I got a goodish few Christmas cards addressed and mailed today. After work, I stopped at one of those chain specialty stores which still believes in knowledgeable sales clerks. One guided me to my gift purchase. The wrapping queue ran until early the next evening, which suited me fine. I asked them to set the package up for pick-up on Saturday.
The day proved warm, with an unfulfilled promise of rain. I saw a kestrel standing on a sign.I am watching "A Christmas Carol" in the Alastair Sim version. I was touched to receive some mail today.
We decided to eat Christmas dinner out this year. I found a wonderful small place with just the right menu--heavy on the turkey, light on the goo. I left a message on the cafe's voice mail in the afternoon, and got a confirming call near 5 p.m. from the owner/chef. The enthusiasm in his voice was infectious. I hope to be infected with kindly enthusiasm more days.
In my family, Christmas dinner was a lunch event. I have many a memory of my late Aunt Jean being responsible to bring the dinner rolls at noon for Christmas dinner. Her rolls were quite good. However, she had a tendency to let them cook slightly too long, giving them the slightest trace of scorch. She lingered a bit too long arriving for lunch as she finished her rolls. My now-late father, meanwhile, would always want to start lunch early. My aunt would come in moments later, with slightly scorched rolls. With hindsight, better time management would have resulted in just-right rolls and harmonious timing. But
that would have robbed me of these slight, gentle memories.
I've already decided on my New Year resolutions. Just the two.
1) start lifting again
2) Read all of Shakespeare.
I was in a car with kteich on the way south for another trip to New York, orange lane reflectors streaming before us in the yellow glow of headlights.
"So," I said, "last Wednesday, I went with this architect friend to a lecture series at LivableStreets, and this guy gave a short presentation on this thing called Par(king) Day. Basically, a couple of folks in San Francisco went to an empty street parking slot and filled the parking meter with quarters. They then rolled out some sod and created a small temporary park for the two hours that the meter was running. Then, when the meter was done, they rolled up the sod and went on their way. It was like a little thought experiment -- what if you reframed a 'parking spot' not just as 'a place to park a car', but as a 'piece of public urban space that you can rent for a short time using a few quarters'?
"But, the big thing was they took pictures and posted it online. Then, they released a manual and basically told the rest of the Internet: hey, give this a try."
"So, they open sourced it and it went viral? That's cool. How many cities have picked it up?"
"I don't know. It's worldwide now, I think. Still, I keep thinking about it; about other uses for the concept. Like, say, how about going to an actual parking garage that charges $17 for all day parking and then renting enough spaces where you could set up a one day bazaar or dance party."
"You could find one of those garages that's near the river in Kendall and go up on the roof. Most people don't want to park on the roof unless they have to because it's so far from the street or the mall."
"Yeah, and we could maybe crowdsource the money for the parking fund and the size of the party depends on the amount of money raised."
This reminds me that I've also had it in the back of my mind to take the rules and structure for Dungeon Bar Crawl, put it up online, and do a similar thing of letting the rest of the Internet run with it. It's good to know, though, that there's already a template for this sort of viral idea distribution; and a rich world out there of clever inspiration to draw from.
when i get bored, i make this list over and over again:
101. die hard
99. white christmas
98. henry: portrait of a serial killer
97. get carter
96. riki-oh: story of ricky
95. hitler: a film from germany
94. out 1
93. the house is black
92. the decline of western civilization
91. titicut follies
90. throw away your books, rally in the streets
88. the music man
87. noises off...
86. the men behind the sun
85. doggie woggiez poochie woochiez
83. taste of cherry
82. rock hudson's home movies
81. the killer
80. the thief and the cobbler
78. the quiet earth
77. sword of doom
76. the wishing tree
75. rock'n'roll high school
74. late spring
73. the devils
72. go go second time virgin
71. the misfits
70. the meaning of life
68. black cat, white cat
66. the lady eve
65. do the right thing
64. the libertine
63. the philadelphia story
62. the private life of a cat
61. purple rain
60. whisper of the heart
58. beau travail
56. the night porter
55. rear window
54. la region centrale
53. pink flamingos
52. nothing but a man
49. stage door
47. the world
45. superstar: the karen carpenter story
44. harlan county, usa
43. yi yi
42. picnic at hanging rock
41. the forest for the trees
40. fat girl
37. the woman who powders herself
36. fucking amal
35. the great silence
34. oh dem watermelons
32. the night of the hunter
31. jeanne dielman
29. the muppet movie
28. the seventh victim
27. the act of seeing with one's own eyes
25. sunrise: a song of two humans
22. killer of sheep
21. dog's dialogue
20. the night of the iguana
19. where is the friend's home?
