bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
The Pack Pinewood Derby race is tomorrow. Sebastian and I hadn't been able to go to the cutting event, so we emailed a design to one of the dads and he cut it for us. But it came out rather flatter than we'd intended. It's considerably flatter than last year's car, and that was the thinnest car in our whole pack (and the fastest, probably not by coincidence).

But this time I was worried...very worried. We'd picked up another metal stud plate at Lowes to weight it, but unlike last year we didn't get a second smaller plate to put under it; there simply wasn't enough thickness for me to fit another plate under the first. In fact, I had serious doubts that I'd be able to hammer in even one plate without destroying the car. There just wasn't enough wood left to work with. It didn't help that I didn't have the leftover wood that the car had been cut from to use as a support when hammering in the stud plate, as I did last year.

So after some thought I decided to skip the stud plate entirely. Instead, I used as many car-weights as possible. I hollowed out the car, carefully; it made a mess. shavings everywhere, but this year I didn't cut myself and the process went more quickly and smoothly than I'd expected. The weights fit well into the hollow, almost flush with the underside, and were fastened in with little screws. We're still light, so one more large weight will be fastened on top, towards the back. It should look pretty cool. It may produce a bit of drag, but the rest of the car is very smooth and flat, and the top weight doesn't stick out too much I think. Besides, we're not going to beat the cars made by professionals anyway!

Sebastian and I sanded it out back - there were a few flakes of snow falling, go figure - and the car ended up very smooth indeed. Then I used a pencil to put a heavy layer of graphite over the points where the tire hubs may touch the car body. Teri and Sebastian laid down the first paint job. They'll finish things off tomorrow, and I'll screw the top weight into place. Then we'll race. A lot depends on how well I fit the wheels in, of course, but all in all this car seems to have a smaller body than last year's, and it's so close to five ounces that the paint job just might take it over the limit! I'll bring a piece of sandpaper just in case.

I think we'll do well, barring accidents.
bobquasit: (Chris Elliot)
Sebastian asked me to read more of Cheaper By the Dozen this afternoon. I was happy to do it, since it meant that the TV wouldn't be on. So the three of us sat in the living room for several hours while I read. Teri slept for about two hours, but woke up in time to hear the last three chapters, as I hope she would.

It's a very fun book to read, but also physically challenging. The father, Frank Gilbreth, is a grand character, and I read him with a booming, hearty voice - it's really the only way to do it. After a while I started to feel as if I'd been lightly sandpapering my throat. But after a short break or two, I continued. I ended up reading the whole second half, and finished it.

He loves the book; he laughed and laughed. But I knew that the last three chapters would be tricky. While much of the rest of the book deals with the family members as children, in the two penultimate chapters the older girls have started to grow up. I knew that much of those chapters would go over his head.

And as for the last chapter...well, I don't want to spoil the book, so here's a spoiler warning. )
After that we watched the 1950 movie adaptation of Cheaper By the Dozen on Netflix - it was available to watch via instantly. If you don't know, let me say up front that the execrable Steve Martin movies that go under the same name have nothing whatever to do with the book - other than the title, and that they feature a family with twelve children. It's just another case of Hollywood taking something nice and crapping all over it, as they always do.

We'd all seen bits of the movie before, but never the whole thing. It was nice to all sit down together and watch it, particularly since we'd just finished the book. The movie was considerably more faithful to the book than any movie adaptation I've seen in the last twenty years; certainly far more faithful than Peter Jackson's inexcusably awful Lord of the Rings movies. The father was played by the slender and sprightly Clifton Webb, who was not a good physical match for the real Frank Gilbreth (he was tall and quite overweight, according to the book), but Webb played the part well enough. A romantic subplot was shoehorned in, but it's relatively minor and inoffensive. Likewise, a small running "suspense" plot was added too; it didn't really work, but didn't harm the movie much either.

The names of a few secondary characters were changed for no obvious reason, and much of the action in general was telescoped. The first half of the book was essentially cherry-picked and packed into the first quarter of the movie, with the more adult final sections being expanded quite a bit to fill in the remaining three-quarters of the film. Also, some lines were given to different characters than in the book, and a few key lines were slightly amended. But all in all, I was surprised by how faithful the movie was to the novel.

One annoying thing: our Wii's wifi connection completely failed with four minutes left to go in the movie, just after a very dramatic moment indeed. I had to run upstairs and pull the plug on both our cable modem and our router for 30 seconds. After that, we were able to finish watching the movie.

Sebastian liked both the book and the movie very much, and gave them both five stars. All in all, a very pleasant night for the family!

Our next step will be to read AND watch "Belles On Their Toes", the sequel to Cheaper By the Dozen. The movie can be ordered as a disc from Netflix; there's no streaming option, unfortunately. Our local library doesn't have a copy of the book, but the Rhode Island library network has many. I've requested a copy, and I imagine it should arrive soon. I'll put the movie at the top of our Netflix queue in time to have it just when I finish reading the book to Sebastian.
bobquasit: (Chris Elliot)
Sebastian asked me to read more of Cheaper By the Dozen this afternoon. I was happy to do it, since it meant that the TV wouldn't be on. So the three of us sat in the living room for several hours while I read. Teri slept for about two hours, but woke up in time to hear the last three chapters, as I hope she would.

It's a very fun book to read, but also physically challenging. The father, Frank Gilbreth, is a grand character, and I read him with a booming, hearty voice - it's really the only way to do it. After a while I started to feel as if I'd been lightly sandpapering my throat. But after a short break or two, I continued. I ended up reading the whole second half, and finished it.

He loves the book; he laughed and laughed. But I knew that the last three chapters would be tricky. While much of the rest of the book deals with the family members as children, in the two penultimate chapters the older girls have started to grow up. I knew that much of those chapters would go over his head.

And as for the last chapter...well, I don't want to spoil the book, so here's a spoiler warning. )
After that we watched the 1950 movie adaptation of Cheaper By the Dozen on Netflix - it was available to watch via instantly. If you don't know, let me say up front that the execrable Steve Martin movies that go under the same name have nothing whatever to do with the book - other than the title, and that they feature a family with twelve children. It's just another case of Hollywood taking something nice and crapping all over it, as they always do.

We'd all seen bits of the movie before, but never the whole thing. It was nice to all sit down together and watch it, particularly since we'd just finished the book. The movie was considerably more faithful to the book than any movie adaptation I've seen in the last twenty years; certainly far more faithful than Peter Jackson's inexcusably awful Lord of the Rings movies. The father was played by the slender and sprightly Clifton Webb, who was not a good physical match for the real Frank Gilbreth (he was tall and quite overweight, according to the book), but Webb played the part well enough. A romantic subplot was shoehorned in, but it's relatively minor and inoffensive. Likewise, a small running "suspense" plot was added too; it didn't really work, but didn't harm the movie much either.

The names of a few secondary characters were changed for no obvious reason, and much of the action in general was telescoped. The first half of the book was essentially cherry-picked and packed into the first quarter of the movie, with the more adult final sections being expanded quite a bit to fill in the remaining three-quarters of the film. Also, some lines were given to different characters than in the book, and a few key lines were slightly amended. But all in all, I was surprised by how faithful the movie was to the novel.

One annoying thing: our Wii's wifi connection completely failed with four minutes left to go in the movie, just after a very dramatic moment indeed. I had to run upstairs and pull the plug on both our cable modem and our router for 30 seconds. After that, we were able to finish watching the movie.

Sebastian liked both the book and the movie very much, and gave them both five stars. All in all, a very pleasant night for the family!

Our next step will be to read AND watch "Belles On Their Toes", the sequel to Cheaper By the Dozen. The movie can be ordered as a disc from Netflix; there's no streaming option, unfortunately. Our local library doesn't have a copy of the book, but the Rhode Island library network has many. I've requested a copy, and I imagine it should arrive soon. I'll put the movie at the top of our Netflix queue in time to have it just when I finish reading the book to Sebastian.
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
Teri wasn't feeling well, so she went to bed early. Sebastian was good as gold, though. He asked for dessert, so I gave him three Oreos and a small glass of milk. No arguments when it was time for him to floss and brush; he even used mouthwash of his own volition.

I'd started reading Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Misenchanted Sword to him at bedtime yesterday, but he'd fallen asleep very quickly. This time I started reading it to him before we went upstairs to bed. I wasn't sure that he was old enough for it; it's not particularly inappropriate (I consider Watt-Evans to be a fundamentally nice writer, much like Gordon R. Dickson and James White in that respect although not in writing style) , but it's not written for children.

But so far Sebastian loves it. We left off with Valder and Fendel the Great lying in the marsh next to the burning hut.

After that we turned off the light and talked a bit. He told me about some of his dreams, with magic rooms accessible from secret panels in his room, leading to a wonderful-sounding waterslide. Then I sang some lullabies, and he said he wished he had a button so he could request me to sing particular songs. "You could always just tell me what you want me to sing" I said, and he did.

So I sang to him, and he fell asleep.
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
Teri wasn't feeling well, so she went to bed early. Sebastian was good as gold, though. He asked for dessert, so I gave him three Oreos and a small glass of milk. No arguments when it was time for him to floss and brush; he even used mouthwash of his own volition.

I'd started reading Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Misenchanted Sword to him at bedtime yesterday, but he'd fallen asleep very quickly. This time I started reading it to him before we went upstairs to bed. I wasn't sure that he was old enough for it; it's not particularly inappropriate (I consider Watt-Evans to be a fundamentally nice writer, much like Gordon R. Dickson and James White in that respect although not in writing style) , but it's not written for children.

But so far Sebastian loves it. We left off with Valder and Fendel the Great lying in the marsh next to the burning hut.

After that we turned off the light and talked a bit. He told me about some of his dreams, with magic rooms accessible from secret panels in his room, leading to a wonderful-sounding waterslide. Then I sang some lullabies, and he said he wished he had a button so he could request me to sing particular songs. "You could always just tell me what you want me to sing" I said, and he did.

So I sang to him, and he fell asleep.
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
We started reading A Christmas Carol about two weeks ago; Sebastian had seen several films of it, and wanted to read it. So I took out a large illustrated (but not abridged) edition from the library.

He loved it. I kept expecting him to get bored; the language is a bit archaic, after all! But even though I asked if we should switch to something else, his interest never flagged.

Reading it was a startling experience for me. When Bob Cratchitt breaks down and sobs for his son, I teared up as well. It's strange, but I can really, really get into a part emotionally. I wish there was some practical use for that ability, other than just reading to Sebastian. Although, of course, there really isn't anything more important than that, for me!

Apparently my reading of the reformed Scrooge was very funny; Sebastian laughed and laughed. My reading was generally based on Albert Finney's portrayal in the 1970 movie Scrooge, incidentally. One of my favorite versions, along with the Mister Magoo one.

It was fun to see many odd little points that never made it into any of the movies. Dickens seems quite ravished by some of the female characters, for one thing. I enjoyed some of the odd little cultural references; I'd never heard of "Smoking Bishop" before, for example (it's a kind of mulled English punch with wine, baked orange juice, cloves, and port).

And it's quite interesting to note that Marley's Ghost specifically claims to have obtained this chance at redemption for Scrooge. Since it's spelled out just a page later that the spirits of the dead cannot interfere with the world of the living, I can't help but wonder how Marley gained the opportunity to do so, and why he did it for Scrooge; there's no explanation for it in the text. I also can't help but think that for saving Scrooge, Marley must have received some reward. He surely deserved it!

Anyway, Sebastian gave the book five out of five stars.
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
We started reading A Christmas Carol about two weeks ago; Sebastian had seen several films of it, and wanted to read it. So I took out a large illustrated (but not abridged) edition from the library.

He loved it. I kept expecting him to get bored; the language is a bit archaic, after all! But even though I asked if we should switch to something else, his interest never flagged.

Reading it was a startling experience for me. When Bob Cratchitt breaks down and sobs for his son, I teared up as well. It's strange, but I can really, really get into a part emotionally. I wish there was some practical use for that ability, other than just reading to Sebastian. Although, of course, there really isn't anything more important than that, for me!

Apparently my reading of the reformed Scrooge was very funny; Sebastian laughed and laughed. My reading was generally based on Albert Finney's portrayal in the 1970 movie Scrooge, incidentally. One of my favorite versions, along with the Mister Magoo one.

It was fun to see many odd little points that never made it into any of the movies. Dickens seems quite ravished by some of the female characters, for one thing. I enjoyed some of the odd little cultural references; I'd never heard of "Smoking Bishop" before, for example (it's a kind of mulled English punch with wine, baked orange juice, cloves, and port).

And it's quite interesting to note that Marley's Ghost specifically claims to have obtained this chance at redemption for Scrooge. Since it's spelled out just a page later that the spirits of the dead cannot interfere with the world of the living, I can't help but wonder how Marley gained the opportunity to do so, and why he did it for Scrooge; there's no explanation for it in the text. I also can't help but think that for saving Scrooge, Marley must have received some reward. He surely deserved it!

Anyway, Sebastian gave the book five out of five stars.

Tears

Jan. 29th, 2011 05:52 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Teri and I are both dead tired. We had to get up early today, because there was a Cub Scout Belt Loop Bonanza at the local high school. Teri drove us in and then went to the animal shelter where she volunteers. Sebastian and I spent most of the day earning belt loops: Video Games, Astronomy, Computers, and Art.

Later in the afternoon, we let him buy Super Smash Bros Brawl for the Wii. He was terribly excited. But when he put it into the Wii, the wails and tears soon began. The disc simply couldn't be read. That's been happening more and more often with the Wii; lots of our discs no longer work.

So I went upstairs and looked up Nintendo customer support. Apparently this is not an uncommon problem; the lens in our Wii probably needs cleaning. We're to send it in to the factory at no charge. When I told Sebastian that we'd have to pack up the Wii and the Super Smash Bros Brawl disc (as specified) and send them both back to Nintendo, the tears increased. In a very tearful hoarse voice, he asked how long it would take. I didn't know.

"Can we hook up the GameCube while the Wii is gone?" he asked tearfully.

"Sure, that's just what I was thinking!" I answered.

"Yay!" he said, still sobbing. It was too funny for words. I had to flee the room before I started laughing and enraged him.

In the meantime, I'm having trouble reaching the mail-in section of Nintendo's support site. It's simply not responding. I've tried it in Firefox and Chrome, but nothing will come in - and my net connection is fine right now. I wonder what the problem is?

Tears

Jan. 29th, 2011 05:52 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Teri and I are both dead tired. We had to get up early today, because there was a Cub Scout Belt Loop Bonanza at the local high school. Teri drove us in and then went to the animal shelter where she volunteers. Sebastian and I spent most of the day earning belt loops: Video Games, Astronomy, Computers, and Art.

Later in the afternoon, we let him buy Super Smash Bros Brawl for the Wii. He was terribly excited. But when he put it into the Wii, the wails and tears soon began. The disc simply couldn't be read. That's been happening more and more often with the Wii; lots of our discs no longer work.

So I went upstairs and looked up Nintendo customer support. Apparently this is not an uncommon problem; the lens in our Wii probably needs cleaning. We're to send it in to the factory at no charge. When I told Sebastian that we'd have to pack up the Wii and the Super Smash Bros Brawl disc (as specified) and send them both back to Nintendo, the tears increased. In a very tearful hoarse voice, he asked how long it would take. I didn't know.

"Can we hook up the GameCube while the Wii is gone?" he asked tearfully.

"Sure, that's just what I was thinking!" I answered.

"Yay!" he said, still sobbing. It was too funny for words. I had to flee the room before I started laughing and enraged him.

In the meantime, I'm having trouble reaching the mail-in section of Nintendo's support site. It's simply not responding. I've tried it in Firefox and Chrome, but nothing will come in - and my net connection is fine right now. I wonder what the problem is?
bobquasit: (Default)

Mister Penny flyer Mister Penny flyer
The librarian at the library created this from scratch for the reading I'll be doing on February 25th. I like it, but it feels strange to be called a storyteller!

bobquasit: (Default)

Mister Penny flyer Mister Penny flyer
The librarian at the library created this from scratch for the reading I'll be doing on February 25th. I like it, but it feels strange to be called a storyteller!

bobquasit: (Default)
He was a big hit.

bobquasit: (Default)
He was a big hit.

bobquasit: (Default)
We had a nice breakfast (buffet) with my parents this morning. Then we left Sebastian to play at Fast Track while Teri and I looked around Dealer's Row.

The "LOTR: Movies Vs. Books" panel was quite loud and contentious, but fun and interesting; as always, I was able to get some good laughs out of the audience, which is always satisfying.

The "Avatar: The Last Airbender" panel was also good. We only talked about the movie for the first twenty minutes; most people hated it, some (including me) were lukewarm. So we moved on to the series. Again, I was able to get some good laughs, and as a bonus found out that a sequel series of twelve episodes is coming out! Sebastian will be thrilled.

I went upstairs to check on Teri and Sebastian after that panel. One of the audience members who was wearing a pretty cool Kiss costume with 8-inch heels got on the elevator too, along with several other fen. Lastly, a drunk blonde woman got on; I instantly knew that she was Not One Of Us, not a fan. What would you call the science fiction equivalent of gaydar? Mine is nearly infallible.

She was clearly bemused by the costumes.

"Who are you supposed to be?" she asked in a friendly but condescending manner. The Arisian explained that he was dressed as one of the members of Kiss.

"What does that have to do with science fiction?" she asked. In an ensuing conversation, several of us explained that there had been a movie and comic book about Kiss, and that they'd fought Doctor Doom in the comic. We got to her floor, and she got off.

The rest of us eyed each other. After a long, long pause, I couldn't resist speaking.

"Mundanes..."

Everyone laughed. "Just what I was thinking!" someone said.

"And they're worse when they're drunk." I added, as I got off the elevator to more laughter.

Sebastian was asleep and Teri was in bed, so I went back downstairs and saw the last two-thirds of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal with Klyfix and Stairflight. It was pretty riveting, so I'll doubtless look it up on Netflix.

Tomorrow is the end. I'm not looking forward to my last two panels tomorrow; neither topic really appeals to me, and neither was high up on my list of choices. I'll try to be a good panelist nonetheless, but perhaps I won't be one of the loudest and most vociferous panelists.

I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year to have fun among my own people again!
bobquasit: (Default)
We had a nice breakfast (buffet) with my parents this morning. Then we left Sebastian to play at Fast Track while Teri and I looked around Dealer's Row.

The "LOTR: Movies Vs. Books" panel was quite loud and contentious, but fun and interesting; as always, I was able to get some good laughs out of the audience, which is always satisfying.

The "Avatar: The Last Airbender" panel was also good. We only talked about the movie for the first twenty minutes; most people hated it, some (including me) were lukewarm. So we moved on to the series. Again, I was able to get some good laughs, and as a bonus found out that a sequel series of twelve episodes is coming out! Sebastian will be thrilled.

