Saturday, September 30, 2006

That Wild and Crazy Class of 1961

Last week, Squeaky (Jake's Mom) had her high school class reunion. She won't let us say how old she is, but as the photo below of the reunion says in big bold letter, "Class of 1961"..... Well anyway, we'll let you do the math. The reunion which lasted the entire weekend was apparently a lot of fun and it sound's like Squeaky and her little friends had a good time.

Rumor has it that several law enforcement agencies did somehow become involved in the event. Squeaky says that she isn't talking though. I guess we will just never know what happen when the class of 1961 got together in 2006 which would be 45 years after they graduated.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Pox Upon Your House

So, last night Princess Yellow Hair came to King Jake and said, "I've got a few bug bites." Jake didn't think too much of this, because bug bites happen to the best of us. As he thought about it a little more though, it just didn't fit. Yellow Hair hadn't been outside all day. Unless the castle had been infested by yet another pest, there was no reason that Yellow Hair should have bug bites.

Jake then did what all knowledgeable fathers do in this sort of situation. He sent Yellow Hair to see her mother. Molly took about 30 seconds to make her diagnosis. "It's chickenpox", she stated.

Jake blinked.... "It can't be chickenpox. She had the chickenpox vaccine. Then she had a diagnosed case of the chicken pox two years ago. How can she possibly have chickenpox again?", he ranted.

Molly in her typical calm demeanor (unless facing down mice) shrugged and said, "I don't know, but it's chickenpox."

Today, Molly took Yellow Hair to the royal medical practitioner to have the diagnosis confirmed. "Yep, that's chicken pox."

Molly then asked the doctor, "How can she have contracted chickenpox for the second time even after she had the vaccine?"

The doctor then enlightened us with the following. Catching wild chickenpox as a child has been thought to commonly result in lifelong immunity. Second episodes of chickenpox have been rare, but actually occur more frequently in the vaccine group. In one study, 30% of children had lost the antibody after five years, and 8% had already caught "wild" chickenpox in that five year period. Some vaccinated children have been found to lose their protective antibody in as little as five to eight years; however, according to the World Health Organization: "After observation of study populations for periods of up to 20 years in Japan and 10 years in the United States, more than 90% of immunocompetent persons who were vaccinated as children were still protected from varicella." Persons infected after vaccine experience milder cases of chicken pox.

Jake really didn't understand most of that explanation, but he got the gist that some people do get chickenpox several times even after getting the vaccine. Yellow Hair was just one of those lucky few. So there you go. Yellow Hair is not a freak. Just a rule breaker and an over achiever. We think she just wanted to stay home from school for a couple of days.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mouse Nabbed

Well, one mouse down and X mice to go. X is what we call a variable. It is one of those math terms that means that we don't have any idea about how many mice are actually lurking in the castle. One of our problems is that the mice are pretty good with math as well. They are especially good at multiplying exponentially.

Molly examined this particular fellow to see if she recognized him from the other evening. Unfortunately, she was not able to pick him out of a line up though. Oh well, we will just exile this guy from the castle and redouble our efforts to catch his cohorts.

Mouse War Index

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mouse War Revisited

Apparently, after having taken an extended holiday, the mice have returned. We haven't seen a single mouse for over 5 months and figured that we had seen the last of them. The calm was broken by a blood curdling scream from the kitchen. As soon as Jake heard that scream, he knew that it could be only one thing. Running down to the kitchen he hoped against hope that this scream was attributable to some small tragedy, such as cutting off a finger in a moment of kitchen carelessness. All hope was lost however when he arrived in the kitchen and found Molly perched on a chair with an ashen face. Jake stated, "I'm guessing you saw a mouse?" Molly, "Stop asking dumb questions. Of course I saw a mouse. Now, please do something."

There was only one thing Jake could do. He got out the mouse traps. As many of you will remember, the Pohicks decided to go the non lethal route with the traps and managed to catch 10 of them before they skipped town. Jake decided that rather than starting another protracted engagement, he would have to upgrade the arsenal a little bit. He purchased glue traps and snap traps and all kinds of traps. Jake doesn't really have any particular animosity against the mice, but they have a tendency to eat Jake's favorite snacks. This is something that Jake just can't abide by. Not to mention that having Molly screaming in the kitchen on a regular basis is also enough to put ones nerves on edge. Without further ado, Jake set all of the various rodent catching contraptions and retired for the evening.

The next morning, Jake came down to the kitchen and found all of the lethal traps sprung, but with no mice to show. He wondered what had happened? Are the mice really that sneaky? There was nothing he could do but try again. Surely even the most ingenious mouse would surely slip up sooner or later. There was nothing to do but try again. Jake set the traps and went to bed. Just as he was about to drift off in a peaceful slumber, he heard a commotion in the kitchen. Rushing down he found Scribbles (Child formerly known as StarrySpark) stuck to a glue trap. Looking around he also found all of the lethal traps sprung again. "Is there something you would like to tell me Scribbles?", he asked. Scribbles, looking defiant, stated, "The mice don't know any better. We just can't kill them." "Ahhhh....Yes we can and yes we will.", Jake responded.

