Saturday, July 28, 2007

I was half-sleeping last night and watching HBO. I was awake for part of a show called Flight of the Conchords and it was great!

Here is a video by the guys from the show.

It is mildly not for kids.

Half-asleep HBO discovery.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Our weekend:

It started on Friday: My wife took all three girls plus a friend of our middle daughter to Ratatouille. At the start of the movie, they ran into a family we are friends with, and would be coming over to our place for an evening cookout.

I haven’t seen the film but I understand there is some point where there is a rally or triumph (of rats) and our youngest daughter whooped-it-up and shook her fist. The theater must have been fairly rife with kids but wife reported that the J. was the only one to give a shout out at that point in the film.

Meanwhile, I had gotten home from work around the time the movie began. I was a little late because a co-worker had come to me with a problem related to the density of steam (given the pressure and temperature). A CRC would have been handy—had one been handy, so I tried to find a table on the web and could not find one. I decided to get at least a ballpark figure by just using the Ideal Gas Equation: PV=NRT. What I got was around 28CubicFeet/Lb. I didn’t like the answer and so resumed the search for a table, which this time I was able to find. The table indicated an answer of around 10CubicFeet/Lb. I knew that water is not very ideal gas-like, so the true volume should have been less than what was calculated by the formula, a three-fold difference was kind of a surprise though.

Wife and children didn’t get home from the movie until around 9:00 and so it wasn’t until around 10:00 that the kids were all washed-up and tucked-in. We could then settle down and have our dinner.


The parents of our daughter’s friend picked the girl up nice and early since they had plans to go to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend. We went out to a local farm to pick blueberries and look at dogs. They have and breed Shortie Jack Russel Terriers, which are shorter than regular JRTs, but also less hyper. The dogs are really sweet, and it was fun picking blueberries.

The party had us (of course) and two other families, each of which have two children. The seven kids played amongst themselves and really were no problem at all. We cooked on the charcoal grill: A whole chicken, followed by a dozen Italian sausages, then burgers and hotdogs for the kids, then a Korean marinade flank steak and finally sweet corn (in the husks). Yummy! My wife AKA sidedishsally, controlled herself and only made two kinds of salsa (hot and not hot) with tortilla chips, cheese (two kinds) and crackers, classic potato salad, green beans from our garden and fruit salad (which a guest brought). Drinks? Of course: Two kinds of beer, hard cider, and a couple bottles of wine. Later we had coffee with dessert. The kids satisfied their beverage needs with juice bags.

Conversations were wide-ranging and friendly: The two families we invited had not met each other, although the kids largely knew each other from school. So, a lot of the talk was a kind of get-to-know-you type of thing. One of the dads related some show he saw where I guess it was funny that war supporters were not enlisting in the military or something like that. It struck the storyteller as funny, because it showed the war supporters were not sincere & so forth. For myself, I couldn’t follow the logic. I mean, we are all for law and order, education and healthcare, but we can’t all be simultaneously doctors, lawyers, police men, teachers etc. We don’t expect anyone who likes a given service to go into that profession because that would be nuts. How dare you purchase an airline ticket if you are not willing to go to flight school and learn to fly the plane yourself—greedy bastard! On a more serious side: We are committed, for a lot of good reasons, to civilian control of the military. The idea that pro-war people have a special obligation to serve, and anti-military people do not, flies in the face of this ideal. As it is, plenty of people who believe in this war have signed up. Does this make anti-war folks more disposed toward it? Nope.


My wife’s parents came over, along with my mother in law’s cousin (who is much younger than my wife) for Sunday brunch. We had waffles, bacon, sausage and fruit salad outside on the deck. The weather was perfect: Sunny but not hot.

The cousin had to catch a bus back to NYC in the late afternoon, so he, my wife and I picked up S. from her sleepover and all drove to Wellington Station. Wow! There was tons of parking. Yeah, because the station was closed! Ah, there are free shuttle busses to the next stops. We got out at the Community College stop and walked up to Bunker Hill. We walked all over town from Charlestown to Boston Common. Sore calves this morning.