Fives Of Years Ago

2014…I was 32. My back had started to degrade but wasn’t useless yet. Chilkoot was ~6mo, Chilkat nearing 3. I think I wasn’t managing a team yet, just a project. I can’t remember if I had actually resumed reading yet (this was triggered by the discovery of Kindle on the iPhone) — based on GoodReads stats, probably not. I’m sure I was tired. Probably at this phase in my life, it was more survival than anything else. I would have been a fairly experienced traveler, having visited Japan several times for several reasons and various spots around the US.

2009…I was 28. I think this was shortly before my first clearly recollectable lower back episode. This is the year KrisDi and I got married, so at this time of year, we were engaged, she was approaching end of her Master degree. We’d been in our current house for about a year — I probably still had a room where we kept all our space (we don’t have any anymore). I was a “System Engineer” writing requirements, using Quick Vision and QVPAK every day, solving and communicating about concrete problems. Kids were a theoretical notion at the time. This was probably only a couple years into serious beer interest — I was probably still searching for Lagunitas Imperial Red.

2004…I was 23. I’d been working for the Navy for less than six months. Living in California, traveling a lot. I had probably already gotten to the point where I knew more about RAM than most people who’d been working on it since I was in middle school (not to be conceited or anything, but totally likely). Still in my original apartment, living alone — not sure if I had bought any furniture or anything yet (or if my futon-mattress on the floor had started molding). I think by this time I had discovered Old Rasputin and started paying some attention to beer — associated with starting to date KrisDi, of course. She was most likely feeding me regularly. I had probably gotten my car running again and I had probably lost 30 pounds by commuting by bicycle in the meantime. I’m not sure if I’d been to Japan yet at this point. The other JPs and I had regular social events like barbecues and parties — maybe the most active and normal my social life has ever been.

1999…I was 18. I was in the middle of my first year of college, living in a dorm at NDSU (with a wrestler named Craig with whom I had absolutely nothing in common). Dating or conflicted about dating Meredith; possibly still conflicted about wanting to date Awz’s cousin. I was probably off of crutches from my 2nd knee surgery at this point. Actually, this might have been about the time that I walked a couple miles to get to PT for my knee, only to have the therapist tell me to go away because I had so taxed my knee walking out there. Of course, all my Beulah friends were still in Beulah, since this was the year I was supposed to graduate — this was before I got my scholarship at OU (or before it was effective, at least). I was hanging out with Abu, Wrong Ryan, John, Big Scary Dave, others of the same crowd. Smoking cigars from time to time. Hadn’t started to drink yet (was still zealously opposed to the idea of drinking). This was probably close to the time that Dave and I took a 12+ hour walk to Minnesota and back, bullshitting and smoking cigars. I walked a lot with my NDSU friends, and we bullshit a lot while walking. We watched horribly made horror movies (like Jason) and threw koosh balls at the TV to express amusement at their cheesiness. I listened to the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy radio show on mp3 a couple times. I was an EE student, I had probably at least learned what Matlab scripting was. Napster didn’t exist, but I was starting to build an mp3 collection by somehow discovering and downloading them directly from other people’s computers via FTP. I probably still have some of those mp3. I remember marveling at having something like 120 mp3s (currently my kids have nearly 200 on their playlist, and I have 8-9k). I was driving the 1980 Cougar XR7 (RWD v8) I’d gotten when I was 15-16. My knee was too shitty to drive a clutch — I remember helping Wrong Ryan get his stickshift truck out of a snowbank (in a parking lot), and nearly collapsing with knee pain (I was in the driver seat, he was pushing).

1994…I was 13. I was hanging out with JJ a lot, starting to discover “sexy movies” (like Johnny Be Good). I had a hernia surgery somewhere around this time, and this was about the time that I grew a foot in a year — going from one of the smallest kids and getting picked on a lot to being one of the tallest kids and being left the fuck alone. Also, my bones hurt. I remember doing stretches constantly in classes (I think I was trying to keep my muscles and tendons caught up with my skeleton). My 7th grade teacher hadn’t figured out that his pre-algebra extra credit scheme was dumb — if he followed it strictly, I would have gotten a 260% in the class. I understood it better than he did. He was more of a volleyball coach than a teacher. When I got in trouble, he wrote my older brother’s name on the board out of habit. I remember killing some kind of standardized testing that made me eligible for skipping math classes, or something similar. I think I was in track, or running long distance. I remember one particular event where somehow the coach pissed me off beyond my capacity to handle, and I ran something like 5 miles about twice as fast as everyone else while crying the whole time. I can’t remember if I was actually running hurdles at this time — I wasn’t good at it.

