Saturday, July 24, 2010

lindsey turns 1

Laurie planned a big birthday bash, forgot to put details on the invitations (like, you are all invited for dinner, so now we have 32 hot dogs and buns that need to be eaten, because she also wanted chicken), but people came with kids that wanted to play with water (this is why I love summer birthdays -- you can send the kids outside with water and they occupy themselves for hours and all you have to do is make sure they don't drown) and someone who is gluten intolerant made the right kind of cupcakes.
Lindsey acquired toys, books and clothes. Connie gave him the penguin, which he appears to like. We gave him a couple of books. We passed up "Walter the Farting Dog" (among other things, Uncle William tended to stand next to Walter and pretend the smell didn't come from himself). He (Lindsey, that is) watched his dad blow out a candle (it really is lit in the picture, you just have to look at the flaw in Lindsey's shoulder) ate a cupcake, frosting first, and ate grown up food (chicken, bananas and crackers) and spent a lot of energy crawling out of sight.
Chris' comment on the Lock up your daughters shirt: Jack should know.

Friday, July 23, 2010

vacation animals

One of the things that got completely lost in all the brouhaha of the last month (new computer, getting a photo editing program, vacation bible school, car vandalism, a lost friend, a friend passing away -- and calling and calling and calling for host families for exchange students and getting absolutely nowhere) is that I was going to post pictures of a week on the wet side of the state.

I like zoos. I like animals. Tami likes zoos. Tami likes animals. Jack takes pictures.

This is a good thing.
Northwest Trek is a zoo southwest of Seattle in which you can walk around and see predators that are contained (although there appeared to be nothing between the bear and you!) and ride a bus and see the prey animals lounging around and doing what prey animals do when they know they are safe. The zoo also takes in animals that are hurt, so there were a couple of bald eagles there which could no longer fly. And, of course, there are the opportunists, like the caterpillar, which had no yet been stepped upon. It is primarily northwest species, although northwest is very broadly defined since we also saw caribou and moose.
The next zoo was the Olympic Game Farm, which has a cool history. These are all animals that were stars in those classic Disney films. Not only were they not harmed in the filming, they were not humanely put to sleep afterward! They trainer lives there (he and his wife are in their 90's) and we got to see the sets for some cabin sequences. And a lot of set lighting that the crews just left behind. Somehow, peacocks always gravitate to these kind of things. There are always plently of opportunities to photograph a peacock while he is looking for a girl. I have never seen one from behind. So I took a picture. It is really obvious just how much hot air is in such a display!
We rented a beach house in Sequim. This was also a loose definition, since it was on a bluff and you had to walk down a narrow steep trail to get to a beach that had rocks and waves and driftwood. But when you looked up, you saw bald eagles and more bald eagles and more bald eagles. Plus deer in the yard of the house.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is it music...

...or is it noise? Your answer will show just how closely you are related to the little bugger!

And, of course, we finish with trying to eat the piano.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

back to the star

Now that everything is up and running, and pictures are organized, I can post more grandson pictures! Enjoy. He really likes the piano!
We can also see that Connie, having been totally cute at Lindsey's age, as retained that quality.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

last computer update

...until we buy another one, anyway.

We are completely up and running, although I still am missing miscellaneous files that I have duplicated rather than gone looking for. You think you are looking at just the monitor, but it is about 2 inches thick and contains everything, including a disk drive that reads either CDs or DVDs. Except mouse and keyboard, which are wireless.

The screen is really cool, even if it does advertise. One of these days I will put a different picture in, like say, the grandson?

My daughters participated in the church's Wednesday evening program, which included Bible, singing, dinner and games or crafts. One of the most popular crafts was "taking things apart night," in which old pieces of equipment were donated. The kids were given a screwdriver and told to do what they could, and they could even take the pieces home. Which of course meant that eventually we threw them out.
And that should be explanation enough for the second and third pictures, which are what is left of the old computer.

Disturbed sleep #2

As expected, when the insurance adjuster saw the summary of the claim ("someone threw a bowling ball at our car"), he had to call right away. It is right up there on his top ten strange incidents. Sure beats "spun out on ice", which was the last one we did.

And when I went to sign paperwork at the auto body shop, all I had to say was "I'm the one whose car got hit by the bowling ball," and they knew exactly which one I was talking about.

I'm glad I made someone's day. Anyway, here are the pictures. The glass on the ground is kind of cool that way it stayed together.

