Monday, December 31, 2007

look, ma, no crutch.

I'm walking around again...the Sciatica fairy has taken her leave once again. I'll probably see her again in two years or so.

I stopped at the police station in town to pick up my NH Pistol/Revolver Permit today. It's just a very unceremonious little paper, nothing like the driver's license-looking laminated card you get in TN for your $115. They didn't even charge me for the permit--when I asked about the fee, the secretary/dispatcher just kind of waved me off and said that "the Chief doesn't believe in charging people for permits, seeing how everyone already pays enough property taxes."

Kind of refreshing, that.

The folks just across the river over in Vermont have it even permit required. If you can own it, you can carry it. That's the way it ought to be in all fifty states, not just two of them.

last day of 2007.

I don't have any special resolutions for 2008, just a general set of goals that aren't specific to the calendar year.  Since I met Robin, every year has been an improvement over the one before it, so I'm hoping the trend continues unabated.  2007 was a little marred by the Move from Hell, but it was also the year in which Lyra was born, so it was a very good year in the end.

Two thousand and eight already, folks.  I'm still waiting for the rocket car I was promised for the year 2000.  The other day, I thought of the fact that Quinn and Lyra have a better than even chance of seeing the 22nd century...with health care and life expectancy improving in quantum leaps every generation, they ought to make it to their 90s. 

Then again, our species has a history of exterminating each other over silly shit like what name to call our invisible friends, or the melanin content of our skins, or what have you.  Nitwits and nukes don't go well together...and I'm not just talking about the Jihadis.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

those winter sundays.

Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

--Robert Hayden

Friday, December 28, 2007

now in stores!

Here's a game to pass around, perhaps a meme of sorts.

Pick a blogger from your blogroll, and then imagine they have an action figure modeled after their likeness available at We-B-Toyz.

What kind of accessories and accoutrements would that blogger's action figure have in the blister pack?

I'll go first, since I thought this thing up, and nobody can pre-empt my pick.

I bring you the Tamara(tm) Action Figure. Comes with bottle of Ruination IPA, paperback novel, and lime-green "iBook" accessories. Clothes include blue jeans, GSG9 boots, Kalashnikitty t-shirt, and black 5.11 tac vest. Optional accessories (sold separately) include Z3 convertible with authentic dent in the hood, and retro-chic 1980s UJM motorcycle. Comes with realistic swilling action!

Your turn.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

what an odd laptop.

My Dearly Beloved gave me an old Royal typewriter for my birthday in October. Since it was stored at a friend's place here in New Hampshire, I didn't get to take possession of it until we moved. Now I find myself oddly fascinated by this archaic piece of writing machinery.

It seems to be a Royal Model H10, made in 1935.

Anyone know where to get ribbons for it?

such frailty.

Every two years or so, I get a visit from the Sciatica fairy, who sneaks up behind me and gives my sciatic nerve a good twist. It always manifests itself the same way: back pain that gradually increases in severity until it reaches "debilitating" on the pain scale, where it then remains for a few days.

Right now I'm in bed, as sitting, standing, walking, or bending over all cause pain that makes me want to turn into AD's Gollum ("It needs the Vicodin! It is in pain!"). Luckily, my brother is still here, so somebody can watch the kids while I'm out of commission. Right now, Lyra is keeping me company on the bed, and I just popped 800mg of Motrin, so things are somewhat tolerable.

What frail and easily broken things we are...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the tiger does not relish the peach.

Next time you're at the zoo and a large predatory cat escapes, follow these steps:

--Call authorities at once.  911 will summon a policeman, who will arrive in mere minutes.

--Give the attacker what he/she wants.  They'll most likely leave you alone afterwards.  Don't resist, you may get hurt.

--If possible, try to reason with the attacker.  Everybody wants to be valued and respected.

--Do not carry a gun for self-defense.  You may get hurt worse, because it may be used against you.  Also, you may suffer from intense regret and remorse if you kill your attacker.


Make sense?  No? 

Then keep in mind that people who prey on other humans have exactly as much conscience and compassion as that tiger.  Tigers kill to eat and live without concern for the feelings of their prey...same with predatory humans. 

