The Big Wrap Up – The First Annual HTF Fantasy Football League

Thursday, December 31, 2009 | | 4 comments |

Well, the epic first annual HTF Fantasy Football League has come to a close.  In fitting fashion, Emmy (Blue Blood) was our league champion after being in first place for much of the season.  Congrats to her!!  Christy, with her losing record and 8th seed in the playoffs blew through the post-season and captured 2nd – a fairly remarkable accomplishment.  Also, shout out to the Trainspotters (Mark & Rhoopa) who made a big run and landed the bronze medal!

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Fittingly I landed at the bottom, kinda disappointing, but you certainly can’t accuse me of dominating the fantasy rookies – more like the other way around.

THANK YOU to those of you who played along!  I know that a lot of you did it with serious trepidation, but stuck it out.  I also know we’ve created a few new fantasy football freaks with this, so that’s cool too.  We’re only 8 months away from the next draft!!

Guest Post: A Cow With Too Many Legs, Astronauts, Bob Dole, and the Science of Speeding Across Kansas

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | | 5 comments |

A couple nights ago I had a short conversation with someone about what driving across Kansas is like.  Even as a Kansan, I’ll tell you the drive is not for the faint of heart or for the day-time.  The next morning I was stoked to get a guest post submission (one of my favorite things to receive) from my good friend Dave who recently made the trip home to Kansas for the holidays.  Many lines here made me super-chuckle, mostly because they’re frighteningly accurate.  Check it out:

It has been nearly two years since I last went home to visit my family and friends. As I made my way in to town, it occurred to me that there are a few lessons I have learned or have been reaffirmed on this trip, as well as a few observations that I’d like to share with you.

  • State Troopers will not pull drivers over (usually) for exceeding the speed limit by 9mph.
  • State Troopers will pull drivers over for exceeding the speed limit by 11mph.
  • Colorado seems to have more State Troopers than Kansas does.
  • Oakley, KS advertises – and I am not making this up - a 5-legged steer (is that a family appropriate attraction?) as well as the world’s largest prairie dog. **And you thought there was nothing to do in western Kansas.
  • After spending a few hours driving in KS, Hays seems like a fairly big city.
  • Russell, KS remains very excited to be the home of Bob Dole.
  • The farther into Kansas I drive; the more chemical (caffeine) help I need to stay awake. Yet the farther into Colorado I drive, the less help I need.
  • After spending a few hours driving in KS, Salina seems like a fairly big city.
  • Three towns along I-70 boast being the homes of various astronauts. I didn’t recognize their names, but going from a small KS town to, well, space is pretty impressive.
  • You can tell by the smell seeping in through the air vents if you’re downwind of a cow farm or a pig farm.
  • After spending a few hours driving in KS, Abilene seems like…well, no, not even then.
  • Kansas seems to have more State Troopers than Missouri does.
  • When the youngest child traveling is 11, you can make much better time than when the youngest child is 7. (We made the trip of 607 miles in 9½ hours with only 4 stops. That averages out to just less than 64mph with stops. A new personal record! Compare that with the 1100 mile - one way - trip made a few months ago, where the stops averaged one about every 14.7 miles and took, as I recall, approx. 5 weeks.)

It was very nice to come home for Christmas. But I am also reminded why I left this part of the country. Were it not for my family and friends, whom I love, and the food (yea for Kansas City BBQ!!!) I would never come here. Merry Christmas everybody!

Helping with the CountDown, Winning a Prize, and a big Gracias

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | | 7 comments |

This morning I found myself watching VH1’s best videos of 2009.  I wasn’t really that interested, but there’s something about those countdown show were you just HAVE to know who wins, even if it is stupid Lady GaGa.  Her video that they showed was more “troubling” than “good.”  But I can’t claim a lot of shock there.

