Saturday, December 29, 2007


It's very slushy here today. It snowed for awhile, and then rained for a while longer. The result was a good deal of icy slush that had to be shoveled off the driveway. About a week into winter and I'm already done with snow. The weather will no doubt have other ideas.

I realize I haven't written since before Christmas. Karen got a bad cold and the weather got a little inconvenient and I wanted to get the holiday page put together, so I just haven't had any time until today.

Christmas, though, was quite nice overall. The kids couldn't decide what toys to play with and so went back and forth trying to play with everything. Except for Thomas, who spent most of the day playing the family's new Nintendo Wii system.

What Karen and I gave each other for Christmas this year is a new house. Not quite ready in time for the big day, but far enough along to see and walk through and imagine. It's a very different experience than building the house in California. That one we expected to have done for use pretty much, and then we just walked in and started setting up house. This one, once the professionals have given us a shell, is more a craft project on a gigantic scale. Stay tuned.

Just as the weather seemed to be the only thing I had to write about last year, forgive me if I dont' have much to say about anything other than the house for awhile. That's just the way it is. Building the new house, moving out of the old house, and selling the old house will pretty much take over our lives for at least the next could of months. And after that it will probably be preparation for our temporary move to California.

Hope I.m not boring you.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The First Day

Today was the first day of winter. Just the first day. I emphasize this because we have already had two snowstorms and one ice storm of sufficient severity to seriously hamper commuting. There have already been two days of school called on account of snow. The snow in the front yard is higher than the porch. And today was just the first day of winter.

Ironically, the ten day forecast, covering the first ten days of winter, call for milder temperatures and little snow. In fact, it is supposed to rain on Sunday, with a daytime high near 40. It's all very strange.

Weather notwithstanding, construction of the house continues pretty much unabated. The framing crew is already working on the main floor and are expecting to have the gable wall for the top half-story tomorrow (yes, they work Saturdays, especially when they couldn't work yesterday because we had ten inches or so of snow).

Today I walked through the unfinished main floor and pictured what the rooms will be like. It was very satisfying. I think we're really going to like this house.

On Sunday when no one is working on the house, I'm planning to walk through with an extra copy of the plan in hand and start thinking about my electrical plan, including where phones and data cables are going. I should be pulling wire within two weeks. Things are moving very fast!

Except for me. I'm moving rather slowly after last night, when I was out until 9:30 shoveling snow of the lot and driveway. So I'm going to bed. A busy weekend ahead including holiday preparations, house construction, and more snow removal.

Did I mention that today was just the first day of winter? Really.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Falling Behind

Those of you who actually look at the site every day may have noticed that the pictures are beginning to recycle. This is because I was quite busy on Saturday preparing for a storm, very ill on Sunday (when the new series of pictures would have started), and recovering from both the illness and the storm today. Somehow, updating the pictures didn't make my list of things to do.

I also spent a good deal of the day preparing for the beginning of the framing phase of our construction project, which begins tomorrow.

And this entry ends now, because I have to get some sleep before arising at 5:00 tomorrow morning to go to work. Good night!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Tonight we are experiencing freezing rain. As I think I have explained on this site, perhaps a couple of years ago, feezing rain is not frozen, at least when it is falling. It is regular old liquid rain until it lands on something which has a surface temperature below freezing. Like cars and roads.

But not everything the rain lands on is freezing. At the moment, our two cars are just wet, because we drove them home less than four hours ago and they still have enough residual warmth to keep ice from forming. But as the night wears on and they cool, they will acuumulate a lovely coating of thin, hard ice. SO I have to get up early to warm up my car so the ice melts before I leave.

The roads are another story. They may be very icy. They might be nothing more than wet. I'll find out tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we are getting very close to getting the frame of our house done. Lumber is being delivered Saturday, just ahead of the snow, and the framing contractor should be starting next weel. He says he could have the basic box all closed and dry beofre Christmas.

In other news, William will be on the stage with his schoolmates on Thursday, and amazingly, Karen and I are both available at the same time.

Will wonders never cease?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

At the Village

Today was our trek to Santa's Village. And what a trek it is, over two hours' drive to Jefferson, New Hampshire, out in the middle of nowhere, which leaves us with two questions: (1) why would anyone put a theme park far away from any big city, and (2) why would anyone travel so far out of their way to visit such a place? The answers are: (1) no one seems to have any notion, and (2) because the children love it.

