Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Favorite Office Moment

Late night last night -- city council meeting went until 1 a.m.
So I am here by myself, considering a nap, and found this online. It's my favorite moment in The Office.

They are doing a safety day and the manager -- the dark haired guy on the roof -- is trying to show that office workers face dangers too, like depression. To make his point, it is going to jump off the roof....

Which reminds me, I have a Mind, Body and Spirit story due next week and I haven't started yet. Guess I know what I am doing tomorrow. :)

"This is about doing, not thinking."

That gets me every time.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Johnson family Christmas delayed


Spend a bunch of money on clothes, toys and food and the most exciting present for Violet?
A 99-cent stuffed blue mermaid -- made in China. Figures. So I will let you guess what I got her for the Johnson Christmas next week.... the green mermaid. :)

There is a headache and flu stuff going around,according to my mother. My dad seems to have caught the creeping crud, so Johnson Christmas (or Zoo Christmas) has been canceled until New Years Day.

Tomorrow, Monday, I am going to have a late night due to a council meeting and story to write the same evening. I am going to love it -- as I always do writing on deadline. I like the daily deadlines but not the stress of the daily grind. A true love/hate relationship there.

Violet and Cindy went to church today, while I stayed home with Lilly. What always happens is that I get Lilly at church and then I take her to the nursery. She is too small to run around by herself, because of the monster 2 year olds running the place. So I try to take her into the little infant room, where, of course, there are 23 breast feeding mothers. I always end up wandering the halls with a sleeping Lilly on my shoulder. Good exercise, but if I'm not going to hear a sermon, I may as well stay home and watch Daystar on TV.

The Marshes came over today after church and that was fun. It's always good seeing Dwight. The guy is getting three master degrees, a couple at the expense of the Federal government -- not a bad gig if you can get it. Today I learned that 1 isn't a prime number. Not sure how I will ever use that information, but now I know.

The last three days I have had a pretty bad headache at the base of my skull. Not sure if it's related to my snow-day spills, or if my pea brain got stuck somewhere back there. :) It gets pretty intense and feels like a migraine, although I never usually get those. I'm pretty sure it isn't sinuses and I am thinking it may be stress related. Not sure what I am stressed about -- good job, great kids, wonderful wife, and bright future. Hmmm.

With any luck I will get busy at work again and it will just fade away. Who knows.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, we had a great Christmas morning. It started with brunch -- I made this potato casserole thing (we call them Fun Potatoes from their original Funeral Potatoes name), I cooked sausage, bacon and made (EDIT -- thanks Melissa!!!) eggs to order. Cindy made fruit salad, cheesecake and this egg bake thing with vegetables in it.

After eating we opened presents -- mostly for the girls -- and had a fun time. Violet is having a hard time learning how to share, but otherwise it was a good morning. Violet got a bunch of dresses and clothes (I will post photos as I get them) and Lilly got very loud toys that I am sure I am going to be turning off or taking batteries out of the minute my in-laws leave. :)

I took some movies and I will post those as I go through them. Probably over the weekend.

Next up, Johnson family Christmas, sometime this weekend.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I need this for my New Year diet

Trapped in a house covered in snow.

Cindy baking.

Bad combination.

I wouldn't be surprised if I weighed as much as my car at this point.

A friend sent this over to me, and this is my new diet plan.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We three kings have traveled so far


Today I went to work. No, not in Wilsonville, in Canby -- they closed the Boone Bridge (the only way to get to my work without a 30+ mile detour) this morning. On Monday they lay out the pages and write last-minute news. So that's what I did, because I figured I wasn't going to make it to Wilsonville this week.

Right now, we have about a foot of snow in the yard, roads and on top of the cars. My day started out by digging out the car. It had about 5 inches of snow, then 1/2 inch of ice and then another 5 inches of snow. The sidewalk I shoveled off yesterday was completely covered with snow again.

So off I went to work, and I get there barely, because the car doesn't have enough clearance and I am like a snow plow. I park and the guy at Canby Pub and Grill yells that I can't park in front of his business (even though it's 2 hour parking). We get into it pretty good, but then I decided that he might complain to my boss' boss, so I moved the car to the back. I will not eat there again, the guy was rude, if he had been cool, no problem, but be a dork, and that's it. I also am telling everyone I know not to eat there, not like the food is that good anyway.

Of course I fell down running errands around downtown Canby. I'm a spazz, I would expect at least one faceplant.

