Friday, September 29, 2006

Soccer, Week 4

Friday night, the THD Strikers lost to the Flames, 4-0

There's no a whole lot to say about the game. The Strikers held the Flames scoreless until the last minute or so of the first half, despite many shots on the Strikers' keeper, Jake. The second half, it just fell apart.

The only other good thing I can say is, the light was fantastic that evening, so I took a lot of pictures, which I guess is not saying too much, as I usually take a lot of pictures regardless. As a bonus, it was team photo night, so as the photographer from Lifetouch was lining everyone up to be photographed (on film none the less. Remember film? I couldn't believe anyone was still using that, let alone a professional photographer. They're litterally years behind Heirloom Digital Portraits.) I got a few pictures of my own, that I own the rights to!

The team(Front: Zoe, Aslyn, Julia, Nicholas, Ben, and Cameron. Back: Coach ?, Victoria, Tristan, Ianna, Jake, and Coach Toby. Coincidentally, the back row are all returning players from the one-goal-away-from-the-league-championship Spring 2006 team, while everyone in the front row is new)

Tristan Solo

Zoe Solo

And some action shots back at the field

Zoe warming up. Check out the motion blur! On a strength-to-mass ratio, I would guess that Zoe is one of the strongest people I know.
Tristan watching the action upfield, prepared.
Zoe focused
Julia (who is like a miniature Mia Hamm) and Tristan preparing to kick off after having a point scored against them. They, unfortunately, got a lot of practice at this.

After the game, we went to Hooters. The kids were not phased at all by the place. We (Jennifer and I, that is) have eaten at Hooters two times in the past, both of them back before moving to North Carolina when we lived in Newnan, Georgia. That restaurant was entirely unimpressive, both food-wise and Hooter Girl-wise. Now we remembered why it has been so long since we'd been to a Hooters. The wings at this Hooters were not nearly as good as the ones we make at home, although I'd have to admit that the the scenery was quite pleasant.

Tristan did mention the following to me:

Tristan: Dad, these Hooters ladies are nasty.
Dave: Why is that?
Tristan: They're wearing super short-sleeved pants and super short-sleeved shirts.

Zoe decided that she wants to be a Hooters girl or a teacher when she grows up.

Jennifer and I decided we can probably wait another five years to return to Hooters.

Next Friday: The Strikers vs. Martinho's, the team they lost the championship to in the spring.
Sunday, September 24, 2006

Consecration Sunday and Capital Campaigns

On Saturday, the Traveling Roths traveled accross the street. Mebane Presbyterian Church is having a capital campaign to raise about $900,000 to do a lot of repairs on the Baker Building, the church's social hall that used to be the sancturary before the present sanctuary was built in the mid 1950's, as well as some important stuff for the sancutary building, like new air conditioning.

Saturday night was a big celebration dinner on the eve of consecration sunday; the day that everyone hands in their pledge cards to say what they'll be giving to the church in the next year, and additionally to the capital campaign over the next three years.

I'm on the Building Committee, and we had set up displays with our architect's 3D renderings of how the changes would look.

The parishoners seemed pretty into it.

We had a catered dinner in the big hall. The dinner consisted of salad, green beans almandine, red-skinned potatoes, herb stuffed chicken, and roast beef au jus. For dessert there was chocolate mousse or strawberry cake. Like always, here's a picture of my dinner.If you think I'm going to make fun of the food, think again. It was very delicious, and it was very generous of whomever paid for this to provide us with it.

Whoops, I forgot to mention the dinner roll. Actually, that was the one part of the dinner that was not worth mentioning. Why can't we get bread right in the South?

For entertainment, a four piece brass group played, and they were awesome. They had some very cool arrangements, and their tone was impeccable.
There were some speeches. One by Tim Gabel, the head of the capital campaign committee
And another by the guy with the beard, a capital campaign consultant from the Presbyterian Church.

Meanwhile, the kids were being attended to in the other building where they watched movies, and had pizza and soda. When we got home, Tristan informed me that he had consumed five sodas, four slices of pizza, and several cookies. Fortunately, he has a metabolism like a jet engine, so there was no real consequence.

And as a sort of an update. . .

Aerial Pumpkins

Remember the melon tree post, where we found what we thought was a watermelon growing from our dogwood tree? It turns out it is a pumpkin. Here it is.
I added the mesh bag a few weeks ago, and tied it off to the tree, so it's still growing. For comparison, there is a traditional pumpkin in the background that may be from the same plant.

Another aside, this is the first post in Blogger Beta. Do you see a difference? I migrated the blog over on Sunday night, and so far I don't have an opinion.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Soccer: Week 2

Friday night brought another game, and another loss. The Strikers lost to the Hornets, 6-2.

There was some better playing, but definitely some deficiencies that allowed that many goals to be scored against them. Tristan started showing some real skill as a fullback, a position he hasn't played much, but he was able to keep a lot of pressure off the keeper (limiting the goals scored against them to only 6).

Here's Zoe warming up

And Tristan and Zoe warming up, both in the same frame

Here's Zoe dribbling away from Noah Tyre (another Mebane Presbyterian), who looks very concerned.

Zoe and Tristan, in the middle of the fray, regaining control for the Strikers

And finally, Tristan moving the ball downfield into a swarm of Hornets.

Next week the kids have a bye, so the Strikers next game is Friday, 29th September against the Flames.

For other pictures, visit our Flickr page here. Be sure to bookmark it, and come back often, or subscribe to the Flickr RSS feed.
Sunday, September 10, 2006

Beautiful Oriental

No, that's not politically incorrect. Oriental is the name of a town in coastal North Carolina.

Oriental is the "sailing capital of North Carolina," located at the mouth of the Neuse River at the Pamlico Sound. It's also 10 minutes from Laura and Grahams house, so we decided to go there on Sunday instead of the beach.

Graham has two sailboats. One is in the water at a small marina in Oriental. I don't know much about boats, but this one seemed pretty cool. It's roughly equivalent to a small RV, but on the water. It's not seaworthy at the moment, needing new rigging, but it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun to go out sailing on.

But in the meantime the marina was kind of fun too, especially if you were a kid or a dog.

Zoe's really into fishing these days

Tristan likes to fish too, but maybe is not into it so much since he hasn't had the same level of success that Zoe has. He enjoyed playing with Rabin though, throwing branches into the water for Rabin to retrieve.

If one picture really epitomizes Rabin, this is it.

She would swim all day if we let her, even though she's 12 years old now, and is starting to have trouble jumping into the back of the truck by herself. She's barely slowing down. She'd jump off the dock, fetch the branch, swim back to shore, then get out and run back down the dock to Tristan for him to throw the branch again.

We went back into town for some lunch at a Key West-themed place right on the river. We had fries and flies, and a few other things, eventually having to sit inside to escape the flies. We walked to an ice cream place after this for dessert.

From there it was back in the truck for the three hour drive home. Probably our last beach visit of summer. See you in May, Atlantic!
Saturday, September 09, 2006

Atlantic Beach, Fudge Town

Since Jennifer's mom Laura and her husband Graham live in Alliance, North Carolina, we're able to make the 3-hour drive several times a summer, and have relatively quick access to the beaches in places like Atlantic Beach.

So we left Friday evening for Alliance with the Traveling Roths and Rabin in the truck.

We went to Atlantic Beach on Saturday.
Why this beach, other than the convenience?
  • the beach is wide
  • you can bring your dog (not that we did)
  • you can bring your beer (not that we did)
  • no beach tags
  • free parking
(the beach is ~ 200 meters directly behind us here. Convenient!)

Another reason for choosing this beach is because of the Italian Ice place on the "boardwalk." (It should really be called "sidewalk," as there are no boards involved.) They get their stuff from somewhere in Philly, and it's the only place we know of in NC where you can get any Italian Ice. Tristan got Watermelon, Zoe got Tropical Passionfruit, Jennifer got Lemon, and I got Banana Dacquri. All for $5 (plus tax).

To be fair, Atlantic Beach is a little rednecky. One of the unwritten rules are that if you're female you must be > 150 lbs, wear a bikini, and have a tatoo, or several. I did not photograph this, so you can put away your eye bleach.

We took Tristan's obligatory Muscle Man photo:

Not to be outdone, Zoe offers her Muscle Woman pose.

We got cleaned up at the free showers, and headed up the street to Beaufort, home of one Blackbeard the Pirate.

Beaufort has been renamed to "Fudge Town" by Zoe, so here she is posing in front of one of the fudge stores.
We checked out the town a little, and took a few pictures by the waterfront, because the light was great.
Going on the recommendation of Mark Leedom, we decided to eat at Clawson's. We didn't know anything about the place really, other than that someone had recommended it, and that put it one notch above any other place in town.

Clawson's did not disappoint. The inside was really cool and eclectic. Since it was shoulder season, there were no crowds.

I enjoyed the "Four for $4" beer sampler, with somebody's IPA, Hell's Angel, Dead Guy Ale, and Yuengling Lager.

Zoe did not enjoy the beer sampler.

Since they had Shrimp and Grits on the menu, Jennifer and I had to try that. Zoe had chicken fingers while Tristan had pasta with tomato sauce.

We went back to the second fudge place for dessert; maple fudge for Jennifer, ice cream for Zoe and I, and a gigantic lollipop for Tristan.

Tristan swears he's never going to get a lollipop that big again. This I find hard to believe.

We walked around the town a little more, then headed back to Alliance.

What's That Smell?

Oh no it isn't.

Oh yes it is!


When we got home Wednesday, the house smelled a little funky. Well the dog had been in the mud room all day, and she smells. . . like a dog, so once she's been out and the air conditioning had been on a while, it would probably clear up.

It didn't clear up.

The kids noticed it when they got home.

I looked in the crawl space with my 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight from two different access doors, and didn't really see anything amiss.

Finally, around 8 pm, I put on the rattiest clothes I could find (now I know why Dad always has a set of coveralls handy), and low-crawled to the farther reaches of the dirt-floored crawlspace. It wasn't too far into it that my nose and ears told me something wasn't right.

Houston, we have a sewer pipe leak.

There was a split along the top of the 4" cast iron sewer pipe, maybe 10 feet inside where the pipe leaves the house for the street, and water was running out of it. Strangely, the water running out was clear, and not all that stinky, considering.

I made a mad dash for Lowes where I picked up some rubber pipe couplers and clamps to improvise a patch until we could get this thing fixed. I got those on, and staunched the leak, somewhat, but it was still leaking. The water was running into a small hole in the dirt floor, and that hole leads to . . . . ? Actually, I don't think I want to know.

Mr. Kreider was able to come out the next day, and he too was baffled by how this pipe was leaking when no water was running inside the house, and therefore the pipe should not have water in it, let alone enough water to leak out the top of the pipe. He called the City of Mebane, who determined that something was blocked up at the street. They came out and unblocked that, and the leaking stopped. From there, Mr. Kreider was able to swap out the cast iron (which was probably ~100 years old, and original to the house) with some new PVC and a backflow preventer.

The leak is gone. The smell is gone.

For now.

It's an old house, after all.
Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fall 2006 Soccer: Week 1

It's going to be a very different soccer season this time around.

The U8 THD Strikers met the Hot Shots for the first game of the season tonight.

The Strikers were looking pretty snazzy in their red, white, and black.

(Victoria, Zoe, Cameron, Jake, Nicolas, Tristan, Ben, Aslan[?], Julia, and Coach Nicols)

For the first time, and maybe the last time, Tristan (#99) and Zoe (#83) are playing on the same team.

It started off as a fairly evenly matched game, but the Strikers ended up losing by three goals. It was obvious that it's going to take a little while to figure out where everybody is best suited.

Here's a picture I just had to include because it looks like Tristan and Rico are beating each other up.
In reality, I don't know if they even made contact on this play, it may just look that way.

The Strikers play again Friday the 15th against the Hornets.

Aside: All these were taken with my DSC-H2 in "Sports" program. So far I'm really liking the 12x optical zoom, the fact that the autofocus seems to get it right more times than not, the metering seems spot-on, and the battery life from the two AA batteries has been pretty impressive. The viewfinder (EVF) is very clear too. I still feel like I'm learning the camera, but I'm very pleased with it so far.
Saturday, September 02, 2006

A New Horse in the Stable

As I mentioned in The Big Adventure: Part II: This Thread is Useless Without Pictures, the CCD sensor on my Minolta Dimage 7Hi went faulty, rendering the camera useless. It turns out that this was a huge problem for Sony, who manufactured the sensors for Minolta and a bunch of other camera companies.

But even though my 2.5 year old camera was out of warranty, Sony owned the problem, and agreed to replace my camera. They offered various options, but the one I took was to have my camera replaced with a new Sony DSC-H2, the current model camera most comparable to my 7Hi.

After sending back my broken camera in mid-July, I finally received its replacement on September 1st. Here it is:

And here's the first picture taken with it:
(I had the lens hood on when I shouldn't have, and it cast a shadow over the lower part of the picture. Now I know.)

And for the sake of completeness, here's a picture of the camera that's been carrying the entire load since July. My Canon SD450
| Top ↑ |