Thursday, August 28, 2008

School Days

Today Daniel went to visit his new teacher and his new classroom. He starts kindergarten on Tuesday. Finally my last child is in school, just months after my first child graduated. Strange feeling.

Daniel got to go on a bus ride, though it wasn't his first; he's been riding to field trips with the Wolfeboro Children's Center for a couple of years now.

Otherwise it was a mostly unproductive day. Karen and I had breakfast with Thomas and Julia, waited in the library for the kindergarten open house, took Karen's car in for repairs, and had an early dinner in town with the boys at the park. I did get to pull a little bit of video, phone, and data cable, but that was about it. And we're heading north for the day tomorrow, so getting things done will have to be left to the weekend. Fortunately, getting ready for the insulation won't be that hard; just need to get the low-voltage wire pulled, caulk the windows, attach some missing hurricane clips to the rafters, and make sure the outer wall are clear of tools and other clutter.

Last night was very frustrating. Just as Karen was settling down to relax in front of the TV, and I was washing dishes, copying some discs, and transferring some of my old videotapes to DVD, the power went out. Apparently there was a "pole accident" on Route 16, some fifteen miles away. But from that point in Milton, there is only one line the runs through Middleton and Brookfield to us. So much for multitasking. We spent the remaining time reading (I was studying my lines for Oklahoma!), which was nice but not what we wanted from the evening. The lights came on about 11:30, just as we were really getting to sleep. Figures.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Keeping Busy, Oh Yeah!

Two crazy days, mostly spent getting ready for a rough electrical inspection that I thought was going to be today (but will actually be on Thursday morning), but also holding a garage sale, looking after children, and, oh yeah, auditioning for a play.

The Village Players is doing "Oklahoma!" this fall, and since I am going to be here instead of in California, I decided to get back on the stage, doing whatever the director thinks I should be doing up there. Probably acting and singing. You know, because it's a musical. Might even be a little dancing, although the director of this play was the choreographer on "The Pajama Game" and I know how hard she had to work just teaching me to do the old soft shoe. So maybe not so much dancing.

Having the inspection later will let me slow down a little and be more careful, although I'm planning to have it all pretty much done by tomorrow so that I can move on to other things, including my low-voltage wiring (telephone, cable, data, and such) which I have yet to start.

The garage sale wasn't a huge success, but it really didn't matter because we had it up at the new house and we got a lot of work done while we were there. And the boys managed to sell a few toys, part of an effort to reduce the amount of stuff we have before we try to move. We managed to get rid of a few bulky items as well, and on that score the sale was worth the effort.

We're finally getting a bit a swimming weather after weeks and weeks of rain and relatively low temperatures, so the boys have been in the water several times in the last few days. According to current predictions, they should have a lot of chances to swim before the end of this summer, which will be the last that they have their own private beach. But we'll still have access to the pond, and there are lots of great public beaches on the local lakes.

And now I need to start getting ready for bed, because from head to toe I am one massive ache. I think that this will be the last house I wire, because it just hurts too much. But I am proud to say (before the inspection anyway), that every single wire in this house was pulled and tied together by these very, very tired old hands.

Even if I never want to do it again, I consider it quite an accomplishment.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Journey South

Blogging from New Jersey, using Karen's computer because mine, with its older wireless card, cannot connect to Alan and Sharon's wireless network. It's a bit of an adaptation, and I apologize to anyone who saw yesterday's picture without its caption, a technical glitch I won't bore you with.

We went down to Adventure Aquarium in Camden. The weather was quite nasty when we started, with lightning bolts directly overhead. But down in Camden it stayed nice the whole time we were there, and although we were inside most of the time, we were able to get outside for lunch and to see the seals and penguins. The kids even got a chance to play outside a little when we got back to Stewartsville.

I spent a lot of my lunchtime looking across the river at Philadelphia with it's spectacular skyline and amazing history. I don't live so far away, but I have never come for a visit. I could say the same for Boston, only two hours away; I have hardly seen the place. I need to get around more.

At any rate, the kids had a good time at the Aquarium, and I'm pretty tired out. The late hour is because I've been working on updating Karen's computer, something I can't do on my dial-up connection at home, and something I never have time to do at the local library. So it's worth losing a little sleep to get it done here.

But it really is time for bed; Karen has fallen asleep in front of The Olympics (swimming, I think) and I have to get her safely to our room, where the boys are already sound asleep. In the morning we head for home, and there is a lot to do after we get there.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Driving Me Mad

The world may never be the same. Thomas has a driver's license! After many false starts (due to the incompetence of our Motor Vehicle department when it comes to communication), Thomas finally had his road test today, having passed his written test about three weeks ago.

He had to take the test in the pouring rain, but he passed handily and went off on his first solo drive this evening, once I had made sure that the insurance arrangements were in order.

I'm happy to report that he came back alive.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Yesterday we had a power outage caused by a tree snapping and falling across the power lines (and the phone lines and the cable lines). Thomas actually heard the tree fall and the transformer blow. We were out for about four hours; it's easier to fix the power lines when someone can actually tell you where they are broken. We had a lot of time on our hands, and so while the boys played at the beach and in town at the park, I shot a lot of video, and made it into a short movie which I have posted on YouTube (see the YouTube link below). I also posted some of the stills on our Picasa page, although as I write this they don't have captions. Perhaps tomorrow morning.

Tonight I had a date with my wife. We went to dinner and to see the Village Players production of "On Golden Pond." Any night with Karen is special, but seeing my old stage-mates at work made it doubly so. We may be staying around long enough for me to be in the fall musical, "Oklahoma," if I can work in the rehearsal schedule as we prepare to switch houses and all. Assuming I get a part (although there usually aren't enough men auditioning, so there's a good chance there will be something I can do).

You might think I'm crazy taking on a play with all that I have going on, but once I'm figured out how to balance the rehearsal schedule against Karen's work schedule (and now Tom's), doing a play is actually fairly low-impact for what I get out of it.

Meanwhile, I am coming very close to finishing the rough electrical at the house, just a few days now before I can call for inspection. Then, I hope, things will go like gangbusters. Once the siding is done, the rest of the work takes place in the house and is fairly immune to the problems of weather that have been plaguing this project almost from the start.

But I shouldn't complain; others have faired much worse. Last week the area was hit by a tornado and many lost all or part of their houses, and one woman died. We're just behind schedule, that's all.

We can live with that.