Busy Evening

The kid and I were very busy the other night.
We have a Harry Potter card game we were a bit obsessed with about 4 years ago. We have probably over 600 cards to this game but I think you only need 46 in a deck to play. It's much like any other card series that is out-you have to buy new packs to try and get the BEST card to have in your deck. I stumbled upon a card store that was selling an entire box of the packs of cards - something like 100 cards in a box - and it was half off. That's like buy one get one free. It's almost physically impossible to walk by a deal like that.
And it's a good thing we have all these cards....cause otherwise we couldn't do this:

Level one was about 3.5 feet by 1.5 feet.

Oh yeah..we had three layers!!

Time to think about the World Card House Championships!! We would have kept building but ran out of cards.

And then a furry giant grey beast came along and took it all down!

Another productive night.

What's insane about this is the cards were all sorted in the five different types, like Quidditch cards, Potions cards, etc. And then within each section, they were sorted by number. But it was necessary to mix them all up, for the greater good of our card house building talents.

I Hate Scotland

The kid and I went to the Highland Games on Saturday. I've wanted to go for years now and finally made it. I'll never go again.

It just started badly...I didn't have a lot of cash but they had an ATM machine which was great. Though it kept rejecting my card, so I had to cash advance my Visa. I think that's like 176% interest to cash advance from that. No matter though--we were going to have fun!

I paid $24 to get in ($14 for me, $10 for the kid) - that's a lot. I was certain they provided a free meal or something though.

I really wanted to go to see the Scottish traditional games - throwing heavy lead objects across the yard. I was highly disappointed with it. They had an announcer, but he told us NOTHING about the games. We just sat out by the field, in a light rain, eating fish and chips that probably took 6 years off our life, watching large, bulky, sweaty men throwing random things around. Oh-and don't forget the primeval grunting going on. The announcer would sometimes announce that so-and-so had a great throw. But there were 5 games going on at the same time so we really had no idea who was who or what a good throw was. But that's fine-it was still interesting and entertaining-better than sitting in front of the tv for sure!

And we found that most men in the athletic competitions wore shorts under their kilts!

Step One:

Give your rock a little hug. Whisper something sweet to it, wish it good luck.

Step Two:

Grunt loudly-as if your lower intestine were being uncurled.....and then THROOOOOOOOOW!

Step Three:

Hold your breath and hope your little rock has made you proud.

Fun game!!

Here's another great one:

Grab your heavy-looking bell thingy. Stand and think hard. Take deep breaths. Let the crowd feel the excitement.

Lift with a grunt and SWING and SWING and SWING.
And then....


And don't forget the ever-popular Cabor Toss - lift a large tree trunk and try and flip it multiple times. That was one of my favorites.

Crazy Scots.
Then we headed to watch the Kilted Mile-men running in skirts-fun!

Next up, the dancers!

We sat at some bleachers..and the kid starts complaining about his legs hurting from touching the bench in front of him. I brushed him off and told him he was fine and leave it alone.

And then my arms started stinging where they were touching the bleachers....like a bunch of little bee stings. No good.

So we moved to the other bleachers and found that we could not touch the spots of our skin where they had touched those bleachers. We made a quick pit stop at the first aid tent and got some calamine lotion and was told it was probably old fiberglass...huh? Shouldn't there be a sign? Shouldn't they be blocked off?? The Scottish Bleachers---no good.

And then......we get back to my car and start driving away---and find we have a flat tire. Some wonderful good Samaritan stopped to help us (cause I'm a girl) and then we headed straight to Les Schwab (cause I'm a responsible girl). Mr. Schwab let me know that some bad Samaritan tested his knife out on my tire. Yeah, that's great. Thanks Scotland festival for having 12 different booths with knives of various sizes available to some drunken Scots of all ages within half a mile of the parking lot.

Long Live England!!!

Book Chat

It's a good night to stay out late to sit at a bookstore with strangers wearing robes and stand in line to buy a pre-reserved copy of a 794age book which will be finished by the end of the weekend.

Speaking of books, I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, who wrote one of my favorite books, The Kite Runner.

Khaled's second book had a lot to live up to-as I LOVED the Kite Runner. I think I actually LOVE A Thousand Splendid Suns even more!!! I finished this book in just a day and a half, though I was home sick one day and stayed up until after 1am the next. I can't say enough good things about this writer---he is just amazing.

Happy Harry Potter Month!!!

I am so excited for the new Harry Potter book coming out next Friday! Yes, I know they are kids books--but they are SO well written and have such a great plot, they don't seem like it.

