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May 22, 1999
a year ago

Errands and Discoveries

Mostly a day of running about. A few dozens of things to get.

Last night turned out to be a lot more fun than I'd anticipated. I was worried about being stuck with upper-level management types and having to be on good behaviour and basically being put in a social situation that started with no food and only alcohol. But it didn't turn out that way. We started by meeting at Bennegan's at 7 - 7:30. John and I had about half an hour, so we stopped by the local Crossroads Mall to look at The Naked Edge, which is a knife shop in the mall. I wanted to see their Benchmade knives, just to see what was there and if there was something small enough and sharp enough. The small knife I bought isn't that good with quill material and I'm bending or twisting or shattering tines rather than cutting them with the smaller knife, not a good thing.

So we looked. They didn't have the Tuf-Cloth that Benchmade suggests, so that was an easy question to explain why we were there at all. Then we ran for Bennigan's, and showed up about 7:35 and no one was there. Ooops. We thought, for a little bit, that everyone had left, but that didn't make sense as they were going to meet between 7 and 7:30, have a few drinks, then go on to some restaurant or another. So we sat down out on the patio and ordered drinks and I was starving, so I also ordered an order of their SouthWest egg rolls, which had very Mexican things fried into a crisp egg roll crust. By the time it all arrived, so had everyone else. So everyone had some, and we shared in the cost and then wandered off to the Olive Garden.

The folks that did show up were pretty cool. Dan was our boss from Synario days at Data I/O, and he's moved all the way up to VP atmospheres, but is still pretty cool. Hee. His wife Bonnie is really nice and I like her a lot and she's very practical, fun and sharp. The other folks that came was the brand-new Director of Marketing and his wife, they were a bit older, but were darned cool, too, for marketing types. It really did reinforce the feeling that I have had since I got here that the marketing department here has a clue and has a very clear connection to what our market, our customers, and real engineering folks do. So both drinks and dinner was fun and it was good to know and meet more people here.

When I think Italian food, I have to admit that I usually don't think of the Olive Garden, I usually think Chain Food or 'they really push the just like Italy, they must be like Denny's or something awful' kind of push-back from the Olive Garden's particular form of marketing on TV. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it actually was. Nice, thick pasta with good sauces and fillings, and some fairly nice Italian wines and pretty keen service.

Sleep after the big Italian meal was easy.

Today we just went out and blasted through a huge list of Stuff to Get.

I did start the day with the piece of coffeecake no one ate yesterday, which was a lovely blueberry sour cream coffeecake with yummy crumbly nut and oats top. Then we got blinds for the skylights so Kathy won't be blinded in the mornings when she comes to visit, a bird feeder, bird seed, lots of things for John to cut the crawl space off from the basement, chocolate and a mortar and pestle from Peppercorn, pre-ground espresso from the local roaster, and a nice plastic garden cart for me to wander about feeding things and watering things. We stopped by the brew store, and John got a recipe's worth of beer ingrediants and I wandered about and collected ginger beer flavoring and some corn sugar. I have to admit that I like high fructose corn syrup in my iced tea and I wondered what corn sugar would taste like in my tea.

We even looked at a satallite dish to see if we could get the Aves game tonight, but there was no guarentee and given the cost of the dish, that was a lot of other stuff we could do. We went all over Boulder, then down South to Superior to the Eagle there, and then back along the county-line roads to see if the local produce place was open, but it was closed. All day there were threateningly dark black clouds, but it never really rained.

I then spent a lot of time with the new garden cart. I filled it with plant food and water and found that it could hold a good ten gallons at a time. Then I used the cart to trundle about the front acre and fed all the pine trees with the MiriAcid and then trundled about some more to water all the trees, eventhough it looked like a huge thunderstorm was coming. The problem with the storms around here is that they don't really last long enough to really soak down the plants. They just *spoosh* and then go away, so the trees and stuff don't really get a good, thorough soaking. Dumping two to five gallons of water on them really does a good job of soaking them down. I haven't counted the trees, yet, but there seem to be at least a hundred all over the property, some with watering systems, many without. By the time I was done, I was good and tired and my arms and back ached pretty well; but my hands weren't doing badly at all, which was the whole point to the cart. Yay!

We then listened to the first game in the Avalanche versus the Stars series, no ESPN. That was an okay game. Good to watch them play well.

Thunder boomed all around the house eventually, and Fezzik got up to bark at it all, so I let him outside to bark his fool head off. When it started raining, he banged on the door to come back in, because the thunder had stopped. He came in sparkling, shook off, and then the rain stopped. I was glad, then, that I'd watered what I'd watered.

I was too tired to do a dinner from scratch, so I took the extra stuff I'd made for the fried noodles of a few nights back, and made more, really quickly. Just boiled the fresh noodles, then fried everything together, with a touch more soy and sesame seed oil. Yum. It was really hot and really good, the noodles were nice and chewy and the vegis still crisp and yummy.

Afterwards, I went into the basement to try and find the espresso machine. I found two little, tiny coffee makers, another bigger one, and a whole bunch of dust and old things in the boxes we had down there. I never did find the espresso maker, so I asked John to try. He came back up an hour later covered with dust, and trumphantly hauling up a very dusty and somewhat grungy Krups boiler espresso maker.

I took some time to clean up the espresso machine. Wiped off and sponge cleaned most every bit of the exterior, then filled the boiler and ran steam through the various system bits. First the coffee parts, and got all kinds of grounds to come out. Then I plugged that way with the 'steam only' attachment and nothing came out of the steaming attachment. Oops. The release valve for the steam was puffing hard before the steamer finally unplugged and spat high-speed steam everywhere. I caught it in a cup of cold water and in a few moments had a cup of pretty warm water, cloudy water, to be sure, as it seemed that someone had left milk in the nozzle the last time they used it. It had dried milk on the outside as well, which I'd scrubbed off.

By the time I was done, the moths had come out again, so I chased 'em down and we used the bug light and it cleared out pretty quickly. Sleep was easy after that

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