What's New? 2002-06-01

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What's New? 2002-06-01

 Sat 29 June 2002
  What a busy day! Rather than pack for our 2002 Colorado trip, we ran across the bridge to see Adam & Felicia's house in Alameda. Actually the Bay Bridge was completely jammed, I mean a parking lot, so we headed south past the airport, jumped on the San Mateo Bridge, and then headed up. Instead of the 17 miles door-to-door it was a couple of miles less than fifty miles.

In the afternoon I spent some time chatting with our architect and seeing the amazing sketches he's done of the musings we've had.

Thereafter we ditched the BMW and headed to Pancho Villa for great Mexican food (because I misread the re-opening date of We Be Sushi) and walked out just in time to join the Dyke March back to the Castro (although we missed the Dykes on Bikes (which was fine since we had two sleeping children)).

 Wed 26 June 2002
  I think I've mentioned that we've been doing some gardening around the house, mostly in the front yard. I trimmed the azalea and fusia, added some ribbon grass for some variations in height, and added fragrant lemon verbena across from our pineapple sage. Then I went to a plant sale and wound up with lots of PURPLE: four flats of lobelia and petunia, pots of lavender and catmint. The lobelia and petunia trim the front walkway, the catmint is also across from the sage, and the lavender is destined for the sidewalk.

lobelia erinus



catmint nepeta faasennii

I'll post some pictures of the end result when I'm finished. The soil is very dense and it's taking me a lot of time getting the holes dug. I'm working on adding our compost to the soil, and just added red worms to my compost pile. Tomorrow I'm planning on trimming the hedges so I'll have some greens to toss in the composter; but what will I use for the browns? Hmmm.

 Tue 25 June 2002
  Toilet-training is a big thrill at our house these days. Isaac is very interested in doing everything all by himself, and now that's extended to visits to the o-benji. Since he's not in day care he's able to deal with this at his own pace. (Day care requires potty training, so our friends who needed to unload their kids had to apply a bit of pressure to train their kids at ages as early as two.) Bon mots from today:

Isaac: Can you believe your little baby is wearing big-boy underwear?
Isaac: The label goes over the big tuchus?

 Sun 23 June 2002
  Okay, I'm not much of a fan of organized sports, but the media coverage of the soccer World Cup is really interesting. I've been following the corpus of what's available from the wire services versus what's been shown on the front pages of sports- and news-centric web sites. Let's start with the latter; what's the common thread?

A fan celebrates in Berlin after Germany defeated Korea in a semi-final match in Seoul. (AP/Roberto Pfeil)

Brazilian fans party outside Saitama stadium before the semi-final match against Turkey. (Reuters/Dan Chung)

A Brazil fan displays her Ronaldo jersey in the stands before a semi-final match between Brazil and Turkey in Saitama. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)

A model shows off a bra and bikini bottom featuring soccer balls in Tokyo. Lingerie maker Triumph International Japan said a limited edition of 100 sets of the 'Hat Trick' will be on sale in major Tokyo metropolitar area department stores during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. (Reuters)

Right, sex sells. Granted, Americans in general aren't much into soccer, but is this really the way to get us to watch? Now let me show you some of the pictures which got me thinking about how much fun it would be to watch the games with these people...

Palestinians watch the Brazil vs Turkey semi-final during a four-hour lifting of the Israeil-imposed curfew in the West Bank town of Ramallah. (AP/John Moore)
Japanese supporters of the Turkish team show their dejection after watching the team's defeat during a live broadcast at a Turkish restaurant in Tokyo. (AP/Shizuo Kambayashi)

A female Turkish soccer fan joins men in Istanbul's Taksim Square. (AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

A Brazilian fan, with her children, watch the semi-final at the Pelourinho in Salvador, northern Brazil. (AP/Dario Lopez-Mills)

A drummer of the Olodum drum band celebrates with Brazilian fans afther their team scored a goal against Turkey at the Pelourinho in Salvador. (AP/Dario Lopez-Mills)

A dejected Turkish fan walks in Istanbul's Taksim Square after the team's defeat in the semi-final match in Saitama, Japan. (AP/Osman Orsal)
Turkish soldiers from the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) reach as they watch television in Kabul, Afghanistan during theri national team's match against Brazil. (AP/Sergei Grits)
Members of Greece's Turkish-speaking Muslim minority react in the northern town of Komotini, Greece, as they watch the Brazil vs Turkey semi-final match. A couple of hundred thousand members of Greece's Turkish-speaking Muslim minority live in northern Greece near the country's border with Turkey. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Okay, enough said and shown? What a wonderful chance to explore the thoughts and feelings of soccer fans worldwide, and perhaps understand something new about our fellow humans. Missed. How I would have enjoyed tipping back a coffee in the Ramallah café or a sake at the Tokyo eatery. Sigh.

 Sat 22 June 2002
  Papa: [Reading Apples, Apples, Apples to Isaac] These are called "Rome Beauties".
Isaac: I was in Roma. I met those apples!
 Fri 21 June 2002

The summer solstace. The days have become as long as they'll be; now it's a bit shorter until my birthday. That's right: today is my half-birthday today. It's also Omi Marga's 90th birthday! Time to really celebrate!


