Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

A pre-summer Monday…

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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

Namaste.

“Long live the…” Oh, I totally misread that.

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"Long live the..." Oh, I totally misread that.

Tuesday – 22 May 2012
Today’s another sunny day in the valley.
Tomorrow, however, there’s rain in the forecast, long with a nearly 15 degree drop in temperature. Yay.

There will (hopefully) be a new Adventure Babies: Team DiVa video short in the next few days… if I can catch them doing one of their new cute habits.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

“It’s already here.”

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"It's already here."

Thursday – 17 May 2012
It’s another NBN Thursday in the valley. This one even came equipped with sun (with a slight chance of rain). So far, it’s been a good day… and there’s still a lot of day to go.

Last night, SaraRules! and I watched Where the Wild Things Are for Movie Date Night.

I thought that it was pretty good. I was a bit surprised in that I was expecting something… a little closer to the book, at least in some respects, but the differences didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the movie.  It was also helpful to watch one of the special feature short pieces which highlighted the collaboration of author Maurice Sendak and director Spike Jonze.

The movie is rated “PG,” but there are a few scenes that might be scary for younger children. Nevertheless, I recommend it.

Stray Toasters

That’s good for now.

Namaste.

The memory of you.

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The memory of you.

Thursday – 03 May 2012
It’s another NBN Thursday in the valley.

This morning, Diana decided that 6:20 was a good time to wake up. She’d managed to roll herself onto her stomach again. I rolled her over and put her blanket back on her and hoped that she’d knock out for another half-hour to hour.

No go, Flight.

She played in her crib until I 6:50. (And, yes, she’d inverse-turtled herself a couple more times by then.) When I went in, Vanessa was also up; I decided to turn on their light, do their morning diaper change and start their day.

And then, I started mine.

Last night, SaraRules! and I watched Royal Wedding for our Date Night movie. I’d gotten the movie from Netflix “a while ago,” mostly because I wanted to see Astaire’s famous dance around a hotel room:

I wasn’t disappointed. For a 60-year-old effect, it was pulled off very well. And the movie itself was rather light-hearted and fun and a good way to spend the evening.

|| PAUSE ||

Mornings were always rough, not that Carl would admit it to anyone. Mornings always reminded him that she wasn’t there to share the new day with him. He looked at the other side of the bed and ran his hand over the spot where she used to lay. “Good morning, sweetheart,” he said. He swung his feet out of bed and sat up. He paused, hands on his knees, before standing up. A yawn – one that sounded more like a wild bear’s growl – forced its way to freedom.  He scratched his chin, stood and shuffled to the bathroom.

A few minutes later, Carl made his way downstairs. He stopped in front of the cluster of pictures at the bottom of the stairway. He reached up and touched the picture in the silver frame. Her picture. He smiled… and his heart ached a little. He stood there a moment before continuing on to the kitchen. He fixed a bowl of oatmeal while waiting for his coffee to brew. When breakfast was ready, he sat at the small table and ate. He looked out the window and watched as people headed to wherever they were going. Work? Home? Vacation? He shrugged. He didn’t really care. They were just going places.

After breakfast, he went back upstairs and got dressed. He didn’t have anywhere to go, but Carl had never been one to just sit around in his bedclothes all day. It just didn’t seem right. He came back downstairs and sat down in his comfy chair. He turned to look out the window, watching another little slice of the world passing by.

Adventure is out there, he thought. But not for me. Not today.

> PLAY >

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

8:45 (Quarter to Nine)

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8:45  (Quarter to Nine)

Wednesday – 02 May 2012
‘Tis midweek once more.

Last night after dinner SaraRules! went to her book club and I hung out at home with the sleeping Team DiVa. By the time that I’d finally finished cleaning baby bottles and putting dishes in the dishwasher – after mostly chatting with friends online – SaraRules! came home. We watched the second part of the Hawaii Five-O/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover and then I played a little MW3 with a coworker.  All-in-all, a low-key evening.

|| PAUSE ||

Waiting.

She didn’t like being kept waiting. Yet, here she was. And here she’d been for ten minutes longer than she’d told herself that she would wait. She glanced at her watch. Again. Typical, she thought. She reached for her glass, turning it slowly on the coaster before bringing it to her lips. Five more minutes

She watched the other people in the r0om. There were a few couples, but mostly small groups. She also noted a few people obviously enjoying dinner at their company’s expense. None of her concern, really. It wasn’t her money, after all.

She glanced at the clock at the far end of the room. That’s it. She started pushing her chair back from the table as someone rushed past her in a flurry of arms, fabric and a hastily-spoken apology/excuse of some sort. She looked behind her, to see if the aisle was clear. Turning to her front, she saw that the chair across from her was no longer empty.

