Monday, December 31, 2007

A kind of weird pattern...

Well, it is the end of 2007 now - and I noticed something strangely perfect about my blogging. In 2006, I blogged exactly 50 times. How many times did I blog in 2007? Including this final post, exactly 100 times.

If I keep this rate up, in 2015 I will blog 25,600 times. If I blog 70 times per day, and 120 times December 31st, I can do that. That's a blog about every 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, it usually takes me 20 minutes just to think of something to blog about.

Had I been thinking ahead, I would have kept my 2006 blogging to a minimum, say about 15 blogs. Then in 2015, I would only need to blog 7680 times, only 21 times per day and 36 times December 31st. That's once every 68 minutes. Much more reasonable.

Alas, I have dug this pit and will have to live with it I suppose. Regardless, I wish everyone a Happy New Year, I'll see you in 2008!

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's been awhile...

I haven't done any riddles in awhile. Here are a couple:

1) What are the only English words with three consecutive repeated letters? For example, if jummppeered were a word, it would have mm,pp,ee in it.

2) A man is six feet tall, works as a clerk in a buther shop, wears size 11 shoes and likes to wear gold chains like Mr. T. What does he weigh?

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A new phase of life

Well, I've done it. For those of you who don't know, I celebrated my first 29th birthday a little over a week ago. So, I suppose it's time to reflect. What have I learned in my first 254,000 hours of life? Several things:

1) My daughter, with roughly 20,000 hours on this planet, can match wits and wills with anyone.

2) No matter how much fun it sounds, killing a pile of ants on the floor of your house's attached woodshed with a makeshift aerosol flamethrower in the middle of summer is never a good idea.

3) Bert and Ernie must have been feeding the water - it does not matter how loud you yell "Fishy fishy fishy!" - the only thing that leaps into your boat are the other angry fishermen.

I have accomplished many things so far... about 3.1 million minutes ago I coined my first truly memorable quote: "I defy anti-gravity all the time."

I have attended approximately 3600 days of school.

I have driven approximately 175,000 miles.

I have owned exactly 2 bicycles.

I have some of my wedding cake which has been frozen for more than 178 million seconds.

No, I don't plan to eat it.

I have personally purchased 1 (one) toilet plunger.

I have not eaten a banana in 22 years.

I have learned one absolute truth: If you're going to invest 30 minutes, two rolls of duct tape, and the mattress from your bed to play a great practical joke on someone, FIRST MAKE SURE ALL THE ROOMMATES ARE IN THE ROOM WHEN YOU START!

Small Asian men who write poetry on the toilet are stronger than they first appear. Much stronger.

I have watched Men in Black 68 times, four more times than I have read Lost Moon (Apollo 13).

AFTER strapping your child seat into the other side of the car, which forces you the driver to cram your seat forward uncomfortably far, so that you can fully recline the front passenger seat of your semi-compact car to allow both the new TV you have just purchased late at night and your wife to fit somewhat haphazardly inside the vehicle... AFTER all that setup has been completed and you have busted the cupholder and glove compartment door with the shoving of the TV into the car is NOT the time to say "Honey, why didn't we just take the TV out of the box?"

You can fit upwards of 10 people in a 1992 Toyota Camry. You can also drive said full Camry over a concrete parking lot median as long as you gun the engine.

If you're playing Pictionary, and the artist draws a straight line, it is a stick. If it has dots, it is affliction. If it is anything else, go upstairs and attempt to play team pool and foosball at the same time.

It is entirely possible for a group of approximately 15 college freshmen to pick up a compact car and turn it around.

No matter how cheap it is, do not buy pina colada fog juice.

Fog machines will set off college residence hall fire alarms at the exact moment the RA opens the door.

If you're going to play cafeteria football, make sure Matt Bridges is sitting in your group to provide the commentary.

Here's another absolute: When delivering pizzas, ALWAYS set your parking brake.

Make sure you ask someone to turn the video camera on at your wedding.

Speed is irrelevant in California.

When the little voice inside you says, "Going trick or treating in a refrigerator box is a stupid idea," listen to your little voice.

There is no better way to pass the time with a friend than with a couple of Zippo lighters. Fuel is optional.

Well, I guess I could go on and on... this is obviously not an all inclusive list of what I've learned, but it does provide a good example of the variety show that has been my life. Hopefully I will have an equally interesting list in another 29 years.

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, December 28, 2007

A few things that made me smile :)

Just a few jokes, etc that made me smile...

Supposedly from church bulletins:
Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall - Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

The room was full of pregnant women and their partners. The Lamaze class was in full swing. The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe properly, and informing the men how to give the necessary assurances at this stage of the plan.
"Ladies, exercise is good for you," announced the teacher. "Walking is especially beneficial. And, gentlemen, it wouldn't hurt you to take the time to go walking with your partner!"
The room was very quiet. Finally, a man in the middle of the group raised his hand.
"Yes?" asked the instructor.
"Is it all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?"

A man calls the Animal Control in his town, because there is a crazed gorilla on his roof, and he can't figure out how to get it down safely. Soon, a van pulls up, and an old man gets out, carrying a small dog, a baseball bat, and a gun. He hands the man the gun."Okay, here's what we do. I'm going to go up onto your roof, and threaten the gorilla with this baseball bat until he falls down. When he falls down, this little dog will bite him in the balls until he's incapacitated.""Great," says the man. "But what's the gun for?""In case I fall down instead of the gorilla -- shoot the dog."

Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?
A: A stick.

A Frenchman, an Englishman and a New Yorker were exploring the jungle and were captured by a fierce tribe. As they sit in a hut, awaiting their fate, the chief comes to them and says, "The bad news is that now that we've caught you, we're going to kill you, and then use your skins to build a canoe. The good news is that you get to choose how you die."
The Frenchman says, "I take ze poison." The chief gives him some poison, the Frenchman says, "Vive la France!" and drinks it down.
The Englishman says, "A pistol for me, please." The chief gives him a pistol, he points it at his head, says, "God save the queen!" and blows his brains out.
The New Yorker says, "Gimme a fork." The chief is puzzled, but he shrugs and gives him a fork. The New Yorker takes the fork and starts jabbing himself all over -- the stomach, the sides, the chest, everywhere.
There's blood gushing out all over, it's horrible. The chief is appalled, and screams, "What are you doing???"
The New Yorker looks at the chief and says, "So much for your canoe!"

Q: Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?
A: It was dead.

