Showing posts from October, 2010

Happy Halloween

Another Halloween is upon us which can only mean one thing; the Christmas mania starts in full force tomorrow. Aaaaaiiiieeee ! This Halloween was a diversion from the normal routine of going to the Barrett's and trick or treating and celebrating Abby's birthday. I miss the chaos and taking the kids out door to door, frankly. Both of our kids went out with their friends' in other neighborhoods. Donna and I passed out candy to the 5 groups of kids that showed up. Strangely quiet. When I think about it real hard, this was a sad day. I'm certain it is Sarah's last trick or treat night. That means that my kids are growing up and the days of walking through neighborhoods with them while they beg for treats are over. While there were days that I wanted my kids to grow up and be independent, now that they are doing that, I want them to slow down. The empty nest is actually visible from here, and I'm not sure I like it. Sure we have several years left, but the days of s

Plumber's Helper

We had a nice clog in the tub this morning when I woke up. Turns out it was clogged last night when Sarah took her shower, but no on managed to tell me. Of course the cat thinks its just his big water dish (Yuk) and kept trying to drink from it, so I had to steer him away. I plunged until my arm was like a strawberry twizzler , to no avail. I finally gave up and went to work. I came home at noon to try and snake it out and had no luck. Donna helped me with working the drill operated snake, and it turned into a bit of a marital comedy. She would run the drill, while I fed it down the drain, and at times she would get a bit too zesty with the trigger and the thing would coil up like a friggin ' spring. Then she'd run it in reverse to uncoil it and then more of the same, only in reverse. We managed to put a couple of right angle kinks in the $25 snake to the point where it wasn't going down at all. I extracted it and said we're calling our friend the plumber. I figure that

Anxious Moments

It is that time of year where I am overcome with a great sense of unease. I'm not sure if it's because of the impending winter, the decreasing light or just some hormonal thing. I can't explain it really. Just restless, I guess. On Sunday's it's the worst. I wander around wondering which task is most important and whether it's what I really want to do. The house and yard beckon, and I tend to some of those as I feel led. I also feel the need to get some last bike rides in before the snow flies, a feeling that only a true cyclist feels. Lately I feel the pull to write and that just adds to the unrest. If I don't get my time in at the keyboard, that doesn't feel right either. What I need to remember is that I'm doing fine. I've got a great wife and kids, a good job working with good people, great friends and most importantly, I have my faith. A God who loves me and cares about what I do and how I feel. I mean really, what's to be anxious about?

Hunting Memories

I was never much into the hunting thing. Oh, I tried it a handful of times, even had my own shotgun for a number of years. It just never did anything for me. After a total investment of probably $300.oo in guns and shells, my net take was a single pheasant and a grouse. Even the grouse was "disputed" with my buddy who claims it was his shot. (It probably was. I think I let him have it anyway.) I bring this up because this weekend is the weekend of the annual Landwehr Hunt. This is a longstanding tradition in my family that goes back to the days of my father, one of the original instagators of the event. It began as "the brothers" hunt back in the 60's sometime on the farm property of a good friend of my dad and his brothers. Typically there were no guns brought to the hunt and it consisted mainly of playing cards and raising cain. I only made it up to the hunt once, back when it was held in Dent, MN. It was a crazy weekend, but the highlight had to be listening

Season Finale

Waukesha South's Freshman girls played their last games of the season tonight in the Classic 8 Tournament. Like much of the rest of the season, they got smashed in almost every game. They lost to Mukwonago 2-0 before I arrived. Then, they took on Waukesha West, who they started strong against, and promptly fell apart. That sent them to the consolation round versus Waukesha North. Understand that Waukesha North is one of the few teams that South has beaten this year on a couple of occasions. Even they proceeded to put the beat down on South in the first two games of a best of five match. Game three was different, though. The score was 24-22, and South was losing. If South loses, they go home without a win. Who comes up to serve, but Sarah. I'm tense thinking, if she misses the serve, North wins and South goes home. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN, I'm thinking. There is a still small voice in my head saying, wouldn't it be cool if she kept serving enough to win the game

