Americans Living In Latvia

Posted by ted @ 12:57 pm, March 21st, 2014

In mid January 2014 my wife, son and I moved to Latvia for a 6-month stay. My wife is teaching at Vidzeme University here on a Fulbright Fellowship. A number of friends and family have asked me about Latvia and our stay here, so I am writing this short article to share some things I have learned and experienced in our first two months  here.

(click for more…)

Rabbits? In The Stove?!?

Posted by ted @ 9:48 am, August 8th, 2009

Or: More Adventures in Home Repair

For the last several months we have been experiencing a terrible smell from our stove whenever we broiled food in the oven. An odd, not food like smell, more like burning insulation or plastic or something. It was barely noticeable when we just baked, but once the top elements got really hot for broiling, the odor got nasty. We opened windows and turned on fans, but it would linger in the whole house for hours. We cleaned the oven, we cleaned under the stove burners, no change. The other day we finally decided to tear into it and figure out what was going on.

We pulled the plug, moved it out from the wall and started taking out screws. Top element removed, connections looked fine, no charring or loose wires. Took off the door, removed back panels, found some greasy dirt, but nothing that looked like it was burning. After taking the stove top and head unit completely off we spotted a few mouse droppings in the bit of fiberglass insulation exposed under the edges of the pan which separates the stove from the oven. I started wondering if mice had moved in to the insulation, then met their hot demise. I found it interesting that the pan was held on with Torx screws which seemed to imply that it was not supposed to removed. I dug out my Torx driver, removed the screws, and cautiously lifted, afraid of what I might find. As it came up we saw a dark brown area on the otherwise light yellow insulation and knew we were on the right track. We slowly peeled back the insulation, afraid that any moment a horror movie worthy charred remains of a dead mouse would be revealed, but instead there were dark pea sized pellets? Whaa? those look like – no it couldn’t be – rabbit droppings??

stovepellets

While my mind churned for a moment trying to grasp what I was seeing, BRB suddenly spoke the answer – Cat Food! Yes, there were not rabbits nesting in the stove (whew, I hate it when that happens), but rather mice had stashed a winter’s worth of cat food pellets in a hollowed out area in the fiberglass insulation, and then the pellets had baked and burned when the top of the oven got hot enough. We proceeded to carefully perform a pelletectomy surgical procedure with gloves, scissors and vacuum cleaner. We managed to remove the food and the damaged insulation, but were left with a big hole in the insulation exposing the top of the oven compartment.

stovesurgery

We left everything torn apart all over the kitchen and drove to the appliance store to find out how to get replacement fiberglass. The service man did not seem to even offer to sell us some, but agreed with our suggestion that it would be easy to scavenge a piece from a dead oven. We drove over to their appliance graveyard where things were piled up for recycling. Unfortunately they had just sent out a big group of ovens, but there was one stove top that had a few strips of insulation in it – just enough to fill the hole, and its bright white color made it look like surgical gauze, to complete the surgery metaphor.

stovesurgery2

After reassembling the whole mess, we  seem to have solved the problem, and tested it / celebrated by baking some muffins. And now we know not to try to bake a cat food hot dish for the cat. Like revenge, cat food is a dish best served cold.

Three things that make me laugh, every time

Posted by ted @ 5:00 pm, July 9th, 2009

Number one: a doormat, named Mat

Number two, a wonderful visual pun that speaks for itself (original source unknown):

manatee

Number three: a hilarious 20 second video pun, Obama’s Elf:

Just makes me laugh, every time I see them.

iPod Nano meets the iPod Touch

Posted by ted @ 3:41 pm, March 24th, 2009

My son B drew this funny little cartoon depicting the elderly iPod Nano telling the new youngin’ Touch how it was back in the day . . .

ipods

This was on the envelope containing my amazing new robot bookmarks which I will have to scan and share another day.

Happy Make Pi Day 2009!

Posted by ted @ 2:00 pm, March 12th, 2009

Pi day (March 14 or 3/14) rapidly approaches once again. Last year we celebrated with . . . a pie. This year we are going to be in Minneapolis for my son B to play in a state piano competition, so I was not sure how we would recognize the day short of buying some pie. But now, salvation! Make: TV is having a Make: Day at the Science Museum of Minnesota.  We are SO there. As a subscriber to Make magazine, and the Make philosophy I often lament that all of the Maker Faire events take place in far off Texas or California, so I am very pleased to be able to attend a Make event right here in my home state of Minnesota, and even on a day when I will be driving to the Twin Cities anyway.

