Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


My kind of scouting.

Because I'm the type of hunter who applies for tags in areas I've never been to, I threw the family in the car so I could at least go make a quick drive through the Paterson Unit of the Umatilla Wildlife Refuge.  I mean, heck, either sit at home in the A/C, or sit in the car in the A/C. 

There isn't much to the area where my doe tag is good for...it's an area about 3 miles by 2 miles on the banks of the Columbia River that is set up primarily as a bird refuge, that just happens to be overrun by more deer than it can support.  At least, that's what the literature says.  Couldn't tell that yesterday...we didn't see a single deer...but the area looks promising.   Plenty of water, and the refuge is surrounded on three sides by corn fields and apple orchards.  It's just going to be a matter of picking one of the two or three tree lines, and being patient.

While we didn't see any deer, the day wasn't a waste, because there are two wineries in the Paterson area...The Canoe Ridge Estate's, part of Chateau Ste. Michelle and then Columbia-Crest Winery.  I figured I had better go enjoy them now, because I might not be as accepted when I go in all done up for deer hunting.  I can image there are worse things in the world than working at Canoe Ridge Estate's with this view every day:

So yeah...we take our kids wine tasting.  Not always...but, I do believe that there are some wineries where it is more acceptable than others.  These two wineries in Paterson are different than the 8 or 9 wineries in Richland, or the 50+ wineries in Walla Walla...those places are destinations unto themselves.  But...the two wineries we went to yesterday are 40 minutes from the nearest gas station.  They have come to expect that people swinging in for a visit are doing something else, and that most of the time, kids are part of the bargin.  In fact, one of the ladies working at Canoe Ridge also works for the Hermiston, Oregon School District, and she spent the whole time visiting with our daughters while her partner poured for my wife and I. 

On the other hand, I'm also very proud of the fact that I have kids who behave well enough that I can take them to wineries, and they can stay entertained reading books while my wife and I wander off to the wine.  It makes you want to find excuses to show off that behavior. 


Those are the wrong eggs!

As my wife and I keep an eye on the chicken coop, waiting for eggs to start showing up, today we found some eggs from an unexpected source.

My female corn snake started laying eggs this weekend.

A quick trip to the internet shows that while this is rare, it's not unheard off.  I found several occurrences of virgin female corn snakes laying infertile eggs(slugs).  The shape is not as regular as 'good' eggs, and they have a yellowish tint to them.

Oh well, in the trash they went...not if the chickens can just follow her example..

What are you gonna do?

Early this morning, I was woken up by the sound of hail beating off the metal roof of my carport, about 10 feet from my bedroom window.  This was followed by some thunder, and flashes of lightening(well, reverse the order).  Because I'm a freak and we get damn few lightening storms in the Tri-Cities, I threw on my shoes and headed out to the back porch to enjoy it. 

It was a fast moving cell, and most of the excitement was done in 10 minutes, and you could see stars again in about 20 minutes.  Since by this time, I was well and truly awake at 4:15, I decided to be productive, and fired up the over to get some baking done before it got too hot for the day.  My goal?  Brigid's Guinness Molasses Cake.

So...the cake is done and cooling.  I'll probably make the topping here in a bit, and throw the whole thing in the refrigerator until later...or, I could just cover the cake, and make up the topping right before serving. I really haven't decided yet.  You see, I've got another problem to deal with.

I bought everything to make this recipe earlier in the week, and was just waiting for a window.  So...I bought a 22 ounce bottle of Guinness...and the recipe only calls for a cup.  What do with a left over half-bottle of Guinness at 4:30AM?

Trick question...a half-bottle of Guinness is never 'left-over'...you can do the same thing with it you would any other time of day...and it's looking like it might be a good one, but at least I started it right. 


One way to look at it.

One of my friends sent this to me today, and it's very true, and it is most definitely a goal I have with how I live my life.

