Tuesday, April 25, 2006
p.s. Mrs is back, life is better.
Friday, April 21, 2006
I'm a bit tired right now. My 'sleep of the dead' became less than restful after an early morning fire-drill with the kids. Right now, I'm exhausted actually. I had a few drinks with the 'Gang of 5' at the local pub and my motivation ended up in the urinal. I'll post more eloquently about last nights travails later on. Honest.
And here we go. We arrived early enough for swim practice yesterday so that I was able to spend a good 15 minutes with the Twin Tyrants. There is nothing more entertaining for them than creating tsunami in the pool and swamping their poor exhausted father by leaping in at the same time. I can't look away or shield myself for fear of loosing sight of them as they disappear into the murky depths. All four feet of it. Lilliputian Davy Jonses Locker. Not very briny, but terribly cold. Yes, cold. Not the heated exercise pool, but the refrigerated lap pool. I think they add some sort of glucose component so that the water can dive to K -1 without solidifying. Actually, I would not be shocked if they had some sort of artificial singularity in the recycling filter that keeps the ambient temp so low. But I digress. I let the chilled water wash over me as the kids crawl in and out without assistance from a staircase or ladder. Progress. Now I know that they can get out of trouble if they should ever fall into a pool. They are officially better off than most kids their age. Funny thing, when we got to the pool, all but the center lane of the 7 were occupied so we used that one. When the instructors broke from their koffe-clatch, they came to our lane so I did not have to haul the reluctant ones out of the drink. That cold air would guarantee an immediate potty visit. Moments later, after I had gotten dressed (and air dried, forgot a towel) I started reading a bit out of Atlas Shrugged (henceforth to be referred to as AS). A couple pages after the Reardon Trial, I looked up to see Jovial Jacob being escorted to me with his hands neatly tucked between his legs. Yep, potty time. He was entirely blue. As if he were some highland Scott out for a brawl with the Romans. Shivering away, we drained the offending fluids and returned. Within minutes, Alexis (who proclaimed that she peed in the pool yesterday) needed to make a pit-stop as well. What is good for the goose, gander, and so forth don't you know. The practice was cut short a few minutes as the Formerly Jovial Jacob began to wail and utter contentious complaints about how his bones were becoming frozen. I could not deny that their tiny 35 lb bodies are unlikely to retain enough heat for their muscles to work for long. A bit of snuggling, a dry towel and a sucker softened the pain a bit.
Picked up the pizza at Real Italian Pizzeria V2.0 and had a quick word with the owner/proprietor/Immigrant. I let him know that his pies passed the Manhattan Mrs test and the kids liked it as well. We talked about his thin crust, the new employees and the kids. Good man. The kind who's establishments I enjoy patronizing. Off to the manor with garlic bread sticks quickly disappearing in the hands of the Children of the Consumption Gods. At the manor, we did a few rounds on the Death-Race 2000 Tricycles before I informed the kids that it was time to go in. The sun is beyond the horizon so the skeeters are looking to come out. Yes, as well as greens in the garden we have a battalion of skeeters coming out of the wood-work. Jake is unconcerned about that and REFUSES to budge. I go to fetch him as Alexis complains that she needs to pee NOW. I increase my gait to a slow jog and Jacob flees. Alexis complains louder, I run faster, Jacob dodges. I catch him eventually but Alexis has stopped complaining. I look at her as she is standing legs a foot apart. She has a very concerned look, and I know what is happening. Curses, time for a change of pants.
It's 0230, Jake and Alexis have completed their multiple nightly flights before settling down. He strolls in and kicks me to the floor. Sigh, such a persistent little bugger. I'm tired enough to let it slide. After sustaining several crushing blows to my internal organs, I look over at the clock and see it's 0555. I'll get up and fetch Alexis so she can start the morning off dry. Too late ... again. I change all her clothing (somehow, every stitch was soaked) and the sheets. Her pillows were spared this time. I'm going to have to start waking her at midnight and getting her to drink less when she swims. Reminding her that she peed in the same water she is gulping has not seemed to dissuade her.
Get to the DayCare/ReEducation Facility by 5 after 0700, deposit precious cargo and supplies, evacuate by 0715. Even with that compressed schedule, I still need an hour plus to get to work. Accident, Turnpike, Slow lane, cars remain to block traffic. Blood pressure, rising, vision, blurred with rage. Might be time for a beer for lunch. Or two.
Technorati Tags: Swimming | Children | Family
Thursday, April 20, 2006
- LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - Officials urged a small farming town in southern Peru to evacuate on Tuesday after a volcano sent smoke and ash 2,600 feet into the air, but residents were reluctant to leave.
"A yellow alert has been called, which means precaution due to emission of gases and steam," Armando Minaya, head of the geophysical institute in the southern city of Arequipa, told Reuters.
Technorati Tags: Global Warming | Snark
Physically quantifiable properties by volume
Karate practice. Mostly, it is training on how to follow instructions. If you remember the abuse that was heaped upon Ralph in the Karate Kid my Mr Miyagi, well, there you go. It did not make sense till the rubber hit the road. For now, the kids are going through a set of physical calisthenics and mental training on discipline. It seems a bit silly to fork over hundreds of dollars to have someone else tell your kids to do push-ups, but as far as I'm concerned, I get 1 hour three times a week where I can read a few pages out of Atlas Shrugged. I actually got to the part where Reardon was being preached to (indoctrinated) by Francisco and the namesake phrase of the book appeared. Good stuff. It only took me a few chapters to figure out where I had left off since Jake decided that my book mark was inappropriately placed. I'll be reading more at the swim lessons tonight. I might actually finish before I die of old age. Odd thing, when some of the other less radically minded folks around me see the book, they tend to be less inclined to ask me who my favorite participant in 'American Idol' is. I wonder what they would say if I brought in my current copy of American Rifleman.
After the Karate Five-Finger-Death Point Blow Training, we went home to ride tricycles on the mile long drive till sundown. At that time, Alexis the Agitator informed me that she wants a pink bicycle now. You see, we saw a little girl with her shiny pink ride on the sidewalk and now it is the focus of all thoughts for her. I informed her that if she was good till Christmas and wrote a really eloquent letter to Santa, perhaps she would get one. She agreed, but I'm fairly certain that she was considering kidnapping Blitzen and ransoming him off for the illicit gain that is her new fixation.