Celebrate the ingenuity and inventiveness in our community. Make: television, Geek Squad® and the Science Museum of Minnesota join forces to create a new event giving local engineers, artists, tinkerers and inventors the opportunity to showcase their DIY creations to museum visitors.

This family-friendly event features arts, electronics, musical performances, green technology, crafting and more!

Happy Pi Day!

The Many Faces of March 14

Child Discipline with SUDO

Posted by ted @ 2:51 pm, March 1st, 2009

. . . or better parenting through Unix. My son B really got a kick out of this xkcd comic:

So now I have learned to put the concept to good use:

Me: Time to brush your teeth and get ready for bed

B: No, I’m reading

Me: SUDO, brush your teeth.

B: Okay! (jumps up and runs upstairs.)

Works great for now, at least until the novelty wears off in a few days.

Back from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008

Posted by ted @ 11:14 am, August 2nd, 2008

Prescott Pusher Homebuilt EAA Airventure 2008

I have returned from Airventure 2008. My feet are a bit sore, my skin is a bit tanned, and my head is swimming with more images of airplanes than it can hold. Even though I knew from last year that this was a huge event, I was re-amazed as I discovered several more hangars and complete fields of planes that I had not reached before. I was there for three full days and was still not able to see it all.

A few notes;
AV-8B Harrier II EAA Airventure 2008 Oshkosh I was looking forward to seeing the V-22 Osprey tilt rotor plane which was supposed to arrive on Tuesday, but apparently they pushed it back to Thursday which was beyond my stay so I did not get to see it. It looked like they had the Harrier fill in for it which is always a impressive sight in it’s own right. They must have burned more than our annual household budget in jet fuel as it hovered and turned for several minutes and performed repeated vertical takeoffs and landings. And let me just say, wow is that thing loud on hover! In case there was any doubt, the Harrier scene in True Lies was complete fantasy.
Martin Jetpack EAA Airventure 2008 Oshkosh

Tuesday they unveiled the new Martin Jetpack. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the event, this was not so well organized. A massive crowd encircled the designated spot, leaving only a small circle around the pack, which was of course not large enough for their planned demonstration flight. So, as the planned time came and left, they were still struggling to push back the crowd into a larger circle which was of course difficult and potentially dangerous as the front rows tried to back into a tight crush of people who did not want to back up. They then moved around their little platform and podium several times and finally began setting up their PA system while the crowd grew hot and impatient. When they finally pulled off the sheet to unveil the “Jetpack” a child called out what was probably on the mind of many there, “it’s not a jet! it has propellers!”. Indeed, the “Martin Jetpack” is not actually a jet at all and instead sports two ducted fans connected to a 200hp, 4 cylinder 2-stroke engine (water cooled). They explained that they were not cleared for an actual flight among the crowd due to safety reasons and instead performed a short hover with a handler holding each side of the pack. Many people wondered aloud why they didn’t take it out to the runway for a real flight. Talking to them later at their booth I learned that they are keeping it in the “ultralight” classification by limiting the onboard fuel to 5 gallons, which should give a 30 minute flight time, and the top speed to 60mph, although they have not reached that speed in tests yet. They are also including a ballistic parachute system for safety, the only problem being that the chute can not operate under 400 ft, and the cushioned landing legs can only handle up to about 10 ft, which still leaves them with a safety issue for anything in between. They have looked at the zero altitude, zero speed chute systems used in military ejection seats, but found them prohibitively expensive. They say that overall the pack is very stable and training time is only about 3 days, being much easier to handle than a helicopter or even a small plane. Currently the control system is all mechanical, but they note that the future addition of a computer system could help overcome pilot error. It is indeed an impressive looking piece of technology, although the big unveiling was not worth the hot crush, and it is not clear to me who the market for such a device would be.
Terrafugia Transition EAA Airventure 2008 Oshkosh

