April’s waxing crescent moon from my backyard.

I finally was able to install the carpet stair treads. Not only do they add a great deal of safety to the slippery staircase, but they look great. Less than an hour’s work and total cost of about $150.

07. February 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Home, snow, weather · Tags:

Between tomorrow (Friday) at noon and Saturday at 4 PM, we will be under a blizzard warning. This does not bode well for a commute home and a quiet Saturday. We’re well stocked with the needed goods and have a couple of gas fireplaces hooked to a nearly full 80 gallon propane tank. We’ll be warm, even if we don’t eat well. We have talked about purchasing a generator for several years now, so think that this summer we will complete that, even if it’s just a mid-sized one that will cover the pump for the well, the furnace, and a few lights.

Our neighbors told us when we moved in that they had lost power only a few times in 15 years, never for more than a couple of hours. We’ve gone days since then and had many shorter outages where a generator would have been very handy. This may finally be the impetus needed to spend the money and get the generator purchased and properly connected.

03. February 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Home · Tags:

I have moved my primary domain (salexander.com) from GoDaddy to 1&1 so also am in the process of moving my blog to this new site. Hopefully, with the mobile publishing apps available, I will be blogging a bit more.

29. December 2012 · Write a comment · Categories: Home · Tags: ,

Last evening, we held a small get together for our immediate neighbors. The neighbors to the right didn’t show up due to a conflict dropping off their grandson, but each of the other three couples were able to make it. As a bit of background, the neighbors to the left are the youngest in the group. They have a 3-year old (almost 4) who is a very precocious girl. They have been together for a number of years, only married for the past year or so. Both are hard working, blue collar workers, and really good parents. He has been working in downtown Hartford, hooking up new city water lines to the houses. He has many stories about the residents where he’s entering the houses to measure and hook up the water pipes. Lots of stories about older kids not working and sucking their parents dry.

Directly across the street are a couple that are a bit older than we are. Both work out of the house in sales positions, and they have two children that are in high school. We learned last night that the husband has an older son from a previous marriage that is in his early 20s and is in his second tour in Afghanistan. Scary stuff, although it seems that he’s in as safe a position as possible within the country.

The third couple is diagonally across the street. We have gotten to know them through many street conversations, and are always the nicest couple. He works for a large beverage distributor (30+ years now) and is a Vietnam veteran. He also leaves for work around 4 AM each weekday. She works in a doctors office of some sort, and has a schedule that isn’t quite as crazy as her husbands.

So after 4+ years of living near these folks when no one ever got the group together, we did that for our daughter’s graduation party in June. Last night, we pulled off the second appetizer and BYOB get together, although without the celebration of our daughter’s graduation distracting us from just chatting as neighbors. People started rolling in around 7:15 and everyone was here by 8:30 or 9 after clearing up other obligations. Our plan was to have them around for an hour or two, eat a few appetizers and disband around 9. No such luck – we were all just getting along too well.

We shared many funny stories of our former next door neighbors (where the couple to the left now life), including many instances of her just being naked at the most inopportune times. When we finally looked at a clock, we realized that 8pm had turned into 10pm, and 10 had quickly turned into 1am. We shared a few shots of Irish Mist (and stories around how their bottle and ours came about), and had the opportunity to look at both an old bottle and a new one, and compare the taste of each one. When we looked at the clock, it was well after 1 AM and every person was very surprised at the laten hour.

When all was said and done, we had a very nice time with people had not previously been together for anything social during an evening. I have to think that we’ll do this again next year (or sooner) since all involved had a really nice time!

02. December 2012 · Write a comment · Categories: Home · Tags: ,

This morning, I went out for breakfast by myself for the first time in months (years?). I went out early looking for shower door parts. There were no parts to be found that I was looking for (I had already located replacement parts on Amazon). So I took advantage of my location and headed to my diner of choice for breakfast! I had a short stack of buttermilk pancakes plus coffee to satisfy my early morning appetite. While I can make similar pancakes at home, I had neither the ingredients nor the desire to do so.

Since I was by myself, I decided to sit at the counter at the diner. The one thing that I always love about diners is that you almost always meet the most interesting people if you take the time to just talk to them. This visit would be no different. I joined the counter group, although most of the stools were empty this morning.

The guy sitting to my left was busily finishing his breakfast when I arrived. He had long hair, with a reddish tip to just ponytail. He was quietly finishing up his breakfast, seemingly like he was passing through town, rather than from town. I thought little of it and ordered coffee and the desired short stack. After my food arrived, he had finished and was making a phone call. Not caring to listen in, I tried to pay more attention to the TV showing some stupid kid show, but was drawn to his conversation.

He was talking to someone about an area that needed assistance from hurricane Sandy. Eventually, I couldn’t let my interest in the conversation go by, so spoke with him about what I had overheard. My wife and kids think I’m a freak because I always talk to strangers in line at the grocery store, in the parking lot, or almost anywhere else I find myself standing next to people I have yet to meet.

He was heading to Brooklyn (NY) after picking up whatever he could at Home Depot. He was organized through one of the Burning Man groups, and had friends that had been there several weeks earlier. He was headed down to help in whatever way he could. Knowing that I couldn’t help much, I handed him a few dollars, asking that he put it towards something they needed. It helped me feel better knowing that I helped someone who was heading out to help others!
While this was a brief interaction, it just goes to show how speaking to a stranger can sometimes create an opportunity to learn something new, meet someone with an interesting story, or just expand your own small world just a little bit.