Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family Times

Christmas went off well.  The new van was delivered on Thursday and we immediately packed it up and took off for Carl-Bad.  Luckily leaving a day early got us ahead of the storm.  I heard at least one coworker who headed out for Carl-Bad Friday morning say it turned the three hour drive into seven.  It started snowing Thursday night and kept it up for two days straight.  While there I got a look at Rocky's still and talked moonshining with him, built a snowman and snow fort with Ross, ate some delicious brisket (twice), got some gifts (beer, a necklace, and flatware), and generally had a good time around family.  Having kids of my own now I think having that kind of family time, like we did when I was a kid and we'd visit Mississippi, is getting more important.  Maybe we should have trucked on up to Colorado like last year.  Ah, well, next maybe next time.
 
We got back in Xmas afternoon.  Got things squared away and even managed to fit the van in the garage with my car, but only just.  Until (or maybe unless) we get some stuff moved out of there it looks like I'm parking on the street.  This was the first morning and I've gotten spoilt enough that I probably ought to rediscover skills at things like scraping frost off of windshields.
 
Managed to hang with Saac a little, what with his limited time in town.  Sunday I went over to Ben's and had some beers with the guys while watching very, very crappy movies.  Blew out of work early Monday and met Ben and Isaac for lunch.  There was much lamentation for Heftymetals and times when people who aren't Ben had a lot of free time around the holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Official: Dad

We bought a minivan last night; a 2012 Honda Odyssey.  Truthfully, Carrie did most of the buying.  She texted back and forth with 4 car dealerships, getting them to one-up each other till we came down to (what we hope is) a reasonable price.  These kids are gonna be riding in style.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Whuff

Let's see:
Party at Ben and Amy's house.  I did not Rockband, but I got some quality time in with the grumpy old folks in the back room; my people.  Spent the evening talking movies, comics, books, and whatnot with Tony, Amy, Charles, others, and for a brief time Hon. Bill.  Was nice.

Carrie went out of town to visit Alicia up in Denver, and Dad came into town to help out with the kids.  The two and a half days Carrie was gone went pretty smooth.  Had a good visit with Dad too.  Whenever he comes in to town he gets me off my ass and moving, at least a little more than I was.  After Carrie got back we got out twice, once with the kids on the desert trail in the middle of a neighborhood over in Sonoma Ranch, and once taking Piper up to the levee.  We also watched probably the funniest episode of It's Always Sunny ever ("Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games").  Dad cooked a lot and I even cracked open one of my homebrews before he left.  It was early, but it still tasted pretty good, if a little yeasty.  I wanted to open one while he was in town, what with him buying me the Mr. Beer kit and all.  I'm letting them sit for longer than the kit tells you to, but more in line with what some of the fan communities makes better beer.  We'll have homebrew for Xmas at the very least.

Things with the kids are good.  We are having some small issues with them not wanting to eat, but it could be they don't like the high chairs anymore.  At daycare they sit them in chairs at a table.  Anyway, we got them a chair and table set for Xmas, so we'll see.  We set up the Xmas tree and decorated while they were napping last Saturday.  When they got up they were mesmerized and adorable.  For safety, we extended the fence we have in front of the entertainment center and made a space in the corner for the tree.  Seems to be working pretty well so far.  Oh, and so far this week they have slept through the night, without waking up once, every night.  Nice.

More holidays coming.  Carrie and I are taking the kids to Carl-Bad for Xmas, coming back Xmas day.  Aside from that I'm only taking a few days off around New Years, since Jon's likely not coming down this way.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lots and Lots

Thanksgiving: Lots of family time, also, unfortunately, lots of not feeling so great. Pulled some kind of sinus business Tuesday, and it lasted through Wednesday. Carrie and I both had some stomach bug Wednesday as well. Jon got in that night and I was well enough to have a few beers with him. We forwent Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day and had it Friday instead. Jon was here, Agnes and the kids too, her parents, mom, the Sharons. I found a turkey recipe that knocks out the bird in 2.5 hours. Good food, good company, but with recent sickness and staying up too late (including a perfectly fine time playing MW3 till much too late with Cameron and Derek) I felt worn out all weekend. Saac, Jenni, Sage, and Sarah were in town. Managed to make time to get together a couple of times, including a nice outing to High Desert for both Carrie and I while mom watched the kids. Oh, and we got together a kickball game on Saturday. It was windy and cold, but we ran around and kicked balls with gusto. The past nine months or so of no exercise are readily apparent in the pain in my lower extremities.

