lot of patience for these kind of movies where a mad man picks out some random person and tortures them with the threat of death. In this particular one, the madman knows all about this guy using the phone. That is the kind of thing that makes it even less interesting. It doesn't suspend disbelief like it should.
10/02 Direct Link
This morning we rode to the top of the Lewis and Clark Overlook where, for once, the valley was not fogged in. You see the airport, the city skyline, the river, the lake, the woods on this side of the river, and the bluffs of Council Bluffs. It is quite something to see. We saw a plane take off and that is always interesting. It appears to be going so slow and then, suddenly, the nose pops up and off it goes. We stopped longer than usual up there, so much to see and the hill always wears us out.
10/03 Direct Link
Yesterday we walked through this apple day craft show, or something like that. I find it fascinating how people find something to build or make. I always imagine it starts with somebody seeing something they like and thinking, I could do that (or more likely, "I could do that better.) Then they make something for their own amusement, then maybe for friends or relatives. Soon, it becomes clear if this is something they want to spend this much time own, they need to make it pay, etc. How individual we are each in our pursuits is interesting to no end.
10/04 Direct Link
It was during this week last year when the snow first hit. It more-or-less never let up for the next five months, maybe longer. People have been forecasting another bad winter, albeit one that is clearly starting later. I am not at all ready for a repeat of last year. So much so that I am going to spend a little more time making certain I will be able to work out of the house. It probably will not help as my wife will still want to get to her office. But still, I can hold out hope.
10/05 Direct Link
Lunch at Jack and Mary, famous chicken. It once was the haunt of every old person in all of Omaha. Now, for whatever reason, the average age seems to be getting lower. The last time we were there we sat next to people under forty - how weird is that? Still I am sure the busiest time of day is four in the afternoon for dinner. The guys I go to lunch with love the Jack and Mary chicken livers. I, on the other hand, enjoy their meatloaf and onion rings. Mostly when we go we are having too much lunch.
10/06 Direct Link
On Thursdays I will, now and then, stop by a garage sale now and then. This time of year you do not see so many as you do in the spring. Earlier in the year you find more sales where people just want to get rid of things. Those tend to have the best prices. This time of year you find sales where people are doing this as a part time job, they have sale after sale. These tend to, but not always, have a better selection. Although it is stupid for me to buy anything, I still stop, shop.
10/07 Direct Link
Adam gave me a gift of these Bucky Balls, 100 little magnetic balls. They are great fun to noodle with when I am on the phone. Apparently there are u-tube videos where you can learn to make specific shapes, etc. All I know how to do is form a cube with them all and I only know that because he showed me. It is one of those kinds of things where once you put it all together, the only other thing to do is take it all apart. Mostly, it is evidence of how easily amused I can be.
10/08 Direct Link
Friday night in Omaha with the world's most exciting guy. I ironed shirts. Wait, first I stopped by a neighborhood grocery store and bought yogurt. Later, I ironed shirts. While ironing I watched old episodes of Northern Exposure, shows I have seen at least a dozen times before. Heaven forbid I open myself to anything new. After the shirts, I had a bite to eat, chicken, baked beans, ice water. Then, to cap off my rip roaring riot of a night, I went to bed at ten. I was asleep by quarter after. I am the world's most fascinating guy.
10/09 Direct Link
I would love to find one more organized bicycle ride yet this year. Ideally, something for a charity, something inexpensive, something along some back highways where one might see an abundance of trees and bushes. Ideally this would be somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty or sixty miles, past through three or four small towns, be mostly flat. I am sure there are still rides out there and ones that will fit my criteria here. That is the thing about bike rides like this, almost everybody is going to want the same thing, so it becomes what everybody sets up.
10/10 Direct Link
I was reading today about a bike ride in northern Iowa that takes places in the middle of February. It calls upon an attitude of 'bring it on' and/or 'hit me with your hardest.' I think it might be kind of fun. The web site makes it sound like it is well attended. The total ride is twenty-four miles and it sounds like people spend a huge amount of time at the various spots along the way. So much so they have a mandatory departure at the last stop so to guarantee that everybody is in by dark.
