Monday, August 31, 2009

Backyard Camping

The guy building our wall is awesome! I mentioned to him today that we were planning on making a level spot in the hill above the wall and maybe putting in a couple of short walls and a fire pit. So today he cleared all of the brush piles we had created after our war on the Buckthorn, then took his bobcat up on the hill and brought the two huge logs down. Then he dug a huge level area up there! He has gone far, far above and beyond just doing the wall.

So tonight we had an impromptu campfire complete with s'mores and milk. A great time was had by all! The Boyo had a ball roasting marshmallows and learned that the "perfect" roasting stick is considerably longer than his arm!

I'm so looking forward to campfires and camping out in our "new" back yard!

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The Beat Goes On

Wow. Somebody commented on a really old post today. The Kennedy Assassination post. From way back on November 22 of 2008!

Here's what he said. (the quotes in blue are mine)

"I agree.; the simplest explanation is generally correct...

I mean, a president embarrasses the CIA by refusing support for the Bay of Pigs, threatens to split the CIA into 100 pieces and swears to end the Federal Reserve, then ends up dead months later. Who stands to gain from him being dead?

And who needs some complicated theory where a single bullet tears through multiple layers of bone and flesh, while also it makes a couple of 90 degree turns in mid air, before winding up being found in pristine condition on a hospital stretcher, when you have multiple witnesses were present and audio forensic analysis as well as additional bullet holes in the limo and surrounding area of the street that shows there were multiple shooters.

"Humans just love to be 'in on a secret'. Admit it, when you see group of people huddled together and whispering, you really want to know what they are talking about. How many times have you heard someone say they'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation."

Yeah, they love to be in on a secret. That's why these people make hundreds of films write hundreds of books and broadcast these secrets all over the World Wide Web and airwaves trying to tell everyone that will listen.

"It's much more comforting to think that there are large groups of highly trained and sinister people doing these things than just run of the mill nut jobs. Perhaps because it makes us feel more secure in a way."

Yeah, I know I feel so much safer knowing the government (the people that guard the skies, guard the borders, police the streets, fight the wars, and do airline screening) were involved in 9/11.

It's terrifying to think that a guy in a cave and his band of 19 heavy drinking, strip club frequenting Muslim fundamentalists got lucky and made the U.S. air defense stand down and crash those planes--but my own government, hey I can sleep like a baby knowing that."

Conspiracy theorist? I'd guess yes. People will always believe what they want to believe, what fits their personal world view, regardless of facts. And the trouble with facts, of course, is that people will find 'facts' to support their version of the truth. Pristine bullet on the cot. Bullet holes riddling the limo and streets. Or the ever popular belief that somehow members of the US military carried out 9/11. Stuff like that.

One of the beautiful things about our country is that it allows us the freedom not only to have these beliefs, but to express them as well. So, Clay - while I respect your right to your opinions on the conspiracies, I just don't agree. It would have taken dozens of people to coordinate a presidential assassination, and hundreds or thousands to bring down the towers. And there just aren't that many people that can keep their mouths shut about such a thing. Either bragging or whistle blowing. But good luck with that!

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

You're Lucky You Are Reading This


It could have been a long, long time until I wrote again. Today we (the Wife and I) continued the "clear-the-back-hill" project that we began yesterday. A branch clipper and a machete were our weapons of choice. Our enemy - the dreaded buckthorn - had two seasons to grow unchecked, and was very hesitant to give up the land it conquered.

However, thanks to our persistence and a little assist from Toro, the hill is now pretty clean!

Take a look!

Oh yeah, and the wall is turning out about three kinds of AWESOME! Those two guys are real artists. They make our hill clearing look like small potatoes.

Tonight we had some friends over to show off the newly shorn hill. As we were sitting around the table, the kiddos were playing happily. At one point one of our friends pointed out that Sweet Pea was very busy at the computer. Turns out she was having a jolly time removing the keys from the keyboard!

44 keys and some time later, the kiddos are asleep, the keyboard is back together, and the Wife and I are watching a little M*A*S*H and having a celebratory s'more.

Our muscles will be protesting tomorrow. But we are slowly but surely reclaiming our back yard!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Baptized in the Water

We finally had the Sweet Pea's name written in the Book of Life. We travelled to Chicago Saturday morning, after a 12 hour shift for me, and met my folks, the Wife's folks, the Godparents (my bro and the Wife's older sis) and their families. The main event was hosted by the same pastor who married the Wife and I, and who baptized the Boyo five years ago. He's an amazing man, and a dear friend we don't see nearly enough.

Sweet Pea wore the same gown her mama did some years ago, and a bracelet also worn by her mom back then. She looked adorable, and stayed pretty charming throughout the ceremony.

After the ceremony, we were all headed to a local restaurant for lunch. We were running a bit behind what with pictures and all, and my little family was the last out of the church, along with the folks of the Wife. As I approached the car, I noticed a box sitting by the driver door. I thought perhaps that my in-laws had set a box there for me. Upon closer inspection however, I found three baby kittens, no more than a week or so old.

We took them back into the Church, where the Good Pastor took them in and told us he'd find a place for them. Then we were off to the food!