After a few hours of work, and depositing checks and picking up meat from a local butcher, I went out to get back in the car and it was burried again. I was smart and brought a shovel with me. I started digging, tried to move it, got stuck, then dug again. Once I got away from the curb it was fine. I got about halfway home, and I had to stop again because I was stuck. I broke out the shovel again, and sure enough, fell on my face. At least I didn't fall on the shovel.

I get home and make the run up the driveway (very short) and get stuck halfway. Now the trunk is sticking in the sidewalk, but I can't go forward or backward. So we are stranded at home until this snow melts. Well, at least some of it.

Now for my venting. A year and a half ago, Cindy and I were looking at vehicles because we were having Lilly. I wanted an SUV, like a Toyota Highlander or FJ or a Dodge Durango. Four wheel drive for the winter and good safety ratings. When the gas crunch hit this summer, I was glad we got the van -- it gets about 21 mpg and the 4X4s I wanted were around 19. But this week I am regretting getting the van. The van doesn't even have traction control, which sucks. So during this type of weather it's pretty much parked. I suppose we could put chains on it, it's front-wheel drive.

The car we have has traction control, ABS and is pretty good in the snow (when it's not a foot deep on the road).

Anyway, I wish we would have gotten the SUV, but this is a 50-year storm from what they are saying on TV, so who knows.

Well, I should run, Lilly is in a mood.

Dang, after two wipeouts on the ice, I am going to be sore tomorrow. I think it's Tylenol time. What happened to the days of diving into the snow and not even feeling it?


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow pictures (with kids inside)

OK, so here are some just random shots around the house. That is the snowman Violet and I built yesterday. I guess Snow Harder! was right. Dude looks cold.

I drove the car yesterday and it had no snow on it. I cleaned it off before I took it out to get supplies.

You know those videos of us playing in the yard yesterday. The top photo is our backyard which doesn't show a hint of the fun we had.

It's snowing pretty hard outside right now. We have about 7 inches of snow, then 1/2 inch of ice on top of that, and now it's snowing again. They are calling for 2-4 inches of snow tonight.

I have work tomorrow. That will be fun.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowman III: Snow harder


Today the A-team went out to build a proper snowman.

Snowman 1 earlier this week, leaned until he almost melted.
Snowman 2 fell backward before I even got home from work on Friday.
Snowman 3, today was build by recycling parts of Snowman 1 and 2, and fortified with additional snow and tonight, freezing rain. He is going to be encased in ice.

We shot this video with our big videocamera because we lost our little one. It's somewhere, but we don't know where.

Anyway, enjoy and we are hoping the power doesn't go out tonight. If it does, we are burning the Christmas tree in the woodstove.

(Don't worry, I bought wood a week ago with fire logs -- don't tell Larry).


Here is my little snow angel:


Lilly turns 1!!

Today, during the snow storm of the decade, Lilly turned 1.

I'm not sure if that's supposed to be an omen, or what -- she is a active little cuss -- but I like snow, so I really like Lilly.

She gets the joke. The kid always is quick to giggle and laugh, just like me. Even for no reason, sometimes she will just point and giggle. Out of the blue. Kind of like me.

The world needs more happy people, so you are welcome. :)

Today we had chocolate cake, as you can see by the aftermath in the photo, and more pictures are in the slide show.

Violet and I also fixed the snowman, again. The snow today was way too dry to really do much. The plan was to start over, but after trying to make a snowball and having no luck, I determined we should just reduce, reuse and recycle (sorry, too much Bob the Builder lately).

I will put those photos up tomorrow, with a video. Heck, I might do it later tonight, but I want Lilly to have her moment in the sun... it is her birthday today. :)


Thursday, December 18, 2008

I can't stop watching this...

This has been all over the web, and TV, but if you haven't see it here is the story. It's a downtown Portland street where a guy with a video camera left it running for 3 hours and then sped it up. He sent it in the CNN and it's a hit!

Oh and I am trying to figure out Twitter. Anyone know anything about it. I have some people followed (Brett) but beyond that I'm not sure how to use the damn thing.

I feel like an old guy given a cell phone.

'Get off my lawn!'

It's snowing here! We got about an inch since 5 p.m. (it's now 9).


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We are stuck at home!

Hello everyone!

This is Violet and Lilly sitting in front of the Christmas tree Wednesday. We had fun taking those pictures until Lilly got fussy. She didn't want to be held down anymore by her sister. So we have some other shots of Violet, holding a crying little sister.

