Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 365 - 02/21/2008

Well, here we are, one year later. Today's the day I turn 40. Tomorrow will be Day 366, the namesake of this endeavor and the last day I'll be doing daily updates. Starting Saturday, I'll switch from posting daily diatribes (alright, I'm not really posting diatribes, but I liked the alliteration) to posting daily pictures of the world around me. But they may not be daily; they may be every other day or maybe even once a week. I may add text to the post if I'm in the mood, but hopefully the picture will contain everything I'm trying to impart.

You'll also notice that the title of this blog will change. While I will keep the Day 366 part (because I like the way it's a year plus one day -- sort of like putting 11 on your amplifier to make it one louder), I'll change the tag line to something different. No longer am I an average Joe on the path from 39 to 40: I'm an average Joe who is no longer 39!

To celebrate my birthday, I went to work. I was planning on taking it off, but will be going skiing next week and decided I should get some work done. So I went in. That's not to say I didn't go home for lunch (which I did) or leave early to go out to dinner with the family (which I did as well), but I did get some work done. Which I guess is why I go to work.

But before that, I was serenaded by the family. For some reason I got up early and went down to do some work in the office. About 7a I went upstairs to get ready for work and there were M, N and D in bed, lined up like peas in a pod. I barely walked into the room when they broke out singing Happy Birthday to me. It was the perfect start to the day.

For dinner we went to Red Robin, where I got my picture taken with Red (he's now appearing live and in person on Tuesday and Thursday instead of just Tuesday). Upon leaving the house and driving up the street, the D and the kids started singing to me again. This time, instead of Happy Birthday, they sang some songs that sounded like a mix between being made up and being school taught. Regardless, I enjoyed it to no end. After dinner the kids and I played some video games while D looked on. They wanted to play more, but D had to get home for Bunco (and I wanted to get home for dessert). Upon getting home, I had my birthday cake (Mud Pie Brownies, actually) and opened the presents D and the kids got me (a running shirt, an ice scraper and slippers...all of which were on my list!).

After D left for Bunco and the kids got ready for bed, I read them a chapter from Treasure Island. The Hispaniola has left on her voyage and Jim Hawkins has just fallen asleep in the apple barrel. We are now (finally) getting to the good point where we find out who Long John Silver really is. Of course, much to the kids' chagrin, that was the end of the chapter. They'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what Jim learned while he was hiding in that barrel.

Larry called later on and said he'd be over after all. He had a hot date but took a rain check. I'm not sure whether he took it to come over to shoot pool and kill the keg left over from Saturday or he got blown off by his hot date, but, regardless, he came over and we shot pool and tried to kill the keg (we almost succeeded, but it got late and Friday's a work day for both of us).

D arrived right as we were wrapping things up. We ended up chatting it up for a while before calling it quits for the night. All in all, it was a great day, from start to finish.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 364 - 02/20/2008

Work was work. I thought I woke up feeling under the weather, but as the day progressed, I improved. I should've gone to bed earlier than I did, but I decided to stay up and read.

For work D made chicken, beans, peaches, a salad and biscuits. The peaches were canned in Illinois a few years back, but they're still as good as the day we worked them up. Before dinner, N and I played some pool until M was done with her homework. Once she was done, she came down and played a game as well. After dinner (and after N was in bed), M went on the treadmill for a mile while I played guitar.

I almost have the strum pattern down for Fall Line, but playing and singing at the same time are both a ways off. Practice is in order.

After M went to bed, D and I got sucked in to Terminator 3: Judgement Day on FX. She doesn't recall seeing it (I don't know when I did, maybe in OKC on one of my many trips?), so I watched it a bit with her before heading upstairs to get some reading in. I'm still reading Rising Tide and was excited to find out recently that I'm almost done. (That doesn't sound right; the book is good, but I want to finish it so I can move to the next one on the list.) I didn't realize it, but the last 100 pages or so are indexes, bibliography and other reference material.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 363 - 02/19/2008

M, N and I played a few games of pool tonight after dinner (where N ate three kernels of corn -- without having to be smothered in ketchup!). While he's not progressing as fast as I had hoped in expanding his palate, he's still making positive progress, which is better than the alternative. Both M and N used half-cues (where I took off the base and they used the tops) and both of them seemed to shoot better. They're still learning how to anchor their hands on the table so that the cue is stable when it hits the ball, but given time I'm sure they'll become pretty good. (One thing I've noticed is that N sticks his tongue out when lining up a shot...just like his old man!)

