Friday, January 29, 2010


Maybe I've been playing too much Portal recently, but when I see this image, I think...THE CAKE IS A LIE!

I've now been posting to this blog for a year. Or, as most men my age would say, I've wasted the past year writing junk that no one will ever read. Well, I've got news for them: 22 followers, 3,326 views, hits from all inhabited continents, and I've really enjoyed it. It gives me a chance to write a family record, make some people laugh, keep in touch with many of our friends, and express/vent my creative side.

Starting a blog isn't as easy as you might think. I tried a blog a few times before this one. It takes time, it requires a decent visual style, it needs a cohesive goal. In previous blog attempts I tried funny, family only, journal, introspective...none worked. Our 'mission statement' for this blog was to throw caution to the wind and make an eclectic comical hodgepodge of stuff from our psyche. Seems to be working so far. Although, I still think it's a little family heavy. A trend that I will correct as soon as I get caught up with exporting my pictures from the past 3 months.

So! Here's a look at our first year on the site:

Number of posts written by Peter:


Number of posts by Cynthia:


Yeah, little bit of a disparity there. Especially considering that she started this blog. At least she's kind enough to write down quotes from Jordan and Carter.

Most popular post by number of visits:

V8 Fusion Exposé

It's true. That post is crazy popular. Just look at 4 of the last 5 Google keyword searches that have led to our site:

v8 fusion ingredients goji raspberry
v8 fusion ingredients list
v8 fusion water
v8 fusion ingredients list

...I really just thought it would make for a funny post.

Not surprisingly then...

Most popular image on our site (according to Google images):


Most popular post by number of comments (10):

Which is really about me getting canned. This isn't really surprising though. Try this social/psychological experiment: Type "Got a new kitty" on Facebook and see how many people comment. A week later, type "My kitty died" on Facebook and see how many people comment. I promise you you'll get more comments for sad news.

Most disappointing posts:

Knock Knock
The Zealotmobile

Sadly I have more than one disappointing post. These are posts that were supposed to be enjoyable or funny and yet didn't get a single comment. Flops.

Strangest Google searches that led to our blog:

"Not my SpongeRoberto Squarepantalones"
"molto disney car battery"
"kids say the darndest things conscience"

There are some real nutcases on the interwebs. And these are just the weird searches that I happened to catch. I may have missed some other zingers.

Well, in all seriousness, it's been a rough year for me. And I'm very glad I was able to have this blog as an outlet and reminder that friends are always near. Thanks for reading. Here's to more entertaining pieces of our psyche. And remember to enjoy with liberal servings of marmalade and toast.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Before you leave Wisconsin...

Hours before we left Milwaukee, we got to cross off one more item from our list of 'things to do before we leave Wisconsin'. It's unfortunate that we couldn't complete that list, but at least we got this one taken care of.

We were enjoying yet another fabulous evening of games at Tyce/Faith's house when Tyce mentioned getting a chunk of Limburger Cheese for Christmas. As there's only one farm in Wisconsin (the whole USA, for that matter) that makes Limburger, I just had to try it before leaving the state. If you've got 5 minutes to spare, it's very entertaining to read about Limburger on Wikipedia. One amazing fact of Limburger is that the bacterium used to create the cheese is Brevibacterium linens, the same bacterium responsible for body odor.

Who wouldn't want to dig into that stuff?

So we all tried it. My life is forever changed..and we got it on video, too!

First of all, the smell. Imagine that Willy Wonka tried to make cheese out of week-old gym socks. Open up a brick of Limburger and your first words might be "Holy geez, Bill, that smells just like gym socks!" (Although it wouldn't hurt to show more respect to Mr. Willy Wonka)

If you can muscle your way past the gag reflex of the smell, the first bite isn't too bad. That is, the first .7 seconds. Then the aftertaste gets you. And it really does taste like you're licking someone's dirty feet...not that I've done that. How people make sandwiches out of the stuff is beyond me. I will never, ever again consume the nastiness.

But I'm so glad I did it. Do I get my official Cheesehead diploma now?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part II

Continuing the tradition of cleaning up the quotes sidebar, here's the second batch of archived quotes from our boys:

Peter - "What if we all reverently ponder the things we learn on Sunday?" Jordan - "That would be weird!"
Jordan and Carter have this weird game where one person says a 'what-if' statement that's out of ordinary and then the other says "That would be weird!". They were doing this LOUDLY after church one Sunday, so I (foolishly) asked them a different what-if.

Jordan - "Holy Kadondo!"
Impressed with the bidirectional round elevator at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Jordan could only express his true amazement with creative word-smithing.

Carter - "It's drip-dropping today."
You can expect a whole lot more drip-dropping in the years to come, Carter.

Jordan - "I'm here for your conscience". Carter - "I'm not here".
This is still too existential/metaphysical for me to wrap my brain around. Carter was in the bathroom and Jordan knocked on the door to find out if it was occupied; this exchange ensued. I have no idea what they were trying to say, but they seemed to understand each other.

Jordan the not so penitent - "sorry." Mommy - "That's not good enough; I want a big-time sorry." Jordan - "...big time sorry."
I wish I had been there to witness this. I would have laughed like there was no tomorrow.

Carter - "I want the Sunblock Chips!"
Maybe we should explain this concept a little better...

