Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year Coming Up

Here it is almost the end of the year. New Hampshire is ushering 2013 out with very cold temperatures, but we are trying to stay all cozy in the house—at least until the boys go back to school on Thursday—and make plans for 2014.

I'm still working on the Creative Challenge, of course, and auditioning for at least one (but probably two) plays this year. Karen wants to finish her trailer in time for Spring camping. I'm still not clear on what the boys want to accomplish in the coming year, but we'll be talking more about it tomorrow, while everyone is home for the day.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunny Christmas

The sun is shining brightly here in central New Hampshire this morning. So brightly that you expect the snow to be melting. But since the temperature outside is around 13 degrees, there's not much chance of that.

It's okay, though; we're not going anywhere, and we're all nice and snug inside, the boys sporting the new robes they got for Christmas.

And things will warm up to near freezing tomorrow, so we might go take a swim.

In the indoor pool, of course. We're not that crazy.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Aroma

The house smells good today. Finding ourselves bumping up against a deadline—the last day of school before vacation is tomorrow—we are all pitching in for a marathon day of baking.

Karen started the day whipping up banana bread batter while I worked on the first of six kinds of cookie dough. I've been baking since she left.

William will make his contribution by making chocolate-covered pretzels when he comes home from school, and then Daniel and Thomas will be making more cookies this evening.

Karen will get back into the swing of things when she comes home from work, finishing up raspberry truffles (that Tom will have mixed after dinner).

All-in-all, a tiring, tempting, delicious-smelling day at the Brooks Bunch home.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Something Like a Date

It wasn't anything fancy, but Karen and I got a chance to spend a lot of time out and about today. First we went to the pool so Karen could get in some swimming (I don't really swim so much, but I like to watch her), and then we had lunch together, and afterwards spent an hour or so at the library, one of our favorite hangouts, especially during this frigid time of year.

Nothing fancy, as I said, but a lovely day with a lovely lady. What more could a guy ask for?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's Brewing!

A new winter storm is approaching and today is all about storm prep. The first big one of the season always takes us slightly by surprise, especially when it comes this early.

As in, "Oh, yeah, I haven't repaired the pull-starter rope on the snow-thower yet," and "Maybe I should put a handrail on those temporary steps I just built."

And then there are the things we do in case the power goes out. Not as likely for this storm, as the winds will be relatively mild and the snow will be dry and powdery. But with temperatures in the single digits, tree branches snapping over power lines is within the realm of possibility.

So I'm making buns for tonight's hamburgers early because we can cook burgers on a camp stove, but we can't bake bread. Right now I need to take care of that railing; don't want anyone slipping and sliding!

Monday, December 09, 2013

A Bit Chilly

I know that the West Coast is experiencing a cold spell now, and I thank California for putting it off until after we left.



It was actually fairly mild when we arrived here, above freezing the first day, but now it has gotten decidedly nippy. Single-digit overnight temps are expected in the coming days.



So, friends in Southern California: would you like to trade?

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Swimming In December

We are at the Windrifter Resort in Wolfeboro, and Karen and the boys are swimming. The pool, as you might expect, is indoors.



Karen joined the resort so she would have winter access to a pool so she can get some exercise. A side benefit is a week of time in one of the efficiencies at the resort for family or friends to visit (hint) or a quick getaway for two.

Friday, December 06, 2013

A Trip to California

We got home Tuesday night—well, actually Wednesday morning—from a nine-day trip to California, where three us us were born, and where Karen spent 18 years living (and that's all my fault). Only Danny has never lived in the Golden State. William only lived there a little over a year.

But we all love it, and although New Hampshire feels like home, it was very hard to get on the plane and fly away from family, friends, and glorious weather.

There was a lot of driving, in an SUV we rented that was just way too fancy, with keyless starting, and a touch-screen control panel for sound, climate control, and a few other things we didn't bother to learn. The only thing we never figured out how to do was close the moon roof.

We went from the airport in LA to Burbank, where we met up with friends at a local Round Table Pizza before turning in for the night (after having been up for nearly 24 hours straight) with our friends the Forbushes. Then we drove to Fresno to have Thanksgiving dinner with family, but only after a visit to the wonderful Chaffee Zoo.

After Thanksgiving it was back down to LA, for more visiting, and trip to Disneyland thanks to, and with, our friends the Reisches. Then another day of visiting, a day at Legoland California in Carlsbad, and then back onto a plane to Boston. It was 1:00 in the morning by the time we got home.

So, a whirlwind trip, that seemed every bit as short as the description I just gave. We wanted so much to linger longer, visit more friends and more places. But there was only so much time. There was more, and I will have more to say about it in the days to come. And there will be pictures video posted. But it wasn't long enough, not nearly.

It's been four long years since we came to our special West Coast home. But we won't wait that long to come back.

We just can't wait that long to come back.

Happy Birthday Danny!

Danny is 11 years old today. A couple of years from today I will have two teenagers in the house. Yikes! Tonight we are having, at Danny's request, grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. I'm going to offer an upgrade to tuna melts. I think he'll accept. We also have a cake and balloons for the big day.

This weekend we are taking him to see Disney's new movie, Frozen, and out to a special dinner at the Yankee Smokehouse. Danny has good taste in restaurants.

Tonight we are expecting an inch or so of snow, with more coming on Monday, although recent predictions on that score have been, to say the least, unreliable, so we'll play it by ear. But one thing I know for certain: no snow will be falling where we were a few days ago.

Sigh.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Back In the "Live, Freeze, and Die" State

On December 1st, we were sipping ice-cold drinks, in T-shirts, sitting outside. Obviously, we were not in New Hampshire at the time.

When we got home last light, we discovered, to out chagrin but not much surprise, that the upstairs heater had decided to shut itself down, something it occasionally does. The cats didn't freeze or anything; the basement heater manages to keep things reasonable. For cats. But it was decidedly chilly in the house when we got home, and something of a shock from what we left behind on the West Coast.

But here we are. There will be more to say in my main blog, and lots of pictures to post.

But just now I have to get the kids out of bed, late (we let them sleep in because they didn't get to bed until about 1:30 this morning), and get them off to school.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Anticipation

Lots of errands to run today, Karen's last day off before the trip. Making changes to our phone service, getting haircuts, returning library books, and generally just making sure that we're ready to leave next week.

We are all very excited to see family and friends and a few of our favorite haunts in the Golden State.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Making a Little Comeback

Neglected blog and photos during the past week or so, with a heavy schedule of lighting work at the theater and preparations for a trip to California. I'll try to do better, I promise.

Probably no photo updates while in the Golden State (I will try to work ahead a little before I go, though) since I don't plan to have a computer with me. But I will be able to update this blog.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Opening Night

Fiddler On the Roof opened last night at the Village Players theater. A few small glitches here and there, but only those of us who have watched the show over and over noticed; the actors covered themselves beautifully and made it all seem flawless.

Lights went without a hitch, too, thanks largely to the stage manager, who did a wonderful job getting me all the proper cues.

Twice more, then two days off, one more rehearsal, then three more performances.

And, just maybe, some time to sleep in there somewhere.

Monday, November 04, 2013

That Week

It's "that week" again, the week variously referred to in theater circles as Hell week, production week, and tech week.

For me, "tech" is most appropriate as I run the inaugural show with the theater's new lighting console. I feel like I'm at Mission Control. Fiddler, we are go for launch!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An Apple For ... Me!

Today Karen and I went in search of a better cell phone plan. We have been very unhappy with T-Mobile, whose coverage has actually contracted in the Wolfeboro area. We considered going to a pay-as-you-go plan, but we would have to purchase new phones unless we stayed with T-Mobile (and with their plan we'd lose our current phone numbers). While mine was beginning to have problems, Karen's was perfectly fine.

And so we did a lot of searching around and finally hit on a solution, we think. I'm switching over to AT&T, and Karen is staying with T-Mobile, but with a pay-as-you-go plan. Karen spends less time in the Lakes Region, and her number isn't the one everyone uses to contact us.

So, I signed up with AT&T, and was ready to get another Android phone from LG, which looked a little bulky and cumbersome, when the sales clerk mentioned that iPhone 4S was also available free with the contract. (The 4S is not the latest model, but it's close).

I didn't jump at the offer immediately. I like the iPhone, but I've been using Android for two years and was used to it. But, knowing that I'd still have my old phone to run applications on, I went ahead and took the iPhone.

What do I think? It's too early to tell, but I do like the fact that the contacts from my Mac are already synced to the phone. I'm sure that there will be plusses and minuses.

But the biggest plus is that the kids will be able to reach me from home when I'm at the theater, and our overall monthly expenses will go down. And that was the whole point.

But the phone, I have to admit, is cool.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Not a Lot Of Sleeping Going On

Up late last night working on lighting for Fiddler On the Roof, and was as usual up early this morning to help boys get to school and Karen get to work, and to ship a few items we sold on eBay so that Thomas could get his car back in order to make it to work on time.

And yet, with the lack of sleep, I've been fairly productive today. I even shot a video introduction for a Fiverr gig I'm planning to offer.

Of course, the video might be total garbage, and in my stupor I might just think the shoot went well. Only postproduction will reveal its true quality.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Alarming

I think my life is controlled by alarms. Alarm clocks, and little tunes that play at preset times from my phone. Especially in the mornings. Ah, yes, mornings.

