Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“All I know is that memory can be too much to carry…”

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"All I know is that memory can be too much to carry..."

Tuesday – 30 September 2014
I was talking with my friend, Dana, earlier. She was having a very human moment, thinking about a loved one who passed away a few years ago:

Sometimes obvious things set you off – sad stories or movies…sometimes it’s less obvious and less sad. Sometimes the Steelers playing the Bucs hits you hard and you are thankful to have a friend at the bar with you. I know happy things seem life an awful silly reason to cry but that’s the way it is.

I commented to her that missing a loved one is never a silly for crying.

Her comment about football reminded me of my friend, Dave., who died a little over four years ago. I always think of him when the Ravens play the Browns. And the way we’d give each other – and our respective teams – pure hell for the duration of the game. And the often-rum/vodka induced “Who can hit harder” shenanigans that often accompanied those meet-ups.  I miss those times. And, I miss my friend.

It also reminded me of Jessica, whose 40th birthday would have been a few weeks ago.

I had been listening to Bill Withers before we started talking and had let it continue to play in the background. A few minutes into our conversation, Grandma’s Hands came on. That song always reminds me of my paternal grandmother and my maternal great-grandmother.

My great-grandmother died while I was in high-school, long before there were “blogs.” My grandmother died eleven years ago; given the nature of my conversation with Dana, I was reminded of this post I wrote when I learned she passed and this, which I drew for my father a few years ago:

I’d like to thank Dana for the opportunity to remember these people and for good reasons to smile.


Team DiVa Tuesday Returns!

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Team DiVa Tuesday Returns!

Tuesday – 23 August 2014
Not only is today Team DiVa Tuesday,  it is the first day of Autumn, as well.

Last night, we stopped by Sara’s parents’ place for a visit. While there, the girls decided that they wanted to wear some of their Papi and Gumbi’s hats. I managed to capture this picture:

Team DiVa in Hats!

Team DiVa in Hats!

Over the years, I’ve heard people mention how adept kids are at picking up habits and phrases from their parents. Our girls are no exception to this, it would seem.

Apparently, when I encounter a facepalm-worthy situation around the girls, I often say: “Oh, God…

I can’t remember what situation prompted it on Sunday, but Diana said it on the way back from breakfast. I think that Sara and I laughed for a good mile-and-a-half before either of us was composed enough to talk about it. Even then, we still cracked up while discussing it.

Sara related this to me when I got home from work last night:

She picked the ladies up from preschool. Typically, we’ll give them a small pre-dinner snack, because they’re “so hungry…” Yesterday’s snack was a bowl of cashews and peanuts. Through some unknown-to-me process, Vanessa managed to spill all of her nuts on the floor, prompting a transformation from Team DiVa Cutie into… Baby Meltdown!!!

Diana, hearing the commotion, ran into the kitchen to see what was going on. When she got there, she looked at the floor, saw the mess, and said, “Oh, God…

Yep. My kid.  (I wish I had been there to witness it.)

Hello, Monday.

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Hello, Monday.

Monday – 22 September 2014
This past weekend was rather good.

I went into Friday thinking “Friday!” I came out of Friday “Blah.” We had a situation at work that lasted all day, meaning that I wasn’t really able to take care of any of the things that I had planned to tackle. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was call it a day. Sara, the girls and I went out for dinner. By the time we got home and got the girls ready for bed, I was ready to decompress… but didn’t know what I wanted to do. Sara! to the rescue: She brought me a glass of Maker’s Mark, a bag of Doritos and suggested that I vent some frustration in Titanfall.

Best. Wife. Ever.

Knowing that I had a fairly atrocious night’s sleep, Sara let me sleep in on Saturday morning. When I got up, Team DiVa and I went downstairs to watch a couple episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the second half of The LEGO Movie. After lunch, the girls went down for naps. I probably should have, as well. But, I didn’t. I did mow the lawn, though, so I’ll count that as a “win.” Saturday afternoon, we had a few friends over for a “Fall Cookie Extravaganza,” as Sara called it. It was nice to be able to hang out and just enjoy the company of friends… and cookies. The girls turned into quite the little hostesses, as well: They would ask everyone who showed up what drinks they want and would pour a small – VERY small – drink for them. (I really think that it was more a matter of them liking to use the lemonade and water dispensers.) We had dinner and then we watched a couple of episodes of Doctor Who – one with Twelve, one with Ten.

Sunday morning, we got up and got ready to go out for breakfast. Instead of heading to Millcreek Cafe, as is our usual Sunday morning routine, we drove up to Layton to meet our favorite Treasure Valley Rollergirl, Mia Wallups (a.k.a. Jen)! We surprised her by inviting Dave, Angy and Gala, as well. At Sara’s suggestion, we ate at Sill’s Cafe. And it was worth the drive.

Picture - (c) http://everydave.com

Angy and Jen (Picture courtesy of http://everydave.com)

I tried a scone (which was, literally, as big as my head!) and biscuits and gravy, which were fantastic. I’m not sure exactly what everyone else had, but the consensus was that everyone’s meals were good. It was also nice to catch up with Jen; life’s been busy for both of us and we’d kind of lost track of each other in the process.

We came back home, got the girls a light lunch, and then put them down for naps. Once they were safely asleep, I headed downstairs to catch what was left of the second half of the Ravens-Browns game. I’d been tracking the game’s progress and it had been a back-and-forth battle. But, in the end…


Justin Tucker nailed an at-the-buzzer field goal to put the Ravens at 2-1 on the season.

