Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas in Texas

Since we are traveling to Minneapolis for Christmas this year, we had Christmas with Jon's family last Friday. The weekend before Christmas, I decided it would be a fun idea to bake cookies with our niece and nephew. My niece had a ball, and my nephew got into the cookie decorating in between bouts of X-Box playing. The cookies turned out awesome if you could get past the fact that most of the sprinkles were in one large heap in the center of the cookie. But who am I to judge the artistic musings of a four- and seven-year-old?

I made them little aprons with their names on them to use when we do projects at our house. Oh yeah, who's the cool aunt? Me.

The finished products displayed at our family Christmas gathering.

Our tree and some of our Christmas decor.

We gave our niece a tea set that was a big hit.
The coasters doubled as bundt cakes - mmmmm, bundt cake.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In honor of our new home state

I die laughing every time I hear this on the radio out here.

Bud Light's Real Men of Genius Mr. Way Too Proud of Texas Guy. You don't have to live here to find it funny, but it does take on new meaning when you do.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

See ya

I should probably let everyone know that I survived the gallbladder surgery. It was fairly uneventful, really. I was able to go home the same night (in a decent amount of pain covered by a Vicadin-induced stupor), and by the following Friday I felt well enough to leave the house for some errands. In case you are into this kind of thing, here is a link to my surgery photos: http://tinyurl.com/y6sukj. Some people have found them fascinating, others notsomuch. My squeamish friends should probably avoid them.

The house is now completely packed up, and the movers will be here tomorrow to take everything down to Austin. Not much else to say here really. It's sad to leave, it's happy to finally get down there. I've worked in the same office for six years and can only hope the people at my new office will be just as great. We've had a lot of help from our friends these past few months, and at times it feels wrong that they put so much effort and their own time into helping us move farther away.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gallbladder Surgery - Everybody's Doing It

...aaaaaannd I need to have my gallbladder removed. It turns out the excruciating upper abdominal pains I have been experiencing for the past couple of months are not stress-related heartburn. Who knew, right? If you want the whole down and dirty saga leading up to the decision to ditch my defective organ, drop me an email. The bottom line is - it's gotta go. Since a lot of family and friends have had questions for me, I compiled some information that might interest you (or completely freak you out, whichever). Info from Mayoclinic.com:

Where is my gallbladder and what the hell does it do?
The gallbladder is a structure on the underside of the liver on the right side of the abdomen. The function of the gallbladder is to store bile that is produced in the liver before the bile is secreted into the intestines. Bile secreted into the intestines helps the body digest fats.

What are gallstones?
Like many people, you may have gallstones and not know it. In fact, gallstones — solid deposits of cholesterol or calcium salts that form in your gallbladder or nearby bile ducts — often cause no symptoms and require no treatment. But some people with gallstones will have a gallbladder attack that can cause symptoms such as nausea and an intense, steady ache in their upper middle or upper right abdomen. In some cases, the pain can be severe and intermittent.

How do I know if my gallbladder is crapping out on me?
You may not know you have gallstones until they're discovered during tests done for other reasons. But sometimes gallstones may cause certain signs and symptoms:

- Sudden, steady and moderate to intense pain in your upper middle or upper right abdomen. This may signal a gallbladder attack. The pain may occur one to two hours after eating but may also occur at other times — even at night. It can last from 15 to 30 minutes to several hours. Gallbladder pain starts in your upper middle or upper right abdomen and, on occasion, may shift to your back or right shoulder blade. After the pain subsides, you might have a mild aching or soreness in your upper abdomen that can last for up to a day or so. Gallbladder attacks tend to occur infrequently — weeks, months or even years apart.

- Nausea and vomiting. These signs and symptoms may accompany a gallbladder attack.

What is the treatment?
Laparoscopic surgery. Most often gallbladder surgery is performed using a laparoscope, a pencil-thin tube with its own lighting system and miniature video camera. A surgeon inserts the laparoscope into your abdomen through a hollow instrument (cannula). Only small incisions are required. The video camera then produces a magnified view on a television monitor of the inside of your abdomen. This allows the surgeon to see the surgery in detail. To remove your gallbladder, he or she uses tiny instruments inserted through several other small abdominal incisions. Because laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) uses smaller incisions, you'll likely have less postoperative pain, less scarring and an earlier return to your normal activity — often within just a few days. Laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder is effective in the majority of cases.

Is the surgery safe?
Every year, about 500,000 people have their gallbladders removed. The gallbladder is not an essential organ, and even today, only surgical removal of the gallbladder guarantees that the patient will not suffer a recurrence of gallstones.

When are you having your surgery?
Not sure yet. I should know in a day or two. I am also not sure if I will need to have it before or after I leave Denver for Austin. Stay tuned to the ongoing saga of Shannon's gallbladder...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wanna see the new crib?

I thought it might be fun for everyone to see some photos of the house we will be renting in Austin. It is just a couple of miles from downtown and close to both of our offices. All of these photos show the owner's belongings and are from the rental listing. We, of course, have a lot cooler stuff to put in there. Enjoy!


Living Room

Dining Room


Back patio/yard (a.k.a. Kona's Domain)


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been awhile since the last real update, but we've been pretty busy moving pets around (they now live in Austin and are anxiously awaiting our arrival I'm sure) and getting our house ready to go on the market. Sorry to say, there is not much else to tell on the move right now. Finding a rental house to our liking in Austin is proving much more difficult than we had anticipated. Apparently, this is one of the hot places to move in the country and the good houses are flying off the shelves faster than we can apply for them.

I have been so busy, I almost forgot to post a photo from the heavily anticipated Wedding #5 in New Jersey. I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely area in New Jersey where Julie and Sam held their wedding reception. Lots of nice trees, a big old mansion, great food. I'm not sure New Jersey is a place I would ever relocate to, but they love it and that's what matters.

Leaving the chapel. Aw, aren't they cute?

Only other halfway decent photo I have of the happy couple.

Next big event: Jon and I are throwing ourselves a going-away party to see all of our Colorado friends once more before we skip town. I guarantee there will be some winning shots from that one.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Our Soon-to-Be New Home.

More details to follow...we promise.

Source: mydreamhome-austintx.com

Friday, August 04, 2006

Say NO to mass dog slaughter in China!

Don't mean to get all politcal on everybody, but this really bothers me. As of this morning, a second Chinese city has begun a mass killing of an estimated 500,000 dogs. If you haven't already signed this petition, please do so. Every signature helps.


Text/Photo from the petition website:

Officials in a southwestern Chinese county brutally slaughtered 50,000 dogs in a government-ordered crackdown after three people died of rabies. Dogs being walked were seized from their owners and beaten to death on the spot. Killing teams also entered villages at night creating noise to get dogs barking, and then beat the animals to death. Had the government been more attentive and proactive about rabies vaccination, the killings wouldn’t have been necessary. Only 3 percent of dogs are vaccinated against rabies and more than 2,000 people die of the disease each year. Regardless of culture, the brutal killing of innocent life, human or not, is unacceptable. This must not happen again in the future! It is essential that the Chinese government place an emphasis on widespread rabies vaccination to ensure human health and prevent the unnecessary loss of animal life. Sign this petition to call on the US Ambassador to China, Clark T. Randt, to urge the Chinese government to adopt rabies prevention as a rule.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Blog Entry for Christine

...and all the rest of our nerdy (raising my hand) friends. I can't take credit for this list since Christine actually compiled it, but I decided it warrants a post. I keep it on the wall in my office for when I need a laugh. Keep in mind that every single one of these quotes were actually said in class.

Collection of Quotes from Our Freshman Calculus Professor

"I guess that you've noticed by now that 'sine' and 'cosine' are the same word, it's just that one has 'co' in front of it."

"I've got to get rid of that case of Jack Daniel's in my office."

"We have two things left to do with inverse trig functions, and they're both _really_ strange."

"All of the stuff I've done today is really confusing..."

"I'd rather not talk about this right now because it's a pretty confusing subject."

"Elvis appeared to me in a dream last night. He said, 'no more real long homework assignments.'"

"Pretend I'm dragging something heavy across the floor. Say, Arnold Schwarzenegger's leg...."

"The nice thing about the topic we're going to do today is that you don't need to know it."

