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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Yardwork Season Begins This Week!

Yes, snow-shoveling season is over, and now it is the season for yardwork. It has been getting warmer and sunnier with periods of rain during the past few weeks. What this means is that the grass in my yard has spurted into a new season of growth. And along with the grass come lots of weeds.

This weekend I mowed my lawn for the first time this year. I saw several places where weeds of different types (including clover) were growing in patches. I will probably have to get the weed-killer out next week, and go over my lawn with it to begin the season off right.

Otherwise, the week was mostly uneventful. My work also kept me reasonably busy with meetings to attend, presentations to prepare, spreadsheets to put together, etc. I guess I should not begrudge a little activity on the work front because that is what I get paid for anyways! I also continued doing some research on vacation plans.

I have been watching the closure of several European airports over the past week because of the eruption of the volcano in Iceland. What a mess! Luckily, I was not on vacation in Europe when this happened. I can only imagine what people must be going through, stranded in expensive places with hotels and extra meals to pay for while their travel plans are thrown into chaos. It would be a vacation to remember, for sure!

I donated blood yesterday. I do it regularly every 2 or 3 months. Not only is it good for people who need the blood, I also get to know things about my state of health like my cholesterol level, iron level and things like that. This last time, my blood pressure was surprisingly low (100/60, as opposed to a usual level of between 110 and 130 over 60 and 80). My pulse was also only 54. The nurse doing the screening asked me if I did vigorous aerobic exercise on a regular basis. And then it dawned on me that these could be the effects of the interval training I have been doing for the past several months. I guess the thing really does work!

If you remember the story "The Unlikely Hero" I published in my blog before, I got some good news about that story this week. As I mentioned in that post, the story was written by my daughter for a story competition. She actually won one of the third place prizes in that competition according to the website of the sponsoring organization. They published the names of 2 first-place winners, 2 second-place winners and 2 third-place winners. They never sent us an email or any other notification about the win, so I have no idea even when the competition was judged, and when the prize-winners were announced.

For now though, the only prize my daughter has won is seeing her name on the website. No mention of any physical prizes of any sort. But I hope this win gives her enough confidence to write more. When she write, she writes really imaginative stories in flowery language far above her grade level. But she gets very little time to write, so a little external encouragement like this is always welcome.

My blogging proceeded with not much change from the week before. On Monday, I published a post on finding great circle distances in Access. On Tuesday, I published a post on what PCWorld felt were GUI features that Apple stole from Windows. On Wednesday I completed my series of Vedic Mathematics posts on finding square roots. On Thursday, I published a funny essay written by Mark Twain about ants. I laughed hard enough reading it that I had to stop and wait for my eyes to stop watering to continue reading!

While reading some news on the internet on Friday, I came across a comment on a news story that was breathtaking in its cluelessness! I simply had to let the world know about it. So, that became a post on Saturday, complete with screen-shots and what-not!

Once again, I got visitors from 4 countries to my blog this week. The countries were Guam, Netherlands Antilles, Belize and Bhutan. The most interesting flag of them was Bhutan's by far. A flag divided into two diagonally from top right to bottom left, with the two halves of different colors, and a complicated dragon/lion figure straddling the dividing line in the middle of the flag. Very interesting, as I said.

With these 4 flags, my flagcounter now sports flags from 126 different countries. I wonder what new flags will show up in the coming week! I never realized my flagcounter would be quite so entertaining to watch grow!

I guess that does it for this week's news from my side. I am hitting the stage in my blogging where I am in danger of things to write about. I really have to rack my brains to come up with something to present in the coming weeks. Maybe, I should take a break from this sometime to rethink my strategy better. Stay tuned to find out how it all goes . . .

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