Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Artist of the Week: Snake


Rebecca
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Ah, back to my old routine.

Rebecca ushers back the Artist of the Week in fine style.

At the beginning of June Jake had been invited to appear before the school board. It was to recognize all the students that participated in the Future City and their accomplishments. Jake wore a jacket and tie, Max wore his little suit (Which incidentally he loves wearing and cheerfully announces the he looks like "a miniature business man." He's just too cute for words.), Nate had on a polo shirt with khakis, and little Miss Rebecca selected a long blue dress with matching sweater.

She loves to dress up and never misses an opportunity to do so.

Once Jake's portion of the school board presentation was over we quietly left the building. There was no need for us to be there any longer and it was a school night. As Larry and I herded the kids to the van we decided to try to take advantage of them being in their finery and snapped a few photos.


snake
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
As for the art itself, it is from the art class Rebecca took way back in March. I have already featured a different drawing here.

When Rebecca made for snake drawing the media for the week was magic markers. I love the vividness of the colors and how the little red tongue "pops" out of the picture. I know that some people are put off by the subject matter, a snake, but I love how sinuous it is. The smooth application of color from the markers greatly enhance the image. I think it is a terrific drawing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Popping Over To 14


Popping Over To 14
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Today is Jake's 14th birthday.

He has matured so much this past year, almost as though he had a Bar Mitzvah or something (Heee).

Today he got to celebrate in a low key fashion that fits him to a tee. He requested popovers and bacon for breakfast. His first choice was Yorkshire pudding, but I put the kibosh on that since it requires me to roast some beef. Not gonna happen in this heat or at breakfast time. Then it was pizza for lunch and takeout Chinese for dinner. Oh and the soda flowed all day long, much to the delight of his younger siblings (soda is such for Shabbat dinner, holidays and parties).

Nate asked if there was going to be a party and we said no. Once you have your B'nai Mitzvah big parties are a thing of the past. Jake was fine with that and after a bit of thought Nate understood the reasoning.

So happy birthday to my first born child.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life in the Fast Lane



Yeah it's a Volkswagen ad, but you have to admit it looks like fun!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Illusionary Lego

While checking out Epic Win FTW I saw this wonderful Lego creation.

If you look very carefully you can see it is just a very clever illusion, no photoshop was needed or done. I think I'm just going to have to try to do this one for myself.

Friday, June 25, 2010

One Week In

Phew, I have survived the first week of summer vacation.

The first two weeks are the hardest. I have to readjust to no longer having stretches of quiet during the day. The kids have to readjust being together all the time and no longer having the structure of school. And to cap it all off, it's really, really hot outside- as in way at least 90 if not 100.

So far it has been all working out.

The kids elected not to do tennis this summer, which means we are now free to go to Family Movie Festivals (ie free kid movies at 10 am) in the local theaters. This week we got to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The rest of the day is spent just mucking about the house. They are now old enough to entertain themselves without my assistance. It wasn't until today I had to intervene when when sibling rivalry was starting to be a bit out of hand. I declared it movie time and we got to watch Back to the Future, a big hit with the older two.

Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of the summer. If it gets to be too much there is always Aunt Meryl or duct tape.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Buffy vs Edward: Twilight Remixed


Admittedly I haven't seen the movies or read the books (but I will read them at some point), however I find the whole teen romance vampire thing a bit off putting. I'm more in the Buffy camp, vampires are something to be staked.

So, you go Buffy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gooooaaaalllll!!!!!!!!!!!

Even though a bunch of us were feeling under the weather today, myself included, there was dancing and high-fiving when Landon Donovan knocked in the winning goal.

I had thought the US vs England game was exciting, but it didn't hold a candle to today's US vs Algeria match-up. Even with questionable calls and a denied goal (once again we were robbed) the US team never gave up and was able to win at the very end of the game.

I would throw in a link to the game winning goal here, but FIFA's servers are overwhelmed and the YouTube offerings are being pulled down as fast as they go up (once again-stupid FIFA). So you'll just have to trust me, if you didn't see it live, that it was an incredible game to watch.

Artist of the week will be back in action next week.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bountiful Basil


bountiful basil
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Or the lazy gardener.

I'm not much for gardening, especially because we have very bold deer in our backyard that can and will eat everything. The only safe place is up on our deck. I have a few large pots with assorted plants that I barely care for.

Which works well for my basil and chives. They go to seed and come back year after year. I even had my tomatoes come back the past two growing seasons, but sadly not this year. I even have a couple of flowers that come back every year, a nice purplish blue balloon flower and the moss rose from Jake's bar mitzvah.

