Previous photos here

Mon, 16 Jan 2006

I was in the Boar's Head Festival last weekend.
It's Bethesda's annual medieval festival. Most of the parish turns out to appear in it. This year the church decided to tape ther performance and make a DVD. I thought it would be a couple people with cameras, but it turned out to be a crew of four. There was a boom camera, a camera on a tripod, a guy walking around with a camera, and a line editor / director at the back of the church.

The guest of honor is a large boar's head. The story goes that this was actually shot in the north end of Palm Beach by one of the Cluetts. You can see the bullet hole if you look carefully (not in this photo).

The rehearsal was Saturday morning. Most of the participants have been in the production before, so it was mostly a matter of working out details. This year introduced a (fake) (life-size) camel.

The sunday school classrooms double as changing rooms. There are some hard-working volunteers who keep the costumes in order. The Palm Beach Pipes and Drums have provided the bagpipe music since the first festival, back in 1978.

My dad's friend Jim appeared as one of the lords this year. He took my photo out in the courtyard. It was my second year as the student. The student is the person who kills the boar, but not during the production. The story is that student was out reading his Aristotle in the forest, when he was attacked by the boar. He killed the boar by stuffing the book down the boar's throat. During the procession and recession I get the wave the book around and point at the boar to reinforce the fact that it was me who killed the boar.

posted at: 07:03 | permalink |

Sun, 15 Jan 2006

Here's my trash for the 1/15 bike hash:

  9:30:    Look over bike, lube chain, pump up tires, adjust brakes
  9:45:    Load bike onto car, stop by Kwiki-Mart for a Red Bull
10:00:    Get on I-95 at exit 69, traffic is stopped as far as the eye can see
10:10:    Screaming match between landscaping truck and Caddy driver who are fighting over who gets to merge first
10:20:    Insane Harley rider almost killed while splitting lanes
10:30:    Get off I-95 at exit 66 and go home

I hope you all had fun.

posted at: 11:43 | permalink |

Fri, 13 Jan 2006

I saw a good looking Scout II yesterday.
I've always liked the International Harvester Scouts. I even looked on eBay last night. There were a couple not too far away, and for $3K - $4K. But every time I start thinking seriously about one, I remember the facts: no A/C, no fuel injection, only two doors, and they are at least 25 years old. I like my Cherokee.

posted at: 07:35 | permalink |

Thu, 12 Jan 2006

Linda successfully avoided the booby trap in the bathroom.
I saw a lightstick trip flare on eBay recently. This seems to be the modern version of the old army trip flares. Those were simple devices you would put around the perimeter to secure the area. You nail the trip flare to a tree, and run a string from the trip flare across a possible avenue of approach, and tie off the string to another tree. When the incoming bad guy bumps into the string, the device fires the flare up in the air to let you know that someone is out there. This version simply replaces the pyrotechnic flare with a lightstick. It's a simple stamped steel device. It comes complete with string, one lightstick, and staples and wire to secure it a tree.

So I had to try it out. Late last night I taped it under the bathroom sink, and ran the string to the bathroom door handle. This morning it was still unfired! I asked Linda about it, and she said that she had felt some resistance when she began to open the bathroom door, and had stopped. Then she saw the string. So she disarmed it. I was impressed. I think she is booby-trap-proof. Maybe I can put some out in the yard to scare off the neighborhood kids. And those cats.

posted at: 07:28 | permalink |

Wed, 11 Jan 2006

The house painting effort is well under way.
I posted here previously about building (okay, assembling) a shed in the backyard to hold all of the stuff previously in the carport. Part of the impetus for the shed was so we could paint the house. Actually, my dad's worker Jim is painting the house. He's slow, but he's cheap. He's been on it for 68 hours now, and he's mostly done. The only thing remaining is some of the trim, and some touchup work. About 15%. Unfortunately Jim gets really slow when he's not supervised. Either Linda and/or I were home until last Friday, and we could keep an eye on him. His production over the last two days had been pretty poor. I think we're going to let him go, and finish it ourselves over the weekend. I'd really rather pay him to do it, but I don't want to pay him to not do it. If that makes any sense.

Here's a shot of the color sample. We settled on Sundrenched, which is the one on the bottom. I'll post pictures of the house later.

posted at: 07:17 | permalink |

Tue, 10 Jan 2006

I was out drinking with Sheldon last Friday.
We went to Margarita's, which is this little place in downtown Lake Worth that I somehow had never noticed before. So we had a few beers there, and a few beers at some other places. He filled me in on everything that's been happening at my former employer (it's his current employer, so I'm not naming names). He did say he'd put this URL up on his whiteboard, so I expect to see lots of hits from the [previous employer] domain in my web logs.

Okay, the picture's a little dark, but I'm sure you can make it out. I forgot to take my new camera phone flash attachment.

posted at: 07:18 | permalink |

Mon, 09 Jan 2006

I found a 1925 map of my neighborhood.
I was in the stacks of the city library, and I noticed a couple really big (like 2' x 2' ) old books. I started flipping through them, and they were some kind of city document from 1925. I kept looking, and sure enough, my neighborhood was in there. I only live a mile or so from downtown, so I wasn't surprised. Interstate I-95 is about a quarter-mile west of my house, so it was interesting to see what the streets used to look like there. It really cut a swath through the neighborhood.

My house is located right where my finger is pointing. The build date on the property appraiser's web site is 1929, so obviously it wasn't there yet.

posted at: 07:21 | permalink |

Sun, 08 Jan 2006

Here's an artist's rendering of the proposed chopper modifications.
Essentially we are going to expand the triangular frame of the bike so it will fit a normal-sized adult. This will require cutting each side of the triangle, and welding in a piece of tubing. The length of the tubing will be proportional to the side of the triangle. Of course, each side of the frame is made of different sized tubing. The top tube is squashed vertically in the front and horizontally in the rear, so we will cut it right in the middle where the cross-section is circular, and weld in a circular piece of tubing. The down tube is similarly manipulated (squashed at each end) but has a different diameter in the center, so we will have to find the correct size of circular tubing for that as well. The bottom tube is oval-shaped, and is 2.5" x 1.5". I can't find that size tubing anywhere on the internet, so we are considering replacing it with either two smaller round tubes, or one rectangular tube. We also considered squashing a round tube to the same size as the oval tubing, but that would be lot of work to get right.

posted at: 09:32 | permalink |

Nice Saturday evening trail by CumAgain in downtown Lake Worth tonight.
It came together nicely after some discussion on the new hash forum . We met at the WAMU, which had been robbed that morning. We couldn't find any money laying around the parking lot, so we just drank the beer that Yeast had brought. There was some Heineken hidden down at the bottom of the cooler. We had Stray Dog visiting from Alabama, and a bunch of Miami and Ft Lauderdale hashers. Alabama Slammer never showed up. But Itsy was there.

So the trail was a typical Lake Worth one, until we found ourselves on the golf course. There were marks by the clubhouse, and then the trail just disappeared. I ran around the clubhouse twice before I realized that there were hashers looking out at me from the inside. CumAgain had arranged to have the beer check in the bar there. There were a bunch of hashers drinking beer inside where it was warm.

I got a nice picture of someone's finger. And Circumspector and the walkers arrived. The barmaid was very nice, and gave Teflon her phone number. Can you make it out? Eventually it was time to go.

We arrived back at the WAMU for the circle. The circle was good. I'm surprised at how well my prediction matched the trail. I think I'm getting better at this. Then we went to South Shore, where I traded my gloves for a pitcher of Sam Adams. Food and football, and then we went home.

posted at: 00:02 | permalink |

Sat, 07 Jan 2006

I got my first swamp buggy ride last weekend.
As part of Alex's job he has a swamp buggy at his disposal. There was a lot of jostling to get on board when Alex said he was giving rides, but Jim managed to get a good seat.

The light was good, with that golden hour sunlight lasting for nearly the entire ride. I took the opportunity to shoot a bunch of pictures of Alex as he drove. He's got a sort of Johnny Cash look to him here. Or maybe it's not-fat-Elvis.

Here's one more sequence of photos. The third one is what I was trying for, but for whatever reason, Alex's face is really posterized/solarized. I think it's a failing of the camera phone. I'd pay some bucks for a phone with a truly decent camera built into it. The fourth photo is almost as good, and there is no posterization effect.

Alex finally stopped so we could see a baby alligator in some shallow water. I took the opportunity to jump off and get some shots of the buggy itself. Then we headed back to camp, with a nice sunset off to the west.

posted at: 07:08 | permalink |

Fri, 06 Jan 2006

There was quite the bonfire at Alex's New Year's Eve party.
It was a burn pile collected from that year's hurricane brush. It wasn't as big as last year's, but it was still big. Here's a photo of it not long after it was lit, followed by shots of Rob and Dean. That flash really blinds people if it's too close.

The people running the burn pile had a front-end loader that they used to push the fire around. It made a lot of sparks and looked really cool.

Linda had made some ceramic pieces with the kids a couple days before. She put them inside a coffee can with the lid wired on, and asked the head fire guy to put the can inside the fire. The fire should reach an 1800 F heat, which would fire the pieces. The next day she fished the can back out of the fire. Most of the pieces survived, and looked pretty good.

posted at: 07:13 | permalink |

Thu, 05 Jan 2006

I did okay at the Crappy Christmas Gift Exchange this year.
I came home with a rum cake. Well, I didn't actually come home with it, because I ate it there. The CCGE is John's annual event where you bring the worst gift you received, and put it into one of those gift exchange / white elephant things. I brought the gift I received at the frisbee party, which was four coffee mugs and some strawberry candles. It actually got stolen a couple times. Linda took the oil and vinegar bottles her mom gave her, and Rob took a ceramic dish shaped like a sombrero that I found in my attic. Rob ended up with the coolest gift of all: a flying cow.

