I’ve lived in my house for decades but 2013 was the year we reclaimed the front yard. Over the years, the front yard had really been the kids’ domain. We had big trees with rope bridges going between them, tree forts, tents and plenty of flat play space. Adults went out there at their own risk.
Two weeks before Christmas, my recently retired engineer husband suffered an uncharacteristic attack of nostalgia and announced he was going to make his family’s holiday cookie recipes for the kids, his sibs and nieces, and even the neighbors. I guess man cannot live by Erlangian Distributions alone. Frankly, this put terror in my heart. As my Thanksgiving column about my pie-making fiasco made clear, I am not a baker. Cookies are a lot easier than piecrusts but if Olof, who has never baked anything ever, was counting on me for guidance, this could be a disaster.
Recently, a friend invited me to go with her for a reading by her psychic. The friend swears by this psychic-cum-tarot-card reader and insists that she would never make a major move in her life without consulting this woman.
Imagining Amazon delivery drones in La JollaAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced that within four to five years, Amazon packages weighing five pounds or less and being delivered less than 10 miles from a distribution center could be delivered aerially by drones, all within 30 minutes of ordering. Even Bezos conceded that there were definitely kinks to work out with the new vehicles, like making sure they didn’t land on someone’s head.
I don’t think anyone would argue with me when I say that the gift-giving season can get totally out of hand. For years now, I have required the kids and spouses to submit gift preferences for themselves and the grandchildren by EOT (End of Thanksgiving). I figure that if I’m going to spend all that money and all that time to buy and wrap, it should be something the recipient actually wants. I go off-list from time to time if it’s something I really think they’d like or if not, can easily return.
The downside of being a multi-ethnic household this time of year is that I’m always afraid the Menorah will set fire to the Nativity scene.
I have plenty of talents and I’m really not a bad cook so I’m not sure why I’ve never mastered baking. Maybe I gave up too easily when my pies ended up with the lattice crust floating like flotsam on a soupy apple sea. For years, I did everyone a favor by ordering pies from a local bakery at Thanksgiving until my younger son fortuitously married The Crust Whisperer.
In one of my favorite wishful fantasies, every doctor in La Jolla cold-calls his office and experiences the response a patient gets from his staff. He’d have to disguise his voice, of course, otherwise they’d be uncharacteristically helpful.
When my husband, Olof, asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I didn’t hesitate to request a top-of-the-line sewer auger.
As any designer of software upgrades knows, the way to identify bugs is to inflict it untested on your customer base and wait for the anguished cries. Half of what worked before no longer does, and worse, from my point of view, it all looks different. I really hate different. Hence, I have an inviolable policy of letting working software lie.