Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mommy's slippers

Can't a guy watch the raider game in pink slippers?
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lilly shaving

Lilly and Violet getting ready to go out.
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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Saturday, September 04, 2010


Violet makes it to the top of a rock climbing wall. Last year she was too scared to even try!

My little girls are growing up...
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Star Wars

This morning Lilly wandered around the house singing the Star Wars theme. So we make a little impromptu concert of princesses singing Star Wars. I am going to miss this when Violet starts school next week!

Have to run into work today, as my boss is taking a furlough day, and edit pages. Fun, fun. Then tonight is a city council meeting, again, more fun. All this and I have a slight head cold. Sniffle.

But overall things are good. Just taking care of business.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Concert before bed

One more week until Violet starts school. I think I may try to go light next week so I can hang out at home more. This will be the first year that Violet goes all-day every weekday to school. Makes me sad. I need Violet time!

Cindy keeps reminding me that there are summers and they have days off during the year, but it is still the end of an era where we have more time with her than others.

My options are clear. I could quit my job and be a volunteer at the school -- a real possibility -- but in the end I think that I would go nuts, and while I love my kids, I am pretty short fused with other people's children.

At least I will still get concerts before bed.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's purple and red and cute all over?

Purple and red make a pattern according to Violet.

Look out Project Runway!

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Monday, August 09, 2010


"Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach." -- Arnold Schwarzeneggar

Cindy bought these weights for when she is dancing with the girls. The girls found them this morning and started a little workout. It was pretty funny watching Violet direct Lilly in a workout with weights Lilly could barely pick up.

Off to the park!


Sunday, August 08, 2010

How many toothbrushes do two little girls need?

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Well this weekend has been nice.

The last two days we have stayed close to home, we went out for swimming and that's about it.

Cindy got naps both Saturday and Sunday, and I got to sleep in.

After two weeks of a lot of work, it was nice to have a weekend of just messing around. Cleaning up, folding clothes and lounging.

Yes, Wilsonville had Fun in the Park and Goat Day today -- but honestly I needed a break.

There are a number of fairly complicated stories coming up for The Spokesman ( and the political season will start heating up here in the next month.

Plus, I needed to get the house ready for Madden 11 coming out Tuesday!!! (It's an NFL football game for my Xb0x -- thanks Mom and Dad for the gift certificate!)

Kids are great, and I will take some pictures tomorrow. I have another day off with just the kids and it should be fun. We are going to do a photo shoot!

Well, off to change the laundry.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Daddy, I'm on the phone!

Lilly would play with me this morning, but she is too busy on the phone....

Today I am hanging out with Lilly-bean -- Violet will be here soon from camp. Then this afternoon we are going to watch Scooby-Doo while I work on one last freelance story.

My dad was cool enough to pick up Violet because my car is in the shop getting brakes. The money I made in Southern Oregon for freelancing -- going to pay for the brakes I burned up getting there. Heh.

Well, at least I got to do fun stuff.

Tonight is city council, which is always fun.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Survived the sleep study

So my doctor wanted me to have one of those sleep studies done -- I think this is a rite of passage for all fat people. Skinny people be warned! If you get fat, people make fun of you AND you get to have this amazing experience.

Now I know a lot of you skinny people videotape yourselves having sex -- I have never broached that topic with Cindy for fear we would end up on the Discovery Channel as "Never before seen footage of the mating ritual of Harbor Seals!" When you get a sleep study done, they videotape you sleeping. Which weirded me out.

Anyway, if they notice that you stop breathing while you sleep, because the rolls of the fat in your neck close off your airway when you lay down, then they march into your room and fit you with this goofy-looking breathing machine that goes over your nose and forces air down your throat so the Egg McMuffin you had for breakfast that was added to your jowels doesn't choke you to death.

Last night I drove to Milwaukie, where they have a sleep lab. This very nice lady then explained to me how it works. Then I got to watch a marketing video by the people who make the CPAP Machines. Sure they explain the "disease" and then go on about how great their machines are. It's like watching an "educational" video about the new Mustang GT.

The technician was nice, and then started wiring me up. Bunch of sensors on my face, scalp, chest, legs and even behind my ears. Two belts across my chest and gut to monitor breathing, and then a heart monitor on my finger to measure blood oxygen levels. Lights out, now go to sleep.

So as I am laying there, I can hear the whirring of the camera gears as she moved it around. I couldn't get to sleep. Finally, when I did fall asleep she came on over the intercom "MR. JOHNSON, CAN YOU PLEASE SLEEP ON YOU BACK FOR 10 MINUTES?"

