Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Say what, now?!

everyday glory, kids, music 3 Comments »
Say what, now?!

Friday – 29 June 2012
I don’t think that most people need something incredibly cute to get their Friday going… because, well, it’s Friday. That, in and of itself, is a cause celebre.

But, for those of you who could use a morning pick-me-up, I have just the thing for you:

Team DiVa Adventures – “Baby”

That’s right: Vanessa has a new word: “Baby.”

Between this and the girls’ crawling (1, 2), I am constantly reminded of this song, by Bobby McFerrin:

Have a great Friday and a fantastic weekend!


Nope, *still* not Belgium.

art, comics and animation, computers, event, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, health, kids, LEGO and Rokenbok, music, politics and law, space, style and fashion, the world, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, zombies 6 Comments »
Nope, *still* not Belgium.

Tuesday – 26 June 2012
I want to go on the record as saying that having twins who are crawling and cruising is:

  • Fun,
  • Entertaining, and
  •  A little tiring

Often, they both head in the same vector. However, those times when they don’t…? Let’s just say that I’m getting an inkling of what it’s like to be an NHL goaltender.

Over the weekend, we made a day trip to Cedar City to see my brother-in-law, John, who spent a week in Las Vegas. Being so relatively close, we decided to meet for lunch before he headed back to Baltimore and give him a chance to meet his nieces:

Diana, hanging out with Uncle John

Vanessa and Uncle John

Diana and John hit it off almost immediately; Vanessa decided to scope him out a bit before deciding that he was alright.

Stray Toasters


Adventure Babies – “Anything you can do…”

everyday glory, kids 3 Comments »
Adventure Babies - "Anything you can do..."

Friday – 22 June 2012
Yesterday, I posted a couple of videos of Diana crawling.

Sara! and I figured that it would be “a while” before Vanessa followed in her sister’s proverbial footsteps. After all, she has seemed fairly content to either sit where she is or (as is more often the case) have someone carry her to her destination.

Case in point:

Vanessa Contemplates Crawling
Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download


That last clip looked like Vanessa… crawled.  On her own.  That can’t be right.

I need to see that again. Or, better yet, I need more proof!

Well, look at that…
Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download

Yep. Time to batten down the hatches: Team DiVa can crawl.

Team DiVa Adventures: “Oh, the places you’ll go…” [VIDEO]

everyday glory, kids No Comments »
Team DiVa Adventures: "Oh, the places you'll go..." [VIDEO]

Thursday – 21 June 2012
As I’ve noted, Diana and Vanessa have hit the “cruising” phase – toddling while holding on to people or things – in their “learning to get around on our own” development. It’s been fun watching them as they explore. On the other hand, both girls have more or less eschewed crawling.

Until today:

Adventure Babies: Diana on the Move
Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download

Diana and Vanessa have both shown a fascination with my watches, to the point of even trying to eat them… while I’m still wearing them. My LEGO watch is particularly attractive to them as it is brightly colored.

This morning, while Diana was cruising around the coffee table, she spotted the LEGO watch. I tossed it to the other side of the room, near the girls’ car seats. A few minutes later, I had to sit Diana down so that I could do something. What I hadn’t counted on was that she would glance around and see the watch… and go after it.  But, she did. With gusto.

Of course, I needed to prove that it wasn’t a fluke happenstance. So, I moved the watch – which didn’t please the little miss – and then moved her. The results:

Diana on the Move – Round 2
Right-click or ctrl-click this link to download

Yep, life around here is about to get even more interesting.

“Style, it’s like a second cousin to class…”

business and economy, comics and animation, computers, education, everyday glory, food for thought, health, history, house and home, human of the day, LEGO and Rokenbok, people, politics and law, science and technology, space, style and fashion, workout 3 Comments »
"Style, it's like a second cousin to class..."

Wednesday – 20 June 2012
The summer solstice has arrived.
And it’s new comics Wednesday.
And it’s Pasta and Movie Date Night.

Quite frankly, I think that sounds like “Win” all the way around.

Yesterday was a good day. With the able assistance of Dave and Steve, I was able to pick up some drywall – twelve sheets of it – get it home, bring it in (through a basement window that Steve removed) and put it in place for hanging. All told, it took a little over an hour-and-a-half, including the time it took to attach and detach Dave’s trailer to his Jeep. I offer up a huge “Thank you” to Steve and Dave for their time and effort.  And, I’m counting drywall-schlepping as yesterday’s workout, to boot!

Chew on This: Food for Thought
This is a series of blog posts from a local woman (with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is important to the story), who encountered less-than-stellar – and more importantly, less-than-decent – treatment when she attempted to go shopping with her guide dog this past week:

  1. Disappointed in Ann Taylor
  2. Sharing
  3. Finding Lemonade

Stray Toasters


“I wish that I could live it all again…”

books, business and economy, comics and animation, computers, cyberpunk/steampunk, everyday glory, food for thought, geekery, history, kids, movies and TV, music, robots and AI, space, the world No Comments »
"I wish that I could live it all again..."