And speaking of new technology with out a clear market, the folks from Terrafugia were showing off their new flying car prototype, insisting that, “it is not a flying car, it is a road-able aircraft.” An interesting concept which has certainly been tried many times, but leaves some interesting questions like, how safe is it on the road, how does it handle on the road, or in the air for that matter, and what happens in a fender – bender? I would guess the answer to the last one is a very expensive repair bill and re-certification for flight. They claim you can fly to a destination airport, then drive in to town, or that you can continue a long trip on the road when flying conditions become unfavorable, but the only real niche for this that I can see is those new “fly in” communities with their own small airport. Saves you having a hangar I guess.
Red Bull Stunt Helicopter EAA Airventure 2008 Oshkosh The aerial displays were amazing as usual. I still am boggled by the way those stunt pilots manage to put their planes into an end-over-end tumble which in no way seems to include the characteristics of normal airplane flight, then recover and zoom on. An interesting additional this year was the world’s’ first acrobatic helicopter display. Chuck Aaron, the only FAA certified stunt helicopter pilot, put his stock BO-105 CBS Red Bull helicopter through rolls, loops and flips to the delight of an amazed crowd.
Twin Beech 18 Aerobatics EAA Airventure 2008 Oshkosh Another piece of acrobatic work that grabbed my attention was Matt Younkin’s astounding performance in a Twin Beech 18. Seeing a large old twin engine craft like this scream towards the ground to pick up speed, then pull up sharply into a loop, or haul over into a roll was really something. I could hear those engines roar, heaving that beast through it’s maneuvers and part of me kept wondering why those wings didn’t rip themselves from the fuselage.

There were many many more exciting sights than I can list here, not the least of which were the field after field after field of beautiful vintage aircraft. I seem to particularly like the lines on the old sea planes. Interestingly there seems to also be a trend in the new Light Sport plane market for small sea planes which offer the freedom to fly in to all kinds a beautiful lakes and small ocean island locations.
Airventure Oshkosh is a great time for anyone who is even passingly interested in airplanes. If you get the chance to go, I recommend it. Now I have to continue sifting through the 700+ photos I took. I will be uploading photos in groups to my flickr set over the next few days. Look there in a few days for lots of photos and a few short videos.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008

Posted by ted @ 5:28 pm, July 26th, 2008

P-51 Mustang and F-15 Eagle Formation

Tomorrow morning I depart for Oshkosh Wisconsin for that amazing airplane extravaganza known as Airventure. Put on by EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) the Airventure airshow is the premier non-military airplane enthusiast event of the year. Last year was my first year at Oshkosh at although I knew it was going to be big, I was still taken back by just how huge it really was. I think I read that there were over 10,000 airplanes and 300,000 visitors in attendance over the week of the show. The amazing thing was that it did not feel crowded because it covers such a massive space. Their web site states, “If you were to walk past … not down … each row of airplanes, you would cover 5.2 miles! “.  It certainly can be overwhelming and requires some comfortable shoes and good sunscreen. Just about every kind of flying machine you can imagine is represented, from antique biplanes to experimental tilt rotor VTOL airplanes, and although it is billed as a civilian aviation airshow there is certainly a significant military presence as well. Last year I got to witness a Harrier come to a stop in mid air and perform a vertical landing (having previously only walked around one parked on the ground) which was quite the sight. This year the V-22 Osprey is on the schedule. The airshow itself is an amazing feat of air traffic control with many groups and formations of various planes all coming and going and crossing overhead at the same time. Like last year, I will of course be taking lots and lots of airplane pictures again this year, so check back next week if you are interested in that kind of thing.

I am back, and I had  great time.

Adventures in lawn mowing . . .

Posted by ted @ 11:58 am, June 18th, 2008

or things that make you go “Doh!”

The hideous remains of my lawnmower blade that you see above is the result of discovering a hidden 6 inch tall, 4 inch diameter stump in a patch of tall weeds. There used to be a bush there until last fall when the power company removed it (almost, except for the lawnmower trap). The weeds grew tall over the fall and spring and this was the first time I had tried mow them. The really annoying part? That was a brand new blade on its maiden voyage! doh! The mower itself stopped with a horrific clank and puffed some white smoke, but I was able to start is again (after removed the blade), so I am hoping it is okay. Everything I read online tells me not to try straightening a bent blade, so I guess it is off to the hardware store for me….

Evil Emperor Cheney

Posted by ted @ 9:07 pm, May 27th, 2008

I have been enjoying playing Lego Star Wars II with my son on the PC. He has a version for his Nintendo DS, but the little screen is hard on my old eyes. If you haven’t seen it, this is actually quite a fun game that lets you play out all the major story line scenes from the Star Wars movies, all as a LEGO minifigure. Whenever the Evil Emperor (Palpatine/Darth Sidious) is in play you hear this periodic evil cackling laugh sound.   The funny thing is for some reason it always reminds me of our current Vice President. Maybe it’s Jon Stewart’s impersonation of him that does it. So now we have taken to just calling him Evil Emperor Cheney in the game.

