Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
And now I'm working to coordinate all the family stuff into various sub domains and other what nots to increase the efficiency of our communication.
Heaven knows with 5 of us we'll be pretty busy in the coming years.
The beauty? I'm learning things, and we'll see how this works.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
In the future we will cover this sub flooring with something
meaningful. Bit for the first time since we moved in, I can walk
through the mudroom without the floor bending.
The reason is I replaced the 3/8th subfloor with 3/4 inch plywood.
That with the shelves make it a better place!
Sent from my iPhone, please pardon the typos.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
UPDATE: He actually led the charge on this one ... spawning my formula one theorum of IMAX films: IMAX + car racing = exit. Or, I + CR = E. Where E=excruciatingly painful to watch.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
This person, due to the cycles they go through, has estranged their family ... estranged their community ...
I had to watch a neighbor basically in their final throes of what I hope was a manic moment.
No worries, nothing violent, just so many emotions and events that I am having difficulty processing ... but maybe it is not for me to understand.
Maybe it is just for me to observe and learn.
Learn and understand yet another person in our county could benefit from either universal or single-payer health care. Understand that I am able-bodied and can take the energy to change my position with some work.
In some follow up phone calls, I found a good friend of mine has done all in their power to help this person ...
This morning, after some rest, I am thankful for the family I have and my friends. Community makes us strong and healthy.
Monday, June 16, 2008
It started with the paper and moved into a huge breakfast consisting of fresh fruit, bacon (mmm bacon), waffles, eggs and beans.
Oh, and there was a starter that consisted of donuts and coffee.
After the spare child when home and a wee bit of finagling, we made the decision to head to IKEA.
All the kids are old enough for the kid place now, so we ditched them and set out to find the really neat things to put some vertical storage in our living room. We found it, and found something for the basement as well.
Though the trip took two hours longer than expected, it was a success!
We got home, go rid of some old plastic kitchen range and other assorted thingy, as well as the shelves from the basement we were going to replace with previously mentioned IKEA things.
So, I became one with the allen wrench and assembled all but one of the units we purchased, and am very pleased with the outcome.
Oh! And the boy helped put them together, which was a very nice and pleasant way to work the day!
That plus the time with tacomachickadee was wonderful.
I am very blessed.
Thank you, honey!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Mainly on the typing part.
I have been doing the majority with just one finger.
It's easier when driving.
But today I took the step to go all thumbs.
It's different, and a wee bit faster than one finger.
But I have to not drive when doing it.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
control issue with one of their three runways for landing... United
has put us on the runway since noon, there was no prior announcement
of these delays, so I am unable to reroute my path to MN.
Free market? Phht. Captive monolopy.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It's been like that around here since Grandma passed away in January. There are still some bags to unpack, or at least some things hiding in bags that we need to find. Laundry has been done between those times, but some was hiding hither and tither.
I head out tomorrow morning for the other Washington.
I've never been there.
It'll be the farthest east I've traveled (sans the jaunt to Russia ... the Golden Ring around Moscow ... which, ironically covered more national capitals and principality capitals of Russia well before me going to DC). I've been to Philadelphia, PA, but that's about it.
Coming back will be interesting, though. Mom tells me that two days ago, or thereabouts, Grandpa decided that it was time to stop eating. He's 91, he served in WWII ... was on the beaches of Normandy, and did a tour through France. He married Grandma when my mom was about the age of my eldest daughter.
His favorite prayer:
I Jesu navn gar vi til bords,
Spise og drikke pa ditt ord.
Deg Gud til aere, oss til gavn,
Sa far vi mat i Jesu navn
It's a Norwegian table prayer. I'm blessed to have it above my table. I don't know how to say it, but I know he liked it.
When I was about my daughter's age (!), Grandma and him took us in. Me, my three brothers and my mom. There was something about a mortgage not being paid in the course of my parent's divorce, so we moved the hour, hour and 1/2 south to live with them.
For the past 32 years, I could pick up the phone and dial the same number ... even to this day, and get him on the phone. I haven't recently, because he is hard of hearing.
All I can do is pray.
Pray that he is loved.
Pray that he as done good work.
Pray that he will find peace soon.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Somehow, in this furious series of events and compounding stress, one last thing was added this week.
It could have broken the proverbial camel's back.
But rather than crush; it strengthened me.
Late in the week, I was asked to essentially be a ... to be a, um Godfather.
