Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't give your kids recording devices

My kids all have phones with some form of recording devices in them. The problem with phones these days is that they're very small and can make sneaky recordings. That, and my kids know how to use them.

One day, as we were driving back from swim practice, I was singing along with Van Halen's Jump and I noticed that Kid 1 was holding his hands strangely in his lap. He was indeed recording my singing.  And now you get to enjoy it too! American Idol, watch out!

One weekend morning, while the kids were eating breakfast (I had already eaten), Kid 2 recorded this video. I'm dancing to the Audio Bully's remix of Nancy Sinatra's Shot You Down. Again, you'll note that even though she does let me know that she's "waiting for the perfect picture" she doesn't say anything about making a video. I even had to rotate the video, as she was hiding the phone sideways next to her bowl!

Kid 1 made this recording of me singing The Letter along with The Box Tops, one morning on the way to swim practice, but this one wasn't so sneaky. I've learned to watch for them holding their phones in their lap, pointing the microphone at me.  I knew that I was being recorded this time.

They've even made recordings of ScoutsHonor snoring on the couch. If asked, I will deny any involvement in that. There aren't any on my phone, but I did have to check.

What have you done that is kinda silly and caught on video, for all posterity to see?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day: Pizza at the Drive In

I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day. I enjoyed mine with my hot wife in the backseat of her car.

Dig your dirty mind out of the gutter, it wasn't quite as illicit as that. If you've followed her blog at all, you'll know how busy we've been with swim meets, my work travel and life in general. Celebrating Valentine's Day, on February 14th, has been important to us in our relationship. I even moved some travel meetings to ensure that I could be home with my sweetheart.
As starters, I made Red Velvet cupcakes Sunday night, which we enjoyed while practicing speeches and doing all kinds of homework. I even offered them up to be Kid 3's thing to take to school for Valentine's Day.
But then, what actually to do for Valentine's Day?
I couldn't really make a nice dinner, as everyone would be at swim practice. We decided that we'd go out to dinner during the 2 hours that the kids were at swim practice. To keep our costs down, Heather didn't want any gifts or to go out to an expensive place for dinner.  We started to talk about alternatives close to where we would be - Panera and Gyro World were the two low-cost, close to the pool options we came up. I proposed a picnic dinner, but with the forecasted rain, it was deemed creepy to do the picnic in the back of the car.
So, I'm ready for Panera.
We dropped the kids off and then headed back to where the restaurants were.  More ideas started pouring in:
  • "we could go to Burger King again" (it was Valentine's dinner two years ago and quite fun),
  • "Tofu 101 looks interesting",
  • "Are any of these pizza places any good?"
  • "Maybe we could catcha a movie?"
There were no movies starting on our schedule and it turns out that Panera was more of a joking placae. We ended up checking out a pizza place which had been previously deemed scary by Kid2 and my wife.  It was actually a nice restaurant and a much larger one than the storefront let on.
But we decided that we wante to watch a movie too, because that alone time is so nice.
We ordered some pizzas (larges, so there would be leftovers for the kids) and then got The American from the second closest Redbox and wandered the QFC looking for some wine.
Since our picnic was kind of ad hoc, we didn't have a bottle opener or wine glasses (yes, I don't have either of those things in my messenger bag). But we can adapt and over come - screwtop wine straight from the bottle!
What better way to show your love than in a dark parking lot, sharing the same bottle in the backseat of a car?
The movie was meh.  It's a character study of a killer.  The wine was meh. The pizza was good. Dinner and a movie with my wife on Valentine's Day - excellent.
We passed the bottle back and forth, munching on pizza, holding hands and simultaneously exclaiming "Ru-Roh" in our Scooby Doo voice when something bad was about to happen in the movie. When you've been married for 14 years you start to complete each others sentences and can the enjoy the simpler things (though I quite enjoy the lingerie my wife referred to in her blog).
We didn't finish the movie before the kids got out of practice.  We'd hardly put a dent in the bottle of wine and knew that the kids would scarf down all the remaining pizza. But it was a great way to spend valentine's day with my sweetheart.
I love you Heather.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Reading. A lot.

I've been doing a lot of reading of late.

Backpacker Magazine
My dad subscribes to Backpacker magazine and every so often, he'll send me the ones he's done reading. Just before my last trip, I received several and I took 3 of them on my trip for plane reading. I enjoy the magazine a lot, because they've got great gear reviews and guides for incredible trips.  I read one on the way down and then two on the way back. As I opened the final one, in a moment of self-defeat, I thought to myself, "I hate this magazine. Its got all these cool trip to places I'll never get to." And then, right there on the first page, there was an ad for Glenfiddich scotch with the words, "One Day You Will."
Image from POPSOP,

How motivating is that? The magazine has me figured out (or maybe I'm quite nestled in their target demographic).  Scotch and motivation, both things I enjoy/need (you figure out which one applies).  The second ad was a Jeep ad. My next vehicle will either be a Land Cruiser or a Jeep.  But on top of that, it was the Call of Duty Jeep. To my wife's chagrin, Call of Duty is my newest diversion on my kid's Xbox. All that and I'm a hiker/backpacker/snowshoer. I'm right in their demographic.

I've finally figured out what I'm doing with my time, now that I'm not going to school anymore - and no, its not Call of Duty... I've gotten back into reading again and re-discovered the library.  King County has a great library system.

  • Android Karenina
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
  • several of the Mack Bolan series
  • Dreadnaught by Cherie Priest
  • Spook Country by William Gibson
  • a few professional development books
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Midred Taylor
  • Rice Without Rain by Minfong Ho
The last two books were for a co-book report project with my daughter! Reading is a ton of fun and a great way to fill down time.  I've unplugged a bit more, there will be weekends where I'm only online to look up a recipe or add something to my to do list. In lieu of being online, I'll read. It feels great to do that again.

What have you read lately?