Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 7.021: Book of Yum Cooking

Exile #2 stumbled across this recently - one of E5N1's early-morning creative endeavours:

Book of Yum Cooking

Egg pie Recipe
4 eggs
A half cup of raisins
A whole cup of chocolate
A quarter cup of raspberries
And a pie pan
Mix up 2 eggs with chocolate
When you mushed up the chocolate, put it in the pan.
When it is done, put raspberries and eggs on the pie.
Also put the raisins on.

And then, nestled amongst the "Yum Cooking" comes a moment of E5N1 fantasy:

Exile #2 (in E5N1's thought bubble): You can do screen.
E5N1 (out loud): Can I Mom?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 7.020: Sea and sand

Well, sea water in the cove anyway. This was earlier this week.

The real story is the sand though - there is sand everywhere. This is the parking lot at work:

but it could have been anywhere around here.

It's put down in large quantities to provide some kind of grip on ice and packed snow - I make that sound like it doesn't work, but it's actually very effective.  I guess it's cheaper than salt and probably works better when it's really cold.  I actually remember this being a thing in my youth - I suppose it never went away in Maine.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 7.019: Wobbly bridges are his speciality

(Oh I so nearly wrote specialty!)*

Congratulations to Albaniana, Dad and Deborah for their correct and nearly complete answers!

* It's getting increasingly hard to pretend that British English is my natural form of written language at this stage, since almost all my other writing and all my spell-checkers are in US English now. What is becoming of me?!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 7.018: Meanwhile, by video conference...

...crafty things like these sometimes happen:

Incidentally, if you're playing along with the rug city game, now is your last chance to identify Rug City #2 - or, if you're feeling confident, see how many of the landmarks you can name!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 7.017: Ice, shrink-wrap and a war memorial

My outing to photograph the loon wasn't quite that simple. Rather than drive to the park by the lighthouse, I drove to the next lighthouse along the coast and walked from one to the other.

The lighthouse I drove to was this one:

the four nouned, Spring Point Ledge Light. I set out to walk out to it, but was struck first by the icy wind and then by the questionable footing - ice combined with jumping from rock to rock:

and thought better of it.

Instead, I set out for the Bug Light, walking first through the campus of Southern Maine Community College and then into the adjacent marina.

Not surprisingly, there are no boats in the water - as you can see here they are not only brought up onto dry land, but most of them are shrink-wrapped too!

With the wind at my back and hurting the back of my head even through my winter hat, I was pleased to arrive at the other park after a short walk.

I'd run past this strange ship-sculpture a couple of times, but yesterday I could investigate.

It turned out to be a war memorial of sorts - nervously I wondered which war (finding revolutionary war or 1812 memorials is always strange given my nationality) but it was WWII.  It turns out that nearly 240 of the 2700 Liberty Ships - all built to the same design between 1941 and 1945 were built at a pair of shipyards near here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 7.016: Deja viewed

Having complained about my running taking me to places with no camera, I found myself with a couple of free hours this afternoon and decided to brave the bitterly cold wind to take my camera back where I'd been yesterday morning.

I got a nice picture of the light and the dual-carriageway trails:

But the big surprise was to see the same huge bird I'd attempted to photograph with my phone yesterday.  In the same place - diving and reappearing near the shore.  I got some better pictures:

and with the help of my parents on a Facetime call earlier, identified it as a common loon - its winter plumage threw us off briefly - but it is quite unmistakable once you've seen it.

And as a bonus, I captured a nicer picture of a previously-punned common eider.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 7.015: Snowbug

My run this morning took me back to the Bug Light where I ran on my first weekend long-run in Maine back in November. It looked rather different today:

Also pictured:  bottom left - the view to my normal weekday running area; bottom right - in South Portland they must clear the snow with something that leaves this median (central-reservation) arrangement on the trails.

Finally, in the top right - I photographed this bird (best I could do with my phone) because it looked so huge.  I thought it might be a great cormorant, but it seems too white in the front and the white-breasted variety looks to be more of an African subspecies.  If only I could run with my real camera!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 7.014: Exciting times?

Tuesday: I woke up very early to return to Maine. I got into work around 9 am. When I got home after work I ate some (reheated) frozen leftovers, talked to family on Skype and went to bed at around 8:30 pm

Wednesday: Woke up early and went running in very cold, windy conditions, work and then cooked dinner, did my laundry and the washing up. Went to bed around 10 pm.

Thursday: Woke up very early and went running in very cold conditions, work and then grocery shopping. Ate instant dinner from supermarket, talked to family on Skype and went to bed at 9 pm.

Today: Woke up fairly early and went running in really very cold conditions, work and then...

I realised I'd bought a knife and some chicken yesterday.

Now, if only I had something sharp to open the knife packaging...

Yes - a sharp knife (released from plastic without loss of life or limb) and the cooking of some chicken curry -  quite the highlights of my week!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 7.013: Unlucky for else

Exile #2 took E5N1 to "Math and Science Night" yesterday. As usual, apart from the grade-specific experiments and puzzles with a mathematical or scientific theme, there was an estimation puzzle - work out how many Skittles are in the jar with the help of an inch cube box, some Skittles, a ruler etc. Of course, in the end there is a certain amount of guesswork.

And look who guessed it right:

They left before the winner was announced, so he received his prize at school today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 7.012: Rug city #2

I know you've all been wondering, "So where did E5N1's magic rug take him after New York?"

Well here are your clues...

The rest is up to you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 7.011: To MiSci and back

I'm back in Maine this evening - after leaving home at around 5 to be at work at around 9 - I'm quite tired now.

Yesterday afternoon (seems like so much longer ago), we shook off our house-marketing duties and took the kids to MiSci (formerly known as the Schenectady Museum).  It was the last day of the train layout exhibit, which we all enjoyed, but the rest of the museum really gets better each time we go there. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon.

Here's Exile #4 with the rope-squirter, the girls testing their pedal-power and E5N1 marvelling at an item from my youth - now a museum piece!

It's not a cheap outing for a family of five, but it's a really engaging place for all ages (all of ours anyway - 6 through 43).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 7.010: Bobbing along

Remember Bob? He was the snowman we made on Day 6.346 (or December 22nd if you prefer). Well, he's still here. Just. 

We actually had a nice afternoon out today. Maybe I'll tell you about it tomorrow. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 7.009: Sproing-ed

We had quite a busy day - but not one that leaves a lot to write about. I ran 13 miles, we went to church, we went to the store to buy some sproings.

Hang on a minute - to buy what?

Well, that this the name that Exile #2 used to describe the springy things that stop door handles making holes in walls. We were missing a few of them and we're trying to chip away at these odd jobs (rather than the walls) around the house while we wait for someone to fall in love with it.

So, E5N1 and I went for an outing and bought some sproings.

And also one of these for the door that opens against a closet door - preventing the use of a sproing.  It stops the door opening too wide by limiting the travel at the hinge.

We don't have a fun and pithy name for this useful item - do you?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Day 7.008: Why is no-one dancing?

E5N1 found me this morning. None of the kids knew I was coming home and I arrived after they were tucked up in bed last night. He was quite surprised and then persuaded me to hide from the girls.

We had to get out of the house for breakfast as we had another viewing for the house, so the kids settled down to watch iCarly while Exile #2 did the last clean and tidy and check-around.

Since they were glued to the TV, I ventured out of my hiding place until I heard the theme music start at which point I dove into the kitchen because, without fail, at that point all three of them jump up and start dancing around the room.  Exile #2 said, "Go and start dancing with them!" as a way of surprising the girls, so I went in.

But no-one was dancing.

It seems they'd taken Exile #2's instructions to sit nicely and not mess the room up quite literally.

So I walked up and said, "Why is no-one dancing?"

Exile #3 and Exile #4 both turned around.  Exile #3 started to say, "Because we're..." The looks on their faces when they realised I was there and wasn't supposed to be were priceless.  Exile #3 did cartoon-shocked while Exile #4 looked genuinely scared like I'd come to life out of the Skype screen or something.

Good times!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 7.007: An Englishman's home, and this castle

I wasn't planning it when I left for work this morning, but tonight I am home and the kids will have quite a surprise in the morning!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day 7.006: Empire State of Rug!

Of course, it was New York city!

...and the teaser picture was of the Staten Island ferry.

I'm singing "Empire State of Mind" to myself as I write this - but only partly because of E5N1's recreation of the concrete jungle. The other reason is because, by coincidence, I came across this wonderful video today from Exile #2's homeland:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 7.005: started like this...

...which was nice to see as I approached my apartment at the end of my run.

Any more guesses for E5N1's rug city?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 7.004: Rug city

Here are some more pictures of E5N1's rug city. Apart from bottom left (a shopping area including a kayak shop - entirely from his imagination as far as I know), they are all potentially recognisable parts of a certain city.

Thanks for yesterday's guesses - keep them coming!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 7.003: Busy, but where?

When he can be persuaded to settle to something (or joined in doing something or just early in the morning), E5N1 is very busy and creative at the moment. He started creating scenes from the world over the Christmas break. Here is one such scene:

Where in the world was he thinking of? More clues to come if you don't get it from this!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 7.002: Railways of the UK and (not enough) space

Today was a day of two board games.

The first was played with the family in New York:

Ticket to Ride with the fan-produced and internet-downloaded UK edition board and tickets.

It turned out to be our most competitive (in terms of vying for certain lines) and was enjoyed by all (E5N1 was briefly teamed up with each of his sisters but then disappeared - it turns out for a much-needed nap on his bedroom floor!).

I'm now back in Maine and cracked open my Firefly game.  It's the same one we played with our friends on Day 6.353 - but now I have one of my very own.  It can be played solo, so I started a game a while ago:

It's taking up my entire table even with just me playing.  I've just been attacked by Reavers which is pretty much as bad as it gets so I'm taking a break (until tomorrow) before I find out just how serious the situation is for my crew.