On a typical school day, my radio turns itself on at 5:30. In the morning. It's tuned to NHPR, but I don't listen long enough to hear what the news is, because I turn the radio off so as not to disturb Karen's sleep. At least not at that hour. William's own radio turns itself on five minutes earlier. I don't know why; it was William's decision.

William mostly gets himself ready for school, just requiring a reminder here and there, most often the feeding of his cat. When he has gotten dressed and had breakfast and taken care of a few other things on his list, he usually curls up in Karen's favorite chair and reads. This is where the first alarm on my phone comes in, because William would sit there reading until sometime in the afternoon if there wan't some kind of time signal. Like the rest of us, he gets lost in a good book.

That phone alarm sounds at 6:15, and William and I go out into the dark and, as of this week, cold to wait for the bus. It usually arrives within ten minutes, giving us a little time to talk, usually about nothing in particular. I say good-bye, turn around and go back into the house, and have a minute or two to breathe before Danny's alarm goes of at 6:30.

Danny needs a little more guidance than William to get moving in the morning. I won't say that I have to drag him out of bed, mostly because his bunk bed is too high for me to reach him, so I have to get by with poking and prodding. Not every morning. Sometimes he gets up really early and gets in William's way. Of the two versions of Danny in the Morning, I prefer the sleepyhead.

The phone alarm for Danny's bus goes off at 7:25. Sometimes the bus comes within ten minutes, sometimes it takes half an hour. Usually it's a little warmer when I wait with Danny, because the sun is up. But not always.

I also help Karen get ready for work, not because she needs my help, but because when it comes to my wife, I like to be helpful. Sometimes Karen has to leave before Danny goes to the bus. Sometimes she leaves about an hour after. If I'm lucky, she has a late shift and leaves a couple of hours after the boys (although that's not lucky for the boys because she'll be home after they go to bed). If we're all really lucky, Karen will have the day off.

Usually that's it for alarms, but sometimes there are appointments that are important and out of the ordinary, and time will slide right by me if I don't have some kind of reminder. Danny's after-school program, or a Den meeting, or some kind of theater meeting.

So, while I really hate to hear alarms going off sometimes, I'm grateful that I have them around to keep me on track.

Getting My Head Stuffed Full

Today I spent about five hours getting the grand tour of the new lighting console at the Village Players theater. So many features! I won't use but a handful in our next production, Fiddler On the Roof. But that's all for the better, since I only have two weeks until opening night and it will be nice to be able to stick to the basics for my first time in the cockpit.

And when I say cockpit, I mean the thing looks like it belongs in an airplane. More buttons than I can count, and 40 faders. Suddenly I'm feeling like I'm running lights for a 1500 seat house instead of our little theater.

But don't get the idea that I don't like the new console. It will take a lot of learning, but it's going to do some very cool things for us. Thirteen years in, we've finally arrived in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Time With My Wife

Karen and I got a chance to spend some time out together yesterday. We travelled up to York, Maine, to the Nubble Lighthouse. The main purpose of the trip was to pick rose hips before they ripened too far, and on that we were spectacularly successful.

But it was also a fun trip that gave us time to just hang out and enjoy the scenery (and the beautiful sunny day). Karen took lots of pictures of the ocean, the lighthouse, the rose bushes, the rocks, and even a group of scuba divers, with an eye toward using some of all of the pictures for inspiration in future paintings.

I mostly took pictures of Karen.

Lunch out was Taco Bell, which isn't elegant but something we don't get to do very often, and we failed to instantly win a Sony Playstation 4 game system. We're crushed. Sort of.

Today was gray and chilly, so we stayed in and worked on eBay sales and a new book concept. Tomorrow we get to sleep in, if our body clocks don't betray us; the kids have a delayed opening while their teachers get some extra training, and Karen's working a late shift. So we also get to spend a little extra time with the boys.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Whoosh!

Annual Cub Scout rocket launch, which will be our last. Today I discovered that a "B" engine has too much power for a small, lightweight rocket. Danny discovered it too; his rocket is in the woods somewhere next to his den leader's field, probably lost for good. Ah well. He got two spectacular launches out of it.

At some point, if Danny continues to show interest in model rocketry, we may join the nearest chapter of the National Association of Rocketeers, which meets in Maine, not too far from here.

But Danny's sights are already set on the Pinewood Derby, coming up in the winter, which will also be his last.

And it's not very likely that his Pinewood Derby car will get lost in the woods.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sleepover Is Over

Weekend behind me, kids back in school, and all the adults back to work. Including me, who managed to add this video for the second week of the 52-Week Challenge:



That was about it for the Challenge today; too much housework to catch up on, and a new course in music production starting. But I have a song that's only six lines from done. So far, I think I'm doing okay.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sleep(?)-Over

William had a few friends overnight for his birthday, and Daniel got to have a friend stay over, too. They call this a sleep-over, but I don't know why. Nobody got any sleep last night. Except Karen. She was exhausted enough to get some sleep, and I did what I could to keep things quiet so she could.

But I'm paying for it today!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Challenge Begins

In case you're not following me on Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, or at my 52-Week Creative Challenge blog, here's the first of the 52 videos I'm going to create in the next year.



Just a little something I cooked up on the kitchen table with our still camera. Technology is a wonderful thing!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Better Balance

Can't say my life is in better balance, but I'm working on it. But the site is, to my eye, better than it was, with the added benefit that the daily picture is now bigger, and that's what keeps my readers coming back anyway. There is one minor change to how the site works: the daily picture and the past picture no longer link to larger versions of themselves; they now link to their respective galleries on PicasaWeb.

You can still see the larger version of the picture, and even download it, from the front page, because all of the image data from the 1600 X 1200 version is loaded with the page. To get the details, click on the new "Help" link on the navigation bar.

Just because a new season is upon us, I will probably be changing the colors, title, and banner pictures soon.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another Class Project Done

After getting delayed several times, I still managed to get my last assignment for Survey of Music Technology in a day ahead of schedule. To be fair, I had some small advantage on this one: it involved programming, and I've done a fair bit of that in my time.

But since I did understand a lot of the concepts going in, it gave me time to have fun with it. Instead of using the sound files that were supplied for the class, I recorded my own, about ten of them, and manipulated them with the programming scripts to create something that, while it won't be on anyone's Top Ten list, is still an interesting result.

If you're curious, you can hear it on my SoundCloud account. It's the one called "Some Random Pluck." The "Pluck" refers to the fact that the dominant track is composed of a total of six recordings of my six-string banjo; five of the recordings are single notes.

The "drum" track is actually make of sounds created with a balloon. The only synthesized sound is the horn sound, which comes from my old Casio keyboard. It's also the only one with effects added. I was required to create the effect myself in the computer program.

In fact, I was required to create the entire soundtrack using only the computer program, without any manual manipulations in the recording software. So although the individual bits are my recordings, the music itself was generated by my computer.

Even though I knew a lot of the programming concepts, I learned a lot over the course of the last five weeks of this class that I'm going to be able to apply to my musical composition for some time to come. I really love this online learning thing!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dance

William went to his first ever dance today. It was a fundraiser for the Vista program, to partly offset the cost of their Spring camping trip. William didn't want to go to the dance, as he told us again and again, but we felt it was important, especially as he would be directly benefitting from the proceeds.

And when Thomas, Daniel, and I picked him up (for Thomas was working until 8:00 and so I had to pick him up since I had his car), he said that it, well, wasn't as bad as he thought it would be.

And when we got home he proceeded to tell me about all the fun that he had. And that he'd actually danced. A little.

And he met a girl.

I don't think I'll have to sell him on the next dance.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Just Missed

I took a picture on Saturday, transferred it to my computer, and then completely forgot to upload it to the site, which is why there was a repeat from last month on Sunday. So the picture I took Saturday is there today.

You might wonder why you've seen nothing but Danny in the pictures for the past few days; it's just a timing issue. William was away camping Thursday and Friday, and was exhausted on Saturday and Sunday, and didn't feel like doing much that was picture-worthy.

He'll be back on the front page soon. I promise!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Settling In

The boys have been back in school for a few weeks, and Tom has been at work a bit longer than that. As much as possible, given the fact that I now have two members of the household who work unpredictable schedules, I am settling into some manner of a routine.

Right now the routine involves housework, construction, cooking, selling on eBay, promoting the books we've already published, and writing, as well as keeping up on my coursework (and you can hear some of the results of what I'm doing at SoundCloud). I'm also trying to get ready for winter, including whatever preparations need to be made to install our wood stove.

But starting October 1, I'm adding some heavy work to my routine: the fulfillment of my 52-Week Creative Challenge. I have announced that I'm going to create, in the 52 weeks following 10/1/13, 52 online videos. 26 songs, twelve Kindle articles, four books, and one feature-length screenplay.

It sounds impossible. For all I know it might be impossible. But when I was taking my first songwriting class, I managed to create a song from scratch in about two weeks while going through Hell Week and opening week of a play that I was running the booth for. And the second time I took the course, I did the same thing, although in that case at least the play I was appearing in was over before the final weeks of the course.

