Friday, April 27, 2007

My Beatles Memory

The Minnesota Historical Society has a "fab" Beatles page. It focuses on the Beatles August 1965 concent at Met Stadium. They are inviting comments from those who remember the concert - or have other fond Beatle memories. The Hobbled Wife asked me to "comment" with my old Beatle story - partly to test the site during it's development. Now I'm a famous Beatle commentor Check it out if you haven't heard my Paul McCartney story before.

My tale is a bit out of place - happening 29 years after the concert - and it's not related to the concert at all. But - what the heck. It's my story, and I'm gonna tell it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

White-Throated Sparrows

Just found this cool birding blog - with lots of great photos. The Wisconsin birder/blogger appears to be overrun with White-Throated Sparrows. They've moved into our backyard in droves as well. Due to some rearranging of feeder positions, I've finally attracted the birds again - along with the squirrels. The loss of a birch (a "3 trunker") to birch-borer really altered the backyard - and the birds just weren't coming to the feeders in their usual spots. Now, I think the problem is solved.

The back yard is now so attractive to birds that we even had a pair of ducks of poking around the shrubbery near the house -- looking for a likely nest no doubt. This is the first year they've considered the backyard - last year they made a nest and laid eggs in the arbor vitae out front. Sadly it appeared that only 2 of 6 eggs hatched. We are a long way from water.

Dude's School in the News

OK - the article wasn't really about the Dude's new school, but they were prominently featured in this article about the upcoming Melpomene race. The Friends School PE teacher is using the race as a chance to get the kids involved in running. The Dude himself is "in training" though I think we are too busy that weekend (surprise!) to enter the race.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Olde Tyme Predictions

Several bloggers are citing this - a Ladies Home Journal article from 1900 making some bold predictions for the year 2000.

Here's one of my favorites:

Prediction #16: There will be No C, X or Q in our every-day alphabet. They will be abandoned because unnecessary. Spelling by sound will have been adopted, first by the newspapers. English will be a language of condensed words expressing condensed ideas, and will be more extensively spoken than any other. Russian will rank second.

Condensed words ?? Hmm - text messaging?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Put to Good Use

It warms my heart to see my nephew Isaac - and dog Maggie - putting to good use our old "Little Tykes" climber. Our kids got hours of enjoyment from the plastic climber. It has been languishing in our backyard for a few years now. I spent a very cold Sunday afternoon a few weeks back scrubbing it off so that the Hobbled In-Laws could deliver it to Indiana.

Looks like it found a happy home.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Home - and all's fine

Of course she the Hobbled Wife made it home, and we all survived. The Friday AM incident just rolled off the Dude, and he jumped up and down and hugged me when I returned home from work.

Highlights of the week - spending less at Target than Mom. Wednesday afternoon the kids saw me wince in the check-out line.

"What's wrong Daddy?" Maria asked.

"Wow, $92," I said.

"Oh, that's nothing," said Maria, "Mom always spends over $100 every time."

- - tomorrow: New school for the Dude.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

It’s been a real Friday the 13th in the Hobbled Household – yes, already! It’s the Dude’s last day of school at the old school (he starts on his new adventure on Monday). You’d think that knowing he had one more day at the old place – and a field trip day at that – would make it that much easier to get up and going in the AM. Alas, that was not so.

The highlights include the Dude spitting his toothpasty water all over the sink, mirror, and Dad’s hands – followed by Dad taking the cup of drinking water and throwing it at the Dude’s face. Sound satisfying? It was not. The Dude just got angrier, and Dad feels about 2 feet tall.

After changing clothes (shirts and socks for the Dude – just the shirt for Dad) we got to school – “Late Passes” for everyone – and now I’m at work debating whether to take the afternoon off so I can meet their bus – or just let Grandmama and Boppa deal with them as planned. I would like to be there to “make up” for being such a jerk this morning, but they’d probably rather I stay at work. Dad never makes chocolate shakes in the afternoon for M like Grandmama does.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Amplified Lyre

I love Lileks’ promotion of classical music:

I love rock and roll, but the idea that four people on stage, one of whom has an amplified lyre, can match the power and drama of orchestral music is simply ridiculous.

Speaking of music - I've begun to re-develop the calluses (sp?) on my left hand fingers as I'm hitting the guitar hard again.

The Hobbled Wife gave me a great birthday gift, Guitar Man by Will Hodgkinson, that's providing most of the inspiration. I'm also trying to set an example for the kids:

"Hey Look - Dad's practicing his instrument - and no one's even yelling at him to do it." (It's not working.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Day 2

Tried to snap a few pics - but the memory card was full and I was too lazy to take care of that. Other than that - a very nice day.

