Friday, May 31, 2013

31 May 2013 (Friday)

On this day in 1967, Wednesday (yeah, I'm skipping the last two days):
Windy some sun. Cloudy. Nice p.m.
Work in garden! Work clothes at Arl[ington]. Arl[ington] Feed & Farm 1.79 + 4 = $1.83. dust carrots!
Hal & Gertrude for supper [crossed out], no come? 5 tomatoes & plant dahlias & carrots (some squash)!
Monday there was something about 247 slugs, and Tuesday he watched a parade.

A little bit later I'm going to write something totally dorky, but hopefully my reasoning will assuage that dorkiness a bit.

Lessee, just kind of busy the last couple of days especially in the evening when I couldn't write. Tuesday my friend Virgil from CA (roomie at the dorm in college at UW-Madison) messaged me on Facebook and we talked about learning guitar for a while and I forgot about diary-a-ing. Then yesterday. . . .we were buying smartphones! The brand new Samsung Galaxy S4. Something we'd been hemming and hawing about for months and I finally decided on what to get so off we went. Pricey little buggers ($200 each) but I think we'll have them for at least 4 years, probably more, so I think it was worthwhile. Memory isn't so good, but we'll buy expansion cards for not too much $$$. I got a hot pink rugged case. Last night, as one might expect, I was awake worrying maybe I should have gotten a cheaper one, but that wasn't too bad, and I'm okay with the purchase. For posterity: it's got 16 gigabytes of memory but like 9 are taken up with OS stuff. I imagine in 20 years or so they'll have terabytes of storage and y'all will be wondering how I could have been excited about 16 gigs. Yeah, well, I remember using 256k floppy disks.

Worked from home Thursday and this morning and made decent progress on my alcohol project. It's expanding somewhat, but contracting in other ways, so I'm okay with it so far. I only worked half a day today because they're shutting down 520 all weekend and that means we have to work all weekend. I'm on from 6 a.m. to 1 or 2 p.m. both days. That's one reason I wanted to get the phones this week, so I'd have photographic abilities and good contacts while out there. Weather should be quite fine, too, sunny and in the 60s.

So, the dorky bit. I think Wednesday night I managed to sleep in the bed for the entire night which is really incredibly rare anymore. I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of times, but didn't start worrying or anything and at some point I was telling myself something like "I control what my thoughts are", which seems obvious, but often it doesn't seem that way: bad thoughts will just seemingly pop into my head. I started repeating that to myself after getting up -- I do that to direct my thinking -- something to the effect of "I will not fear. Fear is a choice; I choose not to fear". By "fear" I mean the sort of anxiety that's been plaguing me for a while now. And then (here comes the dorkwad part) at some point, while at the gym I think, the theme from Star Trek popped into my head: "To boldly go where no man has gone before". And that kind of struck me: I get all whigged out doing almost anything new (much less now than earlier), such as going to a construction site I've never been to before to monitor, and I thought that that was the sort of attitude I needed to foster again: to go where I've not been before. And not just go, meekly or grudgingly or fearfully, but to go boldly. I didn't meekly pack up all my junk and move out to Seattle in 1985 where I had no job, no friends, no place to live: I did so, in a way, boldly.

So for the past couple of days whenever I've felt a twinge of anxiety or panic or fear or whatever, I've reminded myself of that: I choose to boldly go where I haven't gone before.

So there, utter dweeby dorkdom. I don't care. It's doing me some good.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

28 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Rain. SS. & church. Elvina Jones here p.m., stay all night. Les Lothian get beer 7 p.m.
Needed 7314.42 May 21
Rec'd 7495.35
Oh dear, he's got female house guests! Wonder if Leah has anything to say about that.

Ugh, bad night sleeping, awake at various times, blehh. Finally woke up for good at 4:30, but that meant a Diet Coke and decent workout, so whatever. I had to take my phone to the gym with me in case WSDOT called and said they needed a monitor, which I wasn't expecting, but you know if I didn't have it. . . .well, no call, so I had a good workout and then off to work. Not a bad day, kind of tedious though; I was tired so kind of restless most of the day and I just sat around and looked at the alcohol stuff. That helped actually, as I got to know how some of the variables were distributed and what they might mean.

Mostly cloudy all day, not much in the way of rain, around 60 degrees.

Monday, May 27, 2013

27 May 2013 (Sunday)

On this day in 1967:
[Unk[ bus for Les Lotharian p.m. Roberta & Les here. Bus crawls from ground to [unk] by Sunday morning.
Rain, rain, rain. Been raining since around 8 this morning. I, as usual, was awake at 4, goshdurnit. Really, half the time I look forward to the work week so I can get some sleep! Did nothing most of the morning, had breakfast here, took a short nap, etc. At 11 we loaded up some discard stuff and took it to the Goodwill up on 145th and 15th. Spousal Unit got a couple of pairs of jeans to work in the yard, etc., in, and I got a grill brush. Then we went to NGate for lunch and to look for shoes for Spousal Unit. I probably should have snagged a pair of red Converses but I didn't.

After coming home I sat and fiddled with my guitar for like 45 minutes. Just doing various fingering drills. I can't say I am noticing any real improvement, maybe a little. My fingers just aren't used to working like this, not like I have very strong hands anyway. They're not all that big/long either so I can't stretch them very much. It's definitely going to take some work, but as my friend Virgil just said "The more you practice the less you suck". Kinda boring just doing tiny scales and junk though.

We went to UVil to get some bonito flakes and go for a walk, but also stopped in a shoe store for the Spousal Unit. I wondered aloud when the big clunky (women's) boots were going to go out of style, and one of the sales women laughed. That is in fashion these days, big clunky biker boots and such. Not very attractive, IMO. I mean, you'll see a nice looking young lady in a pretty little short skirt or something and then. . . .*clunk* big heavy, usually dirty-looking boots.

Still raining.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

26 May 2013

On this day in 1967, apparently nothing of interest happened. I think he was in Vancouver BC so probably having fun and not writing.

