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Showing posts from October, 2008

Me at 57

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It's my birthday today. I'm thankful for the really big small things - a warm home that I love, a husband who I love who has arrived home safely after traveling.

I got a few things, too - some mad money, earrings made by my daughter (given to me in advance), a handmade tote bag and a belly dancing hipscarf from my dear friend. The belly dancing hipscarf is HOT. Orange chiffon with three lines of jingly coins. You tie it around your hips, and when you shimmy, everyone knows it.

Time to spend some birthday money online at Knitpicks. I'm dreaming about a sweater...

Snow Storm!

The past 24+ hours have been interesting.

Yesterday morning I was on the way to drop the car off for its annual inspection when I actually listened to the weather forecast. 6-10 inches of snow starting in the afternoon. Holy crud. When I pulled into the shop, I added "install snow tires" to the to-do list. (Our auto shop stores our snow tires for us at no charge, one reason why you would have to drag me over hot coals before I took my car anywhere else when it needs repairs.)

That was the best call of the day.

During the afternoon, the snow began to fall. I'd had a late start, so I worked late to make up my time. Not the best decision. By the time I headed home, there was about 4 inches of heavy, wet snow on the roads, and more snow was coming down fast. It was 19 miles of 25 miles per hour in third gear. As I drove past an oncoming car, the slush it threw up sounded like rocks as it hit the side of my car. Once I got across the bridge in Russell, I had to pick which hill I…

Home Stretch

I am two weeks into my last grad course. It's called Capstone in Public Administration and is intended to tie together everything we have learned in our core courses. I am writing a series of short papers, where I find a current development in public administration and tie it to a couple of concepts from a specific area of study. Each paper is posted on a discussion board, and we are all to read the papers written by others in our group, and make substantive comments. These comments are almost as much work as the papers if done properly, as you have to support your statements and cite references. I also will be writing an extensive case study, and sharing portions of it with my classmates over the next few weeks. The final will be a shorter proctored case study, with a four-hour time limit.

The most disappointing aspects of my grad program have been the uneven contributions by my classmates, and the laziness of a few of my professors. Time after time, I have to read poorly written …

Old Friends

This past weekend we went to Rochester again for a fast visit. We didn't visit my mom - we visited my brother and sister-in-law. It had been a long time since we have been able to spend some time with Dick and Nan.

When we got there, the dining room table was set for 6. Robert asked who else was coming for dinner, and Dick said it was a surprise. OK. That sounded like fun.

The four of us talked, catching up with what our kids are doing, and how we all are feeling these days. All four of us have had health issues during the past year. Dick and Nan each had a nasty fall that resulted in broken bones, I had emergency surgery, Robert had a severe episode of depression. The general consensus was that we were glad to have all of that behind us.

As we talked, my brother cooked. He is a wonderful cook, and specializes in grilling. He put together a Cal-Mex meal that looked very promising. Fancy macaroni and cheese, seasoned corn, and a tri-tip steak for the grill. A tri-tip is the bottom of …

Errors of Omission

When I screw up, I am much more likely to not do something that I should do, rather than to do something that would have been better to have been left undone. Just this week, I forgot to dial up a teleconference on a new ethics policy, and to take my car to the shop to have the emissions system reamed out. Often errors of omission can be corrected simply by doing what should have been done at a later time. The teleconference will be available online, and I made a new appointment with the car shop, after an appropriate period of apology and abject groveling.

When I get really, really busy, I forget things. Simple things like checking my calendar on my Palm Pilot every morning to see what is on the schedule that day.

Sometimes, though, an error of omission means a lost opportunity. That just happened to me.

I've known for months that a very high level accounting position would be opening up in county government. I'm one of the most qualified people in the county for the position. H…

Meme of the Day

I only recently figured out what meme means, so naturally I have to use it.

My mom and I enjoyed this a lot.



I checked my passport, and it does not include the declaration. I guess that I need to write my congressman. :-P

Weddings are meetings of family cultures

Last Sunday, we went to Steve and Yelena's wedding. Steve called us three days before to invite us, and though it was last minute and we had lots of things we needed to do, we knew we had to rearrange our plans to go.

We knew Steve and his wife Penny for years. Steve was chairman of the local Democratic committee at the time I served as treasurer, and he had a hankering to run for office, He made a couple of attempts at becoming a state senator in the 1990's. Later I was his treasurer when he ran for lieutenant governor. He didn't win any of his races, and he faded from the local political scene. He kept some friendships, though, and we saw him from time to time. He is a kind, gentle person, if not very effective as a politician. Penny was always a hoot to run into at Democratic parties - she had a sardonic take on the political scene, and some great stories. I wouldn't hesitate to say that they were happy together.

Then a few years ago, Penny suddenly died. I think she …

The most interesting thing I read today

I have been very unsettled by the reports today of people shouting scary, ugly things at Republican campaign rallies. "Kill him." "Treason." I'm not the only one.

From Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish:

07 Oct 2008 07:07 pm
The "Danger" Of Obama

An Israeli reader writes:
Your post on "The Danger of Obama" immediately brought to mind what happened here in Israel in the period leading up to Yitzhak Rabin's assassination. Even allowing for the differences in political culture between the two countries, some of the sounds we're hearing in the public debate around the election have a haunting echo. Here no one would have thought it possible that an Israeli Jew would take the life of a high official. There's little doubt that the crescendo of demonization toward Rabin – including accusations of treason, flyers picturing Rabin as an SS officer – and the difficulty, in a society guaranteeing free speech, of 'civilizing' the public …

A different election

So last night I was traveling to Rochester for my annual appointment with my neurologist. I was listening to As It Happens on WRVO on the car radio.

As It Happens is a Canadian news program. Last night featured a long story about the impending national election in Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper called for the election on September 7, and election day is October 14. Between the Democratic and Republican conventions and the US election, Canada is holding a national election. Whew - what has taken us 18 months is taking place in 5 weeks.

And - one of the major issues in the campaign is government support for the arts.

Also, there are two debates with the party leaders - one in English, the other in French. I'd like to see our four candidates for POTUS and VP try that.

It's a very different election, and a very different place.

Proud Mom!

This summer, my daughter was part of a undergraduate research program in mathematics. It was a dream job - she made darn good money and got to do advanced work in applied graph theory. Now, word has come that the paper that she co-wrote with her group and the professor who headed the team has been accepted for publication!

Title: "Mixing of Quantum Walks on Generalized Hypercubes," quant-ph/0808238. Accepted to appear in International Journal of Quantum Information.

Of everyone who checks into this blog, there may be one or two people who have a clue as to what this paper is about. I cheerfully confess that I don't.

If you had asked me many years ago what I dreamed of for my daughter, I would have told you that I hoped she would drink deeply from a well of knowledge. It is a thrill to watch her do just that. I'm not surprised that she has taken off in a direction different from mine. And I'm happy that she respects my particular pool of knowledge. While I don't…