Young Again!

I’m taking two community college classes with my son Dan this term. For the first time since I graduated from Oregon State University in 1982, I have a student ID!

(How do they get pictures to come out so badly? Amazing!) Anyway, I’m looking forward to all sorts of student hijinks, all-night bull sessions, begging my mom for money … the works!

We’re taking a screenwriting class from the redoubtable Linda Hamner and an acting course from the inimitable Rod Davidson, both Hollywood professionals. Great classes, and the screenwriting class is starting to put ideas into my head…

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The iPod Touch as the Ultimate PDA

I’ve turned my iPod Touch into the ultimate PDA. It wasn’t hard, because it’s pretty good out of the box. But I had to adjust a few things:

Enable Calendar Sync. Karen and I keep our days coordinated through Google Calendar. When we make an appointment, we enter it on our iPod Touch’s calendar immediately and “invite” the other person so they’ll know what’s up.

The iPod Touch will stay current with your Google Calendar (or whatever calendar package you use on your PC) whenever it’s connected to a wireless network. I really like Google Calendar, but the iPod Touch will sync with Outlook Calendar and plenty of others. It works great.

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Suppose You Lived Next to Lover’s Leap?

Suppose you moved into a house on a cliff over the ocean, with the world’s best view, and then discovered that it was everyone’s favorite place to commit suicide?

Don Ritchie accidentally bought such a lover’s leap house. (Click the link to see the article.)

His solution? While yelling at the realtor and moving out immediately must have crossed his mind, what he actually did was go out and talk to the jumpers as they’re getting ready. Given the option of jumping off a cliff and stepping into his kitchen for a nice cup of tea, hundreds have opted for tea over the years.

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“Skirts on Camels” — Victorian Lady Adventurers

This article about Victorian lady adventurers — or “skirts on camels” is worth reading. It highlights the adventures of Amelia B. Edwards and several other maverick Victorian ladies with a thirst for adventure.

I’ve republished Edwards’ A Thousand Miles up the Nile, her fascinating travel book about Egypt and Egyptology from the 1870s. Edwards was a famous author in her time, and went on to found the Egypt Exploration fund, which exists to this day.

While you’ll enjoy reading her book for its own sake, it’s made doubly delightful by its tie-in with Elizabeth Peters’ Egyptology-themed Amelia Peabody mystery series, whose main character is clearly based on Amelia Edwards! This means that A Thousand Miles up the Nile acts as a must-read sourcebook for fans of this best-selling series.

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Time to prepare for winter!

The weather is turning colder but we’re having an unusual string of sunny days. This is good! The cool temperatures are a clear warning about winter coming, overcoming my procrastination, and the sunshine makes it easy to prepare. My wardrobe has already changed — I’m in flannel-shirt mode, and will be until April.

Because of the work we had done on our water wells, we have exposed piping that has to be winterized, and it’s time to mow the pasture one last time before winter sets in. It won’t do to have tall grass up against the sides of the house in the winter — it leads to rot.

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