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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Out and About

William, Karen, and Danny play a game on the kids' menu while we wait for lunch in Concord.

We spent a couple of hours today at the McAuliffe/Shepard Discovery Center, where they had a wonderful exhibit on treasure hunting.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Derby Day

Today was the Cub Scouts' annual Pinewood Derby. We spent the morning putting the finishing touches on Danny's car, especially getting the wheels nice and smooth and fixing them in place as straight as possible. Danny did most of the work; I mostly ran the drill and held the block that helped keep the nails from slipping out.

When we got there, though, Danny's car was too heavy, despite the fact that we hadn't added any weights (at least a couple of the other boys had had the same problem). I had to quickly drill out a substantial part of the underside of the car to shave off half an ounce of weight.

Danny didn't win, but his car got down the track nice and fast. And the difference between the fastest car and the slowest car wasn't all that much this year; all the Cubs made really good cars this year. Made for a very exciting race.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lunch With My Wife

Karen and I braved the frigid weather to go out to lunch at one of the newer local restaurants. It's actually a new location for a cafe that's been around for several years, but they've really moved up and done an excellent job. It felt good to hand around in the warm restaurant and talk to each other, one of the other patrons, and the owner (who we know from the theater).

We noticed on our way back to the car a stunning lack of pedestrian traffic in downtown Wolfeboro, though. Might have something to do with the fact that the daytime high was around 12 degrees.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not Snow Much

This was supposed to be enough snowstorm to keep the kids home. But it didn't amount to much, and so it's back to the morning rush to make the bus on time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dinner Made For Me

Okay, I had to do one thing for dinner: make bread. But the way I'm making bread these days is pretty simple. I use the breadmaker to mix and knead the dough, turn it out into a floured pan, let it rise for about 40 minutes, and then bake it for 30 minutes. Easy and low-mess for a great loaf of sandwich bread.

But then my sons took over. Thomas made my bread into delicious tuna melts, and William made brownies for dessert. We had it with tomato soup. Unfortunately, Karen couldn't join us because she had to work, but she has the next six days off because she had vacation days she had to use by the end of the month.

And she may get to start the first of them with her boys, after all. Snow is coming, and that may mean a snow day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's a Win!

Danny's team won their game 14 to 10 tonight, and they earned every basket. Danny even gave a great assist, grabbing the rebound and bringing it down the court and getting off a good pass to the shooter. I was very proud.

At Danny's request, we bought an extra-large candy bar to share with the family as a celebration.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

For Head and Body

Tonight Danny has an hour and a half of basketball practice, followed by an hour of Book Talk Club (with William also). Between the two I need to squeeze in Danny's homework.

Danny's team is practicing for a game tomorrow. Tonight we are discussing the book Bridge to Terabithia.

I think we'll all sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Faked Out

It has been very Spring-like for several days. I kept checking my calendar, wondering if someone had come up with some kind of extended form of Daylight Savings Time, losing not an hour but two entire months.

But snow is expected overnight, followed by a period of much lower temperatures, and so it is, after all, January in New Hampshire.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Losing Streak

Poor Danny. His basketball team is 3 and 0 for the season. Of course, when the team members range in age from about eight to eleven, it's hard to attribute wins and losses to any great difference in skill.

But try explaining that to a moping fourth-grader.

New Year, New Site

During the month of January, and perhaps well into February, I'm going to do a complete technical rewrite of the Brooks Bunch Web site. This is not out of dissatisfaction with the look of the site, and it's certainly not because I have a lot of time on my hands. I am undertaking this refit because when I went to add a simple page to the site to display the books we wrote with the boys, it took much longer than it should have, because my latest design was very inflexible.

What does this mean to you? Not much. You might notice some visual changes, but mostly of the sort you see here from time to time anyway—new pictures of the family, the occasional new feature.

But I'm mostly telling you this because I'm incorporating some of the latest techniques that I've been learning. And so, very likely, I'm going to mess it up. So if the site is not working for some time here and there in the next month or so, you'll know who to blame. And you should just ignore it and come back later to take a look.

Because I am paying attention. Really.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I'm on my way to audition for the Village Players presentation of Undeclared History. This will be my first play since Little Shop of Horrors in 2011, and I'm really looking forward to it. Even if I don't get a part in the play, I'll gladly dive in and help out with the production. I'm back in the theater again!

Growing Boys

We discovered, much to our surprise, that the ice skates that were too big on Danny last year are now too small. So today we are going in search of ice skates. And it's hard to believe, this being January, with more than two months left until the end of Winter, that ice skates are considered by many retailers to be out of season (although, if you go by the weather instead of the calendar, it's very much like Spring today).

And to make matters more inconvenient, I currently don't have any phone service at my house. We usually use a feature known as "WiFi Calling" by way of my cell phone, but it has been unreliable of late, and it hasn't been working for over twelve hours now. I can't call customer service because, well, I have no phone service.

I'll get that worked out. But for today, I'll take the boys out to lunch someplace where I have cell service and call around to see if I can find some ice skates.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Last night was another basketball game for The Dragonflies, Danny's team. They lost, again, but I'm not in the least disturbed by it, and Danny doesn't seem to be either. He had a lot of fun, contributed to the score not by shooting but by some timely passing, and thoroughly exhausted himself to the point of actually sleeping past 6:00 this morning. That's my favorite part.

He also had a den meeting last night where we supposed to start cutting the block of wood that will become his Pinewood Derby car, but unfortunately the den master's band saw had a frozen motor, so that will have to wait until next week.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Back To Normal (Whatever That Is)

A few days at Measured Progress for some experimental scanning are done, so I can go back to working on eBay sales, books, and my own writing and video projects.

And the boys' activities, of course. Tonight is Danny's basketball practice before a game tomorrow. Last night was Boy Scouts at CPR classes, which I attended too.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Flying Off the Digital Shelves

Wow. The cookbook that Karen did with the boys and Danny's book about his kitten are getting some attention at the Kindle store. With no advertising expect for a Facebook post and some emails, we have given away nearly 250 downloads between the two books, and the free promotion isn't over yet.

What they boys find really exciting is that some of our customers are from Canada, the UK, France, and Spain! We've gone international. I like this digital publishing thing.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Free Books

Both of the books we did with the boys are now available on Kindle, and today and tomorrow they are free. We have given away for than 60 copies between the two books so far, and the promotion is not even half over.

It remains to be seen if we will actually sell any books when starts charging for them again Tuesday morning.

The links for the books are on the BOOKS tab on our main Web page.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Getting Organized

Spent the day arranging all of the things I'm trying to sell on eBay so that I can get them photographed and know they're ready to list.

And I've been migrating files and functions to my new Mac. The computer is very fast and will do lots of things my old one won't, but some of my old software won't run on the new system, so the old Mac isn't going away quite yet.

Almost free of the Windows machine, though.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Eventful Day

Danny is getting to play in his first basketball game (after a postponement just before vacation), and the cookbook we did with the boys will go on sale by the end of the day.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

First Day

Sukkie looks out over a sunny, cold day to start 2013. Last vacation day for the boys. Dad is ready to get himself back to work without tweens around.