Saturday, November 29, 2008

A haircut and more leaves

On Wednesday, Mrs Notthat, WHM, and Riley all watched as Darci got a haircut. Here is the before picture:

And here is the after picture:

Yeah, I don't see much difference either. Riley seemed to have had a pretty good time waiting for the event to end.

The grandkids both love wearing their rain boots. A lot. What kid (or stunted adult like, ummm, me) doesn't like playing in puddles? I'm with them - it's best to be prepared for "just in case."

One nifty thing to point out, that hooded sweater that Riley is wearing was made by WHM! She worked on this a lot during the trip to Maryland. Amazing.

Yesterday the grandkids came over so that WHM could study. It never did warm up very much - it only got up to a cloudy 61 - but that didn't slow down the assault on the front yard leaves.

One thing you might notice is that the trees still have a lot of leaves on them. Our fall is just getting started. There will be several more weeks of playing in the leaves. Also, I have no explanation for the "tent" over the leaf pile. I took apart some deteriorating edge railing and this seemed to be the right thing to do with the bits.

Again, can you see how much hair got cut? Darci told me this was her sword. (It appears to be an Impossible Dream to get the kids to not pick from plants you don't want them to pick from.)

Just to wind me up, Riley has almost as much fun destroying the leaf pile as creating and playing in it.

That's it - move along...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Just call him "Speedy"

On Tuesday, The Boy was anxious to get home from class. He could smell the popcorn. It was 9:30 in the evening and there was little traffic.

Except for that CHP officer.

The Boy got his first speeding ticket on Tuesday. As we all know, the system is set up to heavily punish teenage drivers, especially teenage boys, that get caught doing something they shouldn't be doing while driving. 

We don't really know how this will turn out. There will be a court appearance (I'm pretty sure there is no option to take a drivers safety course to expunge the ticket, but maybe...), there will be the fine, court fees, possible traffic school costs, possible revocation of his license, and who knows what else. Well, I know one what else thing - the insurance company is definitely going to get theirs.

This is going to be an expensive and potentially painful lesson.

I know it was for me when I first started driving.

When I was his age I got a speeding ticket in our small town's speed trap. I knew the trap was there, but after a bit you start to believe you are invincible. One ticket was not such a big deal in Colorado though, even for a teenage boy. Just be sure not to get a second.

Which of course I did, for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. Another niggly ticket that I did not deserve. Completely not my fault. Mostly. It didn't matter what I thought though, the state suspended my license for three months. Boy, that got my attention! I had learned my lesson. I was going to make that little old lady that only drives to church on Sunday look like Dale Earnhardt.

A couple of weeks after I got my license back I got another ticket. I couldn't believe it. But that one finally did it, and I've only gotten one other ticket in the 30 years since then.

I paid for my checkered teenage driving history until I was well into my upper twenties in the form of insurance premiums. I still remember how the various insurance companies would laugh when I listed my driving history. There are special high risk companies that deal with the likes of me, and they get paid very well for that risk - I paid about four times the normal premiums for my insurance for a long time. 

So this is going to be an expensive lesson for The Boy. His motorcycle (yikes!) savings is going to take a big hit. But hopefully he has learned from this and will be MUCH more careful from now on. 

And yes, I am well aware that since I wrote this and bragged about my clean recent driving record that I will most likely get caught before the week is out. But I'll be extra careful. I always try hard to not be the fastest car out there - I like to get passed since those people will be more attractive to the CHP. But there are so many things you can do wrong, and, like the holding call in football, you break some law almost every time you get behind the wheel, and all it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The picture up top is The Boy and his friend Yentruoc (not his real name) at the SF auto show yesterday. He took about 120 pictures of the event, and most were of cars that could easily top 200 mph.

Oh my.

That's it - move along...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday grab bag

Three quick things.
- - - - - -
There is no way I expected to ever see what shows in that picture. Gas at less than $2 a gallon. I've heard there are places around where you can get it for less than $1.90 and quite a bit less if you leave the Bay Area.

The interesting thing will be how fast people start dumping their Prius and Smart cars and such and buying back their Hummers and Suburbans. 

I had expected gas to get a bit below $3 a gallon, but not to fall this far. I'm kind of torn about this: on the one hand times are tough and people need one less thing gouging them, but on the other hand the costly gas forced people to think a bit greener. I guess cheap gas is a good thing, but hopefully people won't forget how much it used to be and will continue to conserve.

But I'm not holding my breath.
- - - - - - - 
If inventing a device for shooting hot dogs into the crowd at a baseball game interests you, click this link. There is a video that shows a bit about how they created this device for the Phillie Phanatic to use. I'm not a huge fan of team mascots, but he, along with the San Diego Chicken, can be extremely entertaining. Others are just annoying. But even the annoying ones become cool if they are shooting hot dogs into the stands.
- - - - - - - 
I've written before about how I don't really crave a window office, but I've ended up with them for my last two offices (here's my latest). In any case, a new group is moving into our building and they are covetous of our offices. So now we are shuffling offices and are losing our windows. 

Honestly, I don't mind losing the window - I am just lazy. I HATE packing up everything. I HATE that I will have to deal with moving the Circle Plant. I HATE that I will probably lose about three days of useful work to this. And I HATE that I suspect this will happen again in about a year, which is the average length of time people stay in their offices here. (In seven years I have had four offices in three buildings, but never changed my job. Amazingly, only once in all that time did I have to work in a cubical. Any kind of office is better than a cubicle.)

So I have a bunch of boxes to pack on Tuesday.

Or maybe not. 

Now there is word that maybe we won't have to move. Or maybe we won't move as soon as we were told. 

Heavy sigh...

That's it - move along...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grandkids, leaves, and a led-free zeppelin

First, I've posted a few more Maryland-based pictures here. These were taken after I left. The basic theme is that it can get really cold at a Maryland beach in November.

Next, I just want to say that anyone that runs a day care center or who cheerfully routinely watches two or more kids should immediately have their sanity checked. How do sane people do that? I watched both grandkids on Wednesday and Thursday, and I have to say, work is MUCH easier. Oh, they were cute and fun off and on, but they were also constantly going at full speed and testing me and just plane challenging.

Darci has been dying to rake the leaves into a pile so that she can jump in them. The tree that supplies our leaves is still in the early stages of dropping them, so there were not all that many leaves to work with. But both kids (and Idiot Dog Teddy, on the right side) were eager to try anyway.

There were enough for them to share for a little bit (followed by them each needing their own pile, with lots of bickering over whose was bigger or whose was touching whose).

I did manage to get this picture of Darci. I have no idea why she felt her mouth had to be open - I certainly would not have had it open while someone was dropping leaves on me.

Darci has been on a waffle kick. Notice the presentation.

Riley absolutely positively does not need a nap. Until he does. Both grandkids were excited that we were going to head to the airport to pick up Mrs Notthat. And then Riley apparently got run over by a truck or Idiot Dog Teddy - I love how his shoes are scattered, just like Charlie Brown on the pitcher's mound.

Today Mrs Notthat and I took IDT for a walk. The weather is magnificent - clear and 70 degrees or so.

See how green the hills are turning? See how nice The Hotness looks? Notice the zeppelin in the upper-right corner? (You can ride this thing, but it's a bit pricey - $495 for an hour).

Today I cook the turkey we bought last year at this time - you know, one of those bargain turkeys. I need to do this so that I can make room in the freezer for a couple more bargain turkeys that I bought on Wednesday. Mrs Notthat has already pointed out that this makes no sense, so you don't really have to.

That's it - move along...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maryland Pictures are up!

I have posted a bunch of pictures from the Maryland trip here. These are all scaled down a bit, so if you would like nicer copies of any of them please let me know.

Also, that picture up on top is of Dani's suitcase after it arrived in Baltimore. I joked that it looked like it had been "cuddled by a velociraptor," but in truth I had not seen the actual bag. I now want to update my description to "cuddled by a rabid velociraptor." This was pretty remarkable, even by airline standards. 

That's it - move along...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remembering Dolores

Monday went exceptionally well. The weather gave us an amazingly clear fall day. The service at Arlington National Cemetery was very nicely done and the memorial in Severna Park was touching and cleansing and more fun than you would expect something like this to be. Following it all up with a massive amount of great food, music, and way more desserts than could possibly be eaten put a nice capper on the day.

