February 26, 2010

the dog.

A few photos of Wilson Milhous Hanson Acklin The Great, age 12.  He is currently the scruffiest dog you've ever seen.  This happens every winter when I wait as long as possible to get that warm blanket of grey shaved off of him.  Poodles like to look "put together" so he's very irritated with me right now.

When Kevin and I brought him home to our little Capitol Hill english basement, I remember thinking, "I can't believe he's ours.  Don't they know I have the maturity of a 9 year old?  Isn't someone going to be making home visits to ensure we haven't sold him to a circus?" 
(Oatmeal . . . so close yet so far away.)

Funny thing is, when we brought home our human children from the hospital, the exact same questions fluttered through my mind.  "Are they really going to just let us walk out the door with him?  We are going to put him in the car and just drive off?"  Although, (for the humans) the question of the circus is still under consideration.

nevermind the donut.

How a 4 year old sprinkle-loving boy strategically devours
his dunkin' donut.

February 23, 2010

what you don't know won't hurt you.

Somehow George convinced me to turn the kitchen table upside down so he could pretend it was a boat.  Ever looked underneath your kitchen table?  Well, trust me - don't.

February 21, 2010

not your typical lavatory.

Can you guess where this picture was taken?
(Hint - it's decommissioned.)

February 18, 2010

in case you were wondering . . .

. . . how these websites work.
~ johnmartz.com

February 16, 2010

no seriously; a prodigy.

Collage artist Romare Bearden, Pittsburgh Memories (1984)
* * *

Future artist George Acklin, The Architect (2010)

February 13, 2010

happy st. valentine's day.

~ from the Acklin Army

February 12, 2010

snowed in - day 6.

View from kitchen window into sunroom.

February 11, 2010

cabin fever.

Thanks to the snow - this pretty much sums it up!

school may be closed (again).

But this child never rests.

built for papa.

Your love for racing has rubbed off.

February 9, 2010

big storm brings big idea.

While the city of Pittsburgh digs itself out of the recent snow storms, one cherished tradition of this community is that chairs can now be found neatly lined up and down almost every neighborhood street. Imagine if these street ornaments were more than just a way to lay claim to a parking spot. Consider the following "Onionesque" interpretation.

* * * * *
Big Storm Brings Big Idea
February 9, 2010

PITTSBURGH, PA -- What began simply as one Pitt law student's coffee run to 61C, quickly became nothing short of extraordinary.  Last Friday evening, student Imona Mission found herself stuck with her broken down Toyota Prius at the corner of 5th and Wilkins in the midst of Snowpocalypse.  Determined to get her coffee, the decision was made to leave her car stranded and walk.  Along the way, inspiration struck her.
"I thought to myself how wonderful it would be if, during a major snow event like we experienced, if folks could just stick a chair in the street in front of their house.  I mean, obviously it takes many, many days for the streets to be cleared.  And during that time alot of people are getting stuck in the snow.  If curbside seating was available for people to rest it would be so great."  As soon as Imona returned to her Oakland apartment she began a full scale social-networking campaign to spread the idea now called "The Chair Project".  According to Imona, "It was amazing.  People instantly took to the idea and starting setting out chairs in the streets.  My Facebook friends that I didn't even know were out there supporting the cause!"

Lay Zeass, resident of Shadyside, also believes the project is a valuable asset to the neighborhoods.  "I think the project is such a great idea," says Mr. Zeass.  "I myself was recently stuck over on Forbes and one guy had one of those reclining beach chairs out.  It was awesome.  I actually fell asleep on it."
Of course there are those who disagree with the overall message.  One observer who asked to remain anonymous noted, "I think it's nice and everything, but if you're going to take to the time to sit out a chair for a passerby to get a rest, why stop there?  Why not sit out a table, maybe have some free-reading materials or even a snack?  I don't get why people are going about this so half-heartedly."  That trend is also popping up on various streets all thoughout the city.  Rocking chairs, and even cafe tables have been spotted.

Regardless of a few dissenting opinions, the Chair Project has received massive support all over the region.  In the words of founder Imona Mission, "It's amazing how the worst of times can bring out the best in people.  When I first arrived in Pittsburgh I never could have imagined the compassion that existed in each and every resident. It's really something that couldn't be found anywhere but here.  Thanks, Pittsburgh!"
(View of Denniston Street on Day 4)

February 6, 2010

scenes from a snowy saturday. (21 inches to be exact)

Here is a shot from our back door this morning, as the snow continued to pile up another a few inches.  I promised the boys we would go outside and play in it as soon as they ate their breakfast and cleaned up what appeared to be a massive explosion of a Hot Wheels factory in our sunroom.  They complied.  As I bundled them up I must have said at least a dozen times, "When you go outside you're going to feel . . . well, cold.  Let's not be surprised when that happens.  It will happen.  Let's also not announce to the universe when we start feeling cold.  Let's be tough.  Let's try to last more than 47 seconds outside."  Like I said, it was repeated maybe a dozen times.  And it worked.  In fact, they lasted about 47 minutes outside - an Acklin record. 

The snow is deeeeeep.  Armpit deep on these two boys.  Here is shot of Teddy stuck, and probably proclaiming to the heavens something like, "Help me, I can't move."  George's suggestion to his little brother was to "swim".  He said, "Swim, Teddy.  Just swim through the snow."  George got around pretty well.  Maybe it had something to do with the plastic dollar store cowboy spurs he insisted I place over the top of his boots.  I don't ask questions.  Sometimes it's me that complies.

It is almost surreal the odd piles of snow on everything.  If I had been more adventurous this afternoon I would have run away and never stopped running, trudged down the street to get some more interesting pictures.  We had hoped to make a snowman, but the snow was too powdery for the task.  I'll have to save for another day the Pirate gear the boys collected to dress one up.
Eventually it was me who starting muttering about being cold.  As the newly crowned Mother of the Year I decided to bribe them back into the house with yet another promise - hot chocolate.  It was perfect timing as I discovered Teddy hopping around on one foot with only a snow-clumped sock covering the other.  Somewhere under the vast expanse of powder in our yard lies one small, black, size 10 little boy's snow boot.  Boot - we'll see ya in March.

February 3, 2010

operation quiet house.

The General of the Acklin Army sent her youngest soldier to his barracks for a mandatory QT this afternoon, and later discovered a mass of blankets with snoring coming from the area.  Mission accomplished.