I slept late again today, and that’s going to bite me tomorrow when I have to get up and go to work. I guess I shouldn’t complain about having to go to work though, as there are plenty of people who wish they had that problem.

It was raining when I woke up, and I guess it continued with that through most of the day. We still have some snow in the yard though. I hope we get some more snow again soon though, because I don’t like having bare spots in the yard. It’s just not as pretty! I did take a look at the roof of my house again. There was still snow up there above where I insulated, but plenty of bare roof where I haven’t yet. So that is clearly having the desired effect. There were no ice dams on either side, but I expect there would be on the back side if conditions were just right.

I did a little more knitting, and then Va, Beth, and I headed into Concord. First we ran a few errands, ate lunch at Olive Garden, and then we went to the church. I loaded all our unsold fruit into the trunk of the car. It came to about eleven or twelve cases. Beth and I drove that over to Friendly’s Kitchen which is a place where homeless (and not homeless) people can get two meals per day. They were delighted to see a dozen cases of citrus, and the lady helped me load them into their walk-in fridge. Even though we had that much fruit left over, we still managed to turn a profit on the fruit this month, so I do not at all regret buying as much as I did. In fact, I think I should always order an extra four cases for them. They do important work.

After that we ran a few more errands. Va had intended to get a Raggedy Andy for Beth for Christmas, but it somehow had fallen off the list. We found one at Toy-R-Us. Then we stopped at Target and I found a flashlight designed to clip onto the brim of a cap. Well, I don’t wear a cap, but I do wear a hat with a brim. I had even thought about trying to outfit it with LED’s and a battery at one point, because the standard headband lights just don’t work well with my hat. But there is no need to do that now. I tried it out when I got home and was mighty pleased.

When we got home, Beth was asking me to teach her how to knit. For that, she’s going to need her own needles, since I am in the middle of knitting that scarf (it’s about 18 inches long now), and it looks like it’ll be a couple of weeks before that’s done. Meanwhile, I had been eyeing some yarn Va bought five years ago or so so she could use it to make “hair” for a prop. It’s some super bulky yarn, and in my reading on the subject, I found that super bulky is great when you want to knit something fast, such as… a scarf. For that you need bigger needles though (as in more diameter). And what is the essence of a knitting needle anyhow? It’s pretty much a smooth, pointy stick. I figured I had some dowels in the basement that might be pressed into service, so I went down there and found some half inchers. Then I whittled points on them and smoothed the points with a block plane. Then I showed Beth how to knit a scarf. We’re using the garter stitch on hers so she won’t have the “tendency to curl” problem that mine will be cursed with. It worked pretty OK, except that I left out the “smooth” characteristic. The wood was catching yarn fibers. As soon as we finished a row though, I took the free one back to the basement and sanded it down. Then she knit another row and I gave the other one the same treatment. They’re working pretty well now, and her scarf is already five inches long. If she can keep her interest in it, she’ll have a scarf in no time.

In other news, I found another software package to serve as our school library’s card catalog: OpenBiblio. It’s a LOT simpler than Koha, and I had it installed and configured (for testing purposes) on my laptop in under five minutes. It took a little longer on the production machine, and I still have a web server issue to work out with it, but it is ready for Va to start keying in the data. Woot!

Today Dave popped into my office and asked if I wanted some Egyptian cuisine for lunch. I’m always up for an adventure, so I said “Sure!” He told me there was an Egyptian restaurant on Pleasant Street named Gamil’s.

Ah! Gamil’s! A few years ago there was an Egyptian restaurant on Main Street called Gamil’s. Also, there was a Gamil’s in the Gateway Center, which is the same building as our dentist. Dave had never heard of either of those, but I had eaten at both. But the one at the Gateway Center had closed a while back, and I didn’t know when the one on Main Street had closed. When we got there, we asked.

They did indeed used to operate the place on Main, but only for three months. It was just not a good building for a restaurant – no exhaust ventilation, and no seating. They moved out of the Gateway Center and into the place on Pleasant Street. It was a nice looking restaurant too, better than either of the previous locations.

I grabbed a menu. There was a huge selection of Vegan options, and since I am a part-time vegetarian, I was attracted to that. About the fifth item in that section was called Foul Mudammas. I thought, “Man, that must be good, or they could never get away with putting ‘foul’ in the name.” So I ordered one. It was pretty OK! I will go back again, but I really want to try everything else they have in the Vegan section, so it’ll be a while before I have that again.

