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Steve Simmons
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Vacation log, part 4: Tuesday was Grand Canyon day. The north rim isn't open yet, but I gotta say, the south is pretty freaking spectacular. And that was in spite of a grey day in the middle 60s. The 30-40MPH winds blowing  directly into the canyon probably prevented us from doing anything excessively stupid to get a good picture. We got some great framing shots of interesting points, and took a lot of broad landscape shots of the canyon itself. I've not looked at the latter, but am absolutely sure they will be a pale shadow compared to being there.

From there, it's off to Sedona for a more leisurely stay.

Vacation log, part 3: Our Monday trip to Four Corners could have been a dull driving day, but we took the scenic routes where possible and it was freaking gorgeous (pictures, eventually). We did the obligatory 'stand on all four states at once' bit, then took a little swing through New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Despite some issues with losing connectivity, we managed to find our way back to the main roads and headed for our intermediate stay hotel before heading off for the Grand Canyon.

Vacation log, part 2. Saturday afternoon we arrived at the Long's place in Phoenix. Eric, Donna and Derek are some of our favorite people, and they make their guests very welcome. Eric was arriving at the airport about the same time we did, so we had a friendly native guide to their place. We spent a lovely day bouncing around with them, and that evening we all had dinner with Max D Sprinkle and Allison Ruby at Mi Amigos, a very tasty little Mexican place. Sunday was spent lazing around, then early the next morning we were off to Four Corners.

Our vacation trip to the Southwest got off to an auspicious start. In the airport security line ahead of us was Chad Childers, a friend I'd not seen for seven or eight years. We got (re)introduced to his family, two of whom hadn't been born the last time we met. We then split up, with them headed for Florida and us for Phoenix. We saw them again at the outbound gate, as we both had the same first step to Chicago and a long layover there. So what would have been a time-killing lunch at Midway became a leisurely and very pleasant meal.

Spinning off from a comment by Xydexx - I used to rely on someone's bookshelves and music stacks to tell me about them. Damned difficult with epubs and mp3s.

Yesterday afternoon I was in Lowe's and bought flower seeds. I am such an optimist.

The last two months I seem to have recovered my reading habit - 12 books in 8 weeks. Nearly half were off the to-be-read pile, and only a few new ones got bought.

I should write some reviews, that'll slow down the pace. But first, I gotta finish "Cloud Atlas."

Earlier I noted that last year we didn't even use one gallon of fuel for the snowblower but this year were already on our third. A few weeks ago I gave full superstitious thought to the idea of pre-emptively getting a fourth in hopes that the weather gods would then attempt to screw me by not giving us more snow.

Sunday I mixed up gallon four. Should have known....

Things found while cleaning up other things - a conversation between me and co-worker. For those who've not encountered my Out Of Context Quotes before, these are true stories stripped of the context. Sometimes context is removed to protect the participants, sometimes because it's funnier without the context. From 2009:

Steve: (walking down the hall carrying a mace)
Tom: "Where are you going with that?"
Steve: "A funeral."

Yes, I was really going to a funeral. No, neither the mace nor I had any involvement in the passing of the deceased.

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This is a pretty good idea. For the TL;DR crowd, Brazil has developed a method to radically improve tax reporting by adding a bit of data to receipts at business types where tax compliance is otherwise difficult.
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