“Hi,” said the new arrival with a nonchalant grin. “Sorry I’m a little late.”

A little..?!  She stared back, impassive. “We agreed on 8:30.”

“True. True. But, you’re still here. And I’m here now.” He turned up the grin a little.

“Yes, you are. But, unfortunately, you are late. And I am leaving. Good night.” She stood and began to turn.

“But… Okay. Fine. I’m late.” He lowered his voice, “But, you still need someone… to get something… from somewhere.” He punctuated his statement with air quotes. A touch archaic – and definitely melodramatic – but he found himself in a playful mood. Sure this was business, but why shouldn’t he have a little fun, too?

She turned to face him. “I do. But you are no longer that someone. Once again, good night.” She walked towards the exit.

> PLAY >

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called ‘Life.'”

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"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called 'Life.'"

Wednesday – 25 April 2012
It’s the middle of the week… which means that it’s new comics day as well as Movie Date Night.

Last night, Matt, Dave, and I missed our usual Guys’ Night Out activities and, instead, went to see the Utah Jazz take on the Phoenix Suns in a game with major playoff implications: If the Jazz won, they would be in the playoffs. If they lost, Phoenix would have to lose their next game and the Jazz would have to win their next game.

Needless to say, there was a lot of anticipation about this game. What we didn’t know until we got to the Energy Solutions Arena was: Tip-off had been delayed from 7:00 to 8:30, for TNT’s broadcast coverage. On the other hand, this gave us plenty of time to get something to eat. We opted for Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana. And we finished it off with gelato from Capo Gelateria.

Meanwhile, back at the arena, we got to our seats and got ready for the game.

This was my first Jazz game in over 14 years; I haven’t been to one since before I moved out here. Seriously. And it was a great game to attend. The Jazz played well, except for late in the 3rd and early in the 4th quarters. But, they pulled it off with a 100-88 win, clinching a playoff berth.

It was a fun way to spend the evening and a great change of pace for Guys’ Night Out.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Almost done…

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Almost done...

Friday – 20 April 2012
It’s my “on” Friday. And, it’s also “4/20.” (Insert your own jokes here.)

Last night was my night to fix dinner. After wracking my brain over what to fix, I decided to head up to the local Whole Foods and see what they had in their meat counter. I returned home with four good-sized Parmesan Chicken breasts. While they were in the oven, I prepared some rice in chicken broth (and a little lemon pepper, for flavor). I added a salad for our vegetables and we called it a meal.

We watched Castle while we ate; it was a fun episode, with Nathan Fillion’s Firefly costar, Adam Baldwin, as a guest star. After dinner, I joined a couple of coworkers online and played a little MW3. And had my virtual ass handed to me. Repeatedly. But, it was still fun… despite the ego-bruising.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

…and back again.

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Tuesday – 17 April 2012
Day One of the work week. It started off rainy, but skies have cleared a bit.

TeamDiVa’s first road trip was a success.  The basic breakdowns were:

  • Five days.
  • Four states.
  • Three hotel rooms.
  • Two little ladies who traveled incredibly well, all things considered.
  • One honest-to-goodness zebra.

It would be something of an understatement to say we’re “a little” tired. That was a lot of driving. But, it was a good trip. And, I wasn’t kidding about the zebra:

“Sure, there’s a zebra and some llama, Daddy… but there are cars and trucks right over there!”

There’s a petting zoo at the Flying J Truck Stop in Scipio, UT. We’d heard – and forgotten – about it, since we don’t go through there much anymore. But, we needed to stop so that the girls could have lunch. Thus, zebra.

And, while I don’t say this very often: I’d like to commend UDoT for the five (5) 80 MPH zones between Provo and the Arizona state line. They made a few of the long, boring stretches much more tolerable.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Tick.. tick… tick…

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Tick.. tick... tick...

Thursday – 29 March 2012
It’s another Thursday in the valley. So far, it’s held up to NBN scrutiny.  Hopefully, that will continue.
(UPDATE: It did.)

Last night, SaraRules! and I watched…

…for our Date Night movie; I’ve seen it before (we own the DVD), but she hadn’t. She liked it, despite a couple of uncanny valley issues.

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
This nugget of joy comes by way of my sister-in-law, Chelsea, and my nephew, Caden:

Caden: Mom, what’s that?
Me: It’s a water tower.
Caden: Oh. . .Where’s the othere one’s?
Me: What other one’s?
Caden: The milk tower and the juice tower.

The utter brilliance and genius of the three-year-old mind.

Namaste.

