Our girls are neither. And after a week of Thanksgiving break, they had no intention of going to sleep on schedule last night.
shoveling them into bed, daisy_knotwise
and I went downstairs to watch Once Upon a Time
. This proceeded very
slowly, as Katie and Julie found every possible excuse to come down and complain about something. In between those times, there was the subtle sound of elephants running around upstairs. I had been unaware that we had
Eventually, little girls fell asleep.
eventually, Gretchen and I finished watching our show. And then we crawled off to bed.
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the morning.
This was, however, nothing
as compared to the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Katie and Julie when they
were told it was time to wake up and go to school...
Chambanacon was great fun.
I got up early this morning and headed home, grabbed lunch with daisy_knotwise
and the girls, and then we headed out to buy a Christmas tree. We found a lovely eight foot tall Fraser fir that Katie disliked, because it was too tall. So then we went to Walmart and she and I picked out a six foot tall artificial tree that she could put on the balcony and decorate herself. :)
When we got home, we cleared the space for the big tree in the living room and Gretchen and I put it into the stand, singing a mutant version of "O Tannenbaum" to the tune of "Oh Canada" with lyrics being improvised on the spot. (If any of our Canadian friends felt the hair rising on the back of their necks around 4 PM CST, it was probably our fault. :) )
Katie's tree has not yet been erected, as the cleaning lady is coming on Tuesday and we don't want to multiply entities in advance of her arrival. Tuesday evening
will have a lot of tree trimming going on around here...
I read through all the sale papers in yesterday's Chicago Tribune
and determined -- with very little difficulty -- that there was nothing
on sale that I needed or wanted enough to even think about going shopping today. So we slept in. :)
pick up a new pop filter at an excellent price from Sweetwater, but that was done yesterday from the comfort of my recliner chair. And today, I have ordered a replacement head for my electric shaver. The excitement is palpable.
Note from yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner: we've been making cornbread pecan stuffing for some years now from a variety of recipes. When we were in Trader Joe's the other day, I sampled some stuffing made from their cornbread stuffing mix, discussed it with daisy_knotwise
, and decided we should give it a try. Suitably adulterated with diced apples, dried cranberries (sulfite-free!), and pecans, it was really
I'm going to run get lunch with the family, then abandon them for a couple of days as I head down to Chambanacon.
I'll see some of you there!
We've spent some time cleaning up the house. daisy_knotwise
has gotten the turkey breast and other items into the oven with varying degrees of "help" from Katie and Julie.
Seven years ago, we brought Katie home. Five and a half years ago, we brought Julie home.
And although they sometimes make us crazy, Gretchen and I are both very thankful that they're here. :)
After the first of the year, 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs will no longer be available. Now, I've converted a great many of the fixtures in our house to CFL bulbs, but CFL bulbs don't really like to be in places where they are frequently switched on and off, like our bathroom vanities. And we have a number of 3-way lamps where it's hard to find a 3-way CFL that will fit the existing harp, let alone an LED lamp that can deliver a 150 watt equivalent of light for reading.
There's also the question of whether a CFL or LED bulb in the fixture in the studio will produce electrical noise that will affect mixing. Apparently, some do.
So I've ordered a stupid number of 40 watt vanity bulbs and 150 watt 3-way bulbs in the hope that they will last long enough for some reasonable replacements to come on the market. And I picked up a bunch of 60 watt bulbs for use in the studio. The other 60 watt bulbs in the basement can be replaced with CFLs.
And we'll see how it goes.
I spent a bit more time time traveling over the weekend. Not as far back as I've been on the exercycle, where I'm now reading a 2003 issue of Time, but I did plow through all of the Saturday and Sunday Chicago Tribunes that had accumulated in the garage. The oldest paper that showed up was actually from the Fourth of July, when I had been just a bit too busy to get around to reading the paper.
Sadly, I never did get around to reading today's paper...
Katie had a Daisy Scout outing in Glenview today. After I dropped her off, I headed over to Abt Electronics, the theme park of appliance stores, that was almost next door to the site of the outing. And I shopped.
I didn't buy anything, although there were a few things I considered.
