Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cat Exchange

Since we finished landscaping the back yard, we've been letting the cats out.

Garbanzo meows constantly in the morning to be let out. If it is a work day, we don't let him out. He can be really loud and obnoxious. Pinto just sulks.

When we do let them out, sometimes only one wants to go out. So we let that one out. A while later, the first one wants back in and the other wants to go out. They pass each other passing through the door, until the next time.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

EJP Update

9/5/2007: EJP just counted to 49, with only a little help in three places. Pretty amazing.

Since school began after labor day, his pre-reading skills have really taken off. (RCP: Provide details!)

He is taking a Spanish class after school on Tuesdays. The teacher said that he is doing well in it, which makes me believe RCP that he's got an ear for language. We are plotting on getting him in the dual immersion Spanish/English program at his future school. [M, do you have advice on how to raise a polyglot?]

9/15/2007: Today, we went to the park near our house. SKGP rode my scooter, and EJP rode his bike, and I walked. The training wheels on his bike are a bit tweaked (since I put it together), with one side higher up, so he's got a wicked angle when riding. There is a sidewalk around the play structure at the park, and he rode around and around it. After a while, I could see him balancing for a second or three. When he falls over, he very calmly puts his foot down and stands up and doesn't hurt himself.

If we devote some time to it, I'm sure he is going to be riding a two wheeler soon (way ahead of his sister).

10th Anniversary Cruise

In early August, RCP and I went on a cruise for our 10th (!) anniversary. It was a 4 night jaunt, from LA, to San Diego and then back up to Catalina, then to Ensenada, Mexico and back to LA. If you look at a map of California, you will see that this routing doesn't make any sense -- the harbor is 20 miles from Catalina.

When booking the cruise, I spent some time finding the cheapest fare, and Orbitz won. It was about $750 for the two of us, which I thought made the whole trip a cheap date. Our room was small, but it had a window and we weren't under water.

We left the kids with Gram and Pop, and they seemed to have a good time.

Our dinner companions were nice people. One of the couples was married on the same day as us, so the night of our anniversary was festive. Another couple was from Brazil, which is fascinating because why would someone come from Brazil for a silly cruise along the California coast? (Answer: they were here for a job thing.)

I bought a bottle of absinthe in Mexico, which is banned here. I appear to retain my sanity, so it isn't everything its cracked up to be.

I discovered that I like playing blackjack. I won about $150 on the first night (which is HUGE stakes for me), and stayed about $100 ahead for the rest of the trip.

This ship doesn't really compare to the Freedom of the Seas, which is the huge boat we took last year. The crew on this one seemed like they were in training, compared to the amazing service we had on previous cruises.

Take A Gun To Play Day

Early in the summer we went over to my friend Erik's house to have dinner and let our kids play together. They have a 2-year-old son.

That day EJP was obsessed with his toy gun. He has a cool looking Nerf pistol, which he insisted on bringing. So, he's running around pretending to shoot stuff. I felt a little strange, with our big 4 year old kid exposing gun play to a 2 year old. I hope we didn't alienate the parents.

All three of the kids had fun splashing around in a little inflatable swimming pool. They pulled a play structure next to it, and used the slide to slam into the pool. It was funny. It was also nice to hang out with adults for a while.

The next day, EJP wasn't interested in playing with the gun anymore. I hope we didn't turn little Dylan into a psychopath or anything.

Disneyland!

We are going to Disneyland on Friday, October 5th. So if anyone wants to come, see you there!

High School Musical 2 Mania

SKGP is in the grasp of High School Musical 2 mania. She recently had a babysitter and her friend Emily and sister Danielle came over. I downloaded the sound tracks for the first movie and #2 (which she definitely prefers). She's been listening to them constantly and watching the movie on Tivo whenever she gets the chance.

She's kind of like a teenager now, which is sort of cute, and sort of sad.