Tonight Jake is going to set the traps again and this time, he is going to lock Scribbles in the tower. Tune in tomorrow to see how the mice fare without outside intervention.

Mouse War Index

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Don't Look Up

Why is it that ordinarily intelligent people will do things like staring up in the air to see if any big rocks are going to fall on their heads?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pohick Band

The parade really doesn't even get started until the band marches by. By marching in the case of the Pohick Band, we actually mean rolling by on an 18 wheeler. King Jake has taken a note to either put the band on a conditioning program or inject some fresh blood into the band prior to next year's parade.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Pohick National News (PNN). In some places they are called a sub sandwich. In other places they are called a grinder. In the Kingdom of Pohick however, they are called a Hoagie. The 2006 Pohick Harvest Festival Parade was led by official procession consisting of King Jake and the Pohick symbol of prosperity, the giant walking hoagie.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Everybody Loves A Parade

The extended Pohick family got together this weekend for the annual Pohick Harvest Parade. Everyone in the Kingdom showed up for this extravaganza. Don't they all look happy?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Get Lost (And Then Found)

It was a beautiful Post-Summer/ Pre-Fall Day with clear Skies and an ambient temperature of 82 degrees? With a day this nice, there was no way the Pohick family could stay in at home. After a little research, they discovered an orienteering event in a park not too far from the castle.

Keeping with tradition, the Pohicks split into two teams for the competition. The teams this time were Molly and Yellow Hair vs Jake and StarrySpark. Jake decided that he really wanted to win this event. He told SS that instead of following the trails, they were going to shave off some time by going cross country. This is also referred to as taking a short cut. I'll bet you can see where this is going already. Molly and YH decided to go with a more conservative "Stick to the Trails" strategy. And the teams were off....

Jake and SS had no sooner entered the woods when they headed in the wrong direction. Jake is blaming a localized magnetic anomaly or worm hole or something.

Anyway, after reorienting themselves, they were starting to find their points and had just sighted their 4th point off in the distance. As they got closer, they noticed Molly and YH punching their score card and heading off for point 5. Noooooo.... Jake screamed. Come on StarrySpark! We've got to get moving. I'm not going to let them beat us. This was just about the moment that SS ran straight into an exceptionally large spider web between two trees. Apparently SS doesn't like spider webs very much as was apparent from the ensuing hysterics. For the record, the spider was not very keen about StarrySpark either.

Finally they sorted themselves out and were off again. At the next to last point, Jake once again caught sight of the competition off in the distance. Depression was starting to set in. There was virtually no way that Jake and SS could catch the other members of the Pohick clan..... But wait... As Molly and YH left the next to last point, they headed off in the wrong direction. Could it be true? Jake couldn't believe their luck. He began cajoling SS to hurry along. Soon they punched the last point and were headed for home plate and......Victory!!!!! Jake and SS had won.
Jake was a good sportsman when the other team finally arrived at the finish. Well, good a sportsman as Jake is capable of being at least. He only made a few snide comments about superior direction finding genetics.

Unfortunately, as Jake was basking in the glow of victory, some administrative glitch occurred. When the official scores were posted, Molly and Yellow Hair were listed as the winners. Jake grumbled and growled, but finally Molly instructed Jake that he needed to calm down or their would be no more orienteering. Jake of course recognized the tone of voice and decided that there was no more to be gained by throwing a tantrum. "Just wait until next time", he thought to himself.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Road Rage

Road Rage is defined as one or more of the following behaviors.
  • speeding and aggressive acceleration
  • tailgating
  • cutting others off
  • weaving in and out of traffic
  • forming a "convoy" to block access to a traffic lane
  • sounding the vehicle's horn or flashing lights excessively
  • rude gestures
  • shouting verbal abuse, including threats
  • deliberately hitting another person, vehicle or object with one's own vehicle
  • hitting a person or vehicle with a weapon other than a vehicle e.g. a tire iron, golf club, or baseball bat
  • threatening to use or using a firearm or other deadly weapon
  • pursuing for retaliation or revenge of a perceived slight
  • triggering or exaggerating traffic waves
Editor's Note: We would never accuse Molly of exhibiting Road Rage Behavior (Because we are afraid to). Let's just say that she drives enthusiastically. We do routinely take her to the bumper car ride and let her burn off some of that enthusiasm.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

She Blinded Me With Science

So StarrySpark has been back to school for a little over a week now. One of her classes is Science. Each of the students was asked to illustrate the importance of a particular safety topic whilst conducting scientific experiments. Her safety topic was, "The importance of wearing safety goggles."

