August 8th, 2006

Fishy Circumstances


Announcement from the pilot while waiting to take off from Heathrow - "We're waiting for permission from air traffic control to defie the laws of gravity."

In the past several days, I've been to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for a family reunion/60th wedding anniversary/80th birthday party. It was wonderful - family members I hadn't seen in years, some in as long as a decade. The Israeli cousins arrived safely, including leave successfully coming through for the one still in the army, to our relief. The cousins hosting the main event have substantially renovated since their son left home - they now even have a dedicated horseshoe court. My father and I tried playing for a few hours; he improved, while I grew worse after a cousin finally showed me how to hold the horseshoe properly.

I'd half-forgotten how big and spacious and green so much of the US is. The trees tower, layer on layer of tree and bush mounding up on top of the cascading hills on either side of the Hudson at the New York/New Jersey divide. Here in Iowa, it's rained all day, rained like it meant it, a steady low thunder on the roof. Weather at home feels so much more real in many ways than it does in the UK. Thunderstorms are spectacular, rain pours down, snow is feet deep. Of course, I've also missed the worst of the early August weather - the entrenched heat wave broke right after I arrived on this side of the ocean.

I'm home for the first time in over a year (so good to be here!), and going through a large backlog of mail. Why on earth do I have an invitation to join the American Institute of Chemical Engineers?

Frustration: I've relied on Amazon's various websites to bookmark items I'm interested in, whether it's just to note an author or kitchen product brand, or to mark items I really do want to acquire.,, and all no longer have any records of my wishlists there. At least I still have the one intact. This is, alas, a problem with relying on third-party sites for data management and retention.