"Of course now you're screwed if you don't know how to do this integral."

"The integral looks like a big S. Let's call it 'big S.' The rest is just junk. Let's call it 'junk.' So you get '2 x S = junk.'"

"Does this mean ln of x plus x? No, it means ln of x plus x."

"If there's one topic that you're not going to study, this should be it."

"So basically I'd say nonsense equals nonsense. But it's still right."

"Unless you have a good reason for not doing this..."

"Now we use the junk method, and this is the junk."

"Wait a minute... I don't want to do something stupid here."

"Here's where the fun begins!"

"I can't explain it very well, so you certainly wouldn't get a good explanation from another student."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wedding #4 - Check.

The summer of 2006 wedding season is beginning to wind down. We just returned home from Wedding #4 of 5 - Jon's cousin Jessica and her new husband Chris. The setting was a historical hall at the University Tampa, FL. The weather was perfect and we had a great time. Jessica and Chris' wedding was preceded by the wedding of Shannon's cousin Nick and his new wife Laura in Minneapolis, MN. Oh, but there's more. Shannon also attended the wedding the weekend before that of her friend Ryan and his lovely wife Carrie. Since everyone loves other people's wedding photos, here are a few for you to check out.

Ryan & Carrie - June 18, 2006

Leaving the church.

Carrie's bouquet flying directly into the chandelier.

I'll give you $100 if you can prove you've seen a llama favor before.

Nick & Laura - June 24, 2006

First dance.

Partying in the limo.

Shannon's clan.

Grandpa & Shannon

Jessica & Chris - July 1, 2006

The happy couple. Her mother made the gown!

Our niece - Jade. Go ahead, ask her if she wants to put the dress on.

Our nephew Jax caught the garter.


Jessica & Jon

A wonderfully flattering picture of Derek.

That's better.

Bob, Beth, and Chuck probably plotting when
there will be more grandchildren.

That's all for now! Next up - a wedding in beautiful Pomptom Plains, New Jersey. See you on the East Coast.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Email From Our Friend Chris

Friends/Colleagues/Family -

Most of you probably know by now that I got in a terrible accident on Wednesday AM on the way to work. I am in a good amount of pain right now, but it pales in comparison to what could have happened to me.

I wanted to send you all these pictures to give you a visual example of what can happen when you take your eyes off the road for 2 seconds. In my case I was sending an email out. I'll warn you - my car is a twisted hunk of metal so if that may bother you than don't open these. I am extremely lucky to be walking and talking right now.

Please let my mistake be a lesson for everyone. Every time you get in your car I beg of you to please:

1 - put on your seatbelt - even if you are just running to the store around the corner
2 - there is no email or text message that cannot wait until you are not driving. Nothing is that important.

Feel free to send this to your wives, husbands, friends, anyone - to show them the end result of not paying 100% attention to the road when you are driving.

You all know that I'm always joking around, but I cannot be more serious about this. I would hate to lose any of you to a situation like this that can easily be avoided.

Buckle Up Please - it saved my life.

Take care


Cowboy Quote

We are all travelers in this world...
From the Sweet Grass, to the Packing house.
From Birth to Death. Traveling between Eternities...
Now take your Canteen and Tin of Crackers, and 'Git.

-- Robert Duvall as Print Ritter in Broken Trail (adapted)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Here, Learn Something

I felt like adding something to the blog, but since I am in limbo between Summer Wedding #2 and #3 (of 5), I have no interesting events to recap. In lieu of a story, I have chosen to post something potentially useful:

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet
(you know you want to know how to do this)

1. Spread out the sheet with the elastic facing up and all edges folded in.
2. Fold the sheet in half (bottom to top) and place the two bottom corners inside the two top corners. Then smooth out the sheet so that it resembles a semicircle.
3. Fold the sheet in half horizontally, turning it over so the elastic corners are on the bottom.
4. Fold the sheet into thirds, horizontally. Then fold it in thirds lengthwise. Voila -- You should have a perfect square!

-- Courtesy of Springmaid Home Fashions

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How About Some Random Pictures?

I just had a chance to upload some new pictures. There is really no rhyme, reason, or story here. Just good clean photo fun. Enjoy!