The only thing that will keep you alive when a predator mistakes you for food is to whip out larger claws and teeth.

Monday, December 24, 2007

...and goodwill to all.

Robin has to work over Christmas, so Santa was nice enough to stop by on Sunday morning to leave some loot for Quinn and Lyra. 

Lyra Christmas

Quinn Christmas

Christmas, Yule, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah....whatever you call your holiday, may it be a merry one.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

our fucked-up roof: a pictorial essay.

I was up on our roof for four hours yesterday, clearing the snow and hacking away ice dams. 

When I had the snow cleared off the upper section, I discovered some interesting details.

This is a picture of the upper roof just above our trouble spot that's allowing water into the ceiling below.

Roof patch 1

Now, I'm not a roofer, but it seems clear as day that this section has been patched by adding a newer piece of roofing on top of the old roof.  It's roughly 2' by 1' in size.

Here's another picture of the same section from a different angle.

Roof patch 3

Now, the trouble spot is at the ledge where the upper roof meets the lower one.  There are roofing nails and screws which have backed out, and whenever there's the smallest bit of water forming on that section, it follows gravity and goes down the screw and nail holes.  Here's a picture of where it seeps into the uncovered plywood of the vertical wall underneath.

Roof patch 5

We had the agent contact the seller, and the guy who sold us the place steadfastly maintains that a.) there were no water leaks in that house, and b.) he wasn't aware of any prior roof damage.

Once again, I'm not a roofer, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the seller is talking out of his southbound orifice, and that the inspector who looked at the place was certainly acting in the interest of the seller.

We typed up a cordial letter to the sellers, suggesting their cooperation to find an amicable solution.  (Actually, Robin's original letters was more along the lines of "You motherfuckers...", but I toned it down a bit in the second revision.)  There are more roofers slated to come out and give opinions and estimates, and we'll get the thing patched and then try to get our cash back from the sellers.  If they keep disavowing prior knowledge of the roof issues, we'll sic the Dogs of Law, and take the whole thing to court.  To my unschooled eye, it seems that we have a pretty good case for a "Failure to Disclose" lawsuit.

Friday, December 21, 2007

it's a van! it's a snow plow!

So I leave the driveway in the War Wagon to meet the wife at the potential new pediatrician's office.

Take a left turn onto the road, fiddle with the heaters and radio for a second, look up...and notice a pickup truck with a plowing attachment barreling out of the driveway of one of our neighbors.

I'm twenty-five yards way, doing thirty or so on what looks like a plowed and sanded road, only to hit the brakes and find out that the hard-packed snow underneath the plowed part does not support my current speed in my current vehicle configuration (front wheel drive, albeit with brand new snow tires.)  Even with the old "lock the wheels, release, steer, repeat" technique, I can see that I'm headed for the passenger-side door of the plow truck, and that a bumper-to-door interface is imminent.

So I turn the wheel, aim for the snow bank at the side of the road, and slice into it, bringing the minivan to a cushioned stop.  Problem is, now I'm stuck in a ditch, and the plow driver has naught to offer but a shrug and a spit of tobacco juice.  (In all fairness, it was pretty much my fault for going faster than road conditions allowed.)

An hour and a c-note later, the friendly neighborhood wrecker has pulled me out of the ditch, and the Grand Caravan's front doesn't have a scratch on it.  Snow banks are great decelerators when you hit them at an angle.


All things considered, it was better than t-boning the plow truck, since all that got dented was my pride.  Still, that $100 could have bought a nice big bag of Happy Juice at the NH Liquor Outlet over by the grocery store.  Chalk it up to the learning curve, I suppose.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

the story of christmas, 2007.

Infant found in Manger--Police and Social Services Investigating

Carpenter and underage mother arrested

(AP) Bethlehem

In the early morning hours, police and Social Services were alerted by a concerned citizen who discovered a family living in a stable.

When Social Services workers and police officers arrived at the scene, they found an infant, which had been wrapped in cloth strips and placed in a manger by his 14-year-old mother, a Mary H. of Nazareth. 

During the arrest of the mother, a man later identified as Joseph H., also of Nazareth, tried to interfere with the work of the officials.  Joseph, supported by three shepherds and three unidentified foreign nationals, tried to prevent the removal of the child, but was stopped by police officers, who Tasered him into compliance.