I went upstairs to check on Teri and Sebastian after that panel. One of the audience members who was wearing a pretty cool Kiss costume with 8-inch heels got on the elevator too, along with several other fen. Lastly, a drunk blonde woman got on; I instantly knew that she was Not One Of Us, not a fan. What would you call the science fiction equivalent of gaydar? Mine is nearly infallible.

She was clearly bemused by the costumes.

"Who are you supposed to be?" she asked in a friendly but condescending manner. The Arisian explained that he was dressed as one of the members of Kiss.

"What does that have to do with science fiction?" she asked. In an ensuing conversation, several of us explained that there had been a movie and comic book about Kiss, and that they'd fought Doctor Doom in the comic. We got to her floor, and she got off.

The rest of us eyed each other. After a long, long pause, I couldn't resist speaking.

"Mundanes..."

Everyone laughed. "Just what I was thinking!" someone said.

"And they're worse when they're drunk." I added, as I got off the elevator to more laughter.

Sebastian was asleep and Teri was in bed, so I went back downstairs and saw the last two-thirds of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal with Klyfix and Stairflight. It was pretty riveting, so I'll doubtless look it up on Netflix.

Tomorrow is the end. I'm not looking forward to my last two panels tomorrow; neither topic really appeals to me, and neither was high up on my list of choices. I'll try to be a good panelist nonetheless, but perhaps I won't be one of the loudest and most vociferous panelists.

I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year to have fun among my own people again!
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
New Year's Eve has been a dud for us for a long time. When I was young, we used to spend it with the family of a friend of my father's from work; that was a lot of fun. But Teri and Sebastian both fall asleep long before midnight every New Year's Eve, so I've spent pretty much every on my own - or asleep myself.

But this year was different. I'd heard that the Edaville Railroad was closing, probably for good. I've been going there since I was a baby, so of course I insisted that we should go.

The weather was warm for the time of year; we got there right at opening time, 4PM. The sun was going down, and the Christmas Festival of Lights was going full blast. We went to the cranberry and train museum building; Sebastian and I went upstairs. In the past there had been a free cranberry juice dispenser, but it was gone. The glassed-in honey bee hive was empty too. Sebastian still had some fun running around through the maze, although he's so tall now that he was easily able to see over the walls.

After that we went down and rode the Ferris Wheel. It was a LOT of fun; chilly, but it went fast and gave us an incredible feeling when we went over the top. We laughed and laughed. My fingers were freezing in the cold air at the top of the Ferris Wheel, but luckily I didn't drop my phone!



Later we took the train. By coincidence, the steam engine was on loan from the Boothbay Railway; when Edaville closed in 1991 a lot of their rolling stock was sold off, and some of it ended up in Boothbay. The steam engine wasn't from Edaville, but it was still a funny coincidence.

The train windows steamed up quite a bit, but it was still a lot of fun; there were light displays and painted wooden figures on the sides of the tracks and among the cranberry bogs. We chatted with an older couple nearby, who took a picture of all three of us. At one point the train stopped, stood still for a while, and then backed up for perhaps 500 feet. Then it went forward again.

When we got off the train, we ran down past the tracks and Sebastian played on several of the other trains that had been turned into playground installations. Then he got hungry, so we went to the cafe and had hot dogs and french fries. Perhaps it was the cold air and running around we'd done, but the food was delicious. After that Sebastian played a game and won a penguin toy (what else?), and then I bought a fried dough and hot chocolate with whipped cream and jimmies. There's nothing like fried dough with steam coming out of it on a cold day, and the hot chocolate was really good; just the right temperature, hot but not too hot to drink.

By then it was getting late, so we headed towards the exit. Just before the souvenir ship was a large trailer that said "heated mine", and next to it was a gold-panning sluice. The hot water running down it was steaming. We talked to the man there, and discovered that the inside of the trailer was set up as a mine - Bear Creek Mine - with interesting rocks and fossils inside. It wasn't too expensive, so Sebastian put on a miner's helmet with a little light on it, and I accompanied him inside the dark trailer.

