Friday, December 28, 2007

Vacation isn't always what you hope it is

Every year, I seem to have plenty of vacation left over affording me the opportunity maximize the vacation the last week of the year.

My company usually gets 2 days off for Christmas and 2 days for New Years. This year, for example, using 4 days of vacation, I haven't been to work since last Thursday and don't go back until next Wednesday.

Not to complain too much, but this vacation ends up being more stressful then it needs to be. First off, I love the build up to Christmas, the food is fabulous and its nice to see relatives I haven't seen since last year. The problem? We have 3 family functions to go to. We end up driving from our home to a family get together an hour a way on 3 separate days. I end up driving each trip. Did I mention that all of them are in the same town? Ugg.

The hustle and bussel of Christmas can just be a bit much.

Christmas went well. I'm pretty sure everyone got what the needed and wanted for Christmas. Over at my photography blog, you can see what I got. I'm really excited for the new lens. I can't wait to see what I can do with it.

We must be getting old. We have no plans for New Years Eve. Nada. We even have a babysitter. What are we thinking?

There is a contest for a blog makeover contest at the Chronicles of a SAHM. NapWarden is offering to use her special powers with Photoshop to provide a complete blog transformation. We have just a few days left in the contest and I'm proud to admit they have perfect attendance. I've submitted my comment every day since it started. I've also got one of the longest comments in the contest. You really need to go over and read it. It's a new twist on the classic poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas".

Me and the girls have been going a little stir crazy this week. We've been pretty much inside our home since Christmas day. We went out to the mall tonight for a little while. That was nice, but it's been too cold and snowy to venture out to much.

One particularly cool thing that happened this week was I won my first somewhat major poker tournament. I actually have 3 blogs. I did this to separate the 3 facets of my life and allow me to write about each part in their own context. Plus, each blog has a different audience. Some of overlap and others really don't care about poker. Last week I played in first blogger tournament. Yes, poker bloggers have their own subculture and tournaments. The Mookie is one the major blogger poker tournaments held every Wednesday night. Most of the major poker bloggers participate in this tournament every week. Well the big news is a played it this week and won it! It was one of the most exciting poker tournament of my life. The highlights are over at my poker blog.

Coming New Years Resolutions! Any suggestions?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas From Our Home To Yours

Merry Christmas Everyone!

A quick post before we start this big day.

Merry Christmas to all! May all your dreams come true

Saturday, December 22, 2007

How cute is this?

Come on! How cute is this???

Friday, December 21, 2007

I love modern electronics!

I'm at the mall. Christmas shopping. I've got my iphone to blog on.
And headphones in my ears to block out the insanity.

The truly greatest thing. No one bothers you when you are wearing

Tim Walsh

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DN4 - Could it be?

Back in the day, I was a huge fan of Duke Nuk'em. Probably the greatest video game...ever. Well, that might be a stretch, but my brother and I used to play it for hours at a time. We loved it!

I have been patiently waiting for the most ridiculed piece of vaporware in history. Duke Nuk'em Forever has taken FOREVER to get to market. Just released is a new teaser trailer for the game. Keeping the myth alive!

PS. I'm still working on the post from the High School Musical on Ice. Seems I was a bit click happy and took close to 400 pictures that day. oops. ALL the girls had a blast. I've been to far worse shows. The Wiggles were probably a bit tougher to take.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


We made through the first half. Aparently they are doing both movies!

We made it!

We are watching High School Musical on ice!!!

And Ash is just watching so good. In case you are interested, you've
never seen so many preteen girls wearing pink in one place. Holy cow.
I'd swear there 12:1 girls to guys here! No wait for the men's room!

On our way to High School Musical on Ice

We made a pit stop at the Mall of America. Its very festive here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

K - Is this one funnier?

This is a new one this one funnier for you K? In case you are wondering, this type of humor is called "Satire". It is meant to be both funny and informative.

Evangeline Lilly Wins 'Best Wet T-Shirt Fight Scene' At Strong Women In TV Awards

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's the God Damn Waterbuffalos!

Back to the Onion we go! This card carrying carnivore found this one to be some of the best political parody ever!

Make sure you stay with it all the way to the end...tempers fly!

Should Animals Be Doing More For The Animal Rights Movement?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The tree is up, and for once its not snowing

We finally got the tree up and decorated. I had gotten it down from the garage 2 weeks ago, but life has been more hectic than we'd prefer.

The girls had fun decorating the tree, but B and I were not quite having as much fun. While they liked taking all the pretty ornaments out of their boxes, neither really liked to put the packing stuff back in the box. Ugg.

For the most part, the weekend was pretty nice. B didn't work, so much hometime was had by all. Grandpa J was down on Saturday. He helped me with a bunch of minor electrical problems with the house. Funny, a house that is one 3 years old would have problems.

