Monday, January 03, 2011 

Thanks 2010, and Welcome 2011

Although it's not Thanksgiving, the new year does bring about thoughts of things I'm thankful for this year.

I'm thankful for my beautiful wife of 18 years. She's stuck beside me, even when she had every right not to. She's supported me in my decisions, and takes care of me. I don't need e-harmony to find my perfect match. I found her in 1990 at the Jones Store.

I'm thankful for my amazing son. He shifted my priorities in life, and is the reason I get up and go to work every day. Although he doesn't share my blood, he shares every other thing with me. He truly is the child that God wanted me to have. He makes me laugh, breaks my heart, and redefines love every single day. And I know that up in heaven, my parents are laughing their heads off at every shinanigan he pulls, because he is so much like me it's incredible.

I'm thankful for my job. I get to go to work everyday at the place people dream of visiting. I'm doing the job that I was born to do, and am thankful that I am good at it. And, when I'm tired and frustrated, I simply go spend a few minutes at MK, see the children's faces, and instantly feel recharged. I have great co-workers, and we make sure that each day has some element of fun in it. Where else can you work where the goal of the company is to make people happy and create memories?

I'm thankful to God, for giving me so many chances. Every time I screw up, he's right there to pick me up and put me back on the right path. He's giving me grace when I didn't deserve it. and treasures I can never repay.

I look forward to 2011. I have prospects for self improvement, and am going to maintain a positive attitude toward everything. I won't let people drag me into negativism. It serves no purpose except to reinforce bad feelings. I will succeed as a father, a husband and an employee.

If you have actually read this, please send me your address, because I feel like I should send you a co-pay.

Friday, December 10, 2010 

I almost forgot about this thing

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated the blog. I truly just don't have much to say.

Life is good in Orlando. Charlie is doing great. He's a funny little guy, who cracks me up daily. Smart as a whip, also.

Kim is doing fine in her job, and has made a ton of friends down here.

Work is always interesting. I still think it's cool to be able to work in such a magical place, even though it's still a business. I love making my own small mark on the place.

Other than that, we just keep plugging along.

Sorry it's so brief. But, at least I posted a bit.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 

Monday's Space Shuttle Launch



Amazing photo. What a great place to live where you can see these both at the same time!

Monday, March 01, 2010 

Wow, it's been a while.

Much like my diet, updating my blog is something I keep telling myself I need to do, but it kept getting forgotten as something better came up. But, I thought I would do a few updates in a stream of consciousness mode. In other words, don't expect much.

Florida continues to be a nice place to live. Sure, we've lost more in value on our home than we paid for our first house in KC, but absent some catastrophe, we aren't going anywhere anytime soon. This winter has been unually cold for Florida, and that has been tough on our plants outside. We've lost several plants, and our grass is not looking great. But, fortunately, the crappy grass that grows up amongst the nice St. Augustine grass died quicly, so maybe we can keep it out of there.

Charle is quite the young man. He faces challenges at school due to several factors: he has trouble with impulsivity, is easily distracted, and is . . .well, he's 5. We are working to get him some help to learn to control his distraction and impulses, and hopefully that will help straighten him out. Academically, he's right on target, and in several areas, ahead of the other kids. He just can't sit still and is too easily distracted. But, he's cute, and that makes up for a lot.

Work at Disney continues to be amazing. There are your normal mundane days of sitting in a cube, working on a computer all day, and then there are amazing days like last week, when we toured backstage at Toy Story Mania, and heard a talk from Imagineering about how it was created. Then we toured the new Post Production facility at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Wow. I was salavating the whole time. Add that in with some early morning walks down an empty Main Street USA and it makes cubicle life much more easier to bear.

Kim is the only person I know who was actually excited about needing glasses. For some reason, she has always wanted to wear them. Recently, she noticed her reading vision was getting blurry. She went to the doctor to get everything checked, and got a cute pair of reading glasses. She calls them her Tina Fey glasses. She does look cute in them.

I'm still recovering from my grand "fall down/go boom" that happened 1 1/2 weeks ago. I must have really boogered my wrist and knee, because they continue to give me pain. I'm going to see my doctor this afternoon. Probably 1 1/2 weeks too late, but you know us guys.

FYI, I still hate Sprint and Brighthouse.

