bobquasit: (Sebastian)

Sebastian's Alien A few days Teri told me that Sebastian had been drawing swearing, and showed me this picture. That didn't sound like him, so I asked him what the second line of writing was.

"It's Alien!" he said, as if surprised that I hadn't figured it out immediately.

He's such a good boy...

bobquasit: (Default)
I don't know if LJ is dying or if it's just the holiday, but it's awfully quiet around here! I don't feel like writing much myself. I'm feeling lousy in all sorts of ways.

But I guess I'd better do some updates.

- Sebastian got the Nutshell Kids book collection in his stocking. They're four tiny little books by Maurice Sendak, and were all turned into songs by Carole King for the Really Rosie TV special. Sebastian has been reading the books every night...it has been a really special time for us.

- I've managed to make flossing a regular part of Sebastian's evening routine. It should be a big help to him for the rest of his life.

- I picked up a card reader for $14 at BJs yesterday. You see, when I bought my computer I saved a few bucks by eliminating the card reader; I didn't really know what it was, and it sounded useless. But my camera needs to be powered on in order to transfer pictures from the SD card to the computer, and the process is very clunky; Windows doesn't interact well with my camera.

The connection often fails - not the actual wire, it's more like the camera goes into sleep mode and the computer forgets it existed - and even when it works, the transfer speed is really slow. It took nearly an hour to empty the 2GB chip!

What really pushed me over the brink was my attempt to show photos and video from our Disney trip to our families. Both of our families came over (on different days), and I tried various ways to get the pictures to display on our TV. A DVD simply failed. A data CD gave the message that the photos were an incompatible size. It was really frustrating!

Since we'd recently gotten a new router and hooked it up to the Wii, I downloaded their new Photo Channel 1.1 - it was free. It was also rather promising, and I was excited to see that you could use it to show photos and videos from an SD card. Once again there were problems, though. I discovered to my horror that Windows wouldn't allow me to copy pictures TO the camera. It was a one-way connection!

Our families aren't likely to visit again for a long time, but nonetheless I went and picked up a card reader. It let me throw about 30 photos and 30 videos on the SD card quickly and easily - it's SO good when technology works well. I put the card in the Wii, and was amazed at the results.

You can view individual photos and videos, edit them, turn them into puzzles, zoom in, etc. etc. You can also play videos backwards - and we all just about died of laughter watching Sebastian shoot up a water slide.

It was the slide show feature that was most impressive, though. It has a lot of options for control, but the default settings produced a simply lovely show. Photos and videos were shown in the order they were taken; the photos were displayed in various ways, zooming slowly in or out or across, with some really lovely and effective music playing as a soundtrack. Videos were intercut with the photos beautifully. Nintendo did a really great job, I must say!

Purple belt

Dec. 8th, 2008 12:14 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
On Saturday Sebastian took the test for his purple belt in karate. He got it. Here he is with his instructor.



He's doing better than I expected with karate, to be honest. He's gotten good at shouting and at blocking. At the hockey game on Sunday, another cub scout kept hitting him with a foam "Bruins" claw; rather than falling on the ground and saying "I give up!" as he did several months ago when we saw the PawSox, he was able to block pretty well.

But I still told him that when someone is hitting you, you get away from them if you possibly can. :D
bobquasit: (Default)
On Sunday we went to see the Providence Bruins play the Springfield Flyers at the Dunkin Donuts Center (in Providence). It was a Cub Scout event. Teri couldn't come, because she was at the Christmas party for her work.

It was actually pretty fun. Sebastian didn't pay that much attention to the game, but he enjoyed screaming his lungs out for the Bruins. Here's a photo; unfortunately it's the only one I have, because I forgot the regular camera at home.



There was a fight that shocked him a bit, I think. And every time there was a goal and that horn blared, he covered his ears; he shouted "I'm going deaf!".

The Bruins won, 5-1.
bobquasit: (Default)
Here are some photos and video from the con.