With the new tools that I've learned, and some organization, I think I can do this and still fulfill all my other obligations (including, yes, theater; I'm running lights for Fiddler On the Roof and planning to audition for two shows next year). What the course taught me is that, if I organize my thoughts at the start of a project, I can get the writing done according to a schedule. If I can sustain that for a whole year, then I will have a substantial body of work out there in the world.

And even if I don't quite meet my goals, I still will have done a lot more work in the coming year than in any of the years past. So, whatever the outcome, the effort is worthwhile.

And there is something you, dear reader, can do to help. Tell everyone! And while you're at it follow me on YouTube, SoundCloud, Twitter, and my blog about the experience (and if you're not a member of any of those sites, at least bookmark the YouTube, SoundCloud and blog links so you can look in on them from time to time).

But definitely tell everyone you know online to look in on me, because the more people know about this, the harder it will be for me to back out when the going gets rough. And that's just the kind of push that I need.

Camping and Hiking

William went on an overnight campout with his classmates to the White Mountains on Thursday and Friday. He was hurting by the time he came home on the bus Friday afternoon, but very happy. He had hiked about 12 miles, pitched a tent nearly by himself (and without any adult help), and eaten some very hearty meals.

He gets to repeat the experience, at a different site (and most likely with colder weather) in the Spring. By that time he will have many weeks of hiking under his belt, and will know his classmates much better. Sometimes he claims that he doesn't want to go on these trips, but in the end he usually had a very good time.

Although I have to admit, it's strange waking up without him in the house (even if I do get to sleep an extra hour in the morning).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Campout and Campin

William is at a friend's house tonight, and last I heard, the plan was for them to camp out. They certainly have a beautiful night for it.

By way of making it up to Daniel, who wasn't invited, Karen brought home pizza, root beer, and ice cream, and Danny got to choose a movie to bring home from the library. He chose Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. And he's having a camp in, in our living room.

Good thing Karen doesn't have to go to work in the morning.

Danny and I also played with the Lego Robot that William built during the summer. We programmed it to sense when it bumped into anything, and respond by backing up and turning left before proceeding forward once more.

The first problem was that when it would go under something higher than its sensor arm, but not higher than itself, it would get stuck. We solved that by putting extensions on the arms to sense anything up to just above the robot's height.

The second problem was that the robot won't sense anything directly in front of it; you have to reach down and tough one of its two sensor arms. We haven't solved that one, yet.

Might have to bring William in with some of his Lego-building expertise.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Boom!

A series of short but intense thunder showers made for a very noisy day. Fortunately, there were some breaks to work on a recording I had to do for one of my online courses (not songwriting this time; music technology).

But we came away without even a loss of power, and the breaks between storms even managed to fall on the times when each member of the family came home today. Pretty nifty, don't you think?

At least these storms are bringing cooler weather. It was over 90 and raining on Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to Work

After we got Karen's car back on Friday, Karen quickly signed up to camp at a gathering of tiny trailer aficionados, which was conveniently located in Milton, about 20 minutes drive from home. We don't have our trailer yet, but future trailer owners are welcome to join in.

So the weekend was filled with camping, which included a lot of fun, good food, and music (I even brought my guitar and joined in), but not a lot of sleep. So Sunday afternoon was mostly recovery time.

And Monday was mostly running around time, including time running around trying to save some money on our cell phone bill, which turned out to be a fool's errand (and guess who the fool was).

Today I actually had half the day alone in the house to do construction, coursework, and even some writing.

I'm also working on a special project, which you'll be hearing a lot more about. You can get a little preview here.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Repairs

Today we are going to go pick up Karen's car, so we will once again be a two-car family. Of course, with Karen returning to work Monday, it won't be so much different than it has been for the past few days, but I hate to think how much running around there'd be if she had to go back to work short one car.

In other repair news, the night before last our fancy ceramic cooktop range stopped working. The electronic control panel seemed to think that everything was working fine, but with no heat coming from either burners or oven elements, I was hard-pressed to agree.

Happily, this story has a cheaper ending than the story of Karen's Subaru. A little online time with Samsung revealed that there is a way of resetting the controls (which is not mentioned in the troubleshooting section of the manual), and everything is working again.

Good. I was not looking forward to doing all of the cooking with the microwave, the crockpot, and the bread maker.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Nuthin'

That's mostly what's happening with the Brooks Bunch today, on a rainy Labor day when Karen and Tom both have to work (no rest for retail). Not that there's nuthin' to do. I have paperwork to fill out and packing to do for the boys' return to school.

William is in a program at the middle school called "Vista." I'm not exactly sure what it is, except that the students will be spending less time sitting at desks and more time out and about observing the world, with lots of reading and writing. So that can't be bad.

But there is a bit of gearing up to do, including having hiking boots for William by the end of the week, since every Friday includes a hike. And, of course, William has outgrown his hiking boots. As a matter of fact, Danny has outgrown William's hiking boots.

I'm in so much trouble.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

On Course

My final song submission for Songwriting is up, waiting for feedback from my fellow students. They won't actually get a shot at it until Monday night, and I won't get the results until Thursday (and between those days I have to do at least five evaluations myself, and I usually try to do at least 15).

Not taking it easy, though. In addition to all the things I need to do for my family, I'm still loading up on online learning. I'm almost through the first week of Survey of Music Technology, and on track to submit my quizzes on time. The Beethoven and Dinosaur classes start this week. We'll see if I can juggle all three; if not, Beethoven will probably be the first to go, since the one I started is more relevant to my musical goals, and the Dinosaur class is for Danny's benefit.

The boys go back to school on Tuesday, the same day we take Karen's car in for some major repairs so that it can pass inspection. Would love to replace it, but the cost of a reliable used car around here is out of our reach. For now, anyway. Fortunately, Karen has some time off coming, otherwise trying to juggle her work schedule and Tom's would be a nightmare.

Speaking of nightmares, I should get myself to sleep; have to help both the working stiffs in the family get to work at the same time tomorrow.

Oh, and as promised, the song: Disconnected.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Under the Wire

I got my song submission in for my online course only two hours ahead of the deadline. It's got a lot of lyrics, and I've been waking up at night trying to turn my ideas into actual lines and rhymes.

Now I just have to wait a few days to see what my fellow students thought of the results. When I do the final version, I'll post a link.

Meanwhile, I think I'll stay busy enough not to dwell on the outcome.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cool Food Stuff

Karen has had the last two days off, and that usually means something different when it comes to food.

Yesterday's dinner does not seem out of the ordinary—steak and potatoes. Oh, but there was that amazing lobster bisque that Karen concocted from the stock she made a few weeks ago and some of the frozen lobster meat.

And dessert was homemade honeydew melon sorbet, which Daniel helped make because a melon that Karen bought a while ago wasn't very sweet, and half of it had been sitting in the refrigerator for awhile. So rather than let it go bad, she and Daniel pureed it in the blender, along with a syrup made with sugar and fresh mint from our garden, and lime juice. The melon wasn't too appealing on its own, but as sorbet it took on a new and delicious life.

Now, Karen actually made a little more of the syrup than the sorbet recipe called for, so she decided to use the rest to make non-alcoholic mint juleps, like we used to enjoy as Disneyland. The result, which had crushed ice in it so that we didn't have to wait for it to chill, was not exactly like Disneyland's. But it was delicious and refreshing.

While Karen and I were out at the library yesterday, we stopped at the local grocery store to shop for meats (our little market has a great butcher and good meat prices). Among other things, we found packages of chicken quarters for 79 cents a pound, so we stocked up a bit.

For today's lunch, Karen tried to duplicate the dish her mother made when she was growing up, which was called "red chicken" by the family. Karen has not been able to find her mother's recipe, but she has become quite adept at finding recipes online and adapting them. The result was baked chicken with a sweet ketchup-based sauce and rings of onion. Karen says it was very close. I just thought it was delicious.

And tonight we made our annual trek to our local Pan-Asian restaurant East of Suez, to get in before it closes on September 1st (which is before Karen's next day off). We had planned to make it dinner for two, but Tom got called to work for an evening shift at the last minute, and so William and Daniel came with. It wasn't their favorite experience, but Karen and I loved the food.

But we are going to have a nice dinner for just the two of us as soon as Karen and Tom both have another day off.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Driven

Missed the picture again because of sleeping in. Late night out at the movies. But I'm set for the next six days.

Went to the driving range with Daniel to try out clubs he got for free at the local hospital fair at the end of the last night. He was hitting fairly well by the end of the bucket. Maybe we'll try to find a nice little par 3 to play.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Down, Sort Of

I took the final exam for my course Maps and the Geospatial Revolution tonight and scored 49.53 out of 50 possible points. Now all that's left is to perform peer evaluations of my fellow students, and then find out what they thought of my map. That last part I don't get to do until Monday, and I don't have time to think about it, because I also have to submit a song for Songwriting by then.

That's also the day I start Survey of Music Technology. And just when the last assignment for Songwriting is due, I'm starting Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, and Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology. I'm taking that last one for Danny; he loves dinosaurs, but he's obviously too young to take a college-level course. So I'm hoping to share some of what I learn with him.

Only time will tell if I'm up for a trifecta, but I'm going to give it the old online college try.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Oops!

I didn't get the new picture in this morning. I'd like to pretend that it's just because I don't get to post enough of Karen and myself together, but the fact is that I had trouble getting to sleep last night and I didn't get up until well after the 10:00 deadline (and there's no way I'm going to be able to do that after the kids go back to school).

