The moon is in a phase and I guess that I am too

Last night Graham and Thomas had their final orchestra concert of the year. In anticipation of the event, several months ago I invited my mother to visit us at this time so that she could attend. Graham’s fourth grade orchestra was the first to play and they did a very nice job of showing how much they had improved during the year. After they took their bow, they all started off stage to make room for the fifth grade orchestra. As Graham stood near the edge of the stage waiting for the rest of the kids to move, he chatted and laughed with his nearby friends. I looked away for a second to talk to Tina and then we heard a crash in front of the stage followed by a gasp from the audience. Somebody fell. Tina asked, “Who fell?” Scanning the group near the commotion, I realized Graham was no longer on stage. “It’s Graham!” I told her as she stood and then rushed down the stairs to the stage.

Continue reading “The moon is in a phase and I guess that I am too”

Bicentennial Money

Bicentennial Money
Originally uploaded by rynosoft

In 1976, I was in third grade when America celebrated her bicentennial. One aspect of that celebration was the minting of special bicentennial coins. Anticipating that such coins would eventually be collectable and worth more than face value, I gave some of each denomination to my mother about 5000 dollar yahoo borrowing and asker her to place them in our safety deposit box at the First National Bank in Riceville. When I was back in Riceville in September, my mother handed me this envelope on which she had inscribed my name 30 years ago and said, “These are yours.” While it was cool to be reminded of something I had completely forgotten about, I was disappointed to find that they are not worth much more than face value.

Happy Mother’s Day

Graham quietly woke me shortly after 7:00 this morning so I could help him prepare our annual “surprise” Mother’s Day breakfast. We made our plan and I advised him that we should wait until at least 8:00 before starting it. Graham watched TV while I napped on the couch until Tina came out at 7:45 asking where everybody had gone. I emphatically told her that she should go back to bed and she eventually understood. Graham and I then went to work making french toast, warm syrup and with orange slices on the side. We served it to Tina in bed but she decided to bring it out to the kitchen since we don’t have a good tray for eating in bed anymore.

Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day”

Holiday Road: Day 3

Sunday, December 23

When I emerged from the bathroom after my shower wearing shorts, Tina asked why I was so under-dressed for the weather. I exclaimed, “I’m going to Southern California today!”.

After I navigated out of the East Bay to Interstate 5, Tina took over and drove most of the way through the California Central Valley. We had a late lunch at In-n-Out Burger, home to some of the finest fast food in the country. When I asked a young man who was waiting for a seat if he would like mine, he replied, “That would be bitchin’!”

A few hours later we arrived at my sister, Maridee’s house in Moreno Valley, CA. My mother had arrived a few days earlier and my brother-in-law, Steve had spent the afternoon deep frying a couple of turkeys for a pre-Christmas family feast. The boys opened more Christmas presents and then we retired to the Fox RV for a restful night’s sleep.

Vital Statistics

It had been at least five years since I last cleaned and refinished our deck so it was far overdue for some care. The weekend before my birthday, I rented a pressure washer and cleaned the deck very thoroughly. After my mother offered to help me finish the job while she was here, I took Wednesday and Thursday off last week and we did just that.

On Wednesday we cleaned the entire deck including the railings with deck detergent. I mixed the detergent into a high concentrate so I could use my Ortho Dial ‘N’ Spray to spread it on the deck. Pretty clever, eh? What was not clever was sticking my hand into the liquid with the brush when we were scrubbing it onto the wood. At that concentration, the detergent is evidently highly corrosive and I ended up with about six small but deep holes in the tips of my fingers. Ouch!

Thursday was refinishing day. I decided on the $40/gallon Brazilian rosewood oil (BRO) which blocks 99% of ultraviolet light. Presumably this means I won’t have to do this job as often so the extra cost was not really a factor. Of course, as I bought my sixth gallon Thursday afternoon, I was definitely questioning the sanity of my decision. We spent most of the morning applying the BRO to the railings with paint brushes and then I did the same to the floorboards of the deck using a nifty sponge-on-a-stick contraption. The instructions recommended two coats, but we decided the railings would only need one. I finished the last coat to the deck boards just as it was getting dark on Thursday.

Bike odometer: 209 miles
Current reading: I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, The Prince by Machiavelli
Recent listening: Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, NPR Story of the Day, Science Friday, Coverville, DrugMusic
Recent viewing: World Series of Poker, Sportscenter, My Name Is Earl, The Office, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Recent playing: Zuma
Recently accomplished: Cleaned deck with finger-eating detergent, filled in cracks in sidewalk and driveway, refinished deck with rosewood oil, hammered in nails that were sticking out on the deck (most of them), treated blister on thumb from hammering, hair cut, paid bills, made new fender for bike, bought a gift of appreciation
Imperative To Do: Finish old blog entries, rake, install new hard drive for Thomas, clean garage, return stuff to hardware store
Cool Link: Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick: The ultimate breakfast on a stick

Vital Statistics

Today Tina and I celebrated losing 20 lbs. each by having sushi for lunch. It’s been remarkably easy on the South Beach plan. Tina tells me everything I can and can’t eat which makes it even easier. I wouldn’t be able to do this well without her.

On Saturday I rented a power washer and spent the rest of the weekend cleaning the deck and all of our concrete. After 8 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday, my whole body is complaining today but especially my back. It doesn’t feel like I “pulled” anything, though, so I’m sure it will be OK in a few days.

My mom is getting here on Wednesday and we’re having a big (for us) birthday party for my 40th birthday on Saturday. You are invited!

Bike odometer: n/a (drove today)
Current reading: I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, The Prince by Machiavelli
Recent listening: Coverville, MC Front-A-Lot, MC Chris, It’s The Jump Off
Recent viewing: Dead Zone, Countdown, An Evening with the Dixie Chicks, Sportscenter, The Simpsons, The Alternative, The Daily Show, National Pie Championship
Recent playing: Zuma
Recently accomplished: Recycled styrofoam, power washed the deck and concrete, emailed birthday invitations
Imperative To Do: Clean CPAP stuff, bank, refinish deck, hair cut, service van, new rear fender for bike, mow lawn, follow-up phone calls for birthday
Cool Video: Four-year-old drumming prodigy