October 31, 2004

domestic pursuits

It's been a busy weekend. Yesterday was rowing, flying (actually, a lesson on the flight simulator because the plane we were supposed to fly had a broken turn coordinator) and some shopping. Yes, more shoes. Another sports bra. I guess I'm always looking for perfection. (In the sports bras - in the shoes, I just like variety.) Also batting gloves, which I may use if my hands shred while rowing the marathon. (Less than two weeks now!) I'll try them out tomorrow morning.

Today was more domestic: food shopping, cooking, cleaning up therefrom, and knitting. Rudder is sick. It's only a cold, but they tend to hit him hard and it's especially worrying because he's got a regatta next weekend in whih he's slated to do three (!) 5000 meter races, and then the marathon the week after that. So I did what any good Jewish wife would do: I made chicken soup. I even tried to tailor it to his taste: I skimmed less fat off the top than normal and put bits of chicken meat back in the soup after I took out the parts of chicken. They shredded nicely. I also tried a couple of ideas sprred by Egret's chicken soup: I added celery and green oninos in addition to the usual carrots (not bad, but they didn't add the spring-vegetable flavor hers had, so it much have been the squas she included) and I cooked the matzo balls in chicken boulon instead of plain water, because Rudder said hers were "more flavorful". (She used the mix instead of plain matzo meal.) I don't really like the shreds of chicken all through the sould but I may include the celery in future and will definitely keep using the boullon (or the mix, but I have quite a bit of matzo meal on hand to go through first).

As for the knitting, the scarf for my mom is FINISHED! Here's how it looks on, in shadow and bright sun (the funny expression is because I'm squinting into the sunlight) and in closeup.

I've also gotten a start on the Moebius scarf for Rudder's mother. I was a little worried about this because I couldn't quite understand how it worked and had to follow the instructions blindly, which is not my favorite way to work. It seems to be working out well, though. I'm about 3 rows into it, but since this scarf has only one edge and you're knitting form the middle out, that actually translates to 6 rows wide. She's blonde and blue-eyed and wear a lot of light blues and turquoise, so I think this will suit her - don't know how well the yarn shows in the photo but it's variegated blue and turquoise. Off he needles, it should be roughly 48" in circumference.

Posted by dichroic at 05:26 PM | Comments (2)

October 29, 2004

the familiar rides along

In honor of Hallowe'en, I'm wearing a griffin on my shoulder today. (Or possibly a gryphon; we haven't discussed his preferred spelling.) My new coworkers seem to be amused by him, which is a good sign, I think.

What has surprised me, though, is not how many people don't recognize what he is -- it seems entirely reasonable to see a beak poking through feathery fur and not think "griffin", especially since his back legs are tucked into my shirt for stability -- but how many don't know what a griffin is. Maybe I should poll on unicorn recognition. Clearly, some people had misspent childhoods.

I always have trouble with a thing I know well, remembering when and why I learned it. That means I never know what to expect everyone else to know, and what things they may just not have come upon. Not having kids is probably a contributing factor, since I haven't gotten to watch someone else learning all the things there are to know to live in the world.

Posted by dichroic at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004

For me, no World Series will ever top the Phillies in 1980. Of course, this has something to do with the fact that I was thirteen and it was my city's team, my hometown for three generations back, but at least the Sox had won before, even if it was 1918. The Phils never had. They were founded somewhere in the 1890s, so if it wasn't 86 years, it was damn close. Still, whoohoooo! I'm very glad the Red Sox won - not only do I somehow feel that, as a Philadelphian I need to league with Boston againt New Yrok, but also, what a story. Baseball is all about its stories, somehow more so than any other pro sport. Except maybe cricket.....

We didn't see much of the game for one reason and another, but caught a little of it when we took Papersky and her son out for some food. It's fairly amusing to watch a Series game with someone who keeps making comments about cricket.

