Monday, August 30, 2010

Parents of the Year

I probably haven't mentioned it since I have been lax in posting lately, but our son is playing flag football this year. This is the first real organized sport he has ever done, so we hoped he wouldn't want to stop halfway through since it goes until Halloween.

Anyway, his first game was this weekend (more on that later) which we thought he might be a little nervous about. I mean we were, so why not him? So, on Thursday when I picked him up from school he mentioned he hurt his ankle during recess and he wasn't sure if he could play football on Friday. I let him know that he had no practice on Friday, just his game on Saturday. He said he wasn't sure how it would feel then either. I did take a quick peek at his ankle at home and didn't notice anything, and he seemed to limp only occasionally. Jenn and I decided to keep an eye on him, but felt that he might be exaggerating a little bit due to being nervous about his first game. We even told him that we could take him to the doctor to get a shot or something hoping this would make him realize it wasn't too bad.

On Friday all the kids in flag and tackle football got together and went to the local high school football game to cheer them on. He seemed to be doing okay as he ran and jumped around with the other kids. At this point we were pretty sure he was exaggerating his injury due to the first game jitters.

Flash forward to game day, I ran some errands before the game while Jenn got him ready. When I came home our son was getting dressed and Jenn told me to go look at his ankle. Yep, you guessed it, it was swollen and slightly black and blue. Parenting Win! We both felt terrible. The real funny part? He still wanted to play. We taped it up a little, told the coach to keep an eye on him and he played the whole game. He limped around a little bit at sometimes but he didn't want to stop playing. He even had a quarterback sneak for 30 yards. In other words, we were as wrong as we could possibly be.

So, if you want some parenting tips...go somewhere else.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hello Wisconsin!

Okay, now I'm officially back. I think. It's not easy coming back from vacation and having a million things to do the first three days you come home. I think we still have some stuff in our suitcase. Maybe we shouldn't come home from a trip the day we have to go to school to meet the teachers and the day before football pictures. But now the kids are back to school, I'm still off from work for a little bit and things are getting back to a more manageable state of chaos.

Yes, our trip. We went up to Door County, Wisconsin for a week. We were up in the northern part in a town called Ephraim. We stayed at Eagle Harbor Inn that was recommended by Mr. Unfocused. It was a perfect place for the family. Though we visited a few other towns as well. It was a nice, relaxing time. Oh, the the weather was great. When we left home we were just finishing a warm spell of 90's with the heat index near 100 for several days. It was nice to be in temperatures that were barely in the mid-70's after that. We even wore sweatshirts and long pants sometimes! It was great.

One thing we noticed right away was the wind. The day we got up there we went to eat at a place called Fred and Fuzzy's in Sister Bay which is located right on the water. The food was good, but the wind was a little strong that day. I felt bad for the servers who were having trouble keeping the drink glasses from falling over as they walked. We asked our server if it is always so windy and she said no that it was just a crazy day. She was right because we went back there on our last night and it was very pleasant. Sitting right on the water is the way to eat, especially if you have a good view.

One of the things I wanted to do in Door County was check out some lighthouses. We got to see two of them, which was fine, since some of the others are hard to get to. The first one we saw was the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park. We planned to rent some bikes and ride trail to the lighthouse. We changed plans a little when our daughter decided she wanted to ride in one of the carts that are pulled behind a bike rather than the tag-along style bike. This turned out to be a great decision on her part. There were a lot of hills that would have been tough for her even on the back of the bike. This way she had a nice ride and actually fell asleep on the way down. The lighthouse itself wasn't one of the designs that I have in my head when I think of lighthouses, but it was still cool that something built in the late 1800's is still hanging around.

The other lighthouse we went to was the Cana Island Lighthouse. Now this is what I think of when I hear the word lighthouse.

This one was a little more difficult to get to. We had to drive on some narrow roads and walk across a gravel path between the island and the mainland. It was a short path, but we could drive right up and park. This time my son and I went up to the top, If you can believe it. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before how I don't like heights, that's why I say that. The climb was a little shaky at first. There are 97 steps that make up the spiral staircase. The first 25 are pretty intimidating since it seems so open, but after you reach the first landing it is hard to see the bottom so you feel a little more secure.

