30 September 2006

New Layout

I went to Blogger Beta, hence the new layout. I'll be trying to improve / update things here in the next couple weeks, especially if I can get caught up on my posts.

Suggestions are appreciated...

28 September 2006

Donkey Alert

I noted today, about myself, that the less I say, the smarter I appear to be. I am sure Confucius said something more concise than this, but it’s not coming to mind.

Thanks to Maegmariel for the tip about $24 1GB USB flash drives on sale at Office Max. The deal is for a Memorex 1GB Flash drive, usually $59.99, on sale for $23.99. What a deal! I’ve been wanting to get a flash drive for a while, but one with at least a gigabyte of space. So here is my opportunity.

I don’t know if any of you follow You Get A Life's blog, the link is on the side, she has had several posts about the company San Disk playing the dangle-a-carrot rebate game with her, and it really makes me mad, especially with the experience I had unsuccessfully chasing down a rebate from Sprint last time I got a new phone. If you are interested, you can get the story here, here, here, and here. I hate scams.

Well on my way to get my cheapie flash drive, I am on the phone with Report_Writer, relating to her both the great deal I am going to get AND how happy I am to be getting anything but a San Disk product after the way they treated You_Get_A_Life. I probably monologued about it for ten minutes on the way. Boy did I feel good about myself, more than 50% off and thumbing my nose at the man.

Walk in, and predictably they are sold out. I ask the nice lady with the blue eye shadow behind the counter. “Do you know when you will be getting in more Memorex 1GB flash drives? Or can you order me one at the sale price?”
She gets on her fancy walkie-talkie thing and talks to a manager, she comes back to me and says “We’re not sure when we might get more, if you would like we will substitute a 1GB Cruzer Flash Drive at the same price. Will that be acceptable?”
“Sure.” I answer without hesitation, very classy and customer oriented of you Office Max, thank you.

One problem, Cruzer brand is made by San Disk, which, of course, I knew when I agreed to the substitution. I'm feeling great about my big mouth and my principles, on the upside, neither the Flash Drive or my big mouth needed a rebate for the full discount.

26 September 2006

Venche's Birthday!

September 15th was Venche's birthday, and I received an invitation to the dinner and the party, a Pirate Cruise! It meant that I would have to miss Jitterbugs Night Out for the first time since 2004, but it's not everyday you get to hang out with a bunch of sassy pirate wenches... I mean upstanding citizens and fine church-going ladies. Let's face it, on occasion I have been known to enjoy a little pirate action... so with camera in one hand and sword in the other, I was off.

We had dinner at Rick's Boatyard Cafe, outside. The weather was warm, but very very breezy. So windy that when we ordered martini's, they came in full six ounce glasses instead of the traditional martini glass, we were told they didn't want the glasses to blow over. We also found out that our party of twelve ordered food just after a party of forty-five. This combination of warm weather, strong drinks, and late food led to some, um, feelings of very good will.

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Bente, your cruise director, invites you aboard for dinner.

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Teresa doesn't know about the face being made at her, until now!

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The guest of honor and friend.

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Who let this guy in?

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The other end of the table is always more interesting than the one you are on.

We ended up rushing through dinner because the cruise started at 8:30 and we were still in our street clothes disguises, and had to get back into our normal pirate uniforms. Because of all these factors, I really can't tell you if the food at Rick's was good or not.

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I think it tasted as good as it looks...

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Jenny in her disguise at left, and as her normal piratey self on the right.

No need to hurry, the cruise didn't start right at 8:30, so we had plenty of time to get there. We paid our doubloons and boarded the River City Star. She was cast off, and we cruised up the river, firing on every merchant ship we saw. Soon we reassembled on the open top deck and watched the far off lightening flare across the sky.

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Rob say: "look it's a real eye, the patch is just for fun."

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Olin and Viv are up to no good, Robin is the poor pirate in the middle.

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This guy had to wait in line for the bathroom too long.

The next deck down had the entertainment, some hired actors dressed up like pirates, not real ones like us. They played music and we danced, goofed off, and watched the silly pirate games.

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I'm telling you Rob, I AM a real pirate.

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The beautiful birthday pirate queen, and some guy with bad hair.

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The pirate witness protection program.

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The crew of the Jolly Roger... Arg!

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I won this battle for camera supremecy!

The lowest deck was for prisoners.

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This is what happens when you steal someone's grog.

Near the end of the cruise, while I was dancing with Jenny, some pirate wench came by me and grabbed my booty... no, I don’t mean my pirate treasure with gold coins, I mean my butt. I think there may have been pirate grog involved. Also, near the end of the cruise, the birthday pirate was grabbed, ::deleted at the request of the victim::, and then one of the pirate actors ::deleted at the request of the victim::, and despite her assertions that ::deleted at the request of the victim::.

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::deleted at the request of the victim::

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::deleted at the request of the victim::

Finally the rain and the cruise both came to an end. ::sigh:: my pirate days were over... until the following Tuesday when it was talk like a pirate day!

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Yes, folks, that is beckstraordinary with my camera in her hands. Where am I? Obviously no where nearby. Probably she is erasing all of the good pictures I took. Judging from the look on her face, it appears that she thinks I am a much better dancer than I am a photographer.

Caught red-handed! Okay, maybe pink-handed.

edit: make sure you check out the comments for the other side of the story.

thanks to jittercliff for the visual evidence.

Awe in times of Need

I’m a little frustrated with myself lately.

The trigger is that my step-father left my mother. I’m not happy about it, but what’s driving me crazy is how I am letting God carry me through in a time of crisis. Why do I do this in times of crisis? Or more to the point, why do I ONLY do it in times of crisis.

