Mon
30
Dec
2019

Rose: Don’t mess with my Dunkin Donuts

Columbus Day weekend 2019. Betsy was down in Charleston with Mary Lou and Dolores, Kristin was away with friends, and Christian was busy with soccer so I had Rose for the weekend. I planned to take her to Mass with me on Sunday. As Saturday rolled around, and Rose and I went up to church to open it up, I realized that the only time Rose had been to church with me in the last year had been when it was just the two of us, opening up or doing some setup. She loves to run in and out of the pews, enjoy the echo, play the piano, test the baptismal font water temperature, etc. So I am starting to worry if she will be able to stay quiet during Mass.

I started to tell her that we were going to Mass tomorrow and that if she was quiet and sat still during Mass we would go downstairs and have Dunkin Donuts afterward.

We got to church a little after 8 Sunday and sure enough Rose started running around, pretending to read the lectionary, and telling me not to catch her. The choir members who had come early for rehearsal are looking at me like, “you are going to have your hands full during Mass!”. I tried to get her to sit and get in the mood for Mass but she continued to crawl away from me and run up and down the aisles.

Finally about 5 minutes before Mass started, I took her downstairs and showed her the donuts all setup on the table, and said, “All this can be yours if you are quiet and sit with me during Mass. But if you get noisy, we are going to leave and go to Lancaster.”

Mass started and she was absolutely perfect. She sat or let me hold her, and she was quiet. But every time I started to sing, or say the responses, she turned to me, and said, “Shh” with a look that said, “You’re not going to mess up my donut treat!”

Mon
30
Dec
2019

Rose: Ice Cream can help

Summer 2019 – Rose was waking up slowly from her nap as she likes to. I was sitting on the couch in her room letting her decide when she wanted to get up. I opened the blinds after a while and she saw that it was cloudy and getting dark even though it was afternoon. She stood up in her crib looking out the window and said, “Storm is coming”. She has been reading a Winnie the Pooh book about the Storm that sparkled and was a tiny bit obsessed about storms. I told her that it wasn’t coming until later that night. She repeated, “Storm is coming.” I repeated that it wasn’t coming yet. She insisted, “There’s going to be thunder!”. I said it isn’t supposed to come now but even if it did we were safe inside so she shouldn’t worry about it. She looked me right in the eye and said, “Ice cream would help.”

Fri
23
Mar
2018

Great moments in Electrical Engineering

Right after the new year, the St. Isidore sound system wouldn’t power on. I was able to run an extension cord from the sacristy and replug the power strips inside the equipment cabinet so that we could turn it on and off by plugging or unplugging the extension cord. I suspected this impulse relay that allowed the 3 push buttons around the church to control the system. It had been flaky the last two summers when it was very humid. So I spent the last few months trying to track down a replacement; with no luck. I contacted a parishioner who works with sound systems and the sound person over at St. Elizabeth’s to see if they knew anyone who could fix the system or get a replacement part; no luck. About 2 weeks ago I started measuring voltage at the first power strip (which was hardwired into what I thought was the power wire coming into the box.
stis-soundsystem2
I was getting strange readings. So I decided to replace the power strips. Got some new ones, cut the wire on one, wired it into the power feed and initially it seemed to work but then it just faded out. Tried a number of other things until I finally moved the boxes with the Christmas trees that the Art & Environment team had stored under the equipment box, and this is basically what I saw:
stis-soundsystem
In my defense, I really saw the plug half hanging out so one prong was in the plug, which explains why I was getting any power at all. So mustering all the knowledge and skill I acquired earning my MSEE from Columbia Engineering, I pushed the plug all the way in. Voila! Everything works perfectly.

Mon
27
Nov
2017

Sr. Doretta receives the 2017 Partnership for Global Justice Award

Helen receiving the PGJ Peace and Justice awaredAt the luncheon, Sr. Susan McCarthy, RDC, introduced the 2017 PGJ Peace and Justice Award winner, Sr. M. Doretta Cornell, RDC, after which President of the Board Sr. Kathy Nolan, CSJ, presented the Award. After the luncheon, Sr. Doretta presented an overview of the work done by the Sis-ters of the Divine Compassion to make their properties environmentally more responsible, and various ways she advocates and works for justice and peace, particularly in regard to the environment.

See article in October PGJ newsletter here :http:/Helen/PGJ Newsletter October 2017.pdf

Tue
4
Jul
2017

Camp Cornell – June 2017 Solar Production

2017JuneSolar

Sun
12
May
2013

Mailbox vs Snowplows

Well the old mail box post had the mailbox mounted on a platform that was hinged so that if the snow plows pushed snow on it, the platform would just flip and let the snow flow around it. That works for, probably 10-15 years. The last snow this year was just so wet and heavy it snapped the post itself.
So after considering a number of options, I built one that rotates so it is parallel to the road during snow storms. It has a steel rod holding the top and bottom pieces together that rotates on a bearing.

So here it is in normal position.

And here it is ready for the snow.

Tue
16
Apr
2013

Tossback Tuesday – Wedding stuff

I ran across our wedding invitations and the mass booklet.


Mon
24
Sep
2012

Sometimes reality is more impressive

The tongue in cheek fantasy:

Job done - what's next honey?

The reality: a 60 ton crane and a chain saw.

The arborvitae trimmed


Sun
2
Sep
2012

Breaking the mold

A couple of weeks ago, after a few days of rain, I went out the spa room door to try to entice the cat to venture out. It was like stepping on black ice. The days of rain on the mold on the steps had turned it into a slime with a negative coefficient of friction. I managed to fall in a way that I didn’t hit any sharp edges. So I made up my mind that had to be addressed. I spent yesterday and today with bleach, a stiff brush, and some MOLDEX and some GOOP grit spray. What a difference. The first day I did not do the corner so you can see the difference clearly.

Mon
13
Aug
2012

Pomp and Circumstance at Job Corps

Kait had her official graduation ceremony at Job Corps last Friday.

link to photos