Speaking of Papersky, or rather her reasons for being here, my big decision for the weekend is whether to go to the World Fantasy Con. In favor of going: it's right here (walking distance from where I row) and attendees include Ellen Datlow, Charles de Lint, Tom Doherty, Steven R. Donaldson, David Drake, Alan Dean Foster, Joe Haldeman, Barbara Hambly, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Laurie R. King, Patricia McKillip, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Fred Saberhagen, Charles Vess, Janny Wurts, and of course Jo Walton. And lots of others, of course, but those are the ones I know enough about to be interested in hearing them speak. The major factor against going is that it costs a big heaping pile of dollars to go ($160) and I'd only have time to go for part of it. Also, most of the panels seem to be along the lines of "How to write about _____". (Makes sense since this is a writers' convention.) Of course I'll find that sort of thing interesting, especially the ones on mythology and language, but since I'm a reader rather than a writer it's more of an interesting look through someone else's eyes for me rather than a primary interesting in honing my tools. I may just call and see if they have a one-day pass for less money.

Tangential to the topic of mythology, the thing that most intrigued me about the "hobbit-sized" hominids found on Indonesia is the mention of legends of small people existing on islands to the east. Eighteen thousand year old legends....somehow that stirs my brainstem.

Posted by dichroic at 03:40 PM | Comments (1)

October 27, 2004


I am unreasonably excited by the fact that I got to work with my hair wet this morning. It took me ten minutes or less to drive from the gym where I shower after rowing to work. If I decide to join the gym at work, it will be even a little faster - the other gym is in the wrong direction from the lake, though only by half a mile or so. There are a couple other incentives for joining the work gym. The weight equipment isn't bad, though not as nice as my regular gym, but it does have two ergs, rumor has it the hot water is more reliable, and they provide towels so I wouldn't have to have wet ones hanging in my car every day. If I do join, it will probably be in addition to my current gym, not instead. The two together cost less per month than a lot of the fancier gyms, and neither requires me to sign up to any long committment.

I did actually do one productive thing at work today, talked to someone about what else I'll be doing, and have got my exercise ball / office chair all set up and my badge converted, so I feel like I'm settling in a bit. I won't really be settled until I know what I'm doing without asking and my own computer instead of a borrowed one, so that's all a few weeks away.

I wonder if we'll know who will be President of the US by this time next week? Either way, for a better perspective on what's really important and how much impact we all have, go out and look at the Blood Moon tonight. Even better, if you can, do it with someone's arm around you.

Posted by dichroic at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2004

it all evens out

I would just like to note that after steering a damn good course on one of the trickiest regatta courses in the world on Sunday, last night I managed to smack my head into a corner of my very own bedroom.

My left eyelid is still a little swollen and hurts, but at least it didn't develop into a full-blown black eye. That would have been a wonderful way to start a new job.

Posted by dichroic at 04:16 PM | Comments (2)

Here I am

Well, here I am in the new job. The boss is out of town this week, so there doesn't seem to be too much for me to do yet other than read documents and fight with IT over getting my account moved here. I'm sure a few weeks from now I'll be longing for calm again, but I expect this week to be on the slow side.

So that's two of the more nerve-wracking events of this fall over with and gone reasonably well so far: the big regatta and the job change. The next happening is company tomorrow night, which should be pleasant and not nerve-wracking at all. After that, there's only working on the IFR rating and the marathon regatta, both of which I get to take at my own pace.

One note: During my trip, the comments here got sledge-hammered with sp@m. In the process of trying to fix that from a hotel computer, I managed to delete some of the real ones, unfortunately. (Somehow, the character ";" got listed on my blacklist, so some comments containing it were deleted before I realized and stopped it.) So if you ever happen to notcie a comment of your missing, that's why - rest assured that I did read it and appreciate it when you posted, even if it's not there now.

Posted by dichroic at 02:40 PM | Comments (2)

October 25, 2004

Charles report

Boston: back from. Did well - Rudder came in 13 of 55, and just barely squeaked in to next year's race at 4.97% behind the winner - 5% and under gets you an automatic entry to next year. (Clear? I mean, his time was 1.0497 times the winning time.) Local clubs: one came in 11 of 40 or so - the first time they've actually justified their coach's prerace comments, but in general it's a much nicer crew than last year so I'm glad. The other local women's boat didn't do as well but it's their first time there. The local junior crew didn't do too well at all - third from last, and one of the boats behind them had massive penalties and another scratched.

