Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bad Photoshop Skills

I won't quit my day job to live my dream of being a graphic artist*

*Not really my dream

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bring Out Your Dead

A plague of sorts swept through our house this past weekend. Starting Wednesday evening, my youngest son started things off by puking on the couch, then the rug and other various places on the floor, continued onto the bathroom floor, and finally made it to the bathroom sink, where I had to clean the chunks out by hand because they were too big to fit down the drain.

That night, or the wee hours of the morning actually, my daughter went through a similar event, but you can replace couch with bed and it was a different bathroom.

This happened several times during the night with both kids and I'm embarrassed to say my wife did most of the work cleaning up the mess.

I worked from home the next day to tend to the kids (and mop every floor in the house). We had a few repeat performances, but mostly they were just comatose on the couch all day. I considered myself very lucky to have escaped unharmed healthwise.

That evening a couple of friends and I went out for hot wings and fried pickles and around midnight I thought to myself, this might not be the best food to be eating when there is a pretty good chance I am going to be sick tomorrow. Oh well, I couldn't undo what I had already done.

Got home from that and one of my friends (Big A, if you are interested) and I crashed on separate couches around 3 am after watching Office Space.

Five AM hits, I wake up shivering like an addict, stand up and run to the kitchen sink. It was violent. And it wouldn't stop. And stupid me, I went in the sink that doesn't have the garbage disposal. Fifty/fifty chance, right?

Days later the muscles in my neck and shoulders are still store.

I went upstairs and collapsed in my bed, still shivering like an addict and didn't get up until 9 when I called in sick to work. (Sorry I didn't say good bye when you left, man). After which I curled up on the couch with my semi-comatose kids because going back up the stairs seemed really really hard.

My wife went to work and I thought I was hallucinating when I saw her walk passed the living room and up the stairs. It had gotten her too.

There was one of us left who hadn't been affected yet. My oldest son who was at school.

Ahh, yes, at 12:30 I found myself out on the road driving to the school to pick him up. My eyes hurt something fierce. An after effect of my body trying to expel them from my head along with the chicken and pickles.

So, there we all were in our own private bubonic plague. A little medieval Europe all of Friday and most of Saturday.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


In the almost-four-year-old speak. There's one in my cul de sac

Hey, what's the literal translation of cul de sac?

bottom of bag, according to babel fish a subsidiary of Yahoo corporation formerly a service of Alta Vista formerly owned by Digital.

taking away one of my neighbors. Nice people. I hope they are okay.

Godspeed people across the street.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I Refuse to Get Climatized

I don't know if that's a word, climatized. I suspect by the squiggly red line underneath in Live Writer that its not.

It was 28 degrees here this morning.

You'd think it was the end of world.

I wear a thin fleece probably suited for a late evening jaunt into the woods in New Hampshire in September.

People think I'm nuts.

You realize its cold? they say.

Last night I went outside to turn off the Christmas lights without a shirt on.

Ok, thats nuts.

Ok, thats nuts, not because of the cold but because I am 165 pounds of white skin and bone. Nobody is dying to see me outside shirtless.

Biking in shorts and t-shirt.

You can't let yourself get complacent.

What if I decide to move to Alaska someday? I don't want to be all crying like a baby because its 40 in July and I'm not used to it.

Its not the cold, its the snow I hate.

Ok, I'm nuts.

Food Poisoning

Alright, so we know all about the Chinese lack of quality control in regards to children's toys and food. Well, tonight I was shopping at the local Five Below for my kids for Christmas and not finding what I wanted for my oldest I went next door to Dollar Tree (I was looking for a paper airplane book, that I swear I had seen at Five Below, but maybe, just maybe was at Dollar Tree).

So, anyway, at Dollar Tree I spied a box of candy that looked funny, it was candy boogers. I thought, ok, thats funny, if I can find something else to buy I'll get that for him as a joke.

First of all let me declare that I never ever buy food at dollar stores or two dollar stores or even 5 dollar stores. Oh wait, thats a lie, I bought candy bars at Five Below on Sunday.

I walked around for a bit and as is usually the case, I found nothing, so I grabbed 4 rolls of Sponge Bob wrapping paper and headed back to the candy aisle to get the candy boogers.

When I reached the boogers, I picked up a box and shook them. There was no rattling inside like Milk Duds or Whoppers would do, so I picked up another box and another and another. All were the same.

Guessing that wasn't unusual for a box labeled as being "sticky and chewy", but remembering the box of Milk Duds (my personal favorite boxed candy in case you are wondering) I bought in August from CVS which had melted into a solid block of choco-caramel, I decided to check the box for some sort of expiration date to reassure me that this product was manufactured when Clinton was President.

What I found was something worse.

"Product of China"

I'm sorry but my shoes, ok, sure, tools, alright, but food? Even joke food. No.

Sorry China. You aren't getting my capitalist pig dollar this time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Wonder...

if its a crime to shoot your neighbors dog with a paintball gun...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Today's Work

Thought it was going to rain, but it ended up being pretty nice. And warm until the sun dipped behind the trees.

I got a coat of primer on one side.

She Done

Except for paint. These pictures are from last Sunday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Freakin' Cold

I went for a walk around 10:30 am and it seemed pretty pleasant out, but when I left for my bike ride at 1:00 pm and hit the wind off the river I quickly realized a long sleeved t-shirt and a lack of gloves wasn't going to cut it today. Anyway, I didn't go far.

I came to this point on Belle Isle where the rock climbers go:

And I decided to walk across. The water isn't deep there, so other than cold feet I wasn't worried about nothin' except...

a hobo running out of the woods and stealing my bike!

I was lucky today, but I'll be more careful in the future.

Map image


I replaced a crappy utility grade spotlight with this:

I have a really nice cast iron fixture by my front door which I wanted to duplicate here, but then I checked into how much cast iron light fixtures cost...Better to stick with cast aluminum from the big box store. Nobody will notice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Sometimes I leave a comment on someone's blog, but I never go back to see if they commented back because I am afraid they might have made fun of me.

Also, my neighbors are watching another dog which they keep tied up in the front yard. The other night he was barking and I went outside and threw a ball of clay at him. It made him bark more.


I completed the corner trim on Saturday. At first I was going to just butt the edges  up against each other, but then I asked myself, what would Norm Abram do?

He would miter the edges of the trim.

I ask myself WWNAD a lot. Like the advice the angel on my right shoulder gives me, often I disregard it as inconvenient or too difficult. This time, however, I decided to go with it and miter the edges of my trim pieces. Ripping and mitering at the same time usually doesn't work well for me. Luckily it turned out ok and I didn't lose any fingers.

This is where I didn't follow Norm's advice. He would nail the boards together at the mitered joint and then attach to the shed. Hey, man, it's just a shed. No need for perfection.

There's a completed corner. It looks good from a distance.

All four corners done. And I did it in one day.

Another view. Gettin' dark...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Yes Virginia, its cold

Why does it hurt more when you whack your thumb with a hammer when its cold out?

The Hick in Hickory

My neighbor was burning hickory in his fireplace today. It made me hungry.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday Night Television

They seem to be showing a lot more of Catalina's assets this season than in previous seasons. Cheap ratings gimmick?

So everything is back to normal on The Office as far as characters go. Pam is back but seems to have a case of the cold feet or "I don't wanna be heres". I suspect the season cliffhanger will be her running away. I can't remember anything particularly funny in this episode. The planting marijuana in Toby's desk didn't make me laugh at all. This guy at my office keeps talking about a spin off that is in the works. I haven't heard anything about it.

At first I thought Steve Martin is a great guest star, but the ending seemed a little stupid to me.

I didn't watch the other show. When an 11 year old is in the room, you become instantly aware that the whole show is nothing but sex jokes. Bad sex jokes. Bad as in not funny. So, I switched it to the Celtics game.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Great Pervee Park

Today's bike junket. Otherwise known as Great Shiplock Park.

