York, PA ...... scene of the northeast girls softball playoffs..... the girls played 3 games! it was 100F in the afternoon, and the umpire did not allow water breaks for the team on the field ... the parents and game officials sat under umbrellas and tents drinking cold stuff out of coolers.

"look eye .... always look eye".....

Gettysburg is nearby so we went there today. It was a nice drive but we should have planned the event better .... really need to book a bus tour in advance and also plan on hours in gettysburg center to shop shop shop shop and then shop more and eat eat eat .... i would have liked that, but we just drove thru. debbie had a dairy queen blizzard on the way back and i missed a great photo op there because i am dumb.

This is the field of the battle known as Pickets Charge. It's a bad name because it was not his idea and he and his boss had told Gen. Lee that they would be slaughtered. Lee was adamant and said "do it", and they MARCHED across this one mile long open field and were indeed slaughtered and it was the turning point of the war. It was sad reading the generals' remarks following the battle ... they truly regreted what they did because of all the men killed.

peace, at last .....


went back to gettysburg to try again.... took the bus tour and decided it was worth the trip ... got a few books about the battle ..... *very* interesting, and i'll probably get some kind of DVD gettysburg battle simulation if one exists..... it is that intriguing, especially that it was not really a planned battle !!!

the center of town is very tourist-pretty...... we ate at a nice pub.

it was sunday, so stores closed at 3PM (?) which saved us from shopping.

this happens 100 times a day all across the USA .....


went to amish country around lancaster, PA.
i bought 3 amish coffee cups, 2 bottles of amish wine, some amish nik-naks.
deb bought eveything ........ amish or not-amish.
i have to say that the pine furniture was incredibly underpriced .... dont know how they make money on it .
don and me sat on benches forever and counted 9673 tourists and 7 amish people, at least 200 cars for every horse wagon, and noted many times that this place could be any other tourist town in the USA .... there was nothing much amish about it except our expectations while driving here.
but i did buy a jug of homemade amish rootbeer right at the farm that made it.... up a long long dirt drive on a farm, to a shed behind their garage, and i thought "this is like those movies where tourists are captured, sliced up and eaten by a degenerate family of overly inbred morons.... there's probably a large pile of rusted cars out back from past tourists ....."
however .... the rootbeer was sold out of the shed / farm stand by the cutest, sweetest amish girl you ever talked to. i should have taken her picture.... she looked like a 12 year old grace kelly except she had dark hair. spoke very very clearly and simply and pointed to each item while saying its price and clearly said "and 50 cents is your change" as she handed it to me. if we had room in the car, i would have bought a case of jugs just to here her talk more !!!

went round and round about where to eat and we ended up in the central something family restaurant that looked like a factory in a poor part of York. the place was REAL 1950's tired chrome and worn vinyl and 'please seat yourself'..... i was bold enough to order blackened catfish and debbie went wild and ordered stuffed peppers (i figured we'd be in the hospital most of the night)..... but the food was supreme and i decided that i'm a restaurant snob and i stand humbled by the experience.

went back to the hotel and poured the amish root beer into an amish coffee cup along with (not-amish) southern comfort and sat by the pool reading scott fitzgerald short stories .... i recommend the ice palace and bernice bobs her hair.


started home.... stopped at hershey chocolate world. i knew it was going to suck and it sucked even more than i expected to suck. but lots and lots of families were there and looking like they were having the time of their lives..... it's probably a different experience if you're with your small children, but my experience was sitting on another bench waiting for deb and her mom to shop and go on a tour of some kind.

bus after bus after bus came in and the place was packed with many foreign families.... much like disney..... and they were having a great time shopping. but the experience for me sucked enormously, and i was glad to get in the car and start home (450 miles away).

also.... if you saw the movie Mothra, you remember the cute twins who were somehow spiritually connected to Mothra .... well .... they were at hersheys chocolate world !!! ... here they are taking pictures...... Mothra however never showed....

you can never have too much chocolate .....

i did learn something driving home .... if i drive 60mph it's kind of relaxing and i get drowsy after a while and almost fall asleep. but if i drive 70-80mph, it keeps me on the edge and awake and i don't get drowsy .... when i slow down again, i get sleepy again...... so i kept my speed up as much as i could and drove 400 miles without getting tired. when we stopped at deb's folks place i damn near fell asleep and deb drove us home from there.

Aug.10.2007 .... the concept of 3 books

the question was once asked...... if you needed to start a whole new world, what 3 books would you bring with you? i'll be bold and rephrase that ... what 3 documents would you bring with you?

i am working on a list for a time when i am more decisive .....

