Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fun Day

Officially, I have no child care responsibilites between 8:30 and 5:00 pm on Mondays and Thursdays. It usually doesn't happen that way since Lindsay often decides she's finished with her grandmother for the day or vice versa... I often spend these days cleaning, laundering, shopping for family needs. Not today. You know what? There's a whole world out there! Wow!

I started today with a much needed haircut. Having not many places to be these last months and my hair looking pretty decent, I simply avoided spending the $$$. Alas, it is now hot and the hair was long and heavy; perpetually in a pony-tail which is not really my best look. Off with the hair! Lindsay thinks it looks "funny".... her taste is all in her mouth.
My hairdresser is located close to my former office to facilitate lunch-time coiff-ing; being in that neighborhood I was delighted that a favorite pal joined me for lunch which was oh so adult, chatty and too long for her since she needed to go back. But so much fun! She's also a favorite knitting bud so I think I'm going to head back some time next week to talk about socks.
Well, over there on that side of town also dwells, for now, cBFF Dave. I knew we couldn't do sushi tonight as Rob had a dinner meeting (again, again, yes I know; its growing old) so we rendez-nous (I'm not sure that's correct but it amuses me) at his place for chatting and a frappucino --- those dulce de leche ones are amaaaaazingly nice.
Gadgets: Lost, found and purchased
While awaiting Dave's return from Ikea, I popped into BestBuy. That place, and any yarn or craft store are very challenging for me because I want EVERYTHING they have. I had entered with the intention of replacing my bluetooth earbud that has gone missing for the last week.
I was astounded to find BestBuy selling this model for about $110; I believe when we bought mine last year, Amazon had them for 80-ish. I decided at that cost, I should go home and be extremely certain of its disappearance. Good call; I asked the girls and Anna knew immediately where it could be found (although she wouldn't tell me where that was....). Please do note: this is a very good quality headset; I've had others that really blew. Also, I checked Amazon this evening; this unit can now be had for under 50 bucks from them (and will qualify for free shipping...). What is up with BestBuy charging twice that???

I've become very fond of making phone calls while in the car but only with a headset. In DC proper its illegal to use a handheld while driving and soon Maryland and Virginia will go that way as well. I think the legislation is important and long overdue. I hope that if you're a chatty driver that you have a handsfree setup of some sort. This particular model also supports voice dialing so you don't need to pick up your phone at all -- nor do you have to go through your entire address book recording names; it has native voice recognition.

So then I didn't feel at all guilty for having rather spent some cash on a new car adapter for my iPod.

I've tried many FM transmitter type adapters (Monster, Belkin, Griffin) before and been very disappointed particularly in this region in which the FM spectrum is just overwhelmed with broadcasts. I also really hate damn cassette adapters---ancient technology, magnetizing heads, wires everywhere. Bleh. So I decided to take another shot at this sort of moderately priced model that will utilize ANY FM frequency (most others only leverage the very low- and/or high-frequency ranges), simultaneously charge the device and provides a USB line-in for charging your cell phone. Note also it includes a small, steering wheel mounted RF remote that controls both the adapter and the iPod for safer navigation of the devices. Finally, it allows the user to establish pre-set channels that are known to be better than others.

Guess what? Its fabulous. Its not like I didn't have any issues with static but after setting my "best channels" it was no problem to switch easily when needed. I suspect that outside of the metro area the interference problem will be about zilch. It will be nice for the drive to Tampa this summer. On the road again...

Oh, hey and while we're on iPod thingies, did anyone else see that Apple has released iTunes Plus which provides DRM-free, higher quality audio files. Of course it costs a bit more. I have to say, I might actually have to start liking those Apple guys. No doubt that iPod is a far superior product to any other digital music player (I know because I've tried several) so I've tolerated iTunes. What has always bothered me is that I think for a buck a track,you should get the real deal---uncompressed .wav files, no rights management---just as if you'd bought a cd. So they're heading in the right direction and its about time. I've been wondering: what kind of money do artists make for iTunes sales? I know The Funky Supervillain is available there so maybe I'll get an answer.

Dave's move

The days are fleeting; its very difficult to get my head around it and to manage the sense of loss. This is the thing---up until I moved here in 1995, I had lived a life where it was typical to stay in a place 4 years, tops. Upon settling here I very quickly appreciated that I wouldn't have to leave this place, these friends. For 12 years, then, Dave and I have built a tremendously strong and satisfying friendship. I didn't want to be a person who said good-bye to their best friend again.

So. Next Monday he and T. travel to Vancouver where Dave has a couple of days of Executive retreat with his new colleagues; several other days that they will use to find mid- and long-term lodging. He returns here on Monday the 11th, as do I, and his entire house will be packed and on the road on June 22 (Happy Birthday to me!). He has to begin work on July 3 or 4. I'm thinking that between now and his final departure there will be a maximum of 11 days when I might visit him. I give it 3 visits, at the most, what with all of the good-bying he'll have to do with others. Oh. Woe is me. Thankfully, I do have very firm plans to visit him in October. It helps a bit to know that. And I'm going to upgrade my cell phone plan to cover all of North America so we can chat freely.

He brought these gifties back from Finland for me. He is so thoughtful! Lovely Finnish wool for knitting! And an uber-cool Finnish (Iitalla) glass whatever dish. Those Finns can be nearly as crazy-cool as the Swedes. They are, after all, the folks who gave us Nokia which played such a vital role in cell phone acceptance in this country. Do you know how high the cell-phone market coverage is in Finland? Approaching 88% or something crazy. I think land-lines are incredibly expensive there so its a great solution for them. Imagine!

Also news that knitting neighbor, Dagmar, is moving to New Mexico VERY soon. Of course I was going to focus a lot of my missing-Dave energy on that friendship but there she goes, too. I'm sensing a trend though: my best friend is woo-ed away by a Finn, newly acquired and greatly admired German friend leaves me... I'm beginning to think we shouldn't befriend foreigners, aren't you? Damn! There goes cBFF A., too! Zoinks!

School is winding down, the kids are getting psyched, as am I. I'm looking forward to a couple of trips, time with nieces/nephews/cousins/grandparents, movies in the heat of the afternoon and library time. We've outlined some rules for the time out of school though: tight regulation of quantity of television viewing, expectations for reading and creative pursuits, swimming, etc. I remember those idyllic summers of my youth in Spain---footloose, big wide world open to me, endless possibilities and a posse of friends. Its not the same kind of world anymore but I do hope my kids are able to create some adventure for themselves this summer.

I've been grieving the imminent loss my Sunday Sopranos and Entourage. I've added The Tudors to my regular viewing but even though I like it, its just not great the way the HBO shows are. Weeds, on the other hand, is too fabulous. I don't have the same strong attachment to the characters but I've just begun watching Season 2 On-Demand and I have to say, that's a funny, funny premise, the cast is full of great characters, actors with talent and the writing is killer. I was hooting with laughter this morning as an uncle explained the finer points of self-pleasure to his nephew who had been, ummm, flushing soiled tube socks down the toilet.... It was sheer comic genius.

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