Shannon's graduation ceremony on May 12, 2006.
Jon and Kona
Jon, Shannon, Louriann, and Mac in Hawaii.
My cousin Jamie's wedding and her new husband, Brian.

Spend Your Money Here

Last year, my sister and brother-in-law took a chance on a dream and purchased a gift shop (with much more than just gifts inside!) in a town called Emily, MN. If you can't tell already, this blog entry is shaping into a shameless plug for their store - the Rustic River Trading Company. The risk they took in opening the store paid off in more ways than one. Not only has the business thrived by bringing amazing North Woods inspired furniture, artwork, clothing, and artwork to the Brainerd Lakes Area, it completely changed their formerly urban lifestyle. They became an important part of Minnesota community that relies on quality businesses like the Rustic River Trading Company to attract tourism (and keep all those fishermen's and hunters' wives and daughters happy).

Here's the shameless plug part: go there and spend money! Come on all you Minnesotans that read this blog from time to time, get up there and send that Minnesota hoodie to your college roommate freezing his butt off on the East Coast. Ladies, ditch your guys on the lake and stop in for some gourmet coffee and some handmade jewelry. Support my sister and brother-in-law and have some fun doing it. They work really hard to make customers happy because they know how they want to be treated as consumers. The best part - no mosquitoes inside the store!

Visit their brand new website with pictures, maps, and contact information! http://www.rusticrivertradingcompany.com/

Monday, May 22, 2006



“The Time will come up -
and the winds will stop -
and the breeze will cease to be a breezing -
Like the Stillness in the wind before the hurricane rolls in-
The Hour that the ships come in –
There’s water to our thighs –
There’s water in our eyes –
And the sharks will BEGIN their feedin’
But the Sea Drift we won’t be seeeeeeeiing- “
* An edited version of the Bob Dylan version

