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


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


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


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.