First, a couple of shots of the hotel itself; one from the bottom up (towards the restaurant), and the other from the very top of the 15th floor down - I held the camera up against the ceiling. That's Sebastian's hair and arms in the corner.





Next, a shot of the lobby on Monday, at the end of the con:



Here's Sebastian in his Ice Godzilla costume. He's holding his tail in his "paw" because people kept stepping on it.



And here's the henna "tattoo" that Teri got from one of the dealers. It's funny, a lot of people have complimented her on it. She'll be sorry when it fades away!



Now for the videos. Here's Sebastian in his Ice Godzilla outfit again, in the kid's Green Room before the Masquerade.



And here he is on the stage. As you can hear, he went over pretty well - even though he seemed to have a fair-sized case of stage fright. I wish he'd waved his arms around like he did in the Green Room! But apparently he couldn't see very well inside the mask. Still, he loved the experience and is full of plans for the Masquerade next year.

And yes, that's me shouting the correct pronunciation of "Maranci" when the host stumbled on our name. :D

bobquasit: (Default)
So much to catch up on.

Rides

Last Saturday (April 14th), I took Sebastian to the traveling zoo that was set up in the Shaw's parking lot in Diamond Hill (Woonsocket). He went on the train ride, although he's getting a little big for that; then he went in the moon bounce twice. After that, I twisted his arm.

I've been trying to get him to go on a pony ride for three years now. Until now, he's always refused. This time, though, he gave in and agreed to give it a try.



He didn't seem that excited while he was riding, but a minute after he got off he totally stunned me when he told me that he wanted to try the camel ride, too.



He liked it a lot.

After that he went on the moon bounce again, and then on a large rotating metal bear ride. We shared a fried dough, I bought him a candy apple, and finally with great difficulty I managed to get him in the car so we could go pick up Teri.

Soccer

Sebastian has been getting chubbier; not obese, I think, but definitely overweight. Given our family history, that's a real concern. So we signed him up for soccer.

His first practice was on Thursday. It had originally been scheduled for Wednesday, but it was delayed a day because of rain. It was also moved to a field that was much closer to us, but unfortunately right next to the Projects.

Don't take this the wrong way, but our little guy is not a born athlete. Which isn't at all surprising; there are no athletes in my family, and apparently none in Teri's family either. Sebastian kicked the ball about two feet on his first try, and on his second or third try missed it completely and fell on his bottom. But he was cheerful about it, and kept trying.

Oh, I forgot: just before practice started a woman backed her SUV into our parked car. I didn't see it happen, but Teri started shouting at me from the field and ran towards the car. The damage wasn't severe, but it was enough to warrant an exchange of insurance information.

Anyway, back to the practice. Although we were told that there wouldn't be goalies in the 5-6 league, Sebastian wanted to be goalie for the practice and the coach obliged him. Perhaps he wanted to build up the morale of the rest of the team, because every single one of them scored who was able to kick the ball towards the goal. Eventually Sebastian got a big laugh from onlookers when he plaintively asked "When can I be not a goalie?"

But he had fun. He and I definitely need to practice, though.



His first game was scheduled for that Saturday, and I'll admit that I was a little worried. I know it's just a game, but I didn't want him to get hurt or terribly embarrassed.

For the game, he got to wear his uniform for the first time - a red plaid shirt, black shorts, and black socks.

The other team was short a few players, but the ones who were there were very aggressive. One tiny girl shouted at one of our players "You're going DOWN!".

They also surprised us by assigning one of their players to be goalie. In response, our coach assigned goalie duties to players on a rotating basis (he was also rotating kids in and out of play, since we outnumbered the other team).

The other team did a good job of moving the ball towards our goal, and got three or four shots at the goal before our team got even one shot in return. But our goalies successfully stopped the ball every time.

When he was on the field, Sebastian was in the back of the pack, mostly. I noticed that when the ball came his way, he kind of avoided it. But he did successfully stop the ball when he was goalie. I cheered and applauded.

