Friday, November 26, 2004

Were Not Kwadin Anymore

What a long week, but it sure was fun. First I went downstate last Friday for a job interview that went very well. It’s an accounting administration position so it incorporates that two things I enjoy the most. So start crossing fingers and toes. Then I went to Mommy’s to see Adrienne and await the arrival of Jackson and Erika. The TV was muted to the Pistons/Pacers game while we watched Jackson, and we looked up to catch what we thought was the end of a rare fight in basketball. It turned out to be only the middle of an outright ugly brawl. Another black-eye for Detroit sports. One article I read regarding this disturbance mentions John Stewart’s take on Detroit sports when he is discussing a massacre of five people, in his book John says, “this is back when 5 people dead was a massacre and not just a Detroit Piston championship celebration.”

Saturday and Sunday were busy with the kids and getting things ready for our trip to Kewadin. Mommy and Adrienne got here Sunday afternoon, after the Lions disappointing loss to Minnesota, and we went off to Ponderosa for dinner. Sunday night was relaxing in front of the TV with American Dreams for Adrienne and Mom and football for Gordon and me.

Monday morning we were off to Kewadin with Mom and Adrienne on the bus and Gordon and I following in the car. We started in St. Ignace where we said hello to our angry bees and pouting gophers. We had lunch in the new restaurant at the casino and Mom and Adrienne boarded the bus to continue to the Soo. Once we were checked into the hotel and unloaded into the room we ventured down to the casino for a while and then took a ride to Brimley for Bay Mills Casino and then King’s Club for gambling and dinner. I don’t think I have been on a Monday before and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds at any of the casinos. Usually we nap around 8 pm during the casinos’ busy time and go gamble around 3 am, this time we were able to continue gambling throughout that time period and go to bed at a decent hour.

Up early (early is a relative term) to get Mom and Adrienne back on the bus to collect their package in St. Ignace. The hotel was great and allowed Mom to check in for Tuesday night before the bus left so we were able to just move our stuff down the hall instead of having to load it up and then unload it later. Gordon and I followed the bus down to St. Ignace and collected Mom and Adrienne, we gambled there for a short time and then got back on the road, more casinos to see. With a stop in Hessel we returned to the Soo and crossed the bridge to the Canadian side to check out what they had. We dropped Mom and Adrienne at the casino and Gordon and I went to the mall to pick up some favorites that are only available in Canada (Aero candy bars!), of course we were not able to leave without checking out all they had to offer. We found a great place called the Bulk Barn that had the best display of bulk items I have ever seen, and many, many items that I had never seen. I found the coolest thing there the fact that they rented cake pans and had hundreds of them lining the walls. They also had an extensive display of cake decorating items including colored sugars and sprinkles in every color imaginable. Gordon picked up some salt and vinegar popcorn salt that smelled so strong I immediately declared that it could only be ate when I wasn’t home. In Zellers we found the Aero bars and a Hershey bar called Sidekick, it is like a Three Musketeers with peanut butter in it. We also found some sea salt and pepper potato chips by Lays for Gordon. We went back to the casino to meet Mom and Adrienne who declared the casino a wash so we went back to the US to gamble there. We had dinner at the casino and drove back to Brimley in an attempt to earn enough points to get Gordon a birthday package. Unfortunately the points earned on this trip will go towards next year’s birthday but we did qualify for a $10 gas coupon. We had filled up before going to Canada so we didn’t need a lot of gas, and the coupon was only good at the Bay Mills gas station so we refilled up on the way back to the Soo ($3.45 worth, but out of habit Gordon pumped in the cheap gas), back in the Soo we played the gold tokens that Mom had accumulated. Playing $90 in tokens we cashed out $56 in quarters and split that 4 ways. By then it was nearing midnight and I was done. As Gordon and I made our way back to the lobby to go to the room we heard music coming from the concert hall in the casino. The Guess Who was scheduled to play the next day and they were rehearsing. Right out side the concert hall was a lounge area with comfortable couches and coffee, so we got comfortable and listened to them rehearse. At one point Gordon said that he wanted to go in and tell them that he would like to hear American Woman, and sure enough they started playing it. Mom joined us after a while, and they stopped playing. The lead singer came out to get a cup of coffee and we thanked him for the entertainment. With the show over we went up to the room for some much needed sleep.

Wednesday we checked out and drove down to St. Ignace for senior day (OMG Gordon qualified!) and more gold coins. We said goodbye to our gophers and bees and returned to West Branch just before the arrival of Erika and Jackson and the start of the snowstorm. Mommy and Adrienne met Erika at the hotel and helped her unpack. Gordon, Megan, and I met them up there after Megan got out of school for pizza and swimming. We then came home to begin preparation for Thanksgiving dinner.

The turkey was juicy, the potatoes perfect, and the company awesome for dinner on Thursday. Jackson absolutely loved the cat, Erika not so much. After dinner things got hectic as more people started arriving, soon we had a houseful of kids and parents. Adrienne had her camera going so look for pictures soon. We slowly threw them out of the house – although some are still sleeping on my couch.

