Photo updates

This is where I post updates on the photos I upload.

January 2019 Part I

Well, I’ve already talked about how my new year started. I’ll talk in more detail about the continuing Back Saga in a separate post, but I got another lumbar MRI and a cortisone shot. I mentioned previously a lying down workstation — I used a Bluetooth split keyboard, a Bluetooth trackball, and the stand from my floating jackolantern so I could lie down on my back, with my feet up, my hands on either side of my hips, and a computer screen directly in front of my face as I look straight up. I started using a cane around the office, and one of my team members gave me a sweet-ass upgrade.

KrisDi started to prep for Chilkat’s birthday party. This year, she turns 8 and chose Harry Potter as her theme. The picture above was one taken in preparation for making invitations. She made a bunch of unfinished wands for the kids to paint or color during the actual party. I helped by suggesting using a pencil sharpener to start rounding the tips.

We finished Chilkoot’s pinewood derby car. He decided it needed to be painted like flames, and that it should named Daddy.

The pinewood derby itself was odd. It was a much smaller crowd than the Girl Scouts’ version with Chilkat last year — but it was very disorganized. They didn’t even get started until about an hour late because they didn’t have the track set up. Many of the cars were more fancily made (I have the impression the dads “helped” a lot). Chilkoot didn’t win anything, and mostly just ran around not paying attention.

Chilkoot’s front two teeth have been very loose, so much so that her left front tooth could be described as dangling. But, she completely freaks out if we even mention the tooth, acting as if we’re going to smash her over the head and pull it out with pliers. We let it go until she had her dentist visit, where she acted like a total idiot. Chilkoot was even infected by her shitty behavior. The dentist said the tissue is inflamed and that she thinks Chilkat avoiding the tooth during brushing was starting to cause problems. Chilkat has a cavity, and has to go back to get it fixed. The dentist said she could “extract” the teeth at ~$250 a pop. Total bullshit for something a fumbled toothpick could handle, so we told the girl we’re going to do it whether she likes it or not. Part of our job as parents is to help her take care of herself, and there’s no guarantee she’s going to like everything we need to do to achieve that.

For the most part, it’s been a quiet month while I potter about the house ineffectually, make KrisDi do all the chores, and try to figure out my stupid worthless back.

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Comparisons

Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat, December 2017 versus December 2018

Chilkat versus Chilkoot at 65 months

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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.

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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.

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Photocounts

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