Thursday, July 31, 2008

I can name that tune in 1 note

I spend most of my days toiling in my stall listening to music. My music library sits at around 20,000 songs. Enough that I rarely hear the same song twice without trying.

Rochester is a city of about 100,000 people, one of it's many nicknames is Radio Hell. Unfortunately, most of the people are doctors and engineers. We get Lorrie Line concerts...please kill me now yeah! Our radio stations for the most part, suck. You've got a top 40 station, 2.3 million country stations, one very short playlist classic rock station and a new hard rock station that the jury is still out on. It's very tough to get exposed to new music around here.

I'm a product of the 80's. I grew up in a time when rock was king. Metal was what I listened to. My first real concert was Judas Priest with opening act Great White. Oh yeah. That show ROCKED! I can't listen to country music. Sorry to offend anyone, but really, I've got references, I get violently ill when forced to listen to it. It's not music, it's audible torture. (I was asked how much free beer it would take for me to go to a Kenny Chesney answer "Seriously dude? You ain't got that kind of money.")

This morning, on my way into work, my "3 stars or better" shuffle on my iPhone played as song that I think every Dad should keep in his playlist for those days you just need a little tear in the corner of your eye. "Two of Us" performed by Will Smith. (I tried to embed a video from YouTube, but it appears to be unembeddable. Follow the link if you need a refresher or don't have any idea what I'm talking about.)

I really like this song for it's Daddy qualities. Follow the link, give it a listen. By all accounts, Will Smith is a good Dad and in this day and age, it's hard to find a celebrity who cares about their kids let alone strives to be a Dad.

The story he tells about his first day with the baby so mimics mine. How many of you Dad's out there remember it taking forever to drive home? I didn't sleep a wink that first night. I'd hear OhPrincess1 breathing and if for any reason that pattern changed...I was out of bed in a flash to check on her. As Will Smith says in the opening of the song, "From the first time the doctor placed you in my arms I knew I'd meet death before I'd let you meet harm..." pretty much sums up the promise we Dad's make.

I don't know that I have ever heard a song that sums up being a Dad better then this one. I've heard lots of songs about bad to horrible fathers, "Cats in the Cradle" for one, but songs about good dads are rare. When my brother had his first child, I tried in vain to make him a mix CD of great Daddy songs.

What songs would you include in a CD of great Daddy songs? Here's my list so far...

  1. Two of Us - Will Smith
  2. Arms Wide Open - Creed (Embedded video below)
I'm really stuck.

UPDATE: Suggested from Twitter - Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who knew my kids were THIS smart?

I'm not really sure if this is a brag post or a cry for help.

Sunday, we were cleaning the house. OhCountess is seriously procrastinating working on her thesis paper and like a good procrastinator, decided everyone would enjoy some cleaning.

I was doing my usual job, cleaning the kitchen, living room and my office. It's true, I like a clean kitchen. While cleaning, "My Area," I noticed that the music coming from the princess' room was different. Not the usual CD fare I am so sick of used to. This music was new, it was fresh and HOW THE HELL ARE THEY LISTENING TO IT?

In the girls room, we only have a, of course, princess boom box/sing-a-long thingy. The radio works, but the girls have never shown any interest in finding out how to use. I knew this music emanating from their room. I have it on mp3.

When I went into the room, OhPrincess1 was quick to show me her new invention. Seems my smarter then me little girl figured out that if she turns the microphone on attached to the boom box and lays her mp3 player's little speaker next to it, the boom box will amplify the sound to be heard through out the whole room. Go figure.

If she's this smart at 8, I have no pray of keeping ahead of her at 16, do I? I'm dead.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Are you a hypocrite dad?

I've been working on the vacation recap for a week. So much to do, so little time. We got back late last Wednesday, I turned 39 years old and a very good blogger friend of mine is no longer just a blogger friend, but a person I've given a hug and shared a meal with.

While we were on vacation, we took the kids to Water Country USA. What an awesome time that was. Spending the entire day splashing with the kids is something that every dad should do.

One thing I did notice had something to do with most of the dads I saw standing in line. Could you guys have been bigger sticks in the mud? I mean holy crap batman! There were kids, just jumping out of their skin with excitement to get the bejeebus scared out of them and whooosh and swiiiish down a huge slide...and what were the dads doing?

