Grandparents? Linux? Madness!

In the ongoing effort to purge belongings before the big move, I fixed up my spare computer to give to my grandparents. I am running a secret experiment.

I put Kubuntu onto the box, in secret effort to turn my grandparents into geeks. Well not really. See, I have a theory: when all the little grandchildren come over and don’t know how to use the Window-less computer, and my grandparents have to explain it to them, it will give my grandparents confidence!

The other part of my plan is to deter other well-meaning family members from trying to bombard my grandparents, showing them “Oh you just have to do this and this and this and it’s eaaaaaaaasy,” for they will be wary of the unfamiliar and back off.

Shut up, my plan is foolproof! For serious, though, they are a clean slate as far as computers, so giving them a Linux box will make no difference to them. They will likely only use it for the internet and word processing, and games (I plan on regimenting a vigorous solitaire schedule for my grandma so she can learn how to use the mouse).

Either way, they were both startlingly grateful for my gift, as though I’d given them some piece of precious magic. I’ll return to their house when they get the internet set up, and will show them the wilds of the web. My grandmother, in spite of her tentative grasp of the mouse (both physically and metaphorically) specifically requested an Instant Messenger program, so I am confident of her drive and intent to learn how to use computers.

Alas for Linux, else I’d have her on WoW in no-time.


Whew! What a hectic week!

Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears swept into Louisville and rocked any sense of routine out the window. Will and I met with the band about our project, and they are all super enthusiastic and awesome guys. Each one is quite huggable, oh how I love those Tears! They played a fantastic show at the Pour Haus, followed by merriment and amusement and Lisa staying up far past her bedtime.

Today I went kayaking with my family. I won kayaking lessons from one of the teachers at a faculty/staff meeting as a door prize (each department submitted a gift to the door prize pool). Coach Judd used to be my crew coach back in high school, and it was really fun to go out on the water. Kayaking is much easier on the arms than canoing. I should like to own one someday!

Lastly, as yoinked from ursulav, this is one of the coolest things ever.

Kinetic Sculpture

Puppies and Owls

Two posts in one day? Madness! Nevertheless, it’s been a busy day and there is much to post about.

Today Maria did a massive cleaning of her apartment in preparation for the arrival of The Shredding Tears on Tuesday, so I offered to puppy-sit for a few hours.

I also wanted to try out Brenna’s new dog backpack that Maria got for her recently. She performed wonderfully in it! Brenna is a very sensitive pup and gets embarrassed easily, so there was some concern that she would be too embarrassed at wearing the backpack to be able to use it. However, she seemed unconcerned with it, and if anything she seemed approving of doing some work. I packed her up with water and toys and a towel to sit on and we went on a walk through one of the trails in Cherokee Park. Since she was concentrating on the backpack she did not tug on her leash, and heeled without even being asked. Many people passed us, and she did not show any signs of being embarrassed around other people. We went on a long walk and I gave her lots of praise and treats when it was over. Brenna seemed quite pleased with herself. I think the dog backpack is going to work out!

After the park we went to my parents’ place. We were sitting in the back yard when a great big barred owl swooped down and landed on the branch of a tiny tree just a few feet from us. We all watched in awe (birds of prey are sooooooo cool! Especially up close!). The owl payed us no mind besides the occasional glance in each of our directions. Eventually it flew up to a higher branch and began hooting for its mate, who responded a ways off. They exchanged calls for several minutes. Brenna was mesmerized. Eventually the mate swooped down into the yard as well, and then the two flew off in the other direction.

I suppose living in downtown Louisville has made the owls unconcerned with humans, so they were content to carry on their owly business within a few yards of my family. All the better for us to observe, I say!


The library at work was giving away free books that they were taking out of circulation, mostly copies of Gone with the Wind and Taming of the Shrew. I read Gone with the Wind in high school, and I remember not enjoying it, but mostly because I was 15 years old and being forced to read it, and you know how that goes. I thought that now that I’m a grown-up and reading it of free will I may enjoy it better, not to mention that I’m always looking for huge books to sustain my ravenous reading pace.

I will say that I am enjoying it much more the second time around, though Scarlett O’Hare remains in top numbers on my list of “Most Easily Disliked Characters in Fiction.” I think the difference is that this time I am able to draw myself back a bit and look at the context, and find the ironies here and there. I mean, I still want to reach into the book and wring her neck, but rather than just being annoyed at the stupid main character I am able to look at it from a wider perspective.

