Sunday, January 29, 2012


Pamela is hustling and bustling getting ready for a long scrapbooking retreat that she's going on this weekend coming up.  She's got special scrapbooking cases, has ordered a ton of pictures from our iPhoto library, and has started pre-making a few things:  Apparently she's gunning to be the honorary president of the scrapbooking sorority - Phi Beta Scrappa.  So I'm not asking a lot of questions about the plaster of paris drying in flower pots.

That means it'll be a long weekend of solo-daddy stuff this week - which was ALMOST a problem with some travel I had planned, but fortunately I was able to move some things around, and now Pamela can go have her fun free and clear.

Work is a bit crazy right now - In addition to my own work, I have been charged with growing a special business line around my geek knowledge of business intelligence (data warehousing and analysis).  Well, I've been doing a few small engagements in my "spare time" over the past year, but this year, it's feeling as though things are possibly warming up - I have two sold part time engagements and have a third in the hopper - the goal is that all three will have someone else working them longer term, but right now Feb and March are looking pretty busy - especially considering the other work I still have in Philly AND my main work in Minneapolis.

I had the Avengers over last night, and it was a wonderful lineup - a couple of old Highland Parks, a couple of Lagavulins, an Ardbeg, a Glenfarclas, and some japanese thing I can't recall the name of...   all were somewhat rare bottlings, and it was a delightful lineup.  We finished with a Todd Margaret marathon - watching Season 1 straight through.  This is a fine "downward spiral" comedy in which at every turn, the protagonist (played by David Cross) digs himself in deeper and deeper...  Great if you like Cringe Comedy.

In other media, I'm trickling my way through Homeland from Showtime - Claire Danes is fantastic as very fragile genius (?) and the manchurian candidate soldier is really well played too.   That, along with Fringe ad Downton Abbey have my TV needs down (though I do fill in with an occasional episode of Community).

For books:  Bella and I are 2/3 of the way through The Hobbit...   and boy I just had forgotten a lot about this ripping yarn - it is VERY fun, and Bella is thrilled every night with our chapter.  And in Dad reading, it took about 50 pages, but Neal Stephenson's REAMDE has finally set its hook in me, and I'm being carried along at a brisk pace.  Stephenson has a way of meandering at the beginning of his books (for my taste) and I'm always looking for the "moment" the book takes off:  In most of his, it takes 100 pages...  I just need to be patient.

The kids are asking to go for a walk, so off I go!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Centurions and Bunnies

Another Dream:  For context, we have a house full of relatives, and Pamela let me sleep in this morning.  This dream was a late morning, need to wake up dream:

A newly revitalized Roman Empire has conquered the United States, and the US is currently being overseen by a Centurion.  As a part of being conquered, I've got a job to go around outstate Minnesota to "spread the word".  I'm in a middle school building in St Cloud, and I have my "celebrate victory" stuff to put up:  I'm in the main auditorium, and need to string up the "HAIL CENTURION" banner across the proscenium.

Of course, people aren't terribly happy about having been conquered, but aren't so much actively resisting as just NOT being helpful.  So I'm all alone in the auditorium, and I can see annoyed staff peeking through the windows, shaking their heads.

I'm wildly unprepared for this task - I don't have a ladder (they didn't give me one), nor do I have a hammer or nails, so I'm trying to work out how to string this banner.  I have scaled the ornate woodwork up about 10 feet, and have one end of the banner stuffed into my pocket.  I'm checking to see if there's any way to wedge one end of the banner into a crack in the woodwork, and an realizing that the banner is actually just crappy crepe paper printed with "HAIL CENTURION" over and over - much like you might have a cheap party store "Happy Birthday" banner...   Man, Centurions sure is cheap.

At this point in the dream, I realize I'm having a dream, so I need to wake up.  So I wake up, grab my bathrobe, and come downstairs.  Walking into the dining room, the whole family (with house guests) is sitting having breakfast and they turn to face me in unison:

They're all wearing handmade silk bunny rabbit outfits, with drawn on whiskers.

At this point, I realize I am still dreaming.... and then I REALLY woke up.  I think.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Strip Club Dream

I had this dream last night, woke up and remembered the details...  and I share it with you now.

I am walking up Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis on the seedy block with the strip clubs on it - the 90's, Brass Rail, and Augies.  I am walking behind a strange man who I remember from downtown in the 80's - a mentally disabled man we called Jer-Bear...  who I hadn't seen for years.

He turns into Augies - it's 11 in the morning, and I'm seized with curiosity - just what the heck could be going on on a strip club at 11am?  Truth be told I've never been in a strip club (true), so I was maybe a little curious about what they're like inside.

I walk in, and it's a pretty average bar, no dancers anywhere, and at the back of the bar is a maitre d' podium and a velvet rope, with two bouncer types standing there.  I walk up and ask if I can see what's back there.

They ask if I've ever been there before.  I say no, and they say "why don't you take a look around?  You can have nine minutes for free".  They hand me a large wall clock so I can keep track of the time.  I walk past the rope and look to the right.

There is a large open area with a clump of sectional couch pieces.  There are about 6 people stretched out on the couches, cuddled up with person sized teddy bears.  They're all napping.

Immediately to the right there's a stairway down.  I go down to find a big open space with about 15 circular couch setups - it's run down and a bit dirty, but well lit with high ceilings.  In each of the couch areas, there's a different "thing" going on.

Right by the stairs are a group of people dressed as cats playing with large balls of string.  Off to the left is a group of people laughing and playing with balls or balloons - they're batting them back and forth.  I can't recall all of the other things I saw, but they're similarly innocent.

I walk a ways in, and find a group of overweight computer-guys with short sleeve oxfords and beards, and they're on their hands and knees with blissful looks on their faces.  In the middle of them is a huge mess of cell phones, power adaptors, and computer cables, and they're trying to find the matches for each.    I watch as one grabs a phone, finds the right adaptor, plugs it in, unplugs it, then tossed it back on the pile with a laugh.

I look at my clock and realize my 9 minutes are getting close to up, so I wander back upstairs and hand the guys the clock back.

"Did you see anything you like?"

"Yes, but I just don't have the time" is my reply.

And then I woke up.