Turns out that we know who the perpetrator is, although we haven't had any contact with the family for a long time. He got his skull split in three places, making a T on the top of his head, but he is out of the hospital and is doing OK. We (his parents included, no doubt) are thankful that he did not get hit in the temple. He is 16 and has been in trouble with the law before. So we are praying that this will have knocked some sense into his head.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Disturbed Sleep #1

A little after 1:00 in the morning earlier this week, neighbors rang the doorbell. They had heard a bang and a car driving by, so they investigated and discovered the window of our little car had been broken and was lying on the street. We called the business number of the police, and one came out about a half hour later. He was joined by another about 45 minutes after that.

The door frame next to the window was dented. Initially, they found a rock with all the right scratches on it. It is probably possible for a rock that size to dent the frame, although, hating physics, I did not calculate the velocity of the vehicle from which the rock was thrown. I decided that it is probably possible and left it at that. They might have been aiming for the side rear-view mirror.

Since there were no other reports of similar mischief, the police said there is a 70% chance we may have been targeted, and questioned us and the daughter about who may have a grudge against us. We did come up with one candidate who had a nasty argument with the daughter because he was NOT her boyfriend.

We eventually got back to sleep around 3:30.

After we went back to bed, things got interesting.

While the police were visiting the young man who was not the boyfriend and not happy about it, two things happened. One was that he and his parents could account for his whereabouts at the pertinent time. Another was a communication from the emergency room at the hospital.

Four boys had been joyriding around the town, and they found a bowling ball or that size of lawn ornament (hereinafter referred to as the bowling ball) and stole it. Then they drove down our street, discovered our car, which, being white, was more visible than any other car parked on the street at that time of night. One threw the bowling ball at it and it bounced right back at him, hit him in the head and knocked him out. He woke up soon after, called his mom and told her that someone had thrown a rock at him as he was riding and hit him in the head. Soon after, everyone (kids, police, parents) showed up at the emergency room.

The police treat a rock thrown through the car window almost as seriously as they treat a drive-by shooting: they will be out scouring the neighborhoods looking for someone dangerous. (Although hopefully he is only armed with rocks.) So they asked a lot of questions, and the story eventually broke down. It was at this point they communicated with "our" police officers, who had apparently reported the bowling ball on our street.

So, by a complete fluke, the case has been solved.

It was nice of the police to stop by the next night and let us know what happened. At least we don't have to worry about retaliation from the non-boyfriend!

Plus one of my friends gets to laugh at it. While cleaning out her parents house, her brothers decided to just toss things out of the attic (through a window that they couldn't open, so they just broke it, and these are adults with teenagers of their own!) to the brother on the lawn, who would then toss it into the garbage can. Fortunately the one on the lawn did not try to catch the bowling ball, but it did roll into the street as a car was coming by.

But there is more! Pictures as soon as Jack treats my request to download photo editing software seriously. But at least the scanner is working now! There was a shipping switch that hadn't been changed. The tricky thing about that is it is hidden under the top where you can't see anything and it is a dark gray switch on black plastic with black symbols (in a room where we keep the lights off because they just heat things up, it is 100 degrees out and our air conditioning is underpowered), and it isn't mentioned AT ALL in the set up instructions.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

update #4: computer

Well, we are almost up and running normally. And by that I mean without backups.

We have Quicken to balance our checkbook, and determine just how far off from the budget we really are. The last version we purchased was for Windows 95. Jack bought Quicken deluxe 2010, which promised an upgrade from all previous versions. I completely understand why they would not support a 15 year old program, but whatever. So I called them up. First we had to install quicken 95 on the games computer, because it still has Windows XP. Then we had to connect it to the internet, upgrade the data files to the windows 98 version, and move them to the new computer and upgrade the intermediate files to Windows 7. But it can be done, and I only spent a couple hours at most putting in all the category data. So I know how much money we have!!!

The scanner, without which I would have to buy a fax machine and pay long distance charges, is a whole other story. I had a Canon scanner. There is no driver for windows 7. (or vista, but that is no big loss.) They are not writing one. Instead, they offered me 10% off a new scanner which had already been through two updates. I can (and do) get better sales than 10%. So we bought an Epson, and installed it and it is not talking to the computer. But sending faxes is lower on the priority list than knowing how much money I have, particularly at bill paying time. So that is next. When that is up and running, you will get pictures.

The best success story is that all the pictures for 10 years are now on this computer. I'm not sure what kind of medium to store them on permanently, because I keep running into everybody's opinions, and nothing stands out.

So, life is back to normal. Except that normal always seems to change. My biggest problem now is finding homes for exchange students. I jumped in over my head again and have 4 students with a school, but without homes. And I want to place 4 more after that!