Eventually one of the kids on our team managed to score, taking the game to 1 - 0.

At one point I noticed that Sebastian wasn't visible on the field, although he was supposed to be playing. Teri spied him in the corner on the far end of the field. I ran over there and asked "What are you doing?"

"The coach told me to throw the ball!" he answered.

"Good, now go and CHASE it! Keep playing!" I answered. The people around us laughed as Sebastian took off down the field.

The aggressiveness of the other team actually ended up costing them. They were SO aggressive that they were hurting themselves. Their coach finally had to forfeit the game, because too many of her players were injured. Not one kid on Sebastian's team was hurt, though.

Here's Sebastian's victory dance. It's also my first Youtube video. Unfortunately Youtube kept rejecting the original AVI file; it wouldn't give me a reason, it just kept saying "failed". So I had to convert it into WMV, which definitely looks worse.

bobquasit: (Default)
Rather than do a long post, here's a link to some photos from the excavation today. Plus a couple of close-ups of bugs that happened to be near me; fair warning for entomophobes.

Hmm. I should explain some of it.

They put a trench box in after they dug the hole; that's a heavy steel box, designed to keep dirt from collapsing in on them when they're working in the hole.

They ended up digging through the basement floor as well, and replaced some of the pipe that they put in three years ago; the new pipe is blue. All of the cast iron is completely gone, except for the part that's leading up to the main drain from further back, of course. But that's completely fine.

They added an outdoor clean-out. That's the blue pipe you'll see sticking straight up; it's about 8'6" tall, if you're wondering, just tall enough to reach ground level. It allows the drain line further out to be cleaned more easily. With any luck we'll never need to use it, though.

Maine

Aug. 14th, 2006 09:37 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Once again it's a bit late, I'm tired, and I want to get this post done. So here goes.

...

Oh, the hell with it. I'll just post photos with notes.



This is me standing on a set of boulders next to my parents' house in Maine; they're perhaps 18 feet tall. I don't know what the expression on my face means, either.



This is the grave of my family's old cat, Pookie. It's on the top of that hill (above the boulders).



A caterpillar, obviously. We found it next to the lake. We also found an inchworm that fascinated Sebastian, but I didn't get a good sharp picture of it.



This is the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. It's actually pretty small, no more than thirty feet high at a guess. We climbed up (except for Teri), and lit up the light. Speaking of which:



Nice close shot of the Fresnel lens, huh? Notice that the light was just in the process of fading.

Later we walked down on the long, sloping rocks next to the sea. Sebastian, my brother, and his two children were all walking around when suddenly someone pointed out something pretty surprising on the rocks nearby:



Yup, it was a seal. Smallish, between three and four feet long; it wasn't dead or obviously injured, but it didn't seem right that it wouldn't be moving away, since there were some people within ten feet of it. It moved a little every now and then, and seemed to be breathing a little hard. My brother went back to the lighthouse to get a staff member to come down; he also called a marine mammal number that was posted back on shore. I just stood (not too close) and stared. It was odd; I felt a bit paralyzed. I'm not sure why.

In a while a staff member came down, and told us that this might be a seal that had done the same thing in a nearby location yesterday. My brother came back with the marine mammal specialist on the phone, and arrangements were made to have someone check it out. The staff member suggested we all give the seal more room, so we moved away.

Incidentally, on the way to and from Pemaquid, there's something that I wish I had a picture of. A large stream parallels the road through an absolutely lovely small town, and at one point there's a swimming hole next to a dam and waterfall. It's surrounded by green grass and trees, and is one of the most beautiful and inviting spots I've ever seen. I'll try to get a shot of it next time. There's a sign that calls it "The Swimming Hole at Bristol Dam", but I haven't been able to find out anything about it online - it's probably too obscure.

On the opposite side of the road there's a small stone seat by the roadside. Carved from the same rock is a long white stone trough, and a small jet of water arcs into the trough from the side of the seat. Again, quite lovely.

