Monday, June 30, 2008

It's All About Class

As you may recall from yesterday's underwhelming blog, we took most of our remaining CDs to a local store and obtained enough trade to get Emily a new digital camera, replacing the one that met an untimely demise in a cold December rain outside our rental car at my parents house. I was struck tonight by how quickly photo technology has evolved, sitting here loading film into my Canon AE1 (preparing to take pictures of this summer's monsoons and their associated lightning). It took me forever to just find the film at our local Wal Mart, it was pushed into a back corner, like a forgotten memory of yesteryear.
Anyway, here is a nice series of pictures taken with this new camera, our maiden voyage, if you will.
To ensure the camera could take the rigors of taking pictures of unsightly things, we first tested it last night on me. The lens didn't spontaneously burst into flames, so that was the first test passed. I made the mistake of not changing my shirt before we left yesterday for the store, and ended up going to church last night in my AC/DC "For Those About To Rock, We Salute You" shirt. I told Emily that I could cover the word Rock with a piece of tape with Pray written on it, but that didn't go over too well.

Here's a nice picture of our daughter eating her two favorites, carrots and Mac And Cheese. She's saving some Mac on her belly for later consumption. Mmmm.

I don't think it gets any better than this.

This new fangled camera has a face detection feature that flashes an orange flow into the eyes of the unsuspecting victim, before the flash actually fires and the picture is taken. I can see already that that's going to be an issue with Brenna. We had a few dozen shots that looked like this one, although I have to admit this one makes me chuckle.

And then every now and again the blind chicken finds a kernel of corn, and you end up with a beaut like this one.

And then sometimes you end up with the dark side of Brenna. This one was my fault, trying to keep her back from grabbing the camera.

And finally, the crowning triumph, this one will be going out on our Christmas cards this year.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Wanna Hear Your Best Excuse

Five days (or so) have passed since my last update. Where does the time fly?

Anywho, here are a few pictures from our Sunday.
First, here is Brenna playing with her flash cards before heading to church this morning. She's doing much better about being handed off to the nursery workers, not as much vocal protesting as it is slight moaning and twitching in my arms.

And here we are later on in the day. After riding to and from church in 110 degree heat (the air barely has time to cool off on both ways), all bets are off and Brenna shucks her clothes. In this picture she's thinking about the next thing to color, since her body and the tile have already been taken care of (don't worry, it's washable, what are we, idiots?).
Later yet, she's now in her afternoon clothes for going to Bookmans, our local used CD and book store. Over the past year I've been selling all of my CDs, and ripping them to a portable hard drive attached to my computer. I've gotten down to about 80 discs, and we traded in most of them today for enough credit to buy Emily a new digital camera, about 10 DVDs, and at least a fifteen books.
I think in this picture Brenna is dancing to something on the old TV.

Still watching something on the tube, not sure what. Noggin, if I were a betting man.
Hey, if you thought this blog was sub-par, head over to the Hoes and Art Gallery, I'll do my best to underwhelm you there as well. Pray for rain!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I've finally taken the time to upload some new videos. The shorter one is of Brenna dancing with Farmer Tad, the Banjo God that lives on our refrigerator. The longer one is all about counting.

We've had rain today (more on the Hoes blog), and another huge storm that's skirting us to the east tonight (sprinkling at the moment). Thank goodness for small favors.


Monday, June 23, 2008


Got this in the mail today. This must be the type of thing you start getting delivered to your door when you turn 34.

And to make matters worse, my wife let me take my shirt off at the pool last night during the church VBS kick off party. First, it's a wonder that my farmers tan didn't blind anyone. And second, it's any wonder I'm getting cremation offers in the mail given my apparent physical appearance. Check out the watch line, that's probably the icing on the pasty fat man cake.
Well, at least I won't die of skin cancer of the torso.

Man, it just keeps getting worse. Pay close attention to our daughter, who enjoyed the pool very much.

Here's the best picture, my wife wisely cropped me out.

Moving right along to non-pasty things. Brenna got a cool puzzle set from Grandma and Grandpa H today. She thoroughly enjoyed putting the pieces into the doggie below.
Hey, it finally dipped below 110 today... I think. The highest my thermometer showed was 105, although that was a reading in the shade. The car showed 107 on the way home from church at sunset, so I'd like to think it didn't go over 110. My streak for avoiding the treadmill in the garage is equivalent to the number of days over 110, go figure.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Below are a few pictures of Brenna from earlier today. She woke up this morning at 6am, hoped out of bed and came into the living room on her own, waking me up out of my sleep (by saying "Hi Daddy" repeatedly until I acknowledged her. We played in the yard, walked around the neighborhood, watched some TV, read, ate some Pop Tarts, and some other assorted things, until Emily got up at 9. She then promptly went back to sleep for an hour. Now she's taking her afternoon nap, tis been an odd day of sleeping for her.

It's 114 here today, 8th day in a row over 110. However, it's actually raining in parts of Arizona today. Wondering where? Check out the Hoes blog for more info on that.


Friday, June 20, 2008


I turned 34 yesterday. Whoopie.

For my birthday I hung a 10 foot strip of guttering (is that a word?) on the north side of the house, and connected four rain barrels to collect the rainwater that I hope to see pouring off our roof in about, oh, two weeks. I think I stayed outside way too long while working on this, I came back in dizzy and nauseous. It was great (not).

My day ended on a positive note, however. Emily had to go to a meeting at the church, so I got to spend a few hours on my own with Brenna. That was perhaps the best birthday gift of all. I have no pictures to commemorate the occasion, as I was busy entertaining her, but I did take some video of her playing with her National Park wildlife blocks, and wondering around the house a bit, so I'll upload that as the mood strikes me.

I squeezed another 6 ounces of Calomonden juice off our tree yesterday (salvaging the fruit before it bursts into flames on the tree from the heat). We now officially have enough to make two more pies! Yum.

Let's see, what else. I haven't stepped foot in the garage to run and/or walk on our treadmill since Monday or Tuesday of this week. For the lack of a better phrase, it's simply too freakin' hot out there to do much of anything. Even after the sun sets everything out there is hot to the touch. Our grill that sits on the back porch, which has a built in temperature gauge, has been reading between WARM and HOT, just from the sun beating on it. I suspect I could slow cook some meat out there without any charcoal if I felt so inclined. But hey, it's Arizona and it's June, what do ya expect?

Album of the day: Minutemen's "Double Nickels On The Dime". What a great CD that I don't listen to nearly enough. Perfect for a Friday afternoon. If you're familiar with the theme song to that MTV show "Jackass", that's the Minutemen.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Good Guy

Brenna decided to step up to the next level of reading tonight, having conquered all of her Dora and Diego adventures. She also figured out how to pull herself up on the couch by herself, and did this repeatedly tonight with a big grin on her face.

Optimistically I'd like to think it stayed under 110 today, but I doubt it.

After searching high and low for gutters for the house, it was suggested to Emily that I try Home Depot. I could have sworn I had searched there a number of times with no luck, but this afternoon there they were, like a shining beacon. I have already assembled what I plan on hanging on the north side of the house, and hope to hang them tomorrow afternoon, if I don't spontaneously combust from the heat first.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Day In The

Here are some pictures of Brenna eating dinner tonight.
It was 112 here today, no telling how hot it was in Phoenix. We're supposed to be over 110 through Thursday, and it won't get much better after that. I'll be posting some pictures on the Hoes site soon of some of the leaves on my bushes turning brown and black from the intensity of the sun, real nice.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

At Her Majesty's Request

Here are a few pictures of a new princess towel that Brenna got for bath time. It seems to be a hit, as you can see from the last picture of her looking at herself in the mirror.
I hope everyone had a good Father's Day, Emily's family came over for a little bit after church and we consumed mass quantities of Mexican delicacies (I'm glad to report to Emily's mom that I have laid complete and utter waste to the humus she left here that was to expire tomorrow, and it was fantastic). We cooked a calomonden pie from fruit picked off our tree, and it honestly was about as good as any Key Lime pie I've ever eaten, so good in fact, that I ate two slices and have squeezed enough juice to make a second pie very soon.

On the running front, I've managed two squeak out two runs at a mile and a half in 14 minutes each time. Today was a LOT harder than Friday, it was probably 110 degrees at the time I was in the garage, and it must have taken 30 minutes after I had showered and sat down with some ice cream to cool off, before I finally stopped sweating. Something tells me I need to try and get out there in the morning or later in the evening. I think if the conditions were better, I could easily run two miles, and would like to get to three eventually.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's All About The Fit And Finish

Hello there, been a while. With Brenna not feeling well this week, and myself suffering from anal glaucoma (ask us about our inside joke), the posts have been fewer and far between.

Here are a few shots of Brenna from tonight, playing with her Plah Doh. If we leave her in her chair for too long, things start getting chucked off of her tray. This was at the pre-chucking stage.