And what a day it is! Yesterday it was sunny, warm, with gentle breezes. Last night the our cottage rattled under the assault of the heavy winds. Today it's overcast, cold, windy, and misty. Shiver. What a difference a day makes, and not in a good way. And I was supposed to be gardening today. Too cold, must procrastinate.

 Thu 20 June 2002
  A friend of ours, an expat in Roma, a contributor, left a delightful message of live festival music on our answering machine. In chatting he mentioned that he regularly visits this site; always a nice thing to hear. It got me to thinking.

You, nameless one, I challenge you to dig through your digital notes over the last years and start giving us a column from over there. [Details vague to protect the guilty in case he doesn't accept.] Anything and everything. Think of it as a start to your book. What'ya think?


Is there a Geeks Sans Frontières? I might just be thinking aloud. Sorry.

 Wed 19 June 2002

It's Isaac's half-birthday today. Time to celebrate!


Kirk's chair This tickles me: the original Star Trek Captain's Chair from the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise is being auctioned off. Used by Captains Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) in the first pilot and James T. Kirk (Wiliam Shatner) during the entire series run, the chair is made of plywood and Naugahyde, and comes mounted on the original Ozite® bridge carpet.

The wide armrests contain the controls and switches - used by to engage various functions of the starship - as they appeared on the final episode, Turnabout Intruder. (The layout and contents of the panels were changed as dictated by script needs.) Among geeks, and possible the worldwide television-viewing population, it's certainly the most recognizable chair around; one wonders why the Smithsonian hasn't acquired it as it did Archie Bunker's living room chair.

 Mon 17 June 2002

This has become quite the media week for me: I started out reading Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card, and was immediately propelled back to the library to re-read Ender's Game. The former is excellent, the latter has aged incredibly well. The meme is well served. Perhaps I'll re-acquaint myself with the other books in the series.

In the midst of this reading I borrowed the Hedwig and the Angry Inch DVD, which was a delight. The more I watched the more I liked, overcoming a strong distaste I felt early in the movie.

The opposite was true of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That movie shot me out of the cannon of enthusiasm and kept me going until near to the end, when the lessons had to be lived and learned. I've watched it twice, and I may see it again.

If all that wasn't enough, I had the unmitigated pleasure of feasting on the audio track of Michael Palin's Around the World in Eighty Days television program. Ah! Such travels! Such British dry humor!

 Sun 16 June 2002
  The children have a very slight cold, the weather is beautiful, the garden is coming along, the in-law's garden is getting better, and too-soon-to-come is our family reunion and subsequent family visits to San Francisco. Life is good!
 Thu 13 June 2002
  Lila is ten months old today; congratulations, my little darling! I can't believe it.

This has been a week of progress: Isaac is getting seriously interested in toilet training, Lila is teething for the second time, Lila is starting to cruise on her own (she eschewed crawling in favor of walking as we hold her hands, now it looks as she'll be walking on her own in short order). Never a dull moment here at chez nous.

 Sun 9 June 2002
  I begin mumbling about Horology, another passion of mine. Ignore it if you choose, especially if the names Universal Genève and Stocker & Yale don't, ummm, ring a bell. This will not be on the test :-)
 Thu 6 June 2002
  USPS Shipment History: Your item was delivered at 1:28 pm on June 06, 2002 in SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94116. The item was signed for by [mother-in-law]. Here is what happened earlier: Your item has arrived at the SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94116 processing center at 9:05 am on June 06, 2002. Status is updated every evening. Your item has been accepted at the REDMOND, WA 98052 processing center at 9:45 am on June 04, 2002.

THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S HERE! Finally, after several years of justifying not buying the latest in sleek Apple technologies I finally sucumb as the 800 MHz Titanium PowerBook (DVI) is released. This is the computer for which I was lusting. The native 1280 by 854 resolution of the incredibly bright 15.2-inch screen alone is a thrill, but the speedy 6-gigaflop processor makes working a lot more fun. I haven't yet used the built-in Airport card, but in a short time I ought to be within range of the San Francisco Wireless Broadband project. The ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor with 32MB of DDR video memory is nice for gaming right now, but as the Mac OS X "Jaguar" release comes, and the Quartz Extreme code will make the entire desktop a fully accelerated OpenGL scene, it'll take over rendering from the CPU. The whole Macintosh interface will become a first-person game :-)

 Sat 1 June 2002
  Bush Sr. Apologizes To Son For Funding Bin Laden In '80s MIDLAND, TX-- Former president George Bush issued an apology to his son Monday for advocating the CIA's mid-'80s funding of Osama bin Laden, who at the time was resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. "I'm sorry, son," Bush told President George W. Bush. "We thought it was a good idea at the time because he was part of a group fighting communism in Central Asia. We called them 'freedom fighters' back then. I know it sounds weird. You sort of had to be there." Bush is still deliberating over whether to tell his son about the whole supporting-Saddam Hussein-against-Iran thing. (The Onion)

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