Hmm...what else? Teri and I went downtown and got ice cream at a place that's simply not to be missed if you're in Boothbay Harbor. I figured "what the hell" and got a waffle cone with four scoops. The entire place - no exaggeration! - gasped when I was handed the cone. It was four huge scoops, far more than I'd expected, and it was already leaning precariously. Teri says I turned red as a beet.

Several people wished me good luck, and I could hear lots of people commenting. I tried to keep the scoops from falling, but ended up letting the top two fall into a cup that Teri had thoughtfully asked for. I ended up taking those two scoops back to the house and having them over the next two days.

Chocolate Fudge Oreo, by the way. And absolutely delicious.

On Sunday my brother and his family went out on the lake with the paddle-boat. He and his son (my nephew) went swimming from the boat. Suddenly I heard several gasps of horror. My nephew had disappeared.

It turned out he'd somehow gone underneath the boat, and gotten his head trapped (but not stuck) in the central channel where the rudder was - it scraped him badly. They could hear him banging his head against the underside of the boat. Talk about terrifying! Fortunately in less than a minute he managed to get out from under. Still, it gave us all quite a scare.

The weather was lovely, and Sebastian had a glorious time. It does makes me sad that the summer is passing so quickly, though, and that the odds are that the house will be sold before too much longer.
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
I'm a bit sick, so I'm staying up late of necessity. For the heck of it, I created a photo gallery - my first - and of course the subject of my first gallery had to be Sebastian. These photos are from our recent trip to Maine.
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
Time for some quick silliness before I go to bed.

I haven't posted a photo of Sebastian in quite a while. Here's one of him at a wedding we went to a couple of weeks ago.


I think he was trying to be threatening, in a funny way.

As for the corn, I'll hide it behind an LJ cut, just in case there's anyone out there who doesn't like to look at freshly-eaten corn cobs.

This is probably one of the silliest talents I have. It doesn't really deserve to be called a "talent", actually. "Quirk" would probably be a better word for it.

Anyway, I'm the only person I've ever known or heard of who does this. I eat corn in a unique way. I use my lower front teeth to cleanly take out one row of kernals, and then snap each adjacent row out of their sockets. The kernals come out whole. It's hard to describe, but it means that I get quite a bit more corn than anyone else and virtually none of that cellulose that gets stuck between your teeth. And the corncob that's left behind is extremely neat, although of course it still gets tossed in the trash.

Anyway, we recently had corn on the cob and I amused myself by leaving precisely one row in place and taking a photo of it. Sebastian had never seen that before, I guess, and he thought it was really cool.

But here's the cut.
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Okay. This has probably been the single most trivial post that I have ever done or will ever do. I don't know if I should apologize or take a bow.
bobquasit: (Hot day)
For some reason it has been awfully hard to write lately. There's no particular reason that I can think of, it's just...hard. My brain freezes up whenever I try to get into writing mode. Which is why I've been pretty awful about responding to comments, lately. And I haven't been commenting on journals much, either.

I'm really sorry about that.

Anyway, this is another attempt to break the logjam by writing a catch-up entry.

Today was a long "Daddy & Me" day. Teri was doing a yard sale at her mother's house, and she was selling a bunch of Sebastian's old toys; it was my job to take Sebastian away and entertain him for the day, so he wouldn't get sad.

Not to mention me. Taking away a child's toys is something that gets to me, big time. This may sound silly, but when I was quite young (perhaps four or five) I had to give one of my toys to a visitor to our house; my heart must have really broken, because I have never forgotten it and can still see that stupid toy in my mind with almost no effort. And it kills me to think of Sebastian having to give up his toys.

Anyway. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. Before we started out, I took a picture of Sebastian sitting on our porch, our giant just-about-to-bloom lilac bush behind him:



We drove Teri over to her mother's house, and she asked me to help bring out some of the items they were going to sell. I did, of course, and less than ten minutes after we set up there were people stopping and looking things over.