We have snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain, wind, sunshine and frogs falling from the sky. I am waiting to see if I have to go to work tomorrow, I have a couple of meetings and if they are canceled I will be spending the time at home watching the kids.

Hope all is well with you, and if you are in a freezing climate -- be careful out there.

Pat, Violet and Lilly

PS today is Cindy and mine 13th wedding anniversary -- I only fought once today instead of the normal ultimate fighting cage match... kidding. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meet Mr. Snowman

So a couple of years ago Aunt Sue sent us a snowman kit. Then we didn't get snow. Then we had Lilly and didn't have a chance to play in the snow. This year is different.

Today Cindy and Violet went out and built a snowman. He is leaning pretty bad, but hey, it's her first snowman.

Here is a picture and I put some others up on Flickr.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hark the herald Violet sings!

Yesterday Violet had her Christmas program at school, where you get a church full of 4-year-olds and their relatives to watch them sing a couple of songs. It was fun, and my mom and dad came out to watch Violet sing. Lilly was pretty fussy on the drive out, so it was nice to get home and get her to bed.

Here is a photo, this week I am pretty fried, I will recover this weekend, so you aren't going to get a lot of commentary here today. :)

Oh if you look at the slideshow I put some o the concert photos on Flickr, along with some random Lilly photos I took on Monday or Tuesday (I can't remember).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Couple of thougths

Yes I know there haven't been updates lately. I have been busy with work and we were putting together the calendar for this year.

Everyone said with the second child we wouldn't take as many photos as we did with Violet. I call B.S. In fact, I think we took more! So there!

Anyway, we plowed through 12 months of photos and the calendars, and Christmas letters, will be going out shortly. That's you Christmas gift, so I hope I didn't ruin it for you.

Pretty soon and Cindy is on vacation for a couple of weeks, so that will be nice. I am finding a nice pace at work, so things are getting a bit easier. There is a big land use issue going on in Wilsonville that I am following that should wind down mid-December and then I will really be able to plan my work week.

Anyway, lately I have been not playing any video games. Not a one. This is from a self-proclaimed gamer -- and I have been going through withdrawls. No Madden football. No Half-Life 2. No Team Fortress 2. Nothing.

One day I just woke up and realized that I was spending a lot of money for a computer to play video games, when it would be cheaper to buy a gaming system. Only problem, I could convince Cindy (the boss) that a computer was useful and therefor I needed to have one. Gaming system, that's something that can be put off, and put off, and put off.

So when the hard drive died in my desktop computer, gaming stopped for me. I have been reading and whatnot. I can't complain because I have a laptop to do work and surf and e-mail, but it just doesn't have the umph to do games. I guess in the end it is better that I give up my games, but dang, I miss em.

But then came the Guitar Hero ads. That game looks so stinking fun...

Oh and here is the new Ghostbusters game coming out in June.

All I have to say about this gaming hiatus is this: When our house is attacked by aliens, terrorists, or ghosts I am not going to be responsible because I am out of practice using BFGs, MP5s, and proton packs.

That's all.


Calendars should be in the mail this week. Photos of kids will be posted this week too.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sleep? What's that?


Lilly was up again very early -- 3:30 I think. Cindy has been a stud and has been taking care of her the last few nights.

I think Sunday I am going to pull and all-nighter so Cindy can get some rest.

Problem with leaving Lilly in her crib to cry is that it wakes up the whole house... that girl has some lungs!

She is fine, just doesn't want to sleep by herself. Hopefully we can break this habit at some point.

Trying to make an over-tired 4 year old understand what is up is fun too.

Not complaining, both kids are very precious, just wish there was more sleep for Cindy.

Well, back to bed I think. If you want to test your marriage, go to bed at midnight and wake up at three. :) So far, Cindy and I get an A.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That's right, hat trick!

The attack:


I'm a dork:


This is what I was going after:

Violet sings!

Yes you get two posts in one day.

Why? Because I am jacked up on Mountain Dew after the Coke at work was in the very back because people had purchased pies and other Thanksgiving crap and put it in the community fridge. So you get PAT!!!!!!! Going insane!!!!

Let's face it, after a week with no sleep, I could use a good caffeine JOLT!

Here are the movies.

The first movie is Violet singing the theme song from her favorite show, Super Why! (or as she calls it, Super Wide! -- which is my nickname around the house now, thanks Cindy)


The next song is what I call the "no sense" song. She just makes noise. Oh and watch Lilly while this is going on. Pretty funny.


