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Showing posts from December, 2007

Out with the old...

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I guess my #1 event of 2007 would be all of the time I spent at the hospital. We spent a lot of time at the E.R. and various doctor's offices until my mother received the diagnosis of cancer - which oddly enough was what the E.R. attending suspected on our first sudden trip to the hospital. June came and the surgery was a success eventhough an infection brought a second week back at the hospital. So far, so good. The doctor was quite optimistic that they caught it early enough. She refused follow up radiation, so we stay a bit on edge. A couple of weeks after my mother came home, my wife's grandmother was seriously injured in a car accident. She ended up in ICU on a respirator for over a week of her month long hospital stay. Then, there was rehab. She is home now but still stuggling with the changes in her life. We have been very lucky that each case has turned out as well as it has and we hope there will be continued improvement for both in '08. On the bright side, work …

2007 in Review

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2007. If you could go back in time to December 29, 2006 and ask me what I thought 2007 would turn out like, there is no way I could predict the rollercoaster this year has been. I can't even remember much about 2006. I think life probably seemed somewhat more calm then, but the signs of trouble were already lingering.


We'll come out of 2007 stronger because we swayed a bit at times but did not break. I've been through years where everything got tainted by tragedy and somehow we are older and wiser now - this year was different. The key point that amazes me about 2007 is how positive we stayed while enduring some pretty hard times.


Thinking back, I wrote out 5 "milestone" nuggets which sum up 2007. It's basically odds and ends that ended up highlighting (or "lowlighting") the year. They are purely random items - not meant to reflect every family event and no mention of what happened in the news of the world. There are no politics here - just the littl…

Garbage Day

It's beginning to look a lot like a garbage dump
Everywhere you look....

Another day cleaning up after Christmas and tomorrow is Garbage Day- for the first time in 11 days. That meant tonight was the time to run all the trash down to the street and hope there are no hurricane force winds tonight that will spread our remnants across the neighborhood. If I wouldn't look like more of a nut than I already do, I'd be tempted to take a picture of the stack of trash - it's borderline obscene to have that much trash. We did have 15 people open presents here over two days so I guess it is to be expected.

Tonight we streamed some Wii playing over the webcam and got a few viewers. Watching two kids and a chunky dude play Wii is not the same as inviting the world in for a big family get together. I have to keep thinking about the best use of the webcam.

I think the countdown to New Years Day will start here tomorrow night by counting down my three biggest stories of the year - some co…

Dismantling Christmas

I took a day off of blogging for the holiday and what a full day it was. The kids got more than they needed for Christmas as usual - I really need to stop getting up at 3:30AM the day after Thanksgiving and hitting the stores for bargains. The big gift this year came from my parents - the Wii. The Wii is pretty cool since you actually have to stand up and move around to play games. It's perfect for the rainy fall/winter we have been having. By the time the yard dries out from the last storm, it rains again.

The yard dried out today and I took the opportunity to take down all of the big Christmas decorations outside. I only left up the icicle lights - they are very easy to take down and I'll do that New Years Day. It is raining again now and it will rain all day Friday. We might have the first snow next week.

Wal-mart had another huge sale today - all of the special Christmas gifts were 50% off. So, why are they so generous? They are taking advantage of all the people who are ret…

Yes, I am still stirring!

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11 days ago I had the crazy and random idea that I should force myself to write here on each of the 12 days leading up until Christmas. Instead of forcing myself, I found myself looking forward to writing each day. It is a nice escape from work and a reminder that work is not the only outlet I have. Writing here has helped me put my personal goals back in perspective - these are goals that are outside of the family life which is, of course, my number one goal. There has to be a little piece of the pie divided out for just you and I have really lost that in the last year - until the last couple of weeks.
I grew up wanting to be a writer - took a huge curveball off the course by majoring in education - and have ended up being paid to be a writer of sorts - technical writing. This is my first step toward having a more creative outlet and for that I am thankful.

Thanks to the inspiration of http://randallfriesen.com/ I got the what might seem crazy idea to stream our Christmas Eve gift giv…

Christmas Eve Webcam is Live!

We're up and running. Send me a text message and let me know where you are watching us from. Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Alternate permanent link to the cam:

http://www.geocities.com/barneynoble/

2 - All prep and no fun

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Today was work, work, work. Still having cam problems that I can't figure out. I think I am having network issues. I'll probably have it up and running again tomorrow. I was able to stream live for about 3 hours late this afternoon - it was all Alex the Dog sitting in her little prison waiting for us to come home from church and dinner.
We cleaned - did as much prep for 11 people being here tomorrow as possible. I went to Wal-Mart one final time tonight - I think I have everything we need. If we don't have it, we'll do without it!

3

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Not a whole lot here tonight. I spent most of my blog writing time exploring web streaming. Imitation is the best form of flattery, I hope. Last night, Randall Friesen (http://randallfriesen.com/) streamed his Christmas party live on the net. I thought that was pretty cool. So, I too am going to be experimenting with streaming and hope to have a live embedded stream here on the blog on Christmas Eve of our annual Christmas Eve Present Opening!!!
I'll be testing the stream tomorrow - streaming our dog in her prison like cage (she's been chewing the kids toys lately out of boredom).
Check it out at : http://yorkie9.camstreams.com
Look here for the embedded video Christmas Eve afternoon (between 1-6PM Central Time approx.) More details to come....