No point in making this longer than it has to be; Sebastian saw some of his giant-size Lego blocks, burst into tears, and ran into the back porch, sobbing. I followed him, and you can imagine how I felt to see huge tears trickling down his cheeks. So I got him out of there.

First we went and looked at the burned-out mill building from last Saturday; it was Sebastian's idea. I'm only 99% certain that the one we looked at was the actual building. Somehow it feels as if it should still have been smoking.

Then we picked up breakfast for the two of us, and went home. I broke my own "No TV" resolution, and let him watch The Yellow Submarine on DVD; he was SO sad. Then I took him down to Roger William's park in Providence.

We walked across the Japanese garden and saw a turtle and a few fish in the water. Moving on, we passed the carousel; Sebastian wasn't interested in it, so we went to the playground.

The playground was apparently set up by Hasbro, or something, so here's a photo of Sebastian next to Mr. Potato Head.



We played, he refused to touch a lizard that a woman had in the playground (I touched its tail; it was dry and firm, pretty much like a stick). he refused to go on the pony rides, and he played a lot. Then we went for a ride on the swan boats.

These were quite different from the ones in Boston; you pedal them yourself. Ours tilted a lot, since I'm so much heavier than Sebastian. But we took our tour of the pond and came back. Some more playing at the playground, some cold water and cotton candy, and we headed for home - or rather, for the yard sale.

Up till that point the weather had been absolutely perfect, but as we were leaving the park I'd spotted dark rain clouds moving in fast. By the time we got back to Woonsocket, it was drizzling. Teri and her mother were still selling (the toy that had made Sebastian cry was gone, but fortunately he either didn't notice or didn't care any more), so Sebastian and I went inside. He ate 24 slices of kielbasa, two ears of corn, and by then Teri and her mother had joined us.

We hung around for a while, then headed for home. After a while we headed over to Wright's Chicken Farm for dinner. There were an incredible number of people there, so Teri was ready to leave right away, but I pointed out that it would be a mistake to make a snap judgement without actually checking on the wait time. So I ran in, and they told me it would be half an hour; much better than I'd expected, and if we went elsewhere, it would be at least a half an hour anyway.

I took a number, ran out and grabbed Teri and Sebastian, and we headed back in. We shopped in the gift store...and I was amazed, because our number was called in less than ten minutes.

We had the usual excellent dinner, and on the way to the car saw a startling sunset. I don't know if the photo is clear enough, but there was the oddest red glow where the sun had just gone down; none of us had ever seen anything like it.



Went home, settled in, and now Teri and Sebastian are sound asleep. All in all, a pretty good day.
bobquasit: (Default)
He's down to 101.4° and sleeping with his feet resting on Sara. Here's a photo.



I called the nurse and she says he's doing quite well. And now, with any luck, we should all be able to get some sleep.
bobquasit: (Default)
I spoke too soon.

Half an hour after my 10:18 PM entry, Sebastian's temperature was back up to 104.9° (yes, I just figured out how to make a degree symbol in HTML). I called the doctor, was referred to the nurse triage line, and after a few minutes on hold I was speaking to a nurse. As a result of that call we woke him up and gave him children's Motrin. He fussed, but took it and was back to sleep within moments. Now I have to stay up for an hour to take his temperature at midnight, and then call the nurse back.

His hands and feet are like ice, even though his head and torso are burning up. The nurse had me do a nail-bed press test to make sure that he wasn't losing circulation. Which he's not, fortunately.

Since I'm up anyway, I might as well catch up on my posting. The alternative would be Diablo, and I'm already nervous enough.

This is a recap of the weekend, so it's going to be longish. And I'll put in five or six photos. They've been resampled to a smaller size, but I'll still place it all behind a cut for low-bandwidth people.
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We took him home, and the rest you may have already read; Sebastian got as sick as a dog. And in fact, it's time for me to go and take his temperature.
bobquasit: (Default)
I feel cold.

Not just cold, but cold in a way I've never felt before.

Why?

