Caspar World

Posts from Home in Potsdam, NY

Slow, Continued

The slow pace of the new year continued into a second week.

I did a little web work for a client early in the week, and a little pastor work toward the end of the week. Other than that, not much.

In the downtime, I've started thinking of projects I wouldn't otherwise be thinking about. Things like rearranging the furnature in my office. Last year during slow periods, I'd find things to do to convince myself I was busy. This year I haven't got the energy to pretend anymore.

We had our first major snow of the year this week. When I went out to shovel, our snowshovel that I'd left handy on our fr...

Jan 12, 2019

2019

Happy New Year!

The first week of 2019 has been pretty quiet. School is out until January 7, so the kid was mostly at home. He spent New Years Eve at a friend's house. Another friend is coming to hang out Saturday. Buiness is slow. Church activity is nearly always in hybernation following the fever pitch of Christmas.

It's given me time to think and time to read and to play some video games -- which I haven't done in more than 5 years.

Other simple things, too.

  • Brush the dog.
  • Change the water filters.
  • Put new batteries in a couple old watches.
  • Pick up a bag of some of my favorite coffee.

Ne...

Jan 05, 2019

Year in Review

This is the 53rd post, so begins a new year for this weekly blog. (I missed a couple weeks. Vacation and such.) Here's the first post: November 18, 2017

I was, then, starting to explore alternatives to WordPress as a solution for building websites and this was as much an experiment in software as a weekly letter home. I'm still exploring WordPress alternatives. On one hand, it's been a frustrating year in that regard, and next year will be the same. On the other, it's gotten me out of the WordPress bubble in a way that I expect will be good for me in the long run.

I've said every year for the ...

Dec 29, 2018

Fifteen

Birthday Party

The kid turned 15 on Friday. He's been looking forward to this for 2 months. I'm not sure exactly why 15 is so big for him. He's mentioned several times recently, "Just one more year until I can start driving."

It was also the last day of school before the winter break, so all his friends were still in town to celebrate. We had 6 of his best friends over for a party. They had a video game tournament and went to see the Aquaman movie, just out today at the theater down the street.

They're big enough now that the party went later than what we're used to staying up. And they eat a lot of pizza. ...

Dec 22, 2018

Christmas Cantata

This year, for the first time, I got involved in a community chorus production of a Christmas Cantata. One of the members of the Norwood church is the director. It was awkward to say no.

Every Sunday evening for the past couple months I've been going to choir practice. The two performances are happening this weekend.

I confess to having a little bit of a bad attitude about these things. Probably because I've been to so many poor performances over the years that I don't want to subject others to the same. But here I am.

The choir is 24 voices, and we're accompanied by a 20 piece orchestra, so a...

Dec 16, 2018

New Languages and Better Housekeeping

I spent most of this week learning a programming language called Javascript. It's heavily used in web browsers, so I've had plenty of exposure to it all along. But this week was the week to take the deep dive in.

I signed up for an actual online course in the language and have been burning through it at a furious pace. Of the 7 course sections, I've completed nearly 5½. The last sections are a lot harder though, so it will probably take me another week to get through the rest.

Programming languages are a lot like everyday languages in that once you know the grammar of one, you can apply what y...

Dec 08, 2018

Thanksgiving and New Year Preparations

We spent Thanksgiving week in Colonial Williamsburg. We had a great time there and learned a few things along the way.

Some things about colonial life:

  • Mud was between 2 and 3 feet deep along the main road back in the day, depending on the time of year.
  • Working-class folk would have lived in a 1-room house with a dirt floor, about the size of my current office.
  • If you were a tailor, worked hard, didn't get sick or die early, and were careful with your money, you could die with more money in your desk drawer than a plantation owner.

Some things that relate to things we still do today:

  • Why we...
Dec 01, 2018

Snow Day and Report Card

We got our first real snow this week. Enough gloppy wet snow to trigger a school snow day on Friday. It might have been 6 inches, but it came just before dawn when the busses had to run and the miles of country road around the district were a little too treacherous to travel.

Silas used the snow day as an excuse to post a new YouTube video, his first in a long time.

I spent most of the week patching up odds and ends with various web projects in anticipation of being away next week for Thanksgiving. That and practicing the violin. So far, it sounds aweful, but you've gotta (re)start somewhere.

...
Nov 17, 2018

Violin

My grandfather brought a violin back from England when he came home from the Army Air Force at the end of World War 2. Nobody knows exactly where he found it or why he picked it up. He never played the violin.

I started taking violin lessons when I was in kindergarten or maybe 1st grade. Grampa's violin came to live at our house and my dad started taking lessons with us, and he played it. By the time I got big enough to play a full size violin, I'd long given up lessons, but every once in a while got it out of the box, just to try it out. It's been in storeage ever since.

A few weeks ago, when...

Nov 10, 2018

The Death of Coleus

Earlier this fall, on a whim, I bought a coleus plant. It was out there with the mums and whatnot. I thought the color of the leaves would go well with the rug in my office. (That rug ties the room together.)

Alas, poor Coleus!

The tag that came with it said, "shade to part sun". So I put it on the dresser away from the direct sunlight of the windows.

All went well for a week. Then it started losing leaves.

I looked up, "coleus losing leaves". Google said "coleus is a very easy-to-care-for plant". It went on: losing leaves is usually because it's not getting enough light. It said that it coleus in pots should b...

Nov 03, 2018