Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blame it on Hillary

There was an amusing mosaic on the Drudge Report a few days ago of Hillary Clinton’s worst faces of all time. It was a block of small, black and white photos of her face: eight columns across and five rows down. Rose saw it and thought it would be funny to set this image as the wallpaper on my PC. She didn’t just set the image in the middle; she tiled it so that the entire 19” screen was plastered with ½” photos of Hillary Clinton. It was horrible, but it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did on my computer if the children had not found it so amusing. “Ooo look at that one, she’s picking her nose!!” “She looks like she just ate a lemon!” and “What on earth could make a person’s face look like that??”

Almost the very moment she pasted the photo on my screen, the computer began running at a slug-like speed. What befuddled me was that it seemed to be doing what it was supposed to do, and going through all the stages at start-up, but doing them such that it would take 45 to 90 minutes just to load the desktop.

I spent a few days trying to shut down the computer properly, reload it, and then work out a few things in the Safe Mode. But nothing worked. Finally, after letting it sit out all night and waiting till morning to click anything, it opened up a file. It took forever to type the letter T, so I decided to give up and shut it down for good. We’ll see if it ever returns.

Since that day I have been using Fr Mark’s laptop. He loves to share, so I know it isn’t a problem.

Anyway there are a few things I want to record.

Friday we had the Achievement Night for our home school group. This is an evening of food, entertainment, and an opportunity for the parents the students to show off what they were able to accomplish during the year with display boards, charts, hand-knitted sweaters, poems, Lego sculptures, and more.

While we have been members of this home school group for almost six years, we have never attended one of these nights. My first interaction with this larger group (minus the individuals in my “Purple Group”) made me realize that they weren’t ready for a bearded, long-haired man in black robes, a big silver cross, and a funny hat. I don’t think they would be ready for him, nor would he be ready for them!

There was an hour of entertainment including a wide array for every taste. There were soloists in every realm of music, including several tone-deaf trombonists and violinists whose parents must be either deaf or more long-suffering than I could ever be.

Saturday, Max had his first T-ball game. He doesn’t know first rule of baseball, nor do many of his teammates, so the resulting display is a contact sport with gloves, balls, bats, and coaches who are humorously cautious of getting hit with something. During the game the kids on the team are allowed to bat twice and to play defense twice. If they played more than two “innings” we would be at the YMCA all day. At this pace we were there only 90 minutes.

When Max had his turn at bat he was allowed to take one base for each batter who hit. On his run from third to home, the ball was hit down the third-base line. As Max was being urged by the coaches and the fans to run home, he realized the rest of the boys on the opposing team were jumping on the ball. He slowed down—and leaped onto the pile of the other team’s boys! If we hadn’t been laughing so hard we would have seen whether he actually got the ball!* I think he might have if the coach hadn’t pulled him out of the pile and made him run home.

The days have been beautiful recently. Mother's Day was very nice. We flew a kite and made ice cream in my new ice cream maker.

Tomorrow we head to the Charleston area for a field trip to the Tea Plantation and the Birds of Prey Center. We’ll see if the beach is a possibility. I might not be allowed to leave town without letting the kids get wet and sandy.

*Update (5/15): Fr Mark said he got the ball and threw it to first base.