After getting N in bed (M was in the shower), I headed over to David's for my guitar lesson. So far I've been enjoying getting together with him. I feel I've learned more in the past three weeks or so in terms of the layout of the fretboard than I did in the six months with Gary at Chantilly Music. (That's not to say I didn't learn anything over those six months, it's just that we focused more on chord progressions and strum techniques vs. what David's focusing on.)

My homework for the last week was to work on the blues chord progression and scales for G major and A major. I guess I misunderstood the lesson plan as I completely botched what I was supposed to do (which meant all that torture trying to stretch five frets between my pointer and pinky were for naught...well not really for naught as it helped get my hand stretched out, but it wasn't what I was supposed to do).

Tonight we worked on a couple of songs (both by Jack Johnson): Fall Line and Symbol in My Driveway. Fall Line is a pretty simple strum pattern between the D and G chords, with an A chord (and A fingering) during the bridge. Symbol is also pretty simple as well, but not as straightforward as Fall Line. Symbol starts off with an A, moves to E and then up to D. Basic, right? You'd think so. While I'm sure I'll get it down, I was foundering when I tried to keep up with David (and Jack, via the iPod).

I'm not discouraged, though. As David said, all it takes if five minutes a day to make steady progress. Well, more than that, really, but the point is that if I play five minutes a day, every day of the week, I'll make more progress than if I play an hour one day a week. It's all about building the muscle memory and neurological pathways that are needed to play the song without even trying all that hard.

All in all, I'm glad I finally got on the ball and started taking lessons. It's a shame I didn't commit to this 20 years ago when I first got my gitbox. Of course, I didn't have the expendable income I had then, although I did have the expendable time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day 362 - 02/18/2008

Even though it's President's Day, I still went in to work...that's how much of a dedicated employee I am.

Well, that and this is one of the four holidays my company doesn't recognize (MLK Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day are the other three). We do get "floating holidays" so that if we did want to take the day off, we could, but typically no one does. I was planning on it until my boss decided to schedule an all-hands meeting. Oh well, at least I got lunch out of it. And dessert (cannolli and cheesecake!).

I stopped by Costco on the way home and picked up my glasses. It's been over three years since I got my previous glasses and they've been in need of replacement for about the past two. Of course, seeing as I'm a procrastinator and don't like to spend money all that often (well, on glasses anyway), I put it off and put it off and put it off. I went to the eye doctor's last month, though, and since my prescription changed, I thought it was about time to get a new pair, so I did.

Anyway, they came in so I picked them up. New glasses are awesome. The lens is so clear and clean. There's no smudges or scratches that blur your vision. I wish I could wear new glasses every day. I love new glasses; they're the best. (And no, I will not be marrying them, thankyouverymuch.)

D went and got the kids from Fred today and then stopped by Boston Market for dinner, so that's what we had. I also love Boston Market. Their food rocks (especially their chicken). I basically falls off the bone when you look at it.

I didn't get to bed as early as I had wanted to, but it felt good when I did. I'm still a little beat from Saturday night, so I was looking forward to getting some good rest. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back to normal, just in time to start all over again with my real birthday!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 361 - 02/17/2008

So, remember that party I was talking about yesterday? It's really kicking my ass today. As you might imagine, I'm not really feeling the love today even though I slept in until about 1030a. Of course, had I gone to bed at a decent hour that would've been some quality sleep time, but getting to bed around 330a? Not so much. I'm sure it didn't help that I overindulged as well.

