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Alaska here we come!

All the planning, list-making, packing, and so on are done. We have a few hours to wait for the airport shuttle to take us to the airport at the buttcrack of dawn. Once we are through security we can get a Starbucks and chill for 2 hours until the actual flight.

This is the first time we're flying first class since I took a business trip 25 years ago. I gather that the amenities are not quite what they were, but the wider seats and greater legroom should help a lot. Not to mention the complimentary booze!

Soon we'll be in Vancouver, which Amanda hasn't been to before. It's a great city and I hear the Asian food is excellent. Let's hope that rumor is true!

Then it's onto the ship and cruise to Alaska.


Thoughts on the Loss of M, my ex wife

My ex, M, passed away this week. Tomorrow I will go to New York to attend her memorial service and try to come to grips with the reality. It was only Monday that I spoke to her, and she was lively and already planning for Thanksgiving, with Christmas close behind. When our son called to tell me that M was in the hospital and not doing well, I was stunned although not surprised: she had been fighting Stage IV breast cancer for 5 years. Ironically it was pneumonia that claimed her after she had held the cancer at bay for so long.

It seems odd that we were together for only 2 years, and divorced 34 years ago, and yet she had such an impact on my life. To a large extent that was the result of our having had a son, D, although we didn't know that until DNA testing was available that D was my son. Once that became known to me, began to want to know my son, and that was facilitated by seeing each other a few times a year at family gatherings.

As a result, I think I have come to associate M with holidays, particularly since she loved Christmas. For a Jewish girl whose father forbade Christmas observances, the trappings of Christmas had an irresistible allure. She loved to make ornaments, and cards, and to give presents. While we lived together we made stained glass ornaments; many were made of mirror glass, as she had struck up a friendship with a local glazier who gave her a huge box of fragments. We also made fiber-filled batik ornaments, using some batik fabric of her own design. Improvised materials were put to good use - we were so broke, we really had no choice!

The Christmas decorating was just one facet of her artistic spirit. She adored fine craft (we spent our wedding money on art at the NCC Rhinebeck craft fair) and her home was always decorated with beautiful handmade things. I kept trying to encourage her to pursue her creative inclinations, but she preferred to move on to new techniques and materials rather than turn her art into a profit-making venture. Exasperating as I sometimes found this, I also admired her artistic integrity.

There is more, much more, but I must get ready now for tomorrow's journey.

Kentucky Pistol

OK, I am finally building my first black powder pistol. Ultimately I'd like to build a Pennsylvania longrifle (I grew up in Pennsylvania, in a log house that predates the United States), and hang it over the mantle. But first I want to do a simpler project.


Snikki the wonder dog

So today I lost my cellphone. I wear it on my belt all the time and today it fell out of its holster. I retraced my steps, checked and rechecked te seats in the car, went over and over the areas in the yard where I'd been working. Unfortunately I had the phone on "vibrate" so calling the phone didn't do anything.

Or so I thought. But as I was retracing my steps for the umpteenth time and calling my cell repeatedly, Snikki got all excited and starting pawing at the weeds, and suddenly, there was my cell phone!

Needless to say, Snikki received a terrific marrow bone, which she is enjoying enormously.


Merry Christmas to all!

This has been a wonderful holiday season - my son & his love came to visit, we got exciting news about K's growing success as a writer, A and I attended a delightful Christmas Revels, my company gave us the week between Christmas and New Year's as extra paid holidays (!)

We feel truly blessed this year.

I was able to get the majority of our outdoor lights to stay on despite the rain :-)

Back from the German Medieval Fair

Some friends put on a German Medieval Fair (August 20th and 21st) and we set up a table to sell our jewelry. The entertainment was great - sword fights and fire dancers, troubadours and belly-dancers. Some of the visitors were in fabulous costumes, which was a lot of fun.

I got to meet the author of a fantasy novel about a blacksmith (!! that is a really rare treat), so of course I bought a copy & started devouring it immediately. It turned out that the author had taken a blacksmithing course at Olde Sturbridge Village, where I used to teach blacksmithing - small world.

We didn't sell anything today; I think our jewelry is more expensive than the Fair crowd is expecting. But it was a wonderful introduction to the world of Fairs and vending, and I could certainly see us doing more in the future.

Computer CPU fan malfunction

I have a computer that is working fine except that the CPU fan won't run so after a few minutes the CPU overheats and shuts down. I tried replacing the fan, but it still didn't run so I assume the motherboard fan control is toast.

I don't care about controlling the fan - it can run all the time the computer is on. I just need to get power to it. But the instructions only indicate which way to insert the little plug on the motherboard. I need to know what voltage to apply to which wires. Is there a standard convention for color coding these things?


I find this tool incredibly useful, and frustrating at the same time. Perhaps I just don't post enough to keep the process clear in my mind, but I can never seem to get LJ cuts to work right. I want to be able to post pictures....

Waxing gibbous? Sounds horrible.

You were born during a Waxing Gibbous moon

This phase occurs right before a full moon.

- what it says about you -

You like to question things and have issues settled before going to work on a problem. You appreciate art, elegant forms, and efficient designs. You seek deeper meanings in things that you see and want your actions to make the world a better place.

What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at Spacefem.com

Snikki has been busy

Lately Snikki has been busy making room for new Christmas toys, by utterly destroying her old ones. She gets a (sorry) visceral pleasure from pulling the stuffing out of her plush toys. The poor unicorn has been reduced to a rag, several limbs having been removed along with the horn.

The toy on the right of the picture was a tiger. It seems to have had an amazing quantity of stuffing to remove (which, by the way, will not vacuum up from the carpet). Snikki has certainly enjoyed the process, which is why I won't let her play much with the cats.