4!

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We're winding down to Christmas quite fast. Today was Sara's kindergarten party which I attended. I was able to sit in a tiny chair and eat sausage balls. It was no more than controlled chaos. The amazing part was only 5 other kids parents were there. Why is that amazing? We were invited and school started at 8 and let out at 9. Parents actually dropped the kids off and left only to come back 45 minutes later and get back in line to pick them up. Total insanity.

At lunch, we ran to Wal-Mart and bought some Play-Doh. Here are some of our creations:

Can you identify them? Yep - that's mommy. The tongue sticking out didn't come out too well. I can't take another picture since it has already been molded into something else.And yes - it is a Play-Doh Toilet!

5

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I'm dreaming of a white Christmas Just like the ones I used to know

It's just not going to happen here for us again this year. There is always the outside and rare chance that the weather could suddenly change and provide us with a White Christmas. The last one I experienced here in Middle Tennessee was in 1992. The forecast was for rain but the temperature suddenly dropped at around 2PM and the snow started to fall. It was barely a half inch but it was the last real White Christmas I saw here. (3 or 4 years ago, some parts of the area had an even smaller dusting. I was not in one of those areas, so to me it does not count!)
My parents house - Christmas Day 1992 - I was younger, thinner, and had better hair. My '85 Cavalier - long gone, never forgotten!
I did experience one real White Christmas in Cincinnati but there was so much snow that year - the special feeling I would have had was quickly turning into a weary dread. We moved the following summer!

Side note: Elfed the ki…

6 - Arrival of The Elf

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Thanks to Andrew, we now have our own personal copy of a book I consider the creepiest Christmas story ever written. Christmas is normally about the lights, good food, family, and fun."The Elf on the Shelf" brings fear as a new tradition of the holidays. Imagine spooking out your kids with an elf that supposedly watches your every move, then flies to the North Pole every night to report the things you've done directly to Santa Claus. Just what every kid wants for Christmas - paranoia!

Lindsay and Sara live in fear of the Elf.
He watches their every move.He sits among the Christmas cards casing the house so he can report on which items Santa should steal.

7

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I am finally getting over the stomach bug that has been with me for the last two days. I'm not sure what brought it on - could just be sinuses. The up and down weather and all of the rain have made for a miserable last week. More good news - today was trash day and I found out that the trash will not run again until the Saturday AFTER Christmas, so I get to sit on a ton of trash for the next 10 days. I guess I'll do it like the country folk and burn it in the back yard. Time to invest in one of those fire pit things!

Just a week to Christmas and with every post I write I prove how boring my life actually is. I could write about frustration with work, but I'd rather leave work for work!

8 : Retail is not as bad as they want us to think

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As we fly up on another Christmas, the news is flooded with stories about the disappointing sales at the retailers. It amazes me that no one is shopping and I've seen many theories. The price of gas is through the roof. Grocery prices are skyrocketing. Lead paint has us all in hysteria. Me? I have three probable theories.

We all have a lot of crap and the other big trend these days is to simplify. Oprah recently profiled hoarders. These are the people that buy everything and never throw anything away. A few years ago, we moved from Cincinnati to Nashville and had a huge truck filled to the top. I realized unpacking that we didn't need near the amount of junk we had and I've worked and worked since to have less and less baggage. I've bought only 3 or 4 dvd's in the past year - only 1 cd. What's the point of buying something like that and letting it sit. So, theory #1 - there is a group of people today just sick of accumulating more crap.

Theory #2: It's a load…

The Worst Christmas Album Ever

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What can be worse than Barbra Streisand mutilating "Jingle Bells"? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgNSX5YzDSs)



How about the Star Wars Christmas Album? Listen in horror as C3PO sings about the true spirit of Christmas. More proof that droids should stay away from the eggnog...
http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/starwars-xmas/ There is a link to listen under the second cheesy picture

10

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Today was spent working. Weekends used to be for sitting around and goofing off - not now - now when you are Santa. I spent 2 hours at Wal-Mart - washed 4 loads of clothes - 2 dishwashers full of dishes - installed a new door bell - built a shelf to handle my rapidly expanding collection of work related stuff - and fixed the shower handle that was turning around and around. Finally got to sit down around 8PM.

I bought a "game chair" yesterday, thinking it will be good for sitting in the corner typing out stuff like this and also good for playing the Wii (that is still hidden until Christmas). Alex the dog instantly took it over as her own.
Here are some pictures of the Christmas decorations - taken a couple of weeks ago. Too wet to stand out in the yard and take pictures these days.


11

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Today was "take the day off to rush around and finish Christmas shopping" day. This would have been more comfortable if it were not for the huge lunch at Olive Garden. I'm not sure when we will have the time to wrap all of this, but most of the shopping is over. Now we can hunker down and wait for the snow to come tomorrow night!

Ho ho ho!

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Blog 1 of 12

I realize I need to stop ignoring the blog. I blame my blog shunning on my job. Things have been insane at work lately. There is always a fire to put out - always some new thing to freak out over. I drove to Knoxville for a meeting today and drove back tonight. Nothing like a 300 mile commute to clear your head. I took tomorrow off so I could get some down time. There is a delicate balance between managing a group and managing to drive everyone nuts including yourself and sometimes I feel I am barely hanging in there. Maybe three days of rain, snow, and cold is just what I need to get things back on track!