Friday, April 28, 2006

A rave review in the Evening Sun


Living up to “Great Expectations”

By Jeff Genung

I told myself I’d avoid the obvious pun when I wrote this review, but I know that’s impossible.

Driving up to Sherburne Wednesday night, I had “Great Expectations” of what I’d see Colleen Law-Tefft’s drama club students do on stage.

There, that’s out of the way.

Honestly though, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I’d been wowed by the troupe last fall at their night of one-act plays, but this was, after all, Charles Dickens. Not exactly feel-good fare, or an easy sell to the masses.

But a daring choice, nonetheless. Especially considering that, as Colleen noted, most of the kids involved had never read the Dickens classic. It’s been a couple decades since I’d read it myself, but I did manage to catch the updated Gwyneth Paltrow-Ethan Hawke-Anne Bancroft version a few years back.

For the uninitiated, “Great Expectations” tells the mid-19th century England story of the orphaned Pip, who goes to live with his sister and her blacksmith husband in abject poverty. The wealthy and demented Miss Havisham takes a liking to Pip as a playmate for her young ward Estella and a plaything for herself. While Pip is kept just out of arm’s reach in their entitled world, he eventually comes into wealth of his own through a mysterious benefactor and tries to gain Estella’s love and acceptance. Dickens’ story here is a forerunner of a modern-day soap opera; there are enough bizarre coincidences, secret pasts and Byzantine turns to keep any follower of “The Young & the Restless” entertained throughout.

Senior Luke Murphy is one hard-working kid. As Pip, he’s in, or commenting on, every single scene throughout the play. I can’t imagine how he memorized that boatload of dialogue, but he manages to keep Pip engaging from beginning to end. I had to check the program to see if the boy who plays Young Pip wasn’t Luke’s brother; they’re matched that well. He’s not - Tyler Rundell tackles the junior role with gusto.

Lauren Mettler’s got a tough job as the almost robotic Estella, but she manages to imbue her role with a hint of vulnerability - a feat in itself in a part that doesn’t garner much sympathy from the audience until the very end. It’s easy to see why Pip is drawn to her.

Miss Havisham could be a one-note villainness - but Bonnie von Mechow’s magnetic stage presence makes you want to know more about how she came to be as twisted and evil as she is. Holding court in her decrepit mansion, Bonnie’s scenes drive the action of the play and actually make you feel sorry for the old goat by the time she ... well, I won’t give everything away.

“Great Expectations” is filled with rich character parts, too numerous to mention here. Everyone in S-E’s cast acts their hearts out, but I was particularly impressed by Alex Erath’s put-upon Biddy, Joe Mettler’s stalwart Joe, and Jake von Mechow’s all-business Jagger. Of the major characters in Pip’s life though, Adrian Enscoe stands out as his London buddy, Herbert. I always write here of that rare “fearless” quality in a high school thesp that commands attention on stage, and young Mr. Enscoe has it in droves.

There are no small parts, of course, only small actors. “Great Expectations” has none of the latter. Though their roles don’t get a lot of stage time, Alison Bensley and Ellen Fagan really pop in their parts. It’s always fun to see a background character who refuses to blend into the background, and these girls really stand out.

This being only the second show I’ve seen at S-E, I’m not as familiar with some of the young thespians as I am those in Norwich, but I was nonetheless impressed by their talent and professionalism throughout. The dress rehearsal I attended earlier this week certainly had its rough spots and awkward pauses, but as Colleen said to me that night, the “theater gods” always have a way of magically bringing everything together in time for opening night. Given the energy and talent I saw in raw form, I have no doubt that miracle will occur again tonight.
“Great Expectations” plays on the Sherburne-Earlville High School auditorium stage tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 and will be available at the door.

I Like to Watch

Which is a line from the movie "Being There". If you've never seen it, rent it this weekend. It's delightful. I never cared for the Inspector Clouseau stuff, but this is different. I promise you will enjoy it.

Which isn't what I was refering (referring?) to in the title. I was refering to watching weight. The alternate title was "I'm a Weight Watcher!". I have lost 22 lbs. in just over two months as an unofficial Weight Watcher. As an official Weight watcher, Mom has done the same. When we get into the truck together, it now says, "Oh, thank you!") Are we happy about this? Yes, we are! I'll never forget Rob belly-bumping me when he greeted me at OBX last year.

