Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are you too old?

Trick-or-treating.  What's the age limit on this activity?  Because truly you will not run into an age limit of your love of sugary treats.  And you don't really run into an age limit where you stop liking when people give you free stuff.

Who decides when you're too old for going door to door looking for candy? Let me tell you. . . mom decides.   I'm not suggesting mom is wrong in her choice, I'm just telling you that when the decision is made it will be mom who will put an end to this.  I would suggest that when you are old enough to buy the candy for trick-or-treaters then you are probably too old.

This year only our youngest will be dressing up and hunting the good stuff.   But don't worry, the other two will still be fed plenty of candy to keep them happy.

I'm curious what age you think is the cut off for going out trick-or-treating. . . and who made that decision.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Never Ending Fall

I apologize if you are tired of hearing about Fall festivals, but that's all that is available right now.   Every weekend there are countless festivals to attend and Blue Grass music in every gazebo.  That's not a complaint from me.  I've already told you it's one of my favorite times of the year.  

This weekend we attended a party for our church hosted by one of the members.  As we pulled up this year we saw a giant inflatable slide.  You already know the kids had fun on that thing for hours, but did you know that the adults liked it just as much?  The adults just wore out quicker than the kids.  
 We even got a 75 year old to climb up the air filled steps to make a trip down the slide!

And here's proof that we let the kids play too...
 Before heading out we enjoyed a hay ride.  I sat at the back and everyone was taking bets if I would fall out or not.   They seemed a little too excited about that.

And yes, I went down the slide too.  Head first like you are supposed to do it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am Poisoned!

**STOP!!  Don't go any farther!!  Below you will find some pictures of blisters and a horrible rash on my hand.  If that will gross you out you should visit this link of kitties on youtube instead.


A few weekends ago I took my youngest to a fall festival (and blogged about it)
Two days later my hand started to itch.  I thought it was something from work, or maybe a spider bite.  This was what it looked like on Friday.  Almost a week after the festival:
The blisters started to form pretty quickly from there.  You can also see some swelling on the top of my hand now.  This is the next day (a week from the contact):
That's when I realized I might want to start doing something about this minor rash.  I had been really good about not scratching it.  In fact, as it developed, I didn't even touch my hand.  I started to apply hydrocortisone to my wound and kept it covered while at work.  The covering was mostly because it was becoming pretty hideous to look at:
By Thursday the blisters and swelling were at their worst.  The cream was now mixed with a Benadryl cream and it kept the itching sensation to a minimum.

Finally, by this past Wednesday the blisters were reduced and the swelling mostly all gone.  I'm not sure what this will look like in another week, but hopefully it will all fade away quickly.
I still am not completely sure what it was that I came into contact with.  Many have suggested Poison Sumac.  With all of the hiking and camping that I have done I have never had anything like this happen so I guess I just got lucky this time.  I was surprised by the two day lag of contact and rash but I believe it happened at the festival because my daughter got a rash (not as bad) under her arm where I would have picked her up.

I received a lot of advise from friends and co-workers on my rash.  I was told I should have treated it with Kerosene, straight bleach, or just peed on my hand.

I didn't try any of those this time.   But, maybe next time I'll look into these alternate treatments...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Vacation Day. . . ALONE

My vacation day that I took while everyone else was busy was planned to be a day of NOTHING.

On that day, I got up early to ensure the kids made it onto the school bus.  That was a critical element of the day!  Once they left I sat and drank a cup of coffee.   Looking out the window I saw a beautiful day and decided it was time to grab my camera and head out.

It was still early as I headed up to Caesar's Head State Park.  

 When I arrived the clouds below created a scene of white.   I was a little disappointed at not having the view but it was still an amazing day to be out.  
I stuck around and took some photos.  I watched as the clouds moved out and provided me some limited views at Table Rock and the surrounding area.  

I snapped my photos as another block of white was drifting in.  After fifteen minutes I was in a cloud and had no view.   I took some self portraits and then drove down the mountain to my next stop.

My next stop was at Bald Rock overlook on hwy 276.  The view from under the clouds was better and I took a few more photos.  There is an immense amount of graffiti on the overlook and I started taking a closer look at it all.  Most of it was a form of "(name) loves (name)".  There were also a variety of spray painted penis's on the rocks.  I wasn't surprised.

The majority of the paint was not obscene and I thought it was kind of artful for people to declare their love on this rock.  I thought back to my visit at Caesar's Head a few minutes earlier.  I hadn't photographed it, but there was a lot of graffiti up there too.  It was paint, it was names and dates carved into the rocks from decades ago.   This painted rock at Bald Rock was not a new thing, it was just easier than scratching your name for hours into a rock.

