Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cell phone use.

This article says that 25% of European Union households prefer mobile phones to their land line counter parts. My wife and I have only been using cell phones for a few years. We got rid of our land line after we realized that we were only using it to get on the internet and paying more than a cable modem would cost. At this point, we wouldn't even know what to do with a land line phone if we got one again. I wonder how many other Americans have also cut the line.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Old Ford.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

18 months.

This is Lili. Today she is eighteen months old. In, what seems like, a very short time my wife and I went from having a baby to having a toddler. Soon she'll turn two and drastically change our lives once again. Happy half-birthday, Lili.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New glasses.

Book titles.

These are the titles of books I would like to see printed:
  • Complete Idiot's Guide To Complete Idiots
  • Left Hander's Guide To The Right Wing
  • Chicken Soup For The Chicken's Soul
  • Ventriloquism For Dummies
  • Cat Skinning For Beginners

Flower stump.

Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP, George.

George Carlin, perhaps the greatest American comedian, has died at the age of 71. He not only made me laugh, he made me think. When I was in college, the highlight of my career as a college journalist was covering his concert on the campus of Bloomsburg University for our school paper. Thank you, George.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Puddle sky.

This day in history.

Operation Barbarossa was Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. The invasion was made possible by Germany and the Soviet Union dividing Poland therefore bringing the two countries into physical proximity to war. This was the beginning of The Great Patriotic War as World War II is known is Russia.

Automotive stuff.

I found this very useful article on Lifehacker, the site that has "tech tricks, tips, and downloads for getting things done" as its motto. I guess if you can't get there, getting things done is out of the question.


Sometimes local residents display peculiar behavior like gathering in front of an empty stage in lawn chairs. Since there have not been any recent crop circles or UFO sitings, the only reason for this gathering is a production of Waiting for Godot. In the summer, around here, there is never a dull moment.

Thought of the day.

The Roman Empire conquered what was then the known world using horse carts and wearing sandals. The roads and structures that they built still stand pretty much unchanged after centuries. When the Roman Army would take an enemy city they would raise it to the ground leaving nothing behind. Sometimes we should take a lesson from history.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Summer time around here means fire company carnivals. These are small events that usually last four or five days and raise funds for a fire company that holds the carnival. Since the majority of towns around here are small, we don't have professional fire departments. Local fire companies, as the saying goes, are professionally staffed by volunteers. These fire companies have the proper training and the right equipment but because they are volunteer, money for new equipment is very difficult to come by which is why they hold carnivals.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day.

Today is my second Father's Day. Last year my wife surprised me with a weekend trip to Gettysburg, my favorite town in Pennsylvania. This year we did not make any concrete plans so we are still working on getting out of the house. Yesterday we ordered new glasses, went strawberry picking at a beautiful spot atop a huge hill, and swam for the first time this summer. Now, having been exhausted by all that activity, we are hanging out in the bedroom. Lili is only one who is actually dressed and ready to go. We must venture out and do something. The question is what.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Picking strawberries.

Flag day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Storm damage.

We just had a thunderstorm that lasted about fifteen minutes. In that time we were subjected to rain, hail, and lightening strikes less than a mile away. When we got home we found this sight around the corner from our house. This tree is completely blocking a street.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Tennis courts.


This is going to be my new Twitter photo.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Indiana Jones and The Ignorant Immigrant.

Last night, as part of my 35th birthday celebration festivities, my wife and I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. This movie was as good as The Last Crusade and Raiders of the Lost Ark, leaving me to wonder what were Spielberg and Lucas thinking when they made The Temple of Doom.

I was particularly impressed with the Russian spoken by the KGB agents and the Soviet soldiers in this movie. As a native speaker, I see a lot of movies where the Russian spoken by the characters is far from anything I even remotely recognize as Russian. In most cases, what supposed to be Russian turns out to be gibberish that happens to sound Russian without making any grammatical sense.

On the other hand, I found a few things a little unbelievable. My friend Carl warned me about two things that made him roll his eyes while watching this movie. They were the refrigerator and the monkeys. I had to agree with him about the refrigerator, but the monkeys I thought were just a cutesy break from the action. They were completely unnecessary, but not entirely awful.

My own list of things that made me roll my eyes is a little bit longer than Carl's. First, the English spoken by the KGB agents was quite bad, in reality these people were highly trained and spoke excellent English. Second, the sword worn by the female villain, Soviet officers did not wear swords, let alone rapiers, unless they were cavalry officers especially in 1957. Finally, the vehicles used by the Soviet soldiers did not remind me of those I was familiar with while growing up in the Soviet Union.

I was looking forward to seeing this movie since I didn't get a chance to see any other Indiana Jones movies in theaters. It was worth the price of admission and then some, the price of popcorn, on the other hand, was ridiculous. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I haven't given anything crucial away. And if you have seen it, you know exactly what I mean.

Friday, June 06, 2008

City slicker.

Cars like this, even though perfectly normal in places like Philly and New York, seem completely bizarre in rural Pennsylvania. Here, trucks and SUVs dominate the roads. That's because in Winter it's almost impossible to get around without a front wheel drive at the very least.

Since the snow removal crews do not believe in plowing every street, sometimes the snow you shovel off of your vehicle is the only snow removal that takes places. Out here, you and your car have to fend for yourselves and it helps if your car can get you through the snow.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Lili got a hold of my phone and took this picture earlier today.

Twilight sky.