I had kind of a fun day, albeit not at the beginning: awake at 3:45. Spousal Unit didn't get up until almost 7. I took a nap, only to awake to a fresh, moist dingleberry in the hallway. Then I watched. . . .oh, some stupid Rowan Atkinson movie. Then some of the Indy 500, before we went. . .to a movie! Yes, the new Star Trek one, Into Darkness. We ate at a place in the theater complex called 5 Guys Burgers which I don't particularly care for. I suppose the burgers are okay, but very big, and I don't like the fries. We are exhorted multiple times daily to Eat Only Healthy Food -- not like that awful McDonald's stuff -- but this place gets rave reviews despite being worse in terms of fat and calories than anything the fast food places have, plus much less variety. The Spousal Unit ordered fries, I had one, and we ended up having to throw out what amounted to three large fries orders from a McDonald's type of place.

Anyway, we splurged and did the IMAX 3D movie, partially because we had free passes (ended up costing $6.50 each anyway). I tell ya, it was niiiiiiice. HUGE screen and the 3D worked pretty well. I already knew all of the plot twists so nothing was a big surprise, but I liked it. I like the new "reboot" of the series, it's more gritty and realistic in most ways from the later series. I think the standard Trekkie doesn't much care for it because it's not all super-optimistic and socialist, although the basic themes are still left of center. Still, very enjoyable.

We came home around 4, neither of us very hungry -- those burgers are big, remember -- so we just went to UVil and had a salad at the Pallino for dinner. It's the Memorial Day weekend so we have one more day of the weekend to rest up for. It was cloudy most of the day, but only rained in the early morning.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

25 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
To Vancouver BC with Rube & [Norm?], no silver etc. Cheese at Lynden $3.55 per 5 lbs. 1 loaf to Ruben. Paid lunch at Woodwards.
I'm a little bummed, I thought he'd gotten lunch at Woolworth's. There was a Woolworth's in downtown Seattle when I moved out here in 1985, but I don't think it had the lunch counter at the time. That's not something I ever experienced. By the time I was coming up, fast food was the kind of place kids liked to go to. My dad would reminisce about the old diners and lunch counters, but it's not a part of my past. There was a chain around here called Ruby's Diner for several years -- one in Redmond, one in Woodinville -- that was kind of like that and we liked going there for lunch, but they pulled out of Washington in 2008 or 2009. Also Johnny Rockets, but we had a couple of bad experiences there so we didn't frequent it.

Be that as it may, today was a reasonably good day. Slept until almost 5, went for breakfast at Burgermaster and I had normal breakfast food, didn't get too full, etc. Read much of the morning although I practiced my guitar for somewhere nearing an hour. I bought some picks from Best Buy this evening, so I'm all set. We hit the estate sale down the road, and saw the big erratic in the basement which had been built around, with walls coming onto it. Didn't buy anything. He had some older speakers, but mostly Pioneer and other stuff I'm not interested in. After that we did lunch at the Taco Time in Wallingford (on 45th) and then went to Archie McPhee's, sort of a novelty store. I was looking for a mustache pacifier, but they had none. Sheesh, what next? Up to Lowe's on Aurora for some stuff including two new rose bushes for the back ($10 each!). Finally made our way back home, planted the roses and then watched the end of the movie Duel with Dennis Weaver. I started to watch some other dumb movie. Had Paglicacci pizza for dinner and then walked at Northgate. Looked into smartphones and I'll probably wait until the Galaxy S4 goes on special and then get one of those.

High around 62, partly sunny all day, maybe rain this evening.

Friday, May 24, 2013

24 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Rain during night. Showers during day.
Leah got hair do. Katherine Burke 11:30 a.m.. Pick up 1:30 p.m. Got pants & coats $6.67 cost of cleaning 4 pants 2 coats (unk). Look at fence cut grass under wire, take short ride up Eby Hill! See Julius Norman 3 p.m.
Looks like Edward had a pretty busy day.

Me, not so much. Well, it wasn't bad. I woke up in the middle of the night and since I was working at home didn't get an assist from Miss Ambien, but I went back to sleep anyway, fairly quickly. I was oh-so relaxed later on and gently woke up to the sound of rain on the roof. Sadly, it was rain on the roof at 4:15. Ah well, a Diet Coke and I was ready to go. Consequently, a very good workout was had by. . .well, me, at least.

Once I got home I went straight to my task ("Behold, as a wild ass in the desert, go I forth to my work"), which ended up being none too productive. Had a bug in my code that it took me all morning to discover. Plumber came by around 11:45 and is writing up a new estimate. Probably be around $10 for all new plumbing. A pretty penny, but it needs to be done. We'll use some plastic stuff instead of copper, but I shall make sure we keep the old stuff, it's worth something. Anyway, I worked until 1:15 and then headed off to UVil and SBux with F. Had a nice chat, although she, um, had bad breath for once. Saw one female in an interesting outfit which is getting more popular: Tights or leggings that are part sheer and part solid that can look almost like stockings or something, and over that she had on a tight little black dress. We've been seeing more of the fancy tights around; I'm unsure of their attractiveness at this point, but F. hates them.

Practiced gee-tar when I got back, and progress has kind of stalled, although to be fair I'm trying to do more of the fingering by feel instead of looking at where I'm placing my fingers. It's difficult right now, but will probably be worthwhile in the long run. But, still just doing drills and scales and such for the most part.

At the moment I'm listening to some of dad's old CDs, this one is Glenn Miller. Not a big fan of big band music generally, but I like this CD. I can't tell if it's remastered original recordings or new ones. I think at least one is a new recording, it's just too good to be original. But a couple of them sound original. Dad liked big bands. He's got 3 of Harry James which he really liked, and one Glenn Miller and a Benny Goodman. I've also got his Louis Jordan CD which I also like but don't play much. I'm reading a book on WWI but I might be getting into a whole pre-1950 sort of mood.

Oh, last night the I5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed, at least a section of it. Built in the 1950s. Turns out a truck hit a support beam. Three cars went in the drink, but no one died. Of course, my first thought was "Oh great, they'll use this to raise the gas tax some more". And right on schedule good ol' Governor Inslee -- sounds as dumb as a post and probably isn't too far off -- started blathering about more money. Gee, maybe if you hadn't built a big expensive choo-choo in Seattle you'd have had some money for bridges, hmm?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

23 May 2013 (Thursday)

On this day in 1967 (Tuesday):
Nice day.
See Mary Sehleman a.m.
"  "   "  "   & Rube  " " p.m.
Spray for weeds. Kiwanis Club p.m.
I realize I prattle on about sleep a lot, but it's problematic for me the last few years. . . . .