When I finished eating it, I noticed that the restauranteur had labelled my sack with a ball point pen: Foul Mud. Luckily, it didn’t live up to its unfortunate abbreviation.

Tonight I baked a small chocolate cake in a coffee mug. I found the recipe here and thought I’d give it a try. I only used half the ingredients it called for though, because I didn’t want to use all of Va’s hot chocolate mix. It turned out pretty good! And it only took about five minutes. That could be a bad thing though, because there are a lot of times in the evenings when I would eat some cake if I had it. Now I know that cake is only five minutes away. Boooo.

Last night as I finished washing the dishes, the power went off. I felt around the kitchen until I found my keychain on the counter. I have a LED flashlight on that, and figured it would be a good idea to use it as I groped my way up the stairs. The power came on again at about 12:30am. It went out again at about 7:20am. I don’t know if it went out and came back between those times, as I was asleep.

Luckily, this did not cause any tremendous problems like being late for work and/or school, because Beth did not have school today. But because we had no electricity, I could not take a shower, so I went to work unwashed. Power was out at the house for a couple more hours. Apparently, the outage was caused by a car wreck.

Other than that – nothing notable today! It can’t always be exciting. I guess.

Tonight was the first night of an evangelistic series called “Amazing Adventure.” This one is tailored to kids, and was presented via satellite a few weeks ago. Our church had a full schedule when they were airing live, so my friend Brian recorded them to DVD, and we’re starting the series tonight. There were 13 kids present for it, including Beth. This run every Friday and Saturday evening, and a couple of Sundays as well for the next several weeks.

In other news…
My new laptop is feeling more like home. I have nearly everything I want installed on it, though I’m sure there are still plenty of programs I’ll need but haven’t noticed I’m missing yet. The screen seems a lot more crisp, and the keyboard has a nice feel to it. Most importantly, the keys are all located in the same places as on the previous laptop (and I’m talking about keys like escape, end, home, insert and so forth, not QWERTY). I was able to connect to the wifi at work today, which is really cool, because I never succeeded in doing that with the old one. It uses WPA-PSK encryption, and it was always promising to be a major science fair project to get that working. But with Kubuntu, it worked right out of the box with no futzing around necessary. The wire network does not yet work, but since the wireless is working so well, I’m not in any big hurry for it. So I’m really happy with this laptop so far.

I went to the Siam Orchid for lunch today with three co-workers. I decided to order the Vegetable Fried Rice instead of my usual Green Garden. That was a mistake. It’s not that it was bad or anything, it’s just that the Green Garden is so awesome Next time I’ll stick with the tried an true.

The verdict was clear: the Aloo gobi hardly sucked at all. In fact, everyone who mentioned it insisted it didn’t suck any. I suppose that social norms dictate that if a person did not like it, they wouldn’t say anything. I did notice that one person had it on an otherwise emptied plate. Maybe he didn’t like it, but I know I did. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad at the end of the potluck, because there was no Aloo gobi left at all. Happy because that’s a pretty objective indicator that people did like it. Sad because that meant I didn’t get to take any home.

I guess just about everyone at the office brought in enough food to feed eight people, but no one brought seven extra mouths to feed. That means that we had about eight times as much food as we needed. I figure most people ate more than one serving – probably enough for two or three, so we should have had enough leftovers to feed that crowd five times more (assuming more modest portions). But my Aloo gobi was gone. So… now I have validated my existence. I guess.

It sure is hard to not overeat at something like that, but there was a LOT of really good food! I’m paying for it now with a severe case of indigestion. I’ll be eating Tums like candy before bedtime.

Tomorrow is the Pathfinder Induction service, so I’ve got to prepare for that. Basically, I need to print out queue cards for everyone. I plan to have each staff member light a “class” candle for the class they teach. Cheryl doesn’t teach a class, but we are only teaching five of the eight that are available (including the two new ones from the Floria Conference). So she’ll light the candles for the extras. Then I’ll have the kids each light a candle for each point of the Pathfinder Pledge and Law. In the past, we’ve had all the members do this, including the ones we were inducting. But I think I’m going to have them sit back instead. This is more in line with the way the staff manual says it should be done, but that’s not the only reason I want to do it that way. We are not running a rehearsal before hand, and I want the kids who have seen these before to do the candle lighting.