It's roughly 2215, the kids have been in bed for a short time. As scheduled, they will both vacate their snuggly cocoons of down pillows and 1000 thread sheets and seek me out with some contrived story of why they need not be in bed. At the same time, the Longing Mrs calls on the cell phone ... and Family Friend Pete calls on the Main Trunk. Egads! I had just gotten off the line with Fellow Knight Rhett. He called to let me know that all our insurance policies went through and he will want to meet up with us again. Especially Jacob. He and Jake are fast friends. In any event, the collusion among all parties to vie for my attention at nearly the same moment in time is highly suspicious. I'm thinking its subterfuge on the part of Butros-Butros Gali. No, I'm certain of it. I'll be watching for black helicopters ... just got done lining the inside of the manor attic with tin-foil. Expensive proposition ... took quite a few rolls.
Peculiar bladder habits have been the vexation of my life of late. Alexis, with her dainty retention, actually got up the other night and went pee by herself. Great! This past night, she did not get up but still peed by herself. ARGH. Poor girl is mortified when she does this and just lies there awake, softly sobbing. I know she will come along, I just wish it would not crush her so. I'll have to watch her fluid intake tonight and boost her confidence. She could use a good cathartic series of bathroom successes. Perhaps she will abandon her nihilistic view of the potty.
Traffic SUCKED this morning. Yet another accident between 309 and Mid-County and the congestion due to construction barriers is becoming intolerable. It seems to be wide-spread on other arteries as well, or so my co-workers tell me. I'm fairly certain it has to do with my slightly later departure time. You see, day-care opens at 0700 so I can not get on the road before 0715 no matter how soon I evacuate the Manor. Perhaps, I should complain to the auto manufacturers and ask them where the hell are all the flying cars of the future. You know, the stuff we were told of in out youth which would appear in the new century. Stupid Turnpike.
Technorati Tags: Karate | Family | Potty | Turnpike
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Technorati Tags: Children | Oklahoma | Terrorism | Conspiracy
Not much to say about yesterday other than I spent much too much time wrestling with the evil that is VB.Net and it's accursed datasets. I'm probably going to spend way too much time on this. I know what I want and the logic is fairly straight forward, it's the mechanisms behind it that I'm going to have to decipher.
Swimming lessons went well. Managed to conduct the Search & Recovery mission quickly enough in spite of the awful traffic conditions. We had sufficient time to do about 15-20 minutes of 'free-form' swimming before the lessons began. This quality time with daddy consists of the Twins repeatedly climbing out of the pool so they can jump in and swim to me. I then lift them out of the water and launch them towards the stairs so they can climb out and repeat. It's more of an upper body workout for me than it is for them. It does burn off some of that pent up energy before the lessons and the do gain a little courage as well. Not as much hesitancy about doing things the swim instructors (with hairy faces) ask them to do.
Recently, Jake has started with a dry cough and Alexis has been sniffling some thing fierce. I'm afraid that we have something worse than a cold going on here. No, the issues my include allergies for Alexis and asthma for Jake. The Mrs and I will have to bring this up at our next pediatric visit. I am certainly hoping that this will be yet another case of over-reaction. The up side is that if Alexis has allergies, she certainly does not have my immune system and will most likely not be subject to my condition. Jake ... well, we will just have to keep an eye on him. His immune system is much like mine in that it overreacts to everything. At least we know what to look out for.
A little good and bad news to wrap up with. The Maternal Mrs arrived back home from NYC shortly after we got to the Manor last night. Since it was still light outside, we let the Twins draw on the Mile Long Drive with various colors of chalk while I planted several packs of seeds among the tulips and daffodils. So much space in the front garden beds now that I've removed this one onerous bush. I also had a few moments to put in a Pink Fringed
Bleeding Heart which should do nicely where the Flowering dogwoods once were. While rooting in the dirt and yanking out onion grass, I noticed that the squirrels were at it again. Digging up bulbs and spreading havoc in general. Destroyed one of the potted flowers and snapped off the top 3 inches of one of my older Asiatic lilies. Little varmints. Time to buy a shotgun I tell ya.
Back to the kids. I had set out dinner before leaving for the swimming lessons so when the time came, the Mrs just needed to reheat the meal and slide it to the ravenous tykes. A short time later, the MIL called and was complaining of stomach discomfort. Long story short, the calls to and from NYC continued throughout the night and ended with admittance to the hospital. Fortunately, her cousin was in the area and was able to bring her in to the emergency room. The Mrs will be heading back up this morning instead of Thursday night and I was in charge of internment of the twins at the Day Care/ReEducation Facility this morning since she was busy making arrangements. If anyone has a spare moment, drop in a quick prayer for the Mrs and the MIL. There needs to be some minor surgery but since the MIL does not speak english, the Mrs needs to be there to make sure everything is taken care of and explained. Eldest daughter is a tough slot to fall in but she is making the best of a difficult situation. The mettle of ones character needs to be fired in the kiln of adversity.
Technorati Tags: Swimming | Family | Gardening | Illness
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Bold, stoic stand
1) The Maternal Mrs is off to NYC to tend to the Fragile MIL and it is up the Tyrannical Twins and myself to keep the Manor secure till her return. Sure, she'll be back for Wednesday but will immediately turn around the following day and disappear for the rest of the week. On that day, I'll be able to 'Assault the Jungle' that mimics a the lawn, but I'll certainly need to up my porter count. Keep loosing the poor buggers to some sort of predator. Most likely a mutant ear-wig. On the other predator front, it's my hope that the karate and swimming practice will be more than enough to keep the twins sufficiently suppressed. Perhaps a bit of play-time in the Twin Towers Sandpit will sate their appetite for destruction. I'm thinking of making them steak for dinner one of these nights. Extra rare, like their prey of choice.
2) Trying to sneak out of work early is a bit difficult at my place of employment. You see, the CEO/President for Life has his office situated at the front entrance and the VP of Dev/Wife of CEO is seated at the other servant's entrance which is about 15 meters away from the other. There you go, no other exit. They know when you arrive and leave. Well, at least I think they do. It could be that those are actually really good holograms but there might be cameras monitoring and sending interrupt data to a crafty AI program that makes it appear that they wave at me. They both went to RPI and worked at DEC so it's hard to say. My only alternative is to throw bricks at the window outside my sensory deprivation chamber in hopes of crawling out over the shattered glass. Thus far, this has provided mixed results. I have yet to escape since the bricks hit what appears to be glass but is most likely some sort of anti-aliased carbon string polymer that deflects the brick with radically increased force which then strikes me square between the eyes ... usually resulting in me loosing consciousness. I'm out of work at that time with 'lost time' and giddy vivid waking dreams. It's unfortunate though that the bricks wear down in time from the excessive force that blunt-force trauma brings. Soon enough, my beloved brick can only muster the crushing force of an over-ripe pineapple. Then I only get a bit of dizziness and a goose-egg. No pleasantly numbing sensation as I collapse to the floor. Just uncomfortable swelling and the expense of having to buy a new brick. It is my conclusion that having windows really sucks. So does MS. MS Windows is nearly the worst. Office for MS Windows takes the cake. Or brick. Either way.
