Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cornet cleaning

This evening, cleaned the coronet, including wiping off and oiling the valves and the pipe-y things that come off for tuning & cleaning. Pretty good condition, although though the piston nearest the mouthpiece gets stuck, despite the oiling. I think the hole is out-of-round, as I can hear and feel it grinding. I need to get that looked at; hopefully not too expensive to fix (some specialized gradually-taped cone-shaped wedge?).

Also lacks a spit valve on the main, and also on the long front, loops of tubing. Supposed to be an indicator of a lower-end instrument. However, it can also indicate it's super-high quality, as some fancy-folk think that including spit valves can damage the tone. But it's probably not; it's probably a ''student'' coronet (which is still useful, for my purposes).

Looked thru five different ''encyclopedia of musical instruments'' I have: a few included the coronet, but none mention a pocket trumpet. But a Google image search on ''pocket trumpet'' indicates that, yes, that's what the second one is.

Gave the coronet a few toots. Sounds good! :)


Minor geek-ness

Rcv'd my scanner yesterday (Monday, my day off), and my OCR software came today.

Had already re-arranged my desk in preparation for this: had made room for the scanner at one end. But still, had to move my cup of tea, bottle of water, etc. to the other side of the desk.

Gye Greene's #1 rule of I.T.: Keep wet things away from expensive electrical things.

Also had to crawl around under my desk, adding a power board and re-plugging power cords. Luckily, had unwittingly worn an appropriate shirt: My "Linux Format"magazine "Richard Stallman" ("Alan Cox"?) t-shirt.

Minor geek-ness. Good stuff!!!


Monday, January 30, 2006

All day with The Bub

Usually on Mondays The Bub gets watched by her grandmother, at the same time as her cousin is getting watched. I stay home and work on my Dissertation. However, her cousin had a cold, and since we'll be taking an airplane trip in a few days -- and clogged ears are the dickens when the cabin pressure is changing -- we wanted to avoid that. So, I watched The Bub today. :0

It went well. Fed her at the proper times; we took a lovely 2.5-hour nap; she had fun splashing in her little kiddie bathtub (I left her in for a lot longer than The Lady would have; her feet and hands got all wrinkly). A good bonding times. :)


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Escalation of instruments

Back when I first started doing music, my cousin got better at the electric guitar as a faster rate than I did -- probably because he actually practiced. To compensate, I bought more effects pedals.

Over the years, I've continued to buy more effects pedals -- and guitars -- probably as some subconscious effort to make me feel like I'm still ''in the game'': ''See, I'm a musician: look at all the gear I own!''

I think that behavior is still continuing. I already have a trombone, and acquired a trumpet from my maternal grandparents (it had belonged to a friend of theirs). But, I was browsing e-bay for something else, and got a hit on what was listed, and described, as a ''trumpet'', but is really a coronet (or pocket trumpet? not sure). Figuring that its mis-listing might keep the price down, I bid -- and got it. AU$67 [US$50], including shipping -- not bad! Photo below.

Why do I need one of these, when I already have a regular trumpet, and a trombone? Well, partly because it expands my tonal palette -- it'll have a brighter sound than my existing trumpet. Partly because I don't have one yet, and it's a good price. And partly because I've learned that Kevin, of PPHP House Band fame, has actually been practicing on **his** trumpet, and getting better. So: time to get gear!

The non-trumpet-selling person also had a few others he was selling. Bid a lower amount on another one (this time, more likely to be a coronet, rather than a pocket trumpet) -- and also got it! AU$48 [US$36], which is an even better price! Photo below.

Ayep! Still have to send payment for the first second one. The first one apparently arrived at the local post office yesterday (rcv'd the green "package for you" slip in the mailbox). Will pick up the first one today, after work.

