Monthly Archives: July 2008

An Animated Short – Man Falling Down

Last night I was sitting next to Sean on the couch at wind-down time, and he was drawing on his "doodle board", as he calls it. Check these out - he's starting to draw actual recognizable things that are more complex than just shapes. These happy faces are complete with eyes, mouths, and legs! Plus, even though it was just a coincidence, the sequence (shown in the same order they were drawn), looks like frames of an animation of someone falling down, doesn't it? (You can click on the individual frames to see larger versions.)


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Town Lake

Lori and her mom took the kids to the town beach today. As you can see, they didn't have any fun at all. Heh heh. Carter is finally starting to warm up to the water. I am starting to wonder if the only reason she was so hesitant earlier this summer was just due to the temperature of the water.


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Day Out with Thomas

We spent this morning in North Conway for the "Day Out with Thomas" event. We had high hopes, because Thomas is one of Sean's favorite things right now. But I think it was the combination of not getting enough sleep the night before (sister is sick and kept waking up coughing, which kept us all awake), and being overstimulated by all that was going on. It was more crying and throwing fits that smiles and happiness. We had one brief moment of fun - once we were actually seated on the train and it was moving, Sean was all smiles as he looked out the window and talked about everything he was seeing. But it took a lot of frustration to get us there. Maybe next year we'll have better luck, and plan a bit better for keeping things manageable for him.

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Saco River

For dinner, we headed down to the Saco River with the grill and a few towels. Sean headed straight into the water, and got a huge kick out of wearing his new Lightning McQueen lifejacket. He's been wearing it around the house ever since we bought it, and he finally got a chance to try it out today. And surprising all of us, Carter went in the river too! She's been avoiding the water like the plague all summer, and we thought we'd have to wait until next year before she'd be willing to give it a go. It took half an hour of her throwing rocks into the river to build up enough nerve to actually put her feet in it, but she eventually took the plunge. Grampy made burgers and dogs on the shore, the kids swam, daddy skipped rocks - it was a pretty awesome way to spend dinnertime.




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First Time Up North

On Friday, the kids arrived up north to join Dad and I. It was the their first time, of what will hopefully be many future visits. First order of business when they arrived was to head over to the playground, to let them burn off their pent-up energy from sitting in the van for three hours.


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Arethusa Falls – Frankenstein Cliff

Dad and I hit the Arethusa Falls / Frankenstein Cliff loop the day before Lori was due to arrive with the kids. The falls were beautiful, but crowded. But we saw only three other groups on the Frankenstein Cliff, and they were all traveling in the other direction. The cliff itself commanded a fantastic view - although truth be told, my vertigo had me standing (alright, sitting) about forty feet back from the edge. On the trail down from the cliff, you pass under a bridge for the railroad that passes through this area. I've always wondered what it would be like to be there as a train passed by. Somehow, we timed it perfectly. We got their, climbed up to the bridge to check it out, and heard the train blow it's whistle not 30 seconds later. Amazing!


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Sawyer Pond

After our warm-up hike of Black Cap earlier in the day, we were prepared to head out for an overnight stay at Sawyer Pond. I've been reading some about ultralight backpacking, and have slimmed my overnight gear down to something that will fit in my rucksack, rather than taking my big overnight bag. As you can see, Dad and Mike had some fairly large loads, however. Although both were more bulky than heavy, to be honest. But I thought Mike's looked especially funny, with that huge sleeping bag sticking off of the back like a chair. We started at the northern end of the trail, and less that a mile in the sky opened up and the downpour began. We were soaked to the skin instantly. But the air and rain were both pretty warm, so it was more fun than depressing. Of course, it scrubbed our overnight plans, as our gear got pretty wet. But we still got a chance to see the campsites and shelter, and the view of the pond with the mountains behind was quite beautiful. We plan to go back soon, and hopefully this time with Lori in tow as well.


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Sean and Daddy Day

Sean and I had a father-son day today. Lori took Carter out to run some errands, and Sean and I went to Maudslay State Park for a hike. We did about 2.5 to 3 miles total, and much to my surprise Sean walked the whole way. He was a little tired by the end, but he never even asked to be carried. We found some old foundations out in a field, and Sean walked on the top 2 inches protruding from the grass, chugging like an engine as he went. We did four laps before he was ready to move on. That hike proved to me that once I get him up north with me, there are probably a few short hikes in the Whites that he could handle. I can't wait!

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Black Cap

As a warm-up hike before our overnight trip to Sawyer Pond, we hit Black Cap. It's a fairly easy amble up to the rocky summit, but the roasting temperatures and oppressive humidity made it seem worse than it was. At the summit we wandered a bit, trying to discover if there was any kind of a ledge or outlook around. In the process, we stumbled across a small memorial for Kathleen J. Etter, the late owner of a vegetarian cafe in North Conway called "Cafe Chimes". There was an engraved stone at the base of a tree, and the branches of the tree were well-laden with windchimes of all forms. It was actually quite a touching gesture, even though I didn't know the woman in life. It made me happy to know that she had friends, and that they would want to memorialize her in that way. Next time I travel to black cap, I will be bring a windchime with me to add to the tree.
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Slide

Last week, Lori got an idea. She dragged the kids' slide over to their little wading pool, and Sean had an afternoon of slippery fun. Carter was still a little bit too afraid of the water to try it herself, but she did climb up on the structure a few times to sneak a peak.


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