Looking At The Future Again
Spent the morning interviewing scholarship applicants for a Leadership Award given by the Cal Alumni. The future of the Golden State is skinny, soft-spoken, and two-thirds of the time had trouble answering the questions posed. Two-thirds of the kids in front of me seemed to prefer to try and insert scripted sound bites or neutral blather rather than focus on the actual words of the question. I’ll take the session to mean that some have spent too much time looking at the current political leadership, and not enough thinking about how they might be able get things done themselves. Fortunately one-third was different though. There may be hope yet.
Quick Trip and Another Sunrise
Randy and I made a quick visit to the central coast this weekend, marred only by Diego getting something in his eye and requiring a visit to the local vet in Pismo Beach. He’s doing fine though, and I was able to grab this video before he became high maintenance.
Divine Guidance Can Be Confusing
Last night the Ancient Chinese Order of Busboys and Frycooks blessed me with the following fortune:
You are a practical person with your feet on the ground [in bed].
With or without the ritual ending I’m really not sure what this means for my life. Fortunately though the husband’s guidance was a little more direct:
You will have a happy adventure soon [in bed].
Once again, getting up early so that you don’t have to.
Playing With Time
The same video is also on YouTube, for those of you preferring that platform.
The more I see on the looming sequester the more I think the Obama administration has finally adopted the Bush-Cheney model of fear-based governing. There’s no need to propose a solution as long as enough fear can be instilled and enough panic generated that the opposition will agree to anything ANYTHING to get out of the way of the hordes fleeing whatever today’s horrible outcome happens to be.
Sorry, but I survived the shutdowns of the federal government as an employee overseas in 1995 and 1996, and have seen enough local teachers (husband included) and court staff take furlough days the last few years here in California to know that furlough days will not bring about the end of civilization as we know it. People and institutions will get by. We probably won’t have to resort to cannibalism as a society at least until FY 2014. So, if everyone could just take a deep breath, remember that it was less than a year ago that the President and Congress jointly passed this sequestering option into law, and they can change it any time they agree to do so.
Louie, sibling of Huey and Dewey, passed away this morning after a brief illness. Louie, which probably should have been Louise, was one of ten fry born in a plastic bag on the way home from Petco a bit over a year ago. She was probably the mother of ten fry a few months later, seven of which entered careers in public education, but was cared for by Darth, Han and Artoo in her old age. Her dear friend Felix, the catfish was by her side on the bottom of the tank as she passed. She was preceded into the great freshwater beyond by Dewey.
Swimming Sad Face
Unfortunate to see the swim news this morning that the Belmont Plaza swim complex in Long Beach is being closed as seismically unsafe. I cheered for Cal at the Pac-10 swimming championships back in 2005, and thought it was a very impressive site. I know the economy is still rough, especially for large capital projects, but I really hope someone can step up and put something comparable here in Southern Cal.
On The New Toys
Been spending a lot of time lately with two new toys: a GoPro Hero 2 camera and an HP laptop computer running Windows 8. Love them both, but the key words for the last month have been “learning curve.”
For the last few years I’ve usually taken photos with a Canon S5 IS, which I still have and love. It’s problem is that it’s a bit large and I’m a bit paranoid having it around water. Enter the GoPro. Tiny, and safe around water. Getting it tiny though required that all the switches and dials and screens be gone. It has only two buttons, and a small LCD indicator. No view finder, no image preview, just point and shoot in one of the different modes. Once it’s set up it’s great to use, and I’m having a lot of fun with it, both for video and still photography, but it’s certainly taking some time to learn what it can do with it.
The same for the new laptop. It’s faster and has more memory, and well, it’s a laptop with a docking station for when I need a full-size keyboard and mouse (like processing photos) which my previous workstation was a big clunky tower about four years old. It’s also running Windows 8, which I think has gotten a bad rap. Similar to the switch from the Canon to the GoPro, there was a learning curve when I first encountered Windows 8. It was steep, with new commands and new options. After a month though, I don’t miss the Start button, and wonder if I could ever go back to not having the live tiles keeping me up to date. It could certainly use a few improvements, and I look forward to having more software completely integrated into the start page rather than having to switch to the desktop environment, but especially when I’m at my desk with a couple of monitors running it’s a vast improvement, and I’m very happy I made the leap.
2013 Is Here
It’s not that I think 2012 was a particularly bad year, but 2013 has gotten off to such a great start that I’m not that sorry to see it heading out the door.
First New Year’s resolution: I need a better tan at this point next year.