Blog #84




Colorado - 2001

  I added over 50 new/old pictures to the Good Old Days - Colorado page today.  Be sure to check them out.

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Blog #83




The Good Old Days

   I've scanned a few old photos and pepped up some early old digital pictures from our first camera.  The pictures are displayed on several new pages.  Look for the "Good Old Days" link on the main hallbuzz.com page, to the right of the blog link.


   Last night I went for a paddle in the Sprinter; the Sprinter is a sit-on-top with scuppers that drain the seat and foot holes, they also allow 3 or 4 inches of water into the seat and foot holes.  Note to self: November is a little late to be sitting in lake water.  Both the water and air were well above freezing.  When I launch the Sprinter I walk it into a few inches of water, set it down, straddle it and sit down.  Standing in the water next to my boat I could feel my feet getting more numb by the second.  I almost ditched my plan but decided that since I'd gone through the effort to load the boat, drive to the lake, and unload I it to owed myself to at least try.  My rear end didn't seem to mind the cold much.  My feet, however, were cold and numb the entire trip.  It was actually a very nice paddle.  The lake was as smooth as glass, it was very quiet and the sun was near setting. 


   Today we took the girls for a hike at Munroe Falls Park.  It was relatively warm; a tee-shirt and sweatshirt was just right.  Joan took a lot of pictures, Svea and Brigitta explored and Annika enjoyed the ride on my back. 


Brigitta and Svea looking through a hollow log.


Britta in trees


Joan's best still life.


Near the end of our hike, and sunset.


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Blog #82



Happy Thanksgiving



   Big extended family Thanksgiving dinners are great, and their day will come to us.  We do enjoy the lower stress and hustle of a smaller simpler diner.  By "simple" I mean Joan and Harriette only spent most of the day preparing for our feast.  As always, Bill made the mashed potatoes and I made the gravy.  In school Brigitta made a neat turkey centerpiece with multi-colored real feathers (not pictured).  Svea took it upon herself to trace every family member's hand and created turkey name tags for everyone. 

  On the topic of stress and the holiday season; my sister and her family are due for a busy one.  They have spent much of the summer and fall remodeling their home in Juneau Alaska.  Then, when they got everything just right, they decided to move and bought a new home.  They plan on keeping their old house and renting it out.  Financially it should work out well in the long run.  Unfortunately my sister, Sheryl, has the same disease that I have; we inherited it from our Mother.  Its difficult to explain, but the main long term effect of the disease is a home filled to the brim with stuff, clutter and junk.  The good news is that my parents will be in staying with them for a month during the holidays and move.  My parents are pretty good at coming to the rescue and have helped out quite a bit during the time of birth for all of their grandchildren.  This should work out well for everyone involved. 



   Annika indicated that she was finished with dinner by rubbing sweet potatoes in her hair.  This form of non verbal communication is becoming less common for her.  I would estimate that 1/4 of her verbal communication is in complete sentences, another 1/4 is in phrases, another quarter is single words and the rest is babble.  When asked to repeat a word or phrase she usually will.  She still has her baby voice and laugh.  She likes songs and is pretty good at repeating partial song verses.


This morning the girls snuggled together on the porch couch.


Svea made George Washington out of Duplos a few days ago.



Svea's chapped-Mona Lisa smile.


Brigitta made a giant tower out of Duplos.  I made the base and spire, but she did the vast majority of the work and followed a fairly complex structural pattern.


Here it is falling down. 

Note the pillow in the foreground; Brigitta threw it at the tower from her position on the couch.


I just started scanning old pictures and hope to create a few picture pages from long ago. 


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Blog #81

David & Joan


Warning: More Annika Pictures!

   When you find something that can occupy a one-year-old’s time for twenty minutes – you photograph it. We have found that running water – just a little stream, will amuse Annika for the longest periods of time. Of course you get a totally wet baby and floor, but sometimes those are small prices to pay for a happy baby.  -  Joan







Cats and the Bumper's Last Straw.


   Yesterday I took Svea and Brigitta to Cleveland's Playhouse Square - Palace Theater to see Cats.  Joan and I had told them that they were going to get a reward for behaving so well over the past few weeks, but we didn't tell them what it would be.  Somehow Svea had an idea that we were going to see Cats but we have no idea how she figured so.  I gave all kinds of hints that were off track so they didn't really know what we were going to do.  When I parked the car I tapped a pole with the rear bumper.  It was only a 2 mph tap, but I heard a clunk immediately after.  When I got out I checked out the back of the car to see what made such a noise.  The rear bumper had fallen off.  I loaded it into the passenger seat area and the girls and I headed to the theater.  At the will-call window they finally heard "Cats" and they lit with surprise and excitement.  The Palace Theater is old, huge ornate and gorgeous.  We had arrived early for the afternoon show so we had plenty of time to appreciate the beautiful theater and find our seats in the 28th row in the orchestra section.  I managed to get a couple of booster seats for the girls.  After a restless wait the lights dimmed and the show began. 