I nearly jumped out of my skin for two reasons. One, God was telling me how I should sleep (I was still asleep when thinking this so give me a break) and two, God was a woman, which means all men are going to Hell.

I was woken up again at around 3 a.m. and told that I didn't meet the threshold for needing to be hooked up to a CPAP Machine during the test. Good news. However, the salespeople, errr, sleep doctors might look at the study and determine I still need the machine.

I woke up at 6 a.m., had all the stuff taken off me, and then drove home. Where I discovered that taking a sleep tests means that they put the sensors on with tree sap. So now, in different areas of my body where the sensors were attached, it feels like I rubbed pine sap on my skin. So far today I am on my third shower. Most of the sap is gone, however, the glue behind my ears I can't seem to get rid of, and it is driving me crazy.

This week was nuts because I was in Ashland Monday and Tuesday, then slept in Milwaukie Friday night. What I need is a couple of nights home, in my own bed, and I think then I will feel good again.

Anyway, sorry for the complaining. Good news, but I am ready for a good night's sleep.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Help! I'm drowning!

OK, remember the old bald guy on Baywatch that you never really noticed but was always there to keep the show "real."

He was my hero tonight.

The girls have been taking swimming lessons for the last three years and during lesson time there is a lap swim that you can do on another part of the pool. I have never tried it for fear of being harpooned.

Recently I have seen that wonderful show called "Whale Wars" where hippies, err, environmentalists, go to Antarctica to protect whales from the Japanese. South Park did an excellent job of showing the amazing work the Sea Shepherds do here: Whale Whores.

Tonight, I donned my board shorts (admit it you thought I was going to say Speedos) and hit the pool to see how I would do in the lap swim.

I raced to the pool from the shower area, afraid that someone was going to scream "OH MY GOD IT'S THE POLAR BEAR FROM LOST!!!"

I was trying to be inconspicuous, but once I got my girth into the pool, a small tsunami of "2012" proportions washed several small children in lessons out of the pool and onto the grass outside the Canby Swim Center. Once the warning sirens stopped, I got a kick board and started out for the other end of the pool.

I kicked.

I kicked some more.

I kicked even more.

I wasn't moving.

Finally, I gave up, pushed the blue board out of my way, and flailed my way to the other end of the pool, grabbing the attention of three lifeguards. When I finished splashing my way across the pool, I was met at the edge by three guys, all with a very concerned look on their faces.

"Sure you want to be in the deep end?" -- This one made me feel like my 2-year-old Lilly.

"You OK man?" -- This one looked around like he was looking for a crane to help lift me out of the pool like they used for Keiko.

"Try keeping your feet closer to the surface, use your core." -- This one obviously didn't see my core is filled with marshmallow filling.

I made it back to the other end of the pool without incident, but all three guys were keeping a watchful eye on me.

I popped up out of my swimming position and look at them, "Everything is going great! Haven't been harpooned yet."

They laughed, but I could still see they were concerned.

"You know, we have fins you can use," said the helpful one, who finally realized I had no core muscles.

"I need an outboard," was my reply, as I put the fins on my feet. I was sure water wings were going to be next.

Over the course of the next 30 minutes, I lost track of how many times I went back and forth.

All I know is that when I got out of the pool, my legs wouldn't work anymore. My arms were sore, and I was kind of dizzy. Funny, didn't even feel like I was working out.

I am writing this tonight because I can't move from my computer. My legs are jelly and Cindy is putting the girls to bed. Oh sure I have work to do, but the notepads are across the room, so I can't get to my notes.

Hopefully Cindy will finish soon so I can have some help getting up.

Important lesson learned today: the pool is safe, thanks to Sea Shepherd and Baywatch.

I think this could be the start of a new chapter in Operation: Fat Ass.

Stay tuned.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Can't sleep

I treasure days like today. I for the first time in a long time got several hours of just peace and quiet. Actually eight hours almost straight of me, music and time to think.

I didn't realize when I had kids that life would turn into constant white water, running from one appointment to another, finding babysitters, cleaning up toys, talking about poop way, way too much.

While I do tend to run around, joking, laughing and talking probably too much, I do like to take time every now and then and just think and analyze.

Recently I have been having this internal conflict. I am hurling toward the time when I will be able to go back to full time. Now, ignoring the fact that the newspaper industry has recently had some issues and I may never get another full time job, the bigger question is do I want to go back?

I am a competitive person, and I also love what I do. It's like a drug. But there is one part of what I do that I absolutely hate with every fiber of my being: death stories.

