Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Smoke and Mirrors

I went to the dentist today to get a filling. At my last cleaning, the hygenist said there was a small cavity in one of my molars, so I made an appointment to get it filled. Today was the day, so I show up expecting a minor deal. Once I'm in the chair, the dentist gets the drill out and starts going to work. Without novacaine. Must be a small cavity, right?

Except as he's digging around, he says, "Wow, that didn't show up on the X-Ray." Not a good sign. Turns out I had TWO cavities. And the second was deeper than the X-Ray indicated. So he drills some more. And then starts yanking stuff out with one of those dental picks. And starts drilling some more. And pulling more stuff out. Then he switches bits in the drill. And smoke starts coming out of my mouth. No lie, SMOKE! Mind you, STILL no novacaine.

So he keeps drilling and pulling stuff out with the pick, until finally YOUCH! He stops drilling and says "I think we got it now." I hope so!

Anyway, he then proceeds to fill the cavities and the teeth are good as new. Lucky for him we were soccer buddies as kids. Otherwise I might have had to say something about the smoke. Well, at least there weren't flames coming out. Which actually would have been cool. If that happened to someone else.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Date Night

Last night the Wife and I got to go out on a nice date night. We got a sitter for the kids, one of the teens in the band. Even though she's 16, she still knows how to act like a kid and the boys had a lot of fun with her.

The Wife and I went out to dinner (Applebee's) and then a movie. I have a bunch of free movie tickets from work so it was time to use some. We went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was pretty good. It's always hard to see a Harry Potter movie after reading the book. There's just no way you can cram an 800 page book into a little over two hours. Like Goblet of Fire, they got all the main elements in the movie, but so much was left out. Kreacher was barely in it and more would have been cool. I just love Alan Rickman's Snape and wished they'd given him more screen time. He steals every scene he's in. The actress that did Delores Umbridge nailed the role. Just the right mix of sickly sweet and evil.

The only other thing we would have liked was to have the painting of Sirius' mother scream at everyone. That would have been so cool! Still, it was a nice night out. We'll have to do it again soon.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm done

Well, I finished the final Harry Potter novel last night. It was quite good. Didn't want to put it down and couldn't wait to pick it back up again when I did. As someone mentioned, it does wrap up all the loose ends. Many books or series end and you say to yourself, "So what happens now?" Not so with this book.

Considering all the late nights I spend getting through this book, I'm going to get some sleep tonight.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gooooooooaaaaaaaaallllllllll!

I just had to post this. Last night was Grasshopper's last game of the soccer season. Though he's been playing well and getting better every game, he's been down on himself since every kid on the team but him has scored a goal this season. He played offense the first half but didn't score. Second half he started on defense, so I figured no goal this year for him. We'll, the 4th quarter, the coach puts him back on offense. And with less than a minute to play in the game, guess who puts one in the back of the net, with the left foot even?

That's right, the Grasshopper! He was so excited. Even the other parents were excited for him since they know he hadn't scored yet. He was so proud of himself. He played the best game ever last night and capped it off memorably. So big pat on the head for my little boy.


In Memoriam

I just found out today that one of my absolute favorite guitarists you've never heard of, Kelly Johnson, formerly of Girlschool, died just last week. I'd heard she was fighting spinal cancer. I'm quited saddened. Maybe I'm getting old or something, but I'm getting sick of people I know or admire in my age bracket dying of this damn disease. We're losing too many good people.

If you want to check out who she is and what she's done, click on the link below. Girlschool was the first serious all female metal band and opened the door for many later female rockers. Kelly kicked ass. My sypmathies go out to her family, friends, and fans.

Kelly Johnson Tribute Page

1958-2007





Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter Hiatus

Like many of you, I received the the last Harry Potter book in the mail yesterday. Unlike many of you, I haven't started reading it yet. I know, most of you have finished it by now and are on your second read. So sue me. Anyway, tonight I shall begin and expect to have it done in a few days. As most of my posts are written in the evenings, I doubt I'll be posting anything new until I've finished reading, probaby by the end of the week. I will still be checking blogs during lunch time at work, so I'll be stopping by your place at some point.