The Arlington National Park part of the day required us to be there at 9:30AM. This meant driving from the greater Arnold Maryland metro area all the way through the heart of DC during rush hour. True story - the worst part of the commute was in Arnold. Not that there weren't other issues and slow downs and missed turns and wild disagreements between GPS systems (which I'm feeling pretty good about not having), maps, and the sometimes contradictory signage in the DC area.

But everyone managed to make it on time. We were all able to actually drive into the cemetery (as opposed to parking in the visitor lot) which was interesting, although we nearly got shot (more later). We all drove out to the Columbarium where a nicely respectful and well done short service was held.

Arlington National Cemetery is very impressive and a little hard to actually take in. It is huge. I expected them to pressure us to clear out once the ceremony was done, but they left us alone and we hung around for about a half hour, blocking the road in front of the Columbarium. We were one of the last cars to leave, and I decided to try a shortcut.

And then I came up on these guys. I stopped, trying to decide if I should nose my way through, when they all pulled out their guns and did that 21-gun salute thing you see on TV. (I think they were practicing, since I didn't see anything to indicate there was a body waiting to be buried, but still, they had guns.) I made a hasty U-turn and found another way out.

The memorial service was held back in Severna Park (the northern part of the Arnold metro area) at the Unity By the Bay church.

It was a great service where many people shared memories and thoughts. Frank Sinatra's "My Way" was the theme song.

And then it was off to DAAAUUUNNN's house for lots of food. Pulled pork sandwiches, mighty chili, some token salads, and LOTS of desserts.

WHM was horrified that I took this picture of her handiwork in dealing with the leftover cake. I can attest though that the leftover cake, appearance not-with-standing, was still very good.

Speaking of pictures, there were many taken of a variety of family groupings.

In one that I posed for, I snuck in a camera and took a picture of the papparazi. This confused the heck out of them.

And then finally, the day was done. The Boy curled up with Yapper II and took a nice little nap.

Today, The Boy and I turned in the rental car (an amazingly stripped Chevy of some sort - honestly, I didn't know they made cars without power locks and windows anymore; if the rental guy, who tried hard to get us to upgrade, had mentioned that our compact was going to be a primitive thing a small step up from what the Flintstones used, I would have coughed up the extra $4 a day for the upgrade), flew back, and are now at home. (Actually, The Boy is at class tonight.)

This was a quick trip that went very well. DAAAUUUNNN and her Squeeze Ukulele Glennn did an excellent job in getting all of this set up and riding herd on all of us. This was a massive undertaking.

Thank you all for working so hard on this. I will be posting pictures later and will annouce them in a followup posting.

That's it - move along...

PS: Speaking of Ukulele Glennn, here is a picture I took of some of his creations. They are amazing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Got crabs?

Sunday was the "hurry up and get the last bits ready" day around here. We got a second copy of the poster printed and I made a map so that people could find the various event locations for today.

There was still time for cards though.

And sightseeing in Annapolis. The weather turned a bit chilly and windy on Sunday, so nobody was up to playing on the beach.

But they were up to eating things that played on the beach. A large group of us had dinner at Jimmy Cantlers on the bay in Annapolis. Many crabs were eaten/destroyed. The wisest of us though went for something that you didn't have to work so hard for - I had a big plate of steamed clams, mussels, and shrimp.

This picture will likely get me a night on the deck, but it was the best one I had of the carnage once it was all over.

I tried to stay up and watch last night's Redskins/Cowboys game, but it starts so late out here that I couldn't do it. (Just as well - the wrong team won anyway.)

Today is the big day. People are shuffling around getting dressed and I'm sweating potential rush hour traffic issues. But it is clear and nice out (if a bit cold).

That's it - move along...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trippin' to Maryland

The funny thing was that I was composing in my head this post about how great the flights to Maryland had gone. The planes had been on time, we didn't have to pay to use the bathroom or for our snacks or sodas or pillows, and the flights were not packed to the gills.

Here we see The Boy demonstrating how the "kewl kidz" wear their iPod ear buds. Yes, it was a long couple of flights.

In any case, we made it to Baltimore/Washington International Airport (motto: "Be happy we didn't throw in Philadelphia too") fine.

An interesting moment I completely failed to capture with a camera: About three rows ahead of us there was a distinguished looking black man that was taking a VERY long time to get his jacket arranged just right before he headed down the aisle to leave the plane. There was plenty of time to whip out the camera and take a picture, but, well, I just wanted to get off the dang plane. So I was mildly perturbed and not thinking this was a bloggable event.