Jake suggested, "Hey.....Let's just mix up a bunch of stuff to illustrate why it is important to where goggles. I'll bet we can put together a demonstration that no one in Pohick will ever forget."

StarrySpark cringed, having seen some of Jake's previous enthusiastic experiments. She stated that the point could be conveyed to her fellow students just by using a simple limerick:

There once was a motley scientist
and safety rules day she did miss
She leaned over her bottles
without any goggles
and lost her eyeballs in the mist.

Jake said, "Well, sure.... If that's how you want to do it. I guess a limerick is fine, but it's not nearly as much fun as blowing something up. Laboratories are hazardous places. It's easy to forget that when you work in one, day after day, and it's easy to get complacent about eye wear. But eye injuries are painful and sometimes permanent, and all it takes is a momentary lapse."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Get your goat

While at the safari park

Jake to StarrySpark: "Don't let me get your goat."

StarrySpark: (Silence...Blink...Blink...Wheels in head turning....) This is another of your crazy sayings isn't it. Like that, "Let me put a bug in your ear" thing?

Jake: Yes... It is another idiom. The phrase originated in the US and is first seen in print in 1909, in a fanciful story about a burst water pipe.

That's in the US newspaper, the Stevens Point Daily Journal, Wisconsin, May 1909:

"Wouldn't that get your goat? We'd been transferring the same water all night from the tub to the bowl and back again."

StarrySpark: Why do you know that?

Jake: I preparing for next year's "National Junior Honor Society" function.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gourmet Food

One night per week, Jake is required to prepare dinner for the Pohick family. Molly told Jake that if he made TV dinners or ordered pizza one more time, that there was going to be trouble. Jake may not be the smartest cookie in the tool shed, but he still remembers the last time he got in trouble and wanted no part of it. So he went out and hired a professional gourmet chef to prepare a delicious (and nutritious) meal for the family. Hmmmmm.... You don't believe that? Ok, how about this. This gentleman is an IRS Revenue Agent who came to audit the Pohick Kingdom income tax returns. The audit was taking so long thanks to Jake's unique accounting methodology, that the IRS agent needed to cook a meal to gather his strength before he could continue. Yeah..... That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


So, what do you get for the man who has everything? You get him a Segway of course. It's not as if Jake actually needs exercise. Since his workout plan is to avoid all possible calorie expenditure then zipping around on a Segway is just the way to go. With regard to being a fun ride, Jake gives the Segway two thumbs up. Or perhaps I should say that he would give it two thumbs up if he weren't actively engaged in trying to stay on the Segway.

The Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing transportation device invented by Dean Kamen and unveiled in December 2001. It is available in various models and form factors produced by the company Segway Inc. of New Hampshire. The name "Segway PT" stands for "Segway Personal Transporter", while the older acronym, HT, stood for "Human Transporter".

Computers and motors in the base keep the Segway upright at all times. Users lean forward to move forward, and back to move backwards. In new models turning is also done by leaning left and right while in older/discontinued models via twisting a hand grip on the left handlebar. Segway PTs are driven by electric motors at up to 12.5 mph (10 mph in the small discontinued p-Series). Gyroscopes are used to detect departures from perfect balance. In laws that regulate it, the applicable category is sometimes called "electric personal assistive mobility device" (EPAMD).

(Photo taken at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, VA)

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Leash Laws

Why is Molly being attacked by a giant lizard while riding her bicycle? No one is exactly sure. Molly has insisted however that that Jake instruct the Pohick animal catcher to begin immediate enforcement of the leash laws.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Let me show you to your room

One way to ensure that your house guests do not overstay their welcome is to have them stay in the guest room in the dungeon. Here we see Queen Molly taking the Dairy Farmer's Association on a tour of the dungeon area. On the bright side, no air conditioning is required as the dungeon.....I mean guest room remains at a pleasant 54 degrees.

(Photo taken at Natural Bridge Caverns in Natural Bridge, VA)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Coloring Book - $4.99.
Crayola Markers - $6.84.
Being able to color yourself from head to toe in the 30 seconds that your mother and father turned their backs.......Priceless!

(Picture of the President of the Pohick Dairy Farmer's Association and his youngest daughter.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hurricane Ernesto

It is beyond a doubt a very blustery day here in Pohick. According to the National Hurricane Center, we are expecting to get whacked by Hurricane Ernesto today. We have already received a good bit of rain. Jake of course always makes fun of people who panic during extreme weather conditions. It is all fun and games until one of the children goes flying away in a large gust of wind. Just to be on the safe side, the Pohicks are just going to stay indoors today. Don't worry, we will find some way to entertain ourselves such as dancing to our Britney Spears music or watching a little wrestling on WWE.