Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

May your life be full of surprises. (Or, “Follow-up to the video I posted earlier.”)

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May your life be full of surprises. (Or, "Follow-up to the video I posted earlier.")

Sunday – 24 August 2014
There’s an adage about being careful what you wish for.

Saturday morning, I was watching cartoons with the girls and decided to check out what was new and exciting on the Internet. One of my stops was, of course, Facebook. I saw that a friend from college, Mark, was taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. (I’d watched this video a few days ago and it put me over the edge about wanting to make a donation to the campaign.) If nothing else, I figured that Mark’s challenge would be entertaining.

As I got ready to watch it, I remember thinking: I know a lot of people who have done this but none of them have put me up for the challenge…

A few seconds in, I heard him challenge me. Well, then. That’s that.

Not being one to back down from a challenge – at least not a worthy one – I decided to “suit up” as Tony Stark said [indirectly] to Bruce Banner. It was just a matter of deciding what to do.

It went something like this:

Challenge: Accepted

.

Namaste.

Thanks to Sara!, Team DiVa, and Steve & Bonne Kelly for helping to have a bit of fun in the name of a good cause.

Just checking something…

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This is merely a test. Please feel free to overlook this post.

Vanessa

End test.

Where in the world…?

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Where in the world...?

Thursday – 21 August 2014
I’ll just go ahead and apologize up front for this post now.

I found the last picture in this post – HEY! No skipping ahead! – a few years ago. It still makes me laugh. I found the other pictures over the past week, while looking for something totally unrelated.

Separately, they all have their amusing points.

Collectively, they tell something of a story.

I imagine it going a little something like this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Namaste.

Suits me.

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Suits me.

Wednesday – 20 August 2014
Suits. It’s no secret that I like them and that I like wearing them. Sure, there are occasions for wearing suits, but for me, said “occasions” are “practically anytime.’” That sentiment is considered “a little” odd for someone working in a non-management position in IT, where the assumed standard is often t-shirt and jeans or, at most, business casual. But, that’s just the way I’m wired.

This morning, I opted to wear my navy pinstripe suit (with white shirt, red jacquard tie, cordovan loafers, and my Superman braces). Just because.

IMG_0003

It's a bird, it's a plane...!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…!

I arrived at the office at the same time as my coworker, Nicole. She noted that I was wearing a suit and that it looked nice – for which I thanked her – and asked if there was any particular reason that I chose to wear a suit. I offhandedly said, “It was clean.” Then I amended that statement with, “…and it’s a day that ends in ‘y.’” She laughed and nodded. A few moments later, we parted company, heading to our respective parts of the office.

A short while later, she sent me the following message:

http://vimeo.com/37855064 – this is the song that came to mind when you commented on your suit. 

I didn’t have a chance to check it out when she sent it. After lunch, I remembered that I had the URL still sitting in a message window. I clicked it and watched. The title, “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit,” made me grin like a fiend. The video itself actually made me laugh.

Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit from Livia Gondim on Vimeo.

…and I might just have a new theme song.

Namaste.

Twenty-one minutes and thirty-eight seconds about Ferguson, Missouri

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Twenty-one minutes and thirty-eight seconds about Ferguson, Missouri

Monday – 18 August 2014
There has been A LOT said about the situation in Ferguson, MO on the air – and on social media – over the past week. I actually think that far too much of it has been the reporting equivalent of static. I’ve intentionally stayed rather absent and quiet about it, trying to glean facts from all of the information/sensationalization.

The bottom line for me is:

  • I am sorry for the senseless loss of Michael Brown’s life.
  • It is wrong for a young man – of ANY race – to be killed for simply being suspected of committing a crime.
  • It’s sad and disheartening that in an age where we (as a society) pat ourselves on the back for being so educated and enlightened, far too many people are still judged simply for their skin color. Or their religious beliefs. Or, even something as mundane as the clothes that they are wearing or patterns of speech.
  • It’s telling when some of the best coverage of the news comes from a news satire show, be it The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, or Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

That said, listen to what Mr. Oliver has to say about the Ferguson, MO debacle and tell me that he doesn’t make sense.