I went to the doctor in February and he told me my weight was creeping up, and my cholesterol turned up at 250, so we'll see what effect the change in diet and weight loss has on it.

Why Weight Watchers is great:

1. It's like a game. You get points, and you can use them any way you want. Mom likes to spread hers evenly through the day. I like to hoard mine early so I can pig out in the evening. I'm always trying to figure out how I can make the most food out of my points. It's interesting and fun, believe it or not.

2. It reforms your eating habits. Crap is very expensive point-wise, so you stop eating it. You know when they say that a healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dariy products, whole grains and lean meats? That's what our diet is now. Of course, it helps that My Bonnie Lass has become such a great cook. And WW has some delicious recipes.

3. You savor your food. Food just tastes better when you don't have an unlimited supply.

4. Follow their plan, and you WILL lose weight. It's easy and fun, though interesting may be a better word than fun.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Evening Sun has an article up about "Great Expectations." It's on the front page of the print version, but it'll probably only be online for a day or two, so here's the picture and the article:

S-E stages “Great Expectations”
By Jeffrey Genung
Sun Managing Editor

SHERBURNE - Many high school drama clubs stage simple productions familiar to both the students performing in them and the audiences they seek. Each spring, the high school drama club at Sherburne-Earlville tackles more challenging fare.

“Elements of this play are certainly difficult,” director Colleen Law-Tefft said of this weekend’s production of “Great Expectations.” Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, the play tells the story of Pip, an orphan in mid-19th century England who encounters a host of trials and tribulations in his quest for love and acceptance. Challenging her students with non-standard high school works is something Law-Tefft said she enjoys doing, although she admits to being surprised that most of her more than 30 young charges have never read the Dickens classic. “I understand that it’s optional reading in high school these days,” the veteran director said.

Nevertheless, senior Luke Murphy, who plays the omnipresent Pip, dove right into his role - and broke his leg in the process. Actually, an off-stage sports injury landed the longtime thespian on crutches, but he promises to be back on two feet by opening night tomorrow. “Rehearsals have been a little bit difficult,” Murphy said of his encumbrance. “A lot of acting is about body language, and I haven’t really been able to get into that much.”

While Pip struggles with a dirt-poor childhood and a sudden and mysterious windfall of wealth, Murphy struggles with his role’s more understated nature. “Pip is a lot more subtle than some of the other parts,” Murphy said. “It’s more difficult because he’s a character rather than a caricature.”

Charles Dickens was fond of characters in the extreme, perhaps none more so than the Machiavellian Miss Havasham, played here by senior Bonnie von Mechow. “She’s pretty much nuts,” von Mechow said of her character, a cold-hearted heiress made bitter by a jilting lover decades ago. “She’s sworn revenge against the opposite sex,” von Mechow said, “and she goes to great lengths to make people’s lives miserable.”

The transition from S-E senior to haggard old maid was made easier for von Mechow by what she calls a “10-pound wig,” but still there’s a challenge in being evil, in a Dickensian way. “It’s really hard being creepy,” she said. “Colleen kept telling me she needed to see more madness.”

Perhaps the greatest victim of Miss Havasham’s madness is her young ward Estella, played as an adult by senior Lauren Mettler. “She’s very impersonal, very cold,” Mettler said of her character, who becomes the object of Pip’s unrequited love. “She’s raised by Miss Havasham to hate men; she was basically ruined by her.”

Mettler’s previous stage roles have leaned more toward the whimsical side, but there’s nothing whimsical about Estella. “This is a more serious role for me,” she said, adding that the difficulty for her has been “trying to act like this cold-hearted lady, but showing that somewhere underneath she’s human, too. There are emotions beneath the corsets.”

While “Great Expectations” is largely a serious drama, that doesn’t mean the students involved in the drama club aren’t having fun, and learning along the way. “The cast has really come together,” von Mechow said. “We’ve got such a wide variety of people in it this year, but everyone has really fit into their characters and gotten along.”

“It seems like I’ve always been doing this,” Murphy said of his high school drama career. He added that even while he doesn’t intend to pursue acting, the drama club experience “has really helped me in the long run, in how I relate to people and not getting nervous or being shy.”

Mettler added that being on stage “allows you to do anything or become anyone you want.”