10/11 Direct Link
I think we are going to spend a little time tonight going over what we will need to find out about getting a new furnace and air conditioner. Then, we will come up with a list of whom to call and get estimates from. I am thinking three ought to be enough, but if she wants four or five that would be fine with me too. If we can decide on somebody now within the next week or so, we should be able to get it installed soon. Going into the winter with a new furnace will be really good.
10/12 Direct Link
As far as I can tell the considerations in a bicycle seat are: comfort, looks, weight, and price. At the upper level you would consider air flow dynamics but for my purposes I will just lump those considerations in with weight - which means nothing to me. The ones I looked at range from a dollar to over $150. The one I bought was only $20. It looks fairly slick and I kind of believe I will get used to whatever so the comfort isn't likely to be an issue. Maybe tonight I will take the time to install and adjust.
10/13 Direct Link
I have not been in the mood to work now for at least a week maybe two. Sooner or later this is going to become a problem, maybe it is already. It is not just here at the office, but I have not got all that much done at home lately either. The answer probably not all that elusive, I think I have been a little depressed. I have that one very close friend who is dying of cancer. Couple that with maybe working out less, the economy, the kids not finding work, etc. It is just all adds up.
10/14 Direct Link
I have been having conversations with the kids recently as to whether or not they believe that within the five years or so they will be reading most of what they read on a kindle - or some like device. They do not believe this will be true, but I am not so sure. I think this will be one of those things were it takes whatever the number is, I believe seven years, to capture ten percent of the market, but then will capture another seventy percent of the market in the next seven years. I'm too old to change.
10/15 Direct Link
The Jewish Community Center is now open for lunch on Fridays (except for Jewish holidays.) We went there today. I had some kind of soup, started with a K and tasted like wonton soup, a half of a pastrami sandwich, and some sort of potato stuff pastry. It was all tasty, I will go back, but other than the sandwich everything else could have used a little more zip. One of the guys I was with, the guy who told us about it, had celery flavored pop - I had never heard of such a thing. I'll try it next time.
10/16 Direct Link
The ride this morning was terrific. We rode thirty-five miles, from Seymour Smith to Bellevue and back. It was not the best route for fall colors, but still it was nice. This was the first trip using my new rack to hold my bike, it worked well. It was quick to load and unload and held the bike perfectly still. It was also the first ride with my new seat and new seats always take a little getting used to. I think I am going to like it, but it will take a few more miles in the saddle.
10/17 Direct Link
This time of year I like to start snipping articles from the paper about the upcoming elections in various states. I see so many of these, and they all sound interesting, but then by the time the actual election comes along I have forgotten most of them. For example this year I find it fascinating how much money this woman from California is spending to be elected to the senate. But, I am also interested in seeing if that woman (a witch?) from the Tea Party wins, and now the Senate race in Kentucky is turning extremely personal and bitter.
10/18 Direct Link
We are early in the process of buying a new furnace and air conditioner. Ours are working fine, but both are over twenty years old and well past their expected life span. Our thought is better now when we can take the time to do it right, than some Saturday night at four in the morning when there is two foot snow on the ground and it is eight below outside. We have researched brands name, gone through articles of common buyer mistakes, learned what questions to ask, and now have scheduled four firms to give estimates. We are ready.
10/19 Direct Link
The route, or at least the host cities, for the summer bicycle ride have been released. We will be riding in the far west of Nebraska, within sight of Wyoming. I am really excited about this. I have seldom been through that of the state, and never, of course, on a bicycle. The towns will be few and far between, there may be days where the only ones we see will be at the beginning and end of day. I am expecting wide open spaces where you see for miles and miles, ranches not farms, and more cows than people.
10/20 Direct Link
The library foundation celebrated twenty-five years today with a very nice lunch at a local country club. I sat next to one of the members of the Omaha City Council and the at the same table with a former Mayor. It was very pleasant, the food was terrific, the setting fantastic, and the program not too darn long. There is a trustee meeting this afternoon that I will miss, but tomorrow I am having lunch again with the library director. It will just be he and I this time and we will talk more about what to do next.
10/21 Direct Link
Lauren turned twenty-one today and no longer do I have a teenage child. This is the kind of thing that can make a person feel old, all your children are in their twenties. I told her last night was the last time she would be able to justify her antics as being a teenage thing so she should take advantage. I think she studied instead. As much as having twenty year plus children ages me, I keep thinking their birthdays only come up once a year. Alternatively my knees remind me of how old I am becoming every day.
