Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hard work for little doggies!

The snow in the woods is not just a workout for me- Holly is quite a small dog and without the benefit of snowshoes she has to jump her way through the snow when she's fetching sticks and balls, as this little video from today's walk shows :)


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hot work!

The other dog (or whatever it was) must have gone another way- on this section it's virgin snow.

But this heavy snow is certainly a workout! I've taken off my hat, gloves and sweatshirt so I'm just snowshoeing along in jeans and a T-shirt, and I'm still dripping with sweat!


Back on our usual side of the woods, and amazingly no-one else has been along this section of the trail since it snowed.

There is, interestingly, one single set of what look like dog tracks- a dog walking itself, a feral one, or something else...?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In the (other) woods, 2

And a few more :)

 This is the ruined bridge where Crispy's Geocache is hidden

 I didn't go and check on it as I didn't want my tracks to make it too obvious

 Holly really seems to love the snow!

 Although I think she just loves being out whatever the weather!

 My faithful snowshoes :)

And finally, the view as we came down out of the woods and back to the parking lot

In the (other) woods

Here are a few more pictures of our walk in the woods this afternoon.

 Holly in the snow

I've found a stick!

 I'll bring it back to you!

 And a different stick

It wasn't as cold as I thought so I took off her coat

Awesome snow!

Now this is how I like my snow- in the woods to snowshoe through with Holly!

We're in the other side of Saxon Woods than we usually go because our usual parking area wasn't plowed, so we parked by the pool and are doing the loop there- it's so pretty!


9 hours, 2 passes with the snowblower, 1 to handshovel what the snowblower couldn't get (we've gotta get some of these sidewalks replaced this summer!), and a final pass to lay down a thin layer of icemelter to get what the sun won't hit and stop everything refreezing tonight- and I'm done!

Now to grab my snowshoes and my dog and head for the woods :)

More snow than you can shake a snowblower at!

I was right- it's about 15 inches of heavy, sticky snow. The first pass with the snowblower (just the sidewalks, none of the internal pathways or doorways) to get a single width path cut through took nearly 2 3/4 hours.

I'm just having a cup of coffee before I head out to adjust the snowblower blade for the next pass and go around again.

It was an odd storm, Rye schools are closed, as are NYC (which almost never close) but Jackie's school is on a 2 hour delay so she's about to head out.

The only bright spot, I suppose, is that this will be excellent snowshoe snow- if I can get finished in time to head to the woods before dark!

Update- 07:34- Jackie's school just changed to being closed, but they have kids there who stayed the night so they could take an exam this morning, so now Jackie has to try and get hold of someone to find out if she should try and go in.

Further Update- 08:15- Jackie went in to work even though her school was officially closed. They are taking the kids who stayed over to one of the local high schools so they can take the test- she's a good woman!

Oh sh*t!

That's a lot more snow than they said we were gonna get- and it looks like the heavy stuff too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I don't usually like generalization jokes like this, but this is probably the best blonde joke ever!


This is the forecast I was greeted with on my Google homepage this morning. Supposedly up to 10" of snow tonight.

It doesn't have to be Florida, just somewhere below the snowbelt (although I think I'd draw the line at Arizona).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More snow?

We were forcast "20% chance of snow showers" for this morning- so far we have about 2" on the ground!

And tomorrow and Thursday look lovely- snow, then rain, snow and sleet followed by heavy snow. Are there any churches in Florida looking for a verger?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chip off the old p-block ?!?

I Just wanted to relate a slightly surreal car ride I had last night with my son.

Jackie was clearing up after hosting a candle party up in the guild room (think tupperware party but with candles- although I have to say that since electric light was made available to all I don't see the point) when Crispy appeared and informed me that he'd just realised that he had to go to Gamestop (video game store) as today was the last day for him to download a free Pokemon to his Nintendo DS from their instore wifi. We decided to combine this with a lazy dinner of burgers from Wendy's, so Crisp and I got in the car and headed off.