Map image

About a month ago

I joined the real world and got my first real cell phone. Like any modern phone it has a camera in it and I've been using it instead of my camera to take pictures while biking because it is a lot less bulky.

This week I ordered a micro sd card and a reader dirt cheap on Amazon, so now I can transfer the pictures from the phone onto the computer. Another benefit to the sd card is I can now bump up the resolution of the pictures I am taking to the full 1.3 megakilogigs that the phone can do. Still a lot less MKGs than my camera, but the pictures aren't half bad.

These are from Hollywood Cemetery.

Map image

Bit Chilly

Snow flurries on my bike ride this afternoon. I ought to start wearing pants, but gloves at least would be an improvement.

I was riding around in a park today, and there were a lot of middle aged chubby men walking around the woods. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I felt like I was intruding on something.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The weather was perfect yesterday. About 60 and sunny. Warm enough to be comfortable in a t-shirt, but not warm enough to sweat.

I worked on the trim. Its getting there. Little by little.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Orifice

Pretty lackluster The Office this past week. And I wish that 30 Rock would knock off the special guest stars (Jennifer Aniston?! Seriously? At least Megan Mullally was funny) and concentrate on some of the other cast members who have been left out of this season so far. Like Frank.

Friday, November 14, 2008

You Made Your Bed, Now Lie in It

I may have some trashy neighbors and hoodlums, but my one absolute deal breaker when we were looking for a house was NO Homeowner's Association.

Case in point.

The same rules could also apply to Historic Districts.

In theory HOAs are a good idea, except when they are controlled by megalomaniacal freaks not smart enough to run for public office. I wouldn't want to take that chance with a quarter of a million dollar investment.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


A series of photos that will bore and disinterest you!

Making a frame for the door in the lattice. Incredible!

Attaching lattice to the frame. Astounding!

Sandwiching the lattice with another frame. Marvelous!

Mounting to the exterior. Unbelievable!

Driving in stakes for extra strength. Brilliant!

Door completed. Stupendous!

A view from farther back. Awesome!

Inside looking out. Fabulous!

The unfinished soffit. Phenomenal!

The finished soffit. Outstanding!

This post is done. Incredible!


walnuts Almost took out my nuts on today's bike excursion. And of course there was a crowd of people around. No real harm done, fortunately.

Update: No real harm done, but the area in the general vicinity is pretty sore now.

Rhetorical Comment

How do you respond when a really large (really large) man says to you, "yeah, but I could stand to lose a few pounds?"

Awkward, indeed.

Do you agree? If you agree, do you agree wholeheartedly, or with a casual shrug of the shoulders?

Do you scoff and dismiss his concern as if he can't be serious, when he and you both know its true?

Do you pretend you didn't hear him?

Do you say, we could all stand to lose a few, when you yourself should actually gain a few?

Do you quickly change the subject?

Or, do you give him a blank stare?

I choose blank stare. Its worked well for me in the past.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is It You?

Did I lend you my copy of Undercover Brotherub_car ? I don't usually lend out my movies. If I did then it would be a unique event and I should be able to remember, but I can't.

If you do have my copy of Undercover Brother just let me know, so I don't waste time looking in the attic. You don't need to mail it back to me or anything. I just need closure.


Bowlerama or Bowlarama

Yesterday was father/daughter bowling with the girl scouts from 2 till 4. The first game took forever which is to be expected when you are playing with kids. Not a big deal really, but in the second game I was bowling the game of my life. Through 6 frames I had a spare, strike, spare, strike, strike, strike. Then 4 o'clock came and we had to stop. So sad. So very, very sad.

My daughter had a strike and many, many gutter balls. For some reason they didn't have bumpers.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Embarrassing, Indeed

A guy on his brand new $18,000 Polaris Cruiser stalled it this morning attempting to pull into traffic. In my mind, there are only two reasons why you should ever stall your motorcycle. One, you crash. Actually, that's the only reason.

To add insult to his injury, the guy he was pulling out in front of was riding a Harley.