And I'm now officially overdrawn on my ''personal spending money'' home budget. ;)


UPDATE: A brief Google image search indicates I don't know what the heck I'm talking about. The bottom one may be a pocket trumpet, and the **top** one a cornonet. Maybe. Anyone know?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Refridgerator commando: update

A while back, I blogged about a refridgerator commando here at work -- someone who took it upon his or her self to clean out the commnual 'fridge while most of the staff was out on vacation. Well-meant, I'm sure, but ill-conceived.

So, I'm in there making my usual three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I happen to look at the inside of the 'fridge door. There on the rack are my peanut butter, and my jar o' bran sprinkles (for roughage!).

Which means that the person didn't throw away my plastic bag as a unit: She/he went through, took my stuff out of my bag, and threw away the rest (the bread?). Extra labor, not much point? Weirdness.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another spider pic

Not that other places don't get spiders. But it seems like big ones are pretty normal around here. And there's scads of them, in nooks and crannies. Could be that we don't have flyscreens on the windows, though, so they just wander in. Probably a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

The above photo is from mid-October of last year. Keep meaning to post i, but haven't. Note the spider's size in relation to my hand. It's crawing up the kitchen window, IIRC.

And, the below photo is from late November. It's on the windowframe, to the right of the kitchen window.

Note that I'm not actually touching them -- just putting my hand near them, for sizing purposes. I'm pretty sure they're not venomous, but it's possible they could hurt a little (like a bee sting). And, you know -- probably not venomous.

Except for marveling at their niftiness of size, I'm no longer weirded out by having spiders around.

But, I still don't touch 'em.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nuisance immigration forms

Last night -- or rather, this morning-- I stayed up until about 2am filling in immigration forms. Bleh.

I'm applying to upgrade from being in Aussie-land on a "partner visa" to being a permanent resident. And, in a few years, I can upgrade again, to Aussie citizen. Luckily, I'd get to keep my U.S. citizenship.

The forms asked me to list all the times I've visited Australia, including the specific dates. A nuisance, but they asked me this two years ago, so I have the info in a word processing document: Two years ago a flicked through my passports and wrote down all the entry and exit dates (and through which airport I entered and exited); since them, I've kept track.

They also wanted (1) all the addresses that The Lady and I have had since we started our partnership, and (2) all the addresses I've lived in over the last ten years. And they wanted all the jobs I've had since finishing high school!!! Yeow!!!

I'm thirty-six years old -- I've had a ton of jobs!!! And they want the mailing address, and the beginning and end dates. Again, I (luckily!) have this in a text document, since a lot of lower-level job application forms in the U.S. ask this sort of thing.

But, still! This was all for the ''Character Assessment'' form. You'd think that if they wanted to get a sense of my residential instability, and whether I was at risk for unemployment, asking for the last five years -- or even ten years -- would be enough.

Plus, due to the nature of employment as a graduate student, my jobs during that period (almost ten years!) don't line up nicely: one gig starts while a previous one is still in progress. So, my employment history is somewhat convoluted, not lining up in an easy-to-read, linear fashion.

Anyhow: Gar!!!

But, it's all in the mail now (mailed it this morning). So I can turn my attention to other things.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Spiffy LOTR mobile

My brother made a spiffy Lord of the Rings mobile for an out-of-town friend who's into LOTR (and expecting a baby).

The nifty, rugged-looking crossbars are from tree that were blown down during a windstorm a
month ago. He used a knife to clean up the surface.

The characters' faces are from bookmarks that were part of the promotions for the three films.

Very well-done; very marketable!


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Purple ladies update

Way back, Tall Guy blogged about the ladies I drive past on the way in to work, which I refer to as ''Purple Ladies.'' Today, I had the good fortune to be able to clear off my desk at work (an all-day task, I assure you!) and get re-organized, and I came across a newspaper clipping that I'd saved because it had the name of the beauty school. Googled it, and got some photos of their Spacefleet Academy Cadet uniforms.

The name of the institute is the Queensland School of Beauty Therapy. And they do look like Space Academy uniforms, don't they?

Maybe the darker uniforms are for the senior cadets, and the lighter uniforms are for the junior cadets?

Please note that I'm not making fun: I'm not making fun -- I honestly **do** think they're pretty nifty, sci-fi outfits.

And, within the Australian context, where gradeschool and high school students wear school uniforms, these probably don't stick out to the same extent that they would in the U.S.

(Photo sources:

And, there ya go! :)


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Tidied veranda and face

Back on Monday, Jan. 9th, I stayed home from work (as usual for Mondays) and rearranged the veranda with Tall Guy. Due to the painting of my office in the Social Science department (separate from my ''work office''), I had to vacate. Rather than request a different office, I just decided to haul everything home. Took all of last week, ferrying home a back seat plus boot (or ''trunk'') full every day after work. But, didn't have to come in on an extra day to do it, so it worked out well.

OTOH, it overloaded our home's capacity for boxes. So, TG and I reckoned we'd have to sort, tidy, and generally re-arrange the veranda. In preparation for this, on Sunday we spent the afternoon clearing out one of the old sheds in the backyard. One full wall, two partial walls (about shoulder-height), and no front (just the vertical joists and the door). Some rotton floorboards, but we just laid planks across the rotten bits and figured it'd hold until the new house gets built. The floor joists seemed fine.

But, I got so hot and sweaty hauling things around that I decided to shave off the facial hair, plus shorten the scalp hair.


However, despite my having lived here for over two years, I still don't have a fully-intuitive sense of the metric system. Thought I'd grab a narrower spacer for my electric clippers than usual, since the aim was to stay cool. ''9mm -- sounds good!'' Took a swipe, realized that was a tad short -- but, too late -- had to keep going.


(Thanks to The Lady for taking the pics!)

It's been a week and a half, and I'm (mostly) used to it -- although a bit more receding and grey and I remember. ;)

I think my forehead shape resembles my maternal grandfather's.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Slushie run

On campus, near the building I work in, is the Lolly Shop (i.e. the candy store).

Shortly after I started working here, I (apparently!) started the tradition of going on a ''Slushie Run'' about 2:15 every day. Sometimes it's a bit later; and sometimes if there's a big project slamming up against a deadline, we skip it -- but basically, it's every day. One of the guys in my room (the cubicle behind me) and I make the rounds and gather people, and anywhere from two to eight people stroll on over to the Lolly Shop.

It's called a ''Slushie Run'' because everyone knows that I get a slushie drink (Slushie/Slurpee/whateer) from the machine. Some people get a ice cream bar, or a soda. Or, they just come along for the walk (and the company).

Regardless, it's a fun little tradition that I'm pleased to have initiated. And it's become institutionalized, in that if often occurs even on my days off. :)


Monday, January 16, 2006

There's some important and clever scientific reason involved, but all I remember is that scientists in Taiwan have bred green-glowing pigs. Plz see

(Thx to Old Roomate for the heads-up.)

Now, if they managed to do this with those ''home pets'' pot-bellied pigs, I think we'd have a new pet sensation on our hands! :)

Actually: I guess they **could** do this to dogs. Neat-o!!!


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Music instrument, nifty chair

Had these to photos kicking around for a while, just now getting around to posting.

This first one is of Ralphie sniffing at the nifty musical instrument that my wife's sister got me for my birthday (back in November!!! big time lag). It's called a saw-duang, from Thailand. It's pretty much the same as a Chinese er-hu -- two strings, with a bow threaded between them. Haven't had a chance to play with it much, though -- largely because it needs repairs: the over-zealous Customs and Quarentine guy cut out the snakeskin resonator head, so I need to rig up some sort of replacement. Yet another WIFMD(TM) project, which I'm looking forward to. :)

The next two shots are from December third, when I saw them at an antique mall and happened to have my digital camera with me. Apparently it's a ''telephone table'': the telephone goes on the table, and you can sit conveniently close to it and chat.

