Saturday, May 31, 2008

Red hot birthday action

Nothing spells birthday party like bumper cars! And, of course, Dad didn't bring the camera along so all we've got is this crappy cell-phone shot. Ah well...

So it's 11:17 as I type this. The boys are settling in the basement playing Atari Flashback ('cause the XBox is toast), the two girls are upstairs watching Napoleon Dynamite. I predict they'll be asleep by 11:30. The boys? Well, I doubt they'll match last year's 5 AM bed time. I'm guessing more like, oh, 1:15. Maybe earlier.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Surgery date? Check. Mariners' loss? Check.

Checked both off the list today. Eye surgery next Wednesday afternoon, M's loss tonight. Whee!

Technically I must agree with Steve Chicken that tonight's game was better than the last one we went to. In the last game the M's gave up 10 runs in the first two innings or so, and never had a chance. In tonight's game after Silva gave up 6 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning (although I'd say technically it should be 5, since the first hit was really an error) the bullpen only gave up one more. And the M's put 4 on the board to make it almost a game. Not quite a game, but close enough that you could close your eyes and imagine they might win.

And as for the surgery, I've got a pre-op appointment Monday to review what's going to happen, then I show up Wednesday at 11:30 or so and go under around 1. Should be out of the OR by 3 or 4, then groggy the rest of the night. At least they got me in at a moderate time...I'm going to have to eat a second dinner or something before bed on Tuesday 'cause otherwise "no food after midnight" is going to hurt. And I don't like hurt.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

All atwitter about false eye sockets

So two updates. First, I'm on the twitter. So now you can "track" me and get "tweets" or whatever the hell the kids are going on about.

Second, I've decided to go ahead with the eye surgery because, really, how often do you get a piece of space-age polymer stuck in your head on purpose? Not nearly often enough, that's how often. And key to the decision was the realization that I could then post even more gnarly photos of my recovering eye for you to gag over. Because I'm all about you, the Chicken Blog reader.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another eye update

Saw another eye doctor today, this time seeing the guy who will get the joy of slicing me open should I opt to go that route. The highlight of the visit, other than the stinging dye drops, was getting to see him flip through my CT scan like a flip book. Pretty cool technology, and unfortunately not available on the web. Otherwise I'd post a shot of my blowout fracture, which really does look like a blowout. Basically as you look at the image you see one nice oval eye socket - the right one - and one where the bottom kind of drops away - the injured left one.

So the verdict from Dr. Kim is that I have "a medium blowout fracture". It's not huge enough to require immediate surgery, but it's not so small that there's no concern. He explained that the two indications for surgery were double vision that doesn't clear up (mine did), and recession of the eye. Which basically means that since there's no floor to the eye socket the eye starts to sink back in your head. Which, apparently, is purely cosmetic, but could make me look pretty freaky.

So surgery is an option. On the positive side, I'd get to spend a night in the hospital and would finally get that sweet shiner I'd hoped for. On the negative side, I could lose the vision in the eye, end up with double vision, get a nasty infection, or any of a whole slew of nasty after-effects. On the positive side, Dr. Kim has been doing this for like 20 years and has only had one person lose their vision. On the negative side, that was like 6 weeks ago. But on the positive side, the woman who lost her vision was elderly, and maybe my eye is stronger than hers. But on the negative side, if it's not then I get to live a lot longer than her with a bum eye.

And then when I got home Paige asked the question I'd forgotten to ask: What did he say about the trip? So now I've got to call them back tomorrow and say "hey, I'm leaving town for a couple weeks at the end of June...will that be a problem?" Whee!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another milestone

So I think I speak for all dads when I say there are a few milestones in your son's life that you look forward to with great anticipation. Sure, there are the obvious ones like the first girlfriend, the wedding, the birth of the first grand child. There are the sports-themed ones: game winning home run/touchdown/goal/basket, game-saving catch/tackle/save/blocked shot, medals in track or swimming, whatever. There are the intellectual ones: Straight As, perfect SAT scores, big AP scores, getting in to Harvard or wherever. There are the other organizational / religious things: confirmation, bar mitzvah, becoming an Eagle Scout, joining the Army, whatever.