He turned out to be the Rev Jesse Jackson. Flying coach on Southwest Airlines. Eating the same bags of peanuts we had.

In any case, things went downhill from there. The baggage took forever, and when they did show up, WHM's bag looked like something that had been cuddled by a velociraptor. So there was much frustration on her part trying to convince them that the bag did not actually look like that when we left California. A pair of shoes, her favorite shirt, and a special umbrella were all destroyed. She ended up with a new suitcase and a check for $50.

So we were late getting to DAAAUUNNS place, where lots of people had already gathered.

Mary is the little girl with the backpack, cousin Cathy is on the left, DAAAUUUNNN is in the middle, and Missouri Donna rounds out the group. DAAAUUUNNN's house is wonderful, little yappy dogs not-withstanding.

It rained a lot last night and the wind blew a bit, but even with all that, the view off the deck this morning is still amazing.

(OK, a couple of weeks ago, before all the leaves fell, it would have been a bit better, but this is still very cool.) And here's a picture to remind us of why we are here.

That's Dolores. Today (Sunday) will be a busy day. Among other things, I need to try to find a local place to print the poster since the one I ordered on the internets came back less than optimal.

But the fireplace is cracklin' and breakfast is sizzlin' and, well, maybe we can wait a few minutes before shovin' the day forward.

That's it - move along...

Friday, November 14, 2008

This is the weather we are leaving behind

I stayed home from work today to help watch grandkids so that all of the last minute pre-trip things had half a chance of getting done. Like scrubbing the toilet and bathing the dog.

The weather today was stunning. You could have swore it was mid-July and not mid-November. Attached are a batch of pictures showing the wonders of the grandkids, The Boy, and the weather.

The top picture shows Mrs Notthat rounding up the grandkids in front of the heart-shaped shrub, which is actually looking pretty good. The funny thing is Riley - if you look closely you can see that he is pretending to take my picture while I'm taking his. That is one goofy kid (and he did really well today considering how he was earlier in the week).

The next picture shows him in the castle, ridding the area of spider webs.

The next picture shows Darci admiring the first calla-lily bloom of the winter. Yes, she is wearing her pajamas. Today was PJ Day at her pre-school. She assured me that she had the best pajamas of anyone there. 

The bottom picture shows The Boy mowing the lawn with Riley riding along. Kids...

In any case, we are up at 4 AM tomorrow. I never sleep well before a flight, especially one that I have to get up so early for, so I may be a bit grumpy. 

Not that anyone would notice.

That's it - move along...

PS: Dave Barry had this item in his blog today that I thought was really funny. The best thing was that it was finally admitted that Obama is actually O'bama, from an Irish immigrant family. If you haven't read the stories that Dave links to about his times with the Lawn Rangers Precision Lawnmower Drill Team, you should. We need to have our own troop out here.

Busy week getting busier

This has been a busy week and I have failed to keep up with the blogs and such. Sadly, it's about to get worse and then it all settles back down in a week or so to a sleepy end of fall/start of winter slumber. 

Yeah, sure.

The big news was that Riley ended up spending Wednesday night at Klub Kaiser with breathing issues again. With some aggressive medication and lots of attention by lots of people it was kept from being a serious situation and he went home Thursday morning. We had Darci stay the night with us, which went OK (for me - as usual Mrs Notthat ended up dealing with the night time issues). Darci and I made waffles in the morning (sadly, I couldn't find the blueberries so they were plain, if being soaked in syrup is still considered plain). 

Tomorrow morning we (Mrs Notthat, The Boy, WHM, and I) get on a plane for Baltimore. The poster up on top is what I made after going through lots and lots of pictures. Hopefully you can click it and see a bigger version of it.

Look at the pictures from 1942 and 1944. I feel really weird typing this, and I'm sure this is going to make Mrs Notthat and DAAAAUUUNNN squirm a bit, but their mother was hot! No wonder she ended up with three hot daughters (and maybe a hot son - I'm not going to try to go there Arkansas John).

The memorial service is on Monday and all of us except Mrs Notthat fly back on Tuesday (she flies back on Thursday). I get the honor of pretending to be Mrs Notthat on Wednesday and Thursday and will be wrangling the grandkids in her place. 

That's right - Pringles and cartoons will rule! Maybe waffles!