But not to fear, tomorrow's picture is already in queue, with more Brooks Bunch happenings on the way. Now I've got to go tend to the home-grown potatoes we're having along with roast pork. Jealous? I though so.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Walk By the Bay

Yesterday, William and Daniel and I went for a walk along Back Bay, off Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro. We've made that walk often; it's one of our favorite places to take a stroll. But this particular walk had a special purpose: data collection.

Over the past five weeks, I've been taking a fascinating online course called Maps and the Geospatial Revolution. During that time, I've listen to video lectures, read course material, and played around with some powerful online tools which are available for free (with limited functionality—limited, that is, if you're a professional geographer; it seems nearly limitless to me). The culmination of the five weeks is to use a map to tell a story, which will be reviewed and graded by my peers in the class.

That doesn't make me nervous. I'm in it for the knowledge, not the grade (it's not a credit course anyway, and I'm not headed for a degree in geography anytime soon). The process itself, though, is interesting. In order to make this story map, I had to go out into the field and collect location data, then import that data into a map that somehow tells a story.

I saw a template that showed points of interest along a particular bridge in New York, and decided to adapt that idea to our favorite walking tour. I could use the same template; I just had to add my own pictures, descriptions, and locations. I had recently read a cautionary story about using a smartphone to take online pictures; people can extract the exact location the picture was taken from the data and sometime use it to stalk people.

Now I wasn't worried about that; it only happens when the GPS is turned on, and I hardly use my GPS because it uses too much battery power. But, I thought, rather than just use a GPS program and write down the locations, why not imbed them into the pictures I take?

So that's what I did. Well, not exactly. I did take pictures to get the locations, but I didn't care that much for the pictures, so I took additional pictures at the same locations with my regular camera, and that's what I posted.

It's not quite as simple as it sounds; the location data from the phone is only accurate to within 35 feet as best, and on a half-nile trail, that can be quite a distance off. But I was able to do some tweaking using Google Maps, and the result is HERE.

Except for some preliminary set-up, the whole thing was done between 3:00 and 8:30 p.m. yesterday, and the included taking and preparing the pictures, tweaking the data, and importing everything into the template. And I didn't spend all my time on the project. After all, I do have a few other things on my schedule.

Even though the class is over, I'm planning to do a lot more with these tools in the future.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Not 100%

Still feeling a little sick, but I don't want to miss the auditions. Already had to sing once today, to submit my song for the class, and I could tell in the recording that I'm stuffed up and raspy. But I'll give it my best anyway.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day At Home

I'm recovering, but still a little achey, so we decided to make it a stay-at-home day (well, except for Tom, who had to work). Managed to finish cutting the sides for Karen's trailer, and do some of the work for dinner tonight (not sure who'd doing the rest of the cooking, but I made sandwich rolls and boiled eggs for deviled eggs). Danny made some Jello for us.

And I did a little writing for the song snippet that I have to hand in for tomorrow on my songwriting class, though I still need to get my voice back to record it. Nothing like working ahead!

With luck, a good night's sleep will prepare me for tomorrow's auditions for Fiddler On the Roof.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

And Now We Are Seven

Today it was my sad duty to remove Bonnie's picture from our header. If you've been following the site you already know that our dear little Cairn Terrier died on July 31st. She was ten years old. I would keep the picture up longer, but looking at it every day is just a little hard right now.

Life goes on, so the saying goes, and so it has. After we left Bonnie at the vet's for the last time, I went to touch-up rehearsal for my most recent play, and performed my best. We did three shows over the weekend which all went very well.

But it's hard coming home late at night, when everyone else is asleep, without having to worry about the dog waking everyone up to greet me. And we haven't yet broken the habit of leaving the front door unlocked and the porch light on until the last of us is ready to go to bed, so that we can let the dog out one more time.

The house is not the same without her.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Going Nowhere

Head cold knocked me flat today, so I'm not going anywhere but to bed.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

North Country

Today we headed north to the White Mountains (without Tom; he had to work). We poked around North Conway, a terrific place to poke around, and visited the Mt. Washington Observatory Weather Museum. Then we took a picnic lunch from KFC to the Swift River, where Karen and the boys (but not me) went swimming

I spent the time working on a class assignment for the online songwriting course I'm re-taking (not that there was anything wrong with it the first time—I just wanted to get a refresher.

Then we stopped at Bobby Sue's for their excellent ice cream.

This is a summer tradition with us, and despite the fact that I seem to have a slight head cold, I enjoyed the day out with my family.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Cars

I finally sold my old car for parts. Here it is on its way to the junkyard:


The car was a good deal; I bought it for only $1800, put about another $1000 into it, and ran it for nearly three years. It's time to move on.

Unfortunately, before we can move on to another car, we need to fix Karen's this month so that it can pass inspection. I sometimes wish we lived in a place where a car is not a necessity. But then, I've never lived anyplace like that.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Back To Reality

Haven't written anything here since Bonnie died on Wednesday. Spent a lot of my time preparing for performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Show's over now, so I have to do a lot of catching up during the next week.

Especially because there's a good chance that sometime soon I'll be starting work on another show.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Very Sad Day

Our little cairn terrier Bonnie was very sick over the past several days. We took her to the vet on Monday, tried to cure her infection with antibiotics, took her back Tuesday afternoon for an x-ray to find that she had more severe problems than we had thought.

Today we took her in to be evaluated for surgery. But she was just too weak and the surgery was far too risky. So we made the hard decision to end her suffering.

It amazing how big a hole a tiny little dog can leave in a house this size.

Monday, July 29, 2013

In the Water

Last week of swim lessons. Predicted thundershowers held off until, well, now. With luck we'll get in all for lessons this week.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Taking It Easy. Sort Of.

Two performances of Hello ... Is There Any Body There? are in the past, and we did, indeed get a lot of laughs, with just a few hiccups and a couple of wardrobe malfunctions. Done with performances until Friday, with just a touch-up rehearsal on Wednesday.

And so it's time to relax. Well, okay, it's actually time to catch up on the many things that I got behind on in the run-up to opening night. So, not really relaxing.

But I should be able to get to bed earlier tonight.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Busy Month

It's been about a month since I updated this blog. But it hasn't been a month in which nothing has happened. Far from it!

It's not that there have been any earth-shattering changes or great accomplishments. Okay, well, we did get the print edition of Danny's Kitten done, and we'll be ordering copies for our library soon. And Thomas did manage to get a job at the local market, just ten minutes from home. And I did, with some difficulty, learn my lines in time for opening night. Tonight. Whew!

But mostly we've just been active having some fun together. The boys and I have been playing around the the Lego Mindstorms robotics kit that I bought many years ago but never did anything with. Danny is also using Legos to try out stop-motion animation. William will be trying his hand at stop-motion, too, in the coming weeks, although he wants to use something other than Legos.

We've also been spending some time drawing, although not as much as I'd planned. Preparing for the play and promoting our books has taken more of my time and energy than I expected. But after opening weekend, my schedule and my brain will be a bit less cluttered, and we'll get back to drawing and some other fun creative pursuits.

We've managed to take some trips, even though Karen's schedule is absolutely awful this summer. We went up to York Beach, where the kids enjoyed amusements park rides as well as some swimming in the ocean, and Karen and I visited the New Hampshire Historical Society Museum in Concord on our anniversary, where we saw some stunning artwork by local artists from the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries.

We also made a trek around Lake Winnipesaukee with a stop at the Sandwich Creamery to get some ice cream. The company makes dairy products that it sells to stores and restaurants all over the region, but you can also drive to their property in Sandwich, to a little dairy barn at the end of a long dirt road, and pick a carton of ice cream from their freezer (cheese, too). And you pay on the honor system. It's wonderful ice cream coupled with an unusual experience, and we try to go at least once a summer.

It hasn't all been play, of course. Karen's had to work, and we've been working on writing and publishing and learning to promote ourselves. And trying to get further with the house and the trailer, although weather and budgets have refused to make any of that easy this year.

With the kids about halfway through summer vacation, there's still a lot of work—and fun—left before they return to school.

Be sure to check the site, this blog, and the Updates Blog to keep up on it.

Opening Night

Dress rehearsal was good, but not perfect last night. Theater superstition says that that's the way it should be—a letter-perfect dress is supposed to be bad luck. Tonight we perform for a paying audience.

I expect quite a bit of laughter.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Reading Time

The boys and I took Tom into work this afternoon, and now we're at the library so the boys can get in a little reading time without the temptations of computers and TVs.

Not for long, though, because we have to get home, do some cleaning, have dinner, and get to the theater for my rehearsal; Karen gets to pick up boys when she gets off work, and Tom gets to bring me home tonight.

Ah, logistics!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Can't Get It Done!

Well, it's raining. Again. And Karen's trailer is sitting in the back yard under a tarp waiting for progress to be made. The front deck has a deck and rails, but no ballusters or permanent stairs, much less the pergola that's supposed to be covered with climbing vines by now. And don't even get me started on the back deck, because I can't get started on the back deck.

William's swim lessons were cancelled because of the weather, not because of the rain, but because of rumbles of thunder. Can't argue with that; you don't want to get caught in a large body of water when there's lightning.

And poor Karen: this is her last of two days off.