And then there are the little things. So far, that's what we've hit. 'cause hey, Logan's not even 11 yet, so the whole Eagle Scout thing is a ways off. But we've had a few...

The first key milestone in Logan's life, as viewed by me, was when he was old enough to get me a beer. It didn't last too long, but for a few weeks there he was willing.

The next was probably joining Cub Scouts and getting his Arrow of Light, just for the "I remember doing that" factor.

The latest came today with his first mowing of the lawn. He didn't mow the whole thing, and the half that he did mow was rather, shall we say, haphazard. But he went back over the parts he missed, and hey, it's a half of the lawn I didn't have to mow. And hopefully the promise of money will have him mowing it more often as the summer goes on! Hopefully...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Folking Life with Dan

So Memorial Day weekend brings Seattle's Folklife Festival to town, a gathering of hippies, wannabe hippies, buskers, and food vendors to the Seattle Center, all trying to separate us from our hard earned cash. And succeed they did, at least for the Chicken children...Logan took an early birthday present in the form of two beaded key chains - one dolphin (or possibly barracuda), one frog - to hold all his nonexistent keys. Not wanting to be left behind, Maya successfully pleaded her case for a hair barrette thing. Underground economy: stimulated!

The main reason for going, other than the economic stimulus and hippie sightings, was to meet up with my old college friend Dan. Dan's now a college English teacher and poet out in Kansas, but since his mom and brother still live in Seattle he comes to town on occasion. And this was one such, and we actually put in some effort and met up. Had a nice wander through the Center, a fun-filled trip on the ol' Metro #5 up to north Seattle, and a delightful dinner at Saltoro. Man, their food is good.

And here is the photographic proof! No good shots of hippies or spin-dancing, just of Dan and Paige, and of the kids climbing on bronze whales...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A nice lazy weekend

Man, what a fine, lazy weekend! And best of all, it ain't over yet. Although tomorrow promises to be less lazy than yesterday and today...

Why so lazy, you ask? Well, we packed up and headed over to Wenatchee to visit some friends yesterday. The main activity? Sitting around. Awww yeah...couldn't even surf the net (or update the blog) 'cause their PC wouldn't connect. I put in 15 or 20 minutes trying to figure it out, but it was beyond my meager ninja skills to correct. Hence yesterday's cell-phone photo post (something you'll have to get used to during our big trip to wifi on the train, so any posts during that leg will be either photo or txt posts from the phone in those few moments when we've got coverage).

So we got there around 1 PM (after a gorgeous drive over highway 2), just in time for a little lunch and a nap. Then had some barbecue action for dinner with some friends of theirs, basically sitting around eating and swapping "how I got hurt in my youth" stories (my dislocated thumb was trumped by the guy friend's dislocated shoulder that was apparently so severe it made a passerby hurl) while the kids played whatever it was they were playing (Legos or Xbox, I think). Then today was spent lazing around or petting the kittens next door (Maya's favorite pastime). And no, stupid me didn't get any pictures of the kittens. They were super cute, though...the boy orange, the two girls kind of calico. Skittish, but cute.

After another drive over Highway 2 (slightly less beautiful today thanks to the rain) we're home and back on the Internets. Tomorrow is Folklife, which promises to be full of hippies but hopefully also relaxing!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cell phone update

Saturday eye update: the banana slug is bigger, but that's about it. Kind of sad I never got a real shiner...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Two thumbs up

That's both thumbs, if I'm counting right. Took the kids to see Speed Racer tonight, and I have to say that contrary to the crappy reviews I must agree with my co-workers: it's a hoot. I thought it payed great homage to the original cartoon, and while the driving scenes were at times completely incomprehensible, that's pretty much how I remembered the cartoon being. Sure, if I'd been epileptic I would have spent half the movie in a seizure, but I'm not so instead I spent it being entertained.