3)Karate practice went very well for Alexis this past evening. There was very little hesitance and she did her 'paralyzed with fear and shyness' thing for a bit. One of the Instant Death Karate Instructors noted that she might be left handed because every time they try to teach her a move, she does it backwards. Either she is copying what she sees or her dominant hand is influencing how she performs complex moves. I'm wagering that it's the left handed thing that is going on. Grams also noted that 'Alexis the Angel' prefers to eat with her left as well. I suppose when I'm teaching the Tyrants to write letters, I should ask Big Little Brother for some advice on how to script with the 'devils hand'. He's a brilliant lefty as well. Here I am, stuck with the plain old ordinary right. Beh.
4)As a side note, the Mrs is away so I had to go solo on the dinner/play/bath/bed thing. Tonight, Jake AND Alexis got up multiple times between 2130 and 2230 hours. Alexis figured that since Jake was doing it, she might as well join in on the fun. Our sequence consisted of : Need New Book, Potty, Medicine, and finally a desire to sleep on the couch. Alexis demanded a kiss from mommy so I had to perform a surrogate raspberry.
5)Final FINAL note, traffic was nightmarish this morning. The usual congestion was compounded by a tractor-trailer accident just beyond 309 and a multi-car between 309 and 611 where I get on. Major Bumper-sucking orgy of love and warm feelings. More than I could certainly brook. I ate the extra 15 minutes it would cost me and drove on the surface roads till the slip-line onramp just before 309. I had to grind through a mile or two of the automotive no-mans land, but it was certainly better than the alternative. The worst thing about it is that I was up at 0600 this morning but the kids were not interested in cooperating (since they were up late) and I ended up running about 30 minutes late. Urgh. Mommy-Dooooo, where are youuuuu?
Technorati Tags: Children | Family | Karate | Multiple Sclerosis | Grass | Work | Traffic
Monday, April 17, 2006
Ahh, the grinding gears of the IT industry have shuddered to life again. As I settle back into my pigeonhole of eternal belittlement, I think back on the 'arduous' journey I took yesterday which brought me back to my rightful place in the world. Fellow cogs beware, for I preach the heretical liturgy of living OUTSIDE THE BOX!!! The prophesy of the new age of gearless processing shall be fulfilled! Death to all those who oppose us and stand in the way of jeweled reticular motion! Ahh ... oh, ahem. As I was saying, the long and butt-numbing journey started as it usually does; a warm and long good bye ceremony at the FOB starting roughly around 1615 hours. The kids wail, gnash their teeth and advocate an extended stay by whatever means possible. Since the Family Tank has solid rubber tires with carbon fiber crossweave, their attempts at flattening the tires with flechette rounds were ineffective. After filling up the cargo-bay and attaching the top supplemental storage pod, we were off. Scooby-doo was on the dvd player and the bucket-full of narcotics we slipped the kids was starting to take effect. Within two hours, they both where out cold. Now usually, we would only give Alexis the car sickness immunization but Jake insisted on having his own share in spite of viewing the particularly violent, yet ineffective fight his sister put up. She is not entirely interested due to it's peculiarly bitter taste. Jake will eat anything that does not run faster than he does. They both fell asleep within a few minutes of each other and made the remaining trip a contest of how quiet we could be so we would not have to stop for a rest-room break till we arrived at the manor. With the kids safely in their drug induced coma, I was not distracted by the Tyrants as usual and had CPU cycles available to actually NOTICE things outside the armored bubble for the rest of the trip (before it got dark).
There was a blinking light sign at the PA border proclaiming that April 22nd was 'PA CLEANUP DAY'. Hmmm, as a supporter and advocate of 'Remember the Pay Raise', I contend that November 15th is the real clean-up day. Just my take. A little bit further, I saw another sign on a lot littered with decaying vehicles and other refuse. It indicated that there are 20 acres for sale. No price listed though. I'll wager it's a steal since it is in the middle of Lackawanna county and not near any particular exit on Interstate 81. Potential new home of the Haupertonian World HQ? If the Tolerant and Logical Mrs has any input, all 20 acres would be stuffed up my hind-quarters. Oh snap. I'll have to save my dimes and invest in shares of the family farm I suppose. Far enough that the Mrs would have no fear of residing there, close enough that I would not have to learn a new language, cold enough that AC is thought of as 'strange', windy enough that I could also propose that we grow wind-mills instead of winter wheat. And that brings me to the interesting discovery that we made just outside of Scranton/WilkesBerry on the NE-PA-TPK. Twelve gigantic windmills all lined up on the crest of a hill. I knew we had green energy facilities (Limerick Nuke Plant?) in PA, I just did not know where. You don't see them from a southernly approach but when coming from the North, they are rather fantastic looking. Straight out of some Sci-Fi book cover actually. There are no buildings or anything around so it has a rather surreal appearance. A bit south of there is the NE-PA-TPK tunnel (near Jim Thorpe) that goes through a similar ridge. I'm surprised that there are no windmills there yet. It would be that much more impressive given the visibility of the ridge. Honestly though, I would rather see more nukes than windmills built on landfills.
Technorati Tags: Easter | Family| Landfill| WindMill| Travel
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Super Grams prepared a really wonderful dinner last night: chicken, pastini with bacon, taters with gravy accompanied by a nice glass of Gramps's home-ferment ravat. A great follow-up from the previous night's meal of steamed snow crab, buttered sauted shrimp with garlic, rice and ... her piece de resistance, velvet smooth clam chowder. Yeah, there were nearly no leftovers that survived the next 24 hours. Nothing like Mom's cooking. I can proclaim her accolades without raising the ire of the Mrs since she is an advocate of being a sybarite without knowing the mechanisms by which the feast is produced. Nope, Daddy does a lions share (loin shank?) of the cooking. I prefer it that way, don't you know. It's on those days when I just don't have the energy to cook that a night out (paid for on the Mrs's CC) is well received. That could be good or bad. Either my cooking is horrific al la Lockhorns or the idea of not having to clean up the dishes is worth the price. I'm going with the second with a dash of 'loving husband' to spice it up.