I don't think I've ever hated the rain as much as I do right now.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tonight It Starts

There are now five more rehearsals before the opening night of Hello ...  Is There Any Body There? at The Village Players. And they are all in a row. And Thomas has started a new job at one of the local grocery stores, so it's going to be a very interesting week.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Picnic at the Beach

Watching the boys swim after lessons, and remembering that I haven't posted anything for five days. Busy with boys' activities and learning my lines (opening a week from tomorrow).

And taking on two online courses: "The Geospatial Revolution" and another session of songwriting to goose myself to pay more attention to my songs.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

An Afternoon—and Evening—Out

Today we went to York, Maine, to visit the amusement park there, have some dinner, let Karen and the boys splash around at the beach, and spend some more time at the amusement park.

William wasn't too keen on going, but ended up having a wonderful time. Goes to show that when a twelve-year-old says he isn't interested in something, it's best to go according to history instead of listening to his story.


The view from the benches at York Beach, Maine.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ice Cream Sandwich? Well, Not Exactly

Today we went to Sandwich, New Hampshire, for ice cream, at the out-of-the-way home of the Sandwich Creamery. To get there you have to drive several miles from the center of town (the Town of Sandwich, that is), turn onto a dirt road, then onto another dirt road.

The ice cream is in a freezer in tubs. You pick a tub and put your money in a slot in the wall. It's all on the honor system.

Is the ice cream worth the trip? Well, the ice cream plus the experience, absolutely.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Invaders

Nearby Wolfeboro has been invaded by tourists for the weekend. After swimming lessons (which the boys don't ordinarily have on Friday, but what with the holiday...) we attempted to get milk and dish soap for the house, and failed in our mission. No parking at the grocery (and a large number of tourists circling the lot), and Rite-Aid, which usually has half a case devoted to milk, had nothing there but empty space (and that was overpriced, so I didn't buy any).

Just getting out of town was a major accomplishment. Now we are home, safe from the invaders.

Until the next trip.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Recovering

Danny's feeling better today; he has a little more appetite and is spending a little less time sound asleep. He's currently in his bed reading. Has a little trouble getting enough to drink without feeling a bit nauseated, but that situation, too, seems to be improving.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Unexpected Turn

Danny and I are in Rochester, after a visit to the doctor, the pharmacist, and the phlebotomist. Danny has Lyme Disease. It is, I'm relieved to say, not very serious in kids if treated promptly, which is what we are doing today.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Starting Summer With a Bang (Or At Least a Rumble)

Well, summer vacation is officially underway. The boys have started swimming lessons, we've begun out "At-Home Summer Camp" schedule (drawing this week), and the boys will have their daily writing, typing, and music practices to do when Karen's off at work. And, this being New Hampshire, we have had afternoon thunderstorms nearly ever day this summer so far.

It's not unusual, but it's sort of a surprise because this pattern hasn't been around for awhile. But I remember when we first got a house here, it was just part of the normal routine. Some of the afternoon showers would obliterate our satellite reception. That's not a problem now, since we have neither satellite not cable (we rely on the Internet, NetFlix,  and Hulu Plus for our entertainment, which seems to be more than enough and it's much cheaper).

But the thunderstorms can have some pretty spectacular effects. For example, our rehearsal Sunday night at the theater when the building sort of got struck by lightning. Okay, when I say "sort of," I'm not being equivocal. I don't think the building itself actually got struck by lightning, because there was no fire. Or at least the building itself did not catch on fire. But there was a very loud explosion, and then the fire alarm system went crazy. Which is because the circuit box for the fire alarm was the source of the loud explosion.

We evacuated, not in a panic because there wasn't any actual flame, and we wanted to see what we could do to protect our beloved theater before we left it. It was pouring rain outside and we all got thoroughly soaked. The building seems to be okay. I think that a wire adjacent to the alarm wire (that sends a signal to the fire department) got struck, and the alarm got fried by induction.

We can still rehearse, but the wiring is going to have to be checked out and the alarm system fixed before we can put on a show, which we are scheduled to do in 31 days. This is the kind of excitement I can do without. I'll know more, I think, when we get together Wednesday night for rehearsal.

The weather is also making a mess of Karen's build schedule for the trailer, though she does have mornings off for a few days coming up, and the mornings have been mostly dry.

And outside construction is also proceeding slowly. But perhaps this pattern will change (it usually does at some point, though not any particular, predictable point) and we'll have warm, dry days for outside activity once more.

Drawing

The boys and I are learning drawing as our first "At-Home Summer Camp" this week. We're using two different approaches from two different books. Today's was Mark Kistler's Draw Squad. In just their first exercise I can already see that my two boys are way ahead of where many adults are when they start these lessons. This should be fun!

The drawing camp is only this week, but we'll continue drawing throughout the summer, and, I hope, far beyond.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Swim Lessons

Today was the start of swim lessons for both boys. I got lucky enough this year to have them both start at the same time of the morning.

Karen had the day off, so she got to come with us, and she even managed to spend some time in the water.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer

Yes, it's officially summer, not only by the Gregorian calendar, but by the school calendar. School let out at 1:00 this afternoon, and normally I would be expecting William and Daniel hope at any moment. But they are both being picked up by their respective friends, Daniel for an afternoon playdate, and William for an overnight stay.

So, in a way, my summer doesn't start until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Graduation

William had his promotion ceremony, his passage from the sixth grade to the seventh, from elementary school to middle school. His classmates all told of their favorite school memories, the sixth-grade band members played a couple of songs, all the sixth graders sang a couple of songs, and there was a slide show at the end. Oh, and everyone got a T-shirt.

In the fall, William will be catching the bus at the same time as the high school students, more than an hour earlier than he did this past year, than Danny will for the next two years. In fact, Danny and William won't be attending the same school now until William is a Junior in high school.

Should make life interesting.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

I have spent most of this day dedicated to fathers (probably by a greeting card company, but no matter) without my wife and my two younger sons. But they are on their way home from camping in Vermont, and we are going out to dinner before I head off to rehearsal.

I've missed them, but I'm glad they had a good time. Karen took at least some pictures (I know because she actually sent me three from her phone, a rare treat), so those will be showing up on the site over the coming week.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bachelors For the Weekend

Karen and the boys are off camping tonight through Sunday, so Thomas and I are temporarily bachelors. So it's party, party, party! Well, actually, it's work, work, work. Thomas has illustrations to finish, I have writing to do, modifications to the new Web site for our books (and the family site, too), and work on Karen's trailer, and we both have a lot of cleaning to catch up on.

Ah, the bachelor life!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Preparations

Karen is taking the boys camping this weekend in Vermont, and we've spent a good deal of the day checking out tents, figuring out how to attach two kayaks to the top of Karen's car, and making sure everything she needs is packed.

I'm not going; tent camping is not my best thing anyway, and I have rehearsal on Sunday night, for which I would like to have had a decent night's sleep. I'll miss them an awful lot, though.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another Busy Day

Karen's car had an appointment for an oil change today, and we wanted the mechanic to have a look to see if he saw any obvious inspection issues. We took advantage of the trip to Rochester to get some shopping done, especially preparations for an upcoming camping trip. That ended up taking most of the afternoon.

When we got home, we whisked Daniel away fro a quick pizza dinner, after which we got to watch his and the other fourth-graders perform music in the gym. Daniel played the recorder with the other kids who didn't join the band this year, and the the band members played. They did pretty well!

Then I went off to rehearsal. This show, being a farce, has a lot of difficult logistics. But the cast, Village Players veterans all, is working very hard, and the show is coming together. It's going to have people in tears with laughter. I think with laughter. Tears for certain. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Date

Actually got to go out on a date with Karen. Dinner and a movie at a place that does both at the same time, Smitty's in Sanford, ME.

Saw "Now You See Me," which had great acting and a cool concept, but a lot of annoyances for someone with both a film background and an interest in stage magic.

But the food was surprisingly good, and the company was perfect.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sim City

William participated in his school's annual "Sim City" event, where students set up shops and offer merchandise, services, and games to other students in exchange for scrip issued at the door of each classroom.

William did a game of chance, carnival-style. The prizes were duct tape wallets and roses that he made with a little help from Karen. Each wallet came with a fake dollar that had instructions on the back for making an origami heart from a real dollar bill (well, the fakes would work too, even if they are a bit on the small side).

William did quite well, and there's still two days to go. He might consider selling duct tape wallets in the future for real money. We'll let everyone know.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Blue and Gold

Just finished the annual banquet for the Cub Scouts. Danny got his Weblos badge by the skin of his teeth, and there was a lot of food. But not a lot of Scouts; our Pack is pretty thin at the moment, and I don't know if, once the Weblos boys head off to be Boy Scouts this time next year, they will have enough boys on board to continue.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

I'm (Sort Of) Famous!

Along with the publication of the first three stories of "Thomas and Walter" as a short Kindle book, I set up an author's page on Amazon.com. It makes me feel very official, like a real author.

Now I just need to get some sales.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Damper

Rain, the leading edge of our little piece of Tropical Storm Andrea, is holding back my work on the trailer. I did get all of the bolts in place, with washers and nuts, but two of the nuts are not fully tightened because I have almost no room to get a wrench on them. I came up with a solution, but it's time-consuming, and I don't intend to sit in the rain while I make it work.