My immediate thought was ''That'd make an excellent songwriting chair!!!'' I usually compose on the guitar, and I'm right-handed, so the guitar neck points to the left. I'd have a notepad on the table... perfect!

I would've paid maybe AU$150 for it, but they were asking (I think) AU$300. Too steep; ah well. Plus, we're still crammed into our current house (still have a desk tipped up on its end, for example, sitting in front of the still-crated piano) -- no room.

But, now that I know they exist, I can keep an eye out in the weekly classifieds. Saw another, less expensive one that day, but I didn't like it as much as this one.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

kidlet safety gate

This blog entry is starting to lose its timeliness, but... :)

When staying at my parents' place this Christmas, I noticed there was no baby gate for my parents' slate staircase. There had been when I was a kid, but it had long since been given away.

Since there were three little kids, aged fifteen to seventeen months (IIRC) wandering around, I thought it was an important project. It would have been faster and easier to just buy a store-made one, but for two reasons: (1) Since my parents didn't want any permanent attachments to the house, most ''off-the-shelf'' solutions wouldn't suffice; and it had to be easy to open and close, or else adults get lazy and tend to step over the baby gate -- which is actually very risky, and (ironically!) a cause of accidents.

The basic concept is a U-shaped frame, of which the bottom cross-piece is a sheet of plywood which connects the two vertical ends. The gate is hung between the two vericals. One vertical is held in place by a hook that connects to the stair rail hardware; the other vertical is held by a simple clamp to the brick planter.

It took several days and evenings during the two weeks(?) I worked on it. It was my vision (i.e. the design). My brother helped me for the first day or two, but then he had to go back home. Except for the power drill, and a few cuts with an electric chop saw by my brother, it was all made with hand tools.

Unfortunately, it didn't get completely finished: my dad didn't have an appropriate latch in his box o' hinges and hardware; and I'd like my brother to linseed oil it, and glue on some strips of felt to protect the walls from scuffing. But, it turned out pretty well, given that I limited myself to using available scrap pieces of timber -- and that I made no conceptual drawings or sketches, just piecing it out as I went.

This shot is looking up the stairs at it. The vertical, pale two-by-four on the left is where half of the ''bolt'' hardware will be mounted; the dark brown bit will have the slidey section of the bolt. Notice, too, how the horizonatal two-by-two that I used to connect the two sheets of wood also serves as a clever impediment to youngsters reaching over the top and unlatching the latch. The sliding bolt will be on this side of the gate, an inch or two below the top two-by-two.

This next shot is from the upstairs hallway, with the gate opened. As I had hoped, when the gate is open there's just enough forwards sag caused by its weight to keep it open. Handy! The plywood piece at the top left, sticking out like a flag, is where the clamp would hold it to the face of the brick planter.

This shot shows the other vertical. There's not a lot of contrast, but if you look closely you can see the horizontal piece, which is on a hing, that has been dropped down over the brass handrail hardware. As mentioned, this holds this side of the famework in place, yet is easy to remove.

And, this is what it looks like from the top of the stairs, closed. Again, you can hopefully envision how the piece of wood (top left) could be clamped to the face of the brickwork.

Again, works really well -- just drop, hook, clamp! :)

It'll be there for when my brother and his kid visit, or for any future grandkids! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Missing out

In Australia -- maybe because of all the backyard pools -- swimming lessons for kids is a big thing. My kid's first swim lesson is this Saturday.

Unfortunately, I'll miss out -- I have to teach my summer class.

This bothers me a little. I guess it's not a **super**-big ''first'' -- but still.

But, can't be helped.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Find and replace hallucinations

Whew! Finally on my lunch break!

Ever do a find and replace in a reeeeely long word processing document, and the word you're finding starts to devolve and not look like a real word?