And I woke up at 3:15 this morning but managed to doze off again (with help) so felt good today. Our Skype call was cancelled so I went right to the gym and had a decent workout, and on the way downtown read a new book about Mallory, WWI, etc. Very good so far, lots of WWI descriptions, especially about the sorts of casualties and mortality rates they experienced. When I got home I downloaded a book called From the Trenches by Geoffrey Young which I hope to read after this, or possibly use here next year for an "On this day. . .in WWI" if it goes in chronological order. Next year being the 100th anniversary of the Great War.

Work was okay, got a decent amount done on the alcohol data and probably have a good start to it and maybe a final set of data to work with. Met with Michael at 2 and we talked about cervical cancer stuff, what I wanted to do, etc. Also T. from Cascadia wants me to reserve Tuesdays because they'd like a "senior person" there to deal with management stuff if it arises. So I probably will.

Afternoon bus was 20 minutes late AGAIN.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

22 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Fog & pt cloudy a.m. Nice day. Cut some lawn. [Hobb phones for Olympia?] Friday. 
I was so tired last night that I slept in the bed until almost 3 before waking up. I thought I was going to stay there and just fall back to sleep, but the thought of getting a hotel room for the weekend of the Rush concert in July all of a sudden caused a panic and that was that. Grrrrrr.

Smashing workout though. Getting a little thin down there as it's nearing the end of the quarter. It was raining and like 46 degrees when I left the house before 6, too, and never got much above 50. And it's almost June! Still, I got a decent amount done at work, including finding more problems with the data set, albeit the computed variables rather than the underlying data. So I spent quite a lot of time figuring that out.

And shopping for phones. Most of this morning I was sold on a Droid, but then thought maybe a Winblows phone would let me run iTunes and Filemaker (no), but then waffled back to an iPhone, maybe. Sheesh. I wonder if people reading this in 100 years will be all agog about these things called 'phones'?

Anyway, my new library book, a history of salt, didn't keep me awake on the way home so I need to try more exciting nonfiction, although it's not a bad book, really. Went to UVil to get a prescription filled and lunch for me. I shall now practice my guitar, unless Daisy demands attention.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

21 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Nice day. Cooler. Church with M.R. & girls. Rev Cooper. Wait 2:10 til 3:20 for Ferry at Port Townsend. Arl[ington] about 5:15, see Lee 5:30.
Thankfully a short entry! I am d-a-i-d daid. Was awake in the middle of the night for probably an hour having a fevered bout of anxiety about lots of junk, but I shouldn't really be as tired as I am because of that. But I worked for an hour and then got my assignment for archaeology work today and it was dull, dull, dull. Too much standing around waiting for them to excavate and it was boring when they did. Rained overnight but mostly stopped once I got out there. Only in the 50s, glad I wore my long underwear.

That's all, too tired to type much.

Thinking about getting an Android phone instead of an iPhone. Hate being so tied to one campany, plus their phones are super pricey.

Monday, May 20, 2013

20 May 2013 (Monday)

On this day in 1967 (Saturday):
Nice day. Hot.
To Port Townsend. 3 hrs at Keystone Ferry. Mary Louise gave me check for $450.00
All right Mary Louise! On that day it was Armed Forces Day. 3 hrs is a long time for a ferry on a non-holiday, but they may have been much smaller ferries back then.

Decent day today, mostly sunny around 65. I wore short sleeves anticipating 70+, but wasn't too cold. Mostly.

Bad morning though, woke up around 3:30 and I don't think I went back to sleep, but I may have dozed off for a bit. Got up at 4:30 and swilled a Diet Coke so at least I had an epic workout. Had to because the place was overrun with females. Workday was, meh. Spent most of the morning preparing the S1 files for the progress report and doing a little debugging, ended up having to tweak the TB portion quite a bit based on a new interpretation from CM. Also read over a cervical cancer paper from Michael which was interesting. The HPV test was less sensitive than I'd thought it should be (like 83 instead of 97) which supposedly has something to do with ARV treatment and/or HIV infection. Was really restless due to tiredness.

Finished reading my first library book downloaded electronically, Melissa Francis' memoir. Very sad, her mom was a sociopath and her sister died when she was only like 30. I even feel kind of bad about it (the sister). So sad.

Also today twisters hit a couple of Oklahoma schools and killed a bunch of people, mostly kids (37 at last count) so I'm avoiding the blabbing heads on TV until at least tomorrow morning.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

19 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Sky clear a.m. [Spray?] cattle. Wanda + Bill HEAT.
Spray weeds in corn 8 rows, 15 total. Leah to Everett Sears & Penney's. See Bob Roth about Whirlpool. Mow lawn both mowers! Quit 8:25 p.m.
Wanda, you may recall, is a cow. Wonder what he was 'spraying' them with? Nice to see both of the stores Leah went to are still around, too, Sears & Penney's, though these days the latter is not in the greatest of shape. The last diarist I followed went to several department stores that no longer exist.

Woke up at 3:45 this morning, blehh. Don't know how much it had to do with my awakeness, but Lola the dog was barking her head off at the time. Probably the local raccoon family meandering near her back yard again. So the early morning was kind of a waste. Made newfangled oatmeal pancakes, of which I hereby post the recipe so that it my remain in the public sphere for all eternity:

1 c flour
1/2 c quick oatmeal
2 T sugar, though I've taken to using granulated Splenda
3 t baking powder
(mix all that junk up in a bowl)
3 T butter, melted
ca. 1 3/4 C buttermilk stirred into the melted butter
1 egg beaten into the butter and buttermilk
Mix it all in with the dry stuff and cook.

Anyway, after I cleaned up breakfast (and the sink) I watched TV for about 20 minutes and then went to sleep for a half hour, when I awoke feeling reasonably refreshed. Then I watched one hour of auto-related TV (Motorweek and Chasing Classic Cars) and read my book for a while, the Francis memoir on my iPad.

