Saturday, May 23, 2009

Baby Pictures

See Claires blog for my latest post of BABY PICTURES!!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Claire was born this morning at 8:38 AM -- Amy was in labor for only 6 hours!!

Praise God!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Norton The Second .. Part One

I'm certainly known for having my own language, although I tend not to throw out a lot of old English, I find it dry, and hard to read. I do think its funny that the old timers always began with a whereas in their writing. I'll need counsel to explain to me what exactly that means.

Much like a friend of ours with her fancy 'Vintage Photo Fridays' I too have posted a vintage photo of a fellow Norton -- just have a look.
This fine looking ancestor (of sorts) was the first Emperor of the United States. Yes its true, I'm practically royalty. And all this time I thought it had been an accident at birth that I wasn't royalty. Now for the all too humorous history of John Abraham Norton 1 (aka the first).

So Emperor Norton was a dapper gentlemen of great wealth in 1852. There was no mention of a wife or children - hence the 'of sorts' addition to my claim that he was my ancestor. But all that aside a dapper gentlemen, yes -- that he was. His initial wealth came from his fathers estate. John in his great wisdom moved to San Fransisco and invested in real estate. Soon enough he is living high on the hog, and then it happened. Some sort of rice debacle in China that caused the price to increase rapidly.

A ship from Peru came into port loaded with rice, and the good Emperor to be decided to invest in this rice, and purchased every bit of it. Sadly the next day ten other ships pulled into port with loads of rice themselves. This caused the price to drop dramatically; John, in his wisdom, decided not to honor his agreement to purchase the rice and instead claimed that there were mis-truths leading to his purchase, and the contract was void.

Blah blah blah -- fast forward to 1857, the Supreme Court of California decided against John and ordered his assets seized to pay the money owed plus interest and fees... Our dear friend is suddenly bankrupt. He disappears for a time and then reappears in 1859 with quite the proclamation.

At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.

NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.[12][16]
I shall use his proclamation as a guide for my big move -- but back to the story. So he gets some people to believe in him, in fact someone from the Army gives him a dress uniform (seen in the photo above), all this appears to add credibility to his self proclamation as Emperor. To this end he added the beaver hat decorated with a peacock feather, and a rosette. What a goon, although a funny goon. Please picture your husband (or some guy you know) walking about with a peacock feather in his hat, and try not to laugh -- see its just not possible.

Alright, so now that he is Emperor, he doesn't see a need for Congress. He has some high falutin Major that he orders out with his Army, of which there is no record, to go out and clear the Congressional Hall. I'm guessing the Major just humored the good Emperor, as did so many people as time went on.

As time goes on he issues a number of laws, and Decrees but this is my absolute favorite.

"Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word "Frisco", which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of twenty-five dollars"

This in reference to those that are too lazy to use the entire name of the city. Okay so at that I'm beginning to think our little trip down the family tree my be getting a fungus...

Coming soon part two -- How the Great Emperor single handedly dismantled the National Parties, what he spent most of his working hours accomplishing, and how he paid his debts.

As a side note you may notice that Claires due date is today. We will certainly keep you posted, but as of yet; no baby!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Jungle I Tell Ya!!

Okay seriously, if only I wasn't too frugal to spring for the data plan; I'd post a photo. Let me paint the scene, picture it if you will. I'm famished with hunger and peer out my 5th floor hotel window to see a Subway in the not too distant distance. I remarked to the van driver as we pulled into the hotel parking lot that it didn't seem like an easy feat to reach a dining establishment. He said 'You can walk through the woods.' He said this all nonchalantly as if the hotel had commissioned a wilderness trail for their guests convenience.

I asked him where the trail was -- he says 'I've seen people just walk in where-ever!' Back to the peering, after my workout, and taking care of some projects I had planned for the afternoon I gaze at my destination. I go to the trouble of creating a mental map of the path I will take and I'm off.

I set my course, eye on the Subway. I approach the wooded area that would be better classified as a small urban jungle and quickly realize that without jeans, hiking boots, long sleeve shirts, and perhaps some chaps, I dare not venture into this critter haven. So I proceed down the road (with no shoulder mind you) to my plan B route. This area looks more like the field in the opening credits to Little House on the Prairie, tall inviting grass -- you know.

Now this grass appears to all be the same height which puts it about about at my knee caps -- there is about 40 yards of this, then a small moat, a set of railroad tracks to cross, and finally a beautiful lush lawn. All this leading up to Subway, I can see it! The factor I did not consider, and the details not visible from my 5th floor planning station was the exact topography I would be forced to traverse in this 40 yard stretch. You see while the grass (which incidentally soon turned to brush, and miscellaneous weeds) appeared to all be the same manageable height, the ground was not level.

Within moments I find myself up beyond my hips in weeds. I'm dressed in shorts, running shoes, and a bright orange T-shirt, and starting to wonder what kinds of rodents may be interested in my chalky white drumsticks that are trudging through their territory. I'm on the phone with Amy all this time, and suddenly decide I should briefly suspend the conversation so I can focus on my plan B gone wrong!

