Saturday, May 31, 2008

We Owe it all to our Xbox

Due to high demand and even higher price, we did not invest in the Guitar Hero game last year. We were able to pick up the much cheaper and readily available Sousaphone Hero for Gunnar. He was very verbally disappointed, but who is laughing now.

Gunnar in Uniform.
Marching in the parade.
Playing the horn loud and proud at the football game. Louie Louie all the way.
Oh Yeah Baby! The sousaphone is making a comeback!!!

Another great dog photo

Are you visiting the blog Nothing To Do With Arbroath? It is updated daily with quirky stories and odd photo's. I am rarely disappointed when I visit.

Arbroath is a little town in Scotland, and as they say the blog has nothing to do with it.

Home Gym - The Slosh Pipe

I am slowly building a home gym with state of the art equipment. After seeing an article by Dan John on my favorite lifting site, I decided to make a slosh pipe.

First get a 10 foot length of 4 inch PVC pipe.

Then you need two end caps. Mine are removable because that is important here for winter. I do have a picture of the other end cap, but trust me - it looks exactly the same.You cap one end and fill the pipe 2/3rds full of water. The you cap the other end. It weighs approximately 40 pounds, but because the water can move it is very unstable.

Here is Gunnar picking it up.
And here he is getting ready to tip over.
When you get a little stronger you can progress to walking with it, walking with it overhead, all the squat variations, overhead press, cleans, etc. It is very versatile, and surprisingly an extremely taxing workout. A total body workout for 30 bucks.

It is kept outside and the cold winter air will freeze the water, expand, and then crack the pipe. Hence I will drain it.

Testing out the Camera

Self-portrait of my girls.
One of our better investments, the grand piano. As you can read on Lisa's blog, our boys are doing very well with their lessons.

Parker sleeping on the floor.
Lisa looking ridiculously thin. Must be the angle :-)

Spending the Stimulus - David

I wasn't quite exciting as Lisa, but I did spend a little on myself with the stimulus package. I bought a three pack of these very exciting socks. They are black athletic socks that go over the calf. Perfect for work. Sweet!
I also picked up two white shirts. While my office has gone casual all year round now, I still find I need to wear a white shirt on occasion. Rarely church though. I find a coloured shirt helps to avoid responsibility for some strange reason. Go figure.
Then my big purchase was a CAnon digital camera. This thing is about the size of a deck of cards and takes some awesome pictures. Now when I see some black twizzlers on the side of the road, I will have the proof.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Make The Call

I was riding my bike to work this morning when a light drizzle started. I have a leather bike seat and I didn't want that to sit out in the rain all day so I was wishing I had a plastic shopping bag to cover my seat with when I got to work.

Not 10 seconds later what do I find on the side of the road?

That's right, a plastic bag.

So - divine intervention or just a coincidence???

I passed it by but stopped and went back; because I really needed one and what if it was divine intervention? God may be thinking I will give him untold millions but let's test him first and see if he really will accept all the gifts I want to give him.

Either way the rain went away and now it is a sunny day.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Conversations with Cenny

Me: So Cenny, are you going to show off your Sexy Clavicles today?
Cenny: Dad (make it last three syllables) You are so disgusting.

A 5 second pause.

Cenny: What are clavicles?
Lisa: It is your collarbone.
Cenny: Oh, well that isn't disgusting - never mind.

I then asked about her phalanges.

I am getting rich

That's right, I have found another penny. That makes a grand total of 2 cents.
I did see in the wooded space behind the parking lot at work a doe and her very new fawn. The little guy was barely walking and could only have been a few days old.
Lastly, I have noticed that on sunny days about 7 people her at Corporate office bike commute, and I often pass around a dozen more in town on my way. Today in the rain - just me. People are not dedicated to the cause. Steve expressed a possible desire to ride but feels his 5 miles is too much. Our work magazine had an article about a guy in one of our outside facilities who rides 18 miles in each day. That is awesome. It almost makes me wish I lived farther away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A New Family First

Our boys have been working overtime. First we have a call from Gunnar's teacher letting us know he had been written up for removing his pants in class - his excuse - "I thought it would be funny."

Today we get a call from the POLICE concerning Qatar.

Life lesson, just because something looks abandon, doesn't mean you can break it for fun. Qatar was with a group of kids when two of them decided to destroy a display sign. He didn't actually break anything but he was there with them all the same.

The jury, so to speak, is still out on this case.

Things I Have Found So Far

I have been bike commuting for three days now. So far so good as I figure I am saving about three dollars per day in gas. So now that I am out and about I am finding interesting things on the road. Just today I picked up a penny - woo hoo!

I have seen people who keep track of all the money they find as runners or cyclists, and I am always amazed by the totals. Well, I have to start somewhere so current grand total of money found is 1 cent. (I do remember on the paper route that Gunner found a five dollar bill once).

I have seen in the ditch near my office an unopened bag of black Twizzlers. Fortunately, or unfortunately I do not really care for Twizzlers, so I have not bothered to pick them up.