Rest of the day was more or less boring, UVil, shopping, etc. Did some fingering drills on my guitar in the afternoon but I could only do a few minutes at a stretch because the tips started to hurt and I'm not about to 'practice until my fingers bleed' like a lot of these master guitarists claim they did early on. Actually, I think I may have started to get frustrated yesterday, just a touch, but then reminded myself that it actually, you know, takes practice. Boring, tedious, practice drills to get muscle memory going and an intuitive sense for the way it works. It actually does appeal to the math geek in me. So, drills, drills, drills until I can at least move my hands around in the correct fashion with relative ease. My goal is to not even play a chord until I'm pretty quick with the fingers.

Went for a walk by myself because the Spousal Unit's guts aren't feeling to hot.

Oh, also washed both cars this afternoon.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

18 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Nice day. P;ant rest of Golden Jubilee & carrots. Finish planting corn. Leah help me. Rube & Mary Sehloman here 11:30 a.m. 39th wedding anniversary trip to G. Falls [presumably Granite Falls] visit Frances Pierson. Leah left bag. Hambergers[sic] at Arl[ingon] drive in. To Everett GOP meeting Forest Park 8 p.m. [Ruie?] car load. Spray 7 rows corn.
Busy day! That was a Thursday.

Semi-busy day here. I made it until a little after 5 after a big ol' anxiety episode around 2:30. Sheesh. Worrying about everything, from not having a camera for the monitoring next week to not having the maps to fouling up any project I might do with grant money, blah blah blah. I sat up and red Moby Dick for a while and that did the trick.

We went out for breakfast, this time to McD's, largely because my stomach was feeling a little queasy and I wanted to fill it quickly. Didn't help though, I felt as bad after eating. Blehh. I took a short nap, but then read the Melissa Francis books for most of the rest of the morning. Went to U District for hair cut and, unfortunately, it was street fair day so we had to pay $15 to park on campus. (@^$@(^ Had lousy food, too. Hate these big fair things, just a bunch of hippies selling tie-dye and ugly jewelry.

Went to two little estate sales after that, both in Laurelhurst. I think we got a spoon rest at one. When we got back my guitar was waiting, Spousal Unit immediately declared it a waste of money. Do all women become nags as they get older? I swear, I think men mellow out and wives just turn into ogres. No wonder so many end up dumping them for a young chick who won't judge you left right and center all the time. Not that I'm planning on dumping the Spousal Unit for a young chick (like any would have me), but I think my parents ended up like that, too.

Oh, guitar. Nice one, not too big. Used an iPod app to tune it. I decided I'm not even going to play anything like a song for the first couple or few weeks, I'm just going to work on my fingering and get used to figuring out notes and stuff. I want to do this right.

Anyway, went to Northgate for a walk because said Spousal Unit wasn't feeling too well, not much going on. BUT I started my Christmas shopping by getting two Mason Jar wine glasses for L. Ha.

Friday, May 17, 2013

17 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Nice day. Damp p.m.
Plant corn. Norm Madsen Twin City field man. gave one sample of corn. Plant by itself. Got each of fertilizer Murphy & 2 lb.x Golden Jubilee $7.18. [godie?] stop on way home from Methodist Camp.
Opposite weather here in 2013, damp in the morning and kinda nice in the afternoon.

Slept through the night with Jack next to me, although I had to get up around 2:30 and go to the bathroom, but mostly to move Jack so I could change positions. Had a decent workout, was going to ride my bike in but the radar had rain all over. Probably could have, but it was drizzly on the way home so it was just as well. I set the S3 program a-runnin' when I got home and that took a couple of hours to run, walked up to SBux while it was going. Worked about 2 hours. Around 10 I went to the National Barricade on 20th NE by 65th and got new safety glasses, got some dough at the ATM, and then went to the estate sale up on Sandpoint. They had a picture of an old speaker which I thought might be an Advent but they (a pair) were gone by the time I got there. I think they were Dynacos, which a lot of people really like -- which explains why they went so quickly -- but I wouldn't have bought them anyway, unless they were really cheap and I could flip them. I mostly have a set of speakers that I like and will only buy those (Advent, Genesis, etc.), but if I see something really valuable for cheap I'd grab those anyway. I did grab a Sony 5-CD changer for $20 though. When I got home I moved the DVD I'd been using to the TV room where it belongs and put the new one in here. Works just fine.

The same cannot be said for the receiver I bought last weekend. I opened it up and Deoxited the volume knob, but it still wouldn't play -- might need better input than the tuner though, I may try that once more before taking it to the Goodwill. The little board the volume control is attached to moves a bit so it might have a bad connection, but not worth fixing.

Dropped some stuff off at Assumption and then headed to UVil SBux for a nice little meeting with F. Not much interesting or amusing to look at today, for the most part. I got some Van de Kamps fish things for dinner and Tater Tots! Hee!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

16 May 2013 (Thursday)

On this day in 1967:
Beautiful day. Plant corn?
Plant 8 rows Morning Sun corn. Took Wm. Hobbarto[?] to Kiwanis $1.80.
Feeling much better today thanks in large part to a decent night's (and Ambien-free!) sleep. Still a bit stuffy and coughing some but I felt better. The usual Skype call went okay, relatively short, left for IMA at 8:15 and was able to bike there as the rain had stopped. It turned sunny by noon and is very pleasant out.

I worked from home and had much trouble. The program sequence was all out of whack, with mismatched variable types all over that I thought I'd fixed! But I think I got them all worked out, but we'll see when I run the big merging section tomorrow. Sheesh. What a constant stream of headaches. Also got one of the indicator reports functioning properly.

Will have a "finance free" Thursday, maybe, as at this writing (4:15 pm) I haven't spent any money at all. I try to do that sometimes. Oddly, it's fairly rare.

Jack was demanding attention a couple of times today, being very persistent. I try not to get impatient with him, but it's tough when I'm trying to get something done and he just wants pets or something. Or *something* because he likes to walk away once he gets some.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

15 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Alan & Joan & family leave 4 p.m. Level off corn patch. Haul wood from Siberia[?]. Angela & Rosalie go to Arl[ington] with [unk]. Alum[?] 12 gals. @ .30 + $1.00 owe me. 
Busy day for him, I guess.

Sick day for me. Had to take ambien (1/3) twice last night, but was zonked out both times so I wasn't sleepy today, but head was stuffy and sneezing and junk. Woefully inadequate workout, but at least I did it and felt better afterwards. Had lunch with L., who's gotten rather heavy(er) lately, but we had a nice chat. Our birthdays are both in May so we go for lunch once or twice and exchange gifts after all these years.

