Monday, June 16, 2008

Not to be outdone musically

Kelly had her musical yesterday morning.

She's been practicing with the kids choir at her friend's church since January.  A few months ago, she was given a solo.  She practiced it really hard.

I was quite worried on Thursday when she started saying her throat hurt, and REALLY worried when I looked in her throat on Friday morning to find a white spot on her tonsil.  Ken took a look, and thought it looked more like a zit or a canker sore than the dreaded white spots of strep.  But still... a mother worries.

Of course, the weekend was SO busy that even if she HAD had strep, we wouldn't have been able to get to a doctor to have her seen before leaving for camp, and then Ken would've just had to put his foot down and say "You're not going to camp where you will infect a hundred other kids", and then she would've cried, and then I would've felt like crap.

But on Sunday morning she seemed to have most of her voice back.  And the mysterious throat spot was gone.


She just had the post nasal drip and the suddenly-squirty-runny-eye symptom that I find the MOST disconcerting when I have a cold.

But I told her to do two things while she was up on stage.  Do NOT adjust the barettes in your hair, and Do NOT wipe your nose or eyes on your shirt.


Skip and his buddy Cole got a bit concerned during the first performance, because she had the squirty-eye thing hit her, and the boys thought she was crying because she was nervous or something.  Yeah... Kelly... Nervous.  Har har har.  That's a good one, Cole.

But even with her head cold in full flower, she still managed to make her momma proud.  A couple of slightly flat notes, but she was mostly on pitch.  And better than the older kids that sang.  But that's just her proud mommy talking.

And, well, maybe I had a bit of eye-squirty action too.


Sound the Trombone

I'm trapped in River City, people.

Well, one seventy-sixth of it, anyways.

Ken was finally able to finagle out of Skip how the Honors Band Audition went.

Oh... back story:

This year, like several years in the past, the band at Middle School is heavy and thick with trumpets and flutes; trumpets being the masculine everyone-wants-me instrument, and flutes being the feminine counterpart. There are thirty trumpet players? Forty? That's a LOT of trumpets. And when you factor into it that one of those trumpets is a cornet-playing kid who's been RECORDED, you can see that the bar is pretty darned high.

Now, last year, I made a lot of excuses for Skip, and why he didn't get into Honors Band. The audition was right around the time that Ken's dad nearly passed away, and Ken was out of the country, and then Ken's grandma died, and we didn't know if we should all go to Canada to the funeral, and miss the last week of school, bla bla bla, and Skip did about zero minutes of rehearsal while all this swirling stress was rolling through the house, and so when he didn't get in, I chalked it up to stress, and the fact that Every Last Other Kid that got into Honors Band playing trumpet was taking private lessons, and we just couldn't afford the time or money to do that for Skip.

Yeah. I'm an enabler.

So, fast forward to this year's auditions, and Skip's more focused. He really REALLY wants to get into Honors Band, but not for the reasons most people think. He doesn't want the glory, or the accolades, or the sweet gigs around town. He only... ONLY wants to get into Honors Band because every year at Halloween, the Honors Band takes the morning off, and walks up to Ben Badger Elementary (where Skip went), to play for the little kids' Halloween Parade.

And this year? He's already told me that he MUST go this year because this is the ONLY time that he will be at the same school with BOTH of his siblings. Yes, Kelly and Nate will both be at Ben Badger starting this year, and Skip is all family-sentimental like that, and wants to have this memory of "all being in the same place". I get a little weepy just thinking about it.

But there's the pesky matter of the Trumpet Audition. And this year you throw in a bolus of 6th graders who are eligible for Honors Band, including the child cornet genius, and two dozen kids who are taking private lessons, and one boy who only wants to play in the Honors Band so he can play for his brother and sister at Halloween gets lost in the shuffle if you're not careful.

Oh yeah, and then you add this into the equation: Skip discovered the Chapman Stick the week before Trumpet Auditions, and spent all his free time playing strings instead of brass. Yeah, "Smooth move, Ex-lax!" (as my brother used to say).

Things did not look good.

Err... that was a lot of back story...

So, anyways, yesterday Ken finally gets Skip to open up about the audition. They are in the car, heading to church.

Ken: So, Skip. How did the audition go?

Skip: I have a piece of paper to show you when we get home.

Ken: Sure, but how was the audition.

Skip: No, dad. I think showing you the paper will be better than me just telling you. It's a long story.

Ken: But did you DO the audition? Or what?

Skip: There were a LOT of trumpets auditioning...

