Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ben's Story

A comedian and a kid were in an airport that was on a timezone. The comedian was trying to explain to the kid about timezones.
"Look", said the comedian, "it's two o'clock,if I step onthe other side of the lline it wi-" What line ? interrupted the kid . The comediangot out a piece of chalk and drew a line ."That line, ok"as I was saying when I step on that side of the line it'll be three o'clock. "Why ?" Asked the kid . Becaus of the timeline !
"You inventid a timeline ?No I didnt its just there . Somthing aubout the earth going around the su-"what about the earth going around the sun? I DONT KNOW ITS JUST ALWAYS DONE THAT!!!!!!!
An old man that was walking by said no thats not how you explain it your confusing him. see here little boy if I am going around the world and it took me two hours -"wow you must be a fast runner ."No no I will yous a jet . But I thought you siad if -theres only one way to teach you by doing it !!. Wow said the comedian as the old man jumped inthe nearest jet and flew of .Hey said a very confused pilot just as the old man parashooted out of the airplain and the plain crashed into a mounten

- Ben

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From London

Here I am in London. Most of my photos are bad so far -- from a moving car or plane or taken at night and blurry -- but I'll put a few on anyways. I miss everyone but have wonderful memories of Thanksgiving and of the crazily cluttered advent Sunday visiting the Episcipal church, Grandma, Todd, and cutting and decorating the tree. Then kids up half the night sharing last moments together before scattering to their next destinations.

I took the overnight flight on British Air from Chicago to London in Business Class. I forgot I was in O'Hare by the time I left. In the BA Lounge they serve all the food and drinks that you want in a quiet, roomy, comfortable atmosphere. And the same treatment is repeated on the plane in seats that recline into mini beds.

London looks exactly like it is supposed to look. Near Heathrow, tight rows of houses alternate with horse pastures and soccer fields (still green). The houses all look suitably old and European (what are those styles - Tudor? modernized cottage?). The sky is continually overcast except for the sun peaking out a few minutes at a time, with an occasional light drizzle.

The actual city is composed of crowded streets running all directions, with signs that tell you everything but the name of the street. Cute black taxis, red double-decker buses, cars, trucks, with motorbikes and bicycles dodging forward in the few inches between the crawling lanes of traffic. Mostly old, dignified buildings with truly ugly modern architecture thrown in higglety-pigglety (who would build a glass building shaped like an egg on its end?). A man with a top-hat and tails (but not a tux) stands in front of the Savoy to welcome you.

I definitely expect Richard Jury or Peter Whimsey on the street in front of Harrods or at Charing Cross (didn't find 84 Charing Cross Road) or Trafalgar Square.

Canary wharf is on the East side of London. It is all new buildings where 50 years ago there

Canary wharf is on the East side of London. It is all new buildings where 50 years ago there were old docks, with burly, sweating men unloading boats into dilapidated warehouses (at least that is how I imagine it). Now it is a little Wall Street, crowded with Morgan Stanley, UBS, Merrill Lynch, and so forth.

Everything is ridiculously expensive in London, especially with our poor Dollar fetching less than half a Quid. Tourist beware!

Back to bed for me. My jet-lagged internal clock makes no sense by Chicago or London time.



Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving in Dixon

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks for a house full of family and friends. Thanks for traditions that remind us of our rich history together. Thanks for fun times, sublime and mundane times, for getting past hard times. Thanks for incredible turkey, vegetables, breads, potatoes, and 9 pies. Thank you all, family and friends for sharing yourself. Thank you God. May our hearts be made flavorful with the spice of gratefulness.

And Christmas is coming -- yeah!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Gobble Gobble

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jonathan Coulton

Dad wanted some erudition on this blog, so let me drop some knowledge up in here

P.S. This guy is playing at a bar in Chicago next month, if I can get tickets I'm going.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Star Wars

A moving documentary about some of the greatest heroes Hoth has ever known:


Friday, November 02, 2007

Cooking Adventures: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Well, for some reason I have been feeling dangerously creative in the kitchen lately. Maybe it was The Omnivore's Dilemma, or bare cupboards, or homesickness, or hormones, or something. My family is not suffering too terribly, as anything truly disastrous only happens when Matt is closing on the weekend and can't salvage or judiciously guide my attempts.

Episode one: (Bad AND Ugly)

Jaime was visiting this weekend and I was roasting a chicken with some yams and squash. We were drinking tea and chatting in the kitchen and having a grand old time with my 70's era Joy of Cooking, and The New York Times Cookbook. Jaime was comparing recipes for pheasant aperitifs in doleful anticipation of the game birds Josh was shooting in North Dakota when she happened upon a recipe for sweet potato puffs. Drunk on tea and cookery, she suggested we whip some up.

2 cups sweet potatoes, 1 large mashed banana, melted butter, egg yolk, hot cream, seasoning, and the inevitable stiff egg white. This was dropped onto a greased sheet at 500 degrees.

I'll gloss over the dreadful results and say only that they looked slightly worse than they tasted. Tragically, in the intensive puffery process, I neglected the rest of the dinner and served nothing edible whatsoever. I boiled some noodles for the boys and Jaime and I dined on burned squash.

Episode 2: (Good and Ugly)

I always seem to forget prior trauma in the soup department, even though past vats of disgusting vegetables and indeterminate starches haunt my kitchen. Tonight I used a leftover pumpkin and produced a tolerable pumpkin soup. I used matt's new food processor (from teacher Sheila) and pureed a bunch of pumpkin for pie and soup. I improvised from this recipe
and it turned out delicious. It was brownish yellow and interesting looking. The only problem is that now I have approximately one gallon of extra soup in the fridge.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sam is 10

Yeah Sam!! You made it to two digits.