I finished my time at Bald Rock as a young couple showed up with a picnic.   I headed home to make some lunch and review the photos I had taken.
With the day only half over, my use of a vacation day was perfect.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Choice: iPhone

If you are interested in smart phones and technology you may realize that you have a decision to make.  Do I want an iPhone or do I want an Android based phone?    It's like asking Cannon or Nikon?, chocolate or vanilla?  These questions can polarize people into one side or the other.

In our house I have chosen Android phones and technology and Cari has chosen the offerings that Apple provides.

One of the differences between these two is access.  Android phones tend to be available for tinkering.  Snap open the back and replace a battery, add a memory card, or repair a loose wire.   iPhones on the other hand are locked up tight.  If you have a problem you will need to track down a special screwdriver with a pentalobe head on it, not available in stores.  Inside there isn't much to do and the battery is taped or glued to the inside.

This is what we had to do last week when Cari's iPhone stopped working.  She dropped it lightly.  The screen didn't break it just went blank.  We ordered the pentalobe screwdriver and cracked the case open.  Using some YouTube videos we identified the wires and clips and we reset all connections.   We got it put back together but had no improvement.  At least it wasn't worse.   It turns out we had a faulty digitizer and Cari went to a shop to have them replace it.   The iPhone was working good as new about 40 minutes later.

During that process Cari had cleared the iPhone of any personal data or accounts.   It was factory reset clean in case we couldn't get it working or in case we had to leave it at the shop for a period of time.

Here's where another difference in Android and iOS come in.   When I pick up a new Android device I log into my account and all of my information, contacts, and preferences come to life in the new device automatically.  What I witnessed the night Cari set up her phone cemented me in the Android camp.  She fought with iTunes on a laptop, a cable, and the iPhone to get her contacts back onto the phone.  She fought to get her ringtones and music into the phone.   It seemed complicated to get iTunes and the iPhone on the same page.   As I sat giggling at her struggle she still declared allegiance to her iPhone.   She has made her choice on the question between Android and iOS.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Honorary Member of the Band

Since we have a good trend going this week on posting about my youngest daughter, I thought I'd keep it going with one more.  

This past Friday night at the high school football game our she was invited to join the band on the field during half time. The band director had her walk with him in front of the band as the entered the field.   She then watched their performance from the benches on the side of the field.

After half time she helped conduct the band from the stands with the assistant band director.   I'm certain this was her favorite football game ever.

She was so excited to be involved.   Everyone was talking to her and she was super popular in the band.   She is now an honorary member of the band.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Birthday Girl

Here's a few more photos from the birthday we celebrated this past Sunday.
It was an eventful day from church to McDonald's to buying a new bike and then to a small party at home.

She had no problem falling asleep at the end of the day.   And neither did I.

Friday, October 11, 2013


We got our air soft gun repaired and immediately took it to the back yard for some target shooting.

I know kids use these type of guns to shoot at each other and I have seen many YouTube videos of kids with red welts where the plastic bullet had hit.  I was curious, how much does it really hurt?  I handed Cari the gun and I started across the yard.  I told her to shoot me in the back.

She didn't sound too excited about it but she stood with the gun while I paced off some distance.   I held my hands behind my neck in case she missed.  I had just finished watching her shoot a paper target and I wasn't really sure where this shot would hit me.

She asked if I was sure and I told her I was.   I heard the pop of the gun and then an immediate sharp sting on my lower back.  I jumped at the impact and screamed, "OMG! YOU SHOT ME!"

She defended herself by saying that I had asked her to do it.  That I, had in fact, placed the gun in her hand.   It didn't matter, I had a small welt on my back where my wife fired a plastic BB.

Maybe we aren't mature enough for this toy yet.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Fall Festival Season

I think Fall Festivals are some of the best.  It's usually not too hot and not too cold.   The food is fantastic and the music is fun.
Last weekend there was, of course, marching band competitions lasting all day.   But the youngest and myself excused ourselves from the competition so that we could head over to one of my favorite fall festivals in Pendleton, SC

There were scare crows on display up and down the streets of the town.  Businesses, churches, clubs, organizations, and some individuals, built the scare crows and voting was taking place during the festival.

The first thing we did was spend all of my money.   We did some craft with sand art, bounce house, and face paint.  She still wasn't worn out so she demanded funnel cake, which I denied.

We checked out the vendors that were around, played some games, watched a giant game of tug-o-war, and listened to the music before heading home.

She fell asleep in the car but when I went to take a photo of it she had woke up.  I asked her to recreate the sleeping moment.
It turned out to be a great day for missing out on a band competition in some far away land.