Thursday, June 26, 2008

Do, a Deer

Current mental soundtrack: "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music

Swimming lessons are over with for this session, and both kids made a lot of progress. B moved up from "Sea Turtle" to "Seal," while M moved from "Frog" up to "Sea Turtle." In plain English, B can now swim across the pool by herself (freestyle), and M can get about halfway across.

We're getting ready for a quick trip to San Diego next week, so today was the beginning of all those errands that have to be done before going anywhere. Today I copied some music that I need to mail, picked up prescriptions, and bought groceries. Tomorrow I have to mail the music I copied today, return a library book, turn in my June timesheet, and buy a mouse to feed the snake before we leave.

I also did 7-8 loads of laundry, took B to piano lessons, and cleaned the fridge. Well, only the main part of the fridge--I'll do the door some other day. For some reason, we seem to have a hard time keeping pickle jars upright in our fridge--there were at least two different spills that smelled (and looked) like pickle juice. Pickles have now been banished to a separate plastic bin that sits on the fridge shelf.

DH and I watched The Sound of Music last night. DH has somehow avoided ever seeing it before, so I thought it was time. He did recognize some of the songs I've been heard to sing over the years :-) The extras in the 40th-anniversary edition were very interesting--we are going to finish watching those tonight.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Hills Are Alive...

Last night I watched The Sound of Music with the kids. It was the first time M & B had seen it, and I only got M to watch by promising him there would be Nazis with guns :-)

B loved it, and wants to watch it again. M admitted that it was okay (high praise from an 11-year-old boy), although he kept rolling his eyes whenever people burst into song at inappropriate moments. He does have a point--the gazebo scene where Captain von Trapp and Maria sing "Something Good" is especially bad. I just finished watching the interview with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer on the 40th-anniversary DVD, and it turns out they too had a hard time controlling their laughter in that scene.

Next on the list: The King and I.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Triple Digits

It's hot here! Yesterday was the first day of summer, and it reached 104° at our house. Fortunately, we have just joined the local swim club, so the kids were able to spend some time at the pool, while I sweated under an umbrella.

Today was almost as hot, so I decided to give both of our cars a badly needed wash. In honor of EBMUD's water rationing, I drove the cars onto the front lawn, so that the runoff wouldn't be wasted. (Since I watered the lawn yesterday, does that count as watering two days in a row, which isn't allowed?) The cars look much better now--it's probably been over a year since they were properly washed.

Keep cool, and make sure you have plenty of popsicles :-) We are having fried rice tonight, which is one of M's favorite meals.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wet Swimsuits

Current mental soundtrack: "Double Trouble" from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (John Williams, arr. Teena Chin)

Swimming season has started again, and with it comes the daily onslaught of wet towels and suits. M & B are pretty well trained--as soon as we get home from swim lessons, they put their wet towels in the garage (in the hamper designated for towels) and their suits in the bathroom sink for me to rinse out. For years, I've rinsed out the suits, and draped them over the shower door to dry. I had to put a towel on the floor, because of course half of the suit hangs outside the door and drips onto the floor. This year, I had a great idea. I bought a cheap shower-curtain rod and mounted it just inside the frame of the shower door. You can't see it from outside the shower (unless you're at exactly the right angle), and all drips go into the tub. Why didn't I think of this earlier?

RROD update: The empty box arrived from M$ today. It contained a plastic bag, two pieces of foam, tape to close the box, a shipping label, and directions on how to pack up the XBox. It's now on it's way to Texas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Red Ring of Death

M's XBox 360 just died. Naturally, it's out of warranty (it was a Christmas/birthday gift in 2006). BUT, a little research turned up the fact the Micro$oft has extended the warranty on these things, since so many of them were defective. The Red Ring of Death even has its own Wikipedia entry.

After getting past the overly cheerful computer voice and speaking to a live person, it actually didn't take very long. He (the live person) verified that we had the RROD (three red lights plus green power light), and took our info so they can send us a postage-paid box.

I'm sure this is just how M wants to start his summer vacation...