See you here in a few days!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cub Adventure Camp

As promised, here's the post.

Cub Adventure Camp is a 3 day Cub Scout camp. I went with Maverick 2 years ago and wanted to give Grasshopper a chance to go as well. The camp has 5 different villages, Hihg Seas (sleep in ships), Frontier Fort, Medevil Castle, Native American, and Mountain Man (sleep in tents). Mountain Man is only for 5th graders since it's preparing them for Boy Scouts. Last time I did the Native American village with Maverick and we slept in teepees. Sounds cool, but if it rains, it all goes in the open hole in the top and soaks everyone. This year, they got rid of the teepees and built a long house. With a roof. And bunk beds. It was WAY more comfortable to sleep in.

Day 1 was mostly orientation. We arrived, got our stuff in the village, took the swim test, took a tour of the place, and basically hung out. There was a big camp fire all the kids attended and the staff put on skits. It was great fun.

Day 2 was the real program. Morning consisted of village time, which was fun "native american" games. Followed by Archery. That was a total blast. Our instructor was blind. Yes, you read that right, she could not see. And was a dead shot. She could put her hands on a student and tell them what was wrong with their technique. We found out an interesting thing at archery. Grasshopper was trying to hit the target and was firing straight but consistently to the left. Turns out, he's left eye dominant. We came back later during open program and tried him shooting left handed, and he rocked! He does everything but shoot right handed. Pretty cool!

After Archery was fishing. Mind you, I don't fish and don't have a clue. But to earn a belt loop, Grasshopper had to bait a hook and try to fish. Not only did he bait his own hood, he caught not one, but TWO fish! First time out. Not bad for a beginner. After fishing was lunch, followed by boating. We played capture the flag. Of course, our team won every time! Next was swimming. Luckily the weather was nice and the pool was warm. After that game shooting. They let the boys learn to shoot BB guns. Grasshopper enjoyed it, but had trouble keeping his aim steady. Again, left handed shooting!

Next was nature time, where they working on a belt loop requirement. Next was dinner, followed by open program. We went back and did more shooting and archery. Grasshopper earned a shooting pin by shooting in 4 different positions, standing, sitting, kneeling, and prone. He liked that a lot. We then had a village campfire which took us until lights out at around 10 pm. What a day!

The next day was basically the same, except another village time after archery and we left after dinner. At archery, we tried shooting at balloons. Grasshopper (or I for that matter) didn't hit a balloon, but he got an award for sportsmanship, which he was proud of. During boating, we did a sponge war. Let me tell you, there's no mroe fun that lobbing wet sponges at other people while out on the lake. There was so much laughing and giggling, it was a blast.

What I liked most about Adventure Camp was that they gave the boys the opportunity to earn way more badges and pins than the last time I was there. Last time, you could earn a belt loop for archery and BB gun, and Aquanaut if you were a blue swimmer. This time, they let all the kids get aquanaut, those two belt loops, and aobut 6 other belt loops and pins. The only thing we didn't do was the Polar Bear swim. You get up at 6 am and jump in the pool at 6:30. I did it with Maverick and luckily Grasshopper wasn't interested. Whew!

Overall Grasshopper had a great time. He'd really like to go back next year. Not sure we will, but I'm glad he enjoyed it. Below are a couple of pictures from camp. While I had a good time, it was nice to get back and sleep in my own bed. Also, it was actually really nice to get away from everything for a few days with no contact back to work or anything else. It was almost like a mini-retreat. Very refreshing.






MSQ

More Stupid Quizzes, that is. You can blame this one on Miz UV. She wanted to see the picture of the result. Here's the quiz if you care to take it. It tells which LOLCat you are. Here's my results:

Your Score: SurpriseAdoption Cat
35% Affectionate, 51% Excitable, 20% Hungry




Calloused. Heartless. Exuberant. You carry the heavy burden of informing children that they are adopted by jumping out of their birthday cake. A difficult task, but somebody must break the news to children on their only day of happiness.

Somehow, I'm satisfied with this result.

Tonight (hopefully): Cub Adventure Camp post. Stay tuned to this Rocker Channel!



