Sunday, April 30, 2006

Joy + Guilt

I've been painting my entry for the UnderEmpire's 2nd anniversary painting competition. I'd love to post pics, but the contest is supposed to be anonymous, so... I still have 100 or so Dwarfs to paint for Bill, so painting joy is tempered by non-painting guilts (see? the title?)

My mom and dad came over today, and my dad helped my rewire the kids' rooms light switches. Household electrical is not my forte, and I was rather mixed up about the whole thing.

Oh, rats. I forgot to put my painting stuff away. Okay, time for a little "middle o' the night" cleanup action. sigh.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Another Brush with Disaster

On the way to work I stopped at my favorite gas station to get a Mountain Dew for lunch. I was on the phone with my mom, and a little distracted. As always, I locked my truck.

Headed back to the truck with said Dew, I felt my pocket for the key. No keys. Small coronary.

I peeked in at the ignition. No keys. Slight confusion.

I ended up finding them in my left jacket pocket, a place I never put them. Okay, I suppose 'never' is no longer valid. ... a place I seldom put them. I will admit that I've been a little paranoid about the location of my keys lately, after the weekend of locking them in the truck multiple times. I don't mind my body falling apart as I age, but my brain must remain intact. Must.

Daddy Moment

For the past few days, one sentence has repeatedly brought me a smile.

"Thank you for brushing my hair, Daddy."

Sarah said this Sunday morning. There is so much context in that one sentence that indicates why life is so good for me. I should gripe less and appreciate moments like that more.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ah, Modern Convenience...

I took a shower in my own bathroom today for the first time since last Tuesday. The expected two day bathroom renovation ended up taking six days (seven if you include the day that Brian and I drove to Lowe's to buy the hardware.) I have been begging showers off various friends and neighbors since then. Now that the work is complete, I have to say that I'm quite pleased with it. I wouldn't have chosen to replace the tub and surrounding area of the bathroom, but now that it's done the bathroom just looks more... intentional. I have also very thankful that I am living in the age of indoor plumbing and heated water.

I'm going to participate in CoolMiniOrNot's Mini-Exchange #8. Basically, you mail two or three minis to someone else on the list (decided randomly) and receive a similar number of mystery minis from someone else. Then everyone paints one of the minis they get and posts it on CMON. Since the room with the gaming tables at Rider's closed I haven't had a lot of opportunity to hang out with other painters (only my friend Brian from work and Mark) so I like the idea of connected to a painting community.

Random: I am so into carousel music right now that I considering ordering a CD of it. You'd be surprised how much is available. I blame John Linnel and Pitagora Suicchi.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Another Change in Plans

We are in the process of having our bathtub replaced. The "two day process" is nearly done with the second day, and I would say that we are almost ready to start putting the new bathtub in. I don't blame the fellow doing the job... there have been a lot of unknowns that he has dealt with admirably.

It's good to see that my children have inherited my (lack of) physical grace. Last night, Stef's brother and sister-in-law (Bob and Cherie) watched our kids so that work on the bathroom could start early and in earnest (i.e. with Stef's help.) Early mid-morning, Jay fell and carved up his lower lip. Stef went to meet them at the emergency room, and then brought him back here. She's been helping with the bathroom process, and I've pretty much been watching Jay. He's a little banged up, but definitely wants to play. The only problem with this is that I called in sick to work today... I've been feeling punkier and punkier for a few days now, and yesterday was downright miserable, so I figured I'd take the day and just crash. Let's give a big internet-style "laughing-out-loud" for another change in plans.

Having the kids gone did allow Stef and me to go to Red Lobster last night so Stef could have crab legs, something we had planned but not executed for her birthday week. The experience was roundly disappointing for me. Stef said the crab legs weren't as sweet as they normally are either. Maybe it's how I was feeling, but the food just lacked savor. I ordered the "Admiral's Feast" but I ate an ensign's worth of food at most.

Now, the real question is how I'm going to get a shower in the morning.....

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Change in Plans

As I mentioned, last Wednesday was Stefanie's birthday. As part of the "I'm home for the week of your birthday" festivities, I had arranged for the kinder to spend Thursday and Friday night at my parents' house. Stef and I were looking forward to just hanging out at a bookstore / coffee house without the usual interruptions of "No, you can't have any candy / take that out of your mouth / I told you not to touch that / indoor voices, please."

Thursday morning Stef went to a brunch with her mother and sister-in-law, and the plan was for me to pick her up with the kids to go and drop them off with my folks. Shortly after breakfast however, Jay started throwing up. ...and throwing up. And throwing up. I spent most of the morning holding a bucket in front of his face while we watched Blues Clues. Stef was able to catch a ride home, and took over bucket patrol while I took the girls to meet my mom.

So now we've gone from the promise of two relaxing days without the kids to having a sick, puking baby. He recovered quickly, of which I am grateful since my poor little guy looked truly miserable, but it still put the kaibosh on our plans.

Easter was a lot of fun. Good worship, sugar-crazed children, too much food, etc.

Now I'm back at work.... sigh.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Senility? Already?

If there's one thing I historically have not done, it's lock myself out of my car. I think before this week I had done it a grand total of once. Yes, I said 'before this week' so snicker away.

Sunday I had to work for a few hours after the Fairytopia show. Stef dropped me off at home, then drove the hour or so down to Toledo to drop off our niece. I stayed home for a few minutes to let the dogs run around, then headed in. On the way I stopped to pick up a couple Dews at my favorite 'on the way' stop-n-rob, and finally rolled into work roughly 45 minutes after Stef had left for Toledo. I parked the truck at the loading dock (not normally a place one should be parking, but traditional for people in my department to abuse in the off hours,) grabbed my Dews and headed for the door. As I approached, I felt the odd sensation of my hand not feeling my keys as I reached in my pocket. I did a frantic search of jacket and pants to find nothing.... of course I found nothing: the were sitting on the seat of my locked truck. I called Stef, who offered to come home (having just arrived at our niece's home) but I told her to wait until I could try and find help locally. After a few unsuccessful calls to coworkers and a low battery warning on my cell phone, a helpful DPS offices let me in to my office until Stef could come rescue me. Highly embarrassing.

Yesterday, Sarah and I went out to buy things for Stef's birthday, and when I got home (sure enough!) I left the keys in the ignition, locked the doors and walked in the house. If Stef hadn't been home we would have been sunk.

So let's see, that's one time in the first 20 years of driving, and now twice in the last week.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Half Over Already?

I took this whole week off in honor of Stef's birthday on Wednesday. Now, here it is on the cusp of Wednesday and it seems like the week has barely started, let along be half over. The girls and I will be preparing a cake tomorrow, alternating chocolate and vanilla cake layers. It was their idea, and I think it might turn out fairly well. There will, of course, be ice cream.

The Barbie show was quite good. The songs that were added were competent, and the diction of the singers was excellent. I understood every word of every song, which can not be said of the last non-kid show that I maybe 12 years ago. I don't think Lily quite grasps the frequency at which these things happen. She was already picking out the souvenier she would buy for the next time we went to see Fairytopia. I tried to explain, but I could tell that she wasn't quite getting that this was a unique event.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

T-3 Hours to Barbie

Well, in approximately three hours we will be sitting in the Fox theatre with Sarah Lily and our niece Josie watching Barbie: Fairytopia. When Stef and I saw that the show was coming to town we bought tickets, and assumed that the girls wouls freak out when they found out that we were going. The response has been a bit less than freak out. They were more excited to see their cousin.

We took Sarah to see "Bear in the Blig Blue House Live" when she was about 14 months old, and she enjoyed it.... to some degree. I can't imagine bringing Jay to something like this and he's almost two now. Sarah certainly was a precocious little scamp. I suppose it speaks something of the experience that this is the first live show we've planned on seeing in more than six years.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hey! Tim Eldred!

I'm looking for Tim Eldred ... if anyone gets here by a search of something and knows how to contact him, please let me know. Yes, I refer to the Tim Eldred. The VOTOMS freak.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Okay, the new photo has helped a lot. The old photo has a 5.2 with 37 votes. The newer photo has a solid 6.0 with 46 votes. I really didn't expect that much difference! Actually, the photo here is better than the one on the CMON posting... but seriously, I can't really bring myself to post a third time.

I wonder if some of my older models would have done better, especially the Dark Elf BSB, with a better photo. I continue to remind myself that I don't paint for CMON scores, but there's obviously some validation in seeing scores rise as my painting improves. After the Dwarf commission job I'm getting back to Skaven for a while, not because I want to see the CMON score but because I want to field a fully painted army.

EDIT: after the magical 50 vote point, the first pic has a 5.6 (better than I had expected) and the newer pic has a 6.1.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Better Photograph?

I took another photo of the Cleric mini for posting on cmon. I'm convinced now that my photography is hurting my scores.

Hopefully this new pic fares better than the last (which is hovering in the mid-high-5's.) The shading and highlighting on the reds shows up better in this one.

Older pic:
Newer pic:

Say What You Mean

I printed and assembled the optical illusion dragon from and it works great. It's an especially effective version of the hollow face illusion. I brought it home so the family could see it, and the girls all thought it was extremely cool.

Today, a friend of ours came over and I showed her the dragon. Little Lily was in the room with us. As soon as our friend saw that its gaze follows you, she burst out with, "That is F#!&ING CREEPY!!!" Almost poetic, isn't it? I'm hoping Lily wasn't paying attention.

This friend has a three year old child, and I'm hoping this little outburst was atypical of how she speaks at home when it's only the two of them. If she 'tones it down' (as people who commonly curse tend to call the attempted cessation of cursing) around us but speaks freely at home then it's only a matter of time before her young'un picks up on it and teaches it to my kids. Little kids cussing... now that's f#!&ing creepy.