Sunday, December 21, 2008


He walked slightly hunched, and slowly. He carried a cane most of the time. Once, we left Safeway and when we got back to his house, the cane was still on top of his red 1986 Ford Thunderbird.

My great-grandpa Lonzo Alfred "Skip" McDowell was born today, 96 years ago. For those into cool numbers, his birthdate was 12/21/12. How neat is that! I knew him as grandpa McDowell, but everyone else called him Skip.

He loved to bowl, especially taking Stacie and I on Saturday mornings after we'd spent Friday night with him. Well never together, we'd kill each other. Kentwig Lanes was close. You remember the one. They had dollar games, cheap shoe rental.

He loved to come watch my baseball games. In fact I remember he passed right at the beginning of my 12-year-old season of Little League, in April of 1993.

He whistled. A lot. I could never tell what, it sounded almost Korean or something. I think he could carry a tune in a bucket, just not all that far. I used to sit by him in church and he'd sing. I remember a specific time when we sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" and I was next to him singing along.

My best friend growing up, Bryan, had an elementary school named after his grandpa. I thought it was neat, but Bryan never really got to know him very well. I felt sad for him. I counted my blessings that I got to spend so much time with my great-grandparents and grandparents. I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family this coming week!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hello again

I haven't blogged in a while. I guess I really haven't had much to say. Things I think are good.

Let's see, bowling league is a blast. I'm improving, and one of these days I hope I can get back to respectability. Until then, I'm having fun and that's all that counts. I've been eyeing bowling ball bags, bowling balls, and shoes. I've seen shoes for $35-40, which I don't think is a bad price. Balls run anywhere from $40 to however much you want to pay. I've seen what look like decent (performance-wise) and good-looking balls for $60-70. New single-ball bags start at $20, and one I really liked was about $33. Sure, I guess I could spend $200 on new bowling stuff, but I really haven't done it much lately outside the league. We bowl 6 more times (12 games total) after the new year, if I went more and saved money (having my own shoes for example) maybe it'd be worth looking more into.

I'm in the market for a new phone. My phone works fine except for the battery. I basically have to charge it every night and hope it gets me to the next night. Instead of a $40-50 battery (which I'd really have to search online for), I could put that towards a new phone. Unfortunately, that would come with a shiny new 2-year renewal. And an extra $30/mo ($22/mo after my discount) in charges. I haven't decided there, I'll figure out what I'm doing after the holidays.

My car needs work too. It's well overdue for a good 100,000 checkup. And timing belt. And water pump. And transmission flush and fill. And... well who knows what else! A new phone will have to wait until I get my car done.

I've done little more with photography. I took my camera tonight to my friend Rachel's christmas program. She's an elementary school music teacher. She asked our singing group to provide some background vocals for a song, and I happened to take my camera along. I'm getting more comfortable shooting in sorta-manual mode. Oh wait, I think the S stands for shutter, not sorta.

Computer-wise, I've been playing with Windows 2008 Server Standard Edition. I've read reports of people who like it as a workstation OS. They're completely right. The Vista drivers work great with it, and you can enable themes that make it look more like Vista. Except it doesn't suck. It's speedy, responsive. I'm very impressed. If only I didn't have to reinstall everything every so often.

I'm looking forward to going home. I'll be out there for several days. I'm really hoping to get to go skiing. I haven't been in a few years, maybe winter of 06-07?

I need to get going on my Christmas shopping. I've got a list. Well in my head. Close enough?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Name that show

Yikes! It's been another month.

Woot! often has some funny posts. This one today was entitled 17 Fabulous Prequels To Broadway Musicals. Can you name all 17? I got 16, with a little cheating I'll get them all...

  1. Kate, We Haven’t Been Introduced
  2. Bar Mitzvah of La Mancha
  3. Sand And Primer Your Wagon
  4. A Chorus Dot
  5. Fiddler Borrows A Ladder
  6. Little Business Plan of Horrors
  7. A Star's Mom Allows A Handsome Stranger To Buy Her A Drink
  8. Indian Territory!
  9. The Guy Who Is A Little Intense But Keeps To Himself And Isn’t Really Bothering Anyone Of The Opera
  10. Annie There’s A Waiting Period
  11. Kittens
  12. Brand New Acquaintance Joey
  13. Handshake Of The Spider Woman
  14. Jesus Christ Waiter
  15. Starlight Right-of-Way Allocation And Environmental Impact Study
  16. Vocal Warm-ups On A Cloudy Day
  17. West Side Backstory
Can you name them all?