Saturday, May 30, 2009

Annual Brewers Game

I went to one single Major League Baseball game before adulthood. Cleveland at Anaheim (I long for the glory days before they called themselves Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). I'm not exactly sure how old I was...probably around 8. But I remember it really well and always wished that I could go to more games.

Now that I'm in charge, we go to one baseball game every year. Unfortunately, this year wasn't as good as last year. The Brewers lost, The seats were terrible, the noise was unbearable, the Brewers lost, traffic was horrific, I was so busy running around buying food that I couldn't enjoy the game, and did I mention that the Brewers tragically lost?

However, the true value of going to the ballpark with the boys is how well they respond to it. Just look at the picture below - those are two enthralled boys. When we left, Jordan even said "I want to be a baseball player when I grow up". And we've played baseball outside everyday since...

That's success.

I'm happy to report that my favorite racing sausage, Chorizo, won by a very substantial margin. He completed the race in 19.21 seconds.

Edit: Despite what the by-line states, this post was created by Bushchicken. We discovered the error after it was too late to fix without deleting the comments we received.

Pike Lake

For Memorial Day, we went to Pike Lake State Park in Kettle Moraine. What a great place. I'm sure we'll be headed there again. Thanks to the Beckers for the invitation (and the Van Blarcums and Stewarts). It was just a really enjoyable holiday.

We had a little barbecue, waded in the lake, went fishing, did a little hiking, and played a game of wiffle ball. You know, good ol' american stuff.

Cynthia's family probably won't be surprised to hear that Cynthia got lost while on the hike. Luckily it was only 15 minutes that she was lost because her trusty hiking survival backpack was tucked safely in the trunk of our car.

Jordan had the biggest mound of chips on his plate that I've ever seen at a barbecue.

Carter's favorite activity was digging the beach up with a trowel we got for him the Saturday before.



Honestly. Could a barbecue and fishing trip possibly be complete without a ukulele?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Feed the ducks

Last week we went to Oakwood Park to cure a case of the blues. The best part of Oakwood Park? Feeding the ducks. Quite possibly the best thing ever.

But this time was a little more difficult than usual. As we got down to the lake and started passing out our pieces of bread, a mother goose (followed by 5 goslings) came onto the bank and started hissing at us! We tried backing away; she kept hissing. We tried walking up the hill to a safe distance; crazy momma goose followed us, hissing all the way. We tried going to another part of the lake to feed other ducks; the murderous goose continued hunting us, hissing like a snake. It was all very disturbing. I tried making the best of it - I'd run up the hill like a maniac waving my arms and mock-screaming and the boys did likewise. And Cynthia threw bread at a blindingly fast pace towards anything that had a mouth.

We then played on the swings and drove home. Jordan asked in the car if we were going to read a story before bed. We declined, as it was already past bedtime. He was saddened by this fact of life, so I said something like "it's ok...tonight we made our own story! The family went to feed the ducks. The mother goose hissed at us. Jordan ran away. We drove home. The end." He bought it. He was happy again, the day was saved, and bedtime went smoothly.

The next day (which happened to be my birthday) Jordan gave me a present - his latest book. He drew the pictures, had Cyn write down his verbatim storyline, and then he stapled it. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is Jordan's wonderful book.


Wow! That actually looks like a goose!


I asked Jordan what that weird thing on the leg was. He said "Oh...I messed up". Yeah, I was a bit relieved by that statement. And just look at the expression on that face!


That's how we roll.


Should it bother me that it looks like he's being electrocuted in that bed?


Thank you, Jordan. You make me a very proud father.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cheese, Grommit!


This photo is evidence that:

A) Carter is a true cheesehead.
B) Man cannot live on bread alone but probably can on Colby Jack.
C) Cyn and I are generous parents.
D) Self-Serve Taco Salad is Carter's favorite meal.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

First Fish


Last week at the Menomonee Falls fishing derby that wasn't, (canceled - rain) Jordan caught his very first fish all by himself. Ironically, it's a crappie.

Look how proud he is. Look at that hat. He already looks like a fisherman. Already he's more country boy then I ever was. I promised myself I wouldn't cry!