About two o'clock this morning, the word ''current'' looked like it had too many ''r''s. And this morning, the word ''yes'' seems like it should be pronsounced ''yez.''

Yez, yez, yez.



Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ants in your tea?

As I'd mentioned earlier, I'm having a bit of an ant problem at my desk. On a seemingly separate note, I've resumed my tea-drinking habit, and thus have a pot of tea on my desk, which I draw from.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Found a few ants floating around in my teapot. Tried fishing them out, but then figured (1) there were only a few (three or four), and (2) some cultures eat insects. So, eh. I left 'em.

I figure as long as I don't look, any ants that make it past the built-in strainer -- I'm using loose tea leaves, not a teabag -- will look like tea leaves.

And no, I'd be more stringent with ''public'' or ''guest'' tea. But I figure, it's just me...


Sunday, January 08, 2006

working with wood

While at my parents' house for Christmas, I decided I needed to make a kiddie gate, to keep my kid (and the two other visiting kids) from falling down my parents' slate staircase. I'll discuss the actual gate in a forthcoming blog entry.

This was my first ''big'' woodworking project in years, so it gave me a sense of my working style. And the hands-on experience was pretty relevant to what I'll be doing during the period between When I Finish My Dissertation (TM) and when I can build an actual workshop out back (after the house gets built). My thought is that I'd have a simple workbench out back, under a tarp or thirty-dollar gazebo, but bring all my tools out for the day's work -- otherwise, I'd keep them inside, where they're less theft-able.

Here's a picture of my general set-up. My parents have a two-car garage, so depending on which car was out when I started my day's (or evening's) work, I'd set up shop in either of the two car bays. At the end of my shift, some tools -- mostly the smaller ones -- would go into a cardboard box, while the larger ones (such as the handsaw) would be hung back up on the wall.

As you can see, there wasn't a dedicated work surface. Clamped things to the larger sawhorse (in the foreground) and then cut to length. Assembly of the project occurred bit-by-bit on the ground (apparently, very Japanese/Southeast Asian woodworker to use the ground). Drilling also occurred primarily on the ground, with ends of the project blocked up on bits of scrap wood to make it level.

To make things somewhat more ergonomic, I placed the tools, the jars o' screws, and the small bits o' wood on the bottoms of overturned cardboard boxes. This meant I didn't have as far to bend over when I was reaching for something. It also kept things a bit more clustered -- and thus, tidy. Keeping things on their little pedestals let me group things, and minimized the ''smear'' or ''spread,'' thus minimizing their underfootedness.

I also put the electric drill (the only piece of non-handtool I used) on a box, rather than balancing it on the sawhorse. Figured it gave it less far to fall, should it get knocked.

The below photos shows me turning a liability into an asset. The two sawhorses are not of equal height, which limits the ability of laying a long board across both. And the of the second sawhorse is pretty narrow. However, because my dad designed it to be folding, it has a groove running down its center. I thus took to using the slot as a holder, for the screwdrivers and awl (shown below), as well (later on) for the handsaw and chisel. On the far right end is the red and blue ''eggbeater''-style hand drill. I got tired of changing back and forth between the twist bits and the countersink bit in the electric drill, so I dedicated the eggbeater drill to the countersink bit. Worked really well.

From all this, I've decided that when working in my ''temporary/transitional'' setup under the tarp, I'll make a sawhorse just above knee height, possibly with a one-inch (3cm) slit down the center for ripsawing. And I'll make a caddy, with a footprint about the size of a computer keyboard, with maybe two slots, for various dangle-able tools. The caddy will (hopefully!) allow me to ferry the relevant bundle of tools in and out, with a minimum of bother.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Interesting article online

Old Roommate forwarded me a link to an article from a recent issue of wired magazine. A deaf guy w/ cochlear implants hotwires it to play his favorite classical music piece. See here.