Inside, the walls were covered with rock-like stuff (foam, I think), neat-looking fossil art, and little holes with fossils and gemstones - nothing valuable, of course, but cool nonetheless. It took Sebastian quite a while to find everything, but there was no rush. While we were inside, Teri had a nice chat with the owner. They also had the gold-dust panning sluice, but I was out of cash and they couldn't take cards. Still, Sebastian loved it so much that he wants to have them do his birthday party next year. I think we will!

Teri had also heard from many people that the park was for sale for 11 million dollars, but it apparently wasn't selling. The owner, everyone said, was going to subdivide the land for luxury houses or condominiums if the place wouldn't sell as a park. If that's true, it's a terrible, terrible shame. Edaville survived an eight-year shutdown in the 1990s, but if the land is divided up for housing, Edaville will never be able to come back. It's such a wonderful place, so much fun, and it's been running since 1947! Why is this being allowed? The place is a genuine New England treasure!

We made a final stop at the gift shop, and I splurged on memorabilia. We got lots of fun Edaville stuff. I just hope that the place stays open so we can come back again and again. And some day, with Sebastian's children.
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
New Year's Eve has been a dud for us for a long time. When I was young, we used to spend it with the family of a friend of my father's from work; that was a lot of fun. But Teri and Sebastian both fall asleep long before midnight every New Year's Eve, so I've spent pretty much every on my own - or asleep myself.

But this year was different. I'd heard that the Edaville Railroad was closing, probably for good. I've been going there since I was a baby, so of course I insisted that we should go.

The weather was warm for the time of year; we got there right at opening time, 4PM. The sun was going down, and the Christmas Festival of Lights was going full blast. We went to the cranberry and train museum building; Sebastian and I went upstairs. In the past there had been a free cranberry juice dispenser, but it was gone. The glassed-in honey bee hive was empty too. Sebastian still had some fun running around through the maze, although he's so tall now that he was easily able to see over the walls.

After that we went down and rode the Ferris Wheel. It was a LOT of fun; chilly, but it went fast and gave us an incredible feeling when we went over the top. We laughed and laughed. My fingers were freezing in the cold air at the top of the Ferris Wheel, but luckily I didn't drop my phone!



Later we took the train. By coincidence, the steam engine was on loan from the Boothbay Railway; when Edaville closed in 1991 a lot of their rolling stock was sold off, and some of it ended up in Boothbay. The steam engine wasn't from Edaville, but it was still a funny coincidence.

The train windows steamed up quite a bit, but it was still a lot of fun; there were light displays and painted wooden figures on the sides of the tracks and among the cranberry bogs. We chatted with an older couple nearby, who took a picture of all three of us. At one point the train stopped, stood still for a while, and then backed up for perhaps 500 feet. Then it went forward again.

When we got off the train, we ran down past the tracks and Sebastian played on several of the other trains that had been turned into playground installations. Then he got hungry, so we went to the cafe and had hot dogs and french fries. Perhaps it was the cold air and running around we'd done, but the food was delicious. After that Sebastian played a game and won a penguin toy (what else?), and then I bought a fried dough and hot chocolate with whipped cream and jimmies. There's nothing like fried dough with steam coming out of it on a cold day, and the hot chocolate was really good; just the right temperature, hot but not too hot to drink.

By then it was getting late, so we headed towards the exit. Just before the souvenir ship was a large trailer that said "heated mine", and next to it was a gold-panning sluice. The hot water running down it was steaming. We talked to the man there, and discovered that the inside of the trailer was set up as a mine - Bear Creek Mine - with interesting rocks and fossils inside. It wasn't too expensive, so Sebastian put on a miner's helmet with a little light on it, and I accompanied him inside the dark trailer.