In the spring of 1997, we had made a decision to enter the Texas Water Safari. The World’s Toughest Boat race. We had made several excursions to Mike’s place down on the river to get the appropriate information. I think we made it there a total of once. Don’t quote me on that. After reading the rules the one thing, that we figured we would need, is a Gonadian. How important is the boat anyway? Unbeknownst to us we found out that they mostly traveled in pairs, so wouldn’t you know it. We got 2. So, we were well on our way to winning the race. Next thing we needed to do is pick a number. As numbers go, ussually in order, so they say, we counted out how many fingers we had and opted to go with the best number we could think of. Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9. After sealing the deal with our Gonadians, we registered in the Novice class.
Greer’s now ex-wife Molly had the food we would need, already in the oven, and so we figured that it would be a good time to get a boat. No need for rushing around, we figured there was still a good two hours before orientation began. So we burned one and ran on over to the local REI shop and rented a Keowee. It was the best boat we had ever seen. Streamlined and bucket seats. It was like a two man kiyak only bigger. There were snap-ons for some kind of cover. Don’t know much about that. The guy at REI wanted to know where we were going to paddle. Suddenly we noticed a sign that said something like “No Moving Water.” No worries. We told him that we would be out on Lake Buchanan fishing. He didn’t think much of it and handed us a couple of those double bladed paddles, a couple of life jackets and a rental agreement. Happy with our rental we headed back to Greer’s to pack the boat and pick up the Gonadians.
Our safari cruiser for this trip would be an early model Toyota 4x4 pickup. We stuffed the boat on top and the supplies in back. We wanted video and photos of this event so we brought along a camcorder and a couple of snap and shoots. The Gonadians had their own car to follow us down in. It was some type of egg looking thing. No matter. Only one more stop and we were at Aquarena Springs. R and R spirits is just along the path and here is where our first Safari Tradition begins. A couple cases of beer and a fifth of Ol’number 7. Some folks’ll tell you that it is good to eat a hearty meal and get a good nights rest before the race. Some folks wont. There is a pork chop in every beer and we found a pizza guy back in the woods where we were sipping whiskey with the Gonadians.
We met up with Cooter Brown and made our way to the staging area. For sure, I can tell you that everyone there had been there for sometime and were quite surprised to find us strolling in with the Duct Tape Sally. Families and crews all dressed the same in floral outfits and iiiiieeeee Cajuns in wooden boats, but most of all John Bugge. These are the people who heard it first, our proclamation of victory. We had declared under an oath of Cooter Brown that we would be victorious. Soon there was some guy at a podium trying to get people’s attention. Apparently, they do some kind of speech to let people know about the water conditions and stuff. I don’t know much about that. This is where the Gonadians step in.
Stace and I went on walk about to take a review of our competition. Here along the way we ran into Mark Simmons. This guy had about 1 ounce of food and a bandana or something packed away in his boat. For Sure he had no idea what he was talking about, but being that he is also a friend to Cooter Brown we figured he’s alright. Turns out Mark finishes this year 8th overall in 40:13. Can you believe that? Sooner or later we made our way back to the boat.
The Gonadians appeared to be agitated about our lack of concern regarding the seriousness of this competition. But I don’t know much about that either. Once we had completed our check in we decided to get some grub. So we found the cooler and grabbed another Beer. It wasn’t long after that when one Gonadian said to the other “I’ll see you tomorrow”. So she left.
Here we were with one Gonadian and a hotel room set up for us by Beth. Cutos to Beth! After checking into the hotel room we all ran down to Pepper’s for some fine dinning and a few beers and then went on back to our room. Near as I can remember it was somewhere around 2am so we figured it’s be a good time to go to bed, but ended up going swimming instead. For the rest of this nights story you’ll have to wait for Paul Harvey.
That next morning sure did come early. All I recall of the first few minutes is a Gonadian trying to wake us up. But we made it down to the staging area where we were greeted by hoards of supporters. Amongst those were our Family and Friends. My Dad and Beth were there. Jim was there. Lindy was there. Molly was there with Savanah and Gideon. The Gonadians were there. Thanks to Cooter Brown I cant remember the rest of you but thanks for coming. The one thing that everyone there had in common was the look they were giving us. I cant quite put a thumb on it but I’d say they didn’t think we were coming back. Or else they knew about the careful planning and dedication in our training we did to make it here.
Now we have to get in the boat and start this thing up. We waddled in duck fashion down the springs and dropped that sucker in. It took a second or two to figure out which end of the paddle was the right one, being as that they were double bladed and all. Eventually we lined up with our competitors, and did it only hitting a few other boats. One of the best things about the Texas Water Safari is the God fearing people that make it all possible. So, we all took a moment in prayer before the countdown began.
The gun goes off and every boat is making there way down the line. Most everyone knows the course so there’s not a lot of need to go over the details. What I can tell you is what John Bugge told us “You could pull a skier with that wake!.” I don’t think he was talking about how fast we were going. So they say it’s a high water year and we found ourselves outside the boat. It is really hard to pull a sunken boat out while your floating down river. Lucky for us there was a tree in the way. We managed to pull our boat up and drain the water. To our amazement we did not loose any gear. Except for a few random escapee fireballs, those tie downs were holding.