My boat? Did I ever write the story of that? Someone we sat by on the plane out of Masters Nationals last summer turned out to row for Rocky Mountain, where we know a few other people - Rudder and She-Hulk (Dammit, I thought I came up with a better nom for her but I can't remember it - once again I should stress she's not *that* big, but was rowing with a bunch of us tiny people at the time) - anyway, they have rowed composite boats with people from Rocky Mountain at several races and will again in Atlanta in two weeks. Anyway, there on the plane this woman asked me to cox her crew at the Charles. She didn't end up going but mentioned the idea to other women at her club, the ones who we knew anyway, and they recruited me in, so that's who I coxed for. We did OK - just 10 of 15, but I don't think they trained all that hard this year. And the boat we borrowed is a heavy one, an older one with a lot of wood bracing. (Newer boats are all fiberglass). But it felt good, they rowed hard, and they actually gained a couple of places in the last half. And since I may as well not pretend to modesty in my own diary, I can say that I NAILED that course. I deviated from a perfect course in only two places I know of: once unavoidably, where we had just passed another crew and I had to allow them some room (interference penalties were fierce this year) and once wher I decided to take the right arch of a bridge rather than the center one. The right arch is just as god a path; it's just that I decided a tiny bit later than I should have. Not too much later, though, because we beat the 22th place crew by only 0.08 seconds in a fifteen-minute race. I would have been annoyed with myself if they had beat us by that amount.

My crew was very happy with me right after they saw the race, which is what counts. I hope they still were after seeing the results.

Chilly weekend. Wndy, too - they decided to use the short course, so we only raced 2.3 miles instead of 3, to spare us rough water in the usual starting area. Actually, it wasn't bad when I saw it Sunday, but I suppose they have to decide early. This has only been done a few times in the regatta's forty years. And incidentally, how cool is that, to be racing in the fortieth anniversary race?

I'm kind of glad I did it, I guess. I was very nervous - there are a lot of cautions given to coxswains about this race and we saw one horrible wreck against a bridge abutment - but it went well. Still, it was hectic and we had no time for sightseeing this year. On Friday, I had a Coxswain's Course Tour in the afternoon and then the Clinic (given by former Olympic cox Yaz Farooq, whom you have probably heard announcing rowing events at the last few Olympics) in the evening. Then we had Rudder's race Saturday and mine Sunday. It was fun to be there, though, with the whole city ecstatic over their Red Sox.

And now back home and to the new job tomorrow. Coherent? Not yet, obviously.

Posted by dichroic at 03:59 PM | Comments (1)

October 20, 2004

a sad goodbye

All my work stuff is in boxes. My bag of Swedish fish is taped shut and the empty box of pretzels is in the trash. The exercise ball ball I use as a desk chair is deflated and boxed. All that's left is to send one more email, leave "Goodbye and Thank you" cards under my coworkers' doors, and go home.


It's been a good job and a great bunch of people to work with.

Then again, what do you expect of a day that started with hearing of a dead body found in a lake ... right after we got off said lake?

Tomorrow it's off to Boston for the big regatta, so likely this is the last entry until after that. Regatta results can be seen at the Head of the CHarles website:
Rudder: Event 3M Men's Club Single bow #8 race @12:49 EST on October 23rd
Dichroic: Coxing a Rocky Mt. boat, Event 15W Women's Masters Four bow #16 @11:04 EST on October 24th
If this does not work enter the main web site at http://www.hocr.org and look around.

Posted by dichroic at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004


I did some of my favorite kind of matchmaking today. Not the romantic kind; I honestly don't quite know how to assess whether people will do well together and if it doesn't work there's apt to be a mess to clean up. What I like doing is introducing people with common interests: in this case one father who's just begun homeschooling his kindergartner to another who has three kids being homeschooled (and one in the larval stage) and who is passionate and committed about it. There are some people who homeschool because it's easier for parent or child (I doubt those kids learn much). There are some who homeschool because they're afraid of what the kids might learn in a (gasp) public school. And then there are some who do it because they're passionate about educating their kids the best they can, who are willing to seek out resources and study curricula and their children to see how the two can be best put together. I think both of these guys are that last sort - at least one is and one might be or become so. So this matchmaking may help not only the parents but the children. I feel like I've done a good deed.

Counting down to my last day - packing files, both the physical and the electronic sort. Yikes.