Better than Iron Man? No. But certainly better than The Flintstones, which we watched for free on on demand last night...

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Or however that's spelled...

So tonight I finally got the new computer up and running, the auxiliary data drive moved, everything hooked up, and I was, I thought, ready to rock. Except for one little problem...the stupid-ass sound card won't amplify my microphone enough. So I have to boost the sound with software, which sounds like crap. So I'm recording the wonders for KYA on the old PC, hooked up to the kids' monitor, running off a thumb drive. Which is just insanely crappy. And stupid.

So...what next? Buy a real sound card? Get an amplifying mixer? One of the above, I'm thinking...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Still not Wolverine, but getting better...

The eye, anyway, looks better. Neck still hurts like heck, but I was able to last a couple more hours at work today, and I don't look quite as scary as a couple days ago. Still don't have retractable adamantium claws, though...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Apparently I'm not Wolverine after all

And here I was hoping the whole bike crash thing would reveal some mutant healing ability. Rats. Instead I have to sit here typing on a sore finger (thanks to taking the band-aid off to do dishes, then forgetting to put it back on before coming down to blog) and a stiff neck. Although the neck did get me out of work early...not in a good way, mind you, but rather in a "if I don't lie down soon I'm going to be super grumpy" kind of way.

Oh, and I learned that wincing when a potato squirts me in the face as I stab it with a fork really, really hurts. So I'm not going to do that (poke potatoes) for a while.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday eye update

So I went to the eye doctor today and spent the better part of two hours sitting around the waiting room surrounded by geriatrics. And one guy roughly my age who was getting laser surgery. And in the 10 minutes or so I was with the doctor they put just about every drop in the building in my eyes and shined a wide variety of lights in both of them. I got the dye drop that does something cool with blue light, I got the drops that sting like hell and do something else also, and I got dilated. Because, you know, my vision wasn't bad enough with the seeing double on the left side thing.

Actually, the double vision is definitely better today, only occurring when I look up and left, or really far left. So this eye doctor said "well, it's still too early to tell if we'll need to operate, since things are tracking well in the middle which is where you normally use your eyes. We'd hate to fix a problem up and left and somehow knock the middle off track." Good to know.

So I get to go back next week once the swelling has gone down more and meet with the doctor that, should I need surgery, will do it. In the mean time it's ice, ibuprophen, bacitracin, and some nice dried plasma crusties around my eye. Mmmm...crusties...

Speaking of, here are some shots from tonight:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dad, why do I have to wear a bike helmet?

Well, son, for the simple reason that a $40 helmet is cheaper than a new head. As I so capably demonstrated today. First let's set the scene...

I'm riding in the Red Hook Haul Ash ride, from Woodinville out to Fremont and back. I'm riding with several friends and about, oh, 200 other people. We head out on the Samamish River Trail up to Bothell, the cross over to the Burke Gilman. All heavily traveled, all familiar, and all really busy today. So we get up to Kenmore and there's this area where they're widening the road and have therefore closed the trail. So we dump down on to a surface street and keep going. Easy peasy.

Well, along in there at some point this chick passes me and her bike's making a weird clicky noise. So I'm looking at the bike trying to figure out where it's coming from when I hear someone yelling "look out! Look out!" So I look out, and see about 30 feet in front of me a couple walking a dog heading right for me, 3 abreast. So I hit the brakes.

The only problem is I failed to follow rule #1 of bike riding: Hit the rear break hard first, then the front. I don't know if I was riding off the rear break or what, but I SLAMMED on the front and over I went. Thinking (or maybe thinking after I landed), "gee, this is exactly how Cousin Gerry died..."

So, now to the gory details. Here's why you wear a that all this damage doesn't happen to your head!