A Godfather to a friend that I have known since 1996 ... someone who I worked closely with in college, and saw on occasion over the past 10 years.
I accepted the call ... and tonight with chickadee, with love and patience we sponsored our 30-year old nurse friend into our church family. Through baptism.
Frankly, I'm speechless ... and we sponsored her husband through his affirmation of faith.
We're proud to serve them as we grow together in faith.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Me: Yes. Here's a nice one I'm drinking, it's from oh-three.
Him: (picks up the bottle) Oh-three? Huh. That's about as old as me.
Me: I said oh-three not aught-three.
/thank you, I'll be here all night!/
Saturday, February 23, 2008
In one big huge swoop, uncles and aunts descended on the house, packed it all into a U-haul, and we moved about two hours south.
We lived there for the school year.
My second grade teacher, Ms Fredrickson (wow, that flowed easily, I've been trying to remember it for years), would reward our math and spelling homework/class work with little Garfield cutouts.
These were run on the ditto machine, a large press with a drum that was noisy, and printed in blue ink (cutting edge for the day). And, mostly, they were on goldenrod paper. Sort of a simple sticker, except it involved Scotch tape on the back of the paper.
Being that Garfield was our unofficial mascot, I became slightly obsessed with the desire to order all the Garfield books that came in the book orders. I picked up about 8 or so books that year (thanks, Mom!).
All this to post one of the funniest links that I've seen in awhile: Garfield minus Garfield.
Certainly worth the time.
I came across a handy-dandy, trusty-dusty guide to refrigerator models manufactured for Sears.
In 2005 we went to my Dad's house for Thanksgiving. The fridge went out. Repair guy came up to see how things are. It couldn't be replaced ... had a pump that was recalled 20 years ago, but it worked better than the ones that were exploding or something.
Anyhow, here's who manufactures what for Sears. It's the first three digits of the model number:
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Me: "Chili, for dinner tonight."
First grader: "Wow, dad."
/she normally throws a fit with my chili/
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Well, today was one of those days.
I finished my district training to be an emergency substitute teacher. What does that mean? It means I have a degree in a subject, and I passed the background check. Ultimately it means that when they reach the bottom of the substitute barrel, and they scrape a little off, they can then call me.
I suppose there might be exceptions, but that sounds like how it's going to be.
It's $105 a day (not too bad). And a full day means anything beyond 4 hours.
It should be pretty nice.
No sooner do I get home, when potential future employer mentioned a couple of weeks ago let me know that I've been asked to fly to MD at the end of April for a week-long training program.
So, it's shaping up to being a busy spring.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Actually, it was a simple 8 pound roast. It looked all meaty, with just enough fat and marbling through and through.
I just had to have a reason to make some.
Today is that day.
Chickadee invited jcbetty over for some dinner. They're obligated (as it our tradition here) to bring a dessert and a bottle of wine. The wine's the tradition.
So, in the roast went to cook at 250 for most of the morning. I just jacked it up to 350 for a few hours (it'll go to 375 when I go to bake the challa).
Oh, yeah. I'm baking my own Challa today. I find it to be a simple, tasty bread that is good to break with new friends. We'll see how it goes.
My heart broke when I learned that our friends are not garlic people, as I was going to roast the garlic before putting it into my mashed potatoes.
It'll be okay, I might break for the store for some shallots or something that would offer a similar, but less intense flavor. Though, I'd be tempted to caramelize the shallots to serve just on top of the potatoes.
Oh, I'll also cook some carrots. I"m thinking I might be up for jullian carrots, but depends on how much time I want to spend cutting.
In all, it should be good to go by this afternoon when they get here.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
I received word that after 93 years, 15 days of good life, my Grandmother passed away.
It's hard. She's the furthest back I can go for knowing who my ancestors are personally. She and my mom's dad divorced back in the 'good old days' of the 1940s (when 'nobody' did that type of thing). It's kind of a secret that slowly eeked into common knowledge. So much so that I was out of college before I had been able to place most of it together.
She's the one that hosted elaborate dinner parties, with name cards for each guest ... good silver ... and good cooking.
I'm sad she never met my niece. But, very fortunate that each of her cousins, my children, were able to meet her, at least the oldest will be able to remember.
One week ago, I sat in a retirement community with Grandpa.
In February, he'll turn 91.
Last year, the youngest and I flew to celebrate his 90th birthday.
