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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




 

Need More Time: 7/31/04

We were supposed to be moved out by now but it didn't happen. The furniture we had hoped to donate wasn't up to snuff so we'll have to wait until next week to get it hauled out of the apartment. Plus we just didn't have enough man hours to get everything moved. We're down to the last pile which is something Ian can do next week by himself now that Sean is back in day care. I think if Sean had been in daycare last week we would have had a better chance of finishing on time.

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Play Ball: 7/30/04

After a busy day of moving and unpacking, the five of us had a lovely evening at SBC Park to watch game one of the Giants vs the Cardinals. We had great seats to the left of the scoreboard and got to see three homeruns hit into our stands. Sean lasted through the bottom of the 5th so we ended up leaving before the Giants started to lose to the Cardinals. Judy joked that we took their "lucky Sean" away. Sean didn't actually watch much of the game but he did listen intently. He loved the music, the screaming and the stomping. He seemed delighted at a stadium full of adults doing "happy feet."

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Great Compliment: 7/29/04

I'm taking tomorrow off, the first vacation I've had since I started this new job six months ago. It doesn't seem possible that I've been here that long!

Anyway, my boss will be filling in for me, doing the usual daily updates that I do for one of our clients. So for the last couple of days I've been giving him a refresher course in how things are done. It's amazing how much the process can change in a matter of months! After we were done today he told me I should be a teacher because I explain things so clearly. That made my day!

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On the Fastrack : 7/28/04

Last night our FasTrak transponders finally arrived, a week late but sooner than I was expecting given the reported backlog. After the bridge tolls went up at the start of the month 511.org was flooded with new requests for transponders from drivers hoping to save a buck a trip for a while longer. Fortunately there's a 24 hour number for activating them so we could use our transponders this morrning. It felt strange not having to stop to pay.

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Designing Women: 7/27/04

There seem to be so many blogs of women designers / developers lamenting the lack of women designers / developers. In my seven years of doing this professionally I've found it to be just the opposite. In every design job I've had the women have out numbered the men 3 to 1. It's not just in the artistic side of things either. It's across the board and all the way up the ladder.

Two Men, A Woman and a Pile of Boxes:

Tonight after work I'm meeting Ian and Sean at the old place for an hour of schlepping / cleaning. Then it's home for dinner (popcorn fish, a Sean favorite) and the usual bed time rituals: bath time (or bubble wash-wash as Sean calls it), put on the pajamas (with some "oh no, shark!" rounds), teeth brushing (brush-brush umina) and finally bed time (night night, got to go to sleep) for Sean. After that if I'm good, I'll unpack a bunch of boxes. If I'm not, I'll read some of Jackaroo.

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Back to Work: 7/26/04

After a month of moving, my arms and legs are covered in bruises. I look like I've been beaten up but it's just from carrying boxes and bumping into things (mostly boxes).

This week Sean has off from day care so he's at home with Ian. They'll be going to pick up tiles today. Otherwise I don't know what their plans are. Friday I'm taking the day off and we're all going to a baseball game. That will be fun.

Cool Flash:

I have a fascination for the interplay between art and math. A really great site that has lots of explorations into this union is at Levitate Daily Source. Check it out!

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Immer Kästen! 7/25/04

We're burried in boxes at our new place (no time to unpack) and still packing out boxes (kitchen stuff mostly) from the old place. Ian, Sean and I worked for 8 hours and I worked another 2 hours before going home. Judy and Charlie will help on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Saturday at 5:00 PM is our deadline.

When we come home from packing boxes and schlepping them in, we have to unpack. I've been doing most of the unpacking because Ian comes home so physically exhausted from the schlepping. Then we put Sean to bed and try not to pass out right after him. Saturday night though, I didn't last after 9:30 PM.

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Drek Höhle: 7/24/04

Today was my first day to see the place post movers. There's still so much to do. I spent the day packing up boxes of books, toys and stuff. The kitchen will have to come tomorrow. I also packed bags and bags of garbage. Sean did his best to help with packing. After lunch Sean fell asleep in the truck we had rented which took time away from me being able to help Ian. I suppose we could have woken him up, but he really does need his naps.

