Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Learning to Walk has it's Down Falls.

Found this one in my video archives.  Erika had just learned how to pull herself to a standing position.  Then she got distracted by a DVD and she couldn't resist the chance to find out what it tasted like.  Here is how it all plays out.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Trophy System Will save your life on MW3

 Predator missiles keeping you down?
The Trophy System is the cure.

Friday, 4 November 2011

MW3 is Just Around The Corner, I Can't Take The Pressure.

 Last week the Creative Strategist of Infinity Ward,  Robert Bowling, announced that if you Prestige at least once in the last 4 Call of Duties, you will receive a Prestige token for each game you have prestiged in to be applicable towards Modern Warfare 3, due for release on November 8th.  These tokens can be used at any point in time in the Modern Warfare 3 Prestige Shop.  So it is in your best interest to prestige in all 4 Call of Duty games; Modern Warfare, World at War, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.
Kids with too much energy.
I have the great disadvantage of having only Prestiged in Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.  So I asked around and managed to borrow copies of Modern Warfare and World at War, since I had already sold my copies a few years back.  I then proceeded to enforce nap times, coax my wife to go to bed early or encourage her to work on her scrap-booking so that I may log in a few hours of game play.

Call of Duty: World at War

When I manage to get a couple of hours to play, I sit down and go to work.  I say work because World at War is wrought with douchebag hackers who are invincible.  I watched this one individual run around a room methodically stabbing my whole team to death while I unloaded 2 extended magazine clips from my MP 40, that isn't counting the rounds my teammates were putting into him as well.  I do not know what these individuals get out of cheating aside from ruining the game for everyone else.  After an hour or so of playing this loser filled game, I realize that I need a couple of days off before I can even consider going back, and I am at level 49 and only need to get to level 65 to prestige.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Modern Warfare is a different story.  Hack lobbies occupy Modern Warfare mostly instead of people with super powers. You start a round and everyone has unlimited ammo without the need to reload, launching noob tube after noob tube as though you were firing a .50 cal with explosive rounds.  RPG's rockets strewed the sky as though the end of days was upon us as air strike after air strikes are called in one after another after another.  Then there is the lobby where you are able to go 5 times faster than normal.  It takes some adjustment but this particular lobby leaves no one with a clear advantage.  The speed mod seems to stick with you for a while after you leave the lobby as well.  It gets old once it gets saturated with modded lobbies and quick scoping zzirGrizz wannabes, thus I can only last about 1 to 2 hours of gaming on this version of Call of Duty before I am almost tempted to burn the disk before I remember I borrowed this copy from a friend.

Call of Duty Elite
 The road to prestige is a long one and I am uncertain if I am going to bother.  The frustration of having to deal with prepubescent charlatans can be more tedious that I would have expected.  I would much rather argue with my 3 year old about the fact that kicking her brother is the same thing as hitting him and has the same consequences.  We shall see if I do manage to pull it off or not.  All I know is that I have to get the winter tires on put both of my vehicles, I also have to blow out my underground sprinklers,  put the water barrels away and get ready to put the Christmas lights up.  Winter is coming.
Winter is Coming

Saturday, 22 October 2011

C'mon Nap Time. Battle Field 3

Battle Field 3
 The day I received an email informing me that EA Games was having an open beta for Battlefield 3, I knew what had to be done.  I proceeded think of ways to drain my kids of all their energy so that they would actual sleep during their allotted nap time, instead of the usual shenanigans that occur i.e.; demands for water, the occasional bum change or crying due to an owie after a failed attempt to fly across the room as Buzz Lightyear.
Buzz Lightyear from the movie Toy Story 1, 2 & 3

The best way to drain these perpetual motion kids, would be to take them to the park and let loose the little gremlins so that they could do all the work themselves, all the while sitting on the park bench and sipping my coffee.  Lady luck was not on my side that day, it was cold and raining and I seriously doubted my wife would let me take the kids to the park no matter how much I protested.  This meant I would have to rely on my imagination.  So I pretended to be a hungry tiger and chased the kids around the house catching them and eating them up.  A half-hour of munching on bellybuttons and ribs it was time for phase two.  Then for an hour I became a sleeping bear that would not wake up as they clambered all over me.  Then we had lunch, a quick bum change and then I whisked them off to bed for their nap.  By the time I had gotten downstairs and had the video monitor turned on, both angels were snoring away loud and clear.  They get the snoring from their mother in case anyone was wondering.
Sleeping Bear