He and grandma were married for 57 years. Genetically, there is no direct relation. But you know, that doesn't matter. At all.
He opened his home to us when mom lost the house to foreclosure in the early 1980s. We lived with the two of them for about 8 months straight, and then again for three months in the summer.
We sat and we chatted about those times ... the massive amounts of popcorn we ate ... the, the, generosity of his heart.
We chatted as we sat, both avoiding the fact that it would, very, very likely be the last time we saw each other. It was only a half hour, but I relished each second.
He loves each of our grandchildren. He holds family and those relationships as the highest priority.
He complimented chickadee's and my children for being well behaved ... well mannered ... and just good children.
The weest one gave him a hug and a kiss ... the middle one slept ... the eldest took pictures.
I took in the conversation, the precious minutes and seconds.
Then, he nodded a bit, ready for a nap.
We hugged, the only type of hug a six foot tall man can give a nearly 91 year old who is weak from losing his spouse of 57 years ... the type of hug where you're afraid to squeeze too hard because you think someone might break ... but the type of hug where you don't want to let go, so you memorize the roughness of an unshaven cheek, the light peck on the cheek, and the "thank you" repeated two or three times as you pull away, and look in their eyes.
We left and he stayed.
It was difficult.
It was hard work to get that far.
You see, since Oct. 24 I've had my application in to be an emergency substitute teacher in our school district.
Today, I got the call, drove the 70 miles round trip to turn in the proper form and pick up my temporary permit.
Wednesday is my orientation.
It'll be a great little supplemental income project.
I'm looking forward to it.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I was listening to The Splendid Table on KUOW.
Sure enough, the second time it was mentioned, I did hear it correctly. Not only was Lynne talking about bacon. She was talking about truffles ... chocolate truffles. TOGETHER.
I give you the recipe that will be tried in the near future:
Makes 18 to 20 truffles
These addictive truffles were inspired by some served at the prestigious Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina, a restaurant known nationwide for its innovative desserts. Whereas the chef there uses dry-roasted peanuts, I much prefer the large, toothsome, regular goobers I order routinely from Aunt Ruby's in Enfield, North Carolina (1-800-843-0105), and for even smoother and richer texture, I do add butter to the chocolate. If ever the affinity between bacon and peanut butter and/or chocolate were questioned, these truffles serve as undeniable proof. Stored in an airtight container, the truffles keep in the refrigerator up to about a week and are best served slightly chilled.
- 6 slices lean streaky bacon
- 4 ounces salted peanut (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- Six 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup cocoa
1. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat till crisp, drain on paper towels, and let cool completely.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the bacon, peanuts, and sugar and grind to a fine texture. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the peanut butter, and stir till well blended and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 1 hour.
3. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter, place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill about 30 minutes longer.
4. Meanwhile, combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan and stir over very low heat till melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool till warm. Sift the cocoa into a bowl.
5. Coat the balls completely in the melted chocolate, dredge thoroughly in the cocoa, and store in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
Monday, January 21, 2008
The first concern, due to the prevailing presence of news choppers ... could be bad news ... then there' s proximity of the military bases ... as well as the perpetual police protection ... it could be anything ... Google or Microsoft maps ...
Could also be a neighbor just flying by.
Either way, I found the company they are registered to ... and they contract for all those things.
Ah, wonderful to be secure and paranoid today ... just great.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Once again, SeeqPod has come through.
Try it. Search for your favorite tunes.
The kids have been dancing with and without me to: Dare to be Stupid; Sing, Sing, Sing; Yoda; Fish Heads ... you name it ... TMBG has a great presence, too.
Go ahead ... try it out ... before it is gone.
Friday, January 18, 2008
She was performing as part of the third Thursday art celebration that Tacoma hosts every month on, get this, the third Thursday.
We'd seen Deborah perform at First Night, and fell in love with her sound, beats and voice.
Eldest one was not very excited until she saw a picture of Deborah on a business card.
Because the venue had these all over the place, Eldest picked a couple up, and after the show got an autograph.
Of course, middle one was set on doing the same, and so was the little one.
Well, middle one, on a venture down the stairs of Sanford and Son (a wonderful antique dealer in Tacoma) began to examine his card.
"Daddy! I found her phone number on this card! Tonight, I'm going to call her."
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Everything went smoothly yesterday. The total surgery time was well longer than the 8 hours they estimated, but he is in recovery and stable.