You may be wondering, "Gee, what have you guys been up too lately?". Well, here we go:

- Effective in August, Emily will no longer be paid staff at our church, she'll be doing volunteer work there, and watching children at her mom's house during this upcoming school year. No need to explain in too much detail WHY this happened, but needless to say Emily is being a trooper about the pending change

- After a two week break from running on the treadmill (tweaked my knee pretty good), I finally got back on it yesterday, and with decent results. I slowed things down to a 10 minute mile, thinking I'd run for distance, but into my 2nd mile I managed to find another muscle to pull, and came up lame on that effort. Today I went with Emily to see the new Indiana Jones movie before we picked up Brenna from daycare, so I'll have to give the distance thing another go tomorrow. And since it's supposed to be 110 here, what better time to shed those ten pounds I've been wanting to drop... instantly

- Speaking of, the new Indiana Jones movie, in my humble opinion, was not nearly as mediocre as the movie "critics" made it out to be. I was expecting to see two hours of going through the motions with recycled story lines, gimmicks, stunts, etc, but was pleasantly surprised with how it all played out. Not the best in the four, but worth the matinee prices to see it on the big screen before it ends up at the crappy dollar theater where everything smells like armpits

- Did I mention it's hot? Well, not as hot as it could be, about 105 today, a little warmer this weekend, and a slight cool off heading into next week. The monsoons should be starting in about two weeks, which leaves me holding the bag on trying to get gutters up on the house to collect that precious rainfall for my jungle of a yard

This blog is subject to change, thank you and goodnight.

Monday, June 09, 2008

This Wicked Tongue

You wouldn't think from these two videos that our little girl has been alternating most of the day between violent pooping and throwing up. We thought something was wrong yesterday when Brenna was telling us that her tummy hurt, but she also likes to play this game with us where she tells us numerous parts of her body hurts, so we weren't positive. This morning she woke up throwing up and has been having issues since then. Right now (evening) she's asleep, and we're hoping she has a restful night.

I hope you get a kick out of these two videos, I was too lazy to break out the best parts, but you'll see Brenna:

- Effectively working her shapes ball, naming off a number of the shapes as she goes along (circle, oval, triangle, star - breaking into twinkle twinkle little star when she gets to this one). She also corrected me when I tried to tell her that one of her shapes was a pentagon (it was actually a trapezoid, and I couldn't remember what it was, she called me out on trying to pull the wool over her eyes on that one. Yes, Emily has taught her what a trapezoid is. Sorry, you won't see that on the video, I had stopped filming).

- Singing various parts of the Grumpy Old Troll song, which goes

I'm the grumpy old troll, who lives under the bridge

I'm the grumpy old troll, who lives under the bridge

If you want to come over, all you have to do is this

All you have to do is this

Solve my riddle!

- Singing the Taxi song repeatedly, including an up close and personal version on the last film.

To refresh your memories:

Taxi, taxi, riding in the backseat

Roll the window up, roll the window down

Put the money in the slot, see you later, thanks a lot

Sure beats walking cross town

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Among The Living

Anyone remember this nasty thing that showed up on our doorstep this past summer? I've never screamed so much like a little girl in my life when it snapped at me. I've also never caught so much air jumping in my life.

Anyway, I don't know what it is with me and the front porch, but tonight I was coming back to the front door with a load of overflowing Wal Mart shopping bags in my hands, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted perhaps the largest spider I've ever seen outside of a zoo, following me up to the door. I'm guessing it was a juvenile tarantula, given it's size (the body was about the size of a child's rubber ball), and it's fuzziness (and no, that sure as heck didn't qualify it as "cute"). Just so you know, I'm walking my wife out the door in the morning with a broom in my hand, and will be taking no prisoners.

Since I have nothing better to do tonight, I flipped through the remainder of Beth's fabulous New Mexico pictures, and came across a few more jewels that tickled my fancy.
You can add this next picture to the Brenna nose-picking archives. She actually appears to be deep in thought about the koala she was viewing here... except for the finger up and/or near the nasal passages.

Speaking of Grandma Becky, I'll probably never be allowed back in her house after posting this, but after what Emily and I have been through lately with work (well, 99% Emily, stay tuned for more news on that next week), I had a nice chortle over this one.
I thought to myself, boy, this picture seems familiar in some shape, form, or fashion.
And then it hit me.

Ah, yes, stay young kids, stay young. Don't let the man get you down, fight the establishment, pass the pistachios.

(Check out the Art Gallery, I finally posted something new there)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Something New

Here are a few new Brenna videos, one where she's dancing and another where she's wondering around being Brenna.