Aug.12.2007.... Screwed and Glued

back in school we had a saying "you are screwed, glued and tatooed" .... or .... "i got screwed, glued and tatooed"...... the implied meaning should be apparent.

and we always had a laugh when the shop teacher said ..." glue it and screw it"..... but such is high school.

glad to say i can still screw and glue with the best of them.....

just got a wood tool that can thread dowels..... wow you say ..... and a threaded dowel that is glued into a threaded wood block makes a virtually indestructable joint (wow you say again)

i have, you might say, perfected getting screwed and glued .... as soon as i get up the moxie, i plan to get tatooed.


built overhead storage rafters this morning. T-sections, glued and nailed, no vertical supports, moveable slats, wicked easy access to stuff, plus now i have floor space for table saw.


well .... he made it here.... safe and sound!!
and the first thing he did was log in somewhere and is now lost in you tube videos or something.


today is my dad's birthday .... happy birthday, good buddy.

what is andrew up to now? ..... . well he learned how to use a drill press to help me make a new pellet gun target (more on that topic as the days go by)

but why anyone would get a big laugh about drilling holes in his own hand...???....


Mike is tearing apart his bathroom today, BUT .....

Here's what me and Andrew plan for today.....

sorry.... too windy today (20-30mph)... rescheduled canoeing to monday (6 mph forecast)

worked on the target box.... andrew made and installed the soft pine backboards ..... i made the little duck target.... the new scheme calls for copper wire to hang the targets, after he shot the strings of a few targets!!
he has a very mature attitude once we take a pellet gun out of its box..... even reminded me a few times to put on my safety glasses....


On our way to Fenway Park to see RedSox play Angels. Ballpark is pretty close to Wentworth (where I teach)....

Decided to record the RedSox experience on a separate page.


The much anticipated canoe trip turned out boring..... we were on a section of the Nashua that was slow, murky, closed in and uninteresting. We quit after an hour.

Then we hit a pool hall....uh, make that a billiard emporium.... in Groton, for billiards and root beer.

Then dinner at pizzaria uno's and then minigolf and ice cream.

Andrew insisted that minigolf was a serious, competitive event... not to be taken lightly. New rules emerged as he fell into second place, and by his reckoning he was now tied for first place. I took my case to local minigolf authorities (2 guys at the ticket booth) who, after some intense discussion decided that I was right, since I was paying for the games plus a nice tip for them if they agreed with me.

Aug.21.2007: The Boston Trip


andrew and i drove down to Sturbridge to meet cheryl and the girls for brunch at Friendly's. cheryl and the girls are very nice to talk to.
but andrew got sick as soon as the food was delivered and spent 20 minutes elsewhere (!).
while he was gone, cheryl and i talked and it came out that she was expecting andrew to go home with her for the weekend.... this was a total shock to me.... when andrew got back, he was just as surprised.... i felt really bad and told cheryl all his stuff is back at my house (one hour north) and she lived about one hour west..... she really wanted to spend time with andrew but we could not work out the logistics at that point and also he was pretty sick.
we ate (not andrew... who was now outside on a bench) and chatted.... then hugged and said good bye.... it was a nice visit but weird and poor andrew.
out in the parking lot, he was green and spent lots of time behind the fence being sick. i called deb's folks who live 15 minutes from there and we made an emergency drive there..... andrew promptly fell asleep and slept for an hour and a half (this is noon time !).... he was better when he got up but then turned green again on the drive back home (now about 75 minutes).
the only good was that deb's folks got to meet him.

after we got home he settled down and then finished off a pizza.

i decided that we have been running the kid into the ground with too much to do .... he's been away from home 2 weeks now and constantly doing new things .... and this morning i got him up at 8:30 (he goes to sleep at 2 or 3 AM) and threw him in the car to meet cheryl.

actually the same thing happened a few days ago as we were driving to boston .... had to stop and then decide to take the train (not drive) the rest of the way to boston.


andrew's last day here .... we are heading for the airport hotel (to stay the night) in a few hours .... will he finish the puzzle of the boston skyline...???

.... he did, just 30 minutes before we left for texas!!


back from Loretta's .... here are some snapshots and ramblings.,

Aug.31.2007, The Wounded Bird

i did an internet search and decided that this is a fledgling baby bird, not an injured adult, and the advice is to put it back where you got it and leave it alone.

and that's what i did..... it's on the lawn now about 15 feet from the porch window and chirping and hobbling around.