Post-vacation Brain Dump

Well, that’s that. Another vacation gone by, five new suntans, no food poisoning, no sunburn, a good time had by all. The photo album, predictably heavy on children and scenery, is here.
We’ve come back to some scorching weather, although the lack of humidity makes it rather non-oppressive as long as you’re in the shade, possibly with your feet in a bucket of cold water. Not that I’m trying that yet. I’m huddled in the basement to get away from it all for the moment.

I can’t recall a more disorienting dose of jetlag. The 24 hour door-to-door travel experience with three kids is not exactly a breeze but this nausea and feeling of disorientation is definitely not welcome. I felt like I ought to be outdoors letting the body adjust but the weather made that a problem in itself. I think it has taken me a week to fully adjust, and now I’ve come down with some hideous cold. I must also remember to let British Airways know that a feta-based pasta dish with spinach and eggplant is not what anyone in their right mind would describe as a child-friendly meal as well. I had two kids fighting over my salmon dish, which is not something you see everyday.
We had a pretty hot day when we visited Granada in the last week. We didn’t do the Alhambra experience, mostly through a lack of foresight and vacation laziness, but spent a pleasant half-day wandering the narrow streets around the cathedral and whatnot. I suppose it was around 35C that day but a good breeze and the shade of the buildings made it quite a pleasant contrast to the humidity of the “Costa Tropical“. (I don’t like that name though). Maybe we should move to Madrid or something.
The technology of the house was in ruins when I got back — wireless network was more of a “notwork” (cause and fix still unknown), DVD player stuttering after playing more than a few minutes of any disc (concrete floor treatment will follow), and the TiVo will not playback any of the shows it recorded in the last two weeks.

The TiVo issue is the most irritating — how hard can it be to playback stuff? It’s obviously there, as almost the entire collection of kids Scooby Doo “Do Not Delete” episodes and movies has been deleted to make room for it. The TiVo also reboots itself every hour or two. I guess I’ll try some of these operations on it. But anyway it didn’t record the episodes of the third season of “Rescue Me” that we’re currently hooked on, so I used that as a flimsy excuse for buying the first two series on DVD. It’s gripping stuff, I tell you, if you don’t mind “adult language”, graphic sexual imagery, and drama of the most emotional kind. A replacement DVD player is in place already.

Well at least the kettle still worked, and two out of three beans that the kids planted before we left have grown shoots.

The fifth birthday of Number Two Son, Robby, was celebrated yesterday with a visit to the movies to see “Monster House“. Now that was one pretty scary movie for the kids so I had Number Three Son, Federico, on my lap the whole time. No change there though. We should get a discount because he finds nothing to be more comfortable than my lap when he’s watching a film. I hope that wears off before he gets much bigger (ie. heavier). To paraphrase one review of the movie, “the same animation technique as used for Polar Express is now used for the first time for the purpose of entertainment”, which I thought was funny.

We’ve started advance preparatons for a house move by renting a 15’x10′ storage facility to move out everything that makes the house look cluttered to the prospective buyer. Alas, they do not accept children. Three bags of mostly-childrens’ clothes have gone to Goodwill and the kids have bravely sacrificed a big pile of neglected toys, to be distributed among friends and collegues with smaller kids than our own. We also have to get the weight of our household goods under 14,500lb (around 6.5 tonnes), which shouldn’t be a problem. I have no idea how to estimate such a thing, of course.

Oh well, back to work I suppose.

ps. there’s a nice example of a garden path sentence, starting this review of Monster House. My first reaction to it was “who, or what, is this ‘crisp orange’ of whom they speak?”


7 thoughts on “Post-vacation Brain Dump

  1. Cute kids, but once again no pictures of yourself. I’m starting to think you don’t exist. Perhaps you are just a figroll of my imagination! :)



  2. “Maybe we should move to Madrid or something.”

    You will find there someone to share a chilling beer!

    I hope you had enjoyed your holydays in those wonderfull places (Salobreña, Almuñecar, Granada…)

    Welcome back to work!



  3. Sounds like all your computer based devices must have been sucker punched by brownouts/surges.

    “How to estimate the weight of all your stuff before loading it on a truck?” Ought to be a Microsoft interview question :-)

  4. Hey welcome back Dave,

    Soooo.. you never did say where you and the Mrs. are gettting sent to.

    I was trying to get back to the states myself but when my company got word of it, they convinced me that I needed to stay put.

  5. Hmmm, could be brownouts etc I suppose. I have surge protectors on most things but they’re not on everything.

    Well, nothing is for certain on the move yet, except that it will be early next year. However it will be either to Arlington, VA or to Monterey, CA. I know which I’d like more :) Alternatively, the wife could get $2,500 for transfering to the Army under the “Blue to Green” program. Sounds tempting eh? *wipes-tears-of-mirth-from-eyes*

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