Please excuse my rather primitive graphics work, didn’t have any decent software tools on this game pc.

Physicist Fence

Posted by ted @ 6:58 pm, May 26th, 2008

They have erected a small black fabric fence running along the side of the university campus near us. I naively thought it was a silt fence, used to control sediment flow and erosion from the road construction project beginning there. My son B has corrected me. He informs me that it is actually a “physicist fence” which is used to keep the physicists on campus and prevent them from roaming free in the community and administering random physics lessons to unsuspecting citizens. I am lucky to have an expert around to inform me of these things.

A Spring Sail

Posted by ted @ 12:30 pm, May 19th, 2008

Yesterday we had an absolutely beautiful sunny Minnesota spring day. I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of it by heading out for a sail on our little local lake. I have to get in my sailing early in the summer before the lake fills up with seaweed and it is like sailing in jello. I have an O’day Widgeon 12ft day sailer which I leave beached at a friends’ backyard on the lake. This time I did remember to bring my rubber boots to keep my feet out the smelly mush along the shore, but forgot my big sponge to sop out the rain water and tree droppings from the cockpit. That’s okay, my pants soaked up most of it from the seats. I enjoyed a wonderful sail around the lake while trying to figure out the wacky wind patterns and make it around the little island and back. If you have never sailed in a small lake in Minnesota you may not know that the winds tend to be very gusty and uneven and come from 12 different directions depending on where you are on the lake. One moment I am drifting along, the next the little boat surges forward and heels over in a gust, then just as quickly drops into another hole in the wind and falls back flat. I can be in irons with the sails flapping, cruising along on a beam reach, then broad reach, then back in irons (oooo sailor talk) without ever changing direction. Looking across the lake you can even see the little patchwork areas of high wind roaming around across the surface of the lake. It does add a little excitement, as I really didn’t want to take a swim in the cold green water, and while I technically know how to right a small capsized sailboat it has been many many years since I have done it, and never with this boat. Watching the clouds, listening to the geese and ducks announce my arrival, and calculating my next tack to avoid the shallows and make it around the island, I had to stop and appreciate that life could be worse.

Time Traveller Currency

Posted by ted @ 11:24 am, May 14th, 2008

Lately I find myself wondering, if I was going to time travel back to the year 1800 in North America, what could I take with me to use in the place of currency to trade for goods? The tricky part is, ideally I would like to take advantage of inflation to increase the value of my money. For instance, $1 in the year 1800 had the purchasing power of around $14 in the year 2000 (http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/). So if I could bring back currency from the year 2000, it would greatly increase in purchasing power from its face value. The problem is of course, I can not bring back modern currency because it is, well, modern. What I need is something that I can bring back that will not stand out as inappropriate and draw attention to me as a time traveler.
The choice of some basic precious metal like gold immediately comes to mind, and while it would work, it unfortunately loses its modern higher value when brought into the past, effectively undoing the advantage. The price of an ounce of gold in December 2000 was around $275 (http://www.finfacts.ie/Private/curency/goldmarketprice.htm), in 1800 that same ounce of gold would sell for about $19. That $19 of 1800 money had the purchasing power of about $170 of 2000 money, so you come out behind.
So perhaps what I should be looking for instead is some basic commodity that is cheap and plentiful in modern times, but was more scarce and valuable in 1800. Maybe even something that can more easily made to a high quality today, like perhaps iron or steel. I am not sure of the current and past prices of steel, and while there might be an advantage to be had on industrial scales, it is not something that could be easily carried and traded at the general store for basic supplies (is it?). Another possible contender would be salt. I have heard that it was sometimes used as a currency in the past. Let’s see, according to http://www.clarkemuseum.com/html/salt_works.html before refrigeration salt was used for preserving meat, and during the early parts of the Civil War the north blockaded salt shipments from England from reaching the south, forcing the the creation of new and expensive means of harvesting salt from springs. It states “Salt prices escalated so high, that workers were paid in salt rather than money. Prices rose from $1.25 per bushel of 50 pounds in 1861 to $50 by the end of the war.” These time periods are a little later target than my 1800, but may still be relevant. I see that a 50lb bag of fine sea salt goes for about $11 wholesale currently, so that might be a reasonable option, if not a little bulky. (As an aside, a good history of salt can be found at http://www.saltinstitute.org/38.html)
So other that salt, what other good options might there be that have not thought of? Maybe something more compact? How about modern metal hand tools? I think they are relatively cheap and high quality, if you chose carefully to avoid items that would be out of place in the past. You can buy some nice knives pretty cheap these days, but stainless steel wasn’t invent until the 1900’s. I wonder how a 1800 merchant would react to stainless steel? Blue Jeans were not invented until the 1870’s, maybe some other clothing items, or even just some good unbleached cotton fabric? I poked around http://minerals.usgs.gov/ds/2005/140/ at other mineral price histories (thought they only go back to 1900) and although I didn’t read every one (there are lots) it looks like most have only gone up in value.
Please let me know your ideas. Something that has dropped in value significantly, that would not be out of place in 1800. I chose 1800 somewhat randomly and I think that the answers would change dramatically for other time periods, or geographic locations.

