Monday, April 27, 2009

New Pics

We've posted new baby bump pics on Claire's blog. Check 'em out:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh The Shame

So when you take a 6'3" man and put him on a scooter built for a 4'5" Asian woman the scene is most comical. Yes its scooter season again click here for a fun reminder of just how ridiculous I look. It turns out I look a little more ridiculous when the scooter suffers a minor mechanical failure on a road with no shoulder.

Yes its true, a small snafu yesterday caused the scooter to stop running while rocketing out of the airport at about 40MPH. I had to drag the scooter up a curb and into the grassy area along the side of the road. I quickly discovered that the problem was a loose wire, I then proceeded to remove and drop a cotter pin that was too hot to hold.

So now I have to find a 10mm cotter pin on the side of a busy four lane road in the dirt. All the while wearing dress clothes mind you. I was determined, and it payed off, I found the dreaded piece, and after three attempts I got it right and was off again for fun times at home.

I backed up my roadside repair with some zip ties this morning before I left back for the airport not wanting a repeat of the events of yesterday.

On an up note, I love that I'm able to make random strangers smile again -- oh let the waves, honks, snickers, and stares begin -- just today a guy actually honked and gave me the peace sign -- ah yes, nothing like a good scooter ride to bring people together for world peace.

Amy was so cute this morning, I was petting her head a little when I woke up as she was lightly snoring, she immediately puckered in her sleep wanting a kiss. Isn't that adorable?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yo Happy Day!

I seriously need to keep a list of fun ideas for blog posts, as I was putting gas in the scooter today I was literally laughing out loud about something that happened, and laughing even harder when I thought about how funny the incident would in written description on the blog. For the life of me I can't think of what it was; but should it come back to me I'll let you know.

The last two times we have tried to go to Oregon/Washington the trip has been cancelled, the result of a certain airline that is MOST efficient in their scheduling to ensure there are NO seats ever available to go anywhere. This last weekend I had planned to go without Amy (in case you haven't heard she is a bit too pregnant to travel). On the agenda was a fun filled day of skiing and a little time with family. Friday night as I was preparing to leave a line of storms just unloaded on Houston. As I'm watching the news we hear that both access roads to the airport are closed due to flooding -- it just got worse from there. But I was determined...

A bit later my buddy called to tell me that skiing wouldn't be possible because the weather on Mt. Hood was going to be too warm. As the cards began to get really stacked against this trip I became MORE determined. The flights Friday night all eventually cancelled so I decided to ride on a certain Phoenix based airline for this journey. A small delay out of Houston got me to Phoenix about 15 minutes prior to departure for my connecting flight. I hustle to the gate for Portland to find that the airline with the undisputed worst historical record for timeliness has decided to leave 10 minutes early for Portland... Arrrgh. Three hours later I was on my happy way.

I finally arrived at about 1PM (versus my planned arrival of 8PM the night before). Grandma had quite the list for me; so after replacing two sinks, hanging her new plasma (granny's got it going on), putting in a new water cooler, fixing her garage door opener, cleaning the 1.6 gigbytes (seriously) of crap off of her computer, and repairing her sprinkler system; it was time for me to go. I caught the 2PM flight through ABQ, and DAL arriving home at about midnight on Sunday night. Quite the trip, very fast -- no time to see any other family or friends, but it was nice to finally get all of these projects done for the grand-folks as I've been promising for several months.

A quick update on the squirrel situation. It seems the squirrel we keep seeing on the roof eye-balling us has a companion. And sadly it seems that companion is stuck in the attic. Yes after all our hard work, its true there is a second (I hope that's it) critter still chilling out. The wildlife control people came back out and set more traps -- this time, sadly, there was a lethal trap in the mix -- I've decided my worst nightmare would be for this thing to die in one of our walls, or in an area we can't get too -- oh the stench -- let us pray...

Amy is doing well, and very cute pregnant might I add -- we are taking our final set of baby bump pictures on Sunday -- its so weird to think that we will have a baby in a few weeks, we are so excited, and can't wait to have little Claire in our arms.

A final random note I finally perfected the Starbucks iced mocha -- yes its true, I can now make this little gem of beverage innovation in the comfort of our home -- cha ching, think of the money I'm saving!

More to come...

Friday, April 17, 2009


Perhaps you've heard that I have been at WAR with a certain mildly-cute, over-sized RAT, a/k/a a squirrel! If you haven't then you are likely not on facebook where I have been ranting for weeks on end about this mysterious heckler.

So about three months ago we started hearing suspicious noises in the attic. I was unsure what it was; and most of all I didn't know HOW it got up there. I finally decided it must be a small mouse that is somehow crawling up one of the vent holes in our foundation. I put out D-Con hoping that would be the end of our problem.

For about two weeks we heard nothing. Then, out of nowhere, the noises got far more random, frequent and aggressive. Last week I was sitting in my office and I heard something digging at the drywall right above my head. I ran to the attic at once; and there was this little squirrel looking at me like I was disturbing him. Not running away mind you -- just glaring. His exact expression looked something like this:
I called an animal control company at once, and they came out within a couple of hours. They set a trap and walked around the perimeter of the house. Right away they figured out how it got in. (How I missed this gaping hole on my roof is beyond me!) They told me to check the trap everyday and call them when it was caught.

I checked the trap dutifully every day, but to no avail. We never caught anything. Yesterday they came back out to plug the holes where the dormers intersect our roof. They told me that they were 90% sure the squirrel was outside foraging for food, so it probably wasn't trapped inside. But just in case, they left a trap.

We went all night without hearing the critter, and I was reasonably confident the varmit was no more. Then today I was delighted when we pulled in the driveway to see the evicted transient eyeballing us from our roof!

Oh the smell of victory! I wasn't even disappointed when it started raining during this photo op. Have a great weekend. I know we will!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

In Memoriam

In case you haven't heard, two of our family pets have --- well -- swum west if you will. Yes Snorkel (featured below) and Tex our two show fish are no longer with us.

The darnedest thing that they both died on the same day, and it just happened to be bath day. I guess it was the ultimate protest.
It was a bit surreal plucking Snorkel one last time from his jar -- he always hated being plucked, this was the first time I was able to get him right away. He was a pretty tough fish, one time he flopped out of his net to the tile floor four feet below; it didn't even seem to phase him. In his one final act of defiance somehow he managed to miss the commode during his disposal process -- yes he ended up behind the said porcelain fixture, oh Snorkel how we will miss you.
On to Tex -- I didn't have the relationship with him the Amy had, he spent all his time in the guest bedroom, and aside from bath day didn't get much attention. He too was remarkably easy to 'fish' out, but no protest for him -- he seemed happy to get the flush.

In other news Amy had her last baby shower yesterday. It was done via video conference, these are called 'Virtual Showers.' We had a lot of fun, it was neat to see the family; and lets not forget all the wonderful gifts which will be available for viewing on Claire's Blog in the VERY near future.

Happy Day After Easter!!! Yesterday Amy had a bit of a cough, so we decided to have Church at home -- evidently our church no longer streams live services (news to us) so we watched Victory's service out of Tulsa, OK -- they had a FANTASTIC production, and an excellent stream might I add -- we had no hiccups with the connection. It was kind of fun to watch church and search the crowd for old friends at the same time.

Fun times, I hope you all have a great day!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Maggies New Post Day Two

Yesterday was Maggies first day in her new role as guard dog. She met my expectations with no destruction of property, or rule infractions (that we know of). Today I am out of town, and Amy was off to Tulsa for Randi and Matt's wedding. It was decided we would leave Maggie in the backyard today, as it will be more than twelve hours before I make it home, and she will probably be more comfortable out there.

Amy put her out this morning at about six with her bed, water, and of course her food. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Maggie I must share with you that to say she has a flare for the dramatics is a bit of an understatement. She LOVES drama, and the more animated, and louder the better as far as she is concerned. On any given day if she is outside and we are inside - she will emit the highest pitch squeal audible to the human ear as her way of signaling that her life will come to an end at once if she is not admitted to the house.

Now that I've set the scene, I wake up this morning to my phone ringing. I'm sure it must be Amy telling me that perhaps she missed her flight, and needed help with re-booking. I see on the screen that it is actually our neighbor. My mind instantly races into all the things that could be wrong that would cause her to call me. I answer the phone somewhat panicked. She asks if everything is okay at our home. I say "I think so, why?" she goes on to explain that our dog is in the back yard making a dreadful noise, and has been for about 90 minutes.

Oh the shame, I apologize repeatedly, and thank God that it isn't a Saturday -- hopefully she will calm her self at some point today. On an up note we have been working with Maggie on her vocal expressions, in light of the new addition to our family in a few weeks we decided it was no longer okay to have Maggie SCREAMING at us every time we walk in the door. So taking a note from Victoria, (you know the snooty lady that is over the top about dogs on Animal Planet) we decided to use compressed air in a can to discourage this uncomfortable behavior along with a hand signal.

It was rather heart breaking the first few times to see her so excited to see me, and then have to blast her with a shot of air, but it actually worked. And now the hand signal alone simmers her right down to a normal cute humble dog. The tricky part is going to be Daddy in law Doyce who loves to scream with Maggie when they get together. Oh the heartbreak, for both of them.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Maggie's Promotion

Sound the alarm --- some homes in the area have been burgled!!! Effectively immediately, Miss Maggie Huffing-Schnauzer will no longer be caged in the absence of her people. I'm confident that this will have the desired affect on the three males looming in a teal-colored four-door sedan.

Given this news, I worked with Maggie on her attack skills today. We refer to this toy, that was a gift from Grandma, as Tasha -- after Grandma's dog that bears a resemblance. Maggie knows this toy's name and loves to really give it what for.

She is too funny!!
So about two months ago we noticed strange noises from above the nursery. I investigated and found that some sort of small rodent had taken up residence in our attic. After consulting a professional, I was advised to put a D-Con trap out. The theory is that the unsuspecting disease-host will have a snack, get thirsty, leave the attic to get water and then die! Hoping that this was really how it worked, I followed the instructions. Immediately after I put out the D-Con, all of the annoying sounds ceased. I was rather impressed and didn't give it another thought.
Recently, on the other end on the house, in the area right above where I am sitting right now, we have noticed some of these same noises recurring. This area is a little more difficult to get to in the not-so-spacious attic area. So I went to Lowe's and bought bait that can be thrown into position. It didn't work. So today I moved the D-Con pack from above the nursery to the new trouble site, all the while utilizing my pro contortionist skills.
I'll keep you updated. If not before, surely it will scurry away when the heat of the summer arrives. It gets stinkin' hot up there.
More to come...