Oh how I hate places that take advantage of the mathematically challenged. Our government can pass laws making it illegal for ANYONE to play poker because the might "bet the house" and lose it, but if you want to practice usury, that's fine.

Hopefully, we can help her get to the bottom of this mess in a way that she will actually learn her lessons. Family stuff sucks.

We have had a bit of trouble trying to figure out what to do with a relative of ours. She's found a way to really get into more trouble than anyone should be able to get into.

She's figured out how reproduction works. Which I don't think anyone is truly shocked about. But to make matters worse, she also found a way to make almost every financial mistake possible for someone that makes $10/hour.

She has some trouble with impulse control. She REALLY wanted a car. She had an opportunity to buy a decent car really cheap, but took financial advice from the wrong people. They suggested she not buy the really cheap car. So, she does what any self-disrespecting person with little to no math skills would do. She bought a car and car dealer that specializes in loans to people that can't do math or research.

On the brighter side, B has almost finished this term in graduate school. One final this week and few more things to take care of and then we get her back for a couple of weeks. I can't wait.

She tells me that this term will be the worse. I hope she's right.

Ash has learned the joys of shoveling! Too bad she's 4 and doesn't like it enough to do the whole driveway clean, but she tries and it's really cute.

Over at my poker blog, you can read about my shot at a World Poker Tour title. Well, that's reaching a bit, but I've found myself going into the final week the league champion. If I can stay in the top two, I'll go directly to state!

It's really starting to feel like Christmas around here.

My new lens will be here soon and hopefully, I'll get back into the swing of taking pictures again. I miss it, but I just can't get into the mood. All of this fresh snow is helping!

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Welcome to Minnesta

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

OK...I posted to early!

JustSayHi - Science Quiz


Boston Dating


Milwaukee Dating

1,887,480How Many Germs Live On Your Keyboard?

Milwaukee Dating

71% Geek

Nashville Dating

I like these tests.

Not bad for not having a science class in about 7 years! I think some of the questions were a bit misleading too.

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

More Geek Funnies

As some of you know, I got my Computer Science degree in 2000. Just before the bubble go pop! I was working in the software industry before that as an intern. This video is really quite funny!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Can I get one more day this weekend?

What a busy weekend. Friday night, we took took the girls to go see "Enchanted." Here's a little review of the movie, keeping in mind that I tend to review family movies as they pertain to FAMILY movies.

The girls loved this movie! If you have a bunch of boys to take to a movie, this may not be for them. It was definitely a princess movie. Many of the jokes and gags in this move are references to other princesses. So be sure you know who they are! This movie was a musical. Giselle, played by Amy Adams, does a fantastic job of singing and embodying all of the princesses of the past. She does most of the singing in the movie. I usually can't stand musicals. Moulin Rouge! is without a doubt, the worst movie ever made. But I enjoyed this one. The music wasn't great, but the girls liked singing along, so that made me happy.

We saw this movie at the new Wehrenberg Theater on the south side of Rochester. I gotta tell ya, I was impressed. This place was nice AND they had food! We love this cause we can take the kids to the early movie and eat while we watch the movie.'s not cheap or healthy, but it's a ton of fun! This theater features a lot of digital projection...WOW, does that make a difference. We will be going back.

So we get home from the movie, everyone is singing and happy and ready for bed. Both girls fell asleep on the way home. I get everyone tucked into bed and go to fire up my laptop and start blogging all this stuff, and what's this? The Internet? We AIN'T GOT IT! I've had broadband Internet since Charter Communications started having it 7 years ago. I hate it not being there. So to the phones we go.

I connect to level 1 support and find out that...we've been suspended for abuse. Huh? What the hell does that mean? The give me another number to call. I call the next number. And they tell me the same thing. OK, but do you have any details? No. I need to call this other number (which is the same one Level 1 gave me. These other people work 8 to 5, M-F. WTF! I will have no Internet until Monday morning, and no one knows why? After working my way up the food chain, I'm finally told it's because I get too much spam. Huh? Why is that my problem? And why not just shut down my email address? Again, I'm to call these other people that don't work til Monday. I'm officially steaming now.

I try calling back to see if I got another person that might have English as a top 5 language. This time, I genuinely think they are trying to help me, but to no avail. But he's at least honest and says he really doesn't know why. I should try calling back in the morning after 8. The day people have more access to the info.

I called back right away at 8 am and man this person was right on the ball. We were disconnected because they think we have a virus on one of our computers that's attacking their servers. OK! I know how to fix that, but DAMN couldn't you just call me? They restored the Internet and all of its glory!

But now I need to run virus scanners on all of my computers...and make it to a Pamper Chef party by 10:30 with the girls. Sorry Kt, a friend of mine was having it, it was fun, but we held off ordering a lot of stuff to order from you.