Now that I had managed to get the kids to sleep, I quickly began to get everything setup for some gaming time.  I grabbed some fresh AAA batteries and installed them in my Turtle Beach head phones, a fresh battery pack for my controller and get everything up and running.  I signed in to Xbox live and initiated the download of the 4-gig beta file.  While the file was downloading I took the opportunity refill my water bottle and check the monitor again ensuring that they were still asleep and not just trying to set me up for bitter disappointment.  Both of them still sleeping and whistling resonantly through their noses, I head back to the couch and wait impatiently for the beta file to finish downloading.
BF3 Campaign

12 minutes later I start the game and head straight to the online portion.  I then stare at the loading screen for 8 minutes before I decide to dashboard and try it again, third times a charm and I am in the game.  I manage to do pretty well and get a damn nice kill death ration.  I just kept going for the objectives and kill people left and right winning most of my engagements.  On my third round of total game play the servers crash and gaming time was over. 
Battle Field 3

A few days later I manage to drain the little munchkins again and get online and see if the BF3 serves are up and running again.  I only had to wait 3 minutes to get into a game this time.  Then began the loathsome task of playing this sniper-infested game.  This is the first version of Battlefield where you can lay prone, which in turn allows someone to lie down in a bush 900 feet away with an unobstructed view of most of the map and pick you off till the cows come home.  Then I also had to endure the tedious ramblings of two 11 year old kids arguing about who is more awesome at this game, all the while someone else has their crappy music blaring into their microphone and no options on how to mute these maroons.  Needless to say I ended my Battlefield 3 experience there.

More BF3 game play
The graphics are little rough and the game play is a little choppy, you sometimes clip right thru the bottom of the map and they didn't even have any vehicles to drive around.  But this a beta, or is it?  I played the beta for BF2 last year and when I purchased the actual game it was an exact copy of what the beta was.  I personally believe this was a demo, making it the worst marketing ploy I have seen this year.    The game is being released October 25th, how much can they change in 1 month and will they bother?
I am happy I took the time to download and play the beta, it afforded me the opportunity to try out a game I most definitely will not be purchasing.  For those who are loyal to the Battlefield genre I am sure you will get it and enjoy every minute you play.  For me this game is not my cup of tea.  I am sure if I had the time to invest in learning the massive maps, figure out how to effectively operate the vehicles and had a bunch of friends who would actually play this game, I might consider picking this game up and giving it a chance.  But right now Austin is tossing the contents of his crib onto the floor while giggling to himself.  Erika is shouting at the top of her voice; "DADDY I'M READY!".  Game time is over and now begins playtime.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Winter is almost here. Yay! MW3

Where Pumpkin Pies come from
 Trees are shedding their lush green locks.  The geese, smarter than the rest of us, are already heading south to avoid the foreboding polar front.  And Ghouls and Goblin's are looming in the background waiting for Hallows Eve so that they may gallivant out in the open among us without fear of persecution.  This can only mean one thing.  Autumn has officially arrived, and winter is just around the corner. 
Winter can be tough.

Most people prefer the summer months so that they can cook themselves in the scorching heat, doing various activities that always include copious amounts of unnecessary sweat.    It gets so hot that you don't have time to get all sweaty because it evaporates off of you before it gets a chance to accumulate.  In those horrendous times of heat exposure, you can only remove so many layers before you start to offend the people around you.  I, on the other hand prefer the onset of the winter months.  If I get too cold I can always add another layer of clothing.  I also get to use my snow blower.
CoD: Modern Warfare 3