Friday started at 5:30. Since I had not gone anywhere on Thursday I had to clear the now frozen solid snow from my car and then I made my way to Wal-Mart for the mad rush of shopping. I was extremely impressed with the way they ran the sale, as you came in they handed you a printed out sheet with their main sale items and what aisle they could be found in. They must have had every employee working as anywhere you turned there was somebody there ready and eager to help, with cashiers standing in front of the registers. I picked up everything that I remembered I wanted and was out of there by 6:45. I came home, finished my email to the interviewer from Friday, typed this up and am awaiting the boys in about an hour (Sabrina just woke up, had breakfast and is now reading a basketball card to me – did you know that Jay Humphries is a ga uh a rd?). Mom and Adrienne are stopping by before they leave for Indiana, but I’m guessing that Erika and Jackson are already on the road.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Best Laid Plans

The plan for yesterday was to drive down state, leaving here between 2-3 in the afternoon, go to the tobacco store, go to Mommy's, go to a meeting and be back home around 11. The reality is around 11 Monday night Bob called and asked if I could take him and Dorothy down state with me on Tuesday since he bought a new car down there that they needed to pick up and Dorothy can't drive at night. They do a lot for us so of course I said yes. He then said that he got off work at 5 and should be ready to go by 5:30, eew. I said the sooner the better as my meeting started at 7 and though you are never late for a meeting I would like to get there as early as possible. He said no problem. As Bob was Gordon's ride to work on Tuesday, Gordon would be getting off at the same time and could go with us. Gordon called around 4:15 and said that they would be leaving Houghton Lake in about a 1/2 hour and be here around 5:30. He then called at 5:10 and said they were at Dorothy's and ready to go. Now ready is a relative term and I know what my relatives mean when they say ready so I went to Dorothy's. Ready there means, we still have a few phone calls to make, put some chicken on for those not making the trip down state, and oh yeah make a pot of coffee to drink on the way down.

Finally on the road several comments were made about Mario Andretti and about my pilot's license but nothing was said about hurtling through space.
At one point we had a visitor who wasn't a freeway traveler as we were making a trip to Bay City I offered to take the side roads but was told the freeway was fine. As I was getting on to the freeway, with a speed limit of 70 where I knew the only two people going the speed limit or less were somewhere in front of me riding side by side, I heard, "Is it just me or does it feel to anyone else that we are hurtling through space?" I slowed down and drove under the speedway the rest of the way.
So I just continued on my way. Many comments were made about where they get gas, and the lack of space in the back seat. But I said I'm planning on stopping at Grand Blanc at my gas station unless anyone needs to stop sooner. They all said they were fine, and my gas station came through for me with the best price on the freeway. Of course stopping for gas is also relative and in this case included fixing up hotdogs, changing minds on drinks and going back in to get napkins. We made it to the car dealer at Plymouth and Telegraph by 7:45 (they closed at 8:00) I assume all went well since I dropped Bob and Dorothy off and have not heard from them yet.
We made it to the meeting and then to Mom's dropped off stuff, picked up stuff, took stuff out, down, and off. Missed the tobacco store but I will be back down on Friday for a job interview. The interview is on Northwestern between 13 Mile and Middlebelt. I picture 13 Mile and Middlebelt crossing, so Northwestn must run crosswise. I will stay and see Adrienne but can't stay for the pizza party as I have kids on Saturday. But Adrienne and Mommy will be coming here on Sunday and then Kewadin on Monday.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Watching Football

Watching football with Bryan used to be a struggle. He loves watching the game and spent the entire game saying “who’s winning?” “who do you want to win?” “is that the white team or the blue team?” “how many touchdowns do they have?” from the moment the game started until the final buzzer. At which point became “who’s playing the next game?” “who do you want to win?” “is that the blue team or the white team?” “how many touchdowns do they have?”

But he’s finally starting to get it. Watching with him on Saturday (MSU v WSU) was like watching with a whole new kid. When the game came on he said, “they’re tied – nobody’s winning and nobody’s losing.” We moved on to explaining first downs, that if they went past the yellow line they moved the line and got four more tries. He would watch real close and if the didn’t make it would count down the number of tries they had left. All the while watching the top of the screen to see if a flag was thrown. He was amazing, then the quarterback threw a pass out of bounds and he reminded me of Erika as he yelled “Foul Ball!”

We didn’t really root for MSU as we much as we rooted against WSU. A loss for WSU meant if U of M beats OSU this weekend they (U of M) go on to the Rose Bowl. MSU came through with a final score of 14-49, lots of touchdowns. (Pronounced sushdowns.) GO Blue!

Saturday, November 13, 2004


Okay anyone trying to get to the yahoo pictures try again and let me know if it works. Apparently they updated their system, just signing in seemed to work and I was able to access them after signing out but I may have had a cookie on my system.