Our water damage issue is almost over. There are still some issues with the repair of the china cabinet. Here's a look at the state our house was in for a couple of weeks.


That's about all I can think of right now. I'm going to try to get back into blogging a bit.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 

Charlie loves his Mommy



Charlie was very excited that Mommy was coming to his Christmas concert, as you can tell.

Friday, October 02, 2009 

A Day in the life of the Magic Kingdom

Very cool, from Disney's new blog.

http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2009/10/a-model-day-at-the-park/

Sunday, August 16, 2009 

Generations


This is a composite picture I've been meaning to do for years.

Dad was a prison guard on Alcatraz in his younger days. The photo above is him in the guard house in the kitchen on Alcatraz. It's been published in several books about Alcatraz, and I'm lucky enough to have an original copy of it.

Several years ago, after Dad's passing, Kim and I went to San Francisco on vacation. We got a tour of Alcatraz, and I talked to the park rangers there. I told them I was a guard's son, and that I would love to recreate a photo of him. They had one of the books there in the library, and I showed them the photo. They were nice enough to open up the kitchen area (which is closed to visitors), and let me go in there to take the photo. They then asked if there were any other areas I would like to see. I really got the royal treatment.

It's amazing how little that area has changed. Except for the addition of an exit sign, and moving some file cabinets out of the room, 40+ years hasn't changed it much. And I'm amazed how accurately we recreated the shot.

Today would be Dad's 81st birthday. My son Charlie told me that he wanted to put on his jetpack and fly up into the clouds so he could sing his Grandpa Charlie Happy Birthday.

Me too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009 

I can't think of one

With the debate on government health care heating up, I tried to think of one program that the government has run well. I classify "well" as providing the service required without extreme cost overruns.

Couldn't come up with one. The first couple that popped in my mind didn't do so well.

Nasa - gets the job done, but never for what they say it will. And, we are still flying with 70's technology. And they can't even get us a ship that will go back to the moon, something we did in the 60's.

Military - a model of inefficieny. Sure, they can kick butt and take names, but the disaster with equipment during the beginning of the Gulf War, plus the huge costs involved ($50,000 for a toliet?!?!) makes this a financial problem.

Government Housing - nuff said. Cabrini Green, anyone?

Medicare - Frought with fraud, it's almost a joke how much money goes out each year.

Education - Since the Department of Education was founded in 1980, can anyone truly say our education of the youth has gotten better?

I just don't see how anyone can hope that a government that couldn't run a "Cash for Clunkers" program correctly could handle every citizen's health care.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 

The Jungle Cruise Ride

Unfortunately, they'll never let me be a skipper. The manager said he wouldn't hire an improviser. He needs people to stay with the script. Oh well.

Skipper Dan

Monday, June 22, 2009 

Three Guitars and a Tractor



Hilarious Video Responses:

"tractor keeps better time than our drummer. and i bet the tractor will play a gig for just the price of gas."

"All well and good, but is the tractor in the Musicians Union????"

"Unlike a human drummer, this one HAS to get gassed to play well."

Friday, June 19, 2009 

Why I love our company

from THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Pixar grants girl's dying wish to see 'Up'
Company sent DVD so Huntington Beach girl, 10, could watch it.
By ANNIE BURRIS