Apparently, she's not alone in her obsession. At a girl scout meeting this week, RCP asked the girls if they knew about HSM, and they all started screaming excitedly. When she told them the troupe was going to HSM on Ice, they lost it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Note to Self: Less Squash

Our garden is doing very nicely. We have lots of tomatoes and varieties of squashes. We have made one batch of salsa, and we need to do another shortly.

Today, while doing some lawn maintenance, I decided to clean up the garden area a bit. There were lots and lots of large dead squash leaves buried in the middle of other plants. I hacked them back, and moved a large living plant that had decided to grow on top of one of our tomatoes.

While it is nice to have home grown squash, they are not my favorite vegetables, and they take over the whole area. Next year, remember to plant fewer squashes, and don't put them in the middle. Instead, put them on the edges so they can grow outwards.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Street Naming Committee

We have a project named Amberwood, which will be a very nice residential community with lots of parks and walking trails and good stuff. I need to come up with the names of the streets. Due to location and such, we were thinking of using some sort of fruit theme.

I'd like to do something that's a little more interesting (to me). I'd love to use names from science fiction books that I like. The trick is the names have to fit in enough with each other that the City will let them through.

If you have any great ideas for names of streets, let me know.

On another project, we had an intersection of Sleater and Kinney that I was proud of. I think its gone now, since we had to move the streets around.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Worst Day Ever

This morning, the kids had gymnastics, and after than we went to Costco. Then SKGP and RCP went to Target to do some shopping. SKGP decided that she wanted a new Cabbage Patch Kids, and apparantly threw a giant tantrum that lasted the entire time at Target.

When they got home, SKGP was sent to her room to chill out. RCP had a little talk with her, and SKGP said that today was the worst day ever.

At dinner tonight, as we sat outside on our new patio furniture on a lovely summer evening, we talked about her tantrum. EJP began to chant with an English rock star accent "Worst day ever. Worst day ever. Worst day ever."

It was hilarious.

Phone

I left the phone in the windows of my car while we were at Costco today, and the car got mighty warm. When I got back, I hit the On button, and (magically) the phone turned on.

It is rebooting every half hour, but it was doing that before the pool incident.

Aqua Treo 650

I dropped my phone in the pool yesterday. I've been having lots of trouble keeping my phone functioning, but dropping it in the pool seems really bad. I hope once it dries out, it'll take a battery charge and start working again.

I've got another month on my contract.

Some might ask if I'm sabotaging it so I can get a new, cheaper iPhone. I don't think so, but who knows how the mind works?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SKGP's New School

SKGP is now in her second week at the brand new Las Animas School. We went back to school last night (9/4/07). Her teacher is not that entertaining as a speaker, but she seems nice and qualified, and it's a nice campus. There's lots of traffic, so it's so hard to get in and out, but SKGP is taking the bus, which she is very excited about and it's a great thing for us too.

The playing fields aren't done yet; perhaps by October. It's a closed campus, so they throw all the parents out before the kids go into their classes, which is a little off-putting. What are they trying to hide?

Its adorable watching her stand in front of our house, waiting for the bus. She's a real kid now.

Coe Fire

There is a large fire at Henry Coe Park, which has been burning since Labor Day. It has filled up the valley with smoke, and the sun is at crazy orange color like an eclipse or other apocalyptic sign.

Last night, SKGP had trouble sleeping because she was worried about the fire getting our house and us. We explained that it was miles and miles away, but she was still freaked out. She was up until around 4 AM, off and on.

Pirate Day Is Coming

Batton down the hatches, Talk Like A Pirate Day is almost here! September 19. Do something piratical.



A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel in his fly.
The bartender asks him about it.
The pirate replies "Arrr, it's drivin' me nuts!"

Chowchilla

An article about one of the parts of one of our projects. They confused me with DMP.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Don't Catch Up With Me

You may have gotten an email asking you to join Quetchup.com (or some such spelling). Don't -- its a virus masking itself as a social networking site.

Sorry to all who were infected.