Monday, September 30, 2013

Slug Invasion

A short film by students at The Animation Workshop, done in the style of a war movie that is all about perspective.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Rainbow

rainbow by Teckelcar
rainbow, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
As I stepped out the deck to harvest some basil and parsley from my little garden pots for dinner I saw the most brilliant rainbow. The picture does not do it justice. I could clearly see each band of color arching over the trees directly behind our home.

A light rain was falling, the first in seeming in weeks. We are having a bit of a dry spell after such a wet summer. I never did turn our sprinkler system and at this point I'm not going to bother. That said, I do have to water my little deck garden. The plants have mostly bolted and look for the most part spent. I'm just going to nurse them along until the first frost , which is still some time away.

However I won't begrudge to time spent on them. I love having fresh basil. parsley, and the occasional tomato just steps away from the back door. Plus sometimes I get to see a pretty rainbow when I go out to my garden.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rebel

Rebel by Teckelcar
Rebel, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I like mowing the lawn. I end up doing the mowing since I'm able to during the week, resulting in one less thing during the weekend.

The worst part of the job is the push mower, which is used on the steep embankment alongside the road and tricky bits that are too awkward for the tractor. It's fortunately not a huge amount and I can get it done in under an hour. I prefer to get that part out of the way first, leaving the riding mower as a sort of reward for a hard job.

The tractor we have is an old beast, at least a 14 years old. We got it in Pennsylvania before Nate was born. Amusingly enough it was from a hardware store that also catered to the local Amish population. Horse and buggies tied to the provided fence were a common sight.

Anyhoo, it's a good tractor that does a great job. I view my time onboard as my thinking time. Free from distractions: it's just me, the tractor and the lawn. I get a real sense of accomplishment when the whole lawn is done. A beautiful green and even sward of grass greets my eyes after I tuck the mowers away in the shed.

So you can imagine how irksome this single blade of grass can be. It somehow evaded the mower blade and defiantly sticks out from the rest of the grass. When I find these rebel blades I go back and deal with them individually.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Under the Weather

under the weather by Teckelcar
under the weather, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Most of us have been sick the past few days.I think Jacob was first with a runny nose and cough. Max felt off last Friday and I ended up picking him up early from school. I succumbed over the weekend and just now I'm able to have coherent thoughts, hence the "Chicken!" post on Sunday. Rebecca only made it partway through school today and I had to go fetch her. Meanwhile Nate has been off school the past two days, which means I've gotten to hear the automated phone system from the high school butcher his name twice.

As for the picture, it is from this year's county fair. It was an incredibly rainy day and I asked Max if I could take his picture as we waited for Aunt Meryl. Don't let the expression fool you, Max had a great time getting all wet. The expression was all his idea.

Monday, September 23, 2013

THE POSSIBILITIES

A Tropfest New York 2013 Finalist that showcases how sometimes you can have too many options.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chicken!

chicken! by Teckelcar
chicken!, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I've been sick pretty much all weekend. I was able to struggle out Saturday morning to do the soccer mom thing, however once home I went to bed for the rest of the day. I'm feeling better now, but totally uninspired.

Thus I have here a cute chicken from the county fair as today's post.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Snappy

snappy by Teckelcar
snappy, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I was at the library this week and as I stepped outside I looked up at the flag out front. The sky, as you can see, was a clear brilliant blue. A good breeze was blowing so the flag was snapping in the wind. The flag pole is quite close to the entrance and you have to really crane your neck to see the flag. I liked the perspective and the colors so much I deemed it worthy to go to the car for my camera and to come back and take a few pictures.

I don't know what is so pleasing to me about this picture. I can tell you that it is true to what I saw and the picture is straight out of the camera. No cropping, no color adjustment, no editing whatsoever. Not bad for a little point and shoot i got for $50.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ahoy There!

Ahoy There! by Teckelcar
Ahoy There!, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
It be Talk Like a pirate Day!

I charted a course to the Krispy Kreme and, along with my first mate Meryl, captured the treasure, a dozen glazed doughnuts. We divided our plunder and I sailed on for further adventuring.

It twas time to pick up a member of my scurvy crew, Nate, and his chum. They had to speak proper like 'fore entering the ship, but the promise of doughnut treasure loosened their tongues. Them thar be the rules, speak as a pirate and ye get yer share.

Then we pushed on, made our home port after Nate's chum abandoned ship at his port o'call. I had one more voyage to make, another member of our bonny crew had to meet with his mates and their captain. I stood watch with a dagger in my boot until 6 bells.