My helmet - which I bought about a month ago because my old one didn't fit right - performed exactly as it should: it crushed, it scraped, and it kept my skull from crushing and scraping. Not so much for my face...

One thing to note: the shininess in the picture is from bacitracin, not from rampant bleeding.

The glasses took a nice hit too, probably saving me more damage to the eye area:

So instead of spending a lovely Sunday riding my bike for a few hours and then drinking beer, I instead spent it sitting in the Group Health Urgent Care where, after 4 or so hours and a CT Scan I learned that I have a minor fracture to my outer left orbit (I'm sure there's some fancy medical term, but I don't have a medical dictionary handy and don't feel like looking it up). According to the ER doc that probably doesn't mean anything, but I get to blow off work tomorrow and go spend more hours with the eye doctor to make sure. Fun!

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So i went off on Red Hook's Haul Ash ride today, and everything was great until I hit the road with my face.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A hot sweaty night of Derby blowouts

So remember back in April when it snowed the morning of RCRG Season 4 Bout 2 and game-time temperatures were in the low 40s and I kept my coat on the whole time? Yeah, that was nothing like this month's bout. Nothing at all. Where April was cold and wet, May was hot and muggy. Where in April both teams I was rooting for lost, in May they won (well, at least the important team, my beloved Throttle Rockets, won...didn't really care about the DLF / Slaughter County travel-team match). And where in April I was hungry and paid too much for a burger, in May it was too hot to feel hungry so I just drank. Gotta stay hydrated, after all.

I'll post photos tomorrow or Monday, but the brief recap is this:

Throttle Rockets vs. Grave Danger:

TR finally played the way they should have been playing all season. I don't know if this was because Grave Danger forgot how to play defense, or if GD isn't very good this year, or what. But TR was definitely firing on all cylinders. The offensive highlights were great jams from Leeloo, Darth Skater and Blond an' Bitchin'. It felt like Leeloo was jamming every other time in the second half, and she definitely got gassed. BaBs was, as always, able to out-race everyone on the track without seeming to break a sweat, which is quite a feat given the temperature in Hangar 30. And on defense they really kept it together and controlled GD's scoring with some heavy hitting from Billie Boilermaker and great pack control from Jowanna Ass Kickin'. I don't remember the exact final score, but it was something like 140 to 70. All that matters is the Rockets are now 1 - 1 and tied with the Sockit Wenches for second place.

DLF vs. Slaughter County All-Stars:

Boy, talk about shooting fish in a friend Dave predicted that DLF wouldn't care and Slaughter County would keep it close through the first half, then come out in the second and shut them down. And he was right, except for that "keep it close" part. Slaughter County is in their first year as a league and it showed. They had some good speed skating jammers - Speedy Guns Haul-Ass lived up to her name, and Darth Maul'her did her best to emulate TR's Darth Skater. But their defense was virtually nonexistent, or at least not enough to contain the inhuman power of the DLF's Burnett Down, Summer Assault, and Punchin' Judy. Final score, something like 170 to 95. Ouch!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The cycling adventures of Maya Chicken

So as I believe I mentioned before, Maya's now off the training wheels and riding her bike. Which is great, 'cause it inspires her brother to go out and ride with her. It's also great, 'cause she's got a couple friends who live near enough that she can ride to their house once she gets a little more comfortable on the bike.

What's not so great is that she's not totally comfortable on the bike. Probably doesn't help that she's riding one with 14" wheels when she should be on a 16" or 20"...that problem will, we hope, be taken care of tomorrow when we trade her current bike with a friend who has a bigger one (but a smaller daughter).

The upshot of this love of being on the bike but not being comfortable on the bike is the newfound need for bandaids. Twice in the last two days she's gone down, both times skinning her left knee. Today's was especially choice, since it was in a gravel alley and the rock or whatever she landed on cut her knee right above the bandaids from yesterday's scrape, and in fact sliced one of them pretty well too.