The Loot

Thank you very much for all the birthday wishes. Sorry I missed your call, Mom. Call me, we'll talk about Star Trek. (that folks, is why I have a cool Mom)

Here's a look at the kind presents I received:

Yeah! Watch out, Faith/Tyce! After a few weeks of study, I'll be a force to be reckoned with in Scrabble, Boggle, and Bananagrams! Bwaa-haa-haa! Thanks, sis! (that's a lot of exclamation points)

I can smell the sourdough starters already. Bread is my weakest culinary area and I've wanted this book for a long time to work through. Thanks, Mom! I'll send you some Pain au Levain one of these days.


Hurray! Now I can go to the ballpark in style! Thanks, honey!

The fun thing about Cynthia is that in the months of May and December she tries to buy all the 'little things' that I don't get very often and she considers them birthday/Christmas presents. I got a dark chocolate bar, Simply Orange grove style, Crispix cereal, and a few more items in the past month. I teased her gently this morning by stating this fact and gave my best impression: "Here, honey! Car wax! Happy birthday!". She laughed and said, quite seriously, "yeah...I almost got car wax for you." I rest my case.

Lastly, I got some cash from my Mother-in-Law. Thanks, Mom! I used it to buy some Eric Clapton and John Mayer albums. And when you've got Mayer and Slowhand together, you're in a state of grace.

Good, Bad, PC Ugly

My computer/TV will be online again shortly. Many thanks to Marty for letting me borrow an extra hard drive. This was a really difficult issue to overcome and I'll spare most of the details. Here's the overview:

Good: For a mere $20, The compy is now up and running.

Better: I've fallen in love...with Linux. Marty also gave me a copy of Linux Mint and I was blown away. I can't believe an OS that elegant ran from a CD! I'm seriously considering a third hard drive in my machine so I can run XP, Win7 release candidate, and Linux. Why didn't someone introduce me sooner? Why was I so scared of the learning curve on Linux? Apparently an old PC dog can learn new tricks.

Bad: Seagate felt it appropriate to replace my in-warranty, super quiet, brand new hard drive with a refurbished, super loud hard drive. One of the major reasons I bought that drive was the low volume! I'm a stickler about noise pollution from computer components - I even have noise-dampening material lined in my computer case. Grr! At least I still have the full 5-year warranty. Still, I will not buy from Seagate again. Ever.

Ugly: Marty, the drive you let me borrow no longer works. It was on it's last legs, and my usage brought it to a screeching halt. I'm sorry! I owe you one, buddy.

Not so Ugly: The drive crashed while I was 'watching' Bride Wars with Cynthia and brought the movie to an abrupt end. I believe that drive sacrificed itself for the sake of my sanity. Thank you for giving it your all, IBM hard drive...RIP.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Smother's Day!

As Carter said to Cynthia this morning as we ate delicious oatmeal pancakes, "Happy Smother's Day" to all the mums.

Mother's Day was pretty good around here. Jordan is a very sweet boy and tries to make holidays as special as possible. He made a card for Cyn and a treasure hunt to find the card. He also organized a special 'show' at home where he again sang to Mommy the primary songs he learned for Mother's Day.

And in the midst of all this love, I gave my wife the rudest Mother's Day present imaginable - an exercise ball. Well, at least I can say that she requested it and was excited to open it along with the two bags of candy we got for her to offset any exercise she actually gets.

Maintenance Costs

I finally paid to have the front wheel bearings on Lofty replaced. Cost $300, but it would have been $450 if I didn't buy the parts myself and shop around. Long story short, that may not have even been the problem. It really bothers me that mechanics will just make repairs even if it doesn't need to be done. (Troubleshooting, dear mechanics. Give it a shot sometime.) So our car still sounds weird when making hard turns. Also, now the engine sounds like it's having trouble rolling over when idle. Grrr.

Our computer/Tv is also having a hissy. The brand new 500 gb hard drive that I bought in January is no longer recognized in the BIOS. Good thing it has a 5 year warranty. That drive had both my Win7 instance and my regular WinXP instance. And it's all gone. We lost a few months of pictures, but they weren't very good ones anyway. I have a backup hard drive, but I can't get it to boot. That's another long and detailed story. I guess we won't be watching Idol this week.

