I started blogging back on June 7 of 2004. And until this month I had never participated in National Blog Posting Month. I had also never successfully blogged every day in a single month.
Well, with this post I have completed the mission. At least one post every single day.
At times it seemed like a challenge and some of my posts were duds, but it is finished. And just like I learned soooooo many times in college, I won't be doing that again.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I started blogging back on June 7 of 2004. And until this month I had never participated in National Blog Posting Month. I had also never successfully blogged every day in a single month.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
This is the official kickoff to the holiday season for our family, so I come down early every year. I was going to drive Marge down today, but since the heater is not functional I changed my mind at the last minute, and brought my car. Good thing, since someone decided parking along the main street was a bad idea. Had to park a block away and haul stuff down the hill to our best viewing spot EVER!
You may now begin your holiday season.
Friday, November 28, 2008
The AtHomeFamily did not do our civic due diligence today. We did not shop. Sorry if your stocks tank on Monday.
Well, that isn't exactly correct, The Queen Mother and The Boss Lady
did battle went to the grocery store. That ate up a couple of hours of their day, but the nice thing is that afterwards the rest of us ate like kings (or at least court jesters).
Later in the day the kids, cousins, Bro and the wives and I headed over to the mall. Still, we did not shop. Instead we bounced.
The mall by us has a bouncer gym. So we walked in the side entrance, bounced, made one quick jaunt to the Disney store and then we bounced back for some more fun. All told we were at the mall less than 3 hours. Even found parking on the front row.
When we got home we ate more. And after that we snacked and had dessert.
So we busted the food budget, but we did not really prop up the economy today. But it sure was awesome hanging out all day with Mom and Dad and my siblings.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I am hanging outside at our family reunion. No, I didn't get kicked out again. But they do have it inside of a metal building and the public wi-fi from the park across the street is weak. So no reception indoors.
A cousin is sitting in Ohio today and I promised him that I would bring a laptop to see if there was any net access out here in the sticks. I assumed there would be an open router or two around here, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found that there is also public access wi-fi in the little city park across the street.
I'll bring you updates if anyone gets too rambunctious, gets wild and drunk or starts a fight. Otherwise I'll be eating. See you after I gain another 15.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Everybody does a nice Thanksgiving lunch. But hardly anyone knows how to finish up the day properly.
Luckily I am married to one of the people in the know. It is all about the chicken stew.
See, we do a big family reunion at lunchtime on Thanksgiving, cousins, aunts, uncles, several generations. But the real fun comes at AtHomeFamily Land, after lunch.
That is when The Queen Mother and Dad come over along with my siblings (and one who might or might not be a sibling- My So Called Aunt) and all of their families. 20 people hanging out, watching The Cowboys whip the Seahawks and then The Longhorns beat up on a bunch of poor Aggies.
The best part of the day? The gloating after the big win. The Aggies around here will have a lot to live down.
Second best? The chicken stew that has been cooking all day long. The Boss Lady and the kids worked on the stew for several hours this morning. It cooked all day. The super-duper sized stock pot is almost overflowing.
I skipped my usual chicken stew pre-meal sampling tonight. The pot was already in the refrigerator before I got to the kitchen. But please do not worry, I'll be the first in line, right after I finish eating some turkey.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The chicks have been evicted. They are spending their first night outside tonight. I spent the afternoon setting up their overnight cage in my garden shed. This set-up was probably not going to be big enough for the 6 full grown chickens that we started with. But I think it will accommodate 4 very nicely.
For tonight the chicks get a light in the shed. When it is warmer I'll put the light on a timer so that the girls get a nice sleep. Which will hopefully result in happy chickens and that hopefully = more eggs.
I'll try to get some pics of the double-decker chicken cage soon.
Monday, November 24, 2008
It has been a few days since I posted about the feathered pets. The chicks are almost 5 weeks old now. They are presently ugly as sin, since their feathers are only halfway in. But they are also a lot of fun. The Princess is getting lots of great exercise trying to tame these wild beasts.
