July 2022 Part III

Click here or on the chipmunk above for more pictures

After the P + T wedding, we went back to normal life just for a little while. We worked a few days and then we went camping at Lake Wenatchee. I think I mentioned in some previous post that our A/C had been out of commission. We had a heat wave approaching, due to arrive on a Tuesday, which incidentally was the same day we were supposed to get our A/C replaced. So, I was sitting at my desk, watching the thermometer creep up above 80 by 10 AM, while two dudes were in our attic and back yard. A/C kicked on at 10:30 AM and I watched the thermometer slowly creep downward again…very gratifying (and very expensive).

We still got to “enjoy” the heat wave. We went out to Lake Wenatchee for our second and last camping trip of the year. Highs were hovering around 100 degrees the whole time we were there. Once again, we spent the weekend avoiding the sun and cooling off in the water. I played with the camera and learned the difference between ground squirrels, Douglas squirrels, and chipmunks. The kids rode around pretty independently a lot. We even let them swim unsupervised (you must wear your life jacket, you must stay within the official swimming area, and neither of you can stay if the other leaves, and someone will come and check on you periodically).

The campground was nice and maybe a bit more spread out than we’re used to, making bicycles a nice convenience. By this time I had received and was using our fancy new bike rack, now much less janky (and much more expensive) than the old one. Les & D’s site was right next to ours, but super far back from its attendant parking spot. We actually had to half-assemble their tent, put the un-inflated air mattress inside it, inflate the air mattress, and then carry the whole mess down to their spot.

KrisDi made Italian Beef Sandwiches and inside out biscuits and gravy. The ground squirrels were very comfortable around humans and very well-fed. You can see from the photos I linked above that we had fun trying to get them to pose with Chilkat’s toys’ backpack.

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July 2022 Part II

Click here or on the photo above for more pictures

Les tested positive for Covid 19 after our trip to Ohio. Nobody else did, though, despite lots of testing. I had a terrible night of sinus problems the last night we were there…but still, no positive tests. He never had any real symptoms and is fine.

Chilkoot chose a Polish theme for his birthday this year, I think mostly so he could ask KrisDi to make chruschiki (I’m sure I butchered that spelling). So we had lots of red and white decorations and lots of Polish food. He had a “friends” party, where he invited four kids from school/scouts, though he’s not very good at paying attention to other kids. I think they had fun. Then we had a family party the next day (with deep dish pizza).

Chilkoot got tons of presents, of course. D came without Les because of his positive test, and unfortunately she fell asleep a mile from home on her way back, running over two boulders and hitting a tree, totaling her VW. She sustained no injuries, just some discomfort afterwards (although we had to badger her into going in to the doctor to get checked out).

P Dubs’ wedding was the other main activity for the middle of July. I was in charge of picking up the keg, which mostly meant going to a brewery I wanted to visit anyway and meeting P Dubs for a beer in Tacoma, which was fine with me.

P Dubs and T Dog had a kid months before the wedding and had been living together for years. But the Catholic church is still the Catholic church, and put silly restrictions on their lives to allow them to be married in the church: No communion until the wedding (for all this “living in sin” and “child out of wedlock” nonsense), and no staying under the same roof after dark for a week before the wedding (P Dubs stayed with E Dubs). I think there was some other stuff, but it boils down to me just eye-rolling at bureaucratic pseudo-morality.

I was one of the groomsman and KrisDi was one of the bridesmaids, which was nice. This complicated logistics somewhat, in that kids and cars had to be moved around from prep locations to church to reception and home (plus during the week we needed to get to Gig Harbor for various activities while the kids were still participating in a Kettleworks summer camp week). We got that all figured out and everyone made it everywhere they were supposed to go, despite a sparsity of information about where and when anyone should be.

The wedding party rode a very shiny limo to the reception. The photographer took a bunch of pictures of us. Some of them were very silly and I look forward to seeing them. The children danced and played. The adults danced and drank and played. We had a great time. Ruth Moody, Chilkat’s favorite singer, was there as P Dubs’ groomsman’s “plus one” (they have a kid and have been living together for years but are not technically married). Chilkat’s response to being introduced was to screech and clam up, but we did get a nice picture of them together. Ruth seemed to think it was really sweet when Chilkoot thought that Paul Simon had covered the Wailin’ Jennys’ song, Love Me Like a Rock (the only version they’ve heard).

I had a good time teaching lots of people how to dance The Ice Auger.

It was nice to meet extended friends and relations of T Dog, and it was nice to see KrisDi/P-Dubs’ extended family again. Les drank enough that we were worried about him walking to his car, but everything turned out OK.

A couple of P Dubs’ friends didn’t make it to the reception because they tested positive after the ceremony. Some of uncles/aunts tested positive after, too. But, as far as I know, no one had any serious symptoms. Everyone made it home safely.

