Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Since when did getting sick take so much work?

The Princess was up half of the night barfing. So she is getting banished from the Halloween festivities tonight. She and I will stay home in case any wayward trick-or-treaters end up on our dead end street looking for candy.

Since we will be here tonight, instead of hanging out across town with the cousins, I had to get busy out front this morning. I had to sweep the driveway to make sure the gravel from my exploded pathway does not cause a little kid to fall. Then I had to repair the exploded walkway.

It exploded when I knocked over the retaining wall with my truck about a month ago. Once the wall fell, the gravel has slowly taken over our driveway. As of this morning, the wall is repaired and the pathway is contained once more.

After the hard work was over, we got busy carving our pumpkins. One regular "not scary" pumpkin face as requested by The Princess and one vampire "frowning face scary guy" pumpkin, chosen by The Talker.

I carved his from the bottom up. Instead of taking off the top and cleaning out the pumpkin guts, I cut off the bottom and cleaned it out. Now the vampire pumpkin can sit right on top of one of our landscape lights, no candle needed. Next year I think I'll carve them all like this. Assuming I remember for an entire year.

I think we are now ready for Halloween. But I still think it would have been easier to just turn the porch lights and drive across town.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I was going to

post a few pictures of Halloween costumes past. But then I saw some of my favorite pictures and I wanted to share them instead.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

About Halloween-ed out

The kids have gone to two carnivals this weekend. One at church was a big deal with carnival rides and games and all of the good stuff. The other was a smaller event at the YMCA. Games, candy, pumpkin decorating and hot dogs.

I think it was a toss up as to which one the kids liked more. They had to wait in longer lines at our church carnival, but they got to ride on a Ferris wheel and big rocket swings. The Y gave out t-shirts and they got to bring home the pumpkin they decorated. And best of all, when they wore their new t shirts to bed, the pumpkin design glows in the dark! Cool!

They also got to wear their costumes tonight to church. But we skipped two other events this afternoon. The neighborhood costume parade is usually fun, but we passed this year. And The Princess and I were scheduled to go to a Halloween party at the children's museum. After a busy weekend, I really did not want to play nice with strangers, so we skipped out on that, too.

Tuesday is the big night. Trick-or treating for real. We are planning to make it a family affair, driving across town so that the kids can haunt their cousin's neighborhood.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Uniqua is gonna mess you up.

You better make with the candy, or the gruesome twosome is going to tag-team your house.

For those of you without pre-schoolers, this is Uniqua.

Road trip route options

I have been considering a few different routes for my road trip to camp with Rick. The first route is the most direct and shortest. Plus, JB is sitting in LA, just waiting for me to come visit so I'll probably head that way. I see enough of the freeway between here and Dallas, so that route isn't happening, regardless of what Google says.

The mileage isn't correct on the hyperlinked maps, because I did not spend a lot of time tracing the exact route.

The most likely route.
Also the most direct route, through Shreveport, LA. Right past JB's house and the casinos. (860 miles)

The least likely route. Through Dallas, Google's preferred route. I already see enough of the freeway between here and Dallas. So I will be going another way. (920 miles)

If JB isn't home, I'll make one side of the trip on this route. Along the Gulf coast, to Mobile and north through Alabama.(990 miles)

A little shorter route than following the coast all the way to Mobile, AL. Along the coast, heading north to Meridian, MS then catching I-20. (930 miles)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

At least she said "No."

Is it bad that when The Boss Lady called to tell me she was on her way home, two hours early, that my response was...

Why? Didya get fired?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And they expect me to help them get dressed?

I just looked over my shoulder and saw a usual sight. One child is wearing a shirt, underwear and no pants. The other child is wearing pants but no shirt. And no one in the house ever has on shoes or socks.

I would brag that I am fully dressed, except that I just realized a few minutes ago that I have been wearing my underwear inside out since 6:45 this morning.

OK, now that you have TMI, you can return to your lives.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Me make smoke! And lots of it...