Ken: And....?

Skip: Just wait. I really just want you to read this thing that the band teacher sent home with me.

So now Ken is stymied. WHAT could be on this piece of paper? Skip didn't look pleased. But he didn't look all "I just got suspended" defeated, either.

The piece of paper???

A letter from his band teachers. They're loaning him an instrument from the school for free over the summer. AND will provide it for free for the next school year...


If Skip will learn how to play it, and then play it in the Honors Band.

Seems there's a shortage of *good* trombone players in this generation.

Skip is just tickled pink. You see, when Ken was a kid, he wanted to join the band, and his dad said "Kenny, when you get in the band, there are going to be a hundred trumpet players, and you will NOT be the best one. BUT... if you ask the conductor what he NEEDS in the band, he probably will give you an instrument that nobody else wants to play, and you will KNOW that if you are the ONLY one that plays that, you are automatically the BEST one that plays that."

So Ken started off in the band as the ONLY/BEST Tuba player. He then went on to play EVERY instrument in the band (ironically enough, every instrument EXCEPT the trombone), and played so many of them that when his high school band went to a big foo-foo jazz festival/competition (complete with vendor displays), he felt confident enough that when a vendor offered to LOAN him a soprano saxophone (because they'd heard that Ken's band was going to be playing this one cool jazz standard that used a soprano sax, but they didn't have a soprano sax player in the band), Ken accepted the loaner sax, practiced for FIFTEEN MINUTES, and then played the soprano sax solo in the number and took home the gold! OR so the lore goes.

Yes, every family has its lore. And that's one of the old chestnuts that floats around in the Parker House. And Skip has internalized that story, and (even if he won't admit it), he wants to be Just Like Dad.

I don't blame him.

So we went to school this morning, Ken, and Skip, and Nate and I (Kelly is at camp. That's another entry), and the band teacher gave Skip a five-minute lesson on how to play the trombone, handed him a battered old Trombone Method music book, and a geriatric trombone in a beat up old black case.

I've been home long enough to write this entry, and Skip has already gone through the first 15 pages of exercises of the book. I'd say he's conquered about the first 8 months of Public School Trombone playing. That'd put him at about an early-fifth-grade Trombone Player level. I'd say by noon he'll have graduated from fifth grade, and will be as good as ANY sixth grade Trombone Player.

And he has the WHOLE REST OF SUMMER to conquer the instrument.

I guess that's the next you-tube video I should post: "Skip plays 'Flight of the Bumblebee' on Trombone after 4 hours practice"


Saturday, June 14, 2008

I kipped. Did you?

Today is WWKIP day.

Did you celebrate? Did you KIP?

What? You didn't? Shame!

Wanna see what I kipped?

Tough. I'm showing it, anyways.

Let's move in for a closer look.

Hmmm. Maybe that was a bit too close.

Oh, what's WWKIP day?

World Wide Knit In Public Day, of course.

I would've taken photos of the sticky Dairy Queen table that I was actually knitting at, but I think you get the idea.

It was a fluke that I actually knit on WWKIP day, though. I just naturally had my knitting on me, and I had a bit of down time while Kelly and her girlfriend were waiting for their lunch.

It was only when I got home that I realized the day. Whoopsie.

Good thing I had my knitting to distract me.

I nearly left Petco with the cutest little tan hamster.

As Kelly would say, "She was just SooOOOOOooooo cuuuUUUUuuuuute."

But I held my ground. This is not a good time to get a new hammie for Kelly. She leaves for camp tomorrow. And then she's got another week of day camp. And *then* we're going up to Canada, so she wouldn't be able to socialize it as much as she has done with Midnight, who is truly the world's cutest and cuddliest hamster.

Busy life in the Kung Fu department this week.

Goodbye, Green Tiger.

Hello, Red Tiger.

And, not to be outdone, on the same day, Goodbye Orange Belt, Hello Jade Belt Girlie.

My guess is that Skip will be moving from jade belt to green belt some time this summer. And that means that we go from two classes, three times a week, to three DIFFERENT classes, three times a week. And of course, the three class levels don't always happen sequentially. I foresee a LOT more knitting-in-public time.

Some of you (ok, ONE of you) asked for a photo of Nate's artwork in his books.

Here's a shot.

And I asked. He is not holding guns to the penguins. Those are air fresheners. Gun-shaped air fresheners.

Another one of my faves is having some cicada issues right now.

I guess it would be mean of me to show y'all my favourite souvenir from France.