10/22 Direct Link
It always amazes me how easy it is to get caught up in stupid television. The business network gets boring and so I wander around the channels and everything is dumb. But, no I do not just turn it off I land somewhere. Old episodes of Matlock, cooking shows, talk shows, sit-coms that were not any good when they were new and certainly have not improved, etc. Still I watch. I think, I am getting dumber and dumber every minute here. Brain cells die with every episode and die faster yet when the commercials come on. Still, I watch.
10/23 Direct Link
I ended up having to drive Lauren to Lincoln tonight and then had to drive back, pick up what she forgot, take it to Lincoln and drive home again. All and all, it took hours, I was forever on the road. Still, it was not bad. I cranked up the music and sang along, I had a cold drink, etc. it went fast, I was by myself. I have had friends who over the years, get a little ticked that I usually insist on driving myself, alone, on long trips, but I don't care. I want to drive by myself.
10/24 Direct Link
I found a map of the central states but unfortunately it was from Nebraska north. This was unfortunate because my intention was to draw circles around Omaha representing driving distances. I was able to set up one of two hours driving time, but nothing beyond that. The notion here is that as I find bicycle trips in the future I can easily determine if they are close enough to justify driving to and from in a single day. If the map had worked out, I would have set up more distances, but I guess this will probably work out fine.
10/25 Direct Link
It looks to me that the second day of this ride next summer is going to be sixty miles plus of absolutely nothing. No towns, no farms, no homes, just the rolling hills. I wonder if my cell phone will even work out there. That may well be one of those empty spots on the map where there is just no coverage at all. This will be the kind of day where you are going to want to double check that you have an extra tube or two and that your hand pump works. I might take extra water too.
10/26 Direct Link
Winds whipping across most of the country these days. You look at how some of these trees are being tossed about and it is amazing that any leaf manages to hold fast. All the leaves that are falling appear to be headed across the river (Iowa bound.) In our yard we have, over the years, lost several trees to past storms but still have the one big tree in the front yard. It is a pin oak and the leaves hold on until some time next spring. It looks great, it is full and a wonderful color. We love it.
10/27 Direct Link
They sell GPS systems specifically for bicyclists, but they are kind of pricey. Even when they slash the prices, and you know they will, I am not likely to buy one. For one reason, I enjoy looking at an actual map. I have a map collection for bicycling that ranges from the very specific (details of a particular mile) to ones of the full state. It is fun to see where I have been or where I am going. The second reason I will not buy a GPS is that I just don't mind feeling a little lost out there.
10/28 Direct Link
One year I had a cd which included a song, Paul Cezanne, by the Five Chinese Brothers. Lauren loved that song, so that year she went as Paul Cezanne for Halloween. She had a beret and little mustache and goatee. Plus the smock and paints, etc. it was a lot of fun. She was young enough I walked with her and everybody kept asking if she was Picasso. She and I had gone online and looked at a lot of Cezanne's work. She had a couple of favorites, but I no longer remember which ones she had liked the best.
10/29 Direct Link
My old glasses are driving me crazy. The new ones will have a slightly more powerful bi-focal and tri-focal lens. This, the doctor tells me, will lessen my propensity to pull the glasses down low on my nose and look over the top. This bi-focal / tri-focal lens will be less from side to side (a change in manufacturer specs) but higher. Having it rise a little higher in the lens should make me less inclined to bob my head when I am reading something at arm's length. The changes make sense, I hope they all work.
10/30 Direct Link
This upcoming election will result in four billion dollars being spent in campaign funds. Meg Whitman is spending $150 million to win a job that pays two hundred thousand a year. What is the thinking here? Money means little to me, but I really want influence? Perhaps. Also, I don't know how you make the case that you will be a responsible spender in the Senate if this is your idea of being prudent. She is far from alone in being so over the top, but any way you look at this, 150 million dollars is a ton of money.
10/31 Direct Link
I think I need new shocks. I cannot recall that we have had any one of our cars in the shop this year at all. Which is pretty good, given that one is at 104 thousand, one at 98,000 and another at 78,000. Only my wife's is relatively new. I don't know that new shocks will cost me an arm and a leg, but on the other hand, I am reluctant to let anyone under the hood. Who knows what they might not all turn up and the last thing I want to do is spend a ton.