Archive for October, 2017

WWI podcasts

9 October, 2017

I’m listening to a bunch of different WW1 podcasts on my commute time.

So I really shouldn’t complain, because nothing in my life is remotely as horrible as life in a WW1 trench.




8 October, 2017

MrC & MrG had soccer games, at different times, even.

MrG went to a b-day party (they played soccer) and then to Husky football with his mommy. So…what to do… I called up MsS-BFF and MrC-BFF, they were available, so I took them bowling. Then they asked for a sleepover, sure, why not.  (The childrens were helpful at getting chores done right after soccer, so I was in a good mood!)  They played, I joined them for a game of Apples-to-Apples.

Mostly things went well at bedtime, …except, MrC woke with a bloody nose. Twice.

I taught Bible class to elementary kids (and a few younger). About manna.

Went back to Bob’s Pumpkin patch…did the big corn maze. And I decided, I’m just gonna follow MrG. After a bit a few other did too, from our group. One mom said, “I’m counting on you to get us out of here.” And he did. With a little smile on his face.

Mexican food for dinner.

Then a soccer club board meeting.

catching up “Castle” and TWD

7 October, 2017

“Castle” by David Macaulay was one of my favs when I was young, I must have checked it out half a dozen times when I was in early elementary school. And so, I am sharing it with my childrens. I highly recommend. (Read it, it may save your life someday!) 

Side note: I wish that somebody in TheWalkingDead had read Castle when they were young.

I’ve no intention on watch the rest of the season of TheWalkingDead.

I hate baseball bat dude…. “I’m a super powerful bad-ass, and I have a loyal army that I lead…oh, you killed a bunch of my people, I’ll kill one of yours… oh, little Rick Jr just machine gunned my people, OK, I’ll take him under my wing…”  That guy is an idiot.


I see now.

Idiot-Negan is the evil opposite of idiot-Rick.

I can see how someone might flock to a dangerous leader in times of crisis, if he kept them safe. But if he keeps letting his people get killed through stupidity.

Oh for f’s sake… I can just see it now… Trump tweets about TWD, “Finally, Hollywood gets what real leadership is like. Negan is strong leader. Rick isn’t so innocent.”

what I would like… humanity to pull together… and maybe Survivor / Gilligan’sIsland their way to a new tomorrow. What changes in society would there be if you zombiefied when you died. “Good night grandma, don’t forget to lock yourself inside your room.”

I can even see violence breaking out between competing groups… “hey this is our hunting grounds”… But just cannibalism for the sake of “worser” BigBad-of-the-Season. Meh.

AND for freakin’ frackin’… has none of the survivors ever read a book about a castle??? Every season the zombies burst through a flimsy wall. Did Rick look at the lovely wall by Deanna’s husband and say, “yup, this would totally stop the Governor and his tank?”

And in closing, Carol Ms “Hi-class-today-we’re-gonna-learn-about…are-they-gone…alright-kids- these-are-machetes…”  for President 2020. Because she’ll know how to survive in an apocalypse.

  • I’m sure all the gasoline, bleach, toilet paper, batteries, eye-glasses, tampons, condoms, aspirin, toothpaste, blank paper, pencils, guitar strings,… are gone.
  • Libraries are mostly burnt out.
  • How many people get botulism by poor canning?
  • How much non-GMO corn seed is out there in the world?
  • Blackberry vines should be covering most of the streets.
  • What happens if you get pecked by a crow that was chompin’ on zombie.

Wouldn’t you kinda have to be fascist:

  • “Roll call, where’s Bob? Security go check on Bob!”
  • “Nope, fertile women are not allowed to go out on patrol.”
  • “sure he beats his wife…but he’s a doctor, so we try to ignore it.”

Note…this was written in the middle of the season, and then I discovered one of the characters has a tiger. So I watched. Because. TIGERS!

I fear tigers. Two stories, which I pro’lly have told….but, hey, you’ve read this far, amirite

Christmas visiting my brother, in SanDiego. We went to the zoo, great zoo. We were in the valley of the cats, looking around, cool, the sun starting to set, and the tigers started to roar. My instinct was LEAVE NOW. I held MyBetterHalf’s hand, and pulled on her to get her walking a bit quicker. I wanted out of the valley. NOW. There was no rational, “this is a zoo”, there was primal flight signals going off in my brain.

At a different zoo, (Isaquah has a zoo!!), at Christmas. Me & MrC were hanging out by the tiger, in a cage. I was cool. I realized it was a thick cave. I was staring at the tiger, maybe trying to get over my fear. And it noticed my stare. It stared back. It did not blink. Were were close, and I could realize that the tiger was at least seven or eight feet long, and those iron bars were only a few inches thick. I gathered MrC and we wandered off down the path. Just don’t agitate a tiger. OK, lesson learned. And I looked back, note, we had walked away for about a minute. And the tiger was still staring at me. GET OUT NOW, was my emotion.

catching up – 10 yrs old

6 October, 2017

….a bit ago… Birthday celebration for MsS and MrG.

We went to their school, and had a combined classtime ice-cream & extra playtime on the playground.

Dinner, we surprised took them to an Italian resturaunt, MrG was grumpy, “that place is disgusting”. And was mostly sullen during dinner, except while he was watching MLB draft, or playing tic-tac-toe with me, or asking about Leaning Tower of Pisa.

After, we wandered around a Lake Union park, looking at boats, MsS saw a plane take off from the water, and said, “someday I want to do that.” We then told them, that’s what we are doing for your birthday! MrG freaked out, refused to go, didn’t want to go, “it’s a waste of money!!!” (He freaked when I told him it was $100. “Twenty dollars each person!” and super-dooper freaked when I said, no $100 for each person, “FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!”)  He screamed, cried. I told him I would let him get that out of his system, but he didn’t want me to walk away. I apologized to him for it being a surprise, and confessed, I don’t like surprises either.

We got into the air, and MrC had the biggest smile on his face. Mostly he was glued to his window, (we each had our own window seat) but every now and then he would turn around and SMILE so very big. MsS was right in front of me and said “this is fun” while giving my hand a squeeze. MrG just kept looking out his window.  Oh well…two out of three ain’t bad.

The next day, MyBetterHalf and I were in MrG’s room, telling him goodnight. I mentioned, “I really liked seeing DiscoveryPark from the plane.” She mentioned something she liked. Without us prompting him, MrG offered he liked flying over Husky Stadium. Maybe MrB had an OK time.



5 October, 2017

I got home, MyBetterHalf was getting oil change for the kidmobile, so I gathered up the childrens to help me make dinner. MrG, ignored me, and got himself a bowl of cereal. Me, MsS, MrC made scrambled eggs, toast and ham. I made them do most all of it, and I’m happy to say, very little egg landed on the floor. MrG still grumpy, because still hungry, and went off to sulk, and after we finished eating, he returned, expecting me to cook, but I made him make scramble eggs for himself.

Later me & MrG talked about Stradivarius violins. He even told me, “my viola isn’t that bad.” Which is good, because he’s had a couple meltdowns about us renting a viola for him that has a few scratches on it. I tell him he needs to grow as a musician, and grow longer arms, and we will get him a better one.

This morning…MsS is again on patrol this year.  🙂

This morning, and recently, MrC has been getting ready pretty quickly, and has backpack on five minutes before we need to go.


first lesson

4 October, 2017

One of my favorite sounds is the orchestra warming up. I got close, hearing around 40 beginning fifth grade violist playing in a room.

MrG is playing viola.
MsS is playing clarinet.

The school district brought together all the fifth graders (at our school, they try for 100% participation in band/orchestra!!), and had first lessons, one teacher with a few HS students for helpers.

There are about 40 violists. (Funny enough, four of them are on MrG’s soccer team!)

catching up – Memorial Day weekend

3 October, 2017

Sunday – friends visited, we fed them burgers and hotdogs. I and another dad escorted them to TwinPonds, where most of them played soccer, but MsS and her friends went off to hangout by a stream, and get their shoes (or cast!) all muddy.

Monday – Memorial Day

We went to a Memorial Day service at a local cemetery. The weather was beautiful. The childrens didn’t really want to be there, I tried to tell them “it’s a little like church, and will be about an hour”. That didn’t improve their moods.

Back during Gulf War … for awhile I watched PBS, every night, and they would have a “roll call of the fallen”, and a few moments of silence for each service person who died in active duty, their rank and age. I don’t know which made me more sad. The eighteen year old kids who were killed in combat. Or the 34 year olds, wondering if they were leaving behind little children. At the Memorial Day service I saw a woman with alone with two young children, and I wondered if her husband died protecting America.

Please take this time to listen to Kate Tempest’s “War Music at Tongue Fu”

Well, listen if you feel like crying.

