Monday, August 30, 2004

My Blogfather

Got to meet my Blogfather this weekend. My lovely wife and I visited with him and his family on their trip to the states.
He was the catalyst that started me blogging. He also guided me on blog-ways and blog-etiquette as I got up and running.
I have known David in an online sorta way for many years but we had not met until this weekend. Our connection however goes waaaay back. We went to high school together, although we did not know each other while we were there.
It was a pleasure and an honor. He is, as he sounds on his site -exceptional.
His wife, Zahava is enchanting, bubbly and funny. She makes you feel instantly at ease. The kids are great story tellers (hmm, wonder where they got that), Gilad cracked us up and Ariella was sweet and very eager to join in the conversations with her own anecdotes, while little Yonah tried to hold himself together while waiting for his Tylenol to kick in (poor guy ...).
He and his family are just as he portrays them in his tales. Kind, inviting, witty and just good people.
For sure, the next time we find ourselves in Efrat we will stop in.

Friday, August 27, 2004


I picked up Ferris from driving school yesterday afternoon, and he motions for me to get out of the drivers seat on his way over to the car with a buddy. Since he has gotten his permit, he drives EVERYWHERE.
He and his buddy get into the car, he gets situated behind the wheel, and turns the key.
Of course the engine is already running – so it makes that really loud embarrassing grinding noise. At which point they both start laughing so hard they can barely sit up. Evidently, there is an attractive young girl from his class watching him as he is doing all this and he is VERY aware of it. He is mortified, and his laughter is almost out of control.
He pulls himself together enough to back out and drive past her through the parking lot. She is watching the whole time – he never stops laughing.
We get around to the back of the building, and rather than going out the exit he says, “I’m going around again.” His friend in the back seat is now hysterical – I am starting to giggle too. So – we go again. She watches, smiling, the boys are still hysterical, and I am watching the road because my GOD someone has to. We get to the back of the building again and he says, “I’m going around again.” This time he turns the radio up and plans to kinda do a point his finger / wink gesture at her… not meant as a cool thing but as a way to sorta laugh at himself and the situation. Of course he is too hysterical laughing to do that, so we simply drive by again, him watching her, her watching him, buddy in the back seat roiling with laughter, and me…just along for the ride.
This time – when we get to the back of the building he pulls over to do some planning about how to get her number. It is eventually decided that the buddy will go.
He jumps out of the car cell phone in hand and disappears through the buildings.
He returns successful. Her name is Shawna, her number has been saved to both their cells.

Do you know the scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – where Jennifer Grey meets up with Charlie Sheen in the police station.
Sheen : You didn't tell me your name
Grey : Oh, well it's it's Jean, but a lot a lot of guys call me Shana.
And there is this swell of music in the background “Shaaawwwnaaa”
Its pretty funny, and the guys had to play it as soon as we got home.

There is mandatory 3 day waiting period before the initial call can be made.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Not sure why

I never do these.
Got it from Lachlan.

1. Your name spelled backwards. Asil. I kinda like that.
2. Where were your parents born? Norwalk CT; Bridgeport CT
3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? Scanner driver.
4. What’s your favorite restaurant? Jeffrey’s with my love, Buffalo Bills with the fam.
5. Last time you swam in a pool? 2 years ago. PTown.
6. Have you ever been in a school play? nope
7. How many kids do you want? Already have 2. Would now like about 4 or so grandkids.
8. Type of music you dislike most? Really loud music.
9. Are you registered to vote? Yes.
10. Do you have cable? Yes, digital, every channel.
11. Have you ever ridden on a moped? No. But my adventurous wife wants to get a Vespa.
12. Ever prank call anybody? No. Not even as a kid.
13. Ever get a parking ticket? Yes. And towed! In PTown. Oops.
14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? If I could do it from about 2 o3 feet up.
15. Farthest place you ever traveled. France, England, Belgium… which ever is farthest?
16. Do you have a garden? Yes, vegetables, perennials, annuals, weeds -- we have it all.
17. What’s your favorite comic strip? Don’t really read ‘em. But I love Calvin and Hobbs.
18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? Yes.
19. Bath or Shower, morning or night? Shower – always morning, sometimes both.
20. Best movie you’ve seen in the past month? Have not seen a movie this month. (note to self – gotta get out more)
21. Favorite pizza topping? Most things.
22. Chips or popcorn? Popcorn. But I rarely eat either.
23. What color lipstick do you usually wear? Back in the day – whilst wearing suits to work…hmm that was so long ago I don’t remember the color.
24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? Well…But I didn’t inhale.
25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? Not that I can recall.
26. Orange Juice or apple? Either. But I rarely drink juice.
27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine? The fam! Last night for wings and a pitcher.
28. Favorite type chocolate bar? I had to stop eating chocolate... so ANY kind is now my favorite.
29. When was the last time you voted at the polls? Town budget referendum – last summer I think.
30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Yesterday, and I have one for lunch today too.
31. Have you ever won a trophy? No. not ever. :(
32. Are you a good cook? I am an adequate cook.
33. Do you know how to pump your own gas? Yes, and do.
34. Ever order an article from an infomercial? Ha! Yes. The Ginsu knife when we were a silly young couple starting out (still have it 20 years later). And some cleaning product I think – ordered while drunk.
35. Sprite or 7-up? Neither.
36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? Yes. Would like to wear one now too (I have a ‘thing’ for lab coats).
37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy? Sports Illustrated.
38. Ever throw up in public? Yes. At 16 or 17
39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? True Love = millionaire.
40. Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes.
41. Ever call a 1-900 number? No.
42. Can ex’s be friends? Anything can happen.
43. Who was the last person you visited in a hospital? My step Dad – I was with him when he died.
44. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby? Yes! Dark and curly.
45. What message is on your answering machine? Blah, “You have reached ###-####, please leave a message.”
46. What’s your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character? Anything Gilda.
47. What was the name of your first pet? Muffy.
48. What is in your purse? Wallet, sunglasses, cell, pen, and a medical emergency authorization for our son (see what gays have to go through). Purse goes into a backpack – which can be compared to Mary Poppin’s bag, everything I may need is in there.
49. Favorite thing to do before bedtime? We usually watch a show together before bed – but sitting on the patio on a warm summer night beats that.
50. What is one thing you are grateful for today? As I am every day. My family, my love.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Politics - my way

