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Our Duck Pond

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard came by today to check out the real estate in the area. They spend a good 30 minutes checking out the food supply and the local nesting potential. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to be overly impressed with the property. Perhaps if Tom would clean out the accumulated leaves at the bottom of the pond they would have been more excited. Or maybe if they had been actual coy (coi?) in the pond…

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Let it snow

This is what the house looked like during the first snow of the 2007 season. This is back when we thought snow was cute.

Now that we have lived through the second snow, the “honeymoon” phase has passed. Tom is very thankful for the early Christmas present his mother provided…an electric shovel. Unfortunately, it was only used to clear half of the circular drive this time…and now the other half is a 1″ deep sheet of ice covered in hard snow. Winter cement.
Add to that the fact that the town people that clear our new sidewalks think that our driveway is a convenient dumping area for accumulated snow (after Tom has cleared a path for the car). Now there are two pillars of snow to navigate through in order to get to the street. And the quaint hump that leads from the street to the house is now a treatorous ice slide…fun for both driving over and walking to the mail and trash.
But is does make for a lovely picture.

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The Big Fig on the air!

Our good friend and famed actor Jimmy Harder (aka “The Big Fig”; see in Sept 17 entry) was interviewed this morning on KRNA radio (94.1 out of DesMoines, Iowa) by DJ’s Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels (themselves aka “Two Dorks”). Apparently, the two were reminiscing about their favorite TV commercials and they started to discuss the old Fig Newton classis featuring Jimmy. A quick Google search and they found the video on YouTube. Timing is everything, as the video was only recently posted to YouTube. (We have been searching for a copy for years.)
Here is a link to the commercial:

Here is a recording of the radio interview:
Download the interview (right click then save-as)

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Happy Birthday, Ms. Hepburn

Saturday was the 100th Anniversary of Katherine Hepburn’s birth. Ms. Hepburn was a resident of Jen and Tom’s Turtle Bay neighborhood and she was very well loved by the community. Many people in the area got together to celebrate her birthday.

Tristan had a great time at the party. Running all around the plaza, he tuckered his parents out.

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We're buying a house!

Since Tom’s company is expecting him to work from home and with Tristan becoming a big brother, the Payne family was simply running out of space in their NYC apartment. So it with mixed emotions that the seemingly inevitable move is upon us. Chappaqua, here we come!

If everything goes according to plan, the house code named “the French Colonial” will be the new Payne homestead in late May.
If you know of anyone who would like to buy a wonderful, sunny New York City apartment, point them this way…

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Mr. Fix It

Tristan decided to help his dad work on the stereo when one of the speakers wouldn’t work. It turned out that this wasn’t even the location of the problem, but Tristan and Dad had fun working together.

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Tom gets quoted in the NY Post

‘NET LOSS IN PARKS
CITY IS BUNGLING WI-FI PLAN: CRITICS
By SAM GUSTIN
October 23, 2006 — Bureaucratic bungling, incompetence and old-fashioned greed have short-circuited a plan to install free wi-fi in city parks, critics charge.
Two years ago, the city Department of Parks and Recreation awarded a contract to set up wireless Internet access in 10 city parks, but to date, only two of those parks are up and running.
Parks spokesman Ashe Reardon conceded that only a handful of “hot spots” in Central Park currently work. Wi-Fi Salon, the company awarded the contract two years ago to take the parks wireless, claims Battery Park also is online.
“It’s been a long process,” said Reardon. “But we’re working on it.”
City Councilwoman Gale Brewer told The Post she’s “frustrated” by the situation and blasted the Parks Department as “technologically challenged.”
Wi-fi activists also are fed up.
“No one at the top of the Parks Department food chain knows anything about wi-fi or the Internet,” said Dana Spiegel, the executive director of NYC Wireless, a volunteer group.
In one case, she said, the department demanded a $1.5 million insurance policy from the community group Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza after it said it wanted to install a free hot spot there.

“I don’t know what liability the city was worried about,” said Friends director Tom Payne. “That the antenna would fall on somebody’s head?”

In another example of bureaucratic bungling, a firm building Philadelphia’s free, citywide wireless network offered to construct a hot spot in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn at no cost to the city – but the department held it up, critics said.
Sources inside and outside city government charge that the department is dragging its feet in order to sign up corporate sponsors – and pump revenue out of them.

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The Office

Jennifer surprised Tom with a surprise visit to the office with Tristan. In order to give dad a break, Tristan took over for a while…

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Hacked!

Arghhh… We got haCkED! Here is a snapshot of what this site looked like last night. Hopefully all is well now. Sorry if anyone was offended.

Spending the night fixing it….

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Sunset Beach

Tristan took his first trip on an airplane to visit his relatives in the Myrtle Beach area. Although he slept through most of the flight, he seemed to have a good time hanging out with his mommy.

After flying into Myrtle Beach, Tristan went with his mom, dad and “pops” (Grandpa Norman) to Sunset Beach to meet up with the rest of the family. Here, he was introduced to his cousin Madeline.

Tristan wasn’t thrilled when mommy “christened” him with his first bit of the Atlantic Ocean…but by the end of the week, he was lovin’ it.

Eventually, everyone showed up at the same time…so we took another picture (surprise). Here is the whole gang: