Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Penguin

Harry, for reasons known only to Harry, decided to dress up as a penguin.

(Note the feet. They're leather gloves.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Huh?

I drive two hours, each way, to get to work.

Driving as much as I do, I see a lot of the back end of cars and trucks. So I see a lot of bumper stickers, "I Support..." ribbons and the like.

Also, driving around as much as I do, my mind tends to wander a bit.

So perhaps it's no surprise that I occasionally wonder "Did I see that, or do I just think I saw that?"

Like the ribbon sticker with the camo-colored puzzle pieces that proudly proclaimed "I Support Our Dyslexic Troops."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"HOUSE SELL"


Harry wants to help sell the house so he created this sign that he
wants to put up on the door. (What he really wants is his own room in
a new house so he can have all his toys out to play with!)

Monday, September 10, 2007

More Pictures of Gillian

She's my little Rock and Roll.

Doesn't she look like an angel in this picture?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

1st Day, update


Gilly's home!

1st Day at School

Today is Nicky and Gillian's first day of school. Nicky is going back to school -- 5th grade -- after a year off for homeschooling. This is Gilly's first day ever. She's only three.

By the way, Harry is going to school too -- kindergarten -- but we have to wait a few days to get him into the right school. (I could publish an entirely new blog on the faults and foibles of the Providence School system, so I'll spare you for now.)

Here they are, all set to go!

Gilly says "bye!" with a wave over her shoulder.

Here we are waiting for the bus. Don't I look so brave? (Yes, it's coffee in my coffee cup.)

15 minutes later and we are still waiting. I took Gilly for a little stroll so she wouldn't get too restless.

Another 10 minutes and we are still waiting. The bus never came, so Gretchen drove her to school. Good thing she had the car today, huh?

While Gretchen and Gilly (with Harry) went off in search of pre-K enlightenment, I walked Nicky to his school. We live 0.9 miles away from his school, so no bus ride for him. Poor guy, I think he's the last kid in America who actually wants to ride the bus -- it just hasn't worked out for him yet. Maybe when we move.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Bits of Plastic"

I've been reading this book called The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. Like the title says, it's about what the Earth would be like if humans vanished right now. Among the many things it mentions is a disturbing little fact: The plastic we toss into the ocean doesn't really break down, it just gets smaller. In fact, while being tossed about and mashed up by waves and wind, it gets small enough to be consumed by the tiny animals that most of the ocean's food chain is based on -- krill. Also, about 20% of the world's beaches is ground up plastic bits, thrown back onto the shore by the ocean we dumped it in.

I found this kind of disturbing. So I did what I usually do when confronted by a crisis. I wrote a poem.

Bits of Plastic

Bits of plastic in the sand
Left there by the hand of man
One fifth of the total weight
Is plastic on the beach to date
On every beach from shore to shore
And every day we're adding more

The plastic in the trash you toss
Won't decompose like wood or moss
It breaks up into little bits
And into little mouths it fits

Chorus
Bits of plastic in the sand
Left there by the hand of man
On every beach from shore to shore
And every day we're adding more

Zooplankton, shrimp and krill
Every mouth will plastic fill
The destiny in plastic's tale
Is in the belly of a whale

Chorus
Bits of plastic in the sand
Left there by the hand of man
On every beach from shore to shore
And every day we're adding more

Think "belly up" won't be your fate?
Just ask yourself what's on your plate!
Plastic ground up by the waves
Will be the stuff that fills our graves

Chorus
Bits of plastic in the sand
Left there by the hand of man
On every beach from shore to shore
And every day we're adding more

Yes, plastic in the ocean blue
Is coming home to me and you

Chorus
Bits of plastic in the sand
Left there by the hand of man
On every beach from shore to shore
And every day we're adding more
And every day we're adding more
And every day we're adding more!


It came out pretty well, I think. It's got a nice rhythm to it. Try reading it with a sort of calypso/reggae/Jimmy Buffett beat to it.

Into Drumming

Lately, Nicky has been getting into drumming:


Well, okay. He got into one drum.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nicky's Blog

Nicky has his own blog now! http://nickyide.blogspot.com/

I'm so proud!