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Colby Curtin, a 10-year-old with a rare form of cancer, was staying alive for one thing – a movie.
From the minute Colby saw the previews to the Disney-Pixar movie Up, she was desperate to see it. Colby had been diagnosed with vascular cancer about three years ago, said her mother, Lisa Curtin, and at the beginning of this month it became apparent that she would die soon and was too ill to be moved to a theater to see the film.
After a family friend made frantic calls to Pixar to help grant Colby her dying wish, Pixar came to the rescue.
The company flew an employee with a DVD of Up, which is only in theaters, to the Curtins’ Huntington Beach home on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie.
The animated movie begins with scenes showing the evolution of a relationship between a husband and wife. After losing his wife in old age, the now grumpy man deals with his loss by attaching thousands of balloons to his house, flying into the sky, and going on an adventure with a little boy.
Colby died about seven hours after seeing the film.
With her daughter’s vigil planned for Friday, Lisa Curtin reflected about how grateful she is that Pixar – and "Up" – were a part of her only child’s last day.
“When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie,” said Curtin, 46. “I just know that word ‘Up’ and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven.”
Pixar officials declined to comment on the story or name the employees involved.
THE PREVIEWS
Colby was diagnosed with vascular cancer on Dec. 23, 2005 after doctors found a tumor in her liver. At the time of her death, her stomach was about 94 inches around, swollen with fluids the cancer wouldn’t let her body properly digest. The rest of her body probably weighed about 45 pounds, family friend Carole Lynch said.
Colby had gone to Newport Elementary School and was known for making others laugh, family friend Terrell Orum-Moore said. Colby loved to dance, sing, swim and seemed to have a more mature understanding of the world than other children her age, Orum-Moore said.
On April 28, Colby went to see the Dream Works 3-D movie "Monsters Vs. Aliens" but was impressed by the previews to "Up."
“It was from then on, she said, ‘I have to see that movie. It is so cool,’” Lynch said.
Colby was a movie fan, Lisa Curtin said, and she latched onto Pixar’s movies because she loved animals.
Two days later Colby’s health began to worsen. On June 4 her mother asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair for Colby so she could visit a theater to see "Up." However, the weekend went by and the wheelchair was not delivered, Lisa Curtin said.
By June 9, Colby could no longer be transported to a theater and her family feared she would die without having seen the movie.
At that point, Orum-Moore, who desperately wanted Colby to get her last wish, began to cold-call Pixar and Disney to see if someone could help.
Pixar has an automated telephone answering system, Orum-Moore said, and unless she had a name of a specific person she wanted to speak to, she could not get through. Orum-Moore guessed a name and the computer system transferred her to someone who could help, she said.
Pixar officials listened to Colby’s story and agreed to send someone to Colby’s house the next day with a DVD of "Up," Orum-Moore recalled.
She immediately called Lisa Curtin, who told Colby.
“Do you think you can hang on?” Colby’s mother said.
“I’m ready (to die), but I’m going to wait for the movie,” the girl replied.
THE MOVIE
At about 12:30 p.m. the Pixar employee came to the Curtins’ home with the DVD.
He had a bag of stuffed animals of characters in the movie and a movie poster. He shared some quirky background details of the movie and the group settled in to watch Up.
Colby couldn't see the screen because the pain kept her eyes closed so her mother gave her a play-by-play of the film.
At the end of the film, the mother asked if her daughter enjoyed the movie and Colby nodded yes, Lisa Curtin said.
The employee left after the movie, taking the DVD with him, Lynch said.
“He couldn’t have been nicer,” said Lynch who watched the movie with the family. “His eyes were just welled up.”
After the movie, Colby’s dad, Michael Curtin, who is divorced from Lisa Curtin, came to visit.
Colby died with her mom and dad nearby at 9:20 p.m.
Among the Up memorabilia the employee gave Colby was an “adventure book” – a scrap book the main character’s wife used to chronicle her journeys.
“I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,” Lisa Curtin said.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 

Latest Photos

The latest set of photos. We have a very big boy on our hands!

Does someone have the email address for the Topps people?


Pre-Kindergarten Graduation


"I am Mr. Charlie, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island!"

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 

Funniest Things I've Seen In A While





Wednesday, May 20, 2009 

RIP Wayne Allwine

from Jim Hill Media
Wayne Allwine, the man behind the mouse, is gone. This sweet 62-year-old passed away on Monday due to complications from diabetes.

Now some folks will tell you that Wayne was one of only three men to voice Mickey Mouse (with the other two being Walt himself and veteran Disney Studios sound man Jimmy MacDonald). Which isn't entirely true. At the time that Allwine initially began recording for the Mouse, there were actually a number of folks within Walt Disney Productions who did Mickey's voice. MacDonald provided Mickey's vocals for the studio & television side of things, Jack Wagner (i.e. the official voice of Disneyland) spoke for the Mouse in the theme parks and arena shows, while Hal Smith did Mickey's voice for Disney Consumer Products.

But where Wayne lucked out was ... Well, just as he began speaking for Mickey, The Walt Disney Company (Thanks -- in large part -- to Les Perkins' efforts in establishing the Character Voice Department) decided that it was time that it selected one performer to be the official voice of each character. That way, the Goofy that appears in parades for the Parks would sound exactly the same as the Goofy that you'd see in Jello commercials on TV. That there'd then be a uniformity in performance style & sound.

