Saturday, October 25, 2008

The House Mouse

So Kate mentions that something stinks the other night and immediately I think, she is speaking of me. "Moi", I say? And suprisingly she says no. I look for the dog cause she is always sneaking a SBD out and slinking away, but she is outside.

I have a sinus thing going on so I have to trust that wifey is not crazey.

A day later she says this again, but I can't confirm or deny it, she does, however, get a general area. The couch. I suggest its the dog and maybe she had an accident or something, but after sniff testing the couch I am unable to find the source.

I come home the next night and I can smell it. As soon as I walked in the door, a faint odor, a whiff of death. I pull the couch away from the window/wall and there it is - a small rodent, a mouse has expired beneath our couch. In 7 years this has never happened, but out in the shed, I will come across one every once in a while.

I did find one that was under th house a few years ago, but I think it was there when we bought the house, cause it was petrified and this was when I did the first under-inspection of the house to make sure there were no foundation problems or leaks. I foamed the under side to seal it up tight back then.

Anyway, I digress. I scooped it up and tossed it outside and the next day it was gone. So something had taken it away as a snack or something.

I thought of my old cat that passed away earlier this year and how he was a good mouser. He actually caught the red laser dot once, I swear.

I also thought about putting his little mouse head on a toothpick and displaying it on the front lawn as a warning to other area rodents, but Kate says thats silly. She suggested a small sign that says "No Trespassing". I say THAT'S silly, what if the rodents are French or Mexican?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Why McCain Will Lose Virginia

Three young men showed up at my door Saturday morning, they ignored the Obama sign on my front lawn and knocked on the door to distribute McCain/Palin and Keith Fimian brochures. I thought it odd it took three of them to deliver these materials. I did not want to talk to anyone that would have the guts to deliver political materials to someone who had a sign in their yard making it pretty clear who they were supporting.

I didn't know they were supporting the Republican candidate initially because I didn't answer the door. I waited for them to go away, like I do when the Hare Krishnas come to my door. I retrieved the information after they left, its easier to let salesmen and others go away than to deal with them. I ran a quick errand to the bank and after I got back from that, these guys were making their way down the other side of the street. At that moment, it struck me why I resented these kids in my neighborhood.

I took the opportunity to ask them if they saw the Obama sign in my front yard and why would they think that I would be interested in their candidates information. They were nice enough, introducing themselves to me and apologized for not seeing the sign, which is prominently displayed about three feet from the sidewalk and road.

They all looked young, so I asked them what they did for a living. They all were high school students, all three. I pointed out they none of them had ever had a full time job, ran a business, paid a mortgage, made a car payment let alone been out from under their parents wing. How could they even think about telling me who I should vote for?

I also told them to go back to their precinct captain at their headquarters and tell them never to send a college student or high school student into a blue collar neighborhood to dispense their materials. It doesn't play well. Four years ago, Kerry had college students bussed in to steel towns in Pennsylvania and that didn't go over very well.

They were speechless.

I wish I had all my bills paid for by someone else, no responsibility and thought my tax rate was 5% (for sales tax). I'd be out stumping for the party in power too.

The guys that represent the Republicans in Virginia are out of touch. This is why I think they will lose Virginia.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Its Fall

Taken on the front porch. The leaves on our birch tree have all turned bright yellow and have fallen on the front porch. Kate loves this time of year. I worked on him to wear that Redskin shirt for three days, and once he finally said he would wear it, its his "go-to" shirt. He loves it, but it was tough to convince him initially.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Pumpkin Lift

While I was at the Skins game, Kate took Jack to an Orchard that had pumpkins and hayrides. He is going to think that all weekends in the Fall begin and end with Hay rides.

Here is a short movie Kate took of him lifting one of the pumpkins. Its almost as big as he is. He gave up the second try, but he has good from on the first try.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Festival

Last week it was the Fall for Fairfax, this week was the Fall Festival, which is sponsored by the city, as opposed to the county. Lots of people were there as usual, the weather made it extra nice, so lots of people showed up.

