Awesome clock! (a.k.a. rich people get all the good stuff)

I was passing by the shop window when I saw a smaller version of this clock and gasped. It told the time. But using letters. And the words changed locations on the clock every five minutes.

I took a picture and showed Matt and he thought it was cool too, so I went to the inquire as to the cost. The very nice clerk showed me the features, namely that there are dots in each corner and those show the minutes in between the five minute marks. We watched it change from 3:35 to 3:40 and it was an amazing experience. Then he told me that the 6″ x 6″ clocks were $600 and the 1′ x 1′ clocks started at $1400. I thanked him nicely and went on my way, muttering, “rich people get all the good stuff.”

And then, the shop put up a going out of business sign. Was this my chance to own such an amazing specimen? After all, I had a tax return coming. I waited until the signs said 60–75% before I went in to inquire.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted any clocks to be available. Was I really the type of person to have a small clock that cost that much, even on sale?

Thankfully, all the awesome clocks were spoken for at the 40% off mark.

So I left with no clock and a healthier bank account and I know exactly what I will do first if I ever come into a substantial amount of money.

Requiem: collage photo frame

Soon after I came home today, there was a terrible crashing sound and I knew that something broke. After I reassured Antares that he was safe (as usual, Sentinel was only mildly affected) I went to the pantry to see what had broken. I found nothing. I couldn’t think of any other place in the house where something would crash and break. Puzzled, I returned to my usual evening duties.

It was only at the end of the night, when I was changing into my pajamas that I found the source of the noise and breakage. It was my collage photo frame, which had somehow fallen from its nail.

I was a little sad about this development. This is the frame where I print out my best eight photos (or, more accurately, my top four portrait-oriented photos and my top four landscape-oriented photos) from the proceeding year and then I can look at them throughout the next.

I’m not sure if it will be replaced. Time to take good photos seems to be in short supply right now. I still bring my camera with me to most places, but I rarely use it.

I’ll find my way back to photography, someday. In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed using this frame.

Requiem: Water Bottle

This water bottle was one of those volunteer thank you gifts I find so puzzling. I don’t need to be given gifts as a volunteer. I’m volunteering. Still, they come. Most are donated to the Goodwill, but some find their way into my life.

I’ve been using this bottle for many years, probably more than five and less than 10. It’s a good size, it’s never leaked, and is easy to wash.

Alas, when going through security I removed the top and then lost it, so I cannot use this water bottle any longer. I will miss it. Especially because water bottles can be quite spendy.

Where’s a volunteer gift when you need one? 🙂

The One Bag List

Since 2008, I’ve been packing using the OneBag List, which friend Dana found online and shared with me right before we went to Hungary for the second time. The list makes sure I don’t forget anything and it also has allowed me to continue to use a tiny suitcase, no matter the length of the trip.

The OneBag website is still around, though I’m guessing it hasn’t changed much, graphically since Dana accessed it in 2008. The PDF I use is only accessible via a browser extension, so I can’t see if it’s been updated, but if you are looking for a minimalist (yet, everything you need) way to pack, I recommend the site and method.

Oh wait! The packing list is found here! No browser extension needed.

The Academy Awards

Kelly hosted the Oscar-viewing party and we had a good time (despite my disappointment with the Best Picture outcome.)

I prepared my Happiest Oscar Viewer game, and I was the second happiest Oscar viewer. Laurie beat me out, but also because she had two things listed for some categories.

Kelly prepared a BINGO sheet, but nothing shook down in a way that caused any of us to win. If only one person had told their kids to go to bed! Or, if only I had looked more closely at my BINGO sheet instead of taking the one on the top.

The night of the Academy Awards remains my favorite annual TV event. I learned that when there is no host, things clip along. And also it’s awkward at the very end when there isn’t an official person to see us off the air.

Skating at Oaks Park

The Rosetown Ramblers went skating at Oaks Park and I had a quite good time.

The skates I rented. Though skating is fun, my feet hurt while I’m doing it.

Look at the price! Yikes!

If I wanted to, I could join the club that makes Oaks Park their home.

But I could probably not join the speed skating club.

I was surprised at how crowded the rink was on a Sunday afternoon, but I guess indoor family fun things are a big deal in February. I managed the skating quite well, and had enough fun that I envisioned a future where I took all the skate classes and became a really great skater.

And then I talked myself down. The joy of being in my 40s is that I can remind myself to focus on the many things I already do that I love.

And also, skating hurts my feet.

My first bombe

Mom wanted a white chocolate cheesecake for her birthday so I made it. The recipe said I could make a bombe, or a regular cheesecake and I went with bombe. It involved buying a stainless steel bowl, but that was probably the hardest part of the process.

Here it is before I added the white chocolate icing.

And here it is after icing and adorning with chocolate curls.

Snow!

It’s just past seven o’clock a.m. and I can tell that I’m the third person to walk to the train this morning.

It wasn’t enough snow to be a bother, and not nearly the amount of snow that was predicted. This is the snowstorm that has reminded me why I never let myself get excited about Portland snow forecasts. Often they are much ado about nothing.

Over 10 years of living with my stove and I finally discover…

…holy crap, the top lifts up for easy cleaning!

I’ve been trying to clean that drip pan area from the top through the burner holes the entire time. This is much better!

This all came about because both large elements gave up the ghost and I bought four new ones, plus new drip pans. In doing a thorough scrub, I happened to lift the stovetop up and to my surprise, it moved!

Here’s to new features on old appliances.

The evening in which we throw axes

Matt visited his brother in Indianapolis earlier this month. He sent me pictures of him standing in front of a bullseye painted on wood next to a hatchet wedged deep into the wood.

“What is this?” I asked him

“Ax throwing,” he replied. “It’s a thing here.”

“I’m surprised we don’t have that thing here,” I typed

Turned out, we did.

We threw axes at Jack Axe, which is located in the Tiki Family Fun Center in Gresham. We arrived 20 minutes early as requested, heard the safety information and the lesson and then were set loose on the range with four other people.

Our four other people turned out to be great fun, inventing different ways to throw an ax (on one foot; with your eyes closed!) and providing challenges such as affixing a $5 bill to the target. It made our 60 minutes go by quickly.

I was able to hit the target several times. It’s a very satisfying sensation when the ax sticks. Jack Axe wets down the wood, though, so I’m not sure I would have such good results out in the wild.

At $20 per person for 60 minutes, this wasn’t fun enough to meet that high money threshold, but I enjoyed myself and am glad to have done it.