Category Archives: Family

Non Sequitur: Diet Coke and Mentos

Diet Coke Fountain
If you frequent or Google Video, you’ve almost certainly seen a slew of videos in which people combine Mentos mints and Diet Coke with explosive results. Sunday evening after dinner, we were relaxing on the deck with friends and family after dinner when my mother declared that she wanted to see the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment.

We had neither Diet Coke nor Mentos in the house, so a trip to the grocery store was in order.

  • One box of Mentos mints: $1.09
  • Three 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke: $3.00
  • Mom encouraging her kids to play with their food: priceless

Vacation Complete

Alas, our Memorial Day vacation has come to an end. Laura, Kyle and I have returned from Upper Michigan and are reluctantly resuming our normal, non-vacation activities. Photos and anecdotes (along with a review of X-Men: The Last Stand) to follow.

One thing that I got out of this vacation is a serious case of digital camera envy, thanks to brothers Adam and Keven and Aunt Susie. Adam has a Panasonic TZ1, which is right up my alley. It’s small, fast, has a brilliant LCD screen and takes very nice photos (and Quicktime movies). Keven and Susie both have cameras (Canon and Nikon, respectively) that are a bit out of my price and skill ranges. Then again, they both make money taking photos, so their equipment is a bit beyond what Joe Snapshot and I use. Keven has lenses for his camera that rival the Hubble Telescope in size and can take pictures through walls.

Just so you’re not left empty-handed, here’s a picture of my mother’s cat, Midgie, who decided that the lower deck of Kyle’s stroller looked pretty comfortable. As much as it may appear that Midgie is depositing a little something special for us, I assure you that is not the case. As is often the case with cats, Midgie realized just prior to the picture that she was doing something incredibly cute, so she decided to move. This picture was taken with my mother’s camera, which is an Olympus something-or-other. It’s a fine camera, but doesn’t make our HP PhotoSmart look like an Etch-a-Sketch quite the same way the Panasonic TZ1 does.

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my sisters, Brenda (AKA Jamwoman; Older, Bigger Lil Sis) and Karen (AKA Karen), who are both much, much younger than me.

Brenda reminds me with disturbing frequency that I was quite vociferous in my desire for a younger sister while my mother was pregnant (with what the doctors at the time believed to be “a big boy”). Lemme tell you something, Brenda: you weren’t born! You have no idea what I said while you were percolating! It’s all hearsay, and it’ll never hold up in court! Ha!

Whatever I may or may not have wanted at the time, what Mom came home from the hospital with was twin girls, identical in every respect, except that they looked and acted nothing alike. Brenda is dark-haired and boisterous, while Karen is blonde and quiet. They probably should have been named “Yin” and “Yang,” yet some people insisted on having trouble telling them apart.

Happy birthday to both of you. And Karen, I’m really sorry about that whole “smashing your finger with the sledge hammer” thing.

Weekend Wrap-up for 17-18 December 2005.

Saturday morning was a buzz of house-cleaning activity as Laura and I prepared for the arrival of Adam, youngest of my brothers and rightful heir to the Throne of the Dreaming Serpent. I was responsible for the cleaning of floors, which included vacuuming carpeted floors and first swiffing ((swiff [v.] – to use a Swiffer® sweeper.)) then mopping wood and lineoleum floors. Laura should not be cleaning bathrooms in her condition, ((I love the word “condition” when applied in this manner; it has such gravity. Probably because of the whole “defcon” business. Right now, Laura is at Pregcon 8. If she hits Pregcon 10, we’ve got problems.)) yet that’s just what she did.

After the house was deemed acceptable, we did a little grocery shopping. We grabbed a six-pack of Bud Light for Adam and—much to Laura’s disgust—a six-pack of watermelon-flavored Smirnoff’s Twisted V for me. ((Adam is a Bud Light man, through and through, whereas I do not drink beer. Were she not pregnant, Laura would probably be okay drinking Bud Light or Smirnoff Twisted V. Unless it’s watermelon-flavored. Artificial watermelon flavoring may not be Laura’s kryptonite, but it’s probably pretty close. I thought it was pretty good.)) We also bought three gallons of milk and various snack-type foods (including a yummy cheese ball).