The moss rose was a pleasant surprise this spring. It was clearly marked as an annual and after this winters cold temperatures I did not expect to see it again. It has just started to bloom and I'll take a few pictures sometime soon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!


Larry plus 4
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This an old picture, but it's one of my favorites. My best guess is this was taken in 2002, about mid-year judging by Max and Rebecca.

As always Nate is a goof and I just can't get over his short hair. I've become so accustomed to his long curly locks that I'm always surprised by pictures of him from just a couple of years back.

Anyhoodle, I love Larry's confident yet relaxed expression. He really is a great father to our brood and I think it shines through in this picture.

So happy Father's Day to all of the men that are helping mold and create tomorrow's generation.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lesson Learned


Nate
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Nate found out the hard way today that even though school has ended there are still things to be learned and you should listen to your mother.

Today was the big end of school pool party in our subdivision and Nate wanted to be away from me and with his friends as soon as possible. As he raced out of the changing room I buttonholed him by the pool and told him he needed sunscreen. He rolled his eyes and said "Why? I don't need it."
"Um, no you do." Was my oh so witty reply.

With a sigh he held still and asked if at least he could do it himself. I handed over the bottle and watched him do a totally half-assed job, at least I was able to wrest the bottle away from him and take care of his back.

So of course he got a blotchy sunburn. You can see all the areas he missed as they are glowing bright red. Nate noticed his bright red shoulders first as he readied for bed. As we surveyed the damage I noted that his back, the one place he grudgingly allowed me put on the sunscreen, was completely undamaged.

I hope he isn't too miserable, but I think I will getting a bit more cooperation from Nate this summer in regards to sunscreen.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Indeed


bluebeard
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Happiness is on the next to the last day or, as Jake so loves to point out the, penultimate day of school your parents take you to a minor league ball game. There you get to eat cotton candy, have some french fries, go squirrel hunting, and cap it all off with watching fireworks.

So yes it was a late night and a school night at that, but really is there anything as useless as the last day of school?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Artist of the Week: Pop-up LEGO

I originally espied this brilliant piece of Lego engineering over at Epic Win FTW a few weeks ago. I've been vacillating when to post this and decided in the end it was truly worthy of artist of the week. So please watch the video, you will be amazed.

For the full story check out The Brothers Brick. There you will find links to the Buddhist temple of Kinkaku-ji and some details about the build.

I'm just in awe over all the incredible details. The fact that the whole thing neatly folds into a box is a wonder onto itself, but the the box was constructed to look like a Lego set puts this over the top. Details like the recommended age (16+), the logo, a detailed picture of the final build, and I could just go on and on.

Well done faceless builder, well done.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pigeonholed


pidgeon holed
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I rather like this picture. I snapped it last weekend on our way out of services.

Our temple has this rather unique architectural detail on the outside and the kids love to sit inside the spaces. I know my children are not the only ones attracted to these spaces.

The other thing I like about this picture is that it represents a little achievement of mine. The picture itself is not of the greatest quality because it's from my cell phone. Today I successfully Bluetooth enabled my rather geriatric computer, thus making it possible for me to get the pictures out of my camera without incurring obscene data charges from my phone's service provider.

Victory (and my photos) is mine.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sorry About The Mess

We've been following World Cup action this weekend and I'm really getting into the games, to the extent that I've stuck yet another widget onto my sidebar. Sadly FIFA is obnoxious and has locked the size of the widget so the sidebar got a bit blown out.

Stupid FIFA.

Anyway, it'll just be a temporary mess until the whole thing is over.

As to which teams I'm following, USA (natch), followed by the Americas, and not France. The French team has a history of poor sportsmanship and extreme overacting. Soccer is a physical sport and players can and do get injured, but please quit the fake rolling around on the ground in "extreme" pain because the other guy may have brushed by you. My favorite moment was when one French guy garnered sarcastic applause from Uruguay's Forlan over his dramatic flop on the field.

In contrast, the US Vs England match-up was refreshing due to the lack of dramatics. Just good solid play on both sides. If a player got knocked down it was genuine and he was usually ready to play in an instant.

Update: I hated how my sidebar was blown out. Instead I've decided the widget will just have to be cut off on one side. Stupid, stupid FIFA.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Let's Go to the Animated Movies

I'm shamelessly stealing this from Jordana. She found it over at First Things where last Friday's topic was The 15 Best Animated Films. In the post was a list of 240 animated films and the question, which ones have you seen.

