Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm back, and my computer works

I've been pretty much off the computer for about 2 and a half weeks and haven't posted in at least that long. It feels like quite a long time after a year of twice-weekly blogging.

I do have a couple posts in the works and they will be up soon. The temporary interruption was due to a combination of factors. I finally took my computer, which hasn't been working all summer, in to the computer hospital (aka EfCom). I had been having trouble with it ever since changing the OS so that I could switch from MobileMe e-mail and website hosting to iCloud. Diagnosis and repair meant that I didn't have access to my computer (or our wireless internet) for a week. Remember when none of us had  internet access and we didn't use our computer every day? How did we live like that?

Anyway, the computer hospitalization happened immediately before a family trip to Michigan and Pennsylvania. The trip was busy and exciting and though there was plenty to write about, I didn't have internet access in Michigan and somehow I just never got around to opening the computer (except on the plane to play a "Tangled" DVD for my daughter).

I used the computer hospitalization week to finish building what is probably my last big piece this summer. I have a few more SRAM supports to finish for it, but then I should focus on glazing and firing for the rest of the summer.

last big SRAM bike part piece

On Friday I finished the piece, covered it in plastic and immediately started to pack. We visited my mother-in-law in Seattle and saw the Blue Angels (from a distance) before flying off to Marquette, MI in the Upper Peninsula. My folks recently bought a house on the big lake and our first visit overlapped with my brother's visit. We did a whole lot of playing on the beach and in the water and also ate a ridiculous amount of ice cream. It was one of the most relaxing trips I can remember, very enjoyable.

a view of Lake Superior from my parent's cabin

We then met my husband and his side of the family in Pennsylvania where his sister lives. The PA visit was excessively busy and the highlight for me was visiting Hershey's Chocolate World (I've always wanted to go and I was not at all bothered by the crass commercialism or the huge crowds. In fact, by all my usual measures, I probably should have hated it, but I loved it and basically just giggled the whole time). I think my daughter also liked it, but the highlight of the trip for her was seeing my sister-in-law's parrots. She has two large (loud) macaws, a snuggly cockatoo and an elderly conure.

I don't know a lot about birds and didn't realize that the adjective "snuggly" was appropriate for a cockatoo. The cockatoo also plays chess. The disadvantage of four parrots is that they also serve as loud, permanent and inflexible alarm clocks. The first morning my daughter, not yet fully conscious, groggily asked why the dinosaurs were waking her up. All you need to know about macaws at 6am: they sound like dinosaurs.

playing chess with Zeenah (the cockatoo)

Various groups of Dorns also went on a Harley-Davison factory tour, drove to Maryland for a really hot seafood festival (humidity, yuck), took a scooter tour of covered bridges, rode on an Amish buggy and visited plenty of playgrounds (with and without parrots).

After a lazy week in Michigan that seemed to zoom along, a jam-packed weekend in Pennsylvania that felt like a whole week (in a good way), we flew home via a route that seemed to last a month and took us to 4 different states, 6 different cities and involved us with three different airlines. We ran through two different airports and actually caught the flight we were running to in the second airport. We flew over a huge wildfire on the way to Seattle and didn't realize it was near Yakima until we discovered it again driving home at 3:30am. It was a strange, surreal sight. I was half-asleep so it took me a while to understand what I was seeing; scale and distance were hard to judge. Since the fire was so vast, it seemed like it must be closer to us than it was.

After passing the fire, we were even more thankful to spend that night (morning) in our own beds.

Coming soon to this blog: finished work, glazing and pre-school kids' clay projects. Today I am firing a kiln and maybe I'll have a chance to throw a bit.

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