Posted by dichroic at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2004


Scariest moment of the weekend: when Rudder-the-workaholic, the workout king, the masochist, commented that I'd been "working all weekend". Second scariest: realizing he was right. This weekend, I went to a dinner from Rudder's work, studied instrument flying weather reports and the Head of the Charles rules and racecourse, took a flying lesson, rowed int he double on Saturday and did a half-marathon on the erg Sunday, got about a foot and a half of scarf knitted, did most of my packing for the Boston trip, did three loads of laundry, made chili, and helped load Rudder's and She-Hulk's boats onto a trailer bound for Boston. At that, it was an easier weekend than planned, since I didn't have to plan or fly a cross-country or drive up to Flagstaff to meet the boat trailer.

I'm not sure normal people (if such animals exist) have weekends quite like that, at least not routinely.

Two more days here. My office looks like a moving zone, comprising boxes and stuff waiting to be boxed or tossed.

Thanks to all who posted comments over the weekend. It was very, very nice to hear from real people, especially in view of the 60 sp@mbot comments I've had to delete today (MTBlacklist is a wonderful thing.)

Finally, the poetry meme, one of the better memes I've come across lately - I've seen this all over, and have come across several poems I hadn't seen before. So here are my contributions, though I'm afraid neither is very obscure: one from Stan Rogers, who, I'm pleased to see, did make it into the CBC's longer list of great Canadians, if not into the top ten; and one from Gerard Manley Hopkins, because as an imperfect and quirky thing myself, I've always liked it.


Cold wind on the harbour and rain on the road
Wet promise of winter brings recourse to coal
There's fire in the blood and a fog on Bras d'Or
The giant will rise with the moon.

'Twas the same ancient fever in the Isles of the Blest
That our fathers brought with them when they went West
It's the blood of the Druids that never will rest
The giant will rise with the moon.

So crash the glass down, move with the tide
Young friends and old whiskey are burning inside
Crash the glass down, Fingal will rise
With the moon

In inclement weather the people are fey
Three thousand year stories as the night slips away
Remembering Fingal feels not far away
The giant will rise with the moon

The wind's in the North, there'll be new moon tonight
But we have no circle to dance in its sight
So light a torch, bring the bottle, and build the fire bright
The giant will rise with the moon.
- Stan Rogers, 1976, on: Fogarty's Cove

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Posted by dichroic at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2004

summary critique

Having a little extra money on a Barnes and Noble gift card, I picked up the latest of Jill Paton Walsh's continuations of the Lord Peter Wimsey books, A Presumption of Death. On the evidence of the few pages I read en route to my car, my provisional verdict can best be summarized as "Oh, dear." Impey Biggs AND Miss Climpson AND Peter's nephew Charlie AND the Dowager Duchess AND Parker AND Miss Twitterton ... I would have been able to tell that it was meant to be a continuation of Sayers' series without having all of her incidental characters crammed in, really. In addition, we have Peter saying,"OK, you're the boss," and Harriet misinterpreting a rather common Shakespeare quotation, neiher of which strikes me as terribly likely. Fortunately for me, I'm not a terribly critical reader once I'm immersed in a book-world, so I imagine I'll enjoy i enough to justify the cost of the paperback -- but I'm glad I bought it with the gift card instead of my own money.

Next challenge: deciding which books to pack for Boston. I have a pristine copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell waiting for me, but it's a bit heavy (literally) for airplane reading, or rather for carrying onto airplanes. The other decision will be which knitting to take: the lace poncho that requires a little concentration, the easy scarf that means I'd have to carry three balls of yarn, or the sweater I haven't looked at in a month. Hmmm.

Posted by dichroic at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2004

show some love

Could somebody do me a big favor? Could somebody NOT a spammer please leave a comment?

Roughly the last fifty comments in here have been spam and I'm getting very sick of it. Does anyone really think this is a good way to get me to buy prescription drugs or gamble online? Because I'd have to say even if I'd been planning to do either I wouldn't give my business to a spammer.

As it turned out, I was flying today, not tomorrow. Between that nad the fact that the FBO (flight school / pilot shop) didn't have currnet maps, I didn't do the cross-country after all, just a regular flight. The row with Marathon D was this morning too, and we're loading Rudder's boat on a trailer or Boston late tonight 9that being when we expect the trailer in from LA) which means I have nothing scheduled for tomorrow (other than laundry, food shopping and such. I'm very much looking forward to it.

But please, the comments.

