Monday, November 23, 2009

Spent the weekend learning several new functions on Photoshop. It takes a good long time to learn new Photoshop functions, then experiment with them, and then -finally- administer them to your project. But it takes an inverse amount of time to forget said functions, and, since you won't have to use the functions again for a few months, nay, a year, you will live out that Saturday afternoon all over again some day, re-learning the same several new functions on Photoshop. Additionally, this blog will be repeated.

Also spent some time in the attic, tinkering with the furnace since I'd rather not pay the few hundred dollars to have someone come out and fix it properly. I think I got it, but an hour or so later Mrs. Ditchman came downstairs to say that it smelled like something was burning in the office and that the heater was making noises again. So I went upstairs to check it out, and detected no such thing. It could be that the burning and the noises were coming from some totally new problem for this week. Stay tuned.

I will say that I heard a noise this morning, when the furnace powered off. It sounded like the wheels of a 747 touching down on some heretofore unnoticed runway in the attic, and then, reverse thrusters, brakes applied. I'm going to ignore it for now and just go to work. The whole house is in a slump. I didn't run all last week, and this week's work is a mere continuation of last week's work. Neither is Mrs. Ditchman achieving her exercise or work-related goals. And this week: Thanksgiving, with its inevitable sequel holiday, Christmas. Reverse thrusters. Brakes applied.

Things are still growing in the garden, though it seems at a diminished autumnal rate. Temps have been in the low forties every night, and I think we're on Day 160 of "no detectable moisture", so the garden is experiencing a certain weary malaise. I think it all just wants to be pulled and composted, recycled for some future, more productive Spring. I know the feeling.

Even the tortoises are experiencing some seasonal languor, as they move unhurriedly about the pen, wondering whether hibernation arrives on its own, or if they should just settle in somewhere and will it to be so. One tortoise actually escaped yesterday. Dug his way out of the pen and made a break for the house, by way of the lavender bushes. I caught him in the nick of time -a few more days of my neglect and he might have made it all the way to the barbecue.

Fishes? Same. If they could bang on the glass and demand an immediate 10% seawater change, well, they would. You know something's up when you go to feed them and they're all giving you the middle flipper. Oh yes, we'll take the food, petty, dry human, but one of these days the ice caps will melt and aquaria everywhere will rise up and overthrow, drowning you all. Build an ark. We will scuttle it. At least they're warm, and at proper tropical temps, (the lucky bastards.) All summer they suffer in the heat, since we lack air conditioning, and it's not until the fall that I can properly manage their water temperatures. Of course, none of that matters if a stable Ph is thrown aside, the salinity is out of wack, and the protein skimmer is on the fritz. Sorry, fish friends.

The real issue around here is the Little Digger, who has not exhibited a sustained night of sleep in, I don't know, weeks. It is a matter of some concern, since none of us are sleeping much as a result. Mrs. Ditchman is bearing the brunt of it, as she fetches the little guy over and over through the night, but only after 10 minutes or so of his half-awake, anguished, half-voiced moaning. We think it's the molars, and then some added peppery sickness. There seems to be a reaction to the recent pox shot, giving him a minor set of pox symptoms. Anyway, he looks miserable, mottled, and, alternately every hour or so, cute. (But in a be-poxed sort of way.)

And the Little Ditchman. Though she is the envy of the household since she has discovered video games and has the time to play them, she has a garbled, throaty, phlegmy cough -so we've missed church and preschool and all other appointments as a result. It's hard for the mommy to be cooped up like this, and then I run off to dig ditches or pour concrete or build aluminum, or some such thing. Suffice it to say, no one is particularly happy to see each other at the ends of these days. (Bummer!)

But we did catch Up! which is not the accomplishment it sounds but rather another near-perfect Pixar flick, (it was better than WALL-E, and this time Pixar was able to pull off a capable follow-through after that usual, unfathomably sublime, first 10 Pixar minutes.) And I did indulge in a tasty pinot over the weekend. And there has also been some diverting talk of getting a new coffee maker -we're just taking our time deciding on this simple purchase, examining different models and deliberating over this neat feature, or that one. The brewer we have is on its last legs, and is actually the backup coffee maker for our primary coffee maker, which recently expired and crossed The Great Divide between garage sale pile and garbage can. One should always have a backup coffee maker, for emergencies, but one should not use it too often, lest it break and whereby one must then buy two. Two coffee makers! I can't handle all that decision-making, what with the holidays on the doorstep.