The kids were absolutely zonkers for the egg hunt. Sure, they 'slept in' till 0730 or so. Rip Van Winkle they are not. I was up at 0600 to let the dogs out. Well, that's not entirely honest. The ol' bladder was stirring up trouble for me at about that time so a quick trip was in order. The Hounds heard me and started their cacophonous orchestral composition of wails, moans and whimpers. It's not that the really need to spill forth their reserves of liquid fire and acid, it's just on their schedule. They get fed Hippie Kibble (made from REAL hippies!) at this time so it's more of an anticipation issue than anything else. Back to the kids though. We hid roughly 10,000 eggs filled with dimes, nickels quarters and an occasional bit of candy throughout the FOB the previous night and Alexis immediately (in the dark, no less) spotted a pink one at the bottom of the stairs. I think big-foot, the Yetti and the loch ness monster were waiting down there too but all she could talk about was that durned pink egg. It did not take the two of them long to recon the hiding locations and extract every last one. Every so often, they would happen upon an egg containing some sort of treat with sugar, the contents would be devoured with extreme prejudice. Entire candy-bars ceased to exist within seconds. I could hear a billion candy-bars cry out in horror. There were only 120 or so eggs actually but the speed at which they discovered them was disturbing. I suppose we will have to be slightly more devious next year. No mercy. Stealth eggs and micro cloaking shields.
Easter mass is at 1100 ... we leave at 1030 just as a precaution to ensure that a we are able to find a pew with enough space to hold all of us and a bit to spare for the Twin Tyrants of Excited HyperSpeed Sugar Ambulation. After snarfing down enough chocolate to keep the entire royal heritage of the French Regal line right up to the end. Perhaps Marie would have spouted; 'Let them eat Godiva.' instead? No matter, it was the resulting sugar crash/detox at roughly 1115 that made the French revolution look like a pre-school rave. Let's just leave it at that and that once Jake sputtered out, things became much easier. Right now, though, it's time to convince these little love parasites that we need to drive all the way back to Pennsyltucky. That, friends, is a tale for tomorrow.
Technorati Tags: Easter | Family
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Whenever I visit the Parental Units at the Forward Operations Base in the heathen wastelands of Ithaca, I always end up in strange state of restlessness that feels unsettling. The devil rides upon an idle horse, you know. Other than watching over the kids and helping Amish Dad move a 'kaput' refrigerator from the bottom of the 45 grade base perimeter to the top, I was without tasks. No goals, not an aim in site ... just relax. Befuddling. Most of my duties revolve around bathing and watching over the kids and hounds. These are, as simple sounding as they may be, actually quite draining. The Mrs slept in till past 1000 hours this morning so I did get to spend quite a bit of 'quality' time with the tyrants. Got the bruises and contusions to show for it too. Gramps had to go in to work for the last few days of taxes and the Mrs went shopping along with Grams. Big little brother was busy with his own business so it was up to me to defend the position at all costs. My plan was to drop in the DVD of Narnia that Big Little Brother was kind enough to provide. Plans, yeah. Sure. The Tyrants had other ideas. Seeing that I read the book years ago, I was not in any need for a refresher course but I thought the kids would get something out of it. No, they were more interested in nearly everything else BUT the TV. They were very interested this morning when that cartoon called 'Brats' was on ... teaching our kids to be prostitutes and hoochie-mamas. Bleh. Devil's plot I tell ya. After the Mrs, Grams and Gramps returned, I surrendered to the tides of exhaustion and took a nap. A nice long Dagwood nap. Two even, one on the sofa and one on the bed. Been a long while since I've blew a few hours in such an unproductive way. I did end up taking a walk with the kids after giving the dogs a bath. Not an entirely listless day.
Technorati Tags: Family | Vacation
Friday, April 14, 2006
Last night was a mad rush. Between the horrible traffic volume (fallout from one overturned truck on an Interstate 15 miles away), the swimming lessons and picking up the Pizza from Preferred Pizzeria v2.0 I had a very narrow slice of time to get the lawn turned jungle mowed. With machette in one hand and a train of porters behind me, I hacked my way through the savage heart of darkness .... in the dark. I had neglected to check the fuel supplies and found that not only was the reactor core on the mower empty, but none of our reserve caches were supplied. So, off to the fuel depot I go. Upon my return to the Physical Plant Complex, I found that the Sun was just about to dip below the horizon. There I was, at the crux of a decision and there was few options: Mow in the dark or wrestle with the excessive growth next weekend ... if it did not rain. I know very well that the universe works against me so it would certainly rain the following week. Fortunately, the exterior plasma torches illuminated the grounds nearly to the perimeter. The far strip on the other side of the Mile-Long driveway was unusually overgrown ... most likely from the liquid acid that the hounds had deposited there. Must have mixed with the chainsaw bar oil and the trilithium deposits to genetically alter the DNA of the grass into some sort of kudzu-ish fescue. No matter, I'll use the clippings in the garden by overlaying it on the sawdust.
After finishing several square acres of the front expanse, I went on to a smaller excavation job of implanting three bags of Asiatic Lilly bulbs. I imagine it would have been a bit easier if I were to attempt this in the daylight hours. Makes me wonder if it would make more sense to work nights so I would have a sliver of a chance to see the sun outside of the weekends. Novel concept ... although, I would probably burst into flames much like the Morlocks due to ages of vitamin D deprivation. After gouging holes into mother earth and implanting a dozen vegetative carbon based filters, I wrapped up the evening by moving the last seven 30 gallon refuse bags of sawdust to the back-50 for future consideration. A rather productive evening if I do say so myself.
Friday Morning ... up at 0600. Shut off con-founded alarm and go back to dreamland till 0700. Of course, then I bolt awake realizing that I need to free Alexis from her dream-like bliss and escort her to the bathroom before her frail bladder fails. She is excited about the trip up to the Grandparents and only tolerates the Mrs and I trying to get a bit more rest till 0730. No rest for the wicked nor the parental. The Hounds are making a horrid racket as well and my hopes for a moment more of rest is quickly ground away to the raw awareness that either I take action or they will. When they take action, I end up having to do 'mop-up'. Even the Army Core of Engineers would rather not tame this raging rapids. Yep, vacation for the modern man. And people wonder why I arrive at work with a smile on my face.
Shower, pack, transfer cargo to Hold #2 of the Family tank and we are on our way at 0830. Not more than an hour later, we are nearing the Tunnel of No Return on the North East Extension of the PA Turnpike. It's now raining. Fun times on the road but my mood is buoyant. I've manage to get the lawn mowed. Outsmarted the universe for one. On the other side of the tunnel, ethereal clouds hug the sides of the aging mountains and a fine mist lies thickly over the road. A quick stop at Hickory Run to refuel the gut and another at the Flying J to top off the fusion chamber in the Family tank. The kids empty their bladders at the first and I empty my own at the second. Somehow, the Iron Will Mrs has disposed of waste-waters from her own person by a metaphysical transcendental transfer to a parallel dimension and has no need of a rest stop. Peculiar. I'll have to talk to the boys in the lab about how to do this myself. In a short 4.5 hours, we arrive at the FOB in Ithaca and the warm embrace of Grams. Jake presents Grams with a half-eaten Apple strudle as a 'gift'. It's Good Friday so fasting is on the menu but it is graciously accepted along with a long parade of hugs and kisses. And so ends Day 1 of our Spring 'Break'.