Musky Fest

Just got back today from what I call Musky Fest. It is really a focused two-day fishing trip up to the Presque Isle, WI area for a stab at boating a musky or two. We had OK success this year in that we landed two musky in our boat and one rogue northern pike. The Musky were small, I got a 26" and Steve managed to get a 36" Tiger Musky that was a nice looking fish. Both were caught and released unharmed, to live another day. The northern I caught yesterday was a 25" and was more of a nuisance than anything. There was a day when I wouldn't be calling any 25" fish a nuisance, but when you're fishing for Musky, anything less is a pain. It was a great weekend weather-wise. (Great for standing in, not great for catching fish.) It was about 63 and cloudless on Sat. and the same and cloudy on Fri. A beautiful October so far, that just keeps on going. Ben's team won their last football game on Saturday, and I heard he did very well. He and another player chased d

A Bit of a Sports Rant

I had to miss Ben's game today, as I was at the Michael Perry Celebrity Saturday writing workshop at AllWriters. It's probably a good thing I did miss it because I'm told he only played the opening kickoff, and then no more. So what gives? This is a sixth grade team. Not High School, sixth grade. My problem with it was the fact that many of the boys played the whole game on both sides of the ball. The whole game. Now I know what is going through these coaches heads. It's a close game (turns out they lost 6-0) and they want to win. I get that. But you know what? I know of at least two other players who did not play a down and a couple more that got a play or two. The "star" player almost passed out because it was hot and he was running a lot. Did I mention it's sixth grade? Oh yeah, sorry. My son's not a star. I get that. I wasn't either. I had no problem being a second stringer, but in SIXTH grade I got in every game, for significant time. My coac

MS Support Try #3...Oh the Humanity!

Tried again last night to get the whole XBox Live thing worked out. Spent an hour and a half with an American gentleman (thank goodness) and still did not resolve the issue. I swear, I was five minutes from breaking into tears. I had to hang up, or I would have gone off on the guy. He was in the process of "escalating" me again to someone who had access to more tools than he did. Can you believe that? It took him an hour and a half to realize he didn't have the right tools? I'm glad he wasn't fixing my dryer. Anyhow, my cell battery was about dead, I was toast myself, and at that point I'd forgotten why I called in the first place. I suspect I'll try again someday when I'm feeling lucky. I DID manage to fix my own dryer this week, however. A friend had mentioned at Ben's football game last week that fixing a dryer is easier than you would think. So, on Monday, I busted it open and took a look. It seems the belt had jumped its track, and was not al

Microsoft Support - Part Two

So my new 25 digit code came in only 24 hours. I guess a day = five to ten days in India or something. Needless to say I was impressed with the speed that they were able to get it to me. I would have been really impressed if it actually worked. When I went to plug in the number, I got the familiar message that the account did not have enough information. Dial 1-800-Not- XBox I spent 45 minutes with a nice lady, proceeded to give her all my personal information, much like I did with GFI 1 and GFI 2. This included at least one iteration of my 25 digit code. After trying my now-changed username and password twice, once from the console and once from the computer, she determined that she needed to "escalate" the issue to her support manager. Enter guy from India #3. He proceeds to get some of my vital information, blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol and a few other incidentals, including my 25 digit code. "Bothersome, Tedious, Grating, 2, 3 dash Dumb, Yapping, Joyless, 7, 3,

Welcome to Microsoft Support - Part 1

Well, I've had quite a go-around with the fine folks at Microsoft regarding my son's XBOX repair and XBox Live Account over the past week. It has been extremely frustrating and almost comical at times to the point where I said to myself I HAVE to write about this. It will ultimately be therapeutic, so here goes. Ben's xbox , which he purchased with his own money was giving him a strange problem. When he started it up every time, he would get a grey filminess to the screen. We determined that to fix it on our good TV, he had to unplug and then re-plug in the yellow video plug. This didn't seem right to me, so I sent the unit back to MS for repair a few weeks ago. Last week, the unit showed up at our house with a free 30 day trial of XBox Live. This came despite my complaints that we should receive a year free for our trouble, but hey, that's better than nothing. The trial is redeemed in the form of a gift card that has a 25 digit redemption code. So Ben goes on