Friday, April 29, 2005
As my friend Mark says sometimes it feels like you're "falling into the weekend". This was one of those weekends. Though Meg is feeling a bit better from her Indian excursion, she is still not quite right and the change of seasons has my allergies complaining bitterly. Despite that...
It was a GORGEOUS afternoon here in Vermont, which we were not supposed to have (rain is forecast for most of the weekend). Both Meg and I left work a bit early and it was fantastic to spend the first part of the evening on the deck watching the Maxfield Parrish sunset. Lucky indeed!!
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
What music pops into your head when Spring rolls around?
Monday, April 25, 2005
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Anyway, we do the standard stuff, lighting candles, re-arming flashlights, and setting new world records for opening and shutting the refridgerator door, and then we wait. And wait. And finally go to bed 'cause the entire valley in front of us is dark except for car lights. The power finally returned around 4:30 or 5:00 this morning and all is back to normal.
It again reminds me how dependent we are on electric power for pumping water from the well, heating the house, cooling our food, and lighting the night. Jeez, when I was growing up this was no big deal at all! Lights, heat, refrigeration etc. were all taken care of by a more "storable" energy source: propane. Pumping water etc. was still a job for an electric pump but of course this was powered by our twin Onan generators - again running off propane.
Now of course the interesting thing is what happened when the generators wouldn't generate for one reason or another. The answer was simple: Dad went up and fixed them! The problem we have not is that is a) we don't have any generators and b) if we did, I couldn't maintain and repair them. My vocation makes it more likely - though by no means a sure thing - that I can fix the computer system if suddenly we are unable to print from the iBook. How useless is that?
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Several years ago as Christmas approached and the Christmas music came out, we opened Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts Christmas CD case to discover nothing inside. Panic ensued for several minutes and when things settled down I jumped in the car and drove to our local CD store ("Music Matters" - wonderful place) and remedied the situation. Since then, the Vince Guaraldi CD case has sat with other lost souls in the aforementioned stack glumly listening to it's replacement at Christmas time.
Flash forward to the present. Tyler's gone and, believing this will make him more hip, got an iPod and is busily transferring CDs onto the computer and then to the iPod. Yesterday I decide I need some classic Zappa on the iPod (you know where this is going right?). After the first disc of Live in New York has been ripped and I'm struggling to open the other side of the double CD case, it finally comes free and who should stroll out but Vince Guaraldi complaining "Hey, about time you let me outta that madhouse! That Zappa guy is NUTS!!"
Leave it to the iPod to bring Vince and Frank together. I wonder what they jammed on?
Friday, April 22, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Meg's trip to India is coming to an end. As I post this, she is packing up her things at the Radisson in Noida and preparing for dinner with their host Kapil. After that it's off to the Indira Ghandi International Airport for the beginning of a long ride home during which she'll chase the sun through Amsterdam to Detroit and then backtrack to Boston for the bus ride to Lebanon. Whew!
Her last 'picture of the day' comes from their return trip from Agra to Noida when they stopped to get tea at the Sarpanch Hotel. The trip to Agra and back certainly exposed the less developed side of India and illustrates some of the revolutionary change going on in that country. I read an article in the New York Times yesterday about the advent of prepared food in India and how, as workers have more money and less time, this is becoming more common.
I can't wait to see her.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Monday, April 18, 2005
Meg is back in Noida after spending the weekend exploring in and around Agra. I got this picture from her this morning. I'm astonished to notice that there are people in the foreground near the bottom of the picture. The structure must be much bigger than I had imagined. I can't wait to hear more about this part of the trip.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Meg snapped this picture in Noida, on her way back to hotel on Friday (her Friday which happened before out Friday) after work.
Since then she and her co-worker Amy have traveled South to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. It's apparently a fairly popular tourist destination but has proven to be a very different world compared to Noida and the area around New Delhi. Meg said that that poverty and rubbish she saw along the way to Agra was almost overwhelming. I'm so glad that she and Amy were traveling with a driver for this trip. Also apparently the customs and day to day details of life are less Western (I'm paraphrasing Meg now) than around Noida - Meg said it was difficult to figure out how to dial another room in the hotel.
Meg said the Taj Mahal is incredible - but also that it was incredibly crowded. Apparently they were told they were there on a 'quiet' day because of the heat (looks like it was over 100 degrees!) but Meg said the place was just packed! In one hundred degree heat, I can only imagine. Meg's statement resonated with me as I heard a very nice 'public access' type commentary on a local radio station last Thursday where the fellow was describing how as a young man living in Washington DC, he regularly took in the city and the monuments in relative solitude - even relating the fact that he stood on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial with nobody else in the entire memorial. He was remarking on this because he had just been back to DC for the cherry blossoms and couldn't get over the hordes of people.
Meg said 12,000 people a day visit the Taj Mahal. Holy smoke.
I'm anxious to hear more of what they experienced sightseeing Sunday. Meg and Amy will be getting up shortly and traveling back to Noida to resume work there through Thursday. Then my sweetie starts the long journey home.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Meg's trip to India has already proven interesting. She's visited the Baha’I House of Worship (aka, the Lotus temple, the Iskane Temple (a Hare Krishna temple) as well as the National Museum. Along the way she has seen a boy with a cage full of parrots, monkeys on a leash, an elephant, and (see above) a camel and rider crossing three lanes of traffic and then the median!
Friday, April 8, 2005
Armed with this new way of deciphering what I was seeing I realized there was another several feet beyond the first and yet another a few feet to the right of him. All told we saw about 10 frogs on the road over the course of less than a quarter of a mile coming to the house. Neither Meg nor I remember seeing such a Spring phenomenon ever before in Vermont.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
I woke up thinking about the Pope and of our trip to Poland in 1999 for Meg's brother Stu's wedding to Bogusia. After the wedding, we traveled a bit in Poland with Bogusia's friend Ewa who was a wonderful tour guide. Ewa described how important the Polish Pope was to the people of Poland, both in a spiritual sense and in a political one as they emerged from the long period under Soviet domination. During this tough period, it was understandably a matter of great pride that this Polish Pope was the first non-Italian one in over four hundred years.
With Ewa's help, Meg and I traveled to the mountains of Southern Poland (the Tatras) where Karole Wojtyla skied and hiked in his younger days. This was a picture that I tooke from our hotel room in Zakopane of this beautiful area of snowy mountains and smoked cheese.
Monday, April 4, 2005
Over the course of the winter, I read a couple of great baseball books including Moneyball, A Day in the Bleachers, and of course Faithful. It got me by but it's good to have the real thing finally!
So Friday was the day. I came home (late) Friday night and unpacked it. In no time I had it setup to retrieve e-mail from our existing accounts. By Noon the next day it was on our in house wireless network, streaming audio from the PC upstairs and delivering it to the Apple AirTunes unit hooked to our stereo downstairs. So far - and there is alot more to explore - I'm very impressed with it. As was pointed out by Walter Mossberg in a very good article in the WSJ about 'switching', some of the UI paradigms are different from the PC, but it certainly seems managable. Will it be worth it to have a hybrid house? We'll see.
Friday, April 1, 2005
Maybe this spring thing is really going to happen!