Sunday, February 26, 2006

Pictures from Regionals

These are stills from the camcorder, so they're a bit dim and blurry. But they'll give you an idea of some of the great costumes and props, and we'll get better shots at States.

King Luke waits to go on:
The vehicle is ready to roll:
The collapsing castle, pre-collapse:
The statue and Queen . . . what was her name, again??
Joey and Ellen:
The scrolling membership sign and Adrian as a clock:
The vehicle's kingly head: What does the pheasant say?
The castle collapses around Aurora:
Luke gets shot:
A victory song!
Lauren and the pheasant:
The vehicle as pheasant, with a glimpse of Jesse inside:
The end!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

On to States!

Luke's Odyssey of the Mind team came in first today, so they are Binghamton-bound. What a great solution they have this year: beautiful props, some amazing technical stuff, great costumes, good acting -- even singing! I'll get a few pictures up soon, but meanwhile, I did figure out their competition times in Binghamton (the tournament schedule is posted at

They will have spontaneous at 8:20 a.m. (naturally -- what IS it with S-E teams and early spontaneous assignments??) Their long-term performance will be at 1:20 p.m. in the Mandela Room in the University Union. See you there!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Luke Gets It

That is a double entendre. Luke gets awarded an NROTC scholarship at University of Rochester, PENDING a PHYSICAL. Luke also "gets it", meaning he groks the duty and honor thing. I wonder where he gets it from. His father was a sniveling coward at the age of 18. Congratulations, Luke. Your old man is proud.

I 've lamented, some, about how my children didn't really "take" to the farming sorts of things-cows, machines, etc. But now I've got one son going to vet school, a daughter studying business in college, and another son joining the military. Not so bad! I'll take it!

Of course, it could also be a triple entendre.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wrong Time of Year, but...

James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

10. "When the Frost is on the Punkin"

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,

And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,

And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,

And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;

O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,

With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,

As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere

When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—

Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,

And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;

But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze

Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days

Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,

And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;

The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still

A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;

The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;

The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—

O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps

Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;

And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through

With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...

I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be

As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—

I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock

For Dad...

I thought you would "enjoy" this article, which ran in the Ithaca Journal today.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Murphies? Hmm..

Well guys, I just don't know. In Business English the other day we were learning about Plural nouns and rule is that if the y is preceded by a consonant you change it to "ie" instead of 'y', except proper names! According to Adamson, it should be Murphys, not Murphies.

HMM! What to think? I don't know if its right.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Lawyers-Ya Gotta Love 'Em

Jesus. He's lucky the little twit decided against working for him.

More baseball...

So I was wondering if any Murphies (or any semi-Murphies, extended-Murphies, or non-Murphies) had any interest in going to a Sox away game this spring.

The obvious choice would be Philadelphia. They play a Saturday evening game and a Sunday afternoon game there on May 20th and 21st. We could also visit the vet school, explore a new city, and I could meet up with a few of my future classmates (I just paid my $500 deposit, by the way). I think it'd be gobs of fun. My second choice would have been a series in Cleveland, but it doesn't look like there are any weekend games there.

Also options:
April 8/9, Baltimore. I loved Baltimore, and it would be fun to go back.
April 22/23, Toronto. Didn't love Toronto quite as much, but it could be worth another trip.
April 1/2, Philadelphia. Exhibition games, which means the seats would be cheaper but the stars might not come out. Could be a good chance to watch Paps, Pedroia, and Hansen though.

Longer trips:
June 3/4, Detroit.
June 17/18, Atlanta
July 8/9, White Sox

Also, Fenway games?

A Murphies "Word Cloud"

This was made here. I tinkered with it a little before saving the image. Fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

RS Equipment truck

This is ridiculous. I get the feeling I got when my father would holler up the stairs on Christmas Eve, "The Air Force is reporting an unidentified flying object over the north pole!"

An Iraqi mayor thanks the troops

It's Valentines Day!

And I'm happy to report that my valentine this year is, once again, my lovely wife. If I were forced to prove the existence of God, the best evidence I could produce would be the fact of our meeting on the dining hall porch at Wagon Road Camp in Chappaqua, New York in July of 1976. Could I have met someone else? I suppose so but I can't imagine it. Could I have learned from someone else the things I've learned from my wife? I suppose so but I can't imagine it. I simply can't imagine that there was anyone else on the planet with whom I could spend thirty years, each of us so different from the other and yet so similar, and, after thirty years, be so absolutely sure that she is THE ONE. Ergo, the hand of God.

Valentine, you're the best thing that ever happened to me.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Aurora! What a cow!

Stornaway Romo Aurora is 570th on the list of Registered Jersey Cows sorted by Jersey Performance Index. That puts her in the top 1/2 % of the breed, and she is the highest cow I've ever had. Also on the top 1.5% list are Chloe, Cherry, Dot and Pierogi. Movin' up.

As a herd, we remain 15th in the nation for JPI. 2nd in the state. This is excellent because we have done no culling for production in several years. When we hit 75 cows, and if we decide to stabilize there for a while, we should slide back up, as it will allow us to cull some deadwood. Now there's a poorly crafted sentence.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dreaming about summer

Here's the gorgeous house Eszti rented on Cape Cod this summer, from 8/5/06 through 8/19/06. So far, no Murphies have officially signed up, because nobody's plans are stable and because it's expensive ($500/person/week.) However, in addition to Chris, Eszti, and their boys, Grandma and Grandpa Frey are planning to spend the full two weeks there, Ned and Kate are going for a week (though I don't know which one) and Liz, Ana and Helen will be there, I believe for the full two weeks. I don't think Uncle Pete has made his plans yet. Some Samodais (Eszter's family) will also be there -- not sure which ones or what dates, but I'll find out eventually.

If any Murphies are able to go, we will probably be able to join in later on. If we wait too long, the house may get full and we may end up camping or sleeping on air beds, but that can't be helped. Dad has lots of cows calving in August and already knows that Jeremy will be away for a week, so he's not likely to be able to come for long, if at all. I am sure I will go for at least a few days. As you are making your summer plans, bear this possibility in mind!

Baseball Thoughts

4 days until pitchers and catchers report. I am so looking forward to baseball this year, in part, I think because of the addition of XMRadio to the barn. Baseball 24/7. So I'm even more psyched than last year. We MUST win again. The 2004 Red Sox are gone. No more reveling in JD's homers against the Yankees. He's one of them now.

By all accounts, Johnny Damon is a good guy. He is spoken of highly by everyone who broadcasts on XM. He was always available to the media in Boston, though he did manage to say a number of things that annoyed me. The latest was that the RS "disrespected" him by offering him only 10 million a year. But none of that matters now. He's a Yankee. He is the enemy. A traitor, even.

By all accounts ARod is a good guy, also. Fine. He's still the enemy.

At the end of this year, when there isn't a dime's worth of difference in the stats of JD and Coco Crisp, the Red Sox will look brilliant at $3 million a year and the Yankees will look foolish at $12 million a year. Of course, the Yankees have to have the best of everything, regardless of cost.

I can't wait to watch Papelbon, Dinardo, Delcarmen, Youkilis, Hansen, Pedroia, etc. I'll never forget Youk's first homer. He trotted into the dugout and the entire team ignored him. How cool it must have been to be Youk at that moment.

Play Ball!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Laura is Twenty!

Here are some pictures from a Montessori birthday celebration in which Laura served cupcakes to her classmates and took a circle-walk around a candle "sun." That was sixteen walks-around-the-candle ago!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear Laura --
Happy birthday to you!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Celebratory Outpouring!

Well, actually, it was more of a smattering than an outpouring . . . but we did get votes for favorite posts. Without further ado, here they are, with samples added for illustrative purposes:

Laura said...

Best Pictures: The up close and personal pictures you guys got in SEPTEMBER at the Baltimore game.

Best Parental Usage of Eminem Lyrics: June 2005, Will the real Harry Potter please stand up? [ed.: I didn't even know it WAS a Parental Usage of Eminem Lyrics until I saw this comment and Googled the line to try to figure out what Laura was talking about. Sure enough. Who knew??!]

Rob and Claire said...

Happy Blogoversary!! After carefully considering all the hours of fun and info we've had from the Murphy Blog we've decided that we can't pick just one entry. Our award would go to the entire Blog as maybe a "Blog of the Year."And Cassie would get our vote for "Blog Master." The whole blog thing has brought us feeling much closer to the Murphy family and that, as Martha would say, is a good thing. So Happy Blog Day. [ed. Thank you!]

Aurora said...

Prettiest Post Ever: May 2005. Are we having fun yet?

TASTIEST POST EVER!!!: Tuesday, June 21 2005. Chocolate mousse!

Most Boring Post(s): Farm Updates. ha. [ed. This selection appears to have been a tactical error on the voter's part. See nomination below for "Best Commenter."]

Post that introduced us to the greatest comedy group in the world: The song that Flight of the Conchords used to stop racism in New Zealand ( it was really bad before they started singing this song) Posted by Mr. Murphy. I guess this makes up for those boring farm updates!

Dad said:
Best Guest Commenter: Aurora. [ed: This nomination was rescinded at Dad's request after his review of the other nominations, and in particular a certain person's wisecrack about the Farm Updates.]

Most Interesting Story: Spooks the fawn

Second Funniest Post: A New Way to Get the Kitty
Funniest Post: Stuff on our Dog series
Best Picture: Daphne goes Punk!
Best Nature pictures: The Spider gets the Grasshopper
Best Farm Post: Rescuing a Heifer
Funniest comments: The Philadelphia Series

And Mom said, based mostly on SiteMeter statistics:

Most popular post by far (based on comments and SiteMeter statistics): the picture of the baby pandas in day care in China.

