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austin_dern

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Dec. 13th, 2012

I took the morning flight so I'd have time to see my niece and sister-in-law, and possibly my brother, and that is what I got to do. Well, I had to kill a little time while my niece was still in school, but that's fine, as I was able to putter around Rutgers a little bit. It also gave me time to get a little bit used to the rental car, a Kia Soul, which came without hamsters but did have a rear-view camera for backing up which after about the third use I found I could no longer live without.

My sister's doing fairly well, relatively. She and her daughter have been trading illnesses since about the time of Hurricane Sandy, but right now everybody's off antibiotics and not feeling bad simultaneously, apart from needing more sleep. Between hurricane, the following power failures, and sickness she's way behind on making stuff for Christmas, but they have got the tree and the decorations --- somehow cadged from a department store that was getting rid of their old stock, so they have some really giant shiny spheres to hang off the balcony --- up.

My niece, who by the way reports that she's a tiger with wings and a magic horn (as is her mother; her father is a tiger with wings alone, the magic horn being something for the women of the family) was her typical rather active self. I was a bit wiser this time in playing train and avoided skinning my knees. She was willing to grant me the dignity of being at tiger, too, at least after I proved myself to be a very silly frog and then horse. She also handed me her Tinkerbell guitar and told me to play; I explained, ``This is a little something from the Buggles called `Video Killed The Radio Star','' although her guitar was badly out of tune and I can't play guitar. Her mother smiled. It came out much nearer the start of ``I Am A Camera'' anyway.

In puttering around I did get her nicely stumped by asking what the difference is exactly between a ``leap'' and a ``hop'' (her mother realized now she was curious, too), but she didn't advance any answers. She also graciously allowed me to color in some of her Dora the Explorer book even after I asked her whether a penguin could be green if he really wanted.

I ended up spending most of the evening there, incidentally picking up from my brother some leads on silly little app-type stuff which I might be able to code, if I'm actually able to. We'll see.

Trivia: Apollo 17's lunar rover vehicle drive time was 4 hours 29 minutes. Source: Apollo By The Numbers, Richard Orloff. NASA SP-2000-4029.

Currently Reading: The Duke's Province : a Study of New York Politics and Society, 1664-1691, Robert C Ritchie.

PS: How Big Was West Jersey?, which started out as a really simple little word problem and then spun into trying to track down an obscure point of colonial British North American history in a quest for authenticity that no person would ever care about.

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