Due to a little directional mix-up (my fault), Adam wound up arriving about an hour late. We immediately headed out to Mariachi’s for dinner, then watched Kingdom of Heaven on pay-per-view. Pretty good movie. I was pleasantly surprised. Adam drank the hell out of the six-pack of Bud Light ((Not the six-pack I bought, mind you. That one was moved to the garage when Adam arrived with his own six-pack. The one I bought went to Toledo with Adam and was, hopefully, enjoyed by both he and our eldest brother, David (AKA Thagg).)) and we watched Saturday Night Live for the first time in what seemed like ages.

Sunday morning, Adam and I played Darkwatch for an hour or so after breakfast. Laura played hooky from church with the intention of visiting her father in the hospital, ((Laura’s father was admitted Saturday evening after it was discovered that he has a blood clot in his arm. I won’t go into the particulars, but he was scheduled to have surgery to remove it today.)) but after consulting with her mother she decided to go see him this morning, instead.

Adam left a little after 1:00, and I did a whole lot of nothing for the remainder of the day. Jericho Cross killed a slew of undead gunslingers and just-as-undead Native Americans, though. Not to mention those damned banshees.

Waiting on the TiVo: Shallow Ground (the SciFi Saturday movie) and The Fly II.

First Flakes

We had a little snow in Willoughby on Thursday. Just enough that I had to shovel a drift on the front steps and sprinkle some salt on the sidewalk Friday morning. The sun has been out all morning and now most of the snow has melted.

When I got home from the NaNoWriMo meeting Thursday evening, I found an e-mail from my dad waiting. Seems they’d gotten some snow in the U.P., too.

Messy Manor Road Old Man Winter vs. Messy Manor
(Click thumbnail for a larger image.)

Tuesday Bullets

  • Laura and I attended the October gathering of the Cleveland-area NaNoWriMo group Thursday evening. This is the first of two meetings to ramp-up for November, when we’ll both be cranking out 50,000 words. There were about twenty people in attendance, including Chris “Codeshaman” Miller (Unquiet Desperation, Podiobooks), Blob and Yotto.
  • Laura and I put the border up in the baby’s room Saturday afternoon. The room (which we painted blue immediately after we moved into the house) is going to be a combination nursery/guest bedroom, so long as our guests don’t mind sleeping amidst the pattern of fluffy clouds, smiling suns and moons.
  • I did not watch either of the Living Dead movies that premiered on the SciFi Channel Saturday night. I just wasn’t in the mood for zombie movies.
  • I didn’t manage to wrap up Splinter Cell, either. Sam Fisher’s assault on the Georgian Presidential palace goes well right up until he hops on that blasted elevator; then everything goes straight to hell.
  • Laura’s father had quadruple-bypass surgery on Wednesday and is doing quite well. We visited him at the Cleveland Clinic Sunday afternoon. He’s being released today, which is surprising, as he was originally slated to stay in the hospital for no less than eleven days.
  • Laura made soup for dinner last night. It was very similar to the Tuscana soup they serve over at The Olive Garden. Very, very tasty. I loves me some Italian sausage.
  • I’m working on a new, 3-column layout for the main page. I’d link to a preview, but I managed to completely hose the element positioning while experimenting earlier today. I plan on adding a lot of stuff to the sidebar(s) in the near future. The Blogroll is active as of this morning on the current layout.


Today marks the ninth anniversary of the day Laura Sperry foolishly answered in the affirmative when Pastor Loxterman asked if she’d have me as her husband. This lapse in judgement was well-documented and observed by dozens of people who had been invited to bear witness to her folly.

Since then, Laura has been my supplicant companion, eagerly ensuring that my every husbandly whim becomes reality. While she enjoys the trappings of her office, she remains cognizant of her duties as my wife, and constantly strives to conform to the ideals I have set forth. Ever aware of my lofty expectations, she comports herself in a suitably obiesant manner, never questioning my authority or judgment. She is affectionate when appropriate, and responds to my affections in a manner which pleases me. She is probably laughing her head off as she reads this.

Honestly, I couldn’t get properly dressed in the morning if Laura wasn’t there to organize my wardrobe. I don’t know where I’d be if she hadn’t stuck her nose where it so clearly didn’t belong twelve years ago (thus thrusting herself uninvited into my life), but I’m thankful that she decided to take the initiative and contact the guy who was so ineptly hitting on her friend. My life is richer for the intrusion.

Happy Anniversary to us.