It be a good day to be a pirate.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Artist of the Week: Apples

Nate by Teckelcar
Nate, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
This week's artist is Nate with a piece of art from the previous school year and a self portrait for his picture.

I just found the selfie, along with a few others, on my camera. He had shown me one of the pictures a few days ago, in it his eyes were closed and he said it looked like a picture of him sleeping. I figured he would delete the pictures since he is normally an elusive subject. I put it out of my mind and pretty much forgot about it until yesterday when I was uploading pictures from my camera. So color me surprised, I have actual picture of the boy that wasn't the result of my sneaking up on him.

Apples by Teckelcar
Apples, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
As for the art, he brought it home at the end of the year and I put it in the dreaded "safe place" and forgot all about it. I was clearing stuff away and rediscovered it. Nate saw me taking a picture and told me he remembered it and really liked the piece.

It is a simple study of an apple done in contrasting colors, both in the actual drawing and the background paper. Nate did a great job capturing the roundness of the apples. He made good use of color and the strokes of the crayon. This one may even be worthy of framing, I'll have to see if I can find a ready made frame for a reasonable price.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Big Numbers

200k by Teckelcar
200k, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Last Friday the van hit the 200k mile mark. The same van that I just fixed so it would pass inspection. Yes the check engine light is on, but really it would be more surprising if it wasn't. As my mechanics observed vehicles like this are not known for lasting this long.

The big event itself happened while I was driving back from the Kol Nidre service. I glanced at the odometer and let out a big whoop. Nate, who was riding shotgun, said we should take a picture so I told him to use my phone. The resulting picture is a bit blurred, but it is legible.

As for the timing of the picture, Nate gave me the following explanation. He wanted the number to be 200,013 since it was Friday the 13th and the year is 2013.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lottery - The FlipSide

An interesting short film written/directed by Ben Shelton of Shelton Films. It asks the question what would you do if you won the lottery.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Still Morning

Still Morning by Teckelcar
Still Morning, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I'm starting to feel hints of fall, The mornings are chill and it takes a while for the day to warm up. Leaves are starting to show hints of red and orange. And the sun is slowly sliding lower on the horizon, changing the quality of light, No longer the harsh, flat blaze of summer light, there is a softer feel to daylight.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

G'mar Chatima Tovah

Tree of Life by Teckelcar
Tree of Life, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
And an easy fast to my friends and family.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tiny Lizard

tiny lizard by Teckelcar
tiny lizard, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Jacob spotted this little guy the other day. To give a bit of scale, that is a nailhead on the left.

I have only briefly seen this particular species (Eastern Fence Lizard) before, most likely due to its diminutive size. I'm used to seeing the five lined skinks, particularly in the juvenile form with the electric blue tail. This little guy is not nearly as showy with its grey scaly skin.

However it is very cute

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Dozen years Ago

Flags by Teckelcar
Flags, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I had a quiet day today, which is appropriate for patriot's day. I didn't go out except to drop off Nate for his morning car pool to school and to collect Jacob from his after school marching band rehearsal. So I have no new pictures for today. But I did find this rather somber one I took last yer around Veterans' Day at the Virginia War memorial.

I did have one interesting moment this weekend concerning Sept. 11th. Rebecca was working on a school project, a sort of brochure all about her. She had to detail two experiences the affected her life.I was going to suggest September 11th when it hit me, she was born after that fateful day. It has always been a part of her life.

Somehow it really hit home for me how long ago it was. I have this lovely, smart, and vivacious creature that has never known before, only after. She is in middle school and is getting taller by the minute. It really knocked me back for a minute.

A dozen years, more than a lifetime yet it seems not so long ago.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

And I Repair Cars

Third Tail light by Teckelcar
Third Tail light, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Last week I brought the van in for new tires. One tree was shot to heck and I was driving around on the spare. I had a sneaking suspicion that at least one other tree needed replacing and had the shop check them all out.

I was right and in reality all needed replacing and after the *ahem* slightly overdue inspection it turned out I had a burnt out reverse signal light and the third tail light was so dim it was effectively nonfunctional. Thus my van earned a big old reject sticker. Since my van is rather geriatric, 9 1/2 years to be precise, and a discontinued mode my mechanics didn't have the tail light on hand. They told me I had 15 days to correct the problems and maybe I should look around for a tail light in a junkyard. It is a complicated part and it would be silly to spend a lot on such an old vehicle.