And though a number of folks did audition to be Mickey's official voice, it was Allwine who eventually landed the gig. Not so much because he'd actually been mentored by MacDonald (these two worked together for years in Disney's sound department). But -- rather -- because Wayne took the job seriously. He understood what he'd been entrusted with with Mickey Mouse and always did what he could to protect this character.

"What do you mean by 'protect the character?'," you ask. Well, as the official voice of Mickey Mouse, Allwine spent over 30 years in recording sessions. Where he'd invariably be handed copy that had been prepared by some Marketing executive who had no idea how Mickey actually sounded. Which is why -- in an effort to make this 70-year-old Mouse sound hip, happening & now -- they'd have written dialogue that had Mickey using trendy slang or making off-color jokes.

And as he was rehearsing this material, Wayne would quickly identify the problem areas. And then -- as politely as possible -- he'd work with the director & sound engineer at that session to rectify these problems. Make sure that what was being recorded actually sounded like something that this timeless character might say.

Mind you, this isn't to say that Wayne wasn't up to a challenge. I remember talking with him once about his work in "The Prince and the Pauper." When I told Wayne how much I enjoyed his performance as the Prince in that featurette, how he had crafted a distinctly different character that still sounded like Mickey, the man lit up like a Christmas tree. "I'm so glad you noticed that," he said."I really tried to make Mickey and the Prince sound like two different characters."

Of course, when you talk about Wayne, you have to bring up Russi Taylor, the talented voice actress who played Minnie to Allwine's Mickey. Those two literally met in a recording booth and quickly became a couple in real life.

Now what was kind of funny about that is -- for the first couple of years after Wayne & Russi were wed -- The Walt Disney Company expressly forbid these two from mentioning to the press that they were a married couple. Reportedly out of fear over what might happen if Allwine & Taylor's marriage didn't last. Studio execs supposedly dreaded the headline: "Mickey & Minnie split up." (Which -- given this bizarre corporate edict -- led to the in-house joke that " ... theirs was a love that dare not squeak its name.")

Anyway ... Anyone who ever saw Wayne & Russi together knew that these two were never going to split up. They were so sweet, so into one another, this couple seemed to be joined at the hip. Allwine & Taylor would do radio interviews together, promotional appearances together. They were inseparable.

Which is why -- as other people talk about how sad it is that we've lost Wayne -- to be honest, my heart really goes out to Russi at this moment. I mean, this woman's career and personal life were all tied up in one incredibly sweet guy. I can't imagine what she's going through right now.
In closing ... I know that it might sound somewhat sacrilegious to say this, especially to Disneyana fans. But whenever I watch Mickey Mouse shorts from the 1930s now, I find myself thinking that Mickey doesn't sound quite right. That -- as Walt Disney performed this character back in the day -- his Mouse isn't warm enough. That Walt's performance as Mickey is too one note.

That -- in the end -- may be the greatest compliment that one can pay Wayne Allwine. That the pupil eventually surpassed the master. That his performance of Mickey Mouse -- over time -- became better than the one Walt Disney did.

Though -- knowing Wayne -- he'd have been quick to dismiss that idea. As MacDonald once told Allwine as he was getting ready to record Mickey's voice back in the 1970s; "Just remember, kid. You're only filling in for the boss."

But that said, Mickey Mouse was always in good hands as long as Wayne Allwine was here.

Monday, May 04, 2009 

Ok, non soapbox stuff

Sorry it's been a while. Busy, work, blah blah blah. So, what's going on around here?

Well, we're in the middle of t-ball season. Charlie does pretty well, although sometimes the dirtclods are a bit too tempting to play with. He catches well, hits good, and throws ok. And he runs like the wind. We finally got him his own t-ball bat. He was so proud. As soon as I get them scanned, I'll include his official photo.

I survived the turmoil at Disney. A lot of good people didn't. It really put a damper on us over the past few weeks. It's pretty tough when reality strikes that hard in a place where "dreams come true". But, it's going to mean a stronger, leaner company. And, with any luck, more income, and the opportunity to hire some of these people back.

My work continues to be busy. We are having a record year. Tough times = tough choices by some people. And sometimes, they make the wrong choice.

