Monday, March 31, 2014

Dark Noir

An interesting short that is sort of kind of an Absolute ad.

Dark Noir from Gillian Glendinning on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Slow Weekend

Originally it was going to be a busy weekend, two local soccer games on Saturday and one game at Virginia Beach. Plus on Sunday the return of Jacob from his band's trip to Disney World. The rain, however washed away two of the games. Max was only able to get his game in on Saturday because his game got moved to a turf (ie fake grass) field that is impervious to rain. And I must say it was a nice change of pace.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Morning Drive

This was the sky this morning when I dropped off Nate for his bus to school. He is out of district for his high school and we have a variety of choices: drive him alllll the way to his school on the other side of the district, have him catch the express bus from our neighborhood at 5:45 in the fracking morning, or catch the bus 10 minutes away at 6:40 am.

For me the choice was clear and with the added bonus of a car pool in my neighborhood I don't have to do all the driving. And every now and then I get to see a pretty sky.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stumpy the Zebra

Dell likes to chew things.
Dell likes to chew plastic toys.
Dell chewed this poor defenseless zebra's left front leg.

Rebecca is rather fond of the aforementioned zebra and did not want to toss it after its amputation. She wanted it fixed, but couldn't think of a good permanent solution. So the poor thing languished about the house in its tripod form.

Rebecca had tried masking tape and string, but both failed miserably. I suggested a wooden dowel, but the ones we had were gone. Then I had a eureka moment, we could use a screw.

I got the big box of assorted screws out and she chose one of the right length and diameter. Rebecca wasn't sure if it would work, but lo and behold it did. I think the best part is that the screw she settled on has a rounded head which makes it look like a real prosthetic leg. Now the zebra can stand on its own four feet.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Artist of the Week: National Honor Society

Jacob is this week's artist for his official induction in the National Honors Society.

He was admitted some time ago, but not in time for the fall induction ceremony. Which wasn't too big a deal, he was still able to include his affiliation on his college applications. He just missed out on a slightly bigger event in the main auditorium as opposed to the smaller room that it was held in today. Five current members of the NHS spoke, candles were lit, and then a brief bio was read of each of the four inductees. Either there was cake and for me it was nice to have the short version of the event.

I'm very proud of his achievement, I was oblivious to the whole thing when I was in high school, It wasn't until college when I became dimly aware. Additionally it wasn't even an option at my school. I hung out with a smart crowd in high school, but grade wise I wasn't particularly motivated. Only some classes were challenging and I was perfectly happy with a mixed assortment of As and Bs. Plus the whole community service thing didn't exist, maybe my exercising my geriatric neighbor's horses would have counted.

Anyhoo, I seriously doubt I would have made the cut. So well done Jacob.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Believe it or not that is snow.

It is not a starry sky superimposed over an image of our woods.

It is not dust motes on the lens lit up by the flash.

It is just plain snow falling from the sky, in March, late March in central Virginia. At least it is not sticking.

Help me.

Monday, March 24, 2014


I admit it, I really like Pharrell's "Happy." It's just plain fun and gets under your skin. This version popped up on my feed in Face Book and I just had to share.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chicken Pot Yum

chicken pot yum by Teckelcar
chicken pot yum, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
For a while I have been making chicken pot pies from scratch. I really like that I can take a left over roasted chicken and get at least one more meal out of it, two if I count the soup from the stripped carcass. all it takes is double pie crust, an onion, leftover gravy, chicken, mixed vegetables, and a bit of rosemary. Pretty much everybody likes it.

Yesterday's pie was particularly glorious. I have gotten the crust down to a science and the leftover gravy was particularly good. It does my frugal Yankee soul some good when I can get so much out of one tasty bird.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bowed, But Not Broken

icy bloom by Teckelcar
icy bloom, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Somehow I got in my head that yesterday was Wednesday, apparently traveling followed by two days of schools starting with a two hour delay messes my perception of what of the week it is.

Anyway this daffodil is encased in ice from Sunday night's all the way to Tuesday morning's wintery mix of doom. It wasn't as bad as the picture would make you believe. For the most part the roads remained clear until Tuesday and that was due to the cold temps finally cooling down the roads so that the ice/snow/whatever could stick.

The flowers, on the other hand were all encapsulated in ice from day one. Which was a good thing because the ice gave a big of insulation from Monday night's bitterly cold temperatures. The ice is gone now, but the flowers are still a bit droopy. I don't know if they will fully bounce back, but they are still alive.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Artist of the Week: Tourney Triumphs

Max in Action by Teckelcar
Max in Action, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
As I mentioned before we had all sorts of soccer going on this past weekend. Both Max and Rebecca had soccer tournaments, his in Stafford, Va and hers in Virginia Beach. Obviously one parent couldn't do both, so Larry took Rebecca and I took Max.

It was a good weekend for soccer with the seemly weekly wintery mix of doom holding off until Sunday night. It was relatively warm on Saturday and I got this great shot of Max moving the ball down the line.  It was taken during the first game that they lost 5 -2, however the team's play was much better than the score showed. In the second game of the day they completely shut out their opponents at 5 - 0!