Inside, the walls were covered with rock-like stuff (foam, I think), neat-looking fossil art, and little holes with fossils and gemstones - nothing valuable, of course, but cool nonetheless. It took Sebastian quite a while to find everything, but there was no rush. While we were inside, Teri had a nice chat with the owner. They also had the gold-dust panning sluice, but I was out of cash and they couldn't take cards. Still, Sebastian loved it so much that he wants to have them do his birthday party next year. I think we will!

Teri had also heard from many people that the park was for sale for 11 million dollars, but it apparently wasn't selling. The owner, everyone said, was going to subdivide the land for luxury houses or condominiums if the place wouldn't sell as a park. If that's true, it's a terrible, terrible shame. Edaville survived an eight-year shutdown in the 1990s, but if the land is divided up for housing, Edaville will never be able to come back. It's such a wonderful place, so much fun, and it's been running since 1947! Why is this being allowed? The place is a genuine New England treasure!

We made a final stop at the gift shop, and I splurged on memorabilia. We got lots of fun Edaville stuff. I just hope that the place stays open so we can come back again and again. And some day, with Sebastian's children.
bobquasit: (Sebastian)
We just finished the last chapter of the very last book in The Great Brain series. Sebastian had me read the Publisher's Note at the end and the author's bio on the back cover, too. That last book was certainly more uneven than the others, but it was still good. That said, the previous book (which was the last one actually published by John D. Fitzgerald, the original author) had more of a satisfying "ending" feel for the series.

I'd read that the final book was written by someone else based on John D. Fitzgerald's notes, but the book itself doesn't indicate that this was the case, and I don't believe that it was. The writing felt quite a bit like Fitzgerald's work, although not as carefully crafted as his other books; more of an early draft, I'd say, which was then gone over by an editor who knew his work, but nonetheless didn't quite have the same touch as Fitzgerald himself. All in all, it was a good series. I'm tempted to read it again to Sebastian, but after some thought I've decided that for big series, it's enough for me to read them aloud to him once; after that, he should re-read them himself.

Perhaps we'll read some Heinlein juveniles next. I think he's old enough.

Oh, last night he begged me to stay and sleep in his bed. I hadn't done that in a long time, he said, and he was right; it has been years. But he's so much bigger now that it just wouldn't be comfortable, and in any case he hasn't changed his habit of turning diagonally in bed. Still, I stayed there until he fell asleep, as I almost always do.
bobquasit: (Sebastian)
We just finished the last chapter of the very last book in The Great Brain series. Sebastian had me read the Publisher's Note at the end and the author's bio on the back cover, too. That last book was certainly more uneven than the others, but it was still good. That said, the previous book (which was the last one actually published by John D. Fitzgerald, the original author) had more of a satisfying "ending" feel for the series.

I'd read that the final book was written by someone else based on John D. Fitzgerald's notes, but the book itself doesn't indicate that this was the case, and I don't believe that it was. The writing felt quite a bit like Fitzgerald's work, although not as carefully crafted as his other books; more of an early draft, I'd say, which was then gone over by an editor who knew his work, but nonetheless didn't quite have the same touch as Fitzgerald himself. All in all, it was a good series. I'm tempted to read it again to Sebastian, but after some thought I've decided that for big series, it's enough for me to read them aloud to him once; after that, he should re-read them himself.

Perhaps we'll read some Heinlein juveniles next. I think he's old enough.

Oh, last night he begged me to stay and sleep in his bed. I hadn't done that in a long time, he said, and he was right; it has been years. But he's so much bigger now that it just wouldn't be comfortable, and in any case he hasn't changed his habit of turning diagonally in bed. Still, I stayed there until he fell asleep, as I almost always do.

Book Fair

Nov. 4th, 2010 10:34 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
I took the day off from work today, to volunteer at Sebastian's school with Teri. We were working at the book fair from 8am-1pm.

Mostly I ran the cash register, scanning books, taking money, and making change. I got to chat with the kids a lot, too. It was a lot of fun! I really enjoy talking with kids. The register was neat, a lot like a high-tech toy. I definitely want to do it again next year.

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