Friday, December 30, 2011

The Show

The baby (not such a baby these days) got some animal hand puppets on Christmas and Cari made an awesome stage for the animals to perform in.

We've only seen a few shows this week.  Once she gets used to the puppets a bit more I hope to get a video of one of her shows.  Right now the shows mostly consist of one animal hitting the other.  Something I believe she learned from her older brother.

Maybe we'll get Cari to write a script for the show.  And direct the show.  And be a stage hand.  And feed the actors.  And . . . maybe Cari didn't realize that she also got hand puppets for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Color coded germs

A week before Christmas the baby was sick for a night.  She was throwing up and just miserable. The next day she slept a lot but was eating by that evening.

That was a Friday night. On Sunday Cari and I both started feeling sick and spent many hours on the couch. That evening we were throwing up and just miserable. Late Sunday night the boy came down with it. Our daughter was spared the illness because she has friends. She was spending the night with a friend while the rest of the family suffered.

All this illness in the house got me thinking about the weekend.  I really thought I had done a decent job of avoiding the baby the night she was sick and even most of the next day. Apparently I didn't avoid ALL of the right places.

With the medical marvels we have in this country I'm putting in a request for a new product.  When a family member starts to get sick you give them this pill. The pill won't make them better. That's not what's important here.  What the pill does is cause the germ making them sick turn fluorescent.  That way I could walk into my kids room to check on them, see that everything near the bed glows green, and quickly evacuate the room. When the germ dies, the color dies with it. Multiple people in your house sick at once? Use different color pills.

When you come home from work and there is a yellow glow in your bedroom, a green glow in the living room, and the kitchen glows red, then you know you're in trouble. But at least you would know when you found a safe spot in your home and could avoid the illness.  Just find the patch of floor that isn't glowing.
Imagine going to work and your coworker has a nasty green glow around him. Well, maybe that's already the case for some of you, but if we had fluorescent pills, it would justify your fear of shaking his glowing hand.

Don't like my idea? What's your suggestion to avoiding the plague?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas: Before and After

Look closely and you may find a few errors in the photo because I was taking a panoramic photo with my phone.  Errors or not, the mess was real.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I used my tablet and I liked it!

When I purchased my tablet it was because I wanted one.  Not because I needed one. In fact I struggled to think of any reason why I would need one when trying to justify the purchase to Cari.

Since owning it, I have not regretted it.  I still don't have reasons for needing it, but I do use it.  I read a lot of news on the tablet in the evenings.  I watch some You Tube, and I've also started reading some books. Nothing exciting, but I'm using it.

Last week I took my tablet with me to basketball practice and had my "Ah! Ha!" moment of owning a tablet.  I was at the gym, sitting in the bleachers during practice.  There was no wifi (serious!) so I couldn't use the internet or read the news.  Instead I:

Loaded up Antipaper Notes to write some notes and draw a related sketch.
Next I turned on Google Music to play some music that was previously loaded onto the tablet.  While the music quietly played into my headphones I opened the Kindle app to read some more of the book I've been reading.  After reading for a while, I chose a different play list of music and started Google Docs and typed up an outline of a blog.

When basketball practice was over, I felt like I had accomplished a lot of things that I had on my mind that evening.  *note: all the apps I used that night cost me a total of $0.00

I actually had a productive moment with my tablet.  I used my tablet and I liked it!

I wasn't even connected to Wifi!  Imagine if I had been. . . I would have had all the distractions of the internet and got nothing done at all.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Norris Christmas Parade

Every small town wants to have their own Christmas parade around here and the town of Norris is no exception.  This year we headed down to watch their parade on a beautiful Saturday morning.

There wasn't a huge crowd when we arrived, but people were gathering around the several block long parade route down the main street.

In the parade there was one marching band, several riding mowers, a tap dancing troupe, some churches, a few motorcycles, and  a John Deere tractor!  Yes, Santa was riding atop a fire truck and every piece of the parade threw out armfuls of candy to the kids.  Seriously, we came home with more candy from that parade than Halloween night.

But the group that won the day was the public works dept of the town of Central (neighbors of Norris).  On the back of a flatbed truck was a closed outhouse and a sewer pipe.  Out of the sewer pipe climbed the Grinch and some helpers.  Some music started and the Grinch mingled around the crowd doing a dance.  As this took place, the doors to the outhouse - facing each side of the road - flew open to reveal a man sitting there, jeans at his ankles.  He was pumping his arms to the music and singing!
It's great to see these smaller towns put on fun events.  Just be warned if you try to use an outhouse in Central someone may peek in to see if you are dancing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Photo Day 3: The Results

And it's done.  I'm going to be picky picky picky about the photos I take and there are a few flaws in this one.  Chances are there would be flaws in the next one too.  Like I said last week, this was one of the smoothest photos we have taken for Christmas.  It seems like there is always a kid crying when we try to all look the same direction and smile.  Not this year!

