Bangers and Mash for the win
We celebrated our anniversary at the Tap and Mallet. I followed my usual menu protocol (pick something that looks interesting that I haven't had before) and chose bangers and mash, they were amazing. Mrs. Ha regretted playing it safe with the fish fry. I also had a pint of Brooklyn East India cask ale (tepid and flat and yeasty, yum) and Lake Placid Summer Honey Rye ale (okay). It's definitely my favorite restaurant.
End of School wrapup
There were lots to do before school was over. Nearly nine year old had an exhibition, school picnic, docenting, passage ceremony and after passage ceremony picnic. Nearly fourteen year old had half days due to tests.
Eight year old was asked to be a docent at the museum that her school is co-located with. On the way to the museum I noticed some young women up the street having a garage sale. After dropping nearly nine year old, I convinced the rest of the family to head over there. Thirteen year old got some shirts, I got an Ipod Mini with a failing battery for $10. It holds a charge for about an hour, so I had a chance to play with my first Ipod ever, I do like the UI. I ordered a replacement battery off ebay, set up iTunes, and forgot about the iPod.
After hanging around the museum, we went home and I grabbed thirteen year old for her orientation for this summer's collegy thing. It went very quickly and we headed up to the history stacks, where I could not find Company Commander. We went up and down the aisle a few times, but no luck. I ordered it used off of Amazon. I was able to find Fall's Street Without Joy. More on those books below.
Later that day we finished the bonnet for the exhibition. We didn't follow a pattern, just reverse engineered one from AF_mom from a few years back, and adjusted it by eye.
The school picnic was nice, the kids were a little discombobulated when I told them they were having "unstructured playtime" and we weren't going to hold their hands. Eight year old saw preschool_friend, and they went off to go swimming. Thirteen year old had no friends there, she says she didn't realize the picnic was today and didn't ask her friends if they were going. I'm pretty sure we talked about it in front of her, but it didn't concern her, she didn't pay attention.
After the picnic we started the apron for her exhibition, then had cake and a small birthday celebration for Mrs. Ha, got the girls in bed, and continued on the apron. The sewing machine died near the end of the apron making process, I'm not sure why, maybe some tension thing, maybe the bobbin's white thread was different than the top white thread, maybe the thread just sucked. I finished it by hand, and even though it was ten, I wanted to celebrate, so I mixed a strong rum and coke for Mrs. Ha, and a strong margarita for me. I'm not going to use Roses lime juice again, too sweet.
The exhibition went well, it was the last one our youngest had with those teachers, and only 9 more to go. It was about early white man's settlements along the Genesee in the Rochester area (Carthage, Hundred Acre Tract and a few other ones).
Eight year old picked me to take part in a folk dance type deal (that's what those early settlers did for recreation before TV), apparently it was not very manly (that came from an asshole we know who doesn't dance, if he's at his daughters weddings, what will he do?).
Nearly fourteen year old started walking to and from school, on the days we couldn't give her a ride. Another step towards independence.
The passage ceremony was nice. It's a school tradition that the Third Grader's do a dance during it, and someone was good enough to put the video up on FB. Thirteen year old couldn't go because it was too crowded, at least she got to see the dance. The picnic after was about as nice as can be expected, despite the earthquake from Canuckistan. I didn't feel the earthquake, but my wife sitting with me on the blanket and a few moms sitting near us did. Our oldest ended up with no friends to talk to, as they left for other appointments, which gave us the 3-1 vote on leaving. We had a minivan to pick up.
Call me UKOD
We got home after the picnic, and then picked up the minivan, it was only $900 after 10% off the labor. Most of it was needed to pass inspection, but about $200 was for the AC. It is nice to have.
I got tired of the bitching and complaining about the heat (thirteen year old wanted to run out to my parents because they have a pool and central AC), so I put in our three window AC units, a big one downstairs, and two smaller ones upstairs. They're all relatively new so they're not that bad at destroying the ozone.
