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Blog Archives for June 2010

Peach Warfare

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 - Comments (2) in Life

Mark my words: I will be eating a peach from my tree this summer! It's been about 3 years since I planted that tree and every year the bugs, birds and squirrels strip it bare.

Recently Rachelle's dad lent me some netting he used on some of his fruit so I can cover my tree to keep the beasts off it. To keep the bugs from attacking I've been spraying with some kind of special fruit tree spray. I have no idea what's in it, but supposedly it keeps the bugs away. I also wrapped the trunk in a piece of chicken wire and tucked the netting into it, so there is no way under the net.

Last year I was only using the spray which worked to keep the bugs off, but then the squirrels ganked them all. Hopefully this net will sufficiently irritate the animals and cause them to give up. I'm still considering electrifying the chicken wire...

Armored peach tree

peach tree net


First Father's Day

Monday, June 21st, 2010 - Comments (0) in Holidays, Life

Yesterday was my first Father's Day!

It started pretty early, around 4:30am when I got up to give Claire a pacifier. She was trying real hard to get something going in her diaper, but she was unsuccessful. It was dark and my eyes were still closed, so I was probably cramming that binky in her ear or something. I went back to sleep for about 15 minutes and repeated the whole process again. She finally stayed asleep that time.

Claire in her jumper

The morning was pretty much like every other morning. I ran over the Country Max to pick up some Weed-n-Feed for stage 2 of my lawn care strategy. I didn't have a chance to put it on, I need to mow first, but now I'm prepared for when the time comes.

Rachelle and Claire went in together on a new pair of sunglasses for me! I've been wearing the same pair of sunglasses for years now and there is a clear plastic coating on them that is now wearing off. I was very impressed, I have a hard time finding sunglasses I like for myself, I can't believe she found a pair that I like.

Father's day sunglasses

I had a softball game in the early afternoon and boy did that suck. It wasn't that our opponents were that good, we were just that terrible. It was a calamity of errors that just wouldn't stop. I struck out twice! That was the first time I have ever struck out in all the years I've been playing. I think the final score was like 15-4 or something terrible. It was a rough game.

The rest of the day was great. Rachelle made eggplant parmesan for dinner and then Claire and I took a walk around the neighborhood while Rachelle hunted down some Starbucks. She was very well behaved on our walk, which I later found out was because she was asleep the whole time. I had her strapped to my chest facing out so I couldn't see her. I guess our neighborhood is just that interesting.

I guess I would have liked to play better in my game, but other than that it was a pretty great day.


Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 - Comments (0) in Life

It's that time of year again! This past Sunday was the first game of the summer softball season. Well technically two Sundays ago was the first game, but that one got rained out.

I was pretty nervous going into this game. I hadn't seriously swung a bat, caught or threw a ball since last summer! Then my buddy Mike informed me that we are actually playing in an intermediate league this year. I was under the impression we were a recreational league kind of team. Maybe since we won our league last year we had to move up, but that just added to the nerves. Then Mike informed me I was covering left field which added even more nerves. I have no problems catching (usually), but I can't throw very far, which just irritates me. 

The game was really well played. The score was low on both sides and the innings were fast. In typical Harley softball fashion the other team took an early lead, but once we warmed up we kept them from getting more runs and we got a few ourselves. In the end they won 4-3. We were the "home" team so we were last at bat which gave us a chance, but we just couldn't do it. It's ok, I don't mind losing a game like that, much better than having the mercy rule called on you.


This picture isn't from that game but from the seniors vs. faculty game at school during May Day. I'm pretty sure it depicts a swing and miss... 

New Lawn Mower!

Sunday, June 6th, 2010 - Comments (0) in House, Life

Ever since Easter I've had a hankering for a bigger better lawn mower. I've been using a 22" 4.5hp joe-powered pushed mower that was pretty lightweight so it wasn't terrible to mow my 0.3 acres. I could usually get it done in just about an hour. When it's 90°+ outside that time increases dramatically along with the dramatic decrease in my lifespan.