Also arrested were the three unknown foreign nationals, who identified themselves as "wise men" from "a Middle Eastern country." Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are looking for clues regarding the identity of the three foreigners, who appear to be in the country illegally.  A police spokesman said that the three carried no identification of any kind, but that immigration officials confiscated undisclosed amounts of gold and possible illicit substances under federal asset forfeiture provisions.  The suspects resisted arrest and told police that God had directed them to go home and avoid all contact with authorities.  The confiscated chemicals were sent to a police laboratory for further analysis.

Police declined to identify the current location of the infant.  A fast resolution of the case seems to be doubtful.  Upon further questioning, a Social Services official commented:

"The father is middle-aged, and the mother definitely still a minor.  We are checking with the authorities in Nazareth as to the nature of their relationship."

Mary H. is in the Bethlehem County Hospital for mental and psychological examinations.  The District Attorney has announced that she will have to face neglect and child endangerment charges at the least.  Her mental condition is questionable, as she claims to still be a virgin, and that the child's father is God Himself.

The chief of psychiatry at Bethlehem County released the following statement:

"It's not my place to question religious belief, but when that belief leads to the endangerment of a newborn, these people have to be classified as dangerous.  The fact that drugs were involved--probably distributed by the foreigners present at the scene--does not inspire confidence in the innocence of the suspects.  I am however confident that all people involved have the potential to take their place as responsible members of society again in a few years, given the right treatment."

Finally, the statements of the shepherds to the police suggest that "a tall man in a white nightgown with wings on his back" ordered them to go to the stable and celebrate the birth of the child.  A spokesman of the Drug Enforcement Agency stated that "this was just about the dumbest cover story ever put forward by those doped-up bearded hippie types."

high-speed (sort of) internets.

Well, we have satellite Internet now, after having to pay the installer $225 extra for a custom install (digging a hole by the tree line and putting a hundred pounds of concrete and a pole into it). 

The good thing is that the speed beats dial-up by a fair margin, and pulling web pages no longer feels like a masochistic exercise in patience. 

The bad things are:

  • Cost.  $60 a month, plus $300 for the standard install, plus the aforementioned $225 for the custom install because the line of sight to the satellite is poor from the side of the house.
  • Latency.  Because the signal has to travel up into low-earth orbit twice, there's a built in latency that makes it impossible to play, say, first-person shooters online.  Scratch anything that requires fast reaction times, in fact.  World of Warcraft is playable, but only just so--last night, I initially got 8000ms (!) latency, but it slowly improves after a few minutes to where your actions and spells only have a lag of a second or two.
  • Bandwidth restrictions.  This one's a biggie.  Hughesnet has a "Fair Access Policy" that limits the amount of data you can download within any given 24-hour period.  For our price plan, that's 200MB.  Exceed the quota, and they switch you to a speed that makes dial-up feel like broadband, and you stay there for 24 hours.  We maxed that out just testing stuff and downloading one lousy video card driver package from ATI yesterday afternoon.  I have no idea how much bandwidth World of Warcraft uses with two clients running, but we'll find out tonight.  I may have to upgrade our plan from Basic to "Pro Plus", which bumps the download threshold to 425MB, and the download speed to 1.5Mbps.  For big downloads, they have you use the 3-6AM timeslot, when the data moved doesn't count towards your quota.  The FAP is teh suck, but unfortunately, they're the only broadband game in town.  Being out in the sticks does carry some sacrifices with it, I suppose, but we do miss our old, fast, reliable DSL line.  Alas, it may have the unintended positive side effect of forcing me to use the Internet for essential stuff only, rather than waste a morning playing Wikipedia Safari.

The roof may not be as expensive as originally quoted.  I'm having a few more roofing companies come out to look at the repairs needed, to get some different opinions.  Asking a roofer whether you need a new roof is like asking a barber whether you need a haircut, so I want to follow some of the excellent advice you folks in Blogland have tossed out, and make sure I'm not being taken.  The good news is that keeping the roof clear of ice dams has stopped all the leaks save the one in Quinn's room, which is rather substantial.

