Showing posts from 2008

See ya, 2008!!!

Just a short, last post of 2008. The Project AngelTree gift dropoff went fine. A bit underwhelming for me actually. I guess I didn't know what to expect, but what I experienced wasn't it. It felt good to serve though and I'll likely do it again next year. Christmas with the MN Landwehr clan was a blast despite the stomach bug making the rounds. I'll detail that trip tomorrow. Memories of 2008: 1. Poconos/Philly/NY Trip with the Landwehr Clan. A Blast! 2. Canada Trip with Steve and Dave. A Blast with lots of big fish! 3. Erin's Graduation trip with Mom and Steph in Redlands, LA and Santa Barbara. 4. Victoria BC business trip 5. Kalahari with Neufangs/Landwehrs for Thanksmas 6. Growing closer to our Friends Steve & Jill, Brad & Patty 7. Our Tuesday Night Live experiences at Church. Awesome family time! 8. Crystal River Canoe trip with Ben and myself. Bonding time! 9. Stephanie's Graduation Celebration in St. Paul. Congrats Steph! 10. God's Blessings th

Frantic Holly-Jolliness

Me and my Niece Gray-Gray. So it's been 3 months since I last blogged. What's a guy to do? I'm a little bit lazy, a little bit busy and my kids dominate the computer. In this busy Christmas season, I wanted to get some of the thoughts from my head onto paper, albeit virtual paper. Did I gripe about last winter on this blog? As I recall, I did...quite a bit. Well, some things never change. Old man winter has struck hard with a vengance this December, and we're still two weeks from being into January. We just dug out from a 12" snowfall yesterday (for 29" in December thus far.) and are looking at another 5-7" tonight into tomorrow. Oh, and Tuesday some more. All I beg for is mercy. Some observations from the storm yesterday. I saw a guy on Fountain Ave. using a shovel on the hood of his car to dig out. A shovel, not a broom. It makes me laugh to think that this may be the same guy that washes his car once a week in the summer. Or, maybe not. Winter seems t

I'm not dead yet!

Those of you who have seen Monty Python will recognize this line. It merely is my attempt to kick start myself into writing again. Somebody needs to kick me into gear. I will try, honest. Blogging off, hopefully not for the last time. :-) Jim

Getta your tootsie-fruitsie ice cream!

As a family, we watched the Marx Brothers in "A Day at the Races" last night. I love those old movies and I think it's important to expose the kids to them. The humor in them is so pure. Some innuendo that goes over the heads of the kids, but for the most part its Groucho's snarky sarcasm, Chico's scamming and broken/bad English, and of course Harpo's physical and facial gymnastics. They're all masters and I laugh till my sides hurt every time I watch them. Went to Metrobrook Church for service this week. Quite refreshing to see what a vibrant, urban church is doing. Lot's of servants doing God's work in the inner city. Feeling that nice weather brain bloc. Gotta go shoot some hoops with Sar! Blogging off... Jim

Gone but not Forgotten

Well, since I've managed to find every reason under the sun not to write for the last few weeks, I thought I'd post and try and rekindle something...anything. It's been a brutal winter and now is turning into a brutal spring. I know it goes "April showers..." and all that, but why do they have to be accompanied by 40 degree cloudy days? It's killin' me. On the upside, I did go out and get a new fishing reel and license today. Ever looking forward to the chance to wet a line, I thought I'd at least be prepared if the situation arises. What is it about people at Wal Mart? Is it a shopping requirement to be 40 lbs overweight and dress as badly as you can to shop there? I've even seen people in their pajama bottoms. Nice. Real nice. Maybe it's just because it's become the new K-Mart and this is just the bottom of the barrel. People nonetheless, but don't people have any dignity anymore? It's sad really. I hate shopping there. Unfortunat