It’s giving that kind of experience to her students that keeps Law-Tefft coming back as the club’s advisor year after year. “I love working with the kids,” the director said. “They have such great energy. You’d think that they would tire me out, and sometimes they do, but really their energy on stage transfers to me.”

To catch the wave of that energy yourself, check out the S-E Drama Club’s presentation of “Great Expectations” in the high school auditorium Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 and are available from Service Pharmacy in Sherburne or at the door.


in the AI standings. Kellie departs, taking my hopes and dreams of a rout with her. Harlot.

The new standings:

Laura 10
Aurora 11
Luke 12
Me 12
Mom 13
Caleb 14

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

No AI chatter?

Maybe we all just thought it was too blah to comment on last night. I did, anyway. Lots of great singing, sure, but the songs were so tedious and ugly and that sound-engineering problem so annoying that there was nothing I'd choose to hear again. It's hard to guess who might be in trouble tonight. Kellie ought to be; Elliott doesn't deserve to be, but probably is; and as for the rest, who knows?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Life on the Farm

It's been a difficult couple of weeks at Stornaway Jerseys. It started with a letter from Dairylea explaining that due to difficult market situations in the northeast, they would be restructuring premiums paid for quality, quantity and the market. There was no mention of my cherished protein premium which I have received for 15 years. A few days later I got to thinking about it and called Dairylea. Sure enough, they were discontinuing the protein premium (yes, they can) and it was retroactive to April 1. I had received their crummy letter (vague) on April 14, which is four days after my yearly notification period during which I can inform Dairylea I no longer want them to market my milk. The protein premium would have been worth $12,000 this year, and close to $20,000 a year when I've maxed out milk production in the next 18-24 months.

Then, on Wednesday morning, I got to the barn to milk and found Jam and Bonnie with fevers of 106+ and each with a case of toxic mastitis. Bonnie was the highest producer last test, shipping over 7 lbs. of solids a day. Jam's mastitis was enougn to make her good and sick, but Bonnie's was especially virulent. I treated them both and Jam responded well, but Bonnie did not. I had the vet out on Friday, and Bonnie started eating again shortly after he left. But for some reason, unknown to me and the vet, her recovery hit a snag, and she finally died yesterday.

On top of all that, I had been turning the cows out for a little grass for a couple hours a day, but new growth grass can be very potent and I had several cases of bloat, and a displaced abomasum for Polka, which on top of her dislocated hip, led me to send her to Welch's on Monday.

Things are better now, I guess. Bonnie is buried, which always brings a bit of relief. I wrote a letter to Dairylea (You don't want to get a letter from me.) and they called and said they (not everyone gets this protein premium; I'm not sure how many do, but probably most of the high solids herds in this area.) would continue the premium until July. DishNetwork has been replaced with DirectTv (I can watch the RS on NESN; I can watch the Yankees.) (But I did like the DISh receiver and remote better, or maybe I was just used to it.) The remaining cows are healthy.

Still, I never anticipated the loss of the premium, and that's my fault. Their rationale is that since the advent of Multiple Component Pricing in 2000, protein is already "priced into" my milk. That may be true. But after 6 years of MCP AND the premium, I wasn't expecting the loss of the premium. It's still possible to be profitable. But the pot is no longer as sweet. So, all bets are off and it's reevaluation time. Future growth may be curtailed. (Why is it called the "dog watch?" "Because it's cur-tailed!") We shall see.

Tonight we have Schilling and the Red Sox, and Seacrest and the Idolizers. Things are looking up already.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Why I don't bother with the NYT

Course, they got all those fact-checkers and layers of editorial wisdom.

Not to mention an agenda. Or is it agendum?

Look at the nice picture I found while I was going through some boxes today. It has a hard-to-read date stamp, but I think it says 91 5 12 -- almost exactly 15 years ago. Do you remember that day? I do.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Youk! Stern!

WOWWW these guys are fun to watch. I loved Youkilis hustling to third base and causing Joey Gathright to rush his throw and send the ball into the crowd. That play got Youkilis home and Loretta to 3rd, as opposed to Loretta staying at 1st and Youkilis staying on 2nd. That's 4 bases. If only that went into slugging percentage somehow. And Stern's defense the last couple days has been something to see. It's probably not, however, very smart to run full bore into the scoreboard to make a catch when we're winning 9-1. But Dad's right, the most fun guys to watch are the young ones who hustle.


