Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Graham dressed up as an elephant for his first ever trick-or-treat outing. All of his daddy's clever costume ideas were shot down by mommy (e.g., redneck, suicide bomber, gangsta rapper). But the elephant costume turned out pretty well, especially the headpiece made by mommy, complete with floppy ears and trunk. The trunk got a bit heavy as the evening wore on, but Graham bore up like a trooper. He must have the spine of an elephant.

Here are Elephant Graham and his friend, Jack-O-Lantern. We met up in the Trinity Park neighborhood and raked in the good stuff in an hour's work.

Here are the cracker kids reaping rewards from the Wicked Witch of the West.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The New and Improved GrahamCam--Now with Sound!

Here is our first try with a new video source. Up to this point we've been using the rather low quality video from our digital camera--with no sound. I recently acquired a video capture device which allows us to convert our analog home video to digital. Here it is!


This last weekend we went to Texas. Graham had yet to meet his Great Grandmother Fink, who seldom travels these days. So we loaded up the V-dub and drove to the--er, airport. Here are some highlights from the weekend:

El Rancho de Glen y Claudia Fink -- Gainsville, TX

Here's Graham Graham holding on for dear life to a buckin' bronco out on the ranch.

Here's Graham checking out the pool.

Here is Graham's Great Uncle Glen smoking the brisket and making biscuits the cowbay way. Be it here noted that said Great Uncle was up at 5:30 in the am to light the pecan wood fire and set the 'que a-roasting. NC barbeque is mighty fine, but it may have met its match at El Rancho Fink.

Here's Graham having some quality time with Grandpa...

...and with Grandma.

Four generations of Finks!

Here are Graham and Daddy with cousins Stephanie, Sam, and Abby.

After picking up our car from the airport, the trip ended the way all good trips should: with burritos from Chipotle. Ahhhh.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The GrahamCam: Frolic on the Couch

One of Graham's favorite pasttimes is romping on the couch. Sometimes he gets a little too close to the edge, however.

Flowers in our Gardens

Today was a beautiful day for a flower walk with Graham.

GPoD: 10.25.2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's the Great Pumpkin, Graham!

This evening we took Graham to pick out a pumpkin. We got in the car after an early supper and headed north out of town. When we hit Rougemont,* we found a produce stand where said article was acquired and Graham made friends with a friendly kitten. The leaves were ablaze with color, and there was a crisp chill in the fall air. 'Twas almost like being in the Midwest again. Ah.

* One of Sarah's kids recently told her that she looks like she was from Rougemont. We weren't quite sure what to make of that, but it seemed kindly meant.

Construction Proceeds Apace

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
Will be laid for our garage when the cement is poured.

Monday, October 23, 2006

GPoD: 10.23.2006

Look who's eating with flatwear!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

GPoD: 10.21.2006

Here's a picture of Graham the Klingon--he just won't let go of his poor mommy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Ground was officially broken this morning on our new garage. The masonry contractor arrived with his team at about 9:30 and pulled up the stump of our crepe myrtle tree by the roots. The ground will be prepped today and the concrete poured tomorrow. Hopefully the foundation should be finished by the end of the week. Then, next month, our intrepid family (both dads, Sarah's mom, A and Aa) will descend on Durham a week before Thanksgiving for our Garage-Raising Party. We're hoping to knock out the construction in a week and send them on their way stuffed with turkey and with our thanks. It should be quite an adventure, and we'll keep you posted as the project progresses.

On Faith and Forgiveness

Here is a great little meditation on forgiveness inspired by the recent Amish-murder--or rather by the astonishingly Christian response of the Amish to an unimaginable act of evil. Read it. And read it again.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

GPoD: 10.17.2006

Here's Graham with his Lamb of God, Aggie-D (a.k.a. Agnus Dei, a.k.a. Lamb of God, a.k.a. Jesus). Graham loves his Aggie-D. And he loves his mommy. Kisses for all!

Monday, October 16, 2006

GPoD: 10.16.2006

"Thanks for the bath, dad!"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

Aurora Borealis hic videnda non est.

Here is one reason why I don't want to live in North Carolina for the rest of my life.

GPoD: 10.13.2006

All in a day's work...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

GPoD: 10.9.2006

Graham got a new tool today: his first toothbrush. He didn't quite know what to make of it, but he bore the experience manfully.

Which Battlestar Galactica character are you?

You scored as CPO Galen Tyrol. You never wanted to be a glamorous Viper pilot. You are happy knowing that without you to fix their birds, they cannot fly. You fell in love with the wrong girl, but is that so wrong? Maybe, but you don't really care.

CPO Galen Tyrol


Commander William Adama


Capt. Lee Adama (Apollo)


Col. Saul Tigh


Number 6


Dr Gaius Baltar


President Laura Roslin


Lt. Kara Thrace (Starbuck)


Tom Zarek


Lt. Sharon Valerii (Boomer)


What New Battlestar Galactica character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Sweet! I'm Chief Tyrol--followed closely by the two Adamas. As dedicated viewers already know, "the Chief" is one of the noblest characters on the show. I think this fits my personality rather well, except for that stuff about falling in love with the wrong girl, of course--unless Sarah turns out to be a Cylon. This is unlikely, I think. My girl makes a mean French Toast, but she's no toaster. :) I must say I was surprised to see Dr. Baltar so high on my list. I'm going to have to keep an eye on certain flaws in my character, I can see. Which Battlestar Galactica character are you?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

GPoD: 10.8.2006

Here's Graham all bundled up for a walk this afternoon (it was in the 50's). Note the jocular headgear.

Friday, October 06, 2006

GPoD: 10.6.2006

The Fish-Face: Graham's newest party trick.

The GrahamCam: Let's Hear It for the Boy!

In an effort to encourage Graham's developing locomotion, Sarah and I have taken to giving Graham a hearty round of applause whenever he manages to stand up by himself. Graham thinks this is just fantastic. Here he is joining in the applause and giving himself a hand.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

John Cleese's Letter to America

The following purports to be a letter to America from John Cleese, brought to my attention by my Caledonian friend, Stuart Clark. Of course, it would probably be bad manners to point out that since the British crown didn't exactly grant us independence (our most-Christian Founding Fathers gave Romans 13 the bird and took it for themselves, remember?), it is in no position to do any revoking. But such quibbles aside, I think Cleese's suggestions are by no means Fawlty:

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up revocation in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix ize will be replaced by the suffix ise. You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation.
Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up vocabulary. Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up interspersed. There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney,upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents - Scottish dramas such as Taggart will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is Devon. If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become shires e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater. British sit-coms such as Men Behaving Badly or Red Dwarf will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

6. You should stop playing American football. There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American football is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays American football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005. You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders,your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called rounders, which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called Indecisive Day.

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time,you will go metric with immediate effect and conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer,and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. The substances formerly known as American Beer will henceforth be referred to as Near-Frozen Knat's Urine,with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine. This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen,Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or Gasoline, as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon- get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation and have a great day.

John Cleese