Seeing Red

Struck down with Pink Eye, I've been relegated to staying home today and not spreading the joy. Conjunctivitis is something I thought only kids got, but alas, here I sit. I feel fine, but from what I've read, it's highly contagious, and so I opted out of work for the day. I go to the Doc in a half hours, oh joy. What is it about the Dr.'s office that I've come to hate? Is it the old magazines. The viraly infected pens used to fill out the reams of paperwork? The scrutinous, personal questions the Nurse Practitioner/Doctor ask? The comfy paper gowns? The prostate charts on the wall in the room? Or is it the knowledge that it's all costing me and my employer way too much for all of it? I think its safe to say it's all of these rolled up like red cross gauze together that make any trip to the Doctor an unpleasant one. Perhaps the most memorable trip to the Doc was a few years ago when I went in for what was later diagnosed as pulsatile tinnitus. Basically that

Hope Springs Eternal...34 and Sunny

Well, I got some comp time today for work I did Sat., so I am home, and the kids haven't discovered that I'm writing, so I thought I'd squeak in a few lines. So I'm walking to work today and I came across a great subject to write on and thought I should write it down when I get to work. Of course I didn't, and of course I can no longer remember what it was. It was going to be so good. You'll have to trust me on this one. I guess you'll have to live with me writing about what I was going to write about. Getting old-ish and forgetful is a pain. Walking home with the kids today, Ben said he could smell springtime. So cute, so descriptive, so Ben. He said he was tired of smelling ice, which I didn't know had a smell. Apparently it does. Evidently the smell of winter isn't a wood burning stove, but rather, ice. Not a smell that's found in too many foods, but probably because it's so subtle. Saturday was a GREAT day. I started out at the Men's

The Ides of March

Most have probably given up hope that I'd ever write again. I know I had. It's been a busy, exhausting wintry February, and thank God it's over. March can only be better one can hope. Where to begin...hmmm... I think I'll start at today and work backward as far as the recall will take me. Sarah and I went out for a Dad/Daughter breakfast this morning. Denny's for a "Grand Slam" breakfast and really bad coffee. "A refill? Why yes thank you." Sarah's at that age where she was looking at the adult menu, but ended up ordering from the kids menu, the "alien pancakes" and apple juice. She's so big, yet so much still my baby girl. I love her with all my might. Then, we went to Toby's first obedience class at the Humane Society. He was what you might call the disruptive dog. The Capstone dog, so to speak. The "No dog left behind dog." Eddie Haskell. Whining and biting his leash. Then 5 min. into class, he pee's the flo

Fly in the Ointment

12 Inches and still coming down. Lovely. The fun just never stops. I almost became the dead man in the snowbank you read about in the paper on my walk to work this morning. I've seen some doozies for storms, but this has to be in the top 5 or so. I'm sure there were folks driving to work wondering who that deranged snow-covered maniac singing to the ipod was. Needless to say they closed work at Noon. Why they opened it I'll never understand, but I think they have to say they tried. Oh well, 1/2 day off beats none at all. Got a nap in, some shovelling and some Q time with the kids. I guess that's all anyone can ask for on a snow day. Boys Club last night was a bust because of the weather. Ben was the only boy form our post that showed up. We had 5 3rd graders and 5 leaders. Kind of silly. It goes back to why did they not cancel it, but hey, I've hashed that point already. And so it goes. Blogging off... Jim

Groundhog Day...Imagine, 28 Degrees and Flurries

Winter continues its relentless assault on the fine people of Wisconsin. Annoying 2 inch snowfalls interspersed between back breaking 7 inchers. I was out the yesterday at 6:20 shovelling and JUST GROUSING about it. Muttering to myself. "Stupid snow, stupid state, stupid climate, stupid clouds, stupid snowbank, stupid ice patch, stupid shovel...well you get the drift. After doing this for about 20 minutes I snapped out of it and realized that it wasn't helping me get the shovelling done. It felt good and seemed very much like the thing to do, but was doing me no good in building a case to face another day at work. So I sucked it up and started thinking how lucky I was to have a house with a walk to shovel. How lucky to be able to be physically able to shovel. Just three short years ago I was laid up flat on my back on muscle relaxants and NSAIDs because I had pinched a disc. So, what was I to grumble about. Brush fires weren't burning down my house, January tornadoes were