Ace leaves. Chris! and Paris joined him in the bottom three. Go Figure. Rod Stewart has to be one of the world's dinks.


Me 7
Laura 9
Aurora 11
Luke 12
Mom 12
Caleb 13

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Results are in...

...or at least, mine are. Kellie is going home tomorrow, and I will watch a lot less American Idol. But at least my 7th pick will be correct.

Happy Birthday to you (too!)

Happy birthday to you (late!)
Happy birthday, dear Lucy,
Happy birthday to you (sorry!)

Monday, April 17, 2006


Since the songs weren’t doing anything for me, I engaged in the other idle church pasttime: judging my neighbor's clothing. The idea of dressing up for church seems lost. Not entirely – some of the moms wore their pre-Easter best, and one a few rows in front was not only 25 or so and attired in comely pastels, but had her hair done in a Marlo Thomas flip. I hadn’t seen that in a while. Behind her was a young mom whose shirt had no intention of getting within six inches of her belt. All around, young men slouching in slouchwear, slouchily, with sneakers and T-shirts. It’s Casual Good Friday! The entire Itchy Church Pants Imperative seems gone. Let him who is without decent shoes cast the first stone-washed jeans, or whatever. If I live long enough I’ll probably see the Supreme Court pose for a group photo wearing Hawaiian shirts and Speedos.
And there were women without hosiery! Okay, I’ll shut up now.
No, really: if you can’t be bothered to wear a collar to church or jury duty, then you have a different conception of “Grown Up” than I do. You might possibly resent the term in the first place. Tonight at the park I saw a little boy, couldn’t have been more than two, toddling around wearing a clip-on tie. Looked right for an Easter evening. He'll probably refuse to wear it in 10, 12 years, regard it as some phoney yoke imposed by the Council for Arbitrary Gender Signifiers of 1066 AD. But pity the fellow who never wears a tie, and finds himself standing before the mirror on the day of his father's funeral, unable to make the simplest knot, and wondering what else he never learned.
What’s all this hair doing in my ears? And it’s grey!

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Aurora,
Happy Birthday to you!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Red Sox Pitching

Schilling, Beckett, Timlin, Foulke, and Papelbon, all pitching excellently. That's what we've had so far and it is all that we need. Tack onto that Wakefield's good start so far, the superb defense (except for Wily Mo), and the fact that the offense is bound to improve, and I don't see anything stopping the Sox this year from winning 100 games and another World Series.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter!

I would like to be a doctor, an engineer — or an American soldier

The food [at Guantánamo Bay] was delicious, the teaching was excellent, and [Naqibullah's] warders were kind. "Americans are good people, they were always friendly, I don't have anything against them," he said. "If my father didn't need me [in Afghanistan], I would want to live in America."
Asadullah is even more sure of this. "Americans are great people, better than anyone else," he said, when found at his elder brother's tiny fruit and nut shop in a muddy backstreet of Kabul. "Americans are polite and friendly when you speak to them. They are not rude like Afghans. If I could be anywhere, I would be in America. I would like to be a doctor, an engineer — or an American soldier.",12271,1163436,00.html

Punctuate this!

Can you punctuate either of these sentences? I stole them from my friend Jay Nordlinger.

Jane while John had had had had had had had had had had had the teacher's approval.

That that is is that that is not is not.

The second is the easier. I'll put a hint as the first comment.

Oh, tell us how you really feel.

The United States lost one more airplane. Imagine the feelings of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have lost family members as a result of the US takeover of their country.
Posted by: Uncle Sam April 12, 2006 01:51 PM

That airplane could have been useful to the Iraqi people, or in devastated New Orleans, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it was being used for war and also unfortunately, the antiwar majority will be forced to pay for its replacement.
Posted by: Bring them home alive April 12, 2006 02:17 PM

I think you're a criminal. I know you didn't plan this invasion yourself, and that you are a small cog in a big machine. But the project of which you are apart is criminal.
You and your collegues went half way around the world to invade and occupy a country that posed you no threat. In doing so you broke the most important of international law (the UN charter) and set the example of 'might-is-right' for all the thugs of the world.
The Iraqis who oppose your presence are right to resist you. I would set IEDs for you if you invaded and occupied my country (Ireland) - and so would most people in most countries.
Many of us around the world had thought that the days of colonialism and imperialism were over. America has returned the world to this nightmare and people like yourself will kill and die until it returns to civility and the rule of law among nations. What a waste and what a crime.
Posted by: Anon April 12, 2006 02:31 PM