Crazed Cardinals Attack!

Posted by ted @ 11:31 am, April 30th, 2008

For the last few weeks these two crazy cardinals have been repeatedly intentionally flying in to all the windows across the back of our house. It goes on for hours at a time and can get a little maddening. We usually love to catch sight of the Cardinals in our yard as they are not nearly as common in Minnesota as they were at our previous home in Indiana, but these guys are starting to get on my nerves. A little online research reveals that when Cardinals do this they are probably try to scare away the other Cardinal (their reflection) from their breeding area. I edited down this video to the action parts, but everything you see happened within the 2 and a half minutes of the original video.

And yes that is what Minnesota looks like sometimes at the end of April.

At least they are not skunks, and I am not supposed to shoot at them.

Difficult listening music

Posted by ted @ 5:23 pm, March 30th, 2008

I have just had the displeasure of attending an (otherwise pleasant) orchestra performance which contained the 28 minutes of cacophony known as “Apotheosis of this Earth” by Karel Husa. This composition is meant to express the composers displeasure with the terrible way in which man was / is treating the planet earth. It included a number of unusual devices such as instruments playing quarter stepped notes to be deliberately out of tune with others instruments, and sections of the score which direct to play some unspecified notes for a certain amount of time. These devices seemed to be most often realized at high pitches and high volumes which frequently became physically painful to listen to. It did not help matters that it was being performed in a relatively small “recital hall” space and not a large concert hall which may have been better able to handle the intense sound levels. While I do appreciate the technical skill involved in composing 28 minutes of music while completely avoiding anything resembling conventional musical melodies and maintaining a continuously difficult listening experience for the audience for the entire time, as a member of the audience I found it to be a (not surprisingly) somewhat unpleasant experience. Before the music began I had high hopes for something interesting as they brought out 2 marimbas, 2 glockenspiel, 2 xylophones, 2 gongs, tom toms and a set of concert bells, but alas that was before I knew they would be used for evil instead of for good. I could see how this piece would make a very interesting soundtrack for a movie of some kind, maybe an avant-garde art film, or even creatively used for a space science fiction, but it was not well suited as a concert piece. One kind of cool thing I enjoyed was when sections of the orchestra would speak the words “this beautiful earth” in quiet breathy voices during lulls in the noise, but that might have also been due to the momentary pause in the loud cacophonous discord. The conductor stated that this was a piece you would not often hear in a concert, alas he apparently did understand why that was.

I Love the Library Elf

Posted by ted @ 8:10 pm, March 13th, 2008

We are very avid users of our local library. We go to the library at least once a week, frequently twice or more. We get loads of children’s books for our son the super reader, and adult fiction and non fiction, and sometimes videos (although less now that we Netflix). We love the easy inter-library loan system available to us and are always requesting things from other libraries in the system. We often have 20-30 items out at one time with 3 or 4 different due dates. With all this going on it would be impossible to keep track of when things were due without the help of the wonderful free service “Library Elf“. This service checks our library account online daily and sends us email notifying us of when books are due the following day, or when inter-library requests have arrived. You can configure how early it alerts you, or how often it emails. They have almost every major library system available, or (as in our case) they will be happy to add your local library system if it is a Polaris PowerPac (v3.2 or later) or a Dynix library system. Check them out!

From www.libraryelf.com:

Track your library books

Let Elf help you manage your library loans and holds

Tracks
Avoid overdues with email alerts
Check multiple library cards
Track books, DVDs, CDs, videos, etc.
Join for free

Who uses Elf?

  • Anyone who wants to reduce overdues

  • Families with children and lots of books

  • Individuals with several library cards

  • Anyone who requests a lot of holds

What’s delivered?

