New Toys

A veritable treasure trove this week: The Wii Teresa bought arrived on Thursday - the timing was perfect - we had just come home from Erica's 5th grade Recognition Celebration at her school (I won't call it a Graduation).
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening setting the thing up, creating Mii's and playing the sports package. Scott played on the thing until 10pm.

Friday, my new toy arrived - a birthday present to myself - a new camera lens:

On my D70, it's pretty substantial:

And takes very nice pictures - Hannah

I didn't have to work my shift at the Baseball Snack Shack, as major thunderstorms rolled through and the games were canceled. The intense storms here alway blow over quickly, providing a contrast of storm and calm:


And it is my turn to work the Little League Concession Stand on Friday.

It was our neighbor's turn last night, and with 50 degree weather, windy and spitting rain, I KNOW she didn't want to work.


For all of my MIT and Geeky friends

I found this on YouTube and since I now know how to embed video, I had to add it here.

The Chorallaries of MIT perform a Classic original song, The Engineer's Drinking Song.
The song is a staple in the group's repertoire, (we used to sing it at the end of each concert) and is the most requested song. David Bass, one of the group's original founder, arranged the music, which contains many fugal and baroque elements.

I've posted the Chorus and the main verses sung by the group.


We are, we are, we are, we are, we are the Engineers
We can, we can, we can, we can, demolish forty beers
Drink rum, drink rum, drink rum all day, and come along with us
'Cause we don't give a damn for any old man who don't give a damn for us!

The males sing this verse:
Godiva was a lady who through Coventry did ride
To show the royal villagers her fine and pure white hide
The most observant man of all, an engineer of course,
Was the only one who noticed that Godiva rode a horse

And the females sing this one:
A maiden and an Engineer were sitting in the park
The Engineer was working on some research after dark
His scientific method was a marvel to observe
While his right hand held the figures, his left hand traced the curves

Other verses are rotated in - many can be found at this url:
Engineer's Drinking Song Verses


Wii is on the way!!

Thanks to Auntie Teresa and the release of the new Wii Fit bundle, a Wii will be coming to our household!

Auntie T was at Target bright and early this morning to grab a copy of Wii Fit and noticed 3 consoles were available.

So she calls us at home at 7am......

"Hey - it's me", she says.

"Uhhhh, is something wrong?" I ask tentatively (after all, who calls on a Wednesday morning unless something bad is going down??).

"Do you want a Wii?", she asks, almost like she is whispering - probably because she is waiting in line with a bunch of other people who don't have to show up to work on time (just kidding, T!).

"Wha???" Obviously, 7am is too early for me to think and have a real conversation.

"I'm at Target - they have a Wii here - do you want me to buy it for you?".

"Uhhh, I guess so....."

"What do you mean 'I guess so'? Don't you want one?" (Teresa has obviously been awake longer than I have this morning - she sounds exasperated with me)

"Uhhhh, sure..... maybe we can find one here......"

"Uggh - I'm just going to get one for you!"

"Uhhh, OK....." I turn around and announce "Hey kids - Auntie Teresa found a Wii and is going to buy it for us".

Much screaming and shouting ensues in the kitchen. Obviously, my kids can comprehend this stuff much better than I can.

So, the Wii is on its way from North Carolina to Illinois.
I am sure I will have to put up with the "when will it be here" rhetoric until it arrives.


Mother's Day Acrostics (a bit late, but still great)

This just in from my kids - Mother's Day Acrostics!

Just for the record, I despise Mother's Day. 'Nuf said.

But the kids brought in these acrostics they created the first week of May.

From Brian:
Really excellent
Very nice
Spelling "Creative"

From Erica:
Good natured
Answers questions
Spelling "Great"

Aaawwww.....I just love my kids!


Museum of Science Field Trip

As we head into the final stretch for school, it seems there are more special activities for the kids.

Like Class field trips - For Erica, "The Big One" - a trip to Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, with her 5th grade class. As usual, parents were invited to chaperone the students, and this time I signed up (it is, after all, Erica's LAST field trip in elementary school, and I have NEVER attended a field trip with her). The students took a charter bus, and the parents were given the choice to ride the bus or drive separately with other parents. After some consideration, I decided to drive (nothing like spending 2+ hours in close quarters with 5th graders). I drove two other parents, and it was a good thing they were in the car with me, as the driving instructions we were given were wrong. (We were instructed to get off the Dan Ryan expressway at the 51st St. Exit - but said exit no longer exists!).