Tuesday – 19 June 2012
This morning, Sector 2814 (at least the portion of it that contains our living room) is being protected by two members of the Justice League:

Vanessa, as a rookie Green Lantern

Diana, as Batgirl-in-Training (complete with her own… um… Bat-saucer)

Shortly after these pictures were taken, the mini-Leaguers decided to do some combat training (also known as: “Using Daddy as a climbing toy”). Since they are both cruising – and not always wanting to go in the same direction – this taxed my abilities to keep both of them in arm’s reach. Fortunately, Bonne was here to help keep up with them.

Stray Toasters


Two things

art, business and economy, computers, event, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, house and home, science and technology, workout No Comments »
Two things

Monday – 18 June 2012
This will be a brief post, but there are two important things that bear noting:

  1. Today is my sister-in-law, Melissa’s, birthday.

    (c) 2011 – Amanda Nelson Photography

    This is particularly important because for the past two years, I neglected to mention it… leading to two instances of “Melissa Kelly Week.”

  2. The debris from the gazebo tear-down has been removed, courtesy of the SL County dumpster that was placed just across the street from the house… and some very welcome help from my father-in-law. I’m qualifying it as today’s workout.

Stray Toasters
Okay, okay… we’ll throw a couple of these in, too:

And done.


Father’s Day 2012

art, business and economy, event, everyday glory, exhibits, games, history, IKEA, kids, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, music, space, style and fashion, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »

Sunday – 17 June 2012
It’s my first Father’s Day. And, so far, it’s been quite good.

I’d like to wish a “Happy Father’s Day” to the fathers out there, as well.

The day started with Team DiVa waking up at 7:00. It was slightly earlier than I had wanted to get up, but that’s the way it goes with twin-fants. That was followed by breakfast and play time, which translates (roughly) as: “Climb all over Mommy and Daddy Time.” But, they are cute. And learning to walk:

…so that helps make it a lot more bearable. (And, despite the workout, it’s fun.)

I’m not sure what the middle of the day holds, but I’m hoping for a trip to the Garden of Sweden.  This evening, we’re having Sara!’s parents over for dinner. And tonight, there may be some gaming: I’ve had an itch to play/finish LEGO: Batman.

Stray Toasters

Team DiVa will be up from their nap soon, so I should probably wrap this up.

The Green… Nightlight?

comics and animation, computers, dining and cuisine, event, everyday glory, games, geekery, health, history, kids, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, robots and AI, science and technology, space, the world, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
The Green... Nightlight?

Thursday – 14 June 2012
Not only is it another NBN Thursday in the valley, but today is also Flag Day.

In Team DiVa news: The girls apparently want to skip crawling and go straight to walking:

Vanessa (l) and Diana

They are “cruising,” where they’ll hold onto something and attempt to use it to toddle around. But, anything that makes a sound sometimes distracts them, which leads to a problem with that pesky “balance” thing that they haven’t managed to overcome yet… and most often winds up with a gravity-induced sitting down.

Diana will… pseudo-crawl… but that’s usually only under duress and/or to get closer to someone who will hopefully pick her up. Go figure.

Last night, Sara! (a.k.a. “She Who Still Rules”) and I watched John Carter (not to be confused with Coach Carter) for Movie Date Night.

I haven’t read Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars yet, so I don’t know how faithful or far afield the movie’s plot was from the source material. But, it was an enjoyable film. Yes, we did wind up MST3K-ing parts, but… *shrug*… what’re ya gonna do?

Stray Toasters

“Carve away the stone…”

education, everyday glory, family and friends, football, health, kids, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, music, science and technology, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, workout, zombies No Comments »
"Carve away the stone..."

Wednesday – 13 June 2012
Middle of the week means new comics and Pasta and Movie Date Night. I’m good with both of those.

Last night, I went to the gym with special guest star, Dave. He wanted to check out one of my upper body workouts, so we went through my chest and biceps workout. The full one:

  • Elliptical: 10 minutes/1.05 miles
  • Bench Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 135 lbs
  • Incline Chest Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 120 lbs
  • Shoulder Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 60 lbs
  • Fly (machine): 3 sets/8 reps, 100 lbs
  • Fly (dumbbell): 3 sets/8 reps, 20 lbs
  • Curls (barbell): 3 sets/8 reps, 40 lbs
  • Curls (dumbbell): 3 sets/8 reps, 25 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (barbell): 40 lbs (approx)
    • Reverse: 3 sets/15 reps
    • Forward: 3 sets/15 reps
  • Plank: 3 sets, 30 seconds

It was a good – and tiring – workout. But, it was also nice to have company while working out.

Stray Toasters


1 – The live-action parts of the first season of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour were directed by Richard Donner.  (Yes, that Richard Donner.)

