New Stuff! Why?

I’ve always loved getting new stuff. I didn’t get a lot in my early years, and in my twenties I spent a lot of time being creative with tables made of boxes and furniture rescued from the dumpster. It was fine. I had fun, and all my new stuff was new books and records.

In grad school, I would have re-used an old mirror left in an apartment, just like we did at the Pope house.

I’m positive my extreme enjoyment of new things made me look like I was bragging. I know that, because my beloved high school sweetheart told me so. I was so mortified that I over-reacted and tried real hard to play anything I acquired down. I’ve had my car since 2017 and never wrote an ode to British Racing Green. That took a lot of restraint.

Not my car, but the color is right.

All the remodeling we’ve done over the past decade or so has let me get shiny new things, then pass them on. I think that’s ideal.

I’ve got to pick a lot of shiny sinks, but I don’t have to own them all. It’s still fun to open the box.

Still, nothing cheers me up like a tiny indulgence. So, back in April I ordered this extra cute keyboard and mouse off a Facebook ad. Now, I could tell it was coming from China. So I didn’t buy the most expensive one.

This was the ad I saw. PINK!

I waited and waited. The tracker kept saying it was in the same place. I finally contacted the company, expecting no response and a chance to write a bad review. But no, they said they’d look into it.

A week later I got a note saying it was lost somehow. Did I want my money back, or could they expedite me one? Sure, send it. By this time, I’d forgotten what I ordered.

It only took ten days to rush across the ocean and get to me, after a wee customs delay. Look at all those stickers.

It’s been around the world.

Ooh, the box was pretty!


And look at that hilarious Candy keyboard! What was I thinking? On the other hand, it will add a jolt of pink to my new office when it’s done.

It came with a little brush to clean the keys and some cute little Chinese stickers.

Thankfully, the cute and clacky mechanical keyboard is fun to use, once you get used to it. And the mouse is just fine.

Ready to clackety-clack!

In conclusion, that was fun. And I can use the old keyboard at the ranch, where I have a giant, awkward keyboard I’ve never gotten used to. So yeah, I got a frivolous keyboard and it brightened my day.

Guess I have to give that company a good review.

Snapshots of Life in Austin

So much has gone on this week. It’s great when there’s lots of fun things to do, because time just flies.

What I wish I looked like in 1976.

Anita and I enjoyed the movie Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice on Tuesday night. Here’s a review, if you want to know more. I pretty much breathed along with her during the whole movie, thanks to having completely memorized every album of hers up to Pirates of Penzance. And both Trio albums.

She made such a huge contribution to music, got so many songwriters famous, and has done so much good work in her life. I also feel a kinship with her, since we both no longer can sing well (I don’t have Parkinson’s, just “broke” my upper range). The film is very enjoyable, anyway.

They even had logo balloons.

Yesterday was a LOT of fun. I’ll pretend it’s a totally typical day when I’m in Austin. It started out with the company where I work launching a new brand identity. We got some merchandise, and hooray, they replaced our name plates so you can actually read them! That’s right, my cube has a picture of a Marine playing the tuba. Yours should, too.

So cheerful.

Then, the excitement continued as I finally got to take my green car in to get repaired after the thing attacked it from the sky. The repair shop is so efficient and coordinates so well with the rental place that it took less than an hour in total. And I got a nice rental, an Audi SUV or whatever it is. It was easy to figure out and has most of the things I want in a car, so I’m really pleased. Last time I got a Jeep thing that was not fun at all.

It’s cute and peppy. And black. It’s Rowdy the Rental Audi. Get it?

I worked from home for a while, then made a nice dinner using my fancy red sauce from the Italian restaurant. I got fresh linguine, shaved parmesan cheese, a nice salad, and some bread. Then I set the table in our breakfast room, which we call the sun room. It looked so cute!

Such a cheerful table with the Fiesta ware and old tablecloth.

My son and his girlfriend joined us, and we had a most pleasant, relaxed meal full of laughs and stories. That’s the way it should be.

Photos from our neighbor, Maria.

This morning, Anita and I went out to walk the dogs and ran into most of the neighbors. We had a dog party! What a great start to the day.

What a cool sport.

Plus, lunch with a coworker reminded me that we have some cool pink Turk’s caps in the courtyard. Wow!

Happy me. Happy dog.

I’m choosing to savor all the good times as hard as I possibly can.

Fun with Scraping Things

Well, that doesn’t tell you much about what I did last night, does it? I’ll explain. Everyone who’s ever driven between Cameron and Temple will have noticed a couple of very cute shops in Rogers, Texas. One of them, the Vis-a-Vis Galleria drew me and my sister in a few weeks ago. I discovered that, not only do they have fun clothing and a really tasteful collection of consignment items, they do classes on decorating furniture.

I managed to rub all the transfer off and it stuck to the wood. Also pictured: wine.

So, I signed up for a class, just to have some fun on a random weekend. I’d hoped to get someone to go with me, but I was fine with going alone. Since I’ve been channeling my dad, I’ve gotten better about being friendly with everyone I run into. It turns out that everyone has an interesting story, somewhere in there!

Continue reading “Fun with Scraping Things”

Is This Thing On?

At work, we got access to new video hosting platform, and I saw that they have a free extension for Chrome that lets you record short videos, with your webcam embedded, so you can talk to people and show them things on your computer. It’s called Vidyard GoVideo, and it’s Canadian!

I had some fun trying the software out, and found it easy. It gave me LOTS of ideas, too.

If you’re on Facebook with me, you’ve already seen this (be my friend; I don’t yet hate Facebook!), but I’m sharing this for others who might find this technology useful in their work, or to publicize their blog or other projects. It’s got branding on it, so it isn’t perfect for all business uses, but you can see how many people view your videos and other basic statistics, so it’s potentially quite useful.

Check out this video:

Check out this Video

You can turn the camera off, and just talk about what’s on your screen, or just use the webcam to do a video blog. Best of all worlds, especially if you aren’t trying to be a professional video blogger who wants to be on video blogging platforms.

You can’t embed in your blog page, at least as far as I can tell, so that’s a downer. I’ll have to explore this simple tool more.

The Champion Is…

Today we did a rare and lovely thing at work: we had a relaxing team building activity! Our fearless leader, Craig, loves to barbecue and smoke meat, so he decided to cook for our team and have a traditional cookout.

Craig says he is very happy. Maggie sets out food.

My friend Maggie, who is a party planner extraordinaire, put together the side dishes, and we got out some lawn games the company had.

Rachel supervises competitive gaming. What’s this game called?

The day was perfect! Everyone had a delicious meal, then we tried all the games.

It was so nice to see the group relaxing and chatting. It reminded me of paintings of the past, with people picnicking and playing croquet or something.

Jon works on another step.

The highlight of the day was when Maggie and our colleague Jon started game of big Jenga. As the stack of blocks grew taller and taller, more of the team gathered around. The stack would wobble, but keep growing!


More than once, we declared that HAD to be the end, but no! Maggie and Jon were really steady and smart.

Boom! The tallest stack any of us had ever seen finally falls.

When it finally fell, we erupted in cheers! Dipu got a Live Photo, and the one below is from it!

I wish we could all have a pleasant break from the work day in the spring when it’s neither hot nor cold. I’m so grateful to our group at work for pulling this off.