Friday, July 30, 2010

Mountain Time

Gile mountain
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
As I mentioned yesterday there was a bit of mountain hiking during our vacation. My mom lives in Vermont surrounded by a plethora of hiking trails. I declined both hikes using inadequate footwear. I love my sandals, but they are not really suited for long hikes. For some reason I neglected to toss in the car a pair of sneakers for myself.

Of course what I define as a good hiking shoe is completely different from Rebecca's ideal. She knew they were going to hike up a mountain and yet she chose a very girlie outfit. A pretty blue dress with brown flats was her idea of a hiking ensemble.

For the first hike the idea was something easy for the whole family. Gile mountain is not at all far away and fit the bill. Larry took this picture of Max, Nate, and Rebecca at the top. It was a bit overcast, but you can see all three had fun on their adventure. They opted not to scale the fire tower on top, but from there you can get a very impressive view of the surrounding area.

Mount Cardingan
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
The next day just Larry and Nate went off for a much more challenging hike. After a bit of discussion on various spots they settled on Mount Cardigan. It was no walk in the park, but it didn't seem to slow down Nate aka goat-boy very much. They made the summit, a far more impressive affair since it is bare rock and the camera's battery promptly went kaput. Larry used his cell phone and got some nice shots, but I don't have them yet.

They had a good time and it made for a nice father and son moment. Plus Nate got to burn off some of his excess energy before we headed on over to in-law's in CT. Four hours in a car is not much fun for an active boy. We like to make sure he gets some exercise before we stuff him in the car.

Next year I'll try to remember to bring sneakers so I can join in on the fun.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

En Vacances

marshmallow roast
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
So as my faithful few have probably figured out I was away on vacation, hence the lack of posts.

We did our usual grand tour of New England, visiting Grandparents and cousins. We had beach time, mountain time and lots of family time. Pictured here is our marshmallow roast on the beach.

Normally we will do it after dark, but a front was rolling in and we thought it was best to have it before the storm hit. We were just winding up when the western sky started to spark with lighting. Four buckets of sea water later the fire was out and we retreated to the safety of the big yellow house.

I'll share more photos in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Artist of the Week: Scamartistry

I got the following missive from Princess Newman and it's too good not to share.

Dear Respected,

My name is Miss Princess Newman, a 19 years old girl, My mother died with her baby during delivery and my father Hon. Mr Felix Newman later died last year as he was poisoned by his family brother. My late father was a wealthy Gold and Diamond miner and on several government appointments, on that the $7.7 million USD was legitimately earned and deposited with an international bank here, concerning the deposited $7.7 million USD, I am contacting to help for its investment in your country and I have the inheritance Will as the Rightful owner and every other deposit proves and papers.

I got your contacts and your profile during my desperate search for a foreign partner, I contacted you to seek for your partnership to assist me to move this money to your country for investments.

My questions are; (1) what will be your percentage for your noble assistance?? (2) Can you be of help to invest the money into Real Estate or Hotel management as soon as you received the funds? (3) Can it be possible for me to further studies in your country ? Note that this is 100% legitimate and will forward every details and related deposit documents as soon as you write me.Please get back to me with this mail: -spam of doom email address-

Best regards,
Miss Princess Newman

Princess Newman you rock and totally qualify as artist of the week!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Bit More On My Victory

I ended up redoing the wiring from the sensors to the garage door opener. I was not happy with how the staples were attaching the wires to the the wall. Some of them just were not up to snuff and I decided it would be better to just start over and staple a tie to the wall and then tie the wires on. I just didn't want a repeat of the mystery short.

As for the rest of the electrical issues, it turns out our Invisible Fence was also tripping the circuit breaker. It would happen once, maybe twice a day. I'm not sure why it's doing it. I've replaced the backup battery, but it was still tripping the breaker. I'm pretty sure it's not the outlet it is plugged into, maybe it's the power strip/ surge protector. I hope so, because anything else will require my calling up the fine folks at Invisible Fence and scheduling an appointment.