The last time I visited the Museum of Science and Industry was in 1986, as part of a winter tour I took in college. At that time, I recall not being overly impressed. Things have certainly changed, as the museum was huge and well appointed with interactive exhibits.
The highlight of the visit - the U-505 submarine exhibit. The exhibit walks you through the capture of the German U boat in 1944 during WWII.

Erica really liked the newborn chicks in the Hatchery.

On the steps of the Museum with her friends.

We'll have to go back during the summer and bring the rest of the family.


12 on the 12th of May

How can it be May 12 already?
The cornfields are barely planted, the weather has been so cool and wet.
Even this morning - the thermometer registered a mere 39 degrees as I went running.

But the golden sun rose around 5:40am, not a cloud in the sky, the morning sun hits the block window in our bathroom.

The sunlight also streams into the kitchen, and onto the lilacs Erica picked on Saturday.

Today's morning beverage:

The traffic into town:

And the gas prices - and by the afternoon, this station had raised their prices by another $.10!

The price of mailing a first class letter increased today. Guess who had to go to the post office?

To buy some of these:

After work, I had to drive across town to retrieve a package sent Federal Express - you know, the annoying kind of package that requires you to sign for it in person. But the package is important, it is Scott's birthday present!

Brian had TaeQwonDo class today - he has a mid term test coming up on Thursday:

Erica has been reading Ann of Green Gables, so we watched the first DVD tonight.

Even though it is the middle of May, I still have tomatoes, basil, parsley and eggplants to get into the garden. Hopefully, this weekend....

The Korean lilac is just starting to bloom.

That's a wrap for this month's 12 on the 12th


Photo Challenge

I took some pictures for a photography challenge on ScrapShare.
Our task - photograph body parts (keeping it clean!). Terri G posted several fantastic shots of her kids' eyes and hands, so I am playing copy cat.

Cat's eyes count as well.....


400 pictures later

The 50th Anniversary DVD pictures are now ready for the DVD producer.

In the past 2 weeks, I have taken over 200 pictures, sorted through numerous photo albums, had another 200 pictures scanned and all 400 pictures were collaged over 100 composites.

All in all, I am pretty pleased with how it all turned out. All in all, I am totally sick of using Photoshop Elements. I can't imagine doing this for a living, and I could never convert over 100% to Digital scrapbooking. Yes, it was pretty fast, but churning out composite after composite became quite tedious.

Here is one of the composites - it will be the 2nd slide on the DVD - kind of an "introduction" before diving into pictures from the 1950's:

I have also been researching appropriate "background music" for the DVD. No small feat given the audience ranges from 20 year olds to 90 year olds. I am sticking to "work related" tunes. A really good song is Five O'Clock World by the Vogues, a hit back in 1965 - you can listen to it here:

Now to clean things up for a photobook - I need to trim down the number of pages - I want to use MPIX, but the maximum number of pages they can bind into a book is 50. But I am going to take a break from all of the Photoshopping and do my real job for a while!


See, I have to wear a hard hat some days

I work at a chemical plant, and while I mainly work with computers from my office, there are times when I need to don my hard hat, safety glasses and other "stuff" in order to go out in the plant.

I have been going out into the plant to take pictures of all the employees for an upcoming 50 year plant celebration. Our facility started making fumed silica in March, 1958. With my "Camera Nazi" tendencies, I volunteered to serve on the Commemorative DVD Committee, only to find that I had been appointed as the Committee head. Being a scrapbooker, I immediately lobbied for a Commemorative Photo book to supplement the DVD (because the retirees that worked here for 30+ years really don't want a DVD - I bet some don't even own DVD players - Plus I want a book). Folks were on board with the idea until the reality of the Celebration's cost hit. And my Photo Book was a huge chunk of the costs, coming in at $10,000 (250 books at $40 apiece). "The Book", as it is now referred to, was the first thing cut from the budget.

BUT - I will still pull together a photo book and have it available for people who want to pay for one. Our Financial Controller (ie - Bean Counter) thought that was a good compromise (I think he was feeling really guilty about cutting "The Book"), and several people have already mentioned that they would be willing to fork out the dough for one.

So, I have been running around the plant for the past week and a half, taking pictures of everyone - almost 200 active employees - and everyone will be included in the DVD / book. I snapped a picture of Scott walking from the maintenance department:

After I took one of the maintenance worker's picture, he took the camera from me and said "if you are going to take my picture, I am going to take yours". Fine - no problem. And here is the picture he took:

Like the hard hat and safety glasses? And that green thing on my hip is an escape respirator (in case some vile chemical gets discharged into the air and we get enveloped in the toxic cloud - obviously, not a frequent occurrence).

It's all in a hard day's work.



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The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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