We found out that there's a big difference between nine year olds and twelve year olds, bladder size. Two years ago our oldest had her bday party in a park, it went amazingly well, so well, that nearly nine year old wanted to repeat it.
Well, nine year olds can't hold it like twelve year olds can (save our youngest, she can hold it for longer than I can). My wife ended up taking a van load back to our house a few miles away, it was the closest bathroom we could think of. I ended up taking two back when she got back (along with our oldest), it was a logistical pain in the ass.
Anyhow, the kids had fun, one party down, one to go.
Now we are nine and fourteen
Now there's a nine year old and a fourteen year old in the house, almost. The fourteen year old is away at the two week summer academy, but the principle is there. Her birthday presents were upgrading her phone to an env Touch, and then an Ipod Touch. The nine year old got lots of little things. Time goes by faster than you realize.
Sorry about that heat wave
A few weeks ago when I poured some ale, I left my CO2 on. The next time I went to pour some ale, and discovered I had an empty tank. I expect most of it made it into the beer, but some may have escaped, and probably caused the current heat wave. Sorry. It took a long time for my schedule to coincide with getting a refill.
purple french fries
We got a lot done on fourteen year old's birthday, maybe too much, I was a mess by dinner time. We didn't get the CO2, and my parents picked up the dog's dope, but we spackled, primed and painted, got a cake, got purple potatoes for purple fries, managed to cook outside despite the downpour (the rain was over, but some of my kindling was damp), and even cook french fires and hot dogs and Italian sausage patties.
Anyhow, while trying to cut the birthday cake I toppled my bottles of Saranac Helles, spilling too much of it.
Children's birthday's are nearly done, save for a sleepover birthday party in early August.
Long long weekend
For the Fourth, I had a four day weekend. It wasn't enough. The actual Fourth was nice, we spent a long time in the pool playing volleyball with a beach ball, clean wholesome family fun. Then dinner, while struggling with my dad's grill, and then fireworks, legal and illegal. Mrs. Ha in her bikini still looks good.
It wasn't enough, we were short handed for the rest of the week, with high visibility problems, and threats of visiting Pittsburgh (not anymore) and the upper midwest (likely). Plus the new flagship product was inadequately tested, as were other products and software combinations.
I've mentioned the book club before, it's run by newspaper_mom, and every month or so the moms and girls get together to talk over a book. Fourteen year old picked the book, Mists of Avalon, and the person who picks the book hosts the club. Roughly ten moms are coming to our house on Friday, to talk about the book, and judge us. That last part made Mrs. Ha very, very anxious (mucking about with meds didn't help either).
So, the best way to alleviate the anxiety was to redo the kitchen. I figured it wouldn't be too hard, tear off the wall paper, spackle the walls, level the counter, prime, paint, replace the flourescent lighting with track lighting, get rid of accessories and replace them with stainless or chrome accessories, put up stainless ikea shelves, all while working full time, keeping up the rest of the house and dealing with med changes. Easy peasy, and probably only about
$300, err, $400, make that $600 aw heck, maybe $900? That's what I've been doing in July.
when flathead screws are outlawed
If I ever become tyrant of the world, I plan to rule with a light touch. I'll extend Second Amendment rights worldwide, with an emphasis on the well regulated part. If you want to buy a Desert Eagle .50, sure, but you have to demonstrate some ability to regulate your fire on a slightly smaller caliber.
Except for flat head screws. They're worthless, and production of them would be dealt with by life in prison.
One major kitchen remodeling task was leveling the sink countertop, it sagged about half an inch in the back corner, so water and spills would pool back there and make a fetid mess. I tried a few years back, and it didn't hold. I got out the bottle jack, cut a bunch of small 2x4 pieces, all while acting as a mental health counselor and priming job coach, multitasking. It slowly came up, I made it level, and then started rebracing it.
I was going to brace it using 2x4's to a 2x8 of the cabinet, but the only 3 inch screws I could find were flathead. Did you ever try to screw in flathead screws in a confined space using a cordless drill? It's ugly, painful and ineffective. Back to the workshop to scavenge up 3 inch phillips heads screws, and then using a larger bit to drill a big hole to countersink 2 inch Phillips head screws, to hold the 2x4 brace to the 2x8.
The counter is now level, with four supports holding it up, ranging from 2x4 to 1x2 firring strips, and lots of shims.
Better living through chemistry
Mrs. Ha ran out of her Abilify, and decided to quit cold turkey. It turns out, it was doing quite a bit. She is back on it.
The Lady in White is a locally filmed movie. I didn't find it terrifying, and it was too long, and had too much in it. It would have been better with less bad special effects, a few less characters, and a few less plot lines. OTOH, if you're 12, it's supposed to be pretty good.
The First War of Physics is a high level overview of the development of fission and fusion bombs in Germany, Britain, the US and the USSR. It was an entertaining easy read, and I understand a lot more about nuclear weapon design.
Ah, looking at wiki reminded me of the crazy shit they did at Los Alamos that made the book. Not Feynman kooky crazy, but lethal crazy.
They called it tickling the dragon's tail, making uranium or plutonium go critical for a very short time, just to see if they had enough for a critical mass. Several people (Daghlian, Slotin) found out that they did.
Next up, Hitler's Holy Relics, about an Art History Professor in occupied Germany trying to track down the missing Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. They were gathered by the Nazis, stored in Nuremberg, and some were missing when the Americans arrived. The wackier part of the book deals with the Spear of Destiny (not the Wolfenstein game), Longinus, Aryan Jesus and all sorts of stuff that we saw in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The book is a thrilling ride like Raiders, minus the car chases, fisticuffs, shooting, poisoning and comely brunette (there is one, she's offstage). Curiously, this was added to our branch library on June 8th, it's only five weeks old.
Atkinson's The Day of Battle about the Allies fighting in Italy, is the second book in his liberation trilogy, An Army at Dawn was his first. What a miserable country to fight in. Juin and Patton are the only generals that get portrayed favorably.
Finally, I needed to escape to Discworld, I chose Sourcery, in which the eighth son of an eighth son becomes a humungous wizard, and threatens to destroy Discworld, until Rincewind gets involved. This may be the last Rincewind book, and the Librarian and Conina (Cohen's daughter) all figure prominently in it.
I'm planning on taking the rest of the week off to finish up the house. I really need a non-working vacation where no one from work calls me on my cell.
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