The Damn Raccoons Are Back - Any Ideas?

You may recall that the first raccoon either lost a fight to my cat or committed suicide, and the second raccoon was only deterred by new deck screens and the use of a locking carabiner to hold the the bird feeder.

Well last night as I was going to bed I heard noise on the back deck. A quick investigation showed that the raccoons have upped their game. Video surveillance and details of the night are below.

If anyone has an idea on how to get rid of these raccoons without killing them, I'd love to hear it.

Pics & Videos - Kids Climbing, Water Park, K.I.T.T. & Jameson

The past few weeks I've captured some fun things on my camera. First, the boys and I too a trip to the Boston Museum of Science and they climbed.

At the Boston Childrens Museum. The boys are having a blast climbing


Alex, Conner, John and I spent hours in this water park. As the boys say, It was re-donk-ulous! There are no pictures of us because we were having too much fun to stop and take them.

Best Water Park Ever!


Mark swung by MA and we stopped in at a car show and found the K.I.T.T (Knight Industries Two Thousand)! This was a childhood dream come to life. K.I.T.T even talks! Check out the video!

K.I.T.T. Front View





Inside K.I.T.T


K.I.T.T Rear View


And I stumbled on this bottle of Jameson Collection in upstate NY. I didn't get to try it, but it's officially on my "Things to do" list.

Jameson Collection

Allison Meets Gene Simmons, Alex Rocks Out & Conner Does Some Damage

After the Toothpick City, we spent the rest of the 4th of July weekend, in upstate NY, singing karaoke and playing Frisbee on the beach of Lake Ontario.   Fortunately the there are only pictures of the former, because the sunburn I earned at the beach was LEGEN... wait for it... DARY.

Christine and Allison kicked off their karaoke day with a great Mother/Daughter duet.

Christine And Allison


Allison was rocking the cute.

Allison Rocks the Cute



Alex got in on the action with some inflatable guitar work. He's a natural.

Alex Rocks the Inflatable Guitar


And after the 5th time she performed Allison got to meet Gene Simmons, one of the karaoke judges.

Allison meets Gene Simmons


I reprised my role as grille master.

Paul works the Grille


And Conner, not a fan of the singing, put on the hulk gloves and did some damage.


Conner Does Some Damage


All in all it was a great weekend. The full set of pictures is in our 4th of July flickr set.


For the record, the sunburn I earned on the beach was the result of such epically fun Frisbee playing & laying out into the waves that I couldn't bring myself to stop playing. Christine even reminded me to put on sunblock and I distinctly remember saying "Nah, I feel fine." I haven't made that mistake since I was a teenager. Damn that was some fun beach Frisbee.

The Toothpick City in Syracuse NY is Amazing!

This weekend we went to the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse NY with the kids. There we saw the Toothpick City.


Toothpick City at MOST


Stan Munro, the guy pictured above, built an entire 1:164 scale city of famous temples and towers out of toothpicks.  We chatted a bit while he worked on one of the final Towers for the MOST. He's a really nice guy who is seriously into architecture and has a gift for working with toothpicks. The detail he produces is stunning!




Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa


Having all of those buildings right next to each gave such a sense of scale. I couldn't comprehend 1.5 million people pouring into the Grand Mosque, but toothpicks depicting it next to buildings I've seen put it in perspective. It's enormous even at 1:164 scale!





Grand Mosque


And there is just something about seeing the Seattle Space Needle in the background of St Patrick's Cathedral that makes the world seem smaller and a little bit happier.




St Patrick's Space Needle



More pics from that day are in my Toothpick City Flickr photo-set. There's lots more on Stan's website toothpickcity.com.