Kabab blog

Had dinner at the Kabab Grille, a Pakistani restaurant tucked away in a strip mall between a bank and a T-Mobile near my house.

Sitting there by myself (wife and kids were elsewhere) listening to Pakistani pop music (surprisingly catchy) waiting for my food, the delicious smell in the air was making my stomach jump up and down like a Jack Russell terrier when his master comes home.

I was torn between choosing the lamb curry or the lamb kabab, but eventually decided on the kabab because its part of the name of the restaurant so I figured it must be their specialty.

I make superlative claims like this a lot, but this was the best meal I've ever had.

I will not rest, my life's work will not be complete, until I have tried everything on their menu. Even the vegetarian stuff. From Palak Paneer to Brain Masala Karahi.

That Other Show Sucks

I missed Earl, so I can't comment on it.

That other show is a piece of garbage. Here, let me sum up every episode. The mother doubts whether she should get married, and the daughter doubts whether she should stay married. Hilarity ensues. Or not.

The Office was great until the ending. But I'm ignoring that plot so I won't comment further. It does seem to be unbelievably cruel what is happening to the Andy character though.

30 Rock...there were a few jokes that seemed to written by middle school students, totally predictable and cheap, but overall a B+.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All Kinds of Awesome

My first post with Windows Live Writer. I was intrigued by the idea of being able to write plug-ins for it.

That's not what is all kinds of awesome though.

While riding my bike through Hollywood Cemetery, a hawk swooped out of the sky and snagged a fat squirrel off the ground and flew off with the squirrel shrieking like a stuck pig.

That is all kinds of awesome.

I don't know what a stuck pig is, but I imagine it sounds really loud, high-pitched and frantic.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hey, hey LBJ...

The last time a Democratic Presidential candidate won Virginia was 44 years ago, and that man was none other than the fiendish Lyndon B. Johnson. Let's hope Obama isn't nearly half as evil.

In other news, its sad to see New Hampshire firmly entrenched as a member of the Northeastern Bloc.

Metal Licker

I loaded up the first four Metallica albums, the only ones that count, into WinAmp this morning and hit shuffle. I've been listening to it all day. It's like 1991 all over again. Without the acid wash jeans.

Funny Interesting not Funny HaHa

Its funny how when you hear a word for the first time or see some actor on the TV that you've never seen before, suddenly you hear or see that word or person everywhere.

I had never seen a black widow until last week, but a couple days ago I found two more in the shed while cleaning up a pile of scrap wood in the corner.

The first one was on a piece of wood that I had picked up, with bare hands of course, and flipped over. I put gloves on after that, which was a wise move since I found another one shortly thereafter.

All three of these spiders had a dead spider carcass in its web, which I am assuming is the male who unwittingly sacrificed his life to the female.

Note to self: Be careful where you stick your hands.

Words to live by.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Office, Earl, 30 Rock and that other show

The Office redeemed itself this week. Nice hat tip to Nashua, NH. I was hoping they would show some landmarks. Or maybe they did. I was carving a pumpkin and didn't have my on the screen the whole time. The Cornell bit was good and did you catch Pam saying she covered up the mark her ring makes with make up (or something to that effect)? I'm just going to ignore the whole Pam sub plot. Its tiresome.

30 Rock is brilliant.

Earl, solid as ever. Their writers have great imagination.

The other show, I'm not sold on yet. Perhaps in time. Good line from the girl with baggy eyes, "why didn't you come up with craigslist?" (or something to that effect).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stink Update

I had to swap out the shorts and t-shirt I've been using for riding my bike. They were pretty ripe when I put them on yesterday. It's not warm out anymore, so maybe I won't sweat as much and I will be able to wear these for a full two weeks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bacon, Lattice and Tomato

Sunday was a beautiful day and I was able to get more done on the lattice.

First up was filling in the space around the stairs.

Stairing at the back wall I decided that there was a lot of usable space under there for storing stuff, like my ladder for instance.

So I left a gap in the middle where I will make a small door.

A closer view underneath. The kids were playing under there after they got tired of painting. Watch out for black widows!