The view from the top is great. I don't know how far you can see since a lot id it is water, but it seems like you can see forever.

One of the things I really wanted to do was get a nice picture of the sun setting on the water. Unfortunately, this was the best I could get.

I had another chance on the last night in Door County when were were at Fred and Fuzzy's again, but some clouds right at the water line ruined that chance. It's an okay picture, but as you can see, some low clouds again prevented me from getting the sun setting on the water itself.

So, what else did we do? We ate. A lot. We went to the famous Al Johnson's where there are goats on the roof. No, really. See:

We ate at a place called The Summer Kitchen that had some great soup. We also ate there twice. We hit the famous Wilson's Ice Cream the first night we were there. Look, we ate a lot, okay?

Oh, I almost forgot. We also went to see a play at the American Folklore Theater that is inside Peninsula Stat Park. We saw, "Cheeseheads: The Musical" which I highly recommend. The theater was outside, obviously, which was kind of a neat way to see a show. I tell you, if you want to see a lot of stars in the sky, go to a state park in Wisconsin at night. Very cool. One thing, if you do go to a show at the theater on a Wednesday night, don't be like us and decide to get something to eat after the show. See, the part of Door County we were in (if not all of it) closes at about 8pm. We couldn't find a place to eat to save our lives. Luckily the kids fell asleep as we were driving around to find something, so we just put the to bed. When we got our daughter out of the cart she said she couldn't remember eating. We told her she really liked it and just go to sleep. Please come to us for all your parenting tips! Jenn and I ended up having chips and salsa along with some fudge for dinner. (Sorry we ate your fudge, mom!)

To sum it all up, we had fun, ate a lot and gained about 12 pounds. After all, isn't that what you are supposed to do on vacation? Especially if it is Wisconsin?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back on the grid

Do people say they are back on the grid, or just off the grid?

Anyway, I'm back. We went to Wisconsin for almost a week and had very
little Internet acces. Our iPhones had almost no signal, or only l two
bars on Edge during our entire stay. How do people live like that?

We had a great time, but now it's back to the real world with school
starting in a few days. The kids are looking forward to the start
since they are young, so that's good. Also, I have to catch up on
blogs and all that good stuff, not to mention going through the 400
pictures I took. Good thing I don't go back to work for a little while

So, yes, I'm back.

I know you are excited.

How was your week?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekend Assignment #331: Cake v Pie

I know, I know, I've been bad with the weekend assignments lately. Well, actually, it's been the whole blog. These last couple of weeks have been busy, hopefully things will calm down soon. Probably not until sometime after next week.

Anyway, on with the assignment. Which do I prefer, cake or pie?

It's not contest in my mind. Cake! I don't mind pie, but I only really like apple pie. And even then I need to have it with ice cream to really enjoy it. Cinnamon ice cream if possible.

But, cake! There are so many good cakes, chocolate, devil's food, cake with chocolate frosting, ice cream cake! There are so many possibilities. There is only one cake I do not like -- lemon. Have you ever taken a big bite of a cake, thinking it's just a yellow cake and it turns out to be lemon? It's not a pleasant experience. It happened to me the first time as a kid. I didn't even know there was such a thing as lemon cake at the time. I mean, who wants a cake that tastes like lemon? Now when I see a cake is yellow I take a tiny bite first. Live and learn, as they say.

Oh, wait. I forgot about French silk pie. I like that. But still, I like more cake than pie. So, I'm keeping cake as my final answer.

Go over to the Weekend Assignment page to see what others think of this important question.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My day being a geek and taking photos

This weekend I went to Fermilab to participate in a photowalk. (The picture I posted the other day was from Fermilab, just in case you are keeping track at home). I was really excited about it, but also a little nervous since I knew a lot of good photographers were going to be there as well.

