Sunday, April 27, 2008

My weekend with Kid 3

This weekend, Heather and Kids 1 and 2 had a swim meet. Kid 3 and I stayed home, partially because it is easier on him and because I had an MBA small group meeting in the middle of Saturday.

So, he and I got to spend the weekend together. It was mixed, as he came to the team meeting with me (I was the first to break the bring your kid to the group meeting), but we got to enjoy ourselves too. But most importantly we had beautiful weather while we were out and about.

We got to our meeting location early, so we played frisbee in the parking lot of Building 34 at Microsoft's Redmond campus. After the meeting, we played frisbee more in the parking lot and decided that we needed to find a park, not a parking lot.

I thought that there was a Burger King in Redmond (Google Voice 411 proved me wrong) so we drove back to Issaquah and got food to go there and then headed to Tibbet's park. We played frisbee, watched kids play baseball and then Parker played on the playground and I read a case study. Kid 3 eventually decided he had enough; he was getting hot wearing a black shirt.

We had a lot of fun and Heather called and said that we should eat dinner outside. I stopped at Safeway and bought steak, shrimp, asparagus, sweet potatoes, red onions and portabello caps to grill. After I had cooked everything, I got the validation of a lifetime, Heather said, "You overdid it with the vegetables." Can you believe it, too many vegetables? And what she doesn't realize is that I only cooked half of the vegetables I bought! There is a pork tenderloin in the fridge for tonight.

As it started to cool off, my arms were itchy. I thought at first that there were bugs out, but I actually got a light sunburn on my arms. Is spring really here?

Sunday held another half day of swim meet for Heather and the other kids. So, Parker and I made muffins and then made lists of what we should do. After he made his own Remember the Milk list, we realized that we needed to brush our teeth.

He joined me in the master bathroom and we brushed our teeth together. He brought his timer (pretty good for a 6 year old) and we brushed for 2 minutes. At the end, he said, "That was a long time." Maybe he doesn't use that timer all the time. But even more funny, he decided that we needed to write down on our lists that we brushed our teeth!

I had some reading to do and then we played Wii (he did check it off his list) and we headed out to do some errands (on my list). We drove to the outlets in North Bend to buy some soccer shorts to replace some that I got in college and Heather decided were dated, too short and just plain ugly.

We decided that we would eat lunch there too. Kid 3 was impressed that there was a Taco Time, Burger King and McDonald's all in the same place. I took advantage of that - he got chicken tenders from McDonalds, I got a cappuccino from the McCafe and then I got a burger from Burger King.

The unsnobby coffee from McDonalds is crap. They don't even steam the milk by hand. They have a machine that froths the milk and dumps the milk and coffee in the cup at the same time - all comingled and not a good cappuccino. It is cheap, but not good.

At Burger King, I decided I would have a Steakhouse Burger - the new Angus burger with onion crisps and A1 sauce. The guy behind the counter asked if I wanted the Classic or the Loaded version - has it been around long enough to be awarded "Classic" status? I wanted the lower calorie one and Kid 3 dumped his McDonalds drink on the floor of Burger King. We took my sandwhich and went across the street to the outside seating at McDonalds (and free refills on spilled drinks).

I saved $5 on shorts, $1.20 on gas (with my $ 0.10 per gallon discount at Safeway) and it only cost me $3.50 in gas to go there and back; less than one gallon in my MINI, and we got an enjoyable drive out of it too.

Kid 3 added to his list "Go to a lot of stores" after we got home. He sure knows how to make a to do list look as if he'd been productive!

All in all, it has been a fun weekend. I've spent a lot of time with Kid 3, a lot of time working on school and enjoyed the nice weather! I hope that you are able to take advantage of the good weather as well!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hardy Heron is here!

Today was the day! It came with great trumpeting - Hardy Heron, the latest Ubuntu distro has been released.

I had put on my RTM task list to download it today and once my computer booted (I needed to do some work with a Internet Explorer only site), I tried to download it. It failed at least six times while I was trying to download from mirrors in the US.

I got crafty and decided to try a mirror in Taiwan, before they were awake. No such luck. It failed too.

I never got more than half way through and it failed. I bet if I had tried to download a torrent, I would have had no problems at all.

I was working on some school stuff very late in the night and I tried to download it again. Being crafty, again, I headed East... I was able to download it from Czechoslovakia with out problem.

So, hooray, I finally have it. Its been burned to a disk and maybe this weekend, I'll install it!

Note: My wife is suggesting that this post is less geeky than my previous posting about Sam's Club, rice and economics. Feel free to weigh in!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Skyrocketing rice prices has Sam's Club limiting sales -

What are they thinking?