We enrolled Charlie in kindergarten. Wow. That was really surreal to think that the little baby I just met the other day halfway around the world is getting ready to start school. Thankfully, he's been in pre-k, so he already knows stuff I'm sure I didn't know until 2nd grade. He's already reading some stories. Amazing stuff.

Also, we had a big dentist visit. His baby teeth were just not that good (having the poor nutrition from the baby house didn't help), so he got some cavities. They were really hurting him, and causing him to be a bit of a grouch. We had him sedated while they worked on him, so he doesn't remember anything but the initial shot to make him drowsy. He called it a "sneaky". And now, he's like a different child. So sweet, sits down in class, and not nearly as grouchy. What a blessing that we got that taken care of.

Kim's work is going good. She's really getting good at query writing. Considering she had never done it before, I'm pretty proud of her.

Each day, I come outside, feel the warm sun, look at the beautiful sky and large, cotton ball clouds, and just love the fact that we are living in such a beautiful place. We are truly blessed!

 

Narrowly avoided death this weekend!

I'm still shaking. I can't believe how close it came. You truly never know how wonderful your life is until you face your mortality.

Yes, I went out in public during the swine flu pandemic! Without a mask or gloves. I shook hands with people at church. I touched things that other's had touched. I breathed the same air as others in an elevator. I must have a death wish.

Really, can we calm the heck down?!?! Ted Kennedy's car has killed more Americans than Swine Flu.

I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, but if you think about it, with all the swine flu panic on the TV, what have you not been hearing about? The economy! The fact that the government is taking over more and more private business. Layoffs. Bankruptcy. The unions being given majority ownership of Chrysler. Ted Kennedy's car.

It's just a bit too much "wag the dog" for me. CNN reports 985 confirmed cases of swine flu in the world. 26 deaths (25 in Mexico, and 1 in the US, a mexican child visiting relatives). The CDC reports that regular influenza kills 36,000 American's annually.

So, why the uproar? Why the panic? It's a non-event. Calm down, everyone.

Saturday, April 04, 2009 

Charlie's First T-Ball Game






Charlie's team, The Falcons, eeked out a narrow victory over the visiting Dragons. The final score, ?? to ?? (we don't really keep score). Charlie played great. He hit the ball, he caught the ball (one time, he caught his own hit). And, he actually fielded a hit and threw it to first to get the runner out!

If you've never seen T-ball, go watch. It's so cute!

Saturday, March 14, 2009 

Safe, for now

For all our friends and family who have been praying for the safety of my job, all I can say is thanks, it worked. Last Thursday was the day that the layoffs happened in my area, and my team avoided any layoffs. They've said that is it for our department, as long as the economy doesn't get any worse. Then, of course, all bets are off.

So, again, to everyone who held us in their prayers / thought good thoughts / put postive energy out there . . . Thanks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 

My view of the election

I try to steer away from politics on my blog, because no matter what someone says, they irritate 1/2 of their readers (so, that might actually be 3 people).

But, there has been one thing really annoying me since the election.

We were robbed.

No, I don't mean by the results of the election. I mean by the election itself.

You see, I've watched as many of my friends were so excited about their candidate. They believed in him. They were truly happy to vote for him. They have hope, and they are optimistic about the future with him in charge.

I wanted that.

I wanted a candidate that I could be excited about. One that would make me want to vote for them because of them, not the party. One who represented a change away from the old GOP, and one more in line with what I believe our priorities should be. And one that I truly thought had a chance to win.

And I got John McCain. Not saying he's not a fine man, or a good politician. But, he really never represented what I think our party needed. He wasn't someone I was excited about. To the contrary, I was very annoyed when he got the nod. Can't we nominate anyone exciting? Someone who has a revolutionary view of what our party and our country needs? Someone like, well, like Barack Obama, but more conservative. I fell back to the old habit of holding my nose while coloring in the circle on the ballot.

Sure, there were a few people in the running that I thought were closer to that than Senator McCain, but they didn't have a chance.

And then, we got Sarah Palin. Now, I know she is a smart, talented woman, who has done a great job in Alaska. But really, she was the best person to be VP? She had little experience. Sure, her speech at the convention was great, but why did they pick her? It was politics as usual. Symbolism over substance. She was young, female, and exciting. But, not the best person to be 1 hearbeat away from presidency. Sigh.