"Son, calm down. Can you please just stand still."

Are you kidding me? Stand still? Calm down?

I'm standing there talking to my daughter about how cool this ride is gonna be and how great the last one was and wondering...out loud...if this could possibly move faster so that I can go whooosh and swiissh some more. I even did something totally despicable for a dad...we were supposed to meet Mom and the little one at a pool so the little one could play for a while. On our way, we saw a slide with what I judged to be a 10 minute wait. I looked at OhPrincess1 and asked if she would join me on that big ride over there.

"Dad, won't mom get mad if we are a little late?" she asked.

"Honey, let Dad handle it. I guarantee YOU won't get in trouble."

I understand the idea of not bothering other people, but these kids weren't bothering anyone but their dad.

Are you the kind of dad that maintains that stoic exterior and outer calm at the amusement park, or do you let your inner 10 year old out for the day?

I watched some of these dads as they hurled down the slides. You know what was on their faces when they whiiiizzzzing past us suckers in line? They had smiles that looked just like their 10 year old's. Hypocrites.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

You say it's your birthday...

Well, it's my birthday too, yeah!

Just about to call it a day. Nothing like letting your birthday slip by with not much more then a whimper, but when you have just completed 39 orbits of the sun, well, I'm tired. I'm just really glad I didn't spend the day crying about my lost youth ;-)

My photoblog has been busy lately. Seems I took over 700 pictures while I was on vacation with the family. Been cleaning those up and returning from that surreal place known as vacation. I know, I know...bad blogger.

I did start the day off a bit misty this morning. The OhPrincesses were having a wee bit of trouble getting going this morning. Yesterday, that couldn't sleep past 6:30am, but today, 7:20 rolls around and they were still snoozing. Waking them up is oh so much fun.

We are running way behind, I really didn't care, working on your birthday is just so wrong anyways, but when we were about to head out the door, OhPrincess1 breaks down crying. She's really upset. I asked her why she suddenly fell apart and she told me this..."Daddy, I really wanted to wake up early this morning and make you breakfast in bed. I wanted to make you some toast, but I forgot."

I talked to OhCountess later in the day and mentioned this to her. Mom said she was approached by OhPrincess1 with an idea and wondered if it was OK. She told Mom about her idea to make me breakfast and Mom said it was OK.

I bet that toast would have tasted delicious. I love you very much OhPrincess1.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We are leaving on a jet plane...

I'm sitting at the gate at Richmond International Airport (RIC) sucking up the free Wi-Fi. What a beautiful thing that is. Mark this down airport wi-fi exists at McCarran International (LAS) in Las Vegas and here. This should be automatic. Paying $8/hour is just ridiculous.

This airport has another great feature, we actually had no line at the security checkpoint. What, you say? Yes, there was no line. In all my years of travelling, I've never see that before. We just walked up, took off all of our clothes and put the laptops in tubs. Oops, I had to take of my belt, that and shoes were all we needed to do.

I was pretty excited I got to post pictures and short descriptions during the last week, but I've got a lot of great stories to tell. Today, we are travelling. Richmond to Atlanta to Minneapolis. When I close my laptop and board the plane, I know we won't be with Internet until tonight, but even then, we might just unpack and chill.

Let's just start the recap by saying everyone had a blast! So much fun!

Happy travels!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mt. Vernon

Everyone is taking turns photographing each others families. Look!
It's us!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Downtown Washington DC

A big storm is about to hit. We are hiding out in the Lincoln
Memorial. I love this view. Wish the members of Congress loved it more.

See zoo...check!

We got through much of the national zoo in Wadhington DC. Time for a
little lupper at Woodley's Cafe. Ahhh...air conditioning.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Its fuzzy but...

Its the chicken dance!


Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Robert Harrie!

Friday, July 11, 2008

OhCountess' Dinner

Groom's Dinner Part 2 - Everyone!

Almost everyone at our table.

Groom's Dinner Part 1

Here are the girls at Captain Billy's. And no. I'm not eating sea food.

The Survival of Vacation Day 1

Wednesday, we traveled as a family for the first time by airplane and I have to tell you, it went really well.