So, for the better part of the day we hung out in the family room and relaxed. D and I went to Mass at 530p and afterwards came home and had some breakfast burritos. I should've made us two each, but I still wasn't thinking.

After dinner, we watched The Illusionist. D had read a blurb about it a while back and it came in the mail earlier this week. Both of us were quite surprised with how much we enjoyed it, especially for not having heard a thing about it! In addition to the story, I really enjoyed the soundtrack. The bass and/or cello notes really matched the telling of the story. There are only a few soundtracks to movies that impressed me (Pleasantville, Forrest Gump to name a few), but this will be added to the list.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 360 - 02/16/2008

Not only are we now in the 360s as of today, my birthday party was also tonight. I had originally wanted a Mardi Gras party, but with Easter being early this year, it would've had to have been the first weekend in February and would've conflicted with the Super Bowl. A month or so ago D suggested we have an 80s themed party instead. It sounded like fun, so we ran with it.

After running around during the day getting everything done for the party, I headed up to Total Wine to pick up the kegs (because what's an 80s party without kegs?!?) and then to Giant to get a 12-pack of Beast and some Bartles & Jaymes for door prizes. I'm not sure whether it was the choice of beverages I had decided to purchase or whether I looked like a young whipper-snapper, but the cashier carded me. After I showed him my ID, he was taken aback and offered up a (barely audible) "Oh" and he turned and high-tailed it back to the self-checkout station. I got a kick out of that and made sure to share that with everyone at the party later on.

We were hoping everyone would dress in their worst 80s fashions (some did) and bring their worst 80s pictures (some did), but we were also hoping it would be a fun time (it was). We had asked people to bring pictures from the 80s showing them in high fashion (or bad fashion, as the case may be) and most folks brought their pics. We also played a "How well do you think you know M?" game, giving out the Beast as the top prize. I disqualified family members from winning, but as it turned out, only Nina did very well -- she tied with the eventual winner. We also did a trivia game where the contestants had to answer questions about the 80s. Caroline ended up winning that one, although both Charlie and Lori gave her a run for the money (she won the Footloose/Flashdance DVD). Lori didn't go away empty handed though, as she and Chris won 2nd place for best costume; first place went to Molly and Ted. Brian won the breakdancing contest later on (complete with cardboard dance floor) and he gave quite the winning speech.

The party ended up going into the late early morning hours (late as in 3-4a) before we finally called it quits. There's really too much that happened over the course of the evening to summarize here, but suffice it to say, a good time was had by all, especially by yours truly.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day 359 - 02/15/2008

I was hoping to leave work early today to get things done for the party, but it didn't work out that way. A meeting was scheduled for this afternoon that kept me in the office until 430p or so. I stopped by Costco on the way home (for the second time today) and picked up some stuff for the party tomorrow. As it turned out, the mattress we wanted to get was on sale!

I had arranged for a colleague to help me get it home, but when I came over during lunch, the customer service rep told me they weren't on sale (there was no price tag attached to the mattresses). Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be.

I tried calling my colleague, but he wasn't around. Oh well, I thought, maybe I'll come back up with the van and toss it on top. I made a few calls when I got home and was able to get Charlie to help me out. Even better, we used his work van to bring the mattress home, so we didn't have to put it on top of our van!

Before that, however, D and the kids surprised me with my birthday present. She's been wanting me to get a new car for my birthday (the Altima is over 10 years old, but only has 85k miles on it), but I'd rather not go that route. While I'd love to have a new(er) car, I don't relish the thought of having a car payment. So, with that in mind, she did something I never expected: she bought me a pool table!

I was quite surprised when I found out (although she had consulted me with regard to the style, location, etc, I didn't know when it would be delivered). The kids were excited when I got home and I soon found out why when they led me to the basement. We played a few games before I had to get back to focusing on the party. Had it not been for that, I would've been down there all night. (Not to worry, however, I'm sure I'll spend plenty of time in the basement doing my best imitation of Minnesota Fats over the years.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Day 358 - 02/14/2008

Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate, here's a poem I wrote a few years back for D:

Sometimes I find it hard to think
of what I want to say
to add to this card
that I got for you
on this St. Valentine's Day.

