Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lake Trip

So we're leaning toward visiting Lake Winnipesaukee at some point over the 4th of July weekend. (Hockey fans will be interested in knowing that Google's spell check recommends replacing Winnipesaukee with Winnipeg. Just like the Atlanta Thrashers! Go Jets, eh!)

Now we just have to decide when to go, and where specifically to go when we get their. Personally, my first choice is to find a public beach somewhere and then take the proverbial "jump in a lake." There are public beaches on Winnipesaukee so we'd just have to pick one to head to in the hopes that it isn't an over crowded nightmare on the day we go.

I also would like to check out as many of the natural attractions in the White Mountains as possible. Turns out I am a sucker for waterfalls. Who knew? I'd like to see the flume at Franconia Notch again, but would probably prefer to go to someplace I've never seen. Everything sounds like it's worth a trip.

This particular trip is not about me though, it's about the kids! As it should be. So where around the lake do we take the kids? The Alpine Slide interests one of them, but not the other. Amusement parks are hit or miss for us, because one kid is a ride crazy daredevil and the other is definitely not. However, at most amusement parks there is something to keep all of us entertained.

While all of these are important questions, they still should not be the first questions we ask. We should be focusing on when are we going and should we stay overnight before we get to specific destinations.

I am seriously looking forward to this weekend. The four of us are going to have a blast!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blank Again

Again, I got nuttin.

Can't think of anything to write about.


Hey! Did you hear the Bruins won the Stanley Cup? Yeah! I still can't believe it. I mean... The Stanley Cup... in Boston! I just... I just... I can't get over it. I have to keep reminding myself. Normally at this time of year I am reading up on which players are going to become free agents on July 1st. This year? Who cares, we won The Cup!

In baseball news, the Red Sox have dropped out of first place again thanks to losing six of their last 10. Inter-League play is not being good for them. Cliff Lee obliterated them last night, but you sort of expect that from Cliff Lee. I voted for the all star team yesterday. I haven't been following the majors enough to make intelligent decisions on most positions, especially the National League, so I just made sure I voted for Adrien Gonzales and then placed a few home town votes that probably aren't quite deserving, and then favored San Diego and Milwaukee on the senior circuit. They have an interesting little tweek to the ballot. You can vote multiple times. You submit the ballot, the page refreshes, and the submit button is still there. You can just keep hitting it. There is a max number of votes (25, I think) but I don't know if that is per day or per email address or what. I guess when it comes to ballot box stuffing if you can't beat them, join them.

Still haven't made any final decisions on what to do with our 4th of July weekend. It mostly depends on the weather. Checking the five day forecast, Saturday is looking great. Sunday might not be quite so good. We'll have to see.

Let's just hope for good weather, maybe a beach, and some fireworks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My Love.


I have nothing to say right now. Can't think of anything.

The fourth of July weekend is coming up and we can't settle on any plans. We thought about Maine on Saturday, but then we found out that Beatlejuice is playing at Methuen's town celebration. We thought about Lake George in New York but thought better of it, fiscally. We are a little handcuffed for Monday the 4th itself because we need to hand the kids off to their Dad at some point, so we need to stay close to home. There are cook out invites all over the place, and there is Lake Winnipesaukee looking down at us from the not so distant North. There are also Hampton and Salisbury and York and Old Orchard and how many other beaches on the MA/NH/ME seacoasts.

Thought: I have long, long, been anti-television show. Prior to 2004 I was pretty much boycotting all television that wasn't sports. Then I stumbled on Dead Like Me and really liked it. I thought it was an aberration, but recently I have watched a lot of TV shows and liked them.

Or have I?

Jen has recently become a fan of Glee. She watched the whole first season on Netflixs, but season two is not yet available for streaming. I asked her if she was going to watch the next season as it aired. That got me thinking...

When was the last time I followed a television show that I had to wait to see each week's new episodes?

Dead Like Me, I saw the pilot on-air as a rerun just prior to the start of the second and final season. I then went online and found rips of the entire first year. Also, there was a leak of a bunch of season two episodes and I watched those online as well. I then had to wait for each new episode, but I rarely watched them on television, preferring to gobble them up online.