I realize that the way I treat my wife is how my daughters are going to expect a man to treat them, and I am setting a VERY high bar. 
This also reminds me of another saying people told me when I first had kids: 'Daughters are life's way of punishing you for being the type of guy you were when you were younger.'  Not because daughters are not as cool as sons, but more because you are going to spend your whole life thinking some punk is looking to use her the way you might have used a girl when you were younger.  It helps to remember that every girl is someones daughter.
While I was never really the womanizing type...having daughters did make me feel bad for some jokes I told once upon a time.  I used to have a chief that had a very cute, very mature looking daughter who was somewhere around 15.  A regular past time for some of us was giving the chief a hard time about his daughter, which usually involved some comment that would not be correct in mixed company.
Yeah...there are days I feel bad about that, especially as my wife is trying to convince me she needs to go shopping with my 11-year old to trade in her 'trainers' for some real undergarments.
I'm sorry Chief...I take it all back!


Too rich for my blood.

While events have currently taken me out of the market for a gun, it never really hurts to go looking.  For the most part, prices on AR's look like they have come back down to normal, even as ammo remains as rare as hen's teeth.  The ACE here in town now has 3 or 4 AR's(mostly DPMS) priced in the $800 dollar range. 

They also had one gun that caught my eye that was priced considerably higher...an Ares Defense Belt Fed AR that the store was asking $3200 for.

Now...from what I've been able to learn, that is not an insane asking price for that weapon...it seems dead on the MSRP.  What I can't learn from the internet is why someone would be $3200 for a belt fed AR.  My only two guesses are: cheap surplus ammo that is still in links, or you have access to an fully automatic lower, and you just want to get your hands on a belt-fed upper. 

The only other thing I can come up with, is someone has the ability to convert it to a fully automatic weapon. 

Even with those reasons, I'm not sure I can EVER see myself paying $3000+ for a belt fed AR.  In that price range, I'm much more likely to pick up something in the .50 Caliber Family. 


He Was Legend

Sad news today in the world of Speculative Fiction/Horror, with the death of Richard Matheson.  It's not exaggerating in the least to say that Mr. Matheson was one of the giants in the field, and his name belongs in the Pantheon along with Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury.  His influence among current talents(Spielberg, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, John Lithgow) ensures his legacy will live on.

If, IF you have not read the 1954 novella(it's less than 200 pages) 'I Am Legend', you are REALLY missing out.  Taken as a whole, his story is about 43 times more...satisfying than any of the 3 movies that have been 'based' on it. 

There aren't many more like him out there. 


Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

A deep sigh of relief went out on the internet today with the word that Hostess Twinkies will begin showing up on shelves again on July 15th.

Whatever...I don't have anything against Hostess or their Twinkies...I'm just not a huge fan of them.  The fact is, despite the evidence my waistline provides, I am not that big of a fan of 'snack cakes' in general.  I would rather have a 2nd helping of steak, or another burger, than a Twinkie or a Ho-ho. 

There is an exception to the rule, that being Funny Bones, made by Drakes.  Picture a Twinkie...but it has chocolate sponge cake instead of yellow, and then it is filled with a peanut butter cream, in stead of the white whipped cream.  Finally, the whole thing is dipped in chocolate...and yeah...they are good.  Luckily, Drakes is an East Coast brand, and I am in the interior Northwest, which means that temptation rarely comes calling. 


Dates, and World Wars.

Earlier this week, my mother-in-law flew in from Connecticut.  My wife and took advantage of her kindness to head out for an extended date yesterday, catching a movie, dinner, AND a band. 

For a  movie, we went and saw World War Z, and even though I would rather have seen Man of Steel, or Much Ado About Nothing, I have to admit WWZ was a very entertaining movie, especially if you let go of the book.  In that manner, it's very much like Starship Trooper...entertaining as hell, just totally lacking in much other than a title to connect it to the book.