No, I am not spending another day on my fire starting skills. At least not on purpose.

But I did hope to get the car washed while the kids napped. I also wanted to eat lunch while they slept. Stupidly, I tried to do both at once.

Frozen pizza, with extra toppings carefully added, put into the oven on 450 degrees with the timer set for 9 minutes. Perfection on a plate for lunch.

Less than 5 minutes later, I forgot about the pizza and headed outside to set up the power washer. Bucket, rags, soap, power washer. Let's wash.

When I was rinsing the last of the soap off of the car, at least 15 minutes later, I heard buzzing. First, I thought the fluorescent light in the garage was on the fritz again. Then I realized the noise was coming from inside the house.

Open the door from the garage and like a stinky cloud of smoke, amid the noise of two smoke detectors going off outside the kid's bedrooms, I remembered the pizza.

Alarms quieted, oven off, pizza tossed outside. Boy rescued from the noise and sister still snoozes away the afternoon.

One part of all this isn't really funny. The boy heard the noise and was too scared to come out of his room. Guess we need to work on some more family fire drills.

Especially if I am going to be doing the cooking...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Me make fire. Almost

Rick threw down a challenge for our upcoming camping trip, make fire without a match or a lighter. So I got busy on this prehistoric activity, by Googling it, of course. The first result caught my attention, because it seems likely that I would have a Dr Pepper can with me on a trip.

Yesterday, while the family went to an elementary school carnival, I stayed home to watch some football. And to polish a Dr Pepper can. After more than hour trying to polish with toothpaste and rags, I got the can nice and clean, but not mirror-like. So I cheated and pulled out some metal polish. After 30 minutes working on it with the polish, it was as shiny as I was going to get it.

This is the can, before I started

And after polishing

I was using a bamboo some small leaf bits as tinder, and I used a split bamboo skewer to hold the leaves in the most focused point of light. The can/mirror was focusing a good beam of light, but after a half hour, I saw no smoke or flame, so I switched to use dryer lint for my tinder. Still no dice 30 minutes later.

Trying to prove to myself that it was possible, I snagged the wife's bathroom mirror. Within 10 seconds I set the lint and skewer on fire, using the mirror. Cool!

All in all, my polishing was sub-par. But the polished can might be good enough to use as an emergency signal mirror. Just like starting a fire without matches, though, I hope I never find out for real.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Old school camping

I ventured up in the attic this evening to bring down my backpacking gear. Turned into a fun evening, remembering past trips. Sadly, most of this stuff hasn't been out of the storage crates in 10 years.

I resisted moving the crates to the attic until just a couple of years ago, because storing my gear up there seemed almost equivalent to putting it in a yard sale. I was resigned to the fact that once it was all stowed nicely overhead, it would be a while before it came out again. At least when it was on our closet floor, and then later in the garage, near the washing machine, I looked at the crates often. But up in the attic, the gear was out of the way and out of mind.

I found lots of goodies. My compass, my grandpa's cookset, a group cookset that Pops gave me, a couple of different stoves and about a half dozen flashlights. All left over from different adventures.

In another crate I found the last of my bike-camping gear. Stuff that hasn't been used since I was 22 years old. Packs and bike tubes and repair kits from a time when I decided to move to my summer job by mountain bike. A time when I was about 50 pounds lighter and able to ride 50 miles a day, sleep on the ground and STILL ride the next day.

Tonight I am trying to burn off the remaining decade old gas from my camping stove. I was surprised that it lit without any effort, even though I know the gas bottle was last filled in the spring of 1995. I want to make sure that it is filled with new fuel for this next trip.

Kind of like the way seeing all of this stuff energizes me and makes me want to run for the hills with 40 pounds on my back.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I just don't get it

I am making plans for a trip to see Rick. I am still trying to decide if I will drive the 2000 round trip, and get a few extra days of peace and quiet, or if I will fly to save some time. I am not really big on flying, but if it is cheaper, then it is a no brainer...