Look. I asked for these all by myself, and IN FRENCH.


When Skip wasn't looking, his bike was stolen right out from under him.

Oh Natey... you sly fox.

Good thing Skip is industrious, and soon will have earned enough to buy a nice new bike. One that's more his size.

Work, Skippy, Work.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Late for School

It's the second last day of school today.

You'd think that by now I'd have some sort of good routine developed for the mornings, but it never fails. We still end up running around like headless chickens, with me admonishing my kids to "please brush your teeth... yes, you have to do it every day... did you think that maybe one of these day's you'd get to stop? we own a comb? Why are you choosing to not use it, then? ... no, you do NOT wash your face ONLY in the bath... every morning... is this some sort of revelation?"

You get the picture.

But today, with it being the end of the year I guess, I like to mix things up a bit.

At least, that's the only reason why I can think that my keys were NOT on the key rack in the kitchen.

So after the frantic running around for One Last This, and One Last That, and where are my socks, and can I put penguin-shaped ice cubes in my water bottle, and why don't my flip-flops work if I'm wearing socks, and, and, and... suddenly Skip says "I need to be at school in five minutes, and why aren't we in the car?"

Oh, Captain Obvious. Maybe if you'd gotten your stuff together BEFORE you sat down to play the stick for half an hour after breakfast, you wouldn't be asking this question.

So I run around behind the kids, clapping my hands together right by their butts, saying "Out to the car! Out to the car! Get your stuff and get out in the car!"

And then I reach for my keys.

And they are NOT there.

Now many of you know me. And you know that I am the exact opposite of organized.

But I have ONE thing figured out. One thing and one thing only. And that is that I KNOW where my keys are, because there is ONE hook in the kitchen, and it is the HOME for my car keys. If I did not have that home, I know that I would never be able to leave the house, because I would never have my keys, because I would never remember where I put them last.

Ergo, the hook.

And this morning, the hook was empty.

Cue panic at the disco.

Empty the purse. Check my pockets. Examine the dining room table. Look on the piano. Look in the fridge (shut up!). Look in the laundry room. Empty my pockets from last night.

The keys are GONE.

Fortunately, I know where Ken stashes his keys, because he's WAY more organized than I am. I finally admit defeat, and grab Ken's keys and race out the front door to where the kids are waiting.

And I see this:

Why yes, those ARE my keys, conveniently waiting for me in the lock of my Front Door. I must have put them there yesterday to make it easier for the robbers and thieves to come pillage our house in the middle of the night.

Go ahead. Laugh. It's good for your health.

Friday, June 06, 2008

First day of Kindergarten... again

We peeled out of the house early this morning, probably the first time that's happened in the entire school year.

I wanted to make sure that I was at school early enough to actually MEET the kindergarten teacher that I would be unloading Nate onto for the day.

I was all a bundle of nerves.

I shouldn't have been.

Turns out she's actually a retired teacher, come back to sub for her friend 'til the end of the year. She waved away all my "i'm so sorry"s and "I don't want to make extra work for you"s with "Extra work? What's that? it's kindergarten!" And when I said "If anything comes up, and the situation gets awkward having Nate in there, I'm working in the library all day, and you can just send him over." she laughed. "Nothing's gonna come up." was her reply.

Yeah. I like her.

And the first girl he met remembered me from when I used to drive her big brother in a carpool a few years back. And all the parents that I ran into (there were a ton), already knew me (hmm, I guess I do spend a lot of time at the school, don't I?), and thought I was just genius bringing Nate in when I did.


Shh. Don't say anything, but I think Skip blew his trumpet audition for the Cream-of-the-Crop band for next year.

Turns out his audition was today, and, as you may or may not know, he's been completely obsessed this week with learning how to play the Chapman Stick.

Not a lot of trumpet practicing going on.

Not. A. Lot.

None at all, actually.

Oh well. We'll see what happens. He doesn't seem too broken up about it, anyways, as he raced into the house after school today to turn on the amp, so he could practice the Linus and Lucy theme from the Vince Giuraldi book that he found on top of the piano.

Oh, that's nobody we know. I just wanted the song in this entry.

And Skip's not wanting to play it on the piano, but on the Stick.

OK, two end-of-year events down today, uncountable ones to go.

But the Volunteer Thankyou Breakfast is over. And it was lovely. I had my ear talked off by a few parents, though. My goodness, the gossip is flying thick and heavy this spring. Juicy, too.