By the time this gets done, the winter storm ravaging the state Minnesota is turning from snow to sleet. We hobble our way over to Home Depot and then to Target to buy supplies. for the rest of the weekend. At this moment I also had a fun idea for supper. We were definitely eating at home tonight, so I thought making homemade pizza sounded like a lot of fun! And it was. I made some pizza crusts and then we let the girls "decorate" their own sections of the pies. It was totally cool! After dinner, we shoveled some of the driveway, but the ice layer totally sucked so much of the driveway has been abandoned. We got done with that and settled in for a little family time watching Christmas specials and then all to bed. I did crank out a post for the poker blog last night...that was way over due as well.

Almost forgot to mention, this is Brenda's weekend to work. We miss's been a long time since we had her home on the weekend.

Sunday arrives, Brenda is home, but she's almost done with the worse term of her graduate classes. It's thesis time, so today was spent researching and writing a paper. The weather sucks, the roads suck, so me and the girls are stuck at home trying to stay out of Mommy's hair long enough for her to get something done. We really can't wait for her to be past all this. It'll be worth it in the end, but we miss her, even when she is home.

We got the Christmas tree up. It's not decorated yet, but is up.

I miss my camera. I mean I still have it, but I just haven't been able to take any pictures lately. I need to find the books I bought a couple of weeks ago. One was a book of inspirational ideas. The creative kind, not the religious kind.

This about the longest post I've ever had here. And to think, it only covered the last 36 hours. I really can't wait to get back to work. Peace and quiet at last.

Night all!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ain't winter fun!

This is the view out our bedroom window. The ice is building up on the
glass. I think we will be staying home tonight.

Monday, November 26, 2007

How did your weekend go?

I got tell ya, this weekend was a tough one. The Mrs worked all weekend, so me and the girls were at home the whole time. Stir crazy is one good way to describe it.

Thursday, we avoided going any where because, well, it's just too friggin' busy!

We live in Rochester MN. Actually the windiest city in the world. Maybe not, but it was windy all weekend...and cold...and dreary. I couldn't keep the kids outside for more than 10 minutes. So back in the house we go. I got some of the Christmas lights up, but not many.

Did I mention the kids were stir crazy? It is actually pleasant to get back to work today. It's quiet here. Since we were home all weekend...the phrase "Dad, I'm bored." was said so many times, it lost all meaning to me. I even called Grandma to prove to Em that when Daddy was a kid, we WERE NEVER INSIDE. So the two would just fight each other and then see who could tattle first. Not Daddy's favorite game.

I can't begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to B finishing graduate school and getting a job that doesn't require working EVERY OTHER weekend.

There...I vented. Not that the weekend was a total loss. We even had some fun this weekend between the screaming. I even had enough time to make B one home cooked meal!

Carnival Games for the Wii has been turned into a totally fun game for our family. Ash has found a couple of the mini games to be a ton of fun. She can beat everyone in the family! Finally, a game we call all play and enjoy! I know this is terrible, but it was nice for her to finally point out to Em that she didn't beat her. Em has a bad habit of pointing out the Ash is losing. Table turned.

Thank God it's Monday!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ooops...sorry folks

130,032 People

San Francisco Dating

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Everything just feels like Christmas time

I've really hoped to get more blogging done this weekend, but as time would have it...that's just an excuse. I did try doing some live blogging from Thanksgiving Day, but it would appear that K and KT's Mom and Dad live in an AT&T dead zone. We actually couldn't even make calls with the phones let alone use the EDGE.

I thought I'd share a picture of the wonderful pumpkin pie E's Grandma made. That was actually round two. There wasn't much left. Even my Ashlea had 2 pieces.

We should be, as Ashlea likes to say, "Putting our Christmas out" today. It's been cold and windy lately. Not really helping.

Did anyone else get excited for the Black Friday thud this year? I seriously found NOTHING worth even considering getting out of bed for. Super boring ads. We've done it years past, but I'm not getting out of bed to save $20 on a $30 MP3 player, and all those poor suckers that bought the computers for $100...wonder if they realized that it had Linux on it. Not that there is anything wrong with Linux...just wondering if they knew it wasn't windows.

Happy Holidays everyone! Christmas is almost here!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wishing everyone everywhere a Happy Thanksgiving

I have pictures from the day to share with you later. We're hitting round 2 of the food right now. Turkey sandwiches and MORE stuffing!!! Nummmy!

Saw this today and it kinda put me in a holiday mood...well, that and the wine I drank earlier. Unfortunately, they didn't really list any of my favorite beers. It does make me wonder how I ever survived college.

It would take 35 bottles of Red Dog to kill me

Virginia Beach Dating

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thoughts of thankfulness

I know that Thanksgiving is only 2 days away, but I feel prepped and ready. The stomach is ready for the challenge.

I thought it might be fun to mention somethings I'm thankful for.

