Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy New Year!

Both kids were up and ready for school today, one with a peanut butter and strawberry sandwich, the other with a bag of last-year's pencils.

I hope they have a good day!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Anacostia River - guess we got a smidge of rain this morning.

I took this video with my phone of the Anacostia where it goes under 38th Avenue in Brentwood, MD.

While I was there I saw a large log float downstream with no effort at all. Maybe float isn't the best word, maybe fly would be better.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Glint in the Sun

Today I found a dime in the grass just outside the 5 Guys. Before I was even half-way down to pick it up, I remembered something from my childhood.

It was summertime, in the evening, I was about 5 or 6, and we were living in Guyan Estates. The ice cream truck came by in the evenings and when my parents were feeling generous, they would give us 11 cents to buy a treat from the truck, 10 cents plus a penny for something called tax. We would listen for the beacon, the tinny music, announcing its impending arrival.

This particular evening I had my two coins in hand waiting, playing in the mean time. The adults were gathered in the yard too, my parents and the neighbors, chatting. Then I noticed my dime was gone, I'd dropped it in the grass somewhere. I tried to find it but I couldn't, and I had to hurry because the ice cream truck would be there any minute. Any minute. The adults helped me look too to no avail. After what seemed like an hour of panic, the neighbor pulled a dime out of his pocket and gave it to me, for which I was ever so greatful, still after all these years. I was all set again to obtain my long awaited fudgesicle.

The ice cream truck never came that night.


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Went North

I am struggling to get back into the swing of things after being on vacation last week. There is so much to do, laundry, and the yard needs some attention. Dan mowed it on Sunday, but the weeds have really encroached the periphery, some of them are quite tall.

The central reason for vacationing in New England was for Fern to attend and compete in the ISI Worlds championship in Boston (really Marlborough, but whatever). She did quite well: of four individual events she got two firsts (FS4 solo compulsories & artistic), a second (FS4 interp) and a third (freestyle silver). She had at least five and as many as seven in her flights so I was extremely pleased with the results, especially after placing last out of three or four several times at local competitons in the spring.

Fern skated Monday and Tuesday and her team events were on Saturday. I thought the Bowie's production team event went well, but we got third out of four. The team that won had a "Sesame Street" themed show, big family appeal, but the skating was sloppy, in my opinion, and I thought they should have gotten third and Bowie should have gotten second. The second place team, the one I had placed first, skated a very clean, choreographed program, but the music was eerie and was lower on the family appeal scale.

In the interim, we went up to New Hampshire for a few days at the beach and took a five-hour whale-watching trip. The journey out to the Jeffery Ledge, 30 miles off shore, took about an hour and a half. This ledge is a mountain range in the New England Gulf where the fish (plankton, etc.) whales eat are plentiful. (See that wide high place in the map below.) We got to see a pair of humpback whales and a pair of north atlantic right whales. The right whales are very rare, only about 420 in existence. This pair was a mom and her calf. I saw another animal breech the surface and splash down about 500 yards away from the boat but our guide only saw the splash and couldn't tell me what it was. It could have been a minke whale or a white-sided dolphin.

View Larger Map

We had good food, luscious lobstah rolls (lobster salad, like tuna salad, but with huge hunks of lobster meat on a hot dog roll) were prevalent but Kevin stuck to his cheeseburger addiction.

I've posted some pictures from the trip from my phone. I took the "big" camera too, but it'll be a while before I can download them. I got maybe a hundred shots of the whales but I won't know if they are any good until I can see them on a larger screen.

We also fit a couple days in Boston taking in a Ducks tour where Fern got to "drive" down the Charles River, the Blue Man Group, and the Museum of Science where Kevin spent three or four hours watching George Rhoads's Audiokinetic sculpture, Archimedian Excogitation. I watched too. I want one of my own.