1.) T. had her second birthday party yesterday, and her actual birthday today. It was a fairly low-key party; the five of us plus the two kids, and another family from around the corner, went out to Happy Hollow Park and Zoo for the morning and had a picnic and the kids played on the playgrounds and rode the rides and peered at the meerkats and capybara and fed the goats. Much fun, and I took quite a lot of photos and discovered that my camera's autofocus cannot keep up with kids going around in circles on rides, and got rather a bit of a sunburn on my forehead. And I did get some in-focus photos on the rides by picking a spot, setting the focus there, and waiting until they came around to that point.
2.) Also from yesterday, I was amused by M.'s proclivity for making friends. One of the circular rides has bugs that bounce gently up and down and have forward-facing seats on the front and rearward-facing seats on the bug. Morgan struck up a conversation with a girl who was in the seat facing her and T., and by the end of that ride they wanted to go again sitting side-by-side, and they did that twice, and at that point they appeared to be best friends. (And were very sad when the other girl had to go off to the other birthday party she was there for.) I am rather inspired by how she does that.
3.) Last week I built a couple of hanging shelves in the garage, 8 feet long and 16 inches deep, sized to hold 32 (!) of the plastic boxes that I'm using for organizing tools and things. I was a little concerned about whether I'd need to be careful about putting heaving things on the shelves, since they hang from the ceiling but by the time they were done I realized that I could comfortably lean all of my weight on them to hammer in the last few nails, so I think they will do just fine. And this gives me space to put tools that is (a) easily accessible and organizable rather than just stacks of stuff, and (b) isn't in the office room in the house. So that will be very helpful. Right now, though, it's mostly full of boxes of tools-that-need-to-be-organized.
4.) I made chili -- or quasi-chili, depending on your opinions on what does or does not count as such -- for dinner tonight. It was simple and quite tasty -- one large onion, diced and sauteed in the soup pot, along with some chipotle powder and cumin powder. Then one large green pepper and two small orange peppers (cheaper than red peppers at the store this week), likewise diced, each put in once I got done dicing them. When those were nicely cooked, I added a 28-oz can of tomatoes, two 14-oz cans of black beans, and two 14-oz cans of pinto beans. That didn't look like enough tomatoes, so I added another 14-oz can of those. This then simmered for a half-hour or so, and somewhere in the middle I salted it to taste with soy sauce -- I've come to the conclusion that for many things of this sort, it greatly improves the flavor to use soy sauce rather than just salt. And it seemed to want something else, so I added a spoonful or so of dried marjoram, because it is tasty and we don't use it that often. It came out quite well.
5.) I found a laser barcode scanner in the personal-electronics-recycle bin at work last week. It's a proper professional one, with the laser line and a chirpy beep when it recognizes a barcode, and it has a USB plug and as far as the computer is concerned it's just a keyboard. And so now I have a question: Why is it that I now feel compelled to find things around the house with barcodes and scan them, and why is there such glee in scanning them and having this thing make its chirpy beep and seeing the numbers appear on screen? I feel sort of like a chipper mad scientist, wanting to go muah-ha-ha and shoot things with the laser and giggle. And it's not just me; suzannemoses
also had this reaction to it....Crossposted from Dreamwidth (original here), with comments. Comment here or there; comments here will eventually be duplicated to there.