Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day

I think we need to come up with a great tradition, because Leap Day only comes once every four years!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Do Not Insult The Chef

If someone is willing to rise early in the morning and pack warm food into a hand-washed, preheated thermos, it would be bad form to leave that food in the thermos untouched. Three days in a row.

Do not, under any circumstances, refer to that food as "disgusting."

That's it! Bread and water* for the rest of the week!

*Note to Texas DFPS: Bread will include meat, fish, or legume protein. There will also be some kind of fruit. And maybe a cookie.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

5K in Cowtown

Yesterday was the big Cowtown 5K race in Fort Worth. They had a marathon and some other races too, but we only really noticed those when our path to race parking was cut off by roadblocks, and we had to find an alternate route to our alternate route.

We rode the shuttle from remote parking to the race start. I think I need longer arms if I want to successfully shoot the whole team.

While it was a sunny day destined for the 60's, the morning was quite cold, and the tall downtown buildings both blocked the sun and channeled a strong, biting wind. We did our best to get warmed up before the race.

We started out near the back of the pack, and never really moved up. We ran some at first, but ended up walking most of the course. Anna met up with some friends about a mile in, gave up her sore feet complaints and ran off with them. Alyssa made it more than two miles before she ended up on my shoulders.

Anna finished the course in 1:00:15, and Alyssa and I were a few minutes behind her. I made her run the last twenty yards or so, just as a matter of principal.

I used to run quite a bit a number of years ago, and it was nice to do a 5K again, even though I nearly tripled my best time. I figure it's only to be expected, carrying an extra 100 pounds through the course (70 of Alyssa's, 30 of mine).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm an Advanced Reader

I finally received my Advanced Reader Copy of James Dashner's The 13th Reality - The Journal of Curious Letters.

First of all, let me just say that I am very honored to have the esteemed Mr. Dashner recognize my accomplishments as an Advanced Reader in this way. Thank you.

When I first learned this book was coming to me, I immediately made plans to insert it into the bedtime story rotation. However, the girls and I are currently trying to discover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, after which we will need to learn about the Deathly Hallows. By that time, the book will have been officially released - and what's the point of getting an early copy of a book if you don't read it before everyone else gets the chance?

So I have made the executive decision to shelve the book I'm currently slogging through, and begin reading about Atticus Higginbottom on my own.

It's commonly accepted in the publishing world that you can learn everything you need to know about a book from the first three pages, and having read those three pages already I can tell this one is going to be good. The two characters I've met so far have been well written and will, I believe, be very fun to voice out loud.

Finding time to read (other than to the girls at bedtime) has been rather difficult lately, but this book comes with a built-in deadline - I need to finish by March 13th. After that, The 13th Reality will be unleashed on the world, and I will lose the coveted pre-release "neener neener" ability.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Daddy's New Door

I took the day off so I could replace the door to my office. No, it's not what you think. This was a preplanned, premeditated door replacing - no temper tantrums involved. Honestly.

I have a number of laser printers in my office that I use for work - I write printer drivers, after all. As far as printer smells go, these things are relatively benign - nothing like a heavy solvent or UV curable inkjet printer.

But they do have a smell, and the smell can cause problems. I bought an exterior door last fall in the hopes that it would do better at keeping the smells in the office. It's been sitting outside since Thanksgiving, getting rid of its own smells. Yeah, that's why I hadn't put it in yet.

It is starting to look like Kara may need to come home in the near future, and I wanted to make sure and have the door in before she does.

I didn't take before and after pictures, but the difference is kind of like this:

Monday, February 18, 2008

I Love President's Day

Happy President's Day!

While I am a patriotic kind of guy, I have to admit that I have a rather selfish reason for liking this holiday so much. That is because while I have the day off, the girls don't.

I had the day all to myself, and I could do anything I wanted. Well, actually I only had 8 hours, but that was good enough.

I thought about going back to bed and sleeping, but just knowing that I had the day to myself made sleep impossible. I also thought about going to a movie, but the only show out right now that I was really interested in seeing was one I knew the girls would want to see, too.

So in the end I did the dishes, did some laundry, cleaned the bathroom, and went to Wal-Mart. I did give myself a full two hours to write, getting ready for the LDSStorymaker's Conference Boot Camp.

After school, I took the girls to see The Spiderwick Chronicles. We listened to the audiobooks last year, so it was interesting to see the movie. Anna enjoyed it. Alyssa thought it was too scary - and I must admit I thought it was a little intense for PG.

I wanted to like it more than I did. It was a good movie, but I enjoyed Mark Hamill's narration of the audio book much more.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Breakfast in Bed

I would have liked to sleep in this morning, but a rather noisy thundershower got in the way of that plan. After I made my way to the restroom, it became clear that Anna was up to something of a surprise culinary nature, so I quickly returned to bed.

Unable to go back to sleep, I played with my ukulele for a few minutes before Anna arrived with breakfast in bed for me!

She explained that she didn't know how to make scrambled eggs, then quickly added "I probably shouldn't have said that," knowing full well that I now intend to teach her that delicate and complicated task.

