September 2019

For starters, I still have a very cute niece. Her parents are totally over the moon with her.

Additionally, we went camping at Camano Island State Park. We didn’t go with any friends, but we cooked a lot. KrisDi made blueberry cream cheese stuffed French toast, chicken parmesan, apple cranberry pie, and inside out biscuits and gravy. The handsome bird you see above came to hang out for a bit, and eventually I got an OK picture of him leaving. The kids found a barnacle on a rock at the beach, and I was more than a little surprised to learn that it was actually still alive and happily fished around in a plastic cup filled with seawater. The kids named him Barny.

When we got back from camping, it was time to get ready for school. KrisDi went to San Diego for work and so missed the first day. She (rightfully) didn’t trust me to prepared and photograph the kids for her traditional first day photos (kid one, kid two), so she did it before leaving. I guess they turned out better than mine (kid one, kid two). But at least mine were taken on the right day. While she was gone, we had a trucknic at Cloud 9,

When she got back, KrisDi and the other girls went to see some kind of Magic Mike male stripper show at a dive bar. If KrisDi’s friends took any pictures of KrisDi on stage, I didn’t get copies. The dads, including HB, hung out at the house with the kids. In the evening, we had a real, honest-to-god lightning storm. We stood outside for about 15 minutes while lightning flashed maybe once every 10-15 seconds.

Chilkat scraped up her knobby little back — apparently, just by it being knobby and her being in a chair. Chilkat started letting KrisDi do her hair — like pigtails and a fishtail and buns. Chilkoot continued karate, and convinced KrisDi to go on a run with him. While I was gone one day, KrisDi decided to clean out the pantry (before and after) — I actually had to take the truck to the dump afterwards, there was so much garbage cleared out. Chilkoot continued Cub Scouts. We got a new light fixture in the kitchen nook. The kids had school pictures (him and her).

Zwanze Day. We got to E9 at 10 AM with most of the rest of the 150 ticket holders. We drank a lot of sour beer. Some of it was really good. We hung out with strangers, and acquaintances, and friends and family. This year’s Zwanze was a smoked lambic — it actually turned out pretty well, but not fantastic. A couple of E9’s beers were really good. Afterward, we walked to another nearby brewery for a beer, and then went to El Gaucho, where we had a surprisingly reasonably-priced dinner at the tail end of happy hour.

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August Part II

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Diane got free or cheap tickets for a Tacoma Rainiers baseball game. The tickets came with a free hat and a free hot dog, if I remember correctly. Traffic took us two hours to get down there, we struggled with parking before paying $10 to park semi-legally on the street a long walk from the ballpark. The kids didn’t really want to eat the hot dogs (and neither did I, and KrisDi was on Whole 30 so she didn’t either). I had some beer, garlic fries, Chilkat had clam chowder. I think Chilkoot sort of ate a little hot dog. I don’t remember if KrisDi ate anything. The kids got on the Jumbotron or whatever it’s called. We had to leave early to get the kids to bed. Chilkoot still fell asleep on the drive home. It was a good time, but probably not worth the drive and the hassle, in my opinion.

The kids asked KrisDi for toys while they were out somewhere, and KrisDi pointed out that they have bins and bins of toys that they never look at, so why should we get more? Bless her little heart for that. The kids responded by trying to sell some on the street. This was a multi-day event. We let them run it themselves. The made signs, and a table, and brought out a money box, and set their own prices. They drew advertisements in chalk on the sidewalk and the street. They sat in the driveway for hours, waiting for customers. Chilkoot made a little paper megaphone and screamed out his advertisement. “Toys for sale! Come to house number ###! Toys for sale!” They enlisted me once or twice because I can yell louder. They fought when Chilkoot the Fickle got bored and went inside and said Chilkat was allowed to keep all the proceeds of any sales that occurred without his participation; Chilkat the Perpetually Wounded conveniently forgot the agreement so that she could blame Chilkoot for making her do all the work while he still got to keep half the proceeds. They pulled out their little toy store three times, I think, for more than an hour each time. They required counseling several times about the lack of customers.

They made one sale. I think they sold a stuffed Clifford for $6 to a girl that looked about 13.

I’m not sure why, but Chilkoot decided to brush his own hair. I thought it was adorable, but I think it depressed KrisDi. She loves them curls.

Chilkoot tested for and received his red belt in Karate. I think he got the belt on the forbearance of his sensei. He was distracted and kept messing up and didn’t get hints on what he was supposed to do. Eventually he got through it, though. KrisDi thinks that since sensei knows Chilkoot actually knows the stuff, he was a little more forgiving if he froze during the test.

We had my company picnic. Clowns, bouncy houses, magic shows, petting zoos. There was an epic water balloon fight, in which our kids demonstrated either their lack of understanding of teams or their complete and total willingness to betray. We won an air fryer as a door prize. In twelve years, that’s the first prize we’ve won. Although Chilkoot would have preferred the hammock. KrisDi was on her last day of Whole 30, so she didn’t get to eat anything. Chilkoot remembers nothing. Chilkat remembers the air fryer, the balloon fight and being hit in the stomach by an evil balloon, the bouncy house, the petting zoo (bunnies and chicken with hat and chicken with shoes).