If you are looking for character development, there isn't much there.  We are treated to a few moments of Brad making pancakes for his family before things start moving fast, and they moving pretty fast most of the way through the movie.  For a zombie movie, there is surprisingly little gore.  The zombies move too fast for that, doing more tackling and jumping on people that tearing them limb from limb.  I quite like the term Commander Zero made up, calling them zoombies.  I also found it helps to think of them contagious Raptors instead of undead. 

The big lesson to be taken away?  Cities Suck.

After that it was dinner at a place we've never tried before, the Fox and Bear Public House.    I don't know exactly what they are aiming for...with a name like that, I expected something dark, with soot covered wood paneling...but it's quite the opposite.  Since we ate popcorn at the movie, we skipped any big meals, with my wife having a portabella salad, and me having a Reuben.  The food was good, and because we stuck to salads and sandwich's, even with two beers, and a hummus appetizer, and a small desert, the total came to less than $50...so, that was nice. 

Finally, we went to bar we have never stopped at before to see a band we've never seen before, both of which I had heard fairly good things about.  The bar was a place called Dax's, and the band was called Stompin' Ground.  Both of them lived up to the positives I had heard.  Don't get me wrong...Dax's is nothing special...just a neighborhood bar, but...I really don't have a neighborhood bar.  22 beers on draft isn't bad either. 

As for Stompin' Ground, they were fairly impressive.  What I liked was they had a lot of really current country in addition to some classics.  If I have any complaint about them, it would be a lack of slow songs.  I'm not a dancer, but I'm willing to hold my wife close and do some swaying back and forth during a slow song...but they really didn't play any.  Their first set, they did 'Troubadour' by George Straight...and that was about it.  My own opinion is that unless you are a hard rock/metal act, you should have at least one 'slow dance' song per set.

Instead, I just sat and looked cool most of the night, while my wife did a little dancing. 

Yeah...she gets carded a lot. 


Well, that's a pretty warning.

The squash plants in my garden have started flowering.

Now, in this case, this isn't just a pretty yellow flower...it's a warning.  While this is the first flower(on a golden scallop patty pan squash plant) it isn't going to be the last. 

This is a harbinger of the fact that in a week or two, I going to be hip deep in summer squash,

We'll see if I am up to the challenge of keeping up with them this summer. 


Buy, buy, buy!

Wow.  Look at what has happened to the price of gold and silver.  Gold down below $1275, and silver under $20 an ounce.  Nothing close to their historical lows, but both lower than they have been in 3 years. 

Now, there are some people out there who make the purchase of precious metals a higher priority.  I like to have some on hand, but I also have been known to do some profit taking off it.  At one point, I bought a couple of 10-ounce silver bars, and then when silver rose to about $24 an ounce, I sold them, but I then took the money from those sales and put them into other...stable products.

I kind of look at long term planning the same way I do a stock portfolio...diversification.  Metals are nice, but so are bullets, and medicines, and candles, and matches, and alcohol, and lots of other things.  In this hierarchy, I see metals as a compact, convenient source of wealth...and gold is much different than silver.  Both of them will have a use, but that useful period is when things are getting bad, not when they are already really, really bad.  There will come a point where folks figure they can eat silver, or shoot a squirrel or bad guy with silver, and that's when the other shelf stable items have their uses.

But for now, silver is what's on sale, so that's what I'm buying. 


Ready to start scouting!

Came home to an e-mail from The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife today saying that results from Special Hunt Drawings were in, and posted on the Department's website.  With as little restraint as a kid on Christmas morning, I was on the Department of Wildlife's website, punching in my ID number. 

The bad news is that I didn't get selected for any of my elk applications, but after being drawn for(and wasting) a cow elk tag last year, it would have been a minor mathematical miracle for me to be selected again this year.

The good news is that I was selected for a muzzle loader doe tag in the Paterson Unit of the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, down on the Columbia River.  It's not a big are...maybe 6 square miles, but there are only 10 tags issued, so, there shouldn't be too much competition. 

