November 01, 2005

Post Halloween

Posted by Scott at 10:25 PM

Halloween - Normally at my office by 6 o'clock there are a lot of stragglers still working. Not yesterday! If you had kids, you were not burning a little extra midnight oil. You were rushing to get home. I left a smidge before 5 o'clock because that whole office development backs up fiercely with the mass exodus of the 9 to 5 clock watchers.

Abby dressed up in a spidery witch outfit. The twins were Pooh and Tiggr. Timothy was a lady bug. I didn't take any pictures. By the time I got home from work we were so obsessed with coordinating other things, taking pictures was the last thing on our minds. Of course, if you look at these pictures from last year, things haven't changed much. (And no, I never fixed my mis-labeling of Michael's picture...) If you take this outfit worn by Daniel, just replace it in your mind's eye with Timothy. Yes, I'm a bad parent. I didn't take pictures of my children on Halloween. Mea culpa!

Claire helped me in distributing hot cider, candy, and cookies. I could not get over how nearly every child went through "analysis paralysis" when I would present them with a plate of cookies. I'd say, "take one" and they would study the entire plate for 10 seconds or so. They were all the same size, same design, etc. baked that afternoon from one of those pre-fab cookie dough in a tube things you buy in the store. Just slice and bake. And yet it must be programmed into kids genes: study the plate and find the best one. At first I thought it was a fluke but it kept happening over and over — this "deer stuck in the headlights" look as the plate of cookies hypnotized them.

All Saints Day - This morning I took Claire with me to All Saints Day Mass. Funny how that always ends up the day after Halloween (and how Ash Wednesday always lands right after Mardi Gras). Afterwards we stopped at that new family owned donuts shop and brought home some treats for the rest of the family.

In the evening we watched the Herbie movie on DVD. I took the girls and the twins to see it when it was out last summer but it was fun seeing it again. I wanted to see the DVD because it showed the deleted scenes. There are certain movies that you can sense the editing because certain things lack continuity or depth. Seeing the deleted scenes certainly flushed out a few things that were skimmed over in the released movie. Another thing that the DVD revealed was how little computer generated imagery (CGI) was used. In trying to keep with the way the original Herbie movies were done, they had an army of early 60's Beetles to do most of the stunts. A few of them were heavily outfitted with remote controlled solenoids to do all of the Herbie expressions. Bouncing, winking headlights, etc. I admired that they didn't simply CGI all of that.

11 years - Tomorrow marks eleven years of New Hampshire living. Eleven years! Wow! It seems like just yesterday Michelle and I were a set of DINKs passing the "Welcome to New Hampshire" sign for the first time in our little CRX with a couple of suitcases and two cats. Now the cats are gone, we have five kids, and we can't even go on a family vacation with two suitcases.

Last night we met a family that just moved into our neighborhood recently — newcomers like we were 11 years ago. I commented that it was the warmest Halloween I'd remembered in ages. They nervously said, "really?!" They had moved up from Florida. I asked if they'd bought a snowblower yet. He said no, but he had a good shovel. I got serious and said, "buy a snowblower, dual stage, while they're affordable and in stock". I don't know what they'll think if they wake up some January morning with 18 inches of fresh, heavy snow. It's not bad when it happens once, but once it happens a few more times during the winter, it quickly loses it's appeal without a little Tim Allen "more power" approach.

Lastly, a word of warning. The site could be a bit flakey today. The computer that runs this web server (named manganese) has been having fits for the past day. The admin is looking into it. It has the oddest behavior. I can post to it but I can't ftp or ssh to it nor get any email. Clicking on the "Posted by Scott" links should work if you need to email me. Those emails go to my backup Mac account.


I can't imagine having to own a snowblower. Is that like a leafblower? You just blow the snow in piles, out of the way? That sounds like a world of fun to me! Honestly. Some winters we only get a trace amount of know

Posted by: Lisa at November 3, 2005 06:50 AM

Hi Lisa,

No, it doesn't blow the snow out of the way. Some folks call them snow throwers, which is a more accurate description of what they do. There's a very good description of them (including a picture) at:

Mine looks a bit like that one. Up here, getting 21 inches of snow in one storm is not uncommon, although it is on the high side. You are almost guaranteed to get several instances of over a foot in a given winter season. Because of the depth and weight of the snow, most folks own a two stage. Single stage is good for areas that typically get less than a foot of snow at a time.

This area, though, is quite used to large snowfalls and the town services are very good at plowing it out of the way. I can't think of when I've missed a day of work due to a storm. It's usually understood, though, that I might be in a bit late while I spend the early morning clearing my driveway.

You are right that it is a bit fun. A good snow thrower cuts through snow "like buttah" (butter) and really sends it flying about 20 or more feet away. The arc of snow it forms is reminiscent of the spray of a water skier on one ski slaloming side to side.

Posted by: Scott at November 3, 2005 07:18 AM

Hi Lisa,

I was trying to think if I had any pictures of a typical healthy New England snow storm. If you look at this photo album (shortly after Timothy was born) you'll see a storm with some healthy banks and me clearing it with our snowblower.

Posted by: Scott at November 3, 2005 02:10 PM

Scott, We're soon going to be returning to Southern New Hampshire after living way up on a hill in Central Vermont. Somehow I'm remembering New Hampshire winters as balmy, relatively speaking...

Posted by: Ernesto at November 7, 2005 06:02 AM


How are you doing?! I was thinking about you the other day. I couldn't remember where you had moved to. Do you think you might work for the Telegraph or find some other work? In a small way, you must be a little sad to be leaving central VT. Not that southern NH doesn't have its beautiful areas but the few times I've driven through central VT it was just eye popping!

It looks like you've gotten more involved in weblogging. For others who want to see his weblog, go to:

Southern NH winters are balmy. I'm often snowblowing in a sweatshirt and cap with no coat (or an open coat). Where I grew up in Chicago, the winters are much more bitter cold. They don't often get as much snow, but when you do have to clear it, burrr!

Drop me an email when you have more details about your return to the Merrimack/Souhegan valley.

Posted by: Scott at November 7, 2005 06:40 AM