Then we came home to unpack. I cleaned up the kitchen. We did laundry. We put the laundry away in our new dresser. Sean had his first truly happy bath in the new place.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to set up my computer but first I have to get the book boxes around it unpacked so I can get to the machine.

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Water: 7/23/04

The washer that came with the house gave up the ghost yesterday. Our neighbors warned us that it was loud and tempermental. The first time Ian tried washing a load (a week ago), it worked beautiful. Yesterday it didn't. I spit all its water all over the floor.

Fire (at least a lack of heat):

In the process of furiously mopping up the mess, Ian managed to unplug the hose to the dryer. He called me after he had fixed the dryer and laughed at me for the first couple of minutes. Then he went to Sears and bought a new washer. The dryer we'll be watching for any unusual behavior.

Water:

Sean last night decided the new bathtub was okay, even if it has scary doors. He took his usual bath, though didn't do his usual happy dance in the tub. He hasn't decided if the new tub is safe enough for dancing.

Fire (sunset):

Every night so far when Sean and I have gotten home, we've gone out to the deck to watch the sunset. Sean plays with his wind chime and I read a book. It's the perfect place for reading! Tonight Ian will be joining us as we'll finally be having our first BBQ!

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First Day: 7/22/04

Sean and I arrived at our new home after an hour of grocery shopping. Normally it would have taken half that time but it's a new store to me and I was very tired. Ian, even more exhausted than I was, had forgotten some key pieces for cooking dinner. By the time we got home, it was really too late to go out again. Plus I don't think either of us were up to it. So Sean had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. After he went to bed, we ordered pizza.

Although there's all the chaos of boxes and the remodeling projects upstairs, the place already feels like home. Ian got the basics of each room set up. Everything will be wonderful once we're unpacked and our projects are finished. We're looking forward to showing the place off to Ian's folks who are now back home from their trip to China, Cambodia and Thailand.

Sean, as predicted, didn't like the bathtub because of the sliding doors. One of the doors is broken so we'll probably end up taking the doors down. He was also put off by the futon bed but eventually decided it was an acceptable bed. Ian let him play with his light up wrist watch and that was enough of a distraction for Sean to settle down and go to sleep.

Caligula seems to love the place. There are lots of places to hide and explore and good spots to stretch out to catch a breeze or some sunlight.

The commute in across the bridge was easy. It will be even easier if we ever get our fastrak transponders. There's a month long back log so we just have to wait for them to arrive.

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Moving Day: 7/21/04

The movers are at the apartment and will follow Ian to the new place when the truck is packed. We will need this weekend to get what we missed (the kitchen). We just ran out of time. Even if we could have packed the kitchen, I'm not sure where we would have put the boxes.

Meanwhile Caligula will stay at the old apartment until the movers are done at the new place. Then Ian will go back and get her and maybe a few other things. The bulk of the remaining stuff we'll do this weekend. We have yet another mini-van reserved.

Sean and I will pick up groceries and other sundries on the way home to the new place. We'll probably stop at the big Albertsons on A street as it also has the pharmacy stuff we'll need.

Ian and I are so tired from all the packing that I think we're having trouble seeing our progress. Ian stayed up very late last night. He sent me to bed at 1 AM since I had to take Sean to day care and go to work. He came to bed around 4:30. While we're both exhausted, I feel guilty about complaining since I got so much more sleep than Ian did. Sean's the only well rested one among us. I think our cat comes in second.

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New Stairs: 7/20/04

The HOA has installed a new stairway up to our home. The old one had fallen into disrepair. The two original owners had petitioned the HOA to let them put in a communal deck that the the two split levels would share. The plan fell through. Our current residence was sold twice and the other neighbor in the agreement is trying to sell. No one in the course of five or ten years has done any maintenance to the stairs. Ian called last week to have them repair the stairs and this morning a repair crew was just finishing up as Ian drove up!

We're both relieved that the movers won't have to traverse the old stairs. We're also glad that Sean doesn't have to risk falling on them. It's nice to see the HOA fees actually being used for repairs and maintenance. We've gotten rather jaded by our old apartment where plumbing problems are never fixed (unless there is a major leak or if we threaten to take the repair funds out of the rent check). It will be nice to move.

