Sunday, January 30, 2011

Facebook weirdness

I'll bet you are expecting me to write about Macworld 2011, where I've been all week, but I'm going to write about Facebook instead.

This afternoon my Ballard next-door neighbor, Gwen, commented on Facebook that she'd just seen Green Hornet and it was horrible. I left a comment agreeing that it was awful. A couple of hours later I got an email from Facebook that contained a subsequent comment in the Green Hornet thread, left by a friend of Gwen's named Sasha.

Here's the weird part: I realized when I saw her last name that Sasha is someone I already knew...because she was my next-door neighbor when I lived in Wallingford 10 years ago.

Good grief. I mean, what are the chances of your next-door neighbors from two different neighborhoods knowing each other?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The bad and the good

Bad: Steve Jobs announces he's taking a health-related leave of absence.
Good: All my Apple and ex-Apple friends are worrying about him together.

Bad: My biggest and best client gets acquired by a foreign company and the executive I report to gets laid off.
Good: I have more time to work on book-writing projects for my publisher, which I've discovered I like to do.

Bad: I have less reliable income.
Good: My partner suddenly has lots of work coming in.

Bad: My volunteer work seems to be full of urgent stuff and people with communications issues.
Good: I'm finally learning to prioritize and to deal with difficult people.

Bad: It's rainy and gray and soggy and cold.
Good: I have waterproof gardening boots and gardening gloves.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Big improvements, small repairs

It wasn't until we went to clean the house today that I realized how much has changed around here in the past month.

There's a beautiful new window in my office. It's not just a much nicer view of the garden, it's got insulated glass, snug fittings, and an insulated frame. No more drafts at my desk! No more closing the curtains to get insulation!

The basement den has been completely rearranged to create a 7-foot deep area in which to use the XBox, Kinect, and Dance Central. There are probably a few more changes yet to come down there that I'm in denial about, involving large bookcases.

The living room is now in its post-holiday configuration, which is more spacious than usual.

All that's the good news.

The bad news? We're in one of those weeks in which things break. Not badly, and not irreparably, but in annoying and time-consuming fashion.

It started with the annual visit from the oil company to tune up the furnace yesterday. The upstairs is always chilly when we wake up, but this morning it was exceptionally so. The seriousness of the situation became apparent when I went down to the kitchen and discovered it was 52 degrees. All attempts to revive the furnace failed, so I called the company. They apologized and sent out the serviceman, who discovered that some new equipment he'd installed had malfunctioned. He put in yet another piece, and, well, we'll see what the temperature is tomorrow morning.

In the midst of the furnace follies, I went to take a shower and the plastic handle on the shower valve shattered. There is now no way to control water flow and temperature without grasping the metal stem with a pair of pliers. I was reluctant to get scalded, so went dripping upstairs to the stall shower. We didn't get out to the plumbing store today, but "replace faucet" is at the top of tomorrow's to-do list. I sure hope it is a realistic do-it-yourself task and we don't end up having to bring out the plumber.

These things tend to happen in threes. I am now eying the refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, and dryer suspiciously — though they are all four under extended warranty. Clogged drain, anybody?