Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Great things that happened today

Michael J Pope Jr, Randy Lampe and I recorded a video for the upcoming Innovation Forum. It's now in editing.
Great scout meeting. The guys are creating a Troop Cookbook.
After listening to them brainstorm for an hour I was hungry. Fortunately we have frozen yogurt at home.
Kenny and Joe got home early after doing a poolside episode of The Late Show with Corey Phillips
We skipped The Big Bang Theory and talked for a while.
Jesse climbed up on my lap and fell asleep.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Smoke detector batteries

About every 2-3 minutes I hear this beep upstairs. I recognize it as a smoke alarm with a dying battery. I go upstairs, and stand in the middle of the hall. I hear a beep down the hall. I pull off the alarm and replace the battery. 
In the middle of replacing the battery, I hear a beep. I go back downstairs, get another battery, and replace it in the alarm further down the hall. 
While replacing that battery, I hear a beep. I express my displeasure verbally, go downstairs, get 3 more batteries, and decide to replace ALL the smoke alarm batteries, since I'm supposed to do that once a year anyway. 
All the while I'm replacing, I hear more beeps. 
Maybe it's the batteries. 

 So I go downstairs, get one more new 9V battery. I then go down the basement and put the new battery in an old video game (Mattell baseball). The battery is fine. I play 5 innings just to be sure.

I go back upstairs, and start taking the alarms back down to make sure I plugged them back in correctly.

While I'm doing that I hear a beep down by my feet. And I see the carbon monoxide detector. (With a "LO BAT" error message on the screen no less).

Monday, August 28, 2017

Things I learned while watching Downton Abbey

I'm not exactly a Netflix (or in this case Amazon Prime video) binge watcher.  But Beth, Tommy and I have been watching Downton Abbey for a while now.  (It's been several months since we started, and we're almost through season 3 of 6, so I'd say we're anything but binge watchers.

But here's what I've learned while watching Downton Abbey:

- Everything Violet (Maggie Smith) says makes me laugh.  Whether or not I'm supposed to laugh.
- Same thing for Mr. Carson.
- And Mrs. Hughes.
- This is a real house in England.  It's on my bucket list.
- It was a terrible idea to look up the actors and actresses on  It was like a huge spoiler on who was going to die.  "Wait a minute - that character is only in 25 episodes?  Oh no!"
- I don't know if it was like this when the show was on PBS, but some episodes take 45 minutes, and some take considerably longer.  Especially toward the end of a season.

- It's a lot of fun to sit with Beth and Tom and just enjoy 45 minutes (or more) of really well written and well acted television.
- Especially when we do it with banana milkshakes.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Greast things that happened today

- Beth and I took advantage of the nice weather and took a walk.
- That meant my 10,000 step streak continued.
- Kenny and Holden Carter did the special music at church.  Hallelujah.  (That was the song, not my expression).
- Grilled salmon, burgers and London broil for dinner.
- With baked sweet potatoes.
- And watermelon.
- And beer.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Kohl's Cash Vortex

I haven't studied it exactly - but I think it happens ever year about this time.  We are caught in what I like to call the "Kohl's Cash Vortex."

It starts easily enough - we go to Kohl's, hit the clearance racks, get some good stuff, and some Kohl's cash.

In this case, we didn't get through all the clearance racks the first time, so we went back with our cash, went through more clearance stuff, spent our cash, spent some more and earned more cash.  (We had an additional 20% off - that always helps).

Then... they sent us an additional 30% off.   This is when I pull out my "Things I will get the next time we have 30% off at Kohl's list" (Yeah, that's what I call it).

So I get work shoes (Sketchers) and running shoes (Asics).  They don't ever go on a great sale (unless Asics is discontinuing a model), so I wait until 30% off and go all in.

This of course helps us earn...  more Kohl's cash.

Eventually we break the cycle.  This involes going in, and buying k-cups with the cash.

I'm not sure we're there yet.  Maybe one more trip through the clearance racks first...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Great things that happened today

Great things that happened yesterday:
- Good flights home.
- I finished the book "Remains of the Day."
- Thanks in part to the long hike at MSP airport I managed to get 10,000 steps by the end of the day.
- I made it home in time for dinner.
- Beth, Tommy and I had milkshakes and Big Bang Theory before bed.
- Thanks to the early flight from Seatte I was able to get to bed at normal Eastern Time.
- But I still didn't wake up till after 7... so I'd say my body is somewhere around Chicago right now.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Great things - including fermented Greek Yogurt

When I was at Marlene's Market and Deli in Federal Way I decided to get a protein bar.

I don't ask for much in a protein bar:  Low sodium, high protein, fiber.  (Actually that first item rules out 80% of them).

I found one - Genuine Health Fermented Greek Yougurt Proteins + Cherry Almond Vanilla.

I tried one and I was hooked.  I decided to grab some more before I left - assuming I could make it from work to dinner and back to Marlene's before they closed at 8.

I made it with 15 minutes to spare.

(By the way, it wasn't critical that I made it back in time - they also have them on Amazon.)

