Saturday, February 11, 2012

I used to love the Rubber Ducky song.

Awful morning yesterday. It was my son's golden birthday, and he had decided it had to be The Best Birthday Ever. No pressure. We were leaving for school, and Matthew wanted invitations to invite classmates over for his family party this weekend. I thought he understood and agreed we were doing things differently this year. He wanted to bring cupcakes to school instead of the cookies I had bought. He doesn't even like cake. His boots were nowhere to be seen and the temperature was going to be around 1 degree F. at recess time. My watch was slow again so we were late to school. A woman stopped in the school parking lot, then started backing up. I leaned on the horn but she couldn't hear me because her kids were singing Rubber Ducky, and she couldn't see me either, because she was driving a £¥<#\^& Town and Country van. There's your safety. Matthew started crying. My bumper is cracked. We went into the school office to exchange insurance and contact information, and I started crying. At that point, I really needed a do-over.
The rest of the day wasn't so bad. At the Red Lobster before heading over to see The Phantom Menace in 3D, my husband decided Matthew would have to settle for The Most Memorable Birthday Ever. So far.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today I am a Mac.

In the past, my choice of PC vs. Mac was always dictated by external circumstances. In high school and college in the mid 80s we always used the splendid Apples, but later on both my former and current husband (husbands? the total is two) used PCs, so I made the switch. I never even had a computer of my own until after the turn of the century, and by then I was so entrenched in the ways of the PC that there wasn’t any question which way I would go. But now my current PC is acting even more depressed than I am (which is saying a lot!) and the decision has been looming as to what sort of computer is next for me.

We don’t have much in the way of disposable income (Disposable? As if we would just throw it away to make more room for our impressive vintage junk mail collection, circa 2007-2009), but my husband splurged on our anniversary last September and got iPhones for both of us. I could now have web access everywhere I went, at much greater speed than at work or at home, where we still only had molassesque dial-up. And the applications! I know the commercials can be grating to some, but for so many things, there *is* an app for that!

I've been stuck at home for most of the last four days with cold symptoms, fever, and nausea, which seems to me to be a case of the flu. According to the CDC website, eighty percent of current flu cases in the United States are due to the Novel H1N1 virus, popularly known as Swine Flu. (Pause so you can formulate your swine flu joke...and...resume.) So, with the season over for most of my favorite shows, what could I do with all that time and very little energy? Mess around with my iPhone apps!! In particular, I spent many a fine hour in my feverish state exploring the mysteries of an app called "Fish Tycoon," in which one breeds different species of fish together to get a non-sterile hybrid which often looks nothing like either parent, and sells them in a fish store to make money for more fish-rearing supplies, in search of the Seven Magic Fish of Isola. Normally, I would have a problem with the lack of consistency with scientific facts but, what the hell, it's just a game. And a very engaging one at that. By the time I figured out how to keep all my baby fish alive, had stumbled across 3 of the Magic Fish, discovered the game's logic in determining the appearance of the offspring, and began charting the details, my husband was flabbergasted by the amount of mental energy I would put into a silly game. But I was on the cusp of a revelation: I could do that! I could make interesting apps that people would pay 99 cents to $2.99 for!

Or at least I think I can. I studied the Basic, FORTRAN, and Pascal computer languages on the way to my B.S. in biology, and I was damn good. I was the only person I knew who actually *enjoyed* debugging code. I was so far ahead of the game, that at Christmastime in 1981 I pissed off whoever was in charge of e-mail (or whatever we called it back then) so badly that I almost got kicked off the Internet before it was even invented! (Okay it wasn't very technically difficult, but here's a tip: If you ever construct an elaborate message consisting mostly of asterisks to form a Christmas tree, with capital Os as ornaments, and other characters as needed, and get the opportunity to send it to "All Users"...just Don't.) My other studies pulled me away, but I could have been in on a very lucrative profession, practically at the ground floor!

Now all I have to do is this: A) learn the programming language called Objective-C. I went out and bought four books on the subject. (Don’t worry--I washed my hands, didn’t touch my face, and didn’t sneeze on anybody in the book store.) B) Join the iPhone app developers’ site. (Where did I put the Kleenex?) C) Write some damn fine code. (Is it getting hot in here?) Oh yeah, and: D) Come up with 2 or 3 thousand of the monetary units acceptable at the Apple store to get a machine compatible with all the requisite software for developing applications for the iPhone. (I think I should go take my temperature and lie down.) Not necessarily in that order.