And, so we lost. And I watched my friends celebrate the inuguration. Smiling, crying, and so full of hope. And I felt robbed. I wanted that. I'm so tired of our party as it's been. I wanted "change", a new beginning, hope, but all I got was an old Senator who's been in the game too long.

I'm happy my friends are happy. And I hope that I can be excited and happy in 2012.

Sunday, February 22, 2009 

Where the heck have we been?

Sorry about the time since the last post. A lot of things going on, a lot of stress, a lot of fun.

First, the stress. The economy is striking my employer. There are impending job cuts, and it has everyone nervous. I'm hopeful that they will pass us by, but you just never can be too sure. I know friends are praying for us, and we really appreciate it.

Now, the fun. Where do I start?

We got to visit with my college friend (and best man in our wedding) Marc, and his lovely wife Helen, as well as Marc's sister, brother in law and father. It was good to see them, as we hadn't gotten together since before our trips to Russia. We spent a couple of evenings together, caught up, and had a great time.

We spent a day at Blue Springs State Park, where we saw 118 manatees. It was amazing. They love the warmer water of the springs, and head there in the winter, out of the colder waters. They are so sweet and gentle.

I'm looking forward to Pete's visit. It's always good to visit with friends, and I think we'll have a great weekend. Plus, that same weekend, Kim and Charlie are heading back to KC to visit Grandma and Grandpa, so I know they'll have fun.

Speaking of Charlie, he is sure a big boy now. He rides his bike, can count to 60, can spell his name, and knows all his letters, blends and vowels. Ladybird Academy has sure done a good job preparing him. And he loves it. Apparently, he really loves numbers, so maybe we have a mathmatics wiz in our family.

Florida is amazing in winter. It has actually gotten cold several nights, and we had a hard freeze right before Marc and Helen's visit. It did a number on our grass, so we are going to have to work hard to have a green lawn this summer. But, then today, it's beautiful, in the 70's, sunshine, and perfect baseball weather. Yes, Charlie has the bug to play catch, hit the ball, and all that. Now, if I can only find a left handed T-ball glove for him.

I'll put some photos up soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009 

Maybe just some homesickness

Ever been somewhere and you see someone who looks like one of your friends. Not too long ago, I saw Jared's twin working at Chic-Fil-A. It happens occasionally. I even have a brochure from Interlochen Arts Camp from the 80's that has a picture of my identical twin working on a sculpture. It was given to me by my choir teacher, who was irritated that I didn't tell her I went to summer camp at Interlochen (I didn't).

But yesterday, it was really weird. I was working out at the Disney fitness center, and I saw a girl working out. It took me a few minutes, but then I realized she looked like Tracy. I laughed to myself. Then, a few minutes later, I saw another girl working out, and she was the twin sister of our friend Dee. It seemed strange to see two people like that at once, and then suddenly, in walks Mo's twin.

So, perhaps they were truly lookalikes, or maybe just my mind playing a trick because I miss our friends. But, it was really strange!

Sunday, January 11, 2009 

Several Thoughts

As I sit here on Sunday Night, not yet sleepy enough for bed, but tired all the same, some thoughts went through my mind that I thought I would post. Not because they are terribly fascinating or insightful, but because I haven't posted for a while, and felt the need.

1. Today, I witnessed my pastor, Barry Rice, along with a friend of his (whose name escapes me, shame on me) performing "Feats of Strength". Our pastor is a former football player, world class power lifter, and is built like it. He does the "Feats of Strength" all over, and did them today for our service. Wow! If you haven't seen someone tear phone books, bend steel bars, break bricks, tear a license plate in half, and crush full cans of soda pop, it's something to see. They got the crowd going, and really made an impression. And none of this was fake. These guys really do this stuff. Amazing. God is good!

2. I had a rather startling revelation today. My son is no longer a baby. He rode his bicycle by himself today. Sure, he still has training wheels, and occasionally needed a push start, but to see him tooling around our cul-de-sac on his bike made me both very proud and a bit sad. He's growing up. It's true what they say, it goes by fast. It seems like just recently I watched him pull himself up, and take his first steps. Now he's on a bike. And I was very proud when he had a small crash. He fell off, and I was sure he had probably skinned himself up or something. He didn't cry, or fuss. He climbed right back on the bike, and took off. Even our neighbor was impressed. That's my boy.

