Mom said I should journal about the lights. She's read my journal long enough that she can pretty much pick out what would make a good entry. I think she should just start her own account. She's a fantastic writer, for one thing. For another thing, and this may shock some of you, I come from a woman who has a lot to say. She values privacy and worries about confidentiality, but I've come to realize that it's an issue with everyone over the age of 22. It was a tough adjustment for me to make, being a livejournaller and graduating from college. In school you can write about everything, and suddenly you get into this job world, where you're in a company that doesn't want everything you know about them shared about the world, and you're with people who aren't much into the internet and think you're a freak if you blog. For a while I just didn't write about anything, entries dropped off. But the older I get the more I realize that there are just a lot of common stories, ideas and situations that are job-applicable, but not job-specific, if that makes sense. You learn how to find things to write about that don't get you in trouble. it's cool.
SO anyway here's the real entry for today: my dad used to always do the christmas tree lights, and I started helping a few years ago, and we've both agreed to a single running philosophy as far as this goes. Two important factors: you must use lights from last year, because if you don't, that's a waste. Second, they must blink. for some reason, blinker bulbs seem to have a shorter life span than other lights, so we use replacements, and sometimes they don't work and you can't really explain why because the voltage levels all match up. I mean, if you put in a two volt bulb and it blinks really brightly once and then dies, then obviously you should try a three volt one, right? If the three volt bulb is dim and doesn't blink at all, then you've reached a scientific impossibility, and you stare at it get another beer and try to explain to mom why THIS WILL WORK.
it's more than science at this point, it's tradition. we don't light the house. it'd probably kill us.
but anyway, it's 2:00, I have the tree all lit and mostly blinking, so it's decoration time. gotta get off the internet.
speaking of work, I did write a really good (IMHO) article on spacefem.com about what engineers do, since I read that most kids don't want to be engineers because they don't know what the hell we are. just food for thought, especially if you want to be an engineer like me.