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Archive for December, 2007

Merry Christmas

I see I’m about two weeks behind on this whole blogging thing.  Too many events, too little time to write about them…  So, we have had houseguests over the holidays – Diane and Michael from Wyoming are with us from Dec. 20 – Dec. 26 and it has been great having them here in our humble abode.  Xena has especially loved all the extra attention, and may be a little bored after they leave.  They’ve been so helpful around the house, and didn’t even bat an eye when we put them on poop-detail in the back yard, as the melting snow exposed Xena’s little mine-field.  We also put them to work in the kitchen, where they prepared us fabulous meals – and we rewarded them with scraps of toast!  See how happy the look in these pictures?  We didn’t even have to force them to smile.

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Last night was the annual Christmas Eve gathering at the Von Roenn estate, where there were ten lords-a-leapin’ indeed – especially after they got a little heavily spiked egg nog in them!  Most of the clan were in attendance, and it was great to see the out-of-towners that we typically only see around the holidays.  The party raged on until the wee hours of the morning, and only after we had stuffed ourselves on Italian sausages, baked ziti, nuggets of cheese and pepperoni, and an assortment of cookies did we pile into our vehicles to swerve and dodge our way back home through the blinding snowstorm.  We’re happy to report:  no DUI’s, no injuries, and only minor fender damage on the rental car!

We’re off to family gathering #2 at the Huber estate in a little while… I’d better wrap this thing up.  Our guests leave tomorrow, and I’ll be going back to the office, so life will return pretty much to normal.  Hoping to get out on the snowboard sometime soon, but after all this holiday eating, it may be late May before I can fit into my snowboard pants!

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Snow

It seems like all I’ve been doing lately is shoveling snow.  I can’t even begin to tell you at this point how many times it has snowed since we got our first dusting around Thanksgiving…  some have been light, some have been ugly – i.e. freezing rain mixed in, and some have been completely ridiculous.  Take Tuesday, for instance.  We were supposed to get around an inch, then some rain to help wash some of it away.  Instead, we got a fresh 4 inches at various temperatures and consistencies.  It started off heavy, wet stuff in the morning, then turning to big fluffy flakes throughout the afternoon.  I was stupid enough to be out driving around in it, with a dentist appointment and a gruesome trip from work to Mequon and back over the lunch-hour to make that commitment.  I just love getting stabbed in the gums, too, so that was like insult on top of injury.  We’re supposed to get a break from any additional precipitation until this weekend, so I’m going to rest my back (tight from all the shoveling) and hopefully start feeling better again.  I snapped this picture of the holly bush on the side of the house, covered in water that drips from the gutters above, then re-freezes:

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Xena, of course, loves it all.  We’ve taken her for numerous walks over to the woods and the field on the other side of the woods, where neighborhood dog owners gather daily to let the dogs off leash for a bit of frolic time.

Eli is finishing up with her classes and studying for finals amidst writing a paper for one of the art classes.  It has been an interesting semester and she’s done really well.  The Spring semester should be fun, too, with a couple of Philosophy classes lined up.

My old buddy Paul has talked me into dusting off the R/C car equipment for another go at it, so I’ll probably be running the Novak Touring Car race at Trackside in a few weeks.  I have a lot of catching up to do, so I’m going to try not to take it too seriously… if my competitive juices allow that.  I have a feeling that the first time I wheel my TC4 around the track without bouncing it off the boards, I’ll be feeling pretty good about giving it another go.

Work has been a blur lately – I feel like I have literally wasted the past 4 days working on a process to integrate the results of some of the “oddball” database system backups into the full daily report.  In actuality, I’m 99% done with it, but until I finish it completely I have no tangible results.  I’m learning a whole ton about InterSystems Cache databases, Unix (of the AIX variety), and PERL in the process, so it has really been time well spent.  I’ll feel a whole lot better when I get it done, though.  Hopefully by the end of the week.

We keep getting asked by various friends and family members if we have put up a tree yet.  Well, the answer is “No”.  The answer will likely continue to be “No”.  There’s just no time or enthusiasm for it on our end.  Period.  Hope that helps.  Later… 

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Many of you might be wondering about the title of this Blog.  It is an expression used on one of our favorite shows on BBC America called Little Britain, a half-hour sketch comedy series that we found one night last year by accident (as it was aired just before another one of our favorite shows, Absolutely Fabulous.)  One of our favorite recurring routines involves a couple of odd  looking guys – Andy (left), the supposedly handicapped chap who gets out of his wheelchair and initiates any number of antics when Lou (right) leaves the room or turns his back to him.  Andy then re-seats himself in the wheelchair, leaving Lou befuddled and wondering what just happened.  It sounds ridiculous, I know…

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That’s really all I have to say this evening.  I’m drained from watching the last half of MNF, where the Patriots miraculously kept their undefeated season alive against the Ravens.

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With the dawn of a new month came the first true taste of winter.  What we have out there now is a real mess…  a crust of frozen rain on top of about 3 inches of snow.  I’ve got to go outside in a little while and start chipping away at it with the snow-shovel, then scatter some salt all over the place and hope that melts the rest down to the concrete.

After that, I’m hoping to talk Eli into a trip over to Carleton Grange for brunch.  It’s a British-themed bar and restaurant that opened around a year and a half ago not far from our house, kind of in the little no-mans land of St. Francis between Milwaukee and Cudahy.  They have these unbelievably good little nuggets called Scotch Eggs that I just can’t get enough of.  Combine a couple of those with the bacon, egg & cheese filled flaky crust cone of joy (that’s code for “I can’t remember what it’s called, but it sure is good“) and some breakfast potatoes, and I’ll be set!

Xena is in absolute heaven right now with the snow and cold weather.  I took her for a long walk and a run in the woods and field right after it started snowing yesterday morning, and I can tell she’s ready for another walk like that one.  Sorry, girl – just won’t be quite the same today!  All that light fluffy snow she had a frolic in yesterday is now a slab of frozen mush.  Temps are supposed to be in the 40’s today and tomorrow, then back into the 20’s by Tuesday.  I don’t mind, as this all means that Alpine Valley will be opening up soon.  I’ve gotta wax up the snowboard and lose some weight so I can stuff back into my snowboarding pants!

Eli made another one of her awesome pans of lasagne last night, which we enjoyed a little of for dinner.  We’ll be taking the remainder up to her dad and Ruth up in Menomonee Falls today.  We were supposed to take it yesterday, but with the weather as it was, we decided to wait until the road crews had the situation under control.

One other note – I made a proclaimation a couple years ago, when the popular Crocs line of clogs and sandals began appearing everywhere, that “I’ll never own a pair of those goofy looking rubber shoes!“.  Eli got a simple pair of their sandals over the summer and absolutely loves them.  I gave in and actually went as far as to try a pair of the clogs on, but since they don’t come in half-sizes, I was in limbo being a 10.5.  Besides, no matter what size I tried, they moved around on my feet from side-to-side a bit more than I liked, as they are apparently designed for people with wide feet… that, or I have particularly narrow feet.  This seemed to ice it for me.  Yep, Crocs are not for me!  Well, a trip down to Sports Authority on Thursday night proved me wrong once again.  Their newest invention, the Mammoth, blew my mind.  I hate wearing shoes around in the house, but in the winter a pair of wool socks in my Keens seem to be about the only thing that keep my feet warm (as my summer flip-flops just don’t cut the mustard).  These things were exactly what I needed.  With the lining, the extra side-to-side play that troubled me with their other clogs vanished, so I’m happy.

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I’d go as far as to wear these to work on “dress like a slob Friday”, but it might be pushing it…

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