Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hiking in the Pohick Swamp


The Pohick gang all went hiking in the Pohick Swamp this weekend. We saw lots of wildlife and the weather was just perfect for hiking. Not too hot...Not too cold....Not raining. Just a lovely afternoon.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Spooky

Despite Jake's insistence that he was not going to decorate for Halloween this year, he changed his mind at the last minute. After arriving home from work at 5PM, he quickly located all of the Halloween decorations and managed to pull the whole thing together in under an hour. The entire ensemble included the graveyard with electric lights, spiderwebs on the house also with lights, a murderer with strobe light in the upstairs window, spooky music, carved pumpkins and a fog machine. Not bad for one hours worth of work. We had about 70 trick or treaters and they all seemed to enjoy the ambiance. To see a few more pictures, check out this link.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

SciQuest






Step One - Enter Teleportation Chamber
Step Two - Close Chamber Door
Step Three - Enter Teleportation Coordinates
Step Four - Energize Teleportation Chamber
* Warning - Ensure that no other biological entities are in chamber prior to energizing.

Dog Gone - I guess we should have read all of the instructions prior to pushing the go button. Oh well, It's really not that noticeable is it?

To see some additional photos from our trip to the science museum click here.

Tate Farms

The Pohicks headed to Tate Farms in Meridianville, Alabama today. We all had a great time. While there we jumped in hay, jumped in cotton, took a hay ride, picked pumpkins, petted goats, petted pigs, petted bunnies and got lost in a hay maze. To see some more great pictures from the day, click on this link.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Alabama Music Hall of Fame

No Pohick adventure would be complete without a little toe-tapping Alabama Music. The group swung by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was opened in 1990 to honor the many contributions made to music by Alabamians. The Hall of Fame inductees include: Tammy Wynette, Lionel Richie, Emmylou Harris, the group Alabama, The Commodores, Nat King Cole, W.C. Handy, and Hank Williams.

Helen Keller Birthplace

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Today's adventure took the Pohick Clan to Tuscumbia, Alabama and the birthplace of Helen Keller. Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, activist and lecturer. She was the first deaf blind person to graduate from college. The story of how a remarkable teacher broke through the isolation the lack of language had imposed on the child, who blossomed as she learned to communicate, are staples of American folklore. What is less well known is how Keller's life developed after she completed her education: she became a radical campaigner for workers' rights and an advocate for many other progressive causes.

Here are some additional photos from our visit.

We were very excited to see Helen Keller's birth home having grown up watching the classic movie Miracle Worker. In the movie, 7-year old Helen Locked in a frightening, lonely world of silence and darkness since infancy. She has never seen the sky, heard her mother's voice or expressed her innermost feelings. Then Annie Sullivan, a 20-year-old teacher from Boston, arrives. Having just recently regained her own sight, the no-nonsense Annie reaches out to Helen through the power of touch the only tool they have in common and leads her bold pupil on a miraculous journey from fear and isolation to happiness and light.

Update (5 Mar 2008) - Researchers have located a rare unpublished photo of Helen Keller.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Corn Maze Craze

Once again our band of intrepid adventures journey into the unknown. Seeking out new civilizations. Going where no man has gone before. Well, no man except for the guy who cut the path through the corn maze. The Pohicks journeyed to a nearby town and took a hike through a corn maze. It was fun but as the weather was still in the 90's today, it just didn't seem like a good day to be participating in Fall activities. Who wants to drink hot apple cider when it's 90+ degrees out I ask you? Anyway, the gang still had fun and Jake got to prove that he is not as directionally challenged as Molly sometimes likes to portray him.

A Bug In Your Ear

How to Safely Remove a bug from your ear.