There can be no discussion of any human experiences outside of their historical context. The historical context of Bert Stover's experiences is the violent invasion of Iraq by the United States in violation of the foundational principle of international law as expressed at Geneva and Nuremberg: the prohibition against unprovoked aggressive war and the affirmation that illegal orders have no legal standing.
Posted by: Anon. April 12, 2006 05:57 PM

Moreover those Nuremburg principles clearly state that uniformed soldiers should not be excused when they participate in illegal acts.
That's why we hanged hundreds of uniformed soldiers after WW2.
'War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders." '
G.W. Bush, addressing Iraqi military, March 17 2003
Posted by: Not in my name April 12, 2006 06:18 PM

The above are comments from the WaPo's military blog, and were stolen from The Mudville Gazette. Our soldiers have to brave more than bullets and IEDs. How they do it, I know not.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bucky bows out

No big surprise. Standings don't change. Everyone adds a point. That won't happen again.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Here is a little something from the "Korean Dalry Committee" to cheer Dad up when the anti-milk activists are getting to him.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

AI scoring error

Sorry, made a mistake. Luke and Aurora each have one more point than I indicated last week.

It's Luke 9, Caleb, Mom, and Aurora at 8, Laura at 6 and me at 4.

AI 8

Any comments?

Queen had a couple of great songs. The rest of them are some of the most hideous music ever. "Innuendo" ? Blech.

Lotsa pitch problems tonight. The only one I would ever want to see again would be Taylor. Nice song and he has fun with it.

I'd say they are all vulnerable except for Chris, Kellie, and Taylor. Paris shouldn't be vulnerable because she can do it all, but she is nevertheless.

Vegetarians and Me

A non-dairy farm affiliated person wrote a post to Dairy-L (a listserv for people involved in the dairy business) today:

Hello I'm very much encouraged by the messages about the informational videos (from Jim, Bill, Bob & Diane). I was holding off on my questions while checking to see if this was addressed a lot in the archives. Please let me know if it has; I will go back and search.

I recently gave up dairy/eggs/fish, yes, in response to animalwelfare literature and/or propaganda. I haven't seen either video mentioned yet, but plan to.My general impression of this industry is that the people are decent & conscientious, probably great neighbors to have, etc.I know there's tons of research on the welfare of your animals, which makes certainly makes a lot of sense.

Two questions, then:First, is this a "bad apple" situation? Is the animal rights movement only looking at the very worst places, without considering the majority of dairy farming? Maybe huge operations tend to have business decisions made by people who don't deal directly with the animals. If so, I might be happy as long as I stick with smaller operations, where I can talk to the folks in charge.

Secondly, I can't help but think that not being allowed to nurse your offspring is stressful. Just from what I've witnessed (no kids myself), it's clear that the maternal instinct is an overwhelming one.I can see the logic in preventing the bond from forming in thefirst place. And if the public is demanding milk & expects it at a certain price, I suppose the most realistic solution is to do it this way. I still have a really hard time getting past it, though.

Looking forward to getting some perspective on this,

Susan Cho Environmental science/policy student at Univerity of Md
4812 Erskine Rd,
College Park MD 20740

I sent this reply, in case you're interested:


Thanks for a thoughtful message.

While there will always be rare "bad apples" who mistreat their animals, I think most of the objections of the animal rightists are about fairly universal practices in the dairy business. You mention removing calves from their mothers shortly after birth as one, and I agree that it is an unpleasant practice. Nonetheless, I do it. There are several reasons for doing it, including the health of the calf, but the biggest reason, I think, is that to have the calves running with the cows would be chaos. It would require huge amounts of labor to maintain cleanliness and to accomplish the tasks that go into feeding and milking dairy cows. It would make milk very expensive, and farmers pride themselves on producing food that even the poorest among us can afford.

Any anxiety produced by the separation of the calf and cow at birth is short-lived. It is not a hugely stressful event for the cow, and the calf doesn't notice. The cow soon forgets about her calf, and the calf bonds to whoever is feeding it. If left together, a much, much more stressful separation awaits the animals later.