Merry Christmas blogosphere!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pet Food

Creating and selling separate cat food and dog food is a waste of time and money.  Make one big bag labeled, "PET FOOD".   Trust me, the animals don't care.  You are only buying separate food to satisfy yourself.

Friday, December 16, 2011

OMG! How Old?

It's another birthday.  My own this time.  How old am I now?  I have to go back and look at last years blog to get a reminder.  With all this technology, I just need an app that reminds me of these things. What?  Oh!  There is an app for that!  It's called a calendar.   Maybe someone should get me one for my birthday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lost a Friend

Today is the funeral of a great friend.  Scott Layman.  His parents adopted me and my family when we moved here years ago.   Since that time we have been a part of the Layman family as they have been a part of ours.

I can't sit here and write a eulogy because I don't believe I could ever do a sufficient enough job for what Scott deserves but I do want to tell you just a bit about him.

I'll tell you that Scott was one of those guys that you instantly became friends with.  Someone with a welcoming smile at all times.  If you needed help, and Scott could help you, there was no doubt that it would be done.

Everyone that knew Scott already misses him, and always will. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Photo - Day 2 : Santa is NAKED

We took our family Christmas photo yesterday with some great results.  I think this was the easiest time we have had trying to get everyone to cooperate and smile at the same time.  As a bonus, no tears were shed during this process!

Unfortunately, I ran out of time last night to go through and get the best ones put together for a blog.  So that'll come later in the week.   I will share one preview with you today.

The faces you see in this photo are in reaction to someone in the family saying,
"I'm picturing Santa naked!"
I'll let you guess who said it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Photo - Day 1

Cari and I have been talking about doing our family Christmas picture this week.  It'll probably happen before the weekend is over.   We thought about doing it the other night when I got home from work, but one kid was grumpy, one kid was busy, and the third one was dirty.  We decided to wait.

I'm arguing a case of using individual photos this year.  We'll just staple them all together like a flip book.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Fresh Air

I woke up one morning and looked out my window to see my neighbor with a canopy in his front yard.  I didn't think that was too unusual or even noteworthy.
What I did find noteworthy was what appeared to be a computer setup located under the canopy.  He even had an extension cord running back into the house.  Not sure what this is all about but maybe he wanted some fresh air while he played a bit of WOW.  Maybe someone in the house didn't want the computer inside anymore.  What's your theory?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Three AM

How do you know when you've found a great video game?

For me, knowing I found a great game comes at three in the morning.  That's when I finally look over at a clock and realize the sun will be up in a few hours.  Even then, I contemplate taking one more turn before sneaking off to bed.   At that point I know I'm playing a great game.

Those "one more turn" games are rare.  Sure, some games will get me to midnight or one AM, but to get to three without realizing it doesn't happen very often.  The most famous 3AM game that comes to mind is Civilization (any of them).  In Civilization you're building your civilization and expanding your borders while negotiating or fighting your neighbors.  There's a plan in your mind and you need one more turn to advance your continously developing plans. 

Over the past two weeks I've discovered another 3AM game.  Minecraft.  You may have heard of it, and if not, you probably will as it gets more references in the main stream media. 

Minecraft drops you into a 3D world created of cubes and allows you to build and develop it however you please.  There are oceans, deserts, forrests, plains, snow fields, and mountains in this world.  It's great just to wander around admiring the landscape but it's better to start building.   Before you start building your first house, you'll have to go gather up the raw materials.   Getting wood from a tree isn't too dificult, but from there you'll be building tools and other items to make life easier for yourself. 

Light washes across the world as time passes from morning to night.  At night, the monsters come out and try to get you (just like real life), so I suggest you stay tucked inside during these hours unless you are prepared to fight. 

Minecraft will get a gamer to 3am with no problem as the imagination eggs you on to develop your world. As one thing takes shape it often has you dreaming of your next project. Before you know it, it's 3am and you realize you're playing a great game.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Great Things!

Google released a new app recently for their tablets.  Google Catalogs.  This sounded like a total chick app to me.  Seriously?  Browsing catalogs for stuff I'm not going to buy?  Lame.

Did I download it?  Heck yeah I did!  I figured this is the perfect app to show Cari how great having a tablet can be.
I installed the lame shopping app onto my tablet and asked Cari to join me on the couch so I could show her a "super awesome new app".

An hour later we were still shopping the huge list of catalogs and I was adding stuff to my favorites list. 

Friday, December 02, 2011


It seems like "Maximum Capacity" should be a 2 in this situation.