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Archers, take the line!       11:45 AM - May 24, 2008

Saturday, after a long week of anticipation (which weight most heavily on Jen) I went over to the Pasadena archery range for their open participation session for new archers. Due partially to the weather (moderately cold and damp) and partially due to the holiday weekend, the walk-on crowd was very small, with 10 walk-ons, as opposed to their max of 60. Some weekends they get 100, and have to turn 40 people away.

It was great to be able to walk up, borrow some well-kept equipment, receive instruction on how to safely start with good form, and get to shooting. I was happy to hit the 6'x6' bale of hay, personally...

After so much anticipation, I'm glad that it turned out to be fun. I'll probably go back, and we'll see how this develops as a hobby.

Renaissance Faire       10:00 AM - May 18, 2008

On a lark, and despite seriously sunny and hot weather (95 degrees with 2 clouds in sight), we went out to the Renaissance Faire today. I'd never been to one before, and it was quite the experience. After noting that a psychologist could analyze the whole crowd there and never get bored, I relaxed and had a lot of fun with it.

There were comedy and singing shows, and shows where people threw things at each others. Most things that could be thrown, launched or eaten were available for participation (respectively) at booths throughout the event. Tomatoes, I notices, appeared in all three categories.

After doing spectactularly poorly at archery (with, to be fair, equally poor equipment), I'm thinking about looking into archery as a hobby. At least long enough to see if I'm really that bad at it, or if there's hope for improvement.

Dining Table       12:01 PM - May 11, 2008

After much talking and shopping and walking around furninture stores only to return to our folding table and chairs for dinner, we finally bought a real table. It seems a bit trivial, but it's been a months-long process to decide, easily dwarfing the months-long wait that we have in front of us before we actually take delivery of the table.

In eight-to-ten weeks, we can finally take our turn in the gourmet dinner club, or at least fold-down our table and retire it from day-to-day service well above its expected longevity.

Mom & Dad Come to Visit       12:01 PM - Apr 26, 2008

Mom & Dad came as our first visitors to our new apartment. We tired ourselves out beforehand unpacking the last of the boxes and setting up the guest bathroom just right. It was good to see them, and we had fun playing tourist around here. Their travel went well, but a faulty air mattress severely cut down on the amount of sleep they got.

We toured the LA Cathedral, the beach, the Queen Mary, the Warner Bros. studio, and the Disney studio. Mom also took Jen flower shopping, so we have some new plants around the house.

New Toys Around the House       12:01 PM - Apr 06, 2008

We've picked up some new toys for around the house, and surprisingly they're both working pretty well. My new toy is the Netgear Storage Center 101 (remarkably similar to Ben's SC101 ). It's a networked hard drive box that keeps mirrored copies of files on two separate disks. This means that we can get to the files from any computer in the house (the current count stands at 3 computers), and that one of the hard drives can fail without losing files forever. 3 hours and a trip to Fry's later, I have 200 Gb mirrored and 300 Gb unmirrored extra space.

After a small headache getting it configured ( it required software reinstallation after upgrading the firmware on the "toaster" ), everything dropped into place and it's working great. Jen's even comfortable using it, and reassured by having copies of important files -- like eight years of 3D animation projects, and photos of Jesse from Christmas...

Jen's new toy was more immediately applicate, and more viscerally enjoyable. It's a little "personal edition" shredder (also, confetti maker!). Jen wanted a way to securely destroy trash with personal information on it. I wanted revenge against junk mail. This was the solution. A Fellowes PDS-1 "Personal Series" shredder.

To make it small enough to be out of the way, you have to fold paper in thirds to feed it into the chute, but (conveniently for me) junk mail comes pre-folded in this exact way. There is a real physical satisfaction to hearing the whir of the motor and the crinkley ripping of the paper as it gets chewed into non-existance. All the spite and scam that makes up junk mail gets erased from existance, and is transformed into buckets of packing material. It's a fantastic stress reliever!

So, we'll see if my network storage drive comes up with a "big" win sometime -- something excellent about it that we both really enjoy. The paper shredder really is a source of smiles around the house now -- and it makes sorting out old paperwork less of a chore.

Toddling Around       6:43 PM - Mar 12, 2008

The Jess-Man is up and toddling around, or so my email tells me. Jen and I went for walks the last few weeks, too, hiking up the nearby mountains. Flat-landers like us were having trouble with the incline, but the second week was a lot easier. Well, it would have been if we didn't choose a trail that ended up being an old youth camp challenge trail...

The weather here will not be commented on, given that the snow back home is giving my nephew a chance at his first sled rides. Suffice to say that, despite my predictions to the contrary, one can get a sunburn in March here...

I'm still stuck on the same project at work as I have been for a long time. I finished fixed seven of the things that were causing problems, just in time for someone to find and eighth one.

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