Music for the Masses

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Blog Is Officially Retired

Weef and I now maintain our blog at Come read about our mundanity there. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You know it's time to mow the lawn when ...

We seem to be losing water pressure in our sprinkling system. I'm not sure how or why--maybe it's something the city is regulating. I don't know. I *do* know that I popped the lid on our valve box that houses the secondary water line. Much to my chagrin, I found a few disturbing things:

  1. The inside of the box has become over-run with quack grass rhizomes and shoots. This isn't too surprising because our whole front yard is over-run with the stuff. Nothing I can do will kill it, either ... short of nuking the whole front with vegetation killer, which I *really* don't want to do.
  2. Nestled among the shoots and rhizomes was THE BIGGEST female black widow I have ever seen. She was at least 2.5" long. That's gargantuan by black widow standards.
  3. She must be the "get-around spider" of the yard cuz she had egg sacs all over the place. At least 3 or 4 that I could see, and who knows how many there were deeper in the hole.

So I put the lid back on and wondered what the heck I was going to do. As I sat on our sidewalk, contemplating my next course of action, I looked around the yard. All along the west side of the property, buttressed up against the shrubs that divide our yard from our neighbor's driveway, were black widow nests. There were at least a dozen ... probably closer to 20. I mean, they were EVERYwhere! That freaked me out.

Due to my quickly browning lawn, I knew I had to stick my hand in there. I also knew that doing so pre-maturely would probably end badly--at least with a healthy (see?! irony!) sized patch of necrotized tissue. Bad juju for someone who uses his hands for a living. Like I said, we have some shrubs that separate our property from our neighbor's. I took a relatively long twig off of it and began poking around in the valve box. Interestingly, the black widow immediately rallied around her two larges, most top-side egg sacs. It was rather cool to see. I mean, no ... she didn't rear up on her hind legs and knock the twig aside, but it was obvious that she was in a completely defensive mode. It was just cool to watch.

I think I'll take some pictures later tonight and post them. I don't really *want* to kill all the black widows. They keep our annoying bug population to a minimum. That's always nice, except our girls like to play in the front yard. Can't have that right now! It's strict backyard outside time for them until I figure out how to get rid of them.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heading Up to Yellowstone!

Tomorrow we embark on our 9th annual Yellowstone trip. HUZZAH! Weef and I have been every year with the exception of 2002, and that was only because we were busy commiserating after moving back from Phoenix. Other than that, from 2000 through last year, we haven't missed a year. It's been fun because we've seen a lot of changes in those almost 10 years. Lots of new growth--especially on the road heading from the west entrance to Madison Junction.

To that end, in another 10 years, it's going to be pretty tough to experience Yellowstone the way we're used to experiencing it--wide, open expanses, sweeping vistas ... the new growth is great to see because it means the park is alive and healthy, but it completely obliterates the view from the road.

One of the great thing about this trip is that I'm bringing along some new "toys" for my camera. I have a polarization filter that should allow for some pretty amazing lake and springs pics; I have a UV filter that will add some color depth to the brighter outdoor shots; I have a wide-angle lens that should allow for some broader landscape views; and I have a telephoto lens that I'm not too terribly confident in, but we'll see.

Another great thing is that the weather is going to be cold and wet--perfect for seeing animals en masse. Yogi, here we come!!

Anyway, I'll post pics on Facebook either when we get back or while we're there, if possible. The hotel we're staying in doesn't have wireless internet or ANY internet, so that might be a problem. There's a little internet cafe around the corner though, so maybe i'll post something from there. We'll see.

Huzzah for Yellowstone!

Friday, June 26, 2009

So long, Savannah Jane

our little family was blessed with a wonderful 9 month old baby girl for a couple of weeks. it's a rather sad story, and it has so many twists that i don't have time to write about all of it. i can tell you this much: she left a hole in our hearts the size of the grand canyon. what a beautiful, wonderful little angel. we'll miss her dearly.

some things we'll always remember about her:
  • the way she kicked her legs and flailed wildly whenever she's excited.
  • how she used to raspberry every so often when she's happy.
  • the little vein that ran right across the bridge of her nose.
  • her big blue eyes
  • how she'd coo in the morning to let us know she's awake, then how it would get more urgent the longer we'd try to sleep ...
  • how excited she would get when she saw us first thing in the morning
  • falling asleep holding her bottle straight up in the air
part of me is absolutely sure she'll be back. there are some very compelling arguments to be made for the point, but i won't go into those. let's just say that we're extremely familiar with her previous case (our wonderful friends adopted her older brother several months ago).

so long, savannah jane. we all miss you terribly and hope to see you again soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Throws the First Stone

That's right. The war has begun. Don't think you can get away with stigmatizing almost every child on my family's side and get away with it, Warner Bros. You picked the wrong person to piss off.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

David and Goliath--21st Century Style

Read this.

Watch the trailer. Become infuriated. I rarely condone anger on any level. This is one instance where indignation is completely and utterly justified.

I have been enraged to this level one other time in my life. That was the morning of 11 September, 2001.

It's one thing to glorify sex and drugs in movies. That line has been so crossed to the point where we can't even turn around and see where the line is, it's so far out of view.

Exploiting orphaned children, THEN stereotyping and stigmatizing them in this manner is morally reprehensible and dispicable. This line is about to be crossedby Warner Bros and Time Warner. I'm going to do all I can to keep that line from being breached.

At the bottom of the link are 3 addresses. Write to these morally bankrupt companies and inform them of your displeasure with this film. I personally intend to write them scathing letters and inform them that I intend to launch a full-scale attack against their company. I intend to find out if it's even legal to launch this film. To me, this borders on libel and slander of a group of children who are incapable of defending themselves. It stigmatizes and sterotypes children who, for whatever reason, were abandoned.

As a parent whose two angels have come into his life through the miracle and gift of foster care, I URGE ANYONE WHO READS THIS TO TAKE ACTION. The time to sit idly by and hope nothing comes of this is past. Nothing changes if you hope the other guy does something about it. Write. Blog. Post your blogs to social sites and get the word out.

I am also creating a website that will be up and running by the weekend. Look for to be up and running by Friday. If not, email me and ask what my slow-pokeyness is all about.

This does not happen. Period.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I *Had* To Mention This ...

So, girl 2 is just about done with potty-training. Stubborn little pill that she is, she fought us tooth and nail (or bum and toilet paper, as I guess is more appropriate), but in the end, she/we did it.

With one fairly recent distinguishable exception ...

On Saturday, she was outside playing with girl 1, then I heard someone come in. A few seconds later, I heard the toilet flush. Then she came down stairs with her big announcement.

"Daddy! I went poo!!!"

"Great job, sweetie! I’m so proud of you!"

"In the backyard!!"

*silence while she grins her toothy grin and jumps up and down clapping*

"ummm … what?"

"Then I picked it and put it in the toilet!!"

*more silence*

"I …"


She said all of this with so much enthusiasm that it was hard to be upset about it. She was so proud for not pooping in her panties, as is so often the case with her, that all I could do was just sit there and let my mind flip flop back and forth between heaping praise on her for actually not soiling herself, and putting her in timeout for pulling down her pants and pooping on the back lawn like a dog. In the end, I did pretty much nothing other than stare back stupidly at her in sheer dumbfounded-ness.

Gotta love that kid.