I spent some time on the travel websites this morning and it looks like driving will be a little cheaper, but not by much. Maybe $200 once you add in meals on the road and taxes at the airport. But I give up two days of quiet, getting to listen to CDs and mp3s that I chose. Surely days like that go for more than $100 a piece.

One thing cracks me up about flying. Since there are no direct flights from here to there, some airlines would route me through Memphis or Houston. Makes sense, since those cities are in the general direction of my destination. Some flights overshoot and connect in Atlanta, GA. And they are some of the cheapest flights. Huh? You are taking me 300 miles out of the way and it is cheaper?

The biggest surprise, besides the fact that it is possible to book a first class flight for only $1600, is that a few of the flights connect through Chicago. Isn't that like a thousand miles out of the way? And it is one of the cheaper possible flights?

Let's see, sitting in Chicago, on a flight to Alabama from Texas... Sounds to me like the pilot is planning ahead to get lost on the way. No thanks, I can do that in my own car.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It would be a lot funnier
if it had happened to one of them

The Princess and I spent the better part of 90 minutes in the bathroom at the Pediatrician's office this morning. I was trying anything I could think of to get her to pee in a specimen cup.

Bribery with suckers and stickers, check. Juice from the pharmacy next door, check. Letting the sink run to provide some background noise, check. Washing her hands with warm water, you betcha. Did it all.

Finally I gave up. The nurse hooked us up with a to-go bag, a specimen cup to take home. As we were loading in the car, she let loose. Luckily the puddle landed in the parking lot and not on me or in her brand new car seat.

We ran back in to change into dry clothes. The nurses, who had watched our potty parade all morning long, all got a laugh at my expense. And me? I still have to play collection agent this afternoon. And then I get to drive it back across town.

Yeah for me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

That's dam funny, right there

The AtHomeTrio went to the children's museum this morning. They have a new wildlife exhibit that we wanted to check out. While we were there, The Talker kept playing with a scene of animals and their riverfront homes. He was especially fascinated by the beaver dam.

"Look dad, I dammed the river. Dam it good!
Now the dam is on a tree. Look at my dam tree!
Now its on a log, look at this dam log.
Look at those bears. I crammed them in the dam. Dammed those bears!"

And he went on like this for about ten minutes. Now if you know the boy, you know that he is a little short on being quiet. In fact, he talks damn loud. And the quieter you try to make him, the quieter he ain't.

So I just let him run his course and tried not to make eye contact with any of the other parents. And not surprisingly, shortly thereafter, we came home for lunch.

Monday, October 16, 2006

That's going to hurt

I hit the gym tonight for the first time in a long time, sadly. August was just too busy, with The Boss Lady starting the school year in her brand new school. So I only made it up there a couple of times. And now today is the 16th, and this is the first time this month I made it in.

September, you ask? I don't know where it went. But I never made it into the gym the entire month of September. And I now have 5 extra pounds to prove that fact.

Tonight The Boss Lady took the kids swimming and I hit the gym. 25 minutes on the elliptical machine and then a couple of sets on 13 different resistance machines. I backed off the weights to where I started, back in July. So maybe that will keep the sore muscles at bay.

Yeah, right. Remind me of that in the morning, when I can't get out of bed.

I was brought to action this weekend, when Rick invited me on a November weekend camping/hiking trip with some of his buddies in Tennessee. I would feel really bad if I drove 1000 miles to camp and then had a stroke on the trail and Rick and four guys I don't know had to drag my fat corpse out of the woods.

So I hit the gym. And I plan to do it again in a few days, if I can still move a muscle in the morning.

Now pass the Advil, will you?

The migration patterns of STUFF...

In college I had a book of quotes that I would refer to often. They were great for speech classes or just for useless trivia. One of the quotes I remember and have held dear follows:

A pile for everything and everything in its pile...
Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger, M*A*S*H 4077

So this afternoon I decided to give the robot a little help. I started sweeping the living room and dining rooms so that the little Roomba would not have so much work to do. Problem is, all of the STUFF. I sent at least 8 pair of shoes down the hall, a dozen pair of socks to the laundry, tons of picture books and puzzles to the mantle and the rest of the stuff went onto the rug in the middle of the living room.