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We're back

Grasshopper and I got back from Cub Adventure Camp late yesterday. He had a blast and didn't want to leave. There's so much to post about, it was a fully packed 3 days. I'll be posting all about it (and maybe a picture or two) soon. In the meantime, I need to catch up at work and at home. So much to do!


Friday, July 13, 2007

New Toy

So you can all now be jealous of me (or not), this is the new toy I purchased last night:


It's the Sandisk e260 4 gig model and it was much cheaper than an Ipod. Plus it has cooler features. It's now loaded with tons of MP3's and is playing trough my speakers at work. I also got the transmitter so I can listen over the radio in my car. I am now free from banal morning talk on the drive to work and have a nice variety of tunes to enjoy.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. I'll be heading to the hills (literally) on Sunday and looking forward to being out of touch for a couple of days. Work is making me insane right now and I need a break. See you Wedensday!

BTW, for all the Harry Potter fans, if you want some amusing silly rock, check out Draco and the Malfoys and Harry and the Potters. I, of course, prefer evil wizard rock.



Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I got nothing

Don't it figure, on a night where I have time to blog, I got nothing interesting to blog about.

Life with one kid is going very nicely. The schedule is so much easier and there's fewer arguements. Not completely gone, mind you, just fewer. It's nice not having to seperate two fighiting kids.

I'm still looking around for an Ipod. I've been checking ebay, but being as cheap as I am, nothing is a reasonable price. If you know someone looking to sell one reasonably, let me know.

Sunday Grasshopper and I are off to Cub Adventure camp. There'll be post about it afterward, but I'll be out of site for 3 days. The only cell phone service at the camp is if you stand by the flag pole, grab the pole just right, and raise your foot at the right hieght and angle. But they do have a pay phone!

Work has been crazy. It's very challenging trying to manage personnel and upgrades in a city 250 miles away. However, we're making progess. Still a long way to go, though.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

And then there was one...

At 5 am today, my alarm clock went off. After crawling out of bed, I went to wake up Maverick, who literally sprung out of bed. I fed him quickly and got him dressed to be out of the house before 5:30. Why you ask? Because today he left for Boy Scout camp. For the WHOLE WEEK! Yes, I am childless for the next 6 days. I'm looking forward to it, as is the Wife. It is so much easier dealing with one kid than two. Grasshopper is also glad his brother is away, since now his big brother won't bother him.

I've chatted with some of the other "Scout dad's" I know today, and they all say that Maverick is going to have a blast. They've been to this camp before and say it's tons of fun. The weather looks pretty good, with forcast of occasional showers. The week shouldn't be a washout. Then next Sunday, I get to go to Cub Adventure Camp with Grasshopper. The Wife will be dealing with one child for a week and a half! She's pretty psyched.

Thing's should go pretty smooth this week since half the activities are cancelled. I'll probably post some new stuff soon. But tonight, I need to catch up with the season premier's of Doctor Who. I realized it was on Friday just after is started, so I caught the first episode, but not the second. Definately know what I'm doing after Grasshopper goes to bed.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Musical Musings

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. The weather was rainy here, so the original plan for Maverick and I to go golfing was washed out. I told him he'd have to get a rain check. We went to my mom's for dinner. It was nice not having to cook. Other than that, we didn't really do much. Kind of a lazy day.

Not that I don't normally, but a post by Jay had music on my brain a little. She posted about the "good old days" of MTV. I'm old enough to have lived through the launch of MTV. I remember how it used to be all music. Not what it currently has become, mostly stupid reality shows with some lame musci in between. Back then, an artist that could get heavy rotation on MTV was almost guarenteed to be cool and sell tons of records.

Not that I was into much of the music that was on MTV at the time. I was a dedicated heavy metal maniac back then. If it wasn't heavy, it wasn't shit. I would watch MTV for HOURS, trying to catch a Girlschool, Judas Priest, or even Pat Benatar video in between all of the New Wave music that dominated the channel. You would not believe the number of Duran Duran, Haircut 100, Spandau Ballet, and Missing Persons videos I had to sit through to get to the good ones I was waiting for. Of course, not that there's anything wrong with any of those bands. I actually enjoyed the Missing Persons videos. It had nothing to do with what Dale Bozio was wearing, really. It was Terry Bozio's drumming. Cause I'm all about the music.