   I love musicals and Cats is my favorite; I've certainly seen it more than any other show.  The first time I saw it was in London in 1986 with my sister Sheryl.  We had front row seats and I was blown away.  I bought the original London cast tape and wore it out.  When the touring show came to Anchorage in the early 90's I also saw it from the front row.  Before Svea was born Joan and I saw it from high up on the balcony in Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs. 

   Most of this touring company is new.  They did a good job and we were thrilled.  Svea lip-synced, squirmed, swayed with the dances and whispered questions and comments to me regularly.  Brigitta sat surprisingly still; I think I saw her blink a couple of times and I'm sure I saw several smiles.  At intermission we walked around and climbed to the top row of the balcony.  Her favorite song is third from the end of act two and she beamed throughout it.  We made good time on the way home and had a late supper.


   Today I took a closer look at the bumper.  The structural part is hardened aluminum and the steel studs appeared to be cast in.  The area around where the studs had been looked shattered.  Most of the raw edges of the cracks were heavily corroded, indicating that the cracks were very old.  The aluminum structure of the bumper is unmarred except for the broken mount points and the plastic cover also looks fine.  My guess is that bumper was used as a tow point long ago and a hard snap tug cracked all of the mount points.  Check out these huge holes in the picture below.


   The only Volvo 240 bumper on Ebay at this time is $200 and requires $70 to ship.  I just can't justify spending that kind of money on my old beater so I bought six bolts, washers, nuts and a metal cutting skill saw blade for $10.  I cut some quarter inch steel into long strips to distribute the load of the now larger bolts.  I think my solution is stronger than the original design.


All covered and back to normal.



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Blog #80




Svea's Egyptian Pharaoh

   Joan has been reading an Egyptian mystery to Svea and Brigitta.  Yesterday after school while I was finishing my work in the lab Svea did Google image searches of Egyptian: pharaohs, queens, robes, shoes, sphinx and dogs.  She drew what she saw and when we got home she colored her drawing.


   Brigitta and Svea both have been nuts about Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats".  I've played the Broadway CD over the years so they have been familiar with the music.  Two weeks ago I put in a VHS tape from the movie/play production.  They have been hooked and request to watch it everyday.  They dance along with the cats and Brigitta has learned a few lines from most of the songs and sings them regularly.  Currently her favorite character is Magical Mr. Mistoffelees.  For a solid week she wore only tight black clothes.   Svea has been torn between Egypt and "Cats"; fortunately Cassandra from Cats is Egyptian.  Below is Brigitta's impression of the original conjuring cat: The Magical Mr. Mistoffelees.  The colors around him are "magic"!


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Blog #80



Happy Birthday Ed


Our neighbor, Ed showman, has dinner once a month with us.  Papa, Ed and I attend the World War II Roundtable meetings afterward.  Last night we celebrated Ed's 87th Birthday.


Svea and I attended "Doughnuts for Dads" at IHM a few weeks ago. 

I just came across this picture at school today.


Anni and Britta posing before Britta heads to school.


Svea has been studying Egypt lately.  Papa helped her make a scepter last night and today she dressed in her best Pharaoh outfit.  When the camera comes out Annika assumes the she must be in all pictures and is happy to pose, cakeface or not.





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Blog #79



Happy Birthday Uncle Gerard

   Joan's uncle and godfather, Gerard Kelly, celebrated his 85th birthday today at Shy's house, just down the street.  All ten of his children were able to attend and are pictured with him below.


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Gerard with some of his grandchildren and grand nieces.

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Gerard gets psyched to blow out his candles.


Greenland Style Paddle

   I made a traditional Greenland style Inuit paddle yesterday.  Compared to a modern paddle the blade is ridiculously narrow; only about three inches wide.  I made it mostly for display to accompany the baidarka; I'm going to make a harpoon as well.  Anyway, I was feeling well enough today to go for a paddle and decided to give the Greenland paddle a chance.  I was very skeptical and expected that it just wouldn't have enough area to bite the water and get my boat going.  It's definitely different but worked surprisingly well.  I paddled about three miles with it and didn't feel the need to switch to my modern paddle that was lashed onto the deck.  After about two miles I noticed something; it was very quiet.  The only sound it made at cruising speed was from the water dripping off of it as it came out of the water.  It left no swirling eddy or splash.  This is probably very important if you need to get within harpoon distance of a waterfowl, seal or walrus.  Those clever Eskimos!


Hall Family Website hallbuzz.com


Blog #78



Svea Makes the News



   Tallmadge Express photographers regularly cover children's events at our public library.  Joan takes the girls to these events often so it wasn't a surprise that a photographer took a picture of Svea.  We were surprised, however to see her picture in today's paper nearly a month after the event.


   I am sicker than ever; this cold has been beating me down for over a month.  I barely made it through the work day on Friday and went to the doctor right after school.  He figured that I have bronchitis and prescribed antibiotics. I spent all day Saturday horizontal; even sitting up made me feel awful.  I have no appetite; even filtered water tastes bad.  Today I've been able to sit up for awhile and even walk around.  I'm not convinced that I have bronchitis; I figure that I must be patient 0 of the next pandemic. 


Hall Family Website hallbuzz.com


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