Monday, September 24, 2007

Getting Closer On the House

Lately we have been doing some shopping around. We have a house plan that we really like, along with some variations that should be a bit less expensive. We’re talking with subcontractors of all kinds, and also talking to modular home builders.

Modular homes are actually quite amazing. They are, if you didn’t know, stick-built houses assembled in a factory. They use the same materials as a conventional house, but they are assembled into two halves, which are then bolted together on the site. Building this way lowers the cost of the house and the amount of time required to build it.

We actually toured on of these factories over the weekend, and it was very impressive. It’s the kind of approach that made the Model T cost only $300 when it rolled off the line.

So why not go modular? There are a few restrictions on design where the two halves join (not a problem for us), and there is the matter of having to come up with the entire cost of the house (or at least the finished part) right away.

But depending on the prices we get from the modular companies, we may take this option, which means we might have a house ready to move into in about six weeks. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

All Kinds Of Stuff

A week ago the boys and I made a movie. We went out on the driveway and I had them race down the hill on their Hot Wheels tricycles. I shot four races from one angle and one from another, and also got some seleted close-ups and a little stunt shot from William.

The result was posted to YouTube today. For those of you who still have dial-up (or am I the only one left) it will take a while to load, but it's not too bad. And the movie is a lot of fun.

It's part of a series I'm trying to start via YouTube and Blogger on using computer editing and a professional's approach to shooting and sound to make videos more fun to watch. My user name on YouTube is cheapmedia, and you can see my blog at (where the videos are also embedded for convenience).

Rehearsal for The Pajama Game is going along well, although I had to skip Wednesday because of a schedule conflict, and dancing practice has been slowed by a head cold I managed to get Wednesday night (just in time to have to muddle through the Grand Jury with a stuffed up head--oh joy!)

Being bad about posting because I've started up other blogs. But I'm starting to get into some kind of routine for them all. Or so I tell myself.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Dancing Fool

I find myself with a few rare moments to spare, having arrived early for tonight’s rehearsal. “Babe” is singing “I’m Not At All In Love,” while the chorus members learn their parts of the song. They’ve been running through the choreography, and I must say I’m impressed, and very glad that I don’t have to nearly as much dancing as the chorus.

I’m having trouble practicing my dancing at home. It’s not that I don’t have the time, but the only place in the house that has enough clear space is the living room, and the floor of the living room is (how can I put this?) a bit springy. So when I start to dance, all 235 pounds of me, the room shakes a bit and I feel like the TV is going to fall down. I think I need to try the back deck.

I also think I need to be up on the stage in just a few minutes for the minor part I play in the number “Racing With the Clock.”

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Count Down

“Reason notwithstanding, the Universe continues unabated” - Douglas Adams

By the time you read this, the countdown will likely be over. If you are numerologically inclined, that is, for today is 9-8-7. It must portend some sort of disaster, of course, but I can’t think what since we have already survived 8-7-6, 7-6-5, 6-5-4, 5-4-3, 4-3-2, 3-2-1, and even 2-1-0, not to mention the much dreaded 6-6-6.

I’m glad something was headed down, though, since the thermometer was not. Very hot, very humid, and the only places we have air conditioning these days are at work, in the car, and in one bedroom (whose? the two that pay the bills, naturally).

“The Pajama Game” rehearsals are in full swing, and on Wednesday night I started learning how to dance. And on Thursday morning I learned how to limp. Well, I already knew how, but I got something of a refresher course. The choreographer and my dancing partner both said I did well, and I know from experience that they are probably lying to make me feel better, the dears. But I’ll work hard not to embarass them in front of an audience. I get to try it again tomorrow.

House building is, well, house building, with all the usual delays and complications, most of them caused by our own conflicting work schedules. But there is progress being made.

I must apologive for the lack of progress on pictures. There is really no excuse; it’s not that hard anymore to create a new gallery, but it just keeps slipping through the cracks. Perhaps I will do another “catch up” gallery tomorrow. And I think it’s time for a new banner of summer scenes, since the end of summer is almost here.

Okay, maybe I’m dreaming. But maybe I’ll surprise you. Maybe.

Monday, September 03, 2007

On Vacation

Finishing up our vacation for the long weekend. We are down in Connecticut, spending time at the beach and exploring the area around East Lime.

We stopped briefly at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, where the kids stayed at the play place and parents went and had a grown-up meal at the buffet. I gambled for all of fifteen minutes--the casino was very crowded--and when we picked up the boys, Karen indulged her passion for claw machines.

Tell me, what is worse: winning two hideous large-headed Care Bears stuffed animals, or having two children and winning only one? Karen was trying to win a giant Koosh ball, but none would yield to the claw.

Stayed at a Motel 6 in Niantic the last two nights, a clean, pleasant, and easy-to-find place with a pool and easy freeway access, though the TV blew out the first morning, and they had no replacement. Thank goodness for portable DVD players. Just wish they had a wireless connection.

Tomorrow Thomas starts his senior year in high school, William the first grade. Daniel is a year from kindergarten, but is graduating to a new room in preschool. And Karen and I are back to the grind and trying to move the house project along.

Long weekends never seem all that long.