I wasn't done inflicting harm on the atmosphere. By this time I wanted some GeorgeHa time, so I grabbed my last pint of PBR and headed out to the garage. I had a theory, sure, I cleaned my carb jets, but I never adjusted the idle screw (which determines just how closed the butterflies get). I cranked it up, saturated the air filter with starting fluid, and a few kicks later, vroom, I was spewing out underburned hydrocarbons and all sorts of noxious chemicals, a 35 year old air cooled engine with no emissions controls is dirty. I just need to run a little carb cleaner through it and figure out why the front brake sensor isn't triggering my brake light, and I can get back on the road. I need it.
I was able to attend the monthly gaming meet, and got roped into a game of Here I Stand, a six player game on the Protestant Reformation, and it only plays slightly slower than history. I was told it would be a long game, four hours! After 3 1/2 hours playing the Popes (and not being able to burn a single heretic), I left. They called it game after 7 1/2 hours. I've been told it's much better and snappier with three people playing, one person playing the Hapsburgs and Popes, another the French and Ottoman, and the third playing the Protestants and the English.
A high school bud was able to get me tickets to see Furthur (a few members of the Dead, playing Dead tunes and covering other tunes) when they played at the Highland Bowl, which is a nice small venue not very far from my house. Last year I even heard them from my front yard.
We had some nut brown ale waiting for his brother, then we all went off. It was a good show, even if Jerry wasn't there. I got in about 11:30 that night, to find nearly fourteen year old and newspaper_girlwere still up, preparing for the next day's garage sale.
We did okay too, getting rid of some big stuff and ending up with $43, most of which went to the girls. Some odd neighbors came by and were the big sale of the day; a bike, hedge clippers, a huge pink doll bed and a bin of tween girl clothing, for about $25. We really undercharged them, but they needed it more than we did, and we cleared up a lot of space.
On a whim, I picked up some Piave cheese at the supermarket, since we were having primavera, and it was a little cheaper than Pecorino Romano. It was real tasty. Sadly, the supermarket's Sunday flyer mentioned it, now everyone will want some.
In media news, I finished Service's biography of Trotsky. Prior to reading it the most I knew about him was that when wearing round metal glasses in a dimly lit alternative bar I resembled him.
Between finishing my BS and starting grad school, these chicks told me I did, I got one number, they told me to apply at ARC to work in the group homes. No dates from them, but a job that was much better than flipping burgers, and eventually a wife, lots of stories and a strong stomach.
Anyhow, it was an interesting read and I know lots more about the early history of the Soviet union.
In other media news, is there a more depressing book than Bernard Fall's Street Without Joy? it's about the French battling the Viet Minh in Vietnam in the late 1950's and early 1960's. The French decided to go for a heavy firepower military to combat the Viet Minh, in hopes of maneuvering them into a big set piece battle. The heavy firepower meant lots of logistics, which meant they were tied to the roads and rivers, and the V-M knew where they were going to, where they were coming back, and just where to ambush them. The French put too much focus on the military side, and not enough on the political. They finally left and split Vietnam.
The Americans show up in South Vietnam. They decide on an overwhelming firepower strategy, in hopes of maneuvering the V-C and NVA into a decisive set piece battle...
Still, a good book, and an easy remedy to the cheese eating surrender monkey meme. Lots of small French garrisons holding out to the last cartridge.
I stayed up until 10:30 Tuesday finishing Operation Mincemeat, about the British plan to deceive the Axis about Operation Husky by letting a corpse wash up on shore with disinformation, it was really good.
Company Commander showed up last week, I'm already reading it a second time. It's an interesting perspective, nowhere near as heroic as Band of Brothers, but still good.
On to video.
The Haunted Airman was a short BBC adaptation about a paralyzed airman sent to a desolate Welsh estate to recover during WWII. Despite spiders and hints on incest with his hot Aunt, it a was meh.
Come hither Natalie Portman fans, we watched most of Closer, from what I can tell, a story of four not very nice people having messed up relationships with each other. Another meh.
There's birthday drama. Nearly nine year old did not want to invite a friend to her party tomorrow, because her friend has issues. We strongly suggested she should, we warned her she might find out (it's a small, close knit school). Well, mr.s Ha put June on the invites, not July, one mom of the invited called the uninvited mom, who then called me. Sigh, drama.
I verbally invited her, nearly nine year old got upset last night about this, I hope she learns a lesson about excluding people. Mrs. Ha talked with the other mom, and says things are all right. Drama.
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