Archive for September 2010

Pic-a-nic

September 27, 2010

J and A’s new school held its kick-off picnic this past Saturday.  Other than the oppressive and unusually late September heat wave (99° … seriously?  During the last full week of September?), it was a lot of fun and a good way for the kids to interact with their classmates outside of school.

It's not a party without a balloon archway.

The BBQ was two of my favorite words ... plentiful and free (although I guess I've already paid for it through tuition)

Lots of activities for the kids … bouncy houses, rock-climbing wall, face painting, dunk tanks …

A found the cotton candy

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J worked on his soccer skills...

…while A made a beeline to the bouncy house.

K augments her guns with a wicked-cool temporary tattoo. Or at least I hope it's temporary.

You know he's had a good time when J leaves all sweaty-headed

The essence of J

September 24, 2010

J summarized in one picture

Back to school

September 22, 2010

The kids’ school hosted Back to School night the other night.  They should really call it “Adults Cramming Themselves Into Tiny Chairs” night.

Notice my happy disposition at wedging my knees under the table.

The neatest part of the evening was seeing some of the work the kids have been doing.  On a visual representation of the class, the kids were represented by self portraits:

It was easy to pick out the only redhead in the class.

It was also easy to pick out the only boy who required a buzz cut after cutting his own hair two weeks before school started.

Heartbreaker

September 20, 2010

Once or twice a year, I brave the traffic, expense, and drunkards in the crowd to attend a Washington Redskins game.  My college roommate has season tickets and had an extra one this Sunday.  Since the weather was nice, and it was a late game (so I could leave after church),  I decided it would be a good time to catch up with him.

The game was at 4:05pm.

We started our journey at 12:30pm.

It took 45 minutes to drive to the stadium exit. And another hour and 45 to get into a parking spot.

The stadium awaits

Once our sherpa guided us to our seats, this was the view.

What other NFL team has such a recognizable fight song and a marching band?

Of course, this was one of the best views of the day:

Why do you think I brought these? To watch the game? Ha!

Now, unfortunately, we have to talk about the game.  The Redskins had every opportunity to win.  But it helps if you can actually stop the opposing offense.  So, while the Redskins were up 27-10 in the 3rd quarter, they couldn’t get a stop when they needed to, and fell 30-27 in overtime.

Ugh.

At least they were in this game.  In years past, they would have still lost, but it would have been 35-3.

It's a long walk back to the car. And an even longer trip home.

Once the game ended, the pain was just beginning.  We then had to make it home.

Which we did.

At 10:30pm.

Yes, going to see a Redskins’ game is a 10 hour ordeal.

Now you know why I don’t do it very often.

Upgrade

September 16, 2010

Two little syllables that warm my heart.

The TV in our family room finally started showing its age recently.  When it comes to people, 17 years old sounds barely out of diapers.  But for electronics, 17 years is many generations past obsolescence.  Unfortunately, the old boy has been hanging on to life, refusing to give up the ghost.  While I’m all for acquiring the latest gadget, I just couldn’t bring myself to replacing a perfectly good TV.

Then, about two weeks ago, it started happening.  Strange lines started appearing.  The top part of the picture started warping ever so slightly.

That was all I needed to see.

Luckily, as is my wont, I had been preparing for this day.  I had spent the past several months in training, i.e. researching TVs.  So when I the time came, I was ready. Within a week, the new TV had arrived.

Of course the first order of business was to remove the old TV.  And since it is a 32 inch tube-style TV, it weighs approximately 15,253 pounds.  And was perched on an entertainment center shelf located above our fireplace mantle.  Needless to say, removing it was not a one person job.  But with my brother’s help, I got the old TV removed.

Of course, I neglected to tell him ahead of time that I wanted the old TV taken down AND moved upstairs.  Oh well.

After removing the old TV, my next problem was creating a place to mount the new TV where the old TV sat.  Since this area was a large, deep, open cabinet, I had to build some cross beams to use as a mount point for the new flat panel TV.

5 hours, 3 trips to Home Depot, and 1 trip to Lowes later, the mount was ready and the TV was in place.

46" of HD goodness. And a picture so good, you can almost smell the chicken. Mmmmm ... chiiiicken.

Now, you might be wondering “Hey, I thought you were a technology guy?  Why did it take you so long to upgrade to high definition?” Well I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed.  This is our second HD TV.  And is the “small” HD set.  Our “big” HD TV is still going strong.  It’s just that watching everyday TV on the 120″ picture in the basement is a little bit of overkill.

And quite frankly, a little nausea inducing.

Seafood anatomy lesson

September 13, 2010

On Saturday night, K came to me and proclaimed, “I don’t care what or where we eat tonight as long as crab legs are involved.”  And since she was wearing a bib and holding one of those claw-cracking things in one hand and clarified butter in the the other hand, I knew she was serious.

The first lesson upon our arrival was J and A learning that some restaurants actually have live animals in their waiting areas.  Of course, the fact that these live animals were soon to be, well, not-live animals was news to them.  But the quickly rebounded:

After we sat down an got our food, the real fun began.  Some of the comments included:

“Hey, that’s a crab, just like Taxi Crab from the cartoon Jungle Junction.”

“You mean that lobster on your plate used to be swimming in that big tank?”

“Where are the eyeballs?”

My personal favorite came when A started wondering why the lobster on my plate was red while the lobsters in the tank were greenish brown.  J responded “That’s because he got cooked!”  Nice deductive reasoning, big guy!

J was fascinated by the shell cracker

And received some shell-cracking pointers from K

Which he put to good use on his own meal

The single biggest problem with only one person getting crab legs. The rest of us were ready to go 20 mimutes before she finished.

Another downside of getting older

September 12, 2010

Nana got her hair cut the other day. When she got back, A rushed out to greet her and asked:

“Nana, your hair looks great! So, what kind did you get?”

Nana looked puzzled. “What do you mean, honey?  What kind of what?”

“What kind of lollipop did you get?” A asked, in a matter-of-fact manner.

So, at exactly what age do you stop getting lollipops with haircuts?