Of course, I was almost late. Partly because I tried to take a shortcut that didn't work, and because I should have left sooner. I was on time, but I was one of the last there to get there.

I can't really say a whole lot of the the lab and the work they do because this was a time for people to take photos and not a normal tour. We were free to ask questions, and I did ask some, but they wanted to give us as much time to shoot as they could. I will say this, everyone there was extremely nice. They took time away from a day off of work to come in and be there to show us around and answer questions.

Before I post pictures I have to say if you live anywhere close to Fermilab, you should go check it out. You don't even have to go for a tour, the piece of property it is on is huge (I can't remember how big) and large portion is restored prairie land along with a buffalo farm, lakes to fish, and biking trails. It's really a great place.

Okay, some photos. I'll try to describe what the photos is, if I can.

This is, obviously, a giant liquid nitrogen tank. There were plenty of these around the facility.

I believe this was part of the main injector. I'm sure you knew that. This was underground and hot. They said the water used to cool it is at 95 degrees. Doesn't seem very cool.

that is the main building, Wilson Hall, in the distance. They have some neat architecture at Fermilab.

I'm not exactly sure what this is, but it was at the New Muon Lab and it was big and bright yellow. I had to take a picture.

This was the cool roof at the Meson Test Beam Facility.

Plugs waiting to be plugged at the new Muon Lab.

I thought it was neat that they kept the old farm building around. Like I said, they've done a great job with preserving the land.

I'm not sure what it means, but I think this is a pre-accelerator at the Linac. It's one of the older parts of the facility and I guess is going to be taken down and re-done soon.

Another shot of Wilson Hall at the end of the tour.

There are plenty more pictures over at my Flickr account.

I took a ton of pictures and spent a long time filtering out the junk (a lot) and then working with the ones that were decent. I'm wiped out.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where was I this weekend?

Here's a photo to give you a hint.

I have a ton more pictures to go through before I can write up a proper post. Damn those digital cameras with large memory cards!

Hope you had a good weekend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hey, I still have a blog

Yes, I've been a complete slacker. Partly due to working the midnight shift last week, and partly because I'm lazy. So, how have you been? Good to hear. Anything interesting going on? Oh, that's good I guess. Me? Well, I can tell you about a few things if you have some time.

We went to see Despicable Me over the weekend. It was a pretty good movie. I didn't like it as much as Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon, but it wasn't terrible. ?I only had one little problem with the movie. Spoiler Alert!!! Gru's assistant guy, Dr. Nefario was a senile old man in the beginning. He seemed like he didn't know much of what was going on, and they played that up a bit, in my opinion. How come in the middle of the movie he is all of a sudden the bright one who gets this kids sent away? I know they were trying to show how Gru was changing, but it seemed a little too much of a change for the character. Then again, it's a kids movie. Why should I care?

On the subject of movies, why does everyone think it is okay to be a total slob at a movie theater? Pick up you garbage and get your damn feet of my arm rest before I cut it off! I don't need my elbow to com in contact with your foot that has been on the dirty, sticky movie theater floor. Blech!

Our son started flag football yesterday. This is is first organized sport in his short life. My mom has been bugging me for ages to sign him up for soccer but he says he doesn't want to do it. Why force him? This time a few of his friends from school are doing it so he was excited to try it out.

Yesterday, before practice, the coaches got all the kids together to give them the standard speech on what to expect and what they expect from the kids. I got a little nervous because it seemed a little intense and flag football was supposed to be fun. Turns out the coach was mostly talking to the kids playing tackle and when they all split up it seemed a lot more fun in the flag football area. I'm glad about that, I don't need our son to hate his first sport then never want to do anything again. Heck, If I had one of my soccer coaches in high school for my first coach as a little kid I'd never have played a full year of the sport.

This was also the first time he had to wear a cup. I asked him if he knew what a cup was. He said yes, then when I asked him where it goes he thought about it for a minute and said he had no idea. I guess wearing a cup is a rite of passage of sorts. I never played a sport where I had to wear one, that may be why I never grew up.

Okay, I need to go eat lunch.