Category Archives: Uncategorized

Holidays 2023

December 2023

Greetings from the Rotton / Finifter household!

Sam, who turned 18 this year, had a year filled with accomplishments: he made Eagle Scout, graduated high school, and recently got his drivers license. This fall, he started at our local community college, Montgomery College, where he is working towards an associate’s degree in digital animation.

Sasha, now 15, also had an eventful year. At the end of her freshman year at Walter Johnson High School, she won a departmental award for child development, one of the few underclassmen so honored. Still active in theater, she appeared as an ancestor in last spring’s school production of The Addams Family, and this fall she starred as Goneril in King Lear. She is also president of her school’s Educators Rising club, as well as publicity manager for the school’s drama program. She also spent much of the summer volunteering as a Counselor in Training at Lessans Camp JCC, working mostly with four-year-olds, and hopes to be a paid junior counselor this coming summer.

Over the summer, we were finally able to take our long-planned cruise to the U.K. and Ireland, sailing out of Copenhagen. We were so excited to see our family friends Hennie and Tommy in Denmark, and visit with many of Mark’s U.K. relatives in Liverpool and Anglesey, Wales.

As for the adults, all has been pretty much the same. Tracy is still running her own website development business, working with other agencies as well as clients across the U.S. Mark’s employer was acquired by a new company late in 2022, but with a federal contract firmly in place, not much has changed in the day-to-day. Lois continues to knit, and knit, and knit some more.

We’ve prepared a slideshow that highlights our year:

Summer Vacation 2017

Another summer vacation is in the books. This year, we took a road trip through the southeastern United States. The highlight of the trip, of course, was the Great American Eclipse, which we saw at totality in Hopkinsville, Kentucky with our friends Tara, Doug, and Liam.

Our activities:

  • Furniture shopping in High Point, North Carolina
  • A day at Nashville’s Adventure Science Center
  • Seeing Rifftrax live in Nashville
  • Visiting the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • A day at the amusement/water park
  • Exploring Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Solar eclipse viewing in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
  • A visit to the Makers Mark distillery in Loretta, Kentucky
  • Horseback riding in Snowshoe, West Virginia
  • Buying way too many books at the Green Valley Bookfair in Virginia
  • Wine tasting at Shenandoah Vineyards

A @SashaRotton Dictionary

If you ever want to have a conversation with my daughter, it would be helpful to know the following words:

ORIGIN sounds like applesauce

choo choo
ORIGIN from the sound that trains make

hot dog
Mickey Mouse.
ORIGIN from the “Hot Dog Dance” at the end of every “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” episode.

food she likes.
ORIGIN I think she got this one from the Internet

sweater or sweatshirt.
ORIGIN I have no idea

Thoughts 19 Hours Later

The few who've managed to touch the iPad so far seem pretty much sold on it.  Fox News' Clayton Morris, for one, can't wait to get his hands on it.  But I'm not sold yet.  Maybe I will be once they appear in stores and I can try one out for myself.  But until then, I have a few specific problems with it that lean me on the "not buying" side of the fence.

1) No camera, ergo, no video chat.  How *great* would this have been as a Star Trek-style communications pad?  Unfortunately, this is a hardware limitation and would require a whole new revision of the product in order to solve.  I do believe the iPad will eventually have a camera, and I think there's a bit of disappointment amongst all the Apple fanboys and fangirls that it doesn't have one now. (Still don't get the purpose of a microphone with no camera in this day and age. Strikes me as really strange.)

2) Perhaps there will be a third-party solution to the camera thing, but that brings up a separate point.  What is still not known is Apple's degree of allowance regarding hardware expansion devices.  They, themselves, have come up with several add-on devices that connect through the dock port: a card reader, a USB-adapter (again, for connecting a camera), and a mechanical keyboard.  But their control over the dock port has been extremely tight on the iPhone and iPod Touch to this point, so I'm not optimistic that they'll be any more open on the iPad. Hopeful, but not optimistic.

2) No multitasking.  Frankly, multitasking on the iPhone/iPod Touch doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  There's just not the screen real estate to run applications side-by-side, so you can really only do one thing at a time anyway.  True, there's the whole issue of background notifications that was a thorn in the side of IM client writers, among others, for a long time, but Apple essentially addressed that using push notifications.  And yes, I would really, really like to listen to Pandora while web surfing on the iPhone and I can't do that now.  Those things can (and should!) be fixed.

But the iPad is a different story.  How great would it be to have on one half of the screen some sort of ESPN or NFL app listing all the scores and stats, in real time, of games in progress, and in the other half of the screen your Twitter client of choice where you can carry on a conversation lamenting how your team can't get it done in the red zone? (Forgive me, I'm a Redskins fan.) On the sleek form-factor of an iPad, without bulky keyboards to take up space, well *that* would rock.

And *that* could be solved in software.  The next round of Apple rumors is likely to involve iPhone OS 4.0, and whether multitasking will be unveiled.

So I'm in "wait and see" mode. I still love the idea, I'd just like to see some of these issues addressed before I send in my preorder.

Posted via email from taupecat’s posterous

Martha Coakley’s Mr. Burns Moment

The moment when Martha Coakley compared Curt Schilling, the hero of the 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series win, to a Yankees fan was the moment she lost the election.  It couldn't have been any plainer had she spat out, Mr. Burns style, a piece of Blinky, the three eyed fish.

Hopefully, that one moment in time hasn't doomed efforts to reform healthcare, but it may have.

Posted via email from taupecat’s posterous

I’m for Conan

So now Leno is portraying himself as the victim in this whole mess?  Really?  I’m sorry, but his whining and complaining has gotten him everything he’s ever wanted.  He’s a three-year-old, and NBC are the over-indulgent parents who’ll bend and break to his every whim.  Even listening to his “explanation” of everything on his show last night is disgusting, because he makes it like all the decisions were being made between HIM and the network execs, without ANY INPUT FROM CONAN WHATSOVER. WTF???

The only way for NBC to make this right is to cancel Leno’s lame 10 P.M. show, fire him, and keep Conan on “Tonight.”  But that’s apparently not going to happen.

I’d boycott NBC for all of this, but I don’t watch any of their shows to begin with.

(On the flip side, I’m not sure 11:35 is big enough for both Conan and Dave, as their styles tend to attract a similar demographic.  But with Leno frelling up the ratings leading into it, it’s impossible to know for sure.)

I just wish I could stay up late enough to watch any of these shows without being completely dead the next day.

Posted via web from taupecat’s posterous