Thursday, April 30, 2009

Old People Are SLOW

My dad had a saying that would assuredly pop out of his mouth if us kids were lally-gagging around. If things weren't happening as fast as they should, he'd bust out with

"Grandma's slow...but she's old." We easily caught the emphasis that we had no excuse to be lally-gagging.

Then I got my driver's license. Being on the roads I realized the deep, profound truth of dad's saying. Old people really are slow. In no other arena is my patience tested more than on the freeway.

I'll have had a long day at work. I'm tired. I just want to get home. I've got 20 minutes of freeway ahead of me. Then I see some punk driving an Oldsmobile going 47 miles per hour IN THE FAST LANE! When I finally speed past them ("aka going the speed limit!), there is inevitably a sweet senior citizen casually cruising down the highway.

I understand that grandmas and grandpas are slow. Because they're old. It would make me much happier though if they weren't being slow in the fast lane.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Good Bye Tonsils

Mel and I consented to torture of our youngest child yesterday. No, I'm not talking water boarding. I'm talking tonsil removal.

This involved being at the surgery center at an inhumane hour. The surgery was quick for the agile and highly skilled Dr. Gardner. Notice the prominent barf recepticle at the bottom of the following picture. This was a souvanier Kylee immediately and repeatedly made use of. Fortunately the barf recepticle prevented any spewage on parents.

We got Kylee a book about getting tonsils out, and she got the idea to have a Good Bye Tonsils party, complete with extended family members and cake. I don't know that the book suggested this party should be done the day after tonsils are removed, but Kylee said she was up to it so we proceeded. (She also asked this morning, around 24 hours after surgery, if she could have Taco Bell or a McDonald's kids meal. I opted for a popsicle instead.)

A host of highly appreciated family members attended the Good Bye Tonsils party which Kylee was happy about. Fortunately we won't have to celebrate this event again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Running Update

We are down to 161 days until the St. George Marathon. To prepare, I've registered for my first half marathon, the Hurricane Half coming up next week. I'm hoping for two things on the day of the Hurricane Half:

1) Decent weather
2) That I don't die

Click on the picture for all you never knew you wanted to know about my marathon training:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time......

It seemed like a good idea at the time......

  • Eating Chinese at Panda Express. My stomach paid for this little stunt for hours. On my honor I will never do this again.

  • Thinking I could beat up our neighbor William in 3rd grade. My python muscles deceived me. Lets just say it didn’t end well.

  • Letting the kids eat ice cream in the car on the way home. ‘Nuff said.
  • Being all dressed up for an important presentation and eating peanut butter toast during the drive. I’ve only dropped toast in my car once. Did it have to be this day?
  • Telling Mel I could eat 10 candy bars in one sitting, and then being challenged to do it. And failing.
  • Mopping the floor before the kids got out the Play Dough.
  • Eating chili that sat on the counter too long. My intestines reminded me how foolish this was every hour for the next day and a half. I had no idea my body was capable of producing this much vomit.

Do you have anything to add?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Washington DC In Pictures

We have wrapped up our whirlwind tour of Washington DC which couldn’t have been better. Here are some highlights of the trip:

Udvar-Hazy Center of the Air & Space Museum
This lesser visited division of the Air & Space Museum houses the ultra-cool space shuttle Enterprise. This is a ridiculously enormous beast and pictures don’t give a good idea of just how huge it is.

George Washington’s Home – Mt. Vernon
It was interesting to tour Washington’s mansion and see his tomb. I became a bigger fan of Washington during our trip for one reason: his teeth. I learned that he had lots of problems with his teeth all his life which caused infections and constant pain, yet he was still able to do everything he did for our country. Relating to George on a constantly sore mouth, George and I developed a close kinship. I managed to snap this picture of his dentures made partly of hippopotamus teeth. The photo isn’t great because, well, you’re not supposed to take pictures.

US Capitol

We took a tour of the capitol with a congressional aide which was fascinating. On the side of the rotunda I spotted this scene of a Lincoln statue next to a bright hallway. I liked how it made the same scene look both black & white and color at the same time.

National Archives
We waited 45 minutes in pouring rain to get inside the National Archives. For me it was worth every minute. I couldn’t wait to go to the rotunda which has the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and US Constitution. I felt privileged to see these documents with my own eyes (and my camera lens).

Arlington National Cemetery
During our visit to the cemetery the weather was absolutely beautiful. Perfect. We visited John F. Kennedy’s burial site and the eternal flame.