The only thing more exciting than the up coming global warming event we have every year around wintertime is the soon to be released Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 which is officially out November 8th.  Therefore this November 8th is the second coming of Christmas for me.  Infity Ward and  Sledgehammer Games are the producers this year.  There are rumors out there fore telling many new options and possibilities in the 8th release of the Call of Duty series.  They promise this to be the most diverse version of this award winning series yet.  I have heard that there is going to be 30 or more perks to chose from, including perks for your weapons.  They have revamped the kill streak system and they have also supposedly fixed the panic knifing, much to my brothers dismay I am sure.  The kill streaks will be adjustable in each class.  Meaning that you can have different kill streaks in each class set up, making it even more important than ever to prestige as many times as you can to open up those class slots.  Special ops are going to be back as well, allowing you to play co-op online or in split screen.
Scene from MW3

They will be release a Hardened Edition this year no prestige.  In it's place to connect with your friends, create Private Clans for a personalized multiplayer experience where you can share, stream and stack up your Call of Duty Elite conquests online.   The free version allows you to track your career and to create and edit your in-game class from your computer.  There are several other options available but those are the two main ones that would interest me.  Now the bonus to paying 49.99$ a year and becoming a Premium member is that you get all the DLC (DownLoadable Content) for free.  That includes all map packs and the up coming guns and camos.  If you are planning on playing online a lot it might be in your best interest to get the Hardened Edition.  Because the regular version is 59.99$ and the Hardened Edition is 89.99$, but it comes with a year subscription to Call of Duty Elite a whole lot more features. The Free DLC alone pays for itself.  If you buy the 4 map packs separately at 15$ each not including all other content that they will be coming through the year.
MW3 Hardened Edition comes with 1 year of CoD Elite

Overall I am very excited with the up coming release.  It is looking, as though my family will be missing me in November.  I am sure I will find the time to miss them as well.  I hope.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

4:08 AM Good Gravy.

My son has been sick with a couch as of late and this is what he chose to do one morning at 4:08 AM after keeping us up the whole night with his cough.  Even tho we were exhausted it was still enjoyable to watch him dance.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Good Neighbour Fence???

The fence

We will call them May & Jay.  At present May & Jay, my neighbors, are no longer on speaking terms with my family and I.  They communicate in grunts, groans and frequent exasperating sighs.  If we are heading out and our neighbors happen to be outside, they will loudly sigh, grunt and groan as they head straight into their house.  My daughter has said hi to May several times and this adult will completely ignore my 3 year old.  I come outside transporting an extremely large and pungent garbage full of dirty diapers, which is a daily event, and May is outside watering her plants again for the 4th time that day,  I am still trying to figure out what this 30 something woman does for a living, she will stop what she is doing, grunt loudly and head into her house.  I often wonder how immature can people truly get.

We use to have friendly conversations about the weather; the economy and we would even offer each other a cold beverage at times.  How did this relationship with our neighbors plunge into the depths of such disdain?  I am going to tell you.

I am going to start from the beginning.  Well not really the beginning, but they seem to think it is where all this started so I am going to start at May and Jay's beginning.

Erika smiling as usual

The beginning was 3 years ago when our other neighbor decided it was time to build a cement retaining wall in between our properties.  In doing so we would also get steel fence posts put in for future use.  After talking it over, my wife and I decided that it would be a good idea to get the other 2 sides done as well.  We approached May & Jay about the idea, that we had a contractor doing all the work and that he charged 18$ a linear foot.  They stated quite clearly that they would not be interested in splitting the cost of the retaining wall with us.  I told them that I understood and that we would be going forward with the retaining wall non-the less.  The work was near completion with the forms in place and the final touches being done so that everything was ready for the cement that was coming the next day.  That is when May approached me and asked if we were still interested in splitting the cost of the retaining wall.  I more than gladly accepted.  Then May quickly ask to add a couple more posts and a couple more feet to the project.  I saw no issues and the contractor made quick work of it having everything ready for the next days pour.   Then came time for the bill.  The contractor handed me the invoice which was very close to what he quoted me, he even broke down the cost of the shared fence so that it was very easy to figure out the split cost which came to 1300$.  I made a copy of the invoice and brought it over to May & Jay.  2 days later May came over to our house and handed me 800$.  I asked her if I would be getting the rest of the money when they got their next paycheck.  May explained to me that 800$ was how much they felt the work was worth and that is all they will be paying.  I remained calm despite my surprise and simply said "Oh, ok."
Trust me after I closed the door, my wife and I said a few unpleasant things about them, but we kept our heads and figured 800$ was better than what they had originally said they were going to contribute.  2 days later May was on my door again and she had the other 500$ in hand saying that they felt bad about agreeing to splitting the cost and then not following through.  I expressed my gratitude and we carried on with being agreeable neighbors.  We will remain bit leery of them but still an affable relationship.
Austin couldn't be happier