My son got the gifts as presents every time they came out, but I thought he was too young to fully grasp it (he was five when the first one came out) and I just held onto them, figuring he might want to read them when he got a little older. We started reading them just before the third or fourth book and I can't believe how much I like this series.

When we were in Japan back in 2001, we found a bookstore that had about 8 different versions of the book-Japanese, Korean, Chinese, a few different versions for Great Britain, somewhere else European, somewhere else European and our familiar version. It would have been fun to collect the different types, and with the nice exchange rate, we could have gathered a good number, but we decided they would just end up taking up space and shipping them home would be too much (We have enough collections of random things really). Very cool to see them though.

The movie came out this week. We'll go see that this weekend. I'm not AS excited for the movie, but it will be fun to see. The book is really the big deal.

Two years ago when the new book came out, we went to our local bookstore for the midnight party. It was fun...it would have been more fun if we were either a) very young or b) freaks.

A lot of people showed up in robes with pointed hats and they really REALLY love the books. We preorder the book online and then pick up a ticket the day it comes out to get a place in line to get the book. We got to the store at 11pm last year and were given ticket 768. The witches who were numbers 1-3 had gotten to the bookstore before it opened that morning so they could get the ticket with #1 on it. Even having a 700 number, we had our book by 12:30am. We both had read it the 700-page book within a week (the kid is the slow one). I expect this year will be the same.

And what I love even more about this book---it was written by a poor single mother!! J.K.Rowling was a single mom and just wrote this little book about a wizard. And look at her now! She's now second in line behind Oprah for richest women in the world!! She was unemployed when she typed out the first Potter book on an old typewriter. That's a true rags-to-riches story. I love it.

Are You My Mother?

72 years ago, when I was in junior high school, I needed baby photos of my parents for a school project of some sort. My beloved mother gave me two super cute, old photos of a toddler male and a baby female and said they were her and my dad. I didn't question that. Why would I....I trust my mom. I've held onto the photos ever since, through 11 homes, 3 states, 2 continents.


Then I find out, via the detectives in the family, Aunt Jean and Aunt Cora (who dated Cary Grant??) that in fact, my mom gave me a baby picture of someone else!!!


Is my mom not my mom?

Is my mom suffering from some kind of early dementia?
What else have I grown up believing to be true that is not? Who ARE these babies????

Detective A.J. says that is definitely her brother as a toddler...but claims that the baby pic is a younger cousin of mine, Carla (who I haven't spoken to or seen since 1992!). Babies all look the same right, however you'd think you would know what YOU look like as a baby, and as such, my mom should know that THIS photo:

is not her.

Yet I told my entire class and they believed it to be true back in junior high school.

I have had these two photos for YEARS and years, showing all my ex-boyfriends, telling my friends-look at these cute photos of my parents.....planning a great framed piece of photo art that will be a family tree--of baby photos. And yet....it's NOT EVEN MY MOM!

Hmmm....I am going to have to look at other photos my mom gave me and see who they really are.

Rubber Duckie, You're the One!

Great Article
Who doesn't love a good rubber duckie story??

10 JANUARY 1992: Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean nearly 29,000 First Years bath toys, including bright yellow rubber ducks, are spilled from a cargo ship in the Pacific Ocean.

16 NOVEMBER 1992: Caught in the Subpolar Gyre (counter-clockwise ocean current in the Bering Sea, between Alaska and Siberia), the ducks take 10 months to begin landing on the shores of Alaska.

EARLY 1995: The ducks take three years to circle around. East from the drop site to Alaska, then west and south to Japan before turning back north and east passing the original drop site and again landing in North America. Some ducks are even found In Hawaii. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) worked out that the ducks travel approximately 50 per pent faster than the water in the current.

1995 - 2000: Some intrepid ducks escape the Subpolar Gyre and head North, through the Bering Straight and into the frozen waters of the Arctic. Frozen into the ice the ducks travel slowly across the pole, moving ever eastward.

2000: Ducks begin reaching the North Atlantic where they begin to thaw and move Southward. Soon ducks are sighted bobbing in the waves from Maine to Massachusetts.

2001: Ducks are tracked in the area where the Titanic sank.

Rubber duckies are cute-I like the original ones, but the new, funky black devil ones are funny.

Kitsap Credit Union is working together with the Silverdale Rotary Club to present the Great Kitsap Duck Race. This annual race is more than an engaging competition for the ducks; it helps finance more than 50 Kitsap County non-profit organizations. Call our information line to adopt your ducks for an opportunity to win a new truck, one million dollars, vacations and many other prizes including $1,000 from Kitsap Credit Union.

