Monday, May 31, 2010

Kathleen and I, Hiking in the Smokies, April 2010

Took this on a brief hike our last vacation. Note the stone steps leading down into a cave-tunnel. Very cool.


Sunday, May 30, 2010


No blog entries in a while.  No reason, just haven't felt motivated.  May 8th weekend saw us camping at the Frank Schairer cabin in the Shenandoah National Park.  It is a lovely cabin, and we had a great time.  

Two weekends after that we trekked down to Staunton to celebrate GG's 90th (Kathleen's grandmother) birthday.  It was a lot of fun and good to see all of the family.  A fox had been nesting on the property, which was a cause of great excitement for all the children.

Silly bad are a new trend that is sweeping elementary school's across the country.  It is. One of those bizarre fads that spring from nowhere.  This time it is these rubber bands that hold a shape when at rest, forming the outline of a cat, a saxophone, a house, and so on.  Sam told me that he had to get some sill bands because if he would be a loser.

"Who says that you would be a loser?". I asked.

"Colby said so.". Colby is one of PJ's friends, and has all the authority that being a friend of an older brother conveys.

"Well, I don't have any silly bands.  Does that make me a loser?"

"I don't know.  I'd have to ask Colby.". Sam said, matter of factly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trip Report April 25, 2010

It has now been a few weeks since our annual vacation, the  one where Kathleen and I get to act like adults, and our mom's come and take care of the kids for the week.  This year we went to Tennesee, down near the Smoky Mountains, for our getaway.  This served a couple of purposes; first we were able to tie our trip into visits with both of Kathleen's brothers and their families, now that have moved down to Roanoke, Va and Jefferson City, Tn.  Secondly, we were able to spend a bit less money than we normally do, and this was key also.   We have a trip planned to disneyworld this summer, and I have no doubt that will cost us a good amount.

But first we had to take care of the moms.  They had complained about our toilet downstairs, which for some time had had certain issues.   We weren't sure, but it was theorized that a child had put a toy down into the toilet at some time in the past, and that it was still in the trap, floating around and occasionally getting caught up in all the human waste streaming past it.  I pictured gumby, for no apparent reason, floating around in there, week after week, month after month.  So the rule was, "In our house be kind and true, and go upstairs for number two."  

This did not fly with either grandmother, and they made it clear, in that passive aggressive way all grandmothers seem genetically predisposed to.  So we got a new toilet, brand new and shiny and brought to our door and installed by the man from Home Depot.   Anything to get our vacation.

So now we are back, and the vacation was great. 

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A calculated bluff...

I came in second at a poker tournament last night.  I love poker, its a great game.  Lots of decisions based on limited information.  This morning, there were chores to do.  One of the things I had to take care of was cleaning out one of our cars.  It had been detailed, but there were still a lot of little things in the pockets and nooks in the car.  One of them was a Leatherman Micra, a handy little foldable pocket knife.

I brought a pile of junk from the car inside and left it on the island counter in the kitchen.  A little while later it was gone.  Immediately I suspected Sam, our resident pack rat.   Sam likes shiny things, and he has had a bad habit lately of lying about it.  I asked him if the had seen the knife and he said no.  "Are you sure?"  I asked him again.

"No, but I'll keep an eye out for it."  He replied.

A few minutes later he came out to the garage yelling, "Dad!  I found it!"

"Where was it?"  I asked.

"It was upstairs by your bed"  he said.  You are so busted.  I haven't even been upstairs in  a few hours.  I know you are lying to me little man.

We walked upstairs to my bedroom.  There it was, a gleaming shiny little thing, mysteriously transplanted to someplace Sam thought I might have misplaced it and forgot about.   Sam pointed at it and looked at me, smiling.

"Sam did you put this here?"  I asked.

"No."  He shook his head.  He was academy-award perfect in his delivery.

"I am going to ask you three times, Sam.  Are you lying?"  I upped the ante.

"No."  He called.

"That's one, are you lying?"

"No, I'm not."  Again, he called me.

Time for the turn card.  "That's two.  Are you lying?"

"Wait, what happens if you get to three?"  He was probing for information.

I started to sound angry.  "If I get to three and you are lying you'll be in a whole lot more trouble than if I don't.  Now are you lying?"  I was making a move, now.  I had the nuts.  The stakes were getting high.  He had to confess.

Sam took this all in.  Wheels turned.  He went in the tank for a little while, and then he shoved all-in.  "Uh-uh!" he said, shaking his head and making a very good poker face.