Yesterday I took pictures of a honey bee nest, wild grapes hanging down in bunches, poke weeds filled with fruits (no poke salad for me thanks), Paw Paw likewise fruiting up, and many other interesting things. Last night on Hulu.com, I watched Jose Ferrer play Cyrano de Bergerac. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty darn presentation of one of my favorite plays. (I'm also fond of Steve Martin's update of the character in the movie Roxanne.) I also added a post to my blog at http://thefalliblefiend.blogspot.com/
The day before that I went to work and solved a programming problem I had been stressing over for two days. I went for a long walk with a friend during lunch and pointed out hickory trees, Virginia pines, Eastern White Pines, Carolina Hemlocks, and many others.
Today, I ate my oatmeal on the deck, put up the umbrella and made a pot of coffee. I just started "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." I talked for a little while to both of my daughters. I did NOT get yelled at by my wife, even though I broke the couch. Eventually I'll download pics from the last few days onto the computer. I've already figured out the identities of some other plants, most notably the Southern Magnolia that someone planted outside the wildlife refuge.
Most of today I will spend learning a new programming language called Python. It's not "new" at all, actually, but it's new to me. I installed it yesterday and have been playing with it. Previously I had written VBA to control processing massive amounts of data via ArcGIS libraries, but the newer versions of ArcGIS will support Python over VBA.
I stayed up late the last two nights to see the Perseids, but I think the light pollution is too much around here and it was a bit cloudy last night.
In the back of my mind I'm thinking of a problem over at projecteuler.net . I should know how to do this sort of problem, but I've forgotten so much over the years. It's okay. I'll eventually figure it out. So far I've solved 16 problems in the week and a half since I started. They are getting harder and more interesting.
I'll probably call my mom and dad later and talk about some stuff I've been thinking about. My step-dad (whom I cannot help but think of as my real dad) is native American and I think he will be interested that I noticed a crapload of hemp dogsbane near where I work. Indians used to make cordage from it and I found a YT video on how to do that.
I hope to spend at least an hour planning for activities for the coming school year. My colleagues and I put on a science fair and a math night every year for the local kids. We also supply science and math tutors for them. We get other groups to help us like NIH and NASA, NAS, etc. It's a lot more work than most people think.
I also need to plan for my professional development. My employer will pay for classes in proportion to their relevance to my job - probably 100% for any programming or hard science classes. I've been meaning to do a review of thermodynamics and to augment it with a class on statistical mechanics. We'll see.
My youngest just came onto the deck to talk to me for a while. She's making a blueberry pie and wants to know if I'll make dinner tonight. Her boyfriend might be coming. She left and then my wife told me that we have potatoes if I want to make them with the steaks.
I'm modifying my reading list. The top item for now is a translation of Mendel's pea paper which is available online. I'm thinking the next will be Donald Prothero's "Evolution: What the Fossils say and why it Matters" which I'll read concurrently with Henrietta Lacks.
My youngest came and asked me if I could make baked potatoes instead of mashed potatoes and also a salad. She leaves for college in less than a week. My wife told her she should be the one making dinner instead of daddy since it's her handsome boyfriend who's coming to dinner. OTOH, I like the kid and this is a small thing. And they're going to spend the afternoon at the Smithsonian's natural history museum. (Such a cool date!) I can have dinner ready by the time they get back.
My oldest just got back from a week at the beach today. She returns to college (the same school) a week after her sister. She's majoring in Chem and minoring in Mandarin. It's going to be her toughest semester ever taking both advanced p-chem and advanced organic along with her honor's thesis. But on the good side, she's finished her Chinese requirements, so that will give her some free time to work on the other stuff. Then she'll have an internship at a company that's been courting her and then probably grad school.
I've barely covered a third of what I have going on. I've got plenty of worthwhile stuff to keep me occupied without wasting time on stupid crap. Conspiracy "theories" are a distraction from doing things that take patience, effort, and practice.
My last advice to both girls before going off to college was and is this: avoid drama. Some people thrive on it, create it ex nihilo when it's in short supply, nurse it, command it, apply it relentlessly to their friends and enemies alike. Avoid those people. Be friendly with them as you are friendly to everyone, but do not acquire them as friends. They will drag you down, waste your time, and give you nothing but gossip and confusion in return.