The really good news: booze is cheaper in NH than in TN, and the NH state liquor stores are open on Sundays.

warning: sex may result in pregnancy.

"It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," said Jamie Lynn Spears of her pregnancy. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he."

I'm a bit ashamed for even mentioning anyone connected to Britney ("Leave her alone!') on my blog, since I cannot for the life of me fathom the reason for America's fascination with her, but the above quote by Britney's freshly impregnated 16-year-old sister deserves some mention for its airheaded ignorance.

You see, when a boy and a girl have sex without adequate birth control, then there's a pretty good chance that the girl will get pregnant.  Alas, that information is taught in Biology and Sex Ed, two subjects that get pretty short shrift in the schools of the region where Britney's mom parked her million-dollar quadruple-wide luxury trailer.

Robin and I sometimes joke that sex education in her native Western North Carolina consists of the father telling his daughter, "If you come home pregnant, I'll fucking kill you."  It's amusing to see that the Fundies on the Right use the exact same approach to teach kids about sex that the touchy-feelies on the left use to teach kids about guns: don't mention it, pretend it doesn't exist, and tell them to not even think about the subject until they're twenty-one.

When you have a culture that connects sex with shame and guilt to such a degree that teenagers won't carry condoms with them because "they don't want to look like they were planning to have sex", you can't be surprised when you end up with the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the Western world.

Oh, yeah...little Jamie Lynn wants to raise her child in her native Louisiana, to make sure "it has a normal childhood".

Yeah, good luck with that.  Little hint: don't go to your big sister for parenting advice.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

about that roof.

So we had the builders out here yesterday to evaluate the roof and find the source of the water leak.

It turns out the roof was put onto this house by intoxicated simians with no knowledge of physics and/or static design. Our roof pitch is insufficient for the snow to slide off (the builder said it's such a low pitch that it might as well be a flat roof), and there's so little insulation under the roof that the bottom layer of snow melts very quickly. We had 20-degree weather yesterday, and there was a layer of running water under the snow. It melts merrily, flows to the edge of the roof, freezes into a nice crust of ice, and the water running up behind it just sort of pools behind the ice and then finds nooks and crannies to yield to gravity and come down into the house.

The source of the troubles is one spot on the roof where the roofing nails have popped up due to ice pressure, and the pooling water goes right down the nail holes and into the plywood of the wall below.

I asked the roofer what he'd do if it was his place, and he said, "build a roof on top of the old one with sufficient and uniform pitch to it." They measured out the roof, talked the details out with me, and gave me an estimate for the work that would be required.

Sixteen thousand dollars, give or take.

They're planning to extend the peak of the roof by about six feet, build a new shingled roof on top of the new structure, and insulate the old roof below. Work can start in January, since they don't need to take the old roof down, and nothing will be exposed to the elements.

We could have the old roof repaired for quite a bit less than that, but the problem would only resurface, since the issue with the roof is basically built-in, and I want to only spend the money once for doing it right, instead of spending less more often for half-assed work.

So, that's basically it. The two minor leaks at least have stopped, but Quinn's room has water dripping down in two more spots, and is basically uninhabitable for a toddler. His room is right below the junction of the upper and lower roofs, the spot where the water comes into the plywood, so it's taking the brunt of the damage. Today, I'll be relocating him into Lyra's room temporarily, and she'll have her crib in our bedroom again until that room has a proper roof over it once more.

I'm trying not to get too awfully cranked up about it. We can pursue action against the inspector who signed off on the sale, and the seller who almost certainly failed to disclose the water problems (the roof has signs of being repaired before in the troublesome spot), but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a stream of dollars.

On the plus side, the house is warm and dry except for one room, the fridge is full, and the holidays are around the corner, so all is well. When I used to go to Barnes and Noble in Knoxville with Quinn, I couldn't pry him away from the wooden train tracks in the kiddie book section, so this Christmas, he's getting a train play table of his own. I'll have to put it together clandestinely, and the size of it doesn't lend itself to wrapping, but I'm looking forward to seeing his face when he sees what Santa crammed down the chimney for him.

Monday, December 17, 2007

best spot in the house.