Soon enough I conquered the first in this series of obstacles, then there was the run and jump across the small moat, and the careful looking both ways to cross the railroad tracks. On the way back I decided it was best to just follow the railroad track to the next road and go back that way -- it turned out to be probably 1.5 miles more than the jungle walk, but far safer; and a good way to help the $5 foot long settle.

I shall call the union and speak to them about the hotel/restaurant placement one of these days when I've got nothing better to do! Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cha Ching!

As much as I wish I could be posting today about Claires birth --- per my faith statement, you'll recall. Its just not to be, Claire evidently is just having such a party inside her Mummy that she isn't quite ready to meet us yet.

Amy and I did learn something interesting the other day -- the baby is in the quiet/learning mood for about an hour after she is born. This only happens right after birth, and won't happen again for such a long period of time until she is 18 months old. This begs the question, what shall we teach her in this time? I'm voting for sign language/Spanish. Amy wants to teach her how to eat; surely there is time for both? And besides, won't she figure out how to eat whether or not she is in the mood?

As promised the little secret that has been hiding in our laundry room all these years. Our laundry room had a little makeover nearly two years ago, Amy had found the perfect light fixture (as you can see), and since we were at it, she also decided to have the walls painted Tiffany Blue. For your viewing pleasure here is a picture of the completed room, please pay no attention to the empty dog food dish at the bottom left, Maggie is fine.
As you can see there wasn't much room so when I began painting I removed the washer and dryer to really give me a lot of room to get my paint on. As we were putting the appliances back (it really does help that our neighbor is a HS football player, and all of his teammates always seem to be at his house) I noticed something strange on the floor -- see for yourself.

Looks like what the world says Jesus looks like to me! As I said before, despite the advertised decrease in value according to the local tax office, I say that this easily doubles the value of our humble (silent h in this part of the country -- seriously) abode!

Although if things get tight I may just cut out this tile and Ebay it -- I wonder if it would make Jay Lenos list of 'Stupid Things We Found on Ebay'? I made reference to Catholics in a previous post, for some reason (I can say this having once been a Catholic) they find a little more value in things like this than your normal lay person; so that will for sure be the target market!

When I lived in Salt Lake there was a large tree that was struck by lightning -- here is the story:

In May 1997, in a downtown Salt Lake City neighborhood, a city worker discovered an image of the Virgin Mary in a tree stump that had been struck by lightning. News of the anpparitio spread quickly throughout the largely Hispanic area, and a platform and stairs were soon erected by the city to accommodate the steady stream of worshippers. Ten years later, the faithful still find their way to the tree, and the area is festooned with rows of candles, objections of devotion, and a kneeling altar.

Incidentally I visited this tree with my Grandma in 1999, and couldn't really see the proclaimed image -- here is a picture from two years ago, and I still can't really see it. There was an army of Nuns at the site the night we visited -- they asked us if we were Catholics, my Grandma replied that we were Born Again Christians, the Nun turned and walked away. A lot of Catholics are Christians, but I'm not convinced that particular one was.

Anyway, I'll take sealed bids if anyone would like to buy our house, by the way your offer must include a house twice this size with "Sauna, swimming pool, and room for pony." Any guesses on who's line that is?

Sunday, May 3, 2009


AIRPORT MASK COUNT UPDATE: Yesterday there was mom with her three children. The mom didn't have a mask. Two of her children had masks. The third had a tissue that she was holding over her face, so we'll count that too. That makes the total mask count seven. I'll keep you updated.

I believe I called it -- remember I spoke briefly about Jon from 'Jon and Kate Plus 8' a couple of months ago? I was pointing out that they were ridiculously tacky to one another, and I stand by my statement. The Bible is clear about how to treat your spouse and the importance of respect, leadership and submission in a relationship. Anyway, all this to say, Jon has been seen on the town recently leaving night clubs at all hours with odd females at his side. He insists that these encounters are innocent. Nonetheless, he shouldn't be doing this. The appearance of evil is sometimes far more powerful than the real thing. This is a prime example.

Kate is forever pointing out Jon's flaws, correcting him in every way, and passing judgment based on her opinions. All this on national television. I'm sure the film crew is only with them for scheduled amounts of time. I hope this is all for drama, and she isn't really like that. Not to say that he is innocent in all of this. He passes a lot of tackiness himself, but as Christian couples we need our marriage to be a ministry. They have one of the largest audiences ever and can't even seem to even try to be a little bit Christ-like.

On to other news -- have you ever accidentally walked into the wrong public restroom? Perhaps an urge at the local QuikTrip (a popular chain of gas stations that is notorious for having one-stall restrooms with lockable doors)? Even though they are labeled men's and women's, does it really matter which one you go into? If you have to go you have to go, and the men's is in use -- just go in the women's -- who cares? It's not until you come out that you have to 'face the music' so to speak. It's especially embarrassing if there are women, or men, as the case may be, waiting for you to leave.

