Friday, May 06, 2011


I will be getting a new laptop soon, probably within the next week.  I will hopefully be posting more then.


The laptop is courtesy of the insurance company of the elderly man who ran into me in February.  They offered me (in addition to paying all my medicals bills) $1000, basically as a "We're so sorry you're hurt, please don't sue us" gesture.  I resisted the temptation to tell them to talk to my counsel, since I had absolutely no intention of suing anyone, provided they paid my medical bills.  Suing people is a pain in the backside, and I had had no real "pain and suffering" (which is what this is compensation for) except for a mighty uncomfortable three hours in the Stanford ER and several days stoned out of my gourd on Vicodin. I didn't tell the insurance company that, of course, but simply took the grand.  I think if I had pushed I might have gotten two, but that seemed unethical to me.  Contrast this with my insurance company, who is being aggressive with the people who I hit in March (it's been a bad year for cars in my household), even though it was the same sort of injury (soft tissue damage, whiplash).

The litigious nature of American society is also why I have certificate for three days stay at a resort hotel in Hawaii, as another "We're so sorry you fell getting off the poorly designed tram, we're very glad you weren't seriously hurt, please don't sue us" plea. 


The Apple Store in Palo Alto California employs some seriously pretty geek-boys, such as the one today who explained to me the difference between flash or solid state memory and traditional hard drives.  Cute, enthusiastic, and didn't condescend to me when it became clear that I was a reasonably intelligent person -- actually, not even before then.  And he did not even steer me towards the most expensive option!  (Well, he did suggest I consider a Macbook Pro, when I told him I keep computers until they die, since it had the most recent Intel processors, but I had already decided to do that anyway.) I realize that in some sense this is objectifying this lad, so I lose some feminist street cred here.  Oh, well.


Quote of the week comes from the Red-Headed Menace.  After reading about a third of Romeo and Juliet (you could tell he was reading it, too, because he yells at the characters in books the way other people yell at characters in television shows -- in this case, "Romeo, you wuss.  What is this about Rosaline?  Get over her, man!), he came into the kitchen and asked "Mom, I realize this is purely hypothetical, but do you think a romance between me and Juliet would work out?"

No, son.  It wouldn't.  Her family would definitely disapprove.  On top of that, she's a fictional character.  From the sixteenth century. Who had a boyfriend/husband. Who committed suicide. So I think you're pretty much out of luck on this one. Things not going too well with the crush object, are they?


In the toy store today, while buying a butterfly net for Railfan for his Bio project, I noticed that there are two new versions of  Trivial Pursuit out.  The Trivial Pursuit Master Edition seems to be nothing more than a standard game with a timer added.  I can just swipe the timer from the game of Pictionary gathering dust in the hall closet and save myself $45.

Trivial Pursuit -- Bet You Know It!, however, seems to involve betting on who will get what right.  Hehehehe.  I see the possibility for an entire new income stream. Of course, I'd mainly be winning stuff off of the people in my household, so in the end it wouldn't matter, but still....


I have discovered that the Rocket Scientist has his own IMDb page, due to having appeared as "himself" in two episodes of the documentary series, Mars Rising.  (He does not, alas, have his own Wikipedia page.)  Also, by virtue of Mars Rising having been narrated by William Shatner, he has a Bacon number of three, and an Erdos-Bacon number of 6, the same as Natalie Portman.  I'm not sure what to make of all this, other than to find it terribly amusing. [Edited to add:  The Rocket Scientist says that James Cameron was also onscreen in Mars Rising, so he has two different routes to get his Bacon number of three.  He also says that when he was introduced to Cameron, he had no idea who he was, since he had not seen Titanic and it was before Avatar.  *facepalm*  To say that popular culture is not his forte would be an understatement.]

I have thus far resisted the temptation to create an entirely bogus biography of him.  It's taken a lot of willpower, but I am being good.


A friend introduced me to Straight No Chaser.  Oh. My. God.  I think I may have a new obsession in the making.  I especially love their version of Tainted Love, and am thinking of trying to find a version to use as a ringtone on my phone. 

Of course, I do love having the Superchicken Theme as my default ringtone. I have come a long way since I had Pachelbel's Canon in D Major as my ring tone mainly so as to not bother other people.  Maybe, having turned fifty, I just don't care anymore.  The Superchicken theme is so much in keeping with my personality, anyway.  Really.


When I was considering law schools, I made the mistake of visiting Stanford on a day almost exactly like this one.  The sky was this amazingly intense cornflower blue, it was neither too hot nor too cold, and the hills were still green  and lush.  I fell in love.  Who knows, had I visited during a heat wave in August, when all the hills have turned brown, I might have ended up in DC.  Or Austin.

This is not to say that Stanford was not very very good to and for me, and I still have a great deal of fondness for both the place and the people associated with it.  It's just that I need to remember and treasure days like today, because all too soon everything will dry up.

It is also an object lesson in doing your homework.  Had I actually checked it out, I would have found out that the the area around Stanford has an average annual rainfall of roughly 18 inches a year, as opposed to over 50 for the Tampa Bay area (where I grew up), or Atlanta (where I moved from).  There are (sob) NO summer thunderstorms.  Oops.  What can I say?  I was young and stupid(er).

It all worked out in the end, though.  I do wonder, sometimes, what I would have been like had I gone to Georgetown, UT, or even Berkeley.


Mother's Day is Sunday.  I suppose that it would mark me as a bad mother to say that I really would like to go out drinking.  I think that I should emulate the example of my mother.

My mom loves Disney World.  My father hated it, primarily because his knees had gotten bad enough that walking around/standing were uncomfortable for him, and he would have had to be completely immobile before he would consent to something like a scooter.  (True story about my Dad: I showed him the book Real Men Don't Eat Quiche when it came out.  Dad growled "Real men eat whatever they damn well please."  He paused, then asked, "What's a quiche?") So Mom only got to Disney World when the grandkids were in town.

After my dad died, one of the first things Mom did, after her first initial mourning period, was buy a season pass to Disney World.  "I love him, but he's gone, and I want to go to Disney World.  I'm too old to worry about what people will think."

You go, Mom.  I never said this when I was growing up, what I have decided you're the person I want to be when I grow old.

I hope you got my phone message last week.  If not, then here's wishing you (again) a belated Happy 84th Birthday.  You'll outlive us all, I expect.  At least I hope so.  I'm going to miss you when you go.

And a Very Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  And to all the other mothers I know out there, regardless of age, race, creed, sexual orientation, or birth/adoption status: you guys rock.

Here's hoping the people around you tell you so.

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