  1. I'm thankful, most of all, for my wife and kids. They are the greatest!
  2. I'm thankful for most of my inlawed extended family. I think you know who you are ;-)
  3. Kt and K, I'm thankful your mom makes the best pumpkin pie, EVER
  4. While we are on that side of the family...I'm also grateful that my wife's mom's side of the family has few people at all that eat sweet potatoes...YEAH! More for me!
  5. I'm thankful our family is so close and yet far enough away...if you know what I mean ;-)
    Americans Enjoying Thanksgiving Tradition Of Sitting Around At Airport
  6. I'm thankful for my parents. Simply wonderful people.
  7. I'm thankful for my small extended family. (Our holidays are small and peaceful)

There is more, I got 2 more days to post them. Keep thinking!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

At the mall

Brenda is shopping for new clothes. Thank goodness for the new play
area at the mall. All it needs is recliners, TVs and beer for Dad and
we'd be all set!

Some interesting ratings

I just took these tests to see where my blog and personality lie. Some of these were very

cash advance

Get a Cash Advance

For those of you that know me...Easy Rider????

And finally, an intersting of my most admired presidents!

Who and what are you???

Friday, November 16, 2007

Finally - The Truth About Professional Wrestling (I think we all knew)

Controversial Tell-All Book Reveals Wrestling Fans Are Fake

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday is it nap time yet?

Wednesdays really suck if Tuesday goes well. Well, Tuesday went well. Now, I need to get through the day, winning a poker tournament is always fun, but the piper gets paid the next day with my complete lack of sleep.

I was thinking about my last post. G, probably the best reason to get an iPod Touch...when we are out for dinner with the kids. $2 spent on an episode of Spongebob is so worth it when the girls will just sit there quietly watching. Yep...2 kids quiet and content in a restaurant waiting for supper. It's a beautiful thing.

Our oldest daughter made raising a child seem like the easiest thing in the world. We were very lucky. Our youngest...she's been different. She's now taken to lying. She know likes to tattle on things she did but blame other people. A couple of days ago, she blamed her big sister for something, something big. We figured she was lying, but wanted to see what she would do if we punished her big sister. It didn't change her stance. Well, we changed tunes and then punished her for lying and the original offense. We really don't want to see her grow up lying, as some of you know, our extended family has enough compulsive liars. Any ideas?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

That's for the great question! iPhone vs iPod Touch

G from It's Not About the Badge possed an interesting question over on a recent post of mine.

His question..

Hey I am thinking about getting a different ipod after christmas. Would you
get a classic for 249 or spend the extra and get the touch ipod, or as I will
call it, the iphone without the phone part.

If you aren't in the market for an iPhone, this is definitely something to consider. I love my iPhone, but I can see where it might not be suitable. But the iPod Touch does offer a lot of the same non-phone benefits as the iPhone.

When thinking about whether to get an iPod Classic (or similar) or the iPod Touch, I think you need to base your decision on which features are important to you. It will eventually come down to functionality vs capacity. As much as I love my iPhone, it still pains me to choose what stuff I want on it.

I bought the 8GB version. Since the video on this device is amazing, I've been carrying with me video podcasts and TV shows for me and the kids. Video takes up a fair amount of space and soon you'll find the 8GB isn't as big as you'd hope it would be. When I'm playing in a long poker tournament or travelling, the capacity of whats on the device starts making me long for something else. The larger capacity of the iPod Classic would alleviate a lot of this problem and just allow me to carry everything.

But here's the trade-off, you get gobs of storage capacity and the lose all your extra functionality. For example:

Let's start with the main reason to get either device, Wi-Fi. both have it and both use it. This may seem small to some of you, but this feature is EXTREMELY handy. One downside to the lack of phone features in the Touch is Wi-fi is all it has. With my iPhone, I'm always connected to the Internet as long as I have EDGE. The Touch doesn't. But as long as you can find free wi-fi to hop on, your golden. Both the phone and Touch offer iTunes downloads over wi-fi (warning - this can be extremely addicting and a little hard on the credit card). iPod classic has none of the PDAish features and thus no need for Wi-fi.

The iPod Classic offers none of the Internet based functionality. No Safari can be tough to lose once you've tried it.

So it comes down to this, if you are only buying one of these devices, what would you rather have? Internet over wi-fi with an amazing display or the capacity to carry your most if not all music and video?

I love my iPhone, but I'm seriously considering using my early adopter rebate to buy an iPod Classic to store more stuff. Besides, I can't use the iPhone at the WSOP! They've been banned!

If I've said nothing useful here, let me know. I spend a couple of days trying to get out everything I wanted to on this subject. My brain is usually faster than my fingers can type.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bee Movie review and more

Wow...this has been a busy week. Brenda is chugging away at her thesis for her Masters degree. I've also had a very busy week on the felt (aka...playing poker).