CLASSIC DISNEY
——————————-

[X] Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
[X] Fantasia (1940)
[X] Pinocchio (1940)
[X] Dumbo (1941)
[X] Bambi (1942)
[X] Song of the South (1946)
[X] Cinderella (1950)
[X] Alice in Wonderland (1951)
[X] Peter Pan (1953)
[X] Lady and the Tramp (1955)
[X] Sleeping Beauty (1959)
[X] 101 Dalmatians (1961)
[X] Mary Poppins (1964)


DISNEY’S DARK AGE
——————————-


[X] The Sword In The Stone (1963)
[X] The Jungle Book (1967)
[X] The Aristocats (1970)
[X] Bedknobs and Broomsticks [1971]
[X] Robin Hood (1973)
[X] The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
[X] Pete’s Dragon (1977)
[X] The Rescuers (1977)
[X] The Fox and the Hound (1981)
[X] The Black Cauldron (1985)
[ ] The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
[ ] Oliver and Company (1986)


THE DISNEY RENAISSANCE
——————————-

[X] Beauty and the Beast (1991)
[ ] The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
[X] Aladdin (1992)
[X] The Lion King (1994)
[ ] A Goofy Movie (1995)
[ ] Hercules (1997)
[ ] The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
[X] The Little Mermaid (1989)
[X] Mulan (1998)
[X] Pocahontas (1995)
[X] Tarzan (1999)

DISNEY’S MODERN AGE
——————————-

[X] Dinosaur (2000)
[X] Fantasia 2000 (2000)
[X] The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
[X] Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
[X] Lilo & Stitch (2002)
[ ] Treasure Planet (2002)
[ ] Brother Bear (2003)
[ ] Home on the Range (2004)
[X] Chicken Little (2005)
[X] Meet the Robinsons (2007)
[X] Bolt (2008)
[ ] The Princess and the Frog (2009)

PIXAR
——————————-

[X] Toy Story (1995)
[X] A Bug’s Life (1998)
[X] Toy Story 2 (1999)
[X] Monsters Inc. (2001)
[X] Finding Nemo (2003)
[X] The Incredibles (2004)
[X] Cars (2006)
[X] Ratatouille (2007)
[X] Wall-E (2008)
[X] Up (2009)

DON BLUTH
——————————-

[X] The Secret of NIMH (1982)
[X] An American Tail (1986)
[X] The Land Before Time (1988)
[ ] All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
[ ] An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
[ ] Rock-a-Doodle (1991)
[ ] A Troll in Central Park (1994)
[ ] Anastasia (1997)
[ ] The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)
[ ] Thumbelina (1994)
[ ] Titan AE (2000)

CLAYMATION
——————————-

[ ] The Adventures of Mark Twain (1986)
[ ] The Puppetoon Movie (1987)
[X] The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
[X] James and the Giant Peach (1996)
[X] Chicken Run (2000)
[X] Corpse Bride (2005)
[X] Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
[ ] Coraline (2009)

CGI GLUT
——————————-

[ ] Antz (1998)
[X] Shrek (2001)
[X] Shrek 2 (2004)
[X] The Polar Express (2004)
[X] Madagascar (2005)
[X] Happy Feet (2006)
[ ] Monster House (2006)
[X] Over the Hedge (2006)
[ ] Beowulf (2007)
[ ] Shrek The Third (2007)
[X] Kung Fu Panda (2008)
[X] Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
[ ] How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
[ ] Shrek Forever After (2010)

CARTOONS FOR GROWN-UPS
——————————-

[X] Fritz the Cat (1972)Biggest money maker for my college's film society
[ ] Street Fight (Coonskin) (1975)
[ ] American Pop (1981)
[ ] Heavy Metal (1981)
[ ] Hey Good Lookin’ (1982)
[ ] Cool World (1992)
[X] Beavis & Butthead Do America (1996)
[X] South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
[ ] Heavy Metal 2000 (2000)
[ ] Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
[ ] Waking Life (2001)
[ ] The Animatrix (2003)
[ ] Lady Death (2004)
[ ] Final Fantasy: Advent Children (2005)
[ ] A Scanner Darkly (2006)


OTHER ANIMATED MOVIES
——————————-

[X] Animal Farm (1954)
[X] Charlotte’s Web (1973)
[X] The Hobbit (1977)
[X] Lord of the Rings (1978)
[ ] Ringing Bell (1978)
[ ] Animalympics (1980)
[X] Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1982)
[ ] Rock & Rule (1983)
[ ] Care Bears: The Movie (1985)
[ ] He-Man & She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword (1985)
[ ] Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985)
[ ] Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords (1986)
[ ] My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)
[ ] Transformers: The Movie (1986)
[ ] G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)
[ ] Bravestarr: The Movie (1988)
[X] The Brave Little Toaster (1988)
[X] Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
[ ] Fern Gully (1992)
[ ] Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1992)
[X] The Swan Princess (1994)
[X] Balto (1995)
[X] Space Jam (1996)
[ ] Cats Don’t Dance (1997)
[X] The Prince of Egypt (1998)
[ ] Wizards (1977)
[X] The Iron Giant (1999)Terrific
[ ] Quest For Camelot (1999)
[ ] The Road to El Dorado (2000)
[ ] Powerpuff Girls: The Movie (2002)
[X] Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)Saw this at the pediatrician's office
[ ] Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon The Movie (2007)
[ ] Superman: Doomsday (2007)
[ ] Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
[ ] Wonder Woman (2009)
[ ] Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
[ ] Batman: Mask of the Phantasm


IMPORTS
——————————-

[ ] Arabian Knight
[ ] Back to Gaya
[X] Yellow Submarine (1968)
[X] Watership Down (1978)
[ ] The Last Unicorn (1982)
[ ] Light Years (1988)
[ ] When the Wind Blows (1988)
[ ] The Triplets of Belleville (2003)I want to see it
[ ] Persepolis (2007)
[ ] Planet 51 (2009)I'll be seeing it Wednesday!
[ ] Waltz With Bashir (2008)

STUDIO GHIBLI/MIYAZAKI
——————————-

[ ] Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
[X] Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)Loved it
[ ] Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
[ ] Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
[ ] Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
[ ] Only Yesterday (1991)
[ ] Porco Rosso (1992)
[ ] My Neighbor Totoro (1993)
[ ] Pom Poko (Tanuki War) (1994)
[ ] Whisper of the Heart (1995)
[ ] My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999)
[ ] Princess Mononoke (1999)
[ ] The Cat Returns (2002)
[X] Spirited Away (2002)Wonderful movie
[X] Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)Very different from the book, but still very good
[ ] Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea (2009)
[ ] Panda! Go Panda!
[ ] Tales from Earthsea
[ ] Horus, Prince of the Sun

SATOSHI KON
——————————-

[ ] Perfect Blue (1999)
[ ] Millennium Actress (2001)
[ ] Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
[ ] Paprika (2006)

SHINKAI MAKOTO
——————————-

[ ] She and Her Cat (1999)
[ ] Voices of a Distant Star (2001)
[ ] The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
[ ] 5 Centimeters per Second (2007)

OTHER ANIME FILMS
——————————-

[ ] Galay Epress 999 (1979)
[ ] Arcadia of My Youth (U.S. Title – Vengeance of the Space Pirate) (1982)
[ ] Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
[ ] The Professional: Golgo 13 (1983)
[ ] Unico and the Island of Magic (1983)
[ ] Lensman (1984)
[ ] Macross: Do You Remember Love (U.S. Title – Clash of the Bionoids) (1984)
[ ] The Dagger of Kamui (U.S. Title – Revenge of the Ninja Warrior) (1985)
[ ] Vampire Hunter D (1985)
[ ] Fist of the North Star (1986)
[ ] Neo-Tokyo (1986)
[ ] Project A-ko (1986)
[ ] Dirty Pair: Project Eden (1987)
[ ] Urotsukidoji: The Movie (1987)
[ ] Robot Carnival (1987)
[ ] Wings of Honneamise: Royal Space Force (1987)
[ ] Akira (1989)
[ ] Patlabor the Movie (1989)
[ ] Silent Möbius (1991)
[ ] Ninja Scroll (1993)
[ ] Ghost in the Shell (1996)
[ ] End of Evangelion (1997)
[ ] Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (1998)
[ ] Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust (2000)
[ ] Metropolis (2001)
[ ] Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2003)
[ ] Appleseed (2004)
[ ] Steamboy (2004)
[ ] Robotech: The Shadow Chronicle (2006)
[ ] The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
[ ] Appleseed: E Machina (2007)
[ ] Sword of the Stranger (2007)
[ ] Origin: Spirits Of The Past

ADDENDUM
——————————-

[ ] The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)
[ ] Feli the Cat: The Movie (1988)
[ ] We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993)
[X] The Rugrats Movie (1998)
[ ] Pokemon: The First Movie (1999)
[ ] Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001)
[X] Ice Age (2002)
[X] Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
[ ] Shark Tale (2004)
[X] The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004)
[X] Hoodwinked (2005)
[ ] Valiant (2005)
[ ] The Ant Bully (2006)
[X] Flushed Away (2006)
[X] Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
[ ] Open Season (2006)
[ ] Bee Movie (2007)
[X] The Simpsons Movie (2007)
[ ] Happily N’Ever After (2007)
[X] Horton Hears a Who (2008)
[ ] Space Chimps (2008)
[X] Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
[ ] The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
[ ] 9 (2009)
[ ] Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
[ ] Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
[X] Robots

Well it looks like I need to watch more Anime and other non-Disney and non-Pixar films. However, I refuse to watch the Care Bears Movie.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Some Mighty Fine Pie


Mmm pie
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Last week, on Memorial day, I made a pie. And it was a mighty fine pie.

I had a big box of strawberries, I'm talking 4 pounds of those delicious red jewels, and I needed to do something with them before they got all nasty. I decided that a pie would do the trick and not just any old but, but strawberry rhubarb pie.

The crust came from here at Allrecipes.com. It's a straight forward Butter Flakey Pie Crust that I have had very good luck in making.

As for the filling, well it was the very same pie I made back in July of 2007, right on down to the monstrously huge box of strawberries from Costco. The only difference was this time I made my crust from scratch and the pie was all the better from it. In fact it was so good Larry and I had two slices apiece.

Pretty impressive since we just had a big dinner of marinated flank steak with little red potatoes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Well That Was a Bust

A few weeks ago we sent Dell off to a five day cluster of dog shows. His breeder was unable to show him so we ended up hiring a professional handler. Dell needs major (wins that result in 3 or more points) and historically this cluster pulls in large enough entries for majors. All I had to do was send in the entries and arrange for the hand off.

Everything started off well, there were majors all five days and Dell was able to get to his handler.

The first day he got second place, which I felt was completely understandable. Mr. Dell was with a new person and odds are this was their shake down outing. I had confidence that he was in good hands and the judging panels were pretty good for the rest of the cluster.

Unfortunately things did not improve.

I don't blame Dell or the handler, she really did put in an honest effort. We were hoping to finish Dell (that is earn his championship) but, competition was stiff and it just wasn't Dell's time in the spotlight. However, it's going to be a long time until I considering sending him off like that. We all missed Dell terribly. He is such a sweet silly goofball and the house seemed to be less than what it should be.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Artist of the Week: Two Cents


Jake
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
It's that time of the school year when all sorts of projects get carted home. Jake was the first one, so he gets to be the artist of the week.

I'm not exactly sure who took this picture of Jake. His soccer coach emailed it along with the team picture he took at the end of the last game of the season. My guess it was not the coach (since he was busy coaching at the time), but possibly the coach's wife or some other family member. Either way it is a nice shot and I appreciate the picture being sent to us. It was a nice surprise.

I didn't get very many pictures of Jake in action this year, my time was often split between his and Rebecca's soccer games. Since his games were far longer I tended to stick with his sister.


piggy bank
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Anyhoodle, take a look at the cute little piggy bank. Jake made it in his shop class along with a few other items and they all came home last week.

If you look carefully you can see the two pennies that Jake put inside. They give a bit of scale. The money is held inside by a clear sheet of Plexiglas that is just barely visible. It get the money out all you have to do is remove the two screws holding the plastic in place.

I think Jake did a terrific job. It is a very nice looking pig from it's stubby snout to it's perky tail. He cut and stained the wood himself under the direction of his teacher. The side opposite the window is separate panel of wood the Jake nailed on. The slit on the top is where the money is placed to drop inside.

It is such a proud little pig and it makes me smile.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Such a Cutie


Sofia
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I just got a new batch of baby pictures from my sister in law via email.

And oh my, little Sofia is getting cuter and cuter. I think she's the world's prettiest niece, but then again I am just a wee bit biased.

I can't wait for the next round, at least with email the parents don't have to make multiple copies and schlep things to the post office.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cells Are Suspect

A deceptively simple short film featuring two characters, siblings, during a visit in a mental hospital.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Skink I Think


Skink
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
We had an unexpected house guest today in the form of a five-lined skink. I'm not exactly sure how it got inside. Possibly it scuttled in when the kids left the door open, I'll never know. I do know, however, that its discovery caused a great deal of excitement this morning.

