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Book clubs, other adventures

Started: 2008-04-24 20:05:10

Submitted: 2008-04-24 20:50:57

Visibility: World-readable

Kiesa started a science fiction book club at the newly-opened Erie Community Library. We're now meeting on the first Monday of every month. We're having something of a slow start; this month only the two of us showed up to discuss Hunter's Run. (I read the book in a weekend two weeks before the meeting and e-mailed Kiesa my discussion questions. We ended up having a small discussion based on my questions, then left early.)

Among other signs of spring (the near-eighty-degree temperature yesterday and the budding of my back yard lilacs), April has brought one unwelcome aspect: pollen. My eyes started itching this evening, after I left work but before I made it home; I was pleased to discover one last ten-milligram loratadine tablet in my backpack while sitting at Hacking Society a few minutes ago.

I'm enjoying my new computer, but I have to confess I'm having some trouble with my wireless card. Ubuntu helpfully installed the old, deprecated ipw3945 driver, complete with a binary-only daemon; this binary-only daemon tended to hang at random times, sucking all of my CPU cycles; I was occasionally able to recover by switching my wireless card on and off (using the helpful hardware switch), but more often I would simply have to reboot. I downloaded and installed the open-source and supported iwlwifi 3945ABG driver, which seemed to work a little better, though it interacts poorly with Gnome's network setup daemon. (I have to say that I'm impressed by the Gnome network setup daemon; it intelligently roams wireless connections based on the available ESSIDs.) I've had a few possible stability problems with the new driver as well, though it's hard to tell for sure. (It's also possible that the driver and firmware had a negative affect on my wireless network's stability.)

On Saturday, I hiked both Green Mountain and Bear Peak. I started at the South Mesa Trailhead until I realized that I couldn't park legally there (both parking lots were overflowing); I backtracked north into Boulder to the Shanahan trailhead and hiked to the Mesa Trail, which I followed north to Bear Canyon; I turned west and hiked up the canyon to Green Mountain, then backtracked to follow the west ridge of Bear Peak to the summit. I thought about crossing the saddle to South Boulder Peak to make a three-peak ascent but decided I didn't have enough time to descend Shadow Canyon, as I had originally considered. I descended the snowy and slippery North Ridge of Bear Peak, then continued down Fern Canyon to the Shanahan Trail to my vehicle.

This weekend, my plan is to spend most of my time in the yard; I think it's time to boot-strap my sprinkler system. (I know I need to replace one particular sprinkler head that died at the end of last season and I decided to ignore it until now, and I'll probably have to dig something else out and replace it.) I also need to expand my irrigation system to cover the western side of my yard; I'd like to irrigate the lilacs I planted last year and the junipers I haven't yet planted. I need to fertilize my lawn and shrubs. I may also end up planting perennials (though the last frost hasn't necessarily past yet), or at least scoping out space for future planting.

I need to photograph and post the asparagus growing from where I planted it last year.