So for now the fence is off. The dogs haven't quite figured it out yet and I hope they never do.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Baby

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This is one of the latest pictures of my little niece Sofia.

She is such a happy little creature. I thought this would be a nice end to the week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition (Directors Cut)

I love this song. It's very sweet without being saccharine. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Artist of the Week: Watercolor

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
The end of the year clean out continues and I keep on finding little gems amongst the crumpled papers and pencil stubs.

This week the featured artist is Max and he is all for the big clean out. He likes things to be just so and is a firm believer in clean hands. Mind you his hands may be clean, but he's not up to washing his face. More often than not he'll wear a charming goatee of chocolate ice cream long after the ice cream cone is finished.

Of course he looks all sparkly clean here while he mans the hose.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
As for the art, it's watercolor he made at some point during the school year. Most likely it was done towards the end of the year, I'll have to ask him tomorrow.

As watercolors are wont to do, the picture itself has a rather abstract feel. There is the traditional sun jammed up in the upper left corner and what I think is a cardinal fliting across the top of the page. The rest of the picture is a bit of a mystery. Knowing Max and his predilection for turtles I would hazard that the greenish blog with the black eye dot to the left of the brown streak (tree trunk?) is in fact a turtle.

Either way it's a rather cheerful piece of art. I like the colors and how for once Max filled the page. He tends towards making tiny little figures that get lost in all the empty space.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Three Bucks and a Doe

Three Bucks and a Doe
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Yesterday morning Larry spied this quartet in our backyard. We very rarely get to see any bucks in our backyard, does and their fawns are the norm.

I took this picture through the our french doors leading out to the deck. I then tried to quietly step outside for a better picture, but the squeak of the hinges betrayed me. They didn't turn tail and head for the hills, instead they faded back to the woods. The resulting picture wasn't nearly as good.

My guess is this is a small group of adolescent deer that are hanging about until the big males push them away and poached the does for their harems. It was fun seeing them with their velvet jacketed antlers.

Monday, July 12, 2010


A very well done and interesting short film. I won't say anything more, it is better to see this fresh, with no preconceptions.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The 2010 FIFA World Cup Champion is...

Paul the Octopus!

Well actually it was Spain, but it was really a let down of a game.

The referee was card happy and just encouraged the theatrics on the field. During regulation play it looked like Spain's playbook ran along the lines that if you lose the ball just drop to the ground clutching your shins and roll around for a bit. The only player I had any respect for was the goalkeeper, Iker Casillas. He was utterly amazing and truly deserved being selected as the best World Cup goalkeeper.

As for good soccer match-ups, yesterday's game between Germany and Uruguay was the one to watch. The officiating was superior and there was almost none of the diving and theatrics that plagued today's final. It was an exciting to watch and really was "the beautiful game."

Friday, July 09, 2010


Today I finally solved an electrical puzzle in our home.

It seemly started off with the circuit breaker for the garage and master bath randomly tripping. It first happened after a heavy rain and that side tracked me, but then that association evaporated. I considered getting an electrician, however I wanted to pinpoint the problem and not just be waving my had at the fuse box and saying something is wrong.

Meanwhile the garage door opener was getting increasingly stupider. Sometimes it would, other times it would refuse to close. It was very annoying. One of the sensors was always getting knocked around by the kids' bikes. I reinstalled it countless times only for it to be knocked loose. I thought that that was the issue until I noticed the other sensor was only lighting up part of the time.

Ah ha! Maybe that is the problem, the sensor is shorting out and taking the whole system down at the same time. I checked the wiring from the motor to the sensor, connections we checked and tightened and it all looked just ducky. I figured it was time to replace the light sensors. Unfortunately we have a fancy pants opener and I had to get the parts from an official dealer.

I was expecting to pay less than $20. The store quoted $36 - $50.


So yesterday I schlepped on over and plunked down 50 bucks for new sensors. It was pretty easy swapping them out and at first it worked Yay!!! Then the old problem came back. Frustrated by the whole mess I looked over the whole system and then I saw it.