A little over a year ago, I did a blog entry entitled, "A bug in your ear." Little did I know that this particular entry would become the number one source of traffic on Pohick. I was at the time, using the phrase as a figure of speech or an idiom, and not an actual bug in the ear. Apparently however there is not a lot of qualitative information on the web concerning what to do if you actually get a bug in your ear. I have been amazed at the hundred of queries for "bug in the ear" information. Queries have included:
  • What do I do if I have a bug in my ear?
  • Can a bug live in your ear?
  • How long can a bug live in your ear?
  • How do I know if a bug is in my ear?
  • How do I get a bug out of my ear?
  • Removing bugs from ears?
  • Types of bugs that live in ears?
  • Ear bug removal
  • Put a bug in my ear
I feel bad that there are so many folks dealing with bug in the ear issues. As a public service, I have compiled the following list of references for what you can to do if you have or believe that you may have an actual bug in your ear.
  • Having a live insect in your ear can be extremely uncomfortable.
  • People are often desperate to get the bug to stop moving.
  • If you do not have a known hole in your eardrum, it is usually safe to place a few drops of mineral oil into the ear. This will kill the bug and allow you to calmly and safely continue with additional care. Click here for detail instructions on safely removing the insect from your ear.
  • Removal of any object from the ear can be very difficult, and should only be attempted by a doctor skilled in the techniques of safe removal. Usually this can be done in the office, but sometimes general anesthesia must be used when the object is lodged deeply in the ear or if the patient is uncooperative, such as with a young child. It is important to remember that the most common reason that an ear is injured from a foreign object is because of inadvertent damage occurring during the removal of the object. (Source: www.medicinenet.com)
Here is what it looks like when you have a bug in your ear.  Video.



(** Jake Pohick is not a medical doctor, nor does he play one on TV. This advice is provided as a public service and you should seek competent medical advice as soon as possible.)

How to Safely Remove a bug from your ear.

The GamePlan/Ditto Landing


It was another great day for the Pohick family. First they went to see the movie The GamePlan starring The Rock. The movie was a surprisingly good family movie and it received 4 thumbs up from our reviewing staff. Since they were already out and about, the crew drove down to Ditto Landing and walked along the Tennessee River while enjoying the great fall weather.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hiking at Monte Sano State Park

Given the perfect weather today, the Pohick gang just had to get out of the house. They headed to Monte Sano State Park for a little hiking. The overlook in this picture is just one of many that the group stopped at to admire the great outdoor scenery. Who took this picture did you ask? Jake took the picture. Actually, he set the camera for the maximum delay of 10 seconds and ran as fast as his little legs would carry him. He jumped into the picture just in the nick of time. He briefly considered taking another picture just to make sure, but as winded as he was, he just didn't think he could do it. Luckily this picture came out just fine so a do-over wasn't necessary.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lean on Me


Sometimes we all need someone to lean on.

Getting Every Last Drop Out Of The Summer

Alas, the end of summer 2007 is almost upon us. It is the middle of September and the girls have been back at school for several weeks now.

The Pohicks spent a good deal of time this summer in the pool. Jake and the girls couldn't resist at least one more trip back to the community pool which will be closing for the season in a few weeks.

The air was really warm today, but truth be told, the water was just a wee bit on the chilly side for everyone's liking. Once you got in though, it really wasn't too bad. Obviously though, unless they want to join the polar bear club, the Pohick's swimming season for 2007 is just about at an end. They are already looking forward to 2008.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's not easy being....Red


Meet Mr. American Toad or Bufo americanus as his friends like to call him. Molly found this fellow stuck in a drainage pipe next to the castle. Scribbles was ready to kiss him to see if he was really a prince. We had to explain to her that turning amphibians into princes typically only works with frogs and not toads. Scribbles decided not to chance it since we really didn't need some prince hanging around the castle anyway.

Decatur


This weekend the Pohick clan went exploring and ended up in the town of Decatur, Al. Why you ask? Hmmm... Well, just because that's the sort of thing that the Pohicks do. Did you know that Astroturf was invented in Decatur? Or that Decatur is the home of Meow Mix. Well, that's the sort of thing you learn when you go exploring with the Pohicks. It's not about the destination. It's about the journey. Anyway, after exploring the town of Decatur, they ended up at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and decided to go for a little hike. A very pleasant day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Molly Falls Off The Wagon

Ok, so Molly didn't really fall off the wagon. But she did get a wagon ride. Molly wanted a garden cart for her birthday, and that is what she got. Jake and Yellow Hair assembled the said cart and then took Molly for a little ride around the estate. Happy Birth Day Molly!!!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tea for Three

The Pohick family has traveled to the land of South Mysteria where Jake is hoping to procure employment as the reigning monarch. While Jake was out interviewing for the position, Molly, Yellow Hair and Scribbles took the opportunity to tour the Kingdom and sample some of the local fare. They were quite pleased to find many delightful indulgences. Here's keeping our fingers crossed that Jake is able to land the job.