Hey, when you read his blog, ask him when he's going to make me a duct tape wallet. Thanks.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Messy Kids

Before getting dropped off at camp, Nicky enjoys an ice cream cone.
Actually, Gretchen needed to kill some time before registration started.
Thanks to Nicky's eagerness, they got there an hour early.

Later that day Gretchen and I took the kids to the beach.
We stopped at Aunt Carrie's on the way, and you can see the effects
of clamcakes and chowder on my immense gut in the background.


Gilly had a great time playing in the sand and surf.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Favorite Fictitious Horror Flicks:

"It Came From France!"

"The Thing That Wouldn't File"

"Squeak!"

"Death Comes a Day Late and a Dollar Short"

"They Might Be Germans!"

"Creature With A Thousand Receipts"

"Faces Of Knievel"

"Murder on the Hoboken Intercity Transit"

And, last but not least, my favorite:

"Arbor Day!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pablo

Pablo the cat, as drawn by Harry, the 4-year-old.

Emailed Questions Answered

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
An insane supporting character in “Treasure Island”.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
The last time I poked my eye while cutting up hot peppers.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yes. It looks just like I wrote it!

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT
Rude people.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Why, do you want some?

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Yes, but we’d never remember to call each other. (And what other person would I be? Can I pick?)

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Yeah, right.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS
Yes, they are in a safe deposit box. (I can’t remember where, though.)

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
How boring. People actually pay money for this?

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Cold pizza.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
I have a man who comes in to do that for me.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Super humanly.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Whatever is in my bowl at the moment, though I am partial to Cherry Garcia.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
That there are way too many of them.

15. RED OR PINK?
Blue. (Oh, alright… Red.)

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My least favorite thing or everyone else’s? Because there’s a difference. A big difference.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
No one. I have excellent aim.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
Define “everyone”.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Pants?

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A census taker.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The voices in my head.

22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Flesh.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Napalm in the morning. (It smells like victory.)

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
Don’t know, I dialed randomly. (She was ticked, though.)

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
See above.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
High driving and Greco-Roman waffling.

27. HAIR COLOR?
Yes.

28. EYE COLOR?
No.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
See above.

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Too many to name, too few to mention.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Scary movies with happy endings. (Much better than happy movies with scary endings – they make me pee a little.)

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
“Your Body And You” in 8th grade hygiene class. Riveting.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Plaid. Wait, is plaid a color?

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Larry or Shelly?

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Depends on where they land.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Sahara.

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
To what? Gentle guidance or a severe beating?

38. EAST LIKELY TO RESPOND
Elvis (if he truly is dead).

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Uh, hello! I’m answering this email right now, not reading. Sheesh!

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Droppings.

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T. V. LAST NIGHT?
Videotapes of my neighbor, sleeping.

42. FAVORITE SOUND?
Ka-Ching!

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Rolling stoned Beatles. (Giggle, giggle, thud!)

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Now. See below.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
You tell me.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
In a distant time, in a galaxy far, far away.

47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?
The IRS.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Murder Mystery!

Today we have a mystery on our hands. A murder mystery. That's right: someone killed an entire roll of toilet paper. Let's see if we can figure out "who dunnit" by looking at this series of photographs.


Exhibit One: The gruesome trail begins.



Following this macabre scene up the stairs, we find Photographic Exhibit Two: Here the trail leads in two directions. Following to the left we find...



Exhibit Three: This is no doubt the scene of the crime. Notice the toilet paper. Even in death, it still clings futilely to the roll. Sad. A life of service cut brutally short.



Finally, Exhibit Four: This is our most damning piece of photographic evidence. Notice how the paper lies in clumps at the door of Gillian's room? See how it drapes over the doll stroller? It's obvious at this point who the culprit is...

The doll! What's more, the doll hanged Scooby Doo, either in an attempt to silence a witness or to throw the authorities off by insinuating a murder-suicide.

Although Gillian was upstairs at a time approximate to the occurrence of this crime, there is no need to question her. The facts speak for themselves and we don't want to make her relive this senseless tragedy.

