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The Other Shoe Drops

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Carol’s home and sound asleep upstairs, after having her right foot fixed late this morning. She won’t be walking unassisted for a couple of weeks. No problem; she has a knee scooter, crutches, and me. Oh, and practice: Having had her left foot and ankle repaired on Halloween, we both know the drill. Time and love will do the job. Our nephew Matt and his beautiful fiancee Justine will marry this coming August, and damn, there will be dancing.

The surgery RN asked Carol about her allergies, and Carol wore the fire-engine red badge above during surgery. No cats or mangoes were encountered, nor any other difficulty. The surgeon came out to the waiting room to let me know all was well, with an X-ray of Carol’s foot in his hand. He explained the pins and the bones and other things that lie far outside my core competence. My main question was simple: Is my forever girlfriend all right? The answer was all I needed to know: She is.

The Pack is over at Grandma Jimi’s getting washed and groomed and will then spend the night, so for now peace reigns at Phage House on Stanwell. When we dropped them off, Jimi gave us a crockpot full of home-made chicken soup. There’s most of a very good pork shoulder in the fridge and another in the freezer when we finish that. I laid in a couple of bags of Costco torta rolls and a fresh quarter wheel of Stilton cheese. We’re short on diet ginger ale, but the wine rack is full. If there’s any hunger in this house in the next week or so, it’ll be the sort of hunger where most of TV is from. (Especially The Weather Channel, more on which when time allows.)

Not much to report, which is good. I’m currently writing a summary of coding GUI apps in Python using Tkinter, followed by a summary of coding GUI apps with FreePascal and Lazarus. Then this interminable chapter will be over.

More tomorrow.

Daywander (Again)

I guess for symmetry’s sake I have to hand you two Daywanders in a row. Blame symmetry if you want; here you go:

It’s (almost) all good news. Carol is improving daily, though still using crutches for long hauls. Her foot hurts when she uses it too much. She’s about to begin physical therapy, which should help. And in three weeks she goes in to get the other one done. We knew this winter was going to be spent mostly at home, though neither of us fully appreciated just how at home we were going to be. Then again, dancing with that girl is as close to heaven as I’ll get on this old Earth. It’s not even three years until our 40th wedding anniversity celebration. Dancing you want? Dancing we’ll give you!

Our Lionel trains are up! It’s been several years, but with a little unexpected help from Jim Strickland, the Camel and the GG-1 are tearing around a longish loop that now surrounds both of our livingroom couches, powered by my formidable Lionel ZW. We put some liver treats in Carol’s 1959 hopper car, and of all the Pack, only Dash was willing to chase the train around and scoop the treats up out of the hopper. He was also the only one willing to grab Louie the Giggling Squirrel from the same hopper.

I find myself renewing an old friendship while writing a chapter on programming. (The book itself is largely about hardware.) Back in the early 1990s I spent a certain amount of time with Tcl/Tk and much enjoyed it. Visual Basic was brand new, and creating GUI apps was still mortal drudgery facilitated by the king of mortally drudgerous languages, C. In 1993, all you got with Tk was Motif. Funny to think of Motif as a bottom-feeder GUI now, when back then it was nothing short of breathtaking. Today Tk gives you native look-and-feel, and there are bindings for just about any language you’d ever want, and there are more computer languages these days than mosquitoes in Minnesota. I’m using a binding for Python called TKinter that basically gives you Tcl/Tk without Tcl. That’s good, since Tcl is a bit of a dud as languages go and the main reason I dropped Tcl/Tk like a hot rock when the Delphi beta wandered in the door at PC Techniques. Python isn’t Pascal but it’s way better than all the toothless C wannabees that represent the sum total of recent language research, especially JavaScript, the Woodrow Wilson of programming languages. If you just can’t bring yourself to use The Kiddie Language without falling into fits on the floor and drowning in the dog’s water bowl, well, Python and TKinter represent the easiest way to lash up a GUI that I’ve ever seen.

Then again, Delphi and Lazarus are just better.

Carol and I got the Christmas cards out today. It didn’t get done last year because Carol’s mom was failing and we knew we had only one more Christmas with her. Between Carol’s foot and my book project it almost didn’t get done this year either, but we’re trying to get back real life as life should be lived. Christmas cards are part of that. No complaints.

Bad news? Not much. I was pulling a pizza out of the oven a couple of nights ago, and fumbled the pan with my gloved right hand. Fearing that dinner was about to go jelly-side-down on the kitchen floor, my reflexes put my un-gloved left hand in the line of fire, and whereas I saved the pizza, it came at the cost of second-degree burns on two fingers and the thumb of my left hand. It’s not bothering me as much today as yesterday, and my typing speed is slowly getting back to my accustomed Thunderin’ Duntemann (Thanks, Fiona!) 100 WPM. But I promise you, the next pizza that gets wonky on me is gonna go jelly-side down, while I stand there and laugh. I may be 61, but I learn.

New featured pairing: Stilton cheese and Middle Sister Rebel Red wine. Very good news.

As most people have already discovered just sticking their noses out the back door, 2013 looks to become one of the ten coldest years in US history. It may not be global, but damn, it’s cooling.

And that, my friends, makes me look to my now-empty snifter of brandy and egg nog beside the monitor. Time for a refill. Long past time, in fact.