And now, the sweeping and mopping are done, the little robot is cleaning up my left overs and the STUFF sits on the rug. When the rest of the floors are clean enough, it will be time to move the pile and let the robot have a chance at the rug.

This would be the perfect time to actually put all of this crap away, right? But why does it never seem to happen that way? I'll start with the shoes. Easy enough to sort into proper places. But by the time I really get rolling on the STUFF, something will come up and the pile will sit.

Oh, it may get moved off of the rug. It is a pretty rug, and I hate seeing it all cluttered up. But when it does get moved, I'll bet that less than 50% of this junk actually lands in it's proper place. Most of it will migrate to a more remote corner of the living room, to be dealt with later.

Or, at least to be moved back to the rug, later. When the robot needs some room to run.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I wanna ROCK! (the baby)

Kid's music is a lot cooler than I ever knew. Don't know how I missed it, but there is evidently a whole series of lullaby music for the little rocker in the house.

You want your baby to jam to Metallica? Amazon can hook you up? Got a grunge baby? They can roll out the Nirvana.

Classic rockin' the baby to sleep? How about some Led Zepplin? Or is your little hard core toddler more of a modern rocker? Maybe a little Coldplay or Radiohead will soothe her to sleep.

The Boss Lady found the Metallica disc on sale at Best Buy. We had no idea there was a whole series dedicated to our little rocking toddlers.

Now, won't some of these bands return the favor? If the Wigggles had a Marilyn Manson backbeat I might be able to handle more than a few minutes at a time. Just think of the possibilities...

Metallica could really jam out on Crunchy Munchy Honey Cakes. Or Megadeth could thrash out to Oscar the Grouch's You're Beautiful (Just As You Are).

Anybody know how to get a hold of Kid Rock? I bet he could really kick some ass on Isa Turn the Wheel.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Can't sleep. Must Blog.

Wide awake before sunrise. So I started cruising the net then I ended up in my own archives. So here are a few posts from the past that still make me smile:

Please Don't Shoot the Armadillos

The Voices I Hear
Did ya know?
The Talker Gone Wild
Breaking News - Awwww Sh*t!
One of my proudest moments
Is this really it?
How to Dismantle All Feelings of Youth

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wanna cause a mild panic?

Be a good looking white guy, late 30's, carry around an extra 20 pounds or so...

Then call your wife at work one morning and tell her your chest and neck hurt really bad and that you are short of breath...

Pass the kids off on a neighbor so that you can go the hospital...

For fun, get a little nauseous and dizzy while you are waiting for your wife to come home to drive you to the ER...

And just wait till you see how fast the Emergency Room staff jump when you come slinking in complaining of chest pains and the rest of the above symptoms and being a goooooooood looking fat white guy.

Anyways, all is well now. Back home after a morning in the ER. Did not get a good explanation from the docs. But all blood work and tests looked OK.

Which is good for me. Because I sorta like being a fat, handsome white guy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

An odd mix of stops

This morning I was really not wanting to stay at home. I wanted to get out of the house for some fun and adventure. Or at least some exercise.

I planned last night to head over to the Y for a morning swim. But last Thursday, during the time that was scheduled for family swim time, there was a swim lesson going on, so we only got to stay in the pool a few minutes. I don't know if it was a one time deal or if the printed schedule is wrong, but I decided it wasn't worth disappointing the kids a second time.

So we headed to the opposite side of town and strolled around Cabela's. The kids are always up for the trip down there. They love the laser shooting gallery, so we usually spend more money in there than on anything else. And like usual, as soon as we spent all of our gallery tokens and checked out the animal displays, the kids were ready to leave.