And then listen to this and tell me if it rings true about the state of the media in America, if not the world, today.

Be good to each other. We’re all we have.

Namaste.

Phase III: Complete!

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Phase III: Complete!

Wednesday – 13 August 2014
Last night, in the rain, we finished Phase III of #CrashingOurYard!

I went to Home-Away-From-Home Depot for sod…

Neal before sod!!! (And anyone who didn't expect that just doesn't know me...)

NEAL BEFORE SOD!!! (And anyone who didn’t expect that just doesn’t know me…)

…and, by the end of the evening, we had a new total of 260 square feet of grassy yard!

Instant Grass! (Complete with 2' border for planting)

Instant Grass! (Complete with 2′ border for planting)

And that’s One More Thing: DONE!

Next up: Phase IV - Flagstone patio, which should be the last thing we need to do back there. But, I think we’re going to take (at least) a few nights off before heading up that project. (Arguments could be made that Team DiVa’s play area could be considered “Phase V,” but really it’s just figuring out what toys go there, so I’m good with saying that their area was done when Phase II was done.)

Namaste.

Welcome to Level Seven… I mean “Phase Three.”

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Welcome to Level Seven... I mean "Phase Three."

Tuesday – 12 August 2014
We’ve done it.

We’ve already started on the next two phases of the #CrashingOurYard project. You’d think that after busting our butts for a week and a half, we’d want to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labors from the first two phases of yardwork.

Yes and no.

Sara! and I were talking about how much we’d done and how nice it was to be done… and what we wanted to do with Phase Three and Phase Four. Eventually. Last week was relaxing, given that we didn’t have to rush to get things done after work – and after dinner… after the girls were fed… and in bed. In fact, we had talked about leaving any other work until next spring.

Then, we took a trip to our local Home Depot and looked at some of the things we’d need to make the next parts of the project happen. We realized that what we wanted to do wasn’t terribly difficult, it would just take a bit of time and some work. We started looking at timetables for getting things done.

Over the weekend, we talked with Sara!’s dad about the flagstone from his patio, that he was getting rid of; he said that we were welcome to it. Sunday morning, I picked up the first load and picked up the second load after dinner. It’s currently in an impromptu staging area.

Last night, after work, I headed to Home-Away-From-Home Depot – twice – to pick up twenty pieces of sod. My sister-in-law commented on my second check-in at the ‘Depot:

Melissa: Wait, you finished the back yard. Why do you keep returning to the hardware store?

Me: No, we didn’t finish the back yard. If you go back and read carefully, you’ll see that we just finished the first two phases of the back yard.

I bought twenty pieces, but it turned out that I could only get ten or so pieces in the truck. Thus, two trips. I brought the first ten pieces home; Sara and I started arranging them. I took a quick break to watch a couple Schoolhouse Rock cartoons with Team DiVa, before they went to bed. Then, I went back to Home Depot for the second set of ten pieces; we laid those out in the dark.

I went out this morning to get a few pictures of our progress:

photo 2

Wait… is that… grass?!

photo 3

By Jove! That is, indeed, grass!

As a frame of reference, here’s what that section looked like before Sunday evening:

It's the section between the fence post and the tree.

It’s the section between the fence post on the left and the tree.

Depending on the weather (and little girls’ temperaments), I’ll be picking up the last eight (give or take) pieces of sod, to finish off Phase Three.

To quote Cyborg: Booyah!

Namaste.

“Up, up, and away…”

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"Up, up, and away..."

Sunday – 10 August 2014
Saturday morning, Sara!, Team DiVa and I got up (far too early for a weekend) and went to see the Sandy Hot Air Balloon Festival.

IMG_0156

 

To see more pictures, click here.

Namaste.