Did you know it is next to impossible to find a decent picture of full size black Twizzlers in a bag online. I thought everything was available.

The last thing I have found is a sore butt, and a Google image search did turn up all kinds of interesting things, but none really appropriate.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Spending the Stimulus - Lisa

Lisa always likes to bike during the summer, and since the cheap box store model she did have didn't last very long and was difficult to ride, she didn't ride it much. When she decided to get a new bike I did my hard sell for an Electra Townie. They are pretty, well made, and really comfortable to ride. We went for a test ride and she was sold. Electra's have the pedals set forward of the seat post so you can have your feet flat on the ground while sitting on the seat.

Now for the Bike Porn (you have to read cycling blogs to appreciate that)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Family Traditions - Scottish Festival

Every year Bonnie and Lisa travel up to the Scottish Festival. They run a booth making balloon shapes in exchange for free admission. Most years I am unable to attend, but this year worked out. As you all probably know we have Scottish roots all over :-) Lisa falls under both the Murray Clan on her Mom's sided and the Bruce Clan on her father's. I have some ties to the MacGregor Clan on my Dad's side. No kilt for me this year, maybe next if I can bring myself to fork over the cash.

Anyways, here is one of the 7 pipe marching bands.

Cenny and Zeke visiting all the Clan displays.
Cenny, the fashion princess, all done up in her Highland best.

JT and Cade as Scottish pirates.
Lisa the balloon wrangler.
All five plus Gunnar's history book. He receives extra credit in class if he has a picture with the book at least 50 miles away.
JT and Qatar with a 17 day old calf. It was born at 81 pounds.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Parker versus Hamster

The In-Laws Ice Call

Ric & Eileen have got the new mission call and they are off to Iceland this September.
Little known fact - Iceland is under three feet of water during the summer.

Of course during the winter everything is frozen, including the buildings which they make out of ice.
Of course Rick & Eileen are pretty tough and should handle it fine. Did I mention that Iceland is also famous for having very pretty women. It also has the world famous Icelandic Phallological Museum and Bjork. I am not sure if those three things are related or not. I supposed Rick & Eileen will find out.

Our Totally Awesome Summer Vacation

Lisa and I decided that this was the year that we were going to go on a romantic summer vacation WITHOUT the kids. It was going to be awesome and given that we have been married almost 18 years (long long years as Lisa just said to me), it is about time.

Enter the city government. Below is one of our sidewalks. We live on a corner so we have another whole length around the front.

If you click on the photograph to enlarge it you will see pink X's. The city decided this was the year houses on our street got new sidewalks. An X means it has to be replaced. That wouldn't be so bad if they were paying for it, or if we didn't live on a corner. Each X means $92 and we had 19 of them. There is our bloody vacation, all $2000's of it.

Where I Have Been

My Dad had been feeling a little pain in the chest coupled with shortness of breath. Just a few weeks later they had him opened up for a double bypass. I was able to go down and spend a few days before the surgery and three days after. I was worried my Mom would have to sit in the waiting room alone, but it turned out the hospital staff never left you alone more than a few minutes. Then when it started quieting down their friends started to arrive. Anyways all went well and below you can see some pictures from the second and third days.

Here he is sitting up and not wanting to keep his eyes open. Overall he was a bit sore and tired - Wonder why.

These machines were keeping the twelve different IV bags flowing.
This is the morning of the third day. Much more animated in the face while he was talking. He had been in the chair but they took him for a walk down the hallway and then did an EKG. So it had been a long morning and he was getting ready to take another nap.
Notice above he was down to three IV's. My Parents at the same time. Shortly after this I began my ride home, with all the salt containing foods my Mom had cleaned out of the house.
So the surgery was on Monday morning and here we are on Friday and he is already home. Simply amazing.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Somethings Do Not Add Up

Just because you are from England, like movies, and are Mormon, it doesn't mean you will like English Mormon movies (yes, they do exist).The plot was a little contrived and the lead actor sounded if he was trying to do a George Bush impression the whole time. Anyways, if you meet the above criteria liking movies, England, and Mormons, then you might want to give Piccadilly Cowboy a try. Just make sure it is on the cheap rentals.

The One Where I Died

I had been sick with swollen glands and a sore throat, so I was already feeling like crap. As I was walking out to the garage to get into my truck, I stepped to the left off the top, totally missing the stairs. I fell forward the 4 feet or so and crashed into the floor and Lisa's mini-van.

I laid there a while and made sure nothing was broken. Other than a sore back from crashing all my bodyweight onto my left leg from that height, I was all right.

I then went to work wherein my computer network card crashed and died. As most of you are probably in the same situation, no computer means you are not working. So there was another 2 hour delay as I went to the IT department and got another card.

When I got back to my desk I realized my office was doing their disaster drill (in these parts that means a tornado) and I had just missed it. Thats right, died in the mock tornado.
Just another crappy day in suck city.

PS-Please disregard the mess in the garage. Winter just ended and we have not cleaned it yet. Trust me, no one spends time keeping the garage clean when it is 25 degrees below sero.