Skyrocketing rice prices has Sam's Club limiting sales -

Retail chain Sam's Club will limit the sale of large quantities of rice amid a dramatic increase in the global price of rice.
The store will limit customers to four 20-lb. bags of jasmine, basmati and long-grain white rice, the company said in a statement. Its restriction mainly will affect businesses that buy rice in bulk, but the company said "a typical Sam's Club Business Member does not buy more than 80 pounds of rice in one visit."

If the price of rice is going up, limiting the supply is only going to further raise the price of rice. Its simple economics!

I'm not sure if this is to be a thinly veiled, "lets save the rice for the other people" or just an effort for Sam's Club (and Costco too) to further profit in a tight economic situation.

I was able to find news articles about this with a quick google search, but I wasn't able to find any press releases from either company. I'm tired, so I didn't look too hard, but it wasn't too hard to figure out that this is ridiculous anyways.

Good night for now. Think of what kind of great thoughts I could come up with if I wasn't holding my eyes open with toothpicks...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Espresso, every day, all day

I've been drinking lots of espresso lately. I've done it in the past, but one of the differences is that now, I'm drinking over the course of the day. It's now 7pm and I just heard the espresso machine go through it's cleaning cycle - its been 2 hours since my last shot, father.

Black Espresso ~ smart azz server

Lifehacker had a post on the benefits of small, frequent infusions of caffeine rather than a large blast and the link to the full, article on Wired is Caffeinate With Care: Small Shots Do a Brain Better Than Big Blasts

But I guess, I'm doing the right thing! The article refers to "frequent, small doeses" to "maximize alertness and minimize jitters." I have no issues sleeping or shakiness at all. Some of the people in the study even reported " periodic small shots made them feel clearheaded and calm." Zen through espresso any one?

I read an article about a UW researcher who has found new evidence that caffeine applied to skin might help prevent skin cancer! I found an article on Web MD dated 2002 saying the same thing, but hey, I wouldn't mind some young, cute barista rubbing espresso over my body to help protect me. Maybe Starbucks should offer that as a service to get people into their stores!

Thanks to CameoSteph on flickr for the picture.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Is it spring yet?

For the last two days, I've awoken to snow on the ground. The days have been cold and the skies grey.

Today, I can barely see because the sun is shining so brightly in my window. Is this spring or is Mother Nature yanking my chain?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sixth grade jokes

We've gotten to that stage in life with our kids. Saturday morning Son 1 shared a joke that he learned from one of his friends.

I'm sure you've all heard variations on jokes like this, but it goes something like this.

Teacher to Struggling Student: If you get an A on this test, you can come to my house for a BBQ.
Struggling Student gets an A on the test, and goes to BBQ at the teachers house.
Teacher: Since you did so well, you can stay for a sleepover.
Teacher: Since there is only one bed, you can stay in mine.

By now, I'm sure you can see where this joke is going.
Struggling Student (now in teacher's bed): It helps me fall asleep to stick my finger in my Mom's belly button.
Teacher: Okay.

Now, Son 1 delivers the punchline. Remember, he is telling this to his MOM!
Stuggling Student: That was my finger.
Teacher: That was my belly button, either.
Both Heather and I scrunched our foreheads for a moment while we thought through the punch line. We quickly figured out that it should have been.
Stuggling Student: That wasn't my finger.
Teacher: That wasn't my belly button, either.

On top of misdelivering and misunderstanding the joke, he was telling it to his Mom. While there's no stopping sixth graders from telling jokes like these. But you don't tell them to your mom!

Friday, April 18, 2008

They didn't mention snow

This spring, I've gone back to coaching soccer. I've got a co-coach and it's kindergarten soccer. We're just working on the basics and the kids aren't old enough to have developed attitudes yet. Amongst everything else I'm doing, it is relaxing and Kid 3 really wanted to play soccer.

The program is really low key - two practices (one of which was optional) and then games begin. Its only Friday evenings, no goalies, no keeping score, just having fun.

The organizers said that practice would be canceled if it was raining. They didn't mention snow. Who would have thought that it would be snowing in mid-April in Seattle. By 6:30 when practice was ending, it was snowing pretty hard. The kids didn't care, they were having too much fun.

I like snow, no matter when it comes. I do wish I was a little more prepared for it, because I've been home for 30 minutes now and my fingers are still warming up. Happy Spring!

Friday, April 11, 2008

My kisses are electric

Tonight, when I kissed my wife, she jumped.

Don't sit there and tell me about static electricity.

It's my kisses.