Sometimes words flow like a river
running across the plain,
other times they trickle and drip,
like the drip-drop of water
down a drain.

I start to write something
and then scratch it out
only to start fresh and new
But one thing I don't want
to scratch out (or start over)
is the love that I hold for you.

But know that regardless of
the number of lines
I scrawl upon a card
the feelings I have for you won't change
except to maybe grow large.

Know that you are the reason I'm here
You brighten my world my life
If I had it all over to do from the start
there's only one person I'd want as my wife
it's the person who's reading this line right now
The person who lives in my heart.

Of course, the last two lines don't mean the same reading them here as they did on the card, but you get the drift. To celebrate the day, I picked up dinner from Charlie Chiangs on the way home and D and I enjoyed that after the kids ate their dinner.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Day 357 - 02/13/2008

Another day, another dollar. Well, $19 actually, but that doesn't matter. It's another sale. Since releasing iTriTracker, I've pulled in almost $500. Sure, it's nowhere near enough to retire on, but it's $500 I didn't have before.

Some might say that I spent that much in time while developing it. I would say that that's partially correct, except for the fact that I don't get paid for sitting around the house watching tv or playing with the kids or doing yard work or...well, you get the idea. Time is money, 'tis true, but only if someone is willing to pay you for your time. If you don't have a patron (or a grant from the feds), your free time is just that: free. There's a cost to you, but it's not in the form of positive cash flow.

But you know what I really like about this endeavor? It's the concept that I now don't have to do anything for the money coming in, the work has been done and now I just get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor. (Well, that's not entirely true, I do have to send the registration information, but that's minute compared to the time I put into developing iTriTracker and Melon.)

Let's see if I can't make it 3-for-3 and get a sale tomorrow as well. Now wouldn't that be the cat's meow!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day 356 - 02/12/2008

I woke up this morning to a sale. That continues the streak of one sale per month since going live 2.5 years ago. That might not sound like much (and trust me, it really isn't), but it's a nice ego boost to see that someone is paying me for something I created with that Melon between my ears. Let's hope that streak continues.

We had CCR this afternoon. Bales was going for four in a row but it wasn't in the cards (I think he was the first one pulled, IIRC). I've been on the bubble the last two times and was relieved to see my card pulled fourth (out of six players). Frank and Thuc were left on the bubble this month and, after 30+ free lunches, Thuc finally had to shell out for lunch. I really don't care who ends up paying, as long as it's not me. It just makes lunch taste that much better!

I was supposed to go to David's tonight, but with the ice storm, we canceled until next Tuesday. That works better for me anyway since it gives me more time to stretch my left hand when trying to cross five frets up near the top of the neck. Down the neck by the body, where the frets are pretty close together, I can bridge the gap pretty easily, but up near the bridge? Forget it. Actually, I can get it for a little bit, but after about a minute or so of playing, my hand starts hurting. I just have to keep telling myself that one day it will happen and all the practice I've put in will pay off.

So, instead of going to David's house, the kids and I played a Charlie Brown Valentine's Day game that Lori dropped for for N's party on Thursday at school. It's way convoluted for the kindergarteners though, so I don't think D will be bringing it in.

After the kids got to bed (which was late as we were in the basement looking through pictures for the Wall of Shame for the party on Saturday night), D and I watched Terminator: SCC on Tivo. We both get a kick out of the cyborg sent to protect Sarah and John; the other characters we could do without. It was good seeing David Silver [David Austin Green of 90210 fame] back on the small screen. I wonder where the rest of the 90120 gang are? Hanging out at the Peach Pit?

Before hitting the sack, I browsed the music for my party and tagged those songs I wanted to hear. I was able to cull the list from 8 days to 14 hours, as well as remove any duplicates. D will need to go through them again to add/remove any songs she wants played, but for now, I think we're pretty much set.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Day 355 - 02/11/2008

Can it be? Only 11 days left? I can't wait. As I've said on numerous occasions, these posts, while a good exercise in writing (and hopefully reading), are a chore. I keep putting off posting on a daily basis and then write a few days posts at once. While it fulfills the letter of the contract, that's not what I had intended.

