Sunday, December 30, 2007

Finally made it home after

Finally made it home after being 'On the road again.' Can't wait to shower and sleep in my warm bed. Maybe the shoulder will be warm.

ETA 3 hours. -Neil

ETA 3 hours.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I can't wait to be-edited-

I can't wait to be home tomorrow. And it's dangerously close to me wanting to be -edited-tomorrow.

Fireside Photo

Sitting in front of the fire at Grandma Gayle's.

Friday, December 28, 2007

We spent the evening at

We spent the evening at a family party that I didn't want to go to but ended up having a very good time and didn't want to leave.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Eating dinner

Elizabeth at the dinner table.

Another day with my second

Another day with my second family and everything is going well. Can't wait to start reading my present (Sunrise Lands by SM Stirling).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We made it Pittsburgh safely

We made it Pittsburgh safely and enjoyed a second round of gifts. And since I left my laptop at home, I'll be blogging via phone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Plenty of photos for your viewing pleasure. First, check out the ones I took and make sure you read the comments from Elizabeth. She had quite a day. Then, check out these photos that Elizabeth took with her new camera. She's already a regular Ansel Adams, but tends to move too much and take too many photos. Which means I didn't upload all of the photos, but I did keep enough for you to get the idea.

Presents are open and photos

Presents are open and photos are downloading. They might be up before we leave. Hope everyone got what they wanted!

It's 6am and I've had

It's 6am and I've had my shower, William has been fed (and might actually be full), and Elizabeth just woke up.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Elizabeth playing with her Peoples on Christmas Eve.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dad and me

While the girls are away, William and Daddy play.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Airing of Grievances-edited-

Sienfield had that great episode with Festivus. And while I'm doing quite well in not airing my grievances about Yvonne backing into Dad's car, I feel there are a few things that simply must be said to those out there that need to hear it.


To the trees on Caroline Street - Please stop shitting on my car. Your rotten-acorn-like droppings make my car look like it has skin cancer or something.

To the bastards at HBO - Please send me my replacement Deadwood DVD. If it doesn't arrive by the time I get back, I'm going to start sending you hate mail.

To the leftist punks - I can respect your religious preferences. But don't shit your pants when I say Merry Christmas.


To the people in traffic on the way home tonight - You're already on vacation so move the hell over. My vacation just started and I want to get home.

To the people in traffic on the way to Pittsburgh - I'm sure somebody will piss me off. I don't know who, but if you're reading this - up yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

If you open-carry your gun, is that brandishing?-edited-


After talking for awhile, I realized that, while I was not brandishing my gun in the legal sense, I was wearing it in the open to make a statement. The statement being, "stay the hell away from me." I usually combine this with my evil stare (or a blank face of contempt) and large size (6 foot, 250 pounds) to keep the crazies away from me. So yes, in his line of thinking I might as well have been advertising I was packing heat.

But I've noticed that when I do open-carry, roughly 75% of the people do not notice. And if they do notice, I don't see any reaction. It's not like I'm wearing a tactical thigh holster or carrying a huge Tommy gun, but I'd expect people to pay more attention. They don't. Most assume it's a cell phone (that would be one hell of a phone call).

In the end, I can see how uncomfortable it may make people. Yet when it comes to my discomfort over not having one or your discomfort for seeing me wear one, I win.

So, that was today's deep thought. Hope you enjoyed my inner thoughts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So I have a bit

So I have a bit of a surprise. I can now blog from anywhere with my phone!
-Neil (via mobile device)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

5 Lessons You Can Live By

Respect and thank your barber - he holds a razor near your throat.

Never trust the scale in the bathroom - it lies.

Never look bored at work - you will soon be too busy to be bored.

Kids are smarter than they look - if you listen to them long enough, you might learn something.

Go visit Unidentified Family Objects - because I said so, that's why.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas comes early

Saturday was a bit of a nightmare. With the big "storm" coming in, everyone, their brother, and their cousin decided to hit the grocery store. Well, we needed groceries too, which meant I got to give people the stink eye to keep them away. But that was thankfully the last stop of our day, so it was bearable.

Before that was a trip to Verizon where we upgraded to new phones, plans, and all sorts of stuff. Turns out we've had our $100 credit to pend since May, so we took advantage of it. Which meant we both got new phones (the LG enV - hers is orange and mine is silver). And since it has the fancy keyboard, we upgraded to include some texts. Lord knows Yvonne will be texting her thumbs numb now. And we combined our plans to save some money as well as added Dad as another line. Kind of funny to watch the salesman squirm with Dad twisting the screws.