Our first flock was really calm and easy going. These girls are a lot more flighty and timid around all of us. But I think I am winning them over.
A few days ago it was canned corn, leftovers from a stew I made. Then yesterday it was steamed rice, leftovers from the kid's dinner plates. Today, cracked corn, from the grocery store. Throw in all of the stale bread I have been able to round up in the last few days, and these are some happy and (getting) fat girls.
Two of the the girls have names. Not Orp turned out not to be a Buff Orpington. And Itty Bitty, the actual Buff Orpington, is way smaller than any of the other birds in this or the last flock.
Names for the Light Brahmas will come to us later.
Check out our chicken run movie. Not Orp had a bug. The rest of the crew were in hot pursuit. Including Kodak the Great Pyrenees dog.
The Princess and I are in full scale Chex mix production mode this morning. Who knew there were hundreds of recipes? Or that there was a dedicated website for Chex mix?
The girl and I are a little more care free about our mix. Lotsa whatever we find in the pantry, plus butter and a little something to spice it up. Throw it all on the oven for an hour and stir every 15 minutes.
It is incredibly easy to make, but it isn't a terribly easy recipe to replicate. If we end up with a great batch, we just have to savor it. The next might not turn out as great.
Or it might be even better.
After we make a batch for the kiddies, then it really gets fun. The cayenne and Tabasco come out to make the spicy stuff, the man food of Chex mix. Nothing like snack foods that can burn your insides!
Come over in half an hour and see how great this first batch turns out. Or wait a couple of hours and man up. The spicy stuff will be ready at noon.
that The Boss Lady is off work this week and I am jealous, yet I only have to work like 4 hours this week at the preschool?
In actuality I'll let the wife have the week to bond with the kids.
Which is justSAHDadspeak for I'll be a slug for four days. Maybe I'll finally finish the annual cleaning of the garage. That I stated last year.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So if you are a television junkie in the US of A, like me, you likely know about the change over to digital broadcast coming up in a couple of months. And if you are like me too, there ain't no way in heck you are getting a high definition television for Christmas. Which means you will have to buy a digital converter box before midnight February 17. Else your bestest friend in the world won't bring you the morning news on the 18th.
Of course, none of that applies if you use cable or satellite to get your TV signal. Your TV will work fine after the switch.
Around here we have one TV hooked up to satellite. The rest of the television sets are only used for playing DVDs. Occasionally I try to watch something broadcast over the air, like today when I wanted to watch the Cowboys beat up on the 49ers, but I also wanted to clean my garage. But the reception is generally for crap.
Racecar Man demonstrated his digital converter boxes the other day for me. I wasn't convinced that we would get the same great results, since his house does not sit at the base of a big hill and his TVs are mostly upstairs. But I went to https://www.dtv2009.gov to snag the government
cheese coupons for $40 off the cost of a converter box.
It took about 10 days for the coupons to arrive, and tonight we finally got around to picking up one converter box. I also grabbed the cheapest set of rabbit ear antennas that they sold at Best Buy for $10. The converter boxes all over town are priced at $60.
So with my coupon, we are out $30 to get TV reception in our bedroom. And let me tell you, the reception is awesome! To celebrate The Boss Lady is watching something boring and stupid in the living room via the satellite system and I am watching a perfect looking live broadcast of NFL football while blogging from my bedroom.
Someday there might be a high def television in our house. But I bet that day is a long ways off (Probably right after all three of our analog sets die...). Until then, I'll stick with my $30 digital-dumbed-down-to-analog TV picture.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Today is a historic day in Austin TX. Thousands of University of Texas football fans are rooting for
Satan the Sooners of the University of Oklahoma. We need OU to beat Texas Tech for lots of reasons. Not the least of which is that we got our hats handed to us by Tech. And somebody needs to teach them a lesson.
Since Baylor won't be doing any of that next weekend, we rely on the Sooners to put a whooping on the Red Raiders tonight.
It is a hard way to back into a possible National Championship game, but sometimes you have to depend on the enemy of your enemy to avenge your past shortcomings. At least on the college football field.