“Crashing My Yard” or “How I Spent the Past Week-and-a-Half After Work”

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"Crashing My Yard" or "How I Spent the Past Week-and-a-Half After Work"

Monday - 04 August 2014
Over the past week and a half, Sara! and I undertook steps to transform our yard from “Wow, you actually call that a yard” to something that would be functional as the setting for the wedding of a couple of our friends.We had to make at least half of our yard – nearly 800 square feet of space – which we had effectively let go into something that was both not an eyesore, but was also usable.

How would we make this happen?

  • By getting truckloads of dirt from the construction site around the corner from our house to fill in the depression that was left under the spot where the gazebo we tore down in 2012 formerly stood.
  • By getting a LOT – nearly four (4) cubic yards – of mulch.
  • By putting in a lot of hard work.

In a move that may have been inspired by my affinity for DIY Network, I started referring to this as #CrashingMyYard. I even tagged my favorite Yard Crasher, Ahmed Hassan, in a couple of Tweets. (He even responded to a couple of them!) Unlike the Yard Crashers show, we had neither a TV host/professional landscaping contractor nor a motley crew of people helping on this; it was just Sara! and me – with occasional help from Team DiVa – doing the work.

We borrowed a friend’s pick-up truck, so that we could haul dirt and mulch. We felt that would be much easier – and potentially less back-breaking – than trying to do it all in wheelbarrows and/or Sara’s car. And, far less messy, too. Friday (25 July 2014) after work, I headed to the construction site around the corner from our house to get fill dirt; Sara had secured permission from the site foreman earlier in the week. After spending what felt like an eternity filling the bed of the truck, I drove it around the corner and backed into the yard to unload it and start filling the pit left from The Great Gazebo Demolition of 2012.

Saturday morning, I woke up, had a bite to eat and headed to the site for more dirt. I unloaded about half of it before I needed to leave for a prior engagement; Sara unloaded the rest. Saturday night, more of the same. By the time it was all said and done, we’d filled, compacted and leveled the hole.

Sunday saw the first of far too many trips to Home Depot for mulch. I brought home twenty-one (21) bags that night. By the way, one bag of mulch, not so heavy. Twenty-one? Heavy. And, to make things even better: After I’d loaded the last bag into the truck, about ten bags on the display decided that they didn’t want to be part of the display anymore. *sigh* So, I had to pick them up and put them back in some semblance of order.

By Monday night, following another Home Depot run, the first third of the yard was mulched. Tuesday, about two-fifths. Wednesday, we changed things up a bit, installing a new fence post, with the kind assistance of my father-in-law. (We had a double-door gate that never seemed “just right,” so we took it down to one door and a gate-turned-fence section.) Thursday, after another trip to the ‘Depot, we enlisted the “help” of the girls to put down more landscaping fabric and mulch. Friday, I made the last trip for mulch and by nightfall, there was just one small section left to mulch on Saturday.

Saturday brought lawn mowing, some general clean-up, spreading the last bits of mulch and securing the fence section to the new post.

Sunday, we were ready for a wedding. And it was good.

IMG_0141

The Yard.

Click here to see pictures of the overall process, from start to finish.

Last night, after the festivities were done and the girls were down for the night, Sara! and I sat outside in our newly landscaped yard and enjoyed the evening air. With cocktails, of course.

This was a lot of work, but was very much worth it. And gave us a massive boost in the direction that we want to take the yard, which includes, but isn’t necessarily limited to:

  • Grinding down three stumps (there was just no time for it with this go-round),
  • Creating a flagstone patio in one third,
  • Sodding the middle third of the mulched area, and
  • Creating a playspace for the girls in the last (not-quite) third.

Some of that might have to wait until next Spring, but, we are very happy with where the yard is at this point.

Namaste.

“You said it yourself: We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy!”

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"You said it yourself: We're the Guardians of the Galaxy!"

Saturday – 02 August 2014
I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Thursday night.

Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_46

I’ve been eagerly anticipating this movie for about a year. At the same time, I have also hoped that it would not only be a good movie, but also a good fit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the same way that I did for Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen Suckage and Man of Steel this is going to be a two-part review:

  1. The first part will be more of a synopsis and spoiler-free.
  2. The second part will be more in-depth and might contain a spoiler or two.

Consider yourselves duly warned.

Part One: Synopsis
I enjoyed this movie. It’s a great space action movie with a fair bit of humor thrown in. To quote my friend, Brad:

My thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy: The cast is amazing, Dave Bautista was one of my favorites, but I’d have to say Chris Pratt has a screen presence not seen since the Will Smith action films of the 90s. This movie is the Han Solo movie you would have dreamed of in younger, more optimistic days.

That is about as pure – and succinct – a description as I can think of for the film.

gotg-logogotg-logogotg-logogotg-logogotg-logogotg-logogotg-logogotg-logogotg-logo

Part Two: In-Depth Observations

And now, for the more detailed look at the film.

I had a great time watching this movie. The only other feature of James Gunn’s that I had seen was Slither, which I rather enjoyed. Mr. Gunn did a fantastic job of bringing a team of somewhat obscure characters from the Marvel Comic Universe to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As to the (major) performers:

  • Chris Pratt: I liked his portrayal of Peter Quill, a mid-30′s guy from Earth… who, to quote James T. Kirk is : “…from [Earth]. I only work in outer space.” Quill is a man who’s charted his own course as something of a rogue and is quite happy doing his thing – and occasionally “the right thing” – and going about his business. Something that I didn’t expect was seeing how well he would emote the rare glimpses of Quill’s sense of loss and how he expressed it.
  • Zoe Saldana: While I think that I’ve seen Gamora in a comic or three over the years, I can’t say that she really stuck in my head. If I was going to pick a reference with which I’m familiar, I’d have to go with the HeroClix figure that came out in the “Secret Invasion” set. She was pretty badass. I’d heard tales of Gamora in the comics as well. Again, badass.

    Watching Ms. Saldana’s performance, I didn’t feel the sense of “The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe,” aside from others’ reactions to her. This was through no fault in acting. If anything, I would say that it was a slight lack of bodies that needed killing. She did come off as resourceful and a very adept fighter, though. I did enjoy learning her motivations for her actions in the movie, as well as her turn from “villain” to (anti-)hero.

  • Dave Bautista: I know that Mr. Bautista is a wrestler. That is pretty much the sum of my knowledge of the man… until seeing this movie. That said, I really enjoyed his Drax. His character wore his motivations on his sleeve. Wait. Shirtless. Um… on his… shoulders? Waistband? Boot heel? However you choose to put it, it was there. Drax was a man with a singular purpose: To exact revenge against the man who wronged him. Even to the point of somewhat reckless abandon. And, as far as his line delivery? Golden. And he was just fun to watch.
  • Vin Diesel: I made a joke on Four-Color Coverage a few weeks back about people giving Vin Diesel flak about a/another wooden role. I’d say they’re barking up the wrong tree. (Yes, I thought about just how bad that was as I typed it and decided “I don’t care.”) You’d be amazed at just how much feeling a person can wring out of just three words, with a little inflection.
  • Bradley Cooper: As if “gun-toting talking raccoon” wasn’t enough, Bradley Cooper did a good job of bringing the smart-assed and occasionally trigger-happy Rocket to life. A lot of people expected him to steal the show, and while I won’t say that he necessarily stole it, he was definitely in on the heist.

On the antagonist side of the equation…

  • Karen Gillan – In the comics, Nebula is rumored to be the grand-daughter 0f Thanos; in this incarnation, she’s his “daughter”. And she has some daddy issues… as well as a couple of sibling rivalry issues. Ms. Gillan did a fine job of portraying Ronan’s lieutenant with a sense of dread ability and purpose.

    And at no time would you associate her with Amy Pond. Ever.