I was puttering about, doing dishes when an excited chorus of "A skink! It's a skink!" filled the air. I found the children clustered about the dog couch straining for a view of the errant lizard. I couldn't see it, but I believed them without question. Our yard is filled with skinks and it is not unusual to find them on the deck.

I knew I would eventually see the critter, I just hoped it would be before the dogs. On the upside it was a pretty good form of vermin to have about the house. Skinks are nondestructive, nonpoisonous, not aggressive, odorless and eats bugs. Full of win on all counts. I'll note here that Jake strongly objected calling it vermin, the skink was far too likable to be classed as such. I kinda agree with him, but it is far too much fun to call it Vern the vermin to stop.

So for the rest of the day we kept our eyes open.

I spied it shortly after dinner, but it darted under the dishwasher before I could nab it. At around quarter to 10 Jake saw it dart under his trumpet case. I had Jake stand on one side of the case as I readied my colander. We moved aside his trumpet and shooed the skink into my colander. It was a fairly mellow little creature that did not seem to be too disturbed by its capture. I took a few pictures and then released it into our backyard. Hopefully it will not return to inside the house.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Hot Weather Fun

Hot outside?

Time to break out the hose.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Meow!

Just a bit of silliness.

Hat tip to AMCGLTD.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Artist of the Week: Collage


Max
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
It's Max's turn to be Artist of the Week.

Larry took this picture of Max early last month. Originally the picture had all three boys with Rebecca just peeking in on the edge. I thought it was a terrific shot of Max and the pose is so utterly Max. I just cropped the image down and tweaked it just the slightest bit.

I love the lighting and it's such a classic snapshot of Max. He is so very focused on what he is doing with a hint of a smile dancing across his face.

It's not the highest quality of pictures, grainy and a bit blurred. However, I like it and it makes me happy and in the end that is what really matters.


Max's poster
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
But enough about the picture, instead take a gander at Max's collage.

In late February or so the second grade had a take home project that had to be done on a historical American. They had a short list (I think it was just four or five names) to choose from and along with a choice of three different projects. Max, obviously, selected Abraham Lincoln and a collage.

The collage proved to be very challenging for Max. He likes things to be orderly and a collage is decidedly not. I had to push him a bit to let go and allow some overlap. Together we worked out what images he would need and he picked them out from the resulting search. Then he did something I thought was very impressive, he did freehand lettering of the collage's title. I thought he did an amazing job for someone nearing the end of second grade. All I did was make sure he had the name correctly spelled.

I think the whole thing looks terrific as did his teacher.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Getting a Little Squirrely


Maybe a strike
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Yesterday we decided to celebrate Memorial day in style. We grilled out, talked about the difference between Memorial day and Veterans day( Which interestingly enough, both are doubly significant dates in our family. Our wedding anniversary is on May 30th and Nate was born on Nov. 11th.), and caught a baseball game in the evening.

We were able to snag some great seats that morning, right behind home plate. Meryl came along with us and we marveled out how we could almost call the pitches. If you look carefully in the picture on the right you can see the ball on its way to the batter.


Nutzy
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
As for who was playing, it was the Bowie Baysox versus the Richmond Flying Squirrels. We had been to numerous R-Braves games before they decamped to Georgia, but this was our first Squirrel game. The Squirrels may be just AA as opposed to the R-Braves AAA status, but the feeling in the stadium was a whole lot more fun. The mascot is Nutzy the Flying Squirrel and he was all over the place. Climbing the backstop, dancing on top of the dugout, and climbing up on the railings. Maybe he wasn't the best role model for kids at the game, but he was certainly gungho and happy to interact with the crowd. Only Rebecca was willing to approach Nutzy and she got a big hug for her bravery.

The game itself was pretty good. We saw several double plays and a really heart braking catch that robbed the Squirrels of a win at the bottom of the 10th (yes we got extra innings). Sadly, the Squirrels didn't win the game. The Baysoxs surged ahead in the 11th and held off he Squirrels for a win.


memorial day fireworks
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
However, the loss didn't affect the post game fireworks. That was one of the big draws for me. I like baseball, throw in some fireworks and I'm there. It was well past 11 when we finally got home last night. The kids had a great time and didn't seem to suffer too much today from a short night of sleep. Normally I wouldn't have them up so late on a school night, but the school year is almost over and there isn't much going on now.

And hey, there were crazy squirrels and fireworks.