I'm taking the kids up today to visit, don't know if I'll have the opportunity to seen my brother, but at least I can see my dad, step mom, and others.
Monday, January 14, 2008
I left Ireland promising myself that I would demonstrate self-control in this country which refuses to practise portion control.Yes, sir it certainly is a delightful garnish.
I do not want to become the latest in a long line of European settlers who arrive looking like Laurel and leave looking like Hardy.
But of course my first meal was a cheeseburger the size of a dartboard.
When I ordered bacon on it, eight slices arrived. I was learning my first lesson about US cuisine.
Bacon is no longer really a meat; it has become a garnish served alongside or on top of other foods, as though it was a kind of porcine salad vegetable.
Occasionally it even comes ground up and sprinkled over your dinner like a kind of dark, meaty snow.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
If I'm on a call that isn't particularly interesting or I have to get going and I get a call from, say, high elected officials in the state, or their respective offices, I bag the call I'm all and go for that one coming in. Don't be offended if it has happened to you, these are typically urgent calls.
Even those calls have the ultimate call-waiting trump card.
The elementary school.
I had to pull the plug on one today for the dreaded elementary school call.
These can be anything from "thanks for thus and that", "your daughter is in the sick room", "snow day", anything whatsoever.
But I wasn't greeted with an adult voice on this one, and that is weird.
It was the eldest.
Through her sad, oh so sad phone whispering voice (note to self: tell her to speak up on the phone), I was able to discern that she was sad. That's about it.
I then used 'gentle dad' voice to ask her when lunch happens, and told her that I could come back to school and give her a hug.
That was acceptable to her, and she got off the phone.
I walked back up to school and gave her the hug moments before lunch.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
But PE (potential employer) indicated that if everything goes through, there a possibility of maybe there being a certain device that I use for my possible job that might occur should it all fall into place.
Monday, January 7, 2008
You know, car dented and spray painted upon, garbage dumped near people's garages ... cases of beer stolen from front porches.
I walked past a young man and his dad patching up some tail lights the other day.
My comments were about the string of vandalism plaguing a few blocks.
"You should probably report it." I said.
"What good would that do?"
"Well, it lets them know it happened."
I was disappointed at the "what good would that do?" comment.
It's not like it'll DO anything. The bad guy probably won't get caught and won't be forced to pay th $100 to fix the taillights. It DOES help in seeing vandalism trends in the neighborhood ... something that your police department pays attention to when assigning community liaison officers ... beat officers ... and other resources.
But it's beyond that, the tone was very much ... hopeless. Very hopeless. Like there was no ownership in the place where this occurred. He had a key to the house, so either he lived there, or his parents did. I'd assume that's enough ownership. Maybe it isn't.
We live in communities. The communities are ours, at the block, neighborhood and city level ... county, state, regional and national. We are all a part of it. It is OURS, it's not 'theirs'. We each own a bit of all of it.
So what good does it do?
You're empowered to make change, the first step is thinking you can, and you will.
Friday, January 4, 2008
So I buy some organic milk at the local Costco. One of the 3 1/2 gallons gets stuck to the bottom of the box when I'm at home, and leaks all over the place. I call, they say to come back with the receipt and the box, they'll refund the money.
On my way back to do the return (about 2 weeks later), I prep myself with 'the story.' You know, running the facts through my mind and out my mouth so it's easier when the task is performed. I do this often. Yes, I'm the guy talking to himself at the stop light, practicing gestures and flow. Very often the kids will say, "Daddy, who are you talking to?", I tell them I am practicing.
Story ready along with the boxes requested (a second 1/2 gallon went bad, so I assume there was a packaging error) and the receipt, I wait in line. When I get to our turn. He scans the my card, scans the receipt, scans the milk ... hands me my money.
No story. Just me saying, "here", him saying, "card?". Then me saying "thank you".
Oh, from time to time I question my heritage. Maybe or maybe not Norwegian (some divorces and stuff a generation or two ago plus adoptions ...) but today lunch determined that I probably am. What did I have? Pickled herring on crackers with some cheese.
I think that cinches it.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Not only can you search, but you can build a playlist right on the main page.
It'll probably be killed by those fools at RIAA (those that think they can kill creativity and take on 1 billion + users of international networking ... they should read up on Napoleon). But, please enjoy it while it lasts.
Oh, and it links to videos. Here's a family favorite: