Bill Horne's Blog

Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
Look Ma, no cavities!

I woke up around seven this morning, and it was snowing: light and fluffy snow, which if I wasn't sick of winter might seem cheerful. I fired up this laptop that I use, and checked my email. I always do that when I turn on the machine.

I got an email from my cron daemon on my Ubuntu server, telling me that I had an appointment at the dentist at 11:45 AM.

I use Google's Calendar for planning things, but it only sends me a reminder when I'm logged into gmail and have it open, so I often miss those. The cron daemon, however, will send an email to any email address, so I rely on it for most reminders.

I woke up my son and asked him to shovel the front walk so that the postwoman doesn't slip: she's been really nice about delivering mail, so I don't want to tick her off. He went and did it.

The dental hygenist complimentedd me on my hygiene, and said I don't have any cavities, but the doc will look at the x-rays on Monday. I've been feeling irritation on the bottom jaw, so I hope he doesn't find anything: the pain goes away when I floss, and I hope it's just a crumb stuck there or something like that.

Anyway, I got another tube of flouride toothpaste to suck out my precious bodily fluids, and they gave me a new toothbrush too. I'll be paying more attention to hygiene, that's for sure: the cleanings hurt badly enough, and I don't like needles.

Spring Is Here

The headline on the web page said that there'd be a Solar Eclipse today, and that we were having a "Super Moon", and that it's the first day of Spring. I scrolled down, and found out that we're getting another inch of snow.

The part about the Solar Eclipse stated that it had already happened, and that it hadn't been visible in the U.S. anyway. Only some people on islands north of Denmark were able to see the total eclipse, and the next one visible in the U.S. won't be until 2017.

The article about the moon explained that Super Moons happen when the Moon is a perigee, and either full or new. It also explained that since this is a new moon, I won't see it.

It is, however, actually the first day of spring: the Vernal Equinox occurs at 6:24 PM Eastern time, and I'll have to remember to try to balance an egg on its end, again, and wonder if it was ever really possible, again.

I've got cabin fever, or mogo on the go-go, or something like that, but the news stories aren't helping. I mean, come on, guys: an eclipse I as never going to see, a "super" moon that wasn't so super, and an inch of snow to great the Spring. OK, I'll give them the weather part, and resign myself to the last roar of the March lion, but the other two, I mean, really, do you have to?

To See Ourselves as Others See Us

Robert Burns said it: "Oh, what a gift the giftie gie us, To see ourselves as others see us."

We were coming in from lunch on Monday, and I was telling my sister about how the hardest thing in job hunting is to convey the ability to do the job. I told her about the time Lenny Wimperis asked me what was wrong with the intercom circuit he was using to talk to his wife while they were on their motorcycle, because it wouldn't work for the first few minutes of a drive, and how I had told him that the input impedance of an op-amp is theoretically infinite and that he needed to add a resistor between the op-amp input and ground to drain off the static charge which was holding the op-amp at the rail voltage until the capacitor discharged.

I also told Lenny that it was a one-way circuit, so that he would need some switching to allow his wife to speak. Lenny just grinned, and said "I talk. She listens.", but I didn't tell my sister that: Lenny was the kind of guy who could be politically incorrect and still make me laugh.

Suki said that we weren't allowed to be competent when we were kids, that there was only one opinion allowed in our childhood home and that nobody ever said "Good job!", and that's what kids need to develop a sense of self.

We were watching TV that afternoon, and I kept interupting it to tell her about how the plots are always the same and the tall white guy always takes violent, direct action to punish anyone who deviates from the norm. She was nice about it, and didn't yell at me.

I apologized yesterday, and on the way to the airport we talked about ways I could do better at being confident and the reasons why it's a struggle. She's practicing Religious Science, whichh I don't know anything about, but I promised to check into it and I left her at United Airlines, with the gift of a new pair of earplugs to make the flight more bearable.

She forgot the McIntosh apples she'd bought. I think that means it was a good visit, and that she'd like to return.

I'd laugh, but it hurts too much

I was going to guide my wife out of the driveway: the snowdrifts are so high now that we can't see the street when backing out. No big deal, done it before, just takes a second, I didn't even put boots on.

The driveway has about an inch of snow on it, packed down from the cars. It turned out to have ice under it.

I slipped.

I was flat on my back, and yelling for my wife, and nothing was happening. I turned my head: she was clearing snow off her car. I yelled louder.

After a length of time which she says was seconds and which seemed to me like an hour, she came over and helped me get on my feet again. I had snow inside my shirt, under my cuffs, inside my trousers, and through my hair. I stood at the street, brushing it off, and waved her out to go do whatever it was she was going to do.

I was given an appointment with the Physician's Assistant, who pronounced me whole and prescribed Tylenol #3 for the pain, with the concession that I could call back and get something stronger if needed. There wasn't much bruising, and no discoloration, so I think I got off lightly.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, it's a minor item. I could complain to my son that the ice under the snow is the reason that I told him to shovel the whole driveway in the first place. I could complain to my wife, and I did, but she just said that she thought I'd get up by myself. I could complain to God, but I don't think he's listening to me lately.

I could laugh, but it hurts too much. It's time for another pill.