Nope, still not Belgium. (But, at least the weather’s nice.)

art, comics and animation, computers, dining and cuisine, event, everyday glory, food for thought, games, geekery, house and home, music, style, The Covet List No Comments »
Nope, still not Belgium.  (But, at least the weather's nice.)

Tuesday – 12 June 2012
According to a trusted source, today is apparently National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.

I’m feeling a little remiss as a Rush fan: Clockwork Angels was released today… and I completely forgot about it until I saw something on Facebook.

On the “plus” side of today’s tally sheet:

  1. The lawn is mowed.
  2. A couple of trees have been trimmed, getting rid of branches over the sidewalk.
  3. I figured out what was going on with Sprinkler Zone #5 (Translation: “The back yard will actually get watered!”)
  4. Steve and I determined how to get drywall into the basement, without having to cut the sheets or trying to finagle them down the stairs.

Stray Toasters

And… done.


Friday: Stuff, Things and What-not

books, business and economy, environment, event, everyday glory, house and home, kids, space, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Friday: Stuff, Things and What-not

Friday – 08 June 2012
It’s not just Friday…
Nor is it only Diana-Vanessa-Daddy Day…
Today is also the day that Vanessa turns 9-months-old:

The girls are taking their morning nap. After that, there will be some playtime. Then lunch. Then we’ll figure out whether we’re going somewhere before or after their afternoon nap. Most likely, it will be a post-nap excursion.

Stray Toasters

Twins are up… and after a longer-than-I-expected nap.  Back to hanging out with them.


Thursday (or something quite like it)

comics and animation, education, event, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, games, geekery, human of the day, kids, LEGO and Rokenbok, robots and AI, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Thursday (or something quite like it)

Thursday – 07 June 2012
Not only is today NBN Thursday, it is also my mother’s birthday:

And, it is also the day that Diana turns 9-months-old:

To celebrate the day, the girls get to go for another visit to the pediatrician… which means: Shots! (Which also means “Cranky children this afternoon.”) Yay.


Well, as it turns out, the girls did not have to get shots today. But, they will be getting four at their one-year check-up. (Joy of joys.) On the plus side, we found out that their pediatrician’s office will be moving… to our neighborhood right before that visit. So, I guess that means the offices will still have that new car office smell.

Stray Toasters

Yeah, that’s good for now.


Wednesday and all’s well…

books, computers, environment, everyday glory, food for thought, games, geekery, health, house and home, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, science and technology, the world, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Wednesday and all's well...

Wednesday – 06 June 2012
New comics day.
Pasta and Movie Date Night… maybe.

Yesterday, the destruction of the grotto demolition of the gazebo was complete. There’s now just a slight depression (and a little debris) where the gazebo once stood. Pictures here. Now, we just need to decide what we want to do with the space.

Last night, Logan and Sanaz came over to watch the girls so that SaraRules! and I could have an actual, out-of-the-house date night. It was glorious. We went to see The Avengers – second time for me, first time for SaraRules… and it was just as much fun the second time around. While she enjoyed the movie, I had to ‘splain a few things about characters to SaraRules! after the movies. (Comics, go figure.) But, it was a great way to spend a Tuesday evening.

And, yesterday also saw a notable dip in temperatures around here.  It was in the upper 90s on Monday; yesterday barely made 60.  And last night, we actually had to turn on the furnace. Yeah. Welcome to June in Utah.

Stray Toasters


A pre-summer Monday…

cars, comics and animation, computers, education, event, everyday glory, food for thought, geekery, health, house and home, kids, movies and TV, music, politics and law, space, style and fashion, the world, trains/model railroads, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! 3 Comments »
A pre-summer Monday...

Monday – 04 June 2012
A new week is here.

The weekend was good – and fairly busy – weekend. We started with a pancake breakfast/car show, supporting the local Boy Scout troop. Next, SaraRules! went to quilt club while I stayed home with Team DiVa. After she got back, I headed out to judge a ‘Clix tourney. And, if that wasn’t enough: We also attended a friend’s birthday party.

Saturday night has now unofficially become “Action Movie Saturday Date Night.” We didn’t know what we wanted to watch, so we left it up to the Fickle Finger of Fate method of “Hey, what does Netflix have to offer?” We wound up watching Trollhunter:

It was surprisingly fun. And funny. We went into it with no real expectations or assumptions, but were quite well entertained by the time the credits rolled. I also found that I liked what they did with some of the mythology of the creatures.

Sunday was a little more relaxed… although it did start early: We hit the Wasatch Front Farmers Market. The rest of the day was spent mostly hanging out with SaraRules! and Team DiVa. I wrapped up the evening upgrading my game box from Windows XP to Windows 7. Finally. And by “upgrading,” I mean “I did a clean install on a bigger hard drive.” Now, I just need to reinstall the games. And remember to copy my bookmarks over.

And, speaking of Team DiVa:

Diana (in her custom Batgirl onesie)

Vanessa (in her custom Flash onesie)

Stray Toasters