We stopped at Chick-fil-a on the way home and I hoped that some time on the playscape would wear them out. But it got crowded in there and the kids were ready to hit the road pretty soon.

As we were driving through town I remembered a friend telling about how his daughters love to go to the Texas Memorial Museum. We detoured to the museum and the kids had a great time. Well worth the $2 we had to pay to park.

The Talker loved the Pterosaur and The Princess really liked the Onion Creek Mosasaur.

Me? I really dug the Glen Rose Dinosaur Tracks that they have on exhibit outside of the building. That and the stairs. Beautiful winding staircases that take visitors between the four different exhibit floors. They are very nice.

Plus, the stairs are great at wearing the kids out. After climbing up and down the stairs, both kids were snoozing in the car on the way home.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

There is more than one of me...

Tonight I am heading out on the town. The local Stay at Home Dads group is gathering at a local watering hole for a Dad's Night Out. A once a month chance for the dads to gather without a diaper bag in sight.

I usually end up missing DNO because of other scheduling conflicts or because I am just to wiped out to get myself dressed. But tonight I am heading over early. And hopefully staying late.

And to add to the excitement of a free night, I am going to cruise over in the truck. That is one of the real perks of DNO. The dads that have project cars usually bring them out for that one night. And tonight is the truck's unveiling.

What do you bet that the other dads will be jealous of me and Marge? By the way, just in case you haven't seen it lately, here she is, in all her multi-colored glory.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I think the milk has gone bad...

and it is affecting the baby's brain.

The Princess jumped up from breakfast and ran across the room to look at a picture on the computer. Then she floored me with her commentary:

"That is a picture of me when I was in jail. I had juice in jail. When I was in jail the police officer took me to jail."

Now as far as I know, she never has been arrested. I don't think she has even gotten a jay walking ticket. But I guess anything is possible when she is running around town with her brother and mommy.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Working the boy

This afternoon The Talker and I drove our truck over to Home Depot. Hard to believe, but after having it 18 months, this is our first trip to HD in the truck. Anyways, we bought 20 bags of mulch for the flower beds and trees.

While we were there, the boy had a job to do. He counted the bags as we loaded them onto the cart and then made sure we got all 20 loaded into the truck. Then he had to pick out the best looking plants for his little garden plot beside the playscape.

After he wakes from nap we will plant two mum plants, one yellow and one purple and his very own rosemary plant. The kids won't touch a veggie, but they both love fresh rosemary and oregano. We already have several of each plant, but he really wanted one of "my very own".

Once Home, I got most of the mulch spread in the front yard. While I was at it, I cleaned up and weeded all of the flowerbeds. Then I got the front yard mowed.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that, my boy helper disappeared to take a nap.

Smart kid.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It was one of those days

that makes you feel like a real great parent.

The boy got sent to bed early for being too rough with his sister. And his dog. And his mom. And his dad. Some friends at the park, one who already has a broken arm. Pretty much anyone or anything he came in contact with today.

So instead of bitching and complaining anymore, I give you video of a day that was more fun, from back in August.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I can't wait.... 55!

5 weeks, 5 days Until Cars comes out on DVD.
Thanks to KB for the head's up. We went to the Disney store and pre-ordered a copy, widescreen edition of course.

When you pre-order at the Disney Store, they give you a set of 4 small posters and a folder/poster that shows all of the Cars characters. Online, you get a $10 gift card with your order.

We will be framing the posters and hanging them in The Talker's room. Or my room. Whatever.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Maybe I should eBay it...

'Cause I sure won't be needing this for a while.

Print it out and make your own AtHomeDaddy Halloween mask!
But I am not responsible if it gives your children nightmares...

Plus, seems to not be much competition on eBay if you search for used hair gel. I could corner the market.

A surprise guest

Maria came home while The Law Talking Guy was watching the house over the weekend.

The Talker wanted to take a his bath in our tub. I send him in and he comes streaking into our bedroom and yells. "Where did you get that cool paining?"

