I Wood If I Could

I've always had a fascination with woodworking. The idea of taking raw materials to create something useful is very appealing, and for years I've thought about how great it would be to have such a useful skill.

Then I tried it.

I wanted to build this great bookcase that looks like the TARDIS that I saw online. I made a plan, and I started working on the base one day, but I quickly realized that I was in over my head. And the other day I made a primitive shelf that I mounted in the closet under the stairs to hold our modem and router. That ended up ugly as well, but it's out of sight so I kept it.

The way I figure it, there are two problems. One, I don't have the right kind of tools. A jigsaw isn't great for long, straight cuts, and I never know what kind of screws or fasteners to use. And nice tools are really expensive. But the real problem, I'm sure, is that I need more experience. So, as foolish as I feel, I think I'll keep working on these silly projects and see if I get better over time. In the meantime, if anyone needs a good laugh, come have a look in my closet.

No, I won't be posting any photos just yet.

Monkeys!


Last night I dreamed that a friend (I can’t remember who, unfortunately) gave us a pair of howler monkeys as pets.



From Wikipedia:
Howler monkeys are widely considered to be the loudest land animal. According to Guinness Book of World Records, their vocalizations can be heard clearly for 20 mi (32 km).
“While seldom aggressive, howler monkeys do not take well to captivity and are of surly disposition…”

I was very nervous about having monkeys around, and resolved to take them back to the pet store.

Impending Fall

Driving in to work this morning I noticed for the first time that the leaves in the mountains are changing color. I think it's a little early this year, like the trees are thinking, "Well, we didn't get any rain at all this year. Might as well pack it up and wait for next spring."

It's always a little sad, though, when summer is on its way out. It feels like a friend is leaving for several months. While I recognize the importance of having colder weather to appreciate the warmth when it's here, and snow is pretty between November 1 and January 1, I'd still like winter to only last about that two-month period. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself, because it will still probably be hot until mid-October, at least.

Here's to you, summer. Aside from all the crazy fires and complete lack of rain, you were a good one.

There's No Substitute

Last year in kindergarten, Sam's teacher was pregnant at the beginning of the year. She left around Thanksgiving to have the babies (twins), with plans to be back for the new year. Then, when she was gone, she decided to stay home with the kids, so he ended up having the substitute for the rest of the year.

Fast forward to yesterday. We went to back-to-school night and met his teacher... who is pregnant and apparently due "in August." She swears she is coming back after, but her sister is going to be the substitute in the meantime.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you're trying to get pregnant, you have one year to get a job as a second-grade teacher at Sam's school.

Spilling the Beans


Imagine going in to McDonald’s and ordering a beef patty that weighs exactly 3.7 ounces, cooked until the internal temperature is 142.3 degrees, then is served with 2/3 of a slice of whole-milk American cheese, on a whole-wheat bun that is toasted at 400 degrees for 90 seconds, with 1 tablespoon of ketchup and one teaspoon  of mustard, and two slices of dill pickle exactly 3 mm thick placed 1 cm apart on the bun.

That’s how I view people who drink coffee from places like Starbucks. A coworker who wishes to remain anonymous came in this morning livid that they had gotten her order egregiously wrong. It was not the hazelnut latte with half a pump of syrup served at 170 degrees she ordered, but some super-sweet cinnamon vileness. Not being a coffee drinker, the fast food analogy is the closest I can come to understanding the specificity of these preferences.

Flour Power

Last night I dreamed that for some reason the new trend was stripping mostly naked, watering yourself down, and covering yourself with flour. I remember taking a long time to meticulously coat myself like a piece of soon-to-be-fried chicken, and have someone take my picture. I think people were posting the pics online, because why else would we do that kind of thing?

What Fun Is

This year I decided to continue an old tradition from my childhood. We used to go to Lagoon every year on my birthday, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take the kids. We had Katie's brother and his girlfriend come with us, to help take turns with the kids so we could all go on some rides. Sam had been dying to ride a roller coaster, so we headed right for the old white one. He was pretty terrified during the ride, but thought it was great afterward. He felt the same way about the scary rides, mostly keeping his eyes closed. We all really enjoyed the train ride, and Rattlesnake Rapids. Katie had never been to Lagoon either, having only Disneyland as a point of comparison, but she really enjoyed it, although she didn't want to go on the really crazy rides. I enjoyed my old favorites like the Colossus and the Rocket, and the new coasters they added recently were great, especially Wicked. But the real surprise of the day was Allison. Out two-year-old is apparently quite the daredevil. Whereas Sam was asking if every ride would give him "that stomach feeling," Allison had this expression on the kid rides:


But on this ride, she was laughing.

video

Please excuse the 90-degree angle on the video. The point is that it's a fairly fast ride for a two-year-old to be on.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun. We were there from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., so we really made a day of it. It was probably the most fun I've had on my birthday since I was a teenager.

Liar!

Someone just called me and asked for a person named Kim. Not knowing anyone by that name, I informed the person that she had the wrong number. Her response: "Ooooookaaaaay..." in a suspicious tone. She didn't seem to believe me. It's odd, now that most of our calls are made by speed dialing contacts stored in our phones, that wrong numbers are almost unfathomable for us. Calm down, lady. Try it again, and if I end up answering, I'll look around and see if I can find a Kim for you. Maybe I'm the one who's wrong.