21 June 2008

Being Young and Not Being Young

Today we invited some of #2's friends over for his "fake" birthday (as he called it). #2 said he once again wanted a Thomas the Tank Engine Party, but the VOR tried and tried to suggest otherwise - I suggested a Herbie the Love Bug Party (the kids watched the movie, the original, a couple of weeks ago and have not stopped talking about it.) The VOR got started on a cake yesterday, she googled herbie cakes, interestingly they were all british pages, and got started on her ideas. She decided to use a 7 minute frosting from Martha (but seven minutes turned into 45, which turned into drooping designs and near cursing VOR). So she took a deep breath, carved off the damage and made a buttercream frosting.

Here is the original, The VOR said it looked like Herbie when he came out of the Panama River - see Herbie Goes Bananas - I said she should say it is a Herbie crashes into a Birthday Cake. Later she told someone that I almost got slapped for that comment, funny cause she laughed when I said it, I too thought it was quite clever. After the VOR rehab this was the final product:
The party was a smashing hit.  We began with a water balloon toss, then moved to a round of musical chairs, then lunch and cake, finally opened presents...
This last picture is my favorite.  Yesterday I was sent out to get #2 a small present, for his "real" party we are getting him something more substantial.  I went to the red shirt and khaki pants Minnesota based store and found an entire aisle of water guns.  My eyes widened at the sight of the super soakers. (I have long held the theory that if you add the #1000 and then increase in thousand increments, regardless what the product is men will buy these like hot cakes, that is hotcakes 3000).  I automatically picked up the super soaker 5,000 it seemingly a gallon of water and shot it 100 feet.  Before I purchased it I had to think about kids dousing kids, eyes, noses, whines, & etc.  which caused me to rethink and pick up the dainty super soaker 1000.  #2 loved it!

Now on not being young.  Yesterday the VOR and I celebrated our 11th year of marriage.  (although today is actually our anniversary).  We went to our favorite French restaurant.  We had originally, we'll actually the VOR originally said, we should split an entree that way we can enjoy the appetizer meal, wine, and dessert.  But as we descended into the Bistro my stomach was having none of the splitting nonsense.  Verdict: fantastic meal but miserable bodies.  It is four o'clock -- the next day -- and I am still full (true I did have some food at the party but not that much).  She refers to herself as the Voice of Reason for a reason, hopefully for the next 11 years I will pay more attention to her sage advice.  

19 June 2008

Down to One

A few weeks ago I took my Toyota truck to the dealer, they bought it back -- now we are down to one car, the minivan. It is odd not having a truck, there has always been a truck in my family since I was born. The VOR and I have to sit down and plan our week out, who needs the car when and for how long, that kind of stuff. I thought it would be a little difficult but surprisingly it has been easier than I imagined.

Today I saw the fate of my truck. While going to get the van inspected a large semi truck took a hard left hand turn onto the road I was traveling on. Given the dimensions of the road, the angle of his turn and the size of his truck he could not make the turn. So he sat patiently while some cars up ahead of him moved forward. While the semi waited I gazed at the contents of his trailer: 12 smashed, compacted, crushed Toyota Tacomas. Was mine in there? Could not see exactly. The dealer told me the trucks would be salvaged for parts then crushed. The Toyotas I saw were neither salvaged nor rummaged through - they were simply crushed, some still had their license plates on them. I suppose they will be dumped off a bridge somewhere, turned into an artificial reef of some sort.

11 June 2008


When I first arrived in Rhode Island I went down to the Brown University Bookstore and saw on their sale table an unabridged dictionary for $40.  I thought to myself I'll get it next time, there was not a next time.  For the next time I went there it was gone...  Last week I took the good Dr. down to the Brown Bookstore and guess what I found?  That's right an Unabridged Dictionary for $20.  I almost had the feeling, there is nothing more for me to accomplish in Providence.   But do material possessions really bring fulfillment, no - but this one really helps.

This week here in New England the thermometer blasted into the 90s.  The temperature in the 90s is not unusual here in August, but June - that is another story.  In the winter I have had to cancel Tuesday bible study due to snow but I never dreamt I would have to cancel bible study due to heat but that happened yesterday.  So how do we stay cool?  There is the key placement of two window unit air conditioners.  (As a child I always wondered why my father had the a/c in his room while my sister and I split a fan.  Now as a parent I understand, the a/c is a reward for being older.)  We also opened up the pool (a 4 X 6 kiddie pool).  We also made some rhubarb tea.  Rhubarb tea?  Oh yeah.  Take 4 cups of diced rhubarb (the red variety if you have it) and four cups of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then turn to a simmer for twenty minutes. Once cooled, strain out the rhubarb pulp, add sugar according to your likings and the zest of one lemon.  Sit back, place your feet in the kiddie pool and enjoy.  
The color, the color I cannot get over.
I am listening to a great sermon right now by Otis Moss, Jr and Otis Moss, III  go here for a listen.  Also go here for an interesting article on Rev. Wright possible unwillingness to give up the leadership at Trinity UCC.

06 June 2008

Presidential Thoughts

1. Now that Obama has garnered enough support to claim the nomination most news organizations are concentrating on the pick of the Vice President. I believe picking Hillary Rodham Clinton would not be prudent. I am therefore offering a long shot for the position: Senator Jay Rockefeller. Jay you say, are you serious? I am. Why? 1. Ambition, (I mention this first b/c of HRC but also b/c of the example of Dick Cheney (although he is not high on my list of favorite Americans his example of a VP w/o any presumptions of running for office again is quite compelling) Rockefeller did attempt a run in 92 but opted to stay in the Senate, but I cannot see him running for the office of President again. 2. Experience, everyone wants to point to military experience as the characteristic Obama needs for balance on the ticket. I however, believe, military experience should not be on the top of reasons for VP. What about Jay's experience as a VISTA worker in Appalachia? I believe he gives an embodied example of Obama's ideal of service for Americans.  3.  Environment,  Rockefeller is a big supporter of clean coal technology (as does Obama).  As I have said before clean coal is an oxymoron!  But perhaps they could offer a vision for Appalachia that ceases to tear and rip apart Appalachia.  Perhaps they would offer the possibility of forest reforestation, a different economy for the region.  (this is a long shot, indeed but it is a hope).  4.  China, the economy of the Asian empire will continue to dominate our economy for the next eight years, no doubt.  Rock, has extensive experience and relations with China.  

Next topic.  During fiddle class on Wednesday night we learned a tune written to an Robert Burns Piece:  This is No My Ain Lassie (No this (she) is not my only lady).  I sarcastically asked if we were learning this piece as a tribute to Bill Clinton, in light of Todd Purdum's Vanity Fair article?  Most laughed.

Also, there was a new student at class.  Every time there is a new student we have to introduce ourselves and say what we do when we are not playing the fiddle.  When it came turn to me I stated my name and then said I am an importer/exporter.  The  new student went really, what do you import:  I said potato chips.  At that point the class would not let my gig continue.