Little feet running in the early morning. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, family style. Rolling out to the beach with armfuls of toys. Soft, lapping waves from the bay. Chattering teeth: “I’m n-n-not c-c-cold!” Sandwiches and cold beer at lunchtime. Hard play until mid-afternoon, And then rest in the air conditioning. Huge steaks and fresh corn on the deck for dinner with Dark & Stormys to wash it down. Twilight on the beach with fresh drinks, a cigar, and laughing children. Finn curled up on my lap in front of the waves: “Daddy, I think I need to go inside and go to sleep.”
Vacations are some of my best memories of being a kid; I hope Finn remembers these days the same way as she gets older.
This is a picture Finn drew of her science camp; the four figures at upper right are Finn (blonde hair), two of her campmates, and the teacher. The object in the foreground is a bottle of Coke, and the fountain is the coke spraying in the air after they added Mentos. Finn informed us that the people are smaller because they’re far away from the bottle.
Science camp looks cool, man.
Jen cleaned and hung the crystal for Finn’s light fixture last night, which means all that needs to be done in her room is some cleaning and decorating. I spray-painted my two Pottery Barn shelves and hung them over her bed and dresser to complete the look. It’s a completely different room now; she calls it her “big-girl room”, which makes the three of us happy.
I kegged the IPA last night and I’ll be carbing it like crazy to get it ready for the parade. It shakes out at about 4.5% ABV, which is just right for a hot day. The Hefeweizen still has about two weeks to go, so that’ll be ready by the time we get back from the beach. Then I’ve got to figure out what’s next (I’m expecting the IPA to be gone by the end of Friday).
At some point today I should be getting a delivery from Amazon containing a rack for the back of the CR-V so that we can bring bikes to the beach; I’m going to pack Finn’s bigger bike and the trailer bike so we can possibly even teach her how to ride on her own.
Friday the girls came to pick me up from the station and we stopped for dinner in scenic Arbutus for Hawaiian barbecue. Arbutus is a two-light burgh next to the train tracks and Route 1, with its own movie theater, a pizza restaurant, three hookah bars, and not much else, so a Hawaiian restaurant is a bit of an outlier. I’d been told it was worth a try, so we gave it a shot. While the ambiance in the dining area was a bit lacking, the food didn’t disappoint, and I’ll definitely go back for their pulled chicken and pork.
Saturday we spent the day chopping and sawing and trimming and pruning. Trees encroach on our gardens, choke out our lawn, and kill our herbs, so we fight back with saw and clippers. I hauled three truckloads of brush to the dump, along with all of the pallets we used to make our mulch piles, the box our grille came in, and multiple bags of yard debris. I hung two of my old Pottery Barn shelves in Finn’s room and started on her light fixture, but started winding down after five or so. After dinner, we got a text from the neighbors to join them in the playground across the street. Originally the plan was to get some dessert, so we put the question to Finn: friends or ice cream. Her reply:
“I have a stronger heart than my love of candy.”
So we let the kids run around until dusk while we sipped beer from Solo cups on the picnic bench. Then we watched them catch fireflies in the backyard until it was way past bedtime.
My neighbor and I were discussing the large variety of varmints in our yards and he gave me a present, a cardboard tube filled with chemicals designed to make smoke and kill burrowing animals. He’s also convinced me that trapping is too slow and time consuming, and that more direct action is warranted given our situation: our backyard is like the Serengeti, with herds of bunnies migrating through packs of squirrels, accompanied by circling flocks of starlings and ravens and catbirds. So I will buy a pellet gun and lie in wait and kill these invading pests before they eat all of our herbs and Jen’s flowers and dig more holes in our shitty lawn.
Sunday the girls went to church while I got back to work. Finn’s fixture needed some specialty adapters so I hit the store and came back in time for a Farmer’s Market run. Then we got a text from Christi and Glenn about looking at a house on the other side of the beltway, so I drove over and looked at it with them while Finn napped.
After a strategy session with them (it’s a beautiful house), I got the light fixture hung and the lawn edged before stopping to straighten up, and then we had the neighbors over for pizza and beers and more fireflies and grape popsicles and laughing.
Things I didn’t get done today:
- Kegging the beer
- Spraying the yard with Cutter insect-kill-um
- Filling the sandbox with sand
- Humping baby gear back up into the attic
- Spraying the driveway with Round-Up
- Shoring up the playset with some new lumber
Fuck it. The Fourth will be what it will be, and our friends will be here. The house won’t be perfect, and that will be fine.
The Mac Pro I got a few weeks ago was having some reliability issues. I was getting about 18 hours of uptime before it would decide to crash and reboot itself, so I dug around the Console and found that the memory was throwing errors constantly. I put some new memory in this evening and we’ll see how well it performs now. I also dug out a second 2TB drive and filled the last drive slot with it, so there’s a total of 5.5 TB of space on board. Let’s see how fast that 2 fills up.
Update: Uptime is 22 hours and counting, and the scheduled sleep/wake cycle is working.
While I was fooling around with that, I wiped the drive on an old iBook I had and set it up with a clean install of OS 9.2.2 so that I can run legacy software if need be; it was a challenge to dust off the cobwebs in my brain to remember how OS X worked with Classic, and it took some research. At some point maybe I’ll dust off the old hardware and do another laptop lineup.
Sadly, all of the laptops in that picture are gone; the Powerbook 100 and the 520 died years ago, the Pismo died after about 10 years of frontline service, and the iBook was sold to help fund a 17″ MacBook Pro.
I got tired of dealing with a swingarm that performed no function, so I broke down and pulled it off this afternoon. I had to disassemble part of the tailgate to get the license plate wire run back up to the OEM light, but once that got sorted out the rest went easy. Up until I tested the light, which doesn’t work. It was fine when I disconnected it a few years ago, so it could be the bulb is dead, or the socket isn’t grounded properly, but I ran out of time to test it. I may have to break down and buy a new one from Super Scout Specialists later in the summer.
Because the garden on the right side of the house turned out looking so good, we figured we’d try to get the left side done by the fourth. Or, at least, straightened up to where it doesn’t look like it was used for machine gun practice. We started out by lifting and hauling all of the concrete from the sidewalk to the side of the driveway. That took most of the morning, and after lunch we went out for two loads of topsoil to fill the channel. Between the Scout and the CR-V we hauled a half a ton of dirt back to the house in three trips.
Tomorrow, I’ll go back out and fill the rest of the channel with the dirt we brought in, and then we can start making the left side look as good as the right.
Mama found this little fellow last weekend in the greenhouse, where he had crawled up under a flowerpot for a long dirt nap. I threw some batteries in an old Canon point and shoot with a macro lens and took a bunch of shots before she moved him. It’s amazing how the skeleton is still bound together with tissue and intact; Finn was fascinated to see the structure and asked to save it so she could bring it to school. Hopefully they appreciate nature in her new Kindergarten classroom.