Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Vacation Ramble

I had a very busy month in July, starting with creating the index for Microsoft Excel 2010 Inside Out by Mark Dodge and Craig Douglas, which reminded me of the amazing increase in utility of spreadsheet programs over the last couple of decades. Then I drove with Jan (my wife) and Hugo (my dog) to Whidbey Island in the State of Washington, where my stepson Evan Ritter married Tess Altiveros on the 31st.

I started working on some blog posts while I was away, but they need more work, so expect to see them start appearing here in the coming days.

Along the drive I saw an extraordinary amount of construction work being performed on the highways. Some is probably the usual summer work, but a lot is doubtless funded by the federal deficit. So look to a higher tax load or even lower services some time later this decade. It takes time for stimulus funds on construction projects to get rolling, but in this case it has taken longer to get out of recession mode than usual.

Whidbey Island was beautiful, I am glad I was able to visit. I saw a lot of old friends and made a few new ones, I hope. Evan is a theater tech person and Tess is an opera singer, so the wedding was a bit of a performance. Held at a friend's farm, it featured fantastic singing and music by Evan and Tess's friends.

I loved strolling on the beach with Hugo (and sometimes Jan joined us!). There were many sea birds and a heron to view, plus a variety of clam and other shells. The long days began with fog, but there was sun in the afternoon, so it warmed up to just about perfect. It was hard to imagine the heat wave hitting much of the rest of the nation. On the other hand I lived in Seattle already for a couple of years, and the dark, moist winters are not appealing.

Now I am rolling up my sleaves. I have a lot of work to do around my home, from watering plants to starting to cut up wood for winter heat. Another election is upon us, and Mendocino County, the State of California, the U.S.A. and the globe seem just as misgoverned as ever. The economy is improving, but with that I worry that the rate of environmental destruction will ramp up again. Religious fanatics, Roman Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist and even atheist, are ever ready to make stupid faith-based decisions, including to kill people who don't share their faith.

It is a mad but beautiful world. Keep coming here to share thoughts on it.

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