After we, and MrG’s BoyScout Den, visited Paul Allen’s museum of WW2 planes up in Everett. Fascinating and interesting machines, which is cool, that were built to kill people, which I kept thinking about. There was a room dedicated to the question of “Why War?” Which was great. Back when I was a kid, it was simple, we fight the bad guys, because we are the good guys. In only eight years our BoyScouts will be old enough to enlist.

Me and MrG play a bit of Madden, we’re in the same league and my team is, on paper at least, about 10 stronger than his. We finally matched up against each other in a league tournament. For some reason, I threw two interceptions. He tried to capitalize, but only could get two field goals. His last chance, he played careful, and got a third field goal and was so very happy, loudly laughing and dancing around his room.

MrCuddles and I had a nice afternoon while the rest of the family was at the park. He said he was getting tired, and wanted to go lay down in parents bed, I took a book down there. After a few minutes, he ran off to get five books so he could read too.

catching up with – 2017 Spring sports

2 October, 2017

Nicely for parents… only one weeknight basketball practice. No practices for Spring Soccer, games on Sundays. Flag football has an hour of practice, right before the game on Saturdays.

MrC – basketball

He is excited about playing, dribbles around the house, plays pass with me or his siblings, practices shots on the deck.

Game #1 and #2…a double header on Sunday morning. – MrC was starting the first game. He is definitely on the low side for skill among his team, and is also the shortest. But he was looking around, trying to stick with the guy he was guarding, but sometimes would just flock to the ball. (YMCA at this age has wrist bands, and you have to guard the opponent with the matching wristband.) His big play, he grabbed a rebound, started dribbling down the court, lost it and tripped. And then he walked off the court, away from his team. I went and chatted with him, gave him time to cool down, we watched the game for a few minutes from the window, I coaxed him over to his bench. And he didn’t play the rest of the game. Second game, he didn’t go out. Until the end, the coach tells me, “I just quit asking him, and told him to go out there.”  And MrC did alright. Running around, trying to pay attention and trying to guard his guy. It must be tough out there, nine bodies in motion, a quick moving ball that is often flying through the air, people bumping into you.  (There was another kid out there about his level, that poor kid happened to get the ball, on accident it seems, and he was just petrified, didn’t know what to do, and another kid stole it from him. To bad those two didn’t get matched up.)

Game #3 – May 6th. He’s improved so much in past week. He is getting better at sticking with the person he’s assigned on defence, and was just getting in their way. I told him “great defence, just make it difficult for the other person”. The coach had him throwing the ball in, kept him involved. Once he was even assigned to dribble up the ball.  (At this level you can’t play defence until the other team dribbles up past half court.)  Someone tried to pass to him, but it was a long pass, which the thrower wasn’t strong enough for, and MrC isn’t good enough to catch a long / strong pass, and defender just got in the way.

Game #4 – May 13th. MrC grabbed a rebound. And is getting better trying to stick with the guy he has to defend. He was allowed to play point one time, and bring the ball up the court. He seems to be having fun.

Game May 21st – Due to a scheduling mistake, he and his squad of second graders ended up playing a squad of kindergartners. The Coach quickly benched his best players and put the ones needing practice on the court. He kept rotating, making sure that everyone on the team made a basket. MrC made the most of it, he hustled and got a steal, got a couple rebounds, and, even got two baskets. A confidence booster game for him. (Which he needed.)

There was another game, where MrC had to guard a classmate who is bigger, stronger, and way better. MrC got in his way, and I think made it a little more difficult for Caleb to get his shot.


MrG – flag football –

Pre-season Practice – they ran some drills. He said after, “I like the team, they cheer for everybody”.  He specifically requested, and was assigned, to be on the same team as his BFF-Alex.

Game 1 – he missed, in Portland watching the TrailBlazers with his mommy.

Game 2 – During practice he came to me, very upset, the flag belt didn’t fit and was falling off his hips, “they are laughing at me” and he had jammed finger on a catch. Wanted to quit, “I want to go home now.” I fixed his flags, I told him “Mommy wants to watch you play. I want to watch you play.” I coaxed him over near his coach, I walked away. Game time, he seemed alright, first half MrG was on defense. The other team was in the red zone, bad pass…MrG was there, grabbed it and ran it back for a touchdown. He also had a couple of “tackles”. I enjoyed watching him pass-rush. Second half, he was on offence, …not so good. There was a play he got a hand-off and was “tackled” for a loss. His BFF-Alex also got a pick-six that game. After, MrG told me, “I liked it more than I thought I would….I learned the plays at practice. Did you see my pick-six? I scored the first points of the game!”  My thoughts on the game…well, I thought it would be safer, because flags, but I saw a big kid and a little kid (both on the other team) collide at full speed straight into each other. Coaches carried little kid off the field. Sigh.

Game – after was very upset that no one was throwing to him when he was a receiver. The coach after talked with me, curious what she could do, (She’s cool.) She says she offers him quarterback and running back, those postions get more more touches but he didn’t want to do those. Me & MrG.we chatted… I told him he needs to stay involved, to show that you are ready, (“uh…maybe you could wave your hand when open like they do in Madden”).

Game (April 29) – the coach put him at quarter back, he had a couple decent throws, moved down the field, but couldn’t get into the endzone. Was good he got a chance to see how quick a QB has to decide.

Game (May 6th) – MrG is getting more involved, getting more touches. He had a reception for a nice long run. He had a touchdown reception, I was near the end zone and nervous for him, because it was a long pass, but he got under it, caught it, and ran it in. He had a two-point conversion reception. There was a throw he missed. There was a time he was open, and came up to me complaining “I was open”. I told him to get back to the huddle. I think alot of it is about trust, do I know my teammate, then I will throw to them.

Game (May 13th) – MrG had a good game, two touchdown receptions. First was kinda funny, went straight to the defender, but bounced into MrG’s hands. The second one… was nervous, he was wide open, and I remember he’s related to me, and long pass coming at him, I shouldn’t get nervous, unlike me he can catch. But his team lost by 20.

Game May 20th – last game of the season. It was too easy, and I felt they should have been allowed to have an extra player on the field, just to keep it interesting. MrG was QB, until he threw a TD, then they let someone else be QB.

MrG – soccer

Game 1 – He got winded, needed to cough a lot he told me at half time, a bit upset. I told him “I think you are just out of soccer shape. Soccer players run more than any other sport.” His team played alright, it was my favorite score MrG reminded me (3-2). He had a couple shots on goal, and couple of good passes to teammates, but the ball didn’t go into the net for him.

Game 2 – yup… our boys are out of shape

Game 3 – we had a repeat of November…cold rain. Players shivering. I tried to put on a good face, by standing out in it.

Game – April 30th – I got drafted to be ref. That was horrible. Sometimes, I forget how fast MrG can move. He got an assist to Matthew. He was very happy about that. After the game, MrG scolded me in the car “the ball wasn’t out of bounds when you called it, I was, the ball wasn’t, it’s not like basketball.” Yup, ref-ing sucks.

No game on May 7th.

Game May 14th – he had the usual nice passes, and fancy footwork.

Game May 21st – I was happy, MrG, who stayed up really late the night before, and really needs his sleep, I was expecting a melt down, but, when a kid shoved MrG to the ground (wasn’t called) MrG quickly got back up and played on.

MsS – soccer

Game 1 – she had a shot on goal, didn’t drop. She fought for the ball a couple times. She told me she doesn’t want to be a mid-fielder. I told her “mid-field is best, because you get to play more, offense and defense.”

__ Memories of November game. She was not wanting to be there, it was cold, she wasn’t dressed properly, (yup, she ignored her parents), …but when teammates arrived, she ran over and was happy and started playing with them to warm up.

April 30th – we got there late, so she couldn’t start, and I didn’t get to see her because had to travel to MrG’s game in South Seattle. She was assigned to be goalie for the second half, and was freaking out about it. I tried to calm her down, reminding her of last season when she was the best goalie in a game.  She tells me after that it was alright, she did keeper, and “we won, score was 4 – 0.”

Game May 7th – MsS had a few touches, but then after her rotation freaked out about losing her bracelet, which I found, (her friends made it for her, so, yeah, it’s important). Then refused to go in because foot hurting. Eventually she let me check it out. Looked fine, I told her, “this happens to professional athletes all the time. A part of their body gets tweaked, feels weird, but not really hurt, and they have to move it around for a couple minutes to get back to normal. And then they go back into the game.”

Game May 21st – MsS was being very aggressive at defense and very assertive on offense.


….uh…and I think that sums up Spring Sports 2017 from our clan.


Bible class radio theater

1 October, 2017

Been awhile since I taught Bible class…

Today’s text was on the Isrealites crossing through the Red Sea. MsSqueaky and her BFF-K, were narrators. MrCuddles and his BFF-A were on sound effects.

We performed for parents and the older kids class.