We took Les to Pogacha for his birthday. I convinced him to try the lamb. This is surprising, because usually he and Big D are unwilling to allow anyone to spend too much money on a single dish, but he enjoyed it so I’m glad. KrisDi made him a key lime cheesecake, which was fantastic.

We spent three nights with my full family-in-law in an AirBnB by the ocean in Netarts, Oregon, a little way outside of Tillamook. We visited Great Notion in Portland and De Garde in Tillamook on the way down. While there, we visited Pelican and of course the Tillamook creamery. KrisDi’s family is chaotic, my back was shitty, we saw a lot of neat stuff, we mostly ate at the house. We walked on the beach, we visited a couple things like a neat old lighthouse. I screwed around with the camera. I kept waking up super early, partially due to back shit; I worked three hours or so each morning before anyone woke up. The one night I slept on the floor preceded the one day I had the least back pain.

I never, ever want to let my kids sleep in the same room as their cousins again. There was so much bedtime bullshit that I might have hung myself or others had I actually been forced to deal with it. Luckily, my wife is awesome and didn’t make me. I genuinely appreciate it.

The one time I went to the beach, I learned (again) the Pacific is fucking cold. I was very surprised that Chilkat was determined to spend time in the water, and kept wading out and standing there. The water was cold enough that just walking out and standing in it to my thighs, my legs would actually start aching.

KrisDi picked and ordered our Halloween costumes and we tried them on. Also, Chilkoot grew a lot in the last six months.

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August Part I

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Chilkoot had his testing for red belt in karate. He has practiced on and off, and depending on how engaged he is at the time of practicing, he does his kata very well or not very well. So he knows it, and can do it. His sensei knows he knows it, too.

At the actual test, Chilkoot either froze up, or was not engaged. He eventually got everything done and all the pieces right (although not everything in one big sequence). Sensei passed him, probably just because he knows Chilkoot really does know it and just didn’t perform well at the test.

We had a salsa competition at work. KrisDi finally won one of these again, with just a regular old salsa. I had meetings so the bulk of the voting occurred before I got there — I ended up being the last voter, breaking a three way tie for first place, so KrisDi won. When I voted, I knew there was a three way tie for first, but I didn’t know KrisDi was part of it.

My brother and his wife had their daughter on the first. I’ll call her the Mountain on here. She’s cute, and Northwood is clearly over the moon — but getting antsy about being trapped at home.

Chilkat made a little piñata at day care — a paper bag with some tissue paper taped or glued to it, with a few pieces of candy inside. They were both really excited about it. We were getting ready for them to break it open, but Chilkat accidentally smacked Chilkoot in the face full-force with a plastic bat while “warming up” (read: spinning around carelessly swinging the bat wildly). His nose immediately started swelling, and after the initial “wtf just happened” moment he started sobbing. While sobbing, his nose was scrunched up so much I was afraid the cartilage was messed up and/or the nose was broken. Once he calmed down, I could touch the opposite side of the bone with no discomfort, the cartilage looked normal, and it didn’t bother him if I wiggled the the cartilage around — so I was pretty confident he was fine.

Chilkat was devastated, convinced that Chilkoot would hate her forever. “Chilkoot, do you hate your sister?” “Nooooo” (please inflect quaveringly when reading that word). She required nearly as much consoling as Chilkoot did.

My dad visited (he arrived the same day as the baseball bat incident). He and P were on their way to a cruise to Alaska; they stayed with us for a couple days beforehand. We really didn’t do much — bummed around the house, and went to Les and D’s for a boat ride around Lake Tapps and a burger barbecue.

While he was gone, the kids went with KrisDi to Chilkat’s friend’s neighborhood picnic. The kids visited Nana and Papa again, this time with their cousins. They made cookies.

Dad visited, before and after his and P’s cruise to Alaska, their 50th state. KrisDi made him a cake for his 72nd birthday. We went to Les and D’s. We went to the Woodland Park Zoo, and took a bunch of neat pictures of the creatures there. We chilled out some more. Dad took us to dinner at an OK seafood restaurant.

KrisDi’s work had their company picnic. It was Hawaiian themed with a kahlua pig. The kids got to hit adults with pies. KrisDi was one of the candidates to be hit with pies, so the kids were up front screaming that they wanted to do it; KrisDi’s boss or commander was supposed to, but decided he didn’t want to. KrisDi didn’t end up being the target, though, so they had to hit other people. They had piñatas — seems like a lot of piñatas lately. Although this is the only time I’ve heard of my kids wearing them.

Chilkoot had his last T-Ball game; no better than the others, but finally remembered to bring the nice camera to try and take action shots. Here’s a nice action shot of Chilkoot really focusing on the ball while he was fielding.

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