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Mountain Views of Madness
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in 3diff's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, March 24th, 2011
9:38 pm
I have developed a fondness for writing Wikipedia articles on footnote people in American history. Many of them are judges - the coverage of, say, Chief Justices of various state supreme courts from the 19th century is fairly poor, despite the fact that biographical info is often available on the web with a few searches. I also like to write articles on people with slightly odd names - it makes it easier to find information on the web. And it is more amusing.

So, for instance, I have written articles on Buell A. Nesbett, Bartlett Tripp (and his brother William), George Poffenbarger (and his wife Livia Simpson Poffenbarger), Hezekiah Lord Hosmer, Alphonso G. Kellam, and Marmaduke H. Dent. (I think Marmaduke qualifies as a little odd all by itself.)

There are worse habits, I suppose.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
10:31 pm
Further update
We will be picking up Mom at the nursing home on Saturday and taking her home. She is still a bit fuzzy, but we are hoping that continues to wear off.
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
9:03 am
Still in CT. Mom is doing better - kidneys working, breathing tube out, moved to regular hospital floor. We need to figure out how it is going to work, getting her back to her house, but... one step at a time.
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
11:39 pm
His regular life has been replaced by Folger's Crystals...
I haven't posted about this here, only on that Facebook thing, so... Presently I am stuck in Connecticut, at my mother's house, traipsing down to the hospital every day to visit her. She has been in intensive care since Saturday morning. It appears she had/has an infection - where, they haven't been able to figure out - that went seriously septic. It caused very low blood pressure, and also led to her kidneys shutting down. We are hoping they will come back online soon. It looks like they are taking her off her breathing tube tomorrow, because she doesn't need it any more - at least that's the plan. We just hope she doesn't end up having to do dialysis on a temporary or permanent basis.
Saturday, January 1st, 2011
12:42 am
where I slept
This should be interesting....
- Arlington, MA (duh!)
- Granby, CT
- Orlando, FL
- on a cruise ship
- Raleigh, NC
- near Sylva, NC
- Morristown, NJ
- Washington, DC
- London, England
- Ipswitch, England
- on a cross-Channel ferry
- Maastricht, The Netherlands
- Cologne, Germany
- near Prum, Germany
- Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
- near Brussels, Belgium
- Atlanta, GA
- somewhere south of Gainesville, FL
- Cambridge, MA
- somewhere else in New Jersey
- Elkridge, MD
- Pine Mountain, GA
- Cary, NC
- North Andover, MA
- New Lebanon, NY
- Hunt Valley, MD
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
12:14 pm
Day Something or Other: Maastricht
Today I asked the kids whether they wanted to go to a zoo, a castle, or a coal mine, and my daughter said "coal mine!" My son wanted to play more of the Toy Story game in the hotel lobby, so he didn't get a vote. So, we went to the coal mine.
The coal mine (more accurately an ex-coal mine, with tours) was in Valkenburg, not far away. We had potato chips and juice outside and then ventured in. After purchasing tickets and waiting a bit, the tour started.
I had been worried about the temperature in the mine; that didn't turn out to be that bad. What WAS a problem was that the tour guide was probably an ex-miner, and he had lots to say about the mine. In Dutch. We wandered slowly along while I tried to keep the kids quiet and happy, while he gave what sounded like an excellent tour, with not a word of English. R. hit her head in a small railway car. W. realized we didn't have his pacifiers along. Eternity....
Mines are loud places. They demonstrated various bits of equipment, and the kids covered their ears.
Finally we exited the mine, had a late lunch just down the street, and went back to the hotel for naptime.
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
7:13 pm
Day 4: Ipswich
A low-key day. I set out with the kids to walk up to Christchurch Park. We stopped at a renovated church which had been turned into a small performance hall by a local music group. The restored Victorian stained glass was quite nice. After stops for lunch and the local tourist info office, we finally reached the park's playground, which is quite nice. On the way back we stopped at the Christchurch Park Museum for a few minutes and determined that we really needed to make a longer visit. The room full of Tudor furniture was cool, and we barely glanced at the many portraits.
Monday, July 19th, 2010
1:59 pm
Day 3: Ipswich
We have a beautiful modern hotel room here with a fine harbor view of the River Orwell (not a bit Orwellian). The room is so new and modern that it doesn't have a decent dresser for your clothes, but it does have a window into the bathroom so you can watch your spouse on the toilet (unless you opaque the window via the unobtrusive switch). I wandered around the town today with the kids. McDonald's failed to have the Happy Meal toy we wanted, but worked OK. Holyrood Park rocks and has a great playground.
Saturday, July 17th, 2010
7:34 am
European trip: Day 1, London
We are in London. I think. We are pretty zonked and jetlagged. The kids are asleep. After they wake up we will probably creep out for a late lunch and maybe a little tourism.
We have learned several important things; first, if you come into Heathrow late-ish with a bunch of luggage and two small children, take a taxi; negotiating all the stairs in the Underground is No Fun; and, second, plug adapters only work if the appliance you are trying to plug in has a power adapter; if you try to plug in, say, a power strip, you blow the circuit. (Duh, but see above about jetlag.) You need an actual power converter.
Sunday, June 13th, 2010
5:51 pm
You know, maybe June wasn't the right month to visit beautiful Callaway Gardens in central Georgia - current temperature 94 degrees, 47 percent humidity. But since we are down here for a family celebration sort of thing, we didn't have much choice.
Monday, April 26th, 2010
10:00 pm
A new theory on the dinosaurs
My son Will and I were talking about the dinosaurs, and I told him that the most likely theory was that they had died out due to a metiorite strike. Will told me that he thought some of the dinosaurs must have looked up and noticed the metiorite, and they probably ran away and hid in a bush, or behind a tree. So, they could still be alive. We agreed we would have to look for them.
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
1:07 pm
(I Want to be Your) Mom
I haven't listened to Ed's Redeeming Qualities' "At the Fish and Game Club" album for a long time. It isn't my favorite album of theirs, but it has at least one good song: "Mom". It's a silly song, but romantic too - if you really love someone, why shouldn't you want to have known them for their whole lives?
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
11:30 am
I have recently gone back to using crack... um, well, actually, it is worse... I've rejoined World of Warcraft.
My first re-impressions:
a) I'm on Kirin Tor, the old RP server that I had my old characters on, and as far as I can see, the quality of role play on it has continued to decline, to the point where I don't see anyone even TRYING to role play.
b) The discourse on general channels is worse than ever.
c) The server appears to be overloaded with characters who have topped out at 80, and who spend their time lounging around the cities looking cool. I suspect they are waiting for their 65th run through an instance known only as "UBK" (or some other acronym), where they are trying again to get "Ugluk-Mugluk's Mittens of Supreme Might", which would complete their set of Ugluk-Mugluk armor, which they don't wear anyways but it would be nice to complete it.
d) It all looks cool in higher rez.
e) It still feels good to kill those Fleshrippers, because they are really annoying.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
10:27 pm
Three stories, reviewed
"Strange Horizons" August 3-17

