Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Of birthdays, family and friends, and Living Colour

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Of birthdays, family and friends, and Living Colour

Wednesday – 30 October 2013
It’s been a while, but I do have a few things to talk about. Granted, most of them revolve around the past week and my birthday, go figure.

And, as I mentioned on Facebook: Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to wish me a “Happy Birthday.” I truly appreciated it.

Last week wound up being very long, thanks – or “no thanks,” as the case may be – to Project: Cthulhu. I actually had a vendor rep on the phone for the better part of… six hours over two work days, trying to suss out what was wrong. And their documentation wasn’t much of a help; it was outdated and didn’t cover the correct procedure for what the vendor wanted us to do on the server. Yay. Late Friday afternoon, I had the brilliant epiphany to compare a working server to the one that was being “slightly difficult.” I found a discrepancy and started down a path to rectify it. Lo and behold, it worked. Work week: Saved.

I went home Friday evening tired and a little annoyed that finding the problem, even with the help of the vendor engineer, took so long. Those feelings melted away when I was greeted at the door by Team DiVa, bearing a box of RubySnap cookies and singing “Happy Birthday.” Sure, it was a day early, but it was very sweet. We had dinner and hung out that evening. Sara and I decided to watch Nightmare on Elm Street after the girls were in bed; I started nodding off during the movie. I decided to go take a hot soak and call it an early night. I did and I did. In that order.

Saturday, I woke up not really feeling any older, but definitely glad to have completed another circuit of the sun without any dire encounters with the Dark Lady. Sara made her famous (at least around our house it is) coffee cake for breakfast. We hung out at home all morning until it was time for me to go play dolls HeroClix. Birthday Bonus: It was an Event Week, so I wasn’t judging, but actually playing. It was a sealed event – buy a couple of boosters and build a team from the figures in the boxes. I put together an okay team, but got completely wrecked in the tournament. Didn’t matter because I had a fun time gaming and talking trash with the other players.

I came home and helped get the girls ready for dinner. Shortly after that, Sara’s parents came over – they were kind enough to watch the girls while Sara and I went out for birthday dinner at Rodizio Grill. Added Birthday Bonus: October is Rodizio’s “Wild Game Fest,” so you can sample a few exotic meats. We tried the frog legs and one of my favorites: rattlesnake sausage. We checked out with our Seven Deadly Sins card punched for “Gluttony.” (So. Very. Worth it.) Next: A stop at the Cheesecake Factory for some celebratory dessert. Then it was back home for a movie. Since it was my choice and I wanted something light – and hopefully funny – I picked Iron Sky, which I’ve wanted to see for some time. It was not a great movie, in fact it was pretty ridiculous, but I had a blast watching it. Seriously, how could you not appreciate – if not love – a movie about Nazis on the moon where the heroic lead is a Black guy?!

Sunday was, again, pretty low-key. We didn’t do a whole lot during the day. There were a couple of shopping excursions prior to Sara’s parents, Galadriel, Angy and Dave coming over for dinner. Sara baked a pretty wicked Devil’s Food cake for after-dinner birthday fun. After the guests were gone and the girls were abed, we settled in for cocktails and The Walking Dead. We were not disappointed.

Monday, the work week reared its ugly head once more. I headed in to work for a 9:00AM meeting… only to find that I was a week early for it.


Had I bothered to confirm the time/date, I would have either come in late or just worked from home. Feh. Fortunately, the day passed fairly quickly. I confirmed that Friday’s server configuration was indeed viable and handed it off to the vendor’s engineers shortly before lunch. I picked up Team DiVa from daycare and ushered them home for snacktime (RubySnap Virginia cookie!) and dinner. Then, it was off to Guys’ Night Out with the usual suspects.

Tuesday, was a quiet day. This was a good thing. Especially as, Tuesday Night, I was going to enjoy Sara’s final birthday present: Living Colour in concert. That’s right. Living Colour. (Yes, Cult of Personality Living Colour.)

Living Colour at The Depot

Living Colour at The Depot

I met up with Jeremiah and Zac at The Depot. They’d already scoped out a prime location about 5 or 6 feet from the stage. We were right in front of Vernon Reid (guitarist) the entire show. I also got to hang out with Robert V., Monica and Alessandro. Pictures (and some video) of the evening can be seen here.

It was an amazing concert, from start to finish. And they had the bass turned WAAAY up. Floor-shaking bass. They opened with Robert Johnson’s Preachin’ Blues (I think), and then went into Vivid. After Cult of Personality, Corey Glover joked, “And now, the rest of the fucking album…” You could tell that they were having a great time, both with the way they played and sang and the way that they interacted with each other and the audience. And if anyone was worried that these guys have lost a step or two…? Rest assured: They sounded fantastic. They started Open Letter (to a Landlord) by opening with a great rendition of Amazing Grace. Or, as I live-tweeted:

They finished out the set with Glamour Boys, What’s Your Favorite Color?, and Which Way to America. I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how much of the album I remembered.