I hate flying and am not looking forward to this trip at all. It will be good to see everyone though, and the Cowboys will be in town to play the Redskins, so it will end up being worth it. (This will be my first flight without grandkids in a long time. No car seats, strollers, or massive diaper bags. In other words, it's going to be dull.)

Hopefully I will be able to provide reasonably regular trip updates. And score some bargain Redskin gear.

That's it - move along...

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Pop" goes the kernel

Our family likes popcorn. I mean REALLY likes popcorn. 

Microwave popcorn that doesn't have partially hydrogenated oil in it can be a bit challenging to find, and in any case, microwave popcorn tends to just not taste quite right - there are doubts about what exactly is in that bag and it always seems to have too much of everything, even the lite stuff. But it will do in a pinch.

Our favorite popcorn is from a hot air popper that Mrs Notthat had before we got married 25 years ago. It was old. About 15 years ago its over-temp sensor failed and caused the thing to shut itself down well before it was done. So I replaced the sensor with a piece of wire. About a year ago, the power plug disintegrated, so I spliced in a power plug from some other defunct appliance, and it kept on going. 

A week ago The Boy came to me with tears in his eyes. I knew it had to be serious - either Ford had decided to quit making Mustangs or the popcorn popper had died. While Ford and the rest of the auto industry are indeed in a lot of trouble, it was the popper that had in fact finally died in a way that I was not able to fix with black electrical tape and baling wire.

I ordered a new one (a Presto) and it arrived on Saturday. And it is great. It's much quieter than the old one, tosses out many fewer unpopped kernels, and seems to be a bit faster.

The thing about hot air poppers is that you can make plain popcorn and add your own seasonings to it. The Boy and I are addicted to a bit of butter, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. Mrs Notthat does something with chili powder. If I'm going to be typing on the computer or am feeling guilty about my snack intake, I can leave it plain. And a nifty thing is that, unlike microwave popcorn, you can't burn it. It is always perfect, even with generic popcorn.

So The Boy is happy, the popcorn growers of Nebraska are happy, and the countertop looks a lot better without that old, crippled thing sitting on it. 

We'll see how long I have to wait before I have to break out my fix-it kit.

That's it - move along...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quarterly commute update

This has been a stressful couple of weeks on Caltrain - partly due to trains hitting pickups and lost hikers and partly due to continuing shuttle bus issues here at work.

Yesterday morning a train hit a pickup somewhere down south of San Jose. This caused issues with the northbound trains, but since I was going southbound, I risked the ride and it went OK. Until the shuttle bus showed up.

Back in September I mentioned that our shuttle bus driver was an incredibly mentally challenged woman with a bad attitude. The good news is that she only lasted about one more week before she was canned. Her replacement, Angel, was pretty good and things have been going smoothly since he started. 

Of course this meant that he would be leaving soon, and sure enough, he quit yesterday. So the shuttle bus shows up with a driver that knows very little about where he is going. He was nice enough and understood what we meant when we said helpful things like "turn right here" and "don't hit that car there." 

The good news is that I found out yesterday that my company is changing bus companies - they have gotten tired of the complaints regarding bad drivers, worse busses, and an overall bad attitude shown by a company with the ironically odd name of Serendipity Land Yachts. The new company has new busses and will supply more frequent trips back and forth between the campus and the train station. 

So the near future is looking up.

Except this morning. Someone mistook the train tracks for a hiking trail and was hit in Mountain View, just south of the train station I normally use. Amazingly, the guy was not killed, but the train commute was ruined, so I drove in.

Here's a true story from last night that illustrates how stupid people are and why these sorts of things happen.

I'm standing on the northbound platform in Mountain View waiting for the train, which is just a few minutes away. A couple of older people on my side, dressed for a nice dinner or a play, are yelling to some similar people on the southbound platform. "Come over to this side and you can buy your tickets here." So the southbound people start ambling over to the train crossing. They see the train coming and start to run. All of them but one managed to get across the tracks technically before the crossing gates were completely down, but an older woman in their group didn't - the sprint had been a bit more challenging for her.

But damned if she was going to wait - she ducked under the crossing arm and jogged across the tracks. The train was right there and blaring the horn. I really thought I was about to see someone die. Her heel catches on a rail and it is all over. 

But she made it.

