New Years Resolutions

I don’t normally do resolutions, but this year I have been inspired by the number of blogs featuring acknowledgements of the usual course of breaking the resolutions. So forthwith are my resolutions that i can keep for the coming year:

  • I will accuse more people of having the intelligence of a kumquat.
  • I will gain weight. (Made even easier by my new insulin regimen.)
  • I will ask “And your point is?” to any number of people pointlessly blithering on.
  • I will be accused of speaking pedantically more than once.
  • I will have any number of questions for which I can find no good answer.

I’ll leave you with this question

and these thoughts

(In honor of the pending divorce of Katie Perry and Russell Brand)

Ultimo Anno Sexto

No, it is not nearly as sexy as it sounds. It is merely the last one sixth of the year (or as near as I can remember – it has been 40 years since I last learned any Latin). I figured that with the paucity of posts on my part in the last couple of months, it was a good time to summarize the last sixth of the year.

The week before Thanksgiving brought the 11th annual Community Caring Hands Trivia Bowl (which I have written about in the past here and here.).  After the ultimate humiliation of placing second last year by one point, this year our team roared back to win. One team member who had been gone on recent years returned to play with us this year while another departed to move to Love Lady Texas. So if you run into Dr. Bob the surgeon around Love Lady, say high from me. {*grin*} Our team has competed for the last 8 years, winning in 5 of them. We treat the trophy like hockey teams treat the Stanley cup. So it is mine to display now until next November. Looks good on the piano doesn’t it?

I made sure it was out for Christmas to tease the teen age relatives who were on a competing team this year!

Then came Thanksgiving and Black Friday. L and I hit a few sales since she needed a laptop and I wanted a spare coffee pot and a tool set (years of using the same tools, with no metric sizing and the shrinkage caused by the son’s teenage years left me a bit short in the wrench department.). I remembered why I generally don’t attend such sales. Why stand in line and shuffle and shift in a mass of humanity? Especially since some things were available the next day. I do have to admit that we got L a new laptop for a very nice price. The nice thing was that in our rural community, everyone was cordial and friendly, trying to help one another. Sounds a bit nicer than some of the reports from cities that I read.

There was the sadness of Carol’s death and the funeral. There is nothing quite like a rural funeral where the burial is out on the plains with snow and wind and near zero temperatures with sub-zero wind chills. Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) is such a sad thing, especially since it so often strikes in middle age.

Other than the normal round of Christmas parties, it was a pretty calm December. The weather here has been unseasonably warm, with highs in the 40s and 50s for most of the month. That goes along with the relative paucity of snow thus far. It is almost as bad as the mountains where snow packs are at the lowest levels in 30 years.

Christmas was, as it normally is, a dual affair. We had the clan from my side of the family here Christmas eve for gag gifts and coffee and cookies and … It seems hard to picture that the youngest of the group is now in first grade. I can remember babysitting for their moms and dads a long time ago. The party got livened up when the young ladies and gentlemen discovered the costume closet. There is nothing like a group of teenage girls and guys putting on a dress up show in costume and wigs. Everything from roman gladiator and Cleopatra to cowboys and indians. Talk about energy and enthusiasm! L and I and mom journeyed over to the MIL’s for present opening and good food on Christmas day. The son was working at Breckenridge, so didn’t join us. He had just gotten back from his first real vacation. (He decided to go to Hawaii and visit friends and relatives before the ski season kept him tied down. He got L some puka shell encrusted flip flops and me some macadamia nuts for Christmas – what more could one ask for.)

The last week of the old year was marked by very warm days and then the wind. The last few days have had wind gusts into the 70+ mph range with steady “breezes” of 40 mph. That isn’t too bad unless it is like yesterday where the wind brings falling temperatures and whiteout snow conditions. L had a cold and combined with the wind and snow and ice, it was a good day not to be out and about. So no New Years Eve partying for us. We instead had soup for supper and were in bed right after the right coast ball dropped.

So much for the year that was.

Odd Thoughts

Today as I was contemplating my navel after clearing the snow off the sidewalk and driveway, I began to meander down several odd mental pathways. So here are some odd thoughts for your perusal.

1) How great is it to live in a small town? I am out in shorts and parka this morning clearing the snow when the postman pulls up and yells “Hi Dan, just got a package for you, I’ll be by with the mail in a bit.” as he walks to the door. No comments about my choice of clothing or sanity level or … That is because in a small town everyone knows your name and accepts your behavior, just as you accept theirs.

2) How different is it to meet the love of your life at different ages? At least for me, the mental picture I see when I close my eyes and kiss L is of the wonderful young girl from 40+ years ago. We have been married for going on 37 years and I still think of her as a teenager. If I had not met her until later in life, what mental image would be the one etched in my memory?

3) How appropriate is this to most arguments?


We learned that Carol, L’s business partner and friend, lost her battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) yesterday. She battled and fought with all her strength to see her kids grow into adulthood. Try as she might, she is not going to see the three teenage kids she leaves behind graduate from high school. It is so sad to see someone so young (our age) reach the end. Our sympathies go out to her husband and family. (I wrote briefly about Carol and her battle here.)

Carol, 1955-2011
Rest In Peace

Long Ago

Long ago in a time when personal and office technology was just coming to the fore, L and I founded a little company called Jones Technologies, Inc. It is a story for another time to mention what it is called now. Needless to say it was small then and isn’t now.

We started the company about the time the first laser printers with {*gasp*} built in fonts were coming to market. But, …, nothing was standardized and no two printers had the same way of calling the fonts and using them, so they were pretty much a useless novelty. A client of mine had me create a program to set the fonts in a particular line of lasers as a sales tool. This was back in the days of MS-DOS before Windows was even a gleam in anyone’s eye, so you ran my program and then your word processor to print and automagically you had the graceful fonts (but only one font for the whole page, etc …). It was a resounding success for the client as a sales tool at the time.

In playing around that year, I decided to make what, for the time, was an impressive demo. Using FatLips (yes, I named the program FatLips internally – it was a play on the printer brand and a certain movie of the time), I created this:

At the time, it was a spectacular card. The graphic was cut and paste – literally pieces of paper taped together and added to the page. A few years later this type of thing was common place. And in another few years it was completely supplanted by pure computer techniques.
In any case, this came to mind as L was cleaning out some old paperwork and came across this and had to show me. An interesting reminder that what is now trivial to do from your favorite programs with almost any printer was once something that required programming and specialized tools. I for one do not miss those days of yore in the least!

Things Done Right