I started cracking up and went into the bathroom to find Maria staring back at me from the shower, in all of her velvety, nekkid glory. So now that Maria is home, I have to bide my time. She needs to get back over to The Law Talking Guy's house, but not until I find the perfect time.

We really need a new house/dog sitter. Preferably one that I have not hassled with a soft porn black velvet painting.

So I now present to you, most of Maria. I gave her a nice bikini to keep this a respectable place.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Talker Takes You to the Fair

As we were making our way out of the fairgrounds I handed off the digital camera to The Talker. These are a few of his shots:


A cool golf cart

Sister's hair

A kid's view of the crowd

Want more? Go here to see all of The Talker's fair photos.
Go here to see the rest of the fair photos, taken by me and The Boss...

Scenes from the road

Why you should never… take the highway painter out for drinks over lunch.

Click on the pictures to get a bigger view of my tax dollars at work...

Our Day at the State Fair

The main thing to know, if you ever venture to the Texas State Fair: bring cash. Lots of small denomination bills. And if you think you have enough money with you, go ahead and grab a little more at the ATM before you hit the fairgrounds.

Thanks to one of The Mother of the BrideÂ’s friends, we had great tickets in hand before we arrived. What made these tix great? They were free. $0 invested.

We got to the fair early to make sure we were able to rent a stroller big enough for both kids. $10 for close parking and $15 for the stroller. And we had not even made it in the main gate, yet.

As soon as we got inside the park, the kids hopped in line for a kidÂ’s activity and I headed over to the coupon booth to hand over more of The Boss Lady's hard earned money. $20 for food, drink and ride tickets. Now we are $45 into the day and we have been at the fair for 15 minutes. Ouch!

The kids did some farming and then we hit the petting zoo. We dropped a couple of bucks there, for food for the goats and emus. Then we watched a Frisbee dog show, brought to you by TXU and Purina, while we ate an early lunch of corny dogs. Bought with coupons of course, because your money ainÂ’t not no good here, mister.

At some point during the morning I found three bucks worth of coupons on the ground. So we spent them. No, I donÂ’t have any remorse for not turning them over to the proper authorities.

After the dog show, The Talker really wanted to go check out the Kid Fishing area, brought to you by Toyota trucks. So we meandered across the grounds to find the pool where they were stocking catfish for kids to torment with live grubs. It was almost exactly like shooting fish in a barrel, except there were no guns. Instead Toyota trucks provided short rods without reels and bobbers with Toyota logos on them.

Our kids didnÂ’t land any catfish, but while we were there a 10 year old hooked one, proving that it could be done. Big fun AND free.

We actually kept cash in our pockets for a little while. After the free fishing frenzy, brought to you by Toyota trucks, we headed over to check out the master of card stacking, brought to you by MetroPCS.

After we left the CardStacker, we headed over to the Kidway, the midway for kids, brought to you by The Boss Lady, because believe me, the coupons came out on the midway. $10 more in coupons got us two ride for The Princess, Three rides for The Talker. Later, for $4 in cash, the kids each got to play one game. Both of them won the smallest stuffed toys ever made.

Once we bought more coupons, we got a junk food fix for everyone. And that concluded our coupon adventure at the fair. $32.50 worth of tickets bought, $35.50 worth of tickets spent and $9.34 worth of goods and services received. A fair trade.

We spent another $10 on drinks before we left the fair, but we were able to use cash for that purchase. Apple juice, milk and a couple of Dr Peppers. Now that is a good use of $10.

On our way out, we stopped by the Dallas Police DepartmentÂ’s Mounted Patrol stables. They have a small chroniclingonicling the history of the Mounted Patrol and the K9 units. The Boss LadyÂ’s grandfather was a member of the Dallas PDs mounted patrol until he retired. And The Boss Lady found a picture of him in one of the exhibits. Cool! And free.

We made stops at a couple of vendors as we walked to the gate. The Boss Lady got some freebie shirts, backpacks, books and bookmarkers for the kids at her school from a group promoting the new Charlotte'’s Web movie that should come out this winter.