  • Email and/or RSS alerts before items are due

  • Email and/or RSS alerts on overdues and holds

  • Consolidated list of yours or your family’s library loans and holds

  • Cellphone text message alerts for holds (US and Canada)

  • Real-time checking by browser

Quag! We are not fruit people . . . .

Posted by ted @ 12:42 pm, January 28th, 2008

Last week I pulled out a box of my old college class notes. I was looking for my notes from a introduction to digital logic class to use to teach B about basic logic gates, boolean algebra and TTL logic chips. Along with the material I was looking for we also discovered the ‘doodle sheets’ I had interspersed throughout my class notes. B was very amused by all my little faces, creatures and celtic inspired tangled snakes and such, but the one gem (which I have no memory of writing), ever so neatly printed on the page, reduced him to uncontrollable laughter for a long time and will no doubt become a part of our family lexicon for some time to come.

Quag

I explained that college freshmen frequently do not get enough sleep.

p.s. He also had fun repeating “NAND!” -giggle- -giggle- “NAND!” -giggle- -giggle- “NAND!” -giggle- -giggle-

You are a . . .

Posted by ted @ 12:09 pm, January 28th, 2008

lackluster automobile

My son B and I were trading creative insults the other day for laughs. We had some good ones like, “you are the little hole in the ground you don’t see until you twist your ankle”, or “you are that little piece of plastic wrap that you can’t throw away because the static cling keeps is stuck to your finger.” In the end he won hands down with “You lackluster automobile.” I may be a biased parent, but I think that was a brilliant way to sum up so many subtle ideas and feelings in two short words.

My own little world…..

Posted by ted @ 1:40 pm, May 15th, 2007

I have always encouraged make believe play and an active imagination in my son, but sometimes I find he is too absorbed in his make believe and has to come back to reality for something. I once told him, “sometimes you get lost in your own little world” and his answer was, “sometimes it isn’t so little”, which I thought was a pretty good answer.
Recently he asked me, “What universe do you want to be in?”.
Choices included Harry Potter, Pokemon, Star Trek, Dungeons and Dragons, Runescape and others.
Wanting to perhaps talk about something in real life for a change, I said, “how about this one?”
His answer, “That is like having a time machine and always setting the date for today!”
huh. . . okay, that one gave me something to think about. Here we have the amazing power of imagination, why not use it.
I told him what an excellent answer that was, and we proceeded to compare and contrast many aspects of our home planets including flora, fauna, family stuctures, diets and more.

There be Hats!

Posted by ted @ 5:32 am, January 10th, 2007

B was very patient trying on every hat I could find in the house (what…you don’t have a hat trunk in your house?) while I took pictures. Music by Barenaked Ladies. Enjoy!

Not so peaceful patchouli

Posted by ted @ 7:52 pm, September 12th, 2006

patchouli1.jpg

At the co-op the other day my wife and son decided to try out some hand lotion samplers. She went down the line pumping out small samples of several different smells like “Peaches and Creme” or “Lavander and Shea Butter”, and holding them out for my son to sniff. Then she got to a bottle labeled “Peaceful Patchouli” and instead of dispensing a small blob in her hand like the others it instead shot out a line of lotion which landed as a white stripe running from just above my sons eyebrow, down across his (thankfully closed) eye and cheek and continued down his chest. He looked down at himself then commented, “whats so peaceful about that?”

Well thought out products

Posted by ted @ 3:44 pm, September 12th, 2006

When my son came home from school he had little colored marks on the tip of his nose. I asked him how he got them. He started to answer, “well…..they had these scented markers…”
Enough said.

Starting small

Posted by ted @ 2:45 pm, July 11th, 2006

A humorous exchange overheard during tuck-in the other night at our house:

BB (mom): I haven’t been skiing, but you have.

B (son): That’s not true, I saw a picture of you skiing before I was born.

BB: Oh, well that was cross-country skiing, I haven’t been down hill skiing and you have.

B: Oh . . . I want to try try cross-country skiing.

BB: OK

B: . . . Lets start with a small country.

Metal Man from outer space

Posted by ted @ 3:53 pm, June 26th, 2006

My son drew this cool alien. Apparently he has a hard shiny exoskeleton similar to metal.

metalman
His kind is very good at bio-engineering (the alien, not my son.)

Number 5

Posted by ted @ 3:49 pm, June 26th, 2006
I spotted this strange number 5 made out of wood chips on the sidewalk after a rain storm.
Number 5
Made by natures flowing water or by the hand of man? Never know with those crazy teenagers around.