Those were the highlights. Lowlights include laundry, dishes, another Steelers loss, and the fact that they will be closing the roads until about 1 pm today for the President's visit. Figures it's on a day when I'm leaving early (at 2 pm). For the curious, he'll be here around noon today (and no, that's not his limo in the bottom right).

So what did you do this weekend?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

S l o w M o t i o n

This has got to be one of the sloooooooowest days ever. It's not like I didn't have enough to do at work, but I swear my clock has been going backwards since 2 this afternoon.

And thus ends my profoundness. Back to Kvothe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Post 500

This is my 500th post to my blog. I started with my first post back in June of 2005. It was the weak and obligatory "this is my first" kind of post. Sad and pitiful. I've gone from reviews, to writing, to photos, to videos, and back again. I've had 7,634 visitors from 78 countries (do you know where Macao is?). And I've had over 11,000 page views. Those four readers out there must be hard at work. Or unemployed.

Some stats:

Average number of posts per month = 17
Month with most posts = January 2007 (34)
Post with most comments (not including my comments) = William Charles Richard (10 comments)
Most viewed post of all time = How Much Money Does An Author Make*
Most views in a day = 113 (May 14, 2007)**
Least Used Label = willvideoforfood (once) [which I'll likely be removing at some point along with the other rarely used labels]
5 Most Used Labels
  1. tk42one (290)
  2. photos (111)
  3. Elizabeth (78)
  4. review (78)
  5. Neil (68)
Okay, I'm done pimping myself and my compulsive counting has been satisfied for the day. If I'm lucky, it won't rain while I walk outside to enjoy the 68 degree weather.

* Google Analytics was not used until July of 2006 making all data before then incomplete.
** As of midnight EST December 11, 2007.

Kvothe - Chapters 20-25

Chapter 20 – Bloody Hands Into Stinging Fists

The squash wagon arrives in Tarbean with Kvothe riding in the back. He runs from what could have easily been a good family to stay with, all because of his fear of remembering what happened to his own family. And he promptly meets a trio (there’s the number three again) of young street thugs that harass him, steal his lute, and beat him up. In the process the lute gets broken. Not really surprising, you can see it coming. And now there’s more mental anguish added to the physical pain of having the crap kicked out of him.

And the last line of the chapter? “That was the first night of nearly three years I spent in Tarbean.” There’s the number three again.

Chapter 21 – Basement, Bread and Bucket

Yet another short chapter, this one introducing Trapis, an old man who cares for the handicapped waifs who wonder off the streets of Tarbean. Trapis helps those he can with stale bread and water and only asks for those waifs taking his kindness to carry water for him. Not too bad a deal. Most interesting to me is the thought Kvothe mentions of a “hundred howling children” who would do anything to protect Trapis from harm.

Chapter 22 – A Time for Demons

Here we learn more about the city of Tarbean and about the midwinter festival surrounding high Mourning. One great paragraph was:

Waterside is where people are poor. That makes them beggars, thieves, and whores. Hillside is where people are rich. That makes them solicitors, politicians, and courtesans.

Such a classic and true comparison, even in today’s reality.

Part of the year-end festival of Mourning involves people dressing as demons and basically going crazy. Well, some demons helped Kvothe after he got the crap kicked out of him by a guard on the ritzy side of town. Begging from the upper crust didn’t pay off. He somehow made it back to his hiding spot on the roof with numerous injuries but food and drink as well.

Chapter 23 – The Burning Wheel

The majority of this chapter shows Tarpis telling the story of Encanis being defeated by Tehlu. The demon gets bound to iron and roasted over a pit of coals by the god.

Chapter 24 – Shadows Themselves

Another insanely short chapter. All of two pages, maybe a page if condensed. But we are introduced to an interesting sub-set of people in this unnamed land of Kvothe’s; sweet eaters. Essentially druggies that are easily identified by their white teeth. Makes you think twice about those whitening toothpastes on the market.

But even more interesting is the possibility that Kvothe was raped as a boy on the streets of Tarbean. He describes a scene where he sees a young boy be attacked by a group of larger, older boys. There’s not sexual deviancy mentioned, but I could see little other reason for attacking other than robbing him, raping him, or the simple pleasure of beating him.

Chapter 25 – Interlude – Eager for Reasons

Another short chapter that brings us back to the tavern and the Chronicler. Kvothe refreshes himself with a drink and, before going back to telling his story, he mentions the young boy in the alley and how he regretted not going to help him. He says he has regrets in his life that he distinctly remembers, but can’t remember how many times he’s been beaten.