Incorporates three interests of mine: physical disabilty, music, and geek-ness. Now, if only it included martial arts and woodworking using handtools... ;)


Friday, January 06, 2006

Local mountains

The Everett-Seattle area is nifty because you can look in most directions and see the mountains: the Olympics to the west, the Cascades to the east, and Mt. Rainier to the south. As opposed to around here, where it's mildly hilly here and there -- but basically, flat. It's still weird for me to look around when I'm outside: Hey! Where are the mountains???

From left to right...


and then...

and finally...

(The last set of mountains are somewhat hidden behind the row of trees. But you get the picture.)


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Eight dollar socks

Eight-dollar socks would be a good album title. But that's just an afterthought. The point is that yesterday after work, we were running some errands at the local mall, and I happened to see a pair of argyle socks -- which seem to be incredibly hard to come by around here.

They were eight bucks, Australian -- which is pretty pricey for a pair of socks, as I'm the sort that buys a three-pack for five bucks. But, they were gargoyles, and a decent color (black, rather than brown), and they were some fancy-pants ''ultra-comfort, all-day'' type o' socks. Fine. So, I bought a pair.

Wore 'em today, and dang, they **are** more comfortable than regular socks. So, they look spiffy -- esp. w/ low-cut Converse sneakers -- **and** they're comfy. Worth the investment.


My childhood environment

It's pretty intuitive to think that a person's childhood environment and upbringing would shape har personality. (note: ''har'' is my gender-neutral third-person pronoun -- smoother than ''his/her'') Both my folks were drama majors in college, and that must've shaped our home life, 'cause -- upon reflection -- we were a bit zanier than most.

I was reminded of this when I was home this Christmas. I looked around at the decor, and realized that it wasn't exactly ''typical'' of most people's childhood homes.

For example, my parents like traveling. They don't really collect ''souveniers'' of the places they've been -- but they do tend to bring home a mask. Thus, there's a collection of masks (genrally Asian) on the living room wall.

And, around Christmas-time, they all play dress-up:

There's also the main bathroom. Pretty soon after we moved in, my mom painted the shower stall. I'd like to think that the shower nozzle as an elephant's trunk was my idea -- but it was thirty years ago, so I'm not sure.

Left wall:


Right wall:
I always thought this was pretty cool -- but I never really realized that most parents don't paint up the shower stall like this.

Finally, there's the bedroom that my sisters shared when growing up. Since they've long since moved out, we now refer to it as ''the Cloud Room.'' Makes it sound like a Bed & Breakfast, I suppose.

This is the lightswitch, just as you come in the door. Note that Humty Dumpty is actually sitting on the house.

This is Niner-Four Charlie -- the airplane my dad flew down to California one time, on a family holiday. (For a while he had a small-plane pilot's license.) The whole ceiling has clouds floating about -- hence, the name of the room.

There's a few hills around the room -- some with houses, some with trees. Clearly, the furniture has moved to different locations than how my sisters had it.

Finally, here's the rocket ship I contributed. I was in gradeschool -- maybe fifth grade? Drew it on regular paper in pencil, and my mom transferred it to the wall. Pretty geometric shape -- I'm not very good at free-thinking, abstract drawing.

So, those are the interesting bits of the house I grew up in. I consider myself lucky that my parents still live in the house I grew up in. For a while, my dad was considering moving after they retire -- to somewhere more interesting or vaction-y -- but they final decided, "eh."


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Got ants?

Sitting at my desk at work, and noticed an occassional ant wandering past my keyboard. A bit later, felt a tickle on my leg (summer, so wearing walking shorts) and looked down to see an ant walking up.

Scooted my chair back, and saw a whole posse of ants crisscrossing the carpet below my desk. Wow!

**Could** be due to tendency to eat lunch at my desk (breadcrumbs on the floor), but may not.


Boxed in

This is the sight that greeted me yesterday, when I came back to work:

My cubicle is the one in the corner, with the red lampshade. My co-workers' response: ''Oh. We thought you were gone until next week.''