Friday, June 22, 2007

More?

Please sir, may I have some more? So, now that the Pohick family has been ousted from their castle they are temporarily staying at St. Mungo's Home for deposed royalty. It's not quite up to the standard that the Pohicks have grown accustomed to, but at least they have a roof over their heads and a hot meal in their stomaches. Today the fare was something called macaroni and cheese. It's not exactly Lobster and Saffron Lasagna in truffle sauce, but the entire family agreed that it was quite an interesting and exotic dish.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

King Deposed

It is a very sad day. Jake was deposed as the King of Pohick today which is royal talk for being fired. Apparently there was some allegations of not properly keeping his subjects informed (He didn't blog often enough). The royal coachmen arrived almost immediately and began to remove the Pohick Family's personal possessions from the castle. Jake immediately began searching through the want ads looking for a new gig. You would be surprised to learn this, but there really aren't that many openings for Kings in the classified ads. Jake consulted a few experts and they told him that updating ones resume and networking are the two most important factors in finding new employment. So if there is anyone reading this who knows of a Kingdom in search of a new monarch, please let us know.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

What's Buggin You?

The craziest thing happened to Jake at church this week. The Pohick clan was sitting in the front row, because Jake is a creature of habit and hates change. The service started and everyone began singing one of those uplifting contemporary Christian hits. Just as the singing started, a vicious fly started circling Jake's head. Jake thought that this was quite unusual given the fact that you don't normally see many flies in January.

Jake was very disturbed by the fact that the fly wasn't bothering anyone else, but would not leave him alone. Jake began swinging wildly at the annoying insect. Everyone in church assumed that Jake, who was sitting in the first row, was really being moved by the holy spirit. This went on for some time until Molly began poking Jake in the ribs and telling him to cut it out. At about this moment, Jake who was still trying to sing, took a deep breath, and I kid you not, inhaled the fly. The fly was lodged in the back of Jake's throat. Jake turned Red, then Blue, then Purple while trying to dislodge the bug from his throat. He finally managed to dislodge the insect and spat the fly to the floor in the front of the congregation. It's amazing how uncomfortable you will feel when spitting on the floor of a church in front of 300 people.

Amazingly enough, the sermon for the day was how Jesus commanded demons to leave people's bodies. Jake thinks it's possible that the fly he swallowed might have been a demon. He is absolutely certain though that flies taste nasty and leave a terrible after-taste in your mouth. He has never been so thankful to get a cup of communion wine.

Have you ever eaten a bug on purpose or otherwise?
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Let It Snow

So much for that global warming theory. It appears that winter has finally arrived in Pohick. Though we are only expecting a couple of inches of snow between now and tomorrow morning, we can now officially say that this is not the year without snow.

As soon as the first snow flake was sighted, both Scribbles and Yellow Hair began the speculation of whether or not there will be school tomorrow morning. Jake tried to keep their expectations in check by providing the official weather forecast, but the girls were undeterred. In fact, they immediately began their snow rituals in an effort to help mother nature along. Apparently by doing the following, you can ensure a heavier snowfall:
  • Wear your pajamas inside out and backwards.
  • Sleep with a spoon under your pillow.
  • Run around the dining room table 5 times backwards.
  • Throw 3 ice cubes in the front yard.
  • Throw 3 ice cubes in the back yard.
  • Flush 3 ice cubes down the highest toilet in the house.
  • Do the snow dance (Very similar to rain dance).
  • Play the song White Christmas ten times in a row.
Though it is not surprising that the kids would want a day off of school, there is a certain teacher (who will remain nameless), who is also hoping for a day off of school. Her ritual consists of shaking the lucky snow globe on her desk. The harder she shakes it, the heavier the snow. The poor snowman in the globe is getting nauseous.

