Friday, August 29, 2008



Fall is for planting.

This is the BEST time of the year to plant grass, these warm days and cool nights are ideal - so if you have some bare spots go spread some seed.

Remember to rake it a little bit so the seed makes good contact with the ground. If you're doing a large area its a good idea to use a water filled roller to set it nicely in the soil.

And if you're like me and would rather not use hay, try spreading some peat moss on top to keep the moisture in. Then there is nothing to rake up later on.
Water every day, keep it moist but not puddly.
You should see happy germination in 7-10 days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We don't have to. We're the cable company

Do you remember that bit Lily Tomlin used to do on Laugh In -poking fun at the phone companies conglomerate attitude?

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company."

Welp - today I am trying to get rid of 'tweak' my cable service. It's surreal.

Friday, August 22, 2008



In my basement workshop I have several boxes, drawers, pegboards and shelves to hold tools and supplies. I generally organize these items by use. For example, one of my tool boxes is for electrical/wiring sorts of work, and I have a separate tool box for small hand tools.

So when I have a job around the house or yard which will require items from different disciplines, I use one of these:

Now, a tool caddy alone is not breaking news, but what's a little different about my method is that rather than using the caddy to store tools or cleaning supplies - I like to use mine on a per project basis. That way I can load the specific tools I will need from several categories. Perhaps I am going to run a new phone jack - so I know that in addition to the phone jack itself I'll need a sheetrock saw, a stud finder, probably some string and a weight, maybe a band aid or a tourniquet, also mine is big enough to hold a drill or small saw... You get the idea.

I like these caddies better than the buckets because they are shallow, making it easier to see inside, and to scoop nails or screws out of the bottom.

While I am at my job site I can also toss bits of wood or bent nails and spent screws in one of the sections to be disposed of during clean up.

When I am done (this part is key) I take it back down to the workshop and unload all the items back into their spots so that its empty and ready to go.
That way, once the bleeding stops, I can refill it with a whole different set of tools and be on my way.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Law

Have you heard all the rumblings about dropping the drinking age here in Connecticut?
Seems all the universities here are getting behind it.
Can you believe this!!???

And they couldn't get their act together to do this a couple of years ago.
The savings in lawyer fees alone ...

And if any of you out there are MADD ... lemme just tell you this. If the law says you can take my son* to another country and strap a gun on him and make him shoot people...then the law better sell him a tall cold one too.

I am all for it.
I think we will have much more responsible drinkers coming out of university than we do now.

*or my daughter... tho now she is too old for either of these issues to be relevant. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


As we settle further and further into the deliciousness of being alone (with Ferris off at college much of the time) we find ourselves discovering and re-discovering all sorts of fun stuff that perhaps we may have inadvertently shelved during the child rearing years.
Some of it I can even blog about ...

Last Thursday...yes, on a school night, we ventured into Manhattan to see a free concert. My musical wife discovered that her mistress would be performing at Lincoln Center's Damrosch park, where each August they do an entire series of concerts called Out of Doors.

It was a fabulous evening. If you are in the neighborhood - I highly recommend it.

As we wandered around Lincoln Center we noticed that tickets for the Metropolitan Opera season were going to be on sale this week.

The opera... how civilized.

So this December we'll be getting all gussied up to see La Damnation de Faust.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

so many channels, so little...

They are starting to advertise for the 'fall TV lineup' --
seriously...people... are you not seeing this trend

Friday, August 15, 2008



One of the first times I saw Martha Stewart on television she was sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool tiling it with old cut up credit cards. This was supposed to be a clever way to re-use them.

Well I don't have a swimming pool, but they are plastic - and I really don't like to toss out plastic before it's had a couple of go arounds.

So we have a drawer full of old plastic cards.

I found they are very useful when refinishing furniture. I use them instead of a putty knife when stripping off the old finish. They have just the right stiffness and flexibility. And clean up is a breeze - just toss them with no guilt, at least you've gotten a second use out of them.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


We have grown very fond of pizza on the grill this summer.
Last night we dined on fabulously grilled pizza at The Daughter The Therapists and her Handsome Beau's house.

For dessert they invented this:

Yes, its a smore-pie. And it was to die for...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic quote of the night

"It really helps when you're both in the same location to train."

- a commentator making small talk during the synchronized diving competition

...ya think?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Go World

"The most important thing is not to win but to take part!".
--De Coubertin

Have you been watching the Olympics?
We have. We started Friday night with the opening ceremonies. We love the opening ceremonies. It is essential to have a globe nearby…. and cocktails… and in this case – take out Chinese. Hey… its close.
These ceremonies were absolutely spectacular, and watching the athletes arrive in the National Stadium had us all kinds of vaklempt.

Unfortunately, I have heard several times over the weekend folks saying they are boycotting the Olympics. People –do you really think that by not turning on your TV you will make a difference in the screwed up politics of China… um yeah… that sounds just like an American.

But really – what are you boycotting… the athletes.

Thousands of young people (well some…not so young) from around the world train sometimes their whole lives just to participate in these games. These hard working incredibly fit people don’t pick their venue. They just show up where they are told to go. How sad for them that after all their hard work you won’t turn the TV on because you don’t approve of the host countries policies.
Their moment of glory and you are watching Big Brother, or Dancing with the Stars.

Take for example Soraya Haddad of Algeria. Have you ever heard of her? Do you know she Bronzed in Judo yesterday? She picked up the sport when she was just 11, because her brothers did it. She says that her parents have been the most influential people in her career.

