21 March 2007

Welcome Spring

Happy Ostara to everyone! Spring is here and everything is blooming *sniffle* - I'm having bad allergy problems this year. This spring seems to be extra strong! I'm seeing things blooming that I didn't know even bloomed. The bluebonnets are awake today, and I'm so glad to see them. Last year there were very few because of the drought.

March came in like a lion with the wind. On the 1st, we had a very nice strong breeze that was perfect for kite flying. Since then we've had some really strong winds. Our porch swing was blown over! Here's some pics of the kite flying fun.

Here's our son with Mr. Dragon:

And here's both of us:

And a close-up of his cool dragon kite:

This was the dragon kite's first outing as well as our son's first kite-flying experience. He did really well, and we both had a blast! We're hoping to take Mr. Dragon out again really soon.

14 March 2007

Happy Pi Day

I hope everyone had a great Pi day this March 14 (3.14, get it?) We celebrated at work with chocolate pie. Yummy! For some Pi day fun, check out this poem/story on Mike Keith's page and see if you can figure it out. Today is the biggest clue you can have!

12 March 2007

Daylight Savings

I hate Daylight Savings. It is unnatural. I was rather upset when I found out that not only are we now starting three weeks earlier, we'll be ending one week later. That's an extra month! There is an article from BBC news extolling the virtues of moving the clocks ahead. Something about less electricity usage, less crime, fewer traffic fatalities, and various other 'good things.'

About the lessening of electricity usage, I'm wondering just how much it really saves. It seems that the only difference would be in homes that won't turn on their overhead lights until it gets dark. Meaning only those homes that have good enough windows to get decent natural light and have people who don't habitually keep the lights on. Otherwise, people still use their TVs, computers, dishwashers, refigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, irons, hair dryers, hot water heaters, ovens, stoves, microwaves and toasters just as often whether it's dark or not.

As far as crime, I don't think criminals care what time it is. Daylight naturally increases as we approach the Summer Solstice leading to less 'cover of night' crime anyway. We don't magically have any more daylight with Daylight 'Savings.'

The article actually says "Ultimately, daylight saving just brings a smile to everybody's faces." Not mine. I now have to drive to work in the dark. This is a real problem for me as I've got terrible night blindness and avoid driving in the dark at all costs. It's just not safe (especially for the other drivers since I can't tell where they are.) So as far as fewer traffic fatalities, I guess they only mean on the drive home. At least with the older version time change, the sun would already be rising early enough for me to be able to see.

I just don't appreciate being 'out of sync' with what the Earth is actually doing. The sun should be directly overhead at noon, not 1:00. So it seems that for the next 9 months, I will be getting up, going to work, coming home, and going to bed all an hour early. You may have noted that I didn't say watch my TV shows - we have TiVo :)

Maybe I just need to move to Arizona.

05 March 2007

Harry Potter-thon

Let's start with an admission. I'm a big Harry Potter geek. I actually got giddy a few minutes ago when I saw that Daniel Radcliffe has signed on to do the last two movies. But, c'mon, how could he not?! You can watch the trailer for Order of the Phoenix here. I still get chills when I watch it. I know, I'm a nerd.

My son is, of course, also a fan, so a few months ago we decided that it would be cool to spend a whole day watching all four movies in a row. While at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, we mentioned this to one of my coworkers. Since he's a fan too, we promtly invited him to join us when we got around to it. I wasn't sure when this would be since Holidays were coming up, and we had yet to unpack much. Then a Very Nice Thing happened. A friend of ours called us up to tell us that his dad had gotten a new flatscreen TV for Xmas and was tossing out his 60 inch big screen TV, did we want it? Are you kidding me? Our rescued TV was in place within two days. I always had the impression that big screen TVs had a somewhat fuzzy picture, and this one fulfilled my expectations. Still, it was pretty cool to have such a BIG picture. Then the picture went out. My husband has always seemed to have some kind of luck with fixing mechanical things by simply taking them apart, jiggling the parts, blowing on it, and then putting it back together. It's a gift, really. Since the TV was free, there was no fear of screwing it up by taking it apart. When he did, not only did it start working again, but after he cleaned the projectors with windex, the picture was crystal clear and beautiful. All that was left was to have a Harry Potter marathon!

Well, word got around at work and before I knew it we had plenty of people wanting to share the love. We finally got together a couple of weeks ago with plenty of chips, dip, popcorn, pizza, candy and soda. I have to tell you that if you've never watched them all in a row, book yourself a Saturday (it'll take 12 hours with breaks) and do so. It was so neat to see the characters growing up. Also, I had had kind of a problem with the portayal of Voldemort in Goblet of Fire when I first saw it, but after seeing the others right beforehand, it was actually the most appropriate portrayal they could have done.

So now we are anxiously awaiting the final book, Deathly Hallows, and the fifth movie, Order of the Phoenix. I think we might be doing the marathon again when movie 5 comes out and then go to see it at the midnight showing. In preparation for the book, we're reading all the books out loud together again. We just started last night. Hopefully four and a half months will be long enough!