I can make some headway on the taillights today, measuring to see how much more wire I'm going to need to add for the extensions we've built on and researching modifications to the Forester's electrical for hooking the whole thing up, without actually having to venture out, although I do have to go out in the rain for other errands.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Tinkering Around With Carpentry

Today's mission for the trailer was to get the frame and floor bolted to the Harbor Freight trailer. Easy, right? Well, maybe for some. I had to mark holes, drill for carriage bolts, cut countersinks, and figure out how to squeeze a wrench into some very tight places.

I also had to move a couple of screws in the frame that were right where one of the bolts is supposed to go. I had to use my neighbor's right-angle pneumatic drill, which meant firing up my noisy little compressor and trying not to get my finger smashed between the frame and one of the storage boxes.

But I accomplished that much of the mission and got all the holes and countersinks done. I also got two bolts in before I had to leave for rehearsal, so I've just got to put in the remaining six bolts. Easy, right?

We'll see.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

And Then There Was ...

Forget to mention that my day also included an afternoon out doing errands with my lovely lady, including lunch at a local steak house, and shopping for items for her trailer.

Go Take a Hike

I accompanied Daniel on a three-mile hike that was one of the requirements for earning his Webelos badge, which he needs to earn by Sunday unless he wants to wait a year for it. We hiked from the den leader's house, up a dirt—and occasionally mud—road, the a field with a lovely view of Mt. Washington, and a host of ticks.

Danny had three, and I had two. So Danny wins the tick contest.

And I think he hurts a whole lot less than I do.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Weather Coaster

After a horribly sticky hot day Saturday, we had a huge thunderstorm on Sunday. It didn't affect us much at our house, but I know of a house in Alton that got struck by lightning. I know of this because the house belongs to a neighbor of one of the other members of the cast of the play I'm in, and he was texting the director between stints going into the house to retrieve valuables and save them from the fire.

Today was much calmer. It rained, a bit, but it also cooled down, a lot. Tomorrow should bring more cool air, without the rain. Which is good, because the trailer is finally outside where we can start assembling the sides.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Making Plans

As I sit in my attic office, listening to the fans in the window with the certain knowledge that they are having almost no effect, I'm getting ready for the coming summer vacation. It's not summer yet, and the kids still have three weeks of school to go, but when the temperature outside passes the 90-degree mark in New Hampshire, thoughts turn to the coming season.

We have a lot of plans already, and I haven't even gotten started. I just recently ordered the proof copies of the print version of Danny's Kitten, and I wasn't satisfied. Not the printer's fault; the pictures weren't at a high enough resolution, and the text wasn't as readable over the pictures as I wanted it to be. So back tot he drawing board on that one. But I've been through it once, so it shouldn't take as long the second time.

This summer we will get William's book to press if I have to chain Thomas to a chair, only giving him food breaks between drawings. It's a wonderful book, with wonderful illustrations (the ones that are finished, anyway), and I am determined to get it done!

Thomas is also supposed to be working on a book of his own. We're creating a mini publishing empire, here! And that's more or less the point. We're taking off in a different direction which, we hope, will lead us to some of the old creative spark that we had in our previous life.

Meanwhile, there's lots of personal projects. I have to finish the front deck and build the back one this summer. There's lot of interior finish to do as I get money for materials. And, of course, there's Karen's camping trailer.

The boys and I also have some plans for learning over the summer. There's a couple of boring old school subjects that they need to sharpen—especially spelling—but there's also stuff like robotics (digging out my old Lego Mindstorms kits) and stop-motion animation. Mixed in with plenty of outdoor activities, including swimming, kayaking, hiking, and cycling.

Something tells me summer is going to seem very short this year.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Signs of Summer

Yikes, almost two weeks since I posted. Those two weeks were filled mostly with work, although we did manage to get some work done on Karen's camper.

But now my stint at Measured Progress is done, and I'm preparing for a summer of playing stay-at-home Dad, teacher, and camp counselor to William and Daniel.

And I mean that last part; we've got a lot of activities planned to make summer more fun, and at the same time more productive. You'll hear more about it here and on the main blog.

Without the two week gaps. I promise.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hi Ho, Hi Ho

Back to work at Measured Progress today, and remembering how much I hate my steel-toed boots! But it's only for a short while, probably not even the end of the school year. And then it's back to trying to work from home.

And no, I won't miss the commute.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trailer Day

Today was a day to work on Karen's trailer. It wasn't all we did, but it was the main goal. We managed to attach the floor to its wood frame with glue and screws. Now it's ready to have the storage boxes mounted to the bottom. Before we attach the assembly to the trailer, though, we have to varnish the wood, and then spray on a heavy waterproof coating.

If the weather cooperates, we'll get as far as the varnishing tomorrow. If not, at least Karen has the weekend off.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Unfinished Business

I spent a few hours this afternoon leaning into the engine compartment of my car, attempting to remove the starter, so that I can then attempt to replace it. I removed all the electrical connections, and the starter is attached to the engine using only two bolts. I removed the top one, and then tried the bottom one.

Now, the usual procedure for getting at the bottom one is to jack the car up and get at it from underneath. And I have an excellent jack and jack stands. But I also have a dirt driveway, and my excellent jack keeps sinking into the dirt, which keeps me from getting the jack stands under the car.

I tried for more than an hour to get the bottom bolt loose from above, but there's just no leverage from there. Tomorrow I will try putting a nice stout board under my jack to see if that will work. But at the end of the day today I have a pair of greasy hands and some bruises on my knuckles, neither of which will get my car started.

I did manage to hang our new hand-cranked pencil sharpener in the basement stairwell, at least, so we don't have to worry about our on-its-last-legs electric sharpener. So the day wasn't a total loss.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

New Site, Version One

The new version of the site, which was done mainly to make life easier for me, should be up and running by the time you read this post. It isn't really finished yet—I'm planning for a few internal, invisible changes and quite a few links to more content—but you'll hardly notice the difference. Well, except for the colors. And the logo. And the layout.

Oh yes, the pictures are smaller. But if you click on the daily picture, or the picture from the past, you'll get a full-sized version. Just use the "BACK" button on your browser to get back to our page. The food and art pictures, and the new picture of Karen's trailer project, all lead to Picasaweb galleries.

And you might notice that there are fewer options on the navigation bar. That's because I wanted to make room for creating more links to on-site pages instead of other sites. The links to the sites will be back, but on another page. If you're looking for them, in the meantime, they are:

GSBrooks.com, my personal site;

On a Smaller Scale, Karen's craft site, where we plan to post a lot more content this summer; and

The Books Bunch, the new home for the books we're selling, the future home of some other self-published work, and also some links to books we love and recommend.

Changes will comes slowly, but they will come. And each change will bring more to see from The Brooks Bunch.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Floor

Thomas and I went off to Somersworth today to find the lumber for the floor of Karen's trailer. We had to go that far because, in order to keep the weight of the trailer down, she wanted to used 1/2-inch plywood, but she wanted to use hardwood for a good finish and durability.

Unfortunately, our local lumber dealers wanted a fortune for the 1/2-inch, and our more local big-box hardware store only had 1/4-inch (which she'll be using for the roof, since it has to curve) and 3/4-inch (which is just too heavy).

So off to Somersworth we went. But for our troubles, we came home with two sheets of plywood that will soon be the floor and under-floor storage compartments for the trailer.

Oh, and we got to treat ourselves to lunch at Taco Bell.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Un-Caned

Walking around today without the cane that has been my companion for several weeks, especially when I'm out in the world. I had a very encouraging visit with the orthopedist yesterday, who is of the opinion that I do not need surgery, that the structure of my knee is not as bad as I (or, indeed, he) had feared, and that some cortisone treatments might just do the trick.

And so I received one. And I already feel much more stable on my feet.

And that's what I call relief.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Learning

My head feels full. Having just finished a course in songwriting (and having received high marks from my peers for my final submission), I've moved straight on to "Building the Wealth of Nations." Fascinating stuff!

At the same time, I'm studying lines for the next play at the Village Players.

And still writing, of course. No wonder I'm tired.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Furloughed

Today was my last day of work for awhile; Tom's was yesterday. I was expecting some kind of gap in employment—it's not uncommon where I work—but the timing could have been better. Had I been off this week instead of next, I could have stayed with the kids, saved some daycare expenses, and saved Karen a couple of vacation days. Sigh.

Meanwhile, there will be lots for both Thomas and me to do before they call us back to work in mid-May. The next two weeks may not be profitable, but I'm going to try to ensure that they are productive.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day Off

The boys are on vacation, and in order to not have them stuck in daycare all week (and save ourselves the expense of that), I decided to take a day off and Karen decided to take two. Brave woman.

The boys and I went to the movies today, to see The Croods.

What did I think? Well, the boys liked it.

I also submitted the final recording for my songwriting course. All that's left to do is evaluate the submission of at least five of my fellow students, and then wait to see what the final results are.

And after that? I've signed on for a writing course, which partly overlaps a physics course. I don't believe in giving learning a rest.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Birthday In the Booth

Just finished the next-to-last performance of Undeclared History. I was in the lighting booth and Karen was in the audience. Made for a great end to my birthday, especially given the cast's amazing performance. One more day (matinee) in the booth before the wrap party.