Yes, I am a slacker

I know I have been remiss in my responsibility to update this blog. I have been doing some freelance stuff and things around here have been pretty busy.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some movies I took before bedtime last night. Yes, those are my pajama bottoms, my pajama shirt says: "Who's your Daddy?"


Saturday, November 08, 2008

My dad would do something like this...

So this is the next Pixar movie. Looks pretty funny -- and reminds me of my dad. I also love the description: "In this 'coming of old age' story, a seventy-something hero, alongside his clueless wilderness ranger sidekick, travels the globe, fighting beasts and villains, and eating dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Puke, part duex

Not wanting to be outdone by her little sister, Violet got into the spewing business last night with an IPO of incredible value.

While Lilly was the surprise attack, earning a score of 9.4 out of 10, Violet defeated her with the "late night ralph meets bunny" move, throwing up a score of a perfect 10.

The night was like many others, I went to bed after Cindy, being engrossed in a book. Lilly started crying and Cindy asked that I take care of her -- she wanted sleep.

So from midnight to 2:30 a.m. I tried to coax the bald bawling bambino to sleep to no avail. That's when Violet got into the act.

First was the rash, Violet's legs itched. I put Lilly on the floor and got lotion. Oh, but I put the wrong lotion on, according to very vocal Violet. I had cold lotion, she wanted warm lotion. I got Violet asleep, and then once again worked on Lilly.

Lilly passed out after an infomercial on ShamWow! and I was able to put her in her crib, right as Violet started crying again.

Cindy beat me into her room, and as I came around the corner.... wow.

Let me say that Bunny got a steam cleaning in the washer, and the bedding was cleaned up. We then gave Violet a spit bath and it was bed time for me.

Hello 4:30 a.m.

Thank goodness there was no work today. That would have been killer.

Both girls don't have fevers, and they only puked once each, so we are kind of scratching our heads. Not sure what's up. Lilly has been fine and Violet had a lot of Halloween candy yesterday so I am thinking that's the culprit.

Well, time to go in and tuck Violet in.

Maybe we can get some sleep tonight. If not, at least the laundry will get done.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I have never seen so much puke come out of something so small.

Cindy last night was reading the kids a bedtime story in Lilly's room.

I am on the phone with my dad about something stupid.

"Critical issue!"

My wife will always be a software engineer -- one part cutie, one part IBM Thinkpad.

I hang-up, walk into Lilly's room and see the 9-month-old spewing puke everywhere. I had never seen anything like it.

She is fine, no fever, I think she just got too full or upset or just doesn’t like blueberries.

I spent my evening steamcleaning her room, the rocker and the ottoman.

Fun stuff, parenthood.

Now if you will excuse me, I have been fighting my gag reflex for the past 24 hours. :)


Saturday, October 25, 2008

What a wonderful sound you've discovered...

My favorite part of kids is seeing the stuff they discover on their own. With Violet it was airplanes and saying they were "Dados."

Lilly, on the other hand, keeps finding textures and sounds. She will stop and feel the carpet, the tile, the rug, and the bathroom floor. She loves this sound. You always know where she is when you hear the squeak. She sat in there for probably 15 minutes just doing that.

Anyway, this weekend is Cindy's birthday, we got a chocolate cake that is so rich I can't believe it. Tomorrow we are going on a date -- probably go for a hike or something... not sure yet.

Well, I am off to eat dinner...


Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm Pat, and I'm a procrastinator

Right now I have a story to write -- I've written two today -- and if I get it done, my life will be sooo much easier tomorrow. But it's the darn Internet with it's funny, gripping and educational pages. How did we survive without it?

Well tonight I have a treat for you. Tired of political ads? I personally love the Hot Dog eating Jeff Merkley one, but here are some ads from a bygone era. I love em. We need more like these.

This is a catchy tune!

Ooo this one is good too. Eisenhower he made America pregnant!

Aaaaand my personal favorite...

OK now, excuse me, I have a regional transportation system story to finish.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yay me! DONE!

Finished up all my freelance assignments today. Whew! I was able to get some writing in for my real job today, which was nice. So I am getting a jump on the week. Tomorrow I am stuck in a meeting during Violet's preschool... check this out.

So there is a group that meets that talks about how to solve the south Metro traffic problem -- you know the area from Wilsonville, Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard and everywhere not covered by 217 or I205. I have been going off and on and the meetings are normally in Portland. Tomorrow? The meeting is being held at the same time as Violet's preschool and it's in the same town even! I think the school and the meeting site is less than 2 miles from each other.

