Saturday, September 18, 2010

Late Night Adventures

I suppose 10:45 pm isn't really late night, but it is for us old folks.

Cale and I had given up watching the Back to the Future marathon on the ion channel (which appears to be some sort of wholesome broadcast channel that usually only shows reruns of Without a Trace, Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer) and were heading to bed when Cale noticed someone running across our lawn with a flashlight. Seconds later our neighbor was at the door, "Your horses are out."

I am sure you have already figured there is no way that Cale and I own any horses, but our other neighbors do and two of them were out in the middle of the night, running next to a state highway with a 55 mph speed limit (the highway, not the horses). Not good for the horses or for the unsuspecting driver that might hit one.

Luckily they galloped back through our yard and into the neighbors'. The pony ran back into the corral and the owners were able to get the other one on a bridle (I don't know horse terms, but there was some sort of rope involved) and lead it back into the pen (if horses have pens).

Strangely enough this isn't the first time we've dealt with our neighbors' loose animals or with escaped horses. Three weeks ago, while celebrating Cale's birthday, some of their goats got out and Rob used his expert country skills to wrangle them back into their pen. Two years ago Cale and I were house-sitting up the hill from Apia (capital city of Samoa) when we looked outside to discover horses on the tennis court. They ran out on to the road and galloped up the mountain. Cale stood in the middle of the street and directed the horses home when they came pounding back down the hill. He's lucky he didn't get trampled.

On an unrelated note, we've been nursing a sick cat. Smack's been acting a little strange the last few days (though he hasn't peed on anything in a week [a week ago he peed in our friend Lindsey's purse. That's right, in, not on. On her phone to be exact]). He had a large, raised scab on his head. Yesterday day, he'd been favoring that area of his head and hadn't been opening his right eye all the way. We broke out the scissors and clipped all the fur from around his scab and started fussing with it. After aggravating it a little, the most amazing amount of puss started to pour out (oh, no, there goes Sara taking about puss again). That's right, Smack's gone and gotten himself an infected abscess again. With all my boil experience, I know how he feels. We've been cleaning him out and putting bactriban on it and he seems to be feeling better. Hopefully we won't have to take him back to the vet, the last visit was pretty pricey for what they eventually diagnosed as an imaginary disease (yet still prescribed steroids and antibiotics for).

Last night we went crazy and stayed up until 11 pm. Looks like tonight we are going to try for midnight.

— Sara

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Purchasing is Political

Dear Target,
You've broken my heart. Over the years I thought I had gotten to know you, trust you, even love you. You were everything I was looking for in a department store. Where else would I go when I needed a cat toy, new bedsheets, school supplies and t-shirts in one stop? Walmart? Walmart is the evil empire, but you are Target. You were different. Maybe I was just letting the graphic designer in me cloud my judgment with its love of you displays and products. I thought you were more than just a pretty face, I thought I saw something good on the inside too (founding sponsor of Weekend America, you).

Now it's like I don't even know you anymore. I gave you my wallet and you've gone and thrown it in the trash. Target, how could you do this to me?

I think we need to take a break. I have started seeing other stores. They can't give me everything, the way you once could, but they don't cheat on me with bigoted politicians either.

This doesn't have to be the end of us. I could see it in my heart to take you back if I knew you were truly sorry and I could trust that you had changed your ways.

Regretfully,
Sara

PS. Tell your friend Best Buy I am not talking to him anymore either.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wait...Where Am I?

Yesterday afternoon I was in a computer lab having a class on the program I will be using for my statistics class (it is called SAS in case you were curious) and I was having strange flashbacks to Samoa. Someone has drawn an Excel table on the whiteboard. There were more students then there were computers ("you're just going to have to find someone to share with"). In-class notes were Word documents saved to each student's computer (though in this case they were downloaded from the online class management web site).
Computer programming: The manipulation of data by means of writing instructions in a particular computer language

Computer language: A collection of words and symbols assembled according to a precise set of rules and are interpreted by the computer to accomplish a variety of tasks.

Syntax: The set of rules of a computer language.

Computer program: A set of instructions written by a user in a particular computer language in order to carry out one or more tasks. In this class, our computer programs will be used to read, format, organize, manipulate, analyze, and report data.

Record (AKA observation): Any one of the horizontal rows of a file representing all of the data maintained for a particular unit of observation

Field (AKA variable): Any one of the vertical columns in a file that represents a single piece of information about all of the entities of interest
All my fellow Peace Corps Samoa ICT volunteers know what I am talking about.

But this time I was the student, not the teacher.

One other note from my statistics lab last night. Visual proof that Lotus 1-2-3 references still exist in the real world too:



— Sara