December 10, 2014

Christmas Wreath 2.0

As I was driving to work this morning, the sun was rising, and it was (as to be expected for the season) very southernly oriented.  Melissa and I fabricated a wreath out of some of the shards of narsil computer RAM that i've been saving since the early Nineties.

November 21, 2014

Take Five

One evening in 1998, we were visiting the Yafo (Jaffa) street in Jerusalem, enjoying the various sights and sounds of the bustle of modern life in Israel, when I heard a lone saxophonist belting out some Jazz.  The ghost of the tune haunted my subconscious for a few years, before I was able to track down the spectre.  Now whenever I hear the song, I remember that lone saxophonist, belting out his heart to the night.

November 15, 2014

Fermented Carbonated Coffee

Long ago and far away...  it was the spring of 1996.  I was a freshman in college, living in the newest dorm on campus.  On of my friends from High School had preceded me to college, and lived down the hall at the dorm.  He happened to also work at Starbucks. At that time, Starbucks was still a Pacific Northwest phenomenon.  A store didn't arrive in Idaho for several more years.  However, in Salem, Oregon, it was now beginning its domination of the coffee scene.

Starbucks was looking for ways to revolutionize the coffee industry.  Besides launching spacecraft crammed with coffee beans toward the sun, they were trying new and exciting products out on the general populace.  One of their new products was Mazagran.  Mazagran was a carbonated cold coffee beverage.  It was not popular, and as such, my barista friend ended up with a four pack.  It wasn't very good, and many were already prejudiced against cold coffee beverages (excluding espresso beverages, especially the then new blended espresso beverages).

One afternoon, my friend opened a new Mazagran.  He had drank a Mazagran the day before, and this Mazagran would be his second or third.  As my friend was drinking the Mazagran, he remarked, "Every time I drink one of these, they taste more and more like beer."  Puzzled, he shared it with the rest of us, and we agreed.  The Mazagran seemed to transmute into beer.  We took the Mazagran to the resident expert, and we were assured that indeed it had fermented.

A burnt tartness bubbling up to intermix both the properties of caffeine, carbonation, and alcohol.

November 14, 2014

Learning about how we got our Bible

I've been teaching a class at our church, How we got our Bible, as a followup for a class I taught last year, Bible Study Methods.  One topic of interest to several of the attendees in the first class was Bibliology, specifically, how the Christian Bible developed.  I finished the class, and proceeded directly into Sinus infection.

Coffee Table - Round 2

The color of the first coffee table did not take well to its new abode.  So after trying it out for a bit, and talking Melissa out of attempting to remove the stain, we manufactured another coffee table.  It's pretty much the same table with a different color.  However, during the drying process, a cold weather front rolled in, which slowed the project down a bit.  We finally got the table inside, and just in time, as the snow stacked up yesterday and today.

November 13, 2014

Coffee Table - Round 1

Melissa was looking at Pintrest and ran across this neat coffee table design.  Our previous coffee table was a large 1970's tempered glass circle atop gilded tentacles.  We had spray painted the gold paint with hammered bronze paint, to remove some of the late sixties and early seventies gaudiness.  While the previous table was battle proven, Lauren was crawling up on the glass table and slid the top off inadvertently.  So we decided to fashion up a new coffee table.  We went with a gray weathered stain.  I also beefed up the plan with some biscuits between the boards.

September 21, 2014

Toothpaste Flavored Ice-Cream

A few weeks ago, Lauren somehow snagged mommy and daddy's toothpaste, and was lugging it around the house. We then went somewhere in the car, and she smuggled it into the car. On our return trip, she started coughing, and we found her having a gulp of toothpaste and toothpaste face™. She was fine after some water.

Fast forward a few weeks, and Melissa bought mint chocolate ice cream from the store, and Lauren was asking for ice cream. Lauren got her ice cream cone, took a bite, and stated, "Toothpaste!?" 

Yum! Toothpaste flavored ice cream.

September 9, 2014

Craigslist Kayak

Yesterday,  we celebrated a new addition to our family: It's a Pelican 130T, a two person 'sit on top' kayak.  We dispatched it to the backyard for the toddler stress test, which it has passed... so far.

August 27, 2014

Spirit of Boise Balloon Festival

We got up early this morning to drive down to Ann Morrison Park for the annual Spirit of Boise Balloon festival.  The Festival spans several mornings and an evening, but Wednesday is the kid friendly day when youngsters can roam the skies in a tethered balloon.  Melissa and Lauren got to fly the friendly skies. 

August 26, 2014

Burgdorf Hot Springs

On our family vacation, we visited one of my favorite places, the Hot Springs at Burgdorf.  It was a very peaceful and serene morning that we visited.  We didn't stay too long, but it was great to visit again.




August 25, 2014

Coffee Stop

While we were in Oregon, we enjoyed excellent coffee from many different places:
  • Dapper and Wise
    • A roaster that roasts espresso in Hillsboro.  Visiting their tasting room, it mostly featured espresso, espresso and lemonade, espresso and sugar, espresso and hot water, etc.
  • Mojo 
    • A small drive through coffee kiosk in Lincoln City, featuring Stumptown coffeee.  We got Lauren her first hot chocolate there.
  • Governor's Cup
    • An coffee house in Salem, which has become been around for quite some time, as far as coffee houses in Salem.

August 22, 2014

Oregon Coast - Lighthouse

While over at the Oregon coast, we visited the famed Tillamook Cheese factory, and then took a turn over to Cape Meares State Park, and the Cape Meares Lighthouse.  A big attraction at the state park is the Octopus tree, which might be representative of several of the various sites on the Oregon coast.  On the way back from the coast, we stopped at Multnomah falls.

August 21, 2014

Oregon Coast

We recently went to the Oregon coast for a week.  We went to Neskowin, North of Lincoln City.  It was a good week, featuring classic Western Oregon weather of fog and rain.  Lauren experienced the ocean for the first time, getting knocked over by a wave.  By the end of the week, she'd recovered and was frolicking amongst the waves.



August 20, 2014

Pacific Northwest Live Steamers 60th Anniversary

On our recent vacation to the coast, we stopped at the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers.  The weekend that we stopped in was the 60th anniversary of the train park in Mollala.  Lauren had a fun time, and there was a troupe of old cars (model T's, model A's, Buicks, etc) visiting also.  The train park there has four acres that the tracks run around, including bridges, fountains, and a creek.  You can see from Lauren's smile that we all had a fun time, despite the heat.

August 18, 2014

Waterskiing and Boating

Whilst up at Payette lake, we had a fun time boating, canoeing, and waterskiing.  We drove grandpa's ski boat around several times.  We canoed out to Shellworth island, which featured raspberries, huckleberries, and even some wild blueberries.  And I went waterskiing one fine calm morning on glasslike water.