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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




 

 


Another Month: 09/30/05

It's hard to believe September is over. Where did the month go? It seems like I was just looking for a new quote for the top of the page and here I am again looking for a new cat quote.

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Steps: 6000


A Walk to the Park: 09/29/05

Now that school has started for Ian, Wednesday is his busiest day of the week. Since Sean knew it would be a couple hours before Ian came home he suggested that we walk to to the park when we got home. So we did. We were there for an hour and fifteen minutes. Sean did a lot of climbing up the red rope ladder and of course a lot of sliding. Meanwhile I ended up playing with a lovely five or six year old girl who has lost her her two front teeth. She and I played "bus" where she was the driver and I was the passenger. As it was an unexpectedly hot day Sean and I were quite baked by the time we walked home but we had fun.

Sean's First Movie:

The Wallace and Gromit movie is coming out next week and we're going to take Sean to a matinee to see it. He knows the characters from the DVDs we have and he really likes Chicken Run. This will be our first time taking him to the theater. Should be an adventure!

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Steps: 3000


Be A Nice Teacher: 09/28/05

On the way home yesterday Sean asked what Ian does at Berkeley. I told him that he's studying to be a teacher. It's a very simplified version of the truth but I doubt Sean knows what a PhD is or what math is yet. Sean thought about what I had told him for a little while and then replied: "Daddy can only be a teacher if he's a nice teacher. He has to be nice like Maria and Joe." Maria and Joe run the day care he attends.

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Steps: 6000


Spell with Flickr: 09/27/05

After spending half a day home with Sean, I'm back to work. It's a busy day with lots of updates to make so I'm happy. Yesterday I had a chance to catch up on some reading I've been wanting to do. The only caveat was that I had to do it with Sean on my lap because he wanted lots and lots of mommy hugs.

One thing Sean enjoyed was typing on my computer. We were playing with the Spell with Flickr page where one can type in a word or a phrase or a string of letters, hit enter and see it spelled out in photographic letters. Sean mostly practiced typing variations on the alphabet. He tends to forget to type the letter e and he gets the last few letters jumbled up or duplicated some times. But in the process he learned how to put the cursor into the form box, how to use the Backspace key to delete any errors he had made and to use the Enter key to send his request to the website and get his letter pictures. One funny thing; he calls the Backspace the "try again" key and the Enter the "All done" key.

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Steps: 3000


At Home: 09/26/05

Sean is home with Ian but I'll be going home early so Ian can attend his afternoon class. He seems to be feeling better and he hasn't been sick again since yesterday. He has been a bit feverish on and off but hopefully that's under control too.

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Steps: 3000


Tossing Biscuits: 09/25/05

There is a stomach flu going around Sean's school. We thought we had escaped it but yesterday when Sean and I were out getting potting soil for the plant he suddenly burst into tears. He said that he didn't want to go to the park or to see the owl and the ducks after all (our plans for the rest of the day) and just go home and take a nap. Fortunately I paid attention to him and we immediately zoomed home. Sean managed to get out of the car and to the stairs down to our home when up came breakfast. He was so mortified and afraid that I'd be mad at him. I got him inside; cleaned up and he put himself down for a nap and slept for about four hours. While he slept I went outside and hosed off our stairs. He'll be staying home with Ian tomorrow.

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Steps: 5500


A New Pot: 09/24/05

At our wedding we had two ferns to mark the altar. My in laws have one of the ferns as we didn't have room for both of them when we moved to the Bay area. We still have the other one. Every five years it seems I have to transplant it. Today we went to Ikea and got it the second largest pot the store offers. The poor fern was completely root bound. Hopefully it will enjoy the larger pot. The next time I have to transplant it, I'll have to divide it into smaller plants and give some away!

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Steps: 5500


Friday Again: 09/23/05

Today was one of the busiest Fridays I've had in a while. They are always busy at work but today tops the list. The problem was Hurricane Rita. The person I work most directly with is in Texas and she wanted to get two day's worth of work done in one day just in case she couldn't make it into the office on Monday.

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Steps: 5500


An Adventure with Morris Mouse: 09/22/05

An Adventure with Morris MouseSean's current passion is a book he was given two years ago, An Adventure with Morris Mouse. He picked it up out of his collection on Monday and suddenly clicked with it. It's now one of his favorite books ever and Ian and I have to share the chore of the multiple re-reads. I think Ian's had the bulk of the reads so far and I owe him some.

"To Infinity and Beyond!"

Anyone who has seen Toy Story will recognize the quote. It's currently Sean's favorite thing to say. After a six month hiatus from the Toy Story films, he's now completely sucked into Toy Story 1 and has started quoting it when it suits him. For instance, for all his life he has taken great delight in kicking his feet. He now shouts: "To infinity and beyond!" when doing his happy feet kicking. It's very funny!