*eyes bulge a bit*

And then we had the Junior Librarian Luncheon at noon. All the kids that "helped" (and I *DO* use that term in the loosest possible way) were invited into the library for a party, complete with gifts and goodies. And then I kicked them out and put a bit "DO NOT DISTURB" sign on all the library doors.

Now the fun of organizing the collection begins.

I only hope that we'll be able to find funding over the summer to 'invite' the librarian back. Yuck. I hate that they're pink-slipped, but honestly, (*whispers*) if we have to cut something, I really think it SHOULD be the library, and not something like reading specialists or music. We've got a number of excellent public libraries within cat-tossing distance of our school, so honestly, there is no shortage of books. And I've looked in the classrooms, and each one is brimming with very well-stocked classroom libraries. So yeah. even though I *ADORE* working in the library, I do see the logic in cutting it first.

Nate's little Kindergarten Graduation was very cute. I have photos... somewhere.

I didn't stay for the reception afterwards, though, as I had a little touch of whatever has brought J-jumping to her knees. It's the Elton John diet... Rocketman!... burning to the bathroom every night.

I'm just glad I made it home from the ceremony without incident. Hooray for living 3 miles from the school. Any farther, and there's no telling what might have happened. But I will draw a curtain across any speculation that might become too much information.

In other Nate's First Kindergarten news...

I totally forgot to give his teacher a present yesterday.

I suck.

But I know she'll be in her classroom on Monday cleaning it out for the summer, so I've got all weekend to come up with something excellent... you know, that excellent thing that I *accidentally* left at home yesterday ALL THREE TIMES I went to Nate's school.


That is all.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pachelbel, eat your heart out

A-HA! I have conquered the Dragons that inhabited my computer, and were trawling around You-Tube, as well. Here's the video of Sir Skippy, after a day of paying attention to what he was doing on the Chapman Stick. Heh.

Considering that Skip's probably been practicing on the Stick for about 3 hours total (in his life), I'm pretty pleased with what he's been able to accomplish. It's not concert-worthy yet, but good golly, he got close in an evening of concerted practice.

Mr. Snappy

Well, Mr. Snappy did his job, and he did a fine job.

Yesterday, we (and by 'we', I mean *I*) discovered that another mouse had been snatched up into the iron grip of one of the new Mr. Snappy traps that I laid out the other night. Straight across the neck. I'm sure Mrs. Squeaky didn't feel a thing. She has been properly buried, in a nice plastic Safeway casket, entombed in the faux marble stylings of the interior of our Rubbermaid Trash Can.

I sure hope this is the end of our rodent misery.

Today is Nate's last day of school... at his FIRST kindergarten.

I took in Starbucks to all the teachers. The rooms look so bare. They're all getting ready to be done. The walls are empty, all the art has been taken down, and once the cookout happens at noon, it'll be all over but the shouting... oh, and the commencement exercises this evening.

Yesterday, I screwed up my courage, and had Kelly track down Nate's "new" kindergarten teacher at the public school. How embarrassing that I didn't even recognize her? I felt (and looked) like some pushy new parent. "Hello, are you Miss Archer? My son will be starting in your class on Friday. I thought I better meet you and let you know what you are getting into." Yeah. Don't I look like the veteran.

But I hashed it out with her, and she looks like a lovely lady. I offered to pull Nate from the class any time that she thought it would be awkward for him to be in there (whether for him, OR for the rest of the class), as I'll be working in the library for the rest of the school year, getting it ready to either (a) reopen in September with new stock, or (b) shut down in September, when we find out that we don't have Library Funding, and our librarian gets the boot for good. She's already been given a pink slip, but it's an "interim' one, that could be revoked. I'd HATE to live like that, but such is the state of education in our state, that it's common practice. One of the Aides was in the library yesterday, and she said "oh, I'm just used to that. I've been "fired" 5 times now. Yikes! How can you live like that, and not go crazy???

Turns out that I have to meet ONE MORE Kindergarten teacher, though, as Miss Archer team teaches with another teacher, and it will be this OTHER teacher that Nate will meet on his first day of New Kindergarten tomorrow. Great. I hope the other teacher is as nice and roll-with-it as she was.

I have a video that I am DYING to show y'all, and youtube is being a putz about uploading it.

I have half a mind to go down to Ken's work and DEMAND that someone high up the food chain there find someone in charge at Youtube, and kick some Youtube butt. I want my video on that site, DEMMIT!

Of course, it might be a problem at my end, as my ISP keeps dropping me.