I did learn most of my chops as a guitarist watching MTV. Since I was waiting for good videos to show up, I'd sit with guitar in hand, and with nothing better to do, I'd start learning the songs I heard on the TV. It helped refine my ear and helped me work on different rythems. I actually recommend it for musicians. Just sit and learn all kinds of stuff and listen to different styles. Of course, nowadays, I actually dig a lot of that 80s music. I mean, it wasn't cool in 86 to say Jesse's Girl was a cool song. But 20 years later, you know, it's not half bad.

In other musical obsessions, I've also been considering getting an Ipod. I know it's hard to believe, but I don't have one. The Wife and Grasshopper each have one, but not the musician/computer geek. And before all you Ipod owners jump all over me on how it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, hear me out.

I haven't needed one. The only times I really listen to music are in the car and at work. My drive to and from work is like 15 minutes, so a CD works just fine. At work, I fill a 512 MEG jump drive with MP3's and I have enough music for the whole day and then some. So why spend the money?

Except now I'm travelling more for work. And it would be nice to fill an Ipod with a ton of music and put it on shuffle. It would kind of be like listening to the radio without the commercials and crappy music. Or all the damn talk that goes on in the morning. But that's a seperate annoyance. So I'm getting one of those cassette thingies you can plug into an Ipod for the car. I'll probably try out the Wife's Ipod on my next road trip. If it works out, I may just get one. It would be nice to have all my fave CDs loaded in one spot. So we'll see.

On the plus side (for the Wife at least) I've pretty much gotten over the itch to get a new guitar. Without actually buying one! Though I'd still like to get a Brian May guitar, I'm going to wait on it. One of these days, but first I have figure out how much I want to spend and which I'm going to get. And whether or not the Wife will break it over my head when it arrives.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Weekend on a whim

Friday the Wife saw that the weather this past weekend was going to be bootiful, so she suggested we go to Niagara Falls (Canada that is) and take the kids to Marineland. We took Maverick several years ago when he was younger but left Grasshopper behind (Grasshopper was maybe 4 at the time). We'd been wanting to go back with Grasshopper in tow, so yesterday, we did!

After church, we packed up a lunch, hopped in the car, and about 90 minutes later arrived at Marineland. We had to be careful what we did, as we were only planning on spending a few hours there, but we got to see all the big things. We went to the different animal areas and saw the beluga and killer whales, bears, elk, bison, and deer. We watched the sea lion/dolphin show. The boys really liked that one. The kids even got to ride one of the kiddie rides.

All in all it was a fun day. We'd walked around for about an hour and a half before we did the dolphin show, and I was surprised how beat I was! I didn't realize it until I sat down. But the 30 minute show was just what we needed to recharge and see the other things we wanted to catch before leaving.

The only real disappointment of the day was what they call Friendship Cove and Arctic Cove. Last time we were there, you could get in line to feed and touch a beluga or killer whale. You could still do that, but now it costs $8 Canadian to touch a beluga whale. I really wanted to give Grasshopper and the Wife a chance to do so, as last time Maverick and I got to touch the whales and the Wife took pictures. But being we had limited time and admission was already almost $40 each, we passed on it this time.

The boys still had a great time, however. I asked Grasshopper what his favorite part of the day was, and he said riding the kiddie ferris wheel with Dad. Isn't he a great suck up? I must also say both the Wife and I really like going to the Canadian side of the falls. The American side is a total run down dump and if it wasn't for the Casino, there wouldn't be anything in the city to go to. The Canadian side is kept up so nice, has great places to see, and is packed with people from all over the world. So my hat's off to my Canadian neighbors for keeping this attraction so awesome and beautiful.

The only damper on the day was that it took an extra hour to get home. The thruway was stop and go for quite a while. I'd like to complain, but the cause of the delay was a serious accident that resulted in a fatality, so it would be crass of me to be bent out of shape for the loss of an hour of my time.

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July filled with picnics, family, and fun.