Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 7.049: Look who came to dinner!

Exile #2 and E5N1 are here (the girls are separately staying with friends). We saw four houses after work this afternoon and will decide on making an offer on one of them in the morning.

And after all that, we congratulated ourselves with a gluten free pizza for one and a dairy-free pizza for two (and a sit-down on a bench made of skis)!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 7.048: House, work

Spent the day dashing from one thing to another at work today. At lunchtime, I saw a house and Skyped Exile #2 so she could see around if too. After work I had dinner with some colleagues while the rest of the family were at the annual lip-sync performance where Exile #4 and E5N1 were on stage with their friends.  Tomorrow, instead of two homes, the five of us will be spread over three - but more of that then. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 7.046: Windblown

After spending a lot of the weekend with her hair in a braid, Exile #3 was regretting untying it before our walk on the beach on Saturday.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 7.045: We're on the Internet! yeah!

OK - we're somewhere else on the Internet!

The people who do the blog at the Magna-Tiles website asked to use my photos of E5N1's Rug Cities. Here is their first post about it!

As E5N1 put it on our call today (although not actually related to this blog-jumping news):

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day 7.044: While we were reeling

When the call came in that we would not be buying the house we had just spent the last hour doing paperwork for, we were on our way out to dinner at what turned out to be a fairly posh Chinese bistro (although not too expensive).

E5N1 walked in (and out) wearing this:

You have to choose your battles sometimes. And it made us smile.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 7.043: Two steps forward... step back.

As far as we know all is still moving along with the house-sale. Today we chose a house and made an offer, only to discover it had been sold earlier in the day.

But we did all have a nice walk on the beach:

Some of us were chased by waves:

And one was very reluctant to leave:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 7.042: A new dawn

Every dawn is new of course.

The photos are new to you but not brand new - I took them when I was out running yesterday morning.

We spent the day looking at houses - a chance to consider what the next phase in our life might look like. It was quite exhausting.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 7.041: They might be dinner

Look who turned up, making themselves comfortable in my Maine apartment today:

With someone finally wanting to buy our house in New York (fingers still firmly crossed that it all goes smoothly), they are here so we can look for a new one.

After a quick couple of viewings, it was dinner time - and where would we go, but a restaurant called Silly's?  We had a great meal - selected from the rather silly menu.  We didn't sample "Empire Strikes Mac" or "Eggy Pop", but we did have these:

at the bottom Exile #2's "Imperial Thai Fighter" and up top my, "Birdhouse in my Soul".

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 7.040: Our daily snowstorm

Yesterday it was an amazingly quick 8 inches of fluffy snow between 3pm and 11pm, today it was a quick couple of inches of wet sticky snow - also around the evening commute. Still, it did make everything look pretty again!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day 7.039: Magnetic, hair-raising

E5N1 was very particular about making this arrangement with the magnetic pieces of the Polarity game (it's an excellent and unusual game by the way!).

The hair-raising had nothing to do with the magnets - rather it was hair-styling by winter hat:

but worth sharing I thought!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Day 7.038: No Bob, but sled!

Yesterday, I went out with the kids to fight our way through thigh-deep snow to try to get a sledding run going in our regular spot in the backyard.

The deep snow made the run a bit heavy-going at first:

but after some course improvements (sadly you can't make a good sled-run without burying the odd child)...

it got going rather well:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Day 7.037: Adventure run

I did my run yesterday on the treadmill (for the first time in a year or so) and I didn't run today, but my previous run was in exciting post-storm conditions on Friday.

Well, I say post-storm, the snow had transitioned to freezing rain which had glazed the trees nicely:

but there was still a lot of snow, and it was recent enough that the trails that are normally cleared had not been touched yet.  This was not the worst of it, but still a few inches of fresh snow with an ankle-scraping layer of ice on top:

It was nice to leave the first marks on it:

Although they would have been erased a few moments later when this went by:

But the worst part (not pictured, but illustrated by this picture) was the puddles.  See how the wet road (where the red lights are reflecting) looks the same as the section in the foreground?

Well, the foreground is an ankle deep puddle, similar to the trail-wide and 15 foot long one that I had no choice but to paddle through about half-way around my run.  Yuck!

Oh, yes and remember the bridges with the snow-plow danger from above? Well here is an actual picture of the place - and you can see the sidewalk I run on had been completely cleared before the plow dumped a foot or so of compressed snow down onto it from above - I'm glad I wasn't under this lot when it came down!

Since I'm still at home, I think I might be back at the treadmill tomorrow morning, but after that it will be back to the wintery streets and trails of southern Maine.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Day 7.036: Other side of the line

We had major computer problems at the end of my last trip home, and one of today's tasks has been trying to restore it to its former state (after Exile #2 managed to get it functional again for Skype, printing school work etc.)

In the process I happened upon a load of photos that E5N1 has been taking recently including one of me eating my dinner in Maine.