1989…I was 8. 2nd grade. Mrs. Swegarden was my teacher. I was learning to read. I think I was primarily hanging out with Awz at this time. There was a kid named Matthew that I hung out with — he may have moved away this year or the year before. I don’t remember what I was reading, but it was pretty simple stuff (Dick and Jane type).

1984…I was 3. I don’t remember anything for sure. We were probably in our second winter in North Dakota. I probably hadn’t met Awz yet. I have either a dream or a memory of when the house was being built — the driveway being piles of dirt, and my brother kicking me in the face and making my nose bleed.

Posted by snaotheus in Stuff I remember, 2 comments


Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat versus Chilkoot at 65 months

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

December 2018 Part II

We went up to Bellingham for Grandma Christmas. Northwood and Auntie L surprised Mom — they were on a road trip vacation, and planned to hit Bellingham on the 22nd, so we made sure Grandma Christmas coincided without letting Mom know about it. We ate pizza and take out Thai. We drank beer and gave presents. We smashed geodes with a hammer (one of Chilkat’s presents). We goofed about and had a generally good time. It’s nice when an unusual collection of family members get together.

Northwood and L came to stay with us for two nights after. KrisDi made salad (on L’s request) and bloody mary grilled cheese (her own idea). Chilkoot got to horseplay with an adult for a while, which is nice since I haven’t been able to do it for a while. They rode bikes and had a good ol’ time. Northwood even borrowed Chilkoot’s bike for a short ride.

Chilkoot wanted a beard to match Dad and Uncle. We worked on Chilkoot’s pinewood derby car, which included power tools like drills and miter saws. We let Chilkoot help operate the miter saw, but after he kept reaching toward it with his free hand, we made him put his hand inn his pocket and keep it there.

Christmas Eve, Northwood and L left for their next stop (Yellowstone), and we went to E Dubs’ for the traditional eating of Polish foods and opening of children’s presents.

Mom, Les, and D came to our place for Christmas Day, where of course more presents were opened. I got a couple books about beer, a sloth, a bottle of single malt Taiwanese whiskey (accompanied by a dreaded happy napper penguin), and several months ago an expensive lens that went with me to Guam. Kids got too much stuff and got rid of little to nothing. KrisDi’s primary present was a Vitamix (she’s agreed to get rid of her old blender, but hasn’t done it yet).

The day after, Mr. JJ and family came down for a Bourbon Barrel Beer tasting along with KrisDi’s deep dish pizza and pretzel bites. The kids also opened a snack store (last year, they sold us the beer we drank). The first of the three flights was Prairie BOMB! Deconstructed — a heavy-duty imperial stout normally brewed with vanilla, cacao, coffee, and peppers, deconstructed into a version with just the vanilla, a version with just the cacao, just the coffee, just the peppers…and the beer itself. It was interesting. We all liked the constructed BOMB! best, and varied about which of the deconstructions were our favorites. Our second round was a mishmash of beers that included some Ancient Ones from Fremont from two years ago. It was fun. The deconstructed versions of the BOMB! had some encoded text on them that Mr. JJ’s daughter and wife spent a bunch of time decoding manually (it was a recipe for seven layer dip). The last, ill-advised round, was a vertical of bourbon barrel aged Dark Stars. We were already a bit too inebriated to enjoy it properly; I didn’t finish the round, and Mr JJ and his son brought back Mrs JJ to drive them home. I stayed up for another 1-1.5 hours drinking non-alcoholic beverages and eating bready stuff while cleaning up to increase my chances of a pleasant morning.

The next day, we went to the Paramount Theater to see the Lion King. This was a Christmas present for Mom, Les, and D. And maybe the kids. I think everyone enjoyed it. The costumes were really interested. This was the day I had my MRI late in the evening.

