Trip to NC

I’ve always been ok with birds but having some doubts. I went out this AM to check the garden as usual and found that my parsley plants were pulled out; ditto some onions and holes pecked into the lettuce rows. Since the parsley and lettuce are behind a wire fence, no doubt it was birds. Found the pellet gun. I hope it’s some ugly kind of bird because I hate the idea of blowing away a cardinal.

Had a great trip to NC with Tom. We left on Thursday and returned on Sunday; flew into Greensboro. The only hard event was Tom addressing a class of CS students at Duke. Other than that it was play time. We decided to do Western NC and the mountains on Thursday, the Duke event was on Friday, and the outer banks on Saturday. On the way we hit several campuses {or is that campi) including UNC, Wake Forest, and Appalachian State, located in Boone. Each campus had it’s own character but Duke is the real standout. A large, stone building laden campus with few students. If you didn’t know it was in NC, you’d think you were at Oxford or some ancient, European campus. I think Tom put plenty of photo’s and comments on his Facebook for those who care. The outer bank session turned out to be great for me since it happens to be surf fishing season and we found a great tackle shop laden with interesting bluefish rigs – several of which are now residing in my tackle box. We had intended to end the day at Kitty Hawk but simply ran out of time. Coming to the banks from the south and heading north involves two ferry trips that eat up over 3 hours, not counting wait time. We hit some fine eateries along the way, my favorite being a place called Macado’s (or something like that) in Boone. An awesome menu of specialty sandwiches and incredible brews – my idea of the kind of food that is routinely served in Heaven.

I really enjoyed listening to Tom give his lecture and interacting with the students. Believe it or not, I actually understood the concepts he was discussing and never felt lost in the esoterics of it. The next level down in detail would have lost me for sure but I learned a few things and actually had a few of my ideas about how things worked, confirmed. So that was nice.

The only negative was that the newly planted onions dried out so it’s back to the seed pack for a new start. Also lost maybe 50% of the lettuce but had planted enough spares to cover us on that front. Other than that, the garden kept on producing and it’s becoming clear that November is going to be an overflow month with beans and squash. At least my neighbor will be back to help on the consumption side.

Got a new keyboard and traded in the mouse for a track pad. I think I’m going to love it. The old keyboard is one that I’ve had since the beginning of time and I suspect the mouse is of the same vintage. Somewhere between the keyboard and the mouse, there must be an intermittent short such that the mouse occasionally won’t move the cursor. For the past couple of months I kept thinking the computer was locking up due to some internet interaction with Virgin Mobile and would restart it. The setup we have is a laptop operated with an external monitor and keyboard so the computer is just sitting there with a closed lid acting like a desktop. To restart, I had to lift the lid on the laptop and push the on/off button. I guess in the process of moving things around to get to the button, the mouse/keyboard would reconnect and be working when the machine rebooted. So I never put the frozen cursor together with some mouse/keyboard problem. By chance last time it happened, I brushed the scratch pad on the laptop and saw the cursor move as it’s supposed to. I then unplugged the mouse and plugged it back in. Worked fine. I couldn’t consistently make the problem occur but I could consistently fix it by messing with the USB connector attaching the keyboard/mouse. I didn’t know the trackpad is wireless and have zero experience with blue tooth technology but it seemed to hook up flawlessly.

Politics – I had to laugh last night watching both Obama and Biden campaigning for the Democrat senate candidate in Delaware. The guy is way, way waaaaaaaay out in front of this young, tea party chicky. The only reason they could conceivably be there “helping” is that when it’s all over they can point to Delaware as proof that they did help somewhere. I love to see them running around to colleges trying to get kids behind them. When I was in college, the voting age was 21 but even if it had been 18, I can’t imagine I would have had a clue that there even was an election going on yet alone, actually thinking about it or actually pulling a lever somewhere. At the time, I thought all this politic stuff was so much BS. Then I went through a period where I thought it was real and important; back to the BS position.

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