Print Story What goes up, must come down
By georgeha (Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 08:09:27 AM EST) balloons, depression (all tags)
and I paid $20 for that short ride.

Plus Rushmore, The Gold Coast, D-Day, poorly engineered flatpack and less.

Poll: Favorite type of aircraft?

It was a good long weekend, though full of a lot of stress.

My parents took the girls to the New York State Festival of Balloons down in Dansville for most of the weekend, so we had lots of time to ourselves. I made the most of it, even replacing the ceiling fan light socket in preparation for the coming dark times. I also read a lot.

Sunday my parents invited us down for dinner, it was my first time at a balloonfest. We did get to see 40+ balloons take off, lots of light aircraft  (including a biplane) and gliders and even a short ride in a tethered balloon with eleven year old. That cost $10 for each of us, and eleven year old was too scared to really look down, but I think she enjoyed it.

We hit Target on the way down to buy a flatpack bookcase, which fits well in Mrs. Ha's master plan for the girls' bedroom. I was disappointed in the engineering, it was hard to screw the studs in enough to engage the camlocks. With the back on (stressed skin) and lots of wood glue, it should be sturdy enough.

I must be the last geek in the world to see Rushmore.  I liked it, I liked it better than the Royal Tenenbaums. Slowly I'm working my way through Anderson's ouvre.

I picked up Ambrose's D-Day at the library last week, and decided to read it when I needed some light military history. His writing style relies on lots of anecdotes and short paragraphs, just the thing for reading in short bursts. If you've read Band of Brothers or Citizen Soldiers, many of the anecdotes are repeated.

The Gold Coast is one of Kim Stanley Robinson's books in his California Triptych, three science fiction novels set in Orange County, one a post-apocalyptic scenario, one a green utopia, and the Gold Coast a technological nightmare. When I first read The Gold Coast in the late 80's. it seemed frightening and prescient, the Cold War was still raging, the military industrial complex was dominant and southern California seemed a mess.

When I last reread it in the early 2000's, it seemed to be less relevant, time had passed it on, Nowadays, I'm not so sure.

Writing science fiction is always tough, but one of the glaring misses is the lack of cell phones. Several key plot points are due to characters missing messages, or leaving messages on voice mail. When it was written in the late 80's, cell phones weren't common, but they were around.

The lead character Jim is a mess, but I really empathized with Sandy, the manic drug designer/dealer (ecstacy analogues it seems) who seems to the major source on motion for the characters. Too often it feels like I'm responsible for keeping our family moving and focused.

In other news, Mrs. Ha's meds are off, and her depression is building up. Joy.

< on new family life | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
What goes up, must come down | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)
$170 smackers by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 08:13:33 AM EST
for that bookcase ? Hmm. I mean, it'd be maybe $60 in birch plywood to make, plus some paint, trim and the drawer... Well, I guess that's a fair price.

Good price on the balloon ride, even if it was up/down. The few balloon fests I've been to, it's more like $210 but that's a go up, go a few miles, come down and take the bus back. The Mrs has long desired to take such a ride, but I can't stomach the price.

What is this birch plywood material? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 08:16:27 AM EST
It's made of manufactured wood, by slaves in China. But, it only took an hour or two assemble, no painting/priming/prep work needed.

I heard $200 for the actual balloon ride, way too steep for me.

[ Parent ]
WIPO: Snowbird by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 08:56:39 AM EST
Although that's probably too specific for the poll. I only say this because the air show was on the other day, and the snowbirds look and sound pretty cool buzzing around the sky. Not too crazy about the ultra loud F16 or F18 or whatever it was that nearly busted everyone's eardrums and set off car alarms all over the downtown area.

World's best "flatpack" bookcase... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 09:01:01 AM EST
When I was moving away to college, I grabbed a 8' sheet of 1/4" plywood and a half sheet of left over paneling from his workshop. I cut the paneling into  2x4 sections and the plywood into 4 1x4 and 8 1x2 sections. Nailed it all together into two bookshelves that have survived absolutely everything I could throw at them. 25 years later, they're in my workshop.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.
Reading Material... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 09:02:52 AM EST
If you haven't yet, get Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon trilogy. I'm currently finishing his newest, an unrelated story called Th1rte3n.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.
WIPO and meds by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 10:30:04 AM EST
WIPO: Multi-engined monoplane. Hard to really have a favorite though, different missions call for different airplanes.

Biplanes are generally Teh Suck, way too draggy. If I won the lotto though, one of the many airplanes I'd buy is a Beech Staggerwing. Just 'cause it looks soo sexy.

In meds news, all the different doctors my mother is seeing damn near killed her. She's been having serious balance problems of late, so she went to her G.P. They took her blood pressure.


Yikes! So her G.P. starts going through all the meds she's on (their HMO has it computerized, any doctor she sees can bring up the list), and realizes she's actually on several blood pressure meds, all prescribed by different docs. So her G.P.'s office got on the phone with the local hospital arranging for her to be admitted if her blood pressure didn't come back up satisfactorily. After about 5 hours in the office, much of it with a saline IV, it had risen to 100/70 or so though and she was deemed safe to go home.

So, the doctor had my mother stop all her BP meds, then she has to come back in today, and they're going to evaluate what to do next. I think "next" for everyone is "keep better track of all the meds she's on".

Mrs. Ha only has two docs prescibing by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 01:56:06 AM EST
an endocrinoligist for her thyroid, and a psych for her anitdepressants and antianxiety. No rael harmful interactions yet.

[ Parent ]
Planes by Phage (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Sep 05, 2007 at 10:27:21 PM EST
No jets ?
I'd WIPO the Harrier, the F111 and the 747.

It was a pretty lackluster poll by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 01:53:34 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Ok. by Phage (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 02:10:28 AM EST
Tehn I'm going with the single engine monoplanes. WW2 is has examples from the butt-ugly through utilitarian to gorgeous.

[ Parent ]
WIPO: ME 262 prince of turbojet by debacle (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 04:46:44 AM EST
Junker's jumo oh-oh-four


What goes up, must come down | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)