Posted by dichroic at 08:10 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

knit content and weekend plans

Wednesday on the way home there was a stop at Jessica Knits to pick up a gift certificate for our admin, who suddenly announced she was retiring. Of course I left without spending any additional money ..... OK, no, not really. There was some handpainted bulky wool in light blues and turquoise with which I hope to make a Moebius scarf for my mother-in-law for Christmas, and some light reddish mohair to make a lightweight scarf for me someday. This would all be after I complete the poncho, now about 3' long (you can see its beginnings here) and the scarf for Mom's early-December birthday, which is knitted with one strand each of purple cotton chenille, fine lilac GGH alpaca, and a novelty yarn with tufts of lilac or sage every few inches all held together. (I forget the names and don't have them here to look up.)

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the Berroco Medley scarf, and I gave it away today- just picture a small scarf garter-stitched in this yarn (the variegated one).

Today was the going-away luncheon for me, the aforementined retired admin, and another repatriating coworker who got her offer the same day I got mine. We gave the coworker a plant (with my Berroco scarf wrapped around the pot). To my great relief they did not doom any plantlife by giving it to me to kill but instead gave me a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Apparently my coworkers do know me well after these two years together.

Weekend plans:
1. A work dinner from Rudder's place tonight - the company's anniversary or something like that. 2. Row with D, dodging around the duathlon, sailing lessons, and milk carton boat derby all being held on our lake tomorrow. 3. Plan a cross-country flight. 4. Execute said cross country flight. 5. Throughout, review Head of the Charles course for the very next weekend!!!

Posted by dichroic at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2004

Geordie Whelps

You know what's wrong with politics these days? I mean, besides the things you were no doubt about to list? No good protest songs, that's what. And I'm not even thinking Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan so much as the days of broadsides hawked on the streets. There aren't too many good nicknames, either (the exception being Molly Ivins' contribution, "Shrub"), but that can be fixed by borrowing from the past.

As can the protest song issue. Here's my attempt to remedy the situation. As may be obvious if you know the song, it's to the tune of "Cam' Ye O'er Frae France".
Cam ye o'er frae France,
Cam ye o'er by Berlin
Saw ye Geordie Whelps
Buildin' coalitions,

Or were ye at the place
Where they keep Dick Cheney
Saw ye Geordie's grace
Playin' the Lone Ranger?

Him that has shall get
So the rich shall profit,
Him with nane shall wait
Should he need a doctor

We hae full health care,
It's the world's envy
All ye need's the fare
Tae fare as well as Geordie.

Can't afford gas heat
Can't afford the driving
We hae crow to eat
O'er the mess in Iraq

Were there no nukes there?
It's of little matter,
"God is on our side,
It's black and white," says Geordie.
Posted by dichroic at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)


Meme kipped from Fairmer. I'm interpreting "friends list" as anybody likely to be reading this.

A book you own that no one on your friends list does:
Probably lots but the one I'm most sure of is Deafness and Cheerfulness. It's circa 1901 and the title is an accurate description of what it's about. Books others are at least unlikely to own:
Hmmm. Can't include the rowing books, if being in the Livejournal Boathouse and Ergfreaks communities count as having them on my friends list. I doubt anyone reading this collects the Polly of Pebbly Pit series from the 1920s. Or Flying Machines, a coffee-table book of bizarre aircraft. Or Cherry-Garrard's The Worst Journey in the World, about Scott's doomed Antarctic expedition. Or Antarctica: The Complete Story David McGonigal and Dr Lynn Woodworth, and inscribed to me by its authors. (Possibly some of you might have Diana Birchall's In Defense of Mrs. Elton, printed by the Jane Austen Society and also inscribed to me by its author.) Oh, and then there's Christopher Morley's Philadelphia, which if you're familiar with the city, you need to get. And anyway, I'd bet large sums of money no one else has any of those books in combination (except maybe the two Antarctic ones).

A CD you own that no one on your friends list does:
Not sure of the CD name but it's by Tribe Nunzio - it might be "How Long?" Z by Mary Zikos, but that's a cassette, not a CD. Rules of the Road by Alex Bevan. And So Shall We Yet, Bok, Muir, and Trickett.

A DVD/VHS tape you own that no one on your friends list does:
Rowing Through, unless any of the Boathouse people has that.

