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Daily doings in the land of The Time Sink
The Tale of the Giant Pikachu...

We do the church thing for Halloween. It's a great chance to get together with the extended family and have a night of fun for the kids. ...and for the adults.

So I'm standing out in front of the main sanctuary (converted to crafts booths and Nerf target games), between Luigi's Pizza Patio and the Good Ice Cream stand, talking music with the music director. ...and this preteen dancer barrels up with her friend and asks it we've seen a giant Pikachu. The music guy didn't answer quickly enough, so she says, "It's like an electric mouse!", in that staccato style the kids use when they're in a hurry. I said, "We grok Pikachu..." ...and she's right back in Valley Girl style with, "Well, that's my Mom; so when you see her, just let her know that my friend and I will be Doing Something", as she heads off toward the face painting. ...and I turn to Stan and comment that he must now be in charge of much more than the music ministry.

But there's fun to be had with this. So I find Daniel and tell him I'm looking for the giant Pikachu. ...and he says he'll spread the word.

So... An hour or so later I see a Federation Fleet officer and a giant Pikachu wander into range. ...and I approach them with a "Pik-a-chu!" and inquire as to whether they had a smallish dancer all done up in glitter for a daughter. They admitted ownership and I passed the message along verbatim to Mom's ever increasing laughter. Apparently I got the intensity and hand gestures just right...

...and it seems they'd been waiting for me to find them: for much of the evening, everywhere they went, people kept telling them there was a man looking for a giant Pikachu (that would have been Daniel's work). They had no clue who was hunting the giant Pikachu, or why someone would even be hunting the giant Pikachu. I imagine their reunion with their daughter was filled with laughter.

...and you can imagine the relief of the music guy after I found him and told him he could rest easy, the message had been delivered.

Maybe you had to be there...

Wed Oct 31 22:45:35 2001

The sounds of freedom...

This morning, Patti wrote a piece about the sounds of military aircraft passing overhead. ...and it reminded me of my two favorite stories about the local guys:

Back when they were flying F-4 Phantoms, they somehow ended up with orders to the effect that tandem takeoffs and landings were too noisy and hazardous and were henceforth forbidden. Local support (a bumper sticker campaign "Jet Noise; the Sound of Freedom") and the attitude "If they're that darned good; let them have at it" convinced the local commander to rescind that order.

Later, when they received their F-16s, the subject of jet noise came up once again. This time the solution was much simpler: they'd generate enough lift to clear the runway; and, once they reached the end, they'd go vertical. One minute you had a jet fighter taking off; the next, you had a rocket in a straight vertical climb. Since I shop at the Costco near the airport, all I'd have to do was turn when I heard the engine sounds. A moment or two later, I'd be treated to a special effects sequence as they'd clear the airport.

...and yep, they've been more active than normal since September 11.

...and yep, that's just fine with me.

10/31/01 4:22:41 PM

I guess I'd better make a list... 10/31/01 3:43:34 PM

The Weather Report (continued)...

...and the thunderstorm held off until the evening. ...but not late enough to interfere with the boys' bedtime.

...and this morning? I awoke to bright sunshine. Yeah, that's almost as cool as the weather in Hawai'i (over there, it's only allowed to rain at night). ...and drove right into a fog bank about a mile from home. Yep, that's right: one rain and the tule fog is back. We're talking clear skies to less than a quarter mile visibility in thirty seconds.

I spoke with Shelley later in the morning and she never even knew the ground fog had raised its head just a mile west of her... From my perspective, it was like watching a cloud that extended downward from about three-hundred feet to the deck. We usually don't get to see the demarcation line; we just wake up to gray...

But then I got to work, and John pointed me to a little bit of sunshine. Welcome back, girl...

10/31/01 3:40:13 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Wednesday 10/31/01 3:22:26 PM

The Weather Report...

Well, we got our rain... It started around 0600 this morning and rained most of the morning and early afternoon. Right now though, I'm looking at bright sunshine coming through the skylight in my office...

Hmmm... Any of you mid-westerners want to clue us in about the next few hours, what with hot sunshine on the valley floor and a layer of water-laden clouds backed up against the mountains?

10/30/01 2:58:38 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Tuesday 10/30/01 2:53:41 PM

I'm waiting for the rain...

...and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Our last rainfall in the central valley was back in July, while we were comfortably ensconced over at the coast. ...and before that was sometime in April.

So, even though we'll be complaining about it, rain will be most welcome. least to wash the dirt from the skies, the roofs and the trees: we're in ag country; that means the dust from the fall tillings hangs like a pall over the entire valley and covers everything, especially when there's no wind.

While I was winterizing the yard last Saturday (hey, John; that means covering the firewood), I couldn't help but notice all the dirt on the trees. ...not just dust, dirt! That's also going to make for one awful mess when this thing does hit. Hopefully, that half-inch they're predicting will come through and wash everything off over the course of a day; otherwise, they'll be a mess on the roadways during the commutes...

...and I'll have to remember to shut down all the systems later; I think I can anticipate some power outages as the dirt and crud on the overhead poles turns into a conductive media when the water hits it.

Let's see... We'll be missing street lights in parts of the area; some traffic signals will be out; the roads will be a slippery mess... I think telecommuting should at least be an option.

Memo to self: kill the UPSes also; the last time all that beeping made for lousy alarm clock when that first early morning wreck occurred around the corner...

...and it's working toward spring in The Land Down Under. Man, that never ceases to amaze me. What a Project this place was...

10/29/2001 8:26:13 PM

I'll be with you shortly...

Lot's of catching up to do.

...and I wouldn't want to bore you too much.

10/29/2001 7:25:03 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Monday 10/29/2001 7:22:01 PM


Copyright 2001 by
Daniel C. Bowman