For a while now I've been going to an old barber whose shop is near the animal shelter where Teri volunteers. He hasn't been doing a great job, to be honest; he leaves a lot of stray loose hairs. But the haircuts are generally tolerable, and I like going to an old-fashioned place.

Not any more. Look what he did to the back of my head!



If you don't know me, well, basically he took off the hair on the lower HALF of the back of my head. My hair used to go down to just below the bottoms of my ears, and now it's shaved in a line with the TOPS of my ears! I look like Rowan Atkinson in the first Black Adder series, except that he was funny and I just look ridiculous.

Sigh. I guess I'll just have to wait until it grows out. And wear a hat in the meantime, just to keep warm.

Damn. I'm cold.

Halloween

Oct. 31st, 2005 10:06 pm
bobquasit: (Me)
Here's our Halloween, in three pictures.

Read more... )

...sigh...
bobquasit: (Me)
As I gave Sebastian his goodnight hugs and kisses...

"Stay?" I have no way to represent just how pathetic the pleading note in his voice was; he was begging me to stay with him.

"But then who would sleep with Mamma, baby boy?"

"Where's Harry Bear?"

I found Harry Bear (he's Sebastian's favorite bear). Without a word Sebastian took him, hopped out of bed, and went over to Teri in our bedroom...to give her Harry Bear, so that he could keep me with him tonight.

And again words fail me.

On an unrelated note, here's a photo I took in the middle of the night, a couple of nights ago. I found Sarah purring up a storm and rubbing her head against Sebastian's hand, both of them asleep. Although I used the flash (I had to), neither of them woke up...fortunately.

bobquasit: (Me)
All in all, it was a pretty nice weekend, I have to say.
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The perfect end to the weekend.
bobquasit: (Me)
On Saturday Sebastian celebrated his birthday with some kids from daycare. It went well. But of course I'm a zombie now. Must sleep!

Milestones

Sep. 12th, 2005 11:11 pm
bobquasit: (Me)
Sebastian has been fascinated by my computer since he was born, practically. Tonight, for the first time, he successfully used the mouse - including clicking and dragging & dropping - to win not two, not three, but FOUR games on the Thomas the Tank Engine website - and on the highest difficulty setting, too!

The other milestone will probably sound silly, but there's no way around it: I'm going to have to admit that I am sentimental about material objects. When something has served me well, or if I've even just had it for a long time, I actually feel bad if it becomes necessary to throw it away.
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So, insane though it sounds, I just want to thank our old couch and say goodbye.

The Storm

Aug. 15th, 2005 10:01 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Last night the region was hit by a rather spectacular thunderstorm. I've heard louder thunder, but I don't think I've ever seen that much lightning - it was practically stroboscopic!

Sebastian was still awake when the storm hit, so it was inevitable that he came into our bed. Teri was soon asleep, but Sebastian was wide awake. So we talked about the thunder, and the lightning. I told him about Benjamin Franklin, who discovered electricity from lightning, and who was the person that the town of Franklin was named after. I told him about back when I lived in Malden with my old roommate, Scott, and the lightning hit outside our house. Scott had unplugged everything but his modem; I was so stupid that my computer not only was ON, but I was actually online.

The lightning hit the sidewalk across from our house (or rather, the phone pole across from our house), and we lost power in a flash so bright that it shone through the actual walls. When the power came back, my system hiccoughed and was fine. Scott's modem had been destroyed.

I told Sebastian, lightning is funny.

We lost power momentarily a few times, but nothing major. He took it well.

He was nervous, but not too nervous. Suddenly he was talking about Sam, our old cat, who died about a year ago. I listened in amazement.

"He was my favorite kitty, and now he's dead. I'll never see my Sammy again!"

And he sobbed, broken-heartedly.

What could I do? Not yet four, and he already knows about death. I held him, and tried to calm him down.

Eventually he slept.

Here's a photo from our weekend with the family. Teri took this at Crane's Beach:
Sebastian at the Seashore

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