Sweet Holy Mother of Goodness!!

27 08 2008

**Reposted because when I posted it last night I actually ended making a new page instead of a new post. Enjoy!!

So lately (as in the last 3-4 days) at the “Casa de More Than One Baby At a Time” we have been experiencing a shift in relative baby cute’a’tude. We have had babies that want to eat a lot, want to scream and cry a lot, and just about the time you think they are down and ready to rest they want to do it all over again…A LOT!! Thinking that maybe we’ve stumbled upon a double case of baby reflux or something similar, Mrs. M got in touch this evening with the nurse at the Little Kiddie Doc’s Office. After a lengthy explanation of the symptoms and other goings on she received the following diagnosis from the nurse “I know you don’t want to hear this but it all sounds pretty normal”. Basically they are at the point in their actual newborn stage where they are starting to wake up, and be harder to appease. Tonight I made a desperate run to Target and Wal-Mart to investigate such proven (rumored) success stories as ‘baby swings’ and ‘noise machines’. I’ve learned two things in this chase. First of all I learned that the baby swing has changed dramastically from the time myself and my siblings were children. Tell me if you remember this one. The baby swing was the thing that had the crank at the top (which couldn’t have been any louder if it was attached to the front of an early Ford sedan) and you cranked it up to its stopping point in which the mechanism inside caused the swing to sway back and forth. The gamble for the parents was to catch the swing before it stopped all the way and thus risk an awakened baby who would scream to high heaven, but at the same time had to re-crank the swing and hope they slept through the noise. Swings now require batteries, 20 minutes of assembly, and a small loan from the bank. Anyhow, I bought one, put it together and at press time we have not yet tried it out.

The second and MOST IMPORTANT thing I learned tonight (that I sort of already knew thanks to Asher and Silas’ parents) was that ‘white noise’ for babies is the magic-ticket-jackpot of awesomeness. I was unable in my search to find a sound machine to put in the baby girls room so I came home without. It did, however, occur to me once I arrived home that if I put the receiver end of the baby monitor in their room and turn off the send half it creates static/white noise. Oh GREAT glorious staticy white noise. My children have slept from 9:00 p.m. to now (10 ’til 11)…you think its not much but try non-stop screaming babies it really feels like it has been all night. They hardly wanted to wake up to eat!! This is an amazingly good temporary fix until I find a proper sound machine (which I will be doing straight away tomorrow.

In the mean time I hope you all sleep soundly tonight. It is my hope that Mrs. M and I will be doing the same.

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The Olympics for Liberals

26 08 2008

Sunday night saw the end of the Olympic Games in Beijing, and Monday night brought us the beginning of the Democratic National Convention. It was a great first night highlighted by a tribute to and a speech by Ted Kennedy, and also a speech by Michelle Obama. The closing prayer last night was offered by Donald Miller (a favorite of many of us). I was disappointed that during the prayer MSNBC instead showed Tom Brokaw doing analysis of Michelle Obama’s speech and did not actually cover Donald Miller’s prayer (although you could see his name and face on the big screen in the background. Below is the text of his prayer and if you like you can see a youtube clip of it below. I am excited about this phase in our country’s growth and I really do hope that Senator Obama can change the nature of some of the things that are broken with our country and that most of all we can be unified in our desire to change and be something better (as a country) than we already are. More convention updates coming this week. Stay tuned.

Prayer from the Democratic National Convention on Monday night. All credit to Donald Miller:

“Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.

Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.

Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

Let Him be our example.

Amen.”





A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the X-Games…

20 08 2008

…the BMX Supercross team got lost and wound up at the Olympics. Tonight as I continued my viewing of these Olympic games I was surprised to learn that one of the newer events in this years games is that of BMX Supercross. I don’t know what the decision making process for inclusion was on this one but it (in my opinion) is certainly not a sport that I would consider worthy of Olympic stature. Anybody else?

**Editor’s Note After the Fact: Seriously? We are letting go of Olympic baseball and softball after this year and we are replacing it with BMX biking? I think I saw this when I used to play “Paperboy” on my old 8-Bit Nintendo.





How Great Is This

10 08 2008

Candy shop owner Jose Martinez shows an official Spanish 1 Euro coin with the face of Spanish King Juan Carlos (L) and another one altered to look like a face of cartoon character Homer Simpson in the northern Spanish town of Avile August 8, 2008. Martinez found the Homer Simpson coin in his shop’s cash register while counting the days’ transactions last week. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso





And the Winner Is…

6 08 2008

So I’ve been dragging my feet just a little bit in getting my summary post of the “Crazy Go Nuts University Chicken O’Rama Thing Challenge Fun Run Race for the Cure…Pro Am”. But none the less here goes:

We will do this “Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger” style. First of all we will get the Wags of Fingers out of the way so as not to sour the rest of the post. A HUGE Wag of my finger (I’ll let you guess which one) goes out to the following people for not even attempting the challenge: Mac Boy, New Car, and ‘Lil Sis. You all should be ashamed and spend the next 2 days cleaning the crisper drawer in your fridge with your tongue.

Moving on…

Tips of the Hat

First of all to JMG

J’s entry into the competition was fairly standard. He did change from saffron rice to brown as a means of reducing the sodium content of the meal (an admirably health conscious move). The addition of a green salad with fresh tomatoes gave the meal a little more color on the plate, and the watermelon dessert was a great summer time treat that was sure to have been very enjoyable.