Ashlea went the the dentist today for the first time...not good. She's not a big fan of going to the dentist apparently. Emilea was a piece of cake! (sugar-free cake of course ;-))

Last night, we went to Bee Movie. It's the first new kids movie in a long time we were looking forward to going to. According to the credits, this movie is pretty much all Jerry Seinfeld. He's the write, producer and star.

I liked the movie. The story was timely and interesting. I'm not sure the underlying premise would be understood by people that don't keep up on their news. (Bees and are dying off...this would be bad)

The kids really seemed to like the movie, which is the most important thing. We went with Bodie25 and family, which is always fun!

No spoilers for you, but it was definitely fun. May not be a blockbuster, but we enjoyed it.

On a related note, did anyone catch this exchange from Larry King on CNN? Seriously...I wonder if Larry King is loosing it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Look what I found!

I found these pictures in the pile of pictures I took of the girls when we went to the Red Wing and hung out with grandpa on the ATVs.

There is a more extensive collection of pictures at my photo blog of that day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another very busy week...

This past weekend, Brenda and I hosted a Halloween Party/Poker Night at our house. As much as I love playing home game poker, there is a lot of stuff to get done! The party was a lot of fun and seemed to be a good success.

Em and Ash just continue to amaze me. Em is really growing up and developing a greater sense of responsibility. She was a trooper and helped Mom and Dad a lot get things ready for Saturday night. Ash...well...we are hoping that Halloween will be over soon and the nightmares will stop. This poor girl needs a good night sleep.

Hopefully, things start returning to a normal routine soon. Sure, there might be another poker night, but Halloween made it extra specia!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ninjas On Parade - Gawd, I love the Onion!

Ninja Parade Slips Through Town Unnoticed Once Again

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fun with Gandpa

We are out in Wacuta with Grandpa.

Coming soon

Trying again

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Family Fun Night and a Day of Rest

Last night, we attended the Family Fun Night at a local elementary school. It's a fundraiser for the PTA. The theme was Hawaiian Luau.

The girls got all dressed up and were ready for some fun. Parents at this school get all kinds of fun things to do like bingo, mini-putt and dancing to keep everyone busy. I take pictures to help the school with the year book.

There was also a silent auction. The students put together a really cool assortment themed baskets. Brenda was bidding on a few of them and came up with the winning bid on a basket of gardening supplies. I think we might just plant a garden in the spring!

It was a fairly late evening, since we didn't get home until almost 9, but that didn't stop the girls from gettng up earlier than they do during the week. Why is it, that no matter what's going on, I can't get the girls out of bed during the week, but on Saturday and Sunday, they are up at the crack of dawn?

Today was a pretty lazy day. I actually took a nap! It was interupted when Ashlea asked me if I was was the best 20 minutes I've had in a long time! Does anyone else's kids just have a 6th sense about when you are sleeping? Brenda can take naps for hours and the girls will leave her alone...I just don't get it.

Tomorrow, we will be join K, G, Kt and S for Grandma's birthday party. I'll have tons of pictures for that. We are also planning on getting to Red Wing in the morning. Grandpa J is going to take me and the girls up to the family hunting grounds for some fall picture taking. That's sure to hit my photo blog!

Halloween is just a couple of days a way! It's my favorite holiday of the year. Next weekend, we will be hosting a Halloween/Poker Party. I'm really excited for that. Costumes, poker and good friends, should be awesome. Most of this week will be pretty busy getting ready for the party. Posts might not come as regularly as I hope....but we'll see.

The political season is heating up and the Supreme Court is in session. I can't wait!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Friday?

Where did this week go? It seems I just posted yesterday. Oops.

This week has just flown by. I assume it's because Brenda has just started working in earnest on her thesis. I'm so proud of her. This is a huge step for her. This has also meant that I'm back to editing her papers. And let's be honest, I'm not into medical terms. For anyone out there that's helping their spouse or loved one through a higher ed program in the medical field. Learn your Latin! I may not now what the word really means, but at least I can tell what part of speech it should be and make sure that part of the writing is correct. (Think "The patient presented with accute itis. Just make sure its used correctly. Let her do the spelling.

Emilea is really turning the corner on her homework, or she's snowing us better. She's been taking a lot of initiative lately. This is new for her. Again...another girl to be REALLY proud of.

Tonight is the family fun night at Emilea's school. We've gone to this in the past. It's a lot of fun. People dress up and then there are lots of games to choose from.

We had our first meeting for the school yearbook yesterday. This should be fun. I really like doing the pictures and the design...I just need to keep people around me that like to actually lay the pages out. Brenda loves I'm good for that!

K and guys OK? I haven't seen anything for a while. You are probably just as busy as us.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tommy's Back!

Let's welcome back to the mainland Tom and his new bride Tammy.

Saturday night, We packed up the minivan and drove to Dan's house and hung out with Brenda's family.

It's been about 4 years since we've seen him.
K! Everyone is looking good!
Welcome to the family Tammy!
And before we are nuts! That's gas in that bottle. You heard me...gas. The fumes coming off the fire were making us sick...maybe going down the street and getting some fuel from the airport would have made for a more intesnse fire...just a suggestion.

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Tweite's pumpkin patch!

Friday, October 19, 2007

A vacation

A nice quiet lunch at Leo's Pizza

Oh my. What a day from

This has been some day. It seems like it has been raining for at least a week.

This is the view from our bedroom window. Our parks low spot is just filling up with water. This is as soupy as we have ever seen it.

Today and tomorrow are off school days in all of Minnesota. It's the weekend of the state teacher's union convention. Apparently, it's important enough that every school I know is off for two days.

So in honor of this event. Brenda and I took the kids to the Twin Cities for a day of shopping and fun. So far so good.
We went to the Mall of America. Traditionally, we go the weekend of July 4th. On this weekend we go to home plate in the Park At the Mall. For those of you that don't, there is a plaque in the floor of the park that marks the spot of home plate from the old Metropolitian Stadium. As a huge Twins fan, I find this special.

Well, this such luck. These next two pictures show the current state of the plaque. Not sure I'll be getting a family picture here any time soon.

This really didn't stop us from having all kinds of fun today. I took Emilea on her first big kid ride at an amusement park.

This is the big precursor to Daddy getting his long awaited right to take his kids to Valley Fair or some other large amusment park and scare the bejebeeze out of each other.

Ashlea got to ride on her favorite ride, the ferris wheel.

The smile you see here is the reason parent take their kids to parks like this.

We also took the girls to the Rainforest Cafe, or as Ash calls it, The Scary Place. Mom and Dad got to go to Ruby Tuesdays for a fantastic supper, but the Volcano at the Scary Place is a fun way to top of dinner.

Brenda found her planner for 2008. Many of you Moms will understand this. Organization of dates and times is critical for a family. Dad...he just uses gadgets that never need replacing, but Brenda, its a valuable as her limbs.

As iPhone owners we enjoyed some quality time in the Apple Store looking for new accessories. Those new iMacs are cool...might be keeping that thought in the back of my head.

We packed up and left for home. The planner was actually purchased at Burnsville Center since B. Dalton was the only place in MN that had the planner. We were heading home, in search of a restroom, beverages and snacks for the ride home. We opted for the Kwik Trip in Apple Valley. This proved to be a bad decision. When we were leaving, the front driver's side tire was thumping. CRAP! What the heck is wrong now. Our van has a tire pressure warning system that should be going off if I was flat, but it wasn't. The tire wasn't flat just had a very large screw and washer STUCK IN IT!


I phone a buddy for some advice about what to do. I didn't want to pull it out for fear of an instant flat. I got a can of fix-a-flat just in case, and following the advice, we drove on to see if it would fix did. It snapped off maybe a quarter mile away. And then the tire raced me to the nearest gas station...would it go flat BEFORE I could get there.

I just made it. Thanks to Chrysler for making such a wonderful spare tire changing system. Well, lets just call the entire time, frustrating. We made it home on the spare and all are safely sleeping. Thank Goodness!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007's that drainage plan work?

I think the city needs to rethink the drainage plan for the park. It
rains and we get a lake...every time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Let the iPhone Sing!

It's just been announced that the iPhone will be getting 3rd Party Apps! Halleluiah!

From the mouth of Steve (assumed to be Steve Jobs...yeah right) an SDK will be released in February to allow other developers to write for the platform. Let's hope this works...for me the disappointment with the progress of the iPhone has been a bit disappointing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Will it ever stop raining?

I'm not really sure how you check on something like this, but our house may now be considered on lake front property. The park behind us is VERY wet! least the sump just keeps running.

Tonight, it's back to poker league. I'm now in 8th place in the league. Good enough for regionals, but I'm a ways a way from being a league champion and skipping regionals. That would be sweet! I'd love to go to state again.

The only problem with league tonight is Ash was up at 3:30 AM. She missed us and wanted to watch TV with Dad and Mom. Her idea was not well received, but not before I found myself wide awake with nothing to do. I'm thinking if I kept a bottle of scotch next to the bed, that might help...but I doubt it. Brenda and I stretched the usual morning routine to accomodate some extra Zs, but we'll have to see if the last longer bet with Bodie25 is enough motivation to keep me winning.

Speaking of Bodie25, we had lunch with him and Mrs. today. The have ultrasound pictures of little Bodie25...the little bugger is a blob now! Congrats guys!

Watch for a new post tonight or tomorrow morning on the state of poker!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The week that was...