So there it is. Nothing else exciting to report from here. It is cold and there is no reason to look the neighbors in the eye on a day like this. So we are all hiding out in the house today.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I signed up for a Facebook account a couple of years ago. I think it was the first day they opened registration up to non-university related email addresses. But I did not mess with it much. Only one college buddy was on there and I did not take the time to seek out anyone else.
Last summer I started looking into it a little more. Then it sort of steamrolled into a beast. Nowadays The Boss Lady is on FB and we frequently must push the other off of a computer to get back to the importance that is FB.
People I have only met online but consider friends, people who were friends in high school, guys I grew up with at church, some friends from here in town and from back in small town Texas and a whole host of my college pals are all on Facebook now.
Last week I started noticing some random connections between friends. A couple of examples: my Sis (the real one, NOT the so-called one) and a college dorm mate (who never met) both are friends with the same guy. Other Dad, who lives 10 houses away from me and a high school friend who lives in NYC are both friends with a guy who lives in San Francisco. FB seems to make the world a little smaller.
So with all that I seem to be able to go less than an hour without checking up on FB. I had to sit in the office and monitor the phones the other day. Yep, I was on FB. I set up FB mobile on my DS Lite via the wireless connection. And I frequently FB from The Boss' computer that she totes back and forth to school.
So there you have it. My true confession. The house work and laundry have gone to crap. My blogs are dying from lack of content. And I think the kids might have missed out on dinner last night. That is just the way us FB junkies roll.
Just deal, OK? And then update your status to let us know in 12 words or less HOW you dealt with it.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
People about a quarter mile from us just spent the day setting out their holiday decorations. Christmas trees, snowmen, caroling choirs. The whole festive nine yards.
Never in my life have I wanted more to drive right through the yard of a perfect stranger. I think maybe I should go show them a calendar. Or maybe I'll buy their snowman a shirt.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Don't ever let this happen to you, OK?
And so long as you are not a Star Wars Lego video game hoarding DVD drive, it shouldn't but just in case, you now have fair warning.
The Talker's game CD was hopelessly stuck in the CD drive attached to my desktop computer. This morning, while cleaning, I found a DVD RW drive I had squirreled away after I removed it from out desktop. The swap was on.
It only took about 10 minutes to get the first drive out, the replacement drive in and everything working smoothly. Yeah for the pack rat!
After I disassembled the drive case and rescued the game CD (Which works fine in the swapped out drive, thankyouverymuch!) I turned over the drive and a mini screwdriver to The Talker. He was hesitant about tearing into it, so I helped him find screws to remove. Once we had broken that sucker down into it's component parts, The Talker wanted to know about each piece. Too bad he had to get his knowledge from me and not from some guy who knows the correct answers.
The highlight came when he discovered a few magnets inside the various motors. He had entertained himself for an hour outside with the magnets and laser remnants.
is to decide which one to eat.
The Princess' Play Dough Stew or
AtHomeDaddy's Bread Machine French Bread.
Like grandma said, tough choices make life more interesting.
Edit: 4:15pm - So sorry, you are stuck with the stew. Dog ate the entire loaf of bread while we were outside dissecting a CD drive.
At least the house smells good!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Truck keys are no longer missing. They turned up in the laundry. Both set in the same load of laundry. No idea why I had both sets of keys in the same pocket but I bet it was a great idea at the time.
Unlike my key to The Boss Lady's VW, 40 year old truck keys only get shiny in the wash. No computer chips to erase or electronics to ruin. Just FYI, if you wash the key to her car, it'll cost you $100 to get another.
Anyways, I ended up too busy to take the truck out for a spin this afternoon. If I don't sit on the couch all afternoon, who will?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
One of you clowns hid my truck keys. I swear I wasn't going to park it in front of your house. I just wanted to take it out for a little cruise around the neighborhood. But both sets of keys are MIA.
Reward if found or returned: I'll let you ride shotgun on the next joy ride. No questions asked.
For the Veggie Tales fans in the audience:
Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh wherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre? Are my truck keys?
