Mixed media, 20-27 April 2014

Watching Agents of Shield (we’re up to episode 9, “Repairs”), reading Jonathan Kellerman’s Over The Edge (good), playing Tomb Raider (very good), and listening to the mesmerizing St. Vincent by St. Vincent (going to have to see if I can time my trips to Scotland to catch their gig in Glasgow on 26th August).

I had a part-time week off this week to match the kids’ Meivakantie. Fiona was off on Monday, and had a half day on Friday, with the morning being taken up by the Koningsspelen; Alex had the whole week off. Abi’s mom is visiting. I showed Alex how to make grilled cheese sandwiches. (The mix of cheeses is key.)

I spent a couple of days fighting procrastination to get our taxes straightened out, and eventually won. Haircuts for Alex and me on Thursday. I don’t like taking the time to get haircuts, but I much prefer the way I look with short hair. This leads to me being semi-permanently dissatisfied with my appearance. (Come to think of it, that’s the way I feel about shaving, too. I exist in a mostly disheveled state. Fortunately I do enjoy taking showers.)

Since we got the exterior woodwork of the house painted, we’ve been conscious of how scruffy the garden looks. So we’ve been doing some trimming and weeding, and on Friday we placed edging stones around the triangular plant bed in the back garden, to stop the dirt from overflowing onto the paving. It looks much tidier now, and should stay that way for a while.

Yesterday was Koningsdag. It was a fine day, and Abi, Fiona, Susan, and I wandered to the village centre at lunchtime. There were no activities in Oostzaan, so we sat around and had an ice cream. When we got home, we jumped on our bikes and cycled to the street market and vrijmarkt in Poelenburg, just at the edge of Zaandam.

I also spent some time upgrading our Mac Mini. I replaced the old Core Duo CPU (32 bit) with a Core 2 Duo (64 bit), and installed Lion. Plex is much happier serving 1080p video now. Apparently it’s possible to upgrade the 2006 Mini’s firmware so that it can take 4GB of RAM instead of the normal 2GB limit, which is intriguing, although I’m not sure what good the extra memory would do. (We use it just as a media and file server.)

Also: Abi with kitty in her lap.

Abi with kitty
Abi with kitty
Abi with kitty
Abi with kitty

Update: I forgot that on Wednesday morning we also went out and got Alex a new (second hand) bike. (This is why I write these things: if I don’t put effort into remembering what I’ve been doing, my memory is like a sieve.) We made a tour of bike shops in the area North of the IJ, and found just the right bike in the last shop on our list, Dral in Landsmeer. Solid frame, disc brakes, built-in dynamo for front light, front suspension, eight gears, and a full chain guard. Alex had his last bike for about…three years? He was getting far too big for it, and it was time for a full-size model.