*Today's blog post was courtesy of the LAPD and Mike Nifong.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Greatest Toy Ever?

So, what is the greatest toy ever created?



A box!

Big thanks go out to Randi for scoring this for me. It just fit in the car.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Our Dearly Paper Departed

Let's all take a moment to remember the origami that has gone on before us: The ornate boxes, animals and balloons that so excited little children that they were completely and instantly mangled beyond recognition. The creations eaten by cats. The ones taken apart in an attempt to help you build others, only to realize you can't remember how to put the originals back together, either.

I will always recall with great fondness the elaborate paper sculptures that I decide would be better as "origami boulders" than the goddamn complicated piece of carp I was originally trying to make.

We will all meet again on the other side of that great paper bridge.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Diorama!

Ever notice how the word "diorama" looks more exciting than it actually is? I blame Bananarama and all the "o-rama" things out there for the hype.

Anyway, Nicky and Harry made dioramas of alligator habitats today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Harry & Pablo


Just chillin'.
So human eyes glow red and cat eyes glow yellow?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More Pictures of the House

We have been busily fixing up the house to get it ready to sell.

Like the Prudential Realty sign? I've been told it "adds some class",
whatever than means. Gretchen fixed up the front, clearing out the
weeds and adding flowers to the front steps. It's too early to tell, but
there are annuals planted in front of the boxwood hedges.

The carpet Gretchen picked out for the living room is killer.

I reupholstered the couches and the chair. We got micro-suede fabric, and
I'm hoping that the cats won't claw through it -- like they did the original fabric.

[Sigh] We painted over the faux work in the dining room.
It's a nice color and ties everything together nicely, but I miss the
al fresco
feel of the faux stucco. Ah, well. There's always the next place.


And the bedroom. All the books have been packed into boxes.
It's amazing how many fit in the custom-fit bookshelves I made.
Also amazing, how much a box full of books weigh. Ouch!
Glad it ain't vinyl records.

http://osa.prudentialproperties.com/id/details.aspx?webid=PRU7A3J2

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dwight & Earl (older post reposted)

> Eugene Mallove, 56, of Pembroke, N.H., was unresponsive when police
> found him in a Norwich house owned by his parents, and he was
> pronounced dead at the scene.

I can just image the police first on the scene...

"Sir? Sir!"

"Try his other ear, Earl. He might be deaf in that one."

"Good thinking, Dwight. Sir? Can you hear me? Please respond. Sir?"

"I'm thinking 'unresponsive'."

"We should maybe write him up for 'failing to aid in an official
investigation'?"

"Maybe. Give it one more try."

"Sir, if you are not dead, please say so. Otherwise we may be
required to press charges."

"No answer?"

"No answer."

"I'm logging it. 'Subject failed to responded to repeated
inquiries.' What time you got, Earl?"

"All the time in the world, Dwight."

Another One of Those Days

It's another one of those days where I get a tune stuck in my head.

I know, it happens to you all the time, too. (By the way, if you're the kind of person who is very susceptible to memes, I recommend that you stop reading right now.)

This isn't any ordinary tune, this tune stuck in my head. Oh, no. It's a Frankentune. A monster.

It's like the one I had in college. Beethoven's Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony. Only sung in lousy German by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

That was bad.

This one is not as bad. It's one line from Deep Purple's My Woman from Tokyo sung over and over. The title line, actually.

Only, instead of "My woman from Tokyo" it's "My neighbor is Totoro."

Over and over and over.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Remembering Sushi

"Sushi" is the name that Nicky gave to the goldfish he won at
U. Hartford's Community Day last month.

I had previously taken the motor out of an old blender,
installing a low wattage night light in it's place.


Sushi looked great in it.

He (or she, we can't tell with fish) was a very cute fish
and was a joy to have in our kitchen.

He will be sorely missed.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sorry, General Tsao

You know those ubiquitous white boxes with the metal handles? The ones in your fridge, holding the leftovers from last Saturday's feast?

I think that, whatever company makes these take-out containers for Chinese restaurants -- and that company must be pulling in some serious profits; these things are everywhere! -- that company should seriously consider redesigning their product to more readily accommodate microwave users.

