Casa de Rane

It was great hearing Rane play at Club Metronome last Friday, it had definitely been to long since they’ve been up and the music as always was superb. They all came back to the house afterwards and played cards way later than I could stay up, unfortunately. I love leisurely Saturday mornings with a houseful of Rane and friends, and get a kick out of making breakfast for them. They’d persuaded Wade and Jen to come back, and it was so good to catch up with all of them. They all know me as Unka Dave, a title I’m proud to wear.

Dan gave Calvin a bass lesson, which they both enjoyed, and it was great to see him being a mentor to the boy.

The band brought Kelly and Jordan up with them on Friday, and we got to hang with them and share Nectar’s fries, Club Met, a tour of Magic Hat brewery and a fine dinner at Roque’s before we dropped them off at the train station Sunday morning. A wonderful, full weekend, and it was a pleasure having them up, tho their visit was way too brief.

I had a brief anxiety attack an hour later when Kelly called to say she’d accidentally taken my MacBook instead of hers. I considered trying to overtake the train in my car, but realized that with the lead it had I wouldn’t catch up until Springfield, MA, a seven hour round trip. I realized I could actually work just fine on her laptop, and will only be without my Macbook for a week, since we’ll be visiting them next weekend.

It’s a quiet Monday morning now, gray and cold outside, just me and Julie and the dogs. I miss having a houseful of dear wonderful people, our extended family, and look forward to the next time they’re all up.


Robin and I are here in Boston with Calvin and his friend Nick. It’s been a while since I’ve been in Boston, it’s good to be here but it took a bit to relax into it and overcome the “I’d rather be home” feeling. Today we started with breakfast and browsing at Fanuel Hall, the requisite trip to the Museum of Science, lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, dessert at the top of the Pru Tower, then we dropped the boys off at the concert and relaxed back at Fanuel Hall over iced coffee, before we took a romantic trip over to Borders 20 minutes before it closed at 9. (9pm? in Boston? what’s up with that?)

Boston is a fun city to visit. Being four hours from Vermont it’s a little too far for a day trip but great for an overnight. There’s lots going on here, and lots of interesting people to watch. I’m amazed that the Borders in Burlington stays open longer than the one here, but then everyplace can’t be Vermont ๐Ÿ˜‰

We successfully navigated the T to get around today, but balanced it with a lot of walking so we weren’t total slugs. I know I’ll feel it tomorrow. The food here is great, and there are an amazing number of restaurants to choose from. Boston is fun and it’s good to be here, but I’m really looking forward to getting back home tomorrow.

Wade & Jen's Wedding

This was a perfect early fall day for these two lovebirds to get married. The ceremony was very sweet, out on a grassy hill under a clear blue Vermont sky. Seconds after Jen started reading her vows there wasn’t a dry eye among us. Very touching, very heartfelt, very beautiful.

Rane was there, of course, and it was great seeing the boys and their girlfriends (who we hardly ever get to see). All in all, an incredible day with some wonderful people.

Happy wedding day, Wade and Jen! We love you and wish you much joy and happiness.

Wedding Day

Today was a beautiful day for Kate and Matt to get married. The sun came out just as Kate and I walked out the front door, and as the ceremony began a barn swallow flew past, along with a couple dragonflies and a small orange butterfly. Tom James did a wonderful job as Justice of the Peace, and Matt and Kate exchanged the vows they’d written.

It was a small gathering, just immediate family and a couple friends, short and sweet. Afterwards we toasted the newlyweds, and ate grilled chicken and kielbasa. Later on we had smoked ribs and the bride and groom fed each other chocolate sonic cake.

Best of luck to the happy couple, we love you both and wish you many years of joy and love.

Winter Camping?

The Good: The shiny new refrigerator arrived the other day, and it’s working out great. And today we got local channels on DirecTV, so Calvin can watch Simpsons and we can watch the SuperBowl! Whoops, too late for that (luckily Jon and Briar invited us to their SuperBowl Party รขโ‚ฌโ€ thanks guys!).

The Bad: The furnace kicked the bucket last night, and we have no heat or hot water.

Well, it’s actually not so bad, tho it is a challenge keeping the house warm with just a little woodstove. The furnace was old when we moved in, and we’ll be a lot better off replacing it. Unfortunately winter is the busiest season for the furnace people, and it’s tough getting somebody to come out before next week. Two different guys are coming by tomorrow morning to take a look at it, and we’re hoping to get heat and hot water back soon.

In the meantime we’re just keeping the woodstove going, putting on an extra layer and heating pans of water for spongebaths. Luckily it’s not too cold outside (20s-30s), way better than if it was 20 below!

“It’s part of life here” — heard on a radio commercial this morning

Update 10pm: If you boil enough water on the stove you can take a bath without a hot water heater. Isn’t this how they did it a hundred years ago?

Update Thursday: The Benoure brothers install the new furnace first thing tomorrow morning. Thank you!

Update Friday, 6pm: The furnace is installed, heat and hot water are back, I’m off to take a very long hot shower…

Fifth Element

Last night we watched Fifth Element at Barry and Nicole’s. It’s one of my favorite movies, and was recently re-released on DVD in an ultimate edition with better video and sound, and an extra DVD of interviews and other stuff.

The home theatre experience was even better than seeing the original in the theatre; the video on the new DVD was incredibly crisp and we could feel every explosion (and there are a lot of them). The story is a good one, and the storytelling superb. In key parts of the movie a series of short cuts are expertly interwoven so that a character in one scene raises a question which is immediately answered by a character in a totally different scene, and the dialog cuts back and forth for a b it. The over-the-top Ruby Rhod character is amazing, Leeloo is always a pleasure to watch (and hear), the rich and colorful sets are meticulously detailed and monstrously huge. Special effects are impressive, and look great even eight years later.

If you’ve never seen it, definitely rent this one. And if you’ve already seen it, isn’t it time to watch it again?