The light hit the wires from the track to the motor just right and I could see the teeny tiny flaw.

The belt drive had been lightly rubbing on the wire (which was stupidly positioned by the installer- the exact amount of wire needed was used and as a result it was nigh impossible to reposition the wire) and over the course of many years had worn away one side of the wire.

Hooray! I could return the pricey sensors and pick up a couple spools of wire. Redo the wiring and solve it once and for all. Two spools of wire, four connectors, and a bucket of sweat later (It was like a bloody sauna in the garage) I now have a fully function garage door opener once again.

Yay me!

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This is summer defined.

Running around outside with the sprinklers on and nailing your siblings with the hose.

The best part is that they all take turns being the master of the hose and a didn't have to say boo. They even roll up the hose once they are done.

I have some mighty nice children.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Artist of the Week: India

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This week's artist is the ever so active Nate.

He has only two settings, on and off. The off setting only comes into play when he is truly wiped out. Conversely if he doesn't find some sort of outlet for his boundless energy he positively vibrates. Fortunately he is able to channel his energy into sports.

Lacrosse is an excellent fit for Nate, lots of running around and a waving a stick in air. And this picture is of him from the end of the year party for his lacrosse team. He went from being a rank amateur at the beginning of the season to a fairly good player. He really took a shine to being the goalie and shows a lot of promise in that position.

Another way Nate is able to redirect his energy is through his academics. He has laser-like focus and a phenomenal memory. As in sports, he wants to excel in school. Unfortunately his enthusiasm in the past has caused him to rush things and produce some rather messy creations. But this year he learned to throttle back and pay a bit more attention to the details.

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar

This map is what he can accomplish when he slows down.

The assignment was mapping India by heart. Nate had to drawn a grid denoting longitude and latitude and use point coordinates to make the outline of India. Then the points were connected while looking at a map of Asia. India's major cities, neighboring countries, and prominent geological features were then added to the map.

Nate had to use color, ink in all the lines, and create a map key.

I think his final product came out very well. It is far, far neater than anything he produced in third grade. The end result is very polished and complete. I was amazed when I found out it was entirely hand drawn. I always knew he had it in him, he just had to learn to take care of the details and slow down.

I think there will always be a bit of the rush through and just do something element in Nate's life, but it's nice to see that he can rein himself in when needed.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

All Gone

My pretty, pretty flag cake is all gone.

It was so very, very delicious that it lasted for barely three days, two if you take into consideration that we didn't start eating until 7 pm on Sunday. By 4 pm today it was all gone.

I guess I'll have to make something else for my wee bairns to snack on.

Monday, July 05, 2010


Most graffiti is just junk, nothing more than vandalism by the unimaginative. Sometimes, however, you get art.

I've like Blu's work in the past and I'm so happy to see another film has been released.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July

4th of July
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Here is the cake I made today featuring the American Flag.

And yes, it has all 13 stripes and 50 stars.

Patriotism never tasted so good.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Things To Do

This is what I have planned for Saturday:

1) Start making ribs for Sunday (it just ain't the 4th of July without ribs).

2) Get some fresh tomatoes from my favorite farm stand.

3) Watch some World Cup soccer. Today's game between Brazil and the Netherlands was outstanding. There was great game play and superior officiating.

4) Try to find all my lawn flags.

5) Decorate bikes for the parade on Sunday.

6) Go listen to Max's drum teacher perform at Grandpa Eddie's. Max is very excited that he gets to watch him perform.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
Yeah right.

So far today I have spent half an hour at my local hardware store sorting out replacement parts, drained the hot water heater, replaced it's drain valve (had an annoying slow drip), then replaced the shut off valve to the dishwasher's supply line (while cursing the cheap non standard valve originally installed), refilled the water water tank and tightened up the cold water supply valve to the tank, and then reassembled the outside hose to it's caddy so it no longer drips.

Oh and I picked up a few things for dinner when I was out and about and made the kids lunch.

All done before 1:00 pm.

So dang it, I deserve a trip to "For the Love of Chocolate."