South Park? I used to video tape each week's episode, but that was a long time ago. I probably stopped doing that in 1999 or 2000. I used to video tape all Star Trek shows, but that ran out of steam for me in the second to last season of Voyager. That would have been in 2000. I tried to start again with Enterprise but quickly started finding those online too.

Since then my wife and I have watched close to every episode of at least Friends, Scrubs, Smallville, and How I Met Your Mother. There are others too. I watched a bunch of Glee with her, and I've snuck in the first year of the Battlestar Galactica remake as well. None of which were watched on broadcast television. All were either via DVD, Netflix, or video tape.

So maybe... maybe it's not the programming that I have a problem with (although 99.999% of television programming is worse than garbage). Maybe it's the waiting. Maybe having to wait seven days after watching something on television is too much for my mini-attention span. If I can't devour it all in a short time, I don't bother.

Maybe the real question is, who cares?

Maybe we should just say screw it and go to Lake George. hehe What do you say, Jen? hehe


Monday, June 27, 2011

Chip Head

Photo by my amazing wife:

Patches doesn't have a chip on her shoulder, she has one one her head!

Give a pair o' nerds a cat and a bag of Tostitos and this is the kinda shit yer gonna see.


My Missus. I love her madly.


Calendar Ups and Downs

I believe this past weekend may have been the shortest weekend since the United States adopted the 40 hour work week. I blinked and it was over. Where did it go? My wife and I had a very nice weekend, spent mostly at home together doing nothing and really liking it. The kids had their piano recital. She worked a little. I cleaned a little. Mostly though it was just us enjoying each other's company. I love her so much.

Today, however, is Monday. That in and of itself has an extremely high suckitudenal level. Unfortunately this coming weekend is a long one. It is the much anticipated, long awaited three day fourth of July weekend. That means this work week is going to drag and suck and drag and suck some more. The 40 hour week is going to feel like 400 hours by the time Friday sets us free.

Suckitudenality overload.


We have a long vacation scheduled for later in the summer. Today I logged into work and opened up my calendar to see what was coming up and saw for the first time that the start of the vacation is close enough that it is showing in the default calendar view.

Oh the happiness. Oh the sweet, sweet, vacational happiness.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nevins Library

The kids' piano recital was in the Methuen Library. I had not been in this room before, but I really liked it. I appologise for not getting a shot of, or from, the balcony.



Lazy Flashback

I'm having serious flashbacks to my high school days this weekend.

I have been so overtired for the last week or so that I have slept later than 10:00am both yesterday and today.

That's sort of how it was in high school... sleeping until late morning on weekends. In college it was more like early afternoon.

zzzz zzzz zzzz

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Q: What is the grossest creature in creation?

A: The slug that was curled up on the knob on our gas grill.

Q: What is the best thing in the world to do on a Saturday evening?

A: Go to my step kids' piano recital.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wikipedia History Lesson

In history class you probably learned a little about a bit of Colonial American nastiness called the French and Indian War. You know the one. George Washington saw combat for the first time in that one. The novel The Last of the Mohicans centers around a battle that took place on Lake George in New York. You've heard of it.

But, did you know that that wasn't the only French and Indian War? There were actually three others that happened leading up to the one we learn about in school. Thanks to, you can learn a little about those too!

There was King William's War (1689–97), Queen Anne's War (1702–1713), and King George's War (1744–1748), before we finally got to the French and Indian War (1754-1763). That war, of course, lead to the American Revolution.

Isn't wikipedia awesome?

Want to hear something else? There was another war that took place before any of those. It was called King Philip's War (1675–1676) and it was fought between an alliance of Native American tribes, and English Colonists in New England, along with their own Native American allies. In that piece of ugliness, many New England towns were attacked. Including places that I go to every day, like Andover and Chelmsford. Learning that makes me want to find out if those towns have any memorials, or preserved historical sites or anything like that. Maybe there's a box of paper in a town hall basement or something that documents the events.

Stuff like this is interesting to me.

More Nerd Love

I have a new example of just how out of control the nerdishness is between me and my lovely wife. As Nerd Love goes, we truly are the top of the list.