--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Morning Observations

- Seen while sitting in traffic this morning - A bumper sticker on a pest control truck: "Mosquitoes Suck"

- Seen while driving this morning - a driver not paying attention that nearly rear-ended the car next to me. Skidding tires and all.

- Determined while thinking in my "office" - men are lecherous.

- Heard on the radio - A fellow Edinboro alumni calling my favorite radio host a"Nancy." He has more hair on his back than I do. [send her an email telling her to stop]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Predictor - 11 Heroes Predictions

Yvonne and I have a bit of a running joke that she's the "Predictor" of the house. It's a bit of a play on words from the TV show Pretender we'd watch in college. She got the reputation of being able to predict most of the "surprise" endings for shows we'd watch and thus, the name stuck.

Well, I stumbled upon one of my previous posts with predictions I made about Heroes. And since I'm short on material to write about today, so begins the discussion.

Prediction 1: Hiro will travel back in time to get his katana (sword) from ancient Japan. Think of the old Seven Samurai movie by Kurosawa.

Looks like I was right on this one. 10/10

Prediction 2: He [Matt] will confront Horn Rim Glasses Guy (HRGG) and get the information he needs. But it won't be pretty, the confrontation or the information.

Pretty much right on this one too. 9/10

Prediction 3: Claire now realizes what her father (HRGG) has done (or can do) and will run-away from home. I'm sure she'll end up in New York City, but will hitch a ride with either Hiro or someone else to get there. In NYC, she will use her power to heal Peter Petrelli of the combustible power he absorbed.

Almost right? She was going to run away and kind of did, but in the end I think she'll stay with the family. 7/10

Prediction 4: Micah helps dismantle a bomb. Don't ask where that came from, just a guess.

Well, he nearly got burned up in an arson, which exploded kind of like a bomb. 5/10

Prediction 5: The Haitian will "rescue" HRGG from The Cop. But he will give him the same treatment as Claire.

The Haitian rescues HRG from the Company, not Matt. And he did turn out to be nice. 6/10

Prediction 6: Isaac (the artist) - Continues to sketch and paint without being high and will provide Hiro with more clues as to the destiny of the group.

Way off base on Isaac. With his head sporting a new flip top lid, I doubt he'll be painting much. 0/10

Prediction 7: Simone - Her story line is pretty much dead.

Thankfully dead on with this one. 10/10

Prediction 8: Nathan Petrelli - He wins the election and turns out to be a typical politician, evil. Until he hurts his wife and decides to use his power for good.

Did he win? I don't remember. I'm pretty sure he did. But he turned out to be a good guy. And we never really saw much of his wife in Season 2. 3/10

Prediction 9: Mohinder - Will continue to attempt to warn those on "the list" and will garner the attention of the FBI lady and The Cop. They'll join forces to save the world.

The "List" was pretty much forgotten. So was the FBI lady. But he did join forces with Matt. 3/10

Prediction 10: Niki - Will turn herself in but escape prison to rejoin DL and Micah to do something.

She turned herself in to the Company and did rejoin DL and Micah. 6/10

Prediction 11: Peter Petrelli - Will become the combustible man but will not be the reason behind the blast in NYC.

He was the combustible man and was the reason behind the blast in NYC. But the blast never came about like we originally thought it would. 7/10

Total Score: 66/110 = 60%

Not too bad. Feel free to dispute my scoring. Or my predictions.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Videos and Spelling Bees

I'll save the Santa Train videos until last. First, I forgot to mention that Elizabeth was able to spell her name yesterday. She has a little magna-doodle-thing and wrote each letter all by herself. I only helped her with the letter "H" when she wrote it lower case and the letter "N" which she still struggles with. I know, there's no "N" in her name, but there is in her middle name (she spelled that too).

And I forgot to mention the lights at Wal-Mart. Next time you go inside, wait until you get to the checkout line. Then, turn around, look at the ceiling in the back of the store, and let your eyes go a little out of focus. See all those flickering lights? It's amazing there aren't more epileptic fits in that place. Probably waste more energy with the flickering bulb than a good one.

And finally, the videos:

Mega Holiday Weekend

Ever have one of those weekends where you just want to get back to work so you can take a break? Well, this weekend was almost one of those. If we had not accomplished so much, it would have been like that.