17. the woman in the dunes
15. paris, texas
14. still life
13. the wages of fear
12. the day i became a woman
11. celine and julie go boating
10. the texas chain saw massacre
9. in a year with 13 moons
8. drifting clouds
7. goodbye dragon inn
6. la commune (paris, 1871)
5. andrei rublev
4. sweet movie
3. red beard
1. a moment of innocence
iranian films: 6
eastern european films: 9
south american films: 1
japanese films: 10
chinese/taiwanese/hong kong films: 6
nordic films: 3
german films: 4
italian films: 3
french films: 11
british films: 6
african films: 0
australian/new zealish films: 2
science fiction: 5
akira kurosawa films: 2
jacques rivette films: 2
abbas kiarostami films: 2
claire denis films: 2
andrei tarkovsky films: 2
todd haynes films: 2
shortest film: oh dem watermelons
longest film: out 1
newest: doggie woggiez poochie woochiez
oldest: sunrise: a song of two humans
My sister lives with her family in northern Alabama. Last night I wrapped their gifts (read: put their gifts in gift bags), and put the wrapped gifts in a huge box. Today I took the box of gifts to UPS. The box was huge, like a moving box, with snowmen on it. I lugged it in and put it on the scales. I thought it would be expensive to ship. The tab came out to less than 18 dollars, and the estimated arrival date was Monday. Also, UPS always helps courteously with taping. It was a great joy that it went so easily. I called my sister to let her know to watch for a box. It turns out my niece will be out of town with her dad at Christmas, but I am still glad I got the gifts out her way.
Our office staff bought the attorneys sandwiches today, which was very kind. The weather was warm today,but I did not get a chance to go to the park. I worked a bit more on upgrading my computer operating system, but I am not yet ready for prime time. I'll just wait a few weeks. It'll sort out. In the meantime, F19 is a year from end of life.
I bought tickets for us to see the Christmas Carol by the local McKinney Community Theater on Friday.The tickets were only 10 dollars each. Downtown Dallas has a more professional production, but the tickets for that exceed 100 dollars each. It seems wrong to me to pay a premium price for a cushy seat watching for the appearance of the children named Ignorance and Want. We'll enjoy the McKinney production, which will be held in the old McKinney courthouse.
One of the kind women at work gifted my wife and I a membership in the new-ish Perot science museum. This is a perfect gift for us. We'll use it regularly during the coming year.
We are watching the last Barbara Walters fascinating people show. My first cousin is the producer of that show. Barbara interviewed lots of people over the term of this show.
I have some more Christmas shopping to do, but I feel a surge of confidence that I will get it done.
On Tuesday, the Fedora Project linux distribution released Fedora 20, the latest upgraded version of the operating system. I am on Fedora 19. I had previously upgraded from Fedora 18 to Fedora 19 using Fedora's easy-to-use package called FedUp.
I had originally planned to wait some weeks to upgrade, to permit the new version to be seasoned. But Tuesday, I found myself with extra time, and decided to upgrade.
I launched FedUp using the command line (I hope one day FedUp will have a GUI, but the command line is easy). It began seamlessly downloading the packages. Then it had me reboot.
When I rebooted, the little Fedora insignia began flashing as the install took place, just like when I upgraded from F18 to F19. This time, though, the upgrade seemed to complete itself in record time. Unfortunately, though, the system merely logged me back into F19.
I went to the Fedora IRC to ask about the issue, and got one bit of slightly helpful advice and mostly not much advice at all. I tried to update a bit and try again, but ultimately, gave up the effort.
This morning, a weblog post over on Fedora Planet advises that FedUp .7 has an upgrade to .8 that will be required to do the upgrade. Ideally, of course, they would have upgraded FedUp before they released F20. But it's no big deal.
Fedora has a reputation for being so cutting edge that its package stability can be imperfect, but this is only the second minor glitch I have encountered with Fedora since January (the first was when an upgrade temporarily impaired Virtual Box, after which a later upgrade fixed it). I'll try again later, and expect it will work fine.
The lesson I took is my usual lesson--don't upgrade an operating system on the first day of the upgrade release, a corollary of the rule that says don't buy a car in its first year model.
The winter-blue sky and mildly warm air made a lunchtime walk at Travis Farm Park ideal. I watched mockingbirds flit among the trees which border this open field park. I looked a few yards away, and saw a male American kestrel standing atop a tree. I watched him fly from treetop to treetop.
I'm steadily moving back to full speed. I am well begun on my holiday shopping. I stopped by my brother's house to drop off some paperwork, and got to say hi to his family's chihuahua- mix dog Arnold. Arnold is very friendly.
I love warmer days after our extended cold snap. Saturday, though, things cool slightly. We are spending Christmas at home this year. Perhaps we will see a local Christmas Carol and a movie this weekend.