3. If you have your choice between the hard way of doing something or the less moral easy way, take the hard way. Every day, I talk to people who got themselves into some type of trouble, and they make the wrong choice, and it cost them so much more.

4. Florida in winter rocks. 72 today, beautiful skies, and tonight, the biggest, brightest, most beautiful moon lit up the sky.

5. Today was the Walt Disney World marathon. We had a 5k on Friday, a 1/2 marathon (The Donald) on Saturday, and a full marathon (the Mickey) today. If you run the 1/2 and the full, it's called "The Goofy". It was funny walking through Epcot tonight, and seeing people wearing the medals they received for running, and watching them walking through the park. More than a few had a very stiff, sore gait. Epcot is no small park, and after running 26.2 miles, I'm sure it takes a lot to walk around the world showcase. Heck, I didn't run anywhere today, and I'm pooped!

6. I miss all my friends back in KC. I'm very jealous of how well you guys have the improv scene working. I'm going to have to get going on my plan to start a group down here.

Monday, December 22, 2008 

Funniest Line of the Weekend

At Kim's friend's Christmas party (friends from Campus Crusade for Christ), during the explanation of the rules for our White Elephant Gift Exchange (the typical "choose or steal someone else's, 2 steals freezes" thing).

"And we're implementing the OJ rule. After it's stolen from you, you can't steal it back. You can't get your stuff back!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 

Breaking News

Everyone said I'd own this place once I moved down here. Well, here you go!

Thursday, December 04, 2008 

Thank You, Paul Harvey


I was listening to the Paul Harvey, Jr. morning update yesterday, when he started talking about itching, and how little medicine knows about why we itch. Then, he talked about people who have an intense itch on their back, on the left side, quarter sized, which lasts for years. He said it's called Notalgia Paresthetica.

I was so tickled to hear that, because I've had those exact symptoms for the past 5 years. It's an intense itch, like the worst mosquito bit you've ever had. It's at a spot you can't easily reach, so I end up keeping back scratchers around my desk and house. Or, I ask my loving wife to scratch my back for me. It's several times a day, and is quite annoying.

I've asked several doctors, and they've all been clueless. I've gotten everything "put some lotion on it", to a prescription for steriod cream, but nothing happens.

Turns out, there is no cure, but doing some research, I learned that long term relief has come from, of all things, Botox injections.

So, you can bet your butt I'll be in my dr.'s office next week with printouts from the web, and asking for a referral to a dermatoligist.

Amazing. 5 years of doctors, and I get my answer from Paul Harvey, Jr. Now, that's news.

Sunday, November 30, 2008 

Merry Christmas To All

We are well underway into the Holiday Season. What's happened in our neck of the woods? Well: 1. Kim cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for the three of us. And we are officially out of leftovers!

2. We drove to Downtown Disney so that Charlie could talk to Santa. This is the first year that Charlie is really understanding Christmas, and he is EXCITED!. He practiced what he wanted to say to Santa, and then got so excited, he just blurted it all out as soon as he saw him. But, we got a great photo (with an outstanding Santa). After visiting Santa, we walked and found a DJ spinning dance music in Downtown Disney. Charlie is all about dancing, as you can see below! (The sound doesn't work for some dumb reason, but you can tell, there was some great music going!)
video
3. Over the weekend, I put up lights on the house. Charlie has ben asking for several days, since the neighbors put up their lights. Tonight will be the grand unveiling!

4. We attempted some shopping on Black Friday, but it wasn't easy. Florida Mall (the largest mall in Orlando, but also the one that all the foreign visitors visit to load up on stuff before their return home) was packed. We managed a couple of purchases, but just wanted to get out of there.

5. Saturday was spent at home, and then friends came over to watch Charlie, and me and Kim had a date night. I won two tickets to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba. We really enjoyed it (and highly recommend it if coming to visit Orlando). We then ate at Raglan Road. One warning if you visit the one in KC . . .the Soda Bread is a might dense, and can sit on your stomach like a tennis ball.

6. Sunday, we skipped Church (got up too late), and then did some chores and a bit of shopping. Charlie got really tired, so we headed home for a nap.

Monday, it's back to work, back to school, and another week starts!

Sunday, November 23, 2008 

He Said What?

So, Charlie is pee-pee trained, but still has issues with poopy training. He's had two accidents at his new school, which they were none too happy about.