A place you've been that no one on your friends list has been:
I could say my parents' basement, but my brother sometimes reads this.
Antarctica. The bottom of a missile silo in Tucson. Osan, Korea. Buenos Aires? The Lower Caverns at Carlsbad. The South Rim at Big Bend. The top of Humphreys Peak, Arizona. Plush, Oregon. Lower Devil's Canyon, Arizona.

Posted by dichroic at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004


Life is getting complicated again. The plan was to do a cross-country flight up to our high-country property this Sunday (it's on an airstrip) to get some more flying time and build up my cross-country hours, because I'll need a lot more than I have to get my IFR. The complications:

1. I didn't plan my flight last weekend so would have to do it Saturday.
2. I had forgotten that Rudder has to drive up to Flagstaff this weekend to get his boat on a trailer to Boston. He won't know exactly what time the guy will get there so it may be an overnight trip. He won't have to leave early Saturday but I'm rowing so can't do the planning in the morning. (Though I'm not rowing until 8:30. Hmmm...)
3. I like Flag and I like road trips with Rudder. I'd also like him in the plane with me because he's flown to the property before. He'll remember all the landmarks and be helpful at spotting them. I will have an instructor along, though.

So my options are either to blow off the flight or go without Rudder. Blah. I keep reminding myself this is supposed to be fun, so may take the blow-it-off option.

Another complication is that I don't yet know how transitioning to another business division will affect my IFR training reimbursement. I've got a couple of calls in to find out. They only reimburse after you've reached certain milestones (15 hours, taking the written test) and I don't think I'll manage either of those in the next week. The worst that can happen is that I'll end up having to pay for it myself, which after all is what I did for my private pilot rating and what Rudder did for both his private and his IFR. At the very least, the reimbursement policy will have done some good in kicking me into flying again.

The next Presidential debate, which will be right near me, is going to be a bit inconvenient. Tempe is the next town over - it's where I row several days a week and I go through it every day. They've got our lake closed on Wednesday after 9 AM, well after I'm off the water, so that won't be a problem, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to take my scheduled flying lesson. They've got restrictions on the airspace within 60 nautical miles of the debate until 9AM or so Thursday morning, though we may possibly be able to go with an IFR clearance.

Too many things going on, but at least they're all good ones.

Posted by dichroic at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2004

a good slot

Thank goodness. They've posted the bow numbers for the Head of the Charles and it looks like I've got about the easiest job possible. We're #16 of 16. The boats start 10 seconds apart and then the next race is 16 minutes after, so I won't have to worry about them. I don't have to worry at all about being passed. I only get to pass others, and in that case they have to yield to me - passing boats have right of way. So all I have to worry about is getting re-passed. I'll just have to make sure that doesn't happen :-)

I'm a lot more nervous about that race and the marathon than my new job, actually.

Posted by dichroic at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

an unusual attitude

It was a productive weekend, I guess; I paid some bills, caught up on some sleep, spent too much money on new clothes and shoes (again - clothing is one of my temptations and Fall clothing is more so), rowed a double with D to make sure we won't hate rowing together in the marathon, reviewed the Head of the Charles course with Yosemite Sam, got to socialize with Rudder and D and Dr. Bosun and a crazy (former) Russian I asked because he was there and I didn't want to be rude (should have been rude. He's a jerk) and went flying, beginning to work on partial panel and unusual attitudes. Not a particularly busy weekend.

Note to nonaviators: Partial panel is when some of the flight instruments are covered to simulate instrument failure. Unusual attitudes are when the instructor has you close your eyes, jinks around a bit to get you disoriented (no trouble with me - still got that vertigo thing going, a bit), gets the plane pointed nose up or down and banked to one said, then says, "OK, open your eyes now. Your airplane," so you can get used to recovering to straight and level flight without getting into a spin or some dumb situation like that. Surprisingly, it was a little easier than I expected - but I'm not really looking forward to doing those with a partial panel.

Rudder and I also watched Rowing Through, a movie about the legendary rower Tiff Woods, the even more legendary coach Harry Parker, and the 1984 Olympic trials. It would have been a good movie to watch with the sound off. It had some of the most beautiful cinematography I've ever seen, with rowers swinging together in sweaty races or singles going out on eligiac fall Boston afternoons with the mist rising. On the other hand it was one of those sort of vague movies that kept skipping years of time with no explanation for why anything happened (why were all those young Olympic rower men knitting at the Olympic selection camp?) and dialogue I couldn't catch half the time. It was definitely worth watching .... listening to, I'm not so sure about.