I was dead set on the idea of getting a riding tractor mower. I liked the idea of being able to sit on my ass with a drink in one hand while puttering around the lawn. That wouldn't decrease the time involved but certainly would decrease the effort required. Sure I could have just gone out a purchased one, but I'm way too cheap for that.

My dad ended up finding me an old 32" commercial walk-behind. It does have a newer 8.5hp Briggs and Stratton industrial/commercial engine on it, which is designed to run 12 hours a day every day, so it should last forever doing my lawn once a week. I hadn't found a rider yet so I asked my dad to bring it up when he came up for Claire's baptism. This thing is pretty ugly and old, but it cuts really well and hauls ass! It's got 4 forward gears and 1 reverse. In 4th gear my tongue was dragging on the ground as I ran behind it.

giant mow 32" walk-behind mower

This mower is so old it really doesn't have any modern safety features. Each handlebar has a level that controls the wheel on that side. Since you can control the wheels independently, it's basically a zero-turn as you can lock one wheel and it'll spin around in circles. Modern mowers will require you to squeeze the handle to make the wheels move so if you let go of the machine it'll just stop on its own. This mower is the opposite of that, you squeeze the handles to stop the mower. So if I trip in a gopher hole and fall on my face, the mower will keep on going destroying everything in its path. I can live with that, I just need to be careful.

giant mow 32" walk-behind mower 2

This mower decreases the effort involved because it's self-propelled and you can steer it by tweaking a lever on one side to slow one wheel down. The big thing with this mower is the fact that it goes so fast I can do the entire lawn in about 20 minutes!

I just need to work out the best path to take to minimize the amount of turns while not blowing cut grass all over the house and front garden. The less turns I have to make the faster I can go without worrying about things like driving through the house or mowing down my hydrangea.


Friday, June 4th, 2010 - Comments (0) in Life

This past weekend was a 3-dayer because of Memorial Day. We picked this weekend to Baptize Claire because my family was coming from pretty far out of town and could have some extra time to get back home.

I have a relatively small family and most of them live pretty far away from Rochester. Because of that I didn't invite everyone. I would have loved to have everyone but I didn't want people to feel obligated to make the long (300+ mile) journey for one day on a holiday weekend. I wouldn't have had room to house everyone either. Nearly all of Rachelle's family lives pretty close so they could drive up and go back home the same day.

We picked my sister and Rachelle's sister for the godparents and were pleasantly surprised that there was no problem with that. I guess there are churches that require god parents be male and female, but our church is pretty open minded. We also didn't have to prove anything to them, like showing our marriage certificate or the any kind of Catholic credentials for the god parents, which was also surprising and refreshing. I've gotten used to the idea that the Catholic Church makes you jump through hoops to get anything done.

Claire's baptism

The ceremony was a little long but very nice. It was during a public mass and they also baptized another baby at the same time. I was very pleased that Claire was by far the better behaved baby. She didn't make a peep the whole time, even when the priest was smearing crap on her head or pouring the water over it. The other kid was fussing and screaming and made Claire look like an angel. She wore a gown for the service that was made from Rachelle's grandmother's wedding dress. All of her siblings and cousins were baptized in that gown too.

Claire and Whitney

We invited everyone (family) from the church over to our house for some food after the service. For a couple weeks before all of this we had to get into cleaning-machine mode since people would be in our house. We weren't huge cleaners before Claire and that hasn't improved after her arrival. But we finished what we needed to do and everything was sparkling for the party. We got sub trays from Dibellas for the main course and various other things. Dibellas sort of screwed us on 2 of the small trays. They said each small tray feeds 12 people: 3 large subs cut into quarters. However when I got home with the trays I noticed the small trays only had 9 pieces on them. The subs were cut in thirds rather than quarters giving us 6 fewer pieces than expected. I'm planning on giving them some shit about that in the next few days.

It was a very long and exhausting day, but a great one. Everything went off without a hitch, we had beautiful weather (high 80s and sunny) and everyone had a great time. Claire was a little over stimulated by the end of the day and looked how we all felt:

Claire freaking out