And finally...
Continuing the current trend of large-scale mergers and acquisitions, it was announced today at a press conference that Christmas and Hanukkah will merge. An industry source said that the deal had been in the works for about 1300 years.
While details were not available at press time, it is believed that the overhead cost of having twelve days of Christmas and eight days of Hanukkah was becoming prohibitive for both sides. By combining forces, we''re told, the world will be able to enjoy consistently high-quality service during the Fifteen Days of Chrismukah, as the new holiday is being called.
Massive layoffs are expected, with lords a-leaping and maids a-milking being the hardest hit. As part of the conditions of the agreement, the letters on the dreydl, currently in Hebrew, will be replaced by Latin, thus becoming unintelligible to a wider audience.
Also, instead of translating to "A great miracle happened there," the message on the dreydl will be the more generic "Miraculous stuff happens." In exchange, it is believed that Jews will be allowed to use Santa Claus and his vast merchandising resources for buying and delivering their gifts.
One of the sticking points holding up the agreement for at least three hundred years was the question of whether Jewish children could leave milk and cookies for Santa even after having eaten meat for dinner. A breakthrough came last year, when Oreos were finally declared to be Kosher. All sides appeared happy about this.
A spokesman for Christmas, Inc., declined to say whether a takeover of Kwanzaa might not be in the works as well. He merely pointed out that, were it not for the independent existence of Kwanzaa, the merger between Christmas and Chanukah might indeed be seen as an unfair cornering of the holiday market. Fortunately for all concerned, he said, Kwanzaa will help to maintain the competitive balance. He then closed the press conference by leading all present in a rousing rendition of "Oy Vey, All Ye Faithful."

Merry Chrismukah everybody!

-The Krunchy Krab

An unlikely favorite for me, but boy is it good!

As I type, I have a standing rib roast slowly coming up to temperature in the oven - it's been in there for three hours so far. I don't usually like meat for the sake of meat - I much prefer meat in something (casserole, soup, etc)

But then two things happened:

1) I went to Austria.
2) I came home and watched Good Eats.

Normally, I wouldn't link those, even though Alton Brown could probably pass as an Austrian if not for his lack of accent. While in Austria, I had probably the greatest steak sandwich ever created... and I dedicated my life (or part of it) to re-creating that sandwich when I got back home.

Well, several months sans great steak sandwich later, I was watching Good Eats, and decided to try a recipe for a standing rib roast that he made. Less of a recipe, and more of a technique or process really. The "recipe" basically calls for a chunk of meat with some canola oil, and salt and pepper rubbed on it. But my wife loves meat and potato type meals, so I decided to try to make this. Warning: this cut of meat can be expensive! Expect to pay about $50 for a small standing rib roast. My wife's worth it though.

Several days later, with the meat properly dry-aged, I roasted and served it. It was spectacular... but even I still did not see the link. The next day, I was hungry for some leftovers and it struck me - the rib roast, in appropriately thick slices, perfectly approximated the tenderness and flavor of that mystical Austrian steak sandwich I so palpatate for. The rest is history. Tonight, I make the rib roast again, not necessarily for the nice meal tonight, nay my mind is on the morrow - when I shall again place a leftover slice of that steak between two toasted pieces of bread and again enjoy a great steak sandwich.


-The Krunchy Krab

A small consolation...

I did end up losing my fantasy football playoff game to the eventual league champion. The more sad part? I would have wasted either of the two teams in the championship last week. Their two quarterbacks (Cutler/Kitna) combined for 12 points total. Oi.

Oh well.

-The Krunchy Krab

Cultured up and ready to go...

That's right folks, tonight I got me some culture. My wife and I attended the Nutcracker in Seattle. I have 4 comments:

1. The men's pants WERE tight, contrary to what I was promised.
2. The sets were very cool.
3. Seat selection requires strategy - Case in point: the woman sitting mere inches to my right paid $30 more for her seat than I did, because she was in the "Gold Circle". Ha!

All in all, I believe it was a successful Christmas gift for my wife.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, December 24, 2007

You really should check this out

My wife has a post up on her blog that you should see. It's pictures of our daughter dancing in her Christmas dress... some of the best candid photos I've managed to capture of her.

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Had to laugh

This person has their priorities straight. I read this in the Upriver police blotter (all areas up the Skagit River from Mt. Vernon/Burlington WA)

2:30 p.m. A theft was reported in the 8200 block of Davis Lane, Lyman. The house was burglarized while the residents were gone. Stolen items include a camera, camcorder, 1/2 gallon of ice cream and the batteries to the TV remote. There are no suspects at this time.

Way to hit a guy while he's down - take his comfort food and then just when he thinks he can finally relax and take his mind off the burglary... he can't turn the TV on from the sofa.

It's sad to see such obvious genius so wasted...

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Out of all the losers, I came in ... second.

Rats. What a week. I lost terribly in fantasy football to the hidden delight of my wife. But it's over now. (The week) I've got 6 days off, one day of work, then 6 more days off. Should be fun! Well, at least I think I'll get to catch up on sleep.

My birthday is coming up. Actually as I write this it's in 8 minutes. Probably by the time I click publish it will be my birthday. It looks like it will be one of the most low-key birthdays of all time, which is fine with me.

Speaking of sugar, does anyone else have the problem of fate trying to send them into diabetic shock at this time of year? Every day at work, more and more desserts would magically appear in the kitchenette. We had our December birthday brunch on Wednesday, which was when the treats seemed to peak. Imagine a table covered first in standard breakfast fare: scrambled eggs, bacon, bagels with lox and cream cheese, etc. Then add 3 dozen doughnuts, two pies, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, a Costco 5 lb bag of hard candy, and a bag of Jalepeno Tim's Cascade chips. (One guy always brings those chips, don't ask me why)

Upon leaving the brunch, we found someone had also brought homemade biscotti, and a plate of cookies. My willpower was waning. I decided to buy a can of Diet Coke - I've pretty much given up pop of any kind, but I left my water bottle at home, so it was pop or nothing. Here's where I knew I was destined for a high blood sugar reading: I pushed the button for Diet Coke and a regular Coke came out. That's my favorite thing in the whole world. I love having to buy more than one of something to get one of something I want. Have I blogged about the people who stuff the vending machine at work incorrectly so you have to buy 3 bags of chips to get 2? I think I have.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas. That's right I said Merry Christmas. Check your calendars - it's on there. Nowhere is a day labled 'Holidays'

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

She said it, not me!

Tonight I was watching our daughter while my wife ran some errands. Here's how the conversation at one point went:

Me: What does a chicken say?

Her: Bok, Bok, Bok!

Me: What do you say?

Her: I say talk!

Me: What does Daddy say?

Her: You say talk!

Me: What does Mommy say?

Her: Talk Talk Talk! Talk Talk Talk!

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thank goodness for Christmas trees

We arrived home yesterday evening with our Christmas tree. Now, normally this is a process I don't particularly look forward to for two reasons:

1) Carrying a tree into our house and getting it properly set and secured in the tree stand is no easy task.
B) I'm allergic to anything that exists, so lying with my face on the carpeted floor while pine needles fall into my ears does not put me at my nasal best.
3) I can't see the tv from the right end of the couch anymore.

