Monday, November 17, 2008


OK- it seems that I have not yet learned to effectively photograph snow falling. But that's what this is: snow falling- a far cry from this:

which I photographed a mere couple of weeks ago. Many of the roses were still in bloom! Wow- what a colorful autumn it was.

Last week I had to buy a new furnace. I learned a thing or two: furnaces are really, really expensive; they're complicated to install; they smell ghastly when turned on for the first time (no pun intended, but it works); if you want one right away, you'd better have connections. (My "connection" was my realtor, who has bailed me out of several situations.)

A major change has occurred in the setting of my house. The house is on a public park, and there was a city-owned building, used until a few months ago as a recreation center for seniors, which was situated kind of right next to my house:
This is what the building looked like through a window from inside of my house:
This happened:
And this is the result:

The view from my house is now this:

So the view is better. What is not better is the quality of life of all the local senior citizens who fought mightily against the demolition of their building. The city moved their activities to a room in the middle of a large rec center serving all ages. It's not the same, the seniors bemoan, and it sure doesn't have as good a view as their old center which was perched at the end of the huge public rose garden.

Then there's The Child.
He's owned a high quality laptop from a very early age. He has always loved technology and has been fascinated by the latest electronics. That's been clear for a long time.

Like many boys, he can't stand school. I have bent over backwards trying to figure out what to do about that. Being convinced that he despises reading, writing and arithmetic, I sought to discover his REAL interests so that at least I could offer him extra opportunities which would be meaningful to him.

Computers were always a major interest, so last summer I signed him up for computer camp in another city. He enjoyed it, but came home saying what he REALLY wanted to do was learn to program using C++.

Long story short: I FINALLY found a grad student computer geek willing to take on The Child. Finally victorious, I ran to tell The Child that I had set up his first computer lesson for later this week- all he had to bring was his Macbook, and this was his response:

"I'm NOT going!!!!"

"WHAT???? This is all you've talked about for months! Yopu knew I was moving heaven and earth to find a programming tutor for you!"

"NO!!!!!! I WON'T GO!!!!"

Hours later, after extensive prodding, pleading and manipulation, I finally asked the right question (I don't even remember what it was) and the response was:

"I want to program on a PC! C++ is for PC!!! I don't WANT to take my Mac! I've already taught myself Apple Script and I'm over it!"

Dumbfounded, I remembered the Apple Script book I had bought him after camp. Apparently he used it. But a PC? The Child had always been one of those arrogant Mac loyalists, constantly looking down upon PCs, constantly making fun of mine:I never thought I'd see the day, but it appears that another Mac user has converted! I guess the only thing we can count on is change....


Monogram Queen said...

You are so right, Betty. The only thing we CAN count on is - change. Oh and that our kids will usually do the exact opposite of what we want them to! LOL
Good luck with the Child and school. I don't envy you that particular battle.

Betty said...

Dear Patti,

Hopefully you won't face too many of these school issues, since girls seem generally better suited for school. There are books written on this subject, which i'm now devouring.....


Lynilu said...

Oh, NO! The Child has gone over to the dark side!!!! sob, sniff.

Actually it is goo for him to be familiar with both kinds of technology. It will benefit him in the long run.

But as for me .... I will never abandon my Mac. Never! NEVER, I say!!!


Betty said...

Dear Lynilu,

I had no idea about the Mac side of your life....

I do agree with you- that it's ideal for him to "swing both ways!"


Loving Annie said...

Monogram Queen said it better than I could have, Betty !

I envy you the snow - and your pictures are always beautiful. The place you live in/what you see is just gorgeous.... Every season...

Sorry the old folks lost their home but glad the parking lot doesn't look too dreadful, which it doesn't.


Betty said...

Dear Annie,

I do wish I could send the snow your way. It's cold, damp, and dangerous to drive in. Having lived with it my entire life, I've had enough.

And apparently the city is going to turn the site in to a grassy area, which is MUCH better than a parking lot. The parking lot which was already there remains, but I can't easily see it from my house.


Priyamvada_K said...

"Hours later, after extensive prodding, pleading and manipulation, I finally asked the right question"

Ah - I can SO relate to this :). Hitting on the right question after a slew of wrong ones....Parenting is THE toughest job.

I'm impressed with your computer-savvy kid...C++ at so young an age? Wow.


Betty said...

Dear Priya,

I'm glad you can relate to the difficulty in finding the one question that actually brings results. And I just found out some great news: the university here is offering a brand new summer camp this summer, in which one of the offerings is C++ programming for kids!


Laurie said...


That is just soooo sad with that
senior center....

Boys...they are all the same when
it comes to things....My brother
was teaching his computer teacher
in college....Funny....That's what
your son will be doing...He'll be
teaching the teacher!

HUGS to you and the child!!!!!!!!!!

Betty said...

Dear Laurie,

Yeah, no doubt- I can't wait until he's teaching the teacher!

I miss having the seniors around. Now it's just a bit too quiet here. I tried to help the seniors fight, but you can't fight city hall!


Big Dave T said...

Let's hope your son doesn't end up like mine--he's enjoying his college education so much he's entering his sixth year there. Talk about expensive. I'd rather pay for a couple furnaces. (I may end up doing so soon anyway; I have no idea how old my own furnace is but it was here when we bought the house 16 years ago).

Betty said...

Dear Big Dave,

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your furnace is on its last legs. You may even be on borrowed time. While you're writing out the check, just remind yourself that it's a lot cheaper than a semester of college.


Anonymous said...