You also mention the difference between small and large operations. For the record, I have a relatively small operation at 55 cows. But there is no getting around the fact that cows on large operations are, on average, more productive than cows on smaller operations. This isn't because the farmers are standing behind the cows with whips, but because, in general, these cows are more comfortable and better fed. Yes, the cows are more anonymous and receive less individual attention, but that is what cows want. If you want to see cows that are content, a high-producing farm is the place to go.Cows aren't "pushed" to high production, they are "coaxed and coddled" to high production. In general, there is very little suffering on dairy farms.Suffering leads to unproductive animals, and unproductive animals don't make farmers any money.

Lastly, I would urge you to resume consuming animal products, and here is why. If no one drank milk or ate meat, the cows on my farm and others would be condemned to non-existence. They would not have been born, raised, fed,or enjoyed chewing their cuds. It may not be a life that you or I would choose, but I believe that the cows would. If cows were rational, I think they would say, "Please drink my milk and eat my cheese. It gives me, and my daughters, a reason to live." The ultimate end of vegetarianism is the extinction of the animals vegetarians care about.

Enjoy your education at UMD. We visited a few years ago for Odyssey of theMind world finals and were struck with how beautiful the campus andbuildings were. Thanks, again, for writing.

Thomas F. Murphy
Stornaway Jerseys
Earlville, NY 13332

Which Red Sox are the Most Fun to Watch?

Stern, Crisp, Youkilis. Youthful enthusiasm, speed, earnestness. This is gonna be a fun season.]

I like watching Beckett pitch, too, but boy does he have foul mouth. F this and f that when he's pumped up. I hope one of the adults speaks to him about it.

BTW, read Jerry Remy's Q and A column in the GLobe. Jerry and I are good buddies.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Relay for Life

Hey family, I'm on a Relay for Life team. We're doing it in a few weeks. I haven't raised any money yet, and I would really appreciate a 5 dollar donation from my parentals. If you wouldn't mind. :-D

Is this soliciting? Sorry.

You can do it online-
IN the middle on the top of the page it says "sponsor participant".

I'm doing this in honor of Mama Pfohl and in Memory of Sally's Mom.

This is Geneseo's first annual RFL, and I'm pretty excited. It sounds fun, you just have one person from your team on the track all night. It starts at 9 pm, and goes to 7 am. There is live music all night and other fun activities. In total, Geneseo's particular RFL has collected $37,811 so far.

Thanks allowing me to solicit. ihahaha.



Instead of the anti-robot code, can we get this, and just click on pictures of kittens instead?

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Make sure your sound is on, and then go watch this. It'll take 4 minutes and 27 seconds, but it's well worth it.

DISH Network is the worst

So it's the middle of the night. I pay for the sports package. I pay for the Major League baseball package. I turn on a sports channel that is rebroadcasting a baseball game, and it's blacked out. Every single rebroadcast of a baseball game is blacked out. What more do I have to pay for to see these broadcasts? What's the point of blacking them out when i already pay for everything? And can I reach somebody by phone at 4 am? No. I am ANGRY. I HATE the effing DISHnetwork. The installer called yesterday to say "Ohboy, now you can watch Mets games!" And they MIGHT come to an agreement with YES Network, so we in New York State can watch Yankees games. Unreal. I feel like a total sucker.

This is my revenge, DishNetwork.

Another weird thing they do: If you choose any number of channels you'll get a message that says, "This is a subscription channel that is not available for purchase." So what are you telling me this for? Just don't take me there! And then you try to navigate away from the channel and it won't leave. Infuriating.


Friday, April 07, 2006

News of the Leg

Luke saw the orthopedist yesterday and got pretty good news. According to the doctor, the fracture is a simple one in an uncomplicated part of the bone. It ought to heal quickly and without complications. For now, at least, Luke doesn't have a cast. Instead, he is in a knee immobilizer that straps on and off with velcro. He also has a spiffy new pair of lightweight crutches, but he is allowed to try to bear a little weight on the leg when his own comfort allows it. He could be walking in a few weeks.

We'll go back to the orthopedist in two weeks. At that point, if things aren't mending or Luke is still in a lot of pain, he might have to get a cast -- but the doctor's hoping to avoid that.

Though it's certainly preferable to a cast, the immobilizer is clunky and awkward, and dealing with crutches and discomfort is exhausting. Luke is doing a lot of sleeping when he has the chance, which isn't all that often what with school, baseball (he's still attending, even though he can't play) and play practice. But if the orthopedist is correct, he should start feeling better pretty soon.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mom's changing jobs . . .

