I want you to think back in your mind, 30 days or so. Where were you? What were you doing? What was I doing?

Glad you asked. Let me tell you.

Lee was here

My dad was in town for a quick visit. He took a train in and a plane out, and inbetween we showed him around the area, ate good food, drank good (cheap) wine, and had a very pleasant visit.

We took him down Niantic way, and there we saw round turkeys,

Niantic Turkey

pygmy goats,

Book Barn goat

and more used books in one location than any of us had ever seen. It's the Book Barn!

Book Barn

I really should have taken a few indoor shots, as it is pretty much floor to ceiling walls of books, in every building on the property. We browsed for quite a while, purchased a cardboard-box-worth of books, and then had dinner with our Niantic friend, Bethany.

The next morning, Dad and I had breakfast at O'Rourke's before I took him to the airport. It was a short visit, but I think we gave him a pretty good taste of the Connecticut River Valley.

Later that weekend, Val was out of town and I slipped on the basement stairs and fell on my back. For about 30 seconds I thought I was going to die in the basement, as I rolled off the stairs and formed a hunched ball of pain on the floor. I had left my cell phone upstairs, and while occasionally sympathetic, our cats are not known for being helpful. After several deep breaths, the pain subsided enough that I could uncurl from my hunch, and eventually stand up. I crawled back upstairs, filled a plastic bag with ice and spent the rest of the evening reading and wincing and checking to make sure the bag wasn't leaking. I felt old. I wasn't, I'm not, really, but I felt it to be sure. The rest of that weekend was spent eating Chinese take-out and playing even more X-Box that I usually do when Val is out of town.

book sale books

The following weekend was the Wesleyan Book Sale, where volunteering gives you the pick of the litter, as it were. I tried to keep my litter small, but there were some great finds, with most paperbacks at 50¢ and hardcovers at $1. Some of the finds deserve their own posts, but it was another cardboard-box-worth, including:

great paperbacks with fantastic cover paintings,

a book of U.S. city and state nicknames,

and my personal favorite,
brain book

which includes a pull out section in the back with full color transparency brain layers!




I'll have to document a few more of the books, maybe even make some scans, just to show you that the $16.50 (total, for all the books) was worth it.


The NEXT weekend Val had volunteered as a "bid spotter" at an auction for the art center on campus, so I went along to see the show. There was a silent auction where we ended up bidding on and winning some items, some of which deserve their own posts, but the whole evening was very interesting from an I-only-ever-done-been-to-one-other-auction perspective. We spent more than we expected without even bidding in the real auction, but it was fun and for a good cause.

THIS weekend was shaping up to be a perfect three days for outdoorness, but I woke up on Saturday with some lower abdominal pain. Thinking back to my fall on the stairs and all the fun I've had with doctors over the last 12 months or so, I decided to go to the ER and get checked out. Guess what? After everything short of a CAT scan, they discharged me with abdominal pain, unknown cause saying "come on back if'n you need to". Thankfully, the pain was/is mild, and hasn't gotten any worse, so we'll just let it ride it's course or move back to my eye, or whatever it needs to do.

munchkins for breakfast

I wasn't the only one in the hospital last week, and since Ted Kennedy wasn't able to make it to the Wesleyan commencement, he sent Barak Obama in his place. A perfect sunny morning, a twenty minute walk and a box of munchkins later, we were sitting on a grassy knoll, watching the event unfold.

the view from the hill

Or should I say, watching the secret service snipers unfold?


They were watching us, that was for sure, and we weren't alone. You needed a ticket to sit in the chairs for graduation, but we were just outside the crowd control fence, sitting on our blanket, eating muchkins in the sun, slowly, with no sudden moves. With a few thousand other people.

the crowd on the hill

Things got rolling right on time, and the secret service made sure you knew they were there. And there. And there. And there. And there. And there. And there. And there. Also, there.

(shhhhh...secret service)

After a few speeches and honorary degrees, it was Obama's turn, and he was presented an honorary degree and given a shot at the mike.

Obama @ Wesleyan

We were pretty far back, but the amplification was great, so everyone could hear his speech, which was relatively directed at the class of '08, and short enough to keep him and graduation right on schedule.

Afterwards, we were walking home and were fortunate enough to get him to pose for this shot.

Alex, Barak, Val, Bethany

He kept tipping over if nobody held him up, but I'd like to see how you hold up on the presidential campaign trail.

HAPPY (maybe sad, or better yet, memorial) MEMORIAL DAY!






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