Score me.

Well, I think the rest of the night I am going to nail down this story I want in the bank for the Spokesman next week, and then go to bed early. Hard night last night as the kids didn't want to sleep again. Thank goodness I had caffeine in the house. :)

OK, enough rambling.

When Pat and Cindy fight...

I was surfing around the Internet today and found this clip. It's an example of what a fight between Cindy and I is like.

She is the Hulk.

All I have to say is... BY ODIN'S BEARD!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Violet: Political pundit

If you live in Oregon, this weekend you should have gotten your ballot in the mail. If you don't live in Oregon, then you still have plenty of time to decide who you are going to vote for when it comes to the office of the President of the United States.

Last night, I was talking with Violet and she told me that the economic downturn has hurt McCain, but she feels the experience argument has some merit. She is also glad that Obama has been able to energize young voters, herself included, and thinks that if he can get them to turn out in numbers he is going to be hard to beat. After reading both candidates economic plans.... oh heck... why don't I just let her tell you what she thinks:


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lack of updates

I took on way too many freelance assignments, and work has been kinda hectic. So I am focusing in on work and not the blog right now. It will be back, probably around the end of the month.


Oh and here is are two pretty funny clips from a recent roast with Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

OK that just looks hard

I was informed this evening that Cindy doesn't like her picture on the Internet. So, I am going to be editing her out and showing off my awesome Photoshop skills. Here we have a picture of Casper the Friendly Ghost reading to my daughters.

Today I woke up and Cindy and the squirts were all dressed and getting ready to go to the Marsh's house. Cindy didn't want to wait around for me, so they left and I had the house to myself today.

I had grand plans. I was going to change out so ballasts in the kitchen for the lights that are buzzing and driving us crazy. I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how to get to the ballasts -- including going into the attic -- and finally figured it out. (Don't ask because I am embarrassed).

I looked at the many wires, and whatnot and decided that this was out of my skill set. Plus, playing with electricity with no one around was probably a bad idea anyway. If I had turned the breaker off -- the fridge is on that circuit I think -- and I didn't want to have all our food go bad.

By the time I realized all this, Cindy and the girls came home. So we put Violet to bed and Lilly crashed on Cindy. We spent the afternoon watching Knight Rider (the crappy old school one, not the crappy new one).

Well, girls are going to bed now, so I better go starting cleaning up the house.

Dang it's been cold overnight!


Thursday, October 09, 2008

I didn't do anything!

So not only did I write two stories today at work, I also worked out, and took pictures of the kids. Yes, I am overachieving today.

Tonight I am going to help Cindy clean up the kitchen, maybe eat some dinner (although I am trying to swear off dinner in my quest to not be 400 pounds by Christmas) and then watch some TV.

Here's a photo for you guys. Sorry, but the lack of sleep and illness thing was killing us.

EDIT 8:36 A.M.: Here is the cutest thing I have seen. It's kinda long, but worth it just to watch Violet do her thing. She is now singing songs.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

You have a choice

OK, well everyone has been sick this week -- myself included -- I need to start dressing Violet like the "Boy in the Bubble" when she goes to school.

Anyway, no photos this week because I suck. Also, we are starting work on the calendar, so I'm not sure how many photos and videos we will be uploading in the next few weeks. Who knows.

Here are a couple of funny videos I found...

My inner geek told me to post them...


NASA ISS Rap (a response to the LHC Rap)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

I promised you guys a video and some photos and then never delivered. Bad Pat! Bat!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Canby Football and a cold

So tonight I volunteered to shoot some football. I have never done that before -- although I watch a lot of football on TV.

I have decided that high school football rocks. It's faster paced game-wise than professional -- they are faster on the field, but it feels like a year for the game to finish.

Anyway, here is one of the rejects, and with any luck Saturday one of my photos will be in the Herald.

This morning I woke up with sore sinuses and throat. I am trying to ignore it, since all the girls are feeling better now. I think tonight I am going to slam some NyQuil and then sleep as much as possible this weekend.

Violet is going to start dance school next week, so we have to get her tights and stuff. It's a great motivator because I keep telling her that if she throws fits, she can't go. Because everyone knows ballerinas don't throw fits...

She will get so tired and frustrated she is bouncing, but refuses to talk back or cry, just clenches her fists and bounces chanting "I am not throwing a fit." It's so funny, but I always try to talk her down. At least she is trying and that's the whole point.

