It's been raining again. These last two weeks have been wet ones and the wind has been rather stiff off and on. California needs the water. Schwarzenegger has declared a drought. This morning the clouds were rolling in from the west, dropping rain while the sun was still out in the east. This seems to happen a lot here. I've never seen so many rainbows as I have since coming to the Bay Area. This one was brilliant. One can see why the Norsemen regarded it as the Bifrost Bridge. This one reached from the hills north of town into the purple clouds. It was beautiful and I was tempted to pull over and try and shoot it with my camera but I was running a bit late and it was raining and I had not had breakfast yet.
I had to go out in the mess today at lunch to drop a package at the UPS store. I should have used my umbrella but the trench coat still kept out the worst of it. Fortunately, it's been warm, even in the evenings the past couple of days although it is cooler tonight than it was yesterday. The air smells of woodsmoke. I've been tempted this winter to light up my fireplace but it has struck me as not worth the work lately.
Jackie called me at work today. She got the keyboard I sent her. I had been wondering when it would finally get there. Apparently, it has even more functions than she and I figured at first. She's thrilled with it. I hope that she sticks with the piano lessons after her class completes. She's finding reading music to be a challenge but I think she likes the idea of learning to play music. She's always wanted a keyboard. When she signed up for her college classes, she wasn't thrilled with the idea of having to borrow a keyboard from Chris or from Kate. She wanted one of her own and has wanted one, off and on, previously. When Jackie was younger, Crystal and I were not quite disposed to indulge her because she has always had competing time demands in her schedule, like martial arts classes, and Girl Scouts and gymnastics and a piano or keyboard seemed to be a significant investment for something to which she might not take. On the other hand, everyone has always been ready to indulge Shannon in her guitar pursuits. I'm glad that Jackie is finally getting a chance to learn a musical instrument herself. I've always felt a bit guilty about not encouraging her in this effort, even if I suspected at the time she had other priorities. Jackie and Shannon are so different. Shannon has picked up the art and music talents of her mother and I and seems to pick up things so quickly. Jackie has been more "quiet" about her talents. She has musical and artistic skills as well but she doesn't indulge them as much or as "publicly" as her younger sister does, which is funny because Jackie is the extrovert and Shannon the introvert. Shannon carries her sketchbook everywhere, and shows her artwork to anyone who expresses an interest. Jackie seems to sketch mostly for her own amusement or that of a few close friends like Sarah or Rachel.
With some exercises of her talents, Jackie doesn't show if you don't ask and she has always been like this. She especially doesn't want to be caught trying something at which she is not yet proficient. When she first walked she wouldn't come to either Crystal or I no matter how much we encouraged her to do so. She'd cruise and hold a hand and walk but she wouldn't stand or attempt to walk unsupported by herself especially if we were watching. One day we were all in Jackie's room. Crystal was sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of the room and I was on the opposite side, sitting on the floor with my back to Jackie's crib reading to her and her mother. Jackie was cruising beside me, using her crib to steady herself. Crystal and I had been encouraging Jackie to try to walk unaided across the room to her mother but she preferred to hang on to her crib and cruise and wouldn't do it. Convinced that she wasn't in the mood to make the attempt yet, I went back to the book in my hand and Crystal returned her attention to whatever project she had going on in her lap. I think Crystal was sewing something, if I remember right — she always likes to keep her hands busy. I remember catching movement out of the corner of my eye and looking up and there was Jackie, standing in the middle of the room, carefully making her way across the open floor to where her mother was sitting, not making a noise at all — just proceeding to walk across the room as if she'd already mastered it months ago.
I finally wrapped up the testing and release documentation on the upgrade to that capacitor bank controller software on which I have been working. Now there is only the release meeting to be held tomorrow morning and the signatures procured on the release and I can move on to the next big project. It's good to get this one out of the way. I need to devote some more time to picking up some information that will be helpful in putting the next generation of these things together. We've got some ambitious plans for the next generation, one of the features I somehow got myself volunteered to implement. I don't have any experience with USB, so I've been cramming on the specification and looking into code libraries we can purchase and integrate into the product. It's still in the exploratory phase, but it looks as if we're going to go ahead with it and I get the job of making it happen. All in all, it's looking like a lot of fun but also a lot of work.
My friend Tom told me a good dirty joke at lunch last week. I haven't heard a good one for awhile. I wonder if it's just me but I haven't heard a lot of joke telling lately. It seems to me that I used to tell a lot more jokes than I have lately. Anyway, it was funny:
A guy goes to a new doctor for a check-up. When he arrives, he finds out that the new doctor he's made an appointment to see is a beautiful woman. At first he's a bit shy and uncomfortable when she tells him to take off his clothes and begins to ask him questions about his medical history. He notices that she's quite attractive. She has flowing blond hair, pretty eyes, a nice figure, great legs, etc. He finds himself warming up to her as they discuss his health and previous ailments and treatments. Finally, the doctor looks up from her clipboard and says to him, "You know, you've got to stop masturbating."
Surprised, the guy says, "Really? Why? Is it unhealthy?"
"No," the doctor replies, "it isn't, but it makes it difficult to proceed with your examination."
I needed a good laugh last week when I heard that one. Heh.