Last night at around 9:00 or so, both kids were in bed. Jen and I were both awake but sitting up in our bed. We both had headphones on and were watching television shows via netflix on our iPads.

You may think that that is the nerdiest thing you've ever heard of, but wait until you hear what shows we were watching...

She was watching Glee.
I was watching the remake of Battlestar Galactica.

Nerd Love is the best love ever. Nerd Love FTW.

Oh, and everyone take a second to wish my brother John and his wife Mary a very happy fifth wedding anniversary! Happy anniversary!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Car accident right in front of me and the cop is blocking my left turn.


A few weeks ago, the Navy Seals finally caught up with Osama Bin Laden.

Last night the FBI finally caught Whitey Bulger.

I've also seen a couple of stories saying that OJ Simpson confessed to the killings. The first place I saw that was weekly world news, so you'll forgive me for not jumping up and down with excitement.

What's next?

Will those kids finally catch the Lucky Charms Leprechaun? They are always after his Lucky Charms, after all.

What do you think? Answer in the comments!

(yes, I am fishing for comments so feel free to add yours)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


We are watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The kids are seeing their first Mike Nelson episode (The Starfighters). They are very apprehensive.

I feel confident that they will grow to like Mike they way all of the rest of us did.

At least it's not a Pearl episode.

What were they thinking?

Go for a Walk

Our street is a circle, and it's a little less than .25 miles long.

On Monday night Jen and I went for a walk. One lap around the circle. On Tuesday night we went for two laps. Tonight we will probably take the kids with us for the two laps.

Oh, do my back and legs hurt!

We are going on vacation in a couple of months and I need to get my legs working and, hopefully, remove some of the massive bulk that is my gut. It's time to get back on that wagon, people! Time to be a huge fat ass, but slightly less of a huge fat ass!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


DSC_0003 by robj_1971
DSC_0003, a photo by robj_1971 on Flickr.

I can't help it... I just love her like crazy.

Photo Dump

Last night I finally got around to cleaning off the memory card on my camera. I dumped a bunch of pictures onto both flickr and facebook, and here I am dumping some of them onto you!

For my 40th birthday my wife brought me and most of my favorite people out to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Boston. Little did I know that it is located inside the old state house.




I love her.

The Duck Boat driver asked me to take their picture. Far be it from me to ever say no to a Duck Boat driver.

Cannon Mountain

We took the tram to the top of Cannon Mountain on Sunday and then walked a little way along one of the trails. We got there pretty late in the day and only had a few minutes between the tram up and the last tram down. It was fun. I hope we can go back again when we have more time.

Enjoy the photo spam:

The windows in the tram were a little dirty.

Okay, the windows in the tram were a lot dirty.

Outside, looking back down.

The trees were stunted, but still tall enough to get in the way. I could have cropped these but didn't want to.


The best view we had in our brief visit required climbing over these rocks.

That road is Interstate Route 93.




The last tram of the day was about to leave so we had to head back.

It was a long drive followed by a short visit, but it was worth it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Greg the Bunny


Greg the Bunny visited our front yard tonight.

Amethyst-Tini Cam


A+ Weekend

That was a fun weekend. On Friday we all went to one of my step son's baseball games. On Saturday my step daughter's softabll team won their league championship, then she and I went to watch my step son's season finale. His league doesn't keep score so all of the teams got championship trophies. That means both step kids got a championship trophy on Saturday. They also both had ice cream. The softball team had a victory celebration at an ice cream place in Salem, and the baseball team had ice cream bars on the field.

After the games were over we met up with Jen, who was at work, and then met up with Larry and Nawal and their son for dinner at The Border Cafe (of course) followed by another ice cream at Kimballs in Westford (of course). It was getting a little late by the time we left Kimballs, but we found ourselves very close to my sister's house so we paid a brief surprise visit. We got to play with the soon-to-be-three year old nephew, and Jen and I both got to hold the four month old nephew. It was a nice visit.