In even better news, I drew a second doe tag for the Pomeroy area, which is the same unit I got this doe last season

Might not get any big antlers that the wife might not let me put on the wall, but if I can get 100 pounds of tender doe in the freezer, that would be a better than even trade off. 


I'll buy that logic.

Based on the K.I.S.S(Keep it Simple, Stupid) principle, there isn't a much more succinct argument than this.

What...you think you are going to win an argument with Yosemite Sam?  Unless you're Bugs Bunny, don't even try. 

Strange...my beer tastes like beer!

Earlier this week, while at Mid-Columbia Wine and Liquor, I spotted an interesting bottle of beer, and in a moment of weakness, bought it.  It's a big bottle, being the same size, and roughly the same price as a 'Decent Tuesday Night' red wine(roughly $10).  Called 13th Hour, it's a dark Belgian stout, and part of Sam Adams Barrel Aged Collection. 

Fathers Day seemed like the right day to try it out.

Now...don't take anything I am about to say as running this beer down.  It was a perfectly fine stout, with plenty of the coffee and chocolate notes that really, really like in my stouts.  It compares very favorably with two of my current favorites, Iron Horse Brewery's Mocha Death, and Ninkasi's Oatis Oatmeal Stout

I guess the bottle and the price just kind of had me thinking that the beer would be something...special...over the top.  Maybe the empty bottle could sing to me or something, make it a multi-sensual experience. 

Probably won't go out of my way to buy it again, but the wife is pretty happy to have the bottle, because it's WAY neat. 


Like Father, Like Son.

I'm not the easiest dad in the world to do Fathers Day for.  I can't lay in bed waiting for a cup of coffee and toast.  I would rather buy an In Bag Beef Tenderloin and break it down myself than have my wife try to figure out dinner.  I'd rather unload the dishwasher and fold laundry than camp on the couch watching the U.S. Open.  I do like hugs though.

My dad was not a bad guy, or even a bad dad...but early on I decided I did not want to follow exactly in his footsteps.  His way of doing things(often substituting gifts for time) is not how I wanted to do things, even though for a while the amount of OT I was working at my previous job was leading me down that path.

It wasn't all his fault...as I got older, we developed different interests.  He is a golfer who couldn't understand my interest in hunting, and shooting, but despite that, he did get together with my hunting uncle from Texas and bought me a rifle. 

I think he learned a lot of his 'how to' from his dad, and times were different.  Dad's payed the bills, and wanted to be left alone.  Me?  I'm a product of what Tom Lycos would call an increasingly 'vaginized society'....and I don't think it is all bad.  I mean...a dad should be able to do manly 'dad' things with their kids while still emotionally connecting with them. 

The big one for me is telling my girls how proud of them I am.  For the life of me, I can not remember the last time those actual words came out of my Fathers mouth.  I don't think he is not proud of me...it has just not crossed his mind to say it.

I don't want my daughters to ever have to wait for me to say those words. 


Now comes the melancholy.

While the happy, smiley birthday party for my daughter was last weekend, today was her actual 11th Birthday.

It doesn't feel like 11 years.  Some days it feels like 30 years, and some days it feels like I just went to bed last night with her being 3 years old.

I would like to think we are doing a good job raising her, but the fact is she is doing a fine job all by herself.  On the verge of being a teenager, she still is a sweet, caring, sensitive little girl, while also being a intelligent, inquisitive young lady with a thirst for knowledge, who is happy to get things like snap circuit remote control rover kits for birthday.

And she's still going to let me read her a few pages of a story and tuck her in tonight. 

Not sure how much longer that will happen, and it's worth missing a few minutes of a hockey game for.  ESPN will tell me how the game ends, but it won't give me this back.


Summer is a state of mind...

While the temperature the last few days has been very pleasant(78-83ish), real summer is there, crouching at the doorstep. 

In the interest of sticking our toungue out at summer one last time, while my wife is hiding at the Washington Homeschool Organization Convention half a state away, I convinced the girls that we should hop in the truck and drive up to Chinook Pass so we could play in the snow.