  • Djimon Hounsou – Unfortunately, Korath didn’t get a lot of screen time, but his determination in his dogged pursuit of Peter Quill made it apparent that his title, “The Pursuer,” was well-earned. And, let’s face it, Djimon Hounsou has yet to disappoint in a role.
  • Lee Pace – Ronan the Accuser. Man with a big ax to grind hammer to smash against the Nova Empire. His primary motivation was also one of revenge, and his role as Thanos’ right hand afforded him the opportunity to exact said revenge.

    If I had a complaint, it would be that the build-up of Ronan didn’t quite live up to what we got. In my opinion, he was (slightly) underutilized, in much the same way that Darth Maul was in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. He had a great presence, and in his fight scenes, presented a formidable foe, but in the end… seemed to fall a little too quickly/easily.

  • Josh Brolin – Thanos. This is another role that I’ve seen in which Mr. Brolin was not “there,” having been supplanted by the character he was portraying. (For me, the most recent notable role was his turn as the young Agent K in Men In Black 3.) And his Thanos was well-represented. I hope that Marvel is driving his character in the direction of acquiring the Infinity Gauntlet and that we get to see “The Mad Titan” in action.

And a couple of the cameos…

  • Glenn Close – She was fun to watch as Nova Prime. You bore the mantle of leadership well. (Of course, I could have just succintly put it: “Glenn Close. ‘Nuff said.”)
  • John C. Reilly – I’ve long been on the fence about Mr. Reilly, only recently seeing him in roles in which I’ve really appreciated his everyman. This is one of those roles. We got to see a facet of his character in trailers over the past year, but in the full feature, we got to know a little more about his character, Corpsman Dey.
  • Michael Rooker – This was not the Yondu I expected to see, but it was nevertheless a very fun Yondu to watch. And, to be fair: There was more than “a little” Merle Dixon in there, which also added to this characterization’s appeal.
  • Benicio Del Toro – We got to see a little behind-the-curtain of The Collector’s day-to-day life  - he’s fairly demanding and not always a nice person. But, he loves… reveres… his collection. And his reaction to a possible new addition to it – sheer glee/giddiness – was excellently portrayed. By the way, be sure to stay after the credits to see one of the more “unusual” pieces in said collection.
  • Nathan Fillion – If you can pick out his cameo, good on you. It’s pretty funny and one that I would not have guessed, had I not been tipped off to “who” he was, beforehand.

One of the best things about this movie: No single character was the tentpole. James Gunn did a fine job of balancing an ensemble cast. Everyone on the team had a good amount of screen time and everyone had something to contribute. In talking with a few people, we agreed that Marvel now has two people in their stable – Gunn and Joss Whedon – who can direct ensemble pieces and make them work.

Clocking in at a full two hours – actually, two hours and one minute – the movie never felt like it dragged. The slower, dramatic scenes were well-paced and the action scenes, at least to me, didn’t seem like they were overly long. I saw it in IMAX 3D and was glad that I did. The 3D wasn’t used just to throw things at the audience, although there were enough splodey bits to be flung at viewers. It was utilized to enhance the environment and give it depth of field, much like in Avatar. And it came off beautifully.

In summation, I will say that the movie was a great ride and would have made an excellent Fourth of July weekend release. Go see it. And if you have the opportunity to see it in IMAX 3D, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money to do so.

Namaste.

It’s the post that never ends…

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It's the post that never ends...

Tuesday – 15 July 2014 Thursday – 24 July 2014
A new week is upon us now two days old.
An even newer week is upon us… and is almost over.

That’s right, this is a post that’s been so delayed and off-put that it’s taken over a week to complete. I’m just going to leave the core of the original post in place and just append the newest additions to the end of it. Because I can.