Sunday was Fathers Day so the kids were picked up by their step mother at around 10:30 or so. Right after that Jen and I motored back to Westford to meet my family for Fathers Day brunch at the Westford Regency Hotel. We go to their Sunday brunch on special occasions when they aren't booked solid. The bacon is out of this world, and there are literally mountains of it. We got to see my parents (Happy Fathers Day, Dad), my sister's family (Happy Father's Day, Ken) including my two nephews, and my brother's family (Happy Father's Day, John) including my niece and nephew. It was fun, but we had to cut it short because we needed to be home for when the kids came back. They, and their step mother, surprised their Dad by taking him out to lunch.

Almost as soon as they got home from lunch with their Dad, we all piled into the new car and drove up to the mountains. It was a little late in the day to get started, but we had a couple of ideas of things to do in the White Mountains in day trip fashion. We didn't do either of them. Instead we took the tram to the top of Cannon Mountain and wandered around one of the trails. The kids were a little nervous about the tram at first, but once it started moving they loved it. They had a great time on the trail too. The mountain wasn't high enough for a bare rock summit, but it was high enough for the trees to be stunted and weird looking. It's a little like being in another world, and when you hit a clear spot the views were unbelievable. It was beautiful.

I have a big pile of pictures on my camera that need to be sorted and posted. There are pictures from my birthday dinner, my step daughter's chorus concert, both of Saturday's softball/baseball games, and Cannon Mountain. I'll get to them soon.

On the way home we stopped at a turkey restaurant in Meredith, NH that Jen used to go to with her mother when she was a kid. Meredith is also the scene of a famous Murphy clan family vacation when my sister and I were kids. I think my brother was still a baby then. I don't know how clear my memory of that vacation is, but I believe there were about 30,000 Murphy cousins there. My mother's side of the family is so damn big we may never get an accurate count of just how many cousins I have.

It was a great weekend. A+ all around.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Devil's Gas Station

On the way to the white mountains.

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to Dads everywhere!

Now, off to mow the lawn! WOOOHOOO!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011



Almost Game Time

It's a super big day today. We are about half an hour away from the U10 Softball League Championship Game.

Oh, did I mention that my step daughter's team is playing?

Go get 'em, ladies! Good luck!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Watching Baseball

School's Out

As of noon today my step kids are done with school. We now officially have a fifth grader and a third grader in our house.


I'm wicked proud!


At least one of the rioting idiots in Vancouver got what was coming to him...

Ouch town, population you, bro!

Now What?

I checked the news today and apparently the Bruins really did win the Stanley Cup the other night. I didn't dream it. They haven't found some obscure rule to disqualify them. It didn't suddenly turn into a best of nine series or anything weird like that.

The Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions.


So now what? I can't go to the parade on Saturday. Not that I really feel a need to go to the victory parade, it's just the next thing on many Bruins fans to-do list. Tomorrow we will hopefully have our second championship of the week. My step daughter's softball team is in their playoff tournament's finals. They ran away with the regular season and won the first playoff game in dramatic, come from behind, fashion. I can't wait to see tomorrow's game.

After that? Well hopefully I can start going to the gym with my beautiful wife. We have a vacation coming in a few months and I am in the worst shape I've ever been in. Building up a little walking around stamina would do wonders for me. Beyond that, maybe I can have time to start cleaning the house and doing all of those things that I've been too distracted by the Glory of the Bruins to get done.

Oh, and there is also the Red Sox. Make that the first place Red Sox with the best record in the American League. It's time to start obsessing about them again. One cool incentive to follow the Red Sox presented itself last night.

I was in the kitchen doing something. Jen and my step son were in our room reading before his bedtime. My step daughter was alone in the living room. When their on-demand program ended FiOS eventually exited the on-demand section and went back to the last station viewed in normal television, which happened to be NESN. The Red Sox were on. Now, I don't know if she did this out of interest in the game, or out of just-before-bed-time-laziness, but she left the game on and watched it all by herself for a couple of innings. I asked her for a score update and she gave it right away. I think we may have created a baseball fan out of one of the kids. That is awesome!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Game Seven - Highlights

Can't forget the highlight video. I think I've embedded one of these for each of the other three finals wins, so here is the fourth, Stanley Cup Clinching win.

I still can't believe it.

Stanley Cup Champions

These images come from at this location.

These images come from at this location.

I still can't believe the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.