July 10, 2010

The Scouts came home today, can't you tell by the smell?

The boys came home from Summer Camp today.  They were gone for a week, they both claim multiple encounters with a shower and some soap, but I'm not so sure.  I am sure that it's good to have them back.

They did pretty good earning 5 merit badges each.

For Ian:


Personal Management

 Personal Fitness


 Emergency Preparedness

For Spencer:

 Citizenship in the Community

 Citizenship in the World

Environmental Science


 Rifle shooting

Fun fact:  If the badge is outlined in silver, it’s an Eagle required badge, if it’s outlined in yellow, it’s an elective.  To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout they will need to have 21 merit badges  and of those, 12 are required, the other 9 can be from the electives.

Other than them getting home it’s been a pretty dull day here, I cleaned out the garage, well, at least I got a good start at it.  It looks tons better the floors isn't so dusty anymore.  Maybe tomorrow afternoon I can get some more accomplished.

Have a great day!

July 9, 2010

Friday thoughts

I really like the long weekends, but sometimes the short week that follows can get crazier than a coon that got into the corn squeezings.  (Not sure where that came from, but I kinda liked it)

A customer requested that I get a Skype account so that we could have a conference call today.  Seemed like he was asking a lot, but I thought why not.  I downloaded the software, bought a headset, stole the web camera from home and connected at work.  Of all the Techie stuff that I've tried, this has got to be the easiest.  Thanks to Dave for sharing some of his knowledge and Skype addresses.  It's set up on the work laptop and I try to never use that at home so I don't know how often I'll have that going at home but I am going to try to connect with Dave, Kelsey and Taylor with the boys so that we can at least say "Hi!"

Holly's singing this weekend at church and she's leading out a song and I am being blessed with a private concert from my favorite singer in the whole world!  Yes, I like Holly's singing even more that I like Bob Dylan's.

 Back to the Haiti trip.

Here's Ian in the back of the truck as we headed out to do something.  His hair was always a mess from riding in the back of the truck.

Same day, just further down the road. 

Ian really liked this take on the classic "Beware of Dog"  sign.  He smiled at me and said; "With Attititude, that's me alright!"

I love that kid's sense of humor.  I mean really, wearing a Gir shirt!?

Have a great day!

July 8, 2010

The rain was amazing

Today we had what could only be described at a torrential downpour.  The rain fell in big heavy drops and there were lots and lots of them.  Even in my office I could hear the rain.  Funny thing about rain, it sounds so soothing, but usually, when I can hear it at work, it's causing problems.  How can something that sounds so soothing cause problems?  As it cleared out I had a really selfish thought, "At least I'm not at summer camp."  I think that I was a bit selfish, but then again, who isn't when it comes to heavy rain?

Here's our favorite Bean Brain, Bean.  Yes, that's her name, it's actually a good name for her, so rest easy.

Anyway, I found a fly between the windows, so I caught it and threw it to her.  It was a few minutes of sniffing and light pawing, true entertainment.

Heres the door that I just installed.  Wow, what a ton of work.Pretty pleased that I could accomplish the task, it was far from perfect but it's done.

Have a great day!


Today was a pretty good day, it was hot, really hot and so hot that riding the bike was almost no fun.  I said almost, it's still pretty good.  I have ridden before where it's like driving through a blast furnace, it wasn't that hot.

Tonight Holly and I buzzed up to Camp Gerber for Family Night.  It's the mid week event where we deliver the food for the evening meal.  Great turn out, lots of family showed up, lots of food was there.

This is a pretty cool night, this is the night when the induct members into the Order of the Arrow, it's a tight club of very scouting types where they are focused on Cheerful, Brotherhood, Service, or something like that.  Our troop had 2 boys and 1 adult leader "tapped out" tonight.  Unfortunately my boys didn't get selected, but there's always next year.

Here are two our our guys, and a lot of other guys, bringing the Chief to the ceremony.

Here they are doing a dance that's pretty close to the way that the native Americans did.  At least as far as I remember.

Have a great day!

July 6, 2010

Whoops, we ran out of weekend!

Those long weekends are pretty cool, but sometimes when you get back to work, you're really looking forward to the next regular weekend so you can get caught up with sleep, chores and other stuff.

Work was pretty good, kind of tough getting all the balls back up in the air, but the more I nudge the customers with what's going on or what I'm waiting for, the less issues I seem to have.  Proactive is an good thing.

Here's our loaner dog, Bean, messing around in the kiddie pool that Holly picked up for her.  She's a pretty crazy dog in there.  I tried shooting some video, but that was too many MegaBytes.  What she did was dig at the water like she was digging a hole, then she'd sniff and put her snout under water, exhaling while under water, leaving a trail of bubbles.  Very amusing.

 Here's a better shot of the girl.  She's pretty smart, just not very polite at times.  We're working on that.

Have a great day!

July 5, 2010

Observations on the 4th of July

The 4th of July is an awesome date to have a birthday!  And it just so happens that I know 3 other people that would agree with me.

Rockford tends to let this holiday slide, it's got too much going on for other events and our neighboring towns have plenty to do and see.

Larry and Terri invited us over to see the fireworks on Lake Oakland Wouldn't you know, they have their own website!  Anyway, we'd seen them 16 or more years ago.  We went and we were amazed, they were way better than the ones in Rockford for Start of Summer Celebration.  Every time they were cranking up, we'd be thinking it's the grand finale, then it'd start up again.  Awesome show, awesome party, Thanks guys, we really enjoyed the time we got to spend with you.

After that we dashed to Camp Gerber to drop the boys off for a week of Boy Scout Summer Camp.  Usually I accompany them, but I have taken a hands off approach for a few events to see how they're really doing.

Once we dropped them off we went home and chilled out, then off to downtown Grand Rapids for their 4th of July fireworks.  Holly got us tickets at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and we had incredible seats.  They shot the fireworks off about 4 blocks away over the river, we were in the best seats in town.  They had an incredible show, with lower level, kind of fountain stuff and the high stuff.  Really impressive, not as long as Lake Oakland, but man was it intense some times.

During the waiting we saw fireworks displays in pretty much every direction that we looked, up at 5th/3rd ball park, Bell Nap Park, then off to this way, off to that way, no real idea where they were coming from.  It was on the drive home that we figured it out.  Everyone had been to Indiana and had picked up a few really cool fireworks.

This was the first year that we'd done this much for the 4th in a very long time and it was pretty awesome.  I mean, remember, I'm a guy that grew up thinking that fireworks were supposed to be on my birthday, not that I felt neglected, but I was missing the show, that's for sure.

On the way in, we met a famous person that I knew the boys would have wanted to meet.  Here's our newest close personal friend, Big Boy.  I was worried that Holly was going to dump me, but she assured me that her cholesterol couldn't handle that.

I see now that many have continued to grow and expand their own home fireworks show.  Theirs were so cool that I may never do the $20 variety pack from that street vendor again. 

Sorry boys.

It was really interesting to be able to go out as a couple on a Holiday.  It's been awhile, not in a bad way, but with them at camp, a date on the 4th to see fireworks just seemed natural.

Someone pointed out that it's pretty odd that a peace loving country celebrates their freedom with fireworks, don't you know that that could be misconstrued as aggressive.  I tended to agree at first, but as I pondered and thought, realized that you need remember a couple of things;
1 - Fireworks are just a great way of celebrating
2 - The defenses of our freedom was typically not exactly diplomatic events.

Have a great July!