Saturday, June 28, 2008

16 Frogs and 1 Lobster

Yesterday we went to the beach. It was cloudy and pretty nice out so I figured with my base tan, I was fine and just needed tanning oil with no sunscreen. No girly umbrella for me either. I sat out and in the open air and watched people go by, read some throw-away magazines, and ate chicken drumsticks I had cooked up on the grill at home. We were there quite a long time. There were some big thunder rumbles and the lifeguards cleared everyone out of the water. For most people, that meant it was time to go home. But we held our ground. The wind picked up and it actually got cool out but it was fine. I stayed out in the cloud-covered sun and even took a little nappy. Finally, we decided to pack up and head for home. On the way we stopped at the Sonic drive-in where they bring your food to you on roller skates. That was fun. On the way back from there, we hit some hard, hard rain but we sure needed it and by then we weren't far from home. Once I got home, I realized that I had gotten some sun. If you look closely at the picture on the right, you might see me buried under the other red lobsters.... I slathered on the aloe and am doing OK today but it hurts to wrinkle my forehead and goosebumps are not fun.

This morning I went out and we set a new record for frogs in the pool. Actually, there were none in the pool, but when I took the lid off of one skimmer, there were 9 smiling frog faces looking up at me. I lifted out the basket and it was an explosion of popping hoppies. I went to the other skimmer and there were 7 in that one! I set them free too. A few of them made their way back into the pool so I netted them out. The dogs chased them around the yard but pretty much leave them alone. We only had one casualty and that guy had gotten sucked down the drain and beat up in the filter. It is always exciting to lift the skimmer lid off - we have found snakes and mice and huge spiders in there. Someone should make a clear lid... (they don't - I searched already).

I had an off night at basketball Thursday. One of those days where I couldn't shoot, pass, rebound... nothing. Funny how inconsistent I am. It was still a good workout and afterwards I jumped on the scale and hit a new recorded weight low - 212. That is down 33 pounds from my August 2007 high. Of course a lot of that loss Thursday was from sweating and I will pick up a few pounds after re-hydrating but the numbers don't lie.

It is super humid out today so I may just hang inside and do some inside work.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


No that is not a picture of me tanning by the pool... It has been a slow few days around here since my last post. Some friends invited us out for a birthday party dinner and swim and we have hung out a lot. Lucie has been busy doing VBS preparation with the kids and I do some running around getting stuff for her.

My second cousins from Florida stopped by with their loaded U-Haul on Monday night. They are moving to New Hampshire for a new job that he got. They stopped in and ate and got showers and spent the night. That was nice and we were happy to provide a stopping point for them.

It is looking like a weak turnout for basketball tonight. I will go and see who shows up but I think we will cancel. It is heating up outside and we are thinking of making a run to the beach tomorrow.

Ashleigh got straight A's in her final marking period ranking her #18 out of 453. That is pretty darn good.

And for what it's worth, six months from yesterday is Christmas!! (Five months and it will be Lucie's 29th birthday again...)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Got Smart

Yesterday the kids got back from a week at camp and were pretty tired. They had a good time and told us a lot of stories about the things they did. They just laid low for most of the afternoon. There was a parent/child game night at church last night but neither was really up for it so we decided to go to the movies and see the new Get Smart movie. Loved it. It didn't do very well with the critics but it was very funny and it is on track to do very well financially. There were some references to the original show too.

I have a real exciting lead on a job that came through late Friday evening. I can't post more on it now but things took an unexpected turn and I am anxious to hear how this will work out. Keep the prayers coming. I was just telling someone else how many times we have seen God come through with something that we never saw coming.

Should be a quiet day around here today. Kids doing laundry, and catching up on emails, cell messages, MySpace, Halo - you know, all the important stuff... And me, I will be busy too. I think my front side is getting more tan than my back so my mission of the day is to correct that discrepancy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sweet 17

The Celtics did it! Here is some commentary from the news:

This was total domination. The Celtics obliterated the Lakers, who were trying to become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals.
Boston's 39-point win surpassed the NBA record for the biggest margin of victory in a championship clincher; the Celtics beat the Lakers 129-96 in Game 5 of the 1965 NBA finals.

Love it. I just wish Elliott was here to have seen it with me. But I don't think we will be waiting another 22 years for the next one...

Prior to the game, Lucie and I watched the Clint Eastwood movie, "Million Dollar Baby." Good movie. It was one of those movies I have heard about but never got around to seeing.

