Blog #118




Peepers, Turkey Vultures & Red Winged Black Birds... Oh My!  (Spring is Here)


   Peeper frogs can be heard from the ponds down the street, Turkey Vultures are on patrol and Red Winged Black Bird are darting around the back yard.  It's been in the 70's the past couple days.  Some trees are starting to bud, crocus have sprouted and bloomed and Papa is switching the storm windows for screens.  I've also confirmed that I have spring allergies. 


   Yesterday we went for a lakeshore hike along the Mogadore Reservoir trail.  I've paddled and rowed next to it more times than I could count, but have never walked it.  After just one little hike it has become one of our favorite trails.  The lake and waterfowl are always within sight and the trail is wide and smooth.  It looks like it would be a nice trail to mountain bike as well.  Logs have been placed to provide access across a swampy section to a small island.  We explored all around and had a little picnic.  I brought the fish-eye lens along in hope of taking a few weird pictures.









Joan took a few still lifes:



Brigitta is about to cross the logs over the swamp:


Joan points to a fallen tree that Svea and Brigitta climb.



Svea and Brigitta slowly shimmee up the tree.



Water Works Park

After dinner tonight, we took the girls to Water Works Park in Munroe Falls.  More fish-eye pictures:


Thought the temperature hovered near 80 degrees, Anni refused to take off her Moose Hat.


I cleared the memory card on the old HP camera yesterday, the girls use it occasionally. 

Svea took this picture in late February; capturing an interesting moment.


Svea's Book Report

Svea spent much of the weekend working on this cereal box book report.  Elements of the book report are on all six sides.  She practiced drawing every feature before adding to the final drawings.


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Blog #117




German Family Society Card Party


   Last night we attended the German Family Society Card Party.  This is the big fundraiser of the year for the youth groups.  Kindergruppe parents donate themed baskets that are raffled off.  Parents of children in the older groups donate door prizes and regular raffle items.  I must have taken three hours to raffle off everything.  Bill and Harriette had some luck and won a few small things.  We had a bit of a panic moment when we couldn't find Brigitta and Grace in a room of 300 people.  They were playing in the bathroom.  At home they play with water all the time, so we should have figured.  Annika's favorite moment of the evening was licking the sugar off of the doughnut plate.  Harriette got a kick out of the moment too.




Mogadore is almost clear of ice

   I went for a paddle today.  Mogadore Reservoir was at least 95% ice free.  The only places that I found ice were on northern exposed "baylets" that were shaded by tall trees.  That ice was solid enough to slide onto, however.  I did my regular 2.7 mile loop around the big island and felt a bit weak.  The air was very moist; as the wind blew the moist air over the ice it created gusts of fog.  This advection fog effect was pretty neat to watch and seemed to be unique to the small remaining ice pack in the North bay of the big island.



I Killed the Lawn

   The ski loop seemed like a good idea at the time...  I hope the Google Earth Satellite is scheduled to shoot Summit County soon.  Our house will be easy to spot, just look for the one with the big yellow circle around it.  Papa and I think it will come back; the area between our house and the Collinson's has already started to turn green.



Hat Fashion Show!

(Click on any picture below to view/download in 1024 X 768 resolution)











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Blog #116



Farewell Ed Shoman


   Our dear neighbor, Ed Shoman died today.  Since Ed's wife, Harriet, died he has been joining us for diner once a month.  He was going to visit us this Thursday in fact.  In spite of being 87, his death was somewhat unexpected; he was in reasonably good health for his age.  Ed was living on his own, seemed mentally intact and was still driving.  I guess it beats months or years of pain and suffering.  Ed was a very sweet man; no matter how much we expressed that we enjoyed his company he always felt like he was imposing. 

   Ed lived diagonally behind us, past the Harris's.  This picture was taken last November when we celebrated his birthday.  Only a year ago I was driving three 86 year old veterans to the World War II Korean War Roundtable; now there is only one left.  This is a very sobering thought. 


