Archive for November, 2010
Every Thanksgiving the Macy ‘Doll & Toy’ Parade comes through our home. When our oldest son was very young this tradition was born. All of his stuffed animals, trucks and trains–most important were the trains–paraded through our home.
At times this was not always appreciated by everyone because it became a bit dangerous. There was the year one of the elder guests tripped over the ‘parade’ on his way to get something from his coat. His hand was cut, adding drama to the parade. Another year a friend’s toddler almost swallowed a doll’s shoe.
When you live in Wisconsin you don’t tend to take 60 degree November days for granted, so I determined to spend some of it outdoors, figuring this might be the last 60 degree day for months.
I decided to take a walk in the meadow at Aldo Leopold Nature Center. I hadn’t been there for a couple of months and looked forward to a mosquito-free walk.
In recent years I’ve realized I prefer rustic trails through woods, meadows and prairies over pristine gardens, like those at Olbrich.
This was made apparent to me a couple of years ago while gazing at an extraordinarily large and elaborate backyard flower garden. There literally wasn’t a weed anywhere. No visible dirt either. The lack of weeds was so distracting I couldn’t see the flowers for the lack of weeds.
The flowers were nestled atop beds of mulch. The gardener told me he adds a few dozen bags of mulch to the flower beds every month during the spring and summer.
I dunno… as beautiful as the flowers were, it seemed unnatural for all of them to sit in flower beds with no dirt or weeds in sight, just the mulch. Give me unkempt flora over the pristine kind any day.
Then again, I’m one who favors a purple yard, so you may want to take my opinion on such matters with heaps of salt.
Anyway, I set out for the meadow, with fantasies of a nice stroll through the meadow one last time this fall. I thought perhaps the colors would be similar to those in the painting at the top of this post. (I know. Silly me.)
I’m sorry to say I didn’t even set foot in the meadow. As I approached it, the grass looked scorched and uninviting. I didn’t hear any birds or honking geese. I realized then that fauna is as integral to the meadow experience as flora, which is another reason I prefer meadows to pristine flower gardens.
Like the recent time change, the autumn meadow was too much of a reminder of the approaching winter.
Speaking of winter, in a fit of optimism a few weeks ago I actually pondered the possibility of acquiring used snowshoes so I could snowshoe in the meadow during the winter. (I know. What was I thinking? I hate the cold.) But I fully expect my next meadow missive won’t be until next spring where, I hope, there will be white-throated sparrows waiting for me.
The first IHM Fabulous Friday Night Fish Fry of the school year was last night. It occurred to me I should post the schedule of the remaining fish fries here.
A considerable amount of volunteer labor from parents goes into each fish fry, as the revenue from these fish fries is a major source of revenue for the school.
My two youngest children attend IHM, so I can accurately say that every parent and all of the staff at IHM are very appreciative of the people who come to the fish fries.
I’m not a member of the IHM parish, and am not Roman Catholic, yet from day one the teachers and staff there have treated us like family. This warm community atmosphere is also evident at the fish fries.
Few things say “upper midwest” more than a Friday night fish fry. Even if you can only attend one, that would be great. Here’s the schedule:
October 23rd, 2010 – Soup R Raffle
November 5th, 2010
December 3rd, 2010 – Fish Fry and Cookie Walk
January 14th, 2011
January 29th, 2011 – Spaghetti Dinner
February 11th, 2011
March 11th, 2011
April 1st, 2011
April 15th, 2011
The meal is served buffet style from 5-7:30. Takeout is also available beginning at 4:30. Baked cod is available as well. Click here to view the full menu.
In September I had the opportunity to become quite acquainted with the folks at Computer Repair Pros on Monona Drive.
My 1.5 year old craptop laptop died and, unfortunately, they told me it could not be repaired. They bought it from me for parts.
Of course it almost goes without saying that right after losing this laptop, another laptop in our home came down with a virus and I had to schlep back to Computer Repair Pros.
Tom at Computer Repair Pros gave me some advice about how to extend the life of a craptop laptop, so I thought I’d pass that on:
* Clean the fan with an air compressor every three months or so.
* Use a cooling pad or laptop stand with a built-in fan. This prevents overheating (which is apparently what did my laptop in).
* Close the lid before moving the laptop to another location. The hard drive has moving parts so if the computer is in motion while your computer is on this can wear out the hard drive over time. If you have a laptop with a solid state drive you don’t have to worry about this, but only the expensive models have that.
* Run the defragmentation sequence once a week if you use your computer a lot.
He also said that Sony and Toshiba make the best laptops and they rarely have to service those brands. We’ve owned a Toshia laptop for three years and I can vouch that it is not a craptop. My new laptop is a Toshiba.
Although I never like it when I’m faced with a computer tech problem we can’t solve at home on our own, I’m glad to have a fast and reliable computer repair place right here in Monona. At Computer Repair pros I’ve paid $39-99 range for the types of services I’ve needed over the years, and they usually have it fixed within 24-48 hours.