I mentioned to M that mornings have become pleasurable and that I appreciate the change in her morning attitude. Part of it is due to her wanting to get to school early to get a tall chair (not a "high" chair, mind you -- those are for babies), but I think part of it is also her maturity level. Of course, there's still a way to on that front, but every little improvement helps. Of course, changing my attitude has helped as well, so maybe we're feeding off each other.

I hit the gym after work today and am still enjoying the resistance strap workout I've been doing since the beginning of the year. I need to get into the gym when Tammy's there to have my measurements taken again to see what's changed since January 4th (when my yearly baseline was taken). I'm sure the body fat percentage has decreased, but my weight has pretty much stayed the same (well, maybe it's dropped a little bit). Regardless, I'm seeing an increase in arm size, as well as an increase in core strength. Today, for instance, I upped the reps for all the exercises to 20 (vs. 15 in the previous weeks) -- even on the push ups I do at the very end!

No book reading tonight as M was late getting her clarinet practice done and she got to bed late. Oh well, we're in no rush...or should I say they don't seem to be in any rush!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Day 354 - 02/10/2008

After a late night Saturday night, we slept in and enjoyed a lazy morning, not getting to Mass until 1230p. I could've foregone Mass until 530p, but didn't feel like having a short day. (For some reason, when I go to 530p Mass, it feels like the day just gets away from you and it's done before you know it.)

On Sundays I typically cook the dinner meal and today was no different. I was thinking about what to cook before going to church and settled on the pork barbecue in the freezer (cooking it in the slow cooker), but discovered too late that it needed to be thawed before cooking it. Oh well, strike that off the list. The next idea was Taco Pie (which I haven't made in years), but that was struck from the list as well when D suggested we make the remaining crab cakes. I added some orzo w/ Parmesan cheese, a green salad and some broccoli and dinner was done. It was a hit by both of us (although N did try the broccoli, he didn't do so without fussing).

Since it's been a while since I read to the kids, I read another chapter of Treasure Island to them. We're finally getting to the point where they're outfitting the ship and Long John Silver has entered the storyline. M and N don't realize he's a bad guy...yet. Hopefully the story will pick up in the next few chapters as this landlubber business is getting stale.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day 353 - 02/09/2008

What a busy day. M started swimming this morning so I N and I hit the road for a boatload of errands. I had promised him we'd head to the train stores to see what we can find. He's been itching for a train set (HO scale type train set) ever since he's been old enough to understand what they were and I think this is the year D and I get him one. Of course, he changes his mind with regard to what he wants on a somewhat weekly basis, so even if we got him what he wants, he'd probably want something else next month.

Anyway, that was stop numbers one and two. Fortunately, the second train store is located in the same shopping center as the uniform store, so we were able to kill two birds with one parking spot (and believe me, the parking lot at Fair City Mall is a pain in the asssssss to negotiate and find a is always full up like a tick).

Afterwards, we headed up 29 to the Merrifield Post Office, stopping for lunch at Tippy's Tacos. I haven't eaten there in I don't know how many years. I wasn't in the mood for a taco (like I usually got), but the salsa (hot sauce, really) hadn't changed a bit. N ate a cheese quesadilla and had a small Coke Coca-Cola (his correction, not mine). From there we hit the post office to drop off Super Bad and then hit Unique in hopes of scoring a costume for next weekend's party.

Unique is just that: a thrift store in an old Marlo (?) warehouse. It's got tons of used stuff and is dirt cheap. I didn't find what I was hoping to find, but I was able to put something together with what I did find. On the way home from there, we stopped by another thrift store where I finished my costume.

Since it's supposed to turn nasty tomorrow, I went out for a run (~4 miles) and felt good. I was surprised I didn't have any knee issues after Thursday's run. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come!