Longest post: probably this one.

Longest comment section: the song-lyrics one, naturally.

And finally, just for fun, some SiteMeter statistics: the blog has had 4127 visits and 10,434 page views since the visit counter was added in July. The peak month for both page views and visits was October, 2005, during which we logged nearly a thousand visits. The blog's most frequent referrals from Google and other search engines come from people looking for the lyrics of "Albie the Racist Dragon," but we also get hits from searchers looking for discussions of soccer at both Sherburne-Earlville and Mount Markham, people researching the Dropkick Murphies, and, oddly enough, searchers who want to find pictures of Pyramus and Thisbe from "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Though most of our visitors come from New York, we also get regular visits from New Jersey, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and people do show up from much more far-flung places. Our most recent 100 hits have included visitors from British Columbia, Mexico, New South Wales in Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. (An aside to any Clippingers who may be reading this: SiteMeter is a great addition to a blog, and in its most basic version, it's free. I wish I had added it to this blog right away.)

One year ago today, I was not sure whether anybody would even bother to look at this blog. I thought setting it up was probably a silly idea and a waste of time, but it was a cold afternoon and I had nothing better to do, so I just went ahead and did it. Isn't it great how happily things sometimes turn out?

Happy Blog Day!

Today's the Day

No, not SuperBowl Sunday -- much bigger than that -- it's the Blogiversary! You still have time to submit your choices for Post or Posts of the Year. Get your selections to me by comment or e-mail by six p.m. and then watch this space for a celebratory post this evening. Don't be left out -- unless you want to let Dad and Aurora monopolize the choices!

There's another Big Day coming up, too. Tuesday is Laura's birthday!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Fluorescent Fish That Made Caleb Famous

Caleb's announcement wouldn't be complete without a photograph of some actual GloFish™ , now would it? Congratulations, Caleb!

More good news...

I'm published! This was a side project of my senior thesis that just came out in a moderately prestigious animal behavior journal. My thesis is currently being reorganized, and will be submitted (once again) to journals in a couple months.

Additionally, a big "thank you" to the Clippingers for the card they sent me last week. I really appreciate their congratulations. If you ever need any veterinary services or advice, let me know (preferably a few years down the road - I'm not much help now).

Also, this is what our blog would look like if we wrote in "jive," which seems to be this website's PC way of saying ebonics (warning: language not appropriate for children, the elderly, and Aurora.)

The 100 Greatest Dogs of Pop Culture History

This is kinda fun. How many do you recognize? I think I knew around 70 percent of them.

But for some unaccountable reason, they left out Panda.

Truck pics

The truck lacks a limited-slip differential. I just noticed it when trying to back up on the slippery grass. So I put it in 4wd. It went in with a thud. The S-10 had a LSD and didn't thud when you put it in 4WD. The truck also lacks seatback pockets, and an over head console. It rides a little truckier than the S-10, but the seats are much more comfortable. It will get a cap sometime in the next few months.

The day before I bought it NBT sent us a notice saying we were charged $3.00 for excessive numbers of electronic transfers from our savings account. So we paid off the two NBT car loans and financed this one through Chrysler. There ya go, NBT! You got your three dollars, and you lost three thousand. How d'ya like that? Not Banking Together? New Bumbling Today?

How timely!

The Murphies are ahead of the Times . . . if only by one day. Scott, there's a generic picture to keep you happy until Tom gets around to posting a specific one.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Two Days to the Blogiversary

Don't forget the poll!

Did I make my e-mail address too mysterious? If so, just leave your entry in a comment.

Teddy Roosevelt responds to Joel Stein

Groundhog Day

The movie, not the date. It's on my list of favorite movies, which is really very short, because most of them seem to not please me, for one reason or another. Turns out that it's a movie that has struck other people.

Borrowed from the Clippingers

This is priceless. I haven't yet checked any of the other posts at the bottom of the page, but I will. Please let me know if there are any that strike you.

Good Bye Passat!

Good bye S-10, too. Hello, Dodge Dakota. The S-10 hit 36,000 miles and is out of warranty. The Passat has been a nightmare. VW once built quality cars, but the Passat was not among them. The check engine light has been on for 98% of the time we've owned it. I was thrilled when they gave me $2000 for it at Norwich Dodge. By the time we were done negotiating, I had the dealer down $5500 from their first offer.

The Dakota is a little bigger than the S-10, with a more comfortable and roomier back seat. Pictures will follow.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How goes Iraq?

Interestingly, our soldiers appear to better understand the incremental nature of this war than many reporters, pundits, and politicians. “Americans seem to kind of want this McDonald’s war, where you drive up, you order it, you pay for it, you go to the next window and get a democracy. That’s not the way it works,” cautioned Army reservist Scott Southworth recently. “It takes a lot of effort; it takes a lot of time.”

Read all of it. (Can't say "the whole thing" without feeling like I'm plagiarizing Glenn Reynolds.)