After a bit of research I discovered exactly how complicated the part is, in order to replace the third light I would also have to replace the windshield wiper motor. Yes,that's right, the Ford motor company in all its wisdom combined the tail light and the rear wiper motor. The above picture shows the entire part. Every mechanic I've talked to this past week has shook their head and said that's crazy.

Unfortunately I could not find a used one, this was after two junkyards and a dealer in salvaged auto-parts. So I was stuck going to the dealership and ordering from them, note the parts department thought the combo was crazy as well. Today the part came in and I was able to successfully install the new wiper motor and tail light. Toss in a new reverse light buld and I was good to go for inspection.

It's nice to have a vehicle without a rejection sticker.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Well Hello There

Tomato Hornworm by Teckelcar
Tomato Hornworm, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Yesterday I was breathlessly informed by some of my children that there was an absolutely enormous caterpillar om one of our tomato plants. This warranted further investigation. I had my suspicions on what they found, so a quick trip outside was in order.

They were not exaggerating, it was huge, possibly the biggest hornworm I have ever seen.

In my previous life I was a lab tech, one of the labs I worked in had tobacco hornworms. From what I learned we had a tomato hornworm, which is very similar to the tobacco. Both will feed on tomato plants, so it's no guarantee that you have tomato hornworm on a tomato plant. I also learned that these were the critters that had been eating the odd tomato. I had blamed the squirrels, but now I know better.


Friday, September 06, 2013

Picture of the Week: Round Up

Round Up by Teckelcar
Round Up, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I had no real expectations when I took this photo. I had my little point and shoot camera with me and got some decent shots, I was able to get the timing right so that Meryl was clearly visible. I pulled out my cell phone so I could do a quick upload onto Facebook.

All I took was one picture with my phone and I was amazed with the result. I wasn't expecting much so I was blown away by the clarity of the picture. The picture is straight out of the phone. No cropping, no adjusting of light levels, nor color enhancing. It was uploaded straight from the phone to Flickr. The blur on the Round Up is perfect. Motion is indicated, but the static features are clearly captured.

Cell phone cameras have come a long way.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

L'Shanah Tovah!

Off to School by Teckelcar
Off to School, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
May you have a sweet new year.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Artist of the Week: Soccer Tourney

Away We Go by Teckelcar
Away We Go, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
This week's artist, or rather artists are Max and Rebecca.

I took this picture of them at the county fair. It was far less than ideal weather, what with the periodic downpours', and yet that made it all the better. There were no lines and for once it didn't feel like we were on the surface of the sun. They both had a wonderful time and were even willing to go on the rides together.

This past weekend they also spent some time together. Both of their soccer teams were entered in a tournament over in Williamsburg. We headed over on Saturday and were on the soccer pitch bright and early for their first games. Rebecca's team had another game shortly after and in the short time between their second games , I scooted over to the hotel we were staying at to check in. When we came back after Max's game we relaxed in the hotel. Rebecca hung out with her teammates and Max spent time with his teammate that was staying with us (he's a great kid and is Max's best friend. His mom was stretched mighty thin last weekend and I offered to take him in. At this point in the tourney both teams had one loss and one win. putting Max's team second place in its bracket.

On Sunday Rebecca had two scheduled games (for the girl's team it was round-robin affair) while Max's team had made it to the semi-finals, if the boys' win, then they would play in the finals. Unfortunately it was not to be and they lost. However it was not too shabby for a team that up until Saturday had yet to of played a game together. As for Rebecca's team, they hung in there and played some very tough competition to a tie and lost to the team that completely dominated the game. Both Max and Rebecca conked out in the car during the ride back home. It was an exhausting weekend.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

First Day of Middle School

First Day of Middle School by Teckelcar
First Day of Middle School, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Today I can really and truly say I have no more elementary school aged children. After 12 (!) years of having at least one, and for a few years three, in elementary school I'm done.

I guess it is a little bit sad, but I'm so done with it all. Don't get me wrong, I love our school. We had wonderful teachers and the staff was terrific, particularly with Max. However I'm so glad to be closing that chapter in our lives.

As for my middle-schoolers, they were nervous, but excited. Their seemly sad expressions are more about the much earlier bus schedule and the far longer walk to the bus stop.

Oh and silly mom having to take yet another picture.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Back In The Saddle Again

The last part of summer just about wiped me out. Two soccer tournaments, a big shindig in honor of our Rabbi, and the general chaos of back to school. Add in a new computer and all that entails and my little corner of the internet was sadly neglected. But now that the school year starts I'm back in the saddle again.