Apparently, everyone's getting computer upgrades. And they needed somewhere to stack all the boxes...

This is the narrow gap between the boxes that I use to slide in and out -- you can see my green computer ''desktop'' through the gap. I have to hold my knapack up over my head as I squeeze through.

Luckily, I'm still (fairly) svelte.


Luggage arrived!!!

Our luggage got delivered to our place around 10:30am today. Stayed at home to wait for it, so got in late to work. Everything seems intact.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Frosty Everett

This is a view from the bedroom we stayed in at my parents' place. I think I took these pics on our second day there. This first photo is looking to the left, up the street.

It's not snow -- it's frost. Still wintery-looking, though.

Second photo (below) is looking straight out the window.

Our first week in Everett/Seattle, the weather was right around freezing: about 34F during the day, and 30F during the night. The rest of the time it was around 55F (9C) -- pretty nice! Cold enough to be cold, but you could still take out the garbage without bothering to throw on a jacket.


Still waiting for luggage

As of this morning, our luggage is still unaccounted for (they're supposed to ring The Lady at work today). It has my pliers-multitool, so I'm without sharp cutty things. (I had to surrender my folding scissors at the security checkpoint in Seattle, where I discovered I'd forgotten to toss it into my checked luggage. Bah; gotta go buy a new one.) My work keys are also in one of the suitcases (discovered at the Brisbane airport, at the beginning of our trip, that I'd forgotten to leave them on my dresser). And, The Lady's planner/scheduler is in the suitcase. Luckily, she doesn't think she has any appointments this week.


Refridgerator commando

Someone on our floor -- although apparently not anyone from my specific workplace -- took it upon themselves to ''helpfully'' clean out the 'fridge in the lunchroom. This including throwing out my half-jar of peanut butter, and the water bottle I keep there. Not pleased.

The various front-desk people on this floor apparently received a few angry e-mails over this -- but **they** didn't do it. Some mystery over-zealous do-gooder.

It's made even more irksome because (1) it's OUR 'fridge, which we ALLOW the other organizations on this floor to use, and (2) this is the time of year when people tend to take their vacation -- so even if the person posted some ''move it or lose it'' notice on the 'fridge as a warning, about half the people would've been away.

Frosts my cookies, I tells ya...


Monday, January 02, 2006

Back home

Got back around 11am today. Hung around at The Lady's parents' place for a few hours, then all went to McD's for a healthy(?) lunch.

TIP TO TRAVELERS: Fly on New Year's Eve!!! Our flight over the Pacific (about 14 hrs.) was the most comfortable one yet, due to the flight being less than half full! Apparently, people don't like missing out on N.Y.'s Eve celebrations. The Lady and The Bub commandeered on row of seats (four across) and sacked out, and I took the one behind them. Had a good, solid 7 - 8 hour sleep -- unusual for these flights, where we're usually trying to sleep sitting up (albeit reclined).

The flight was empty enough that I summoned up the courage to do what I'd always wanted to do: ask for an extra in-flight meal. And got it! (Lasagne.) They even came back ten minutes later to say I could have a third one, if I wanted -- but by then, I was full.

The only real eventful component of our trip was that we had to not ''run,'' but ''walk briskly'' at LAX to catch our ''L.A. to Aukland, NZ'' flight. We made it with about a half hour to spare. But, at the Brisbane luggage carousel, we discovered that our luggage had not.

Luckily, we were now home, not on vacation, so our lack of extra clothing, etc. wasn't a problem: We'd brought our ''travelling'' toothbrushes and toiletries, so we had our ''at home'' things we could use; and we'd packed wintery clothing, so now that we are back in summer weather, it's a whole different set.

(BTW -- got up about 4am to use the toilet. Inside the house, seventy-nine degrees [Farenheit]. At 4am. Urgh.)

A few misc. photos and commentaries to come, once I get around to extracting the photos from the digital camera.