We figured out that paddling requires some type of syncronism and after several miles we started to get this thing down, then we ran into a Dam. It seemed like all of the racers were going to the right and walking their boats around. This seemed like an obvious place to pick up some time so we pulled right up on the dam and threw the boat over. After gathering our supplies we jumped back in the boat and down the line. We had heard several racers telling us from behind to portage and something about cotton seeds but really couldn’t make it out. There was a crowd of people lined up along the shore and we thought they were there for us so we started yelling at them. Everyone was yelling “YEAH! You guys are the only ones to do it!” Since we saw at least a good thirty other boats ahead of us, we yelled back at them “YEAH! We we know!”
It was just about then that it hit us. It was a huge drop and then I remember looking at the water line just above my bottom eyelid. The boat managed to resurface and there I saw Stace swimming along side. He was telling me to get out of the boat. Instead I held on for another dunking. The boat managed to hit a shallow spot and we regained control. There again was the crowd yelling at us. So, we took stock and it appeared that we lost a few homemade cookies. As we turn to look down river we could see those bags floating away. No matter we still had plenty of Peanut butter bars. So, after taking a bow to the crowd we were off and down the line.
Four hours or so in to the race we had reached check point number 1. There we were once again greeted by our Gonadian Land Crew. Our boat was filled with red fireball water and we lost the squirt guns. A little hobnobbing with the Land Crew and we were set to go. As we were preparing to make our way down the Staples Dam ladder, out pops my Dad. He always does that on this race. After a bit of tale telling, we jumped back in the boat and down the line. It was a couple hours later, and then it all started to go a different direction.
People talk about logjams. It ain’t nothing you’d throw on a piece of bread and if you were to try explaining this to someone who hadn’t seen it, then it wouldn’t make a difference if it was. We rolled up on what looked like a bunch of trees that had fell over and blocked the river at the surface. We figured we paddled up on it and walk across. So as we run into this thing and none of it moves it seemed like a noble idea. As I stood up and bent over to get a good look at my foot placement I noticed that this log did, in fact, seem to be moving. Upon a closer look I was horrified when it revealed a thousand spiders and ants of different varieties. Also, it appeared that these logs were not side by side, but there were gaps between them. In these gaps were moss covered, bug infested, grassy type of something floating in the middle. It was gonna take careful stepping not to fall in. As I took my first step I remember seeing the logs from underneath the water. After a brief interpersonal moment, I jumped out of that water and was screaming like baby! I was covered from head to toe in spiders, but there was nothing I could do about it until we got across the logs.
Safari partners are special people. I’ve heard stories of all types. The noble Safari partner to the AS@!##H%#! sitting in the back. I heard, coming from the back of the boat. Laughter. Then I heard Laughter. Then as we were crossing the logs I heard a splash. Then I heard screams! Like those of the baby, Then there was no laughter. From the back of the boat. Sooner or later we finally made across the logjam and dunked ourselves underwater and were able to get most of those suckers off. So we went on down the line.
The river was moving pretty good and we were pretty much by ourselves out there. We came to one particular fork in the river. It looked like posts were coming out of the water like those of an old fishing wharf. We figured we’d just go right up through them. As we got up in between those, a closer look to the right revealed, the river. It was then that we heard what sounded like a waterfall. My memory is a little unclear of this event. All I remember is walking around looking for our stuff. A short sit on the river bank and another tally of our supplies was in order. We were busted. Our hopes of victory lost. Our food, also lost. We had nothing left but 2 paddles, Duck Tape Sally, a couple life jackets and a rental agreement. God must have stepped in here, cause we got back in that boat. A couple miles of drifting led us to a checkpoint. There was a guy there with a red shirt on telling us how good we were doing. He sounded like that teacher from Charlie Brown and the only thing we could make out is “Its only 1 mile to the next checkpoint, you can do it!.” Our Gonadian Land Crew was there video taping us. Stace was shivering from sun burn and neither one of us were getting back in that boat. I guess the guy in the Red shirt and our Land Crew must have been conspiring against us, cause now they were telling us how good we were doing and that it was only 1 mile to the next checkpoint. We later found out that it is a requirement of the job. The ability to lie to your water crew. Those Gonadians did a fine job of that, cause somehow they convinced us to get back in the boat. Can you believe that? The next part of the race is fairly uneventful as it was mostly a drift along. Luling 90. Here was the end of the line for number 9. We pulled out at 60 miles of the 260 mile race. We knew it was for sure the moment we seen Cooter Brown. The Gonadians were so proud. They were proud that they effectively had us believing that we made it 60 miles. We all know what the map says. 38 miles to Luling 90. Damn they’re good.

