Last Sunday, jebra, mbumby, and I went to the zoo. The sky was overcast when we arrived, but I got a really good shot of one of the tigers anyway. And a number of eh photos of spring flowers. Somehow jebra managed to gain possession of the camera when we reached the giraffe and zebra enclosures, so he was the one who managed to photograph the giraffes running around. In real life, running giraffes look really neat. On a still photograph, not so much.
It started to rain while we were watching the giraffes, so jebra made me put the camera away. I know he was right, but I wanted to keep it out because I kept spotting things that would either make nice photos or that were far enough away that I could have used the lens to get a good look. Like the unidentified birds nesting in one of the trees. Whatever they were, they were obviously large and social. There had to be at least a half dozen nests in the branches of the same tree.
On Saturday, I spent the early afternoon watching the FIRST Robotics Competition on the NASA channel and trying out gnucash. gnucash seems to be a fairly reasonable substitute for Quicken, however it lacks supercategories, which is a feature we use extensively. (Supercategories allow expenditures in multiple budget categories to be added together. For example, how much does a trip to Minicon really cost once the gasoline, restaurant meals, hotel bill, con memberships, memorial t-shirts and incidental costs are figured in?)
The other problem I have with gnucash is a problem I have with Quicken, namely the inability to close out records at end of a fiscal year. It annoys me to see accounts that were closed five or even ten years ago listed among the active accounts. I also discovered that I cannot delete voided transactions from gnucash and that accounts containing voided entries may not be removed. So if we were to switch to gnucash, I'd have to choose between (A) starting fresh and manually re-entering the information we wanted to keep and (B) maintaining obsolete accounts. After three or four hours of horsing around with gnucash and several more thinking about what I'd learned, I concluded that for the moment my best bet would be getting jebra to install wine or some other sort of virtual machine and moving Quicken from the laptop I want to retire to my desktop computer.
I also discovered our checkbook is out of balance. After work last night I spent a good three hours trying to figure out what went wrong but am no closer toward getting it to balance. If anything, the difference between what Quicken thinks and what my physical checkbook reports has more than doubled. Annoying, that.
Two other annoyances involve crochet. I started a simple chevron striped afghan, but the pattern is giving me fits. I'm never sure where I'm supposed to be in the pattern and, as a result, the rows aren't lining up exactly the way they should. I set the project aside last night and started working another pattern. This time everything lines up the way it should, only when I my initial chain the afghan seemed too small (I want an adult-size afghan and I could hold the entire chain across my body without having to stretch). So I doubled the size and went to work. This morning I discovered the the afghan is now so long that it not only reaches from one side of the futon to the other, there's enough to drape over the edges. I suppose it might make a nice bedspread, but that wasn't really what I was after. I thought this would be another of my afghans to go up for auction (for charity, not to make money for me), but I'm concerned the pool of potential buyers will be too small. Opinions, anyone?