There is a good side to this, though...she's getting tougher. She cries when she crashes, she yells at me when I ask to look at the wound, but eventually she realizes that she can't just sit in the middle of the road and so gets up, shakes it off, and gets back on the bike.

And really, isn't that what the whole "learning to ride" thing is about?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hey, the Internets are bigger now!

Today's excitement was the delivery of a used IBM 21" monitor. Old-school CRT action. Probably draws as much power as the 'fridge. But dang, it's definitely bigger than my old one. And bright...I seriously need to download the user manual and figure out how to adjust the color profile...

In other news, Tina the Galivanting Monkey has the same problem I do, only about 30 times worse. The problem? Staying up too damn late surfing the internet. I had no advice for her, since I do it too. But if you've got some advice on how to get my sorry butt in bed at a decent hour, please pass them on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's bike to work week!

Are ya bikin' to work? Me, not so much. Well, I'm going to ride tomorrow, which I suppose kind of counts. But not on Friday, the official "bike to work" day. Why? Because it'll be too hot, and too crowded. And for hot and crowds I've got Roller Derby on Saturday and Red Hook's Haul Ash on Sunday and that'll be quite enough, thank you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5th grade girls + squirrels = funny

So I'm in Logan's classroom this morning doing a dog and pony show about banking and savings accounts. And to get the kids thinking about why we save money I ask "are there any animals that save things?" And these are the answers I get (all of them from girls, 'cause 5th grade boys don't like to answer questions...):
Girl #1: Monkeys. Monkeys save bananas. [giggle]
Me: Okayyyy...anything else?
Girl #1: Squirrels.
Me: Great! What do squirrels save?
Girl #1: Nuts! [all girls in the class erupt into laughter. The boys look kind of embarrassed]
Ah, yes. I vaguely remember being 10 and 11, when "Nuts" cracked me up...

Monday, May 12, 2008

More movie chat

Did I mention the one disappointment of Iron Man? I didn't? Well, it's that they saved the song for the credits, and then only used the instrumental bridge / guitar solo. I mean sure, the song and the super hero have basically nothing in common other than the name. And sure, having Ozzy sing
Now the time is here
For iron man to spread fear
Vengeance from the grave
Kills the people he once saved

wouldn't really match the whole "I want to save mankind" theme of the movie, but still...maybe they're saving that for the sequel.

In other news, while Speed Racer has been panned mercilessly by the critics, two people I work with saw it and liked it. And the kids want to go. So maybe that'll be Sunday afternoon's activity...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I am Iron Man!

Well, no, I'm not. But man, I sure would like a trip in the suit...

As part two of our stimulating of the economy we went to see Summer Blockbuster #1 this weekend. Took a pass on Speed Racer, and not just because of the lousy reviews...also because it didn't have Mrs. Chicken's fave actor Robert Downey Junior (who is no relation to Morton Downey Junior, even though they have the same middle and last names).

I don't have the mental capacity for a full-on review, nor do I think you have the patience to read it, so suffice it to say it was good escapist fun, as long as you don't try to analyze the physics of it like Logan. And Stan Lee's cameo was perfectly cast, I must say.

Doh! And again, Doh!

Totally spaced posting yesterday, putting yet another hole in my Blog 365 suit. And I liked that suit, too. so I'll post twice today, just to make up for it. And to make it easier than reading one long post. Well, maybe not easier, but what the heck.

So yesterday was our turn to "Stimulate the Economy" thanks to the perfect storm of the government rebate check, a computer going on the fritz, and the PTA auction. Starting with the computer (since the check is pretty obvious)...

Thursday night I booted up my desktop and it, well, didn't boot. Or, rather, it initialized, then the "Windows" screen with the progress lights going across it appeared, then after 10 seconds or so I got a flash of the famed blue screen of death and then it flipped over and started initializing again. It did this over, and over, and over. Didn't matter if I booted in Safe Mode, Last Best Configuration, or whatnot. I even tried booting from the WinXP install disk and got nothing. Then, on about the 73rd try, it finally booted all the way. So I recorded and loaded my shows ASAP, then ran the spyware and virus software and did a chkdsk on both drives. Well, OK, I didn't do those, but the computer did.