Got a decent amount done at work, had to re-do the data for Engi after she decided she probably needed more variables. Took a couple hours, but I got it to her by 11. Messed with the other reports the rest of the day, and worked until 4 so tomorrow I can quit around 3 or maybe earlier depending on how I figure out hours. Rode the bus home with F. which was pleasant. Kinda rainy in the afternoon but very nice most of the day. We went to UVil.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

14 May 2013

On this day in 1967 (Sunday):
Nice day. Church. Alan & Joan & family, Lee CLyde & boy [unk] 5 p.m.
[unk] church collection
Needed May 7: 7027.58
Rec'd by: 7136.66
May 14 264.42
Still kind of sick. I've decided my "allergy" from last week probably was a cold: I've been kind of stuffy all day today and just not feeling very well. I don't know, it's a weird one, that's for sure. Couldn't get to sleep last night, but made it through the rest of the night okay. So-so workout despite adequate sleep.

Daisy is contentedly laying on the floor near my while I type. Must give her attention after I finish.

Work was okay. Engi the student came by at 12 and we worked through some data issues, turned out I had to re-do the data (again) to get her another variable, but no biggie. I also worked through the TB stuff for the progress report. Finally met Anjulie behind me because she's Engi's TA so they started talking and I couldn't help it. We only overlap for a few hours one day a week so it's not like we've been sitting there ignoring each other.

Oh well, Daisy's started to meow so I'd better go pay her some mind.

Monday, May 13, 2013

13 May 2013

On this day in 1967 nothing of any import apparently happened.

At the moment I am listening to the Simply Red LP I bought this past weekend. I scraped off (gently) a small particle of something that seemed to be in the vicinity of the big skip, so I'm hoping that fixes it. [Update: It did!]

Woke up in the middle of the night last night and was awake for quite a while due to getting all anxious. Not for any particular reason, but I haven't had one in a while so I'm not complaining too much. Woke up with the alarm at 5 and didn't really feel all that sleepy all day. I read my new ebook on the bus both ways and stayed awake both ways, so reading something kind of popular might be worthwhile for the bus ride.

Work was okay, although it was back to programming since a new data upload came up and, of course, there were problems with it. I tried to fix some of them so they won't crop up again no matter what they to at their end -- changing variable types, for example -- but who knows. I think CM is nudging me to do more than the usual coding, like figuring out how to extract proper data; the progress report on TB for example. I like it, more interesting than just coding, and I shall try to do my best.

Otherwise. . . weather was stormy in the afternoon but I didn't see it, being indoors staring at a screen. Very windy and kind of rainy on the way to the bus tunnel, and when I got down there something started making me sneeze and cough. We walked up to the Subway and got me a lunch for tomorrow.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

12 May 2013 (Sunday)

On this day in 1967:
Showers. Sprinkle all day. Cross wire -- hot -- p.m. fix!
To Arl[ington] 20 Presto logs, butter 49 cents 1 lb. Aspirin, crackers
That's 49 cents a pound for butter in 1967, which would be $3.32 in 2012 dollars, and butter is usually around $2-2.50 a pound on sale, so it's probably about in line with inflation. Interesting. I think, anyway.

Woke up at 4:30 again, but it didn't feel too bad; it was also raining at that time so it was kind of pleasant to lie there and listen to it (had the window open). Actually kind of a pleasant morning where I did next to nothing. Read a while, took a short nap, then watched TV until a little before noon when we went to UVil. Here's my metabolism for the last several years: I ordered the child's size pizza at Pallino and didn't even eat it all. Really, about 10 years ago my stomach shrunk and I couldn't eat nearly as much as I used to. Back when I was 20 or so I could get a McD's quarter pounder and large fries for lunch and be hungry again a few hours later. Now I'll get a Happy Meal and not even it it all.

Well, we did the lunch and shopping thing and then found another estate sale in Hawthorne Hills that we'd missed yesterday. Meh. Nothing terribly exciting although they had a humongous MCS receiver that no one wanted. I have this here Yamaha from yesterday and this thing was too gigantic anyway. After we got home we walked up the library and I. . .got a library card. Yes, a public library card. Don't think I've had one of those in decades (have only used the university library). But I've been meaning to do a bit more recreational reading and figured I could download books from there. So I got Melissa Francis's autobiog and started in on it. She was in Little House On the Prairie (which I never watched) and is now at Fox Business. Eh, it was the first one I thought of.

Made steaks for the Spousal Unit in honor of (cat) mother's day and they turned out okay. I let them cook longer at a lower heat. Walked. The usual. Listening to the Secret Policeman's Ball right now, mostly for the acoustic version of We Won't Get Fooled Again.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

11 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Rain a.m. To Olympia see M. Cole? 6:15 a.m. Arrive 8:30 Olympia, back 3:30 p.m.
Expenses $4.00 Gene White brother of Bud White
Toby Freeze, Bill Hobbs, Julius Norman, Bill Taylor, Ivan Meyer, 7 total. Phone Don Mier -- Bill Blake.
Two hours to Olympia, that's about right. I5 was in existence then. Don't know what all the names were about.

What a busy day! Sadly, I woke up around 4:45. =( But it wasn't too bad. Decided to just eat oatmeal for breakfast at home this morning. Spousal Unit was up early as well so we were breakfasted and showered before 7:30. So then not much to do. I edited my Thunderbird post some more, watched TV, blah blah blah. Around 10:30 we went off in search of estate sales and kinda scored. The first one wasn't even on our agenda but we passed the signs so followed them to Viewridge. Guy must have been my age or thereabouts because he (or she, I suppose) had lots of albums from the late '70s and early '80s; had to restrain myself. Only got Who's Next, Simply Red's "Picture Book" (it's got "Holding Back the Years" on it, one of my faves), and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here", all LPs, seems to be in great shape, too. Also a couple of DVDs, "Airplane" and "Animal House", all told about $14. Next two places were in Windermere, both estate/moving sales. First house was gorgeous with spectacular views. Spousal Unit picked up some linens (a score, $18) and a book. Didn't get anything at the next one, it was mostly art and junk. Then we motored up to Northgate and another small sale, nothing of interest, and then lunch and the mall. I bought a clearance polo shirt at Eddie Bauer and the Spousal Unit got some clothes at Christopher & Banks while I investigated cell phones.

