Confession Time Again

I actually kind of like Microsoft. Shh! Don't repeat it!

I got some horrible virus on my laptop, and all my efforts to remove it failed. Then it disabled my Windows registration, so I couldn't even log on. So I eventually gave in and sent an email to Microsoft tech support (from a different machine, obviously). They actually called me, and over the course of 4 or 5 hours of phone calls over the course of a few weeks we actually got the problem fixed. So they actually responded to me, and their people stuck with it until they solved the problem. Who knew the evil empire was capable of some good too?

Goodbye, Reggie

Well, in the course of a couple months we went from two pets to zero pets. We gave the chinchilla away, and last week we decided to set Reggie the snake free (since she was wild-caught anyway). We took her to Wheeler Farm, which has some big wooded areas and plenty of water. She hadn't been eating lately, and I figured if she was sick it would be better for her to die free than in a cage. I also had a selfish motivation, of course: Sam was sad to see her go, but maybe not as sad as he would have been if she had died at home.

I admit it's nice to not have any extra mouths to feed, but I'm sure we'll find something interesting to pick up sometime soon. It could be anything: a tarantula, skink, or parakeet.

Just kidding—I don't ever want a pet bird.

A Hairy Question

Sometimes I title the post before writing it, and then I have to stop and cringe for a moment.

Anyway.

I go through periods of wearing contacts and periods of just wearing glasses. Whenever I get contacts anew, I have an overwhelming desire to grow some sort of facial hair. I don't know why, exactly. It's mostly curiosity to see how it would look, I suppose.

This time I decided to go all out and see if I could grow a full beard. Today is day 10 without shaving, and I think it's time to decide whether to allow this monstrous experiment to continue or stop before I further humiliate myself.

I think the main problem is a mixture of different colored hairs that result in a look of sparse scruff. Or maybe I just need to give it more time. So your question is, do I get rid of it, go with something more minimal like a goatee (not being Tom Selleck, I am not going to get away with a mustache alone), or give it up and revert to my usual clean-shaven, respectable self?

The Whole Nine Yards

When we moved into our new place, we knew there would be a steep learning curve as far as taking care of the (seemingly) acres of garden and grass. Little did we know, however, that the livelihood and sanity of so many others depend on how someone else's yard is taken care of. We have had several yard care people come to our door and mention that they always did this or that for the people who lived there before. They also implied that it's a shame that the yard is not what is used to be.

We also have a neighbor who does landscaping. When we moved in, he kindly offered to help us out with any yard issues that might arise. Then a couple weeks ago he stopped by to make sure we knew how to use the sprinklers (although he didn't quite say it that way), because the front lawn is looking kind of dry despite daily watering. Yesterday he apparently walked up to the house and pulled a weed just outside the living room window. And he told our landlord that he wanted to teach us how to trim the rose bushes. Then I came home from work yesterday to find that he had trimmed them himself anyway.

This is starting to be less of a "kind neighbor" situation and more of a creepy outdoor version of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle or something.

Incongruous


Referring, of course, to the wear of the letters on my keyboard.

Pheidippides I Ain't

Well, I'm out of the running, as it were. It will probably be between 1 and 2 months before I can run again. But at least I didn't have to wear that big clunky boot some people do (the doctor said it might help recovery time, but since I'm missing the marathon either way, I'd rather not look like a—well, gimp).

As an interesting side note, I told my mom the name of the doctor I went to, and it happened to be the guy who botched a toe surgery on her a couple years ago. Small world.

Two Bits a Gander

When we moved a few months ago, I left a few boxes packed. They just have all the junk that I can’t quite bring myself to throw out but never need. Among these are a few items of obsolete electronics. I like to think that one day I’ll show them to children and grandchildren, who will be amazed and amused that we had all these different implements to do what their one tiny all-in-one device does far better.

I call this collection my “museum of outdated electronics.” It’s really not much, but I don’t have a lot of use anymore for a 35mm camera (and an Advantix one too), super thin portable CD player, and even a minidisc player. It all still works, too, but it’s not worth a dime anywhere.

What else should I add to my museum? I’m thinking in terms of my own lifetime, so I’m not going to try to get ahold of UNIVAC or anything.

Yum

You know those chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches you can get at convenience stores? I enjoy them immensely. But you know what's even better? Making one with home-made chocolate chip cookies and raspberry cheesecake ice cream.

I'm not posting a picture because it will make me hungry every time I look at it.

Going Nowhere

I am amazed at the multitude of things that can go wrong with even one area of your body (or car, but that's a topic for another day). Seriously, the Injury Forum at Runnersworld.com has 11,000 topic pages. Anyway, I was in the middle of a run yesterday when I decided pushing through the pain any longer might aggravate whatever was bothering my foot. So I ended up walking 4 miles back to the car, wincing at every step. A little internet research indicates that I probably have a stress fracture of the heel bone. I guess I'll head to the doctor to find out.

It's funny to me that I had been worrying about getting a stress fracture in my tibia, and then this came on without any warning. At any rate, if that proves to be the case I can say so long to the St. George Marathon this October...

Cemetery Home Evening

Last night I went on a walk with Sam to give Katie a little peace and quiet. We ambled over to the cemetery, where Sam attempted to find the tree he likes climbing. At one point we walked past a family sitting in lawn chairs around a grave, setting off some small fireworks, acting as if that were the most normal thing in the world. It really looked like they were there for the evening.

There comes a point when you have to let someone go.

Acting My Age

I decided to take the Real Age online quiz for fun. I originally took it about 3 years ago, and I remember liking it because it told me I was almost 10 years younger physically than I am chronologically. So I decided to try it again, but I couldn't remember my password. I had them send the password to my email account. I must have been frustrated at the fact that I had to register to begin with, because the password I had chosen was "poop."

Oh, and I'm apparently 19.3. Not too shabby.

Pet Karma

You know how sometimes parents won't let their kids get a dog until they prove they will take care of a smaller animal, like a fish? It's a lot like the idea of karma. If you're good, you work your way up to a dog or pony or whatever, but if you don't feed the pets, you end up with less and less sophisticated forms of life, until you end up with some lichens on a rock.