Dachshunds have an innate ability to seek out the warmest and most comfortable spot in any given dwelling, and then claim it as their own.

Best spot in the house

We'll have to watch out, lest we have the smell of singed fur wafting through the place...there's a roaring fire going in that wood stove, and it radiates quite a bit of heat.

(some) trouble in paradise.

So we bought a nice place. 

Trouble is, we have water dripping in three different rooms.  Two water leaks are in the kitchen and living room, respectively, and one is in Quinn's room.  That one's fairly major...paint coming off the ceiling in a nice dangling stripe, and water dripping down at a steady rate from the crack visible through the putty.

Now, one unknown roof leak could be coincidence.  Two unknown roof leaks are more in the realm of the unlikely.  Three different ones, however, are firmly in "Failure to Disclose" territory.  We're currently getting an estimate from a roofing company for roof repair or replacement, and after that it's time to get a lawyer, I'm afraid.  It's a metal roof, and I haven't the faintest clue as to replacement cost for the entire building.  The same company is going to slap a new roof onto our garage for $2700-ish, so extrapolating from that, I'd guess it would cost ten grand to redo the whole house.  Let's hope they can patch what's leaking, so we can delay the big cash outlay for a little while.

Nothing gives me the warm and fuzzies like spending close to two hundred grand on a house, burning up a few more grand to move the entire kit 'n kaboodle, and then having to look at a roof replacement not three weeks after move-in date.

The house itself is everything we wanted--spacious, on a good plot, and lots of big rooms.  The roof issue, however, is knocking a bit off the gilding. 

Ah, well...gotta roll with the punches at this point.  We still own the place in Knoxville, but moving everything back to the way it was is not an option. 

We had a Nor'Easter yesterday, and the snow in the yard is still two feet in some spots.  The doggies flat refuse to go outside into the cold, even though the driveway is plowed.  They stealthily try to find spots in the house for their business, so I had to physically throw them out of the house this morning and leave them in the snow for a little while.

I'm sure I'll look back onto this with a laugh come summer...but right now, I feel like washing down a large valium with some bourbon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

winter wonderland.

Here are some pictures of the new Munchkin Wrangler Central, as it appeared this morning.

This is the front of the house:

House front, Dec 07

Here's one side, by the hot tub room:

House side

This is another shot of the side, looking past the hot tub room towards the forward edge of the property. There are fifty yards of trees between the edge of the house and the dirt road that leads past the property.

House side 2

Here's the back of it. The hot tub room is slightly to the right of center, and the structure all the way to the right is a storage shed for tools and firewood.

House back

Lots of floor and storage space, two independent propane furnaces, two big cast-iron wood stoves, a garage and tool shop, and ten-point-something acres around it (mostly stretching out behind the house.)

Oh,'s our driveway in its current state. Guess I ought to get off the computer and shovel some snow.

Driveway, Dec 07

alas, no (fast) intarwebz yet.

The installer for Hughesnet showed up last night for a site survey, but he won't be able to do the install until Wednesday morning.  In the meantime, there's dial-up.

Strangely enough, I've discovered that I really don't need to spend a ton of time online.  I download my email and then read and reply to it offline, and my blogroll check via Google Reader takes all of five minutes.  My blog posts are done offline through Windows Live Writer, which is a pretty handy program.  All in all, I really only need to connect whenever I want to look up something specific (like movie times for our date night tonight--we're going out to dinner and to see "The Golden Compass"), so there's really no pressing need to be connected all the time.

That, of course, makes me wonder as to how I have managed to waste away entire mornings on the Internet with the old DSL connection before...

The windshield on the Munchkin Mover has a three-foot crack in it.  It took some damage from debris on the way up to NH, a little star-shaped crack in the lower right corner.  When I went out for some odds and ends yesterday, the temperature difference (12 degrees outside, heater at full blast inside) must have encouraged that crack to expand violently.  I looked down for a moment to fiddle with the heater or radio, and when I looked up again, the crack had suddenly expanded clean across the lower half of the windshield, right to left, roughly following the temperature line of the front defrosting vent.  It'll be replaced on Monday morning, to the tune of $210...just another item on the "Holy Shit, That Was Expensive" list that has been this move.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

teh intarwebz are coming.