Oh, and joy of joys, our broadband internet is being cut off at the end of the month. Seems Sprint is in the bad books of the FCC, and is no longer going to be able to do satellite internet. Whoopsie. Time to go make nice-nice with the folks at AT&T. Just so long as I don't get Antonio, the telemarketer who knows nothing at AT&T, again.

I started knitting a piece of lace with some apple green Malabrigo lace-weight merino. For you Ravelry types, or anyone who wants to see what I'm hoping to re-create, you can look here.

Photos should be coming soon. I've only had to frog it once. Apparently, I can't count to six.

I am also knitting a garter stitch baby kimono in Peaches & Cream dishcloth cotton. Shades of turquoise. Makes me wish I was a baby, so I could wear it.

Well, laundry's in the machines, the mouse is in the trash, the dishes are piling up in the sink, and it's time for me to head to the library to get that whipped into shape before going to Nate's year-end cookout.

Mmmm. Cheeseburgers on the grill. NO wonder I'm not losing any weight in the weight-loss challenge. Well, ok, I've lost 4 pounds, but that's nothing compared to some of my competitors.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Nate's Magnum Opi

Is 'opi' the plural of 'opus', like cacti is the plural of cactus?

[well, would you look at that? It's 'opera'. I'm keeping it as 'opi', because I think it looks cool, and I don't anyone thinking that he's writing any operas about floral-shirt wearing Ferrari drivers in Hawaii]

Nate and his classmates tore down the classroom today, in preparation for the final day of school tomorrow (which is a cook-out). As a result, he brought home all his work for the year. Included in this pile of wonderfulness is a bunch of books that he 'published' over the year.

I will regale you with some of them.


"My TV in My Head", a book by Nate Parker. (imagine that each of the following lines is at the bottom of a page, richly illustrated)

I have a TV in my head. My head is the remote.
My forehead is Captain Scarlet. My left ear is StarCraft.
My right ear is Battlefront. My chin is Star Wars.
My neck turns off everything. I haven't even done it yet. I am going to do that at my house.
My sister took my TV out of my head! I took Kelly's TV out of her head!
I have a computer in my head. I play StarCraft all the time. I will have a very good year.

Ahem. Not bad for a Kindergartener (or, as a friend of mine mentioned "Not bad for a kid that's REPEATING kindergarten), if I do say so myself. I think he'll do fine in Public Kindergarten, come Friday.

Here's another book:

The Teachers Don't Lock the Doors, a book by Nate Parker. (once again, each line is on a different page, richly illustrated)

My house says penguins. I like penguins. Bart likes penguins. My house SMELLS like penguins!
My school smells like penguins! Today Bart and I decided to spray air freshener.
Everything smells like penguins because penguins are walking in our school. Bart and me sprayed air freshener at the penguins!
The air freshener smells like anything you want. Bart and me chose the smell of lollipops.
The teachers don't like the smell of the air freshener so they ran away and they didn't lock the doors.
The children sang "Party, party, Puffle!" When it was recess all the kids played dodge ball.

For 20 years and a month this went on. I felt very good and I never wanted it to end.

All Quiet on the Western Front...

... or is it?

The second set of traps that I set out haven't seen any action.

Can I hear a "Hooray"????

Last night, though...

Ken's going out to take the trash cans from the garage to the street, and I'm putting things away in the kitchen when I hear him call from the garage. "Kem-ma"

Imagine Fred Flinstone, as he calls "Willlll-maaaaaaaaa"

(ok, so he didn't call like that, but humour me. It makes for a funny story.)

Anyways, he calls me to the garage, "Kemma? While I'm doing the trash, please set out the new traps"


Apparently, when he went to grab the trash cans, a little mouse scurried under his feet and booked it for the safety of the zone under the freezer.


And when we looked at the rat trap, all the peanut butter had been licked off of it.


So now the garage is re-booby-trapped.

And I'm afraid to go looking in it this morning before I take the kids to school.

In other news.

I registered Nate for Kindergarten yesterday.

I did ...WHAT???, you may ask. Isn't Nate finishing Kindergarten tomorrow? Doesn't he have his little Kinder-Convocation tomorrow evening?

Why yes. Yes, he does.

Here's the poop.

In our school district, the schools are very full. Full to capacity, even.

And even though Nate is a sibling of a student who is currently enrolled, he is NOT guaranteed a spot in First Grade next year. Crazy, yes? And all the times I've gone into the school office, the only answer that they can give me is that they'll PROBABLY know by some time in August.

I can't wait until some time in August to know whether Nate's got a space in our local public school. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue in the fall if I have to take Kelly to our local school, Skip to the local middle school, and then Nate to some overflow school 15 miles away? Oh, and that school has the exact same starting bell as Kelly's school.

I was chatting with Toni yesterday (she is truly a font of all knowledge sometimes), and she said that at her school in the district, they had a new student start on Monday. Apparently, someone had left the school to go to ANOTHER district (that is also full to capacity) to finish the year (2 weeks) there, so they would be guaranteed a spot next year, and before the kid's desk was even cold, ANOTHER kid had moved into it, thus guaranteeing HIS spot at that school next year.

Hmmm, the wheels of my brain were turning...

I went to Kelly's school (I'm there All The Time, anyways), and asked the secretary "Is the kindergarten class currently full to capacity?" She looked up at me, "Actually, it's not, right at this minute. There's one empty slot"

I looked her in the eye, and, after an eternity of internal turmoil, said "Not any more. I'd like to register Nate as a kindergartener for the remainder of this year."

She smiled a tiny little smile. But it was a secret smile. Officially, she has NO OPINION on this, and cannot counsel me one way or the other. She did rush the paperwork through, though.

And Nate starts at Kelly's school on Friday.

The new student.

I hope the kindergarten teacher doesn't kill me. It's gonna be a butt-load of work to bring a new kid into the fold at this late stage.

I'm going to try to talk to her today, and just let her know that this truly is just a formality, and I don't want Nate to be afforded with all the comforts of a 'regular' Kindergarten student. Think of him as a 'guest', or a 'visitor' for this last week. He rolls with things so easily, and I think he'll be pleased just to meet new kids.

Or this whole thing could blow up in my face, and I could live to regret it.

We'll see on Friday.

And now it's time to take the kids to school

Have a grand day, all.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Knitty content: The Haruha scarf

This is my first foray into lace knitting.

You can find the pattern for the Haruha scarf here.

Even though the Drops Alpaca that I was using shed like a samoyed blowing his coat in spring, I really like how the yarn knit up.

I'm sure eventually, the loose hairs will all fall off, and the finished object will be grand.

Here's the piece after the knitting was done.

And it's great just like this, but it doesn't show off the lacy bits. Let's give that a dunk in a sink, and a bit of a stretch out while it dries.

Drying.... drying...

And now look at it!

So here are the specs.

1 skein Drops Alpaca sport-weight. 50gm. 180m.
Finished dimensions: 20cm x 100cm. (8x39 inches)
Needles: 3.75mm

And it is Soft, Soft, Soft. I may have to wear it tomorrow, even if it is 80 F outside.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Busy night in the Parker House

And we weren't making rolls. Get it? Parker House... rolls? OK, it's a baking joke. And a lame one.

After years of putting up with the half-broken kitchen faucet (just ask my best friend. She broke the handle off nearly 4 years ago, and thought she was to blame. If I'd been more of a punk, I would've let her think it was her fault, but honestly, it wasn't the first time it had busted. And it's been broken EVER SINCE!) Ken went out yesterday, and, while getting a replacement halogen bulb for the kitchen light got this wild hair and came home with a new kitchen faucet.

And then he was all He-Man and burly, and FIXED IT!



Oh that? That's my little jerry-rigging. We couldn't turn the hot water all the way off, so I tied a baggie to the drippy end, and then wired the pipe so that the drips would fall out of the bat into the bucket, and stay out of the way of My Hero, the Computer Guru Slash Plumber.

And then....

Oh wow. No turning back. And someone? Get rid of all that gross caulking!

And the finished object?



And it doesn't leak! And it doesn't squirt water to the ceiling when you turn it on. And the handle doesn't come off when you turn on the cold water.


In other news.

It's the 25th anniversary of the movie War Games.

The director and a few names from the original movie came to New Hip Company last week. There was a private screening of the re-mastered Anniversary Edition.

And there were give-aways.

Woot again, I say!

Ken said he could have gotten any of the DEFCON levels from 1 to 5, but thought that Nate, Little Mister Swirling Disaster Zone, really deserved DEFCON 5.

OH man, no WONDER I'm not losing any weight in this online weight loss challenge.

The last concerts of the year at Middle School were last week.

Skip had to be there both nights because he was in the band AND in the jazz band.

Ken got a little bored.

I just knit.

And knit and knit and knit and knit.

Skip played well, but I think they played better at Disneyland.

But I think he played even better when he was playing with the Jazz Band.