John had a video projector set up in the back yard, so we all watched a local surf movie before getting to the exchange. You can see the back yard, me looking a little stunned by the flash, and Rob with his new cow.

posted at: 07:22 | permalink |

Wed, 04 Jan 2006

I got the fork for my street bike today.
That's the mountain bike I've been riding around town. It's an XL Jamis hardtail. I put some slick tires on it a couple months ago, and it really made a difference. I did put the mountain bike tires back on last week while Bruce was visiting, so he could ride it at JD, and then I put the slicks back on so he could ride it around Palm Beach.

Recently I decided I wanted to swap out the lightweight air-sprung Manitou fork for a rigid fork. I looked for a while on eBay, and finally ended up with a new Kona suspension-corrected fork. I bid on a few titanium forks, but they always went for $225 or more. I got the Kona for $62. I was standing outside when the UPS driver pulled up, so he just handed it to me and drove off. I hope to get it on sometime in the next week.

posted at: 22:33 | permalink |

DB laid his first trail as a named hasher tonight.
Not too bad, plus he didn't get caught. He threw some tricky marks at the start that bought him some time, and then jogged all the way to the beer check. The second half went past a drive-in movie theater, so we stopped and watched the Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong for a few minutes. You can see that my trail prediction didn't really match up the actual trail (3.6 miles by my GPS).

The trail ended in the parking lot, where we circled up for an appreciative Hispanic audience (most likely Guatemalan). WFC had brought a virgin, but there was no skin. We retired to Wings Plus for food, and the USC/UT national championship game.

posted at: 22:24 | permalink |

I found a couple more pictures of the Christmas gift-opening orgy.
There's a couple here of Sydney annoying Joshua while he uses his PSP or his mini-Nintendo, or whatever the heck it is.

And here's a couple of Sydney as she inspects my new weed whacker, while my dad and aunt look on approvingly.

These are the very first shots taken with my new phone camera flash attachment. Unfortunately I got too close, and they are sort of washed out, but you can still tell that's Julie taking some pictures of her own.

Then I headed of to Linda's mom's house, and got a shot of her, and a shot of Raja, who was sleeping on the terrazo as he tried to keep cool.

Finally, a couple of my dad as he carves the Christmas turkey. I think these would have been great shots, if they had not been washed out again by the flash. I'm still learning to use the flash.

posted at: 07:17 | permalink |

Tue, 03 Jan 2006

I built a shed in the backyard during Christmas vacation.
Well, technically I assembled a shed in the backyard, since it was a Big Max plastic shed from Rubbermaid, and it came in a big cardboard box. Okay, two cardboard boxes.

First we had to clear a spot for the shed. So I pulled down the last of the rotting cabinets in the carport, and loaded them and quite a bit of other junk into a utility trailer, and hauled the whole collection off to the dump. I love going to the dump. Here's an action sequence where you see me selecting the next item to be hurled from the trailer, then holding it high over my head, and then actually hurling the (different) item into the dumpster. The item in the third photo is a completely hardened bag of cement.

Then it was time to errect the new shed. The instructions made it look so easy, and the printing on the box said that the shed would go up in an hour. If I had to give a one-sentence review of this shed it would be: "One hour my ass". It finally went up, but it took closer to six hours. You can see the roomy expanse inside (7' x 7'). I think I could actually live in there, if I had to. Of course, it's now packed full of all the junk I took out of the carport, but at least the carport's empty. Yay.

posted at: 07:03 | permalink |

Mon, 02 Jan 2006

Here's a number puzzle I saw on an apartment door.
At least I think it's a puzzle. Heck, I don't know what it is. I was at my dad's apartment building, and we were checking on an apartment for a tenant who was out of town. He had a note posted on his door. At first I thought it was his contact phone numbers. But when I looked closer I saw that it was all three-digit groups. I don't know what it means. Do you? I'm transcribing it here for the benefit of search engines.

285 417
174 LOVE 528
963 THANK YOU 639
852 741

Any ideas?

posted at: 08:50 | permalink |

Thu, 29 Dec 2005

Rachel had her 13th birthday a couple days ago.
It was very nice. I got a couple shots of the birthday girl, with and without flash. There was a simple white cake.

And a couple photos of Joshua. His facial deformation isn't getting any better. The doctors think that his face has frozen that way.

Louise was looking good also. She joined in the festivities. Then Linda set up the projection TV and the iBook that she brought over, and we lit a fire and watched "The Nightmare Before Christmas", which I had never seen.

posted at: 22:22 | permalink |

We had the last Wednesday night hash of the year last night.
My pre-hash analysis had a slight resemblance to the actual trail.

I got to use my new camera phone flash attachment before the trail. AD looks a little washed-out. I didn't get a picture of his new light saber, but I did lose a couple fingers trying it out. There's some other washed-out hashers as well.

AI organized a gift exchange this year. Amazingly, all the hashes came prepared (with a gift). In the second photo you can see right down Kit's shirt. In the third photo the Head is posing with the rock that she got in the gift exchange. And the fourth one is DB, and Mr. Bush's friend.

Then we all went to the Quarterdeck.

posted at: 22:11 | permalink |

Tue, 27 Dec 2005

Is it just me?
Or would it be fair to characterize Thomas Jefferson as playing Spock to George Washington's Captain Kirk?
posted at: 10:11 | permalink |