Not until Thursday afternoon, unfortunately.  Until then, we continue to suck watermelons through straws via dial-up.

My personal web page is now defunct, since we canceled our DSL service in K-town.  I have the whole thing backed up locally, so as soon as we have our new service up and running, I'll transfer it over.

Walked into L.L. Bean yesterday, saw that the cheapest jacket I liked was $199, walked right back out, and went to WallyWorld.  Got two new winter jackets (including a kick-ass canvas jacket that looks very Firefly) for a little over $50.  Hooray for Asian clothing sweatshops, I say.  We need full sets of winter tires on both our vehicles, which is just going to be another item on the long list of expenses for this move, so I don't need to be spending two bills on a jacket when I can get two perfectly adequate ones right down the street for a quarter of that.

So I hear that somewhere in the U.S. of A., a guy walked into a mall and offed eight people before eating his gun.  Somewhere else, a guy shot some folks in a church, and then got center-punched by a member of the congregation at church #2 before making it more than fifty feet into the building.  Hmmm....I wonder if there's a lesson there somewhere.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: the only thing that will stop an armed attacker on the spot is a person with a gun of their own.  Gun haters realize this as well, which is why they rarely ever suggest disarming the police.  They, too, rely on the gun to protect themselves from harm--they just feel all high and mighty because they outsource the task.

The number of casualties at the site of an attempted mass shooting is usually determined by whether the gun used to stop the killer is already at the site, or whether it must be carried there in the holster of a police officer.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

this planet is defective.

This white glop covers us and freezes our innards! You didn't tell us this planet's axis tilts away from the sun!  We demand you bring this planet up to standards!

(Kudos to Navigator Neb...err, anyone who can identify the reference.)

Everything's going fine.  The house is coming together, and looks almost like an inhabitable dwelling now.  Dogs are still somewhat confused by the snow, which spawned the above reference.

Oh, for those of you who know the area--we're in Enfield, close to Lebanon in the Upper Valley.  When everything's squared away, I might even throw a little shindig for anyone within driving range who's interested in a meet-and-greet.  With beer.  And bourbon.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

proof of life.

I was going to compose a lengthy blog entry about the epic suck that was this move, but then I realized that every move sucks.  "Oh, we moved north, and it sucked big rocks off the ground" is like writing "oh, I had a root canal, and it wasn't any fun."

In that spirit, I'll just leave you with some quick vignettes of a 27-foot moving truck with attached car chuffing up the inclines through Virginia and Pennsylvania at thirty miles an hour, two hotel stays with cranky kids and stressed-out adults, a night-time arrival at the destination and a moving truck with hitched car getting stuck on an icy uphill driveway, and a $500 expense for a professional team of movers to empty the truck for us.  Next time we move, I'd just as soon burn all our stuff and buy everything new.  The cost for the moving truck, unpacking crew, and the fuel costs on the way up (which probably total up to the cost of the rental itself--I haven't had the heart to add up all the fuel receipts yet) could have paid for a bunch of new furniture.  The sight of a JH-sized "Super Mover" 27-foot U-Haul truck will cause me to flinch for the rest of my life.

And now I'll move on to other things.

I ordered satellite Internet for the new ranch, but the installer hasn't called us back to schedule an appointment yet, so I guess it'll be a few more days for fast Intarwebz.  In the meantime, I'm dialed in through AOHell all 1990s style, through the phone line.  We pay just about all of our bills online, so we needed some sort of rudimentary emergency Internet until the satellite folks slap that dish onto the side of the house.

We're still unpacking, and the house is still in disarray, but we're slowly restoring order out of the chaos.  The area is concentrated awesome, even with the snow and the icy roads.  It's very small-town New England, complete with village General Store.  Lebanon is only twenty minutes away, which is just close enough to be convenient, and just far enough for us to be off the beaten track a little.  Quinn loves the new place--lots more room to play, and Christmas trees right outside his window!--and Lyra doesn't care one way or the other as long as someone feeds her a bottle and plays Super Baby with her.

That's it for now--tons more work to do, and two kids to entertain.  More later, when we get the satellite Internets.