At the last stop of the day the kids got candy for throwing newspapers at a target. And in case you wondered, the papers, targets and candy were brought to them by The Dallas Morning News.

In the end, we all had a blast. But I am not adding up all the costs, because I don't want to cry.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Train Day

The kids and I cannot pass up a chance to ride the trains in Dallas. So this afternoon, The AtHomeFamily, three nieces and The Mother of the Bride went out riding the rails.

We caught the train in North Dallas, after an accidental detour to Plano, thanks to a highway that I am sure wasn't there the last time I cruised through this side of Dallas. Anyways, the kids had fun going downtown. Everyone was tired and a little cranky by the time we got back to the car but we made it back to TMotB's house with the same number of kids and adults, so evidently it was a successful trip.

Now The Boss Lady is getting the kiddos ready for bed and I am hanging out at McDonald's stealing bandwidth from some poor sucker in the apartments across the street.

Thanks for the email fix, dude. Now go buy yourself some encryption.

Life on the road

It has been a busy 48 hours.

The Boss Lady and The Princess took a one way flight out of town on Friday afternoon. Now, as far as I know that isn't something I should worry about. After all, she left the boy.

This is the second year that the wife and daughter were on a race team in support of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition's Walk for the Whisper. Their team raised a couple of thousand bucks for the NOCC.

Simultaneously, 250 miles away, the boy and I spent Friday night trying to camp out in the backyard. And howling at the moon. We ended up in the house, but not until almost midnight.

We would have stayed up later, but he had an 11 soccer game on Saturday morning. So we had a restful morning then went to battle with the red team. The Talker scored a goal. His first. He also scored one on his team's goal later in the game. But he still does not want to talk about that...

As soon as the game was over, we drove up to UNT to catch a football game.

As we were driving through Ft Worth, we passed an air show and got to pull over on the high way and watch The US Air Force Thunderbirds perform. We were too far away to hear the jets, but close enough to see the entire performance. Super Cool!

It was fun cruising the old campus and showing my old haunts to the boy. He was not impressed. And I was a little blue, because Crumley Hall, one a haven of upperclassmen (and women, hubba hubba) who participated in all sorts of evil and carnal activities while we ran up our parent's credit cards, is now a women's dorm. It is very pretty now and smells NOTHING like it used to. Sad. Very sad.

Still, the boy and I sat in Procrastination Corner, a nook in the lobby where my crew and I spent most of our non-class hours (and quiet a few class-time hours) and creeped out the Co-eds for a little while. Which happens to be almost exactly what me and my buddies did when we sat in Procrastination Corner, now that I think about it.

Edit: Monday 10/2/06 - It just gets worse. Today in the paper, I saw that our old greasy spoon dive of a cafeteria has gone healthy. How are these skinny little kids going to survive college while they are eating salads?

We watched the first half of the game and then we headed to The Mother of the Bride's house to hang out with three of The Boss Lady's nieces. The Talker actually chose to leave the game early. He was excited to play with his cousins.

And I was excited to get to The Mother's house, too, because I had not checked my email in almost two days. Alas, not a single unprotected wireless network was within range.

So this morning I sit blogging in the parking lot of a computer repair shop. It was simply the first hot spot I could find. We are definitely not at home. The WiFi cloud there is so thick you can almost touch it. Here, not.

In the morning we are headed to the state fair. Big Tex, corn dogs, a petting zoo and a huge car exhibit hall. What more could a boy or his dad want?

Just in case you wondered, the wife and daughter are looking forward to the fair, too.

Oh yeah, I forgot to add, that somewhere during the weekend my almost bald brother became The Sibling with the 2nd Most Hair. I got tired of seeing all of the grey hair and I fixed it. No grey to be seen. Or red or blond. Shaved. Smooth.

Last time I shaved my head, I had lost a bet with a 7 year old. This time, it was just me and the razor. The razor won.