Nathan stopped by on his was to Tucson for a quick visit, Sunday. I was feeling poorly most of the day, then contracted a 102F fever in the afternoon. Ended up taking Monday off. Feeling much better, but with the recurrent sinus crap I decided to go ahead and take the antibiotics I picked up the end of last month. Could just be the dry weather but who knows.

No gaming this Friday, again. There supposed to be a RockBand party instead, but I think Conner's 3rd birthday is happening then too, so we'll probably take the babies over to that.

I crammed through Storm of Swords and am on to Feast for Crows. Enjoying it immensely, the story as much as being back in the habit of reading frequently again.

I owe Kenny a callback. My apologies.

Finally, I put up my first Mr. Beer batch weekend before last. Dad sent the kit to me for my birthday. I'll bottle it in the next few days and it should be ready to drink by the time Dad comes in to town next week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Surprise, Thard!

Regular-type Friday gaming continues to elude. In its place we gamed some 4e with 4e-virgin Nathan, and Bill, with Ben running. I made a minotaur who worshiped a potbellied, tattooed, crocodile helmet-wearing god named Thard Harr. That was as far as I got in the description of the god before deciding it was definitely the god for Bjorkus. This, naturally, drove the game. Turns out Thard Harr is some kind of dwarf jungle god. Still awesome.

Saturday was birthday day. Started with a nice little outing, just me, Carrie, and the kids. We Arby-ed the crap out of lunch. After Paige and Owen settled in for a long nap, which left me time to crack open (Carrie's gift) Modern Warfare 3 for two solid hours of shooting bad guys. After that, High Desert with Alex and Traci. After that, Carrie surprised me by hiring a babysitter so we could go out to dinner. We had a beer at the bar then headed out to Luna Rosa where we were met by Alex, Traci, Joe, and Ben. After that, we stopped briefly at Joe's then went home. That's right, we were home before 9:30. 37 and still rockin.

Cooking chicken and dumplings tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Crotchety

Post, dammit!

Last Friday was a lack of gaming, but an abundance of Novembrew. Headed out with Alex and met up with Jason, Lynn, and Steve Nelli. Drank lots of delicious beer in 2 oz portions. Almost didn't finish out all 30 tastings in the allotted 3 hours, but High Desert hooked us up at the end. Of note was the Chocolate Coffee PiƱon Stout from Mimbres Brewing out of Deming, and Woodchuck's Summer Cider. Not usually a fan of cider but that stuff was mellow and tasty, without the bite I get from most cider (which reminds me of the ham/cider story from my trip to Seattle...Sage and Sarah had some cider in the fridge at the same time as a ham and complained that the cider tasted too much of ham...maybe you had to be there). After the tasting, we hit up Zeffiro's for some pizza, and Starbucks for some coffee. Made for an satisfyingly inebriated early evening.

Saturday Carrie took the kids to Carlsbad. I jumped on the opportunity of an empty house (coupled with lousy weather) to spend a whole 24 hours eating fast food and playing through all of Gears of War 3, campaign and multiplayer with Cameron. Also spent hours reading more of Storm of Swords. A very quiet weekend. Unfortunately I missed out on both Saac and Renn Faire-ing.

Paige has been tottering all over the place, even going so far as forgoing crawling despite falling on her butt repeatedly in a very short timeframe. Owen is taking his time catching up, but he's getting there. Last night mom had us over for delicious chicken stew and lots of kids exploring mom's house.
Turning 37 on Saturday. Wow.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

One Year Later

This time last year I was learning how to change diapers on a couple of newborns. The past year has seen a hell of a lot of challenge and more feelings of confidence than I would have imagined. Can't wait to see what the next year brings.

Yesterday we celebrated Owen and Paige's first birthday. Had a great turnout and passed a good time. Lots of changes with the one year mark. They start in the toddler room at daycare on Tuesday, which cuts a nap and bottles out of their daycare days. I expect we'll have some cranky babies for most of this week. On the plus side, all the other kids in the toddler room are already walking, so that means Paige and Owen will have lots of pressure to get in gear. Not that the haven't been making progress already. Paige tottered halfway across the living room yesterday.

Julie and the kids came out for the birthday. Spent some small part of the weekend shooting up some Gears of War with Ross. We also took them down to the zombie walk at the downtown mall. Tried to build it up before hand, making it sound like there was some kind of weird sickness going on in Cruces, to get the kids freaked out. Ross was unfazed, but Jalie didn't want to get out of the car when we got there. In the end she had a good time taking pictures with the 'pajama zombies'. We were supposed to do up a Halloween party but by the time we got back to the house only Carrie and Jalie really had the energy for it. Ross fell asleep on the couch pretty early, and we tried to gather around him, Carrie and Jalie, costumed, Julie and I with masks or hats to get a sleeping picture to make him think he missed a party. Instead he woke up and was bewildered by all the weirdness around him. They are coming back next week for the Renaissance Faire.