The other night, we went to dinner (Mr. K's, the best Chinese restaurant I've ever had. Really good!). At the end of dinner, I got a whiff of something, and it wasn't sweet and sour pork. So, we left and went home. Once inside, I took Charlie to the bathroom to clean him up. Unbeknownst to either of us, a small bit of poo (or "poo nugget" as we call them) had dropped down his pants leg. Kim stepped on it, and then tracked it into Charlie's bedroom, before noticing. I continued with Charlies "poo bath", intending to clean up when I was done.

Once the bath was over, I carried Charlie to his room, to put on his jammies. He looked down and said, "ooo, icky". Then, he told me he wanted to read a story. I said sure.

Then, he loudly proclaimed, "Clean up the $#!t, then read a story". I stopped dead in my tracks, and asked him to repeat it. "Clean up the $#!t, then read a story". Trying really hard not to laugh, as I was still unsure that I heard what I heard, I called Kim in, and asked Charlie to repeat it. Sure enough, "Clean up the $#!t, go read a story". I had heard right. We changed it to Clean up the poo, and he seemed happy with that.

So, the next day, I talk to his teacher and tell her the funny story. I didn't want to accuse, as I wasn't 100% sure they had said it (I know we hadn't), but I wanted to get my point across. She quickly blamed the other kids, but I think she understood.

My son's first curse words. I'm so proud.

UPDATE

Tonight, Charlie and I had Father/Son time, while Mommy went out with her friends. We went bowling (kiddie bowling alley rocks), and then to dinner.

Last Sunday, we were watching SNL on TIVO, when the Beyonce song came on "Single Ladies". I watched it (because I'm male with a pulse), but then at the end, I heard beside me, "Again". Only it wasn't the normal voice of my 4 year old. It was somewhat lower, and more breathy. We watched the video several times, and it's become his favorite song. We've watched it 20+ times lately.

Tonight, on the way home from bowling, I started singing, "All the single ladies". I got interrupted by Charlie saying, "no, Daddy. It's All the Chicken Ladies".
I almost wrecked the car laughing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 

Happy Birthday, Boss!

My boss turns 80 years old today. Not bad for a Kansas City native.




Happy Birthday, Mickey.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 

Ok, Trish, Some Photos

We start with Charlie's favorite thing right now, the Bullet Train (otherwise known as Geotrax). This is actually a lot of fun for both Charlie and Daddy.
Next, apparently our house is haunted by a purple ghost, who only appears after baths.Then, we get to see Charlie and his best friend, Brody, on Halloween night. Charlie was an astronaut, and Brody had the cutest costume of Clark Kent.Then, lastly, a short story. Boys look up to their fathers, and Charlie is no exception. He loves to help me around the house, whether I want it or not ;-). We bought him some socks that look like the white socks I wear, and he proudly proclaims he is wearing "daddy socks". Then, Mama got him some new shoes. They look like the white tennis shoes I wear, and so he calls them "daddy shoes".

So, the other night, after putting him to bed, I went into our bedroom and saw something on the floor. I had taken off my tennis shoes and put them near the wall next to our bed. And I noticed something else had been added.


I love being a dad!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 

I can't believe it's been a year

Actually, that's a lie. I can.

One year ago, I posted on here that I had given up sweets. No candy, no pie, no cake, no cookies, no cans of frosting, no tubes of cookie dough. Nothing.

And now, I'm happy to report that it's been a year since I've eaten any sweets. Plus, I also cut out snacking at work. I eat breakfast, lunch, and then go home for dinner.

The results? Well, over the year I've dropped 44 pounds. I also dropped 5 inches off my waist. I stalled in my weight loss about 5 months ago, but then, a delightful case of stomach flu last month started me up again (mixed blessings, huh?).

My common line I tell people when they look at me astonished when I refuse a piece of birthday cake or a cookie is that I'm 43, and I've already eaten 86 years worth of sweets, so I'm not really missing anything.

I've still got a lot of weight to go, and I'm afraid that cutting out sweets only took me so far. I need to eat better at the other times. Fortunately, I've got some good genes, because all my #'s come back perfect (blood sugar, cholestoral, etc).

The most fun I had was selling my fat jeans on Ebay. Made some money on that one! Woohoo!