Both girls did a really good job of sticking with us in the airport and being good on the plane. I couldn't be more proud. We had a short delay at the gate at take off. I was really worried that this "Little mechanical" problem would delay our flight enough to miss our connection, but they got it fixed as promised.

When arrived at Richmond, I could tell the OhPrincesses were just about done with being good. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon, but their eyes told a different story. We got lucky and Delta's baggage handling worked like a charm. I don't think we spent more then 15 minutes waiting for our luggage.

OhCountess got her wish and we upgraded our car rental to a Toyota Highlander. She's wanted to get a SUV, much like Nellie, for quite a while.

The 40 mile drive to Williamsburg seemed like it took much less time, but in that time the OhPrincesses feel asleep. W00T! W00T! A peaceful quiet drive.
Our first excursion was to Historic Williamsb urg's downtown. This is the home of the College of William and Mary. The second oldest college in the US. This campus is beautiful.

We were also exploring an area known as Merchant's Square. Lots of beautiful old brick buildings with little shops in them. Of course, the girls were only interested in the stores that had Webkinz in them.

We had a wonderful dinner at the Seasons restaurant but by then, the girls were beyond tired and the naughtiness was starting to get to us.

This last picture is for Mr. Lady. I had made a comment on the site StarkRavingDads, basically, I despise vanity and she had asked the question "...make my ass look fat?" I saw this t-shirt at the airport in Minneapolis and couldn't resist.

Only in Minnesota!

Day 2 has already happened, but this boring recap post has gone on long enough.

More later!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

No twits, no posts

We are spending the day at Water Country USA! No phones or cameras
just lots of fun!

Enjoy your lives...I know we will!

Splish splash - adiós!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Finally! Dinner

We've checked into the hotel.

We are at the Season's Restaurant in Merchant's Square in downtown
Historic Williamsburg.

Ah! Beer and food.

We have boarded!

We are just minutes away from the OhPrincesses first airplane ride. We
will be out of communication for the next few hours. Everyone is very

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

We are outta here!

Everything in bags...check!
Kids in minivan...check!
Bags in minivan...check!

We are outta here!

Wish us luck!

Tonight our journey begins. I completed the last of the planning last night so tonight, we execute the plan.


In a moment of sheer madness, OhCountess and I decided to take the kids on their first "airplane" vacation. Remember back in February I started a new job? We are blowing the whole load of PTO (Paid Time Off) I've accumulated so far.

I plan on doing posts from my phone whenever I get the time. I was hoping to recap the past weekend, but this planning and prepping stuff takes A LOT OF TIME.

Drop me a line if you live in the Virginia / Maryland area. A Midwest Geek's Family is about to invade the south!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

A little part of me wishes that people would remember why we get a day off of work. We need to remember to cherish our independence from colonial England...there, you've been reminded.

Last weekend, we dressed the kids in Minnesota Twins clothes and brought them to the home of the Minnesota Twins. Yipee! We were joined by my good friends Mark and Paul.

Here's Mom and OhPrincess2 enjoying themselves.

You see, I also have a photoblog, and quite often, I confuse the idea of taking pictures for art's sake with taking pictures for our family's needs.

Sometimes, you just need to take silly pictures :)

Here's Paul and Mark.

Just remember - "It's too high!" is the best way to describe a ball you don't want to be a home run.

Our OhPrincess2 is not really a shy girl. This group of you people went to the ball game, I'm sure, to drink some beer and have a great time. Well, the guys were in for a treat, seems the girls just couldn't have enough fun with our little one and she hung out with them the whole time.

We had a blast at the game. Everyone did.

We even got another Twins victory out of the deal.

Here's the last picture with OhPrincess1 finally showing a smile.

I do have to ask the question, what happened to my baby girls...they don't look like babies any more.

Over the next two weeks, we will be travelling a lot! This weekend we are going to visit friends in Wisconsin for some much needed R&R and then on Tuesday, we begin the journey to the Virginia/Maryland area. Taking the kids on their first airplane vacation. Any bloggers live in that area, let me know! Anywho, watch for live posts from my phone and lots of pictures. I'll be posting when ever I have time!