Party, party, party

Current mental soundtrack (thanks to M): Indiana Jones theme (John Williams)

It was a three-party weekend! The kids' last day of school was Friday. At their school, each class has an after-school party, generally held at the home of someone with a pool. Last year, DH went to M's party, and I went to B's party. This year, we started out by swapping. I went to M's party, which was a short one with no pool (the kids had already had a box lunch social before school let out), and DH went to B's, at the local swim club. DH had to leave for a meeting, so M and I hiked over to the swim club and joined B.

Saturday was the S&P end-of-year potluck. We had perfect weather, and everyone was fascinated by the large tortoise we have roaming around the back yard. Otto has learned a new trick this week--he can now climb up the two steps to the deck, so we often see him next to the house. Unfortunately, he can't climb back down, so he's stuck up there without any food. He seems to like it, though--everytime we carried him back down to the grass, he came right back up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

iPhone Mania

Current mental soundtrack: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day (Clifton J. Noble, Jr.)

This year's World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC) is all about the iPhone. I wasn't planning on attending any of the iPhone sessions, since I don't own an iPhone, and the software I develop at work isn't really suited for the iPhone. (I put Mac interfaces on scientific applications.) But, after attending the Keynote address yesterday, I had a great idea for an iPhone application, so it looks like I need to go to all those sessions.

This conference is such a contrast to the other ones I normally attend, the American Choral Directors' Association convention and the San Diego Comic-Con. First of all, at a developer's conference, there's never a line outside the women's restroom :-) Secondly, food and drink are included: decent boxed meals, along with all the Odwalla and coffee we can drink (as opposed to the usual overpriced hot dogs and nachos type of menu). Finally, I've figured out how to get a good seat in the sessions without waiting in line for 20 minutes. Lots of people get in line early so that they can get a good seat at the front, but I've learned that they don't fill in all of the seats. I show up about five minutes before the session starts, walk down one of the side aisles, and look for a seat in the center section 5-10 rows from the front. It's worked so far today :-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tooroo, Tooroo, Tooroo

Current mental soundtrack: "I Do Wander Everywhere" from Three Songs from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Cary Ratcliff

For those of you that weren't at the PWC concert yesterday, you missed a great concert! This was Kay's first concert as director, and I thought she did an excellent job. I showed up to sing alto for the concert, and had a wonderful time. I can't wait until the next concert!

This week, I'm attending Apple's World-Wide Developer's Conference in San Francisco. I'm sitting here waiting for Steve Jobs' keynote address, having finally gotten into a room to view the session. You would think that they wouldn't start the presentation while there were still hundreds of people in line waiting to get in, but no, they started right at 10:00 am. And it's not because we arrived late--I was in line by 9:30, but they don't open the doors until right before it starts.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Happy birthday to me! Now that I've reached the age of the Answer, do you think I'll ever find out the Question? :-)

Homework for the Parents

M and his classmates finally finished their state reports, and to celebrate, they are having a "state report buffet" right now. In other words, the parents had homework last night. When I dropped off M's dish at 11:15, I met two other moms coming out, who both commented on how this simply meant more work for mom. It seems to be that time of year--my friend Anna Banana made a VERY similar post yesterday.

At least we didn't have to spend much time researching recipes. M did his report on Texas, and since DH and I spent seven years in Austin, I have a bunch of recipes collected from various sources. M and I decided on "queso," which has a different meaning in Texas than it does in the rest of the US. I know it's the Spanish word for cheese, but in Tex-Mex style, it also refers to a hot cheese dip, served with tortilla chips. I suggested plain queso to M, but he wanted the sausage queso I sometimes make.

WARNING: Even reading the ingredients in this recipe may cause cardiovascular problems in susceptible people. :-)

Sausage Queso

1 lb ground beef
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 medium onion
1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 lbs Velveeta
8 oz cream cheese

Chop onion. Brown beef, sausage, and onion.

Melt Velveeta and cream cheese together (I use a crockpot).

Combine all ingredients.

Serve hot with tortilla chips.