All is fine here, I have all three boys today and Megan. Megan can be extremely helpful unless she's not. She gets along with Bryan a lot like Melody got along with her when they were the ages she and Bry are now. Of course Megan does not remember it that way, Melody was mean to her for no reason and Bryan is a brat that deserves for her to be mean to him. But she will be leaving soon for cookie booth, and then I will be on my own.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Playing with the toys. We have under the tree all the fun noisy christmas stuff we have collected over the years. With the boys here we had many different carols going all at once. Tomorrow when we have Sabrina and not Joshua the kids will be putting on the rest of the ornaments which are in the cookies boxes right now. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Family Values

Yesterday as I watched reality TV it hit me that this is the best reflection of Family Values we have. Through these mommy switching shows we have 'met' 20 or so different families. All real families, this is not the Brady Bunch where everything works itself out in a 1/2 hour, or Springer where - well you all know who goes on Springer, but real families. Now I am willing to admit that the producers picked the quirkiest of the quirky for the show, and of the two weeks that are taped we only see the juiciest moments, but we are given an insight to the daily lives of a wide variety of families. Each of these families has their own set of family values. And what a wide range of values it is, there seem as many variances in family values as there are in red nail polish. And yet each family works in its own way. In each family the kids were taken care of and loved. There was no abuse or neglect. I think one of the clear differences was this week's Monday episode, one family had walls full of animal heads the other more crosses than the unknown soldier cemetary, and yet each family had their own unique connection with a god. America is great, and unique, in that diversity. The ability to worship at the altar of your choice, whether it be synagogue, mosque, chapel, church, TV, or refrigerator. This is what I am fearful of when the family is no longer allowed to pick their own alter, as laws designed to make us better people are decided by people who clearly define what 'better' is based on their own altars.

The other great line from TV last night was on West Wing when a homosexual senator wanted an ammendment to ban all marriage he said, "You don't approve of my lifestyle and I don't approve of yours, so let's take the government out of the business of marriage and put it back where it belongs in synagogues and churches, and casinos and department stores."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Day of Mourning

I must have slept through the announcement that today was a day of mourning and no new blogs could be posted!

I'm not sure who Milo2020 is but here is my reply:
Depends on your concept of God. Personally, I would have to believe that someone who considers this election proof that God hates America, or that God had any say it in at all would see this as a move towards God. To me this election clearly shows that the American people are ready to remove the separation of church from state and move towards a society closer to the Taliban. The proposal in 11 states that passed adding the definition of marriage to being between one man and one woman, is clearly a biblical declaration bent on stripping human rights from a section of the American population. The election of a man clearly against Roe V Wade, who created Faith-based initiatives (one of which the Helping Marriage initiative goes into homes of low-income, non-married with children couples counseling on the benefits of marriage and assisting the father - the mother needs to be home to take care of the children - in getting a job) shows that the American people see government and religion as serving the same purpose in their lives. And the willingness to demand the same religious beliefs of the general public as religious beliefs become law. It's starting to seem to me that the terrorist have already won, all of the freedoms that they hate us for will slowly slip away under a Bush administration and a republican run congress.

In other news, locally we were successful in ousting our local prosecutor. One huge ego which will have to find a new nest.

I have not seen any new commercials, with the 3 hours per day that have been freed up by political ads one would think they would find something interesting to fill it. But I guess it's like a baby getting potty trained, you feel like you should have all of that diaper money just lying around but even the first week it is sucked up without notice.

All in all a pretty blah day with no new posts to give a ray of sunshine.

Never Underestimate the Stupidity of the American Public

I know that they said it was going to be a close race, but I really just assumed that the pollers weren't talking to the correct people. I mean Danielle had my phone number, and yet not one poller called. I certainly thought Kerry had it in the bag when Green Bay beat the Redskins on Sunday.

Listening to the radio as I drove back home tonight they were talking to a nineteen year old student named Emma waiting to vote in Ohio. She got to the poll at 2:00 in the afternoon and was finally able to cast her vote at 11:57, almost a full ten hour wait to vote. How many people couldn't wait that long? How many had jobs or families that they had to go to?

As I type this some networks have given Ohio and 269 electoral votes to Bush meaning the best Kerry can hope for is a tie to be broken by a Republican House of Representatives. I am totally stunned at the thought of another 4 years of Bush.

Locally, Michiganders are no smarter than the general American population and have passed the casino and the ban on gay marriage proposals. Speaking with someone the other day who herself had been married three times, she said she was against gay marriage as that would damage real marriages. I asked her which one of her marriages it would have affected? What I wanted to ask was which one of your husbands would not have married you had he had the option of marrying another man? I really just don't get the way some people think. But with another four years of Bush I'm sure I will be seeing more and more that is harder and harder to believe.

Oh well, California came through, Michigan is still to close to call but Kerry is leading. Indiana only needed 500,000 more flip-floppers and we could've had 'em. And we all know in Florida "My brother Jeb has some votes set aside for me, for me!"

This election will probably not be official for days, and even those of us unemployed must sleep.