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Steps: 7000


Rain! 09/21/05

As promised, it did rain yesterday. We had thunder and lightning but the worst of the storm stayed around San Jose. In fact one of the light rail lines that runs from Fremont to San Jose was shut down when lightning struck one of the substations that powers the track.

At home the newly planted garden responded well to rain. The spinach is growing and the zucchini and egg plants are blossoming.

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Steps: 7000


Rain? 09/20/05

We are expecting rain from hurricane Kenneth. The actual hurricane won't get any where near us but it's pushing enough humid weather northwards to cause rain in California. Originally the rains were expected to start this morning but now they are pegged for this evening. It is a little muggier but it doesn't feel or look like rain yet.

Smoked Salmon Cakes (makes 1 dozen):

Over the weekend Ian smoked a salmon and last night I made salmon cakes (like crab cakes) with half the fish and other ingredients I had in stock. They were really good! Here's the recipe.

1/2 a smoked salmon, flaked (approx. 2 cups)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 cup breadcrumbs (crushed Cheerios and Oyster crackers)
2 eggs
1/4 cup Manischevitz wasabe style horseradish
1/8 tsp hot sauce or chili sauce

Mix incredients in a bowl. Dice incredients together much as you would when making chopped liver.

Mold into a dozen patties and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Broil on high for 6 minutes or until browned on top.

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Steps: 5500


Dead Battery: 09/19/05

I'm back to work. Not much to report other than a dead cell phone battery. I've finally given in an bought a replacement battery on line to see if it will fix the problem.

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Steps: 12000


Cleaning House: 09/18/05

Sean and I worked again on cleaning the house. We concentrated on the living room as it's the room we spend the most time as a family. There's still a lot of work to do but it's much improved. I'll be getting rid of close to 100 books come the next BookCrossing meeting. Sean also took time off from cleaning to play a solo round of Hungry Hungry Hippos with sound effects of "yum! burp!"

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Steps: 3000


New Garden: 09/17/05

Now that we're almost done with the construction in the complex we decided to get a few more things for our garden. I know it's not really the time of year to be growing things with the longer nights and lower sun but Hayward's weather is pretty temperate so we're going to give it a go. We've gotten spinach, zucchini, sage (to replace the one killed by the move in doors), aloe vera and peas. Sean also got a turtle planter that contains a wee succulent garden.

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Steps: 7000


Traffic: 09/16/05

Yesterday a beer truck got a flat on the Bay Bridge. The rim hit the roadway and started sparking. The sparks caught the truck on fire and the bridge in the east bound direction had to be closed. All the east bound traffic from San Francisco was diverted to the San Mateo Bridge. I didn't know this until there were no more stops before the San Mateo Bridge and I was stuck in traffic. I tried calling Ian a bunch of times realizing that one and a half hours would not be enough time to get Sean from day care. Fortunately I finally got through to him and he was close enough to get Sean on time. I finally got home at ten to six (having left work at four)!

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Steps: 3000


No No No No No: 09/15/05

Sean can read and type and his working on writing one word: no. It seems like an appropriate first start for a kid his age. He can sometimes also recognize cat and dog but not as consistently as he can with no.

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Steps: 3500


Baby Crossing: 09/14/05

Last night we had our monthly BookCrossing meeting in Dublin and we all got the chance to hold our newest member who is now just shy of six weeks old. She looks just like her mother and save for a little fussing here and there she slept through the entire meeting in one of our arms. She likes to be cuddled more than Sean ever did (he liked to stretch his legs out) which took me of guard but we quickly got to know each other and she went quickly back to sleep.

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Steps: 3500


Coffee Guy: 09/13/05

During our move last year I found a plastic statue of a saint who is holding a wine jug and a loaf of bread. It sat in my car for about nine months until my son found it and claimed it as his own. Sean has the saint in charge of serving coffee and chocolate cake (or sometimes cookies) to his stuffed animals! Sean calls him his "coffee guy."

From Lakes to Puddles:

Over the weekend our nudist left one giant lake during a potty training mistake. Yesterday after school he stopped himself mid mistake but we still can't get him to actually go potty in a potty. At least he likes wearing underwear and he doesn't like being wet. That's a start, I guess.

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Steps: 5500


Frustrated: 09/12/05

I just realized today that the health coverage we have will cost us $500 a day for hospital stay (that's a month's payment of the coverage). We had been thinking of trying for a second child but now I think we're going to have to put that thought on hold until I find a job that provides better benefits.

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Steps: 7000


Underwear: 09/11/05

This morning Sean was willing to wear his underwear (or underwear pants as he calls them) and get dressed. He wanted to wear his Spiderman shirt and matching blue shorts. He and I stayed home since he's not really ready to travel sans diaper or pull-ups. He helped me clean the upstairs.