After a spectacular drum solo by Will Calhoun, they closed the show with a great crowd-backed rendition of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, Love Rears Its Ugly Head (which I was secretly hoping they’d do), Time’s Up, James Brown’s Sex Machine.

It was the perfect way to wrap up an extended birthday celebration.

And that’s pretty much that.


Team DiVa Tuesday – 2013-10-21

everyday glory, kids No Comments »
Team DiVa Tuesday - 2013-10-21

Tuesday – 21 October 2013
It’s that time again…


Dinosaurs love teddy bears. Who knew?!

Dinosaurs love teddy bears. Who knew?!

Team DiVa attacking Daddy with their Tickle Monster gloves.

Team DiVa attacking Daddy with their Tickle Monster gloves.

And…. video, too!


Team DiVa Tuesday – 15 October 2013

everyday glory, kids, music No Comments »
Team DiVa Tuesday - 15 October 2013

Tuesday – 15 October 2013
It’s Tuesday. Again. As I don’t want to receive another “What happened to this week’s TDVT post?!” email, here’s this week’s bit of Adventure Toddlers cuteness:

The girls are fond of music. Very fond. They know how to open Spotify and select songs in their playlist on the laptop we keep in the living room. They also seem to be figuring out their way around iTunes on the Mac in their room. I’ve been trying to keep track of how they refer to certain songs:

  • Sara! introduced them to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” a few months back. Diana’s favorite song is Freddie Freeloader… which, when they don’t call it by name, they refer to as “BA-dum,” which mimics the song’s refrain.
  • Kool and the Gang’s Jungle Boogie is “Get Down Get Down”
  • There’s a song called Music Monkey Jungle Theme Song – which, oddly, sounds very much like a slightly slowed-down, acoustic guitar variation of Stray Cat Strut – that they refer to as “Ball Song,” because of the album art work.
    • Stray Cat Strut, incidentally, is “Cat Style”
  • Gorillaz’ 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix) is “Baby Crying,” again, due to their interpretation of the cover artwork.
  • The William Tell Overture is…. “Willam Tell”. Occasionally, “Overture” is added to the mix.
  • The Tra La La Song (Theme from ‘The Banana Splits’) is “Tra La La.”
  • Vanessa’s favorite song, Got To Give It Up (Part 1), by Marvin Gaye, is “Star Song,” thanks to the Boogie Nights soundtrack cover art.

I’m sure that there are a few others, but these are the ones that come immediately to mind.

The girls are enjoying their daycare. Thankfully. According to Sara!, aside from the days when they were sick, there hasn’t been a lot of wailing or moaning or gnashing of teeth when they are dropped off. Hallelujah!

And now, pictures:

Vanessa, waiting for Diana to see the pediatrician...

Vanessa, waiting for Diana to see the pediatrician…

Diana, waiting for the pediatrician...

Diana, waiting for the pediatrician…

Vanessa, bundled up and taking a rainy Sunday stroll...

Vanessa, bundled up and taking a rainy Sunday stroll…

Diana on a rainy Sunday stroll...

Diana on a rainy Sunday stroll…

Playing the piano at Canadian Thanksgiving dinner

Playing the piano at Canadian Thanksgiving dinner

Post-pumpkin selection...

Relaxing after picking pumpkins and wandering through the corn maze…

Diana finds a pumpkin she likes...

Diana finds a pumpkin she likes…

Vanessa found a pumpkin...

Vanessa found a pumpkin…

Playing dolls with some of Daddy's old HeroClix and game boards

Playing dolls with some of Daddy’s old HeroClix and game boards

Ride the tiger!!!

Ride the tigers!!!

And that’s a wrap.


Four years and counting…

engagement/wedding/marriage, event, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought 3 Comments »
Four years and counting...

Thursday – 03 October 2013
Another No Bad News Thursday is upon us.

More importantly, today is the day I get to say: “Happy Fourth Anniversary,” to Sara!.


It’s been a fantastic year. And I’ve had a wonderful wife, friend and partner-in-crime to share it with. I look forward to what the next year will bring.


Wednesday night quick hit

business and economy, event, everyday glory, food for thought, geekery, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, office antics 5 Comments »
Wednesday night quick hit

Wednesday – 02 October 2013
As I mentioned in Tuesday night’s post, Random Access has gone Pink for October.

Tonight, Sara! and I watched The Awakening.
Long story, short version: We liked it. I’ll do more of a write-up later.

Sara! just shared the following links:

And that’s it for tonight.


Team DiVa Tuesday – 01 October 2013

event, everyday glory, food for thought, kids 2 Comments »
Team DiVa Tuesday - 01 October 2013

Tuesday – 01 October 2013
It’s the first of October, which means it’s time for the site to go Pink for October.

It’s also Tuesday, which means that it’s time to see some pictures of a couple of cute kids:

Taking five... seconds, not minutes.

Taking five… seconds, not minutes.

Must... sit... on... tiger!

Must… sit… on… tiger!





Water sphere!

Water sphere!