26 July 2007

My, um, 29th birthday weekend

Time to get another year older, I'm down with that. As long as I don't have to do anything or wear anything stupid...

Birthday glasses - Cornstalker
Darn it, I guess it is too late.

My birthday started on Friday, and ended on Tuesday, with just a short break on Sunday. Friday was the birthday dance and festivities at Jitterbugs night out. Many of the most popular jitterbugs and me have their birthdays at this time of year, Timmo, Steph, SendmeJackson, and Corinn were all out there making for a crowded dance circle ... cool!

All these ladies were waiting just to get in line to dance with me.

JennyJitterbug takes her turn.

Emeade got into the act too.

Sheila and I captured Becca when she wasn't looking.

Saturday night BeckyRants had her annual "Look, I'm Making Ice Cream Party". Okay, it is true, this party had zero to do with my birthday, but what the heck... Schmedrick, Mae, and I rode down to Lincoln together, and in a rare treat, Mae drove. BeckyRants made four, count them four different kinds of ice cream, Strawberry, Mint, Vanilla, and Chocolate ... I tried three. Somehow, no one got a picture of the ice cream...

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There was the usual party stuff for us, food, dancing ...

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... and the obligatory and much liked game of Apples to Apples.

Sunday was a down day, but Monday was the actual birthday. My birthday morning dawned in the colors of light reflected off the jewels and gold of a dragons horde, rays streaming skyward, golden fire, unimpeded by the everyday ... oh, um, yeah, nevermind. I had to work. After work Vivian met me and we went to Bible study together. There I got several cards and a couple gifts, including the birthday glasses. Smeade was rather insistent that they be worn from the time I got them until the end of my party on Tuesday ... I got right not on that.

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Look, I'm six years old!

After Bible study we went over to Ted & Wally's to get some birthday ice cream.

Tuesday was the party day. I spent about four hours during the course of the day taking care of some much overdue lawn work, including getting out the chainsaw and cutting up some wood for the party later. We met at 1830 at Old Chicago downtown Omaha, and hung out and had dinner.

Outside Old Chicago - cornstalker
If you don't mind, I'll thank you not to use the term 'old' in my presence on my birthday.

Everybody at the dinner table - cornstalker
Thanks everyone for showing up!

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SmileChild is certain why she doesn't like onions, and not so certain why she is friends with me.

After dinner it was back to my house for a foamy sword fight. I think we all got so excited about it, we forgot to get pictures of it. Then a fire and too many roasted marshmallows.

Eric's Present - cornstalker
Guess who likes his gift!!!

Eric and Jenny on the blanket - cornstalker
JennyJitterbug started this one ... honest.

Eric and Jenny on the blanket - cornstalker
This one is just here because it is a freakin' cool picture. Who knew Maegmariel was part ghost or that I could pet Cherokee like that.

Mostly I just want to say a big fat
to all my super-cool friends who helped to make this birthday grand, I love you all!

Many thanks to Cornstalker and SmileChild for allowing me to borrow pictures more or less with permission.

23 July 2007

I need a botanist to identify...

I was taking a look at this picture again, and noticed the plant in the foreground ... or should I say weed. Click on it to get a bigger version.
I guess working at the Henry Doorly Zoo Wildlife Safari has its benefits.

22 July 2007

Timing is everything

Dana asked me to dance, and she does some supercool stuff, but as a lead you have to pay attention to her and what she wants to do. I had a momentary lapse, and stepped to the right just as she was going to come by me, bam! we ran right into one another. My fault. Double stupid, cause I knew JitterCliff was standing right there with the camera. Arg! Wait a second ... let's see that picture...

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Wow, that's Just exactly the way I envisioned that move.

Many thanks to JitterCliff for allowing me to borrow a picture more or less with permission.

21 July 2007

OnionBoy update

New Job
I applied for, and got a different position here at my employer working in the IT department. I don't have my start date yet, but I am figuring the last week in August or first week in September. After sixteen months on the 7 on / 7 off, twelve hour shift schedule, I am burned out on it, the schedule, not the job. The new position will be normal weekday hours with an occasional rotating on-call pager. Plus it will be more in line with my college education, it's very much what I have wanted to do here for three plus years.

New Song
Well I tried to publish a new song the other day and got stuck by that mystery Firefox/Blogger issue that locks up when you use words in a certain order. Anyways, not because of that, but because of some musical issues and discussion with musical talent extraordiare SmileChild, I decided to simplify the song and redo the verses down to one verse and make it praise and worship style. I will post it when it is done.

New Musical Talent
Speaking of music, I stuck my foot in it again ... and this time not my mouth, but a bass drum. The Bible Study praise and worship band drummer got married and moved away (how rude), leaving us completely without a rhythym section. I was either moved by the Spirit, got tired of no one else volunteering, or was overcome by delusions of adequacy (probably all three), and I said I would do it. I haven't played 'live' yet, but I've practiced with the band twice, and I have surprised myself, hopefully in short order I will be playing with the band, and keeping time ... and as an added benefit, I heard drummers get all the chicks, although I'd be happy with just one.

New Picture

This picture is cool because it really captures what dancing is all about, having a good time!

New Attitude
My mood over the eight or nine days can best be summed up by these words from The Love of God by Mercy Me:
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made.
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
and every man a scribe by trade.
To write the love of God above,
would drain the ocean dry,
nor could the scroll, contain the whole
though stretched from sky to sky...
I told MistyJoJangles the other day that I have been so in love with God lately, and I have no other words to use, I have at moments in the past ten years had short periods of joy and peace, but just for a few hours or a day at most ... this has been a week plus of just love, and no sex, no drugs, no rock'n'roll could replace this feeling I have in me, and I think I've tried all of that enough to know. I yearn to join the saints and angels in their song of glory to the King who knows all His subjects by name.

Many thanks to SmileChild for allowing me to borrow a picture with actual, written permission.

18 July 2007


I had a new song up for a while, but something about the post caused Firefox to lock up while displaying my blog. This has happened to me before, and just changing one word fixed it, but you can't really do that with a song. It worked fine in Safari and (gasp) IE

I will try to put it up when I figure it out.

16 July 2007

Another LONG post

I'm just going to cover the whole weekend here, which isn't so bad, the weekend technically begins on Friday at noon anyways.

I got up at the crack of noon on Friday, I had talked to Smeade the night before, and she was going to call me in the "morning" when she got up ... morning goes until 1345 apparently. She had Emeade in tow, and we headed out to the zoo. On the way to the zoo, I called SmileChild who was hanging out with Beth (hmmm, a real name, let's just call her FingerBreaker), or so I thought, FingerBreaker got called into work, so SmileChild met us up at the zoo, or she rode with Smeade, I was kind of confused about that. Being led around the zoo by Emeade was slightly less more A.D.D. than leading ourselves around.

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Emeade feeds the goats, isn't it cute how Smeade and Emeade dress alike?

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I got soaked waiting for them to cross the bridge and get this picture.

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Does anyone ever have to tell a sloth to eat slowly?

summervacation - smilechild
summervacation - smilechild
The new Budgie exhibit was quite cool and will probably be a much better visit after all the kids go back to school.

After the zoo, we split up and ended up back at the dance later (no pictures, and well, no Emeade). It was a fun dance with some people there we hadn't seen in a while, and a couple of brand new dancers too, not the excitement of ErinOneDay's birthday, but a good time none the less.

After the dance Chris, SmileChild, Smeade, Schmendrick, Natalie, JennyJitterbug, and I all met down at the local Village Inn for some chow and fun. We had a quotable line by someone about something, but I can't remember what it was.

Saturday was the annual Spanky & Mae summer BBQ.

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What do you do when a nine year old gives you a look like that? You eat her doll of course!

We sat out on the back deck and got some serious geek conversation going. Mark is laughing because Maegmariel said Wii.

At last the sunset ... the weather didn't turn out too bad, it has been a lot hotter in the past.

Much more went on than this, but you never get the photos you want to have. I ended up being a big wimp, at home in bed by 0100, the party must have raged on for hours longer because when I got up at 0400 to let the dog out, Schmendrick was still not home.

I woke up fairly early on Sunday, and then took a nap, and then got up, and then took a nap. Oh, finally I talked to Viv about meeting her for Lindy in the Park and then onto the Heartland Festival. We parked down at 13whatever Jones, and walked over to Lindy in the Park, stopping only to consult some sandwich artists about lunch.

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You know Viv, that sandwich was pretty amazing, I'm just going to sit here and contemplate it for a while.

Look who stopped by Lindy in the Park!

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That's the kind of smile that you get when you are dancing!

After Lindy in the Park was over, Cornstalker met up with us, and the three of us headed over to the Luis Palau Heartland Festival. We met up with tons of friends, okay maybe not that many. I had somehow forgotten how much I love Kirk Franklin's music. Some of the younger ladies in the group seemed to be enthralled with Jeremy Camp, for reasons that elude me.

Okay, so maybe there was a little more going on than just music...

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They had this thing where you could take a picture at the festival on your cell phone, email it, and they put them up on the jumbotron. Cool! Unfortunately, Laura, Katie, and I didn't quite make it onto the big screen.

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Viv and Cornstalker enjoying Christian fellowship.

I just think there are so many interesting things going on in this photo ... starting with me in the middle of it, who took this?

Oh sure, frost your hair, play guitar, write some songs, and the ladies all swoon ... and I'm not envious at all.

SmileChild, Kevin, and Smeade ... um, does Kevin have a screenname? Can I call him by it? I think this opens a whole lot of religious questions when he is ordained.

Many thanks to JitterCliff and SmileChild for allowing me to borrow pictures more or less with permission.

13 July 2007

A (full) day with SmileChild

SmileChild is on vacation, and Thursday was my day for quality time.

We hit the road around 10:00 with a general plan. The Zoo Safari and Platte River State Park. It ended up we covered the Platte River between Louisville and Mahoney pretty darn well. We got up to the Zoo Safari in fairly short order.
Um, I thought antlers only grew out of one side...

Here is the field where the elk grow.

Hey, we're trying to sleep here!

Where is Viv when you need here to lure a bear out of the woods. (It's not
that much of an inside joke, I just can't JennyJitterbugs original photo.)

Is that a teacher blatantly disregarding the posted rules ... now we know what is wrong with kids these days.

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These two shots are looking at each other. The trail to get from one side to the other was just ridiculously steep.

Gentlemen nod your head in agreement. Ladies, just go ahead and smack the nearest guy for nodding in agreement.

The construction crew.

The buffalo were much much closer to the car, but the kept heading away. So we didn't get a lot of good pictures, SmileChild said it best "I don't want any butt-shots". We did get held up by a baby buffalo deciding the middle of the road was a good spot to have a meal, and then trying to run and eat at the same time.

You would think with all the money spent on this place by the zoo, they could have some more real estate available.

It was after noon when we were finished at the Safari, but we weren't quite hungry yet, so we drove back up the to the Gretna exit, and went down to Schramm to look at the old fisheries.

The opposite of the Zoo, the fish in here just kind of wander up to the surface, grab something you throw in and then wander away, no frenzy at all.

I remember there being, oh, like 10,000 birds at Schramm, but there were only a few, so after a short amount of time, we headed over to Louisville for lunch. Thank goodness for Subway, there is one in like, oh every town over 150 people in North America. We grabbed it to go and headed out to Platte River State Park. I paid for a yearly sticker (so grab me, we'll go) and we went down to the canyon and ate. After lunch, we hiked down the trail to eastern Nebraska's most spectacular waterfall...

Okay, so SmileChild is more beautiful than eastern Nebraska's most spectacular waterfall.

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There were also other interesting things on the trail, I mean besides the biting bugs.

After lunch, we went over to the tower. SmileChild said she was afraid of heights, but you sure couldn't tell.

The tower was swaying just a little bit, but fortunately SmileChild and I have a firm foundation.

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The Platte looking east and looking north.

Hey! SmileChild, does my tire rear left tire look kind of flat to you? Wait, nevermind, don't look down.

We stayed up at the top of the tower for a good half hour or so. The plan was to go swimming or horseback riding, but the clouds were coming up, and we checked the radar from my phone, and it didn't look like swimming was going to be an option by the time we got changed, and situated, and blah blah. So instead we rented a paddleboat for a very long half hour and rode around on the lake. We demonstrated our ability to think reasonably when we heard thunder, and headed in off of the lake as quick as we could.

The rain started and we were kind of in a quandary as to what to do next. The radar showed the rain banded and coming straight south, so we decided to go over to Mahoney and see if we could get to the north of the rain. Darn weather, it never cooperates. We got over there and it was still raining, so we got under the big overhang and goofed off for a half hour or so, but it became obvious the weather was not going to change. We went back to the car and started making phone calls to try to arrange a mean game of Scrabble.

We got ErinOneDay eventually, but no one else was going to be around. Then Chad called and wanted to know if I wanted to play basketball, I said we had plans, then Katie called, things got all twisted around and we ended up down on 7th & Dorcas playing hoops.

Seriously, I just hit my only shot of the game (off screen), after that, they started playing defense on me.

Chad, man bad form, ball not in the view of the camera, no one in position to rebound, what are you thinking ... hey, it went in, nice shot!

I played in the first game, John showed up and took my place in the second game. SmileChild was interested in the plan originally, but I don't think she really cared for the atmosphere at the park, some of the players were a little rough around the edges, but it was a clean game and so was the language mostly.

After the game, we went up and hung out at Chad's house. As usual, about 1/4 of the people I know wandered in or out at some point. We made spaghetti, and by we, I mean Katie, Micah, Daniel, and I. We hung out until after 10:00pm, and then everyone went home.

A full day with more than the usual adventure. Thanks for the quality time SmileChild and everyone.