Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for this thanksgiving? We are most thankful for all of our friends and family. We are especially thankful for our friends the Frugenglagia family who drove all the way from Kansas to spend the holiday with us. Something we found out about the Yankees from Kansas is that they really do love their ranch dressing. Who knew?

Here are some additional photos from our visit with the Frugenglagia Family.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Salvation Army Credit Card Kettle

Since 1891, the Salvation Army and their Army of bell ringers have been collecting donations in a kettle. It is a Christmas tradition to hear the sound of ringing bells at the entrance to all of your Christmas shopping destinations. This year however, you may notice a small change in the tradition.

Not having cash is no longer a valid excuse for avoiding eye contact with the bell ringer. This year, a pilot program in several locations will allow donors to use their debit and credit cards to make their donations.

Mike Smith, who oversees kettle-based donations for the El Paso chapter, says one reason for the experiment is due to an increasing number of people carrying plastic instead of cash. Smith also cites slowing donations, which have decreased by 10 percent, and a 25 percent increase in demand for charitable services this year because of economic troubles.

"We're seeing people from middle-class neighborhoods who didn't used to need help now needing food, rent and utility assistance to get back on their feet," he told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The locations where debit and credit card transactions are accepted will change during the campaign, which run until Dec. 24. U.S. Bank will oversee the transactions to monitor their security.

Some Salvation Army red kettle locations also accept used gift cards with balances for donations. The charity collects the cards, which can be from any retail store, and sends them to a Californian company that converts the balance into cash. If a location isn't handy, gift cards can be donated online too.

What do you think about this change? Is this taking technology too far or is this just the way things are done in 2008?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Snarly Kraut

A long standing tradition in the Pohick house is that when someone asks, "What's for Dinner", the wise guy response is, "Snarly Kraut and Reppy Snips". This tradition started with Molly's father, Mr. Boyardee. Jake however has taken this family tradition inherited from his father-in-law and carried it to the next level. Jake sings songs and injects "Snarly Kraut" any time he does not know the actual words to the song. Some folks use the word watermelon in a similar fashion. This word substitution drives Molly crazy for some reason which just encourages Jake to do it all the more. Molly has an uncanny ability to remember every word to every song. She routinely plays along with the show "Don't forget the Lyrics" and rarely misses a word. Jake sometimes pretends that he is a capable of playing along by searching the lyrics on the internet in the other room and calling over as if he actually knew the words to the song. Nobody actually believes that he knows the words though. In any event, Jake is ready for the upcomming Christmas season when he can loudly sing all of the old classics such as "Oh Snarly Kraut", "Deck the Halls with Snarly Kraut", and "Oh Little Town of Snarly Kraut".

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brush With Insanity: The Truth

Jake is a nice guy. I, the artist formerly known as Princess Scribbles, will admit that. He works hard all day, deals with last-minute crises, and only locks me in the tower on rare occasions.
However, Jake doesn't know all the things that go on in his humble abode while he isn't looking.
Hairbrush crisis? How can one not find a single hairbrush when one owns twelve? That is Jake's argument. Oh, it was so easy to track down all those hairbrushes. Those silly Pohick girls, not being able to find a brush! Even sillier than those little kittens who lost their mittens! Why, just round all those hairbrushes up, and BAM: Crisis avoided. Now, if those girls would just keep those brushes in the bathroom, life would be so easy!
Not the case.
A hairbrush is a devious instrument. It is, however, very useful and a great necessity for those like me who have long, beast-like hair. The brush uses this fact to its advantage and schemes against its owners in a repeated and predictable pattern:
1) In a calm, unstressed time, the hairbrush will allow itself to be found, used, and put away.
2) When no one is looking, the hairbrush will sneak out of its drawer and hide itself away. Some hiding places are good, while others are so bad they don't even count as hiding places.
3) A stressful time, such as a morning, will come about, and someone will need a hairbrush. But where have they all gone? A search ensues. The dastardly hairbrush will sneak around, slipping into nooks and crannies so that, even though a person may search for hours, the hairbrush will never be found.
4) When the hairbrush is needed least (as in, two weeks after somebody actually needed it), it will come out of hiding, chuckling malevolently, and allow itself to be found. The vicious cycle starts all over again.
It's the truth!
Haven't you ever heard the sad lament of Larry the Cucumber? "Oh, where is my hairbrush? Oh where is my hairbrush? Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where is my hairbrush?"
"Hairbrush Matador" Scribbles signing off.

Brush With Insanity

This morning there was panic in the Pohick house. The girls could not find a single hair brush. Not one. This is amazing given that it is a rare day when Jake does have to police up a whole bunch of hair brushes that have been left around in a willy nilly fashion. Granted, Jake doesn't have a vested interest in hair brushes. As a matter of fact, it's been about 25 years since he actually combed or brushed his hair. But as a general rule, he is against drama first thing in the morning. So after the immediate crisis was solved, Jake took a quick tour of the house and managed to find an even dozen hair brushes of every conceivable design. Big Brushes, litte brushes, soft brushes and brushes that look like they would really hurt if you got them anywhere near your scalp. Now, what to do with these brushes Jake asked himself. The easy answer is to put the brushes back into the girls bath room where one would assume they should be in the first place. Using history of a guide though quickly rules this out as a feasible option. The brushes just wouldn't stay in the bath room. They have never remained there in the past at least. Perhaps Jake could keep all of the brushes and issue them out any time someone needs to spruce up their hairdo? No, this would probably turn into a full time job and make Jake grumpier than he already is. Maybe Jake could tie a string to the end of the brush so that it wouldn't stray too far from its rightful place. Hmmmm.... Well, I guess you are right. There is no real good answer to this dilema. Jake will just return the brushes and wait for the next cry of, "I can't find a hair brush!"

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pohick Park

CNN announced this week that scientists from Japan have produced clones of mice that have been dead and frozen for 16 years -- a feat that could lead researchers to one day resurrect long-extinct species, such as the mammoth.

Jake immediately got to thinking, if we can bring back long dead creatures, why stop with the mammoth. Why not get really old school and bring back some dinosaurs. As a matter of fact, if we brought back a bunch of dinosaurs, we could put them all in a park so that people can come and see them. Kind of like a dinosaur zoo.

Yes, I guess someone already had that idea. In other news, writer Michael Crichton author of the best selling book Jurasic Park died this week. Is there any connection between the timing of these two events? Probably not, but it sure is coincidental.