Archive for August, 2009



Donuts for breakfast……………………………………………………$6.15

Lunch at Subway (they make it our way)……………………..$22.84

Parking…………………………………………………………………… $15.00

(we were so far away it should have been free)

1 Ticket into Discovery Kingdom for Dave…………………..$40.25 (yeah, AAA)

1 Large free refills souvenir cup…………………………………$13.00

We got 3 diet cokes and 6 lemonades on the free refill program

Smuggled snacks from home…………………………………….?????

What’s the value of 10 capri suns, a gallon size zip lock bag of pretzels,  and half gallon   of animal cookies?

Dinner at McDonalds……………………………………………..$21.76

Gas home………………………………………………………………$9.17


Free Tickets                                                                           $137.34

Shoku fun

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The Electric Shovel


Hey Everybody, dave still at the helm.

Today is day 2 of Chanel’s vaction.  I’m sure that she’ll tell you all about is when she gets back.  It sounds like she is having more fun than she anticipated. (However, in all fairness, she set pretty low expectations.)

Today we, again, spend the better part of the day shoveling rocks.  It’s quite amazing how many rocks we have.  We have been shoveling for, literally, months and still can uncover more rocks.  It’s like the guy who lived here before us was Pyornkrachzark,  (Try that for an obscure reference.)  In any case, this led us to an interesting conversation which I’d thought that I’d share:

Mikey: Someone should invent an electric shovel!

dave: They already did.

Marshall and Mikey: Really?!?

dave: Yea, it’s called a backhoe or a digger.

Marshall: No, I mean a robot one.

dave: It is a robot.

(Sorry. As an engineer, I insist on using the word “robot” to mean something different than what 6 or 8-year-old boys picture.)

Marshall: No I mean one that looks like a person but can hold a shovel and shovel for you.

Mikey: Yea, that would be cool… Hey, do you think we could buy a backhoe?  Maybe a little one?

Truth be told, I’ve never even considered calling up U.S. Robotics and Mechanical Men, Inc.  However, on a day like today, the thought of a backhoe has crossed my mind more than once.


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Hi everyone, dave again.
So today marks the real “day 1” of Chanel’s vacation.  Yesterday she left us for SoCal.  Today she arrived in Sin City.  I am on “vacation” this week so I can watch the kiddos and give her a much deserved break.  Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t really do the whole “sitting around relaxing” thing.  Today was in line with the trend as that I spent the whole day outside with shovels and rakes and implements of destruction.  After two full days of this abuse of my body, I am sore.  It takes all the energy I have just to lift this glass of vodka in hopes that it helps dulls the pain.

But that is not what I came to tell you about.  I came to talk about my grandpa.

large 2

That’s right, my children’s great grandfather.  Well, for most people, the image of great grandparents is one of someone sitting around and watching Judge Judy.  This is not mine.  This man’s license says that he turns 73 next month, but you wouldn’t know it from meeting him.  You might guess him 50 at a glance but to work with him, you’d guess him 23.  I have never met anyone who can work at this level of intensity for-ev-er.  Today, he stopped by to lend us a hand.  First, he started out loading buckets of rocks onto his trailer.  (He is building something at home and thought that he could use them for some back fill.)  When there were no more rocks to be loaded, he started in with a shovel and wheelbarrow.  We were running 2 wheelbarrows.  I would take one 30 feet and dump it and, by the time I got back, the other was full.  He out paced me, out worked me, and generally just made me look slow.  I think that he would have worked all day but the inability of my two sons and me to keep up appeared to be frustrating him.  Under normal circumstances, I would feel bad about not being able to keep up with a member of the AARP when it comes to running a shovel.  But, in reality, I know that Grandpa has out worked men much better than I.  So this one’s to you, Grandpa.  A man who can do it all.


I’m proud to call you my grandpa.  Thanks for the help, even if it drives me to drink. 😉

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Hello everyone, this is dave.

