Monthly Archives: November 2008

Best Fiction I’ve Ever Read

I recently received an email from a friend that was one of those "get-to-know-each-other" chain letters. Normally, I would send those straight to the bit bucket. But this one actually made me sit and think for a bit. Instead of replying to the email, I've decided to turn this into a blog post to give me a little more breathing space to explain what I like about these books.

I'm well aware that few (or possibly even none) of you will care about this. If you fall into that mammoth category, feel free to skip this post. But for the few who do care, here is my list, with the books listed in order of increasing wonderfulness. Also note that I've leveraged a self-imposed rule on myself to not include more than one book from any one author. Otherwise I would have to include all three Lord of the Rings books, as well as a slew more from Orson Scott Card - which would make for a boring list.


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Eli and Carter

Nothing to special to say about this one - just a cute pic of Eli and Carter together. They're dressed almost identically, which was a complete accident.

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Recipe – Sun Relish

Sean and I made this late last summer. We picked the peaches ourselves, and picked up the peppers from a local grower. It's delicious, but I can't figure out what to put it on. Anyone got any ideas?

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We Be Jammin’

Over the last couple of weekends, I've made batches of both strawberry and raspberry jam. Both are certified delicious! I think I will be making another batch of each so that we'll have some to give away at Christmas. Sean helped me with both batches. He loves to help me cook, and he gets so proud when Lori makes him a sandwich with the jam he made. We're planning to make some blueberry jam over the long Thanksgiving weekend. I hope it goes well this time. We tried blueberry jam a couple of weeks ago, but overcooked it. Once it had cooled in the jars, it was as hard as a rock.

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Latent Superpowers…?

I think I may be developing superpowers. As far as I know, I haven't been exposed to radiation, mutagens, spider-bites, or extraterrestrials. But how can I be sure? I wouldn't want to accidentally crush anything with my super-strength. A few weeks ago while demolishing the old porch, I bent my hammer - the hammer I have owned and used for probably 5-6 years now with no problems - nearly in half. A week or two before that, I bent a spaded shovel in half while trying to dig up a horrible-looking (and foul-smelling) bush next to our porch. I wonder if I can punch through concrete walls? Hang on a sec...


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Sean’s First School Picture

Sean had his first school picture taken a month or so ago. Now, you've all seen the pictures we've taken of him. It is impossible to get that boy to sit still for more than three seconds at a time. Frankly, Lori and I weren't expecting much from these school pics. So you can imagine our surprise when we opened them up and saw the photo you see here. We are still trying to figure out what the photographer must have done to get Sean to cooperate. My money is on drugs, but Lori is convinced it must have been a bribe.

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42 Words of Wisdom: #11

"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."

- Douglas Adams

In the evenings over the last couple of weeks, I have been doing some research online into how to go about starting a garden. Next year, I would like to start a garden somewhere in our yard with the kids. The goal here is threefold. First, I'll learn something new and have fun doing it. Second, the kids will (hopefully) have fun helping, and (again, hopefully) learn how hard work can pay off in the end. And third (and potentially most importantly), we can save some money on our grocery bills. I'd also love to grow enough to can some of our harvest, so we can enjoy it through the winter. And making some homemade salsa from ingredients that all came from our own garden would be pretty cool, too.

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I love these things. The couple that builds these uses items found at antique stores and bits and pieces from the hardware store. I'd love to make one of these myself. They're cute and charming. I showed Sean the website, and he loved looking at the pictures of all the robots.

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Special Rocks

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but last summer we started collecting rocks from the places we visited with the kids. I was hoping that it would give them a trigger to help them remember things we had done as a family. It seems to be working. The rocks are on the windowsill above our kitchen sink. Sometimes Sean catches sight of them while helping me cook or wash dishes, and tells me about them and where they come from. We've got a "special rock from the beach", a "special rock from Maudslay park", a couple of "special rocks from the Saco River", and a "special rock from the mountain". I'm hoping to keep this up next year. Who knows, maybe it will eventually lead to an interest in rock-hunting or geology. At the very least, though, it gives him a way to remember special moments we had, which is enough for me.

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Batman’s Roadtrip

This is the last of the things I found on those old backup CDs. When I took a roadtrip a few years ago, I took a Batman action figure along with me, figuring I could pose him in funny places, and put a "Batman's Roadtrip" section on my old website. I forgot to snag a picture of him in half the places I visited, but I did manage to get a few - as you can see below. In the first shot, Batman is expressing his ire at the rain that thwarted his planned hike. The second shot was taken at a lake in Arkansas whose name escapes me. The third shot is Batman just chilling at the hotel, and the final two shots were taken atop Mount Carrigain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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