So, it was with an apprehensive heart that I dragged the tree out of the back of the truck to make a fresh cut and get it ready to take inside.

I wandered my garage, trying to select the proper rotating blade with which to whack an inch off the height of my tree sold by height. I didn't feel like using a handsaw, the jigsaw would take forever and the blade wasn't long enough. A sawsall seemed like overkill, but the skilsaw is too small a diameter. I could bring the chopsaw out, but I would feel really silly cutting a christmas tree with a chopsaw. The radial arm saw was no better. I had just resigned myself to using the skilsaw in two passes when I had a revelation...

I have a saw made for cutting trees, and I've never gotten to use it in December before.

If our gate wasn't already falling off our hinges, it would be now. So, there I was, excitedly waving my hands around our pitch black shed, trying to find the chainsaw. There - my hands got covered in grease off to my left. That must be it. In 20 seconds flat I was in the front yard pulling the starter. Like a hot knife through butter, I molded the bottom of our christmas tree as only a man with a chainsaw in December can. Of course the cut only took a few seconds. I needed to cut more. Those branches at the bottom were too low, surely they needed to surrender to my chain of tree chomping teeth. The chainsaw roared to life once again!

It was a sad moment, but I had to shut the saw down once again. I promised it that I would make sure it had plenty of wood to cut this summer. *Sigh*

In with the tree I went... as I reached the top of the stairs, my 2 year old daughter said, "That's a really big tree! That a HUMONGOUS tree!"

And how can you not enjoy mounting the tree in the stand when she gets down under it with you - "Look Daddy! You see? You see the HUMONGOUS tree? It's a green tree!"

She's going to go nuts when we cover the tree with lights tonight.

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Playoff time!!!

As many of you know, I've become somewhat of a fantasy sports fanatic in the past few years. I've never really done very well, and this football season started out ho-hum as usual. But then the Seahawks started winning. Which I know, might seem unrelated, but I tend to draft a lot of Seattle players in my fantasy teams for two reasons:

1) Seattle teams are generally viewed as crappy, and so no one wants to draft their players.

2) I like Seattle teams even though they are actually usually as crappy as everyone thinks they are.

3) But as a result, I usually get to actually draft all my top choices.

So, I started the year ho-hum, but as I say, then the Seahawks started winning. And so I started winning. By a lot. I've still lost my share of games, but I've managed to take down all the top teams in my league a few times.

First the standings in my league. There are three divisions with four teams in each. Playoffs include each division leader, plus 1 wild card. I am the highlighted row in the top division, as of this morning I was tied for the lead in my division. Now for this week's scores:

As you may notice, I'm playing my division rival head to head this week. This is the last week of the regular season, so the winner of this takes the division.

My success this week is due to two things:

1) The Seahawks manhandled the Cardinals, totalling 5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 1 safety, and 1 DTD. Not to mention Hasselbeck threw for 4 touchdowns, and I have Burleson (an addition I made today to my lineup) and Branch, so I got 6 touchdowns off the Seahawks today. Plus I have Josh Brown, so I got two field goals and 4 extra points.

2) The Steelers got stomped today. My opponent had the Steelers DST, and they gave him a grand total of 0 (zero) points to my Seahawks DST's 25 points. Sweet.

So, for the first time, I am now in the playoffs, and having a team full of Seahawks who have just about the easiest schedule for the rest of the season, I'm looking forward to maybe winning it all this year. What will I get? Nothing really. But I'll be able to taunt some people.

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Dude, I got a D...


I know one person who recently gave me Dell coupons was probably expecting me to say Dell.

Sorry to disappoint.

Anyway, we've started a trend of buying one big ticket item per year, and last year I got to choose - so we got the camera I took these pictures with. This year, it was my wife's turn to choose, and she wanted to get a vacuum.

We kind of didn't think we'd really get around to it, but then the other day she was freaking out because the floors were dirty and she wanted to vacuum. So we fired up the green ghost, and voila! Smoke. So I cracked it open and discovered the belt was about to snap. So I replaced it. Two minutes later, we fire it up again and voila! Smoke. As I'm removing the cover again, I hear a snap. Yep, the belt melted and snapped.

Houston we have a problem. Well, our options are to take our inexpensive, destined-to-die-soon-anyway vacuum in for repairs with no guarantee of it being repairable, or we replace it. But we had decided that our next vacuum would be a quality one, we were tired of dealing with a vacuum that was sure to have problems after its 90 day warranty had expired.

So, to the internet I did go to research, and narrowed our choices down to a few choices, all of which were available at Sears. Ultra convenient. I do actually like shopping for vacuums at Sears, because there's a large selection, they let you test them right there, and there aren't many people in that department.

Of course we were instantly targeted by a salesman, especially after we picked up a $600 Dyson (not the one we ended up purchasing). And he spent the next 35 minutes demonstrating, disassembling, and sales-pitching various models. We did feel compelled to believe a lot of what he said about the Dysons because if he was just trying to get a large commission, he would push Kenmore where he gets twice the commission. Anyway, we took Elise out to the mall play area to burn some steam while we thought about which one we wanted, and settled on the DC18 slimline - weighing in at less than 16 pounds, it was light enough for my wife to handle going up and down stairs, had the ball design that lets it turn on a dime, and all the other features of the latest Dyson models.

Long story short, we made it home through the snow (I had to put chains on to get up our hill) and we instantly unpacked and assembled the unit. I began dinner while my wife vacuumed the living room and hallway. This is the result of about 10 minutes of vacuuming.

Yes, that pile of gray gunk is dust. A quick once-over of about 500 square feet of carpet produced this. I apologize to everyone who has had to breathe this in our house for the last three years.

Here's a picture of our Dyson, standing tall and proud at the top of the stairs. It is very compact, but still very powerful. If you're using the backpack in the picture as a size reference, don't. It's my daughter's backpack, which is about 1/4 the size of an adult backpack. The vacuum is small, but not that small.

Anyway, my wife is now inspired and wants to vacuum the whole house 5 times over. I expect we'll be breathing easier now.

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, November 30, 2007

Juveniles with admin privileges

Our IS department is often frustrating, which is the case at many companies I'm sure. But here's an example of a really extreme case of IS stupidity.
We're an engineering company, and many of our engineers use their personal laptops in tandem with lab computers and their desktop computers. As such, there is oftentimes a need to transfer files from one computer to another.
While they could transfer the file to a network share and then browse to that share on the other computer to retrieve it, it is much easier to use a flash drive, especially for large files on our crappy network.

Oh, and by the way, if you think I'm just kidding about our crappy network, come visit me sometime and I will show you what I'm talking about. I thought the MSLC at SPU was bad with its CAT 3 network, but it doesn't hold a candle to this.