It was delicious, the company was great, and the Sweet Pea and I burned out at about the same time! So the two of us went for a short drive. She fell asleep, so I parked back in the lot and slept myself until everyone was done.

It was an awesome weekend. And yet another reminder of just how much I love my kiddos, my wife, and my family!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009


I've got to stay up tonight to get my schedule turned around for night shift tomorrow. So I'm heading to the shop to work on knives.

Yes, yes... I love to build them. But I actually have FIVE knives to make for customers! So, I need to be busily filling orders!

Finished this for a friend at work today. I tried a new buffing compound for wood, and the Bloodwood came out all shiney and nice!

And yes, that IS my logo on the blade. This is fillet knife.

Well- I'm off to the shop!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oh Yeah...

Those knives that I finished back on July 30th?

Both sold!

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The Best Laid Plans...

The plan was simple...

Head down to the parents house, spend a few days refinishing their deck, come home, repack, then finally, FINALLY, spend a few days introducing the kiddos to The Island. Our sanctuary in Wisconsin. About a dozen miles from the nearest town. No sounds but those that come from nature. No lights but starlight and aurora borealis. No smells but pine and birch and wildflowers. Oh, it was going to be grand. Our first vacation in three years.

Of course, the weather had other plans. In case you don't know, you need a few days of good weather to strip and stain a deck. The forecast called for just such weather. But the clouds didn't get the memo. And the deck was in a little rougher shape than first imagined. Long and short... the vacation we so desired melted away into stripping and sanding and cleaning and staining.

On the up side, we did get to spend some good time with my folks, and their grand kids had a ball! And at the end of it all, family is what is most important.

We'll get up to the Island one of these days. And it will be great. For now though, we have wonderful memories (and even some pictures) of a week spent with my parentals. So thanks you two for a fun week!

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Freaking Birthday

Ah yes. Birthdays.

Days to celebrate the beginnings of a life. The years that have passed. The excitement of another year under your belt.

Today was mine. Here's how it has been.

The Wife worked an overnight shift, and so was gone when I awoke. I went to let the dogs out to do their business, and discovered that Holly Bedudah had befouled her kennel in ways that no dog has ever done before. The white mat she sleeps on was covered in thick brown goo, as was Holly herself. Why do dogs, with their amazing noses, feel it appropriate to roll in excrement?
After cleaning up that mess, I returned to the downstairs bathroom to clean up.

So, here's some interesting excrement information. The Boyo has the ability to clog any toilet in the house after he poo's. I don't know exactly how he does it, but there you have it. Well, he had used the downstairs bath the day before, and had clogged the potty. So I got the plunger and cleared the clog. When I came upstairs, I was greeted by my super pooping Boyo, who proudly proclaimed that he had just finished going poo poo in the upstairs potty!

I went back downstairs for the plunger and proceeded to clear the upstairs potty. At one point the plunger backfired a bit and sloshed poo water over my feet and the floor. So, once the toilet was clear, I got to clean up more excrement.

I had more crap on me before 9 am than most people do all day.

Soon the Wife came home and we had a little breakfast. Then she went to bed at my request, and the kiddos and I decided to watch a little "Singing in the Rain", since it was raining hard here anyway!

After that, it was time for my little Sweet Pea to take a nap. With her comfortably in her crib, the Boyo and I went out to the shop to polish up a knife that will be selling soon. You know, just a quick shine for the blade and bolsters. Shouldn't take more than ten, maybe fifteen minutes.

And it didn't, but while I was cleaning the buffing compound from the blade and polishing it with the chamois, my hand slipped, and... well...

Three hours and five stitches later, we left the Emergency Room and headed for supper.

Now, we have eaten a nice Chinese supper, the kiddos are cleaning their toys. Thanks to the stitches, I can't help with baths tonight, so my exhausted wife is left with that chore. Early bedtime for all though, we want to get this day in the books.

Hopefully this will not be how the whole year goes. If it is a foreshadowing day, well... Then I'm looking forward to being 39!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Pesto is the Besto!

Tonight we had the first garden contribution to the dinner table...


The Boyo and I went out and picked a good many leaves off of a good many basil plants, headed for the kitchen, and whipped up a big pot of pasta with pesto and tofu and feta cheese.

I am now to full to move.

Tomato's are near ripe as well. Won't be long now!!!

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Why August 4th is Great

Yes, yes. Obama had his birthday yesterday. But an even more important birthday occurred. My brother was born thirty-six years ago yesterday. I had a 16 hour shift and did not get a chance to call, and for that I am truly sorry. (I did have a diabetic wake up in the middle of a big store though, so I was actually busy!)

My brother has always been one of my best friends and one of my most trusted advisers. He has been burdened with things that would have broken lesser men, myself included, and somehow thrived through it all. He has a beautiful family and an unparalleled amount of knowledge and talent.

He's one of the few people I respect and admire, and though I am older in years, I am far behind in many, many ways.

Love you bro. So glad you were born.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sister Act

Today, some years ago, my sister was born! Growing up, she helped teach us reading and singing, and also dancing. Today, today, she has a family of her own, and continues to teach by example and directly.

Happy Birthday to my Sister! May it be filled with good food, good friends and family, and joy!

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