There is a reason why Pharyngula is the most-read science blog in the Internet, and it is the fact that PZ Myers, the owner of said blog, is incredibly resourceful and prolific when it comes to posting material. During this last week, when many of us were off for days at a time, he managed to post 6-8 items per day.
Me? My brother and his family visited, and not only did I understandably choose to spend time with them, he and his wife bedded down in my studio where my computer is. It just wasn't the time or place. Well, sadly, vacation's over and my brother's gone back to SoCal, and so I can blog again. The latter is a silver lining, I suppose, to the grey cloud of routine revived. So, for those of you who have been regularly checking the blog for updates this last week and seeing nothing, order is about to be restored.
Let me tell you what I've been up to in my blogging absence, however:
- A week ago I participated in Fresno Metro Ministries annual Thanksgiving concert, which is an interfaith event. There was a humdinger (sorry) of a bell choir performance from our host, Hope Lutheran. There was a jazz-inflected guitar/flute duo from Temple Beth Israel. There was, for lack of a better phrase, a sort of Hispanic Van Trapp Family Singers, doing a fully-electrified Santanaesque version of a 'praise song' in Spanish. There was a trio performing Sikh meditation music (involving a tabla player, chanting, and a pair of reed organs). There was a Muslim father and son who recited the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer. And so on and so forth, a marvelous demonstration of the community's diversity. . .
- On Monday morning, I went out to my aging father-in-law's spread in Sanger and (following his instructions) tore up an old concrete sidewalk to identify the source of a pipe lead that was flooding his backyard. This involved a 20-pound piece of steel that looked like a bobby pin from Land of the Giants. Owch. I got down on my hands and knees to remove the busted fitting with a pair of 5-pound pipe wrenches, which of necessity had to be rotated below ground level. More pain, but eventually the leak was capped and the hole filled.
- On Monday afternoon, I made it back to town, cleaned up and had a recording session with two female background singers at Maximus. This was the latest in a series of sessions that have now run over a year for my CD project.
- On Tuesday, frantically cleaned house not only to prepare for company but to make it suitable for prospective buyers to see (my wife is itching to find a house with a larger kitchen--rotsa ruck in this market). Also, that evening held choir rehearsal early in the week since our regularly-scheduled rehearsal time would fall on Thanksgiving.
- On Wednesday, picked up my son from college so he could enjoy a brief visit with his uncle tonight and tomorrow before heading off to Sacramento to celebrate Thanskgiving with his girlfriend's family. Also, began hauling down Christmas decorations from the attic. Our neighbourhood, incredibly, was not only featured in the local paper as one known for its decor but the rumor is now being circulated that the block might be featured on 'Good Morning America.' Good grief, talk about keeping up with the Jones's!
- Thanksgiving: I did my best to burn breakfast, knowing my wife was lumbered with the turkey later in the day, which was frankly tremendous. Macy's parade, my Cowboys took it to the Jets to improve to 10-1, and of course the eventual tryptophan-laced bacchanal. My brother's family loves board games, so by the time the late NFL game ran its course, we were up to our elbows in dice and discard piles. My nephews ganged up on me, when seems par for the course. My wife, who had worked much of the day, retreated early to the bedroom but I stayed up well past midnight.
- Friday-Saturday-Sunday: Played. Procrastinated. Climbed (owch) up on the roof and set up icicles. Worked my tail off, and have the cuts, scrapes and general aches and pains that you might expect. I wish I could say my yard is ready, but if you saw my neighbours....anyway, bade farewell to my brother and his family on Saturday evening in the midst of all of this, and then (regretfully) turned to this blog....and all the other things that will have to be tackled when I return to the classroom.....