The Santa Train (pictures are here and videos will be coming soon) went well. We arrived early (before 0900) and got to see the first train arrive late and leave. And there was a large line waiting to get to the station, which was nice to see. Guess 200+ kids running around train tracks isn't safe. The ride went from Fredericksburg up to Quantico and back. Got to see a few freight and passenger trains as well. Santa and Mrs. Claus were nice (they actually had two to walk in each direction on the train).

From there, we went to Goolrick's for lunch (a counter-style soda fountain where the ladies that run the operation are too young to know that calling them "soda jerks" would be a compliment). There was also several groups of Civil War reenactors roaming the town for the Irish Brigade campaign.

Then it was out to the mall where we waited to see Santa. While waiting, I looked at sunglasses that were too expensive and Yvonne got her necklace checked out. We also had a laugh at what would happen if teachers were caught shopping in Victoria's Secret by students. Pictures would be on MySpace with the lingerie in minutes.

And we made a Costco run for gas, Kleenex, and some other items before heading across the main drag to shop at Borders. Elizabeth slept while Yvonne fed William, so I did my shopping alone. Picked up Angels and Demons on audio and a Backyardigans book for Elizabeth (Daddy is getting a little tired of the Dora books).

Then it was Kohls where we finished up Christmas shopping with the last present and a pair of boots for the wonderful wife-with-so-many-shoes-they-don't-fit-in-her-closet. And since Elizabeth and William were sleeping, Yvonne did the grocery shopping alone (I tried to nap in the car but was entirely too entertained by the sheer number of idiots that drive the wrong way in the parking lot.

Then we capped off our day by having dinner at Ruby Tuesday. I got ribs and steak and the ribs were amazingly better than the steak. And just as our dessert arrived, William decided to wake up and scream. So I took him to the van and promptly got puked on. Did a decent number on my shirt but decided that my pants were too clean and got them next. It looked entirely too much like I had an accident.

A much more sedate day. Sorted and washed the mounds of laundry. Changed sheets, towels, etc. And Yvonne made cookies (chocolate chip, sugar, and cut out). The cut out still have to be baked and iced, but the sugar and chocolate chip are good.

And of course the Steelers lost. Damn Patriots.

And Saturday our friend had her second baby, so Yvonne went last night to visit them (Kaleb with a K). I got a blue bubble gum cigar.

Woof. So, lots of stuff done, still a few more to do (like mail packages) but a very productive weekend.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Insert Creative Title Here

First, a translation of yesterday's rhyming post.

- William is back on Soy formula and appears to be happy. No throwing up, no expensive formula, and the scaly skin appears to be gone.
- Santa called Elizabeth and from the sounds of it, she loved it. He told her to make sure she took a nap during the day and she has everyday since.
- I found out that Benjamin Richard (my great-grandfather) may have donated some photos to the Nebraska State Historical Society. I'm working on getting samples of the photos and one potential photo of him.
- The nice girl in Norway that is translating the letters into English is still interested in translating more. She's slow, but frankly, I don't care. I'm just happy she's excited about translating.

And in other news, a neat video:

And of course we have the invasion of Pearl Harbor:

And that's about it. I got paid today, tomorrow is the Santa Train, and Sunday is the Steeler game. Maybe somewhere in there I'll be able to clean the house some. It's a mess.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rhyming Update

A few updates to keep all you llamas
In the loop of all the dramas

William is back to drinking his formula Soy
Liquid Gold made him sick, the poor boy
Don't tell the doctor we made the switch
He might think we like to bi......

Santa called Elizabeth the other night
He told her more naps would put her a'right
Her eyes lit up with tremendous glee
But she said he wouldn't be calling me

Great Grandaddy Richard made a donation
To the historical society's photo rotation
And there could be a pic of him as a boy
That would be three total, oh joy

Rakel has been translating by moon and sun
Now a letter can be read for Olava Hanson
More letters are coming around the bend
We should then learn from whom they did send

All this rhyming is making me dizzy
All this work is sending me into a tizzy

So sit back and enjoy this post
I hope you'll enjoy it the most
When your rhyming post host
Did stop rhyming this post most

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's snowing

For the first time this year, we actually have snow falling from the sky. We had some flakes earlier, but nothing more than a flake or two.

And in light of this change in weather, I'll be avoiding grocery stores and the roads as much as possible. Total accumulation will be an inch or two, which is roughly equivalent to a foot or two for those in normal snow regions. For those further north, it's more like 10 or 20 feet. The people here just freak out, drive crazy, and horde food.

Whelpers, it's time for a meeting. Later tater!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Holiday Meme

Well, not an "official" meme, but something I'd like all my readers (all five of you) to think about and respond to. And I mean seriously think about. And answer seriously (do your best Paul).