Today, I am a Mac. Let’s see what I am after the fever breaks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weirding myself out

Yesterday, I was supposed to work at the veterinary clinic from 8 am to 4 pm, working right through lunch so I wouldn't have to stay until six. At 6:05 I was the last human left in the building, and having hit the wall three hours earlier with never a hint of a second wind (sorry about the mixed metaphor, but I'm still too tired to think properly), I collapsed in my desk chair and actually had to cry for a couple of minutes before I could even consider making the 50-yard slog out to my car. And I couldn't even go straight home, as my dear family was desperate for vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. (But would they ever call to say we were out of milk?) So I stop at Super Target, only being able to face the place by promising myself I would just get those requested items and maybe some sweet comfort food for myself before heading home to my beloved bed. But I decided I'd better use a cart rather than carry a basket, because the cart would help support me in my completely spent state. Then I remembered that we did need milk, and fruit, and vegetables, and frozen pizza, and chicken, and toilet paper, and cat litter, and...eventually I make it to the checkout, wondering whence I will summon the energy to put away at least the perishables once I get home. (The chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons would help, but only a little.) As the cashier is bagging my $165 of ice cream and syrup and miscellaneous impulse purchases, a desperate call reaches my cell phone--my family is starving and needs Chinese food! Okay, fine. One more stop, at LeeAnn Chin, and I can answer my mattress' siren song.

By the time I dump the Peking chicken on the dining room table, and find a place in cold storage for the things that won't be able to wait in the grocery bags on the kitchen floor for a day or two, it is close to 8 pm and I am nearly in tears again. As I crumple into bed and try to find a position in which at least one or two body parts aren't screaming in agony, I muse on how I got to this place in life, where everything hurt, and eight o' clock could be considered a reasonable bedtime. My hip was one of the loudest complainers, so, of course, I blamed Carol Burnett.

On "The Carol Burnett Show," she used to have a segment where she'd take questions from the audience, and one of the most popular requests (second only to "Will you do the Tarzan yell?") was for a demonstration of her popping her hip out of joint. She would then bring the audience member up on stage, position their hand on her hip, and proceed to subluxate her femoral head from her acetabulum several times in quick succession. A shocked and disgusted look would appear on the person's face, and much merriment would ensue. Pure gold.

I don't know whether I was born with a faulty hip joint that, like Ms. Burnett's, would dislocate itself at the chagrin of and for the amusement of others, or whether it was hours of practice that this frustrated would-be performer inflicted on her ligaments that made such a feat possible. All I knew is, my hip hurt, and I was too worn down to blame myself, so somebody else had to take the fall.

My son needed something after a while, and as I limped down the stairs, I got to thinking about the people on that show. Were they all still alive? I was pretty sure Tim Conway was still around, and all the others, but was Harvey Korman still with us? I was not quite motivated enough to check the Interweb right away, but made a mental note to find out later.

Today, I signed on to AOL, and one of the headlines on my welcome page was: Beloved Emmy-Winning Comic Dies, Starred on 'The Carol Burnett Show.' Oh my god, who is it? I was just thinking about the quick-or-dead status of those people yesterday! How often does one think about a show that was on the air so many years ago?

Harvey Korman died yesterday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

But how do I get it to them?

A great gift idea for all your friends who've recently joined the Witness Protection Program.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

MarryOurDaughter.org???--Never mind.

It's a good thing I can type, because I can't seem to get my jaw off the floor to tell anyone about this.

Marry Our Daughter is an introduction service assisting those following the Biblical tradition of arranging marriages for their daughters.

Those who wish to list their Daughters with our site should click on SIGN UP OUR DAUGHTER on our main page for a form to fill out.

Those who wish to propose to a specific Daughter should click on the PROPOSE button on the Daughter’s INFO CARD.


These girls all seem to be between 13 and 18! I tried to sign Máire up anyway (on our parents' behalf) but the damn sign-up link is broken. I hope they fix it soon, so I can cash in. It's the Christian thing to do.

September 13, 2007
Update: Thanks to
Brain for getting to the bottom of this and pointing out that this is, indeed, a hoax. Shame on me for forgetting to check out Snopes.com!