December, 2008: 16 posts.
More in the Ché gallery.
So I know what it means to scrimp and save, to do more with less, even to do without. The most important lesson that I learned, I believe, is that money is not wealth. Benjamin Graham once wrote that the secret to happiness is learning to live well within your means. Did he mean to “live well” within your means, or to live “well within” your means? I think he intentionally left the sentence ambiguous.
As the first grandkid, Kimba was jealous of me. I appear pretty happy in that photo, despite the fact that Kimba might be barking. My Grandpa actually had a “mad dog act” he and Kimba would do. Basically my grandfather would get down on all fours and encourage Kimba to lean over the side of him. Then my grandpa would sort of scream as though he were being attacked, and Kimba would bark. It was meant to be funny and scary. And I think it worked pretty well that way. A bit like something out of a David Lynch movie.
I showed another photo featuring Kimba the other day.
Kimba was jealous of me for being about his size and taking attention away from him. We lived in Los Angeles at the time, and my grandparents in San Diego, so anytime we returned for family stuff, like Christmastime, there Kimba would be. I remember being afraid of him, but really liking him. I used to lay on him like a pillow. He was actually a very friendly dog, despite the fact that initially he’d always growl at me.
Anyway, it was fun to scan a pile of photos for my grandfather’s birthday. I did a slideshow and it all turned out well. A nice family-fealty type-task.
I have some more serious topics to talk about, but I guess I’m saving them, or I’m not sure what to say, most notably about this scan. Blogging has been not too deep for the past 2 months. I hope to change that before the end of the year.
One of the perks of the current dayjob is a lovely view facing north toward the Hollywood Sign. I dug my week there. Though I worked long hours, and worked pretty darn hard, I enjoyed myself and feel I contributed substantively. There were things that frustrated me, sure, but it was actually a fun deployment this week. But I like to work under fire.
Cold enough for me to have to defrost for five minutes before getting going this morning.
The average high and low for Moorpark are 41 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit, so freezing temperatures are unusual.
So I bought a video encoder, pretty nice one, and this is my first capture. I need to tweak settings, and it would probably help if everything I wanted to capture was not 19 year old videotapes that have been stored in garages with poor climate control. Hah!
There was snow on the ground when we arrived yesterday afternoon, but beautiful clear skies and welcoming family.
This morning I snapped this picture of the kids having cocoa and (scandalous!) coffee on the back porch of Grandma and Grandpa’s.
Overnight it snowed more, and it’s snowed all day, well, except when it’s been lightly hailing and raining. Looks like we’re in for a white Christmas.
We were terrified to return because of 5 inches of snow on the ground.
We were happy that the roads were okay, and we didn’t have to use the ill-fitting chains we borrowed from my father-in-law.
I shoveled snow once and enjoyed it. I was listening to Frank Zappa.
I also concur with Mr. Blurb O’Mat that the rational thing if one lives in snow is to purchase a snow-blower.
I received many very nice gifts this Christmas (new sweaters yay!).
The mysterious tingling in my hands and feet has not abated.
The kids rode ATVs in the snow and enjoyed it.
We did well by them presents-wise. I am looking forward to Wicked with Leah and (especially drama and musical-oriented) Alex at the Pantages next week.
My Mom is doing well cancer-wise, though she is back on an oral chemotherapy. Her spirits are high and it sounds like good things.
She and my father visited at Thanksgiving and that was pretty fun.
I saw Slumdog Millionaire and am so glad I did. So much of it brings to mind when I was a kid and lived in the Philippines. Poverty so crushing it’s hard to understand, but nevertheless, it exists.
The house waxes and wanes in terms of how much of a shambles it is with still-unboxing and the holidays.
Next week Dev will turn 20 years old. My stepson is more
In 2009 I’ll turn 39 years old.
We bought new tires for both cars last month. Tires ain’t cheap, but it’s nice to have some peace of mind about our cars’ feet.
I like my home office, I even put up my degrees and accomplishments, which I’ve not had up in a long time. Time for some new accomplishments to put on the wall.
I re-read Watchmen over the holiday and remain impressed by it. Hard to believe it’s a 25 year old
comic graphic novel.
I like Toblerone.
I have a lot of scanning to do from asking family to draw in my drawing notebook.
X is a good band that I think I both under- and overestimated.
Leah crafted up a storm and basically created most of our Christmas. Impressive work.
I like my in-laws and my stepkids. I lucked out.
Speaking of luck, Leah and I celebrated four years of marriage on December 21st. We have an excellent partnership, and I am thankful for what we were, what we are, and what we are continually becoming.
Merry Belated Christmas, I couldn’t put it better than Douglas Crockford:
Christmas is the day when Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, atheists, agnostics, pagans, heathens, and mystics can put aside their differences and join together in love and fellowship to celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the sweet fruit of the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the only begotten son of the one true God.
I hadn’t seen You Can’t Take It With You, directed by Frank Capra. I liked it, and have been working on creating such a house as much as is practical and inasmuch as house bills can be paid.
I’ve trimmed down what I read in my RSS feedreader, which is great. I’ve also been dropping folks I follow on twitter. I’ve not quite given up on it a la MAS, but I understand quite well his point of view. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
It’s so great to get paychecks on time.
That’s all for today. I hope you’re having a great holiday season, whatever your faith or lack thereof!
I think if you had told me in 1991 that in 2008 I’d be working right next door to a major record (read: music and movies) store I’d have been delighted.
Heck, I’m delighted now. It’s where I pulled off the major coup of getting Leah a copy of Savannah Smiles for our Anniversary last week. She was impressed.
Shh! don’t tell.
One of the my habits, when I work in a place with a walkable, entertaining area around it, is to wander around at lunch. Sometimes such wanderings turn into blog posts.
This is another.
I have had the opportunity to wander about in Downtown San Diego (near the Gaslamp Quarter, and near Santa Fe Station), Downtown Los Angeles (near Central Library), Ojai (there’s not much in Ojai so it’s easy to walk that), and a little Mid-Wilshire in L.A. for a while. When I worked as a Respiratory Therapist taking a walk on a lunch break was really not feasible, since I was usually on a pager and needed to be available for emergencies.
I really appreciate the opportunity to take a walk. Now that I’m working in Hollywood, right on Sunset Blvd, I’ve had the opportunity today and yesterday to do a little wandering. I even got to visit my favorite newsstand for decades (yes, decades) World Book & News. I passed at least 3 dozen places that will sell you a lovely postcard of the Hollywood Sign or a portrait or Marilyn Monroe. I also passed a bunch tattoo parlors, wig shops, g-string vendors, and storefront electronics shops. I also passed an official Scientology place where I could have had a free (imagine!) personality test. I heard several different languages: Japanese, Spanish, Russian (pretty sure), English of course — often these voices belonged to folks taking pictures of the Stars on the sidewalk. Jimi Hendrix was one I saw some tourists being photo’d with. It was a pleasant walk.
I was not asked for any dough from panhandlers, though I saw a few such unfortunates. Also unfortunate were some teen runaways, distingusihed by rather dirty clothes and a vacant or stoned look in their eyes. Sad, and a Hollywood tradition.
I wandered about, enjoying a Tiger’s Milk lunch and a Mountain Dew, and made my way back eventually. It’s a bit less tasty than the free lunch they provide at the dayjob, but it’s probably net better for me to take a walk accompanied by some sugar and caffeine than free food+sitting. Maybe. In either case, walking around is fun.
Title of post from The Mikado, Act I, Part II