I did get the golden's foot hair trimmed and some tangles cut out yesterday. She loves to lay on the top step of the pool every morning. I have the return jets set there so it is like her own little whirlpool spa. But then she smells like wet dog all day. I have to shampoo her again today. The air is dry but a lot cooler and the pool temp dropped to 77º overnight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Serious Morning

This morning I heard some voices outside and when I looked out, I saw a county police car in the road two houses up. I saw the older teenaged (20's?) boys in the driveway of the house on their cell phones talking loudly. Right then my neighbor drove by, parked in his driveway, and started walking toward them. I opened the window and asked him what was up and he said the police officer was doing CPR on someone at the house. So I threw on my shoes and ran down and met him at the end of their driveway where the activity was. By then, another county police car had arrived as well as an ambulance and another emergency response vehicle. They were actively performing chest compressions and had a ventilator bag on the person. The person was behind the car in the garage on the ground just inside the roll up door (the car was parked head-in). I talked to one of the boys and he said that the person was his mother's boyfriend. The boy said he heard the car running for a long time and finally got up to see what was going on. He opened the garage from the outside and saw the boyfriend laying behind the car with his head directly under the exhaust pipe. The police went in the house and opened the windows (the garage is attached to the house). It is a good thing not everyone in the house was killed! As they were loading the man on the stretcher, the boys' mother was driven up by a friend. Of course she went hysterical and was sobbing and terribly upset. When they took the man past me on the stretcher, his hands showed signs of rigor mortis setting in. What a tragic day in the neighborhood. I didn't know the guy at all and only saw him in his yard occasionally, but it is still a sad thing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Flying Critters

This past Friday night we had some friends over for a cook out and swimming in the pool. It was a good time and I cooked up some good chicken-n-ribs. But when it got dusk, the mosquitoes came out in hordes. I had the citronella torches going, but they flew in under the radar and were chewing up our ankles. So that moved things inside where we watched National Treasure 2 (every bit as good as the first one!).

On Saturday, we went a birthday party that was also a pool party and cookout. This time it wasn't the mosquitoes that were attacking, it was horse flies. And they didn't want till dusk. I personally killed 13 of them! Viscious things. But the party was fun and the food was good and we had a good time. We came home that night and watched a dumb movie I got from NetFlix (In the Name of the King). Yawn.

But wait, I am not done yet. On Sunday night I am standing there at church singing and I feel a little itch on my face. So I scratch it and as I pull my hand away, I see I have a wasp in my clutches!!! I threw it to the ground and and stepped on it. Much to the amusement of the guy across the aisle from me who later said he saw it fly in and land on my face.

Father's Day was pretty low key here. Came home and ate leftovers and laid out in the pool. Very nice. I got a monopod for the camcorder (like a walking stick for the camcorder to steady outdoor shots), some corn holders and a butter-er, a book on the top 501 movies of all time, and a new toaster because Lucie broke the last one... But it was a good time and good day. After church that night we went to a friend's for a little cookout and hanging out. That was fun.

Today Ashleigh and Elliott went away to church youth camp for the week. That leaves Lucie and I here alone for the week. I bought a trimmer for the dogs - mostly the golden retriever whose foot hair and other areas is too long and getting all matted. I trimmed one foot when we got home and she didn't mind it a bit so I will fix her right up tomorrow. So between that trimmer and the new toaster, I got a busy week ahead of me!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Win Away

I came home after basketball last night to see that the Celtics were behind by 24 points in the second quarter. Ugh. Not good. So I went out and jumped in the pool and hung out there for a while. It was nice - 10 o'clock and all was quiet. Very warm in the water. Anyway, when I came back in, the Celtics were down by 18. Fast forward to the end of the game and the Celtics pulled off the biggest comeback in NBA history to win the game! In Los Angeles. So they now lead 3 games to 1 in the best of 7 series. No team has ever come back after trailing like that so now it is just a matter of time... Could be a good Father's Day present...

I had a good night last night at basketball. Several blocked shots, lots of points, a couple of turnovers but my team won 4 games I think and lost just 2. I was happy with my performance.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Day After

The bumper sticker you see above will be adorning my car soon. If you don't get it, read it out loud. Or ask me to say it. My mother sent that to me for my birthday. I got some other good things too - new Journey CD (with the new lead singer who sounds exactly like Steve Perry), a couple of specialty wrenches that I need, and a tray that Lucie really wanted and thought that I should have... ha ha

Another nice day out today. Warm and sunny. The pool is in the mid-80º's and just plain perfect. Looks like today is another errand day with Lucie. Elliott is going to a birthday party all day. If I can pry him off the XBox...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

XBox Wifi Escapades

The other day I saw that Radio Shack had the XBox 360 wifi adapter antenna on sale, plus 90 days same as cash. So I went and bought one for Elliott's new XBox so he could play online with his friends for the summer. We plugged it in and the console didn't recognize it. Tried a few things but there really wasn't much we could do - it either is recognized or not. I called Microsoft and they said it was definitely a hardware problem - either the antenna or the console was bad. So we took both to one of our friends' houses and tried it there. It didn't work on his console either, but his antenna worked on our console so we knew it was the antenna. No other local Radio Shack had others so we took it way back to the first place I bought it and exchanged it. Came home. Same thing. This morning we took a road trip and exchanged it at yet another Radio Shack. Came home. No workie. ARGH! So we called our friend and asked where he bought his. He said Game Stop. Went to Game Stop. Sold out. Finally we went to KMart and bought their last one. Came home and plugged it in and it worked instantly! Yay! So he is online with his friends right now and all is good.

After a good thunderstorm last night, the humidity is gone and it is just warm and sunny out. Today is my birthday so we are going to use a free birthday dinner coupon at a local restaurant. Kind of a laid back day.

I always hoped I wouldn't be working on my 44th birthday but that was because I thought I would be retired by then! I guess I was half right...!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Heat is On

Basketball was pretty good Thursday night. Just 8 people came so we played continually 4 on 4 for a few hours. I did OK. I am enjoying the mobility without any knee pain. My back was a little sore but fine the next day.

We had a busy weekend despite the heat being in the mid to upper 90º’s! Friday night we went with some friends to get some supplies for a church work day. The kids were at youth group and Elliott went to a sleepover afterwards. Saturday morning was pretty nice so I did some stuff around here, then went over to the church to help stain the cabin. I brought the heat with me because as soon as I got there, it heated up. Bad. It was so humid I was soaked to the bone with sweat. We all were. We got finished before 2 so I came home, showered, and hit the pool.

Later that afternoon we went to a graduation party and then downtown to Newark Day – they close down Main Street and a bunch of vendors set up down there. By the time we got there (6:30 PM) it had cooled down a lot so we had a good time with friends eating chicken wings and collecting free stuff given away by the vendors. The kids took off on their own for a while and we met up with them later. We ran into a lot of people we and the kids knew so that was good. A couple of our friends who went with us, including one in a dress, tried doing pull ups at the Marines booth. They did OK and that was fun. I didn’t try and took the advice of Clint Eastwood, “A man has to know his own limitations…”

We came back for some night time swimming with the torches lit up. That was pretty good. We were all wiped out after a long day but when we looked at the clock, it wasn’t even 10 o'clock yet!

It was hot again Sunday so after church we came back and hit the pool for the afternoon. It got up to 87º which is warm enough for Lucie to get in! Nice afternoon. Last year the pool didn’t get this warm until the end of June. Love the global warming! Sunday night was pretty quiet. Elliott and I watched the Celtics win game 2 of the NBA finals.

Over the weekend, two people complimented me on my weight loss. Since August of last year, I have lost about 30 pounds. Mostly since the cruise though (of course it was AFTER the cruise – I have said I want to re-stage those pictures with the new me!). Nothing fancy in terms of dieting or anything. Working out on the elliptical for 30 minutes, four days a week, basketball one night a week, eating less often and smaller portions. I feel really good. And according to at least two people, I must be looking better too.

This morning I ran around doing some errands for Lucie as she gets ready for VBS. Ashleigh helped her after her morning tests at school. Elliott had another half day and is heading over to other friends soon. Lucie is then going with our friend with the broken foot to get her cast cut off. I will stay here and shampoo the dogs. They have both been swimming in the pool but now they, and the house, smell like wet dogs…

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pool Update

I see that my last pool picture was when it was pretty ugly looking so here is the new one. Crystal clear. That is Elliott floating out there. The temp gets up to about 78º now and he and I have been in daily. He swims 100 laps a day.

Pretty quiet day. Ashleigh has weird final exam schedules so we take her to and from school at different times each day.

Marinated some chicken since Saturday and we grilled that last night. That was excellent.

Not sure of the plans for tomorrow. Lucie is off but Ashleigh may have friends over or something. Looks like another slow day...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Snakes Alive

So there we were, enjoying a nice afternoon by the pool, Lucie picking wild strawberries and me swimming, when suddenly Lucie spots this character. He was at the gate from the driveway into the pool area. The dogs were acting weird which is what caught her eye. Lucie yells out, "SNAKE!" I jumped up and held the dogs back from it while Lucie ran for her camera. Meanwhile, it was all ready to strike and was rattling its tail like, well, a rattlesnake. Lucie got some pictures and we dragged the dogs outside of the other gate. I thought that right about then it would be a good idea to put some shoes on... When I came back, it had crawled under the big Leland Cyprus we have in the corner behind the pool pump. Just its tail was showing so I grabbed it and started to pull it out. Then I realized I was not the reincarnation of Steve Irwin and wondered what I would do with it once I had it. About this same time 2 years ago I caught a snake in the same location and it bit me on the finger. And this one was bigger. So I let it go. The tail rattling concerned us (even though there were no actual rattles on the tail). I forwarded the pictures to the Delaware Nature Society and someone there told me it was a juvenile rat snake. Non-poisonous and is known to mimic a rattlesnake with that tail movement. I am happy to have them around the yard eating up the mice. Lucie, not so much...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Knocking on Knockwurst's Door

After much searching, I have finally located a seller of knockwurst. I love knockwurst but for some reason, it was really hard to find this year. So I made it a mission and I finally found it. So there will knockwursts on the Hale grill for supper tonight!

Quite a busy weekend we had. We had some friends over Friday night to hang out while the kids were at the church gym night. That was nice. One of them wound up spending the night here to take full advantage of scrapping time with Lucie on Saturday morning. So that worked out pretty well. We all had a good morning and she and Lucie had a good time scrapping.

Elliott bought an xBox 360 with his birthday money so we spent part of Saturday hooking that up and getting that going. That is pretty nice and many of his old xBox games work on it. He is selling the old game to a friend.

The pool is finally all cleared up and I got in and dunked. The water temp was 75º but it was good. Did some final cleaning in there and it is looking great.

I have some job leads I am working on and am pretty encouraged. I can't spell them out here but something may break through soon. Keep the prayers coming.