So, deciding that this was the beginning of the end for my 5-year-old Dell, I decided a trip to Fry's was in order. And several hundred bucks later I walked out with a new case, mother board, AMD chip, an assload of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive and a DVD burner with the fancy-pants "Lightscribe" labling stuff. Now I just have to put it all together...

As for the auction, well, you have to go in with the attitude that the money is all for the kids anyway, and whatever you get is just gravy. And we got a fair amount of gravy. First off, during the silent auction, Paige bid up a bunch of Fred Meyer gift cards to beyond face value because hey, we're going to use 'em anyway. Then we got some credit at Funtasia for the boy's birthday party, and in the Live auction ended up in a bidding war with the principal for a long weekend at a cabin near Mt. Baker. "Keep bidding" said Paige. "She'll go higher" said Paige. And she did, and she won, and then the guy who owns the cabin came up and told the auctioneer that he'd throw in a second weekend if we paid our last bid. Which was, oh, $250 over what our original stop point was. So we were stuck. But hey, it's for the kids, right? Right.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I'll admit I'm not up on current pot smoking technology, but has security in today's high schools gotten to the point where you can no longer construct a bong in wood/metal shop? Or is it the fact that these kids were home schooled and therefore unable to access the necessary wood and/or metal-working tools that drove them instead to desecrate a grave and allegedly use the skull of an 11-year-old who died in 1921 to smoke their pot?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The wonder of reality tv

As I think I've mentioned before, while I loves me some TV I find I don't watch it as much as I used to. But there are a few shows I try to watch regularly, and in their standard time. Heroes, for one. And Spike's The Ultimate Fighter for another.

Heroes is pretty obvious: I like sci-fi, I like super heroes, it's well written, and that Claire chick is cute. So why Ultimate Fighter? Well, I think it's because it involves all the guilty voyeuristic pleasure of The Real World - a bunch of hyped up young people crammed into a house - and adds the special ingredient of focused violence.

I've watched this show since day 1, and while the in-house antics are occasionally (OK, make that "almost always") annoying and obnoxious, I keep coming back. And what keeps me coming back are two things: the fights and the fighter interviews. Let's look at why, shall we?

The fights: I have always harbored dreams of being a badass. I took Judo for, oh, a month or two in Junior High and never earned a belt. I took a week of Aikido in High School. I've been in one "real" fight that I can remember and was completely useless (in my defense I was drunk and already on the floor...surprisingly I cracked wise about something and the next thing I knew the guy was straddling my chest [or as the MMA guys call it, "in full mount"] and choking me). And yet in my fantasy life I'm a bad mofo and not to be messed with. Which is why it's my fantasy life and not my real life. So I'm captivated by guys who can actually beat the crap out of each other (and get the crap beaten out of them) and seem to enjoy it.

The fighter interviews: While some of these guys are moderately thoughtful and well spoken, a lot of them are complete knuckleheads. The knuckleheads are easily identified by their hyper macho posturing and the 90 degree turn to their TapOut baseball hats. And, as in life, the guy with the biggest mouth is usually the one on the short end of the stick. Or the pain end of the beatdown. Or both. Take, for example, this week's matchup between Matt Brown and Jeremy May. Pretty much everyone expected Matt to win...he just plain looks dangerous. But Jeremy couldn't shut up about how great he was, finally busting out with a genius remark that "I think I'm gonna put the hurtin' on him. In a good Christian way..."

For the record, Jeremy didn't make it out of the first round before he was TKO'd. As expected.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Maya's 2-wheelin'!

So Miss Maya has finally kicked the training-wheel habit, and here's the tiny, grainy celphone video proof!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Breakfast deliciousness

Man, I totally should have posted about this on Sunday, but I got all caught up in that chicken fight thing. Anyhow, we tried a new breakfast place on Sunday and oh my God...

So we Chickens have been fans of breakfast for a long time. Well, to be honest I think I'm more the big fan and Paige just humors me, but whatever. When we first shacked up back in the day we'd go Graze at Mae's up on Phinney Ridge. Then in the mid-90s the lines at Mae's got to be annoyingly long so we started hitting Beth's down on Aurora. But eventually the novelty of a 12-egg omelette was outweighed by the lingering stench of stale cigarettes and we moved on again. By then we were living in Broadview, so we tried out the Rickshaw purely for the novelty of eating an American breakfast in a Chinese restaurant, but again the smoke chased us out. Then it was on to the Salmon Bay Cafe in Ballard, Cindy's Pancake House on Aurora, and finally Pete's Egg Nest on Greenwood.

We loved (and still love) Pete's because it's homey, they do a Greek omelette that Paige loves, and the bacon is wonderful (only place I've ever been asked how I'd like my bacon prepared). The drawback is that it's small, and on the weekends the wait can be as long or longer than Mae's.

Well, this weekend we flipped Egg Nests and headed to Patty's Eggnest down on Holman Road (it's next to the QFC in a space that used to be a Burgermaster). And, as I said before, oh my God. The wait was reasonable (probably 5 minutes max at 10:30 on Sunday), the service was relatively prompt, but the food was great. I went with the standard eggs up, toast, sausage and hash browns - hard to screw up, yet nicely tasty. While the browns were a bit soggy in the middle that wasn't a huge detractor. The toast was thick Texas-style wheat bread, the eggs were nicely runny, and the sausage looked hand made (meaning it wasn't just Jimmy Dean links or something). Logan went with his standard short stack of pancakes, which appeared to be very pancakey. Paige and Maya ordered the berry French Toast which was also Texas-style and smothered in berry sauce (a mix of blueberries and raspberries with maybe a few blackberries thrown in for good measure) and what Paige called "the best whipped cream ever." Basically dessert on a plate.

So, have we shifted egg nests for good? Well, Patty's definitely has it's advantages: better parking, more tables, shorter wait, and damn fine whipped cream. But Pete's has it's perks too...we like the atmosphere and the family-run feeling. And the bacon...can't discount the bacon. That said, Patty's is closer, and we've got a couple gift certificates for it, so in the short run I think they win.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Thoroughly drawing a blank today

Thoroughly. The most interesting thing to happen today, other than it being sunny, is that Paige bought Logan his first stick of deodorant. Because he's, um, almost 11. And apparently the kids today stink more than we did back in the '70s. Or else my mom didn't care as much...I don't think I started rocking the Speed Stick until I was 13.

Well, as a friend's kid says, if ya got's the B.O. you gotsa use the D.O.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Lazy Sunday

And I have nothing exciting to add to the blogosphere...Maya kind of learned to ride her bike today, on flat ground and with assistance on the start, but I don't have photo evidence. Instead, I have Peter Griffin fighting a giant chicken.

Thanks, Hulu!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Happy Anniversary, sistah!

Technically the actual anniversary was over a week ago, but tonight was the party. My sister has now officially been married for 20 years, and to celebrate her husband through a party with most of the wedding party (my other sister couldn't make the trip, and one of Dave's brothers also couldn't be there).

I vaguely dreaded the party because, well, I don't really remember much of the wedding. And not, I don't think, for a good reason like "I was wicked hammered the whole weekend" or anything. More like "I was a Junior in college and thinking about other stuff". I remember driving home for it, in my roommate's Fiero with my then-girlfriend Sarah. I remember the painful plastic shoes. I remember the reception being in the Faculty Club at the UW and one of the bride's maids telling me that if I did donuts in the Fiero it would throw a rod straight through the engine block.

