Sunday, April 29, 2007

The measure of a man

I'm just back from taking my fifth son to be measured for his tux for his junior prom. I'll never know what it is like to help a daughter shop for a prom dress, but I expect the experience is very different.

I couldn't really get Tom to look at any of the tuxes while we were waiting - he waited until he was asked by the clerk what he had chosen to actually investigate. "Black" was the primary criteria, and I can't say there was much concern for stripes or pattern or number of buttons or material... He did say the word green about a vest and tie, and did find one that he was happy with.

Then you watch the little boy be measured for his thoughtfully chosen tux. Instructed by the store clerk to put his arms at his sides, to stand straight... When he tried on the pants, he was told to wear them at his waist at least for the pictures at the prom...

When I saw him in a try on for size tux and shoes, I wondered who is this man they just measured? That experience is likely to be the same as the mother who gets to see her daughter try on the first prom dress. He looked so grown up!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

something funny with Google maps

I've noticed an odd behavior on my machine. I have two VPN programs currently installed, one of which is obsolete. Normally, this causes absolutely no problems. However, any time I go to a website that has a Google map on it, and some other google based sites (a Google group), my other VPN program launches itself and asks me to authenticate.

Now I'm happiest in UI code and networks and connections are pretty far from my comfort zone and even farther from my area of expertise. But I can't help feeling suspicious that there is some kind of network querying going on in Google's html....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

how important is LotusScript?

Is JavaScript good enough, or is it important for LCD to think about what it would take to support LotusScript? Is it better to support LotusScript or other languages such as PHP, etc?

Inquiring minds want to know :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

when it rains...

you discover what matters most.

The recent Nor'easter caused a flood in our basement. Nine inches deep of water everywhere... We had never totally unpacked from moving here almost five years ago, so there were many too many boxes, and much too much in harm's way.

Lots of things are headed to the dump, but many are still ok. And it's been a nostalgic trip through our history - that Mark Knopfler song "This is Us" keeps running through my head.

The value of things lost is not at all measured in monetary terms. Some college books are ok, others are not. I found I felt little nostalgia over my graduate school texts, which are probably far more valuable than my undergraduate texts. But I didn't enjoy BU like I did Canisius, it simply reflects the value I place on the memories.

Ironically my graduate diploma is fine; my bachelor's is irreparably damaged. I would not have bothered replacing my graduate diploma; I will be contacting Canisius to find out if it's possible to get a replacement....

In a very wet volume of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Letters to His Daughter is a priceless letter my mother's college roommate on my 14th birthday, the first birthday I had after my dad died. The book may need to be replaced (the jury is still out), but the letter will be ok, and it will be carefully placed back in the book (or its replacement) when it can. The book *can* be replaced, the letter cannot.

Baby pictures, some picture albums, genealogical research, fortunately much of that is ok. Toys, some books, some older electronics, are destroyed, indeed some pictures, are destroyed, too.

It's also fun to tease my husband about his carefully attempting to rescue letters from some of my old friends, but not the ones from an old boyfriend :-)

It's a horrible amount of work to clean all this up. But revisiting our past has been a gift, too. It slows the task down to read the old letter, or to look carefully at the picture of my grandmother... But it offers spring cleaning of the soul in return.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not much is heard about grandmothers-in-law, but I was blessed with an amazing one. Steve's grandmother would have been 103 in June. She left us yesterday morning.

She was a very bright lady (a Smithie), who knew and spoke her mind. I hope I can be half as spunky as she when I (hopefully!) reach her age. When she could no longer drive, she just took taxis to Legal Sea Foods, not to be denied her favorite lunch. A voracious reader, she also loved the ocean and Cohasset. I didn't know her when she was young, but I know she loved her family, and I can see her influence in Steve and in our boys. I am grateful for the influence she has had on me.

I am very sad she has left us, but happy for her that she is now with her husband again. I will see and feel her spirit when I watch the ocean with her grandson.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

a new rythmn

It used to be that the night before Easter meant assembling six identical Easter baskets, then hunting for six new dog proof locations to hide them before going to bed much later than I wanted to. Last night I was falling asleep early since I had to be up very early that day to take Eve (Batman's sister) to a dog show in Springfield in the morning (she didn't win, but she did well, so I was proud of her!)

Anyway, as I was starting to fight the battle of staying awake another hour or so, it occurred to me... Teenage boys sleep in. There's no need to assemble and hide the baskets tonight - I'll be up before they are in the morning, I can do it then. And that way the Peeps won't be stale!

This morning, I assembled four Easter baskets (the older two no longer live at home). One is yet unsearched for as its owner hasn't arrived home yet (college kid due in later)....

It seems the pattern of our lives is changing a bit. We're still pretty far from most people's definition of empty nesters with three kids living at home full time and an itinerant college student, but it is so much less populous than it used to be, and the kids are far more independent. One Friday this month on the way home from work we realized that no one was home... We impulsively stopped for dinner on our way. That must be what it's like to not have kids at home.

I think it's going to be ok.