Technorati Tags: Children | Easter | Family| Travel| Grass
Thursday, April 13, 2006
- The top 1% pay over a third, 34.27% of all income taxes. (Up from 2003: 33.71%) The top 5% pay 54.36% of all income taxes (Up from 2002: 53.80%). The top 10% pay 65.84% (Up from 2002: 65.73%). The top 25% pay 83.88% (Down from 2002: 83.90%). The top 50% pay 96.54% (Up from 2002: 96.50%). The bottom 50%? They pay a paltry 3.46% of all income taxes (Down from 2002: 3.50%). The top 1% is paying nearly ten times the federal income taxes than the bottom 50%! And who earns what? The top 1% earns 16.77% of all income (2002: 16.12%). The top 5% earns 31.18% of all the income (2002: 30.55%). The top 10% earns 42.36% of all the income (2002: 41.77%); the top 25% earns 64.86% of all the income (2002: 64.37%) , and the top 50% earns 86.01% (2002: 85.77%) of all the income.
Technorati Tags: Taxes | Wealth
I'm WAY ahead of lileks for once:
- Grilled some steak. First of the year. Marinated it for an hour in Lawry’s new Italian Steak potion; contains olive oil and pepper, which I could have figured out on my own, but it also has magic ingredients with savory names like FD&C #4, or partially hydrogenated uranium, and “spices.” I love that one. Spices. A multitude of trade secrets are hidden in that single word. Like what? Bits-O-Myrrh™? Flecked ambergris? Stood over the steaks while I listened to an old air force general discuss military options about Iraq. I’m somewhat frustrated by people who say we can’t do everything, and therefore should do nothing. For heaven’s sake, we are the UNITED STATES. We’re going to BOMB THE MOON in 2009. But we can’t build a fence to prevent immigration, eh? We could build a fence on the moon. And then we could blow it up. If we wanted.
Technorati Tags: Grill | Meat | Immigration
Once again, Alexis was about as coy as could be. We went home first so I could get the kids into their uniforms and let her calm down a bit before we zipped (read: hammered through traffic as if I were chiseling marble with a limp noodle) off to the Martial Arts Complex of Deadly Arts. The weather was threatening and the humidity in the air (and the pain in my knee) was heavy enough to make me consider getting out the umbrella. It never did come to rain, but I knew if I were to even attempt a pass at mowing the lawn, I would be immediately driven back by a storm that would make Noah quake in fear. I'll have to make a desperate attempt to mow on Thursday evening after swimming practice. Perhaps, I'll have enough time to plant those ferns too. A boy can dream, no? Oh, wait. I was talking about Karate Practice, right? Anyways, it turns out that we were the only students there so the Twins got some serious 1 on 1 time with the instructors. Alexis did well since she was not intimidated by all the shouting and such. She'll be okay probably by the end of next week.
In less than a day, we will be setting out to do Recon and to reinforce the FOB. The Tyrannical Twins will put on their Game Faces and do their best to mesmerize the Grandparents. Expect much consumption of chocolate and jellybeans to commence. Perhaps, I'll get a chance to wash the dogs while I'm up there. It seems that the only time they get a bath is when the Grandparents are about. Is that wrong or what? Speaking of stinky hounds, last night was peculiar given that Katie snarfed down a whole ball of wasabi. I was taking out some table scraps to the composter and when I bent over to pick up one of the aluminum take-out containers I dropped, it rolled out of the container and over the ground (picking up driveway cruft along the way) right into Katie's ravenous maw. Flash forward thirty minutes and said wasabi is now artfully presented on the livingroom carpet. Nice. Word of advice to you pet-owners out there: Man's best friend is a dufus. She threw up one more time before her distress was over, but I learned my lesson. Do NOT let her accompany me to the composter any more. I should have known that from the time I caught her eating a rotten onion out of our open compost pile, but I can be thick sometimes.
Technorati Tags: Martial Arts | Mowing | Rain| Dogs
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
We went to the first night of swimming under new lesson plan. The place was a ZOO. Apparently, the local JCC had a problem with their pool (the bottom sunk out) so they were 'renting' pool time at the same time the Tyrannical Twins. The Little Pool which is indistinguishable from a boiling cauldron was packed with Elderly folk doing Aqua-Aerobics. Good for them, but I sure miss swimming in that warmer pool. Call me a wuss, but in spite of the troubles it causes me, I sure like warm water. Along the sides of the large pool, a flock of troubled parents and shrieking 'non-swimmer' children were milling about. I could tell that the single life-guard was nearing the limit of his frustrations. Fortunately, this is only supposed to last for 8 weeks. Then we can go back to the 'pre-swim daddy-dunking fun time' lead up to the lessons. Of the 8 children in the level 2 class, Jake and Alexis were some of the most confident and strongest swimmers. Makes all those days of 'cold-water fusion' worth while. The female instructors were also quite smitten with Jake's unparalleled attentiveness and liberal affections. Alexis, who is usually reserved, was very nonchalant about the whole situation and is now familiar enough with the male instructors that she does not freeze into a comatose statue at their appearance. I'm betting that the Tyrants probably be leading the pack when it comes to the next class. I fully expect that they will be full-fledged Mermen/Mermaids by this time next year.
Later on, after the SUCCESSFUL swim lessons, we zipped on back to the Manor where we let the Tyrants prance about in the sandpit/Twin Towers while the Cybernetic Mammoth Attack Hounds stood guard and kept an eye out for Commie Jihadist Fascist intruders. I busied myself with bringing the Industrial Reinforced Pallets out to the far edge of the Back-50 and finally getting to doing a bit of gardening in the front flower beds. I have a dozen of the pallets, but I'll probably need a few more. The are fairly heavy too. I think they held some sort of thread spools so they had to be able to take on a few tons. I could only carry one at a time so it took a bit of gumption to get the task completed. After some time playing with the kids and throwing chew-bones to the furry version of kids, they forgot about me and I locked the back portcullis down so I could focus on getting the rest of the bulbs into the ground. Speaking of ground, I'll probably need to mow the lawn on Thursday night ... I nearly got lost in the jungle a couple of time while kneeling down. So much to do and still so little daylight left at the end of the day. That reminds me, I need to put up the new Flags after I get back from the FOB this weekend.
Technorati Tags: Swimming | Gardening | Children
- For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).
- The problem here is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike. Governments generally choose not to receive policy advice on climate from independent scientists. Rather, they seek guidance from their own self-interested science bureaucracies and senior advisers, or from the IPCC itself. No matter how accurate it may be, cautious and politically non-correct science advice is not welcomed in Westminster, and nor is it widely reported.
Technorati Tags: Global Warming | Junk Science | Debunked
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Karate practice did not go very well last night for Alexis. Jake was really into it but my little weeping princess was not all together sure she wanted to be there. The minute I put that uniform on her she latched onto my leg like it was the last life preserver on the Titantic. Eventually, I managed to extract my mangled limb and she was escorted out onto the mat ... where she wailed and did a real-life simulation of Niagara falls till the Master picked her up and held her ... for the next 30 minutes. It was like watching a little rhesus monkey cling to a tree-trunk till she eventually calmed down and sat to the side. This went on till the 'kicking and punching' practice started in the last 15 minutes. Only then, when there was simulated violence, did she snap to and really get into it. I suppose, like swimming and birthday parties, she will become familiar with the environment and people. Then the kit-gloves will come off and 'watch-out world'! At the end, each of the children are asked how they helped their parents today. Of course, such temporal questions are befuddling to a 4yr old and the scope of 'today past' encompasses everything from that moment to the beginning of memory. Jacob's proclamation of 'helping mommy clean up a mess' was his triumphant and Herculean effort of picking up peanut shells from our bedroom rug after he shelled a bag full while sitting in front of the television with his sister. Alexis, Maiden of the waves and ruler of the briny deep, helped daddy with the laundry by bringing her favorite fuzzy blanket upstairs from the dryer after she had accidentally wet the bed the previous week. Daddy, of course, did the laundry and Mommy did the folding. Given that, she 'helped' both of us. Here are some pics from last Friday:
Jacob assaulting others in a game of dodge ball
Alexis Flanking the opposition
Alexis alerting Jacob that Barging will not be tolerated
and Learing the Rules
And of course, a complementary Garden Pic with sawdust:
Technorati Tags: Karate | Children | Garden
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Weekend Update 20060407-09
Well, as usual, it was a rather busy weekend. With the warmer weather come more opportunity for trouble. Yesss, tasty trouble ... good with milk ... stays crunchy. In effect, the arrival of Mundane Monday saved my hide. But lets flash back to Friday night when the kids went to their first karate lesson. Jake was all for it and thought that the snazzy new clothing was the best. Alexis, however, was not all too interested. You see, this is a 'new thing' and it was NOT her idea. Ergo; tears, immobilization and finger chewing commenced. Fortunately, there was another slightly older girl there who latched on to Alexis (Daughter of Master = black-belt at 12) and helped her through the first 30 petrifying minutes of the lesson. Jake, in his usual hubris, needed some sterner instructions about how to listen and follow the rules. I had brought the camera along and manage to get three pictures before the darned batteries lost their charge. Black hole somewhere in a parallel dimension must have drained them since they were fully charged when I left. Fortunately, the Mrs arrived in the last 15 minutes and snapped about 3000 stills and took on mini-movie ... which are all still safely ensconced on the camera. Sooo, sorry folks. No pictures of the 1st lesson today. Maybe tomorrow if we have time to upload. For now, how about a couple of wonderful 'parting gifts':
Saturday, it rained. Nearly all day by my account. The dreary, grey and quite chilly ambiance helped me get into the correct mood for my 0800 dentist appointment. I had not been to visit for nearly 2 years and I could probably have gone for another 2 with no harm done. You see, I eat veggies all day long instead of Ho-Hos or twinkies. Brush once or twice a day ... floss. The works. Should a nuclear war eradicate the human race, my teeth will live on and be a god to the ants and cockroaches. The Great White Chompers of the Ancients. Benevolent and merciful. Whatever. They were spared no pain from Attila the Hygienist though. She did her best and when no plaque or pits could be found, she took her wrath out on my gums under the guise of a periodontal exam. No change there from last time either. After I spat out a liter of blood and saliva, I bade my torturers fare well (is it safe yet?) and began my journey back to the Manor accompanied by the ever present oral pain. A simple swish of the tongue was accompanied by a wince of regret. Should have waited that extra two years. I was granted a boon for my suffering though. As I passed on of the 100 new Lowes Hardware Super Centers of Galactic Conquest, I decided on a lark to stop in to see if they had anything of interest. There they were, a whole line of tomato plants. Softly, they sang their siren song to have me dash my wallet upon the rocky outcrops of cash-registers. Roma and Big-Boy tomatoes enticed me to their ranks while the EarlyGirl and FireCracker 100's waved their sultry leaves as the rain pattered down upon me. And then, beyond the promise of lush red fruit, I saw them. The lettuce. The Broccoli. The cabbage. It was all there and they KNEW I had plastic. Greedily like a starving leper at who had woken at the head of a banquet, I scooped up as much as the suspiciously placed flat-cart could hold and then rumbled over to the gates where the waiting check-out backup singers would be stationed ... dismay! The gates were locked and not a single 'happy to serve you' register pilot to be found! Aghast at my rotten luck, I head for the front doors in desperation. Soaked from the steady hard rain, I lumber in leaving a trail of muddy water only to see a great army of tomato plants awaiting my arrival in the dry innards of the store. They were flanked by row upon row of summer bulbs, pansies and other outrageously garish displays. I was helpless in the face of their power. My addiction to greenery took over and soon enough I was hauling my booty back to the Manor ... in the rain. Sigh. No planting shall be done till the clouds wring the last drop of water from their heavily laden bellies.
Some time later in the day, the rain did eventually let up and I made a bee-line for the garden. Nearly lost my life in the mad rush. You see, a freshly tilled plot of Pennsyltucky Clay mixed with untold gallons water and 200+ lb of Lumbering Mad-Man is a cartoonish display of physics as I quickly learned. It's amazing how far one can sink before realizing that something is just not quite right. No, this will not do. I'll have to put down some ground cover to keep the muck in place. And I have 20 or so bags of said cover that will do the trick quite nicely. Of course, when you take a 30 gallon bag of saw-dust and mix it with a few dozen gallons of water you find that what you could once lift with one hand is now something that will take a team of 30 mules to accomplish. (note: 1 gallon of water weighs roughly 8.33 pounds. Round up to 9 to accommodate the sawdust and multiply by 30)
Pass the hours with family, go to bed, wake to a bright Sunday morning. The manor is chilly and I find that it dipped below freezing during the night. The essence of ice has formed over some of the standing water but the seedlings seem to be no worse for the wear. It warmed up quickly so there was no chance of a late frost. Good thing since the spring veggies are already coming up. I saw the little tiny sprouts of lettuce and radishes pushing their way through the soil. Of course, this was while I was spreading the 10 tons of sawdust among the rows. Pictures of that too are forth-coming. Early on, Personable Pete the Family Friend stopped by to pick up a tiller he needed to borrow to create a garden for his Mrs, Personable Patty. Since he brought his truck, we went off to the Mill where the pallets were stacked up and ready for me to pick through. Two trips and a dozen skids later, the task was complete. Now, I just need the time and compulsion to get them laid out and start stacking wood on them. Of course, I'll have to split the wood first. Details, details. I spend the rest of the day plating bulbs, spreading sawdust and filling the hanging baskets with the fruits of the previous day's adventures. The Tyrants came out a couple of times to 'help' me and found that soil tends to include BUGS! Alexis was mortified when finding a worm, but upon introduction to a significantly smaller worm (baby worm), she immediately fawned over it and protected it from her bothers attempt to rend it apart with a garden trowel. No, Jacob, you do not need to obliterate every insect you come across. Worms are good. Yes, really.