Last year my other neighbor started to put up his fence.  I jumped on the wagon and we installed a black chain link fence on our back part and on our shared fence line.  I approached May & Jay about putting chain link up on our shared side of the property and they begged me not too, saying they wanted to put up a wood fence.  Being fairly easy going I had no problem with such a request.  I asked when they wanted to do this and they wanted to wait till next year when they will have the funds to do so.  I agreed to their request and we held off on completing the fence.

Before the fence was up

Spring is almost over and summer is quickly approaching and no word as to if and when this fence project was going to start.  Then out of the blue May comes over to tell me that they will start work on the fence in 2 days.  With my job I require 90 days notice to be able to request specific days off.  And even that does not mean I will get approved for those days off.  I mentioned this to them many times during the winter, but I guess 2 days notice is OK.  In any case I told her I would help as much as I can.
Do you mind, I'm pooping.

Jay committed to welding the tabs on the fence posts while I was at work.  I got home around noon and went straight to their backyard helping them with the back part of their fence till diner time.  The day after I had to go out of town for a doctor's appointment for my son.  One of those 6 hour round trip.  Not something you make your wife do on her own with 2 young ones.  I got back at around 4 in the afternoon and still managed to help with the completion of the fence for another 5 hours.  After all was said and done, I brought out some beers and we chatted about stuff.  Jay said once he sat down and figured it out he would let me know what our share of the fence would be.

2 days later while I was at work again, Jay dropped off and invoice.  The invoice for the wood fence stated:

77 ft @ 25$ a linear foot = 1930$
1930$ / 2 = 965$

They wanted 965$ for our half of the fence.  The numbers didn't make sense to me so I went to a few places getting quotes on what it would cost to get a fence build out of wood.  The highest quote I received was 778$.  That included everything from wood to screws.  The 778$ was the total cost.  That would mean that our half would be 389$, but that is before you take of the cost of materials I provided as well.  The metal tabs Jay welded on the fence posts cost 178$ and he used 30 on our common fence and 20 on his back fence.  So I was having trouble dealing with this invoice of 965$.  Especially since 77 multiplied by 25 does not equate to 1930.  I knew exactly what they were trying to do, they wanted me to pay for the whole damn thing.  So I had to wait a few days before going over and having chat with them because I could not trust that I would stay civil when discussing the issue at hand.  I took counsel with my father trying to get someone with a cooler head and a wealth of knowledge in dealing with people and their ignorance.

I made my inquiries, checked with city officials and vented to many people.  Once I was confident in my position I went over to May & Jay and asked them how they arrived at the numbers showing on their quote.   May simply stated that they had put a lot of work into that fence and that they wanted to be paid for their trouble.  I asked for some receipts and stated clearly that in no way could they charge me for labor they did on their own property, especially since they had not even discussed it with me prior to the work.   She began to argue and then said she would get me the receipts but stated that she didn't have any receipts for the gas they spend on driving around getting the material or the electricity they used while welding.