I really had been trying to post more to this blog. This week has been a lot of fun and very busy.

For's been a good week for poker. I've actually been having a lot of success again. I finally went really deep at poker league again. It's been a long time. I think after this week, I will certainly be in the hunt to go to state again!

The girls have also been busy. Brenda is preparing to go on a nice vacation from work. This will be awesome! E continues on in the 3rd grade. She seems to have even more homework than ever before. That pretty much sums up her evening. Ashlea will love getting to hang out with Mom for a while.

If the weather is dry tomorrow (and I'm not exactly believing it will), we will be taking the kids to the pumpkin patch with my brother's family. These are always great photo ops and the kids have so much fun!

Today, I joined some of my friends that are photography nuts. We went to Frontenac State Park for the morning. Sunrise to about lunch. That will pretty much keep me busy tonight, sorting through the pictures, looking for the diamonds in the rough. just get G and K reading this again. Oh well...maybe someday.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Good Bye Lew...

It was made official today that Lew Ford would be seeking free agency and shopping other teams.

I doubt anyone was suprised by this. 2007 was not a good year for him. His bat just wasn't there and he's never been a great defensive outfielder. In fact, some of his mistakes out there cost the team some games.

It was fun while it lasted. We all loved yelling "Llllleeeeeeeewwwwww!" Thanks for 5 years and good luck in your future. It was nice while it lasted.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Using the iPhone to send Google Hosted Mail

I've got an account with google to host my domain names email. When the iPhone was first released, it could check these accounts, but I was unable to send any email without getting an error. With the release of firmware 1.1.1, I'm now able to send email from those accounts.

I'm not sure if this is an undocumented feature of 1.1.1, but somehow, the port number got added to the and that fixed the problem. So cool!

For those of you still trying to set this up, use the host name and the same log in information described in the documentation. recent:[youremail@address] and password. Everything now works!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Nightlife Review - Whisky Bones Roadhouse

Last night, I joined my shutterbug friends for the review portion of the Photo Safari - Cityscapes. Earlier in the day, Mark I. had requested we join him at the Whisky Bones Roadhouse in Rochester. I thought I'd share a little review of the joint.

Last night, we went to see the band Reverend Raven and his Chain Smoking Altar Boys. If you like Chicago blues...these guys will satisfy ya! They were fantastic. The $5 cover charge was a small price to pay to see these guys!

As for the venue, a blues band really fit in. The interior is quite impressive for Rochester. It's open and roomy. Seating just about everywhere. The staff was great and attentive to everyone's needs.

Even with this great music and comfortable surroundings...there was one thing that was really missing...FOOD! Oh my goodness some ribs or wings would have been fantastic! I thought this was a roadhouse. Our waitress told us a kitchen was in the works...lets hope they get it soon or we might need to change the name to Starving Whisky Bones.

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Monday, October 01, 2007


Now that's the face of someone enjoying a donut!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wow! Look at it rain!

Is it raining like this where you are? I might be stuck in. Michael's
for a while!

Busy Saturday!

Yesterday was one busy day. I stayed up too late playing a bit too much poker on FTP. I spent much of the night watching Bodie25 play a superb game of cards in the AlCantHang Memorial poker tournament. Since Emilea and Ashlea have moved to separate rooms, I also needed to setup the photo printer once again in my office.

In the morning, I had the follow-up to the Photo Safari at Oxbow Park. This was really fun. I got to see all the pictures that everyone else took. Some really cool shots! I also got to hear feedback on the shots I took.

For most of the rest of the day, the whole family spent getting ready to host a card game. Cleaning and organizing and cleaning some more. Wow. Our kids have WAY TO MANY TOYS!

At 6 PM, the switch occurred and we focused entirely on getting ourselves ready to play some cards. I'll be posting at that later today on my poker blog. Last night was a lot of fun! All the hard work really paid off.

I have no idea what today will bring. The girls are whiny. Brenda is tired from last night (we were up a bit late). Hmmm....maybe I finally get my office back.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The iBrick that wasn't

Yeah! I successfully updated our 2 iPhones to the latest firmware and we have no iBricks! I was a bit concerned...I tried to do some ringtones using a third party app...I was holding my breath the whole update process. I'm pretty sure, Brenda would not approve. That would take a big dent out of the poker bankroll too.

The Wi-Fi store is pretty cool and the transfer rates are fine on Wi-Fi. Shhh...I bought a new album today. It's actually very good too! Should show on the iTunes thingy.

Universal Healthcare - neat idea...but

This is in response to a post by K on her blog MN Clampits. In her post, she discusses why she believes we need universal heathcare. While I like the idea of never worrying about medical decisions in finiancial free bubble, I just don't believe it could ever work.

Should someone be making a profit off of us as human beings and our health?

My question is, why shouldn't they? You think it's hard finding a nurse now, wait until you tell them they need to do it for free. I realize you don't mean the staff in a hospital should be volunteers, but essentially, you'd be making the government employees. Competition would leave the workplace and mandated pay scales would be left behind. You you really want to give up 10 years of your life to medical training to be a doctor knowing that your salary is $X and it won't change but with a fixed schedule?

We don't see a problem with paying for food. It too is essential to our well being. Farmers get paid and hopefully make a profit.

Would you be willing to wait 4-8 weeks longer to see a specialist for a
non-life-threatening issue so that the 47 million other citizens of our "great"
country could be covered?

Is that really the only downside to Universal Healthcare? Canada and much of Europe have these systems. It can take an extra 4-8 weeks to see a doctor for ANY non-life-threatening depression, cancer or a progressive disease. Do you know why there is an extra long wait to see the doctor? No one wants to be doctors or nurses. They don't get paid much for the hard work they do.

The state of Minnesota recently started looking at all the uninsured people in the state. Are you aware of the primary demographic descriptions of these people? Mostly single males in their 20's...people that never go to the doctor anyways. They are a burden to the system for a reason other than health care is not available. The believe they can live forever, but when they go the hospital, the have no money to pay, which causes the rates to rise at the hospital because the hospital is then forced to eat the cost.

The healthcare problems in this country would never be solved by just creating universal healthcare coverage. We have a serious problem in this country...we love seeing out doctors. Got the emergency room and hang out for a why people are there. Many have colds, or an ache and most are on public assistance. We also believe that if throw enough treatments at a problem...we could live forever. There is a great deal of waste in the medical industry and much of it comes from us. If we could solve our addiction to seeing the doctor for everything...we could easily lower costs and make healthcare more affordable.

My 2 cents...have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

We have a winner!

I've read some of the reviews of "Carnival Games" for the Wii. As is usual, they fail to take into account how much fun it is when you play it with your kids.

The girls bought be that game for Mommy and Daddy's wedding anniversary. The reviews have not been that kind to the game, but I think they are missing you key piece of kids LOVE it! Even Ashlea, she was playing the Wii last night and could actual play some of the mini-games really well.

This is the first game she has ever been able to play with Daddy and her big sister.

As any Dad out there knows, anytime you find something that you and your daughters have a lot of fun doing's gold!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I missed some postings!

I didn't post yesterday, but it was back to work as usual. My job isn't as exciting as G's over at 3daysnopay, and frankly, I usually have to work with an NDA. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

I got the post done for my photo blog. I think hanging out with the other shutterbugs was a lot of fun. I wasn't as impressed with the shots I got. I really hope we get to do more of these.

Today we vote for a new school in Rochester. It will be built a couple of blocks from our house. It's one of those votes you hope they aren't just shoving new spending into on top of an issue that MUST pass. Seems people are starting to figure out that Rochester is a great place to live. 20% growth in the elementary schools is a big number considering that the schools are already full. Let's hope it passes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Grandpa Jim's In Town!

The photo safari went well. Check it out at my photo blog. Grandpa is
in town so of course we went to the park!

Friday, September 21, 2007

TGIF! And a photo shoot to boot!

Well, if the weather doesn't suck, I'll be photographing the downtown of Rochester this evening with the community ed crew. Mark P, and Mark I. will be there of course. I've really been looking forward to this since I signed up for it. We will exploring downtown Rochester and taking night shots. Check out my photo blog for pictures! The should be up tomorrow or Sunday, depending on how many there are and if any are good.

It is Friday, so glad. I like the weekend. Brenda works :-( but the girls and I will find something fun to do.

I just read G's post on its not about the badge and I gotta tell ya G...I'm not really sure a 16 month old would notice porn on the tellie. She might even start dancing to the cool music. j/k

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hey! Brenda's having a Tupperware party

Why aren't you here?

What to do, what to do...

I'm been thinking lately about this blog. I really like K's and G's blogs and look forward to each post. They do there's as more of a personal journal and way to tell the rest of the internets what they are up to.

I might try to do something like this at force myself to post everyday at least once. I like expressing my views and sharing them with everyone, but I also just like the idea of writing everyday.

I have 2 other blogs that I also update regularly. These get far more attention than this one, which is unfortunate. The Poker Blog and the Photography Blog are places for me to put the numerous occurances that happen in those areas. I like the focused appoach. Let's see if I can get myself to post here everyday about any topic. The photography of Jim Brandenburg has inspired me, maybe his daily project will work with me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's Official...Google Reader Is a Real App

As of last night, Google Reader is a real more beta!

I've been using Google Reader for a couple of months, and I really like it. It's a great way to keep up on all your favorite blogs and news stories. No need to check 25 different sites everyday, just subscribe and read!

Give it a try, you can subscribe to my blog by clicking Add to Google way cool and very simple!