I did not accomplish quite as much as I would have liked, but that is my own short-falling and I might be able to wrap up some of the postponed efforts by Friday. You see, we will be making our way to the FOB this weekend for a little Easter Enjoyment Friday morning. Thousands of plastic eggs hidden about he house with little bits of sugar hidden within. Gleeful shouts and squeals soon to be followed by demands to have candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner .... forever. We just need to make sure that the kids find all these hidden treats before the Hounds of Hell do.
A few parting notes. I had a strange dream about termites last night. It was impressive enough that I am considering calling Terminex. You know, just in case. Sure, it might cost a few coins, but like life and health insurance it tends to be the lack of said expenditures that hurts the most. I'm certain that I had this portentous visage pop into my skull due to my excavations of a few little bloated white bodies when I was planting this weekend.
Technorati Tags: Children | Family | Gardening | Headache
Friday, April 07, 2006
- Top Hamas man says he directed study proving 'Zionists' infiltrated churches.
United States churches are secretly run by Jews who converted to Christianity with the intention of controlling religious Americans including President Bush, a top Hamas member claims.
"Even the churches where the Americans pray are led by Jews who were converted to Christianity, but they were converted to keep controlling
the Americans," Mohammad Abu Tir, the number two Hamas terrorist in the newly formed Palestinian Authority government said during an exclusive interview from his home yesterday with top radio host Rusty Humphries and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein.
"I made a study and I know very well that all this radicalism in some parts of the Christianity, (including) the Anglicans who are being led by Bush, is because of the control of Zionists," said Abu Tir.
Technorati Tags: Religion | Hamas | Weird
Okay, it's the end of the week and I plowed through all three projects given to me at work a bit too quickly. Gave me time to head out with the guys both Thursday AND Friday for beer and beef. Urk. I left Sisyphus in the dust with his little pebble. Now, I just need to worry about my annual review. Nearly 900 billion years at the same company. A lifetime in today's high tech world. Actually, it's closer to 9 years, but in dog years, that's a lot. Sure, I'm no great Dane or Wolfhound but at least I'm not some yapping lap dog. 'yap, yap, yap' Annoying. Speaking of annoying capitalist lap dogs .... the Taxes have been sent out ... mostly. We had to give onto Caesar what was Caesar's. A smidge back from State, county, local, district, development and block though. Friggen taxes. I'm trying to remember if I'm supposed to bend, fold or mutilate the forms ... guess I should play it safe and do all three. Did I mention 'friggen taxes' yet?
Swimming with the Tyrants and Aquatic Mrs went well last night. More than an hour in the pool and they only drank 10% of the volume. Just need to get Alexis to keep her mouth shut when swimming and she'll do much better. Jake, that friggen MerMan, has no trouble keeping his head above the water line now. That is, when he is not swimming underwater. When he starts summoning the citizens of the see to hold court, I'll be rather unsurprised. Since it was Thursday, it was supposed to be Pizza night. I forgot. On top of that, the regular pizza joint is moving and will no longer be our 'regular pizza joint'. Tis a shame, but the Elitist Manhattan Pizza Mrs is not shedding a tear. I found a closer place that does the thin-crust really well. Some fellow straight off the boat from Italy runs the place with his family and it's about 400 meters up the street. I got a large with extra cheese and bacon for about 14$. She loved it (met her thin-crust criteria to a tee) and the kids are eating whole slices now instead of minced bits. Yeah, we'll survive.
Called Emerald Karate, they are fine with the kids being slightly under 4. Heh, will they rue the day they said that? I'll have to let them know about Jacob's fondness for fire alarms. We'll be stopping off on Friday (today) for an intro and the uniforms. I'll wager that Alexis will INSIST on a pink belt instead of the white one. Red, at least. Since the lessons begin at 1800 hours, I'll have to see if I can give them a little snack before hand to tide them over till dinner. Additionally, I stopped off at the 'Yardley Mills' warehouse where they have stacks of used pallets next to the SEPTA tracks and they gave me permission to take as much as I want. Excellent, no gun-play. Always a good way to start the weekend. Since I'll be visiting the dentist that morning, I'll have little tolerance for unnecessary pain. Sure, they are 'painless' dentistry but 'Attila the Hygienist' does not seem to buy in on the corporate line. When you spit and you swear you see more blood than water, well, it tends to leave a sour (metallic?) taste in your mouth. Speaking of water and sour, Alexis seems to be having bladder issues over the last 3 days. I blame myself and the Mrs actually. If we would get up a bit earlier (0600 is our supposed waking hour), she would wake as well and get herself to the toilet. This morning, she broke down in tears over not being able to bring her blanket into our bed since it was moist with urine. I eased her troubled soul with a bowl of sugar coated crack called Capitan Crunch. Things were better after that but we need to work with her on this. Poor thing.
Technorati Tags: Swim | Family | Karate | Pizza | Agriculture
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Doldrums of the week-day marathon from Monday to Friday. Oh, joy. Really. If it were not for these slow times I would certainly work myself into a coma. Which may not necessarily be a bad thing. I could use the sleep. Speaking of sleep, I had a peculiar dream the other night. Usually, I do not remember these thing but it was so disturbing I could not help but recall it. In this night terror, I found out that someone had absconded with half of the fire-wood from our stash. Disturbing in that I apparently was not woken up by all the noise that must have happened during the operation. Peculiar in that I was angst ridden about it too. Not angry, just worried and upset. I suppose if I had lost 250$ I would feel that way. That reminds me, I need to stop off at one of the industrial complexes on the way back to the manor tonight and ask if the stacks of pallets behind their facility (next to the local commuter train tracks) is up for grabs. Best to ask first you know. Don't want to be dodging shotgun fire from angry homesteaders.
Swim night went well the other evening. The Mrs arrived in time to spend a little spell in the pool and found it to be a bit chilly. The Tyrants did not seem to mind as shrieks of joy rang out through their blue lips and chattering teeth. They are getting quite ambitious too. When lessons begin next week, the instructors will certainly have their hands full. Much like the wife and I as we continue to come under assault every evening. This time, both of them came in. Does not leave much space for the 'bracket' parents. We are just book-ends keeping them from rolling off the edge.