The well dressed group seemed a mix of emotions; from relishing the adventure to being a bit stressed by all this. Here's the thing - there was no way they were going to make that train if they didn't already have tickets. Even with no line at the ticket machine, unless you are a Caltrain veteran it will take a few minutes to work out what sort of ticket you need and press the right buttons to get it. Also, the next train was only nine minutes away. It was really no big deal to miss this train. 

But they stupidly risked their lives in a stupid last minute panic effort to make the stupid train.

Just plain amazing. Oh, and stupid.

That's it - move along...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

12 years between wins is too long

I just realized that it has been 12 years since the last time my guy won the presidential election. I can't say it's been worth the wait yet - the last 8 years have done an amazing amount of damage to this country and it's going to take a lot of work to fix it - but President elect Obama is a great prize for waiting that long.

Now look at the low-tech map above (a picture of my SJ Mercury). There is a LOT of red. Look for the big cities - they are almost all blue. Look at Florida or Ohio. President elect Obama won both of those yet the states look extremely red.

This amazes me - why is it so consistent that big city people think one way and small town people think another? Money? Education? Corrupt morals? Starbucks? This can't sit well with the small town people. I guess they are used to it, but still. 

In any case, the right guy won this time and I am thrilled. Maybe I should send a card to small town America. Or just make it a point to visit it more often. Maybe without the Obama 08 sticker though.

That's it - move along...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The election's finally here

Our hot air popcorn popper's dead and the new one hasn't arrived yet, so tonight will have to rely on microwave popcorn. I have been anticipating this election more than any Super Bowl, World Series, or Final Four event I can remember (and this is saying something - remember the Jayhawks back in March or the Giants back in, well, way back there).

I always like election night. It will have its challenges though, either because of the results or the lack of results, and the non-stop blathering quickly gets on ones nerves. But it's still a great night for TV. (Fair warning Mrs Notthat.)

I'm having a bit of trouble focusing on work today. We all are. Everyone seems a bit nervous and a bit afraid of jinxing this thing. There's no rational way that Obama can lose, but you only have to look at 2000 and 2004 to know that rationalness is not required in a presidential election.

Fair Warning II - I'm going to be devastated if Obama doesn't win. 

In one very real sense though, we are all winners - today marks the end of all those political ads and flyers and robo calls. Finally.

That's it - move along...

PS: Doesn't it seem weird to have an election in California without having to vote about some Indian casino somewhere getting more/less slot machines?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grandkids, puddles, and a sandwich

There are a lot of pictures to get through, so I won't waste a lot of time getting started.

The Boy is on a quest to make the perfect sandwich. He took this picture on Thursday of his latest entry into the perfect sandwich sweepstakes. That's grilled onions and steak on a grilled sourdough roll with pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, and peperoncini. The Boy is onto something.

Here is another view of Darci in her nurse's scrubs, practicing some form of tongue-based yoga.

Riley is not into yoga - he goes straight to looking calm and innocent and adorable. (Shortly after this picture he grabbed IDT's tail in his continuing effort to annoy the dog as much as possible, then he made a fierce dinosaur face, growled, ran from the room only to return an instant later with a fake snake clenched in his teeth.)

Darci and I cut up one of our pumpkins, boiled it, and pureed it. Darci's favorite part is fooling with the slimy guts inside it.

Riley helped Mrs Notthat make extremely healthy blueberry muffins. (Strangely, he would not eat them though.)

Later in the afternoon WHM showed up and started getting the kids dressed for the evening's main event. She made a dinosaur costume for Riley, but we never saw the finished product though. She has promised to post pictures at her site at some point this weekend.

We know that WHM has a very high opinion of nurses, however it's seems a bit of a stretch to think there are princess nurses (at least until Disney makes the movie "Sleeping Little Nurses and the Silver Stethoscope of the Underwater Kingdom").

Actually, her real costume was, surprise, a princess outfit. This picture shows WHM in her for real costume, having come straight from the hospital where she spends Friday's training on real live patients.

Here is Darci in her complete costume, proudly wearing color coordinated princess Crocs - what all the hippest princesses wear.

This morning I took IDT for a walk in between showers. It appears our rainy season has arrived. For now, I love the way the air smells and feels after a rain, and welcome the change. There's a good chance I'll be whining about the lack of sunshine within a couple of weeks, but for now its great.

That's it - move along...