So yes, I’ll let my brain chomp on this book for awhile, once I get back into school I may not have the luxury of time to read for fun, so I’ll enjoy it while I can.

In other news, James helped me re-secure the rack on my bike today. Accomplishment!


Yoinked from , this is a fantastic Rube Goldberg device.

I realize it would be more impressive without cuts, but I don’t think it would be possible to do and still see everything that goes on. My favorite parts are the umbrella and the cell phone that makes the other cell phone vibrate down a slope.

Writer’s Block: Words that you love and hate

What are your favorite and least favorite words? Any reasons why?

What a fun little feature! Nice idea, LJ.

Anyway, my favorite word is vicarious because it is such a useful word. I remember learning it on some vocabulary list in high school and being struck with awe. What a fine word! It describes a complex yet familiar human concept and thus serves a fine purpose in the English language. I felt my vocabulary had truly been enriched after being introduced to this word.

My least favorite word is plethora because it is so misused. It is one of those words people use in essays for no other reason than to show that they know the word. There are many other words to successfully describe the concept you are really going for, but because some teacher in high school told you that you had to use vocabulary words because it’d make you sound smarter, you used plethora instead. I’m certainly guilty of that, and we can’t blame the youth. Still, having worked in a high school, when I hear a young student give a fine speech, and then destroy it by using the word “plethora,” it makes me sigh a little.

So there you go. Now, if someone can use “plethora” in a sentence or paragraph where it is necessary and pleasing and appropriate, I shall give them a prize. Linguists: go!

Moving and Theater

More busy moving times! Wednesday afternoon, evening, and night was spent moving DC and Beth out of their condemned apartment. Scott, Will, and I wandered over around 4:30 and joined the party of shoving large furniture and piddly boxes into vehicles, soon joined by more friends and family, caravaning the stuff out to Beth’s parents’ workplace, wherein a warehouse existed to hold their belongings. It was a very efficient and successful move.

If my work in the theater has given me one thing, it is the appreciation of how tame the average move is. After working numerous strikes and road shows at the Norton Center, moving and storing the entirety of DC and Beth’s belongings in a single day was a mild ordeal (I mean, we had the whole day! It was practically leisurely!)

In the theater, no person, even the smallest, escapes the frantic, precarious, and downright hard physical labor of tearing down and packing up shows. Even after many ninjutsu-like escapes, I took my turn carrying the damned sound board up the stairs of the Norton Center. Common household furniture is nothing! After detaching and loading an intelligent stage light with the sickening knowledge that it was probably worth more than my life, I can move fragile and sentimental belongings with utmost confidence. Scraping myself on a bookshelf is nothing compared to being bitten by an alligator clamp.

Though my work in the theater was often grueling, it has made me strong and confident in the face of common moves. I am very appreciative of all that the theater has taught me. So, future moves, I fear you not! For no matter how big the couch, no matter how many boxes, it will never be as painful as striking a show. And so I close with the words of Bill the Props Carp, spoken as he and I attempted to get a precarious chaise lounge off a very tall shelf: “You know, once mankind finishes filling in that periodic table, we’ll find something heavier to build this out of.”

Fires and Soft Drinks

Phew! What a busy day. So, on Friday afternoon 6 fire trucks roared into the complex to the back apartment building. Apparently the roof and attic had caught ablaze! (A guy living on the top floor noticed it and ran up and down the stairs banging on doors, so everyone got out and no one was hurt). DC and Beth live in the same building on the opposite side (and in the basement, no smoke or water damage) so were told to get their stuff to leave for 5 days while they investigated for the possibility that it was an electrical fire.

Weeelll it turns out the roof was so damaged that they have to do major renovations, so all 12 families in the building were told they would have to leave for several months. For DC and Beth, who are moving to Illinois in July, this meant they were out for good!

The whole situation has been very lucky. Beth’s dad offered space at his warehouse for them to store their stuff, and her parents’ guest bedroom furniture CONVENIENTLY arrived the day of the fire. No one was hurt, none of their stuff was damaged, so all in all the situation turned out to be nothing more than a big inconvenience.

Much of today was spent helping them pack up all their stuff, so I am very tired!

In other news, a good thing happened today. We went out to lunch and I had a Dr. Pepper, and it was EXTREMELY unsatisfying. This is good, because Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb are really the only things holding me back from banning HFCS soft drinks altogether. The cane sugar root beers and sodas were quite tasty, but every now and then I’d suffer a strong craving for Dr. Pepper. Hopefully now the craving will be thwarted!