Flash forward to the next day ... rain, snow, traffic snarled. Standard weekday stuff. Did a little floor sanding and then threw up the white flag when I stated hacking up sawdust. I suppose I should open the windows when I do this. So close to done, but yet so far away. Walls need repainting and then wallpaper needs to be hung. There is ceiling work to be done as well. Lots of wood work too. Sigh... A craftsman's job is never done.
Technorati Tags: Swim | Family | Work
Sunday, April 02, 2006
It certainly was a full weekend. Started it off on Friday night in the back 50. Pulled out the tiller and went cyber-mutant giant mole crazy on the garden plot. Took till the dead of night but I got the whole thing tilled under. Just wanted to get that taken care of while I had the opportunity. The spring weather is fairly unpredictable in these parts. Well, unpredictable in that I do not know how hard it will rain when I want to work outdoors. Could be a spritz, could be something that would make Noah run for the hills. The weatherman isn't much of a help either due to the odd topography of the ridge that the Haupertionian Manor and World HQ is situated on. Sooo, I labor upon the soil to bring forth life by the sweat of my brow.
Saturday morning, Jake bursts in at 0630 and proceeds to proclaim that the sun has woken up so we should all follow suit. This goes on till the Mrs and I find that our beguilement has sufficiently imbued our creaking bones with enough gumption to get underway. I spend a significant portion of the morning raking, seeding and setting up the pea trellis' and tomato cages. Yet another sunny weekend day. I should check to see if all the cold, rainy, morose weather headed on down to hell. While I'm laboring under the clear blue skies, the kids are tossing sand at each-other in the twin-tower sand pit. The Stunning Mrs is sitting in a deck chair watching on as she pages through some circulars. Pastoral bliss? I wrap up the Haupertonian Agricultural Sector and move on to the herb boxes and the flower beds. Need to get those grape vines planted before they wither. Not counting on much in the way of fruit this year, but if I can get them to do something other than die, it would be nice.
Sunday, church, alone. Daylight savings made certain that attendance would be marginal. The kids were still in their semi-hibernation phase and trying to get them ready to attend would certainly not happen before the 1000 mass. Good thing too. The couple behind me 'whisper argued' through the whole service non-stop. Standard disenchanted young couple variety of argument. Nothing solved and only manipulative, selfish utterances exchanged. After a few years when you realize a few things, this sort of mucking goes away. Men marry the woman they want to be with for the rest of their lives: She grows and changes. Women marry a Man who they want to grow with: He will not budge. That, and us guys still think farts are funny. Ask the most Tolerant Mrs about the new skill the kids have learned. Speaking of kids, Once again, they fritter away the day frolicking outside while I finish working on largest flower bed and muck about in the dirt. Planting the morning glories, phlox, alyssum and other seed stock takes a bit of time since I need to break up the soil. Getting the sprinkler array set up for the garden is no simple task either. I would normally rely on the in-ground sprinkler system but I think it behooves me to wait a bit before getting the meter installed. No need in watering the lawn if it is going to rain for the next two months ... non-stop.
While the Shaggy Mrs is off getting her luxurious locks lopped off at the hair-dressers, I transport the Twin Tyrants to the Local Home Depot Temple to pick up some gardening and lawn supplies that I have seemed to have forgotten. Some grass seed, fertilizer, weed killer, hoses, cold fusion generator, zip ties and other associated brick-a-brack. I could find no sage, oregano or tomatoes so I'll have to wait another day for that. Probably when the Tamanend Park herb club sale launches in May. Although, I will probably get the tomatoes much earlier than that. The sooner the better. This year, I'm putting in only 6 vines along with two rows of onions, 3 rows of peas, 1 row of napa lettuce and 1/2 of spinach and butter-crunch. Thought ahead this year and got extra seeds for the lettuce and peas so that I can put in a fall crop as well. No peppers this year, never seem to use them all and I have enough dried pods in storage to keep a heard of chili-heads content. Three rows of beans (saved seeds from last year) a row of turnips, two of carrots and a row of Brussels sprouts. Two mounds of cucumbers are accompanied by one pumpkin mound, a watermelon and a mystery planting of seeds that the Mrs Grandmother gave to me. Could be anything but looks like either honeydew or cantaloupe. Did I mention that the Mrs is horribly allergic to both of those? In any event, I think I did the tangent thing again ... I was talking about the Home Depot trip. Wow, did I get off track or what?!
On the way back to the manor with all the booty in the trunk (no, not that booty or 'junk in the trunk' ... sheesh!), we stopped off at the Willow Grove fire department. You see, they were washing the trucks this fine Sunday afternoon and Jake caught a glimpse of them so we had to stop. While admiring the shiny, clean trucks, fireman John came out and invited the kids to go and sit in them. Jake damn near peed himself. A greater part of his day was spent talking about this. On the way back, I told Jake that if he eats his dinner and sleeps at night, he could grow up to be a Fireman too. At that point, Alexis chimed in and informed me that if she did that too, she could be a fire-girl! Ummm, yeah. That's right. I need to cancel her Gloria Steinem Feminist Book of the Month club. Honey, you are slated to grow up and be President ... of the World.
On a down note, I had noticed a lot of activity going on over at my neighbor's house. Initially, I wrote it off as a Jewish Holiday thing but was stunned to learn that on of their adult daughters had died. This particular daughter had a lot of problems in life. Health, drug and marital issues had ground her down and the cause of death was suspected to be and OD of some sort. Other than the horrible loss of life, the saddest part is that her Daughter, my neighbor's granddaughter, is now left as an orphan. Her father had fled the scene years ago and she had been primarily living under the protection of her grandparents. I'm hoping that Marvin and Sharon will feel free to ask the Mrs and I for any help. Marvin is quite ill these days now that he has lost both of his kidneys. I think this young girl will need a bit of adult interaction since her grandparents won't always be available. She is a teenager now and this can be a turning point in her life. I'm worried.
In other news, I spent Monday working on the floor in Jacob's new room. Need to do the fine sanding and it is taking FOREVER. I'll probably finish by this weekend and be able to put down a coat of poly, but it's hard on the back. Good thing it's a bit wet out right now or I would be tempted to avoid the wood dust and play in the dirt. Since it's raining, you know we lost power in the middle of the night. Perennial issue that COULD be solved by solar, ya think? Oh, and I finally turned off the heat. Officially. I still need to light up the wood stove on the cooler evenings, but I think we are essentially past winter. Time to get the AC checked out. Sigh.
Technorati Tags: Gardening | Family | Spring