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July 2022 Part I

Click here or on the photo above for more pictures from July 2022

We went to KrisDi’s parents’ place in Bonney Lake for Independence Day again, since the neighbors (and the whole county) spend a ridiculous amount of money on fireworks and their county is basically unregulated as far as fireworks go. We drank a bunch of beer, including this crazy green one.

I had Japanese business guests for the first time since the pandemic started. Mostly that just meant I was in the office for three days straight.

We went to Cedar Point in Ohio for a family vacation. KrisDi’s family apparently made a yearly summer trip out of it when she was a kid, and she has fond memories of it, and she wanted our kids to experience it. I have devolved into just hating theme parks in general. Sure, I like roller coasters, but they’re not worth the lines and crowds and the teeth-gnashing prices. Since my back died, I can’t / won’t ride the roller coasters anyway, which means the parks are a complete waste for me. So my goal was to make it to the end of the trip without ruining it for everyone else. I’m not sure I succeeded.

We took a redeye out there — the kids first time, which they barely survived. We met with KrisDi’s old friend J and her three boys on the first day. Our kids were uninterested in the beach and just played in the pool instead. The got sunburnt and were tired and fell asleep in the sun and complained when I made them wake up, move to the shade, and eat stuff. We got our food from TGI Fridays, which is not exciting, except that they had Two Hearted on tap, which I love (and was pretty much the highlight of the trip for me).

So yeah…the next few days, as far as I experienced them, was mostly trying to stay out of the sun and the heat and wait for the trip to be over, interspersed with occasionally playing with the camera. The kids, KrisDi, and D rode a bunch of rides; Les rode about one a day; I treated it like the most expensive and least satisfying beer festival ever: Extremely expensive, poor selection, widely spaced. The kids did have one nice theme park experience that I approve of — no line on a ride (Blue Streak), so they just got to repeatedly ride it with no waiting. Chilkat estimates they rode it 25 times total during the visit.

The kids were exhausted and got sunburnt. We watched a parade one day. KrisDi got sick on one of the rides (she didn’t throw up on the ride, but twice after). As usual, I was up before anyone else, but it was hard to even find coffee (this place is its own isolated ecosystem, there is nothing you can walk to that is not completely tainted with the “we’re a fucking theme park” poison). I saw a nice sunrise (and a lot of bugs). We ate breakfast at Perkins (in the hotel) pretty much every day. KrisDi ate the potato pancakes at least twice. We stopped by Tony Packo’s for a Hungarian / general Eastern European lunch on the way home.

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June 2022 Part III

Click here or on the photo above for more pictures from June 2022

For Father’s Day / KrisDi’s birthday, we went to the Washington Brewer’s Festival, once on the adult-only Friday and once on the family-friendly Sunday. The “kids” made me a Belgian waffle and Scotch egg breakfast in bed.

I came outside one day and two dudes were spraying paint on our grass and sticking a probe in the dirt. Apparently one of our neighbors was down a 220V phase, and Puget Sound Energy had sent them out for an ostensibly routine find-and-repair job. Unfortunately, their test equipment did a horrible job of helping them locate the actual problem, and they dug a five foot deep hole in our yard before discovering the problem was in the neighbor’s yard.

We took our first of two camping trips of the year out to Lake Chelan right at the beginning of the first hot streak of the summer. That got us out of the un-air-conditioned house, but didn’t get us into a cooler situation, except that we could go wade in the nicely cold (and quite beautiful) lake.

Funny story: Chilkat and Chilkoot were swimming in the actual swimming area (as opposed to the non-swimming area closer to our campsite where we spent most of our water time). Chilkat was floating in a tube and looking the opposite direction. I thought I’d be Funny Dad (TM) and swim underwater and grab her legs. Unfortunately, she was actually crouching on a pile of big rocks, so I smacked my head and knee. No real injuries (except to pride).

Our site didn’t have a ton of shade, so at a particular point in the day we would all line our chairs up in the shade of a tree trunk.

I got sick of this janky-ass cheap-o four-bike transportation rack and reached out to my bicycle enthusiast brother for advice on a new rack, which I was able to acquire before the next camping trip.

KrisDi made banh mi at the camp site.

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June 2022 Part II

Click here or on the toucan above for more photos from June 2022

KrisDi’s dessert of choice for her birthday this year was an Oreo crust chocolate cheesecake. It took me forever to find regular Oreos in the wall of Oreo varieties at the grocery store. She took her birthday off and took herself out to lunch. We all went out to dinner at a local steakhouse, Melrose Grill. The food was good, though not cheap.

Chilkat had her recital associated with her voice lessons. Shy, from Once Upon a Mattress. She did great! Once again, bursting with pride.

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