And then next week it's back to acting, with the read-through of Hello ... Is Any Body There? I get to play Sir Malcom, whose wife writes murder mystery novels.

Having a Happy

I woke up this morning, the 56th anniversary of my Mom's last trip to the maternity ward, and couldn't get back to sleep. I was not, as I would have expected, anticipating the day, or looking back on the last 56 years. No, I was—true to form—writing.

I have a songwriting assignment due Monday, and I'm not quite there with it yet, and I was trying to sort out the lyrics in my head. This is how I do much of my writing. I get a lot of the mental part done while I'm working, as my job requires far too little mental effort.

And so, this is how I started my 57th year. So where do I stand at this time in my life? Well, things could be better of course, but there are a lot of folks these days that are suffering financially. I have a roof over my head and plenty of good food to eat, and that by itself is a lot more than many people can say.

But I have so much more. This morning, over a breakfast of eggs, scrapple (a special treat I'd never have know about if I had not married a certain gorgeous New Jersey native), and toast made from home-made bread, my family gave me my gifts. The most expensive was a tall bottle of maple syrup purchased from a workmate of Karen's who puts up this local liquid gold every year. The rest of the gift bag was filled with little food treats from the dollar store, including banana chips and Whoppers malted milk balls. I couldn't have asked for more.

Today, my family will be taking me out to a very early dinner, because I am scheduled to do lights and sound for a marvelous show at the Village Players. Karen is attending the show tonight, so we will get to hang out with the cast and crew before and after the show together. That's what I call a celebration.

And sometime during all of it, I need to work on my song, and help Karen with the construction of her camping trailer. Work? Yes. But both labors of love.

Now, anyone who has been following our page knows that I am limping along, literally, with an injured knee; a brand new offset aluminum cane is my companion whenever I leave the house. Certainly, this must be making me feel a little old. But as my first knee surgery was more than 40 years ago, when I was fifteen, this is pretty familiar territory.

And rather than viewing it as a sign of aging, I'm just annoyed at my knee for it's inconvenient sense of timing. The injury has made work, theater, and projects around the house go much slower. And the prospect of another surgery is mostly daunting from a financial and schedule perspective, but it's not unexpected.

And so, at 56, I might want some things to be much different than they are now, but I have a wonderful family, and some exciting, creative things to do. All in all, a good life.

And I've managed to avoid the word for about ten paragraphs now, but it's time I gave in.

Yes, today is my birthday.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Day After


Opening night for Undeclared History is in the can. Small audience because of bad weather, but the cast played it like it was a full house. And so Hell Week is done, there are four more shows to do, and I can do a little bit of catching up and perhaps a little resting between shows.


Quick updates: songwriting course still going, and I've made very deadline so far. One last assignment left to do, a rewrite of the song I wrote last week (and recorded late at night after rehearsal just before the deadline). Knee is still somewhat swollen, but then I haven't really rested it. MRI on Wednesday to find out what's going on in there. Work is, well, same as always, and probably will continue until the end of the school year.

Daniel got to meet New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan during a trip to the state house last week, and even shook her hand. He was very impressed by that.

Now I have to get ready for tonight's show.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Discovery

We're at the Mt. Washington Weather Discovery Center. Never been before, but we will return this summer for certain.

Oh, Yeah

While going on about how busy I am, I forgot that the subject of this blog is what's happening now. I'm writing this in a pool house in Intervale where Danny has been invited to swim with some friends.

I'm actually working on my songwriting assignment on my phone while watching.

And yes, I know I repeated myself about my knee injury; I really should read my past posts before I write a new one. (Insert appropriate emoticon here.)

Slammed

I've been neglecting this blog, and in fact all of my blogs, for a while now. But not out of laziness. I'm just living at the confluence of several events that are, taken in combination, a little overwhelming.

But all but one are good things, and a couple are quite exciting. I'll explain more in a later entry on the family blog, but here's a quick list: a show at the theater, for which I am serving as assistant director and manning the booth; a songwriting course, currently at week five of six; and returning to work full-time. The one bad part? I injured me knee and am walking with the aid of a cane. Kind of shows me down.

But more news coming on all of these as the chaos winds down over the next three weeks.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Back In the Saddle, Sort Of

Equipped with crutches and anti-inflammatory drugs, I am now able to get up and down to stairs. Which means I can work at the computer, and even sleep in my own bed (which I have been unable to do for two nights).

And that's what I'm going to do, because I am also going to get up and go to work tomorrow.

Good night.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Oops

A little gap in the daily pictures as I recover from a knee injury. I will resume as soon as I can get up and down the stairs safely to work on my computer.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Last Time?

Just as the first day of Spring is due to arrive, snow comes to New Hampshire, and rather a lot of it at that. The predictions are that, when this storm has passed, we will see sunnier skies and milder temperatures.

But given the recent weather prediction track record, I'm not counting on it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chilly

After being spoiled by a spell of warm weather, the night reminded us that Winter is not officially over. This bucket/planter was full of water yesterday.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wet

It rained today, a sure sign of Spring in New Hampshire, and a bit early (and it is too early to rule out more snow before season's end).

But as has so often happened this year, the storm didn't live up to predictions. We were supposed to get a few inches of heavy rain, but mostly we got drizzle. Nice for those out and about, but it doesn't melt much snow.

Karen and I stayed inside, treated ourselves to a nice hot lunch, and began the work of assembling the base trailer for what will eventually become a compact camper.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Living Daylights

We spent the morning struggling with Daylight Savings Time, especially when we had to get the kids out of bed at 6:30, which their bodies rightly identified as 5:30. Not even Danny, usually the early riser, gets up at 5:30 on a school day. But, with much pushing, we got them our the door and on the bus on time for school.

Karen and I got the chance to go out for lunch and to spend a little time at the library. We also picked up food for our dinner, which was soft tacos and nachos tonight.

We're clearing out some room in the basement to start assembling Karen's new trailer, so we don't have to wait for the snow to clear (although, with temperatures in the 40s and rain on the way, it may be gone sooner than we think).

It sounds outlandish, building a trailer in the house, but the frame is only 40 inches wide and the trailer with wheels only about 19 inches tall, so it will go out the basement kitchen door without any trouble. The camper part of it is much bigger, but that we will definitely wait to build until we can work outside.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Shopping

Went out shopping with the boys today; both needed new shoes, and we did our bi-weekly snack shopping at the Dollar Tree.

With my knee injury just two weeks old, walking is more tiring than I expected, and venturing into a new pet store having it's grand opening was very disconcerting. I felt as though I had to grab the shelves for support to keep from twisting my knee.

But I survived, though I am very ready for bed. Shame I lose an hour tonight. Thank you so much, Congress.


Friday, March 08, 2013

Last Gasp Of Winter?

I've not had much faith in the prognosticators of weather this Winter, but it does look as though we're finally aimed squarely at an early Spring. The last storm, which hardly touched us, is already melting off the more exposed portions of the back deck, and the next two days, we are told, will be sunny and mild (by New Hampshire standards) with highs in the low 40s).

And then, if predictions hold, Monday and Tuesday will bring rain, washing away some of our snow.

It's early, I know, but I'm ready for Spring.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Back To School, Sort Of

Today I began the coursework on a college-level class in songwriting. The class comes from the famous Berklee School of Music, and is offered for free through Coursera. The only expense is the book, which I got from the Kindle store for less than $10, and the songs that we need to listen to for the class (and I already own several of them).

I have to watch video lectures, complete quizzes, and submit assignments for peer review. I also have to review the work of five other students. The class goes for six weeks, with about six to eight hours of work for each week's lessons.

It's a little scary; not only has it been several decades since I took any classes, but I've never taken any college classes. But I have little to lose and a lot to gain, so I'm diving in.

Reluctant Mechanic

One of the problems with not having money is that you have to spend an awful lot of time doing things that you don't actually know how to do, in order to avoid paying someone else to do them. Case in point: on Wednesday evening, Karen's windshield wipers stopped working.

It made for a very harrowing ride home. My car is currently disabled (it needs a new starter), and Tom's doesn't do particularly well on icy roads, so, leaving the boys with Tom for the day, I rode in with Karen on Thursday to see if I could get her car fixed.

Every place I went was either booked or wanted way too much money to even look at the car, and Karen was due at another store at 1:00 for training. While I was looking for someone to repair the car, I was also looking online for information on how to do the repair myself. Much to my chagrin, I found some.

And so, while Karen was inside the Epping store learning about a new cabinet line, I was outside taking her car apart. Not the whole car, just the part under the windshield. I successfully disassembled the cover over the windshield wiper motor and linkage and diagnosed the problem. I went to the auto parts store nearby and found that the part I need can only be ordered from a dealer.

And the dealer nearest to Epping is in Manchester. Sigh.

So while Karen learned, I did some more reading, and found out that there are some workarounds to using the original part. I couldn't fix the car Thursday, but I could by Friday.

And I did, eventually. And temporarily. With the whole assembly on the kitchen table. Using wire ties. It will all be fine as long as the snow isn't too heavy, until I can get either the original part or a usable substitute. Then I get to pull it all apart again.

