Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 2.263: Room for one more?

When we moved into our home here, we wondered how many people we could sit around a table for a sit-down meal. Thanks to an open-plan layout, we thought maybe a lot. Of course, we would need more chairs and more table than we have.

I've mentioned before about my love of large but curiously specific numbers on signs. This was another one - spotted in the Empire State Plaza concourse in Albany - the second picture is the view from the sign's location along the concourse. I think a sit-down meal for 4830 +/- 1 probably takes open-plan to a new level.

Day 2.262: Sunflowers' end

I took this picture a week or so ago when the first of our successful sunflowers was raided for its seeds, probably by a chipmunk, and paid the ultimate price. Today Exile #2 removed the two tall ones, both of which were still standing, but had had their seed defences penetrated. The irony of us putting birdseed in a feeder on one side of the house whilst wrapping our sunflower heads in netting to try to keep them from being eaten was not completely lost on us.

We spent the evening at school meeting the girls' teachers - this year Exile #3 has the teacher that really convinced us that we wanted to send her to this school when we saw her teaching when we visited back in 2006. We've told various people that over the last couple of years - tonight we were able to tell her.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 2.261: Who wears the pants?

Exile #4 (on hearing that this hug had taken place while she was busy with something else):
I'm a little scared of the bear - even though it's not real.

Exile #3:
It is real - it's a real bear...wearing pants.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 2.260: The Pepperoni Sandwich Song

Have you ever wondered what is going on in the mind of a two-and-a-half year-old? Apparently, in this case at least, it's setting recipe ideas to music. In fact, pepperoni is one of the foods he will reliably eat - I suspect his idea of enjoying a pepperoni sandwich would be to lift off the top piece of bread, eat the pepperoni and then say "Please have more peppe'oni?"

Sorry I missed the beat-boxing that he was doing just before I recorded this. I suspect there will be another opportunity.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 2.259: Preying for dry weather

At the Five Rivers Fall Festival this afternoon, we enjoyed a quick walk round, the girls went to a puppet show while we chatted to some neighbours, E5N1 hugged a bear, the girls did the insect safari - neither of them caught this but it was wandering around on the table looking ominously at what everyone else caught.

After a quick trail walk, we left to get to another neighbourhood party for a first birthday. That was fun for all, but by the end we were feeling quite tired. The weather held off beautifully for these predominantly outdoor events even though rain is expected this evening and on-and-off for the next few days.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 2.258: Twilight at week's end

Actually it's Five Rivers where we had a sunset walk after I got home from work. I say work, in fact we spent the afternoon at a company picnic which meant rather good hot food followed by too many desserts made good with a 2+ hour volleyball session to burn off some of the excess calories.

We will be back at Five Rivers for the Fall Festival tomorrow - the weekend is shaping up to be on the busy-side.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 2.257: When I grow up...

I don't remember wanting to be a train driver when I grew up, although I certainly loved trains. I still would travel by train rather than many other ways given the choice. I don't think I ever wanted to work in engineering or live in America either, although my Dad would probably mention that I showed interest in the idea of management when he told me it was 'getting work done through other people' and that I also had a desire to share my technical knowledge about the art of programming computers fairly early in life. So maybe my future was all mapped out long ago.

Of course some would say I never really did grow up. Some would be referring to my height, some to other things.

E5N1 regularly lines up the kid-sized garden chairs to make a train with the small table at the front and sits in the front chair to drive. Sometimes his sisters are willing passengers. On Monday, Exile #4 made this train for him. It's a sleeper as you may just be able to see. As for me, I'm hoping he'll grow out of wanting to be a train driver and get ambitions for a real job - like being a drummer in a band perhaps, but then again - since I never really grew up - what do I know?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 2.256: Spotting the differences

Yesterday I downloaded Picasa 3.5. It features face recognition - I've been having fun training it today. It's very good at recognising adult faces, but is struggling to differentiate reliably amongst the kids as you can see in this screenshot of suggestions of pictures of Exile #3. It is surprisingly accurate most of the time though.

Its ability to identify the differences between faces has inspired me to give you the answers for the spot the differences puzzle from Day 2.248. Here they are - marked on the one that has changed from the way the camera saw it.

Incidentally the top right hand corner change was to remove Exile #4's reflection in the angled anti-shoplifting mirrors and now I should make sure I remember to remove her likenesses from Exile #3's face recognition set.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 2.255: Mirror 7o77iM 225.5 Y6O

Exile #4 seems to have trouble reading digital clocks when the show fives and twos - admittedly a traditional seven element display hardly excels at these - although it does better with them than with '4' in my opinion. That all has something to do with the post title.

E5N1 had two play-dates today - the first was a planned one this morning, the second was a last minute thing, but both were fun for all. Exile #2 captured this very short video clip of the musical experimentation during the early evening. I thought the end was pretty funny.

Rock and Roll excess in the land of the Exiles!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 2.254: New sleeping arrangements

To tell the truth there have been some teething problems with the new sleeping arrangements. Not least of which is E5N1 getting out of his bed and disturbing his sisters:

Maybe we should have gone with plan A and left Exile #3 in her own room, moved Exile #4 into the guest room (except for when we have guests of course - do come and visit!) and moved E5N1 out of his crib/cot into the toddler bed.

Maybe we did.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 2.253: Good weekend and goodnight!

Our weekend went something like this: two of Exile #3's friends came over, I bought some new shoes, we played Beatles Rock Band, we talked like pirates, we went swimming, E5N1 played with a parsnip in the water table, I led the discussion in our gathering and wrote about it for the church blog, we got the kids into bed twice - except in E5N1's case when it took about seven times last night, but only once tonight. We've just had a snack and now we need to call it a day.

Neither of us was asleep when this picture was taken, but he is now and I will be in about ten minutes all being well.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 2.252: E5N1 walks the plank

I've been celebrating International Talk Like A Pirate Day with a lot of bad jokes from - mostly well received by Exile #3, but met with groans from Exile #2 and bemused looks from the others.

I also made E5N1 walk the plank. Probably.

Here's my favourite joke of the day - although I didn't get a laugh from this one - it's tenuously pirate with a large side-serving of scientific geekery:

Did you hear about the pirates who went to Alpha Centauri?
They spent four and a half years at c!

Many of you may be asking, "Why do I think these jokes are funny?" Because they Arrrrr!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 2.251: The Beatles: bigger than...

...other Rock Band games when it comes to drawing a crowd on a Friday night apparently.

Several non-regulars made an appearance tonight to play and sing Beatles songs. We made it through their whole career in forty-something selected songs.

It was a lot of fun. Afterwards, a hardy few cranked out the original Rock Band game and played a couple of sets.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 2.250: There goes the sun

I saw this sunset in slightly earlier and more dramatic (but not necessarily more photogenic) form as I drove home this evening. When I got in I grabbed the camera and rushed out to photograph it.

Last night we cracked open Beatles Rock Band and Exile #2 sang and I played guitar (both on 'Expert' of course) for a while. I expect that it will take its place tomorrow for the return of our Friday night Rock Band sessions - maybe not for the whole evening though - we'll see.

So here's an easy one to get you back in the swing. There are others that need solving too! This one is pop pun 105 for title watchers and I say it's all right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 2.249: Man in a little boat

Exile #2 snapped this picture of E5N1 sitting in his 'boat' yesterday.

Of course those of us over three years of age know that it looks nothing like a real boat.

Hang-on, what's that down there in that large empty lock?

It's a smiley man in a tiny boat in a huge lock at the Waterford Tugboat Roundup on Saturday.

One of my colleagues told me he was hoping for early snow this year - so maybe I'll keep E5N1's boat (no speech-marks this time - who am I to judge?!) close at hand just in case we need it sometime soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 2.248: Accessorized/Accessorised

I find myself occasionally confused over UK vs US English usage and even which spelling to use in various contexts. The girls have no such problems. Choosing which products to spend their pocket money on in this store-of-plenty was a challenge for them however. Your challenge is to find the eleven differences!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 2.247: He has ceased to bee...

When we got home from church on Sunday evening around dusk, we were surprised to see a bee visiting our last and smallest sunflower. When I went out to wait for the bus with the girls this morning I was even more surprised to find it still there.

It's hard to imagine how it can have died mid-visit, but it appears to have done just that. On the plus-side it posed very patiently for this picture.

...he is bee-reft of life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 2.246: Many hands make bark spread

This afternoon we went over to the school to do our bit for the community work day. We chose to make a start spreading a huge pile of bark chippings over the playground - thinking that we might both be able to work while the kids entertained themselves. For a while it looked like we had a huge task ahead of us, then a few more people arrived, and then more and more. It was fun and successful.

Here is an hour of hard work condensed into 2 minutes for your viewing pleasure!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 2.245: Boat, bounce and drop

Late this morning we dropped Exile #4 off at a friend's apartment in a brand new apartment complex and the rest of us went to get lunch and then headed up to the Waterford Tugboat Roundup. It's a fun event, kind of British in its haphazardness.

We walked past the tugs and stalls (pictured above). The kids bounced about.

A nice lady was insistent on taking a picture of E5N1 and me - and did a very nice job.

When we got back to the car, I noticed that our event parking was at the local trash facility. Only in America could you see a pair of signs like this I would imagine (you probably need to click to read them).

And now I am ready to drop off. Goodnight.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 2.244: Friday Haikus #5

Rhythm and tassels
Defending a proud culture:
Indian dancing

Lines merge and tangle
Moment of celebration:
A movement captured.

Apologies for the poems which are neither good nor funny tonight. I liked the pictures though - I hope you do too!
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