So, what things do you do to ensure a day off of school or work?
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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Climb Every Mountain

There's nothing like climbing a few thousand feet up a shear granite wall first thing in the morning to get the old blood pumping. Molly decided to take the Pohick Girl Scout Troop out to do a little rock climbing. You can only earn so many badges for doing paper mache art after all. Little did she know though just how high the climb was actually going to be. Special thanks to Mrs. Hagrid for this photo of Yellow Hair in action. During the climb, Yellow Hair asked Molly, "Do you think Grandma Squeaky would be nervous is she saw what we were doing?" Without waiting for an answer, she proceeded to climb higher.

What is amazing about this is that prior to this rock climbing adventure, Yellow Hair announced that she was afraid of heights. Fear of heights is also called acrophobia. Though Yellow Hair was afraid, she did not allow her fear to consume her and she confronted it head on.

We all have fears of one sort or another. Molly is afraid of mice (Musophobia) which has led to numerous emotional encounters. Scribbles is afraid of cleaning her room for fear of what she might find. Jake is afraid of lots of things including children, the pizza man, traveling and running out of snack food (Nosnackophobia).

What are you most afraid of? How do you confront this fear?

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Divine Recognition

It has been said that, the lord works in mysterious ways. This week Jake's mother Squeaky was visiting from her home in the Emerald City. Squeaky doesn't visit Pohick very often and had never been to church with the Pohick Clan. The Pohick church has a custom of having everyone wear a name tag in order to make recognition easier. Squeaky was given her very own name tag.

When it came time to receive communion, Squeaky went to the front of the church and received communion from the pastor. All was well until the pastor who squeaky had never met in her life addressed her by her name. Squeaky almost fell to her knees thinking that God had whispered her name in the pastor's ear. We did eventually tell her how the pastor performed this feat.

Jake wishes that God would whisper people's names in his ear. One time Jake had a 20 minute conversation with a person on the street. When the conversation was over, Molly said to Jake, "You have no idea who that was do you?" Jake admitted that he didn't. Molly said, "That was Bobby Johnson. You were in his wedding." Jake said, "Oh..." So, yes, the divine name knowing thing would be a pretty cool super power to have. Not as cool as Spiderman mind you, but just think of all the fun you could have messing with people. Hi Tom! Good to see you Sally! I haven't seen you for ages Suzy!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Crazy Like A Fox

No, we are not saying that Jake is crazy like a fox. Everyone knows that Jake is just plain crazy.

We have occasionally seen a fox around the neighborhood during the last couple of years. Jake has tried repeatedly to snap a picture of this fellow. Unfortunately, the fox just wouldn't stand still long enough for Jake to run into the house, grab the camera and run back outside in time to snap a picture. This could be a commentary on Jake's lack of quickness, but we prefer to think that the fox was really just a little camera shy. The photo in this blog entry was taken yesterday by Jake and Molly's neighbor Mrs Hagrid. Not only is there one Fox, but apparently there are two. This may explain the abundance of missing cats in the neighborhood as of late.

Here are a few fox facts for those who are curious:
  • Most foxes live 2–3 years but can survive for up to 10 years, or longer in captivity.
  • With most species roughly the size of a domestic cat, foxes are smaller than other members of the family Canidae, such as wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs.
  • Unlike many canids, foxes are usually not pack animals.
  • Typically, they are solitary, opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey (especially rodents).
  • Using a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey quickly.
  • Foxes also gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries.
After learning that foxes find rodents especially tasty, Jake announced that he is very much in favor of them. This is of course because of the numerous rodent problems we have had.

So, what interesting wildlife have you seen in your back yard?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Global Warming

The average high temperature in Pohick in January is 35 degrees. Yesterday, we had a high of 75 degrees. Using my high school math skills, it would appear that we have a deviation from the norm of approximately 40 degrees.

This on the surface brings to mind images of global warming, melting ice caps, dramatic shifts in global weather patterns. So, you ask, did we spend the day lamenting the end of civilization as we know it? Hmmmm... No... We instead, went hiking, enjoyed the fresh outside air and finished off the day with a barbecue. Mmmm.... barbecue.