At Saltgrass Steakhouse in Texas, the entry to the public restrooms are clearly labeled with a painting of a cowboy/cowgirl on the respective doors. As you go to leave the restroom, they have painted the opposite on the exit side of the door. As a guy, my first instinct is to make sure that I saw urinals in the room -- that way I'm positive I was in the correct room.

The other day I was at an airport in Texas. As I'm washing my hands, I see this sign:

Now since I was washing my hands you can imagine that I had already been all up in this restroom, and my heart suddenly jumped. 'I'm in the wrong restroom!!!' I was horrified, hoping that this didn't count as a felony in an airport and cause me to loose my job. I suddenly did a quick scan to see that there were in fact urinals (my standard test) and slowly began to calm down.

Why, oh why, would this sign be in the MEN'S ROOM? This is a serious question. I have NO IDEA what the answer is, but since this little episode I've noticed it a lot throughout Texas. Just this afternoon Amy and I were out to lunch with our Sunday School class, and the Cafe we were at had this sign in the men's room. It must be some strange Texas law -- probably passed by the same goon who wanted Heaven'o to be the official greeting!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Cinco de Mayo is the day -- that is when we've decided Claire will be born. I know it may be a stretch of faith but I'm off that day, and a celebration has already been scheduled in the entire country of Mexico so lets just stand in agreement that May 5th will be Claires 'birth'day. We have one other bit of luck on our side, the full moon is coming. Everyone knows that more women give birth on the full moon than not, and while the full moon isn't technically until May 10th, I'm sure the magnetic forces of the earth will understand that May 5th is far more convenient for us!

Amy announced to me yesterday that she is ready to have the baby -- she is no longer enjoying the internal deep tissue 'massage' compliments of her daughter. Claire has a special place for her foot right between Amy's bottom two ribs on the left side (never the right for religious reasons no doubt). Anyway, we have learned if we put an ice pack in that region she throws the cutest little temper tantrum/hissy fit -- then finally retreats back into the proper position with her feet in her own personal space.
This morning Amy was wanting Chocolate waffles -- I began to whip up this little breakfast favorite when I realized that as a result of her craving for chocolate chip cookies last night we were plum out of chocolate. Never fear, Hersheys syrup to the rescue -- by the way did you know the number one seller for the Hersheys company is the Kiss followed by their syrup? Did you also know that they have never spent money on television advertising for their Hershey's Syrup? Remeber the old tin cans? -- fun facts you learns when visiting a little town called Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Anyway I was so proud of my breakfast creation I decided to take a picture, its been a while since I put a picture on the blog, so why not some good food?

Always keeping little miss Colleen (you'll recall a certain personal trainer) in mind, I made my waffles with the heart healthy Bisquick (which by the way tastes no different than the regular Bisquick in my opinion), and topped them with strawberries, with just a touch of whipped cream smothered all over them...Hopefully she isn't a frequent blog reader.

Speaking of Colleen I ran into her the other day and she promptly ran up to me and pinched my belly. I suddenly realized how Amy must feel with people always wanting to pet her baby bump. Colleen of course was checking me for body fat -- she gave me a satisfactory nod, and told me to keep up the good work; I guess that's a good thing.

Now on to the swine flu -- first of all, its the stinkin flu is it not? I understand its hitting us a little late in the 'season' but its seriously just the flu. And a seemingly mild form -- only 96 deaths at last count I think. Seriously -- 96! Aren't there like 3,000 annually from the normal flu? Why is the media trying to get us all worked up? I almost laughed outloud yesterday when I actually saw some people in the airport with masks on, I don't know why it just made me chuckle. But really the joke is on them -- it makes it look like they are the ones with the disease, and they are protecting us from infection. I briefly thought about going over and thanking them for wearing the mask, but thought I might just leave this one alone.

***note -- my facts are a bit askew -- there are only 600 cases world wide and only like 10 deaths -- seriously, why are we even discussing this???***

I shall like to start a mask count -- so far I've seen four people with masks -- interestingly there was a family of four, of which only three people had the mask on -- the mother wasn't wearing hers, further confirming my suspicion that the people with the masks are the ones with the flu. A flight attendant asked me yesterday if she would get in trouble for wearing a mask to work! I told her if she was that worried she should probably stay home. Although we do have one flight attendant that wears this little number while at work.

Yes its a personal air purifier that she wears around her neck. Its okay to laugh, I do -- she is the one flight attendant that can make me laugh every time I see her, lets just say the air purifier is just the title page of the dramatic novel that she represents.

I won't keep you any longer -- coming soon the tax assessment on our home went down 21% this year representing a drop in value, however Amy and I found something in our house that may very well have increased the value by significant margin if we can find a good Catholic buyer! -- hmm what could it be??