I’m tired of having to sign in to my fucking iCloud account every five fucking minutes. Fix that shit please.
This picture approximates how I feel after having signed the refi paperwork today. I’m glad to have that behind us, and hopeful that we can get started on our stalled bathroom sometime in the next month.
The picture above was taken at the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival, our annual pilgrimage to the Ass End of Maryland to sample tasty shellfish and stuffed ham. We were accompanied by our friend Chris, who was in town visiting, and we sampled the culinary delights of the fair while people-watching and enjoying the weather.
Finley tried stuffed ham and was not impressed:
However, a man with a tiny monkey was entertaining the crowds, and for a dollar he sat on Finn’s shoulder and stuck his tongue out for us. I’d consider that a dollar well spent!
As the photos from Saturday suggest, I was at Jalopyrama for most of the morning. The show was huge and apparently is getting bigger every year. The cars shown were beautiful, even the rough ones. I find myself drawn to the rough ones, actually, as they’ve got better stories to tell. There were scores of deuce coupes, both surgically clean and clapped out. There were a lot of gassers, which I was never really a fan of, but have grown to respect. There was lots of original or near-original Detroit iron. And then there were the garish modifieds, usually painted a bright color, with all of the interesting stuff chopped off and a small-block Chevy under the hood. I would be happy if these all just stayed home in the garage. The main exhibition hall was curated carefully with period-era hot rods, which I appreciated, because that’s my reason for going to the show.
After walking the grounds, I found myself desiring a large early 60’s sedan of some kind, preferably with a bubble window and miles of chrome. There was an Edsel Ranger for sale, for $6500, which might have been fun, or a flawless Impala with an Inquire Within sign on the dash. My dream garage is not big enough.
After about three hours I was pretty burnt out, though; much like going to Carlisle for the truck show, I needed some quiet time by myself to recharge. This I did by taking the CR-V to get four new tires installed, something that has been necessary for months now. The tires it was wearing were two pairs of different brands, showing signs of caster imbalance, and balding heavily. The new tires feel tight and solid, and the car tracks smooth and straight. Now, to find a used hood to replace the original, which is suffering from unsightly clearcoat peeling…
My neighbor bought a used drone from a guy he met, and it came with a gimbal mount for a GoPro. He borrowed mine to test out the system, and it works flawlessly. This was a quick flight over our neighborhood from his house to mine and back again before his battery died.
I had a bit of an argument via text with the bro, who showed up late last Tuesday to mow the lawn before our appraisal, and then asked for more money because it started to rain while he was working. When I pointed out to him that it didn’t get done the previous weekend, and that we had standing arrangements to mow every week, he started arguing with me. Fuck that. He showed up late on Saturday with his mower, knocked on the door, and left (I know this because Jen was making dinner and told me he was out front; by the time I got to the front of the house he was halfway down the sidewalk). What the fuck? Then he texted me his address and asked me to drop the cash off at his house. Fuck you. So I’m going to dust off the POS mower I bought 13 years ago, clean the varnish out of the carb, and finish out the season myself. We’ll look for someone new to handle brainless labor for us next year.
Speaking of the appraisal, it went exceptionally well, and we’re closing on the refi sometime next week. This is fantastic news for our family, and I’m so relieved we’ve gotten this far.
On Sunday I walked out to the pile of felled logs in the backyard and started clearing out the small stuff toward the back. We’ve got a small amount of dry wood left from the elm we dropped in 2005 but the rest of the cradle was empty. I started moving the small pieces onto the cradle, and decided to chop the bark off as I went. When I hit a couple of pieces with the ax, they split cleanly. This was surprising. So I got Dad’s orange maul from the garage and started splitting. By 2PM the old cradle was full and I’d barely made a dent in the pile.
I then built an identical cradle with new wood and Finn helped me dig some level ground to place it behind the first, and then we transferred the wood so that the front cradle was empty. Then I split some more wood while Finn stacked. By dinnertime I was pretty beat so we cleaned up the tools and came inside for a delicious dinner of collard greens and cheese grits. Cold beer has rarely tasted so good.
Some of the rounds out there are five feet in diameter, and there are scores of them. I’m going to need at least another cradle or maybe two to fit all this wood, and that’s after splitting it with two of my neighbors. Not a bad problem to have…
On Saturday, Jen and I sat down and had a chat with Finn about what’s been happening in the latest news cycle, and tried to make a teaching moment about a presidential candidate grabbing women by the pussy. We figure she’s going to hear about it from some kid at school, and we’d rather she talk it through with us instead of get bad information through the second grade grapevine. She handled it pretty well, I think. We’ve had the talk with her before about people saying bad things or trying to touch her where they shouldn’t, so it’s not a foreign concept, but it sucks to have to explain that the possible future president of our country is such a fucking douchebag.
How awesome is this? in August, a guy from Arkansas played Tears For Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World on hammered dulcimer and posted it to Facebook, where it got a lot of hits. In September, Curt Smith and Jamie Wollam from Tears For Fears traveled to his house and did another version with vocals and drumming:
I love stories like this. In light of all the horseshit happening right now, it gives me hope for humanity.
I’m proud to say the video I shot, illustrated, and produced for the New Climate Economy is live (as is NCE’s new report, the Sustainable Infrastructure Imperative). This is the one they flew me to London for, where I set up an interview studio both in our hotel and at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. In the time between shooting the video and the release of the report, we reshot WRI’s president here in DC to sub in some changes in the original text, reordered the 4 elements at the end, and added new illustration to reflect changes in the language. It was a huge undertaking but so much fun to produce, and I’m thrilled with the results.
Finn’s school was off on Monday, Mama needed to teach, and I was scheduled to shoot an important video at work, so I had a copilot on the train with me. We packed her a bag with her laptop, some snacks, and the first Harry Potter book. We got up early, got ourselves together, and made it to the early train with time to spare.
Finn was the model of an excellent guest for the whole day. She sat contentedly at her laptop for the morning while I ran to and fro to set up the shoot, waited patiently while I got it in the can, and then we went to get some lunch. She was feeling sick for most of the morning, but the thought of a burger at Shake Shack woke her up. I’ve never seen a burger disappear so fast.
I had a bunch of work to get to after lunch and before we could leave, so Finn opened up the first Harry Potter book and dove in with gusto, burning through about 60 pages in an hour. We then jumped back on the train so I could get her to soccer practice on time–which we did, by about 30 seconds. She had a good day out on the field, focusing on the coach’s instructions and scoring two practice goals against a scrimmage defender.
Jen and I made sure to praise her at dinnertime, because she had a fantastic day, and I was proud to call her my daughter.