I woke up this morning to the radio telling me the Republicans were going to put the Constitutional ban of gay marriage on their platform.
This makes things easier for me. Before I felt like I should have some good, sound political reason for voting for Democrat.
All I had so far was… doesn’t that Teresa have a sexy voice, and as far as condiments go – ketchup is right up there.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Ow ow ow ow

Would someone please remind me… and my achy wife, that we are over 40.
We need to stop the madness. We seem to be on a project jag.

This weekends projects involved heavy things. Things so heavy they should really be just left where they are.
The catalyst for this project, as it is for so many, was the FREE dog. (a post soon to come is the list of improvements done to accommodate our pound puppy)

There is a place in the back yard by the fence where the dog has worn away any semblance of a lawn. It’s where she goes to greet (attack) people when they pull into the driveway. We have been trying to figure out a solution to this problem for quite some time. We finally came up with – rocks. Rocks are heavy. So is digging out the dirt where you want to install the big, heavy rocks. My wife loves working with rocks. We are pretty sure she was a mason in some former life – but at 5’2” and 115 lbs wet… she is not really built like a mason.

Add to that – me and my bright ideas. I decided mid way through the project that we need to purchase a couple of 6”x6”‘s to install in an area adjacent to this, since doing it at a later time would simply be more work.
Have you ever lifted a pressure treated 6”x6”? Well, evidently when you want to sink one halfway into the ground and level it – you end up lifting it a lot.

So of course, after installing these ridiculously big and heavy pieces of wood, I spent the remaining time trying to convince my wife that quitting for the day and having cold beers was a really, really good idea. She put me to work while I was trying to talk her out of finishing the project that we ended up finishing. She is very clever, that wife of mine. And we are both very sore today.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Early fall in CT

Fall seems to have arrived early here in CT this year. I know this, because the ‘webs’ have arrived.

In the fall, the spiders like to build these massive webs that span from the lower tree branches to the ground – to other trees – to nearby towns… These things are big. They can span 10 feet easily. And they are everywhere, with these big brown spiders sitting contentedly in the middle. Waiting. There seems to be certain conditions that these spiders favor, making our side yard the mecca of spider inhabitation.

Yesterday evening –- me on the tractor cutting the grass with all this web activity was pretty high on the ‘neighbor entertainment scale’.

I shudder just writing about the feeling of driving through one of these things on the tractor. Often times you don’t see them at all. There I’ll be, driving along enjoying the scenery and suddenly my whole head is wrapped in sticky web-ness. The first thing that goes through my mind is where was/is the spider. This is when I start to flail about, peeling the stringy mess off my face, brushing wildly at my head and neck just in case the spider is there, all the while looking for remnants of the web. It is then that I remember that I am on a moving vehicle with whirling blades careening toward a tree or stonewall or sometimes the street. Sudden corrections in direction are often necessary to avoid an accident. My tractor also conveniently comes with a ‘kill-switch’, so that when I shift my weight on the seat (during the flailing) the engine starts to stutter and sputter. The flailing will go on for some time after the correction to the cutting pattern, as I still have the creepies thinking there are spiders on me. It eventually calms to a sort of nervous tick, until of course I hit another one. Sometimes I have to stop the tractor all together and compose myself.

From the neighbor’s point of view – sans the spider web explanation of course, all they see is a lunatic on a big orange tractor (We’ve got a big yard and a respectable tractor to cut it. It’s a Husqvarna, 15HP, 42” cut swath, hydrostatic transmission…with a cup holder).
There she goes again, that crazy lady next door, cruising along on her big orange machine, waving her arms wildly, twisting, writhing and cutting her lawn in crazed erratic patterns. That’s when the neighbor’s call out the family and get their lawn chairs.
“Hon! Lisa’s cutting the grass again – c’mon out and bring the kids.”