Okay, I admit it is kind of satisfying to take something that doesn't work and figure out how to make it work. But honestly, I miss the days when the most important tool in my kit was enough money to pay a good mechanic.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A View

This is the view out our back window this morning. Snow doesn't make life in New England easy, but I have to admit, it is pretty.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another Storm

Well, Winter dumped another eight or nine inches of snow on us. This time it was the heavy wet stuff, and I was unable to help with shoveling because, although my knee is getting stronger, I still can't risk slipping at this point in my recovery, because it would probably set me back to where I was a week ago when this all started.

Before the snow came, we managed a nice trip to Concord, where we saw Escape From Earth, and Salem, where we had a nice late lunch and spent some time in both the Microsoft Store and the Apple Store (without buying anything from either place). We also failed to get See's candy at the Lord & Taylor there, but that's a long an annoying story.

The boys have the coming week off from school. So I don't think I'll be getting very much work done.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Healing

My knee is feeling better today, to the point where I can get around most of the time without using my cane (yes, I saved my cane after my surgery 12 years ago, because I know how unpredictable my knees can be). I still need the cane to climb stairs, up and down (although down is much easier than up), but it's only been a couple of days.

In less painful news, Karen ordered the trailer that will be the base for her teardrop camping trailer. She's very excited!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Apologies

I forgot to update the captions for the pictures I posted for yesterday and today. I use pain as my excuse; I managed to twist my knee on Sunday, and sitting at my computer was very uncomfortable all day Monday.

I seem to be healing, though, and I'll be back at the computer for awhile today, getting a few things caught up.

Right about now, I wish I lived in a one-story house.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oops!

When I got up at 6:00 this morning, the weather forecast called for less than an inch of snow. When I rechecked the forecast at 8:00, it said one to there inches. I think we got about five, though with the wind blowing snow off of everything, it's a bit hard to tell.
I think I'm swearing off forecasts.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Just Another Weekend

This was a pretty typical winter Saturday at the Brooks Bunch. Karen had to work, as is too often the case. The boys had to be pushed to do their chores, but eventually got most of them done. It snowed a little, but also got above freezing so fast that the snow had already melted from Karen's car before she had to leave for work.

The boys and I spent a lot of the afternoon shoveling the snow left from Nemo, which has turned mostly to ice (the hardest part is at the road where the town snow plow leaves us with a nice, hard, icy mound to widen for the cars). Thomas cleared the snow away from my car, which was the last to be attended to because it currently isn't running. It needs a new starter, and I'm ordering a service manual to see if I can do it myself, because although the labor wouldn't amount to too much, the towing to get it to my mechanic would.

I used to do all kinds of repairs on my car, once upon a time before cars got more complex than computers.

Thomas got a call and has a job interview on Monday; we all have our fingers crossed.

And we had clam chowder for dinner. I make a very simple chowder with canned clams that only takes me about 45 minutes to cook, including dicing the potatoes. I also ran a batch of dough through the bread maker so we had a fresh loaf to go with dinner.

All-in-all a pretty typical Saturday. Next Saturday begins the boys' winter vacation, and Karen will be home, which makes it anything but typical. And that's something to look forward to.

The Small, Small Trailer

I mentioned it in passing as a caption on a Picture Of the Day, but I haven't said anything about it otherwise. Karen is trying to build a camping trailer, of the style known as "teardrop." It's an inexpensive way for her to have a camper, something she's missed having since about the time we got married. We tried a couple of times, once with a motor home and once with an older travel trailer, but always got stuck with something mechanically flawed.

This camper will be built on a utility trailer, and it will be only four feet wide, eight feet long, and four feet high (from trailer bed to roof). It will be made out of plywood, for the most part, with a target weight of less than 500 pounds.

Karen has been having a wonderful time researching the construction of the trailer, and corresponding with other teardrop trailer owner/builders who are more than willing to share their stories and discoveries. There is actually a very large community and lots of gatherings.

Of course I, not being the camping sort, will only be going along for the ride. Well, sort of; I am expected to help with the construction, and especially the wiring. Expect more news about this venture very soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Low Key Valentine's

Karen has to work tonight, and I have a rehearsal, and the kids have school tomorrow and already had a party at school today. So nothing special for Valentine's Day. We'll probably have some kind of minor celebration later, but sometimes it's better to relax than to stress out over any particular day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Weather, Of Course

Today, there was supposed to be about an inch of wet snow, followed by rain. The rain came, but only after about three inches of new powder. I'm sure the skiers are happy—well, maybe not since it rained—but even after the rain we've got some extra shoveling to do, as if we didn't have enough already.

It put a bit of a damper (sorry) on the plans that Karen and I had for a day in town. I had to go in anyway to mail some packages from eBay sales, but the weather was much too wet and miserable for it to be fun. But I did pick up some delicious Chinese food, so it wasn't a total loss.

Tomorrow, a dryer and warmer day is predicted. We'll see how that turns out.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Did I Mention?

I'm back at the theater, after more than a year away. This time I'm the assistant director for a play called "Undeclared History." I've never been an assistant direction before. I hope I'm doing a good job, because I'm sure having a good time. It's good to be back!

Yeah, Okay: Winter

Well, Winter Storm Nemo has come and gone, leaving a very large pile of snow behind it. For all the hype, the storm has left us with conditions very much like the ones we often find ourselves with this time of year (or perhaps a bit later): a pile of snow that blocks visibility to the road, and lots of places on the property we can't get to until the thaw comes.


In other words, nothing we haven't had to deal with before. In fact, since we are now so close to the road, this is much less problematic than winters in the old house, which had a 150-foot sloped driveway between it and the road. When we couldn't afford plowing, it meant a lot of shoveling. And we were much more likely to get stuck!

Our first winter in this house was much like this one. In fact, here's a picture from almost exactly three years ago of Karen shoveling out from another winter storm (before The Weather Channel decided to start giving them names):


The shovel pile on the south side is not nearly as deep as the one from this last storm, but I know it was at least as high my mid-March. But we seem to have gotten a tiny bit spoiled over the last two years, with no major snowstorms and a lot of melting in between. And I don't know for sure that this snow will stick around until Spring; we're expecting to lose at least a little of it during the coming week.

Meanwhile, it's just another winter in New Hampshire. A little shoveling, some extra propane, and a good supply of hot chocolate will get us through.


Saturday, February 09, 2013

Not So Bad

Although Winter Storm Nemo (not an official name; the idea of naming storms apparently came from The Weather Channel, and NOAA does not approve) dropped more than 18 inches of snow on us, the predicted winds never really hit this area, and so we didn't lose power.

Shoveling out was something of an adventure, and Karen couldn't make it to work (oh, darn), but in general this bit of New Hampshire Winter has left us unscathed. We even got a terrific lunch out of it; Karen created a turkey pot pie with a dumpling topping that made our mouths water and our tummies warm and happy.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Hunkering Down

There's a storm a'coming. Blizzard warning tonight, with six to ten inches of new snow, on top of the 6 or seven we got during the day today. But the depth of the snow is not the big problem, it's the gusting winds, which have a nasty habit of knocking trees over onto nearby power lines.

We're prepared with flashlights, extra water, food, ice blocks for the refrigerator, and plenty of books to read and games to play. Karen, unfortunately, has to go to work. With luck the plow trucks from the town will get to our obscure little corner before she has to leave. I'm glad she has all-wheel drive. I wish everyone did.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Not Quite

The Dragonflies couldn't get ahead, although they did catch up once. And they played very well, working like a real team tonight. They certainly went out in style!

Last Game

This is, as far as I know, Danny's last basketball game for the season. As I write, his team is down by four at the half.

Make that two. Go Dragonflies!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

White Stuff

I'm hoping that the weather prognosticators are right in saying that tomorrow's snow won't amount to much, so Danny doesn't miss his last basketball game, and wrong in saying that Friday's snow is going to bury us.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Groundhog Day!

In Punxsutawney, Phil didn't see his shadow, and so it was declared that Spring will come early. Here in New Hampshire, though, at least in the morning, it was quite sunny. Cold, but sunny. So what's a person to think? My guess is that Spring will arrive on March 21, whatever the weather.

Thomas will turn 23 as well. He is currently downloading all of the software he lost to a computer virus, and so I don't think he's thinking quite that far ahead at the moment. Lucky he had a computer guru in the house, because he was getting some mighty bad advice from the Internet, including tech support from both Microsoft and Acer.

And me? I'm trying to jam as much stuff onto eBay as I can while they are having a free listing special. So, although my computer is doing just fine, I am still spending way too much time in front of it.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Weather You Believe It ...

If most of the posts on this blog have something to do with the weather, well, welcome to New Hampshire. Today it is raining and windy, and the temperature when we woke up this morning was 57 degrees. I had to put towels on the sill of our big window, which leaks when the wind blows the rain against it (it's not actually the window that's leaking, but it's a long story).

So what's in store next? Well, the temperature is going to fall as the day goes on. So when the kids get out of school this afternoon, it will be approaching freezing. And the overnight low is supposed to be 22.

How is a person supposed to keep up?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Snow

Sun is trying to break through after a deeper-than-expected snow. And it's finally climbing above freezing. For the time being.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Slipping and Sliding

Drove to Tuftonboro tonight for Danny's basketball game, in a small amount of very slippery snow. Tom's car (for mine is incapacitated at the moment) was not happy, especially on the hills. And, of course, when we got there the game had been cancelled.

But it's going to be warmer tomorrow. And raining on Wednesday. Weird Winter, this.