Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Year in Review

It’s time to say farewell to 2013; an odd year. I don’t mean it was strange year; it just ended with an odd number. Like 2012 before it, 2013 contained 365 days. Some of them were significant.  Here they are:
We got a dog and named it Piper. She was a good dog but not very bright. She didn’t have an affinity for human beings. She was trainable, but only to a degree. Daily training for one specific behavior wasn’t enough after she reached her training tolerance limit (which was low). Piper went back to the shelter in June.
Music Tattoo
I got 2 new tattoos in 2013, the first was a few measures of music (first nine notes of my original song entitled One Fine Day) on the underside of my right forearm and E=MC2 on the top of my left forearm.  Later in the year, my oldest daughter and I decided to get matching tattoos, but we haven’t decided what they’ll be or where they’ll go. Also in 2013, I decided that my (much anticipated) neck tattoo will be of a treble clef (which is what the kids came to suggest) but I haven’t scheduled it yet.
E=MC2 Tattoo

We made a big improvement to the house and a big step towards self-sufficiency by installing 21 solar panels on the roof. Their performance in the summer and fall months was very satisfactory. I got a bill for $12 one month and on a different month I actually generated more electricity than I used (the bill was for a credit of $6) The late fall and winter months generated less electricity due to the sun being low in the sky and the snow that occasionally covered the panels. It will take another 6 months for me to have enough data to calculate the annual amount of kWh produced and cost of electricity.

 Solar Panel Installation

Related (somewhat) to the solar project, I had several trees cut down along the perimeter in the back yard. This extended the view from the back deck dramatically, providing a much more open vista (and allowed more sun to hit the solar panels). Also, I had a few trees on the side and front of the house cut to clean up some dead trees and remove the huge pine tree of impending disaster. In 2014, I will be having quite a few more tress cut.

Trees Cut Down
In August, we took the kids to NYC for a weekend to celebrate my birthday and see The Book of Mormon again (for the third time). We enjoyed a flea market and seeing the sights of Times Square and the adjoining area. I got a Swarovski crystal key necklace from the kids (cool).
The Book of Mormon
2013 marked the 14th anniversary of Tick Central, the flagship website of the Thunder Pages dominion.
2013 was also the year in which we moved the business again, coming full circle by moving it to 531 Summer St., Barre, the office building we initially occupied when starting the business is 2000. 2013 also marks the 13th anniversary of Innovative Incentives, Inc.
Waterwheel Realty
Having moved the business out of the Pine St. apartment, we were able to reduce the company’s expenses (rent, heating, internet and electric) and then we were able to rent the apartment and receive rental income.

In the summer of 2013, I installed a 25’ flagpole. I’d always wanted a flagpole and so I am enjoying seeing the 4X6 American flag wave every day.
American Flag
Of course, the highlight of the year was December 23; Henry Dion Chipman was born! The year held the best for last. The timing of his birth gave us two Christmas celebrations this year, and two is better than one.I bought a package of professional pictures that were taken the day he was born. I can’t wait to see them!
Henry is born!
I’m sure I’m forgetting many things that happened in 2013, but this all I could come up with for this post.

Notable Web Sites of 2013:

 

WBZ TV inrterview 
Way Cool Baby Shower Cake

Christmas 2013

A First Time for Everything

For your convenience, there are two versions of the story below. The black text tells the complete story. The larger red text condenses the story down to a 15 sentences. You can read the version that suits your time constraints. Of course, if you’re REALLY in a hurry you can read the 7 labels and try to assemble them into a meaningful story.

This story begins on a silent summer evening, a very long time ago. The clouds were barely visible but beautifully being back-lit by the last few rays of the red receding sun. A mysterious realm governed by misty moss and entwining vines adorned the trees and taller bushes within the boreal forest. In the grass, some small green insects started to greet the night while others retired for the evening. Soon, a lynx and a mink came together to enjoy conversation and tell droll tales of their past adventures.

As the sun sets, a lynx and a mink get together and reminisce.

Firstly, the lynx wove a winsome tale that involved a tall garden fence and a cantankerous old farmer. The lynx began by explaining his prowess at jumping fences, and the farmer’s tall fence was no exception. He jumped over the aforementioned fence and did so often and at his leisure, much to the dismay of the farmer. Other than jump over the fence, the lynx didn’t do anything impertinent; in fact, he was quite amiable. He was known for carrying himself with confidence while maintaining a polite demeanor.

The lynx can jump fences and does.

Next, it was the mink’s turn to discuss and begin a discourse on his latest exploits. The mink was slinky and dark in color. Known for some slight slithers and perky patter, the mink was also known throughout the forest as a fine furry friend to the lynx. As the evening continued to darken, it contrasted the mink’s intriguing story. The mink had, in the recent past, come across a strawberry pie cooling on an open windowsill at the same farmhouse with the tall vertical fence. Of course at the time, the mink was not aware that the private premises had been previously visited by the lynx.

The mink visits the same farm as the lynx and there was a pie there.

It was dark when the mink arrived at the farmhouse’s window, so the mink’s diminished vision did not allow for a clear view of the pie. However, by using his keen olfactory senses, the mink knew the pie sat on a window ledge and that is was freshly made.

The mink can’t see but smells a pie.

The pie was still emitting the steamy sweet smell of the baked berries that had come from the farmer’s furrowed fields. The mink considered taking a taste of the pie but was not confident that it would be wise to do so without help. It would be unfortunate to be discovered, and the mink felt vulnerable attempting to sample the pie baker’s wares all by himself. The mink decided that a look-out would be convenient. So, after letting the smell linger for a moment, the mink slinked away through the underbrush in search of some other satisfying treat.

The mink is afraid to chance a nibble.

