Here are some of the new pictures from Truro this year.
Here are some of the new pictures from Truro this year.
Tuesday night I finally brought the snowmobiles back home from my parents. Got home just as the first flakes started falling and when we woke up Wednesday morning about a foot of snow had already fallen. School was cancelled so the kids wanted to ride their snowmobiles. Without leaving the yard today they each rode over six miles doing loops on our little half acre.
I can still recall when I really discovered the joys of reading. My grandfather had purchased a subscription to the Hardy Boy novels and every few months a new book would arrive in the mail. I would read it as quickly as possible, usually forsaking sleep as I read until my bedroom window would begin to let in the dawn light. I don’t recall if this was before or after my other memorable early book reading. In the fifth grade I read Tolkien, and Orwell’s 1984. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings I recall somewhat fondly, although I still haven’t finished the last book of the trilogy 26 years later. I left Frodo climbing the mountain, finally uninterested in discovering if he escaped the ring or not.
1984 still stands out in my mind much more though. Again I have never revisited the book, but I still recall vividly several passages. The opening sequence, describing Winston’s dreary observed life, the love making the forest, and the rats in the cage around Winston’s face. It left quite an impression on me. Interestingly enough I only read the book because it was 1984 and had seen an evening news puff story about Orwell’s 1984 being obsolete now that it was actually 1984. Additionally once people found out what I was reading I was expected to talk about it. My teacher wanted me to do my class reading presentation on the book (I chickened out and pretended to be a hobbit instead) and I was expected to meet with the school librarian and talk about the books I was reading.
That didn’t last long, all I can remember is how much that made me dread reading. I don’t remember how I got the discussions with the librarian to stop but they did and I enjoyed reading again. However I also managed to pick up my bad reading habits around that time too. It’s nearly impossible for me to stop reading a book until I finish it. Often the sun will be rising as I turn the last page bleary eyed and finally allow myself to sleep for fifteen minutes or so until the alarm clock attempts to wake me up.
An ancient Sage valued himself upon this, that tho’ he could not fiddle, he knew how to make a great City of a little one. The plan that I, a modern Simpleton, am about to communicate is the very reverse.
I address myself to the Special Education Administrators. You are tasked with making a small budget out of a great one. Follow my simple steps to keep your budgets small, and still leave yourself plenty of time to fiddle.
* If the DOE ever starts to add up the hours on the IEP service grids this one is going to get tough. A simple calculation will reveal that the staff can’t possibly provide all the hours that are alloted on the IEPs.
I have been a fan of the NATO phonetic alphabet (words for letters eg. Charlie for C) since my father taught it to me as a child. My father is the least military man to ever spend 22 years as a career army officer (1). Though he didn’t t like shining his shoes he could still recognize a superior method when he saw it, and passed it along to me.
The military has always cared about clear, and concise communication. In the heat of battle over a crackly radio, you might want to ask for things to be spelled out when you are ordered to take 12 men and go eat (2). Up until WWII each army had it’s own phonetic alphabet based on the language and dialects of their country. The US used the able-baker alphabet which is why E company in the HBO mini series “Band of Brothers” was EASY company.
Following WWII with the formation of NATO it became more important for joint forces from different countries to communicate with each other. Many national phonetic alphabets contained words that could confuse non native speakers. The British phonetic alphabet for instance was composed entirely of words that for some reason sounded dirty (3). After a little bit of searching, NATO borrowed the phonetic alphabet that civil aviation was using for radio communications. It contained words that were distinct from each other, and easily recognizable to speakers of English, French and Spanish.
Earlier in my career I worked doing technical support for field engineers. Since they were often on cell phones, and I was giving them authorization codes or obscure UNIX commands I found the NATO phonetic alphabet to be very useful. It is easy to understand, and has so much more dignity than yelling into a phone that the serial number is SIXER DASH YETI YETI NUTCASE. Recently I had the worst and longest tech support call in history. The reps only training was clearly a 3rd generation Xerox of the manual, and worst of all when they had to spell something out over our scratchy line to Bangalore, they used the dumbest words possible. K as in knew? I figured that they must want to provide bad support if they have this person manning the phones. And if you are going to do something badly why not make a huge mess of it? Thus I was inspired to create the worlds worst phonetic alphabet.
Please print this up and keep it in you wallet. Next time you are on your cell phone trying to tell someone the street name of the restaurant where you are meeting, use this, the worst phonetic alphabet. It is a delightful collection of obscure, easily misunderstood and sound alike words. Enjoy
(1) He actually had a commanding officer tell him, “Coppenrath there isn’t a single military bone in your whole body”.
(2) Go where? Go EAST! – ECHO ALPHA SIERRA TANGO.
(3) The ARSE-BARMY alphabet
Can’t really think of a better weekend in a long time. Saturday afternoon at Summer Nationals in Worcester. My father in law had his Roush convertible and his ’71 Monte Carlo at the show and they got a lot of attention. His cars became a stop for the Miss Summer Nationals contestants and photographer so they drew quite a crowd.
As the show at Green Hill Park was winding down we headed out, stopped at a Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream, then arrived in Humarock in time for a cookout then the July 3rd bonfires on the beach. We didn’t get any pictures this year, but it looked at lot like this (from ’06).
The rest of the weekend was a Spit weekend. My father even made it out to the spit on a sunny day!
Of course Cam had to go snorkling to hunt crabs.
Monday we brought Owen’s dingy and Clay and Cam went off exploring.
Then they learned how fun it was to swamp it and use it as a slide and jumping platform.
After flag football on Saturday Clay, Cam and I went to a boat show in Milford NH. It was my first inland boat show and quite a contrast compared to the coastal shows I’ve been to before. Still the kids had fun looking at all the different boats and telling me which ones they wanted, which ones Mimi & Grampy would want and which kayak we should get for Mom. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of the pontoon and platform boats that dominated the show but they did have a couple nice runabouts as well as Whalers and a few others.
Sunday officially ended the snowmobiling season as we put the sleds away in their tent until next winter and began preparing the docks. Or at least attempted to until Michael and I decided to wait until the next flood tide to float some old finger piers back in place.
Of course no trip back to Scituate would be complete without tech support. I got to install cable boxes for my parents. Apparently Comcast is forcing even extended basic cable customers to move to digital cable. Talk about a pain in the ass. Moving dusty furniture, chasing down and replacing lossy cables and shoehorning the cable boxes into already overcrowded entertainment centers. Fun Fun Fun.
What an amazing day to wrap up the snowmobiling season. A sunny 80 degree day watching snowmobiles race up hill.
We could have stayed at the bottom of the hill, or bought a lift ticket and rode up. But instead we decided to climb up the hill. It was fun, but the further up you went the steeper it got. At this point I think we had climbed a few spots that were near 45 degree climbs. But it gave us a good view of the race.
Of course Cam had to have some fun on the way down.
That morning was almost as exciting too, Cam and Clay had their first flag football practice.
We drove up to Dixville Notch Saturday and watched the vintage snowmobile races at the Balsams.
Everyone enjoyed themselves even though it was a pretty long day. Not only did the trip convince the kids they want to snowmobile in new places next year it may have created new racers. Camden, of course, wants to race snowmobiles. Clayton was not so enthusiastic about racing, even though he enjoyed watching so much he refused to go inside to warm up. Heather is the other potential racers. She watched the ladies race and decided that might be fun to try. I’m not so sure we’ll follow through with racing, but getting them more enthused is a good thing.
Oh, there was also water cross.