After the game, I went to the Big Shiny Robot & Bohemian Brewery’s Nerd Swap Meet. I came home with a couple of finds:

When I got home, the girls wanted me to go for a ride in their “rocket ship.” I love their imaginations. I’m going to have to find them either astronaut costumes or, at least, a couple of astronaut helmets. Sara reminded me that we’d promised them a trip to “the Slurpee store,” so we returned to Earth and headed to the local 7-Eleven. Then, back home for dinner, kids’ showers, a show (and a few Schoolhouse Rock! videos) before putting the ladies down for the night.

We wound up the night with glasses of wine and The Strain.

All-in-all, a good weekend.

Stray Toasters

  • Sunday would have been my friend, Jess’, 40th birthday.
  • While watching the score of the Ravens’ game, I thought about how much I would have enjoyed watching the game with Brad and our late friend Dave, a Browns fan.
  • I picked up Destiny last week. I have yet to play it, as I discovered that I need to get a new hard drive for my Xbox.
  • I’m still forming an opinion about the new Doctor. But, at this point, I’m liking him.

That’s good for now.


How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Sunday – 14 September 2014
For the past week, I’ve been on vacation. It’s been pretty amazing.

Last weekend, Salt Lake Comic Con was in town. I went (of course), as did Sara and Team DiVa. I think that the girls’ highlight moment can be summed up here:


They were pretty ecstatic to see Wonder Woman. I thought that Diana was going to try and knock people over to get to her. Unfortunately, by the time I finally got this picture, they were starting to run out of people juice. Click here to see more pictures of the outing.

Sunday afternoon, we packed up and headed to Redfish Lake for a long-anticipated family vacation. As Sunday and Monday were the girls’ birthdays, we had a small to-do for that:


We spent three-and-a-half days at the lake; it was a nice change of pace and it was a lot of fun to see the girls interacting with a new environment. There was a bit of a love/hate relationship with the lake: Temps were mostly in the 60s and 70s, so the lake was… brisk, to say the least. But, the girls had fun wading in the water and trying to catch minnows:


Sara! also introduced them to fishing. With hooks and bait and the whole nine yards. The fish weren’t biting, but they still liked it. I even managed to sneak in a bike ride while we were there. Click here for more pictures of our time in Central Idaho.

We came back to Salt Lake City to prepare for the last hurrah of the weekend: Team DiVa’s third birthday party (yes, that’s a picture link):


Yes, the girls are in their Comic Con costumes – it was a superhero-themed party. We invited some of the girls’ friends from daycare and a few other kids they know. The birthday party was a big hit. My mother, sister, niece and uncle flew in for the weekend to help celebrate. After the party – and a couple of much-needed naps for the girls – we had a family dinner in the back yard. (I think we’ve used the yard more in the past two months than we have in the past two years. Go figure.)


This morning, we saw Mom, Kris and Kennadi off at the airport.


My uncle had a early flight, so we said our goodbyes to him last night. It was nice having them here for a few days, as we haven’t seen them since last summer.

After that, we headed to breakfast at Millcreek Cafe. From there, we stopped to pick up a copy of Cinderella for a family movie morning. The movie went over with a mixed reaction, but the girls watched the whole thing. And from there, it was lunch and nap time.

Tomorrow, the working world awaits. But that’s tomorrow. For today, I still have a few hours to spend with Sara! and the girls. And there are Slurpees in our future.

And that’s just fine with me.


September 11th, 2014

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September 11th, 2014

Thursday – 11 September 2014
It’s been a busy day, but I wanted to try and get something up before the day was out. (Hey, I’m on Mountain Time. I still have almost two hours!)

It has been thirteen years since the terrorist attacks in New York, NY and Washington, D.C.

I hope that people took time to remember those who died, both in the attack and those who gave their lives trying to rescue/save those in the affected areas.

Today, Joe – a friend and a former New York native  – posted a few pictures of the World Trade Center, including a couple of him at the WTC. He also took this picture of me, atop 2 WTC (the South Tower):

Even after all this time, it’s still a little odd to see this picture, remember visiting the towers, thinking about the 1993 attempt to fell them and realizing how it felt to see where they were intended to fall… while standing inside and atop 2 WTC…

…and to know that they are not there any longer.

Again, for my thoughts on the attacks and the aftermath, refer to these posts.

Remeber the past.
Cherish the present
Look with hope to the future.


Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

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Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Monday – 08 September 2014
Before I forget to post this… again…

This past weekend, Salt Lake Comic Con happened in… um… Salt Lake City, appropriately enough. I went as part of the Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection cavalcade.

Team DiVa (as Wonder Woman and Batgirl) at Salt Lake Comic Con

Team DiVa (as Wonder Woman and Batgirl) at Salt Lake Comic Con

I even managed to take a few pictures (click here).


Happy birthday, Vanessa!

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Happy birthday, Vanessa!

Sunday – 08 September 2014
Three years ago, this little lady was born.

The Birthday Girl and her Aunt Missa!

The Birthday Girl and her Aunt Missa!

Happy birthday, Vanessa!

Happy birthday, Diana!

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Happy birthday, Diana!

Sunday – 07 September 2014
Three years ago, this little lady was born.


The Birthday Girl


Happy birthday, Diana!