Nope. Haven't posted in a week. And, um. Yeah. And stuff.
Life goes on, though. Tomorrow my dad gets his gallbladder removed. This seems to be one of the necessary steps on the way to getting a heart transplant.
Classes start tomorrow, too, so after this I shouldn't have any excuse to be bored. Or have too much free time. Or anything, really. I have my backpack full of paper and necessary supplies. Oh, and books, too.
And I got a laptop to play with.
Unfortunately, it's not mine. But I do get to put Debian on it. So all's mostly right with the world, and I'm going to read for a half-hour or so before going to bed.
G'night, and don't feed the piranhas. It's dangerous.
Yup. I stay up way too late watching episodes of Alias with my roommate. But it's still summer vacation, right?
Today I accomplished quite a bit.
1) Got up.
2) Got out of bed.
3) Checked my mail.
4) Made macaroni and cheese for lunch.
5) Answered a gazillion emails that built up while I was gone from work.
6) Went to Walmart.
7) Went to Chick-fil-A and got supper. And proceeded to eat it.
8) Watched TV.
9) Went to Books-A-Million, bought a book on Practical Spying, and got hit on by one of the employees while browsing through the Linux section.
10) Watched "13 Going On 30" with my roommate. Or at least I will have. Theoretically. As soon as she quits talking to people.
Iowa: A sign for a rest area advertising 'Modern Restrooms'. I'm not sure I want to know what the un-modern ones are like...
On the way back, I stopped in Ackley to pick up some Mountain Dew. On the way into town, I passed the Ackley police SUV. I found him later on the edge of town, waiting by the side of the road to see if I broke the speed limit on the way out. I didn't.
Missouri: Specifically Kansas City, during the noon rush hour. Cute little gray sports car comes rushing up behind me at about 90. Comes very close to my tail, then continues weaving around traffic. My reaction upon seeing it pulled over 10 minutes later? "Hah."
Oklahoma: A place just south of the Will Rogers Turnpike, called "Safari Dave's", I think. Advertised Giant Snakes, something called 'Largest Chair', and Pony Rides.
Oklahoma has some really pretty country.
Oklahoma also has long stretches of nothing but country music radio stretches.
I'm back in Texas now, after my 4-day-weekend-jaunt up to Iowa to see my family. I actually ended up driving back the whole way; half because Heather was asleep all morning, and half because I just never felt like stopping, and she didn't care; an even 14-hour drive, all told. Have I ever mentioned that I really like to drive long distances like that? As long as I can have my music playing, I can go all day. It's loads of fun, really. I think I've missed my calling; I should have been a truck driver.
But yeah, now... I'm... ready... to... .... cr... .... ...ash.
'Night, all. Keep an eye out for the piranhas.
...and it's just as much fun to spring them on people. Especially my mom.
See, at the beginning of this last week, Heather suggested we should drive up to Iowa, like we'd kinda been planning to all summer. And so I let my dad in on the surprise, and told him not to tell anyone else. And so we drove up yesterday, after Heather got out of her final.
Reaction #1: We to the house at about 11:30pm, and Sharon and Jason had just sat down to watch Pirates of the Carribean. They didn't hear a thing until we walked into the living room. At which point Sharon just kinda of stared, and Jason asked what on earth we were doing there. It was great. XD
Reaction #2: My mom didn't find out until the next morning, as she describes herself. This was also great. XD
Reaction #3: Melinda walks down the stairs and right past me this morning, before she realizes who she passed. Best double-take ever!
Reaction #4: Ethan's so great. He walks into the living room rather calmly this morning, and says: "Oh, Ardith, you're home."
All in all, it was a highly successful surprise. And definitely wouldn't have been pulled off without Heather to come along and help with the 14-hour drive. If she hasn't got it already, this definitely promotes her to Bestest Roommate Ever status.
And the house looks gorgeous. I'm still amazed by how much the relatives got done when they were here a month ago. When I got in, I had to spend 15 minutes just looking at the freshly-painted rooms, the re-done kitchen, and everything else.
It's good to be home, even if it's just for a couple of days.
I would like to introduce you to some people out Ioway. (Yup, that's the state north of Missouri, and south of Minnesota) Mostly consisting of my mother's outlook on life and updates on my dad's health. I promised my mom I'd make her famous, so it's clearly getting linked on the side. Besides, she's my mother! XD
Yeah, she's where I get what little ability I have to write from. She made me write when I hated it, so I at least learned how to put coherent thoughts down on paper. And she's really, really good. Always has people in stitches with her letters.
Oh, and in less important news, I caught a little of TNT's terrorism-inspired new miniseries. The Grid, I think it's called. Of course, it would be just my luck to see the bit where they get data off a laptop harddrive captured in the field. Admittedly, I am no expert on the current state of military data-retrieval procedures. However, I still have a few questions...
Are there many people that *really* try to hot-swap IDE drives? I'm sure it's possible to plug it in without frying the thing; just be very careful. But the screen also instantaneously started bringing up picture after picture. That's a really fast analysis of the drive parameters and partition/filesystem info, no?
They found a picture of a dog. In each eye, they found an encoded map. The local guru called the result of the encoding process a 'dot matrix'. I.e., the color of each pixel represented a bit of information. What I want to know, is this the same sort of technology used in old and very noisy printers? Like my mom used to use to print labels for her Christmas cards?
I was going to complain about extreme compression ratios, but then decided that might be stupid. Some pretty amazing things are possible, given the right algorithms.
*turns off Overly-Analytical Geek Mode*
I cleaned off my desk today. See, I bought a new watch recently, and I had to have a work area to take the old one apart on. There are approximately 51 separate parts in your average $6 analog watch from Walmart. XD
Now I just have to think of something especially creative to do with all these nifty little gears and screws and things.
For as long as I can remember, we've had green tomato pie for my dad's birthday. His mom used to make it when he was little, and it's sort of become a family tradition. Some of our friends who've bravely tried it said it tastes a little like apple pie. Which it does -- except different. I realized last week that I wasn't going to get any this year unless I made it myself, so I got my mom to send me some green tomatoes.
Of course this would be the time the mail takes a whole week to get here from Iowa. But the package finally arrived, and I pulled the pie out of the oven about 20 minutes ago.
I'm soooooo happy...
But first, a small amount of background. I was talking to my mom, and I heard that my little sister Kendra got her driver's permit today. A momentous occasion as always. But first, she had to study up a bit for the written test, and Sharon and Jason were as helpful as always.
Well -- Sharon was helpful...
Jason: "Now, let's say a mutant camel starts across the road, what do you do?"
I was extremely proud.
See, I always have this vague feeling that I need more tools.
And then I saw this.
No, I'm not going to buy it. Yet.
Soooo... I went and watched Chronicles of Riddick this evening, and it being an action flick, I came away really, really hyper.
So then I went to Walmart with my roommate and picked up a cinnamon roll because I was hungry. End result? Hyperer than ever. Bouncing off the walls hyper.
Okay, okay, I'll try and settle down. Went to the Rangers game yesterday; no incredibly funny stories, but definitely much general amusement. And I was told later that we were on TV. We had good seats; right behind the Rangers' bullpen, three or four rows up. And there were fireworks afterwards. I think I can safely say those were the best fireworks I've ever seen. Not that that's saying much; the only other fireworks shows I remember were in Iowa. But it was loads of fun. And we all got free Rangers caps. So I was happy.
I think I've had a good weekend after all.