And love it they do. Favorite parts? Bumper cars, just like the kind they used to have on all the cool boardwalk arcades (Coney Island, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, etc.). Cars the kids can drive themselves, a lot like Disney's Autopia, but with a better, smoother guidance system, and quaint "Tin Lizzle" style cars. And the spinning drums, which are just like the teacups at Disneyland, but with drums as befits the Christmas theme.

It's colder in Jefferson than in New Durham this time of the year, which caught us by surprise last year. But we were better prepared, as Karen noticed whem she mentioned that we only got hot chocolate twice this year, whereas last year we were guzzling it the whole day to keep warm.

The Web site has learned a couple of new tricks. The first is that the front page now displays the first paragraph of my most recent blog entry. If I can get Karen and Thomas to update their blogs, I'll add their first pragraphs as well.

The front page also now has a "Latest Picture" feature, which displays a different picture based on the day of the week. As long as I put in seven pictures once a week, the picture will be different every day. Dont worry if you miss one; it will probably show up in a gallery at some point.

The last feature I've added so far is a picture representing the current state of our new house. This feature will probably be around for awhile, since the house will be a work in prgress for a long time to come. And once it is finished, we will probably be on to some other project to take its place.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What a Day!

The problem started yesterday when I got off work 1-1/2 hours early. A good thing, and as it turned out, a very necessary one. Because when I got on the rooad I started hearing a load clunk from my left front wheel. At first I thought I might have ice caught somewhere, but a quick look at the wheel well found it completely ice-free. I took it to a garage near work, but they were booked and unable to even look at the car. So I limped it up to Wolfeboro to leave it with my mechanic. By the time I'd gotten it up there, I'd pretty much eaten up my free 1-1/2 hours.

Karen was working last night until 7:00, so I had to walk the boys down to the local pizza parlor, sit to dinner with them, and wait for Karen. We killed a little extra time by going and renting a couple of movies, one for the boys to watch today, and another for me to watch tonight while waiting for Karen to come home at about 9:30. Good move, as it turns out.

Because it's William's turn to be sick. Oh no! We were supposed to cut our Christmas tree today, and go into the bank, and take Karen into work so that I'd have a car. So much for that. Fortunately for William, he tends to bounce back pretty fast, and he’s very grown-up about the whole sickness thing. And that movie we rented last night will come in handy for giving William some nice, quiet distraction.

It's interesting, the differences between our children. Danny whines a lot when he is sick, but never stops talking until he just can't stay awake any more. William, on the other hand, will be very quiet and reserved, and sleep a lot until the sickness goes away. Danny is very demanding, and wants everyone to do everything for hom. William will go take care of things for himself without even asking anyone else. And both boys feel better quickly.

Which is good, because tomorrow we are off to Jefferson, about two hours from here, for a cold but fun day at Santa’s Village.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Danny's Five

Danny turned five today! Unfortunately, Danny got really sick last night, keeping himself and his parents up all night. So it wasn’t exactly the best of days for Danny, but he enjoyed opening with and playing his presents, and having his exhausted parents home with him for the day.

Danny will get a couple of extra opportuities to celebrate. He’ll be having a little party with his friends at daycare tomorrow, and going to Santa’s Village on Sunday. And he’ll have his party with his friends the first weekend that Karen has off in January. It’s amazing how much mileage kids get out of a single birthday these days.

The first snow of the season showed up late Sunday and continued through Monday night, dropping about nine or ten inches in our neck of the woods. I couldn’t make it into work, and spent the morning doing battle with our snow blower, a gift from our former neighbor.Tom Thompson.

It was my first time using a snow blower, but I managed okay. Got the driveway clean in the morning so that Karen could get off to work, and again in the afternoon. And I even came up with a good idea for clearing in the dark: I had Karen buy me a little head-mounted superbright LED flashlight to make up for the fact that the snow blower has no headlight and that most of the driveway is not lit.

And it worked okay until I ran out of gas and discovered that my gas can was empty. Oh well. I got enough done so that everyone could get out on Tuesday,.and that night I got the gas and fired up the snow blower. Things had gotten a bit icy, but I did a pretty good job and the head-mounted light worked great!

The new house is well underway, with footings, a septic system, and basement walls. We might even have this things framed and dry by Christmas.

I’m changing the front page of so that I can easily show a little updated picture of the house, and a little snapshot from our daily adventures. I think I’’ve also come up with a neat little trick to allow me to display the first couple of lines from the blog on the main page as kind of a teaser, with a link to the blog itself. These changes should be showing up within a week or so.