I got Jack a balloon and he liked that, it became untied and so I got another one since he enjoyed the first so much. They were free and about the only thing all the politicians were giving away that he appreciated.

This was the look shortly after the balloon flew away, but he smiled when he got a new one. Wish all the ills were so easy to soothe.

They had a few classic cars there, I took a picture of a "Woodie" wagon and a Caddy with White walls.

As far as the Woodie goes, if you get into a wreck, who do you take it to, a carpenter or Maaco?

The Caddy

Kate saw one of her "Work-It Mom" bloggers, she was selling a few shirts that had pithy sayings like "Mommy Needs a Cocktail" or a baby shirt that says "I went through the birth canal and all I got was this lousy t-shirt".

Here's the link; BabyBrewing

Kate bought a shirt that said "Mommy Needs a Latte". She looks good in that shirt.

Good time, just wish I had taken more pictures.

The Skins Game

So it wasn't the best game of the year. They actually beat themselves more than the Rams beating them. But I got to go and the weather was great.

I got some cool pictures, too.

A panorama of the stadium stitched together from several pictures.

When we were there (Bill, Kate's cousin took me since Jimmy and Reet are on vacation), I noticed a few funny things while at the game; for instance, why do people wear jerseys from teams that have nothing to do with the game they are at? I saw a guy wearing a Raiders jersey, a few Eagles jerseys, Chicago jerseys and even a Doug Williams jersey, from his days in Tampa. Tampa Bay. The orange uniform.

One guy in our section had the balls to wear a T.O. jersey. He had nearly the whole section booing at him every time he got up to get a drink or go to the bathroom. Some pretty bad stuff was yelled at that guy, but what did he expect? He was wearing a Dallas Cowboys T.O. jersey, at a Redskins game, where the Cowboys weren't playing. Some people are just assholes.

The other idiots are these people that drink waaaaaaaay too much. They end up on the metro, usually falling asleep. Well, at that point, I think they are fair game.

This guy got the "Ass Face". Bill took the picture.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Future Guitar God

I think he has the gift of entertaining.

No Comment

The Goat Whisperer

Jack liked to get close to the goats and just watch them. Its fascinating to see how he interacts with these animals, studying them.

The Little Slide

The Big Slide

This was just as much fun for me than Jack. It took some convincing to get him to go, but when he did, he liked it. Who doesn't like slides?

Smelly Pigs


Visit to Cox Farms

Since I worked a few hours last Saturday for the Library at the Fall for Fairfax, I took three hours of comp time on Friday and picked Jack up early, came home and picked up Kate and we went to Cox Farms. Cox Farms is a farm out in Centreville that has all types of farm animals and plenty for kids to do. Cows, Pigs, Goats, Calves, slides, pumpkins, a corn field maze and a hay ride.

We went to see the little pigs first, about ten of them in a pen. Boy oh boy, the term "Knock a Buzzard off a Turnip truck at 50 feet" could apply to that pen. I caught a wiff while we were looking at the pigs and it nearly knocked me off my feet. If you aren't ready for it, its jarring. (And I have the worlds worst sense of smell)

Jack wasn't into the big slides at first, so we did a few other things like the corn field maze, (which is not a maze at all, just a path that has a few alternate paths that lead to the same path.

Jack and Kate in Cornundrum

The Amazing Cornundrum

The largest pumpkin in the state was there as well, it weighs 1,006 pounds and greets you as you enter.

Jack did not want to wear his wrist band for some odd reason. He was pretty obstinent about it, too. We must have spent a good five minutes trying to convince him to wear it, to no avail. That kid has one serious focus when it comes to not doing something sometimes. I ended up wearing it.

After a few tries, he went with me on the big potato sack slide that you might find at a State Fair and he liked that. Kate caught it on video and I returned the favor when he decided to go with her on another slide that is a bit smaller.

Waiting for the Hay Ride

Getting something to eat

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Some People Shouldn't Drive

So after I picked Jack up and we are headed home, I stop at a light. The people in front of me are looking at something to the side. I thought they were looking at some people that were walking through a parking lot, but then I realized they were trying to get the attention of the guy in the car next to them.