Chanel is on vacation so I have been filling in.  I figured that I might as well fill in on the blogging, too.  I fully admit that I don’t cook as well or clean as well.  I’m sure I don’t blog as well too (it’s hard to be a super mom) but the kids are suffering with dad at the helm, so why not the blog readers too?

Speaking of the kids suffering.  One thing that Chanel has me (and, let’s face it, 99% of the world) beat at is cooking.  I get to cook for the kids while she is away.  Now, I can cook.  I learned from the boy scouts and can cook all sorts of things from Sheppard’s pie in a dug out charcoal pit to peach cobbler in a Dutch oven.  But I, honestly, haven’t cooked much with a roof over my head.  Today, as she left, my wife asked me to use up the left over  broccoli.  Just as I was thinking of steaming it and drowning it in cheese, she added, “in a frittata.”  I said sure and went to look up what the heck a frittata is.  After a trip to Wiki and allrecipes.com, I learned that it’s an omelet that you cook in the oven.  For some reason, you add heavy cream to it.  OK I can handle this.  I do omelets.  Many an omelet has passed over my Coleman stove.  I got out the food processor and went to town.  Grate the cheese, done.  Chop the broccoli, done.  Then, I started pulling things from the fridge for the “leftover frittata”.  Green onions, sausage, barbeque chicken, carrots.  Everything has been “food processed.”  Rob grabbed me when I went for the rice.  I guess you have to draw the line somewhere.  In any case, in it went.  Then the heavy cream.  It didn’t look like enough cream, so I added some half and half (that’s only half cream, right?  So add double!)  Then I poured the eggs in.  OK, technically, I poured the eggs all over the counter and then scraped them in by putting the pie pan next to the counter and pushing them over the edge, but who’s counting?  A good mashing with my fingers and put it in the oven.  The recipe (which I followed… ummm… shall we say, loosely) said 400F for 18 minutes.  After 20 it was liquid.  After 40, liquid.  After an hour, the edges were firmed up.  After 90 minutes, it hit the table.  Another lesson I leaned from scouting.  The longer dinner takes, the easier it is to eat whatever the concoction you get. 🙂


The children normally eat 3 – 5 helpings of Chanel’s cooking and then fight for who can lick the pan.  My babies went ahead and pushed the plate away and asked for a banana.  The children (and my buddy, Rob) all joined me in eating.  No one complained and everyone said “thank you” but let’s just say that frittata breakfast burritos may be on tomorrow’s menu.  Tomorrow night, I think that we’ll Barbeque.

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For the past couple of months I’ve had a disgusting five gallon bucket atop my fridge.  It’s full of hard apple cider.  This past week Dave’s decided it’s fermented long enough.  He wanted to try it out.  I was hesitant.  I didn’t want to loose my eye sight or control of my neurological system.  It was a long process, trying this cider.

First we needed some courage.  Liquid Courage.

courageTesting the nasty vomit looking concoction definitely required some courage.  After numbing the taste buds and dulling our synapses, we headed into the kitchen.

the processionNotice the nastiness at the bottom of the bucket.  Also notice the free advertising for our local brewery supply store.  I don’t think we could have hired someone to do better product placement.

And the opening of the bucket.

does that smell good?At this point, I was ready to put the lid on it and drop it off at the next hazardous waste collection site.

But not Dave.  I think this picture was after Dave went back for a second whiff.  Who goes back for a second whiff?

steeling himself

And after taking a second sniff, who takes a drink?

taste 1Notice the cider.  It’s murky and brown.  Was it good?

was it good?I guess that face answers our question.  Do you want another drink?

hmmmThis picture was right before Dave told me it wasn’t that bad.  I should try some.  And immediately after pretended to go blind.

I’m a good sport.

yum!We definitely brewed some alcohol.  It tasted like apple flavored medicine mixed with pulp.   It wasn’t very palatable.  Actually, it was down right gross.  We threw some cinnamon sticks in, put the lid back on, and threw it on top of the fridge again to mellow.

In a few weeks I’ll let you know if we’re going to be mass producing our apple cider along with our root beer. Or if we’ve lost our eye sight and function of the right side of our body.

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