Just last week I got to see my co-worker at The Wilsonville Spokesman cover a funeral -- his third since I started in June of '08. He did great work, getting some pretty powerful pictures and writing a story about a poor family trying to deal with losing their son to a swimming accident.

It reminded me of just what it means to go full-time. To chase not just the fun City Hall story, the interesting feature or the latest political intrigue, but to cover the missing kids, the murdered wives, the teens that die in car crashes. Makes me pause.

Does that mean I have lost my edge?

Today, however, as I was driving in the car, going to cover some things I have never experienced before, and quite honestly wouldn't experience if it wasn't for my profession, it hit me. No matter what happens in the next 12 months, I get paid to write. I get paid to go to city meetings and make sense of them. I get paid to go on vacation and write about it. I get paid to have a great time at this moment in time.

You really can't beat that.

Now, if you will excuse me, I probably should get some sleep... :)


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sad today

I have a bunch of work this week and won't get to spend much time with the girls.

Here we are with about 6 weeks left of summer, so when I things slow down I am going to plan an adventure or two with the rugrats.

Maybe an off swim lesson trip to the pool. I think I will need Cindy's help with that, because watching two in the pool could be tricky.

I will post some entries over the next day or two. I may get some time while I am waiting for appointments.

Hope you all had a good weekend. Post a comment, I want to see if anyone is migrating over from Facebook.

All the best!

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Friday, July 23, 2010

American Girls

Violet and Brietta, her American Girl doll. Thanks Auntie Carrie!

I am teaching Violet to sing the Intel song when someone says Intel.

I will update this weekend.


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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Awesome outfit

Lilly has great fashion sense, dont you think?

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Testing mobile blogger


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We're Back!!!

OK, so sorry about the detour. I decided for about a year that Facebook was easier to use than just updating the blog. Well, Facebook sucks.

So I have decided to keep up with this blog again. I can post here and yes, the entire world can see it, but they have to be looking for it. Some of the posts might be short, or just photos, but I figured I would switch back to this. Plus more family like this than Facebook.

Sorry about that. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cannon Beach trip photos uploaded

IMG_6793, originally uploaded by Canby Chacal.

We are finally home now and today between Lilly meltdowns I was able to get these photos uploaded. You can see the whole group in the slideshow at the upper left corner of the blog.

Otherwise, visit Flickr and see the group bigger.

Nice to be home. Now to get LIlly to behave. :)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Beach Trip 2010

That's right, it's that time of year again, our annual Spring Beach Trip. This year we are staying at the North Oregon Coast -- Seaside to be exact -- because we were able to use a timeshare for free! Jen's brother has a timeshare he had to use or lose, so we were the beneficiaries.

I had a sinus infection the first few days and have been stoned on NyQuil, but today was the first day we hit the stores as a family. I had some stories to do in Cannon Beach, so we spent the day there, shopping.

If you look at the upper left you will see a little slide show of the girls during our day. Team Skorca is ready to come home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yes we are still alive

OK, so it's been a month. I took a freelance job that has kept me pretty busy and I have been doing more writing than normal. So sorry for the lack of updates. I will make it up to you!

Today the kids and I went to Pump It Up! a place with all these jumpy castles and slides. It was a good time.

We only had one melt down -- there were some toys for the little kids and Lilly took ownership of a xylophone. She slid down this slide and saw a little boy playing with HER toy, she walked over and punched him in the nose. The boy started fighting back and it was on.

So I had to do some combat parenting, with Lilly screaming because now she couldn't slide anymore and me telling her that she shouldn't punch people. That kid!

There was only one part that Lilly, 2, couldn't handle and it was an obstacle course that was too tall for her to get through. So I ended up trying to crawl in there to get her, and if you know me, you can imagine how funny that was.

Employee #1: Ralph, I think there is a black bear stuck in the obstacle course.
Employee #2: Nope, just another fat dad trying to get his kid out, cancel the call to animal control.

I am so proud of Violet, normally she is pretty timid, but lately she has been trying new things. It's fun to watch her conquer her fear and just do something that isn't in her comfort level. She is very proud of herself, and should be when she does things like that.

There was a big tall slide, and Lilly was all gung-ho to do it, but Violet was afraid. She didn't want her little sister to do it first, so she sucked it up and climbed up and slid down without any help. It was cool.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Cookie Madness

Violet and I made organic chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies last week. Fun times. We only destroyed the kitchen a little.

Reviews at work is that they were good, which is amazing since we didn't follow any directions, just went off memory.

Well off to go get pizza for the Marsh Family Christmas.