Monday, May 28, 2007

Doings: It’s been a busy birthday week for me. Wednesday night Jes hosted a surprise party at Third Degree for me. She taught some of us the basics of making paperweights and then Jes’ mom, myself, Beth, Kat, Vanessa, Dan, and Tyler worked in three person teams to make our own paperweights; a very cool birthday indeed.

Thursday I went with Vick’s and Brad’s ESL students on a tour of the Fox Theater. Stan Kann was there and played the orchestral organ for us, rising up out of the stage as he did so. Apparently these tours are a regular thing most Thursdays and Saturdays. Stan the Can isn’t always there and he can’t always get access to the main organ because of rehearsal and set up schedules, but I would still recommend giving the tour a shot. At the end of the tour, fifteen international students from around the world stood on the stage of The Fox and sang happy birthday to me.

Saturday we had a big cookout with around twenty guests. Jes’ mom and David bought me a slow cooker to replace the Weber that was stolen last year. It has several levels and I managed to cook corn on the cob, cedar plank pineapple salmon, hobo stew, and mango chutney eggplant almost simultaneously. I did the brats and finished off the corn on the regular grill. Much fun was had by all, and I had maybe a little too much fun… ouch.

We’ve also been getting after some high tech wants. We got a 160 GB external hard drive to start to manage our data better. I’ve wanted one since my last hard drive crash a few years back, but am just getting around to it. Jes has a massive archive of digital photography to secure, and we are trying to save the laptop on which I am currently typing by backing everything up, nuking its contents, and starting over. We’re going to wipe the hard drive and begin again.

We’d been vaguely trying to get a Wii game system since Christmas. My nephew had brought a new system to the farm over Thanksgiving and we were both quite taken with it. Unwilling to pay the high premium for an internet ordered new one, we finally found a refurbished one in the hood a few weeks ago and it is working great. It’s a very interesting gizmo.

The technology buzz a few years back was “convergence”. The idea behind the term is that technology will converge into single devices that perform many functions – the TV, phone, computer, stereo, etc. will all be the same box. The Wii is a step in that direction. We have it hooked into our wireless network and half the time that it’s on, instead of playing games, we are reading A.P. headlines on the Wii news channel or watching the Wii weather satellite feed. It also has an “internet channel” from which I can surf blogs etc. The Wii Sports games are quite fun, and I’ve been working my way through Zelda.

Today we have a cookout at Sharron’s and then tomorrow I will start on my fall syllabi. We looked at several houses last night that are all possibilities. One of them needs a fair amount of work, like installing a kitchen, but it has an old commercial garage on the back of the property that would make an excellent production studio for Jes. So, it is summer, we are busy, how are you?


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