Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Dance of the snowflakesThe weather outside has been frightful all day, icy & sleety, but it didn't get really started snowing until just about dusk. Natch, we had to step outside & goof around for a few minutes, catch a few flakes on our tongues, all the usual first-snow-of-the-season stuff. The kids are still out there right now, playing flashlight tag in the dark. In the snow.

Winter is here!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The World's Best Longsnapper

Some of you may remember that I used to say that Patrick Mannelly was my hero, back in my football days. Here's why.

Monday, November 27, 2006

La Luna

You are The Moon
Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.
The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

O Tannenbaum

How lovely are thy branchesIt's becoming a tradition... the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we go, with our friends, down to the local choose-and-cut farm and pick a tree. Last year we didn't get end up getting one because we were going out of town for the holidays, but this year is a different story! My trick for getting the most out of a tree in a small area: get a five-footer and put in on a low end-table, then stack the gifts all around the table in a big heaped display. This technique, honed during my days of apartment living, makes it look like you've got a seven-footer but doesn't take up nearly as much space. Now to start wrapping presents...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

A happy little turkeyI'm thankful for all my wonderful friends & family! I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The World Traveler Returns

I am finally home after nine straight days of travel. Whew!

Day 1 (Friday): Ali & I fly out to Orange County, CA, for the bat mitzvah of Ali's friend Talia. Almost nobody flies directly from Kansas City at a reasonable rate, so we end up changing planes in Salt Lake City. We have dinner at Ruby's, and call my mom & dad from the restaurant... "Hey, guess where we are?"

the HoraDay 2 (Saturday): Talia's bat mitzvah. We haven't seen her for almost a year; she has grown quite tall and looks lovely. She is also very composed & does a beautiful job of reading from the Torah, without the blushing & flustered stammering that I have seen from other bar/bat mitzvahs. A reception follows with lots of food & dancing.

Once the festivities end, we drive up to have dinner with Mom & Dad. My sister Boo happens to be coming by for dinner too, so we get to have a nice visit with the whole fam damily!

Day 3 (Sunday): We fly back to Kansas City, this time through Atlanta, GA. This turns out to be a mistake because it makes our trip back longer by several hours. Additionally, Atlanta is a huge airport, and Ali & I have to hustle clear from one end of it to the other in order to make our connection. Imagine our chagrin when our second flight ends up delayed by more than an hour. By the time we get home from the airport (the drive home features the valet service losing our car for a while, getting lost trying to find an open restaurant, getting pulled over for speeding by a highway patrolman who saw how pathetic I was & let me off with a warning, and finally settling for some only moderately wretched breakfast wraps to-go from Waffle House), it's after 2:00 am.

Day 4 (Monday): I get up, put a load of laundry in the washer, & drop the kids off at school (Ali's dragging pretty badly, but she's a teenager, she's resilient.) Once the laundry is done, I repack the suitcase & head back to the airport to fly out to Austin, TX, for a two-day software user conference. Once I arrive at the hotel & check in, I grab a quick bite & then sleep like the dead.

Day 5 (Tuesday): The conference is full of techie goodness, and I learn that we are using maybe a twentieth of the capability of the software. Lots & lots of information. They also feed us spectacularly well. I am surprised to learn that I am actually signed up for two days of hands-on user training following the conference, which means I am staying through Friday. I have to scramble to change my plane, hotel, and car reservations.

In the evening, a bus takes us to the Alamo Drafthouse, where the Sinus Show skewers The Terminator à la Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you've never seen MST3K, it's basically three guys watching a movie & inserting their own phony dialog, snarky commentary, and general comedy for the enjoyment of the rest of the audience. The Sinus boys are hilarious... seriously, I am in danger of wetting my pants at some points. Fortunately, disaster is averted & I make it back to the hotel with dignity intact.

Day 6 (Wednesday): More techie goodness. I confess that the avalanche of information becomes a little overwhelming in the afternoon & I skip out of one of the sessions to take a nap -- it's the EventHandler overview, which I think I can safely miss, since I understand the concept pretty well (being an ex-programmer & all.)

I don't have near enough clothes packed, so the evening finds me in a laundromat. Pretty boring stuff.

Day 7 (Thursday): The hands-on user training starts. Oh my gosh, I am learning so much stuff that my brain may burst. I can't wait to get back to the office & show everybody the cool features that we didn't know about. In the evening, we head to an apparently famous local Tex-Mex restaurant which has some of the best tomatillo salsa I have ever tasted.

Day 8 (Friday): More brain-busting training. We cover the EventHandler in depth today, so I don't feel too bad about missing the overview session anymore. I love what I am learning, but I am exhausted & just want to go home. Ironically enough, when I get back to the hotel & collapse in front of the teevee, TBS is playing The Wizard of Oz.

Day 9 (Saturday): Clicking my heels together doesn't work, so I schlep myself & my stuff (now heavier by several binders) back to the airport & start the journey home. The whole city of Austin seems to be turning orange -- folks are flying in for UT's game against Kansas -- so everywhere you look, people are wearing their Texas gear and flashing hook-em-Horns signs at each other. I buy the kids a couple of 'Horns t-shirts just for fun.

No direct flight, so I'm flying through Dallas' Love Field (thankfully avoiding DFW). Being a domehead, I am delighted to spy a geodesic dome home just across from the airport! (It's on the left side of the plane as you taxi out to prepare for takeoff. Check it out next time you fly out of Love.) A packed-to-the-gills but uneventful flight gets me back to KC. There's no place like home.