This is my last full week working here at this site. I'm kind of sad, actually.

Posted by dichroic at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

workout entry

Mon 10/04: 12.2 km in the single
Tues 10/05: 1.7 km on the erg (includes coaching Mom a bit) plus weights
Wed 10/06: 12.3 km in the single
Thursday: flew
Friday: coxed
Saturday 10/09: 6.1 km (one lap, with frequent stops) in the double with D
Monday 10/11: 12.3 km in the single

Total YTD as of 10/11: 1304.5

Posted by dichroic at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2004

home silent home

The parents left for home this morning. We enjoy having company, but it's also nice to get our house back to ourselves. For one thing, everyone over the age of 8 goes to bed later than we do, but the guest bath is right outside our bedroom door and we have to keep the door open a crack or face the Wrath of Cats. Listen to the Wrath of Cats, rather. Between that and having to cook or go out for real balanced meals we've been a little sleep-deprived this week. I don't have to be up until 7:30 tomorrow and I am mightily looking forward to that.

Mom came out to rowing this morning; she was, impressively, all bright and chipper and ready to go by 4:20 or so. I think she enjoyed it. I told the guys in the eight I was coxing that all those photos she was taking had less to do with me than with the sight of all those men in spandex. (She insists she was focusing on me. I think I'll check with Dad when they download the photos.)

In other news, I passed my Biannual Flight Review yesterday morning so I am once again a current pilot. Yay!

Posted by dichroic at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2004

a puzzle solved and a visit almost over

Got it! I think Toy Sub was a band. And it mattered to me because I met a guy who was in it (mmm, musician guys) and who, I think, lived in some basement apartment with the rest of the band. And this would have been back before I met Rudder, which makes it either Late Philadelphia or Very Early Houston, but well over a decade ago, and very brief, which would be why I couldn't remember it.

Phew. I feel better.

Otherwise, life is all meeting meeting meeting meeting >trytosqueezeinwork< meeting meeting, with all the usual work and getting ready to transition to the new job. The current plan goes: last day at old job, fly to Boston, compete in the Head of the Charles, fly home, first day at new job. Phew.

Then there are parents in the house when I get home. I fell unbelievably far behind in reading email even with all the spam filtered out and deleted about two pages unread this morning. Mostly it was all list stuff; I did check the subject line to make sure I kept any actual emails. I think my parents' visit went fairly well. It's been hard seeing how old my Dad's gotten (for someone not yet 70 and not retired) but Mom is doing great, working out and traveling and even taking some classes at her synagogue. I did have two days off to take them places and Mom was very brave and drove downtown to the Heard Museum all by herself yesterday (Dad was there but isn't wanting to drive any more than necessary). I'm not being snide; I know how hard it can be to drive in a strange city when you're nervous. The difference between us isn't lack of fearfulness but that I've never felt that was an excuse not to do something. I'm really happy that she's challenging herself more these days. She's going to come out for rowing and ride on the coaching launch; I wonder what she'll think of it.

Posted by dichroic at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2004

a new theory

Here's my new theory about Petunia Dursley, based on the following questions at the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince website.

What did Dumbledore's Howler to Aunt Petunia mean? ('Remember my last'?)
Dumbledore is referring to his last letter, which means, of course, the letter he left upon the Dursleys' doorstep when Harry was one year old. But why then (you may well ask) did he not just say 'remember my letter?' Why did he say my last letter? Why, obviously because there were letters before that… Now let the speculation begin, and mind you type clearly, I'll be watching…
P.S. It has been suggested that I am wrong in saying that Dumbledore's last letter was the one he left on the doorstep with baby Harry, and that he has sent a letter since then concerning Harry's illegal flight to school. However, both Dumbledore and I differentiate between letters sent to the Dursleys as a couple, and messages directed to Petunia ALONE. And that's my final word on the subject - though I doubt it will be yours :)

Will there be, or have there been, any "late blooming" students in the school who come into their magic potential as adults, rather than as children?
No, is the answer. In my books, magic almost always shows itself in a person before age 11; however, there is a character who does manage in desperate circumstances to do magic quite late in life, but that is very rare in the world I am writing about.