“Its time to play the music, Its time to light the lights…”

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"Its time to play the music, Its time to light the lights..."

Thursday – 22 March 2012
Today has been a good day. Any day that kicks off with wife and kid cuddles can’t be bad. And, of course, it’s another No Bad News Thursday, so that didn’t hurt, either.

…and it’s William Shatner’s birthday.

Last night, SaraRules! and I watched The Muppets for our date night movie. It was a lot of fun. It was reminiscent of both The Muppet Show and The Muppet Movie… and with a dash of Muppets Tonight. I give it a big ol’ thumbs-up with an okay.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Another Wednesday in the valley…

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Another Wednesday in the valley...

Wednesday – 21 March 12
Midweek is upon us once again. Today is apparently supposed to return warm(er) weather to the Land Behind the Zion Curtain. This would be a “good” thing, in my book… even if we are only two days into Spring.

Team DiVa are doing well. We’ve been working on their independent sitting; they are progressing well. We have also tried introducing them to Gerber Graduates Puffs. Vanessa seems okay with them, but Diana is not a fan. At least, not yet. But, she makes the most adorable “What is THIS?!” face while chewing and just before she spits it out.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

 

And then, it was Friday once more…

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And then, it was Friday once more...

Friday – 08 March 2012
End of the work week. Amen.

Last night, we modified the Adventure Babies’ sleep schedule once more. For the past month, SaraRules! and I have been waking them up for a feeding and diaper change just before we go to bed. This has greatly facilitated their sleeping through the night. We have gradually stepped down the amount of formula we gave them at this feeding for four weeks… until last night. Last night, we went to bed without waking the girls first. No diaper change. No feeding.

Diana (l) and Vanessa, ready for breakfast

Diana slept until 4:00 this morning. And, there was no whining or crying when she woke, just some cooing. I got up, changed her and put her back in her crib. By this time, Vanessa had awakened; again, there was no crying. SaraRules! got up and changed her. Then we both went back to bed. The girls talked amongst themselves for a few minutes and then went back to sleep until 7:00 AM.  I consider this “a success.” We’ll see how things carry out from this point forward.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Halfway There (Part II)

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Halfway There (Part II)

Thursday – 08 March 2012
It’s another NBN Thursday.
It’s also International Women’s Day (1, 2). And…

Vanessa turned 6-months old today!

Last night was fairly low-key around the house. The girls tried – and devoured – a new food: Pears. So, it seems that the only unpopular food (at least so far) is peas — Diana will grudgingly eat them, Vanessa flat-out refuses to. The girls woke up again in the middle of the night. No crying this time, but there was a bit of chatter in their room before they knocked out again.

Today, as usual: Meetings!  YAY!

And tonight, I’m picking up some material for Saturday’s basement framing extravaganza. And maybe (just maybe), I’ll be able to sneak in a little MW3 or DCUO.  We shall see what the evening holds.

Stray Toasters

That’s good for today.

Namaste.

Halfway There (Part I)

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Halfway There (Part I)

Wednesday – 07 March 2012
It’s the middle of the week. And it’s new comics day. And it may or may not be Pasta and Movie Date Night.

But, more importantly: It’s Diana’s 6-month birthday!

Both little ladies are doing well, despite long crying jags in the wee hours of this morning: Diana started around 2:30, Vanessa around 4:00. We’re trying to get the girls to learn to put themselves back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night, so we didn’t go immediately rushing in to comfort them…
…which made for a long couple of hours.

…which, in turn, led me to sleep on the couch downstairs so I could get my last few hours’ sleep (and not have an encore presentation of Monday).

But, by the time I looked in on them around 7:15, they were all giggles, grins and kicks.

Kids. Go figure.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Tuesday (or what’s left of it…)

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Tuesday (or what's left of it...)

Tuesday – 06 March 2012
After a less-than-stellar start to the week, let’s see what today has to offer.

I apparently woke up on the wrong side of the bed planet yesterday. Of course, saying “woke up” implies that I really slept Sunday night, which I did… though sporadically. By the time I got to work, I could tell that I was in a poor mood. With that in mind, I tried to avoid too much interaction with coworkers — I didn’t want to inadvertently take off someone’s head for no good reason. It seemed to work.

I left early, as the girls had their six-month check-up yesterday afternoon. The doctor had nothing but good things to say about their progress/development. (That was good to hear.) Then the immunization shots – and the screaming – came. (That was not good to hear.) When we got them home, we put the girls down for naps. They woke up in good moods. Thankfully. After some play time, baths and bottles, the girls went to bed for the evening. SaraRules! and I watched some TV and unwound.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.