Lilly is crawling out of her clothes now, and she will stand up leaning against stuff. I don't think it will be long before she is walking.

Well, I am off to watch the debate now (I am such a nerd I TiVoed it). heh.

I will upload a video tomorrow -- and maybe even some photos.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Added functionality and another video


Sorry about the lack of updates this week. I have had a rolling schedule, with several meetings and whatnot.

Sometimes work really gets in the way of screwing around, y'know?

We decided that Violet is going to be in school two days a week -- we just have to tell the teacher now. She had been going to the 3s preschool on Tuesday and Thursday and the 4s preschool on Monday and Wednesdays. With her birthday so close to the cutoff they let us put her in both, but the illness and her being tired all the time has led us to back it off a bit.

Scheduling wise I think the Tuesdays Thursdays is best -- but then she is in 3s not 4s... so it's just a decision we have to make. Technically she should be in 3s as her birthday is after the deadline, but she is 4.

Cindy still has a cold and is trying to get back on her feet, and Karen Marsh also got it. I have been lucky this time, I have been drinking Odwalla C-Monsters and downing this anti-cold tea Cindy gave me. I think it has caffeine because I can't seem to sleep at night.

Oh, and I almost forgot, ESPN has new NFL widgets of your favorite team. So I slapped a Oakland Raider widget on the left side there. That way you will know what I will be TiVoing on Sunday. :)

Well, off to work...


Monday, September 22, 2008

That's right, I take care of my children!

My pal Aaron Marvin posted this video on his blog and I love it. Heh.

The words are perfect -- and tells my story almost perfectly.

Cindy and her mom both have the head cold. I have avoided it through the power of Coca-Cola (at least that's what I am telling myself).

Violet is feeling better, and Lilly still has a runny nose, but she isn't acting sick. Today is back to school for Violet and swimming tonight. I have a Wilsonville meeting I have to attend, one of many meetings I have this week. Ug.

Anyway, I will post another video and/or pictures later today. I have to get ready to run to school now. Then I am trapped in Sherwood for 2 1/2 hours.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

A favor

Well, I got a call on Friday that my old boss at the Silverton Appeal needed help. He was out of freelancers and there was a mural dedication in downtown Silverton. So I opted to help out -- if only because I could go to the event, write it up and be done with it in a day.

The mural is of Don Pettit, a Silverton native who is now an astronaut with NASA. When the Columbia blew up several years ago he was trapped on the space station for several months. He made it home on a Russian space capsule -- so you know the guy has guts.

The dedication was a cool event, and I, being a mild geek, love anything to do with space and NASA. So I sent an e-mail to NASA to see if I could get a reaction from him, but he was evacuated because of hurricane Ike.

Anyway, I made a little extra money, got to visit Silverton again and write about something that interests me. Not a bad Saturday.

I love going back to communities I have covered in the past, mostly for the ego boost. I heard from several people including cops, politicians and normal folks that they missed my writing and felt I did a good job. That felt good.

Well, I should get moving today we have laundry and Cindy is now feeling the effects of "The Cold" so I want to try to get her some rest today.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Living with two biohazards

So, it turns out that Violet and Lilly have ear infections. Yesterday and today we went to the doctor -- we are getting a two-for-one deal through Cindy's HMO -- and it was confirmed.

Our daughters are germ magnets.

Lilly is on antibiotics, while Violet is getting much better. Violet missed two days of school and I think next week we are going to limit her to three days a week instead of four, if they will let us.

Lilly isn't acting too sick, she is just a snot factory and combined with the drool from teething it's like having a tiny Saint Bernard wandering around sliming ankles.


We were told today by the doctor Lilly is in the 24 percentile in weight, 75 percentile in height and (as Cindy put it) a big head. Cindy couldn't remember the number -- can you tell this is the second kid?

I am in utter shock, a child of mine that isn't chunky? When they did that metabolism test on me a the gym, other people were coming up with numbers like 200 and 400... me? I was a -12. No joke. You say "chocolate cake" and I gain a pound. In fact, I just gained four pounds typing that.

Anyway, here is a video of me feeding Lilly while Violet sings for us. Kind of like a fancy restaurant, only the band doesn't know how to play music and all the food is ground up and either fruit or vegetables. I think I will call this restaurant, Chateau de Pat.

Well, I am off to watch Burn Notice -- I love that show.

WARNING TO GANNETT EMPLOYEES: I have noticed lately that there are a couple of hits a day from Statesman Journal employees. To the left in my favorite blog list is the Gannett Blog. This is not something you want to click to when you are at work. I read a post on there a few weeks back that it was rumored that IT is tracking people who visit that site on a regular basis, it isn't exaclty a "fansite" for Gannett, if you get my drift. So, click at your own peril. It's OK for me because I'm a hired gun now -- when I feel like it. While I have you on the line, sorry for the recent lay-offs, I hope the cutting is over with and you guys can go back to worrying about how you are going to do three people's jobs without overtime. I wish you all well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I love election season

I love election season if for nothing else the comedy.

Here is a skit that I saw Saturday Night Live -- and while biased -- I still think it's still funny.

Anyway, enjoy, I will try to update the blog later tonight, Violet is going to the doctor because of The Cold.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Think she is teething??

Lilly is teething -- and has a little cold, still.

When Violet was an infant, I was changing her diaper one day and she exploded all over the changing table, wall, diapers, me and everything else in the room. Since then, as long as she was in diapers, I called her "pumpkin pants." Paints a vivid picture, eh?

Since this weekend I have been doing the heavy lifting on the Lilly cold front. Her nose won't stop running. I have sucked it out, wiped and tried to show her how to blow her nose with no luck. Today I was laying on the floor playing with her, she crawled over, and wiped her nose right on my shirt, then crawled over to Mommy and wiped her nose on Cindy's foot.

From here forth, her name is "snot." It's a term of endearment, really. And it fits on sooo many levels.

During preschool today I went over to the office to check e-mail and get some stuff. Lilly slept most of the time, when she woke up I took her to the front office to show her off. I would put the car seat on the floor (she was still in it) and she would scream, pick it up, she would stop. It was pretty funny. And another example of "snot."

She also grabbed my hand today and put it in her mouth, I felt one tooth poking through her gums on the bottom. She has one, and my guess more are on their way, especially with her gnawing on a Belle chair.

Anyway, it's Strawberry Shortcake time, gotta run.


P.S. Here is a story for you...why are Violet's stories always about food?


Monday, September 15, 2008

Kids, compromise and complications

Well, I am learning that with kids comes compromise.

Today I blew off an assignment for my real job (I wrote in at 3:30 a.m. to let them know I wasn't going to be able to attend) because we had two sick kids last night and I got no, as in none, sleep.

So I grabbed a couple of hours before Cindy had to go to work this morning (I slept from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and now I am watching the kids today. Tonight I have a council meeting and I am hoping that the little one naps, so I can catch a few hours, or even just rest.

I let them know, but I still feel bad. I keep telling myself it's a part of the parenting thing, so I shouldn't stress too much about it. But those of you who know me, know that I will spend the next week freaking out about missing an assignment.

I called my editor and she has four kids and understood, but I still feel like a moron.

Anyway, I am off to find something to eat and rock the kid. The big one is at preschool now, so at least I am cool that way.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Laundry, football and butterflies


This is a video of Violet and Lilly playing together. You will notice Violet has a stuffy nose (she sounds kind of nasally).

Lilly has Violet's cold now. Cindy is also complaining of having a stuffy nose. I am going to drink a gallon of water and see if we have any orange juice in the freezer.

Today Cindy is working (or trying to), we are doing laundry, and I am watching football. The Raiders won today (yeah me!) which will probably be their only win of the year. I messed around with my fantasy team a little -- this is my first year and I really stink at it.

Violet was pretty bratty yesterday -- I am attributing it to her cold. Today she seems fine (behavioral wise) but still has congestion. The little one is breathing like a Predator when she sleeps (click the link to hear the Predator -- which sounds like Lilly).

Well, the New York Bretts are playing the hated New England Patriots (Pat Riots when they win) so I better go.


Saturday, September 13, 2008



Sorry for the lack of updates this week. I got sideways at work, and my schedule has been kind of nuts. So much so I haven't had time to do new photos or movies. I was going through our family laptop, and found this movie of Violet from Aug. 5, 2005. I love her hair!

Next week I will try to do more video and photos of the kids.

Today we cleaned out the freezer, defrosted it, and I got to chisel ice out of it. Pretty fun, but I was leaning all the way down in the freezer too long (we have a chest deep freeze) so I tweaked my back a bit. Nothing a few Advil won't help.

Well, off to the store.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where did the week go?

OK, so here I am on Wednesday night wondering what happened to my week. Tomorrow is Thursday and I am behind at work (a politician stood up an interview), I have a one story I haven't even started and my deadline is fast approaching.