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Blog #115




Six New Movies

   I edited and added six new movies to the movie page today.  You can get to the Movie Page from the main index at: http://hallbuzz.com/.  These six movies bring the movie total up to 100!


Today Annika fell asleep in her bunny coat, in her car, while snuggling her bunny.


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Blog #114



Happy Saint Patrick's Day

   This morning while Joan and I made breakfast Svea read to Annika and Brigitta.  It was a cute scene so I grabbed the camera.




Quote of the Week

   After assigning my sixth graders a PowerPoint research assignment on Greek City States along with a thorough lecture on plagiarism and an explanation of what it means to "write in your own words" I sent my students to their computers to begin.  A few minutes later a student raised his hand; as I approached his computer I saw that he had copy and pasted an entire page.  He asked:

“Mr. Hall, How many words do I have to replace with synonyms for it to be in my own words?”

A Poem by Svea

I am myself, myself is I.

If I am honest or if I lie.

Whatever I do, or be.

I am myself, myself is I.


Fish Fries

   For the past five years we have been going to Friday fish fries two or three times during Lent.  We usually go to Saint Eugene's in Munroe Falls because it is the closest Catholic church with a fish fry.  A couple years ago we ventured to Annunciation in Akron, where Joan attended first through eighth grade.  We determined that the food was better, but parking was tough and it was often crowded and has a long wait.  Unfortunately, when Annunciation School closed last year, their fish fry closed as well.  Last night we decided to try the fish fry at Holy Family in Stow.  The food was by far better in quality and selection.  Some of the selections also seemed healthier.  Parking was fine, there was no wait and the atmosphere was also nice. 


March Paddle

   Today I paddled around the 5% of Mogadore Reservoir that wasn't frozen.  I also played ice-breaker and separated some big chunks of ice from the main ice.  I'm always amazed as to how big of a piece of ice I can push around.



Pad Thai

   We took Svea to a Pump-It-Up birthday party for one of her classmates tonight.  Joan, Brigitta and I then went to our favorite restaurant; Pad Thai.  I can't remember the last time we ate out two night in a row, we often don't eat out for month at a time.


My Sister's Blog

A reminder that my sister and her husband have a blog; lately they have been blogging regularly and have some amazing snowy pictures from Juneau Alaska.  Check out their world at:



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Blog #113



Father/Grandfather Fiesta Night at Brigitta's School

   Tonight was Father/Grandfather Fiesta Night at Brigitta's preschool.  Brigitta and her classmates sang in Spanish, danced, named colors and other words in Spanish and put on a great little show.  Papa and I were entertained by the antics of the preschoolers.  Afterward we ate a variety of Mexican foods.

Joan put together a great fiesta outfit complete with embroidered blouse and peasant skirt.




Brigitta put the some swing into her dancing.


Papa, Annika and Nana enjoying an early spring swing.


The new Toyota Camry


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Blog #112



Brigitta Loses Her First Tooth


   The Tooth Fairy visited our home last night and exchanged Brigitta's lower front tooth for a crisp $5 bill and a congratulatory note.  Future teeth are only worth 25 cents, so this first one is pretty special.  Joan actually tugged it out.  Svea and Brigitta set up a little playground for the Tooth Fairy and hoped a toy alarm would go off and awake them so that they could see her.  She must have been too small and light to set it off.  Perhaps they were sleeping too hard.


   I went for a bike ride yesterday; the bike trail was 97% pavement and 3% snow packed.  Earlier we all drove up north to Bedford to look at cars.  On the way home we saw a creampuff 1995 Toyota Camry parked on the side of the road with a for sale sign in the window.  It has only 68,000 miles on it.  Bill and I went to look at it after work today; it has been well maintained and always garaged.  The paint looks new and it has absolutely no rust.  The sellers are buying a new car which they will pick up on Thursday.  Bill put money down on the car and will complete the transaction on Thursday.  It's a beautiful car.


An Ebay Study on Vehicle Make Longevity & Durability
(Or why Lincolns are 25 times better than Cadillacs)

   Bill and I have been used car shopping lately, so I’ve been paying attention to older cars and how much life they have left in them. I decided it would be interesting and perhaps valuable to compare cars listed on Ebay based on the percentage that have over 200,000 miles on them. 200 K seems like a good indicator of longevity that many cars are capable of hitting and yet still maintaining some value. My method was simple: Ebay shows the total number of cars per make at the top of the page during a search. After discounting the ridiculous mileage (such as 111,111,111 or 1,000,000 even) I counted the number of cars listed with 200,000 miles or more. A little division yielded the percentage of cars per make with over 200,000 miles. I predicted Mercedes, Volvo and Toyota would make the top three. Volvo let me down; I did such a study once many years ago and Volvo stood out significantly above all other makes. I’ve personally owned eight old Volvos and their mileage have ranged from 150,000 to 350,000. Toyota and Mercedes did very well. Lincoln and GMC surprised me; even though I drive my father-in-law’s Lincoln regularly I never have thought of it as a durable car. I have to give Bill credit; his other car is a Toyota: smart man.

   The results are listed in the table below; only makes with over 250 cars listed on Ebay were compared. * indicates oodles of cars with ridiculous mileage.



Raw Data:


Make - # / 200,00 miles - # on Ebay - %/ 200,000 miles
Lincoln - - - - 26 - 520 - 5.0
Toyota - - - - 58 - 1334 - 4.3
GMC - - - - -  27 - 674 - 4.0
Mercedes -  - 85 - 2360 - 3.6
Honda - - - - 50 - 1402 - 3.6
Nissan - - - - 27 - 765 - 3.5
Dodge * - - - 66 - 2133 - 3.1
Ford * - -  -  145 - 5294 - 2.7
Jeep - -  - -  29 - 1090 - 2.7
Acura - -  - - 12 - 496 - 2.4
Volvo - -  - - 11 - 490 - 2.2
Chevrolet * - 116 - 5343 - 2.1
Mazda - -  - - 9 - 479 - 1.9
Mitsubishi -  - 7 - 384 - 1.8
Oldsmobile - - 6 - 346 - 1.7
Volkswagen - 18 - 1151 - 1.6
Plymouth * -  4 - 328 - 1.2
Lexus - -  - - 9 - 802 - 1.1
Subaru - -  - 3 - 272 - 1.1
BMW - -  - - 20 - 1945 - 1.0
Buick - -  - - 4 - 382 - 1.0
Infinity - -  - 3 - 388 - 0.8
Pontiac - -  - 8 - 951 - 0.8
Saab - -  - - 2 - 257 - 0.8
Land Rover - 2 - 375 - 0.5
Audi - -  - - 2 - 726 - 0.3
Mercury -  - 1 - 315 - 0.3
Chrysler -  - 3 - 819 - 0.03
Jaguar -  -  -1 - 509 - 0.02
Cadillac - - - 2 - 960 - 0.02
Porsche -  - 1 - 947 - 0.01


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Blog #111



Guess Whose Eye:


Click here to veiw in 1024x768 resolution


Click here to veiw in 1024x768 resolution


Click here to veiw in 1024x768 resolution


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Blog #110


Happy Birthday Me


   I've had a great birthday.  It started with chaperoning an eighth grade field trip to a Holocaust Education program at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah Synagogue in Beachwood, Ohio.  As we were leaving the bus broke down so we spent an extra hour in the synagogue; I learned much about the Jewish faith and the Holocaust.   Joan made me a great Thai dinner and blueberry pie.  Papa gave me a new belt sander; my old one finally died after 15 years of hard use.  We ended the day by watching Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar" (a new birthday DVD).

Holocaust survivor and speaker Arnold Friedman with a fellow teacher and myself.


A handwritten Hebrew parchment scroll (basically the first five books of the Old Testament).  It takes a writer an entire year to produce one.


The written surface of the scroll should never be touched; a special pointer is used.  This section is part of the ten commandments.  Old Hebrew has no vowels, punctuation or spaces and reads from right to left.


The Holocaust Museum


Artifacts from the Holocaust Museum at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah Synagogue.


Check out the movie page for movie clips of Nana's birthday song & cake, Annika's birthday song & cake and my birthday song & cake.  I also have uploaded a clip of the last 11 minutes of Arnold Friedman's talk.


Obituaries often disappear from the Internet; I've preserved a copy of David Kincaid's Obituary which appeared today in the Anchorage Daily News.


One of Joan's projects: our family with pistachio heads


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Blog #109

David & Joan


Happy Second Birthday Annika!


   It is Birthday Week at the Hall House. In the first seven days of March we celebrate three birthdays. My Mom’s (Harriette) is on the first, Annika’s is on the fourth and David’s is on the sixth. On Thursday of last week we presented my Mom with candles atop a plate filled with Fat Free Apple Muffins.  Mmmmmm, decadent! Providing a “cake” for a person who has given up all sweets for Lent can be quite challenging. Although her gifts from us were minimal and her “cake” was less than gourmet, she seemed to enjoy the whole day. She and I spent some time shoe shopping (buying) in the morning that was delightful.

   Annika however did not give up sweets for Lent and on Sunday we had quite a little party for her. On the afternoon of Annika’s birthday, the Hall family had been invited to a party at an “inflatables” center so we told Anni we were going there just for her birthday. There were 25 other kids there she didn’t know but she got to eat cake and jump on the “bouncy bouncies” and she was in heaven. By the time we got home we gave her a short nap and began our festivities. Annika requested “Pizza, Mango Juice and a Winnie the Pooh cake” for her day and that is what we had. While
she napped, Svea and Brigitta blew up balloons and made banners to decorate the porch. Annika had a Pooh cake, presents mostly made up of play-doh, and a hand me down Fischer Price Farm that we had put away when Brigitta had outgrown it. Again, a minimal party by today’s standards,
but she was quite happy.






















For Sale (Cheap):

   I've never liked the main entrance to Home Depot up at the Chapel Hill Mall.  There is a fast lane that cuts through through the parking areas.  To enter it you must scan left, right and also glance at three or four parking lot entrances.  There is always a number of cars passing through the intersection within the parking area at any given time.  Today a big van turned right from Papa's lane.  Papa thought there were no cars coming from the right; the van, however, blocked his view for a period of time and he pulled out at the wrong time. 


Farewell David Kincaid

   I can't believe I (David) just wrote that.  David Kincaid was an old friend of mine from elementary school, junior high and 9th grade.  He finished high school at a ski academy in Vermont.  Later on we became reacquainted; David and his sisters helped out at the fireworks stands during our busy seasons.  David married Doug Roth's (another old friend) sister, Heather.  They had two young children and live(d) in Hood River, Oregon.  I don't think that the cause of his death has been completely determined.  Apparently he was running on a running trail, fell, and hit his head.  Someone discovered him and helped him home.  He was able to speak to his wife and mother, who was visiting.  They took him to the hospital where he had a seizure, heart attack and died.  David was a great downhill skier and serious windsurfer.  I believe he was the first person to vertically flip a windsurf board/rig in Turnagain Arm.  Turnagain Arm in Alaska is very cold, silty and has swift currents as well as strong winds.  Only a handful of the bravest and surest windsurfers venture out into those waters.  I believe that a major reason why he moved to Hood River was for the local windsurfing.  It's just seams crazy that someone who has always been athletic and skilled could die from a bad fall while running.  Since learning about his death, I've been noticeably down.  Tonight I called one of his sisters (Kitty) and his brother-in-law (Doug).  I've also been in contact with two other mutual friends through email. Somehow, talking helps a bit.  I hope and pray that his wife, Heather, and their children, Payton and Makenna, are able to cope with his loss.  I can't imagine how hard that must be. 


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