Eventually, the DSi and the wifi made friends

The equivalent of putting together any of the Legos builds H.o.p. was so fascinated by when he was younger, this Christmas Eve was spent toiling over connecting his DSi to the wifi so he could procure the coveted Rayman game. First efforts were failures which led to me searching the internet on the issue and finding many many such disappointments. But eventually, thankfully success was had and that was reason enough for hearts and wearied nerves to celebrate.

Between attempts, on our way to pick up our yearly Chinese-American take-out, we drove neighborhoods in the rainy wet looking at blurry lights, there seeming to be not as many displays as in years past–not even the ordinary variety–which makes sense, so many houses up for sale in this area and more rental signs than I’ve ever seen, my assumption being all to do with the economy. Where we did find decorations they were most often little enclaves of two or three homes that had gone all out in similarly over-the-top displays for the touring motorists, a couple of other homes nearby satisfied with candy canes or icicle lights. With apartment buildings, there would usually be one festive window or balcony–much the same as ours. Our window is the only one I’ve observed lit up in our building. As with last year, we hung light blue lights and made large paper snowflakes to hang in the window beneath them, the effect being rather peaceful and serene.

At my insistence, we made two passes by a brick house on a hill done in strands of deep red and blue lights. Most lights twinkle and brightly illuminate. These did not. Despite the lights strung around the roof line, the windows, the stairs, the house was all dark shadow behind the lights, because they didn’t radiate, reminding me of some house displays I’ve not seen since the 60s, nor thought about, so it was a surprise to me that memory sprang forward, entranced by those dark lights.

We ate and opened fortune cookies handed out eagerly by H.o.p. who was a lead player and cohort with Marty in spreading Christmas cheer this year. His read he would have a change for the better. Mine simply advised me to take a walk in the park. Marty’s said he would soon be traveling the desert on a fun vacation. Later, H.o.p. offered another round of fortune cookies. This time my fortune read I would have talent and suitable recognition for it.

When we could have entertained ourselves with Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, we instead watched Christmas cartoons on Boomerang and the Cartoon Network because H.o.p. was having fun laughing over how bad they were, nearly all of them cartoons relying on old Looneytunes and Hanna-Barbera characters for viewer interest, and not an iota of wit or imagination to them.

And it was all good.

Site Back Up, Still Fiddling with CSS

We had a blog disaster. After much ado, the blog is back, and I think most of it is intact, excepting images that were tucked away in the wp-content folder that I overlooked. And some old photo galleries from the first couple of years. I need to get those back up in some form and also check links here and there on posts to make sure they’re reading correctly.

Hacked! Yes, hacked. The blog was hacked, likely a while back, but I was stupid and didn’t realize that the drop to zero of search engine referrals signaled the hack. Discovery of it came about only because I paid attention to a peculiar search item that brought someone here, followed that, for some reason looked at the cached page of the search, and was surprised to see hundreds of obnoxious links sitting above my blog post, links that were never observed on the blog itself. That rude bit of information led to ditching of databases and assorted other maneuvers and many things acting weirdly and freaking me out.

Finally, the blog was back up, but there followed the discovery that my exported xml file of the text content was too large to import. Wpsplitter salvaged what remained of my sanity, enabling me to split the XML file into multiple files. An absolutely painless process and I’m fortunate that I found it.

Along the way I lost my blogroll. Kaput. I don’t know where it went but the links are no longer there.

I’m tired. I have spent nearly a week laboring at this and am not done yet. Issues are still being worked out, and I have some fiddling yet to do with the CSS. I switched over to the newest Comic Press theme and don’t care for the menu bar or the fonts. Have to get that worked out. And I’m being indecisive now about whether to do the big picture format at the top which I was using or make it smaller, which is the option I’m using at the moment. I’ll probably revert back to the big picture option as soon as I’m posting this.

"Mom, I want to talk about Fox News"

H.o.p. has a way of bringing up interesting subjects right when he’s supposed to be going to bed. Last night, it was, “I’ve read some bad things about Fox News. What is Fox News?” We don’t watch Fox News and he knows nothing about it–so we ended up talking a while about news, bias in the news, opinion and information vs. news, and propaganda.

Gold Exhibit at the Fernbank

We went to the Gold Exhibit at Fernbank today, organized by the American Museum of Natural History.

Indeed, there were some lovely things on display, the most impressive being perhaps examples of natural formations of gold and quartz. If you are anxious to see old ingots lost in shipwrecks, purchase pirate hats and pan for gold for about $5 in the gift shop, you’ll not leave disappointed.

What ended up being interesting to me was the history on gold that was omitted. For example, in the section on the Black Hills gold rush, I pointed out to H.o.p. that they made no mention of the Black Hills gold find resulting in the bringing in of troops and theft of land confirmed as Dakota, Lakota, Nakota in the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie. A paragraph was given on the 1874 Custer Expedition but nothing as to meaning, absolutely no historical context. Instead, a yard away there was a little fake bridge with a slab of plexiglass in the middle through which one could look down and see a fake stream bed with a few gold sparkles glimmering.

Yet in the Georgia Gold Room they did have history on the Georgia gold rush and the dispossession of Cherokee land, a long film there flatly speaking of the stealing of the land. This room was put together by Fernbank.

So, I left questioning why Fernbank made this allowance but the American Museum of Natural History didn’t even begin to approach the real history of gold.

And So We Celebrated Halloween

Our 2009 Pumpkin

H.o.p. drew the face. I carved the pumpkin, which was a tough one. H.o.p. talked about the smell of the pumpkin, how it was the smell of Halloween. “Nostalgia,” he said. I was unable to find the bag that holds our few Halloween decorations but he was determined and finally dug it out of a closet. We spread spider webs around the apartment and hung up fat bats in the doorways. He carefully laid out plastic skeletons in our chairs up front. No one can see them from the street but they are there.

Halloween night the weather was rainy and chilly. We drove to the old Decatur neighborhood, as we always do, as it turned into a great place to trick-or-treat our last year there and has remained so. One of the houses goes all out with gargantuan decorations, some mechanized, and that’s the house H.o.p. always hits first.

H.o.p.’s costume this year wasn’t one really for photographing. The costume last year was for photographing. This year his was rather simple and it was the performance aspect that he made the most of. He had it all planned out. A plain black hood mask with a torn shirt. “Trick or treat!” He gets his candy. And then the twist! For as he bowed and solemnly said, “Happy Halloween!”, he would take off his mask revealing a skull mask underneath.

He had a grand time. His interest, as ever, is not the candy but the performance and people hopefully enjoying it and then chatting them up afterward, because he always likes to talk to people afterward, for which reason he takes three times as long trick-or-treating as others. Most kids hit the door, get the candy and run. H.o.p. has never done this. H.o.p. instead wants to chat. Performance gives him an opportunity to chat. People generally start to talk when he does his thing and conversation is struck up.

In the car, on the way home, H.o.p. enjoyed running his hands through his candy. “Mmmm,” he said, “the smell of Halloween.”

We don’t like least common multiples

H.o.p. was relating to me one of his stories today (as he does everyday) and my ears lit up as he started talking about his cartoon characters undergoing a “dimension paradox” but I’m not supposed to post the details because he wants to keep it a surprise. I think I can relate it involves a black hole. (And a couple hours earlier he had been melting down at the prospect of trying to comprehend least common multiples, which also used to blow out my brain as a kid, and I have to say that never as an adult have I had to face lemon pies cut into 16, 12 and 31 pieces and deal with LCM thereof.)

The Mushrooms

Huge thing. Saw several of them. What is it? Other than the mushroom that ate everything in its path. Look at it gobbling up twigs, leaves and acorns! I touched it and my son yelled at me not to because it was rather unsettling in appearance. Then he said we have to come back tomorrow so he can do a little horror film around it.

2009-10-07 Big Mushroom
Enlarge light box link

Enlarge light box link

Clock Preferences

So, I’m sitting in the chair at the dentist’s and I look up and see on the opposite wall a clock exactly like one we used to have at home. A cheap clock, with a white frame, from Ikea. That clock we had with the white frame eventually broke and we purchased another one of the same make and that one was always too fast so we purchased another one of the same make but with a navy frame and it also runs too fast.

Most clocks we get from Ikea run too fast. But we never think to get a good clock from somewhere else. We only think to get a clock when we’re at Ikea and see the cheap ones and decide to try again for one that will run on time.

“We have a clock just like that,” I say to the hygienist as she goes through her preparations.

“I like to have it right there so I can look up and see the time,” she replies.

“Our clocks like that always run fast. We get one and we replace it with another and then another.”

“I purchased that clock from Ikea,” she says.

“Yes, I know,” I say.

It’s Ikea’s Rusch clock.

What is funny is the reason we purchase the Rusch clock is for H.o.p. It has a minute hand and we put it up in the bathroom so he can tell from it how long he’s brushed his teeth.

The Rusch clock from Ikea seems to be the clock of choice in matters pertaining to teeth.

Gayaneh’s Adagio

Like a moth to a lamp. Middle of conversation, I heard a familiar tune and went into the other person’s living room to see on the television a music channel and the words Gayaneh’s Adagio. A bit of dissonance between what I was seeing on the screen and my knowing I was acquainted with the piece through a favored movie. Then I see in my mind’s eye the jogging astronaut and realize, right, Kubrick’s 2001.