Lilly is moving. Really. It's crazy. It's like Michael Jordan -- you can't stop her, you can only contain her.

Today we have a story. Violet made this one up right before lunch.


Hope you all are having a good week.


Monday, September 08, 2008

I'm a ramblin' man


Today we had a little race. Down the hallway, the big one versus the little one.

The big one won, but it was close. Almost as close as this:

So, today was the first day that I have waited in Sherwood for Violet's school to be over. It was pretty fun. Lilly and I went to a park and just hung out playing with grass (until the lawn mower started getting too close). Then we watched some guys play football and she played with a piece of bark while I gave her some baby food. The food then attracted hornets -- so we left the park. :)

Tomorrow I am going to check out the library -- might even take my laptop -- and see if there is a kid section that will keep her occupied. Otherwise, I am going to make a cardboard sign that says, "New Baby, need cash for food!" and stand at the intersection of Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Highway 99W. I hear those people make like six figures a year!

Anyway, Raider game is on.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

88 miles per hour

video video

Lilly is crawling so fast now she has fire behind her like the Delorean in Back to the Future.

See the similarities? I know!

Violet has taken to making very cute statements. This weekend was no exception.

  1. After feeding her baby doll, Violet held the fake bottle in the air, looked at it and stated, "She ate two miles."
  2. The neighbor's dog has been getting into our backyard because our back fence is pretty ratty. I went out to chase it out before work Friday and stepped right in dog poop. I threw up my hands and yelled, "You have GOT to be kidding me!" Violet, all weekend, has taken to informing, well, everyone that "Daddy stepped in dog poop!" I can't wait for school tomorrow.
  3. Violet also decided that she was a mermaid tonight while taking a bath, and started "swimming." After this post I am looking for a water pump for the excess water we have in the bathroom floor.
I also had a pretty good weekend. I started off the weekend thinking that I would try to replace the garbage disposal. How hard could it be?

When it first died back in December I suggested that we call a plumber, something Cindy was very much against. She fixed the leak in December by going to Ace Hardware and having an old guy give her advice.

So this weekend was my turn. The disposal finally died about two months ago, and we had about five or six Home Depot cards floating around the house from Christmas and whatnot. So I asked Larry and my dad about it, and then went to work.

Of course the people at Home Depot had no clue (I talked to two guys whose combined age was about 7). But the thing came with directions, so I figured if nothing else, the experience would be a good blog post.

Here is what I did:

1. Removing the disposal was pretty easy, I left the existing hardware connected to the sink and just disconnected the disposal, plumbing and unplugged it (yes, I did that first).

2. Took the old disposal to Home Depot with me to make sure it was roughly the same size as the new one (I learned later it really didn't matter, but hey, I'm a rookie).

3. Wired the new one. Yes, you read that right. I wired. Like with black tape and stuff. Of course I called my dad twice for advice (he helped wire 747s back in the day), but I had to connect a wall plug to it. Not too bad. I even have splinters of wiring stuck in my hands to prove it. I am tough, don't worry about me.

4. Tried to lift the new disposal (I am thinking about 30 pounds but not sure) while lining up three tabs to the old connector. This is where things got, well, profane. Good thing Violet was napping, because I sounded like a sailor. Finally Cindy (and Lilly) came down and she lined up and connected while I held the disposal in place. I don't know how people would do that by themselves -- blocks maybe to hold up the disposal?

5. Plumb. Yes, the old plumbing fixtures wouldn't work. My pipe was too short (story of my life). So I went to Ace Hardware where they helped me out. Great guys, and from now on I am going there first. Anyway, I had to trim one of the pipes they gave me -- it was plastic and I needed a saw. Of course all I could find was a Christmas tree saw. I was going back to Ace when I saw that my old buddy "Moocher" had just pulled in at home so I borrowed a saw, and cut it right at his house. Came home, tightened everything up and Boom! Done.

I am so good that it doesn't leak (it always has) and when the dishwasher drains it used to back up into the sink a little -- it doesn't do that either! That's right, call me Bob Villa.

Maybe not, it did take me all day.

Next weekend I think I will add an office to the back of the house. :)

That project was pretty much my entire Saturday, and today I watched football, did laundry and made the girls a nice breakfast. Tomorrow I am looking forward to not working and getting to watch the Raider game. I don't know what I am going to do while Violet is at school, I am sure I will find something to do to kill two and a half hours with Lilly. Maybe have her crawl in grass or something. I don't know.

Anyway, off to bed.