The next day there was an envelope sticking out of our mailbox.  It was a letter stapled to a stack of receipts.  I siphoned through the stack attempting to piece together what all these receipts were for and to what avail.  After reading the letter I came to the conclusion that they wanted me to pay for half the tools they bought to build the fence.  I will not go into detail but out of the 1400$ in receipts, 836$ was applicable.  I included the pencils and the drill bits.  I did not include the wood they used for their back fence nor the measuring tapes and power cords.  I then subtracted half of what I paid for the metal tabs that went onto the fence posts.  I wrote them a check clearly writing that this was the final payment for our half of the fence.
Guess where I am sitting

The check that I wrote for 338.49$ was cashed.  I did not respond to their letter in which they declared me an a$$hole and they found it appalling that I would not pay them for their work considering if we had gotten a contractor it would have cost twice as much and that I would have had no problem paying for 50% of it then.  In reality I would never had agreed to pay for a contractor to put up our fence when the year before I was ready to do it myself and for an even smaller price tag.  The other issue I have is that they never took into consideration the work I put into helping them put up their fence or the work i put into my own fence.  My own labor and the materials I supplied were trivial to them but I am the a$$hole.  My father told me to take the high road and to not respond to the letter.  I am glad I did.  The behavior proves to me that they wouldn't have bothered to try and see my point of view let alone how the real world is.  
Monster Truck

May & Jay can continue to stew in their fenced yard ignoring my family and I with their grunts and groans.  As I look back on this whole situation, I regret actually not paying their bill.  Why you ask?  Because last winter I used my snow blower to clear their sidewalk and part of their driveway close to 12 times.  Now at the going rate I feel I am worth I figure i could have sent them an invoice for an easy 1300$.  And with winter just around the corner, I just think of all that potential income lost.  ***SIGH***   Hind sight. 
Austin trying to change Erika's bum

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Sleep is important.

Austin with play glasses.  Erika calls him doctor when wearing these.

Austin is the typical 9-month-old little guy.  He is grabbing at anything and everything while trying to cram same items into his pie hole.  He is also for some unknown reason, unable to change his own diapers.
Austin with iv

Austin recently contracted the Rota Virus.  It is known to cause sever diarrhea and sometimes vomiting.  In Austin's case, he would eat a jar of mushy bananas and 5 minutes later it would be flying out the other end at such a speed that the diaper was merely diverting "it" instead of containing "it".  This means that he is not getting the nutrients he needs and it also means that he was getting severely dehydrated.  So my wife got to spend 3 glorious day in the hospital with my son who had to have an IV in his arm at all times.  Not so much fun for a 9 month old,  he was a trooper though.     
Erika watching a movie on the portable DVD player in the hospital.

During that time my daughter and I commuted back and forth from the house to the hospital, bringing my wife supplies and letting Erika get to see her mom for a bit.  We also managed to sneak in a trip to see the circus.  What a crock that was by the way.  Erika was more interested in the stadium chairs that would go up when she stood up.  All they kept doing was pushing you to buy there over priced low-end crap and boring us with dated tricks meant for a smaller venue.
Austin relaxing in the hospital.

My wife had a heck of a time during her stay in the hospital.  Austin had to have the iv in his arm 24/7, the nurses keep coming in to check up on the little guy every hour or so causing the little guy to stir in his sleep if not wake up completely.  The cleaning staff seemed to be oblivious of the fact that there were children trying to sleep and would natter to each other garishly.  Last but not least there were the random screaming and crying from other poor little kiddo's in the same ward.  Lets just say that his sleeping schedule consisted of catching a hour of sleep here and maybe 20 to 30 minutes there for 3 whole days.  Horrifying to say the least, and I am glad they only had to spend 3 days there.  My heart goes out to all who have to spend any extend time in a hospital.

Well Austin is back home, happy and healthy again.  The only issue that remains is that his sleeping schedule has gone by the wayside.  He would wake up every 2 to 3 hours and demands to be fed.  This meant you put the little guy to bed at 8:00 PM; he would wake up at 10:30 or 11:00 PM screaming bloody murder because his tummy was rumbling as though a freight train were rushing by.  Then at 2:00 AM he would be up again because this damn train kept coming round.  And you guessed it, at 5:00 AM the $%&# train would be back.
Our new favorite book.

The person who suffered the most was I.  Mainly because I had to listen to my wife complain about how tired she was and how tough it was to have to get up every 3 hours to feed this little bundle of...  I am not going to repeat that last little part; it was the lack of sleep talking.  Hearing all this was not conducive to my well-being.  So I started reading; "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems", by Richard Ferber, MD.  I read it from start to finish and wouldn't you know it?  They had case studies and examples of exactly what I was going thru.  They even had charts to help you track your progress in resolving the issue.  I showed the charts to my wife and told her that this is what she was going to have to do to resolve my problem, and in doing so would solve her problem as well.