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Steps: 3000


Our Boy the Nudist: 09/10/05

Sean is usually quite modest with how he dresses but not this morning. We're doing a mandatory underwear (instead of diaper or pull-up) day to hopefully get him on the road to being potty trained. And he's having nothing of it. He cries. He stomps his feet. He takes off his underwear. He's currently in his room refusing to wear his underwear and refusing to talk to us.

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Steps: 3000


My Neighbor Totoro: 09/09/05

My Neighbor TotoroSean is now as fascinated by acorns as he is by owls. I think the acorn passion stems from his love of the film My Neighbor Totoro as acorns (or whatever the seeds of the camphor tree are really called) play heavily in the magic that May and her sister experience when they meet the three totoros. To help Sean keep his stash of acorns all in one place, I gave him the little wooden box that Ian's cuff links had come in. You would have thought I had given Sean a magical treasure box the way his face lit up. There is no question now that the box is his box and it's only for acorns!

At work there is a massive oak tree that sits on the property line between the building in which I work and the apartments next door. It has started dropping its acorns and they are blanketing the parking lot. I sometimes collect the best ones to take home to give to Sean. I keep them hidden in my pockets and pull one out whenever he needs a distraction.

There is also an oak tree up the hill from where we live but it hasn't started dropping acorns quite as much but there are always a few if we look hard enough. Sometimes after we get home we run up the hill to go acorn hunting before going into our home. Acorn hunting is almost a nightly ritual now.


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Last Dregs of the Redesign: 09/08/05

We're in the final stages of a redesign for the team I work with. The review happens tomorrow. I think I'm all done beyond the clicking on links whenever I have the time today.

Steps: 3000


Relaying Messages: 09/07/05

When I got to day care this afternoon I saw Sean's best friend, his sister and their mother starting their walk home. Sean's friend stopped, waved at me and then dashed back to the day care. Apparently he had run back to tell Maria that "Sean's Mama" was here. On the way in, I passed the boy and thanked him for his help. He replied, "I was helpful. Now I'm an airplane!" and put his arms out and started to make airplane noises.

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Steps: 7000


Back to Work: 09/06/05

The holiday is over and I'm back at work. Sean yesterday really enjoyed having a day off. He told Ian before he went to school: "You don't have a holiday. Sean has a holiday and Mama has a holiday but you don't, Daddy. Okay?!" He always ends things with "Okay?!" when he's being bossy. It's very funny!

I think most people took today off or maybe they're all hung-over because there was no traffic on my commute in this morning. I hope the commute home will be just as light as I need to stop by the post office before I pick up Sean from day care.

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Steps: 4500


Recycle Day: 09/05/05

Today Ian went to Berkeley to study and Sean and I spent half the day recycling things: newspapers, soda cans and food cans. The upstairs is now looking much improved although it does still have too many books. Yesterday we Freecycled a huge bag of hangers and donated five bags of clothing that we've moved with us for years but haven't worn in at least a year.

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Steps: 4500


No Sleep: 09/04/05

I got maybe two hours of sleep last night. I would fall asleep and then I would have nightmares inspired by recent events. I tried moving upstairs to the couch but that didn't help either. I finally fell asleep at five in the morning. Fortunately later I was able to take a nap.

But first I had to make breakfast (it was my turn). Then we had to go grocery shopping which Ian had said he would do but didn't (he was also tired). So the three of us went. Sean enjoyed himself thoroughly, reminding us to get pickles and milk (among other things). He also helped put away the cart when we were done.

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Steps: 6000


Project Management and PNGs: 09/03/05

I've been trying for the last three days to get California Girl up and running as a new project for the Distributed Proofreaders but the PNGs are giving me hell in Internet Explorer. I've learned in the process that I.E. can't read PNGs that have a transparency color. At home I can't test this because I only have an old OS 9 version of I.E. which doesn't read PNGs full stop. I will have to try again on Monday to get the problem sorted out.

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Steps: 4500


Conversation: 09/02/05

Yesterday when picking Sean up from day care I had the fun of over-hearing a conversation he was having with one of his friends. The friend had brought a hand held video game to school and he and Sean had been taking turns (!) playing with it. Sean wanted to know if his friend would bring the video game back tomorrow. They also talked about beating a level and how cool it was. All I could do was stand back and smile as I watched my boy grow up.

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Steps: 4500


Year End Wrap Up: 09/01/05

We're back to my favorite time of the year, the time when I'm feeling most optimistic about things to come. I'm certainly looking forward to Labor Day but this year the aftermath of current events is putting a damper on my enthusiasm.

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Steps: 6000