What about Dina Gorina from Baku, Azerbaijan? She is competing in Rhythmic Gymnastics. She may not even make it to the top 20 with the highly competitive American, Chinese and Romania teams. But this is her shining moment. She will tell her children this magical story of traveling to China to participate in the most amazing competition with athletes from all over the world. And her children will be proud. As are her parents. As is her country.

But you… no…you are watching repeats of CSI.
That’ll show those Chinese.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

paralyzed by frogs

This whole going organic thing is gonna kill me.

O sure I was all a twitter when our first cute little weeds popped up, and the bunnies living in our back yard filled my heart with joy.

But the lawn as degraded to a bright green carpet of crabgrass sprinkled with Suess-like weeds and frankly, we are a bit overrun with wildlife.

It's actually amazing just how much wildlife you notice when you are cutting the grass with those silent reel mowers. You see and hear so much more. I notice bugs and worms scampering out of my way as I walk by. Sometime I may see a small garden snake slither by. With my nifty non-engined mower its easy enough to pause for a moment and let nature pass.

However... unless we quit our day jobs we can't realistically cut our entire lawn with the reel mower. So we're still using a pretty hefty 15hp tractor to do the big parts of the lawn.

But now... now I know about all the wildlife teaming in our yard and garden so I drive my big orange tractor around in a state of near panic. I sit up as high as I can in the tractor seat straining to see over the front of the long hood -- looking for life. Our neighbors have to be wondering why anyone would cut the grass soooo s l o w l y.

Yesterday afternoon I was out in the side yard cutting the grass at a snails pace when I saw a little frog jumping out of my way. He froze as I drove nearer to him.
Not a problem, I simply took my turn a little early and headed back in the other direction, leaving him to rest in a patch of long crabgrass and weeds. As I swung back around it suddenly occurred to me that he may have moved. Oh my! Now I don't know where he is! How far could he have jumped since I made my turn!!!

I slammed on the brakes. Looking... scanning... searching... I finally saw him - still frozen just where he was before. And so I took another pass, only to stop and look for him on my return.

This was going to take a long time.

But I couldn't find him. I even got off and walked around a little bit - calling out to him "toad?, toad?, dude you gotta take cover"

I just gave up and put the tractor away.

So if you come by this week - you may notice a strange mowing pattern.
I like to think of it as a lawn mohawk.

Monday, August 04, 2008

stepford lesbians

We went to the library the other night.
I haven't been to the library ...hmm... geez.. since Ferris was pretty small, so over a dozen years I would imagine.
My eager wife and I were very excited. We decided to walk. It's a perfect walk, just over a mile and pretty hilly.
We were going to the libary to get books -- for free. And we weren't even going to use any gas. The whole thing was incredibly Stepford. And we were thrilled.
Our town library is brand-spankin' new (we've got the tax bill to prove it). I don't remember how many millions it cost, but it was several of 'em.

Welp, let me tell you - this new library is ... opulent. Two floors, lots of open space, fine furnishings, plush carpets and marble bathrooms.

Now - does a library really need to be opulent. I think not.
What a libary needs is books - and this library is sorrily short of those.
I stood looking at the rows of books and thought Borders at the mall puts this place to shame.
This is a picture from their website. Those 5 or 6 rows of shelves to the left there is the fiction section. The WHOLE section. I know some people who have more books than that.Notice those columns... they are everywhere. I bet you could buy a hundred books for the price of one of those.

I think they could have easily cut the building budget by a million or so and spent it on the books instead. If they had as many books as Borders they might get a better turn out than the 7 or 10 folks we saw there that night.

They did install a entire fleet of computers. This... in a town where most homes have as many computers as they do occupants. They all sat darkly except for one or two.

I was dissapointed. Several of the books I looked up in their online catalog were not available.

We did end up checking out one book each, tho I imagine if we go regularly we'll get through their entire collection this winter.
Unfortunately, to read many of the books that are on my list - I will have to go to Borders and buy them. And we'll have to drive to get there. :(


I get a phone call from my adorable wife at work recently*, I was in a meeting at the time.
She rarely calls me at work so I stepped out to answer.

weese: "Hey, I am in a meeting can I call you back in a minute."

MAW: "no..." abruptly with a hint of playfulness
"I just talked to my sister"

weese: "oook"
still standing in the hallway while my meeting continues without me.

MAW: "What could be better than hearing a heartbeat?"

weese: "Um... ah... well..."

MAW: "Hearing two!"

Congratulations my dearest Ev and ML!!
We are excited beyond words.

To see the babies or to follow along in the action, please feel free to visit Double Beans .

* This post was delayed to allow time for Ev and ML to make proper announcements to family and friends, and for little 'A' and 'B' to reach the 2nd trimester milestone - which they have ...with flying colors.

I have a vagina, not a brain disorder

(warning... this is an unusually sexist post. please do not generalize my sexism. the sexism blatantly alluded to in this post is a direct result of a specific incident and is not a true reflection on my actual feelings toward anyone of any gender)

When I called regarding my broken tractor I was mindful not to sound cocky and certainly not to sound like a 'know it all' - so I carefully explained in great detail the symptoms of my tractors demise to the penis'ed mechanic.

After a polite silence he asked me if I would like them to come pick it up.
Um... yes please.

After some poking around initial diagnostics - apparently with complete disregard for the details I provided - they put in a new fuse and charged it up and sent it right back home to me.

Where the exact same set of problems happened.

This time I asserted myself on the phone.
A part has been ordered... on my description alone.

It's a tractor people, not a moon rocket.