Monday, May 26, 2008


No comments:
The Yale Whiffenpoofs are the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the United States, established in 1909. We've seen them several times over recent years and they have always put on a very good show. They did not disappoint at the commencement concert last week. They are best known for "The Whiffenpoof Song" and also for their version of "Midnight Train to Georgia" which you can see here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

No comments:
Thanks for your comments. Well it turns out that Minnie would have been a more appropriate name for the mouse we caught. It was two days after we had set her free that we discovered a baby mouse in the hallway. I scooped him up in a coolwhip tub and he was very weak. Jen kept him warm and fed him milk. He gained strength and was walking around so it all looked good. Unfortunately he didn't make it through the night. Later we found another baby in the basement.
So basically we split up a mouse family and the babies died.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mickey's Downfall

While sitting on the couch the other day I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was a mouse sitting in the kitchen and he quickly ran back to safety under the oven. We were heading out and we didn't have any sort of trap so I had to quickly build one. It has 5 components. First a dab of peanut butter is put on a piece of card. A matchstick under the card makes it act like a small see-saw. A 6" architect's scale rule (or any small ruler) is held on edge with one end on the see-saw. A large tuperware container is then placed over everything and held off the floor with the ruler. The idea was that any movement of the card would knock the ruler over and cause the container to drop. The trap was set and we left.
Well, when we got back a couple of hours later the trap had been activated. Unfortunately the container wasn't heavy enough to keep the mouse in. He had pushed it across the floor to the wall and squeezed out under it. So we tried again. This time, as you can see, I added a small spanish phrase book for some extra weight (any language will do). I expected it to work over night, but there was nothing in the morning. It was several hours later, while we were at work, that the mouse was caught.Here he is. Not quite strong enough to push it this time. According to our field guide, he's a "white footed mouse".Of course later that night we released him back into the wild of East Rock Park.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Naugatuck River Race

No comments:
It was our first opportunity to get out on the water this year. The weather, and water, is just getting warm enough for minimal insulating layers. The first ever Naugatuck River Race was on Saturday. The river used to be full of pollution because there were many factories along its banks. Now it has been cleaned up and the proceeds from the event will go towards keeping it that way.
The six mile stretch of river is class I & II. That pretty much means that it's smooth with some rough parts. The roughest parts were all the rocks that were beneath the surface. Our boats got a little banged up....and I admit that I did capsize once. Luckily I had a helmet because I hit a few of those rocks while I was upside down.
I forgot to bring my camera along but there were plenty of people taking photos. These were taken by someone near the finish line. The last rapid was pretty choppy and not everyone made it through without getting wet.
Here's Jenny enjoying the waves.
Look at the control. What a master.
These crazy people went the whole trip in a metal row boat. That cannot have been a smooth ride.Excitement and terror These guys got some airCanoes tend to fill up with water quite a bit more easily than you can seeThis isn't looking good......and over they go. Swimming to the finish line....and anotherAnd this is just ridiculous. Their canoe is under there somewhere. At least they don't seem to mind. Ultimately I would say that only about 10% of the people on the river were trying to race. The rest of us were just out for a fun paddle down the river. I have no idea who won.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


No comments:
We were expecting rain this weekend but it turned out to be mostly dry. In an effort to spend some time in the outdoors we decided to try our hand at some orienteering. For those that don't know, orienteering involves using a map and compass to navigate a course to find orange and white flags. Competitively it is a running sport, like cross country running with navigation. We were just walking this one.
I used to do a lot of orienteering when I was in the scouts and with a little research I discovered that there are some local orienteering clubs that maintain permanent courses in state parks. We headed out with our map and compass to Osbornedale State Park in Derby, CT. There are 18 flags in total but we knew we wouldn't have time to find them all. With Jen in charge of the map I think we found about 6 or 7. Jen also managed to find one tick along the way. Luckily we spotted him climbing on her leg before he could sink his teeth in (I don't know if they have teeth).