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Feeling Good About Paying Bills: 7/19/04

Our first mortgage bill came last over the weekend. This morning, I mailed off our first mortgage payment. Boy did that feel good! And it's less than our old rent. I actually felt giddy as I posted our bill. It's also wonderful that the bill paying didn't include any credit cards. Amazing how much things can change in a matter of months!

Ian meanwhile is busy urethaning the furniture. The dressers apparently look "wonderful" and I'm sure that they do. Ian has been doing a fantastic job getting the home ready for us to move in.

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Sean Packs HimselfFourteen Hours and Thirty Boxes Later: 7/18/04

Today was our main day to pack and schlep. I packed, Sean was the door man (closing the door behind Ian) and Ian schlepped. Over the course of fourteen hours, with breaks to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, we packed and schlepped thirty boxes! We stopped because we ran out of boxes and because I had to go to bed so I'd be awake for work. We we will get the remaining few books packed on Monday and the kitchen packed on Tuesday. The movers come on Wednesday. Whatever isn't packed will stay in the apartment. We will have it until July 31, giving us ten days to get the rest of our stuff out of there.

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Fantastic Furniture and the "Too Long Day": 7/17/04

The furniture store down the hill from us delivered our new dressers today right on time. They said they would be there between ten and noon and were there by 10:30. The dressers are fantastic. They are by far the nicest pieces of furniture we own. As they are unfinished, Ian will be urethaning them on Monday. We'll probably be going back there for a bedside table once we're settled.

After the furniture arrived we had enough time to head over to the Castro Valley post office to mail some books promissed to other BookCrossing members. Usually I have about a half dozen books to mail but with the move my reading time has been severely limited. Things will pick up once we're moved and completely out of the old place at the end of the month.

Then we picked up a cargo van we had rented from the Hayward Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The thing is huge but only has two seats which meant we had to caravan everywhere we went with it. Ian drove the van and Sean and I went in my car. After taking the van back to Pacifica, Ian hopped into my car to get one last bathroom thing at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Sean, who had managed a wee nap in the car, was furious when we were shopping yet again. I took him outside while Ian purchased the knick-knacks. When we were sitting on the wall waiting, Sean moaned to me, "Mama — too long day!"

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Van Again: 7/16/04

We came to the conclusion last nigth that if we don't schlep some of our boxes over the new place this weekend, we'll be buried under boxes before we can finish packing out our old place. Tomorrow we'll get the van and Sunday Sean and I will pack while Ian schleps. This time though, we're being smart about the van. We're renting it from Hayward, rather than Colma. That way Ian can get an easy ride back to his car (parked at the new place) rather than having to ride BART and then walk two miles up hill.

Moth Again:

On July 5, 2004, I made a blog entry about the moth my son and I had rounded up. At the time I wasn't able to identify it but now I can. It was Alfalfa Looper (Autographa californica) and is very common in Pacifica. From their description, they are probably common in Hayward too but so far I haven't seen any.

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Tower of Boxes: 7/15/04

We're getting to the final crunch for the packing. This weekend will probably be utter chaos with packing. I'm about half way through with the living room. Tonight I'll have to finish it. Then this weekend I have to get our bedrooms (minus our clothing) and do the kitchen the night before we move. I'm hoping that next week (Monday and Tuesday) Ian can help with the packing. Right now he's so busy with getting the house ready for the move that he comes home too tired to pack boxes. We move on Wednesday.

Last night Sean tried to help with the packing. He carefully packed the packing supplies in a box (tape and scissors). Fortunately he doesn't know how to tape boxes shut or I might not have found my supplies.

Meanwhile Caligula thinks the tower of boxes is the best cat climbing structure ever. Although as more stuff disappears into the boxes she's starting to remember our last move. She might realize that soon we'll be packing her into her cat carrier to move to the new place. She's lived half her life at our curent apartment so this move may be quite a shock to her.

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Congrats to my mother in law: 7/14/04

Just heard the good news that my mother in law has been offered the new teaching job at South Pasadena High. She can now walk to work at the start of the school year. She should be happier there. Woohoo!

