Monday, October 27, 2008

Yet Another Piece of My Time

I don't have loads of free time, but I do have a desire to be creative. And not just creative, but as productively creative as consistently as possible. Thus, Halfpenny Orchestra.

My friend Bret and I decided to record some music under that name a few years back when we began participating in the annual February Album Writing Month challenge. He registered the domain, but we never really found a use for it until now. We recently grabbed our friend James-- another guy who thinks enough like we do to be compatible, but different enough to make things exciting--and turned the website into a sort of public accountability circle for our endeavors.

The goal is for each of us to regularly post something original (a story or photo or essay or critique or what have you) each week. That's the goal. Realistically, at least for now, it may be each month. But hopefully as we're spurred on or spurned on or whatever, we'll increase our output.

We've each already written one post, but didn't feel like that was enough to announce to the world. Now, I've actually written a second post.

The cork is out of the bottle.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

You Know You Have to Pay for Them Here, Right?

Guy in Borders on his cell phone: "I'm at the library. I'll call you back."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big news!

Hattie has some big news to share over at her blog. Without giving too much away, it involves her being a big sister. Oh, wait, maybe that's too obvious ...

Monday, October 13, 2008

This is not an Ostrich

We've taken several trips to Avila Valley Barn with Hattie recently. She loves looking at all of the animals, as do about a thousand other people, most of whom prove that we've come an irreparably long way from our agrarian past here in America.

I can understand, maybe, how people watching the emus call them ostriches. Maybe. But I have to shake my head at the people who call chickens ducks. Maybe these people just can't see or hear very well?

On our most recent trip to the barnyard, I witnessed two boys--maybe 8 or 9 years old--visiting the goat pen.
Boy 1: Look! Baby horses!
Boy 2: No, they're baby donkeys ... (this delivered in a voice thick with an undercurrent of "duh!")
(My wife added that another boy I didn't hear came up and identified the goats as little camels.)

While visiting the emus, I also overheard a mom explaining to her 3-year-old how dinosaurs turned into large, flightless birds and another telling her kid to keep his hands away from the chicken wire: "They'll peck your fingers off." These aren't necessarily comments made in ignorance; they just made me laugh.

I'm generally torn when I visit a place like Avila Valley Barn. I am aware that I am a parent of a young child and a member of the visiting crowd, yet I still find myself frustrated with the parents and the crowds, wishing they weren't out and about like I am--or at least that they would act civilized. Bill Buford writes in Among the Thugs, "The crowd is not us. It never is." I shake my head at the pushing and shoving and inane, shouted comments, but later wonder whether people were shaking their heads at me when I, for example, technically cut in line to buy ice cream with the Rookses. And I hate it when people cut in lines.

Maybe I'm a hypocrite. Maybe I'm an elitist, even though I despise entitlement. Whatever I am, here's a picture of Hattie with a baby horse: