29 June 2009


School ended last week, and so far we are having what you might call a blissful summer vacation. The weather has been gorgeous -- sunny, warm but not hot, with enough rain to keep things green, and a few nice thunderstorms. The kiddos are playing outside daily, and are fairly committed to their daily chore schedule. Mostly they're happy because I'm being more permissive about video games and computer games.

We really started our summer fun before school was out though, with weekend activities like strawberry picking, a Father's Day visit to the science museum to see some nature films, Father's Day brunch at our favorite diner, and two or three trips a week to various parks where Greg and I have been playing lots and lots of frisbee.

Greg is busily preparing for his defense, but his schedule is much more flexible and relaxed now than it was in the weeks before he turned in his thesis, so we're all enjoying spending more time together. He's arranged to keep working at the university once he's officially done, continuing to do research for his adviser, but with a significantly higher salary and more regular hours.

The expected increase in income has us shopping already. We recently bought a new camera, only to discover after bringing it home that our computer and printer are both so outdated that they aren't compatible with the camera's memory card and software. Luckily Greg's laptop is compatible, although it's going to be a bit of an inconvenience to upload all of our photos to the laptop and then transfer them to the desktop. (In other words, no photos for the blog for the time being.) This has gotten us thinking about upgrading to a new computer in the near future as well.

We've also started car shopping. We've had our current car for five or six years, but it's a 15-year-old vehicle and we've had to make a lot of repairs and replace a lot of parts in the last couple of years, so we're finally upgrading to a car from this century. Interestingly enough, looking at new cars has made us value our old wagon even more: our two requirements for a new vehicle are that it has at least as much space as our current vehicle, and gets the same or better gas mileage, two criteria which are surprisingly difficult to find in one vehicle.

Even car shopping has been a lot of fun though. The first place we looked was at a tent sale at the local mall, where they served free food, and where a clown provided free balloon hats, candy, toys and face paint for our kids. Another chain of dealerships is running a special where you can get free tickets to a local amusement park just for test-driving a vehicle. They must be getting desperate to sell cars in this economy, but we'll take it.

I don't expect to be blogging much this summer -- there's just too much to do to spend much time inside at the computer. For once I'm actually feeling ambitious, and I want to take advantage of that while it lasts, as ambition is not one of my stronger qualities. I hope you're all enjoying your summers as well!

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