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Red Light: 7/13/04

"Uh oh Red Light" is Sean's most recent phrase. He says it anytime I stop or slow the car when we're commuting. He'll also say it anytime we ask him to stop doing something.

Blue Fish

In other news, the fish bathroom might still be a go. The sample tiles aren't that much thicker than my goofy tropical fiish tiles. A thicker patch of cement may be all the contractor needs. Ian has purchased the tiles but they won't be ready until later this week. The two corner pieces are on back order and will have to be shipped in from Texas. They might take up to three weeks to get here. Again we're hoping the contractor can install everything else and show us how to do the remaining corners.

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Merd en mer: 7/12/04

Ian has purchased the lapis tiles but they're probably too thick to work with my funky fish tiles. My fish bathroom with have to wait, yet again, unless our contractor can work a miracle. I'm disappointed but I'm not going to put up a big stink because I know the lapis will look far better than a sink covered in just fish tiles. But I am sad.

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Art Nouveau: 7/11/04

We've settled on an Angelino Art Nouveau style for our upstairs bathroom. The colors will be blue and white with the blues being chosen from the colors of the fish accent tiles. I've always wanted a fish bathroom. After looking at lots of paint chips, we've settled on a light blue paint on the purple side of the spectrum. It's called Icelandic and is perfect! It will bring out the features of the fish tiles, compliment the lapis tiles and contrast nicely with the white accents.

Ian will paint the bathroom this week and hopefully get the goodies installed at the end of the week. Maybe by next Saturday we'll have a brand new bathroom upstairs.

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Rent a van: 7/10/04

Ian rented a van today from Enterprise. Originally the plan was to move enough furniture in to start living at the new place but realistically we're not ready yet. So instead we used the van to purchase things that we need for the bathroom: a new toilet (in two parts), a new sink basin and faucet, etc. Ian finally found a contractor to do the bathroom. Rather, our next door neighbors (Marie and Jarod) know a bunch of contractors. Marie teaches night school at the local trade school. I've actually heard good things about this school from a regular customer at Amazing Wok (one of our favorite lunch haunts at work).

We came home to our apartment around 6 PM and Sean fell asleep in the car. With all the work at the new home he's just not getting his naps so he ends up passing out in the car. Poor kid. We'll be back to normal soon.

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Grandmother's Birthday: 7/9/04

Today would have been my maternal grandmother's 83rd birthday but sadly she passed away a little over two years ago. She was born Joyce Marie Weber in Erie Pennyslvania, daughter of Coral Rose Weber and Peter Weber. She did most of her growing up in Schenectady, New York as her parents had to move in with relatives to save money during the Depression. It was a house full and a stressful time but she still managed to have happy memories from then.

Near the end of WWII, she sojourned in the Bay Area and came away convinced that she had to move to California. She would later move and convince her parents to move! How she accomplished that one, I don't know. She could be very persuasive when she wanted to be.

Around the same time, she met during a blind date her future husband Harold Peter Krug (born Peter Harold but he had switched his named around because there were too many Peters in the family already). After living briefly in his home town of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, they moved to Menlo Park, California. It might have been Palo Alto first, then Menlo Park. Anyway, they eventually settled in Sunnyvale.

While in the Bay Area they did a wonderful job of raising one daughter (hi Mom!) and eventually moved to San Diego to help her raise their first grandchild (me!). I ended up spending many wonderful days with my grandparents and later just my grandmother after my grandfather passed away. It's really too bad she didn't get a chance to meet Sean but I see so much of her in him (funny how genetics work that way).

When you are Old by Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in your,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

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Nine Years and Counting: 7/8/04

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary and so far today's it has completely slipped both our minds. We got up this morning and first on our minds was all that still has to be done on the new house. It wasn't until I was on my way to work that I remembered what today is! Then when Ian called to tell me about the house, I completely forgot again to wish him a happy anniversary. Oops!

Speaking of the house, Ian is becoming fast friends with our various neighbors. He's met more of them in two weeks than we've met at our current place in nearly four years. It seems that home owners are friendlier than home renters. I think renters (and I've been guilty of this myself) are afraid to open up to other renters in case they're going to rat to the landlord. Weird but true. Then home owners want to know all their neighbors; it's strange but nice. Maybe we'll find a baby sitter for Sean and will be able to take a date or two.