. . . but without leaving the house. Starting Monday, I will be working for the same company, but on the "prospective" side rather than in the "retrospective" group where I've worked all this time.

The main difference is that this isn't a temporary project. The prospective group deals with new caselaw as it comes out, rather than working on old cases the way my former group did. Thus, the supply of work is not going to disappear. Most likely, neither will my job.

I will be doing a different kind of work than I have been doing recently, and I will probably be working longer hours at first, while I get used to some of the different ways they do things on the new side of the fence. Otherwise, nothing much will change.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

WOW! It's Mandisa!

She sure could sing, but she picked a crumby song last night. She would have been great doing "I Fall to Pieces". Alas.

Upheaval in the pool. Luke takes a big hit, having picked Mandisa to win. He has 10 points. Aurora is just in front of him with 9. Mom and Caleb are tied at 8. Laura has 6, and I've slipped into the lead with 4.

Next week, the music of Queen. Whose idea was that?


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

AI Reaction

Helped themselves:
Ace, Kellie, Chris, Catherine.

Song choices:
Universally poor. There are so many great country songs out there and no one chose one.

Hurt themselves:
The sound engineers. They just can't suck enough. Really, I get bilious thinking about them.

Who's going home? We can't even hazard a guess.

AI tonight! Red Sox, too!

If Bucky goes down, nothing changes. If Ace goes down, Caleb takes a big hit and Mom pulls even with the rest of the mindless mob. If Taylor goes down, Caleb pulls ahead by a point and Laura and I take a hit. If Catherine goes down, everybody takes a hit but I take the smallest one.

Kellie's goin' nowhere tonight.

I thought the Sox looked great, save Keith Foulke. Either he gets it together or he's toast. Fortunately, we have depth.

My New Favorite Band

DISH Network/YES Network

Mom notes that we've been getting hits from searches about DISH and YES and blackouts, which indicates to me that I'm not the only one regretting my switch to DISH. Last night the Yankees played on ESPN, a national network. Could we see the game? No, because it was also on YES, and YES owns the NYS rights, and DISH doesn't carry YES. Infuriating. The installer called last week and said DISH and YES were negotiating. I'll give 'em to the end of the week.

Monday, April 03, 2006

News of the evening

Luke has a broken leg! Yesterday, he was playing goalie in an indoor soccer game in Norwich when somebody fell on his lower right leg. He came limping home, in pain but not overwhelmingly so, with some limited swelling on his outer calf. We didn't think the leg was broken, but we did think it needed medical attention, so today we went off to see Gwen, and then up to Hamilton for x-rays. It turns out that his fibula -- the outer bone of the lower leg -- is snapped right through.

The good news is that the fibula is not a weight-bearing bone, Luke's fracture doesn't seem to be displaced, and such fractures usually heal well. We won't know yet exactly what treatment Luke will receive (cast? walking cast? something else?) until tomorrow, because he has not yet seen the orthopedist. Apparently there is no particular rush, or so Gwen seemed to think, anyway. Watch this space for an update tomorrow.

You just never know what will happen next around here!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Pawtucket Red Sox/Syracuse Sky Chiefs

I have eight tickets to a game May 5 @ 7PM. They are just to the first base side of home plate, nine rows up. I must hear from you if you want any reserved for you and a friend. The drama club show is the week before.

Odyssey in the News

Here's a nice article from today's Syracuse Post-Standard on Luke's OM team. There's a terrific picture of the team in the dead-tree edition, but it doesn't seem to be online. If it turns up later, I'll add it.

Big News

I've been thinking about this for awhile. I've decided to make the farm organic. There is a HUGE premium paid for organic milk, and I'd like to take advantage of it. Also, I could stop striving so hard to keep the cows healthy and productive. As an organic farmer, I will be able to limp along, making just so much milk as my feeble efforts allow. The 50%-60% premium will cover any inefficiencies, and I can relax a little bit. I'll have to accept the loss of some good cows, because I won't be able to use antibiotics, but, hey, I won't be using antibiotics! (A local Smyrna farmer lost a couple dozen cows going organic-musta not been using holistic homeopathic methods). So, rather than living off the fat of the land, we'll be living off the fatheads of the land! We'll be producing food for rich white people and the scientifically illiterate, but they need to eat, too. Right?