Men, Boys and Yogi's

Last Night was the big Boys Club Pinewood Derby at church. It was quite a spectacle when it got going. It's all automated now including split second timing, software telling personal best times, automated results, the whole smash. Of course there were the technical glitches that go with any first time endeavor like this. The funniest of them though was the first race. With all of the build-up of "the first Boys Club Pinewood Derby in the history of Boys Club", none of the cars in the first race made it to the finish line. It seems that oil is an integral part of pinewood derby racing. Hey, we're all new at this... Once the cars were all lubed up, the races went much better. No more cars failed to finish across the finish line. Oh there were a few fiery crashes, but no lives were lost in all of it. The boys (and boys disguised as men) had a great time and all came away happy. Ben even managed to win a trophy for "2nd place Best Design). So, all that hard work and

The Tundra's on Ice for another Year

Remember that playoff heartbreak I talked about? I'm livin' it, man! What a drag to get within one game of the big one only to have it all come crashing down on a Favre textbook pick. Oh, where's the joy? My wife was quick to say "it's only a game." That may be true, but it seems like so much more. Oh well, I guess it's better that I get my life back. The other day I went to work and it was nice out around 25 degrees and no wind. I purposely wore my lighter jacket it was so nice. Well then coming home was a whole different story. At some point during the day, the wind picked up and the temp dropped a good 15 degrees. I was so cold that at a couple of points during my walk home, I was running. Running as an attempt to not need amputation of some of my fingers due to frostbite...or so it seemed at the time. It was a wierd kind of panic-oia. Thinking all kinds of morbid thoughts on my two mile trek. Using my ipod backlight as a hand warmer. You know things ar

Ahhhh, the Playoffs

It's that heartbreak time of year for many NFL fans. Fortunately I am not one of those heartbroken ones. I cannot believe the Packers who I didn't pick to win more than 7 games this year are one game away from the Super Bowl. I'd put the Vegas odds in the hundreds of thousands at the beginning of the season. Alas, here we are. After a 10 year wait, it's a good feeling, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Don't want to do that. We had friends over for the Divisional Playoff game last night and had a blast. Great game, great friends, and great food. Fellowship, laughter and joy. We are truly blessed to have good friends like Steve and Jill, Brad and Patty as part of our "Wisconsin Family". Dave and Grace and their 18 mo. old boy Joseph were here too and we got to know them a lot better as well. Good people, all of them. Very comfortable in each others' homes, we are. I think that's a Midwestern speechism, to put the subject at the end of the se

Are the Voices In My Head Bothering You?

Why is it that our dog, or any dog for that matter will always want 12" more than the leash they're on at the moment. Toby will strain the leash, even after I switch hands to give him more rope, to try and reach the evidently-unreachable, whatever it is. If it was a 20 dollar bill every time , I'd be more than willing to give him as much leash as he wanted. Usually though, it's poop. Just poop. Sometimes its a bit of discarded food someone had tossed out a car window three weeks ago. Either that or the occasional article of clothing. A few weeks ago there was a massive pair of tighty - whities laying on the terrace that he successfully sought out time after time, walk after walk. All of this raises the question, if we provide plenty of fresh food and water for our dogs every day, why are they ALWAYS looking for more and/or different food? And why, in lieu of new food will their own vomit suffice? I guess dog food must be pretty bad, if garbage is a close runner up. O

Ridiculous Thoughts

It's been nearly a week and I've been negligent in my writing; something I vowed to do more of in '08. The first resolution down in flames in only 4 days. Walking home from work today there was the most beautiful slate-gray sunset. Usually an orange or red sunset captures your attention, but this one was bluish-grey. Painted by God himself using a pallete of perfection. Traffic was so loud it drowned out my Ipod . I hate when that happens. Trying to tune out the world only to be outdone by it. Grrr ... I saw a figure standing in a doorway as I was walking the dog. It was either; 1. A life sized Santa Clause 2. A hooded Monk 3. The grim reaper Whatever it was/is it creeped me out. It was just standing there. I looked back once, but did not dare catch his/her/its gaze in case it turned out to be a hypnotic thingy. Weird, yes. Paranoid, certainly. I hope it wasn't the reaper. I'm a little busy tomorrow. Gotta run for now. Will write more tomorrow, promise. Blogging o