Why do you give Christmas presents?

That's it. Just one question. Here's what I've been thinking about for my answer.

Because I'm selfish.

Let me explain. By our very nature, we are selfish people. We do things to either survive or bring ourselves pleasure. You might argue that some noble people, like say Mother Teresa, are very giving. These noble people give things away to help better the lives of others. To help them survive or live a better life. And it makes them happy. So, by definition, if you do something that makes you happy, isn't that being selfish?

So I give presents because it makes me happy. I like to see how people react when they open something really neat or something they really wanted. If I had enough money, I'd buy everyone presents. I'd spoil them so much I would be poor (probably a good reason for my not being the CEO of some big company). I'd love to buy a new van for Yvonne, or a big toy for Elizabeth, or the family farm, or a car for Mom, or this, that and the other thing for everyone.

So that's why I buy presents for Christmas. To make people happy so I can be happy. And if I'm lucky enough, I'll get something good in return (like a Wii, or a pick-up truck, or a million dollars).

Kvothe - Chapters 17, 18, and 19

Chapter 17 – Interlude – Autumn

Back in the Waystone Inn, Bast is nearly crying at Kvothe’s painful childhood. He keeps a straight face and gets some wood for the rest of the evening. And once alone, he sheds his tears.

Chapter 18 – Roads to Safe Places

Again with the threes. In dealing with pain, Kvothe talks about the three ways we cope. Sleep, forgetting, and madness. After the tragedy of losing his parents, he sleeps. Then he tries to forget. Then he borders on insanity.

Chapter 19 – Fingers and Strings

Kvothe goes native by killing rabbits, building a shelter, and surviving in the wild. And he begins to shut down his mind by focusing on survival and playing his lute. He focuses so much on playing his lute, that he eventually learns to play all day long. And he learns to play with six then five strings instead of seven. But when he was down to four strings, he decided it was time to leave his little base camp and venture into the world.

And he finally meets normal people but doesn’t quite know how to react. Kind of like Tarzan coming to London the first time.

--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Ever notice how things change?

Well, no sooner than our Christmas spirit getting tossed about like a queasy landlubber in the middle of a New England gale riding a small trawler, than the clouds part and there's light ahead.

Santa called Elizabeth last night. I wish I was there to see it, but I heard about it. In fact, Elizabeth actually talked to me on the phone about it right after he called. I've never had that long of a conversation on the phone with her. She'll talk like that in person, but I've never heard her that excited on the phone.

And William's rash looks better already. He's got one more bottle of soy formula before moving to the Liquid Gold (don't ask what the name of it is, I can't remember - but it smells funny). Let's see, what else is happening. Dad bought a new toy that looks pretty nice. Hanukkah starts tonight (Happy Hanukkah for those that celebrate). We had two Mormon missionaries/elders/not sure what to call them stop by last night. I was as polite as I could be in turning down their offers. And while I respect and admire what they're doing, I'm just not religious. And my headlight blew this morning. Sarcastic "yeah." And it's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow. Another sarcastic "yeah." And I have applesauce sitting on my desk.

Now, I need to get into my morning routine before calls start coming in. Later taters.

OOOHHHH!!!! Almost forgot. Heroes!

I totally support the writer's strike, but I'm really pissed there won't be more Heroes! Nathan dies. Meh, I'll miss him. And there's still a chance he'll survive. Nikki dies. Meh, no big deal, she wasn't doing much anyway. Hiro sticks Adam in a coffin! Woot! And did Peter absorb the virus? Is he going to be the cause of the outbreak? Sylar is BACK! YES! Micah and the Power Ranger girl need to grow in a story line now before we forget about them. And Elle is starting to be interesting. Will she turn on her father? And was HRG Nathan's shooter? I think he'll betray the company again, assuming that was really him. Couldn't the company have another shapeshifter working for them?

Monday, December 03, 2007

This post is rated R

Four posts in a day. Amazing huh? Not really.

(Fair warning. Swearing ahead.)

The level of Holiday Cheer just got sucked out the fucking window at the Richard house today. Turns out the docs think William is allergic to soy as well as milk. Definitive tests won't be run until the 17th. And being the pessimist I am, I don't want to imagine the worst case scenario. But I will. Milk, soy, wheat, nut, egg, and numerous other foods could end up on the allergy chart. Not too bad for an adult or even a kid. But Christ, he's only 3 months old. Try telling a kid that bottle he's chugging away on is worth five bucks. Liquid gold that gets crapped out every day.