I have neglected replacement on a rotten backdoor threshold too long. The Talker and I ran over to the hardware store this morning to get everything we needed to repair the door. Sadly, like most of my long delayed projects, this one took longer to buy supplies for than it took to actually repair.
An hour round trip to the store. Repair finished in less than 45 minutes. Add to that the two years or so I have put off the repair.
The chickens kept me company in the backyard while I worked. The Talker decided it was too cold, so he opted to clean his room instead.
Speaking of The Talker, he is officially over his 'Rooting for the Enemy' phase. Last year he decided that it was fun to cheer for OU football. He gets that from his momma's side of the family. But mainly he did it because it annoyed me. For some reason he has recently come to see the light and is now rooting on UT full-time like dad. Of course, since he roots for the right team, he also gets to drink Dr Pepper with lunch!
And speaking of chickens, one of our Buff Orpington chicks is definitely turning out not to be a Buff Orp. Last week I noticed one of the girls turning a lot darker than the other. It is really obvious now. I have asked on backyardchickens.com what she might be, but no consensus yet.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Boss Lady and the kids went over to a birthday party this afternoon. After substituting in classes all week at the preschool, I was wiped out and decided to bail on the party. So the chicks and I hung out in the front yard, sharing a big ol' Subway sammich.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I don't think my toe is broken after all. No pics though. It is gross looking because I ripped the toenail off. And evidently that hurts worse than
heck breaking the whole dang toe.
Anyways, I knew you all were concerned. Now feel free to return to your otherwise bland and sad lives.
And don't step on my toe on the way out, OK?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I am betting a buck that I broke my pinky toe this morning. Again. Yes, once more.
Three times in one year, because I am. That. Good.
Actually this time hurts waaaaaaay worse than I remember either other time. Hurts too much to even look at it still, so no pictures yet.
So the running toe-tal:
- One toe broken, slammed into a chair.
- One toe broken, slammed into a different chair.
- One toe likely broken, slammed into a broken TV in the garage.
I really should stop doing anything while I am barefooted. But never fear Mom, the goatee was not harmed in the breaking of this toe.
It rained off and on yesterday. Mostly off, but it did crank up pretty good for about an hour right at rush hour, delaying The Boss Lady's trip home by about 45 minutes.
You may have heard that people in Texas can't drive in winter weather, but it isn't just snow/sleet/hail/ice that boggles the brains down here. Hardly anyone can work the brake and gas pedals properly when it rains either.
When it finally started raining hard, the chicks were outside. I wasn't willing to risk getting The Boss Lady's camera wet, but chickens are dumb. It is true. They were all standing inches away from shelter, getting soaking wet, staring up at the rain clouds. It was pretty funny until I realized that I was going to have to go rescue them from the rainstorm.
Wet chickens STINK. Just in case you did not know. So the girls went immediately to the front porch to dry off for a while.
See? Big fun all the time around here. Don't you wish you were me for just one day?
Well then, how about about next Wednesday?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Our internet connection glitched yesterday. It was out most of the afternoon. Our connection has always been a little touchy, but it never stays out for a long time.
I was bad. I plugged the kids into a movie with a Sponge Bob chaser and tried to solve my own dilemma Yeah, I know, leave I.T. to the I.T. professionals.
After the lack of internet access ate up my entire afternoon and I gave up, I called tech support and actually talked to a real human for about an hour to get everything sorted out. And he talked me through getting back online and getting my wireless router configured properly. Which likely was causing all of my intermittent connection problems in the first place.
So here is to Joseph, my new AT&T tech support hero!
Monday, November 10, 2008
I got a little surprise from my buddy in Minnesota today. David, Father of Five sent me a little treat to share with the kids in response to a post I put up last week.
So, thanks to FoF, the kids should get a nice Dr Pepper popsicle tomorrow. If they beat me to the freezer.
And for the record, this is the second Dr Pepper themed package I have received from David. The man knows a good product when he sees it, what can I say. Other than I now have his address in my possession. If you need to taunt, tease, stalk, scare or toilet paper Father of Five's house, just let me know.