On the way Crispy decided to quiz me on the periodic table of elements- and not just "what's the chemical symbol for sulphur", no- he wanted to know things like: what sulphur is (a nonmetal), where boron resides on the table (in the p-block), and where in the table the transition metals are (the middle). I was able to answer about 75% of his questions correctly, but only because our shower curtain has the periodic table on it (I know- majorly geeky) so I see it every time I take a shower and sit and look at it whenever I go to the bathroom.

But it was certainly interesting being schooled on the periodic table by an 11-year-old on his way to get a free character for his video game!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frigid woods

It's 15 degrees below freezing with stiff breeze taking the wind chill even lower (around -5F, that's about -20C for you modern types), but as long as Holly has a stick to chase and her Cloud Chaser jacket she doesn't care!

SCUBA time again

Any second now they'll all disappear and leave me with an empty pool to look at for 45 minutes :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Long walk in the woods

It's gorgeous in the woods today, cold and sunny and awesome, and the random music in my earbuds is rockin', so Holly and I decided to do the full 4+ mile loop.

I'm on my faithful snowshoes and we're keeping up a good pace so she doesn't need her coat even though it's well below freezing- and I'm just in a light fleece sweatshirt and gloves. This winter so far I've had the chance to get so comfortable on my snowshoes that I'm almost as fast over snow with them on as I am on bare ground in hiking boots- but it certainly is a workout :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dog and stick

Holly chewing her stick in the snow in the quiet, sunny woods :)

This makes it worth it

Snowshoeing in the woods with my dog- awesome!

Here we go again...

Ah, lovely, it's Friday, my day off.

Oh no, sorry, I forgot, Friday's not my day off- it's my day to get up really early and go shovel snow :(

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guys & Dolls... the 7th & 8th grade is actually kinda cool, done concert style with minimal dialogue to introduce the abbreviated numbers- a very pleasant surprise :)

6th Grade Chorus

Crispy is in the little group on the far left.

Winter Concert

At Crispy's school for the Winter Chorus Concert- which I was quite looking forward to until I realised that they have seating roped off for the 6th graders (who are singing first) so we'll have to stay for the (shiver) handbell choir, and for the 7th and 8th graders to sing what looks in the program like the whole of Guys and Dolls to us- damn!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Emergency repairs

Got about an inch of snow, but the real problem is the ice that's coming down now on top of it.

Did a quick-n-dirty repair on my snowblower yesterday- it ain't pretty but it works- hope it holds up 'til the spare parts come in!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SCUBA (still) this is what I get to look at for the next 45 minutes ;)

It's really not a spectator sport!

SCUBA (again)

All geared up and ready to dive...


At the pool for Crispy's weekly SCUBA session. That's him with the yellow snorkel fooling around before the class starts.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Skypeing with Grandma & Grandpa

They've got a new laptop with a built-in webcam and I hooked up a webcam to our TV :)

The wonders of modern science!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Forging through the snow

Here's one more picture from our walk in the woods today- it's Holly forging through the deep snow in the late afternoon sun with her tennis ball in her mouth :)

Untrod snow

Looks like the other chap turned off, we're the first on this section of the trail :)

Holly is digging to find her tennis ball- nothing dampens her enthusiasm for chasing a ball!

Snowy woods

As promised...a snowshoe tromp through the woods. We're not the first here, it looks like one other person beat us to it, but it's still fabulous for snowshoeing :)

Pretty picture

The church looks lovely in the snow, but I'm finally done- so it's time for a hot cup of orange tea and then it's off to the woods we go!

Another snowstorm...

...and the piles of snow in the parking lot keep on growing!

I've been out working on the sidewalks since 7 and have broken the snowblower twice: once I snapped the shear pins on the impeller trying to break through the pile of ice the f***wits  who drive the town plows had pushed into the neat cut-outs I had made at the top of Rectory St (thanks guys!!!- sarcasm), in the end I had to get an ice chopper to break my way through; and then I broke the chute control (that lets you direct where it blows the snow) when it jammed and must have pushed it too hard. Luckily I had spare shear pins so I was able to replace them, and I managed to finish the 1st pass without the chute control- but I'll have to try and jury-rig something for it before I go out with it again. The next pass will be a hand shovel to clean up what the showblower couldn't get, then a quick pass with the ice melter.

This novelty is beginning to wear of this shovelling game!

But at least I have a snowshoe tromp through the woods with Holly to look forward to later:)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Old School!

One of Jackie's Christmas presents was a new retro game console that can play all our old Super Nintendo (SNES) games, and we just got around to hooking it up in the bedroom so she can play tomorrow if she ends up with a snow day.

Check out those awesome 16 bit graphics (she's playing Populous)!

After consideration- Jon Stewart says it better

After posting the Keith Olbermann video, which I admit was a knee-jerk reaction from him, and from me for posting it, I thought I would post Jon Stewart's reaction that was on the Daily Show last night.

As usual Jon Stewart pretty much says it best- as he says, you don't know what a troubled mind will get caught on (who could have predicted that the Beatles Helter Skelter could have been part of the inspiration for the Manson murders?). But wouldn't it be nice if we could just be a little nicer to each other?

This video is a bit long, but I think you'll find it worth your time.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
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Rice Krispiehenge

This just made me smile this morning.

It's a photograph contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by BB reader Laser Bread, aka Brock Davis, who lives in Minneapolis, MN.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all

My ex-wife Caroline posted a link to this video on Facebook- it's a response to the senseless shooting in Tucson yesterday, and I only hope that it can indeed be a wake-up call to everyone to stop stirring up violence- because some people are easily led and are listening!

Update: I will now admit that I think this is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction- both from Olbermann himself and from me for posting it- it's still valid, and I'm not going to take it down, but I think the video above from Jon Stewart is actually a much better and considered reaction.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Confirmation class

Making brownies with the kids (I'm always surprised how much they enjoy this).

"Go clean your room"

Crispy is desperate for some new Lego set, so we told him he needed to clean his room, get rid of some old toys he doesn't play with, and then keep it clean, and we'll give him a weekly allowance.

What this translated into was all three of us spending the last three hours working on his room. We've thrown out 5 big black garbage bags of crap, filled 4 big tubs of stuff to give away to other kids, taken the door off his closet so he can get at the stuff in it, and vacuumed, dusted and sorted our little hearts out. Now we're all exhausted, so we're leaving his bookshelves to go through another day.

It may still look full (you should've seen the "before" picture!), but he has a clean and organised room to start the new year with :)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Omega- follow up

Crispy had an early dismissal from school today because of the snow, so he brought home his friend Thomas to watch Grandpa in Doctor Who (Thomas also has an English Dad and an American Mom, and is also a Doctor Who devotee).

The verdict after watching it: "Pretty awesome!", which in 11-year-old-speak is high praise indeed, especially for a show with 30-year-old special effects!

But the best comment came from my wife, who walked through at one point during one of Omega's megalomaniacal rants and said, "Grandpa still sounds like that when someone's loaded the dishwasher wrong."

Before the storm

After a lovely quiet breakfast at the deli with my wife (her school is closed- Crispy's is on an early dismissal at 1pm), Holly and I thought we'd get our walk in early as we're supposed to get about 5" of snow this afternoon :)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Thursday at the Park with Holly

I thought I didn't have time to get to the woods this afternoon (turns out I did- didn't have to pick up Crispy when I thought I did). But we're having fun anyway playing with one of Holly's Christmas presents- a ChuckIt ball that whistles in flight :)


I've just put the pork in the slow cooker, poured on the liquid that Jackie prepared and left in the fridge last night, and pushed the on button.

Six hours from now = pulled pork for dinner.

Who knew cooking could be this easy? ;)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Ceiling fan

So this was the big surprise- a ceiling fan in our bedroom. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but  Jackie has been wishing for one for a long time.