This is our Heavenly Father I am talking about here. The One with the big shoulders, the only one who is big enough to cast your entire life on, and He can take it. Before the universe began, I (and you) were in His mind, and what do I do when things are rolling along well? Oh yeah, that God guy, I don’t need that right now.

Yeah, well more like I can’t take a breath without Him, my muscles won’t contract, my lungs won’t fill, the oxygen in the air won’t bind to the iron in my blood... What can take place without God? Nothing. You can’t stop the rocks from singing His praises, but somehow I manage to forget.

Pray for me my sisters and brothers that I live every moment in awe of our loving Lord.

23 September 2006

Bellevue Man Tames Sea Monster in his Front Yard

Today was the day I finally got around to giving Sigmund a haircut. Sigmund is the SeaMonster, er, the rose bush(es) that live in my front yard. Sigmund is quite unruly, and hard to kill. Believe me we've had our fights, sometimes I win, sometimes I walk away scratched and bloodied. Two years ago I lost fairly badly, scratched in several places including on my neck and face. Last year I took it to the beast, I used the chain saw... Unfortunately, Sigmund responded with just three roses this past spring. I think we have a truce now.

sigmund before

sigmund after

22 September 2006

2006 Cowtown Posts

Here are convienient links to all the 2006 Cowtown posts


Thanks to all who made it a great weekend!

Cowtown Sunday

After my late night on Saturday, I decided to skip the first class of the morning and go directly into Slip, Slide, Spin, Turn with Adam & Laura. I totally spazzed and couldn't get any of it right, what's up with that? At one point, after ten minutes of trying, one of the follows says "you're spinning the wrong way." Sure enough, I had been doing it backwards the whole time.

After class I got a quick lunch, and came back to watch Peter's video's and lecture. Peter is amazing and fascinating, he is one of those people who just plain knows his subject and is passionate about it completely. Imagine if you will: 75 people, with full tummies, who have just danced for 40 of the preceding 48 hours hanging on every word Peter was saying for 90 minutes. He makes swing dance history come alive.

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This hardwood floor is surprisingly comfortable...

After lunch and lecture, I wanted to take Christy's last class, but instead I decided to go get Cherokee and go home to take a nap. I checked out of the hotel, and started driving towards Barb's to get puppy boy. She didn't answer, so I headed home, set my alarm and dozed off for a little while.

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Poor Mr. Not Home Yet!

The alarm went off, and I crawled out of bed, somehow managed to drive down to the Lewis & Clark landing without my car keys (???), parked, and walked with umbrella, through the rain to the spot where I was supposed to be helping set up. I felt very alone because I was the only one there! I whipped out the cell phone, called Nate, who said "it's cancelled due to the rain, come back to the hotel, we're going to set up here." That's when the party of a life time began.

So now the corn eating contest and food is going to be in the dance rooms, and the band is going to set up next to the indoor pool. Let me tell you a few things about the Omaha Jitterbugs: 1) we make lemonade as well as anybody I've ever known. 2) it is full of smart, helpful people who don't wait to be organized, but see what needs to be done, work cooperatively, and do it. I got back to the hotel by 5:30 or so, by 6:15 so much had been organized and done that people were dancing to pass the time until the food got there.

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When are they serving the food already?

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In France it is called la vache. (we miss you Sam)

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MMMMinneapolis girls!

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This beautiful smile is because Venche is NOT in the corn eating contest.

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Psst, hey baby, want to come over to my pen later and...

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Nate (et.al.) wisely decided to make the catered food free, and put up donation jars, people who still wanted to spend money could get Maggie Moo's.

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I think Linda is the only one who saw me take this picture.

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My favorite ice cream servers.

I still think the smartest person who participates in the corn eating contest is Monique, she says, "for $5.00 I can have all the corn I can eat.", she's in no danger of winning. The California people were really funny cheering on David. Some thing we are going to have to do for Chris & Vivian next year. This year instead of twelve minutes, it is only eight (thank God). I handed my camera to Venche, and Ready... Set... Go...

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Hey, a diet pepsi, that must be me.

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Mo say: "what is wrong with those people? slow down, enjoy!"

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Actually Viv, I think you ate more than four.

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My mother is SO proud.

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It's like watching a car race just to see the wrecks.

I don't have the right technique to be a winner, I just use the standard Bugs Bunny "typewriter" method. All the kernals are gone, but it's not very fast. Still I managed to get nine in eight minutes. There were many different styles and theories on how to quickly eat the corn. Pretty much the winners did the same sort of thing, it involved scraping the corn off the cob with their teeth, but I'm not sure I would call it eating.

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The winners, David - 1st, Chris - 2nd, Viv - 3rd.

After the corn eating contest, the pool party started. It was incredible. A band, 75 people, a frisbee, people in the pool fully clothed, dancing, in and out of the pool, drinks, anyways, I'll let the pictures do the talking.

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The Mezcal Brothers couldn't have been any cooler or easy going. Oh, and they rocked the joint!

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This is a plot to cause trouble if I've ever seen one.

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Sure, Venche's smiling now, but if I tried to push her into the pool...

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Seriously, Tessa & Brian were smiling right up until the flash went off, then they got all artsy-posed.

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Water Lindy!

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Does this remind you of something?

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-- once again, the brain cannot come up with an appropriate caption --

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Jonathon say: One second I was swimming, the next the frisbee just whacked me in the head.

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This stuff should come with a warning label: "May cause you to jump into a pool with your clothes on."

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Drying off another successful Cowtown Jamborama

thanks to jittercliff and bex for several photos...