But, oh my, the televisions!
I had seen the new Sony 4K panel at another store. But Abt had 4K panels from many manufacturers. There was a $24,000 85 inch Sony 4K panel. However, that price was dwarfed by the $40,000 85 inch Samsung 4K panel. I'm not sure what made the Samsung panel that much pricier than the Sony, but they both looked magnificent.
Then there was the curved screen OLED TV also from Samsung. It was a 55 inch set with a normal HD resolution and another magnificent picture. It was a relative bargain at $9000.
None of the TVs came home with me, although there was a Samsung plasma set that tried hard. But we have enough TVs right now.
And magnificent TVs will only get cheaper. :)
Well, not a vacation for me, but Katie and Julie finished their last day of class before Thanksgiving break today. We'll have parent / teacher conferences on Monday, but that will be as close as the girls get to school until the Monday after Thanksgiving.
They're rather delighted by this prospect. :)
I took Julie over to gym night at her school tonight. Katie joined us after her tumbling class. There was much running around and a lot of fun had by all.
At the end of the session, I sat down on a bench that was at the wrong height. That has caused my right hip to be just a bit out of position, which is (literally) a pain. Add this to the mild tweak that I gave my left knee this morning and I now am balanced, because both sides hurt.
With luck (and some aspirin) this should be better in the morning.
Well, we had one minor loss to the heavy wind and rain on Sunday. Two sections of fence have come down. They were none too sturdy anyway at this point, because the post that was holding them up had rotted out of the ground, it seems.
Putting the fence sections back up is not a major problem. Replacing the post is.
But we're much better off than many people downstate, so I'm not going to sweat the fence too heavily.
Today was Katie's seventh birthday. Yesterday, we had the major birthday party with her friends. Today, it was a more relaxed affair.
First, it was off to the mall for lunch at Red Robin and a trip to acquire the bear that Katie had asked for from Build A Bear Workshop. We stopped by the play area on the way. As you can see, Katie's quite enthused about the whole thing. The bear in hand is Justin, who is the class pet from school who was visiting us for the weekend.
Julie was busily bopping along to the music while we were driving along. Either that or it's just Julie Gangnam Style...
Gretchen and I collaborated on a home-made cake (more or less) today. The cake was from a mix, but the icing was from scratch. Overall, it was yummy.
And here's Katie with her new bear, Angela, and Justin. I doubt that there's romance in the future for the two of them -- Justin's a bit of a traveling bear, from what I gather. :)
I may have pictures from yesterday's party later, but I wanted to get these posted, because something is better than nothing and I have been horribly derelict lately.
Tomorrow is Katie's birthday, but her birthday party for all of her friends was today at Bounce Kingdom, a storefront filled with assorted inflatable attractions. A good time was had by all.
There will be pictures later, but I haven't had a chance to pull them off the cameras yet. :)
With a few adjustments to get everything into alignment, my Java-based reader/writer for our old file format is working nicely. I managed to read a 90 MB file and write it back out so that the old application could successfully read it, so I'm going to count that as a success.
It is amazing how much faster the file writing got when I wrappered the FileOutputStream with a BufferedOutputStream. :)
I also managed to save about 7% (which was much less impressive, but nice to have) by fetching and storing the default constructor for the class and calling Constructor.newInstance instead of Class.newInstance.
Since I promised this bit of coding would be done this week, I'm feeling pretty good about it...
I am somewhat better today, but the sinus infection is slowing me down a bit. Nevertheless, I have things that I need to get done, so I'll just keep trying to knock them down.
In news from work, I'm fixing up some of the inbound Java serialization code so that I can write the outbound serialization structures that the C++ code is expecting. It's going pretty well, although I'm currently jammed up in one particular set of records for reasons that aren't entirely obvious.
Maybe they'll be obvious tomorrow.
It being Veterans' Day today, the girls are out of school, so daisy_knotwise
and I took the them to McDonald's for lunch. As we watched the rain gradually turn to snow (which is not yet sticking, because the ground is too warm), Gretchen observed, "I am so glad this didn't happen yesterday."
Me too. Really
, me too. :)