The lynx was taken aback by the mink’s tale and began to tell the mink about a similar discovery that he made the last time he jumped up and over the farmer’s formidable fence. At that time, the lynx had also gotten a whiff of a strawberry pie but he had not been able to discern its location. Both the lynx and the mink decided that it must have been on the same windowsill on which the mink had recently detected the delectable dessert.

The lynx had a similar experience but couldn’t find the pie.

Being desirous of a delicious delicacy, they decided to venture out together to the farm. When they arrived, the lynx easily negotiated the tall fence with a single bounding leap. The mink was not quite as nimble and could not traverse the fence as the lynx had done. But the mink could dig under the fence and so he was able to join the lynx on the other side and not miss out on the rewards of their venture.

They each get past the obstacle in their own way.

Slowly and carefully, listening for any sign of the farmer or the baker of pies, they arrived at the window and were fortuitous enough to discover a pie cooling on the generous windowsill. The lynx jumped up onto the windowsill and intended to slide the pie off the windowsill down to the mink so they could both partake in a special strawberry feast.

They work together in an attempt to get the pie off the windowsill.

But suddenly, the baker came running to the window shouting and displaying great displeasure with the lynx’s presence and possible plan of partaking of pie. Just as the lynx jumped to the ground, the baker threw a big bowl of buttermilk at the would-be freeloaders to scare them off.

The baker shoos them off and throws buttermilk at them.

The baker quickly snatched the pie and closed the window tight. Both the lynx and the mink then came out from under the brown bristling bush in which they’d taken refuge. Curious about the buttermilk (as neither had ever come across buttermilk before), they took a timid taste and were delighted to find the buttermilk to be quite tasty.

The lynx and mink taste the buttermilk and they like it.

After taking their fill of this new delicacy, they returned to their usual stomping grounds to enjoy reliving the experience through candid conversation. Both agreed that the adventure had been a success. Although they had failed to secure a berry pie, they had discovered a new subtle source of sustenance in a slightly silly manner.

They didn’t accomplish their goal but tried something new.

Content with the experience and ease of their escapades, they both became anxious to visit their inquisitive friendly feathered friend, the noble and knowledgeable deep forest owl.

They tell their story to an owl.

The owl was brown and black and was cleverly camouflaged while sitting still in the soft moon shade. Being very aged, the owl had accumulated a vast library of lovely legends. The owl was always receptive to new narration and delighted in the details describing any drama. The lynx and mink relayed their rumpus and near run-in with the baker while the owl perched in a prickly pine and listened intently.

The owl was hungry for fresh entertaining stories.

When the story was all-told, the owl let out a hearty hoot and hurried home. There, he re-told the story to the entire parliament of owls so as to keep the story safe and sound, stored in the imagination of all the owls of the forest.

The owl leaves to tell the other owls this new tale.

Lastly, as the first rays of the morning sun began to bring shadows to the eastern sky, the lynx and mink bid each other adieu and agreed to assemble again that very evening. During the day, when the nocturnal animals sleep, a lynx and a mink had dreams of strawberry pie and buttermilk. What might they encounter on the morrow?

The lynx and mink decide to have another adventure that night after the sun goes down.

Funny, I don’t FEEL hateful and malicious…

This is a copy of an email I got today. I’m posting it because I think it’s important for people to know what senators do when they run amok.

Dear Paul,

When we unveiled our Times Square billboard urging people to enjoy the holidays without the religious baggage, we expected to receive the usual backlash from religious conservatives.

Let's take the Christ out of Christmas! Support the War on Religion!


But what we didn’t expect was an elected official to smear you and the millions of other American atheists as “hateful and malicious.”

But that is exactly what New York State Senator Andrew Lanza did.

Senator Lanza even went so far as to demand that American Atheists lose our tax-exempt status because he “doesn’t believe that tax dollars should be used to spew religious hatred.”

We need you to stand with us as we fight back against his hateful, bigoted smears against us and against all atheists. Please become a member with a tax-deductible year end donation today.

Perhaps even more outrageously, he compared our billboard to the type of hatred that led to the Holocaust. 

After I wrote an open letter to Senator Lanza, he removed some of the statements from his press release. He even called our office to apologize for calling all atheists “hateful and malicious.”

And yet, we just learned that he is still calling for the revocation of American Atheists’ tax-exempt status. Here we have a government official, abusing the power of his office, to attempt to silence our First Amendment rights. 

Senator Lanza has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of this nation and yet he defiles its most basic protections with his petition to remove our billboard and his attempts to take away our tax-exempt status.

We will continue to demand a public apology and retraction of his outrageous statements. We need to show elected officials that bigotry against atheists is unacceptable. Your membership support will help us do exactly that.

I need you to help us as fight back against these attempts by Senator Lanza to take away our most important Constitutional rights. Please support our work by becoming a member with a generous tax-deductible donation today.

Sincerely,
David Signature
David Silverman
President

PS: I hope you’ll also consider supporting one of our matching gift campaigns: one for our IRS case and another for our billboard campaigns. All gifts to those funds will be matched, dollar for dollar. This is a great way to double your impact for the New Year.

Magic Wish: by Some Mysterious Person

I wish for a healthy labor without needing any unnecessary medical interventions.
Magic Wish One: I wish for a healthy labor without needing any unnecessary medical interventions.
Magic Wish Two: I wish for my son to grow up healthy and happy.
Magic Wish Three: I wish for a very merry Christmas and to give birth after the 25th.
I give Baba permission to publish any information I submit on his website: Yes
My wish for Baba is: Fruit slices
Is this your first visit?: No, Ive been here before
Sex: Female
From: United States of America
Language: English
Wish for the World is: No zombies
My Comments are: (Not right now:)