Based on all that, I'm guessing Petunia does have magic, at least some, and may even have received her own Hogwarts letter - if so, obviously she refused it for whatever reason. I'm guessing she does do some magic in a later book. If so, it would probably be to save Dudley; I think he's the only one she cares for that much. I don't think she'd do it to save Harry, since she didn't seem to mind the idea of throwing him out among the Dementors (Book V) until DUmbledore's Howler arrived.

In other news, I'm a little worried about my parents, since I didn't remember to give them either a housekey or my phone number before leaving for work this morning. I've tried calling but they haven't answered. I hope they're clever enough to take the key that lives in the front door; though I wouldn't be surprised if they just decided to stay home and sit by or in the pool all day and go out tomorrow instead.

Posted by dichroic at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2004

dodging the 'rents

Major advantage to being on vacation today: getting to watch SpaceShipOne fly into space on live webcast to win the XPrize. Honestly, I thought it would take much longer than this; not for the first time, I am very glad that there is such a person as Burt Rutan in the world.

On the other hand, they have the a news anchor with the weirdest haircut I've ever seen broadcasting.

Don't expect much in the way of entries here today or tomorrow; my parents are visiting and they have an annoying habit of wandering by and looking over my shoulder when I'm on the computer. (Mom's in the shower at the moment and I don't know if Dad's up yet.)

Yesterday we showed them our airpark property; today I'm taking them to see Biosphere 2, tomorrow the zoo. After that they're on their own while I go back to work.

Two minutes later:

SpaceShipOne made it has released from its parent ship!!!!!!

One more minute: They made it!!!!!

Posted by dichroic at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2004

Big news and a question

It's official. In a month or sooner, I will be transferring to another part of the same company - less than half the commute distance, a good salary increase (>10%), the word "manager" in the title (which seems to mean a lot here), and a chance to learn a new area while using what I'm beginning to think of as my core competencies: talking, writing, developing processes. I've officially accepted but my boss is out of town so the transfer date isn't set yet. For an internal transfer, it has to be negotiated between him and the new boss.

So yay!

Now, a question: why do I get the feeling that the words "toy sub" ought to mean something to me? I have a hazy association with college days and possibly Kurt Vonnegut's books, but can't remember any corroborating detail. Is it some sort of password or catchphrase? I did a web search but only turned up references to actual toy submarines.

It was a license plate on an SUV this morning, and was especially appropriate because the truck was decked out for serious off-roading, complete with snorkel.

Posted by dichroic at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

obligatory psa

Yes, I watched the debate. I thought Kerry did a bit better, but then I would, wouldn't I? I don't think there was a clear enough winner to change the mind of anyone who had already picked a candidate.

Whoever your candidate is, please go out and vote, if you're a US citizen over 18 and not a felon. Whoever wins, it's going to be pretty acrimonious around here come November; the last thing we need is yet another President picked by a small minority or, worse, another one picked by the Supreme Court.

My parents are coming in tomorrow, paying me only their third visit since I moved away in 1989. I've been trying to figure out things to do that won't be too athletic for my dad. I don't think he likes doing a lot of walking these days. (Note to self: IMAX movie.) I've also been trying to figure out what to feed them, since she keeps semi-kosher and he's got health-related diet restrictions on things like salt and sugar. Breakfasts are especially hard for me, since our normal weekend brekkers range from a Power Bar to instant oatmeal to picking up bagels to going out to eat. (Other note to self: look up recipe for Dutch Apple Pancake before going food shopping.)

I'm still a little dizzy; I've made a doctor's appointment for early next week. I hate to go when my parents are here because I'm afraid they'll worry more than it deserves. I did survive coxing this morning, so that's good; I think the vertigo is fading a bit, though not yet entirely. I may go to the doctor even if it's gone, since this is the second time it's happened. At least yesterday's drive home was a lot better than Wednesday's; I don't figure dehydration is the main cause of all this but it certainly did make things worse.

And thanks to a Lunch 'n' Learn sort of meeting, to which I figured if I could take lunch I could take my knitting, I've nearly finished my scarf of Berocco Medley. It's the Berroco Mix colorway which looks like the main body of this when knitted up. It's just a short thin decorative scarf, made for ornament rather than warmth. All it needs now is binding off and fringe.

Posted by dichroic at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)