Archive for October, 2008

These Things

October 21, 2008

Evelyn and I completed two of our bicycling

goals for the year: to ride 300 miles this

season, and to double Evelyn’s odometer of miles

riden before 2008. On our last ride, I helped a

total stranger named Ivy navigate three miles of

unfamiliar bike trails, my good deed for the


We attended a geocaching meetup in our area.

Fifty cachers were there, much more than I was

expecting. I won a "German butter tin" geocache

container in a raffle. Now I just need a place

to hide it. I’ve been geocaching for six years

now, and I’ve not yet hidden a cache. Now I

have a great excuse. Here’s my concept so

far… hide it in a historic industrial site,

name it "Ironmonger" and theme the cache to

metal contents only. Hey locals, know of any

such sites in the area?

I scrounged up this modern replica of a

vintage-styled mechanical piggy bank. Someone

was going to throw it away, with a few cents

still inside it! Like its century-old novelty

predecessors, it’s made of heavy cast iron.

With the press of a lever, a dolphin leaps

forward and tosses the coin in its mouth into a

slot in crest of a tall wave. (This is really

tough to do wih a half dollar!) I was always

interested in these mechanical banks as a kid,

seeing them advertised in mail order catalogs,

and was inspired to build similar devices out of

legos. My favorite lego bank had a hand-wound


Goodwill finds of late:

  • a 1962 childrens’ book on submarine history,

    the kind of which whet my lifelong interest in

    undersea vehicles since I was nine,

  • an LP of military fife and drum music from

    the era of the American Revolution,

  • and six more 78s including this Alma Gluck

    rendition of "Bring Back My Bonnie to Me" from


The red plastic device is my new external

hard drive. My PC’s hard drive is pushing five

years old, the service life expectancy of

computer components, and so data backup had been

increasingly on my mind. I’ve been really lazy

to back up data, using the only method I had

used before which is buring files to CD. As the

backlog of unarchived files exceeded CD capacity

several times over, I became daunted by the

mushrooming enormity of the task, and have put

off the task until now. I have 40Gb of data I

want to save, and so I went shopping for the

best backup option. I gave the issue way too

much thought (a problem I have all too often),

but decided on an external hard drive. The

smallest one at MicroCenter was 160Gb! Instead

of backing up just My Documents, I was able to

backup my entire used portion of my C: drive. I

also replaced my seven-year-old-mouse. This

whole experience has taught me that my knowledge

of computers is firmly rooted in 2003.

We have discovered a delicious challah

recipe. Challah is my definition of the perfect

bread… soft, flaky, thick-textured, and great

for dipping. I can’t get enough of it.

L’shanah tovah!

Political Slogan of the Day: We

cannot afford this government.

Nifty Wikipedia Thing: Ictineo II

Movies I’ve Seen:

The Princess and the Pirate (1944) ~ corny

one-liners distract from better comedy

Duel in the Sun (1946) ~ tragic love

triangle presented magnanimously

The Searchers (1956) ~ expect no sympathy

for Indians

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (2008) ~ same

comedy, better drama, and ninjas!

What I’m Reading:

"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand (66.3%)

"Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up" by Dave