I did most of the letters while waiting for the cable television guys. They were supposed to be here at between 8 am and noon. The furniture delivery guys showed up at 8:45 am. The cable guys showed up at 12:30 pm and were here until almost 3 pm. I'd like to say that after a year of working on this we finally had cable television, but we don't. They did finally hook up the house to the junction box down at street level, but when they tried for a signal in the media room, there was no signal. There was a signal in the computer room (but no television there). Monday night the media room equipment installer should be by to see why the coax cable from the outside to the inside is carrying no signal. Well, we leave for the mainland on Tuesday anyway, so we will have television when we return in September. I am patient because we still have an incredible home theater for DVDs. I'm going to watch 300 tonight.
The trip to Oahu yesterday was fine, but very, very long. We were exhausted when we came back and still tired when we got up this morning. Do I have a passport? Well, yes...and no. So I called the US Passport Agency and got an appointment (and an all important reservation number) for Friday at noon. We were there well before noon to check in. In a rather large-ish room there were three security guards, dozens of empty chairs, and a lone clerk behind bullet proof glass. One guard asked if I had an appointment and when I said I did, gave me a slip (A00019) for waiting in line (what line?) Almost immediately a mechanical voice calls out, "Now serving Customer A00019 at Counter 3". I walked over to the clerk and handed her my passport reservation number, my flight reservations, my lost passport form, my new passport form, my expired passport, and two passport photos from Costco. After paying her $157 for a new passport, she informed me that my passport would be ready on Tuesday at 2 pm. Mmmmm, Tuesday we will be in the air back to the mainland. OK, she is going to mail it to Nevada in a Priority envelope and it SHOULD be there by Friday, August 17. I am not going to worry about it. I suppose I have another shot in San Francisco just before we are supposed to leave for Japan.
J is for James
my beloved husband of 34 years. We were married six weeks after we met. During most of our "engagement" he was working in Florida and I was working in Chicago. This was possible because the company that employed me had a WATS line, basically free long distance anywhere in the US. I could use the line in the evenings when I was babysitting the computers and changing out the huge removable platter disks. We talked for several hours every evening. I was taking a summer class from Northwestern University and got an "A" in marketing writing about buying my wedding dress. Our honeymoon was in Montreal. Ask me about the hotel sometime. We got married because we were going to take a freighter to Africa in his VW van and drive from Timbuktu to Morocco. Unfortunately this was during a severe drought in northwest Africa and we decided it was a bit dangerous to go. Although we skipped this trip, we drove that van thousands of miles across the US and have spent a lot of our life together traveling. We lived in New Zealand so that he could get a Master in South Pacific Archeology. We moved to California so that I could work in Silicon Valley. I had jobs in international divisions, so I spent a lot on time overseas for work. When he could, James traveled with me. When I quit working, we found ourselves spending most of our time together, even if it is just being in the same room working on two different computers. I am eternally grateful to have such a funny, smart, artistic, well read, lovable man to share my life with.
K is for Kitchen Design
Yes, I care about kitchens and cooking. I no longer have The Perfect Kitchen (see pictures here). I had to leave it behind in California when we moved, but I am planning on building at least two more, one here in Maui in a couple of years and one in The Perfect House in Nevada. What makes the perfect kitchen? Functionality!!! You should be able to put groceries down near the refrigerator. You should have pullouts on every lower shelf so nothing gets hidden in a back corner. You should have a pantry. You should have dish storage near the dishwasher so that you are not traveling half way across the house to put things away. You should have a sink deep enough to wash large pots in. A double sink is even better. You should have a faucet with a pullout spray. Your sink should be close to the stove for filling pots full of water. You should have counters that can take putting a hot pan on them and they should be close to the stove and oven. You should have flooring that can withstand the occasional dropped plate or pot. You should have somewhere to sit while chopping. You should have convenient place with paper and pen to keep a grocery list. You should have a place close at hand for a few cookbooks. Your kitchen should not be so big that you spend all of your time walking around rather than cooking. You should think about you and your family's cooking habits for long enough to organize your most used things close at hand. Most of this doesn't have to be expensive, but it does take thought and care.