After I ate my breakfast and read for a few minutes, I got up. On a 1-10 messiness scale, the kitchen was somewhere around a 7. In all fairness, however, it was at least a 6 when I went to bed last night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

A Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Valentine's Day promises to be a low-key event around here. I made a special breakfast for the girls, consisting of (almost) heart-shaped sausage and toast embellished with a red jam heart. Also, there was cocoa in heart-covered mugs and apple juice with a splash of heart-colored cherry thrown in.

Things got off to a chilly start, as the thermostat decided to not engage the heater this morning, but it reconsidered once I removed it from and reattached it to the wall.

Also, the matching black heart-covered shirt and red stretch pant outfits I laid out last night ran afoul of the prepubescent fashion police. Fortunately that only lasted for a few minutes, and ended when the blue and white hoodie (not part of the original ensemble) was removed.

I'm working the "early shift" here today, and we'll be headed for Dallas as soon as school is over for a Valentine's afternoon with Kara. I have no idea what kind of party we're going to have, but I have eight hours to figure something out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Making Their Day

I got an award! Two awards, actually. Well, really the same award - twice. But still, I'm honored.

The award is the You Make My Day award. And I'm relieved to report that I didn't get it from Dirty Harry.

The award was given to me by both Tristi and LDSPublisher. I'm glad I was able to make their days. Thanks, ladies.

Now the rules say I'm supposed to pass this along to 10 bloggers who make my day. I've made a handful of blog friends - most of them have already been given the award, but let's see what I can do here.

1. Nicole over at A Good Day. She hasn't posted much since Princeton got home, but who can blame her?

2. Autumn at Queen of Chaos. She cracks me up, and makes me think.

3. JuSaMee over at JuSaMee's Blog. It's fun to follow a different side of Hawaii, and she also cracks me up.

4. Malia and Stuart at Hang Loose, Hang Ten, Howzit, Shake a Shaka. Their blog makes me wish I'd tried harder to learn to surf while in Hawaii, but very grateful for everything I was able to experience growing up in Laie.

5. Mahina at sweet, colorful mangoes. Malia's sister, her blog is always good for a smile. I love how she finds the magic in everyday moments and shares them with us.

6. Josi at What is a Sundial in the Shade? Josi's a talented writer who inspires me in my efforts to write, and her humorous take on the foibles of life are a joy to read.

7. Jenna at Cranberry Corner. Jenna's life and challenges seem so very different from mine, and yet they seem all so familiar. She attacks both with a strength and faith that I hope I can achieve someday.

Well, that's seven - not too bad. These blogs all truly make my day. Thanks to all of you.

Monday, February 11, 2008

My New Excuse

This has been quite a weekend. In addition to fighting the cold/flu, I had a visit with the Lyme doctor. Last month, when we took Kara there, he suggested that I allow myself to be tested for Lyme as well. While the current conventional wisdom is that Lyme can't be transmitted from person to person, there is increasing evidence that it in fact can.

Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme bacteria, is a spirochete - as is Syphilis. Draw your own conclusions.

So on Friday I got my test results and, as suspected, my test came back positive. But not the "kinda sorta if-you-read-it-this-way" positive that Kara's test had. This was a "you've-had-this-for-a-long-time slam-dunk" positive.

Which actually makes some sense if you think about it, and really answers a few questions.

Before my family moved to Hawaii, we lived in Nebraska. I distinctly remember being bitten by a tick. This would have been in the late '70's, and Lyme disease was just beginning to show up in the public consciousness. Some experts say it hadn't spread to Nebraska that early, but that is the most likely explanation for my very positive test results.

I never really had symptoms, so we never suspected anything was wrong.

For the moment, these test results really don't change much. I will probably want to get this treated, but being asymptomatic at the moment I have a little flexibility. We still need to focus on getting Kara well.

One thing these test results do give us is another piece of Kara's puzzle. Most likely she got Lyme from me. Her test results can (and have been) interpreted many different ways. But she has all of the symptoms of Lyme, and the fact that I have had Lyme for so long, coupled with an increasing body of evidence implying Lyme can be spread through intimate contact, removes a certain amount of doubt.

But as for me, all I really have is a good new excuse.

You see, since Lyme disease can cause cognitive dysfunction, I now have built in justification for every lapse of judgment that occurred in the last thirty years. "Yeah, that was pretty stupid. But I was suffering from undiagnosed Lyme disease at the time..."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cold and Flu Season

Monday and Tuesday, I felt like I was fighting something. Wednesday evening it fought back hard, and it won a few rounds. Runny nose, achy muscles - the works.

I went to bed Wednesday night hoping to get some rest and relief. I awoke shivering at 1:30, and decided to turn the heater up a bit. I usually keep it around 65 at night - that's what blankets are for - but figured that keeping a sick person warm was worth a few bucks in electricity.

However, the temperature had dropped to 62, and while the thermostat showed that the heater was on, the eerie silence told me otherwise. I fiddled with the buttons a bit, but could not coax the heater to life.

I put on an extra blanket and a second shirt, but I was still shivering so hard I thought I would bite my tongue. At that point I got up and took a hot shower, and by the time I was done I was warm and relaxed enough to go back to sleep.

And the problem with the heater? Nothing. As soon as the heater guy made the 40 mile drive to our house yesterday, it started working again.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Government Health Warning

This just in through the email distribution network:
Government Health Warning
Do Not Swallow Bubble Gum!

Thanks, Marri!