Secondly we have Hooks

The “Traveling Gourmand” wowed us all by making a major shift in recipe by replacing the chicken breasts with some fish (she believes it to have been Cod). A gutsy move that certainly appears to have paid off. While living in the land of “not everything is readily accessible” she still managed to create a delicious looking dish that was clearly a hit with the gentlemen of her workplace.

Our Third entrant was Malerie Varlowe

Varlowe’s creativity showed in several areas of her dish. The first place we see derivation was in the creation of a “pastey rub” instead of marinating the chicken. This dish was also served on brown rice with a side of salsa for dipping and such. The final element of the dish, that took me a little getting used to, was that of roasted green beans. I didn’t think the two fit together, but the more I thought about it the more I am sure it was a great compliment to the meal. She also mentioned cerveza which scores points in my book any time!

Lastly but not leastly we have Mr. H

Mr. H’s dish was the first to be prepared (before there even was a contest), and Mr. H also gets credit for the creation of the official name of the dish “New Papi’s Hat Dance in Your Mouth Chicken”. The only dish to be served on a dark colored plate (very inclusive) Mr. H also went in a more traditional direction as far as the side dish goes. He served BlackBeans (again with the inclusion) with some melted white (it was bound to happen) cheese on top. Mr. H’s dish was also the only one served on a square plate (very ‘modern art’ of him).

All in all every dish was a smashing success. I have not heard stories of anyone’s demise as a result of eating NPHDIYMC. So as we come to the end of the review and you salivate greatly at who is the winner we will do the original ending and the “Upwards Basketball” ending.

Original Ending:

The winner is………HOOKS! The Hong Kong Queen of Cuisine  used her imagination and not only put a unique spin on the dish but managed to overcome things like language barriers and communism in order to create a great plate.

“Upwards Basketball” Ending:

The winner is………EVERYONE!! Hooray for not having to suffer culinary defeat at the hands of those you know and love. Now we can all continue our lives with our self esteem intact. Weeeee!!





Things That Are Hurting America #3

1 08 2008

TACO BELL

We’ve all been there. Admit it you’ve had a night like this. It is late, you have been awake just long enough that you are a little delirious, perhaps you’ve had a little bit more to drink than you needed. You’re looking around seeing many beautiful ladies/dudes in your periphery and the field is wide open. You’re judgement is just impaired enough that you are willing to play “let’s make a mistake tonight and hope we don’t make eye contact tomorrow”. As you look around you set your sights on the siren that is calling out to you and makes you say “YES I CAN”. The next morning you wake up feeling the ‘hair of the dog’ in your mouth, an urgent rubmling in your tumbly, and the cold white dread of “oh my God, what have I done?” and more terrifyingly “how will this affect my future?”. The evil coyote that you spent your evening of bad judgement with was none other than Taco Bell.

And Taco Bell is hurting America. First of all we have Taco Bell as its own corporate entity. Taco Bell, which was founded in California in 1962 by Glen Bell is an American fast food restaurant that serves “mexican food”. What Taco Bell really serves is anything that has cheese, refried beans, lettuce, nacho style cheese, LOW grade beef replacement product, and did I mention cheese all in some form of tortilla. This food is the lowest common denominator in American fast food. I find it hard to believe that if it were not for the late night college/drunken party/high school non thinking crowd that they would not still be open. Let me put it this way Taco Bell is not where you go if you are making an informed decision about feeding yourself. I say all of these disparaging things in the light of the fact that I have eaten WAY MORE Taco Bell in my life than I would like to admit. I’m a part of the problem here that is for sure. For example on Wednesday evening I went and got Taco Bell for Laura and me for supper. It was a bad mistake (one made surprisingly because I hadn’t even been drinking and it was before 10 p.m.) one that my stomach paid for through out the night and most of the next morning. I should have known.

Similarly to Taco Bell hurting America, a second component to this particular post is that the Taco Bell on Vaughn Road next to Sommer’s Place is definitely hurting America. That’s right I’m calling them out. You will recall recently that I told a story about our experience at the Drive Through. Well on my trip the other night I decided I would outsmart the system by going inside and ordering the food to-go. Imagine my surprise when it didn’t go the way I thought. Here’s the conversation:

Me: I’d like a number 6 (two chalupas and a regular taco) and I would like to make that regular taco a supreme please

TB Worker: You can’t do that

Me: I’m sorry?

TBW: I don’t think you can make that taco a supreme

Me: Really?

TBW: Yeah, but (wait for it, wait for it) you can add tomatos and sour cream if you want though.

Me: (standing silently wondering how much of my brains will get on his upside down name tag when my head explodes in about .4 seconds)

Summary of the rest of that trip: both our orders were wrong, I specifically added sourcream to my ‘mexican pizza’ (which was nothing more than two stale pieces of tortilla like substance with LOTS of refried beans, a speck of beef product, and some cheese on the top…no tomatos, no scallions, NO SOUR CREAM) and of course the sour cream was not there, they got the hard vs. soft taco thing wrong (its a lot of choices I know), and I am a little bit shocked the drinks weren’t wrong which would have been weird because I filled them myself.

Anyhow. Just say no to Taco Bell. I think, and I know this is a bold statement, but I might be done with TB for good, because from TB comes NOTHING good.