And my second crokinole board that I blogged about? It was literally hours away from completion...then I botched it. Too big of a hurry. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to fix it up (and make the error into a feature), but it's more time and money than I wanted to spend.

I'd like to thank anything and everything else I own that's not currently broken. Hang in there guys.

Look, Ma! I'm a social networker!

So, we've got a blog. Been up for a few months. I think I'm getting the hang of this. Time to move on to the next social networking internet sensation, right?

I'm on Facebook. Actually, I've been on there for well over a year. I finally got my first friend about two weeks ago. That's right, one year, one friend.

Then Cynthia signed up. In one day (that's one DAY not year, like me), she had 40 friends. Wow. I feel the love! But then I finally got friend number two - my wife.

Personally, I just don't get Facebook. The wall is messy and hard to read, I feel odd about begging people to be my super-cool-awesome-facebook-buddies. And it really feels like a waste of time to me. Plus, I've got to monitor all content on my account for professional reasons.

Which brings me to Twitter. As of a week ago I am a twitter-er...er. I started an account with the sole purpose of tracking study hours for my next professional exam. I've never been very good at tracking study time, so I thought Twitter would be an effective method. I was right, I've already got 7 hours 50 mins tracked.

But talk about a boring account! The user description says "tracking study hours. That is all". Every single tweet says something like "15 mins. 7 hours cumulative. Disability provisions, LTC, reserves." Snore! Which is why I'm really wondering why I already have two followers. Honestly...people must really not have anything better to do with their lives.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Yoga for Kids, by Kids

Jordan is going to make us a fortune.

Several months ago, we borrowed My Daddy is a Pretzel, a book of yoga for kids, from the library. I wanted to try yoga as a method to get the kids to quiet down and put their energy to better use. It worked incredibly well. The boys really got into it and I enjoyed my first exposure to yoga as well. Though we returned the book a few weeks later and haven't picked it up since, I still use yoga every now and then whenever my kids or our friend's kids are just a little too hyper.

On Saturday, Nathan and Katie came over so the adults could play some games. We let everyone stay up far later than they should have and...well, you've probably been there.

Then Jordan came up with a brilliant idea to calm down the crowd. He became an impromptu yoga instructor. I'm giving that kid a raise. If I can film him teaching enough of these sessions I can sell DVDs, book tie-ins, merchandise, a weekly show, you name it. Yoga for Kids, by KidsTM

Here's a sneak peak of the first episode. Sorry for the snickering and shaky camera, it was REALLY funny.


video

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Date Night

Peter has been hounding me to write a blog post since I was the one to start this blog and I have so far written only one post. Here goes...

We try to have a date every week. Friday night we decided to use a gift card for Olive Garden to keep the cost down. We went to the Olive Garden on Brown Deer Road. While we were waiting for 20 min, Peter and I noticed we were definitely a minority in the group. So it was startling when we were seated around all caucasians. It felt like a totally different atmosphere.

I mentioned to Peter that a friend who works at Best Buy as a shopping assistant told me that each shopping assistant is hired to help a specific demographic of women: upper, middle, or lower. Was the same kind of discriminatory selection happening in our restaurant? I said to Peter, "did you notice how we completely felt like the minority when we were waiting to be seated and now......" I paused at this point to let him cautiously look around the room - it was funny to see how much I had opened his eyes. The shock was evident all over his face. There were a total of 3 people who weren't caucasian in the room. Then he said, "I'm totally blogging about this!"

But there was another surprise for me that night - the meal. Honesty I wasn't expecting much from Olive Garden, but I have to say I was blown away by what I ordered. The waitress said it is only going to be on the menu for a month. NOOO! They would be CRAZY to take this off their menu. Lasagna Rollatini with Chicken. I think it is my new all time favorite entree I've had at a restaurant. The sauce was unlike anything I have ever had; it was creamy and cheesy with a slightly smoky edge to it. Wow. So unexpected. The chicken was so tender and the lasagna noodles rolled around the cheese blend were.... all I can say is that it was perfection. Molto buon!

The picture does the flavor no justice

Pet names we hate

Pet names that make us nauseous. Please, refrain from usage around us. Please.

Love

Sugar Boots

Plunder Bunny

Smoochy-poo

Baby

Googly Bear

Gorgeous

Butt-face (yes, we have heard this one)



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