On the 28th, we wanted to give the kids a little time away from each other. KrisDi took Chilkat to see Ralph Breaks the Internet, and I took Chilkoot to see Into the Spiderverse. Nothing particularly remarkable in my opinion, but the kids are each (generally) much more pleasant without their counterpart.

The following day, we dropped the kids off with Nana and Papa to stay for the night, while KrisDi and I went with P Dubs and T to a brewery, to lunch, and to a Thunderbirds hockey game. My back hurt a lot by the end of the game.

Finally, our friends from Medford came up to visit. KrisDi made Beef Wellington (this time with a wine sauce instead of a cream and green peppercorn sauce). She made Huevos Rancheros for breakfast (delicious — and surprisingly good pairing with a Corona at 8 AM). We mostly just hung out with them.

Finally, we had a New Year’s Eve party with lots of friends. The Medford friends, the False Alarms, the Popes, Lori’s family all came over; half of them stayed at our house. Of course, as mentioned previously, I had an unfortunately exciting end to the evening including an unplanned visit from Les. We made G False Alarm a North Dakota Iced Tea v2.0. He seemed to enjoy it. If you’re curious, this was v1.0.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment

December 2018 Part I

As mentioned in previous posts, my back has sucked since October. We couldn’t go to a tree farm and cut down a tree, we went to a market and bought one. I couldn’t move a ladder around, KrisDi had to move it up to the closet to get me into the attic to get Christmas stuff down; I couldn’t decorate the house.

KrisDi and the kids made gingerbread houses and decorated around the house as well. Chilkoot, for some reason unknown to me, built a bunch of Christmas-related costumes out of construction paper, and he and Chilkat held a fashion show to display them.

KrisDi had signed all four of us up for the Christmas Rush 5KChilkoot and KrisDi ran most of the way and finished in something like 41 minutes; Chilkat and I walked and finished in around 1:04. We got passed by the guy with the tuba, but we passed the guy that was half my height, twice my width, and recovering from a broken leg. Chilkat started complaining that we would never finish after about a mile, my back started complaining after about a mile and a half.

Later that day, we went to Elbe, WA to ride the Polar Express train there. My back was angry from the 5K and the drive out there and it was a crowd. I endured. The kids enjoyed it. We picked up Nana and Papa at their house, and met the E Dubs clan there and rode with them.

The next day, we planned to go to a birthday party for one of KrisDi’s internet friend’s kids. Chilkoot managed to damage himself just beforehand — jumping on the couch, he accidentally launched himself off over the arm, falling and hitting his belly on the corner of a table (probably about two inches from broken ribs), wedging himself between the table and the couch with his ribcage on one side of the table’s corner and his hips on the other.

We had KrisDi’s work Christmas party. This year, it was at the Museum of Flight instead of at the horse track. I haven’t gone the last few years, so I went this year. KrisDi’s parents also came along. It was a good time. We won a surprisingly competitive mashup of musical chairs and a scavenger hunt, in which KrisDi stashed a bajillion odds and ends in her purse to give herself a better chance of having the things we needed to find. Big D shouldered some poor dude off a chair to stay in it. KrisDi won a tub of beer. We got some whiskey as a white elephant gift.

After the party, we had free entry into the museum. We wandered around it for a while. Not sure how long, but my back was misbehaving badly. I was having tons of pain and weakness down the left leg, which left me literally dragging it around the museum.

Chilkat had her reconciliation. Not a thing I’m deeply familiar with, not being Catholic. As I understand it, it’s basically first confession. Chilkat dreaded it, wrote out her sins to confess, successfully confessed, did whatever penance she was supposed to do, and then a couple days later said she thought her heart was full of sin again. I’m fairly sure that “being mean to Chilkoot” and “not listening to Mom and Dad” were her primary sins.

The False Alarms, Popes, and I planned a Daddies / Eldest Daughters night. The smaller False Alarm girl came with us as well this time. We dressed up and went ice skating (great idea, for a guy with a shitty back, a guy with shitty feet, and a guy recovering from a severed Achilles tendon). That didn’t last too long, and then we went to dinner, and by that time it was late enough we went home.

Of course the kids wanted to open presents as soon as they started showing up under the tree, and this and this was part of their reaction when we told them no.

Posted by snaotheus in Family, Photo updates, 1 comment