 We have done the 7-day program and I can happily state that he no longer wakes up hungry 3 to 4 times a night.  He is sleeping close to 10 hours at a time.  WoooHooo!!!  But now he is not sleeping thru the night due to his teething, poor guy.  This too shall pass.  At least when his teeth are not bothering him he sleeps thru the night.

Needless to say, life has been interesting these past weeks.  I myself have managed to log a total of 2 hours on my Xbox this month.  To be honest, I would much rather watch Erika get mad at me because I told her to stop kicking at her brother while he is rolling on the ground; he doesn't crawl, he rolls.  I also enjoy listening to Austin complain as I pull his trophy clumps of hair he recently acquired from his sisters scalp out of his little hands, rather than to play my video games.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Trials And Tribulations. Oh What Fun.

Trying to negotiate with a toddler has proven to be as futile as trying to carry a bucket of steam across a football field during a punt return.  I am not saying it's impossible, but at this point in time the odds are against me.

First of all, I have a two and a half year old daughter who thinks she is 15.  She is also trying to ascertain how much clout she has within the nucleus of our family.  Which pretty well means we are in the oh so glorious "NO" stage.  I had hoped that we had bypassed this when we managed to get her to say; "No thank you" instead of the grating one syllable alternative.

It was cute, she would put her hand up as a cop would to stop traffic and with a loud shrilling voice yell; "NO THANK YOU!".  As obnoxious as it may have seemed, it always put a smile on my face, and at times I found myself struggling to keep a straight face when the issue was a little more serious.

Alas those days are gone for now.  At present when you ask my daughter if she is ready to go for her nap, she will answer with a resounding "NO".  When you press the issue, she responds with an even louder "NO", and to add emphasis she will clench her first and hit her thigh.

The clenched fist thigh striking action has been something my daughter has been working on since birth.  It started out with her tossing herself backwards when you were trying to change her diaper or when you didn't get the bottle in her mouth fast enough.  She then progressed to head butting things when she got angry or frustrated.  Nary an object was safe from her head-smashing version of personal justice.  This worked out just fine for her till the occasional miss calculation would occur.  We have hardwood flooring throughout our house.  Hardwood is somewhat forgiving when one chooses to head butt it.  Our granite counter tops, not so much. A cement sidewalk is even less forgiving.  So her head butts became push-ups where she would tentatively tap her forehead on the floor, in an angry way of course.

She then progressed to hitting things to get her point across.  You would ask her to pick up her toys or something that would involve an activity not on her approved list.  She would get mad and bring her fist of furry down upon our defenseless footstool, proclaiming her indignation to the situation.  This went on for a couple of weeks, right up until she got angry outside and the only object around to aid in her display of ire was a stone planter.

This brings us to our present stage; the fist clenched thigh strike.  After all her hard work in modifying and perfecting this beautiful expression of individuality, she still doesn't always get here way.

Don't take this the wrong way.  My daughter is a pretty happy go lucky kid.  She just has her moments, as does everyone.  In fact I find all this quite entertaining and it gets more and more difficult to keep a straight face when she does something new and even more hilarious.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Play Time Can be Hazardous to our Health.

My work takes me away from my family a day or so at a time.  So I usually get the 411 from my wife 89,000 words a minute as I come in the door.  I usually managed to retain most of the information imparted to me.  One story that stuck with me was of their trip to a certain play place which has several  riding toys for the kids to play with. 15 or more riding toys would be my rough guess.  Out of all 15+ riding apparatuses there is only one that all the kids must have; The Cozy Coupe.
The coveted Cozy Coupe.