And if you're reading this post because your in the market to buy a lovely single-family, 3 bedroom, home with hard wood flooring and is conveniently located near Rt. 95 and the Roger Williams Park and Zoo: Don't worry. Everything is just fine. I installed new smoke alarms last week and we needed to be sure that they worked. Heck, the one by the kitchen has a nifty "hush" feature for just such contingencies.

How will you know when lunch is ready? The smoke alarm will tell you!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dangerous Duo


Katelyn and Harry, hopped up on yogurt drinks and armed with crayons.
Lock your doors, folks.

The Littlest Sox Fan

Gillian in her pink Red Sox outfit.
"Pink Red Sox"?
Yep. (It only seems like an oxymoron.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No, seriously, the house is for sale

We're moving. And an important part of moving is selling your current house so you can buy a new one.

Hence, these photos and the prior post.


This is the front of our house, viewed from the street.


Here's the view the Pizza Guy sees. ("Excellent Pizza" isn't just a name.)


This is the view from the back of the house.
It's got a nice little yard, which is all fenced in.
(Good for children and other pets.)


This is the garage.
Interesting history, this garage has.
See the little bump out at the front, where the door is?
A previous owner found that his '67 Cadillac won't fit,
so he had the garage extended another 4 inches.


This is the kitchen, a bright and sunny place.
Some of the best food in the world comes from this kitchen.
(This may have something to do with the chef. Your experiences may vary.)


And here's the bathroom. It's located at the top of the stairs on the second floor,
convenient to all the bedrooms. In the basement is another bathroom
that was dismantled by a previous owner. Taxes in this area are based
in part on how many bathrooms you have. I'd always planned to reassemble
the basement bathroom (it's a snap, all the stuff is right there), only just
after
the tax assessment.

http://osa.prudentialproperties.com/id/details.aspx?webid=PRU7A3J2

Want to Buy a House? (MLS# 742543)






30 Louis Av, Providence, RI 02907 go to map

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Price: $229,900
Bedrooms:3Bathrooms:1Garage:1
Square Ft:1,456Lot Size:n/a


Price Per sq/ft for this property:$157
Average Price Per sq/ft for this area:$188
Median Home Price forProvidence,RI:$219,000
Year Built:1955
School District:n/a
MLS Number:742543Active Date:May 07, 2007
Property Type:Single FamilyArea Location:10
Subdivision:n/aCounty:Providence
Status:Active NewMap Page:n/a
Property Information


Tastefully Decorated, Well Maintained 3 Bed Home W/ Garage, Hardwoods, Beautiful Woodwork And Many Updates!Whirlpool Tub, Freshly Painted, Vinyl Siding, Move In Condition.Taxes Don't Reflect 50% Homestead Exemption. Subj To Seller Finding Suitable Housing.
General


Above Ground Square Footage:1,456
Bedrooms:3
Full Bathrooms:1
Garage Description:Detached
Garage Spaces:1
Number of Rooms:6
Rooms:Foyer/Hall, Dining Room, Eat In Kitchen, Recreation Room, Laundry Area

Exterior Comments


Exterior:Vinyl Siding , Insulated Glass Windows, Storm Windows, Storm Door, Screened Porch/Patio

Interior Comments


Finished Floor:Hardwood, Ceramic , Vinyl
Interior:Dry Bar, Attic Storage, Internal Expansion
Construction


Basement:Full, Concrete, Unfinished
Type:Colonial, Other
Year Built:1955

Equipment


Cooling:Individual Unit
Electric:100 Amps, Circuit Breaker
Equipment:Refrigerator , Oven/Range, Garbage Disposal, Dishwasher, Ceiling Fan, Washer, Dryer, Whirlpool
Heat System:Radiant
Heating Fuel:Oil
Hot Water:Gas, Tank
Sewer:Connected

Property


Listing Provided Courtesy Of:Prudential Gammons Realty, Llc
MLS Number:742543
Lot Comments


Approximate Acres:0.082
Lot Description:Sidewalks , Paved Driveway, Fenced Yard
Lot Square Footage:3,572