I have started to drive around holding my claw grabber tool (used to pick up the billions of dog toys without jumping on and off the tractor) in front of my face. This way, I usually notice the web as it wraps around my hand before it gets to my head. This is somewhat better. I suppose now I look like some crazy parade master on a big orange float.

I did miss a couple last night and got one full in the face. I need a better plan.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Check out PTown is mobbed!
Carnivale week.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

It’s only paint.

Vacations can be relaxing, and fun and in our case damned hysterical.

My wise wife told me over sushi and saki on the last night of our vaca that she thinks every couple should do what we just did. Take a week off, at home, and see what comes of it. Don’t take the week for a big project (as we have so often done in the past), just let projects come your way… or not. We found that we ended up doing small one day projects that probably would have sat on a list forever or perhaps had never even been thought of.

And what’s better than sitting with a cool, refreshing cocktail while admiring your work. Or … in some cases – sipping that drink while trying to figure out how to fix what you have just spent all day screwing up. (warning – this may require numerous cocktails, so please refrain from driving to Home Depot, or operating power tools and heavy machinery)
Cocktails are key here – if you happen to be a tee-totaler – might I suggest some Paxil, perhaps pot, meditation or even sex.

Our ‘project gone awry’ this week was “Painting The Foyer”
But with mutual understanding and respect, and the availability of many colors to mix in our very own basement… (and some cocktails… so key) after only painting the room 2 and half times (and twice on the trim) we arrived at something we love.

Surviving a home improvement project gone wrong is one of the greatest accomplishments of a relationship. Anger will not make a 5’2” door fit in a 5’0” opening, shouting will not stop water from spewing all over a room from a failed pipe sweating, slamming around power tools certainly won’t add an inch to the new trim you just cut to short. So stop all that – turn to the one you love, the one you have just spent so many sweaty hours with creating this horrible disaster, look deep into your loved ones eyes, knowingly – lovingly - then go directly to the fridge, grabbing your checkbook and the phone on your way back.

Whatever the project– revel in the accomplishment. And if the results suck – turn off the water, shut off the power, step away from the paintbrush, grab a cocktail and laugh.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Back from Vaca

I am back. A bit busy here at the office for a proper post...
but the vaca was FAB.
We had so much fun, we laughed so much. We got a bunch of stuff done too.
Now - we detox.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Day 5



after after...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Saturday, August 07, 2004

photo of the day

I have decided that while we vacation here at home this week - each day I will post a photo intended to capture the essence of the day.
Stay tuned for pics.

Friday, August 06, 2004


We will be kicking off our vacation this evening.
As I may have mentioned before, usually we spend a week in PTown with friends each summer.
For various financial reasons we have decided not to go this year.
No regrets, we will enjoy a luxurious week at our favorite place - home.

But if you want to see what's happening in Town, go here.
And if you've never been - well, I highly recommend it.

If we do anything worthy of pics next week I will be sure and post it.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


When we moved into our house 16 years ago our neighbors took out lawn chairs, grabbed a cocktail and settled in for some entertainment.
You see, we are Do It Yourselfers.
I can’t tell you how many projects we have started which were WAY over our heads. It wasn’t unusual for us to have to call in reinforcements. Professional reinforcements.
I remember coming home from the store one afternoon to find my new wife standing in a pile of rubble of what used to be the plaster ceiling in our kitchen. This was of course the catalyst for a new kitchen. Sometime later that summer we decided we could no longer live with our cracked cement porch steps.
Both of these project required professional intervention.
I have since hidden the sledgehammer.

Older and wiser now, we take on only projects we are fairly certain we can finish. This weekends adventure was to remove and replace some tile in our small kitchen foyer. Seemed like an easy enough project for the same people who gutted and rebuilt their own bathroom last summer.

Being the well oiled project team that we are – we divide the project tasks between us for which we are best suited. For example, my patient wife was the one who chipped off each old tile.

I took on the removal of the sub floor. Since we couldn’t find all the screws buried in the old mortar, the floor had to come out by brute force. It was a long, arduous battle. The sub floor almost won.
This is where we learned the invaluable lesson – if you don’t have the right tool, use ALL the tools you have.

She took over the next day to lay the tile, my job during this time was to occasionally cut tiles and keep the dogs at bay.

It was during this part of the project that we learned our second lesson. Even though my wife of superior intelligence can do complex algebraic formulas in her head -- never let her estimate materials.
Which brings me to my other job responsibility – making trips to Home Depot to pick up more materials.

Last night we finished up the job with the tile grout. Again, this falls into the realm of my meticulously skilled wife. My job… copious compliments on her amazing grouting capabilities, supplying water, and keeping the dogs at bay. And just after midnight we had our finished product, and it looks damn sparky.

(sorry about the picture quality – did I mention it was after midnight)
So the room is done. Well... except for painting, and replacing the trim molding, spraying and reinstalling the heat registers, and possibly that door sash... but that's it.

We both have next week off from work. Project TBD.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

coming soon

to a blog near you....
a post

no really