Rubber duckies are everywhere....
  • In the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), the character Arthur Weasley, on meeting Harry Potter for the first time, says: "Now, Harry you must know all about Muggles, tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?".
  • Sesame Street character Ernie has a rubber duck as his "bathtime friend", and has even composed two songs dedicated to his duck (I have been singing one of them for the last 15 minutes!).
  • In "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe", of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Series, the Captain of the "B" Ark (Who is constantly taking a bath) in the Golgafrincham Ark Fleet has a rubber duck. The Captain claims, "One's never alone with a rubber duck." (I have no idea what this is---but it's a great quote!)
  • In the film Constantine, John Constantine, played by Keanu Reeves, has a rubber duckie on the side of his bathtub.
  • In the video game Toy Story 2, in one of the backyards there is a large rubber duck which you are supposed to pump up, throw into the pool and jump on in order to retrieve a token.
  • There is a rubber duck featured somewhere in each game of the Hitman series.

In Kitsap County, WA, there is an annual duck race, which I hear is one of the top 15 in the nation. Proceeds from this year's sales will benefit Hospice of Kitsap County. The group's goal is to raise $100,000 this year-last year they raised $82,000. They donate the money to a local non-profit, which is absolutely awesome.

The ducks will be dropped in the water off a barge. Owners of the first few ducks to cross the finish line win prizes. And one lucky duck owner will be the recipient of a 2007 Nissan Frontier King Cab pickup from Advantage Nissan. They can choose the truck, or $16,000.

What a fun idea...I wonder if there's some impact on the environment we should care about...I am not really wondering that hard though---cause it's too cute to see a thousand rubber duckies floating across the water.

Kitty Drama

Two days ago-both bowls were empty. Yesterday, both bowls were half empty. Today, neither cat will eat from the bowl on the left.
I like to think that the cats are playing games with each other. As in, Ginger (the beautiful cat above), has told the young one, Whiskers (see below) that she gets the left bowl from now on. She's older, she's been in the family longer, and she's bigger, so she gets to choose.

Whiskers is young and immature so he says to Ginger, nope, I'm NOT eating from the bowl on the right EITHER!! and then he storms off and sulks in the corner.

24 hours later...the battle is still on. No one will eat from the right.

Peeking in to see if she's going to eat from that other bowl!

Stubborn and proud!!

Rebellious long-haired bratty teen years...

Totally set up....these two are not friends enough to be hugging. I have no idea how the kid got them to stay still long enough to get this photo.

Random Old Photos

English Class in Korea - 2002

Me and Tyler - 1992

Andrew and Alyssa

Cool house! Our dome home for a year, Houston, Minnesota, 1988 maybe?

The goofballs with the grandparents.

First-born babies

The family picture, ages ago.

Dad and Mom as Wee Ones

Run Scooter Run!

"Bush Commutes Libby Prison Sentence"
Say what?
Are you kidding me???
That's absurd...he was convicted. Does that mean nothing? Not that this is the first President to do such an amazingly stupid thing, yet it's just *another* thing this man has done to our country.

The president’s decision drew praise from Mr. Libby’s defenders. “That’s fantastic. It’s a great relief,” said former Ambassador Richard Carlson, who helped raise millions of dollars for Libby’s defense fund. “Scooter Libby did not deserve to go to prison and I’m glad the president had the courage to do this,.” he said, according to The Associated Press.

But Democrats assailed Mr. Bush’s move.

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement that the commutation of Mr. Libby’s sentence “cements the legacy of an administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law.”

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, said the decision showed Mr. Bush “condones criminal conduct,” according to The A.P.

And the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, told The A.P.: “Libby’s conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq war. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone.”

Very sad.

On the morning of May 6, 1997, Governor George W. Bush signed his name to a confidential three-page memorandum from his legal counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, and placed a bold black check mark next to a single word: DENY. It was the twenty-ninth time a death-row inmate's plea for clemency had been denied in the twenty-eight months since Bush had been sworn in. In this case Bush's signature led, shortly after 6:00 P.M. on the very same day, to the execution of Terry Washington, a mentally retarded thirty-three-year-old man with the communication skills of a seven-year-old. Let me get this straight, Bush will not save a mentally challeged man from death, but let his friend get a harsh sentence.

Bush wrote in his autobiography that it was not his job to "replace the verdict of a jury unless there are new facts or evidence of which a jury was unaware, or evidence that the trial was somehow unfair"[2] (italics added). But new information about a mentally retarded man's battered, abused childhood that his jury never got to hear—wouldn't that qualify?

We all have our priorities. I'm so tired of the "Good Ole Boys." I can not wait until next year when we can at least have something "different"--I am not even fully convinced that it will be better just because it is not Dubya, however, I can firmly believe that it can not get worse.


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