Or rather, the ice.  It's hard to call what is left up there snow.  It's certainly not something you are going to lay down on and make snow angels, despite at least 3 requests for permission to do so.

Now, before you go calling CPS, yes, I know my daughters are in shorts/capri's.  Air temp up at the pass was right around 60 degrees.  Since I denied requests for snow angels, and required spare socks be packed, any chance of colds were averted once we got back in the truck.  As much as I am getting used to the 64 shades of brown and tan here in Eastern Washington, green and white will usually do it for me too.

On the way home, I took a quick detour up Bethel Ridge, where I usually do my elk hunting.  I thought the girls might enjoy a quick little nature walk that didn't leave their feet cold.  Despite many fields still being full of dainty little wildflowers, what caught and held their attention the most was this:
Even without my wife there, I was able to figure out the correct answer when the girls asked if they could pick it up to pose with it. 
Luckily, I had had practice from the snow angels question.

I'm part of the statistic!

About two weeks ago, a study/survey was released pointing out that marriages between people who meet on the internet tend to last longer, and be 'happier' than marriages between people who meet in more traditional ways. 

Now, two disclaimers on the study: 1. It was paid for eHarmony, so you might ask if you can trust it anymore than any other study commissioned by someone who stands to gain from the results, and 2. I'm part of the statistic, because I met my wife through the internet, even though I didn't take part in this online survey(married too long, they wanted folks married between 2005-2012). 

I don't doubt the results of this study.  I'm not exactly sure how you quantify 'happier', but...you can quantify longer.  My wife and I are happy(I can't imagine being happier, even with Kate Upton or Christina Hendricks along for the ride) and as we celebrated out 12th Wedding Anniversary this year, I think we have passed the longevity test.

Reading their article, I agree with most of their reasoning to 'why' this might be true...people who meet through the internet(as long as they are truthful to respective partners AND themselves) should feel like they are looking for the same things.  There is a box you check if you want a long term relationship, and that gives you a leg up on the girl you are introduced to by friends, or bump into at a book store.

To my way of thinking though...that 'leg up' would be something that leads to a higher percentage of 'first dates' leading to marriage, not longer, happier marriages.  Once you get to the point where you say 'I do' you should feel equally confident moving forward no matter how you met. 

That is a stat I would would find much more interesting(and would be much tougher to come by)...what is the percentage of 'initial meetings' that lead to marriage 'internet vs. traditional?  In my own case, the amazing woman who would become my wife was not the first, second, or probably even the 12th young lady I met through yahoo, the vast, vast majority of which were one and done type things.  Yup...you might both be looking for a long term relationship, and you both might like Garth Brooks, but that doesn't mean you will cotton to each other. 

Here is what I do know...the internet made it faster.  Meeting up with those 12-15 young ladies through the internet was much less stressful for me than doing it the old fashioned way would have been.  Asking a girl who has checked a block or sent you an e-mail to meet for coffee(or meet at the mall so she can stand you up, much like my future wife did 6 months before we met for real) is MUCH easier than walking up to a cute girl the old fashioned way, and asking her out.  I would hazard a guess that in between playing sailor, I was probably on yahoo 18 months or so before meeting my wife.  Left to my own devices, it would have taken 6-8 YEARS to work up the courage to ask a dozen girls out in person looking for the right one.

All in all, I'm glad it worked out the way it did. 


Just feels a little strange

As I learn more and more about chickens, I keep reading about some people who basically treat them as garbage disposals, feeding them whatever leftovers might be in the fridge.  This has led to me trying various supplemental food items out on them.  I have discovered that they like kale and Swiss chard, not so much iceberg lettuce.  They like chopped strawberries, and honey dew melon, and honey nut cheerios.  Not so much peppers, or watermelon rinds. 

After reading about one person who just dumps whatever he scrapes off a plate into a doggy bag to feed his chickens, I decided to give them some variety last night, letting them try some left over fried rice that didn't seem worth saving to me.

They pretty much loved it. The only thing left when they were done was a few peas, which is slightly creepy considering there was plenty of scrambled eggs AND left over turkey diced up in the rice. 
It's not quite cannibalism, but...you do have to be careful when you give them eggs.  They must be TOTALLY cooked, otherwise the chickens could develop a taste for raw eggs, which as you can image, would not be good.  


And so the battle shifts.

With any attempts at increased gun control(specifically, increased background checks) being soundly defeated in the State Legislature this session, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility introduced a new initiative this week to bring background checks back up to the legislature, or the voters themselves.

The first step is collecting signatures.  If they get the signatures of 246,000 registered voters, than the initiative will be discussed at the 2014 Legislative session.  If the Legislature does not take action on it, than it will end on the statewide ballot in the fall of 2014.

I do not think they are going to have trouble getting the 246,000 signatures.  Heck...they will probably get those from the I-5 corridor alone, and there isn't much that can be done to stop it.  You can't picket the folks who gather signatures, or really mess with them in anyway. 

Likewise, as easily little progress as any gun control bills made in the Legislature last year, I don't see the Legislature rushing to act on it next session, meaning we are most likely heading for a showdown on the state ballot next fall.  In that case, there will be money spent, and we should be thankful it's an off year election...this one might come down to 'who gets out the vote'.


Different versions of justice.

I've said it before(and I doubtless will say it again, because it is true), but if ever seriously risk going to jail, I hope the American legal system is the one I am being tried in.  The very traits that require to me to admit that basic truth also frustrate the hell out of me in 'clear-cut' cases. 

Two recent stories underscore the difference between our legal system and the way justice is carried out other places.

First, we have rapid and messy justice out of rural Bolivia:

Bolivian villagers punish rapist and murderer by throwing him into his victim's grave and burying him alive

Then to compare, we have what I'm sure will prove to be slow, plodding ultimately unsatisfying justice not half a mile from my house in Richland.

Richland man arrested, charged with homicide in baby's death

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/06/10/2428396/9-month-old-richland-girls-death.html#storylink=cpy

So...on one side of the scales of justice we have rural Bolivia, where a 17-year old suspected rapist and murdered is tied up, and buried alive in the same grave where his victim was being buried.  Very poetic vigilante justice.

On the other side we have a 36-year old who 'allegedly' molested(the story was updated from the original due to complaints over terms like 'vaginal bruising') and killed a 9-month old left in his care.  He then headed for the hills before being tracked down.  He has been charged with manslaughter, meaning what...5-8 years maybe?

I'm not saying mob violence, and burying 17-year old kids alive is the way to solve our problems...but as a father, there has to be some middle ground between burying people alive and waiting 2 years to sentence an 'alleged' molester and killer who tried running for the Mexico border. 

Sometimes, waiting on karma is tough.


She's strange, but she's mine.

Today we had my daughters 11th Birthday Party.  When we asked what kind of 'theme' she wanted for birthday, she said she wanted a Big Foot party. 

My daughter is a very...focused person.  When she finds something that interests her, she is single-minded to the point of obsessive.  A few months ago, she caught a few episodes of Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet, and that was it. I think I convinced her that 'Bigfoot Hunter' is not a very lucrative career choice, but she still spends over half the 4 hour drive to my mom's house gazing out at the Cascade's hoping to see a Sasquatch. 

Now...I'm not here to debate the potential reality of Bigfoot.  As someone who spends days at a time in the woods unable to find a legal deer or elk, I'm open minded about the difficulty of finding something that doesn't want to be found in the woods.

But...how does one do a 'bigfoot' Birthday Party?  There aren't a lot of Bigfoot balloons or paper plates.

Luckily, my daughter is pretty low maintenance and easy to please.  A bunch of furry chocolate cup cakes(with an oreo hidden in it) shaped like a bigfoot foot mold, and some presents.

