Sunday, August 30, 2009

As I've mentioned before, we've been working since this spring on an extension to our old playhouse, which will become my dad's new woodworking shed. It's a pretty big project, and it's occupied most of our weekends this summer. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures at the beginning of the project, when Laura and my dad dug a hole three to four feet deep at the back of the yard, when we put in a concrete block retaining wall, and when we started to put up the walls. Here's our progress since then, however.

Grandpa arrives for a day of work. Phoenix awaits him.

My dad says to stop taking pictures of him while he works, as it makes him nervous.


Sometimes Grandpa works.

Sometimes he watches.

Always watching: the cats.


This was the death rafter, here on the corner. My dad came up underneath it twice in one hour, scraping his shoulder. Then I jogged up the hill and ran straight into it with my head; Laura said she heard the entire structure shake. So she painted blue warning stripes on it.

Two hours later, she smacked into it with her own head.

Making a roof!

A window will go here.

Here you can see the retaining wall, as well as how much dirt had to be moved before we could pour the concrete foundation.

Sasha likes to hang off the pool deck to watch from above.

He also kept track that we were using the right materials.

Supervising is hard!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Last week we took the dogs up to a local park. There's a leash-free area there, and we let them run around and be real dogs for a change - normally they're whiny, co-dependent little ramora that cringe at the thought of having to go outside and stay there for more time than it takes them to take care of their business.

This is the only good picture I got of Spencer. He was usually at least 100 yards away from us at any given time, cavorting about, sniffing the entire world, and once charging a group of Frisbee golfers to attempt to give them sweet keeses.

Little Dog was obviously easier to keep an eye on.

The nobility and inner strength of Little Dog.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I went to an optometrist today, for the first time in around six or seven years. I had noticed for just about the last year, if not longer, that even with my contacts in, I was having trouble seeing in the distance, and things were blurry. (Of course, without my contacts in, I can't see a thing unless it's within six inches of my face.)

I've always had a slight astigmatism, but this doctor, who I haven't seen before, decided to give me a contact for that eye which is shaped differently, ostensibly to help with the astigmatism. Except that it isn't work at all, so I'm sitting here with my trial contacts in and one side is blurry, which means I'm having a hard time focusing at all, and I'm pretty sure I'll have a debilitating headache soon. I don't want to just take the contacts out, in case it is just going to take a couple days to get used to it, but I'm really having trouble even reading the computer right now.

Anyway, my prescription changed from -225/-300 to -325/-350, which I thought was pretty impressive.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

You may remember me telling you last year about Laura and I making and canning great quantities of applesauce, apple butter, and pear sauce. This year, we're getting a little more ambitious. From my Grandpa's garden, Laura took tomatoes, bell peppers and jalapenos and made salsa; from my uncle's garden, we took cucumbers and made pickles.

The jar on the right contains Polish dill pickles, to which we also added garlic and red pepper flakes to standard pickles. They're going to be delicious.

We also love to make tiny pies. Here are chocolate pudding pies with a Drambuie ganache layer at the bottom, and meringue on top.

They're like pies for babies!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New July Media.

31. Buffy the Vampire Slayer , Season Eight, Volume Two: No Future For You, Brian K. Vaughn, Joss Whedon. 7-9.
32. Desolation Island, Patrick O’Brian. 7-14.
33. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume I, Alan Moore. 7-19.
34. Opening Atlantis, Harry Turtledove. 7-22.

42. Pride and Prejudice (1940). 7-2.
43. Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The ‘Plan 9’ Companion (1992). 7-6.
44. Let The Right One In (2008). 7-8.
45. Last Chance Harvey (2008). 7-11.
46. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). 7-15.
47. Glen or Glenda (1953). 7-15.
48. 49th Parallel (1941). 7-19.
49. Valkyrie (2008). 7-29.

Television Episodes
316. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 4x23 - “The Host.” 7-1.
317. Deadwood - 1x09 - “No Other Sisters or Brothers.” 7-2.
318. Deadwood - 1x10 - “Mister Wu.” 7-3.
319. Deadwood - 1x11 - “Jewel’s Boot is Made For Walking.” 7-3.
320. The Mighty Boosh - 2x05 - “The Legend of Old Gregg.” 7-3.
321. Deadwood - 1x12 - “Sold Under Sin.” 7-4.
322. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 4x24 - “The Mind’s Eye.” 7-5.
323. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 4x25 - “In Theory.” 7-5.
324. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 4x26 - “Redemption Part I.” 7-6.
325. Deadwood - 2x01 - “A Lie Agreed Upon Part I.” 7-9.
326. Deadwood - 2x02 - “A Lie Agreed Upon Part II.” 7-10.
327. Deadwood - 2x03 - “New Money.” 7-11.
328. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x01 - “Redemption Part II.” 7-11.
329. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x02 - “Darmok.” 7-11.
330. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x03 - “Ensign Ro.” 7-12.
331. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x04 - “Silicon Avatar.” 7-12.
332. True Blood - 2x04 - “Shake and Fingerpop.” 7-13.
333. SCTV - “Walter Cronkite’s Brain.” 7-16.
334. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x05 - “Disaster.” 7-18.
335. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x06 - “The Game.” 7-19.
336. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x07 - “Unification Part I.” 7-22.
337. The Mighty Boosh - 2x01 - “Call of the Yeti.” 7-23.
338. The IT Crowd - 2x02 - “Return of the Golden Child.” 7-23.
339. Deadwood - 2x04 - “Requiem For a Gleet.” 7-24.
340. Deadwood - 2x05 - “Complications.” 7-25.
341. Star Trek: The Next Generation - 5x08 - “Unification Part II.” 7-26.
342. True Blood - 2x05 - “Never Let Me Go.” 7-28.
343. Star Trek - 1x20 - “Court Martial.” 7-31.
345. Star Trek - 1x21 - “The Return of the Archons.” 7-31.