Oh yeah, I guess I could say "thank you, David".
What did I do to deserve having the cat to climb into my car and use it as a litter box?
A follow up question:
What have done that made me so lucky that the cat peed INSIDE a reusable (yeah, not so much anymore...) grocery sack? Thereby keeping the cat pee safely contained.
And a final insight:
If you are tempted to buy a bunch of those reusable grocery sacks, you could do a whole lot worse than the really big ones that they sell at Costco. They hold your groceries AND evidently, are water tight.
Boo for cats! Yeah for Costco grocery bags!
The kids and I are off to that most magical of places one can hope to take a couple of sub 7 year old kids. The grocery store.
It has been a long time since I wrangled them both around the store for a full grocery trip. Wish me luck.
And wish them up an hour long catatonic state while you are at it, OK?
Sunday, November 09, 2008
I have started working on The Cractor, V 2.0. I figure that if Racecar Man's old dog kennel was strong enough to keep a dog in, then it just might keep a dog out, also. So I have been beefing up the wire and trying to make the kennel fit for the finest flock of birds on this side of town.
After the demise of flock 1.0. I think these guys are going to spend nights in the garden shed and I'll use this when the birds can be outside, but I can't, or don't want to, be outside, too. I still have a lot of work to do, but the birdies like their new daytime run.
Also, does this look like the nose of a chicken eater? Well, to paraphrase The Simpson's, I dunno. But she's got lethal chicken breath...
Obviously, I still have a little work to do on the wooden perimeter fence, too.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Last night we went out to the Ben Hur Shrine circus. The circus is only in town this weekend, so we decided to go Friday night to avoid all of the other craziness that is our usual weekend.
The Travis County Expo Center is a converted rodeo arena turned hockey rink that has hosted the circus for the last couple of years. And after last night I am sure that we will be back every year.
We arrived really early. I thought it started a half hour earlier than it actually did. And we ran into no traffic on the way out there. Putting us there 90 minutes before the doors even opened. One of the fun parts of the Shrine circus is the interaction that the kids get with the roving gangs of Shrine clowns before the show starts. And we were even there before the clowns!
Luckily, there was a dog agility competition taking place across the parking lot, so the kids and wife were entertained while I stood in line for tickets. Once inside, thanks to that early arrival, we had the bestest circus seats in the entire world. We were dead center on the middle ring and the tight rope was set up only 15 feet in front of us and less than 20 feet over our heads. It may not have qualified as a "high" wire, but when you can feel the support cables shaking your seat with each step the performers take, it adds a little excitement to the experience.
The Princess rode a pony. The Talker chose to cash in his college fund and he rode an elephant. Big fun for all. Except maybe Number 12, the pony and she was just sad about the name. The Princess asked her name and the pony handler looked at a tag on the side of the pony's bridle before he told her "Number 12".
We cheated. We carried in glow sticks that we bought at Costco, bypassing the $$$ circus souvenirs, except for the circus program/coloring book that each of the kids brought home. All in all it was well worth the cost and the extra hour and a half waiting for the show to start.
I am sure it is a circus the kids won't forget for a while. And hoepfully we won't forget to go really early again, next year.
Friday, November 07, 2008
One of the things I like about being a stay at home dad has to do with Saturdays. I seldom need to mow my own yard on Saturday since I can usually fit mowing int the schedule somewhere during the week. Of course, that just frees up more time for mowing of customer's yards on Saturday, but I'll complain about that some other time...
Anyways, I haven't been very successful in getting the yard mowed lately. Since this is Texas, mowing is a year-round activity. Though it does slow to mowing once ever three or four weeks at this time of year. Still, I haven't been able to find time in the last two weeks. So I decided to piecemeal the work.
Tuesday afternoon I mowed, edged and ran the weed eater through the front yard. Plus I got to play with the new 205mph gasoline powered blower leaf blower that my paid yard work just bought us! That pretty much took up all of the daylight that was left once The Boss Lady got home.
