Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Artist of the Week: Snow Guard

Max by Teckelcar
Max, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
You would think with all the snow we have been getting that at least one snowman was made and you would be right. Max made at least two,  one of which was in a hidden spot that I saw quite by accident. There may have been more, he likes to make small ones and hide them, a very Max thing to do.

Thus with his snowman building Max is the artist of the week.

The picture of Max was taken Thursday morning last week. I'm not sure what he is thinking of, probably what a huge amount of snow we got and how it hasn't stopped snowing. Regardless, it is a could shot showing his more contemplative side.
Snow Guardian by Teckelcar
Snow Guardian, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Meanwhile the snowman, or rather snow guard, has a far happier seeming pose. Max constructed him while clearing the driveway with Rebecca. Max constructed a wall surrounding his creation so that it appears to be guarding the entrance to the front walkway. It is not a large, at most it was two feet tall, which is again just like Max. He loves making small snowmen, usually 8 inches an under, thus making this a big one for Max. It is hard to see, but the snow guard has a stick by it's right "hand." This gives it the look of being on guard. I like it's cheerful expression. Sadly it is long gone, snow doesn't last very long around here, even if it is on guard.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Move Mountain

A captivating stop animation film by Kirsten Lepore. This is her MA graduation film from CalArts and I think it it is wonderful both in technique and the soundtrack. Tthe best word to summarize this movie is connectivity.

Move Mountain from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sweet Rewards

Hard at work by Teckelcar
Hard at work, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
We got 4 1/2 inches of snow yesterday. Then it rained, sleeted, and lord knows what else during the night. As a result we woke up to a big sloppy mess that was "only" two inches and very heavy. I knew with the deep freeze predicted for tonight it would turn into a sheet of ice and the driveway would be a mess for quite some time. So I proposed to the kids, if you shovel the driveway I would bake a rat from them. Max and Rebecca lit up at the offer and were soon outside and shoveling away.

clean driveway by Teckelcar
clean driveway, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
It was hard work and they were not so thrilled with the bargain. I sweetened the deal by offering to bake two treats, Max would get his beloved pumpkin pie and Rebecca would get a chocolate eclair pie.They worked hard for about ab hour and got the large area outside of the garage cleared away. They came in to rest and get some lunch. I tossed all the wet gloves and Max's jacket into the dryer, which was much appreciated when they went back outside.

I'm not sure how long it took, but they did clear the whole drive. I went out afterwards and I was really impressed. They did a terrific job and certainly earned their treats. Unfortunately we got another inch or so of snow, but it isn't as wet and Jacob has already volunteered to clear it away. He wants in on the baked goods and is willing to work for food.
Just rewards by Teckelcar
Just rewards, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
So while all that shoveling was going on I was inside baking away. I ended up halving the recipe for the eclair pie I made for Rebecca's birthday last year.  I think it came out even better this time. As fr the pumpkin pie, well it's an old favorite and very dependable. I think I will even let the dynamic duo enjoy their respective pies for breakfast tomorrow, sine we of course don't have school.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Big Snow!

Big Snow! by Teckelcar
Big Snow!, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I'm going to leave this here with just the facts.

Snow fall started at roughly 3:40 pm.
This picture was taken at about 10:40 pm.
It is now a mixed bag of snow and sleety stuff falling from the sky.
There is no school tomorrow and most likely none on Friday.
The kids are out of their minds.

The predicted high on Friday is 44.

Welcome to central Virginia.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Twilight Over Soccer Fields

Twilight Over Soccer Fields by Teckelcar
Twilight Over Soccer Fields, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Today Rebecca had what should be her penultimate winter training session, but considering the impending winter weather of doom it is unlikely that tomorrow's practice will be held. The whole winter training has been hit or miss. Between snow storms and subzero wind chills the club has cancelled roughly half of the sessions. This has been far from surprising since the training is done outdoors and it is winter.

Tonight wasn't too bad, but the girls were chilled to the bone. They appreciated the toasty van when practice was over. I asked about tomorrow and the girls said that the coaches told them to dress warmly. I guess the club is going to wait and see how it all pans out. Meanwhile I did my shopping first thing this morning and I refuse to set foot in a grocery store until Friday.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sir Nicholas Winton

This is a short segment from the BBC show "That's Life" aired in 1988. Sir Nicholas Winton is seated in an audience of what turns out to be a few of the 669 Czechoslovakian children he had saved from the Nazi death camps. It is an incredibly touching moment when he realizes who the people surrounding him are.

For a good summation of what Sir Winton did, please read The Story over on "Nicholas Winton – The Power of Good."

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Scientific Brownies

Scientific Brownies by Teckelcar
Scientific Brownies, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Today two of Rebecca's classmates came over to work on their STEM/science fair project. They were tasked with making a device that would allow an uncooked egg survive an approximately 8 foot fall without using a parachutes. They had created an initial prototype a couple of weeks ago and came to our house to test using the second floor area that overlooks the great room.

They worked away and came up with a second design and decided to test it. An egg was procured, placed in the device, and dropped over the railing. The shell cracked, but the membrane remained intact, this counted as a success However just to be sure they tested two more times, each time with a new egg. Meanwhile Rebecca asked what she should do with the cracked eggs. I told her to set them aside, I would come up with a use for them.

As they discussed more testing I cut them off. I envisioned my remaining eggs being destroyed and that was not an option. I told them to weigh an egg and use something else as the test subject. Rebecca had some modeling clay and it was perfect for the job. As for the cracked eggs, well it turns out my brownie recipe uses three eggs.

Thursday, February 06, 2014


Lively by Teckelcar
Lively, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
It has been far from lively around here. I need to change my ways and post during the day when I don't have to compete with other people for the use of my computer. Plus I need to get out and take more pictures. In my defense it has been either hideously cold or raining, neither of which are conducive to my going outside to do anything.

So in honor of all of that, here is a funny, at least to me, picture of a cemetery I spotted whilst tooling about. I was so amused over the contradiction of the idea of lively dead that I didn't notice the misspelling until it was pointed out to me. The typo makes me love this sign even more.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The End of LBJ's Civil Rights Speech

Originally I posted this for Jacob to check the clip out for a school project. We were having issues with Google playing nice. It never did work out, a classic left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing (stupid Google and another reason not to use Chrome). After it was all said and done I decided to leave it up as a bit of a nod to Back History Month.