Tuesday, May 28, 2002

The long weekend

I've been storing up things and links to write about all weekend. I was going to write earlier today, but then I read that Susie's friend's friend was killed in that train wreck in Mozambique. I had been imagining only too vividly the scene of the wreck after reading earlier that drivers of private automobiles were taking the wounded and dying to hospitals, because I remembered, as a child, coming across bad car wrecks on two occasions in neighboring Zambia. Once we took someone who was bleeding with us, and one time I remember someone being loaded into the back of another Land Rover.

So how does one then transition to the trivial events of one's own life relative to the suffering so many are experiencing? I don't know--and I think the confused grammar of the previous sentence reflects that disjointedness.

I had a good weekend on many levels. Friday I worked at my secondary job and scanned documents all day. The computer lab manager helped me figure out a system to scan about 50 pages, which I was going to go ahead and re-type because my first scanning attempt was so time consuming. The PC scanner is broken and won't be replaced until July; the scanner software attached to the Mac scanner doesn't convert scanned images into editable text. Therefore he figured out how I could scan the documents on the Mac, save them to a disk, and use the OCR software on the PC (TextBridge) to convert the image files to rtf files so I could then edit them. It felt so good to find a competent person to help me solve my dilemma. TextBridge is a much more sophisticated OCR program than the one I had to use previously at the other lab, so I will save tons of time (and quantities of boredom) editing. Because the text is a mixture of words and numbers with some handwritten notes, there are still a lot of weird formatting codes I have to clean up, but it is faster than re-typing would be. Also, with TextBridge I can save individually scanned pages into one file rather than having a separate file for each page, which then all have to be merged. So that was my 10-hour work day Friday, as boring to read through as to sit through, no doubt, but what a sense of accomplishment!

On Saturday I loaded my bike onto my bike rack on the back of my car, swung by the Farmer's Market to buy strawberries and a basil plant, and then went to a free "how to maintain your bicycle" workshop at the store where I bought my bike nearly two years ago. We learned how to remove a tube and tire, repair a punctured tube, and put the tube and tire back on the rim. We also learned about adjusting the brakes and gears, as well as oiling the chain. I bought a few supplies (a compact bicycle tool, as well as a tire repair kit with pump) so I'll be prepared if I need to make any (basic) repairs. Then I came home and oiled my chain and figured out how the gears work. I grew up riding a one-speed bicycle and never really understood how the gears on my new bike worked. It felt good to take the time to figure out something mechanical (at least to a certain degree). I still need practice knowing which gear to select when I'm riding and how to shift smoothly. I then went for a ride around my neighborhood. At the end of the day I was dirty and tired, but that night when I struck a match to light one of the burners on my gas stove, the smell of the lit match took me right back childhood and that wonderful sense of contentment from having played hard all day outside and coming in for supper just as it's getting dark.

Sunday was Trinity Sunday. I already wrote about the liturgy and sermon in my offline journal. One quote from Pastor Peg: "It's better to be at risk in the hands of God than to be safe in one's own hands."

On Sunday afternoon I went on a home tour of seven houses in my neighborhood, The Historic Highlands. It was fun to see inside the homes I walk by so often! One of my favorite houses was on the tour, the Lacey house, a classic Craftsman "bungalow" with an enormous California live oak in the front yard. The chimney and front porch are constructed with massive river rock boulders. Unfortunately, good pictures from this year's tours haven't been posted yet, but some of the previous years' tours have better photos. I really like that I live in a very modest duplex for a reasonable rent (although not quite the bargain it used to be...) but so close to beautiful, historic homes with incredible mature trees.

Sunday night I cleaned out and reorganized my Tupperware and yogurt containers and recycled glass jars cupboard. Monday, I tackled the garage, buying big plastic containers in which to store my household supplies I don't have room for in my one-bedroom duplex. Because the garage is porous (i.e., you can see the sky through the siding) anything in the garage has to be containerized to stay clean. The kitchen is looking much better (i.e., you can see patches of countertop) and the living/dining/study room is progressing, although piles of papers still cover most elevated surfaces (but not the floor!).

Well, I think this entry is quite long enough, so, until next time. Yours truly.

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