The kid's unwritten rule for all the toys at the play place is that possession is 9/10Th of the law; the other 10% is Mom Law.  Thus the decree is as such: "He who sits inside the car owns the car".  Erika had her chance to play with the vehicle and soon had her fill of sitting inside.  She would hovered close to the Cozy Coupe while playing with other perceived lesser items in the general area.  If she noticed another child approaching the Coupe she would run full boar at the vehicle and literally dive headfirst into one of the windows of the car.  In one instance Erika had had a breach in her tightly woven security and another child had been pushing the Coupe from behind as though it were a shopping cart.  Erika seeing that the inside of the vehicle was not occupied thus leaving the coupe still unclaimed, again ran full boar towards the car and dove straight in the front window staking her claim to the coupe.  In all of these circumstances the Mom Law would kick in and the little acrobat would be extricated from the vehicle proclaiming her innocence the whole way.
Mom Law
My wife had described the events at the play place in eloquent detail but it was still hard for me to picture seeing Erika actually diving headfirst at, towards or into anything.  This story made me chuckle as do most stories about her, and this one was my favorite story of the day.  Still discussing the events of the day with my wife, I was sitting on the floor getting ready to change Erika's diaper.  Erika was on the couch behind me while I was leaning forward to get the box of wipes that were beyond my feet.  I got a hold of the box of wipes and sat back up quickly.  Just as my back came into contact with the couch, I see a silhouette go flying.  Nay!  Diving headfirst over my right shoulder.  I barely had enough time to catch her by the hips, softening the blow of the hardwood on her face.  She was very upset rightfully so.  But she could could not stay upset for very long because the laughter was too infectious.  We spectated such an incredulous event that we could not stop our selves from laughing.   

Super Grover
The only way we could explain what we had witnessed is to surmise that Erika had planned to jump on my back while I was reaching for the box of wipes.  My sudden return to the sitting position caught her off guard mid jump and she decided to just go with it, arms stretched out and all, just like her favorite super hero; Super Grover.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

This Year mother nature is a...

It has been a busy year and it is only April.  Work has been non-stop as the economy is picking up and the family is more than keeping me entertained with all their tomfoolery.
Snow mold

Between getting ready for summer with the taking down the outdoor Christmas lights, putting out the water barrels, sweeping the driveway, and of course the glorious destruction of all the snow mold living on my lawn, which involves raking till the blisters come home.  Once all the outdoor chores are done I will then be able to organize the garage and build the playhouse we picked up at Costco.  The instructions for the playhouse make War and Peace seem like a TV Guide. 
I have been looking forward to this time of year and dreading it all in one sigh.  The winter was a long one and I was slowly running out of room to store all the damnable snow.  Cabin fever had definitely taken hold of the whole family.  There was not enough Toopie and Binou to keep everyone sane.
Oh and it seems that our quiet little town is now facing an eminent flood.  Thus taking the joy out of the long awaited season called spring.  The people in town had to go through these shenanigans last year and now they are predicting it to be even worse this year due to the copious amounts of snow that fell throughout this long 5 month winter.
Last Years Flood damage in Town
 Mother nature was not particularly kind this winter season.  With the local temperature rising and all the snow in the surrounding areas melting faster than the irrigation systems can handle.  Especially with the ground saturation at max capacity due to the constant rain last year, which is definitely not the norm for this typically arid climate. The last remnants of snow that finally melted off my yard had been there since November.  This global warming has been a killer.  With temperatures dropping to -40 degrees and snowfall records being broken all across the country.  I am just glad it is global warming instead of the start of an ice age, which would have been a horrifying experience to say the least.  But my heart does go out to everyone affected by these terrible events that are about to happen here and that has already happened around the world.  It is coming and the sandbags can only do so much to stave off the mounting waters.
Sandbag preparations for this years flood
 We can only hope that everything works out and that the truck loads of sandbags brought in turn out to have been a waste of time.  The amount of snow we have been experiencing in the last couple of years remind me of how it was when I was a kid.  Where snow days were a regular occurrence and the mountains of snow that would pile up in parking lots and in the schoolyard were the main attraction for king of the hill.  I bought a snow blower 3 years ago and people laughed at me.  They would say things such as; “You don't need a snow blower here.  AHAHAHAHAHA!!!” and they would point their fingers and laugh at me when I walked by.  Now same people are asking me to load up the very same snow blower into the back of my truck so that I can bring it over and give them a hand.  My response is always the same: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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