Tw0 weekends past This was a good weekend. We kicked it off Friday evening with the Deer Valley Music Festival – Utah Symphony performed the music of John Williams. And, as if they knew that I was in the audience, they opened the concert with Superman March. The concert wasn’t solely Williams’ music;  Team DiVa even heard a song that they recognized: On the Beautiful Blue Danube, which they know from their Classical Baby DVDs. After the concert and after the girls were in bed, I played ‘Clix with coworker Adam… until the wee hours of the morning.

Which made for a short sleep cycle on Saturday, as little girls bounded into our room before 8 AM. I spent the better part of the day with them, as it was Sara!’s Saturday to play. This included letting them watch The Lion King... which lead to Vanessa singing I Just Can’t Wait To Be King Begin.

All. Night. Long.

It was more funny than annoying.

That Sunday, we got up and went to breakfast at Millcreek Cafe and Eggworks. Then it was off to run a few errands and then back home to get ready for our annual ice cream social. This year, we had more kids than we have in the past. We also prepared for this with: Ice cream cones! I am happy to report that the cones were not only a hit, but were utilized with minimal spillage!

Ten days ago Yesterday was Monday. ‘Nuff said.

This past weekend, we headed up to Idaho to celebrate Sara!’s grandmother’s 90th birthday, which was actually last November. But, as it fell right before the holidays, the family decided to hold off until (nearly) everyone would be available to convene and celebrate it. So, this summer was chosen as the “when” and central Idaho was chosen as the “where.”

I like traveling. Granted, I haven’t done a lot of it in the past few years, but I do enjoy it. With toddlers being added to the mix, there are things that you learn and accommodations that must be made in travel arrangements. Things like: Potty breaks. Before children, pit stops and bathroom breaks only occurred once every couple of hours, if that often. With kids who are on the tail-end of potty training, these breaks become more of an “ad-hoc” thing. And the ad-hoc can be pretty damned often. Case in point:

  • Sara and I have made the same trip, before kids, in a little over five hours.
  • This trip (to Idaho, at least) took roughly 7.5 hours, including six (6) bathroom stops – a couple of which I don’t even want to talk about – and a stop for dinner.
  • The trip back was about six hours – with only one stop for a potty emergency.

The trip itself was fun, though brief. We got in late Friday evening; Sara! scored us wonderful accommodations, via AirBnB. We stayed in what was effectively a mother-in-law apartment of a home overlooking the Salmon River — the river was about 50′ from our bedroom patio door:

airbnb

IMG_0160

This also offered Team DiVa the opportunity to throw rocks into the river, which they did with great aplomb.

Saturday, we spent the day with the family – aunts, uncles, cousins, kith an kin. And Sara’s  grandmother, of course.

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Sara made a quilt for the occasion, with hand-signed/stamped/imprinted pieces from everyone  - except the newest addition (within the past few months) – in the family:

IMG_0150

It was nice to have a chance to visit with everyone. That evening, we headed back to the apartment to put the girls to bed (well past their usual bedtime). Sunday morning, we woke up, got dressed, packed and hit the road… back into town, for breakfast. We ate at the Tea Cup Cafe & Bakery. It was an unexpectedly refreshing place. And, I would have to agree with the high ratings on Yelp.

On the way back to SLC, we stopped in Arco, ID. Why? Because there’s a submarine sail there. Why? Okay, that one, I can’t really answer.

USS Hawkbill (SSN-666)

After that, we stopped at EBR-1 for the Team DiVa’s first nuclear power plant field trip.

ebr1

No, it didn’t trigger any latent X-genes or metagenes. Unfortunately. They had a ball. We made it back home without too much incident.