Anyway, a 1 GB flashdrive is about $10 now. So, several engineers requested that our Admin Assistant procure some flashdrives from the IS department. Seems like a simple request. Oh how I envy your ignorant bliss.

She was told that the engineers needed to provide a justification for such a piece of equipment, they wanted to know exactly what it would be used for, etc.

For a $10 flashdrive.

At an average rate of around $45-50 per hour for a salaried exempt staff engineer, if the engineer spends more than 12 minutes writing a justification email to get his flashdrive, the company has already invested the cost of the drive in his wasted salary. And that's not taking into account the time wasted by the Admin Assistant.

So, we decided to take things into our own hands, we just submitted a purchase req, bypassing IS completely. I also generated this letter of justification that we signed and stamped. Enjoy.

Why I need a thumbdrive

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one person to remove a file from one computer and to transfer it to an additional computer, a process to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the needs of mankind requires that the IS department should supply them with thumbdrives which impel them to the file transfer.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all data is created equal, they they are endowed by the program which created them with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are checksums, proper permissions, and the pursuit of bandwidth. – That to secure these rights, departments are instituted among companies, deriving their just powers from the consent of the company executives, that whenever any department becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Employees to alter or abolish it, and to acquire their thumbdrives through material requisition forms, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form delivered to Kim Sop, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the Component Engineers of the Engineering Services department of Aviation Technologies Corporation, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Vice President of Engineering of the company for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this engineering department, solemnly publish and declare, that these united cubicles are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent Cubicles, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the IS department, and that all Flash, Random Access, Synchronous, and Hard Disk memory connections between them and the building on the other side of the street, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent Cubicles, they have full Power to buy thumbdrives, SD cards and memory sticks, and to purchase all other forms of temporary and permanent file storage which Independent Cubicles may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our network shares, our wireless mice, and our sacred flat panel monitors.

Specific grievances nailed to door upon request

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I have succeeded as a father

Seahawks vs Bears. Start of the third quarter. Seahawks have the ball in the red zone. Hasselbeck dishes it in to Burleson for a touchdown. The crowd on TV goes crazy.

As I start to pump my fist, my 2 year old daughter standing on the other side of the room shoots her arms into the air in the standard official touchdown signal and yells, "Yay! Touchdown Seahawks!"

It's a perfect Sunday afternoon.

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Words will not suffice, so I will use pictures instead.

Is there anything in the world better than this, about 1 hour after it came out of the oven?

Of course there is. This is better. Except that there is now only 3/4 of a pie left. That's sad.

-The Slightly-less-Krunchy-because-he-just-ate-some-great-pie Krab

My wife thinks I'm crazy.

I have begun decorating the house for Christmas. I know, I know. I'm also one of those people who gets annoyed when Target puts back to school supplies out July 5th. But I have good reasons. It all started about 10 days ago, with a day which I knew would be one of the last clear dry days of the year. So, I decided to go do the roof part of the job, hanging the icicle lights across the edge.
I intended to just put them up, but then the bug hit. I've added a little more every day. Next it was the icicle lights on the catwalk outside the living room window. Then I put blue lights in the one evergreen shrub/tree by the sidewalk. There was no turning back. There are now lights in the junipers, 6 spiral trees in the main part of the yard, three more trees and a reindeer in the side yard. I have 6 mini trees in the garage, one more large spiral tree, two more reindeer, and 200 feet of icicle lights waiting to go out. There's another reindeer in the shed, three blue spotlights, two sets of snowflakes (20 flakes) and some more mini lights. Then I hope to somehow tastefully incorporate the blue and white ropelights in the basement.
Of course I'll have to add to my display this year. I'm just not sure what to add yet. I've also got two cool red tinsel cardinals with lights... those will look neat on the catwalk.
Sorry honey. At least I try to keep the display tasteful. You know I've always wanted one of those giant snowglobes on the roof.

I'll put some pictures up once it's all assembled.

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, November 01, 2007

You know you've succeeded as a parent when...

We were sitting at the table this evening, eating our dinner. Here are a few snippets of our conversation:

(My daughter pulls up her shirt and puts her hands under it)

Me: What are you doing?
Her: Putting my hands in there!

We have been working on teaching her to keep all her food on her plate, instead of moving it onto the table surface...

Me: Why is your pizza on the table?
Her: Because I didn't put it on the floor!

Made sense to me.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, October 15, 2007

Well, at least it hasn't been a month...

I know I've been a major disappointment to you all. My last post was 9/22. It must be time for a picture post! Blogger's photo upload is broken, so I'm hosting these myself.

It all started when I volunteered to do portraits at the fall festival at church. It was fun, but absolutely exhausting. 3+ solid hours of on my feet-getting people positioned, then shooting the picture, transferring the picture to the laptop and printing it. They gave me highschoolers to tape the prints to the frame-cards and put them on the distribution table.

This nice family stopped by to have their photo taken. Isn't their daughter cute?

She came back a little later to crawl around on the hay while the photographer was catching a bite to eat.

Wall, ok little ladies... you just lean on me and I'll circle the wagons.

After the fall festival, I started getting phone calls from people. Apparently, the church had just been waiting for someone to express an interest in photography. I was commissioned to take pictures the next weekend at our senior pastor's going away party.

Being a good Lutheran, I made sure to take time to partake in the potluck lunch. This is a member of our church board enjoying some lasagna.

We had a visit from some super hero - Captain something or other... this picture doesn't really do him justice. This is our worship leader doing some nutso skit in Converse and a cape.

From the look of his buck teeth, I wouldn't want this guy up in my face.

Then we came home and began to clean. We had been steadily accumulating a pile of "stuff" to donate for awhile. When we heard from friends in Mill Creek that we could use their driveway to sell at the twice yearly community garage sale, we decided to see if we could make a buck or two. It was a great day! I suppose this cleaning inspired my wife, who suddenly decided to clean out our files. These 5 bags (65 gallons total) are shredded papers that we had been storing but no longer needed.

On to the next thing - shortly after, we hosted a baby shower at our house for a couple from our small group in church. We had close to 30 people. A lot of work, but hey our house got deep cleaned!

I had been asked to do portraits for a local high school homecoming. I needed to borrow some studio lighting from a friend, so I snapped some photos of the Country Village harvest festival while I was there to pick up the lighting. Busy place! I've never had to park as far back in the extra parking lot as I did that day.

Then it was on to the homecoming. It was a very small high school - I think there were about 25 kids there. As you can probably tell, it was a 50's diner theme.

Ah highschoolers. They'll have a different look on their faces when they get their first electric bill.

This was about half the class.

These two wanted to pose for the most pictures. The one on the right told me she was going to order a bunch of prints and make a photo wall in her room.

You think he looks happy now?
Just wait.

That's right buddy, enjoy it while it lasts.

So, that brings us pretty much up to date. It's been a busy few weeks, but very fun. I'll try to post a little more often now. Thanks for reading!

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Give me a break people

This is really getting ridiculous. You remember the story in Boston where there were a bunch of lighted signs put up as an advertisement, and everyone thought they were bombs planted by terrorists? Yeah.
Here's a new one... from the same city.
This EE student, obviously afflicted only by bad taste in fashion, made a lighted design with LEDs and taped it to her sweatshirt. See below for the picture.

Now, maybe her only mistake was walking into an airport with this, but please people. I have probably 20 breadboards like this covered in much more bomblike circuitry. Am I going to be arrested now for being in possession of a "hoax device"? Everyone says that people need to be more aware, we all need to help look out for terrorists. Fine. How about people also need to be educated on the basics of what terrorist activities really look like?

Here are a few starters:
1) The circuitry involved to make a real bomb that runs on a 9 volt battery will be MUCH more complex than the one pictured above.
2) Terrorists don't scotch tape their bombs on the outside of their clothing.
3) There are a lot of gift shops in the Boston airport that sell cheesy light-up clothing that is scarier than her sweatshirt.

I would put these up on a readerboard somewhere for the general public to see, but I don't want to get arrested for planting a lighted bomb. Oh the irony!

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My inspiration came from within...

About a year ago, I bought Family Tree Maker at Half Price Books, and it included a free year of - which is a great value. So, I used it a bit back then, but then got lazy and lost track of it. Then suddenly a few weeks ago, a large debit to appeared on our bank statement... ah yes, I see I now have another year of it.

So I've started my research again, with the gusto that can only accompany a pocketbook that has been emptied. (Translation: I'm getting my money's worth this year!)

I noticed kind of a cool tool built in - when you're viewing the profile of any person in your tree, you can have Ancestry search for famous people related to that person. I was viewing my grandmother's page at the time, so I clicked on it, and got about 50 results. Almost all are relationships like "17th cousin 12 times removed" or other such distant relationships.
There are several famous poets, some presidents and some president's wives, among others.

But one caught my attention. It is a direct link - and Ancestry tells you the authenticity of each link in the chain - only 1 link in this chain has less than 5 out of 5 stars. Do with that what you will.

Anyway, apparently I am a direct descendant of Geoffrey Chaucer. He is my 20th Great Grandfather. I myself had already researched and built my tree back to the third generation below him. Ancestry linked the last three generations. See below for the lineage:

18th Great Grandfather of Shirley Marie Russell

Geoffrey Chaucer(1343-1400)
Alice Chaucer(1369-)(5 stars)
John Manning(1402-1436)(5 stars)
Hugh Manning(1432-1502)(4 stars) (This is the earliest person I had in my tree)
John Manning(1481-1542)(5 stars)
Henry Manning(1501-1583)(5 stars)
Henry Manning(1560-1614)(5 stars)
William Manning(1589-1666)(5 stars)
John Manning(1614-1688)(5 stars)
Jeffrey Manning(1640-1693)(5 stars)
Mary Manning(1663-1692)(5 stars)
Elizabeth Hull(1679-1733)(5 stars)
John Doty(1709-1757)(5 stars)
Samuel Doty(1733-1817)(5 stars)
Anna Doty(1765-1830)(5 stars)
Jonathan Parker(1781-1847)(5 stars)
Anna Parker(1803-1888)(5 stars)
John Albert Allison(1829-1885)(5 stars)
Mary Etts Allison(1874-1936)(5 stars)
Gladys Watchous(1901-1938)(5 stars)
Shirley Marie Russell(1925-)(5 stars)
My Father(1945-)(5 stars)
Me(1978-)(5 stars)

Back in high school, a project in our AP Honors English class was to write our own comtemporary version of The Canterbury Tales. I still have my copy somewhere - I need to look for that. Now I know how I got that A - it was my destiny to write that paper!

-The Krunchy Krab

What Time is it?

As is our usual custom to let our daughter think it's her idea to go to bed, tonight I asked her, "Do you know what time it is?"

She promptly replied:

"It's xylophone time!"

And then she sat down in front of her xylophone and began playing.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, September 17, 2007

Growing up

I have become increasingly aware that I am entering a new phase of my life. Both of you who are reading this are thinking, "Duh!" Yes, I know. Three years ago I was in grad school, with no children, and I didn't own a power lawn mower OR a radial arm saw. I also had more hair. Everybody Loves Raymond was still producing new episodes, and everybody knew that John Kerry had multiple Purple Hearts.

2004 was designated the International Year of Rice (by the UN), and Howard Dean let out the scream heard 'round the world. The Patriots were still winning the Superbowl on a regular basis, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won 11 Academy Awards.

The Abu Ghraib scandal was just being exposed, and Oldsmobile was producing "The Last 500" cars of its existence. The pickled heart of Louis XVII had not yet been buried, and the Pistons beat the Lakers 4-1. SpaceShipOne achieves orbit, and Saddam Hussein's trial began. Lance Armstrong won his 6th Consecutive Tour de France, and "Rathergate" enters common usage.

Martha Stewart went to jail, and the Curse of the Bambino is broken. Colin Powell was out, Condoleezza Rice was in. Three years ago, the name Ron Artest had much different connotations. It was snowing in Southern Texas, and tsunamis were crashing into southeast Asia. Three years ago, Julia Child was still alive, as was Christopher Reeve.

Ok, so there was a trip down memory lane, but that has nothing to do with me. Well, I guess as I approach my first 29th birthday, I'm just realizing that I now get more excited about a sale on diapers and grapes than a sale on the newest technology device.

Ok, I'm rambling and not making a point. I guess I've also lost my mind in my old age.

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The easiest transition ever

This is a big weekend for my daughter. This is the weekend when she gets to sleep in a "big girl bed" Ok, it's not a completely different bed, I just took the front rail off her crib so it's like a daybed. I wanted to do it on a weekend to take the pressure off my wife, because that way I would be here at bed/naptime to help.
So, when she woke up from her nap yesterday (Friday) I removed the rail. As soon as she found it, she started using the newly accessible bed as a play table, all her toys were soon on the bed. I was convinced that as soon as we put her down and shut the door, she would just get up and play on the bed again. Boy was I wrong.
My wife completed the bedtime routine, said goodnight, and walked out the door.

Not a peep.

1 hour later...

Not a peep. We go in to make sure everything's ok. Sound asleep.

The nice thing is, now we don't have to go in there during the night when she drops something on the floor and wants it back.

Of course, we were both interested to see what would happen this morning... figuring she'd either sneak out of her room when she woke up and terrorize the house, or she come flying into our room, jumping on our faces to wake us up.

Wrong again. She stood at her door and gently knocked to be let out. She didn't yell, didn't pound on the door. Just went tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.

Now if potty training could only be this painless...

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's all over :(

Well, that's it. The powers that be in my fantasy baseball league decided that the best tiebreaker to get into the playoffs would be points for, instead of division record. Thus, my final standing is this:

My team is the third line down in the top section... slightly highlighted in yellow. My record was 11-12.

So, since only the top two teams go to the playoffs, my season is finished. Rats. I had just beat the team directly ahead of me this last week, thereby establishing my dominance over him forever. It turned out to all be for naught.

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do I have to have a title?

A lot of photography books will tell you to adjust your aperture so your depth of field keeps all the flowers in focus. I really prefer it this way - the few that are at the focal length really "pop" while the rest are more soft and muted in the background.
Yesterday's picture was taken with my old point and shoot Nikon Coolpix 885. Today's photo was taken with my Canon Digital Rebel XT.
These flowers were in the backyard of one of my wife's former co-workers, who had us over for dinner just before they moved out of the house they'd lived in for something like 40 years. They had a cool house, full of vintage decorations. Anyway, this was in their backyard - the photo was taken one of the last times I was there.
-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, September 10, 2007

Photography and Me

I aspire to be a good photographer someday - I think I've got a knack for composing shots. Without a lot of training in the mechanics (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc) a lot of my pictures leave something to be desired, but I do have a sizable collection now that I'm fairly proud of.

Someday, I'd love to set up a site like this, but not having the time right now to take my camera with me everyday, I'll have to settle for posting some of my favorite shots from the past. I tend to pick some abnormal subjects - things most people wouldn't think of shooting. Anyway, here goes:

This shot was taken several years ago now, from the window of our (cheap) hotel in Vienna. I was a graduate student at the UW, and had been invited to lecture at the 2004 Eurosensors conference. How can you pass up a free trip to Europe? We quickly bought a ticket for my wife and went. As crummy as this hotel was (half the time we had to walk up the stairs, because the elevator didn't operate if someone didn't latch the door properly upstairs) I'll always have fond memories of my time there. Vienna was a beautiful city to explore, I hope to return someday.

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'm ... semi famous

Click here to see a great video

Yep, that's me in the black fleece vest.

So the story goes like this:

A guy named Jubal, who is a producer for the Jackie and Bender morning show on KISS 106.1, made an announcement that "Justin" would be performing live, for free, at Gasworks park this thursday morning. Since Justin Timberlake is coming to the area very soon, everyone assumed he meant him, but he really meant a guy named Justin who also works for the radio station.
The hoax stayed active for several days, people took time off work, made travel plans, etc, to come see the free Justin Timberlake concert. Then everyone found out the truth, and the radio station suspended Jubal for an unknown number of days.
However, the show must go on, so for the next few days, they tried to get the word out that the concert would still happen, but would NOT be Justin Timberlake. Angry callers flooded the studio, "I took the day off work!... My mom called in sick!... That's just mean, ohmigosh I mean, like, really really mean, like you know what I mean?"
I work about 100 yards from Gasworks, so I was actually worried that parking might be an issue, assuming that either a lot of people didn't get word that it was a fake concert, or a lot of people showed up because it was a novelty. There were plenty of spaces.
So, around 8:50, I get up from my desk, and say to our intern "Want to go to a free concert?" "Sure!" We headed down the stairs to Gasworks.

When we arrived, it appeared that a small crowd had formed, but it quickly became apparent that everyone that was there besides us worked for KISS. We were the only people who showed up at 9:00.

Two guys were singing on a single speaker PA system. They ended up singing about 5 songs, and Jackie and Bender joined us live during their show several times.

About 9:20AM, the Red Bull folks showed up. By that time we had attracted a crowd of about 6 people. Everyone got free Red Bull!

Everyone except us left, and then these two people came. They took the day off and drove up from Tacoma. From what we could tell, everyone who came besides us thought Justin Timberlake was supposed to be there. A group of 4 high school aged girls came, very obviously dressed for a big concert... and looked totally disgusted with what they found.

In the end, we all had a good time, and I got to get out of my cubicle for awhile. Yes, my eyes are closed. When I get a copy of the picture taken with our intern's camera, I'll post that. My eyes were open in that one.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, September 03, 2007

Just what you want to hear

I was at a get-together yesterday with some friends from highschool. When I called home to see how things were going there (our daughter has been especially 2 lately) I heard her run up to my wife in the background: "Mommy mommy! Elise wants to play with knives!"

It was a tad worrisome...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You might be an adult if...

I was just thinking to myself today of the things that I never would have imagined doing as a kid. Here are a few of my thoughts defining adulthood.

You can walk into a department store and not immediately ride the escalator three times.

You have ever overheard a conversation such as "I was watching XYZ channel last night and there was a great documentary on..." and did not immediately stop listening after the word documentary.

You have ever paid money for anything related to a toilet. (Plunger, tissue, seat, parts, etc)

The fact that TUMS has calcium makes you more likely to buy it.

Life is not a competition (to be the Biggest, Best, Strongest, Richest, Poorest, Busiest, etc..) to you.

In response to being asked, "Do you want to Mucho size your drink? It's twice the alcohol!" you have said, "No thank you, I don't care about the amount of alcohol."

You have ever decided to replace the ground beef or sausage in a recipe with ground turkey.

You've attended a class reunion without getting drunk.

I may add more later as I think of them.

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The encyclopedia of me

It's come to my attention that a popular blogging er.. theme right now is going through the alphabet, picking things for each letter that describe yourself. Since I myself once even subscribed to the theory that real men can wear pink, I will go ahead and do this. I won't however take 26 days to do it... the thought of that is depressing to me. I will instead take approximately 26 minutes.

A is for Allergic

My allergies, past and present: Nuts, Milk, Pork, Egg whites, Peanuts, Pollens, Dust, Cheese, Animal Dander, and various other foods and things too plentiful to mention. Case in point: I reacted to everything on the allergy test, including the saline injected for a control.

B is for Balding

The follicular branch of my armed forces has been in a steady retreat since 1994. From what, I am not sure. Probably from my sister who used to lock me in the bathroom and shove bread under the door so I wouldn't die. Later in life, I look back on these times and wish that we had stripped the carpet in my parents' house earlier in life because the bread wouldn't have gotten shag hair all over it with the current hardwood floors.

C is for Chainsaw

I like my chainsaw... someday maybe I'll spluge and get myself a 36" Husqvarna beast, but for now my 18" Craftsman serves me well. Show me a log, and I'll show you a pile of sawdust.

D is for Driving

I spend a good portion of my life driving. My commute is much shorter now than it used to be... but I still spend more than an hour a day driving too/from work. I wish I had a Ferrari...

E is for Elise

Elise is my daughter... there were about 24 other things that would have worked for E, it being a popular letter and all, but she wins. If you want to see why, just browse through some of my other posts.

F if for Fire

I would be disappointed in any guy who didn't use fire for F. Fire is cool. I've almost burned down many houses with fire. Also many ants. That was one of the times I almost burned down a house.

G is for Generator

The power had better go out this winter, let me tell you. Washington had several power outages this last winter, one lasting several days... weeks for some people. After the second major outage, I went out and bought a generator, and then spent the better part of the next few months (with long gaps) installing a transfer switch so we can run pretty much our whole house off of it. Of course we never had another power outage again. Figures.

H is for Holly

My wife Holly always used to complain that I didn't have a link to her on my blog, but I have a link to the subservient chicken. Since then, I take every opportunity to link to her. Again, I thought of many things for H, but she wins.

I is for Integrated Circuits

Being an electrical engineer, I spend much of my life working, thinking, and dreaming of integrated circuits. I've even designed a few. They were real dope. Anyone who's studied CMOS design is now laughing, the rest of you think I'm a dork, and you're right.

J is for Jose

Whenever my wife and I (did you see how I threw that link in there?) go on a trip, we purchase purchase something unique from where we went. On our honeymoon, we bought a Mexican marionette doll with maraccas, who we named Jose. He hangs on the wall in our daughter's play room.

K is for Kicker

Like many guys in high school, I used to be way into audio systems. At the time, the speaker of choice was the Kicker Solo Baric - I dreamed of building a system around them. While I never owned a Kicker, I did retrofit my parents' Chevrolet Celebrity with a nice custom pair of speakers that just about blew the rear window out. When a friend of mine from high school years later rode in that car with me, he said all he remembered about that car was driving really fast listening to really loud music.

L is for Lincoln Head Cents

A couple of years ago, I took up coin collecting. Collecting old money takes quite a bit of money however, so that hobby is on hold until I win the lottery. Before I came to that conclusion I managed to build a fairly respectable collection of, among other things, Lincoln Head Cents.

M is for Mom's Rolls

My mother's rolls are famous... I will drive 2500 miles through tweed to eat them. My brother in law will opt out of conflicting Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners with his family to eat them. Yep, they're that good.

N is for Numismatics

I have a couple of books on coin collecting, and in one of them it tells you to tell people you are a numismatist because it will impress them. I know I've already covered coin collecting with L, but the book told me to drop this title to impress you.

O is for Old Stuff

I like to collect old stuff. Old publications, cameras, tools, coins, books, etc. I've even got an old desktop seismograph. Again, a hobby that takes a fair amount of money, so it's kind of on hold for awhile.

P is for Php

I do a lot of web programming, both for work and personal use. Most web programmers are loyal to a language, mine is Php. It was originally meant to stand for "Personal Home Page" - it's a pretty simple server side language that can add a lot of power to your webpage.

Q is for Quotes

My website in college evolved a lot over the years, culminating in my quotes webpage. For all four years of college plus three years of grad school, I collected quotes from my professors which, when taken out of context were humorous. A very small collection of them can be seen at I still do hope to someday put them all back up again. My department hired an intern from SPU this summer, and he had heard of my website (I graduated 6 years ago) so now I feel it's my duty to resurrect it.

R is for Ranger

My old faithful truck, my 89 Ford Ranger. I've had it for almost 12 years now, and it's just about got 200,000 miles on it. I'm hoping it makes it - I'm adding miles quickly, since I commute in it just about every day. It will be a sad day when I retire that truck.

S is for Squirrels

A family of squirrels dedicated to the destruction of my plants lives near my house. My wife's tulips were reduced to stems, my five marionberries dejuiced, and our herbs and vegetables dug up. I have tried fences and quickly moving projectiles (bb-gun) but have yet to win a battle. I have an ally though - our neighbor has a small yappy dog who chases them up and down our cul-de-sac and up trees. I love that dog.

T is for Tippmann

Back when I was in college and thought I was poor but really didn't know the meaning of the word expenses, I bought a paintball gun. I love it... I can go to a field, pay just the field fees and then waste all the poor suckers with rental guns. While they paint the trees behind me, I pick them off one by one. I was horrified though to see while walking through Walmart the other day, that they now carry the Tippman Custom 98. It just seems wrong.

U is for Uff Da

Being from a Norwegian family, I enjoy a good Uff Da every now and then. 'Nuff said.

V is for Variegated

It used to be I could drop this word into a conversation with my wife and she was impressed. Now I have to compete with guys who know the technical terms for various pieces of bedding. I wonder if Bryan Adams had this problem...

W is for Window Air Conditioner

Remember the generator? Yeah, this summer we had a massive heat wave for a couple of days. Steve Pool (author of Somewhere, I was Right) promised more hot weather coming up. What did I do? On a record setting hot day, I went to Lowe's and bought an air conditioner. I couldn't wait to fire it up. What happened? The next day the temperature dropped 30 degrees. That is not an exaggeration - We set a record of 95, the next day it was 65. My life never changes.

X is for X? What the heck do you put for X?


Y is for Yeast

I like to bake... not so much pastries, etc, mostly breads. Yeast is my friend.

Can you tell I'm getting tired?

Z is for Zelda

Probably my favorite series of video games of all time. The only problem is keeping up with the gaming systems I need to play them all. My wife got me a Gamecube for my birthday, so now I'm catching up on Windwaker and Twilight Princess. Enjoyable games, all.

Well, that concludes the encyclopedia of me. Ok, it took longer than 26 minutes, but you wouldn't have known that for sure until I told you. I hope you enjoy it, I'm going to bed.

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"I notice you because you stick out like a... like a big yellow thing stickin' out."

After reading this blog of my wife's I felt compelled to go take the quiz myself. Results are below:

You're The Catcher in the Rye!
by J.D. Salinger
You are surrounded by phonies, and boy are you sick of them! In an ongoing struggle to search for a land without phonies, you end up running away from everything, from school to consequences. In this process, you reveal that many people in your life have suffered torments and all you really want to do is catch them as they fall. Perhaps using a baseball mitt. Your biggest fans are infamous psychotics.
Take the Book Quizat the Blue Pyramid.

The Catcher in the Rye? Hmm... Maybe some of you know me better than I know myself if that's true. Then again, I'm apparently surrounded by phonies, so I can't take anything you say seriously. I'm a man without a castle.

Draft time!

The draft for my first fantasy football team this year was this morning. It went MUCH better than last year... last year I had the 11th pick, which means my primary RB was Chicago's Jones. Yeah, not a great year on that front. I woke up just before 8:30AM, thinking I had a few hours to finish getting my players ranked. When I logged on, it said my draft was starting in 1 minute... oh yeah, that was 11:30 Eastern Time that the draft started! Glad I got up when I did!

Anyway, this year I had the 3rd pick, which is just about perfect, in my opinion. Finally, I was able to grab one of the top three RBs, which happened to be Shaun Alexander. Definitely an upgrade to my offense. By the time I got to pick again, I was able to grab Matt Hasselbeck. Last year I had Peyton Manning. Oh well, I think he'll have a better year than last.

