June 2005 Archives

How to Fight Boredom


I noticed something the other day at work, which was that when you are just drafting all day, your mind needs something else to think about or you slowly start to go insane. So I took advantage of the iPod and downloaded a bunch of radio shows from NPR.

Two days later I was all out of radio shows to listen to, so I went back and hit the CBC. That held me over for one day, along with some playlists of comedy.

Now I've finished off all the radio shows available on NPR, CBC, and BBC (that might possibly be of interest to me; I cannot get bored enough to listen to some shows). I've also used up a bunch of non-radio podcasts that I've been pointed to. My next step has got to be books on tape, or on CD, I suppose. I tend to hate being read to, but on the days when I don't listen to music things seem to go a lot slower, and I find myself performing web searches for things like "crushed glass" or "snout" just to see what comes up.

Cameron Marlowe is finishing up his PhD at MIT, and I filled out his relatively simple survey on my blogging habits just to ruin his nice, clean data.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey



May I always have you to help me plan complicated tasks, sweetie.

Oh, OK


I went to get some groceries, and when I came back there were a couple of little boys rooting around in the lavender with a bucket. I went over and saw they had a bug net, so I asked, "Are you catching bugs?"

"We're catching bees," they told me.

They spent an hour or so out there. Every now and then we would peek out at them, and they were diligently catching bees and putting them in their bucket. I have no idea what they plan to do with the bees once they catch them, but OK. I'm sure I did weirder things as a child.



One of my little tasks this summer is fixing all sorts of broken code I have all over this site. So today I fixed all the broken photo albums on our wedding web pages. I know, it's only two years after the event, and all. I'm not even sure why I leave that up, but now the photos are viewable on more than a limited number of platforms.

Planty Madness


This evening I did a bunch of garden-related things that had stacked up. Yesterday after work I stopped by a nursery and bought a bunch of annuals (on sale!) to plant in our large containers for the side porch. I also bought some peat pots and seed starter mix.

It all really started in November, when we got this nice big bunch of grapes from the store, and they had seeds in them, and we wondered if they would sprout. So following some directions we found on the web, we put them in a baggie of moist peat moss in the fridge for a few months, until a month or so ago, when I planted them in a couple of pots to germinate.

Garden Crawl


We went off on a grand excursion today, to visit a number of nurseries about which I have heard, in search of good sources and ideas. Our destinations: Native Here Nursery, Annie's Annuals, Magic Gardens, Dry Garden, and Berkeley Horticultural Nursery.

I had German Auto Repair, in Alameda, replace my timing belt last summer. They attempted to double-charge me for it, which should have been my first clue to get my car the hell out of there, but it would be nice to have a local auto mechanic instead of taking my car into the city all the time. A couple of weeks before Christmas, it failed on me in the middle of nowhere while I was driving to SLO. I limped the car into town and got it fixed at the local dealership, where they told me that the belt had been mis-installed. The damage was on the order of $1200.

So I wrote letters and called asking for German Auto to make good on that bad installation, and basically German Auto ignored me. Then I filed a complaint through the state Bureau of Auto Repair, who were very nice about it but basically powerless because, get this, German Auto says that they don't have to make good on their shoddy repair because I didn't give them a chance to fuck up my car a second time. That's right: they claim that when my car failed 230 miles from their garage, I should have called them and had them tow it (where?) and get me a rental car. This, without knowing what was wrong with the car. Or, once I had taken it to Kimball, they suggested I should have called them to have them fix it. From 230 miles away. When I had other things I needed to be doing. Right.

I wonder what a Small Claims judge would think of that defense. Not much, I imagine, but I'm going to find out this summer. I'm getting really sick and tired of having to take businesses to court in order to get them to be honest with me. At any rate, I don't recommend you take any car to German Auto for anything.

Bland Greens


How is it that in one generation, we seem to have forgotten how to add salt to salad dressing? Does nobody else notice that sweet vinaigrettes make salad greens taste bitter?

Also, what the heck is up with the incessant "fresh ground pepper?" question? If it needed pepper, why didn't the cook add it in the kitchen?

Botanical and Zoological Garden


Out at El Chorro Regional Park, they're building a botanical garden on 150 acres of land, planned to be one of the largest Mediterranean climate gardens in the world. Well, that's in the future. Right now they have a small "preview garden," and today after a discussion with our lawyer, I went out there to take a walk.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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