Wednesday, April 30, 2008


We closed off the main entrance to our home a couple weeks ago to host a family that chose to move in with us.
And now we have babies!!
Look closely in the picture for one little head sticking up with an open mouth. (click to make it bigger). We think there are three of them in there.

Then, I was able to get a shot of Mom...or Dad coming at the nest. We have seen two birds coming in and out for feedings.

Our neighbors down the street had babies too!
I caught a glimpse of these little guys on my way into work.

Last night my baby-lovin' wife and I drove by. When we pulled over to take their pictures the calves came bounding over to the fence to see us. They probably thought we were going to feed them something yummy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

the 'organic' FREE dog

As I have mentioned, we here at the weese's are going organic.
We are making broad changes to many parts of our consumable lives.
My environmentally sound wife has been making smarter choices at the grocery store. We are both learning about using more vegetable based cleaning and personal products. As well as cutting off our addicted yard and garden from all the toxic substances we have been applying over the years. I imagine my grass going through detox, jonesin' for some Scott's.

Personally, I am diligently working on my own addiction -the perfect green lawn.
So far I am reacting calmly and agreeably to dandelions, crabgrass and large patches of dead lawn.
My mantra is 'its all vanity'.
Having the perfect lawn is nothing but my own vanity.

This weekend we all got a taste of the organic (some more than others)...
My organically inclined wife shopped at a farmers market where local organic farmers were selling meats, cheeses and greens.
At home, I weeded dandelions - by hand. And applied organic fertilizer to the lawn.

We got the seal of approval on our lawn products from the FREE dog who we had to keep calling into the house before she licked the ENTIRE lawn.

Friday, April 25, 2008



online fun with friends

and... with love, from my clever wife

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It’s all too fast.

And frankly it’s getting tiring.

I long to live in a slower time. A time long gone. A time when we spent weeks on holiday, and days with friends, and hours reading, and long casual strolls for no other purpose than to stroll.

I got my bank statement yesterday and had to chuckle. The balance on the paper statement was several days old. So much had happened, my life had already changed. The balance now meaningless, the new balance fresh in my head from looking it up only hours ago… online.
I don’t want to have to know my balance everyday. But I must. Can’t be risking any of that identity theft. That can happen in a flash.
Can’t have that.
It all happens so fast.

I remember as a kid – watching my mom sit down in the evening at her desk to check her statement and balance her books. You could do that then. The balance on the statement most certainly matched the balance in your register. Ah yes – perhaps there was a check written here or there – but that would be neatly noted, and marked as outstanding …until your next statement. Checks were mailed. Then logged, then presented, then cleared… these things took time.

I want that time.

There was a time when we weren’t bombarded with 15 second visual images, a time before a 'snippet' even existed. When you might sit under a tree for an hour. Just to enjoy the tree.
There was waiting. You might need to wait for something or someone, and you would do just that – wait. No gameboy or cell phone, not even a book or magazine. You would just wait.

I want to wait.

Go back further. How about writing letters to communicate. Can you imagine? Waiting weeks to hear back from someone. You write a letter, drop it in the post and wait.
No instant response, no smiley face.

Perhaps you would write to a friend to inquire about a visit.

“Shall I visit in the Spring?” you might write before the winter holidays.

“Yes, yes please do come, I’ll arrange a room for you so you can stay till after solstice.” Your friend would write back, while beginning to go about the business of anticipating your arrival.

And so you would go to visit. You might arrive by carriage, with luggage and such – tho not several ginormous wheely bags filled with a store front full of clothes and a dozen shoes – no … you would have a case or if you were staying till midsummer a perhaps a trunk. You would stay with your friends, and have meals together and take walks and sit by the fire, and of course... have cocktails.

I want to visit.

Today, I am going to take my time. I am going to try to just slow life down, a little bit, as much as is reasonable while still getting through a regular day ...and not getting fired.

I will apologize in advance if you happen to be in the car behind me.

my earth, your earth

I like these folks.

I also like women... in all that they do.

o... and these folks as well -

Monday, April 21, 2008

feeling all earthy

It's Earth Week... well, technically tomorrow is Earth Day - but hey, why not stretch it out to a week.
You can read about it EVERYwhere, and get plenty of green tips online, on TV, even in the grocery store.

If you are so inclined to plant a tree, I have a link to the right there. Its nice, because someone else does the digging.

We are also planting some in our back yard.
Well... not exactly digging holes and planting saplings.
We are giving back more of our manicured lawn to the wilderness. It's a win/win situation. Less for us to maintain, more places for wildlife to find refuge in our busy suburban landscape, and all we have to do is sit back and watch it grow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

watts that you say

An update on the kill-o-watt research. Sorry no charts or graphs yet, but I am pressed for time to do a proper presentation. Someday I will quit my day job to do full time environmental research. I could start now if y’all wanted to make substantial donations - let me know, I take paypal.

I will tell you this so far...
Where the online calculator told me that our dinosaur-fridge cost us $152 a year to run - my figures show it to be only about $125.
That's still a whole-heck-of-a-lot more than the new model we want, which will bring the annual cost down to a little over 40 bucks. This alone makes me pretty happy with this little device.

During my research I have found one drawback of the meter is its two decimal limitation. When you're being billed at .000000 - more granular data would be helpful

This constraint could taint my findings on cell phone chargers. I had read that the chargers draw power even when there is no cell phone attached. Knowing the limitations of the device I left the charger plugged into the kill-o-watt for three days.
It still reported 0 watts used over all that time. While this still may not be completely accurate – can I consider its draw insignificant? Perhaps I need to leave it plugged in longer and add a projection calculation to my spreadsheet to be sure.

This is where we are so far. Maybe a pie chart next. Or maybe just some pie.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Did I forget to wish my beautiful wife a HAPPY HAPPY birthday yesterday?

nope... I simply forgot to tell you all.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I was visibly nervous, my eyes doing that darting around thing.
My hands trembled as I cut open the bag with my recently sharpened Swiss Army knife.
The smell hit me immediately, and I recoiled. Taking the cue I put on vinyl gloves before I carefully poured the product into the hopper.
The application was easy enough, but I was really only concerned with the result. I had to keep reminding myself that I was doing something good. Repeating the mantra in my head – its vanity, its just your ego.

In the end, it felt good.
Now it’s just a waiting game. Will it still feel good when it all goes to hell? Will I be able to stand tall and proud of my contribution… without excuses, without gloating.

Time will tell.

...and yes, I know exactly what Milorganite is.

Friday, April 11, 2008



I am generally a big proponent of following the rules.
Rules appeal to my organized nature and tend to calm me and make me happy.
But we shouldn't follow rules mindlessly.
Don't forget to think.

For example, it's not important that you stay in the lines when you color.
However... staying in lines while driving is.

Do you see the difference?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

weese's wildlife wonderland

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that some birds had made our holiday(would you just take it down) wreath into their home.

Well after that day it seemed the nest had been deserted. I thought perhaps the mother bird thought better of her chosen location. Perhaps because of the constant traffic in and out of the house. Tho the only traffic would be my petite wife and I coming and going from work.
I thought maybe the noises inside the house may have disturbed her. On the inside of the her chosen wall is a kitchen counter and the most used cabinets. I am sure the noise of the cabinet doors banging shut and the chopping of vegetables and such carried right through to the nest.

Admittedly, I was somewhat concerned about the inconvenience and the mess - but when I saw no further signs of her I was actually a little sad.

Well, last night when I came home from work we startled each other as I approached the kitchen door.
So I hurried inside and sat quietly in the foyer for a long time and watched her visit two more times. Quick and out. Not sure what that means - but that was enough for me...

The entrance has been closed off.

I added some warnings in the house as well- because we are all so programmed to leave out that door.

I also snuck a very quick peak into the nest and saw tiny pinkish eggs.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

its one of those...

I needed something fun and easy to do today.
This seemed to fit the bill.
(plus I had this odd feeling Sassy was talking to me).

Couples Meme.
1. How long have you been together?
23 years, or several lifetimes.