Let's see... at WR I have Reggie Wayne, Deion Branch, and DJ Hackett, which is definitely an upgrade from last year... I think I had Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram, and someone else who didn't score me any points.

My second RB is Marion Barber, not great, but still way better than my second RB last year.

Jeremy Shockey is my TE, and Josh Brown is my K... I expect Shockey will greatly outperform my TE last year - Jerramy Stevens.

Oh yeah, and my surprise pick - I managed to pick up the Bears defense in the third round... no one else had even thought about picking a defense at that point.

As you can probably see, I'm screwed in week 8 - my QB, both RBs, 2WRs, and my K are all on byes. Sadly, my only coverage is Rex Grossman, Dominic Rhodes, and Dwayne Jarrett. I'll have to pick someone up on waivers later on. The rest of my byes are covered pretty well.

I suppose I'll have to pick up at least one more team - this time on foxsports. I hate the java interface for fox though - it requires a refresh of the page for the stats to update, while CBS updates live and very quickly.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep all my fantasy action straight - with the Mariners picking things up now, I'm back in the playoffs in fantasy baseball. In fact, I'm crushing the top team in my division this week - he has no division losses yet this season. Bwah hahahaha

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A day in the life of two ladies...

It's time for another picture post.

My daughter had a friend over today. We ended up going outside to enjoy the great weather. Thus began the great adventure...

The meeting was called to order by my daughter's friend. The picnic table proved a good place to plan out a busy day.

Being avid rock collectors, they decided to peruse the fine selection of gravel adjacent to the house. Being purists, they naturally left their finds here in order that future enthusiasts might enjoy them as well. Also because daddy gets mad when he has to re-grind his lawn mower blade.

Their rock collecting finished, they decided to play rock-paper-scissors to see who would choose the next activity.

Having won the contest, my daughter led her friend on a bold adventure to the far reaches of the backyard... otherwise known as the forest area. Despite the appearance, her father is winning the war against the weeds, but there have been many long battles.

After their long trek, it was time to play tennis. Warmups took place on the grass court near the wood pile.

The actual match soon commenced about 10 feet away on the world's shortest tennis court with the invisible net. They were fairly evenly matched, although my daughter's friend was able to actually swing the racket, so I can only assume that had my daughter been able to serve a ball in the general vicinity of the swinging racket, her friend would have likely won.

Playing catch proved to be an activity they could both participate in equally. They started a little far apart though...

Yes, that's much better.

Having completed the feats of strength, they climbed into the car to go shopping. Apparently, they were planning on visiting the fruit market. They never did bring me the broccoli I asked for though. In case you're wondering, that car is really only about 2 inches wider on each side than my daughter, so her friend is actually sitting on her, but somehow my daughter managed to get her arms around so she was the one steering.

They had some car trouble on the way...

But being master mechanics, they were soon on their way again.

After my daughter parked the car, my neighbor started chainsawing (yes I was envious) something in his backyard. My daughter's friend went bonkers - "A man is sawing in the bushes! Yay!" They both had to go investigate.

All in all, it was a productive day between two good friends. Refreshments in hand, they settled down at the table to reminisce about times gone by when they were young.

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I need to write another book...

After reading this blog I am compelled to write a book about a boy who makes a welcome mat, but decides to rebel and write, "We're so glad you came"

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A hardcore blogger I am not

Well, I tried the daily blogging, and it burned me out. So, rather than make any promises about how often I'll blog, I'll just say that I'll try to do it twice a week or so, which I think is often enough to keep my wife happy, and not often enough to burn me out so I have to take a sabbatical.

That being said, I'll move on to my actual blog for today.
Yesterday was my daughter's second birthday party. It was a hoot. A lot of work, but still fun. We had 32 people total, including ourselves, with 11 children under the age of 6. I'm sure my wife will correct those numbers, but I think they're close. Maybe she'll humor me ;)
Anyway, we tried to keep it simple - it was a Curious George theme, which seemed to go over well. I went to Costco and bought a thousand bananas and used them as weights to hold all the balloons. Ok, maybe not a thousand, but any more than 4 bananas might as well be a thousand to someone who hates bananas. My sister apparently didn't get the theme, because she couldn't figure out why we were using bananas to weigh the balloons down. In the end, she just decided we must have just had too many bananas and they were convenient.
We barbecued, which worked great. Hamburgers, and my soon to be infamous teriyaki chicken. I can't really take credit for the teriyaki chicken yet, the sauce is a recipe I stole from Canlis, which, if you're going to steal a recipe from anywhere, steal one from Canlis. They know what they're doing.
The weather cooperated, which meant that the somewhat-less-than-a-dozen kids were able to burn off their energy outside, which I think was appreciated by everyone over 4 feet tall. After lunch, we brought the presents outside. Now, my daughter appreciates presents mostly because she knows they lead to cake. So, it was a constant struggle to keep her involved in the present opening. Fortunately, there were approximately 10 other children there who were more than happy to help open presents. Below is a shot of my daughter receiving a helping hand from her cousin:

Eventually, it became more of a group effort...

The wind started to blow, and the tissue paper was everywhere. With every new toy, my daughter's arms would wave: "Other toys! Yay!"

We decided to move inside for cake and ice cream. This proved to be a big mistake, as I think leaving the presents outside was just too traumatic. My daughter began to cry and whine.

Cake makes everything better.

A mouthful of cake makes an excellent cry muffler. See? No cries escaping that mouth. Of course there are now chocolate crumbs all over my house, but that just means the house smells like chocolate.

So far, my daughter has spent time playing with pretty much all the toys she received, but she has of course latched onto a few key ones. The first is a cool drawing book from Aunt G and Uncle B. It's a handmade fabric covered folder that holds a drawing pad and several erasable crayons. I was worried yesterday when my daughter disappeared into her bedroom for several minutes without making any noise, and when I went into her room, she was sitting quietly in her rocking chair, drawing in her new book.

The other favorite has been the doll sized baby stroller. She walks all over our house, pushing the stroller:

It was the first thing she grabbed this morning... she wouldn't eat anything or do anything until she had pushed her stroller all over the house, crashing into the walls, waking her mother up. Yesterday during her nap, I strapped her bunny into it as a joke. Now she won't put anything else in it - we tried to put a doll in, she removed it and put the bunny back.

Also - she "parks" the stroller for the night on top of the toilet in our hallway bathroom. When I took her in to brush her teeth last night, she came down the hall pushing her stroller down the hall, into the bathroom, then she picked it up and set it on the toilet and said "Stoller parked. There."

She's napping now, and I'm watching the Mariners crush the White Sox as I blog. It's a good Sunday.

-The Krunchy Krab