And now:  The great things list:

- Dinner (salmon) and a wine tasting at Vinifera-Auburn.
- I made it back to the hotel in time to go to the grocery across the street and get one more Washington peach.
- It was supposed to be my breakfast.
- It didn't make it to breakfast.
- But the Greek Yogurt protein bar and banana did.
- The hotel lobby has water with lemon and limes cut up in it. I'm willing to walk down there to get some.
- Then once I get there I'm motivated to go on to the fitness center and do my shoulder exercises.
- Between that and marching in my room I got to 10,000 steps.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Great things that happened today

- Got to talk with Beth early this morning (early for me).
- She got me caught up on everything that's happening at home.
- Also got a run (treadmill) and walk (outside) in first thing.
- There are advantages to Pacific Time. (Just none at 9pm local time when you get up early).
- Dinner at Salty's at Redondo Beach.
- It was Salmon fest.
- One of my fellow diners alerted me to the fact that the King Salmon came with olives just before I made a really awful mistake (I hate olives).
- The olive free King Salmon was delicious.
- So was the local IPA.
- And the chowder.
- And the ginko blueberry port after dinner. It's on my Jungle Jim's list.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The eclipse

Not at all what I expected, but still pretty cool. 

It got colder, but I expected that.

The light wasn't what I expected.  I figured that the sun being 93% blocked would mean 93% less light.  But it didn't happen that way.  It had this weird twilight kind of glow in the air, but not like a normal twilight.  I would guess that's because the sun was still in the middle of the sky.  In a normal twilight the sun is setting.

One other thing:  The glasses aren't to keep people from hurting their eyes when looking at the eclipse - at least in a a partial eclipse.  They are to allow you to look at it at all.  There was no point - even when the sun was 93% blocked - where I could make myself look at it.  Looking at the sun when it is partially blocked is no different than looking at the sun any day.  If you do it, you instantly realize it's a mistake.

That said looking at the the sun through the eclipse glasses was extremely cool.

Probably the best part was watching everyone get together outside of the building and spend a little time checking out the eclipse.  And not arguing about politics.  Just hanging out and enjoying a really cool (and really rare) event.

Actually maybe the best part was messaging Beth and finding out how the eclipse looked to her and the kids 3 time zones away.  And finding out she made an eclipse box, which was very cool indeed.  Even Joe admitted it was cool.


Great Things That Happened Today:

- We went to lunch at a local Trader Joe's kind of place. Really good.
- I went back later to the grocery part and bought a local Washington peach.
- Wow was it good.
- Not as good as the ones I pulled off the trees as a kid in northern Ohio, but pretty close.
- We kicked butt on our work mission.
- I got to watch the Browns before dinner.
- They didn't suck.
- Shoulder exercises while I watched the Browns.
- They didn't suck either.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Great things that happened today

Annual IP picnic at Coney Island. Beth and Tommy rode the Flying Bobs (backwards), The Scream Machine, The Python and more.
We all three rode the dodgems or bumper cars (depending on your point of view)....

Also the Giant Slide.
Tom rode the canoe (aka Viking ship).
We ate ice cream and soft pretzels.
In my case it was a soft pretzel dipped in ice cream.
We also had burgers for lunch - the food was great.
I didn’t see
Amy Croxson Albrinck or Claudia Halter Maltz but I know they both had hand in organizing it. And it was great.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Great things that happened today

Great things that happened yesterday:

It all started with the idea that I needed to pack for Seattle.
Well, technically it all started when I recently read the book “The Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kongo.
And then it got a boost when Beth told Tommy that they were going to go through his closet and donate the clothes he no longer wears.
I decided to do the same.  I didn’t follow Marie’s system exactly.  For instance, I didn’t hold each piece of clothing and talk to it.  But I did ask myself if the item should stay, or be donated to someone else who would get more use out of it.  This isn’t easy on nearly new items – but I did it.
Then I reorganized my clothing storage areas.
Then when I got to my coats I was mentally tired of the exercise.  Fortunately Beth came to the rescue and helped me get through the coats.
Bottom line:  A bunch of clothing will be donated, and the rest of my clothes have room to breathe.
And I got packed for Seattle.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Great things that happened today

Beth and I took a morning walk before it got hot.
Messages with Kingi Biddle on our 2018 speech contest plans.  Barth and Biddle in Chicago 2018!
Kenny and Joe got home from the Airways concert tour.  
It went well, and they had fun.
The five of us had chili spaghetti for dinner.
After dinner Beth, Tommy and I went to Kohl’s and used up our Kohl’s cash.
And we got more Kohl’s cash.
And a bunch of other really nice stuff.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Great things that happened today

- Let's start with one from yesterday: Randy Lampe asked me to sign a copy of my Believeland book.
- (Paperback version, not Kindle)
- I attended a BTC Toastmasters meeting. Great fun!
- After work I got my front left tire (slow leak) fixed at Tire Discounters. It was a nail.
- Then Hothead Burrito for dinner.
- That was really a great thing, because the traditional pizza at the Scout Achievement Center turned in to a veggie tray and a fruit tray.
- Anyway - I went to the SAC for a popcorn meeting.
- And both Tire Discounters and the SAC have really fast wifi, so I was able to make the "Seventh Inning Stretch" video from Tommy and my recent trip to the Florence Freedom game (link provided last night).
- (Great things are in the eye of the beholder - or video creator in this case).