Traci came out too. She took some awesome pictures at the birthday party. Then this morning we got dressed up and she took some family photos. A lot to sift through but on a first pass through there are some pretty good shots. Thanks, Traci!

Gaming continues to not happen. Friday, what with Amy and Kyle being busy, Ben and I played some shoot-em-up xbox (New: Call of Duty Black Ops, and Old: Rainbow Six Vegas 2).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pushers

In addition to making small strides (ahem) in walking, the kids have started pushing things all over the house and walking behind as they do. They've made their way around the house with their walking toys for a while now, but recently other objects have started enabling their controlled falls across the tiled vastness of our open architecture. Of late these objects include a laundry basket, strollers, and a metal chair.

Bought the first set of our new car seats today. We're getting a 'cheaper' set for everyday use (read: Carrie's car) and a set with more features (cup holders, really) for the longer trip car, or mine. These come in the waning days of their first year of life, and will replace the detachable seat & base version we've used up till now. Having to buy four is not inexpensive, even going with relatively 'inexpensive' seats. But, safety!

Whatever settled upon my sinuses in the early hours of Saturday has continued its colonization attempts since then. Called in sick to work today, although I have high hopes that whatever it is will be successfully repelled in the next little while. Another day of the same may force me to seek outside biological assistance in this battle. For now, chemical warfare (sudafed and ibuprofen) My wife, wonderful lady that she is, has been masterfully handling most of the baby duties through it all.

I read a bunch of Savage Dragon comics whilst recumbent with illness. Weird, the nostalgic relations there; Dark Sun and Rifts, reading the former waiting in a car outside Cody's house, picking him up to got to Ren's to play the latter, springs most readily to mind. I wonder if that timeframe's right. Anyway, it's not a very good comic. Made it through 30-some issues, then decided to get some more recent Marvel stuff, that is from the beginning Heroic Age, or last year this time. Read the 4-issue Heroic Age vignette series, now am looking at the Thanos Imperative. Not sure if I shouldn't rethink that and get at some Avengers or Fantastic Four instead. My recent foray into the DC reboot, and now this, just reaffirm that I fall solidly on the Marvel side of the comic divide. Although, weirdly, I historically tend to like the animated versions of DC characters somewhat better. Young Justice has been pretty cool lately, and I even admire the campiness of Batman: Brave and the Bold, though I have yet to really watch an episode all the way through.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

50/50 Weekend

Had a fine Friday off. I slimed the tires of Carrie's new stroller. One had gotten a puncture and that machine is too awesome to be sitting around not strollering. I also got some Corner Deli. That's be becoming a Friday off thing. Also played some Gears of War 3 horde mode with Cameron, and some of the campaign solo. Oh, and they delivered the replacement freezer. Time to fill it up with frozen dinners and pizzas.

In lieu of rpg'ing Friday night (Kyle was out) we played some King of the Elves. I think we were all more in the mood for just hanging out anyway. Made for a laid back evening that we wrapped earlier than usual, so I came home and played some more Gears.

Woke up in the early hours this morning feeling feverish. That started a day of general crappiness; vaguely cold and/or allergy symptoms all day long. I was supposed to take the kids over to mom's this afternoon to get them out of the house for a Rendi thing Carrie was hosting. Instead I holed up in the bedroom and HBO Go'd and Savage Dragon'd on the iPad. Luckily mom was coming over for the party so she helped wrangle the kids, and they mostly napped through it anyway. Even now I still feel wrung out. Hopefully it will fade overnight.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Singleton

Paige took another step last night. I almost caught this one, but I was unfortunately one foot away with my head turned the other direction.

Put in a half day at work today. We kept Owen home with some kind of eye infection and Carrie and I split the day, with me pulling the afternoon shift at home with him. We don't get to spend a whole lot of time with just one of the babies, so that was kind of a treat.

Been on a country/americana kick with music lately. Picked up albums by Will Hoge (Number Seven), James McMurtry (Too Long in the Wasteland), and Old Crow Medicine Show (O.C.M.S.). Great stuff in all of em.

Kickstarted Void Vultures. Looks potentially cool.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Walker

Back from Seattle. Had a fine last day there, including
  • Breakfast with the Gilberts
  • a lovely Pilsner-soaked trip to Feierabend with Sage in which I did not get so hammered that I couldn't function (that's 1-for-1 for me and German pubs in Seattle)
  • and finally getting to see Paul, even if just for five minutes
Trip back went fine, and I was more than ready to get back to the family. Turns out, of course, that Paige took her first step while I was gone. It was bound to be either then or more likely while at daycare, so I'm more excited that she took that step than disappointed that I missed it.

