Across the Street Thaw
Long time readers may recall the brou-ha-ha with across_street_girl's mom and Mrs. Ha, maybe eight years ago. In short, she was over five days a week, Mrs. Ha asked them to limit it to three-four days a week, and they're not the type to take criticism well. Neither is Mrs. Ha.
Anyhow, this fall fourteen year old was selling Girl Scout Cookies on the street, and walked by across_the_street's apartment, where the grandmother was sitting out. The grandmother is okay to deal with, and she asked fourteen year old what she was selling, and even signed up for two boxes.
And then the cookies arrived. Delivering the cookies was one of those bell the cat issues, until Mrs. Ha packaged them up with a SASE envelope, and I snuck over their late at night to drop them off at their door.
In other fourteen year old news, I've been asked not to leave the minivan when I pick her up at the rec center after swimming. Also, don't make small talk with the other team members, and don't look them in the eye. The one that I knew from other activities might be grandfathered in. The embarassment tide has turned.
like a permanent two year old
We're still de-dogifying our life, we're not ready to get rid of his dishes and food stand, we have lots of food and treats we should pass on to the inlaws, we still haven't got the ashes. We're not getting another one for while, when you think about it, they're like a permanent two year old, and require a lot of attention.
I wish I were William Gibson
One night our youngest picked up Pattern Recognition and asked if that was me on the back cover. I wish, sure, we share the same stunning Adonis like looks, but he's a much better writer, sold many many many more books, has a lot more Hugo, Nebula and Lotus awards, more time on the NYT's bestseller list, spawned more common words and has a lot more greek cred. I still remember buying Neuromancer in the mall (it was a more literate time, when a mall could support multiple book stores) and starting it in the parking lot. Nowadays kids don't even understand what a dead channel on the TV is.
Not so good wine
A problem with having an adventurous palate is getting stuck with wine that doesn't taste good. But you know, waste not want not.
In our twenties, hanging out with the leftie sorts, Bully Hill was a default wine, more for the anti-corporatist bit than the taste. The T*** family had a long history in wine production in the Finger Lakes, they sold their winery and the name, and the son staretd a small winery, but could not put his name on the bottle, it would be confusing. Most bottle labels referenced the court case where Walter S T*** was prohibited from putting his name on the label, instead it was a black bar. Anyhow, Bully Hill runs sweet, so when I bought a box of Grower's Red, I should have ignored the label and figured it was too sweet for me. It was, but blended with cheap Chianti, it was drinkable.
Next up was Stevers Hill Diesel Red. It's odd, we like the small bit we had on our tasting tour, so we bought a bottle. It wasn't as good at home, too sweet, had to be mixed.
Then there was the last of a boxed Australian malbec. It wasn't too sweet, just odd. Mixed up, it was fine.
The Big Apple
Nine year old went with her class for a four day trip to New York City and Lowell, Massachusetts. They're studying immigration and industrialization in school, so the trip was appropriate. She had fun, despite the blizzard making a mess of their schedule, Ellis Island was even closed one day.
In other Apple news
Props to Apple
Fourteen year old and I went to the Apple store at Eastview last weekend, the only one in the Rochester area. It was my first time, so I didn't know the protocol. But after figuring it out (talk with the dude with the iPad in front of the Genius Bar) to make an appointment), we got an appointment. Andrew the tech dude took the iPod, figured out that it was water damage, despite the indicator not turning red. He did good, rather than charging us $99 to fix it, he talked with his manager and gave our oldest a new one.
We're not sure why; good PR, they figured hers could be easily refurbished and resold, they're getting rid of their prior gen iPods (it's the 8 gig touch without the camera) but it worked for us. On the way home I bought a cord to attach to our old kitchen lights, to put in the basement and make it usuable for games bigger than 12x20.
While we were waiting we checked out FYE, but there was no Panzer Tactics for DS available, and I didn't want to pay $30 for Advance Wars.
When we got home, it was going to take hours to reload the iPod, so our oldest suggested Risk . It was just us two, and two neutrals, with setup determined by cards. She got lucky, starting with a significant presence in Asia, and New Guinea and Eastern Australia. I had Indonesia, but couldn't stop her, and she won, honestly. There's more gaming, to come.
Gaming Day and 7 Wonders
The Rochester boardgame society meet is on the third Saturday of the month, and I got to go. I even got to play two game. Sometimes I show up and can't fit a game in my time constraints, and available player constraints.
First up was Cheapass's card game The Totally Renamed Spy Game where you build a super villian's Lair, blow up the other's players Lairs with Spies, and gain points for having a stronger Lair than Spy. Silly and quick, I'd play it again.
Next up was 7 Wonders, pretty close to a 45 minute Civ game using card drafting mechanics. It's hot on boardgamegeek. It's confusing for a first time player, and scoring is confusing. You start with a Wonder with it's own special rules and a default resource, get 7 cards, pick the best one to play and pass the rest of the hand. Repeat 5 more times and end the Age. Repeat for 2 more Ages.
There's not a lot of competition or interaction. You can buy resources from the left and right neighbor (they can't say no), you can compete military with the left and right neighbor. You can choose a card that gives scoring and money based on the right and left neighbor have.
I did like it, and would certainly play it again. I hear it plays differently with few players.
Including Risk the next day, that was three f2f games in a weekend.
Prosperity is just around the corner
Mrs. Ha went on a bunch of interviews, and landed a position in another home daycare. This one has been going on for eight years, mostly by word of mouth, and appears professional and competent. They even want her to work near full time for the first month or two. The money won't be rolling in until mid February though, it will be tight until then.
First up, books.
Boyne's Clash of Wings, a history of WWII in the air. It made a neat change of perspective, though most of it wasn't new. The Russian Air Force stuff was.
Bryson's A Short history of Nearly Everything is indeed a short history of lots of things, from the history of determining the age of the Earth to a ginormous meteor crater in Iowa that you can't see. Recommended.
I downloaded the Kindle app for my Droid. It's okay reading on it, but boy does that black text on white screen suck down the juice.
I had high expectations for Sunshine Cleaning, which we watched via Instant Netflix. I had heard it was a black comedy, but maybe I conflated it with that other indie film set in the SouthWest with Allan Arkin with Sunsshine in the title, Little Miss Sunshine. It's more a relationship type chick flick.
Set Viewing level to Pretentious
In continued plumbing of the depths of the Netflix Instant options, I found out that thirtysomething was available. We liked this when it was being broadcast, then again, we have been brainwashed by the mass media that Boomers are the bestest generation, ever! The kids got in bed at a decent time, so we queued up the first episode. Oh my goodness, infants are demanding, and sex and fun take a back seat to babies at first. Oh dear, parents can be hard, and work can strain your ethics. It is entertaining, and we do like Hope and Micheal's house. Ours is somewhat similar, if far less ornate and Arts and Craftmansy.
I also found Return of the Secaucus 7 on Instant, queued it up, as well as some Buffy, Fame, Coupling and Top Gear. But wait, there's more.
One morning I watched episode one of The Rat Patrol . The history was a little suspect, I wasn't aware of an American component of the Long Range Desert Group. Why isn't Band of Brother's available instantly, instead?
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