After that we stopped off at home and then went to the last sale, just down the street by 55th and 39th. I went and bought a stupid receiver, a 1981-83 Yamaha R-700 which I thought was going to be like 100 watts per channel, but turned out to be only 50. Darn it. Doesn't work quite well enough either, but I think it's just the volume knob that needs cleaning. And the Input selector knob needs a little work as well. Eh, $15, but it will probably end up on Craigs List or at the Goodwill. Note to self: DON'T BUY ANY MORE RECEIVERS UNLESS YOU KNOW THEY'RE AN AWESOME DEAL.

We went to UVil after that for frozen yogurt and got some shrimp for dinner. After our walk I watched the first few minutes of the movie "Prometheus", which was stupid but I needed to watch that little bit. Now I'm sitting in my galabeya ready to go downstairs and watch. . .something. Maybe one of my new DVDs!

Throat still sore, hoping the rain tonight/tomorrow washes something away to make it feel better.

Friday, May 10, 2013

10 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Showers.
Mrs. Gardner came as we were leaving [unk] to Rummage sale Everett. $9.00 pants$10.. coat $1.00
Wild BB pie at Lee's McCall also lot[?] 1.00 8 mile[?]
Mrs. Bill Hobbs came to say Leave 6:15 a.m. 5-11-67 for Olympia at 3 p.m. Leah & Lou to Everett. Tied Wanda in heat {huh???] a.m. Supper at Lou's.
Hoooo-wee, some of that is a little weird.

Well, I've bought a guitar. Ordered a Fender acoustic on Amazon this morning, costing me a total of $30: I had $80 in gift cards so in case I play with it for a month and then ditch it I won't have spent a whole lot (and free shipping!). Been thinking about getting one for a while -- either that or a keyboard -- and finally decided I might as well go for it.

Slept until 5 (yay) and rode my bike to the IMA; brakes squeak a bit so I'll have to adjust those some, but otherwise it works fine, I'm glad I kept it. Of course, I'd probably be thanking myself for getting a new one that works great if I'd done the opposite. . . . .

Got home and did a couple of hours or work, mostly moving the big file up to the ftp site and running a big analysis program. Went to SBux for a mocha, and then finished a Car Lust post on the Thunderbird. I still think I'll edit it some to clarify a couple of things, but it's a decent post. Put the new comforter in the wash but used too much soap so the thing kind of stopped at one point, so I had to turn it off and then run it through a rinse-spin cycle three times. Even washed my car before noon! Was terribly hungry by then and had pizza. . .which I dripped on my shirt so I had to change that before going to UVil to meet F. That was pleasant, we sat outside for a bit but then I had to go in to keep from frying. It wasn't overly sunny, but I still need to watch my sun. It's getting cloudier this evening and it's supposed to be raining again by Sunday. I'm hoping that will wash away whatever pollen is doing a number on my throat, if that's what it is; I worry it might be a disease. F. also had something similar, but maybe it's just a particularly strong pollen of something.

Not much else exciting. Well, heck, enough sleep, an epic workout, getting lots done, and having a pleasant afternoon at UVil is exciting enough!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

9 May 2013 (Thursday)

Sunshine a.m.
School bus late, broke down? Hoffs phone a.m. about a trip to Olympia & meeting tonight at Ivan Meyers! Eat at Lee's to Everett 1:15 p.m. Co. Committee (1) Doorman, (2) Alan, (3) Johnson (4) Ike[?], (5) Hammond, (6) Fred, (7) Chuck, (8) S. Dorthy[sic], John.
Odd day today. Throat was sorer overnight than it has been and stayed that way all day. Woke up at 3:45, so tired as well. We had our Kenya Skype call and I said almost nothing, partly from the throat issue but they also talked about stuff that didn't much concern me. Long call though, til 8:30. I rode my bike to the IMA and had a decent, if unspectacular, workout. Globs of females there for some reason. RIde home was brutal since I'd already wiped out my legs. Together with the throat, my stomach has been acting up a bit this week as well, and I ended up just making soup for lunch. But I treated it to watermelon this afternoon.

CM was back in town so we Skyped at 1 about what I'd been up to, answered questions on the alcohol data, and we decided my problem with the lost to followup was correct. Oh, one bad thing was that I found a bug in my old code! I was getting 3's in a variable that was only supposed to have 1 or 2, but I checked the original data and there were no 3's. Hmmmm. Turned out a command I'd used to convert strings to numbers didn't just do that, it would actually assign its own numbers regardless of the underlying values. Hence, whether you gave it )"0" "1" "2" "3", etc. or "A" "B" "C" "D" it would make 1,2,3,4. Happily, that was the only placed I'd used that one. So, 1 and 1 today I guess.

Lots of running stuff for a long time, too.

At the end of the day I started a new Car Lust post on the 2002-5 Thunderbird. I checked my recent posts, for the last year or so and they were mostly non-specific Open Threads and such; I miss writing posts about, you know, actual cars, so I decided I would start in again even if I make relatively smaller posts.

Ordered a pizza from Pagliacci for dinner, yum.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

8 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Sprinkle a.m. Cut wood, no rain, sharpen lawn mower blades! Gene White phone p.m. about meeting at Ivan Meyers Tuesday 8 p.m.
This was indeed a strange day. Last things first: I got my bike working again, without some little embarrassment. I have this pump that I've been using for years on my bike and car, no problem. Put it on the stem, flip the lever, fill tire with air. I got a new inner tube for my bike and all of a sudden the pump wouldn't even go onto the stem! Huh? Same type, same size, I've done this dozens of times before. Take tube back to store, get a different one with a different type of stem: still didn't work. Bring tube and pump back to bike store to try to figure out what is going wrong.

Turned out I'd left the lever in the 'up/closed' position and didn't notice that I'd always put it on the stem in the 'down/open' position and then lifted it up to make the seal and start pumping. I could literally feel the air hissing out of my head. . . .

So anyway, bike is back in working order. Sheesh.