We then headed to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and saw the indescribable Changing of the Guard. This whole ceremony which lasts about 10 minutes is fascinating (and happens every half hour). It was a photographer’s heaven. Here are just a few of my pictures:

Biking / Running the Mt. Vernon Trail
There was a beautiful paved path along the Potomac River that was only a mile from our condo in Alexandria, VA. One morning Mel and I went running on the path, and another day we rented bikes and rode all the way to the Jefferson Memorial. We figured we rode about 20 miles on the bikes which was so fun.

Memorials and Monuments
I took lots of pictures during the day, but my favorite was seeing everything at night. The only trouble was that I stayed so long to take night pictures that when I finished up at 11:30pm the whole mile and a half between the monuments and my Metro station was dark and empty. I didn’t like the idea of being alone in Washington DC at night with nobody around. Fortunately I avoided being stabbed, shot, or even worse…forced to hang out with politicians.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

DC Or Bust

Me and the Mrs. are heading for Washington DC tomorrow. The week long trip includes no elementary school children. Hence, for one week, we will be able to:
  • Eat meals without having to feed three baby-bird mouths first.
  • Read something besides Strawberry Shortcake books.
  • Sleep in just cause we can.
  • Stay up late just cause we can.
  • Never hear the words "Hola! Soy Dora!"
  • Not have to listen to any tantrums, except the ones that might be thrown while driving in Washington DC.
  • Wake in the morning to something besides the slightly whiny "I'm hungry!"
  • Talk about politicians without having to watch our language.

The funny thing is that after about two days we will miss hearing Dora, getting breakfast for the kids, and reading Strawberry Shortcake. I won't miss having to watch my language about politicians.

Friday, April 10, 2009

100,000 Miles

My car added another digit to the odometer and reached the epic 100,000 miles Wednesday night.

Let me tell you something: I love my car. Love it. We bought the 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage when it was only a year or two old and had around 10k miles. It had a salvage title and we got it for a few thousand dollars. Aside from the occasional oil change, I haven't had to repair or fix anything in those 100,000 miles.

It's not the most fancy or hip car. Most of my friends have nicer rides. I don't care. The cloth seats trap the smell of fast food for a few days enabling me to play "Name That Scent" for up to a week after McDonald's. I don't care. My wife has backed into it at least 4 times that I know of (4 TIMES! And that's just the number of times she has confessed.) Therefore it has a few small dents and dings. I don't care. It's comfortable and gets good gas mileage. I care.

I hope the car goes strong for another 100,000 miles. Smelling 1200 calories from McDonald's is almost as good as eating them. I don't want to ever lose that.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Going Gray

My hair is in the midst of a transition from black to gray. We're still early in the process, and truly I don't care. I think I've earned the gray hairs that are starting to sprout, and I want to keep them.

There was one exception to this statement. I woke up yesterday to witness a mutation of sorts. Somehow in my sleep one hair changed from black to gray. But this solitary hair was also on speed and powered past its peers to grow to twice the size of the other hair counterparts.

That's when I grabbed the tweezers. Gray hair - okay. Gray hair almost long enough to braid - not okay. Here is my likely appearance in two years:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Praying For The Utah Jazz

I love the Utah Jazz. I've only missed watching a few games during the last few years. After being a faithful Jazz fan for so many years, the players feel like family.

I'd feel comfortable having Ronnie Brewer over for a barbeque or going out to dinner with Darren Williams. I'd be happy to go bowling with Paul Millsap or get a Red Bull for Mehmet Okur who always looks like he just woke up from a nap.

Today I fear for my friends, the Utah Jazz. They have broke my heart so many years in a row. It's like an abusive relationship. I love them even though they hurt me, and I keep coming back for more. My fear is based in the knowledge that my heart will be broken again this year. As much as I want to have faith, I know the reality that my brothers don't stand a chance in the playoffs.

There is another harsh reality I understand: even though I will be hurt, my hope and loyalty will renew again next season. Lets join hands, bow our heads, and say a prayer for the Jazz.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Smell My Breath

We ate dinner last night at 2 Fat Guys Pizza. Their chicken-bacon-ranch pizza was the best excessively-calorie-packed-artery-clogging meal I've had in a long time.

After we finished eating we looked over at the girls to see this.....

Danica said to Kylee "Come hear. Smell my breath and see if it stinks." Without hesitation Kylee stood with anxious nostrils and took a deep breath like she was smelling a bouquet of flowers. If I were a betting man, I'd say the odds were high that Danica needed a Tic Tac.