Don't think I ever posted about Carrie's birthday. We got a bbq put together last minute on the 9th, and I was worried we wouldn't have many people show up. Turns out there were a dozen adults and about as many kids. Alex, Joe, Joe and Melissa, two of Carrie's coworkers families, and even Todd and Traci, who I had waited late enough to text about iti; all with kids in tow if they had 'em. Turned out to be a great evening, which of course, Carrie deserves. Oh, and there was pralines and cream ice cream cake. A happy, happy birthday to her, even as late as this sentiment is hitting my journal.

Just scheduled delivery of our new chest freezer. The old one went out a while back and I, figuring it was out of warranty, waited till the warranty was really almost gone before calling Sears to come look at it. Turns out it's getting replaced for free.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Seattle, Now!

PNW adventure continues!

Andy came up to Tacoma for a few beers. Been something like five and a half years since we've seen each other. Was great to catch up.

Work rounded out nice and light. Not sure this trip was really necessary but grateful for the free airfare nonetheless. Sage picked me up round 3-ish and we headed out to his place, which is a pretty cute little house over in Kirkland. After Sarah got home we headed out to a seafood place in Seattle called Etta's. Good salmon, but Sarah's crab cakes were better. Spent the remainder of the evening chatting over beers back at their place the hitting the sack relatively early. This morning I woke up around 7 and stayed in bed reading for two hours.

Today we'll likely head down to Olympia for a visit with Andy and Deanna, finally meeting their kids. Been toying with the idea of staying the night down there but not sure. Either way I'll need to be back up here Saturday night since I fly out so early Sunday.

Missing the kids more than I thought I would. Carrie sent me a picture of Paige yesterday and I swear she has grown since I left.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Great NorthWet

Up in Seattle (actually Tacoma right now) till Sunday. Feel bad leaving Carrie at home with the kids but this kind of came up at the last minute and staying through the weekend was an opportunity that may not come again for a while in terms of work. Travel at the new job seems much less frequent even though it had fallen off quite a bit at the old job. Plan right now is a day and a half of work followed by two and a half days hanging out with Sage and/or the Gilberts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Whoosh

Gaming: More Burning Post-Apocalyptic Rome. Catastrophic flood, we killed a witch, and evacuated the neighborhood saving them from the long-beard horde.

Home stuff: Traci came through town on Sunday. Good times. Also got a storm door put on. Very nice.

Movies: Troll Hunter. Loved it. Check it out via Netflix instant.

Sick: Some kind of sinus garbage the last three days.

Babies: Have been alternating wakeful nights. Also they have learned to clap. At night it's crying though, not so much the clapping.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well

More and more I'm taking less and less time to keep this thing updated. I've been thinking about moving over to Blogger, but until I start devoting some time consistently to hammering out some posts I figure I may as well stay put.

Was good to see Isaac. Ben ran some Apocalypse World in lieu of normal Friday gaming, and we were joined by Tony and Isaac's friend from Santa Fe, Joel. I played a Brainer named Marsh and quickly and boldly pushed the game off the rails. So much off the wall shit that at one point Isaac remarked, "Why the hell are we doing this?" Lots of craziness that ended with Tony and I, after I killed half the hardhold with a brain-grenade, taking over the place while the rest of the group hightailed it out of town to get away from us. Definitely the best game of AW I've played.

Traci came out that weekend too. We did a lot of hanging around here (what with babies), except for a night out when Mom babysat. We hit up De La Vega's and rounded out the night at Alex's new place drinking and listening to music with Joe Victor till late. We wrapped the weekend with taking the kids over to Alex's for a housewarming party. We kept them out past their bedtime, but they did great.

Dad's been out since last Thursday. He's taking off in the morning to head back to Alabama. Didn't do up much while he's been here, but hopefully it's been good times with the grandkids for him. He did knock some much needed yardwork/housework off my list. And we've been cooking a bunch too, which is always good.

Been trying to get after reading more, and have pushed through a good chunk of Clash of King's in the past week.

Oh, and I got a 'new' phone. Picked up a used Droid Incredible. It's taking some getting used to. Amazing how much different two Droid interfaces can be.

Kids are doing good. The tiny pigtails Paige got at daycare the other day resulted, after they were taken out and she slept, in some hilarious hair this morning. And Owen, even after waking up early with a blowout, let me put him back to sleep and hold him in the recliner for an hour or so. That's pretty great.

Heading to Carlsbad on Friday. Go go go.