On vacation at home

Pete and Debbie’s plane finally arrived at SFO at about 7:15 last night, more than three hours late, and by the time we got home (after stopping to feed them — since the flight was only supposed to be two hours long, there was no food on board other than pretzels and “nutritional bars”), it was quite late.

We’re supposed to be on vacation this week, but since Jeffrey’s in school, we can’t go very far. Today, we took a nice walk after breakfast; then, since it was lunchtime, we walked to lunch — the same walk, as it happens, since that’s where the closest restaurants are. Oh, well, I needed the exercise!

After that, I had a conference call I couldn’t avoid (I’d suggested scheduling it for today before realizing I was “on vacation”), and then we visited the Saab dealer to get our new, slightly smaller keys, and then Fry’s to return my failed X-10 ActiveHome controller. Returning things to Fry’s is always an experience — this one only cost me an hour or so. And they didn’t have any more ActiveHome controllers (they had a huge stack a week ago; maybe they were all bad?), so I’ll have to find one elsewhere later on.

This is definitely not a high-pressure vacation so far.

How do you read a ruler?

I got an odd e-mail from my mother yesterday. One of our cousins is a teacher in Richmond, and she asked Mom if I could find anything on teaching the kind of “rulers” I used to use in school. I guessed that what was meant was slide rules, and I sent off a pointer to Sphere Research’s Slide Rule Universe, which has more than you need to know about slide rules — and even a 43-page brochure from Pickett on teaching the slide rule.

This morning, I got a reply from my cousin — she didn’t mean slide rules — she meant rulers. Plain old regular rulers. Apparently some of her 10th grade students can’t read them, and it’s not covered in high school curricula.

I did a search, with limited success; I don’t know if it’ll help her or not (I did find a $149 instructional videotape on the subject, as well as some porn — I doubt either of these will be useful), but we’ll see.