But that's pretty much it. Don't remember the people, don't remember the guy playing trumpet, don't really remember anything at all.

But hey, my lack of memory is no reason to skip free drinks and food, right? Right!

Friday, May 02, 2008

More on the shootin' 'n' stuff

So Wednesday I said, and I quote:
I'd go on about the various conversations I overheard, the insane noise of the guys with the large handguns next to us, and so forth, but I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow.

So now that I'm less tired, here it is.

So Sam's is a gun shop and range in one of those pseudo office park things: two buildings sharing a parking lot set back from a busy road. Didn't see what was in building #2, but building #1 was all Sam's. In true mullet style, it was business in the front (the gun store), party in the back (shooting range). With a classroom of sorts upstairs, which really doesn't fit the whole mullet metaphor. Maybe the classroom is the trucker cap...

Anyhow, there was only one guy working last night (I didn't catch his name, but he wasn't Sam), and he was a bit harried when we showed up. He was also rather surprised that the boys weren't in uniform (which is standard for these "Blue Moon" outings), but he let us in anyway. Having never been to an indoor gun range I wasn't sure what to expect. It was, well, spartan. Not in the "sweaty hairless men wearing togas" way but rather in the "not a lot of stuff around" way. Kind of reminded me of the waiting room for a mufler shop or something. A couple snack machines, some tables, and a counter. Oh, and windows looking in on a bunch of guys shooting. Guess that's not in the usual mufler shop.

As we got there there were three guys who had just finished their practice and were doing the classic male post-adrenalie bull shooting. As I recall two of the three were in the military (not sure what branch, but I think it was either Army or Marines) and the third had either just signed up or was just about to head out to Basic. So the other two were giving him very helpful tips on what to say to various Drill Sargeants. Advice that I'm seriously hopng he doesn't take...he seemed smart enough to know that that would be a bad idea.

After collecting the "if my kid shoots himself in the head I won't sue you" waivers we went up to the trucker cap room to review range safety with the boys and eat some pizza (I hadn't had Pizza Hut's thin crust pie in, oh, 25 years, and was reminded why: it ain't too good). Once dinner was done and we'd reviewed everything the adults went down stairs to get briefed on the rifles (.22 caliber magazine-fed with a 10-round magazine, in case you're idea of the make), pick up safety glasses and ear protection, and to buy ammo and targets. Once that was all secured we brought down the boys, broke them into pairs and got to the shooting.

The range is made up of two rooms side-by-side (with a big-ass concrete wall between them, naturally), each with six bays (I think...the one we were in did, anyway). When we started we were alone in one room, running the boys through 4 at a time. I had the shortest rifle and so had the two shortest kids - Logan and his friend Matthew.

After each kid had shot a couple of targets three other guys came in. I don't know what they were shooting (it was a hand gun, but other than that I'm not sure of the details), but damn was it loud! Logan was in there when they started. He's not a fan of the loud, and was sticking his hands over his earphones. Which made it hard to aim, I must say. Or pull the trigger. Eventually he understood that he had to let go of his head to finish his magazine, at which point he left and didn't come back in until they were gone.

As for the conversation between the three, it appeared that one of them was shoing the other two a couple pistols and explaining their advantages. I will say that in addition to the insanely loud noise they did a great job of putting holes in paper. Much bigger holes than the .22 did. Apparently one of the guns he was shooting was a good home-defense weapon for the women folk (OK, he didn't say "womenfolk", but it was kind of implied) because of something to do with the safety and the fact that it wouldn't go off accidentally but if you needed to shoot it in a hurry you wouldn't have to fumble for anything. Not sure how that works, but apparently it works well. And loudly.

I'm guessing we'll go back again, 'cause it was a pretty darn cheap outing: 60 targets plus 400 bullets for something like $35 thanks to the Boy Scout discount.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Physics is cool...

And would no doubt be cooler if I understood the science behind this, but what the heck.