Stray Toasters

  • Today is Pioneer Day in Utah.
  • Today is also National Tequila Day.
  • I find it highly amusing that the two fall on the same day.
  • On a recent trip to the party supply store, we bought superhero masks for the girls, in four different colors. Why? To keep them from stealing mine. Because they liked them. Earlier this week, they decided to wear them in the car on their way to day care.
    20140723_173552
    Sara! asked who they were.
    Diana (green mask) said, “Green Lantern!”  (Yeah, definitely my kid.)
    Vanessa (blue mask): “Somersault!”
    (Backstory: A couple days ago, their Aunt Jen was teaching them to do somersaults in the back yard. I guess it made something of an impression.)
  • I finished listening to Stranger in a Strange Land last week; it was the first time I’ve read/listened to the book in at least ten years. I read something recently that posited that Jubal Harshaw, not Valentine Michael Smith, was actually the protagonist of the book. Looking back, I can see some validity to that argument.
  • Plum Stitch. If you haven’t been there, go now. I’ll wait right here until you get back.
  • I introduced the girls to Smashmouth’s Walking on the Sun this morning last week. It went over well.
  • Coworker Brad and I have been recasting movies and TV shows today. It’s helped to make the day pass rather quickly.
  • I’ve found that watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with the girls isn’t so bad.
    What is bad: When the vershluggen theme song pops into your head as an earworm.
  • One week ’til Guardians of the Galaxy. Tickets have been acquired.

That’s all. For now.

Namaste.

“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…”

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Friday – 11 July 2014
Just a reminder: Not only does the weekend begin today, but it’s also 7-Eleven Day.

But, as it’s (almost) the weekend, let’s set the mood:

Get your weekend #grooveboogiesway on.

amsterdam-weekend-guide

Namaste.

“Oh, Thank Heaven…”

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"Oh, Thank Heaven..."

Friday – 11 July 2014
It’s 7-Eleven Day.

 

I trust you to act accordingly.

Namaste.

Testing…

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Testing...

Saturday – 28 June 2014
Just testing out a new cross-posting plugin.

Sara!, the girls, and I have a 5k in the morning… in a few hours. I really should be in bed. More to the point, I should have been in bed at least half-an-hour ago. And, it’s not like this isn’t going to be a long day:

  • Young Living Farms’ Run Through The Lavender 5k at 7:00 AM. This will be our fifth year (!) doing this event. It will also be our slowest time, as the girls will be walking with us, rather than being pushed in a stroller or carried.
  • War Of Light (Month 1) HeroClix Tournament at noon. I get to play in this one, rather than judging it.
  • A friend’s daughter’s birthday party.
  • Another friend’s cook-out.

I’d be amazed if I’m even nominally coherent by the time the girls go to bed. I wouldn’t be surprised if my field of vision was reduced to this:

Not surprised at all. *shrug* I might just go to bed at the same time they do.

Okay, bed.

Namaste.

“Ponies don’t have hands.”

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"Ponies don't have hands."

Wednesday – 25 June 2014
Totally missed “Team DiVa Tuesday” (again) yesterday. Hopefully, this will make up for it:

Hanging out at Wheeler Historic Farm

Hanging out at Wheeler Historic Farm

On the tiger statue at Hogle Zoo

On the tiger statue at Hogle Zoo

On the elephant statue at Hogle Zoo

On the elephant statue at Hogle Zoo

Oh, and John V. might want to stop reading now…

Is he gone?  Okay.

The girls have taken a pretty strong liking to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, since being introduced to it about a month ago. Last night was Vanessa’s night to choose what they watched before bedtime and she chose…. dun dun DUNNNNN…. MLP. No problem.

I found the first season on Netflix and fired up the first episode. (Why not start at the beginning, after all?) This episode introduces the main ponies and how they met. That’s pretty good for a first episode.

During the scene where Twilight Sparkle meets Applejack – yes, I actually have gotten to know the ponies’ names. I’ll just chalk this up to what my mother calls being a “Commendable Daddy.” –  Applejack takes Twilight’s hoof and starts shaking it, vigorously. Diana, at this point, looked up and rather nonchalantly noted: “Ponies don’t have hands,” and then continued to watch the rest of the episode.

Sara and I just kind of stared at each other, with a “Did she really just say that…?!” expression on our faces.

Proud parents. :)

Namaste.