Sunday, November 12, 2017


Hola!  Hope everyone had a good weekend.
It was Veterans Day on Saturday, so I special shout out to our veterans.  Thank you for your service!
My office is traditionally closed for a holiday on Veterans Day.  Because it fell on a weekend this year, they gave us the day off on Friday.  It was sort of weird to have the day off, given that I'm not a veteran, but I'll take those free holidays where I can get them.  Amy had work on Friday, and Raylan went to school.
In the morning I ran errands and got the grocery shopping done.
In the afternoon I went out for pizza and beer with my friend, Robert, from work.

Having an IPA in honor of our nation's veterans
Raylan is captivated by the hypnotic glow of the the
Mickey Mouse bubble wand.
Raylan was scheduled to have a party for his class, The Monkeys, from school.  It was supposed to be at the home of his classmate, Alex, but Alex came down with the flu the day before the party.  Amy volunteered to swing by and pick up the party supplies from Alex's parents so we could move the party to Ramsey Park.
Saturday morning was slightly chaotic as we dashed around town to pick the stuff up and get to the park on time, but, in the end, it all came together really well.  The weather was nice, the kids seemed to have fun, and the parents were relaxed and talkative.
As usual at such events, Raylan was super excited and played to the point of exhaustion.  In the pictures below you can sort of see him losing steam over a couple of hours.

From left to right, Sam, Ian, Lowry, Genevieve, and Raylan.
They're waiting for their turns to spin and Monkeyin' around!

Here Raylan is a little annoyed that the kids aren't spinning this
thing correctly.

After more than an hour of playing, social niceties go out the window and we 
just sort of melt down instead of patiently waiting for our turn on playground
I've been there, buddy.

Back up on Dad's shoulders, and in a better mood.
Saturday afternoon we took care of a few chores.

One of the chores involved getting rid of our old elliptical machine.  We tried to give it to the Salvation Army, but they didn't pick it up, so I put it on Craigslist and our neighborhood listserv as a free item, and someone picked it up on Saturday.
We're getting rid of it to try to make room to convert our third bedroom into a kids' room for a foster child, which is a great reason to get rid of it.  It was surprisingly hard to let it go, though.
When I bought that machine (around 2003) I was about 50 pounds heavier than I am right now, and getting into the habit of exercising on the elliptical really helped start me on a path toward exercising on a regular basis.  It was a genuine lifestyle change, and it all started because I had easy, ready access to a convenient form of cardio exercise in my house.  I started out just marking off days on a calendar and doing a minimum of 3 days a week for 17 minutes at a time (I figured low expectations and just trying to get some consistent exercise was a way to keep myself from burning out and turning the thing into a coat rack).  I watched TV while exercising, and worked my way up to 4 days a week, watching half a program at a time (about 20-22 minutes) until I finally worked my way up to about 5 days a week, and whole episodes.  I also gradually increased the resistance.
Nowadays I go to the gym, instead, and I try to work out 6 days a week (succeeding about 90% of the time).  As Amy correctly pointed out to me once, I sort of now look at exercise as a form of medication to help control blood pressure.
Anyway, losing the elliptical was a little bit like losing a fitness security blanket, but with three Gold's Gyms locations near our house, I think it'll all be okay.

Via con dios, buddy!  You served us very well!

Saturday evening my parents came by for a visit, pizza, and a little bit of the UT game (we beat up on Kansas, but Kansas isn't very good).  We had a really nice time.  It was good to hang out, and Raylan was very excited to see them.

Still supporting those Horns!

Raylan seems to like football.  And grandparent snuggles.
And football grandparent snuggles.
Unfortunately this week our friend, Shelly, had her mother pass away.  It was extremely sad.  Shelly and Kit just had a baby boy, Spencer, born a couple of weeks ago.  I had just met Shelly's mom very recently when we had swung by their house to meet Spencer for the first time.
At any rate, I bring this up because Amy went over to Shelly and Kit's house to try to do some house chores for them on Sunday while Shelly, Kit, and Spencer are with Shelly's father and family.
So the three of us went out for breakfast Sunday morning at La Posada, and after that Raylan and I were a dynamic duo for the rest of the morning.
Among other activities, we converted Raylan's crib into a toddler bed.  We had debated going straight to a twin bed, but Raylan really loves his crib (he asks to sleep in it, likes to sit in it when he's tired, and still kicks his feet up on the railings at times).  Anyway, he's really comfortable in his bed, so we decided to give him this intermediate step.  He helped me unscrew some screws and put the new pieces on, which made him very excited about the whole thing.

The "Big Boy Bed"!
We also got Raylan a haircut.  It was a bumpy process.  The woman who was cutting Raylan's hair was young, and she seemed really nervous about doing a toddler haircut.  At first she said she wasn't going to cut the sides or the back at all (she was just doing some weird "styling").  I basically had to argue with her to get her to actually shorten his hair, and even then she didn't do a heck of a lot.
Raylan's current hairstyle is called the "We Tried" hairdo.

We had lunch and Raylan went down for his Sunday afternoon nap.  After reading a story and getting him into his toddler bed, I could hear Raylan singing when I tried to head back to the other room.
"You gotta go to sleep, buddy."
"I am asleep."
"No you're not.  You're looking right at me.  And you're singing."
"I am asleep."
"I don't think you are."
"I want my mom."

I told him that his mom was gonna be really bent out of joint if she came home and Raylan wasn't sleeping.  I'm not sure if that argument worked, or if he just lost the will to fight by that point, but he went to sleep.

Sunday night we had salmon dinner, and that was pretty much it.

I'm still watching and enjoying Star Trek: Discovery.  I'm also reading Armadillo World Headquarters:  A Memoir.  It must be having a bigger impact on me than I realized because last night I had a dream of being in 1970's Austin and listening to hippie bluesrock bands.
Far out, man.

Well, that's it.  I hope everyone has a good week.

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