2. Who pursued who?
Have you seen my wife?… I totally pursued.

3. Do you wear any type of wedding/commitment ring? If so, which hand?
We each wear a plain band which we picked together a million years ago. We also each have a diamond anniversary band. She surprised me with mine at 10 years, and I surprised her at 15. Both bands are on the ring finger of the left hand.

4. What was the hardest thing about learning to live together?
Hmm, that was a long time ago… I really don’t remember.

5. Who takes longer to get ready in the morning?
I do. I am vain.

6. Do you usually eat breakfast together?
On weekdays we have coffee together (in the summer it will be on the patio). On weekends there may be food involved. Mostly because I am hungry all the time.

7. Do you ever share clothes?
No. Except for the occasional pair of socks. Sometimes I need just the perfect sock.

8. Who does most of the cooking?
My Italian wife does the cooking. She cooks for everyone. It’s possible I would starve to death without her.

9. Who usually takes out the trash?
Who ever gets there first – tho if its winter and dark I take it out to the can outside.

10. If you have pets who usually does litter box or poop patrol?
My animal loving wife handles yard excrement. She is very good at it.

11. Which one of you is more likely to answer the phone when it rings?
We have caller ID – so if it’s TheDaughterTheTherapist my chatty wife will answer and they will gab the evening away. If it’s Ferris, I will answer. He and I are both all business and spend just enough time on the phone to get the facts across. My motherly wife will inevitably ask me when I hang up how he’s doing in school or when he is coming home – my answer is always - I don’t know.

12. Who's in charge of the remote if you're watching TV together?
ME. My highly technical wife has some sort of remote-dyslexia.

13. Who usually drives when you go out together?
Generally I do. For several good reasons. I tend to get car sick as a passenger. Her car (the Jeep) drinks gas faster than I drink a beer. She doesn’t see so well at night, for which she has glasses, which are usually on the hook in the kitchen.

14. Which one of you takes care of spiders and bugs that get into the house?
My spiritual wife requires that we ‘relocate’ any species that has inadvertently gotten into our house. I usually do this relocating.

15. Facing the bed, who sleeps on which side?
Me on the left… my cuddly wife in the middle.

16. Who usually checks the (postal) mailbox?
My organized wife loves to get the mail. She will ask me to fetch it when the temperature dips below 20.

17. If something breaks or goes wrong in the house, which one of you is more likely to either fix it or call someone to fix it?
I fix broken things. But we work on big projects together. If, I completely screw it up as a last resort we need to call someone – I do that, since I am the one who is familiar with the mess I made project.

18. Who is generally the neater of you?
We are both tidy. I tend to clean more –but only because I enjoy the process.

19. Who handles the checkbook/pays the bills?
It's somewhat split. She does the mortgage and all the college stuff because she keeps detailed spreadsheets on our finances. I do utilities and every day stuff. The funny thing is – all our money is in my name (for financial aid reasons) and I have no idea where it is, how much there is and what its intended purposes are.

20. What was your last fight/disagreement about?
We are both in peri-menopause, do you really want to ask this question…
it probably started about a dixie cup in the bathroom and morphed into the choice to use powder or liquid laundry detergent, which will inevitably lead to a lively discussion about why the dog smells so bad and that ‘someone’ really needs to bathe her, which begs the question of what to do about painting the exterior trim this summer, and why is it that garage door opener light has not been updated to fluorescent, and how will we solve global warming and when the hell are you going to do something about world peace and then finally what’s for dinner, lets have a cocktail….

21. When you slow dance together, who leads?
Hmm, is someone supposed to lead. Hmm, we’ll try that next time.

22. What do you love the most about your other half?
She is not any half, we are both whole… which may be what I love most about her.
Ah … but then there are her eyes, her laugh, her smell, her hair, her wit, her softness, her sarcasm, her creativity, her playfulness, her delicious skin, the small of her back, her sexy neck, her silly side, her…

Sunday, April 06, 2008

ok... now I'm pissed

seething even...

first - the background.