Oven - working fine - one pizza, and half-batch of homemade oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies.

Snow - Probably only an inch or so, thanks to warm weather, it didn't stick to the streets, though yards and trees look wintery.

Bed-time - Dude pulling his old tricks, so I left him listening to a story on CD, and came down to play on the computer - which explains this weak entry.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Day One

The Hobbled Wife left for San Fran this morning, and will return Sunday afternoon. Luckily for the Hobbled Runner it's a quiet week - Saturday being the only "crazy" schedule day. I suspect that M will miss Mom but not put up much of a fuss. The Dude on the other hand - - the jury is out.

Bad news: He hates school - and it's bleeding over into every other aspect of his life.

Good news: He starts a new school on Monday. Yes - crazy parents that we are, have (finally) decided that things are bad enough that he will move with only 2 months left in the school year. He seems excited, but the stress in the household these past few weeks has been pretty high.

Leaving the old school seems like a break-up - but don't worry, we can still be friends since M is still attending the old school.

Subjects for later posts:

Will everyone survive without Mom?

Will it really snow 2 to 4 inches tonight?

Will the new oven install guy really come between 12:00 and 1:00 tomorrow?

Will we christen the new oven with a Schwan's frozen pizza - or will we cook fish sticks?


Thursday, April 05, 2007

How I Spent my Birthday Money

With special thanks to the Hobbled mother-in-law, here’s an accounting of how I spent my birthday gift money.

Two of the purchases were “blog recommended”:

After reading a recent post by Anecdotal Evidence, I ordered a book of poetry by A.E. Stallings. Mr. Evidence recommends Hapax but I ordered another by mistake, Archaic Smile, - oh well.

Hobbled Runner says: Very nice, accessible poems. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a lick about poetry. I enjoy poems for very selfish reasons – they are (usually) short, and the good ones can quickly transport you “away” if even for a brief moment. At the end of the day – the only time I ever have to read – a short poem often hits the literary spot – rather than a book that requires pages or chapters of reading for me to “get in-to”.

From Terry Teachout at About Last Night, – see right pane “Top 5” Picks.

 CD: Songs of Ned Rorem (Other Minds). The fabulously rare 1964 Columbia LP of Rorem’s best songs, now on CD for the very first time. They’re all here: “Early in the Morning,” “My Papa’s Waltz,” “Visits to Saint Elizabeth’s,” “The Lordly Hudson,” and two dozen others, selected and accompanied by the composer and sung to perfection by Charles Bressler, Phyllis Curtin, Gianna d’Angelo, Donald Gramm, and Regina Sarfaty. Get this one right now (TT).

Hobbled Runner says: Very "interesting" – but I think I may need to “grow into” this one.

The final CD I ordered was one I heard on KFAI – Nachito Herrera, Live at the Dakota 2.

Hobbled Runner says: Two thumbs up.

Thanks to the Dude and his appreciation for “different” music I’m open to newer sorts of music. [Side note, the Dude’s latest favorite is 5 mile chase.]

Speaking of Anecdotal Evidence, he had a great post yesterday about Spring – which seems to have gone into retreat around these parts:

Poets and dullards alike, at least in the North, understand that winter is long, spring is short, and summer shorter – especially for kids in school. That rhythm, that expectation of long endurance and brief reward, becomes second nature and takes on an allegorical quality in our lives.

Damn Kid

My nephew Isaac sneaks up on Mao - but it looks like the cat senses trouble. Photo courtesy of SDMoose.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Don't Feed the Monkeys!

Today I began physical therapy for my right hand/wrist. The injury probably stems from a combination of keyboard stress and an airport travel injury – I recall hurting my hand when grabbing luggage off the baggage carousel in January. The PT tested my hand grip strength using a Hydraulic Hand Dynamometer. Some measures showed that the injured hand/wrist was a lot “weaker”. She assured me that it wasn’t weaker (didn’t want to hurt my big male ego), it was just that my body was reacting to protect the damaged tendons.

The PT was an interesting lady – just back from a motorcycle trip through Morocco. There she was spit on and pelted with rocks by locals – not because she was American, the cycle touring outfit often has European clients – just because she was not one of them. She was assured by the guides; it’s just something they do (spit/throw rocks). She didn’t take it personally. Another funny story: at Gibraltar, a monkey climbed on the back of her motorcycle (Don’t feed the monkeys!), it whacked her hard upside the head. She said it hurt even though she ducked somewhat and was wearing a helmet.