Phonecall With My Father

“I never thought I’d be around to see all my grandchildren graduate,” he added. He’s not going anywhere any time soon, but that was one of those admissions that are sobering.

I speak to my mom most every night, but my father’s asleep when I call. Today I made an afternoon call to speak to him.

They’re going to Universal Studios early next week. “Watch the heat,” I said.

The child becomes the parent about now, right?

My parents will be in Connecticut for Stef’s college graduation next month. My dad said he was looking forward to being here. We’re all excited by that prospect.

“I never thought I’d be around to see all my grandchildren graduate,” he added. He’s not going anywhere any time soon, but that was one of those admissions that are sobering.

I told him I’d like to do another video with him and my mom and then we got to talking about computers. He said, “I wish my computer was broken right now.”

Too much temptation. He’d been at BJ’s, walking the aisles in the computer section. He’d like to get a new one. I totally understand.

Every week the computer ads show more powerful machines for the same or less money as the week before. What you bought (or in my case built) last year is now slower than anything currently available.

I get email daily from a bunch of online stores that sell finished systems and the components to ‘roll your own.’ This is my porn. I pore over these ads making calculations in my head about how each part will interact with the others.

I am no closer to building a machine today than I was last year at this time. I just enjoy the technology. I get that from my father.

The “Real” Story Behind Universal

My guess is, I’m the last to know about this video. It’s been on Google since August with over 150,000 views.

Not only is it funny, it’s clever enough to watch and watch again.

Here’s the ‘alleged’ backstory:

Odds And Ends After A Busy Day

This was a busy day, spent mostly at Universal Studios Hollywood. Please note – it’s not in Hollywood, but Universal City.

I just don’t have the time to write right now and will try and cover it tomorrow as we move to Palm Springs. In the meantime, there are some things about Los Angeles that are just different… maybe even weird.

It’s possible I’m the one living in space, but it seems odd you have to pay for parking everywhere you go. I’m talking about the mall, restaurants, everywhere. In Connecticut, this is just not the case. A mall that tried to charge for parking would be laughed out of existence.

I mentioned this a few days ago, but it bears repeating. If you go for an expensive meal, can’t they hide the $3-$5 they’re going to charge for parking in the bill? I don’t like paying for it after my meal. It seems cheesy.

I’m not picking on any one, because this is an everyone situation.

In many ways this is like the hidden fees and charge that mysteriously show up on cell phone bills.

And, if a restaurant validates your parking ticket, then they should pick up the whole tab. Don’t leave me with $1.50 owed, as was the case at breakfast today.

Oh there’s one bright spot to this parking stuff. While waiting for your car to be retrieved, you get to see California’s conspicuous love affair with the automobile on display. There have been plenty of Bentley’s and Rolls, a few Ferraris, Jags, Porsches (including the SUV) and Mercedes up the ying yang (whatever that means) at the valet parking stand.

Cars here are in a perpetual state of clean and shiny! There is never road salt. The humidity is low virtually all year, which reduces corrosion. They have never seen a streaked windshield when the defroster can’t keep up with the cold, or had salty spray thrown onto their windshield from the tires of the car ahead of them. SUVs here are nearly all two wheel drive!

We’re leaving Los Angeles tomorrow for the real desert. I’ve got the forecast for Palm Springs in front of me, and it looks like some rain for each of the three days we’re there! On the other hand a viewer wrote from Connecticut asking, why snowflakes are sometimes huge&#185… as they were today. I’ll take a rainy Palm Springs.

I’ve been trying to decide what to write when the vacation is over. I want to write some sort of synopsis of the trip, but more lifestyle oriented than the play-by-play I’ve written for the past week.

My goal would be to illustrate it with some of the hundreds and hundreds of photos I’ve taken. The New York Times has an interesting technique using Macromedia Flash with which they create narrated slide shows. I’d like to try that. We’ll see if it’s over my head.

It probably is.

&#185 – Snowflakes that fall through a layer with temperatures just above freezing become very sticky to each other. Multiple snow crystals attach and form huge fluffy flakes. This is normally ‘wet snow’, with a low snow to water ratio, and very good for packing as snowballs.