Ferris called us in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago (St. Patricks day in fact). He had been stopped by the police on campus walking back to his room from a party. He had been carrying a beer in his pocket, which he thought better of and tossed in a garbage can as soon as he saw the police. Evidently the cop heard the toss and went to look in. He found the beer and ticketed Ferris with 'minor in possession of alcohol."

Ferris was livid. The cop really had no proof that the beer was his, and when Ferris questioned the officer about that, he was told to take it up with a judge.
I calmed him as best I could on that late night call. The next day I did a little research and counselled him on my findings. It seemed from my research that the first offense was simply an infraction. Tho he must be wary of a second offense. We talked about the fact that if he went to court he would be asked about the beer directly and how did he want to handle that. He was... understandably, uncomfortable with lying, and we felt an admission of guilt may simply result in further fines.
He took the high road. As he does. Took responsibility for his actions, as a man should.
I was proud of him, and told him so. I also told him that he was also following OUR rules which are not to drink and drive- which is the most important.
I told him he was wise, and that we could put this behind us now.

Yesterday, we received a letter from the DMV - suspending his license for 60 days, with yet another fine to reinstate it.


He was no where near a car.
He's a college kid - with ONE beer.
Not a case of beer.
Not a keg of beer.
Not whiskey.
Not drugs.
No where near a CAR!
He was bothering no one, committing no acts of vandalism or violence.
Here is an upstanding kid, with a wonderful GPA, walking to his dorm room on campus - with ONE FREAKIN' BEER.

I am so tired of being the middle class grunt who has to pay for this system to run.
If we were poor - we simply wouldn't pay the ticket. The ramifications lost on our economic status.
If we were rich we would have lawyered up and gotten out it, with no penalty but to the pocket - the deep pocket. No harm, no foul, no lesson learned.

But No... we are good upstanding citizens taking responsibility for our actions - and losing.

What lesson are we teaching our kids? This is not one that I would teach.

This boy doesn't work - he goes to school, and doesn't have the money to cover these fines let alone a lawyer.
We sacrifice to give our children a higher education. And now we are forced to reach into our shallow pockets to support a system that will send my son to war, yet punish him for being a good kid, struggling to get an education, taking responsibility, and having a beer.

Friday, April 04, 2008



Instead of using wrapping paper on your next gift, why not just pop your gift into a handy re-usable shopping bag! They're .99¢ at most places and almost everyone can use one more. And if they have enough... they can always use it to re-gift to someone else.

Now, if you really want to take 're' to another level. Fill the re-usable bag with gifts from the earth.

We just filled a couple of these for friends birthday's last week.

My horticultural wife went skampering around the yard collecting bulbs and tubers of some of her favorite flowers.

We re-used some old cotton shears to wrap up each type of plant.

Look how cute...

My creative wife re-purposed the old curtain tie backs to make little tags to identify each type and offer planting tips.

Then we popped them all into the re-usable bag.


still collecting kill-a-watt data... i will post the spreadsheet next week.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

killing watts

This is too fun. Everyone should have one of these.

I ran all over the house last evening checking Watts. To get accurate readings I realize I will need to leave appliances plugged for some time - but I was so excited...

Here's the KW in the kitchen, checking the under cabinet halogen lighting:

(hmm, 66 watts - that's alot)

Then I wanted to check the watts drawn by a cell phone charger with no cell phone attached. I read somewhere that these draw power even when they are not in use.
But the KW is reporting 0. Hmm - more testing is needed in this area.

My patient wife put up with me plugging and unplugging her laptop while she was trying to use it. She is so good to me.

I plugged in the TV/DVR last night for a longer duration test (which of course includes downtime and ontime). Right now, the fridge is plugged in for an 8 hour test cycle.
... working on my spreadsheet now.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


A friend of mine at work is letting me borrow this...

I am so excited.

Kill A WattTM will measure the wattage that our electrical devices are using simply by plugging them into it.

I am particularly interested in measuring the 'dinosaur that keeps our food chilled'.
In doing some online research I have learned that we may save as much as $120 dollars a year by replacing this ancient beast.
But this nifty little device will give me solid proof where the web-based calculators leave me wondering.

and yes... I am already working on my spreadsheet.