Carter - "I want juice. This time, I'm gonna SUCK it up!"
Maybe you had to be there. Carter gets very excited about simple things.

Daddy - "What do you call those wheelchair spaces in parking lots?" Jordan - "Oh, Happy Caps!"
I love when kids mispronounce things. Lately, Carter has been calling his Inspector Hector flouride rinse "Specter Hector".

Carter - "Happy Peter's Day, Daddy!"
Hey, it's the thought that counts.

Carter - "Mommy and Daddy married!" Daddy - "Yup. And now we have two little boys." Carter - "Uh-huh! And they got borned in the temple!"
How do kids come up with these assumptions?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Good Day, Sunshine!

Ever have one of those days? An unremarkable day that just feels good by the end of day? A day when several unremarkable things like those below happen in a way that just makes you glad to be around for the ride?

7:00 am. I miss the bus by 30 seconds, but a better one comes shortly after. Furthermore, the bus is practically empty and gets downtown quickly as it's MLK day.

7:30 am. There are no clouds in the sky on a winter's day in the Northwest! Ergo, I have a view of this:
right outside my office.

9:00 am. I hear a funny story about backed-up sewage being mistaken for coffee from a few coworkers.

12:15 pm. Had a good falafel from a Portland street cart (despite the fact that they forgot the hummus). Love those food carts. Ten times better than the ones in NY-NY.

3:00 pm. Received some training that I was really waiting to have. Sun is barely starting to go behind clouds. What a pleasant stay it had.

5:00 pm. My typical 30 minutes of waiting for buses is reduced to 5 minutes. And I'm able to sit on the bus instead of stand. Therefore, I'm also able to study.

6:00 pm. We actually have a dinner that isn't frozen pizza.

7:00 pm. I finally get my motorcycle back in operable condition! Yes!

8:00 pm. My garage looks like a workshop again instead of a bloody mess.

9:30 pm. I sit down with my wife to watch a movie. We watch an excellent movie together that we both enjoyed. This hasn't happened in a LONG time. So refreshing.

Isn't sunshine a beautiful thing?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Journey of Fluids

Our journey from Milwaukee to Portland was 44 cold hours in a small semi-functional car crowded with snacks, survival supplies, presents, and various documents. As awful as that description may sound, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be...except when it was.

I gave a dual-screen DVD player to the boys for Christmas. I admit that my motives were selfish - I was trying to buy some peace and quiet during the long drive. It was a nice idea, but I accidentally packed (on the moving truck) the cable that joins the two players together. Thus, only one screen worked and the two boys were fighting over it. So I bought another dual-screen player in Iowa. Only problem was that it was obviously used and was missing necessary components (stupid liberal Wal-mart return policy). Long story short, in the end, we had both screens working for 20 of the 44 hours and two non-functional DVD players to return to Wal-Mart.

However, the biggest hassle on our trip did not involve technology; it involved pipes. Carter completely forgot how to control any bodily fluids during our drive. Open the above map, if you would...I'll give you a minute....ok...let's proceed. Each 'splat' represents a different accident that Carter had. Hopefully most of the colors are self-explanatory (blue is spit...lots of spit...and green is reminiscent of The Exorcist). We brought a 2-week supply of pull-ups for Carter. He went through 2/3 of that supply in one day. ONE DAY!

My complete breaking point happened in Denver. We specifically warned him when we hit Colorado that he needed to tell us if he needed to relieve himself because we were completely out of pull-ups and pants. We reiterated this every five-or-so minutes. Denver rolls around and the car smells like an outhouse. Thanks a lot, Carter. So I spend 20 minutes cleaning him and his clothes off in a convenience store bathroom. I had to wrap a blanket around him because we didn't have any more pairs of clean pants.

Then, not 15 minutes later, he asks us to stop the car so he can evac his bowels again. No problem, at least he told us. I dress him in a pair of semi-clean pants and take him into the bathroom, place him in the stall, and wait outside. I get impatient after 7 minutes, so I check on him. He's sitting on the floor, 6 inches from the toilet...with poop in his pants. This was the second time that day this happened.

At this point in our story, Peter blew a gasket. If a top-ten list of adult meltdowns/tantrums is ever recorded, I can guarantee a top-five finish after this episode.

Perhaps it was my elevated blood pressure or the horrendous snow and fog - which seemed to last from Denver to Eastern Oregon over several days - but I didn't sleep at all that night. We drove for 24 straight hours.

Friday, January 8, 2010


We're still camping out in our apartment after six days. Hopefully our furniture will arrive on the moving truck tomorrow and end our mornings of severe back pain.

Obviously, we don't have our computer yet either, so I won't be posting about our journey until Sunday-ish.

However, I do have time for a quick piece of good news from my work computer...

I passed the actuarial exam I sat for in October! Woot!

Now for the bad news: I passed the exam.

If I hadn't passed, I'd have two exams left to get an FSA and CERA credential. I'd also be eligible for two salary increases and two bonuses.

However, since I DID pass, I have one exam left to get an FSA, two exams left to get a CERA. I'm not eligible for any monetary benefits this time around, so I'll only be eligible for one salary increase and one bonus.

Got that? Neither do I.

Regardless, it feels great to pass an exam that I put so much effort into. I resumed studies for the next exam this morning on the bus. I guess I'll see my wife and kids again in June sometime.