It looks like I've been caught out, but this s pretty much a daily situation, I get home, cook some dinner and sit down to catch up with the family while I eat it. Still, it's funny to get a glimpse of it from the other side.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Day 7.035: Actually, it was built in a day

I'm back home - with the rug that once housed Rug City #3 also known as Rome. The clue (as so often) was there in the post title!

So no-one got it right - but I did love the fact that The Doctor in his Raggedy Man guise was mistaken for Shakin' Stevens - you have a point.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Day 7.034: Oh - Deere!

This is why and how we have a mountain of snow at the end of the parking lot.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day 7.033: Experimental, recycling

Two unrelated items for today (I'm still waiting for at least one more guess on Rug City #3)

A moment from E5N1  from today's Skype conversation:

and something from Facebook, I thought I would post here - I was challenged to come up with 12 albums that had "stayed with me over the years in some way." I was encouraged to come up with them quickly without agonising too much - just as well or I never would have come up with a list! I sat down to do it last weekend after stalling for a week or so.

This is what I came up with:

I decided that the rules meant (for me) - nothing that I discovered too recently, which ruled out excellent albums by Alt-J, Joan as Policewoman, Silversun Pickups and others. Some that really only come down to a song or two were also rejected. I also dismissed compilations and greatest hits. So here we go (in order of discovery):

U2 - The Joshua Tree: I can take or leave the big hits on this album, but whenever Red Hill Mining Town or Trip Through Your Wires comes on I can't resist!

R.E.M. - Document: There was a while when I couldn't see a Bank of America without finding myself singing Exhuming McCarthy - that became more difficult for a while after we moved to America and eventually I got over it!

The Cure - Wish: I'd just finished catching up with the back-catalogue when this album came out. I loved the rockier style and I could listen to From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea and End all day.

The Blue Aeroplanes - Swagger: I started going to gigs in Oxford with a group of friends just after they'd been to see this band around this time. I've seen them since, but would have loved to see them at the height of their game.

The Charlatans - Tellin' Stories: One to Another was the big hit on this one, but I love it from "Stone me - and may you always have no shoes..." and it takes me right back to 1997.

Tori Amos - To Venus And Back: Ah Tori - one of the things I had in common with Exile #2 when we met was a love of Tori's music. This album is so assured - her last before she became a parent, but I could have chosen any of them.

Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of Bewilderbeast: I bought this on a long business trip in the US and it remains the soundtrack of that year - from the opening track with its French Horn and random guitar to Camping Next to Water's heartbreaking "There's no one here to feel with me".

Radiohead - Hail to the Thief: Again, I could have chosen any of their albums, but this is a forgotten gem I think and I always turn it up when it comes on.

Morrissey - You are the Quarry: One classic after another on this one - more assured than his earlier solo albums and more consistent than some of the later ones.

Snow Patrol - Eyes Open: So many good songs here but I'll pick out It's Beginning To Get To Me with the killer line "Just ignore all this present tense" and "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" with Martha Wainwright - so good.

Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures: Our Velocity, Books From Boxes, By The Monument, ... such good song-craft.

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois: I came late to this - long after it was referenced on that Snow Patrol album above. I love the way he introduces melodies and then layers them over lyrics that contain so much poetry and information.

Anyone want to play?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day 7.032: Steamy?!

It was the second time I'd been out when the cove looked like this:

I'm sure the water was anything but steamy, but I suppose all things are relative and the air was bitterly cold (about 0°F).  It was hard to get up and out this morning and I did not feel well at work and ended up leaving early. Hopefully I'm not getting sicker than that.

I expect I'll be posting the answer to Rug City #3 tomorrow - any more guesses?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 7.031: Plow and scatter

We'd had two or three inches of fresh snow when I set out for my run this morning. It was still falling, but in the soft way you expect snow to fall, not in ninja attack mode. About a mile in, I was running on some recently-cleared sidewalk (although they are quick with that around here it was only about 15% of the whole run) when there was a patch of not just uncleared snow, but piled up compressed mess, soft but lumpy.  I was wondering what had happened when I realised I was by the highway bridge and that something like this must have recently happened:

Photo by Flickr user WSDOT (thanks!)

"Glad I wasn't here when that passed overhead!" I thought and carried on my way.

About an hour later I was passing that way again. I'd forgotten all about that thought during the miles. Just as I was emerging between the two roadways up above, I saw the snow pouring down across the road I was running beside - and coming my way.  I just had time to take a couple of steps back under the bridge as it landed with a thupuffuthwump where I'd just been passing.

What are the chances?!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Day 7.030: One day in January...

...E5N1 (and Exile #2) built Rug City #3:

(Previous cities 1, 2 and answers 1, 2)

I'm not sure all the buildings in the bottom left are specific ones, but I think it's recognisable nevertheless. Prove me right - or otherwise!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Day 7.029: Icicle when I drive

This is my car, but it could have been any car in the parking lot at work on Thursday - some taller vehicles had even more impressive ones.

Today, I ran, slept and lazed around the apartment. Very nice and much needed, but not much to write about!