September 2004

Reply from Mom

September 2, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
For your info, the two Perla bars are real laundry SOAP - not detergent. They would be less convenient to use- they don't sud as quickly - but they would be gentler on your clothes and your hands, and on the environment as well. There was a time when Kathy was in grade school when she campaigned against detergent - in powder or bar form - so we switched back to Perla. Our labandera was not too happy but maybe our rivers and seas were - if they could only speak.

Hey, cool. I guess that means I have to figure out where I left that bar of soap. I think I left it in the laundry room by mistake. Chances are it will still be there. I have another bar of soap, though. I also need to figure out how to make sure what I'm using doesn't have bleach, as I anticipate having to buy laundry soap one of these days...

Haven't even dipped into the money my parents have set aside, so I guess I'm still okay. =)


September 9, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I watched the old man examine the onions carefully. It was my first week on the job and I couldn't help but notice that every afternoon the old man came to buy half a dozen onions.

Today was no different. There the old man was, hefting the onions, examining them for defects. After choosing six plump onions, he would ask me to dice them and put them in a plastic bag. I always cried. Our manager told us to humor an old man's whimsy, but didn't explain further.

It was a slow Tuesday afternoon, and my curiosity got the better of me as I chopped the onions. "Excuse me, sir, but I've been wondering why..."

He looked around. Seeing no one else in the store, he turned to me. "Why I buy so many onions?"

I pulled a chair close and gestured. He settled into it, turning the uncut onions over and over in his hands. "My wife... She loved onion soup. We must've fought about it for thirty, forty years, but she always won. Who wants to eat onion soup every day? Her hands always smelled like onions, too."

"But now... I don't know how to make onion soup. I wish I could. I miss her."

With that, the old man gathered up the onions and left, tears streaming down his cheeks.

(in reply to flashxer prompt 2004.09.03: Love)


September 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

"Glad you could make it on such short notice. Babysitters are hard to get on a Friday night, particularly those with references as good as yours."

"Don't worry about me. I love children. In fact, I brought a treat for—Benjamin, right? A cookie now, and—if you behave—another cookie later. How does that sound?" The girl produced a jar and offered it to the child, who shook his head and hid behind his father. The babysitter laughed and set the jar down on a small desk. "Isn't he such a dear?"

"Ooh, is that chocolate? Benj, if you don't want any..."

"Now, now, John, no snacks before dinner. Kathy, just two cookies, okay? Please make sure he eats dinner. I've left something in the ref. Before I forget, here's the advance you asked for. Good night, Benjamin, Kathy! See you at 10."

Then they were gone.

His stomach rumbled. He put down the truck and waddled over to the dining room. No dinner in sight. He could ask the babysitter, but that'd probably mean having to eat boring vegetables.

He caught a whiff coming from near the front door. Cookies! Cookies would be perfect for dinner. He peeked behind him. She was still on the sofa, staring at those gross shows with lots of face-sucking. Removing his squeaky shoes, he tiptoed through the living room and climbed onto a chair, carefully wrapping his small fingers around the jar. Easing the flip-top lid open, he reached in, grabbed his prize, and crammed it into his mouth.

It wasn't quite chocolate. He didn't know what it was. But it tasted... nice. He wanted another one. And another. And -

"You like the cookies?" The baby sitter smiled at him.

Cookie-laden hands froze half-way to a crumby mouth.

"I love cookies. You can help me make some. Your kitchen has an oven, right? Let's go. Bring the jar with you."

He found himself taking a step, and another, and another. He couldn't take his eyes off her, staring, horribly fascinated as she dipped a hand into the jar and snared a cookie.

"I do so love children," she sighed, and bit into it.

A note greeted his parents when they came home.

"Benjamin was absolutely wonderful. Thanks."

(in response to flashxer prompt "Splintered")

Sean’s started blogging!

September 21, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
Disclaimer: September 2004 Still learning how to work this thing.

Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it.

I still think I publish mainly for myself. It's a way of forcing myself to write. I post trivia I find in my mail, things I need to remember. I haven't been blogging that way lately, though. I guess it's because the things I want to write about aren't passing through my computer, aren't generated by some other person.

This is new for me. It takes some getting used to. Then again, it isn't that new. My teaching reflections were also personal content.

People want to know what's going on in my life, or at least I think so. ;) I _could_ let my messages disappear into spam-tangled mailboxes, but I'd rather not. Besides, this way, people can catch up with several days of reading guilt-free. E-mail... e-mail is push. Blogging is pull.


September 21, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
Version: GnuPG v1.2.5 (GNU/Linux)



September 24, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Long list of checked-off TODO items. Planner is good for the heart.

Today I bought four more spools of yarn, anticipating a very long bus ride this Sunday.


September 27, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The carabao grunted to a halt unceremoniously. I felt Maria wake up. Steadying her, I jumped off the broad back and tugged the carabao's horns.

"We have to get Maria home. C'mon, lazybones..."

The carabao shook its head.

"Please, Ambo?" I waved some grass in front of it enticingly.

The carabao snorted and closed its eyes.

"Oh, man, don't go to sleep now!" I scratched my head and sheepishly grinned at Maria. "I can walk you home, if you want. I'll just come back for Ambo."

"It's... it's okay. My home is still far from here, and there's plenty of time. Maybe he just needs to take a short nap."

"Yeah. I'll try waking him up in a while. For now..."

"Shhh. The afternoon sun is beautiful."

I smiled and sidled closer to her, throwing a wink at the carabao. Who says old carabaos can't learn new tricks?

(in response to flashxer prompt: Stalled)

How to be a programmer

September 28, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


September 28, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

"I'll love you forever." He pressed her fingers to his tear-stained cheeks.

She pulled her hands away. "No more promises. That way, you can't break them." She left without looking back.

Two years later, he saw her obituary in the newspaper. Only the moon knows the vow he made, the first since they parted. To see her one last time, perhaps? He never made it, dying in the flood that rose that night.

They say you can sometimes still see him struggling through the mists, bound by his last promise.

(Reply to flashxer prompt: "Trust you? Trust you? Of course I don't trust you. Once again you made me a promise you just can't keep.")

Letter for Marcelle

September 29, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Happy birthday, Marcell!

I'll unencrypt this if the postcard gets lost.

Version: GnuPG v1.2.5 (GNU/Linux)


Mysterious font-locking problems

September 29, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

It appears that newly-opened files don't have buffer-file-names until they're saved. I may have to do something fancy.


September 29, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Now there's a useful Emacs function. I might be able to use that for planner-tasks-file-behavior...

Long live open source

September 30, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Just got two e-mailed patches to tla2darcs, a tool I wrote a few months ago (but have since then forgotten). =) I love open source.