Gye Greene's Thoughts

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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Slumber party in the car

So, I'm looking after the kids while The Lady is on a business trip.  And a few days ago I decided that it would be fun to have a sleepout in the car (a small-ish SUV).

Doing it in The Lady's car, not mine:  my cargo area is full of things, and I've been driving it around (with the kids in it) running errands.  Whereas The Lady is out of town:  she's not using her car!

Folded the seats down a few days ago.  Then yesterday afternoon and last night, prepped it:  some foam pads to cover the seatbelt buckles; then a yoga mat for where **I'll** be sleeping (I have to sleep diagonally, in order to fit!); then a wool blanket, a comforter, a blanket, and a bedspread -- all for padding.  Then a comforter on top (for warmth -- it's winter Down Under!), plus some extra blankets "just in case".  Also two reading lamps (battery-operated, solar-powered) and a book for bedtime reading.  And four pillows.

Opened the front windows just a crack. At first I was worred about getting water dripping inside the car door, in case it rained -- but then I rememberee that we were under the carport...

At bedtime, brought the kids on out -- turned off the outside house lights, so I used a flashlight.  Used the side door (our pillows were leaning against the rear door), had the kids sit on the edge of the "bed" one by one, and toss their slippers into the laundry basket I had on the front seat.

Locked the doors.  I turned on my reading light.  Settled in.  Read them a bedtime story.  Told them that if they had to use the toilet during the night to wake me, not to leave the car by  themselves.  Looked out the rear window at the stars.  We don't go camping -- so this is as close to "sleeping in a tent" as they're likely to get.

And here's what it looked like this morning:

I'm kneeling in the driver's seat, looking back.  I'd been in the gap between the second and third child, counting from the left.  You can see the green and the blue lamps in the upper right of the photo.

The purple-y comforter was my late (maternal) grandmother's, FWIW.

The kids seemed to enjoy it -- so, it was a success.  Although:  even with sleeping diagonally, there wasn't enough room for me to straighten my legs, so I had to keep my knees bent the entire night -- I had to sleep on my side.  About once an hour (I estimate) I'd wake up with mild pain in my knees (the side ligaments?) and have to roll over to the other side, which eased the pain.  Probably eight to ten times throughout the night.
 So **I** won't be doing this again.  But the kids want to.  I told them that when they're a bit older, they can do it again -- without me.


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Sunday, June 29, 2014

That is a disappointment

The Lady is away on a business trip, and the kids are on vacation -- so I took Thursday and Friday of this recent week, plus Monday and Tuesday of this week, to look after the kids.

I had **also** hoped to build my Swamp Guitar (kind of a "cigar box banjo") during that period:  I mean, six days in a row of workshop time, right?

Well, unfortunately, no.  I've actually spent time with the kids -- taking them to the park, taking them to a birthday party, running errands.  Dad things.  So really, it hasn't been four full days of shop time.

And, to complete my project by Tuesday, I would have had to finish each day with a glue-up -- and that didn't happen.  Obviously, each time I glue a portion of my project, that's the end of the shift.  It's Sunday night, now, and I reckon I have at least four more glue-ups to do.

So, I've switched gears:  during daylight hours (when I wasn't out with the kids) I've been partly working on the Swamp Guitar; during the evenings I've been tidying things around the house, in preparation of The Lady's return.  But now that I know it ain't gonna happen, I'll re-orient myself more towards tidying the house.

My fear is that my Swamp Guitar will become yet another partially-finished project. 

But, hopefully I can work on it one afternoon per weekend, and get it done in about a month.


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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review of How to Train Your Dragon 2

Saw How to Train Your Dragon 2

Pretty good.  I appreciated that they didn't feel the need to add a subtitle like "Invasion of the Homeland" or "Revenge of the Dragons", or what-not.

Well-made, good animation, good story line, some amusing bits.  There were two scenes of "dragon whispering" that I thought were really compelling.

My kids really enjoyed it.  I'm probably not their target audience, but I thought it was a good, solid, enjoyable movie.

I'd personally not buy the DVD for myself -- but I wouldn't be surprised if The Lady ends up buying the DVD for the kids.



Sunday, June 08, 2014

Steampunk motorhome

Found  this -- as often happens -- while doing a web search for something else.

(Photos are from the article here.)

It's called the Neverwas Haul, and is "a self-propelled 3-story Victorian House", according to its website.

Here's a music video that takes place in and around the Neverwas Haul -- so it serves as a bit of a tour.  The song is a good song, too:  "The Land of Lost Things", written and performed by Renee de la Prade.

The Neverwas Haul was built by members of the steampunk club Obtainium Works, in Vallejo, California.

I'm not into travel -- but for **this**, I would travel.  According to the website, they rent it out:  I just want to walk around in it...



Saturday, June 07, 2014

A Slinky versus an escalator

A Slinky, versus an escalator.

Pretty good (although they probably should've edited out the initial, failed attempt).  :)

I like how the Slinky is self-correcting.



Thursday, June 05, 2014

Tiny living quarters

As I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, for the last year or two I've become interested in teeny tiny living quarters.  It's probably a reaction to our cluttered house -- which one of these days we'll actually tidy up and pare back on our belongings.

Almost every time I go into a public restroom, I look around and visualize what a person would have to do to revamp it into a dorm room or a studio apartment.  A few months ago I was struck by the idea of turning my office building's elevator into sleeping quarters.  And then I sketched it out in my notebook.

When I retire -- or maybe even before then -- I can see myself building prototypes of "proofs of concept" versions of these things in our backyard.

We could use them as guest houses, or as additional home offices.

Here's somewhat of an example:

Although, the things I build -- at least, my designs thus far -- tend to be single-level.



Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Under the weather

Been feeling poorly as of late.  (Some sort of cold?  Not the flu.)  Been going to bed early, rather than checking the internet.

Been feeling a bit weak.

Could be worse, though:  **could've** been feeling "month".



Monday, June 02, 2014

If I had more time

Every once in a while, I take stock of what I would do with myself if I came into a great deal of money and could just do what I wanted with my time.

Not travel -- at least, not recreationally (ugh!). I gots too much stuff to do around the house -- which I would enjoy more, and get more satisfaction from, than bopping about the globe.

-Writing and recording songs
-Learning to play various musical instruments

-Martial arts (continue Krav Maga; maybe pick up another on side on a rotating basis, to round things out [Judo, Western boxing; BJJ])
-Weightlifting, body conditioning -- lifting things, leaping fences, increasing my grip strength
-Building musical instruments

-Building micro-homes (tiny living quarters)
-Writing, shooting and editing film shorts and music videos

-Robotics (programming)
-Electronics (guitar effects pedals; various contraptions)
-Computers (hardware; programming)
-Wilderness survival techniques

-Write children's picture books (someone else would illustrate)

Plenty to keep me busy, once I retire.


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Sunday, June 01, 2014

Spurious correlations

Hat-tip to Old Roommate for telling me about this website of spurious correlations.

For the non-statistical:  a correlation is a mathematical relationship between two measures, that ranges from -1.0 to 0.0 to  1.0.  The further from zero the relationship is (the correlation), the larger the mathematical relationship.  A correlation of 0.0 means that there is no discernible relationship:  any connection is totally random.  A correlation of +1.0 means that the two things are completely locked together.  And a correlation of -1.0 means that as one thing increases, the other perfectly decreases -- and vice-versa.

The human tendency is to think that  these two things might be causally related.  But it ain't necessarily so.

Two examples from the website:




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