Wednesday I barely squeezed in the edger work and weed eating in the backyard before dark. And last night The Boss Lady hauled the kids out to the PTA meeting at her school , so I was able to get the backyard finished up before I had to leave for a meeting.
I actually like working on they yard. It is one time when I don't mind the noise and dirt. And it is especially nice when it does not take up my Saturday. Even still, I just wish it didn't take all week to get it done.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I went to be at 9:30. TV was off and I was sacked out before 9:45. But I am still tired.
Anyways, onto the awesome. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
Yep. The two bestest things in the world. Dr Pepper and REAL Dr Pepper side by side, living in harmony in my fridge. For the record, there is a case of the good stuff sitting in my house right now!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Yep, it is goatee time once again. Only a few weeks left to uglier up my face before the family reunion on Thanksgiving Day.
Hopefully I have time to brew up a masterpiece to make my momma proud.
Pictures to come soon. I
80 degrees. Not a cloudy in the sky. Breezy.
Perfect backyard weather. Especially if there is a few grand worth of playscapes and toys laying around in that gorgeous backyard. So where are the kids?
Sitting on the corner of the patio, pissed because we are out of ice cream AND popsicles.
Life stinks when you can't get a frozen treat
Yesterday The Princess and I were cruising around town when she blurted out, "Daddy, we don't drive on stairs. Do we? "
I had to give her some response, so I went with, "No, of course not."
But what I really want to know is which one of you has been telling The Princess about my golf cart adventures? I'll just quote from that post...
3. I once drove a golf cart all the way up a really long stairway.Yeeeeee Haw! It was at a summer camp in Indiana and they had a stairway down the hill, leading from the parking lot to the main camp. They called it the 'Stairway to Happiness'. After the drive, I renamed it 'The Highway to Hell'. Later that summer I almost cut off my own thumb...Tell you what, I'll just let this one slide, OK?
But if the girl starts telling me how NOT to light a barbecue or how NOT to run over my own foot, I'll be resuming the search.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
The preschool is a polling place this year, so they are closed today. We already don't have much extra parking. Add to it the voting crowd and the lot will be full all day.
The Princess and I are going to hang out at lunch with The Talker and then we will find some trouble to get into.
Monday, November 03, 2008
On our round trip to the grocery store this afternoon, the kids and I counted 26 Barack Obama campaign yard signs and 23 John McCain signs. 26 hours until Campaign Season ends and Lawsuits to Settle the Election Season begins.
Goodness I love the change of seasons.
Back when we were teaching the kids our address and all of that emergency information that I never ever thought about as a kid, The Boss Lady came up with a song that wrapped everything up nicely .
I can't remember all of the words, but I do know that if I ever do have a heart attack, the ambulance might be delayed until the second verse.
So welcome to our little rock house. 1500 square feet of homely goodness all wrapped up in rock and vinyl siding. Just enough space for the four of us, a pet or 7 and a 40 year old truck.
I have a firm conviction that one should never bee too far from a place to sit. Therefore we have chairs in the front yard, and more chairs on the porch. And I won't even show you all of the seating choices in the backyard.
And of course, for those young enough, agile enough or who haven't been Trick or Treating at our house, there is always available seating on the rope swing.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Somewhere in all of my excitement about a successful Halloween, I forgot to post any pics of Snow White in her Golden Dress and Jar Jar Binks.
The Boss Lady continued her streak of 7 straight years of making the kid's Halloween costumes. The Jar Jar Binks hat might be the best costume piece yet. But both costumes were awesome.
Also, the kids and I decorated the yard for the first time this year. We make a ghost out of a giant beach ball and a sheet stolen off of The Boss Lady's bed. The ghost was purposely not too scary, but the sheet still sustained major damage before the night was over. Probably should not have used the best sheets...
And now a little gratuitous reminiscence of costumes past:
Every time the chicks are outside for a few minutes, I make sure they have fresh water. But for some reason, the watering can always seems to empty really fast.
Turns out we have a fat, furry chicken wanna-be stealing water from the real baby chicks.