After bowling we hit the post-bowl party for a bit before heading home to relieve the babysitters. Had they not been in 6th and 7th grade, we would've stayed out a bit later, but seeing as they're just a few years older than M, we decided to make it an early evening.

I wasn't as success

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Day 352 - 02/08/2008

Happy Birthday, David Schneider!

David was a friend of mine in 2nd and 3rd grade in Germany. I don't know why I remember his birthday (maybe because it's a February birthday like mine?), but I do. Every year, without fail, I think of him and wonder what became of him.

D and I watched Super Bad last night. I wouldn't say it was (super bad), but it definitely wasn't super good. I could've done without all the f-bombs being dropped. There were a few funny moments and a few laugh-out-loud moments, but, for the most part, it just seemed the producers were going for the over-the-top raunch award. (Does that mean I'm old now?)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 351 - 02/07/2008

Two weeks until my birthday. Two weeks until I've been posting for a year.

I've decided not to continue the daily ritual of posting (since I don't always post every day and it turns into a semi-weekly event of catching up for the past few days or so) and have decided on something similar: I will post pictures of the world around me on a somewhat regular basis. I don't know whether it will be everyday or just when it strikes my fancy (I'm hoping it's every day), but we'll see what happens.

I think it'd be much easier to do since I can take a picture with my camera and post it directly to the blog. (Well, I think I'll be able to do that, I'll have to try it out and see.)

Regardless, don't look for my daily ramblings to continue. The light at the end of the tunnel is near.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Day 350 - 02/06/2008

It's Ash Wednesday: The first day of Lent, as well as one of the days of fasting during the Lenten season (Good Friday is the other). Not only are we to fast, but we're also not supposed to eat meat.

So, with that in mind, we had a code review at work today and, as usual, we had pizza. Mike was to have ordered a variety of pies, but ended up getting two kinds: meat lovers and cheese. I guess you can guess which one I ate from, eh?

Speaking of Lent, this year I've decided to forego the yearly ritual of giving up booze and give up ice cream instead. While some of you might think that's not an even trade off, but I only drink a couple times over the course of the week, whereas I typically enjoy a bowl of ice cream 4-5 times a week (and that's down from 7+ times per week since the doc started monitoring my cholesterol). I've also committed to attending Mass at least 2x per week. In the past I've attended on Wednesday, but will probably do it on Thursdays this year just to mix it up.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 349 - 02/05/2008

Nothing of importance to note today. Move along.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day 348 - 02/04/2008

Mundane Monday:

Chicken tortilla soup for lunch;
Hit the gym after work;
Picked up M and Claire from art on the way home;
Played guitar after dinner of leftover white chili;
Read Treasure Island and put the kids to bed;
Took out the trash; and
Watched Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Day 347 - 02/03/2008

I took advantage of this unseasonal weather by going for a bike ride to Giant by way of Shirley Gate Road (about 10 miles out of the way). This was on purpose. Actually, it was a pretty good ride as the weather wasn't too cool at speed and traffic wasn't too bad (on those roads where I eschewed the "bike" path for the roads anyway). All in all, I was in the saddle for about 18 miles for about 90 minutes. That wasn't all riding, though, as I stopped a few times to pick up roadkill (a crescent wrench and a pint glass) and to take a couple pictures of a bust of a horse.

I'm really not sure what the point of this is. It's just a hunk of stone (marble?) sitting on the side of the road in front of an apartment building. I guess it's supposed to be some kind of art, but I don't get it. It's not like Fair Oaks is (or was) a hotbed of thoroughbred horse farming or anything.

After I got home from my ride, I made some white chili for the Super Bowl Big Game party we attended tonight down the street. It turned out quite good and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Here's the recipe in case you'd like to make it yourself:

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast (or thigh), cubed
1 white onion, diced
1 can cannellini/navy beans (14 - 16 oz), drained (reserve the liquid)
1 can diced chilies (4 oz.), drained (reserve the liquid)
1 can corn (14 - 16 oz), drained
2 c. chicken stock
1 tbsp oregeno
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp McCormick California Blend Garlic Powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil

Brown chicken in olive oil, remove to plate until later. Add diced onions to olive oil and cook 2-3 minutes. Add beans, corn, chilies, stock, spices and chicken and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes or so. If it's too thick add some of the reserved liquid.

