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Monday, January 30, 2012


My kids grew up on Monty Python, I made sure of it. The Cheese Shop sketch mentions a bunch of cheeses I've never seen, but I found one of them at HyVee. I had to buy it, see what it was like...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chicken or the Egg?

We might not be able to grow avocados here in Kansas, but we're keen to maybe keep a few hens for eggs.

The question was whether the city had a law against it. Apparently not: these chickens were just a couple of miles from home, fearlessly walking the neighborhood.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Critical Mass

As I write this, I'm missing out on Critical Mess. But catching up on the blog thing means I get to share with you pics from last month, including the soon-to-Bermuda-triangulate Jenny.

Jenny returned to the Peace Corps and shuffled off to Liberia this month.

But Max got to ride Critical Mass for the first time!

I found this trailer at the thrift store across from my work awhile back, but we were missing a part to really hook it up right. Corinna had talked a lot aboutmaking Critical Mass a family affair, make Em ride and tow Mo as if it were nothing.

But after towing Max all over hell's half acre, and realizing that one MO is about three Maxes, she reconsidered. And that's saying something, the girl thinks nothing of hauling home 40 lb bags of dog food or cases of fruit by bike.

Friday, January 27, 2012


My Christmas present from Corinna was a beard trimmer. Said so right on the box.

Except this beard trimmer is really a leather saddle, a B-17 by Brooks.

These saddles are supposed to take a breaking in, but after getting the height/angle about right, I quit being aware the saddle was there. A good sign, since once it's broken in it's supposed to be the most comfortable, longest-lived saddle in the world.

Look at the Christmas!

Played a lot of Monopoly at Christmas.

It was Scrabble at Thanksgiving, but after some of my relatives got a taste of how competitive someone who can make the Olympic Team can be, they wrote that game off.

But these games turned out to be great bonding experiences. especially when we got Mo into a game of Monopoly.

Why Don't I Blog?

I remember back when I was still married to the artist formerly known as Frau Lobster, I'd see blog posts with titles along the lines of "Why I Blog."

I was new to the concept myself, so I read a lot of these in an effort to figure out what sort of freak show I had signed up for.

I signed up for it, though. Did I ever. It seemed, in a way, like technology had created a niche I had been born for.

Over 2500 posts later, I find myself past my daughter's mid-January birthday having not blogged stuff from before Christmas.

It's a dramatic shift. But life is full of dramatic adjustments these days.

I've accumulated a stockpile of photos I took out of the blog-it instinct, such as this one taken at church with my new phone. I never thought I wanted a smart phone. Corinna thought I'd be pissed off with the thing, in fact, but it promptly grafted itself to my consciousness.

Anyway, the answer to why I haven't gotten around to these things is I got sort of distracted by moving, the holidays, and so on. The process of moving two households into one, the one being the smaller house, has created an effect best described as Hoarder Palace. I have a lot of sorting out left to do.

But I miss this outlet for such things as Max visiting Santa.

Max is getting old, and we'll likely adopt another dog soon so he can help train his replacement. He gets cold easily in the winter, and besides being a love hound, he knows it's warmer in bed with someone. If you ask him to get off the bed, he'll jump down and immediately look up to see if he can be invited back.

He's not proud, he'll get in bed with anyone. He's in his golden years, what would you do?

For that matter, Max was the star of the show at my Mom's for Christmas. I was against bringing him, wasn't sure Mom would want him in the house. But not only was she down with it, my nephew was an instant fan.

He was adorable running after Max chattering, 'Bow wow bow wow bow wow!'

It was a fabulous Christmas all the way around. The way the custody arrangement works, every other year we each get the major holidays and this was the odd year for me. Meaning we did a full Christmas on Christmas Eve at my Mom's, a full Christmas on Boxing Day at my Dad's, and in between, my ex got to have a full Christmas on Christmas with the girls.

As I explained to a friend, divorce and remarriage has been pretty good to my kids.

I guess a Christmas present to me from my kids, when we got to my Mom's she'd made fried chicken at Em's request. You can take your Christmas ham and stuff it up your Christmas turkey's ass, the fried chicken was the bomb.

It was our first Christmas in Westheight. With all the chaos of moving and whatnot, I didn't get my outside lights up really, and it's almost February and the tree is still up, but as long as you understand the concept you can pass the class, right?

Oh, and me and Corinna got whistles from the girls.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All Lit Up

The other night, I hadn't gotten to bike commute as much as I'd like and then we had some ridunculously unseasonable warm weather. So I caught part of the Brookside Ride on the way home from work and six or seven riders showed up with the Vegas Strip between their legs.

I want Christmas lights like this just for visibility, I'd ride with them year round.


We had hamburguesas for dinner. They were hamburgers except we live in a neighborhood with an awful lot of Mexican immigrants and the attendant Spanglish signage. As far as I can tell, what separates hamburgers from hamburguesas is avocado if it's the take-out joint around the corner. The distinction is something less than semantic elsewhere.

The cheese melted over the patties was queso fresco, so maybe that's a distinction, too. The one pictured was light on avocado but included green bell pepper.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Homes Tour (Welcome to My New Neighborhood)

Who are the people in your neighborhood? The people that you meet each day? Or so the children's song goes...

This is going to sound weird, but years ago, I thought I might live here. I was still married, in fact, to the artist formerly known as Frau Lobster, when I crashed on a couch after a homebrew competition in the Westheight neighborhood.

I remember at the time, I was reading 'Steal This Book' and it had a line about how smoking a cigar and hanging a picture of Che Guevera on the wall didn't make you a revolutionary.

My host opened the door with an enormous stogie clenched in his teeth and a framed portrait of Che behind him.

I was impressed with the neighborhood at the time, though. A lot like the Old Northeast of KCMO I used to inhabit, but with a wider mix of house sizes and styles. Some prairie school in the mix, and mansions (Senator Darby's house that could accommodate a Presidential motorcade without interruption in its garage) alongside three bedroom bungalows.

Imagine my surprise when I was riding home one evening to my new fiancé's house and ran into Chef Dan.

Or the day of the Westhight homes tour: he'd done an ice carving on the porch of the third house.

One of the charms of this particular homes tour, it's not all architectural monstrosities. The Darby house is the last one on the tour, and most are three bedroom affairs.

Tastefully done and historically preserved, but homes regular folks could live in. Including homes with some of the best forgotten ideas of modern architecture.

Including the most awesome basement/den in a ten mile area, though I have no pictures of it because it's owner posted a warning against all forms of electronics outside the hi-fi he keeps in an old GE oven.

It's a mutt neighborhood, I suppose. A few big houses, some smaller houses, prairie school mixed with neo-Romantic and whatnot.

But then, that's the charm of it.

And I flat out loved this one bedroom in the Senator Darby house. Not really pink, these walls were Pantone Magenta.

I think I want to paint our bedroom that color now. I said at the time that I didn't know how I could sleep in such a bright room, but the room's owner said when the lights were out it looked like a deep red and was very soothing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Winter Choir Concert

Em had a fantastic winter choir concert the night after the Jellybean Conspiracy.

Including a far-too-sexy-for-their-age 'Santa Baby' number. It was actually quite wonderful.