“The Time will come up -
and the winds will stop -
and the breeze will cease to be a breezing -
Like the Stillness in the wind before the hurricane rolls in-
The Hour that the ships come in –
There’s water to our thighs –
There’s water in our eyes –
And the sharks will BEGIN their feedin’
But the Sea Drift we won’t be seeeeeeeiing- “
* An edited version of the Bob Dylan version

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Cooter Brown was always there, even from the beginning. What we didn’t know then, is what we don’t know now. It is like almost like reading a foreign language for the first time every time. Mi Mochillia de paca lolo esta yeno siempre. If you can’t figure that one out then you probably won’t figure out the rest our story either. That’s OK. We don’t know either and that is exactly what we are here for.

Some folks paddle cause they’re married. Some folks paddle cause they don’t have nothing better to do. I have heard that some folks do it because they like to. I don’t know if I believe that but I sure will bet those people always think twice about that somewhere near Hochhiem. Still other folks say that it gives them pride and for them I say “you don’t come out with anything that you didn’t go in with”. You’ll also hear talk of tradition and I cant really argue with that. I think we need more of them. Some folks do it for the challenge. Try it backwards. I believe some people do it for the drugs. You know who you are. I’ve heard your stories about river monkeys and stuff. Hallucinations and what not. I do recall one year a solo runner creaping up on a barge. He sure did think it was an island though. There is talk of a River Goddess. I’ve seen her too. She is one of those shiny Starz. I am certain there are a great many reasons why people say they do this thing. Our story is a little less clear.

Somewhere sometime in San Marcos Texas we met up with Cooter Brown. He would say “Want a beer?.” Then a short while later he would say “Want a beer?.” Yet another short while later he would say “Want a beer?.” It went on just like this for good long while as near as I can remember. Sometime around then we learned about “ FUMAR CHOCHAR MOPAR.”

For years following this episode those words stayed with us.

In the Spring of 1997 I was working out in the World Gym in Round Rock Texas. There on the notice board was a notice. Can you believe that? It said “ Teammate wanted for World’s Toughest Boat Race.” Might have I walked away. There is no need for detail here. It would only bore the readers. A long story short the lady already had a partner. Lindy and Mike are copped out, so Stacey H G___ and Jon T S______ began the story of Number 9.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What Do You Mean It Doesn't Fit?

Remember the computer armoire from our last post? You know, the one we spent months searching for on Ebay and Craigslist? The one we drove to the other side of the city to check out, and then paid the guy an extra $50 to deliver? The one that cost every ounce of our precious free time over the past 4 weeks to sand it, stain it, re-sand it, and then re-stain it? The one that nearly broke the backs of Jon and our neighbor, Chris, getting it up the stairs from the garage?

It doesn't fit through our office door.

As close as it got to the office (last door on the right).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The End of the Tunnel

Last night I turned in the absolute last bit of work I need to do for graduate school ever. The sense of relief resulting from the end of three years of busting ass is incredible. It was about all I could do this semester to churn out a 19-page literature review on the evils of perchlorate, followed by a 10-page report on the evils of Teflon, followed by a 20-minute presentation on the evils of modeling fuel contamination. That's a lot of evils. Aside from showing up for a mandatory class next week (otherwise who would watch the poor souls that have yet to deliver their fascinating presentations?) I'm finished. There is no doubt I learned a thing here and there about Environmental Science and Engineering, but I think what I learned the most about is just how much mental stress I can sustain in a three-year period. Now it's time to re-learn how to use the free time I have lacked for so long. I'm seriously looking forward to that lesson.

House Update: We decided to paint our office last weekend (between writing papers of course). We're going for an old world tropical theme (aka a place to store all the stuff we bought in Hawaii). Oh yeah, and we got it in our heads that purchasing a computer armoire off Craigslist and subsequently re-staining it to a dark espresso color would be an easy thing. Note to self and other future furniture refinishers - 2 coats of stain on the Minwax can = 8 coats of stain in real life.
Dog Update: Kona is now officially huge. Approximately 80 pounds last time we checked. I guess when he hits 100 pounds he will be officially enormous. He will start obedience training next week. Nothing like an 80-pound untrained puppy, right?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Kauai Trip - Photo Update

Ok, I'm feeling very uncreative and unoriginal these days since graduate school is pretty much draining the life out of my free time, but I wanted to get some pictures up of our trip to Kauai in March. Aside from being a little wet with record rainfall, we had a great time with Jon's parents.

The Mai Tai - Official Drink of the Trip

Jon as Tiki Man

The Kalalau Valley from Waimea Canyon

Boat Cruise Up the Na Pali Coast

Humpback Whale

Devestation from the March 14th Dam Break

The Whole Gang at the Waimea Brewery

Why There Are No Snorkeling Pictures - Runoff

No Jon, you cannot have a hula girl.

Shannon, you are out of luck too. Especially with no tan.

We don't need any hula people.

Three Humpbacks from our Helicopter

One Last Shot of the Na Pali Coast