Archive for category Older Stuff
To a family with multiple Irish dancers, March madness takes on a whole new meaning! Today we join the Trinity family for 2 St Patrick’s day parades, the first in Milwaukee, followed by one in Wauwatosa. Everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day and by special dispensation, this extends to one week prior to the real day (at least that’s how it works here as we always have our parade a week early!)
And then the month of performances kicks into high gear. Between our three dancers, we have 16 shows to do in the next couple weeks. The basketball tournies have nothing on us!!
The title of this entry is one of the many nifty little things those smart people at Google put in their wonderful GMail program. Yes, I’m a Google addict. I remember a couple years back when people started describing the term as a verb and it occurred to me that I’d pretty much always thought of “googling” as such. But this isn’t about nouns or verbs, or even Google.
I rebuilt the web site a bit over a month ago into a blog because, well, I don’t do a whole lot of independent web work anymore and it seemed silly to waste the resource promoting something that doesn’t need promoting. Folks who need to see something special on this domain know where to go. Intentions are one thing and I should have known better than to launch something knew that would require more or less daily attention at the same time I was coming into a hectic time for family activities (the month of March to an Irish Dance family is a logistical adventure the likes of which I haven’t seen since my days as the BMO in a Transportation Battalion at Ft Bragg during the Panama Invasion), an unusually high volume of private client activity, and a very short fuse deadline on a project at work. So, a couple entries and I vanished. (not that I think too many folks read anyway, but it’s the principle…).
So… we’re back! Intentions back on track and life might allow me to live up to them. Oh, there a spring dance performance for the three Irish dancers and we’ve taken on the role of volunteer coordinators for the extravaganza. There’s still piano for two, violin for one, a play that that just wrapped up, soccer starting back up, scouts just plain always busy, and on and on. Oh, and the baby is in a growth spurt and is periodically rousing us more than once a night again. Does it get any better than this? Probably not during the earthy life.
Tomorrow is Holy Thursday and the beginning of that most beautiful part of the Lenten season. While I never really left the church, I did have something of a re-awakening a year or so ago and Lent is very special to me. If only the momentum carries over after Easter comes and goes. That’s what it really needs to be about. Living all the time the way we try .. and I stress.. try.. to do during Lent. Last year was okay. This year a little better. Hopefully, that’s enough to call a trend.
10 pm last night. Setting up the morning coffee. Something I’ve done hundreds of times since moving into this early 1900s Chicago style brick bungalow almost five years ago. Never as exciting as last night. Filter in, grounds in. Routine. Rinse the pot. Fill the pot. Turn off the water. Hmmmm…. the handle isn’t supposed to keep going around! Ah, so the water can’t be turned off. Not good. And shut off valves around here are about as plentiful as a minty #1 (if you’re not a Galoot, that one probably got by you…but trust me, other than at the main, it ain’t easy to stop the water here!). So, off it went at the main. Remove the offending gadget. Think, think. Grrrrr.
Now I’ve been known to pluck a treasure or two from the curbside of neighbors near and far. One of those treasures happened to be an old sink with fixtures intact. Buried somewhere in the back of the garage and well, I can’t imagine why I brought it home. But hey, a working faucet, regardless of appearance is the ticket right now, so I got disturb the squirrels who’ve taken over the attic of the garage and retrieve the sink. Sure enough, intact fixtures. Two water lines. Hmmm, that shouldn’t matter. They’re independent, right? Let’s hope so. I hook this up and ease the water back on. Success. Perhaps the first plumbing success in my quarter century of doing home repairs. This should get through the night. I’ll call the plumber in the morning so he can come and laugh. But hey, ugly beats a flood in my house any day. Call that extra line hanging out a decoration…
Thursday comes. Call the plumber. Can’t come today. Or tomorrow. How about next Wednesday. Arghhh. How about not. Now you’re saying, why not just call another plumber? Well, if you’re asking that, I’m wondering whether you’ve actually ever employed the services of that most noble profession. Once you find one that’s good, you stop looking. So I bite the bullet, realizing that on this Holy Thursday, it is probably going to take a miracle for me to pull this off. Quick trip to the local True Value (yes, we have a Borg pretty close by, but I like to patronize my local community merchants whenever I can – call me old fashioned.. wouldn’t be the first time..). Shut off the water. Thirty minutes later, voila.
Probably doesn’t count as a miracle, but sure is nice to have yet another disaster at this old house in the history books…
With a new baby in the house (coming up on three months), sleep is one of those precious commodities you know will return… someday. Well, our somedays have been a tad sparse, having been blessed with six children, but they’ll come. I’m sure of it. Every once in a while, you get a little treat. Last night, Jasper slept through the night. Not just mostly through… really through. I’d call this morning “sleeping in” – I can’t remember the last time I got to sleep til almost 7 am. This happens from time to time and it makes you wonder when the next one will come. One of the older kids was sleeping through at only about 2 months.. kinda spoiled us for when his brother came along and have an endless string of ear infections and never more than 90 minutes continuous sleep. So I’ll take a random full night’s sleep once in a while. They’re all good…
There’s a place on the net where folks still treat each other by the golden rule, where questions are met with advice instead of insults, and newcomers are welcomed with a virtual smile and handshake. We call it “The Porch” … and ourselves… galoots. The moniker dates back a decade or so when some power tool junkies got into it with folks more inclined toward traditional methods. The latter split from the Usenet group, fired up a mailing list, and years later, we’re about 1800 folks scattered across the globe. Woodworkers, metalworkers, toolmakers. Mostly without electricity. It is a group I am happy to be counted among. I’ve met only a handful of the members, but the universal feeling seems to be that there isn’t a more congenial group of folks on the ether.
About a week ago, one of our members from the UK passed away while traveling in the US to do research for a book. I never met Michael, but in the days following the announcement, I realized he was another one of those very good friends who, by way of the internet, I may never meet in person but will call a friend all the same. His passing saddened many and in a show of unity and reverence, an event was coordinated in his honor. At 9 pm central time a few nights ago, I joined hundreds of other galoots in a toast and a prayer for Michael Field. Joined may seem like a funny way to describe what most of us likely did in the solitude of our own shops, but we were together in spirit.
Godspeed Michael. May you get home quickly.