The young guy in the back seat decides to undo his seatbelt and get out, that's when I see why they were trying to get the old guys attention. He left his cane on the back of his car, nestled between the back window and the trunk.

As the young guy grabs the cane and knocks on the window of the old guy, he looks up and takes his foot off of the brake. He starts to roll forward. The guy says to him to stop, but he just looks at the young guy while rolling. After what seemed like forever, the young guy grabs the car and is trying to keep it from rolling forward. Bam, he runs into the car in front of him. The young guy puts the cane through the back window and gets back into the other car, since the light has now turned and traffic is waiting for us to go.

I watched all of this and how it unfolded. I couldn't fathom that the old guy was just helpless to push on the brake to stop his car from hitting the car in front of him. He was so stunned that he was unable to keep his foot on the brake.

I looked over as I passed him and his mouth was pen and he still looked lost. He looked to be about 80 or so and I thought, how did you get your license? The guy that got hit in front of him was just getting out of his car and he did not look amused.

Its tough enough to drive even when you have all your faculties, but there is a limit that you just have to be able to hold when it comes to driving and thats not running into the person directly in front of you at a light. If you can't do that, its time you give up your license.

While I'm on the subject, why Virginia hasn't passed a law as far as outlawing cell phone use while driving or at the least, no texting while driving, I have no idea.

My commute is as short as 2.6 miles, but in those 2.6 miles I see (almost daily) one person who throws their cigarette out their window onto the ground and someone else who "blocks the box" at the intersection in front of my development. Even though I have a green light, the bozo has now blocked the turn because the traffic backed up and he had to milk the full space, leaving no room for anyone to get past. I sit and stare at these people because, since I can't move or turn, I have nothing better to do. Once in a while I will get a sheepish look and a sorry, most of the time its just a stare directly in front of them, trying to ignore me glaring.

Its time to start yanking licenses. Its not a right, its a privilege.

Johnny Cash

I finished the painting I was working on, Johnny Cash. Before I started painting, I marked it out in ink on the canvas so that it had a nice black to support the back a bit more. He was the man in black and I am working with a fairly limited palette.

Here's the painting before I started it and if you want to see the finished work, go Here

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jack and Zander

Zander climbed up on the couch while Jack was up there and they curled up together. I asked Jack to give him a hug and then snapped this. He used to not like to touch the cat, but has grown more and more comfortable with him lately.

Fooling with the Camera

I placed the camera on the floor and took this shot on Sunday night. As soon as I took it, Jack says, "Lemme see, lemme see".

Fall for Fairfax

We went to the Fall for Fairfax last weekend at the Government Center. I worked for the first few hours at the Library's display. After Jacks afternoon nap, I picked them up and we went back to the Fair. The food was good, but expensive. The entertainment was nice.

Because of the great weather, the place was packed with other families that all wanted to ride all the other rides as well, so the lines were long for anything decent.

The highlight for me was the train ride around the perimeter of the Fair. Lasted a whole five minutes, but Jack liked it and we all snuggled into that tiny seat. We all had a good time.

The baby stroller parking lot.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Latest Red Spotting

Saturday morning I was riding through the neighborhood when I spotted some movement just behind a bush. I could tell it was larger than a cat, but its coloring was orangish brown.

I slowed down and it walked into the open of someone else's front yard and looked back. It was "Red" the neighborhood fox. He/She had been caught in the rain and looked pretty straggly, almost not like a fox at all. The ears were huge so I could tell it wasn't a cat or a dog.

I snapped a picture of it with my phone camera, you can see how he/she looked. Nice to know its still around making its way around the neighborhood.


The last few weeks my tomato plants have been pumping out some decent quantities. Its that time of year when it starts to get a little colder and the days get shorter so they really start producing.

I picked these the other night. Dad, you will notice the ring around the top of one of the larger specimens, that's because we had a dry spell and then some torrential rains that the tomatoes soaked up and that is why you get those "stretch marks".

I didn't use any pesticides or fertilizers on these so they are organic and ready to eat, just wash them off and slice them up.

I have been bringing them to work and leaving them with family members when we visit, so they have all been going to good use.