Caspar World

Posts from Home in Potsdam, NY

Hot and Cold

This week has been as variable as the weather: hot one day, cold the next.

First, I got to be a domain broker for a week.

I also got to wear my Cross Country parent hat on Tuesday. The kid ran a good race. Not quite enough to beat his personal best, but came close, and it was a hard course.

Silas finishes cross country race in Gouverneur

Also on Tuesday, I launched a new website. The design is another from Kelly's team at (Digital Canvas). It's for a Stark County, OH non-profit that recently took over a lot of county services for people with disabilities: TWi. There will be more to add to it in coming months, but getting a new site off the...

Sep 22, 2018

Quiet Time

One week into school, when I ask the kid what happened, he says, "The usual."

So I asked him if he learned anything. He thought about it for a moment, then said, "Not that I can remember."

I'd suspect that he wasn't actually going, but they'd probably call and ask where he was if that were the case.

With the return to school, there's more quiet time at home. I've been reading more. Nassim Talib, The Black Swan and now Atul Gawande, Being Mortal. Both good reads. Since the beginning of the year I've been keeping a reading list with short commentaries on my other blog.

Besides reading, I've been...

Sep 15, 2018

High School

It's official: High School.

First Day of High School, 2018

For comparison, here's 9 years ago on the first day of Kindergarten:

First Day of Kindergarten

On Thursday, he ran his first Cross Country race. 3 miles. Here he is, crossing the finish line:

Cross Country Finish

Sep 08, 2018

Back from Retirement

Since the beginning of the year, I've been filling in on Sundays at two churches in Norwood, a village 6 miles north of Potsdam. The Methodist church and the Congregational church have been worshiping together for the past 4 years, alternating between their 2 buildings month by month. They're both small churches, and finding one person to fill in on any given week is hard. Finding 2 is nearly impossible.

We have experienced this first hand. There have been 2 Sundays we would have liked to be away, but finding 2 people to fill in, one for Brooke in Potsdam and another for me in Norwood, has not...

Sep 01, 2018

Summer's End

Last week seems to have flown by. On Thursday we had "Chromebook Orientation". Each high school student this year is getting their own Chromebook, for which we had to go sit through a 20 minute presentation by the Principal and sign for.

The school picked Chromebooks, he said, because the school can control and monitor "every keystroke, minute by minute" of what happens on them. They're all tethered to the school network. They can be shut down or over-ridden by "the authorities" at any time.

On the one hand, I get that they want to be careful. On the other hand, it sounds a lot like Big Brothe...

Aug 25, 2018

Long Odds

We have been doing some cleaning out over the summer. There are a few things (more than a few things) that we don't use or have never used. Those that are gently used we've accumulated into thrift-shop bags. Those go once in a while back to Wilmington, NY. The church there has a thrift shop we're familiar with, so we feel better about sending things there.

There were also a couple summer dresses that just don't fit. They still have the tags on them. We decided to give those a try on Ebay. Brooke bought them for a pretty penny, but after looking at similar items, it seemed that the going rate f...

Aug 18, 2018


That's the word of the week.

On Tuesday the movers came to take our friend Deb, the Presbyterian, to New Jersey. They arrived late. Apparently, they left some furnature and clothing at her house here. Maybe someday they'll deliver it.

Also, on Tuesday, we decided it was time to get Brooke a new car. We'd been on the fence about it for a while. We looked at some cars online. We decided a Toyota Yaris iA would be about right. I went to the Toyota dealer down the street. The website said it was $15,000 and change. Turns out, that's if you can find one with a standard transmission. Automatic is $1...

Aug 11, 2018

Stranger Things, Indeed

I had not planned on going to the Plattsburgh Comicon this year. Silas and I went last year and that was plenty of upstate NY Comicon for me. They are planning Comicons here in Potsdam, in Messina just down the road, and yet another in Canton, also not far, this fall. I figured a couple hours at one of those would be sufficient.

But early last week, 2 of the his old friends from Jay and Wilmington asked if we could meet them there. He rounded up 2 of his new friends from here, and yesterday we went.

The Kid sitting on the Stranger Things couch They had 2 main attractions yesterday. The first was one of the sets from Stranger Things: the...

Aug 05, 2018


Our mattress was 18 years old. Brooke bought it when she moved to Hamilton, before we met. When we moved into our shoebox-sized apartment in Washington DC, we only had room for 1 mattress, and hers was smaller, so that's the one that followed us.

18 years later, it was starting to sag. We could tell it was sagging. We'd wake up in the morning and, over our coffee, say to one another, "We need a new mattress." For the past year, whenever we've seen mattress ads, we'd say to one another, "Ooohhhh! New mattress!"

But shopping for a new mattress is hard. It's like TV. There used to be 3 stations. ...

Jul 28, 2018

Catching up

Last weekend, with Summerfest in full swing, I missed posting.

Here, a week late, is the video of the kid on the Summerfest main stage with his guitar teacher, Mark Lyon, on vocals, doing Blitzkrieg Bop.

Two weeks later, this weekend is Colton Days. Brooke was at the Colton church on Thursday scooping ice cream while the Sweet Adelines sang the opener for that occasion on the church lawn. Saturday morning, we'll all go back for the church pancake breakfast.

This week the kid has his dress rehearsal for his music school's "Showcase Performance", that happens at the end of the month.

That same ...

Jul 21, 2018