Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stuff and Nonsense

Daughter went down to New Orleans with her college for Mardi Gras.  Met a pickpocket.

Reading As You Wish, about the making of The Princess Bride.  Its not bad, but Golly everyone is so awesome, so talented, so amazing, the author can't keep from murmuring Yippee! every three paragraphs.  One of those books where I am really glad for the library. If this were a movie, we'd have said Tivo it -- and possibly not watched the whole thing.

Continuing my Italian Studies, if you can call what I do studying.  Making a teeny tiny amount of progress. For some reason, French people seem fascinated that I am doing this.  One said You're not giving up on French, are you?  Of course not.  For one thing, I can speak that language.

Been exchanging notes with a French-Canadian girl I know who just had a messy breakup with her boyfriend.  At one point, I gently suggested that she talk with the local Suicide Prevention folks -- and she said I did.  They didn't help very much.

I was not happy to have to get this new laptop, and I still can't do things that I want to do on Windows 8.1 -- basically, have it look and act just like Windows 7 -- but man, to have a PC that boots from dead cold to operational in eight seconds (okay, ten, once I sign in, because Microsoft insisted) is freaking awesome.

Actually taught my mento something. One thing in one class, where he's failing multiple things in multiple classes.  Still, that's something. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Just because a dream last night had to do with the Italian preposition constructions NEL and NELLA doesn't mean I'm thinking about Italian too much.  Really.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I've started studying Italian, but of course my level is very, very low.  Virtually non-existant.  I'm not even at the point of thinking I wonder how I would say that in Italian? So, while I was at a bookstore over the weekend, I leafed through a copy of, what else, Italian for Dummies. Didn't help.

Below dummy?  That is an interesting place to be!

Saturday, January 31, 2015


It's really not hard to tell which forms were created by a designer, even one of marginal talent, and which were done by some guy with Photoshop or some basic graphics package.  Here's some free space, I'll just reduce the font size and cram it in there....


Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Next year, we're going to spend some time in France and in Italy. Not exactly sure how much in each, but certainly at least a week in Italy, and at least two or three weeks in France.  Therefore, I thought wouldn't it be a good idea if I could speak a little Italian?  Accent on the little.  So two nights ago, I took the very first DuoLingo Italian lesson.



Okay, this may take a while....


It is so weird to see photos of a Minuteman launch control facility and think Man, its so modern, and realize that the photos are quite old; its just that they look better than when I worked there.

Monday, January 26, 2015

And then there's...

I have a good friend whose family life is a bit -- strained.

The mother is having an affair, and only periodically lives at home.
The father is emotionally distant, and sometimes goes for days without talking.
The daughter (my friend) is having an affair of some type with a man three times her age. (No, not me).

And now, the daughter  tells me, they just learned that the new girlfriend of her brother, so happy to see her because the brother had been abruptly dumped by an earlier version, has an impediment of her own: two small children.

Ever want to just DO something, anything, to help someone?  Yeah.  Me.  Now. No idea what.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why, Yes

Came across this quote on 8Tracks.Com:

I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Most people who turn their hands to writing a Sherlock Holmes story can't do it - it quickly becomes a farce, a travesty.  Those who can, cannot usually sustain it  - a miracle occurs, a trick appears. Then something amazing occured. Sherlock can do something he never could, before -- or can't do something that he could always do.  Watson turns out to be the smart one. Something like that. Gah.

But, very rarely,  one finds an author who can do it, can sustain it, and do so with flair and imagination.  Such an author is James Lovegrove, and Gods of War is such a book.

Holmes is retired, as is Watson. Both are aging, living quietly, Holmes alone, Watson with his second wife.  Watson has come to visit his old friend, a small reunion of two long-time companions. Nothing out of the ordinary.

And then something happens. The police are stymied. And a certain elderly man is contacted....