"Origin" by Ari Goelman starts off as a light bit of cliche: a superheroine discovers that she is pregnant by her superhero lover, and he seems to have no interest in having a child. Argument ensues. Enter (as ob/gyn) the standard-issue mad scientist doctor; battle ensues, somewhat later. Luckily, the author manages a touching (if a little overdone) ending, and some actual character development, just as the story ends. Grade: B+/A-

"Finisterre" by Maria Deira is a brief story which is only fantasy in that a child in it fantasizes (or does she?) about hunting werewolves. If this was expanded, it might go somewhere... but, as is, it doesn't. C+

"Salt's Father" by Eric Gregory is another story that feels like a fragment or germ of a larger work, but this time we have enough to appreciate. Salt's father lives far away from his famous son, who bedevils the establishment in the capital city; but when Salt comes to visit, his father gets caught up in his son's battle. The ending is a little weak, but I thought the main character and the setting were well done. A-
Saturday, May 30th, 2009
5:06 pm
Marley & Me
(First in what may be a series of reviews of airline movies, where I don't actually plug in the headphones or really watch the movie, but nevertheless watch random bits of the movie anyways.)

This movie appears to have two diverse agendas that don't fit together very well; on one hand, it is about a young couple that gets married, has children, and lives through various crises of life, apparently somewhere in the American South. On the other hand, they have this annoying dog, which is continually ruining their life in various ways. Then, the last part of the movie is about the dog dying, and apparently they realize that they loved the dog all along and get some sort of bland all-American life revelation from its life. (I could tell this from the amount of time they spent staring into the camera or off into sunsets.)

How much money would I pay to see this in the theater? -$50. I think about $50 would be sufficient to induce me to watch this. It would be painful, but I could do it.
Thursday, May 21st, 2009
12:22 pm
Dinosaur poop!
In Ipswitch for the week; Alia is at BT Adastril Park for meetings. We are staying at the Salthouse Harbour hotel, and not far away is Coprolite Street. According to Wikipedia, coprolites used to be mined on a small basis in eastern England, for the phosphate content, and there was once a warehouse in Ipswitch that stored them, thus the name. I took a picture of the Coprolite Street Bus Stop sign.
Sunday, April 19th, 2009
8:55 am
The enemy is in sight
Yesterday I finally got around to crawling around in our eaves and looked for where the animals, possibly squirrels, have been getting into our eaves and attic. I finally found a sophit that was obviously implicated - although it looked like the wire had been pushed out, not in. I covered it with some tacked-down metal window screening.

As you could have predicted, this morning there was some scratching, and I peeked into the eaves and saw a big old fat squirrel with his head stuck under the screening - trying to get out.

I just hope he isn't really stuck in the sophit, since I think that involves me eventually going in after him with heavy gloves and a big towel or something. Once William wakes up, we could leave the door to the eaves open and the squirrel could go out the bedroom window.
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
8:53 pm
worth it
Last week, on one of our few child-free evenings, I dragged sichling to see Slumdog Millionaire. Well worth the effort! And, of course, it is very efficient when you see about 1 movie/year to see the Academy Award winner for best picture, as it turned out to be.
Saturday, December 27th, 2008
8:21 am
I wonder if anyone has ever done the combo of The Map from ''Dora the Explorer'' and Google Maps. Just imagine typing in, say, "43 Main St., Saybrook, CT" and getting The Map:
"I'm The Map, I'm The Map, I'm The Map... and IIIyyyyy know how to get to 43 Maaain Street in Saaaybrook, Connecticut! You go Down Route 95, Take Exit 24, and Bear Slightly Right to Stay on Main Street! Now you tell your driver: Route 95, Exit 24, Main Street! Say it with me! Route 95, Exit 24, Main Street! Route 95, Exit 24, MAAAIN STREEEEET!"
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
1:55 am
Nice Nice Nice
The web is a great way to waste time when you should be asleep. This song - http://louiesimon.com/files/Nice_ProofofUtah.mp3 - made me laugh.

It is by the two guys who were the core of Proof of Utah, a silly and obscure band from Bowling Green, Ohio that broke up a long time ago. They had one fabulous album titled "It Doesn't Matter Much" that I love.
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