Anyhow… I need to get busy now!

My fantasy for a while has been to have a single car key that will unlock and start both my cars (both are Hondas). Well, the lock on Va’s car has been broken for a while, so while I had it in the shop last week, I asked them to take a look at it. The lock was broken, so they needed to order a part (which came in yesterday). So I drove her car to Concord today and left it with them. They sent the lock and key to a locksmith. It was ready in the afternoon, so when I got off work, I walked to the garage to pick it up. They gave me THREE keys – the original, plus two more. Honda told them that it was not possible to rekey the door with the same key as the ignition. So now I have three stinkin’ keys for two cars. That’s moving in the wrong direction!

Tomorrow we are having our annual potluck lunch at work. I signed up to bring “An Indian dish that might not suck TOO much.” I’m going to attempt to make some Aloo gobi. I made a list of ingredients and compared it to what we had in the kitchen, crossing off the stuff we had. Then Va took it to the grocery store. As soon as Beth’s in bed, I will make the attempt.

Two different people signed up to bring in some sort of Kielbasa dish – I can’t remember what, but they were exactly the same thing. Someone else then signed up to bring in a Kielbasa Jello Mold. I was thinking I might bring in either a Kielbasa upside-down cake, or make some Kielbasa smoothies. But no. I’ll stick with “an Indian dish that might not suck TOO much.”

Emphasis on might!

I need some plaster casts of some chipmunk and/or some frog prints. So tonight before dinner, I went to the frog pond to see what I could see. There are plenty of chippy prints, but no frog prints. I mixed up some plaster and cast two sets of chipmunk prints and one that I think was made by an earthworm. Then I forgot to go collect them. I might go after ’em before I attempt the Aloo gobi.

Looks like I’m going to get my new laptop none too soon. Last night the battery decided it was no longer content. I drained it while waiting for Beth to go to sleep. The LED started flashing red, red, red, red, greeeeen (repeat). I looked it up, and that means the battery is not long for this world. Soon, it will not take a charge anymore. I guess. I did recharge, and I’m running off it now (as I wait for Beth to go to sleep). Looks like it’ll last for about an hour, which is about what it was doing before. But I’ll get a new laptop prolly next week, so it doesn’t matter TOO much.

One more thing. Today is the third anniversary of the Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book. It now has 213 Honors completely answered. There are a total of 354, which means that if this pace continues, it will be done pretty close to two years from now. Cool.

Today was the day my family and I were planning to eat my birthday supper. We always go out for birthday meals. I wanted to go to someplace the family never goes. It didn’t really matter where – just a long as it wasn’t someplace we typically go. My first thought was what I always call “The Hermanos Brothers Kitchen Cucina.” I call it that because it drives all the people in my house who have taken Spanish nuts. Hermanos means brothers, and cucina means kitchen.

When we got there, we found that they don’t open until 5:00pm on Sundays. Boo. So I thought we’d go to the Common Man. But they were still serving a brunch buffet, and it didn’t look all that great to me. Certainly not good enough to blow a birthday meal on! So we went across town to TGI Fridays. We haven’t been to one of those since we lived in VA, and the one there was never all that great. But this one was pretty OK! I want to go back a few more times at least so I can try some other things on their menu.

My original plan for today was that I was going to go pull some wire over at the school/church so we could get the computer networking in place. But… I just didn’t feel like it. The thought of gathering up my tools is really what put me over the edge. I’ll need a wallboard saw, a fish tape, drill, screwdrivers, prolly a hammer, and most certainly my crimper tool. And more besides, I’m sure. But by the time the thought occurred to me that I was going to need to gather tools, I was already hungry. So I decided not to.

This morning I cut some poles – all from dead standing trees. A maple, two pines, and a chestnut. I used them to lash up a teepee. Beth and I went to Lowes and I spent three bucks on a clear plastic drop cloth for the teepee skin. Too bad I didn’t think carefully aboutall three dimensions. I thought of the length (9 feet) and the thickness (2 mils), but for whatever reason, I thought 12′ would be plenty long. Ideally, it should have been double the width so I could cut it into a semicircle. Oh well. The teepee greenhouse went up, but it remains to be seen if it will be effective or not.