William, William. I feel bad for the kid and there's not much we can do. Can't just leave him on the doorstep somewhere. So, we'll slog through it. Yvonne and I are both stubborn, and our parents are stubborn, and I'm pretty sure all of our grandparents were stubborn too. So from one mule-head to another, we make it work whatever the cost.

Okay, I feel much better now. Ranting cycle is complete and venting is finished. Now I can move on to the Rinse cycle.

Feeling sad yet? Well don't. Go down there and read about the UFOs.


go on


The Not-So-Secret Secret Project

So, I've been working on this project that some of you may know about because I told you, some may have discovered on your own, and some may not give a hairy rodent's hind quarters.

Needless to say, I've had a lot of fun working on it, but as with anything new I try, I never know how long it will hold my interest. I seem to have a severe case of AADD (that's Adult ADD). How I've survived this long without a diagnosis, I'll never know.

Anyway, some of you are bugging me to reveal my secret project, but I just like making everyone wait.

And squirm.

And growl with impatience.

And curse me.

And give up.

And that's why, for those with enough patience to hang in there long enough, I think I'll reveal my secret.

Sometime soon.

But I'm still not sure if I want to do it today. You see, keeping secrets makes you feel powerful and powerless. I like the powerful part, I get to hold something over your head and watch you jump and do tricks like a little puppy dog. But I'm powerless because if I don't share, nobody will know.

So, without further ado, here is my Not-So-Secret Secret Project.


That's right, UFOs. As in Unidentified Family Objects. I've covered a few objects already, so make sure you go back and start from the beginning. Today was the grand reveal of the first, large, and still operational UFO. I'll continue this week with more of the same type of UFO and should have enough to keep that theme through next week. Right now I'm trying to pace myself to posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I don't want to do too much at once. And this weird comic drawing Hobbit had a great point about having content backlogged and ready to go ahead of time.

Speaking of which, I need to get writing for this week.

Kvothe - Chapter 16

Chapter 16 – Hope

This is likely one of the darkest chapters in the book. It gave me the goose bumps the first time I read it and still doesn’t sit well the second time around. Here, Kvothe looses his parents and his troupe to a group of unknown assailants. He goes out in search of firewood and wanders as any kid would. Upon returning to the camp, he finds everything in ruin, smoke rolling across the camp, people dead, and iron rusted.

As to the attackers? Well, it’s a bit like the scene from Star Wars when Luke returns to the moisture farm and sees his aunt and uncle laying there like charred meat. Kvothe stumbles upon the attackers and sees that they don’t quite appear to be human. One being called Lord Haliax and another called Cinder. Neither are nice, but Lord Haliax is clearly in charge. They scamper off without killing Kvothe as something comes to scare them away. Exactly what, it’s still unclear.

Kvothe finds his parents wagon and stays the night inside. He nearly burns with the wagon but manages to save the book from Ben and his father’s lute, which he plays to block the pain.

--Read more about the detailed analysis here--

Now I remember

This is why I don't like posting so damn early in the morning. My brain simply is not awake. And I've already started my week off short on sleep. Stayed up late last night to watch the end of the Steeler game. Was just a tad nervous when I say the field conditions could be like last week's near loss to the Dolphins, but it turned out the field wasn't too bad.

Now, for the rest of the weekend report. Saturday was babysitting William while Yvonne went to the high school to proctor an SAT test. Did you know that you can use a calculator on the math portion now? Even if the calculator has functions and equations? What's up with that? Sheesh.

Meanwhile, Dad took Elizabeth to see the Bee Movie and they both wanted to leave early. After lunch, they came back. And Yvonne came back. And then we all headed back into town to grocery shop. The parade was penciled in, but we just didn't have time and it was a wee bit chilly.

Sunday was Christmas photos in the morning. What a chore it is to get a three year old that's as stubborn as both her parents to smile when she doesn't want to. At least William didn't throw up all over the place. Now that would have been a photo.

Then it was back home, lunch, then back to the Riverside while we left the kids with the sitter. We got to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast. They had great costumes, but I just couldn't get into the story that much. After the play, we made a quick run to the local Sports Authority to get Yvonne a new winter coat and new shoes for me.

And the secret project is still progressing nicely, but I think I have too much other stuff to catch up on to work on it today. And I have a full schedule at work. Yuck. Work.

So, what did you do this weekend? What was your SAT score (mine was 970 in 8th grade I think and 1270 in 11th -- assuming I can remember)?