Slept semi-okay last night although I woke up at 4:30 this morning, but my throat is very scratchy and I didn't feel all that great. Still, a decent workout. Back home to start working and that went tolerably well, although my brain wasn't functioning really well and I probably wasted a lot of time re-doing things. We went to McD's for lunch and it made me full the rest of the day even though I didn't think I ate that much (6 McNuggets and some fries). Eh, sometimes it happens. Cloudy most of the day, but turned sunny in the later afternoon, high 60s.

I must say, I'm glad I got my bike working again. I haven't ridden it much the last, gosh, 20-25 years, but I've kept schlepping it around. It's still in halfway decent shape, and just needed a few adjustments to get it rideable again. I imagine someday we'll move to a smaller town that's a bit flatter and I'll ride it more again. A few of months ago I'd almost decided to get rid of it to get a new one; I'm glad I didn't.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

7 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Shower a.m.
SS. to church. Bertha & Lena Rutherford to Pulman. [Dathers?] & La Conner @ $1 each. Hal & Gertrude  p.m. [beek?] [unk] & Burt & [Mina?] 7.5[?]
Ed Huliman[?] mothers [bros?] candid camera!
Needed 4-30 6884.16
Rec'd 6943.68
$59.52 + 5.9.52 + [sheesh]
Messy entry, sorry about all the "unk" stuff.
I thought today was going to be a bad day but it turned out pretty well. Went to couch to sleep at 1:45 and then at 3:15 a stupid robin started cackling outside the window waking me up in a start from which I failed to fall back to sleep. Grrrr. Stupid bird. Alas, I got up around 4:15, drank a Diet Coke and went and had a slow-starting but very good workout. I'm finding I should probably go without the cheese on my pre-workout toast (x2) in the morning, as lately (the last few months) it feels like too much food. I've been eating the same pre-workout stuff for years so maybe I'm going through another metabolism change or maybe the tougher workouts are making me need less food beforehand.

Even work went quite well, chatting with some of the people around me for more than a "Hello". Also started a trick of remembering peoples' names: met someone new in the lunch room and after introducing ourselves and chatting a minute, before I left I said "Francesca, very good to meet you". I've found that repeating the same at the end of the convo -- rather than just repeating it upon hearing it right away -- sticks it in my mind better.

Of course, I'll probably not remember what she looked like now. . . .

While at work I got a bunch of the alcohol data worked through, especially with some computed variables such as "lost to followup" which I found from the main program may have been somewhat faultily calculated. Had to do with whether they were truly "lost" or transferred elsewhere. So I think that until Christine comes back I have that somewhat under control. What I'm going to do for the next couple of days is another matter. . . .

Also, the stupid inner tube STILL doesn't work with my pump. I got one with a new type of stem which I thought should work, but it doesn't. What is WRONG here??? I've done this dozens of times and now all of a sudden I can't find an inner tube I can actually use?! That was one thing that kept me awake this morning, of course: in the middle of the night something like that can turn into a Major Crisis. Criminy, now you know what I go through.

Also listened to Jesus Christ Superstar all the way through at work. It works together very well if you hear the whole thing. I still think it's very powerfully done, especially for those who haven't quite "gotten" the usual church storytelling. I think they did a good job of conveying why things were happening and really humanizing the people involved. Parts still give me chills.

Monday, May 6, 2013

6 May 2013 (Monday)

On this day in 1967:
Cloudy a.m. Take plow off AC DISC corn patch. Get wood at Lou's, burn brush also. [amount] from State Farm Mutual! No rept of ag job!
Up to 87 today! Hottest May 6 on record by 8 degrees. Looks to be going downhill with rain by the weekend, but that's okay. First day this year I didn't wear a jacket in the morning either. Tomorrow the onshore flow takes over once again and we should have clouds in the morning like today in 1967.

Mostly a boring day although I had yet another awesome workout. I admit much of that has to do with short-sleeve shirt days; yes, I try to get more pumped up when I wear short sleeves. I admit that freely and without guilt.

I mostly just fiddled with alcohol data today, got what I think is a decent base data ready, and generated a bunch of questions for later, such as which age range to use, what site(s), etc. Found one interesting thing right off: the group that used alcohol weighed more, had a bigger BMI, and higher CD4 values at baseline, which is opposite what I would expect. Also interestingly, by 6 months both groups were the same. So hmmmmm. Quiet day, not many people there, typical Monday. Had leftover thai food for lunch and it felt bad in my stomach today as well. Think I have trouble with lots of garlic.

Went to UVil this evening, got a new bike tube, bagels, prescription, and a free sandwich from SBux -- I'm in their rewards program. Vaguely pleasant day. Well, a good day, let's just admit that.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

5 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Nice day.
To Pike Street Market corn seed & carrot
Rube & Mary -- chert[?] car. Leah buy meal  [unk]
grange p.m. Give seed to Julie & Alvin Alexander at Safeway on way home!
This is the <a href="http://pikeplacemarket.org/">Pike Place Market</a> to which he refers. Mostly touristy these days, although there are some truly great little restaurants in there ('great' as in cheap and good).

Another decent day. Sunny all day, up to around 85. I went and woke up at 4:15 but that wasn't too bad (1/2 hour nap at 9:30). Didn't go to Mass because Fr. Oliver is in Ireland for the month. I cleaned some, I think, mostly sat and watched TV, switching between baseball and NASCAR. I've been a bit more interested in auto racing, at least stock. I don't really follow it or watch much of  it but I feel a need to be familiar with it.

Went to UVil and ate inside at the Italian place (Pallino) rather than outside for no good reason. I just had a salad because my stomach has felt kind of bloated all day, but I chose the one with lots of meat in it. I also bought a new inner tube for my bike but the stem is too thick to get a pump around it so I have to return it tomorrow. Bummer! But I finally bought a tire tool and it popped the tire on and off like a breeze; why didn't I get one of these sooner?! Anyway, I had already walked up to the Chevron on 35th, paid $1 for air when I realized it wouldn't work. Grrrrr. But the bike overall works fine. THe one guy got the brakes working reasonably well, it's shifting okay since I tightened the lever and it just rides pretty well for a 40-year old bike.

Made a pork loin and corn on the cob for dinner, pretty good although I think I marinated the pork too long in the teriyaki, kinda salty. Nice walk, too, up the hill to the east and back down.

Been in kind of a 1980s mood today, largely due to the weather. I'm just feeling kind of like 1983-85 recently, probably due to working at GH and enjoying it. . .perhaps feeling like I did back then embarking on a new (archaeology) career. Been sleeping well, too, perhaps getting more of my mojo (i.e., self-confidence or whatever) back.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

4 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Sunshine. Myrtle & Sky. 1/2 gal.
Driver's license. Myrtle & Sky to Clarence Georgia.
Myrtle & Sky? To Georgia? Couldn't find such a place. Hmmm.

Anyway, I'm 51 today. How about that?! When I was a kid the idea of 40 seemed impossibly old and far away. So, what did I do? Slept until 5:15 (yay), went to McD's for breakfast, and then I rode my bike to the IMA to work out. Did 600-pound leg press in honor of my b-day (only hit like 567 last  year) and then rode home. The Spousal Unit was out getting my b-day gifts so I just guzzled some soda and watched TV (got home ca. 11). Then we dropped the broom the carpet guy left and had lunch outside at UVil because it's in the 70s and sunny today. Came home, walked to library and Top Pot donuts and Safeway for carrot cake stuff. I then sat outside in the sun and read a Dune book. Until. . . .

BOOM.

Scared the living crap outta me. I thought the neighbor behind us did something. Rob two houses down came to the fence to see what it was. Spousal Unit came from the front of the house to see what it was. I didn't know. Went back to reading. A while later when I was coming in I noticed my bike's rear tire was flat. Hmmmmm. Apparently, it had gotten too hot in the sun and popped. Sheesh.

So anyway. We'd planned on going to Outback in Bellevue but I changed my mind and we walked up to Bai Pai Thai instead. Didn't feel like driving over there and having a noisy, crowded experience. Turned out nice because it was a wonderfully pleasant walk. I had garlic chicken and broccoli, YUM. And black rice pudding.

So, all in all a terribly pleasant birthday. Nothing exciting, just excruciatingly pleasant. Weather was perfect, I was well-rested, had a good workout.

Gifts: A frisbee (!), Firefly DVD, and workout shorts. Hee!

Friday, May 3, 2013

3 May 2013 (Friday)

On this day in 1967 (Wednesday):
Meet FED at Island Co 9 a.m. Hobbs phone that trip to Olympia May 11 -- Honor[?] Camp. 
What a decent day. Slept okay, although ended up on the couch. AWESOME workout. Mostly guys down there today, which is usual for Friday. Came home -- not on bike because my light quit working -- sat down to eat bagels and the carpet guy showed up. . .before 8:30! Which was good. Unfortunately, he said we needed to remove the old vinyl flooring that the Spousal Unit meticulously cleaned. Talked with him quite a bit, from Philadelphia, came out here in 1997. He finished around 1:30. Looks very good, sort of low-pile brown.

Oh, when we pulled in the IMA lot we saw a crow trying to kill a robin. Very sad. I think another robin may have gone after the crow and a construction guy may also have rescued it. Spousal Unit says we shall no longer feed crows.

I mowed the yard, did the floors, and did some other stuff while the carpet was going in, and then went to UVil to meet Shaniqua at SBux. Yeah, abundant eye candy for me since it's sunny and around 70, not much for her. Some interesting outfits (and bodies) to critique. Got some desserts and some other stuff for my b-day (tomorrow). Came home and made a dinner that didn't go over very well (although I enjoyed it) of sliced potatoes and vegetables in foil on the grill (too underdone). Nice walk though, up the hill into Viewridge proper.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Cloudy. Nice day [p.m.]. Plow corn patch finish 6:15 p.m.
Leah & Lou take ride to Burlington. Mr. Hoffs phone today. Ed Gardner leave for Alaska. Mrs. Gardner [unk] 6:30 p.m.
I wonder if Ed is a fisherman? I think maybe the fishermen head to Alaska in May or thereabouts.

A fascinating day today. I actually slept through the night again, arising at 4:30. One of the cats, probably Daisy, seems to have peed on the kitchen floor first thing. I hope she just got scared or something, but we will watch for possible UTI as well. That was weird. Today was Skype call day (Thursday) so I started work here at 6 and we did the call at 7:15. Not a long one, but I had more to say. After that (before 8) I rode my bike for the first time this year to the IMA. Worked pretty well, although it likes to change gears on its own, always up. Which is mildly irritating going downhill but bad going up hill; coming back I had to push the shift lever down a bit every 20 pedals or so. I think the lever just had to be tightened so I did that this evening. Called a place called Recycled Cycles and they may have some parts, but I need to take it down for them to look at.

Back to work when I got back, fiddling around with research projects to work on now that most of the programming is done. Decided on alcohol as part of a program evaluation thing that should also get published. I'd latched on to cervical cancer and was actually getting quite jazzed about getting back into it, but then C. shot that down: has to be something specifically Coptic-related because I'm on their dime. Oh well. I'm thinking something with TB will work as well. But I spent most of the day reading and then messing with the alcohol data. Went to McD's as well.

Tried to wear shorts all day but it was too cool, only getting to 69 and mostly cloudy -- call it filtered sunshine.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1 May 2013

On this day in 1967:
Lou & Leah tour Frontier Village. Cut alder & rake grass.
County [unk] Show. Nice day. Dig carrots, feed cows.
Nice day here, too. I slept in the bed all night! Felt great, and I had one of the hardest workouts I've had in a while, and that's saying something lately. Had to sit down at intervals. Work was okay, mostly getting data ready for an undergrad, the afromentioned (at some point) Engi from Egypt. I quite like her, she's very pleasant. Met with her and Christine for a while. Otherwise, I started looking into research projects I can start working on. I'm leaning toward a TB-related project; seems like it would be easier to develop a decent problem with it than with either mortality or diarrhea.

Ride home was nice (with F.) and not delayed by the whackiness downtown. Last year downtown was crazy and had a lot of damage by protestors/rioters but it seems to have been tamped down this year. Of course, in years past, the media has breathlessly reported on the potential for violence among those dangerous Tea Party people, all the while the liberal bunches can't hold a three-person rally without destroying property and getting violent. But I digress. . . .

Walked up to post office and Safeway after dinner. Concrete guys came today and gave an estimate for fixing the back deck and stuff and getting rid of the rats in the process.

Otherwise, the first of apparently several sunny and warm days.