Jake's new motto, "If a global catastrophe is coming, please let it be one we can meet in shorts and a tee shirt and not while wielding a snow shovel."

So, let's hear your 2 cents worth. Is the mild weather we are having and indication of global warming or not?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pohick Back When - 1973

Every now and then, we dig into the Pohick picture vault and see what pops up. In this picture from 1973 we see Molly and her sisters Miss Luig, and Miss Selene.

You can't help but love the stylish clothes and hairdos the girls were sporting in this picture.

Ah, 1973 - I remember it well. Here are a few entries for 1973 from wikipedia.
So what big events occurred in your life in 1973?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Murphy's Law

This has been a particularly tough week. Jake only worked Wednesday through Friday, but it is amazing how much pain can be compressed into three short days. Maybe it is just the fact that very little got done during the holiday period, but it seems like everything that could go wrong did go wrong this week.

I guess we can just blame it on that Murphy fellow. According to wikipedia, the term Murphy's Law originated in 1948 at Edward's Air Force Base. During the test of a missile system, it was discovered that the electrical plug on a piece of equipment could be plugged into the system in two different ways and as a result, the test failed. One of the engineers on the system was a gentleman by the name of Murphy, and he was given credit for coining the phrase.

One of the variations of Murphy's Law is that, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible time." A good hypothetical example of this is: Your car breaks down, it's pouring rain, and you discover that for the first time in a long time you forgot to charge your cell phone. D'oh.

Or as another hypothetical example: You have someone working for you who is in charge of a project. The project is reaching a culminating point and a big test is scheduled for Monday in another state. Sixty people and lots of equipment will be showing up for the test. On the Friday before the test, the project lead comes to your office and says, "Oh, by the way, I've taken another job and won't be going to the test on Monday." Double D'oh!!!

Well, what can you do. Murphy will be Murphy after all. We expect him to show up on occasion, but does he have to hit the ground running in the new year with such a vengeance?

Have you ever been the victim of Murphy's Law? What happened?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dance Fever

That's Right. Look at Jake and Molly cutting the rug. Well technically, there was no rug and they weren't actually cutting anything, but they were having a good time. They were dancing at the wedding reception of Molly's brother Lancelot and his new wife Godiva. Congratulations Lance and Lady G!

Jake and Molly's daughter Scribbles being the typical teenager was not necessarily impressed with her parent's prowess on the dance floor and asked Jake and Molly to quit embarrassing her. Jake and Molly immediately acquiesced to Scribbles request. NOT! Are you kidding me?

Jake and Molly weren't actually trying to embarrass Scribbles of course, but this was certainly an added bonus to the fun that they were having. Few things in life are as much fun as embarrassing your children.

So, have you ever had your children tell you that you were embarrassing them? What did you do? Just to be fair, I'll turn the question around. Did your parents ever embarrass you, and how did they do it?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Best Year Ever

The Pohick family has decided that this is going to be the best year ever. We are determined that the entire Pohick clan is going to be healthy and happy this year. We've done everything that we can to set ourselves up for success. We each had our portion of Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year's Day for luck. This is an old tradition that we inherited from our Pennsylvania Dutch roots.

Many other cultures have similar New Year's food traditions.
  • It is a Cuban tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes signify the last twelve months of the year.
  • German folklore says that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.
  • Eating pickled herring as the first bite of the New Year brings good luck to those of Polish descent.
  • In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year's eve will bring luck for the coming year.
  • Also from the south comes the custom of eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money.
We briefly considered maximizing our luck for the year by mixing up a nice pot of pork, sauerkraut, grapes, pickled herring, black eyed peas, collard greens and spinach. We finally decided though that this concoction might make us just a little too lucky. We had just planned on having a carefree and relaxing day. If we consumed our "Super Lucky Concoction" we'd probably have some guy with a super sized check and balloons standing at the door, and who needs all that drama. We'll settle for just our regular allotment of good luck and we hope that you all get your share as well.

So what special New Year's food traditions do you have in your family?