Monday, September 19, 2016

"I'm a *real* boy!"

An awesome day yesterday, in which I got to be a functioning, normal human being: barbecuing, hanging with friends, swimming, beering, lounging on floaties in the pool, listening to music, catching up on life, kvetching, commiserating, laughing, relaxing.

Had to make some concessions to the neuralgia, and it's rebounding hard today, but it was worth it (plus we finally got to test out the giant inflatable swan float <grin> ).

(And can I say that it still feels weird to have 90+ degree days in mid-September?)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

a flight for Lucy-fur

One of my closest friends, who has had some really bad luck in the past few years (seriously, fuck the universe sometimes), got hit again: their awesome fourteen-year-old dog Lucy died earlier this week. It's hit the household pretty hard, especially on top of everything else they've had to deal with lately.

The next day, Will and I did a Pilots N Paws rescue flight to bring a pup from a shelter in Fresno to a foster home in Palo Alto...the timing was right, and it seemed an appropriate way to celebrate the sweet fuzzy four-footer that had been such a big part of my friends' lives and those who knew them.

The view leaving KPAO. :^)
Coming out of the clouds on the way to Fresno

There was land under there somewhere.

Sugar, loving the warm concrete and belly scritches
before the flight to her new foster home.

Flying over Moffett Airfield on the way home.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

random stuff and brain dumps

The latest "big news": Will passed his IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) check ride, so he's now an officially certified IFR pilot. Translation for non-piloty people like me: he can now fly in "inclement weather conditions" like clouds, fog, rain, low visibility (like smoke from California wildfires), and so on. The next big step is to get his commercial rating, but that's a little bit away; in the meantime, he'll probably work on his seaplane, retractable gear, and tail dragger endorsements (endorse ALL the things!).

The reason he's not going after his commercial license right away is another bit of news that we've been keeping quiet: budgeting and time and energy and plans are going towards prepping for the new arrival. Carving up space, figuring out logistics, doing the money math, all the brain juggling and second-guessing and anticipation are now getting squeezed, since it's "about that time". Time flew, months went by faster than they felt, and now it's crunch time. Stress, excitement, anxiousness, and a strong need for it to just be done with already.

Speaking of arrivals: we had some unwanted roommates a little while back. We were taking the dog out one morning and saw bits of paper and insulation loose on the garage floor. Checked the cameras and saw we had some guests (watch the lower right):

Traps worked brilliantly, and we ended up "evicting" one large adult and five smaller rats. The last one was rather sad and awkward, though. We were having the weather barrier on the garage door repaired, and the workman had brought his eight- or nine-year-old son to help out (the kid actually worked pretty hard, it was cool to watch them). As we were standing around chatting, a tiny little rat poked his head out from under a cabinet, the started slowly walking out towards the driveway. Will was able to grab a thick glove and just pick the poor thing up; it was so weak and hungry that it was easy to catch. The awkward bit came when the boy asked us very sweetly and curiously what we were going to do with it (no way in hell was I going to tell this kid that it was doomed to die, so I just told him it was a very good question). He was fascinated by it, suggested we could keep it as a pet, even asked his dad if he wanted to keep it (dad said no). We ended up wimping out and just letting it go a ways down the road...let nature decide if the little guy would survive (it would be just my luck for him to not only survive, but to bulk up and come back looking for revenge >.< ). No signs of other family members so far, and the dog hasn't seemed to smell anything lately, so crossing fingers we got them all.

Got my "You joined Facebook nine years ago!" thing a little bit ago. I avoided signing up for Facebook for ages, but finally had to once I started working for them. So crazy how time flies, and it's completely and totally bonkers how that one job decision pretty much shifted my life onto a completely unexpected path. Just like a gazillion years ago when another fortuitous job offer led to living in California and all that followed from there, I never would have thought that taking my manager up on his "Hey, come consult with me over at Facebook" offer would have brought me where I am now. A butterfly flapped its wings, indeed.

In the middle of the cool stuff is some less-cool stuff: I'm still dealing with trigeminal neuralgia. I've gone on about it before, so I won't bother this time...just a short note to say "fuck this noise". Blergh.

Lots of other small things going on: swapped out the tri-color emblem on my car with a monochrome one, looks awesome (now just need to get new rims that match); spent a fair chunk of time playing the new game "Obduction", from the folks that did Myst and Riven (it was fun to play a puzzle/brain game again, I miss those); birthday was low-key and mellow, which is how I like it; cat is still catting, dog is still dogging, snake is snaking, we have rabbits and deer and coyotes and the occasional bobcat visiting; Will is out-playing me in Diablo 3 this season, which is rare (usually I have more patience with the leveling and gear hunt, but this time he's kicking ass and is carrying my toon through leveling); Karen and I saw "Kubo and the Two Strings" and really liked it (and had to laugh at the fact that we were surprised that we liked it so much); found a big four-foot long inflatable swan raft thing for the pool (on sale!); found some amazing art at Disneyland (two originals and a print) that we need to get hung on the walls; a thousand other things that seem important in the moment, then fade into puffs of memory as time flows on.

So basically, life. Small things, big things, scary things, exciting things, annoying things, frustrating things, good things, better things. Change and not-change, go with the flow and fight the tide. Choose your battles, win some, lose some. Cliché, trite saying, homily, quote, paraphrase, wrap up, salutation, save and commit.