I've made this with cubed tofu instead of the chicken and although it was pretty good, wasn't as nearly as good as it is w/ the chicken. Another option would be to add shrimp.

As for the game itself, I thought it was alright, but as I told the folks I was watching the game with, had it been a Sunday afternoon game in October, I would've turned off the set and done something else. It just wasn't exciting enough for me. Oh well, there's always next year.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Day 346 - 02/02/2008

N and I were up and out of the house bright and early for a birthday party at Pump It Up. Usually we drop them off, but after what happened last time he was there, I stuck around the whole time. I was only planning on staying for half an hour or so, but got caught up talking with another dad and the next thing you know the party was nearing it's end.

After the party, I did some handyman stuff around the house that's been needing to get done (well, that I've been wanting to get done). I ran a wire from the office to the basement so we could watch TV in the back basement (it's connected to the aerial antenna in the attic). As part of this, I also built a shelf for the TV to sit on (it's a small 13" unit -- nothing too large or anything). D's been wanting me to hook it up for a while so she could watch it while she's on the treadmill. I also hooked up the center channel speaker to the stereo in the family room.

After dinner of Popeye's chicken (the official chicken of the Washington Redskins) that was only a hit with me (D doesn't like Popeye's and M and N don't like eating chicken with bones in it) and after we got the kids ready for bed, D and I settled down to watch the remake of Hairspray.

If you've seen the original, do yourself a favor and skip this one. If you haven't seen the original, do yourself a favor and skip this one and see that one instead. Not that it was (too) bad, but it was too long and there were too many songs. It failed to deliver as a musical. Maybe if there were fewer songs and more dialog it would've hit the mark, but. . .

After the movie, D went upstairs to bed and I went to the basement to play guitar until the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Day 345 - 02/01/2008

The kids had a two hour delay this morning due to. . .rain. Yes, you read that right. . .due to rain. (In all fairness, though, it was a little cold as well, so maybe they didn't want the kids to be cold and wet in the classroom.)

Whatever. Back in my day we had to go to school when it was cold and rainy.

And the teachers left the windows open so we could all catch chills and risk death by pneumonia.

Not really, but you get the point.

What was funny was that some folks didn't even think to check to see if school was delayed -- including one of our neighbors. She took her kids to school and found it closed. She turned back around and on her way home saw everyone leaving the local high school as well. That'll teach her not to check the closings the next time it's cold and rainy.

Tonight D and I watched last night's episode of Lost. I was quite happy to see it back on and am hoping the writer's strike will be resolved so we can have 16 episodes (vs. 8). Afterwards, I headed over the WaPo to read the Lost Dueling Analysis that appears after every episode. One thing I noticed was that no one thought it was Hurley's eye that was looking out the cabin window. Everyone thought it was Locke's.

I wasn't able to finish reading the analysis, though, as it was bedtime. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Day 344 - 01/31/2008

LOST is back!

But I missed it; I went and saw the Caps beat the Habs instead. That's alright, it was Tivo'd!

A few of us from work got together for the game and boy, was it a good one. After meeting up at Fado for a few Guinnesses (or 19), we walked down to the Verizon Center, picked up our tickets at will call and made our way to our seats. They weren't at the top of the arena, but they weren't bad, either. Actually, I'd wager that there's not a bad seat in the upper concourse as no matter where you're sitting, you've got a birds-eye view of the action, allowing you to see plays develop and foresee where they puck will probably be played. That's one thing you can't say sitting on the glass in the lower bowl, that's for sure (although you are closer to the action).

I got back home about 1045p and hit the sack. Although I jokingly told Mike I'd be in late tomorrow (late as in Monday), I was tired and ready to end the day.