Caspar World

Posts from Home in Potsdam, NY

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


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


I started the week with several meetings with website clients. In this business, it seems everything is quiet for a long while, then suddenly everyone wants something at the same time. Mid-week, another client started the day with a request that he represented as urgent and necessary. It had to do with configuring some content on new website software his company had bought (not on my recommendation). After spending the whole day on the project, he decided just before quitting time that the project was a "huge waste of time", and never mind.

Meanwhile, this week, I started in learning some new ...

Oct 20, 2018

What to Do with Extra Tacos

It's been the week of the cold that wouldn't quit. I thought I was getting over it the end of last week, but it's still hanging on, mostly as what seems like a permanent low-grade sinus clog. (That's probably more than anyone wanted to know.)

Accordingly, I've kept a low profile. There were a couple church meetings in Norwood, and a couple on-line meetings around 2 different websites that are in development.

On Thursday we were scheduled to have college kids from church come for dinner. 5 had said they'd probably come, and 3 RSVPd that they were definitely coming. We got together all the fixin...

Oct 13, 2018

The Big 5 - O

So Tuesday I hit the big 5-O.

For my birthday I got a set of Men's fragrance, Calvin Clein Eternity from my sister-in-law, and silk pajamas from Brooke. I spent the morning programming a website, then spent most of the afternoon standing around in the rain at a Cross Country meet. The kid beat his personal best time for the 3 mile course by nearly a minute. We went to dinner down the street at Maxfield's.

Wednesday morning I woke up with a cold. Not the worst cold I've ever had, but runny nose and scratchy throat. Then, on Thursday morning I realized I now qualify for membership in the AARP. S...

Oct 06, 2018

Diet and Exercise

The Potsdam Church ladies did have sausage links at their pancake breakfast last week.

Over the past 3 weeks or so, I've been experimenting with food and exercise. I've never been much for minding either of these things before now. And, while it might have to do with my impending 50th birthday, I came to it by way of one-book-leads-to-another.

More than a year ago I'd seen several references to Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman had won a Nobel prize in Economics a while ago, and this was his latest, a kind of validictory of things he'd learned during and after the research he...

Sep 29, 2018

Hot and Cold

This week has been as variable as the weather: hot one day, cold the next.

First, I got to be a domain broker for a week.

I also got to wear my Cross Country parent hat on Tuesday. The kid ran a good race. Not quite enough to beat his personal best, but came close, and it was a hard course.

Silas finishes cross country race in Gouverneur

Also on Tuesday, I launched a new website. The design is another from Kelly's team at (Digital Canvas). It's for a Stark County, OH non-profit that recently took over a lot of county services for people with disabilities: TWi. There will be more to add to it in coming months, but getting a new site off the...

Sep 22, 2018