It was a good day...and even better, due to scheduling, her real birthday is not until next week, so I didn't need the spend the day feeling all old and decrepit that my baby is turning 11.  


Doing something

Last week, Bobbi had a post about a Good Samaritan, who, upon seeing a house on fire, stopped to make sure everyone was awake and safe, instead of just engaging his Somebody Else's Problem Field and driving along. 

Out of Bremerton, there is a similar story, where a guy out walking his dog thought he smelled gas, and instead of just ignoring it, put in the effort to call the local gas company.  Upon investigation with the gas company and local police, they found a home where a 73-year old lady had accidentally left all 4 burners cranked up on her stove after cleaning it. 

Good on him.  Another article said that they had to evacuate several surrounding homes also, because if the gas had gone off, it would have taken out several other houses.

The only real sad part of this story is you can rest assured, even as we are reading this, a group of kids and grand kids are doubtlessly discussing which home it's time to put grandma in. 


Between the Buns

A while ago, a new hot dog joint opened up in the Tri-Cities. Through one of her social circles, my wife knows one of the owners, and so, we put it on our list of places to try 'sooner or later', but with it being ALL THE WAY OVER IN KENNEWICK(meaning 15+ minutes of drive time!), we needed the right opportunity.  The garage where my truck has been getting fixed(more on that expensive lesson to follow) is in Kennewick, so after hitting the first day of the Richland Farmers Market, we headed to Kennewick to get my truck, and have some lunch.

Let me start by saying that today, at Between the Buns, I had two of the best hot dogs I have ever had in my life. 

You can build your own, or they can build your own.  Building your own can be a confusing process, since the have 9 sausage/dog choices(Pork or beef dogs, smoked chicken sausage, spicy Italian sausage, mild or hot German sausage, Polish Sausage, a bacon wrapped beef dog, and for the sicko's out there, a veggie dog), 3 bun choices, and about 20 toppings available free, with a few that cost extra(bacon, chili, nacho cheese, mac and cheese, slaw). 

Rather than deal with that, we ordered off the 'signature' menu, with my wife getting their Authentic Chicago Dog, and me getting both the Chees-aholic(cream cheese, nacho cheese, shredded cheese with bacon on a pork dog(add some pepperoncinis please) AND the wobbi-dog(bacon and peanut butter on a Polish Sausage). 

For the record, that is a 'touch of bacon' on the cheese dog. 

Hey...they were good hot dogs.  I have previously had a peanut butter bacon cheeseburger, so I know as strange as it sounds, it is a taste that goes good together,  I have never had a place ask me if I want creamy OR crunchy peanut butter though(O went with crunchy).  That is tip top.

I probably didn't need two dogs, but then again, I didn't eat two dogs.  The peanut butter bacon dog got passed around the table a bit with everyone agreeing it was tasty, tasty, tasty.

My wife was also very pleased with her dog, and I'll admit it was aesthetically more pleasing than mine.

The only thing she didn't like were the 'authentic Chicago Sport Peppers' that came on it.  They had more than a bit of heat to them.

Let's see...food aside, the folks working there were great.  Very good customer service, clean and neat looking inside, and the price was pretty fair.  I want to say it $24 for two kids meals, three dogs, two sodas, and a side of fries that my wife and I spilt.  My family can't get out of a fast food place for less than that anymore. 

We will certainly start finding more excuses to end up in Kennewick again(just as long it's not more repairs to the F-150.) 

That's how you know it's homemade!

Yesterday, my wife decided to bake a quick 'dump cake' to bring to her weekly small group meeting.  While she used boxed cake mix, she decided to use one of the jars of cherry's we canned last year instead of store bought cherry pie filling.

Good deal. 

Rumor has it that during the eating process, there were roughly 4 cherry pits found in the cake.

I guess this just means that when the wife is pitting 30 pounds of cherries in the next week or two, I need to do a better job of supervising and quality control. 


Darn you to Heck, Netflix.

Well, my wife and I watched the last episode of House of Cards available on netflix last night, and well, silly me, I had assumed that it was a complete experience, kind of like a mini-series. 

Nope...so while the ending, much like the whole series so far was good, it was completely unfulfilling.  Just like a 'season' finale is supposed to be. 

Razzafrazzin' rat bastards. 

Oh well...something to have some actual anticipation about.

Once upon a time

There was once a time when a Sword was more than a sword. Gold wasn't just a precious metal, and Utah, Juno, and Omaha where more than places our high school kids couldn't find on a map.

They were places where a lot of fine young men found the courage to charge into the jaws of death, to defeat what they saw as a great evil.  Just because the ones going ashore in on the Juno sector beaches didn't have the same opposition as the ones who died on Omaha Beach doesn't make them less heroic.  They didn't know what they would find when the doors opened on the landing craft.

I can only assume the opening of Saving Private Ryan is an accurate portrayal of the Hell these guys went through.  War has changed, which is good.  I can't imagine many scenarios where we would have to mount an amphibious assault like that again, but then again, as brave and honorable as many of our sailors and soldiers are, I can't imagine us finding 100,000+ of them willing to charge into the jaws of death like that without at least asking if it might not just might not be easier to drop a few smart bombs to take care of the problem.

God Bless the few who are left, and say a prayer for the ones who have moved on.


But they are so cool!

One of the few things I am jealous of that the kids have now that I didn't have when I was a kid are Nerf Guns.  Some of these things are fairly wicked looking, and would have added another degree of realism to my friends and I running around the neighborhood yelling 'Wolverines!'(as the youngest, I always had to be Danny...lame).

So, you can hardly blame a few 12-year old kids for 'doing what 12-year olds do' with some NERF guns at school as the school year winds down.

Edmonds students suspended for using Nerf guns at school

So, did the teacher have the project planned, or not?  If they did, then they need to be punished also for 'conspiracy to violate' stupid zero tolerance policies.

Just another example of why I feel increasingly blessed that we have the opportunity to home-school my kids.


A pointy stick?

What's this?!?!??!  An actual story of a gun being used in defense in Seattle?

Robber's pointy stick no match for store owner's pistol

Too bad the store owner didn't get an excuse to shoot him.  Hell, back in February, 10 Seattle Police Officers shot a guy for attacking them with an 18-inch piece of rebar.  This stick was pointy...that makes it even scarier. 

It's probably better for the store owner that he didn't shoot him, both legally and mentally.  As it is the stories last half sentence 'and made sure the store owner's concealed pistol license was up to date.' has me confused.  In Washington, as long as he was in his own business, he wouldn't need a concealed pistol license...


Role Reversal

Generally speaking, organizationally and aesthetically, I have assumed responsibilty for the exterior of the house, while my wife has control of the inside of the house.  Today, we kind of swapped roles. with her doing some outside planting, and me tackling the hall closet.

Talk about a 'Wild and Crazy' weekend!

Both of us were relatively successful, although people get to see her sucess, while mine is hidden in the closet. So sad.

Sometimes, it's okay.

As much as we are supposed to stride forward in our society, and stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before us, occasionally, it's okay to throw up you hands and admit you have already seen something done the best it an ever be done.


There isn't one in town, but...

If there was, I believe I would now be doing shopping at someplace OTHER than Staples:

Staples Says Gun Store Can’t Enter Contest

I agree with the owner of the gun store here...the most distressing part of this is Staples lumping firearms/weapons with illegal drugs and all the other activities that are usually targeted by sin taxes.  Never mind that that are trying to help promote small businesses, and businesses don't get much smaller than some gunsmithing operations I've seen.

Oh well.  They have the right to set up their contest the way they want, and I have the right to spend my money where I want.  Office Depot was closer to my house and more convenient anyways...but now I will go out of my way to avoid giving Staples one red cent.