Team by Teckelcar
Team, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Sunday was grey and cold with the parents all huddled on the sidelines. I was a little less inclined for photography and the best I got was the team banding together before the game. The cold didn't seem to bother them and the coach urged them on by telling them they still had a chance for the playoffs. They played hard and won again, this time 3 - 2. Unfortunately by the way the tournament was scored, they just missed qualifying for the play-offs. However, this was by far the team's best showing. This seasons looks to be quite promising.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Cold by Teckelcar
Cold, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
The last time we saw this fellow it was reasonably nice out. Since Thursday we have had a high in the upper 70s over the weekend followed by the wintery mix of doom. I don't know if it is the same blue bird, but it is in the same spot and looking a bit put off with the return of winter.

I have to agree, I'm tired of the brutal weather pattern of late. We get one or two days of almost 8o degrees and then bam, winter is back. As I right I can hear the patter of rain/freezing rain/sleet on the skylights. The schools already have declared a two hour today, a slight improvement over this morning's 5:30 am announcement via phone.

I'm done with winter.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Purim! by Teckelcar
Purim!, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
It's a holiday so I must be baking.

It was a long weekend filled with driving and soccer.I got home around 3:00 and Larry followed a couple hours later. We briefly considered attending our synagogue's Purim party, but the idea of getting back in the car to do even more driving was very unappealing. Not even the promise of hamantaschen and pizza were able to get us out.

So instead I made us our own hamantaschen. There was much happiness and no regrets.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pi

Pumpkin Pi by Teckelcar
Pumpkin Pi, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
It's Pi day and that can only mean one thing... it's time to make pie!

This year i only made a pumpkin pie. Max and Rebecca have soccer tournaments this weekend and I an just too darn busy gearing up for them. However, a pie was made and it was very good.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blue Bird

Blue Bird by Teckelcar
Blue Bird, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Blue birds are not the most common bird in our backyard and they always catch my eye. Particularly when they land on the bright orange frame of our "bounce back."

It's not the clearest picture, I really need to clean my camera's lens, but it is good enough. I was happy that our bright blue visitor lingered long enough for me to fetch my camera. Normally they just flit through and not perch for any length of time. Maybe it was the lack of activity, canine and human,in our yard that made this picture possible.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Artist of the Week: Mount Everest

Wind Symphony by Teckelcar
Wind Symphony, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
This past weekend was the annual district assessment for school bands. Jacob's school hosts the event and everybody, parents, students, and the band director work their collective tails off to make the whole thing work. We have had the honor of hosting this event for quite sometime due to our hard work producing a well run affair that runs on schedule. If you are scheduled to go on at 5:15pm, by gum you will be on stage no later than 5:15 pm. This year we had to rejigger the schedule a bit to slip in an extra school. They had been originally scheduled for Friday, but they had a snow day and couldn't come. It would be a shame for all their practicing to be for naught, so we made it happen. None the less we still ended on time.

In addition to running concessions, setting up the stage and escorting the various schools to the warmup room, the main auditorium, and the sight reading room, our kids also participated in the assessment. Friday the lower, symphonic band performed and received a superior rating. Saturday the upper, wind symphony performed and received a perfect superior rating. The kicker, for the past 25 years the wind sympony has garnered a superior rating. That is quite a feather in their cap.

Below is part of their performance, the piece is titled "Mount Everest." I apologize for the poor sound quality. I was using my cell phone and it really did not do justice to the performance. It sounded much better in person.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Signs of Spring

Crocus by Teckelcar
Crocus, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
At the end of February I saw this brave little crocus amongst the leaf litter in the front garden. It is one of the very few left of the massive planting I did not long after we got the house. Deer, mice, and bugs have taken their toll over the years. I should, and probably will, do another mass planting. I have always liked crocuses because they are low maintenance, come in pretty colors, and are the first flowers to bloom.

I almost missed them this year with all the snow we keep getting. My guess is the worst is over, February has always been the snowiest part of winter followed by one last gasp in March.

Dell and Daffodils by Teckelcar
Dell and Daffodils, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Daffodils are always the next to bloom and this patch has been going strong for over a week. I finally remembered to bring a camera along today during the dog walk. Dell wasn't particularly impressed by the flowers, the neighbor's house was far more interesting. I however disagree with Mr. Dell. I think it is very interesting that this particular planting is one of the first to bloom every year. My best guess is this particular spot is very sheltered and gets quite a bit of sunlight. My daffodils reside in a rather shady spot and are about a week behind. They have been up for quite awhile and not until this morning have I see any flower buds.

daffodils by Teckelcar
daffodils, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Speaking of which...

This afternoon I found flowering daffodils in own yard. It is amazing how an 80 degree day can hurry along plants. I thought I would see blooms tomorrow, not this afternoon. Spring is definitely on its way.

Monday, March 10, 2014


A little light entertainment, a stop action film by Juan Pablo Zaramella of Buenos Aires. The synopsis from the website states "In a world controlled and timed by light, an ordinary man has a plan that could change the natural order of things."

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Return

King Cake by Teckelcar
King Cake, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Between snow days, sports, two bands, and life in general I have done pretty much zilch around here. A nice gentle prodding from Diane and my daughter bluntly telling me I needed to update pushed me into action.

So yes we have had far too many snow days around here and when the kids have off I bake them a treat. this week in honor of Fat Tuesday I made a King Cake. Actually two of them, one on Saturday because I had a hankering for one and another on Monday. Both were inhaled in less than a day.It's pretty safe to say that we like King Cake. Mine is a nutmeg and lemon based cake with a cream cheese filling. I found it over at Gourmet Girl and it is pretty easy to make. I didn't get a pretty open ring, but the end result was delicious.