austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

For it's the land unknown to man

I'm sorry to be unexpectedly late last night, but I had honestly expected to get in before midnight and that I might have time to spend editing my humor piece. My excuse is that I went to visit my niece, and my sister-in-law and her husband. Partly this was just to be sociable and because I hadn't seen them in too long. My other brother also dropped a hint that they were concerned that siblings weren't visiting them more. Well, I'd taken their comments on arriving home that they didn't want to overwhelm the child, or themselves, at face value. This shows what comes of actually listening to what people say they want and respecting that. In future, I must do better at ignoring them, although I did e-mail ahead of time to make sure it was a convenient day to come up.

Since they live near Rutgers I figured it was also a good chance to visit the library, return some things that I've had out for way too long, and take out new stuff for extended visits away from the Alexander Library. This required driving a completely different route up than I usually do, but Google Maps assured me traffic was only heavy in a few spots. They're correct if by a few spots one means the entire highway leading up to Rutgers. Well, the traffic gave me an excuse to drop into a mall for a while and buy a new, thinner, belt, even if it didn't clear traffic any. By the time I got through all this it was nearly 8:00 and getting on my niece's bedtime.

Still, I'm pleased to report that the young lady is doing very well, and has discovered the important educational value of throwing the bucket full of Duplo blocks out so as to swiftly empty it so she may put the bucket on her head. She is also making extremely good progress on closing the door on her parents and uncle, to shove it back open again to the delight of everyone involved. And the day before she had her first cake-baking experience with her mother, producing a set of three bunt cakes; according to reports she shows particular excellence at the parts of baking where you lick batter and, later on, stare appreciatively at baked cakes. These are important skills to have.

In other news, I saw at McDonald's a kid I assume dressed for Halloween, as he was dressed as a gorilla wearing a feather hat. As I live in a trick-or-treat-proof neighborhood (mostly retired folks, after all) it's good seeing hope for a strange coming generation.

Trivia: The cost of ocean passage from New York City to Panama and then from Panama to San Francisco at the start of the Gold Rush of 1849 ran between $200 and $500 depending on the class of accommodations. Source: The Age Of Gold: The California Gold Rush And The New American Dream, H W Brands.

Currently Reading: The Crisis Of The Old Order, Arthur M Schlesinger, Jr.


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