Anyway, back to the anniversary. Apparently the traditional gift is either pottery or willow. Modern gift givers can give lace or linen. My mother gave us a set of beautiful sheets, so they fall under the "modern" category. Maybe I should get Ian a coffee mug. Or does the patching plaster for the house count?

For more info on wedding anniversary gifts:

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One and a Half Rooms Painted: 7/7/04

Sean's room is done. I haven't seen it with the trim done but I'm sure it's beautiful. Now Ian is halfway through our bedroom, painting it cabbage green. He says he loves the color. It brings in a lot more light but isn't as saturated as Sean's yellow room. I'm really looking forward to seeing our room.

Our plan is to move our base of operations to the new place this weekend. Once Ian is done painting he'll start spending his time at the old place to pack. It's going to be two weeks of chaos but it's the first move for us in four years, a nice break after those first few years together when we moved every year or two.

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All Aboard: 7/6/04

Sean like most kids his age goes through cycles of favorite books. His current favorite is All Aboard, a Golden Book that was my mother's when she was his age. At least that's the story I remember Grandmother telling me. About a month ago I had read the story outloud while Sean was throwing a temper tantrum. At first he ignored me but then he wandered over (but pretended to ignore me). Next thing I knew, he was sitting next to me, completely enraptured by the book.

Now most nights he wants both of us to read the book to him. He doesn't always sit still for all the pages but he does want to look at all the pictures. In the beginning he loves to say "bye-bye Daddy" as Molly and Mother say good-bye to Daddy and get on the train to visit Grandmother.

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Mothra: 7/5/04

Just before bed I heard a loud flapping in the living room. Some how a huge moth had gotten into our apartment. I tried to catch it to put it outside to no avail.

From searching the internet for photos, I think the moth is some sort of hornworm variety.

Update: 7/6/04

The moth came out of hiding. How it survived my cat, I don't know. I guess it was lucky that my cat is no longer as young as she used to be. Anyway, I managed to capture it. Sean and I let it go outside and watched it fly into the sunset.

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Independence Day: 7/4/04

Here's to having a 4th of July barbecue next year on our balcony. We're just not set up enough this year to do it. We spent the whole day painting and running errands.

The grill that the previous owners left is nothing more than a glorified camping stove. Since the one we already have is better, we'll be donating their old one either to a neighbor or to a charity. Ian bought a nice Weber grill and we plan to use it next weekend when we're a little more settled.

Tonight after a full day at the new place we stopped at Home Depot to pick up more paint and other supplies.

To all the folks who had to work this holiday weekend, THANK YOU! Every weekend is precious to make this move work and really appreciate it.

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Sweet Chamomile: 7/3/04

That's the color of yellow we chose from Sean's bedroom. Ian's almost done painting the walls and the color is perfect! It's the bright sunny yellow that Sean so loved at the other townhouse on which we bid. It brightens up the room and is making it feel like home.

While Ian painted, I entertained Sean. We played catch on the stairs with a purple bouncy ball my mother gave Sean. We ran a couple errands. We watched Ian paint. We explored the under-stairs closet (aka "The Bat Cave") but mostly we watched Ian paint.

Hopefully by Monday Ian can start on our bedroom. We've picked picked cabbage green for our walls.

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Change of Venue: 7/2/04

Sean's day care is closing at the start of August. It's been a wonderful year and a half but as with all things family run, the family must come first. On Monday we have an appointment to meet with a place closer to my new job that caters to older children. They have a pre-literacy program, early math program, a librarian who visits once a week and a gymnastics program. I think Sean would love all of these activities.

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Cassini-Huygens : 7/1/04

Woohoo! Cassini-Huygens has arrived safe and sound to Saturn and is sending back some wonderful images. The Huygens probe should be landing on Titan in January 2005 while Cassini continues on a four year orbit of Saturn.

I've heard Cassini described as a six ton bus but I've been imagining it as a VW breadbox flying through the rings. That's just my warped imagination.

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