Anyway, with the year wrapping up it’s time to do my own little countdown of the best HTF posts of 2009.  And like last year I’m asking for your help to do it (via an unashamed bribe).  Please post a comment or send an e-mail with your top 3-10 HTF posts of 2009 – assuming you actually liked any of them.  Everyone who does will be entered into a drawing for a sweet Amazon.com gift card redeemable for pretty much anything – I’ve learned this holiday season that you can literally buy ANYTHING on there.  Last year the participation was great and my awesome sister-in-law won the drawing.  The final date for entries will be Dec 27th.

I also wanted to sincerely thank the few of you who read the blog for sticking with me this year, especially those who linked to me, sent in questions, or posted comments.  It’s been a pretty wild one and the posts have come out in spurts, and a few of them certainly made little to no sense.  I even toyed with hanging up the blog thing for a time.  But still, you’ve stuck with me – meaning you are both patient and easily-entertained!  (these are qualities that are great at holiday parties as well)

I’ve always been super-lucky to have the best friends in the world (that includes my family).  Some of you who’ve known me for a while know that to be true.  Not sure how that’s happened, but it’s a huge deal to me.  So I say gracias, sincerely.

Now, enough with sappiness!  Send in those entries and win a prize.  Then you can get back to the fun of the holidays – meaning we eat stuff we shouldn’t and get presents that we never would’ve purchased for ourselves (this could be good or bad).

Holiday Entanglements to Avoid and Why You Can Land a JumboJet in our Hallway Now

Thursday, December 17, 2009 | | 6 comments |

A few holiday observations….

As a general rule Christmas Music = Awesome, EXCEPT WHEN IT’S A “NEW” VERSION BY A CURRENT “ARTIST” TRYING TO PUT THEIR OWN SPIN ON A CLASSIC BY FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING THE TUNE AND/OR SINGING IT IN A WAY THAT ACTUALLY MAKES YOU LOSE THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.

I’m just sayin’….

Christmas lights are sweet to look at and even sweeter when hung by someone other than me.  I fought only a small battle with the strands of icicle lights (the worst tanglers) this year – it was more of a skirmish.  But there were several points when I walked my troubling ball of cheer over to the trash can because I wasn’t sure I’d get it untangled in time for Christmas or even Easter.  This was PRECISELY what George Washington was referring to when he warned of the peril of “entanglements.”  Happily there are now electric icicles hanging on our gutters and some nights we even remember to plug them in.

On the light theme – my kids have decided that they are in charge of the indoor Christmas lights, which is cool with me.  They’ve strung lights up and down our super-long upstairs hallway on the floor by the walls.  This creates the sensation that as you walk down the hallway you’re actually a 747 landing at an airport with a carpeted runway.  To enhance the fun the kids often droop strands of lights over the balcony so low that unobservant walkers-by may accidentally become part of the display.

Presents = something the Mrs HTF does.  Sorry, but I’m a very typical guy in this respect.  Remember my post from last year?  (neither did I).  The reason for this isn’t from a lack of trying, it’s just that it ALWAYS ends badly.  The analogy is me dunking a basketball – I can try, but it’s just not ever gonna work out quite the way it’s supposed to.  Simple fact.

We get way fewer Christmas Cards than we send out.  That makes me think lots of different things.  One of which is that clearly some postal worker is hoarding our cards.  (I won’t accept that perhaps we have fewer friends than we have Outlook Contacts)  But I am learning that it’s entirely possible that Facebook is partially replacing Christmas Newsletter sending.  It’s cheaper I guess and you don’t have to go to Kinkos.

Also, gingerbread houses are WAY less stable than non-gingerbread houses.

Anyway, sincerely hope you’re all having a good holiday season so far (meaning that you’re not shopping, not untangling lights, not listening to really-bad Christmas music, and not mailing detailed newsletters).

A Super Guest Blogger Gives us some Fantasy Insights and somehow brings up Beach Wiffle Ball (BWB)

Saturday, December 12, 2009 | | 4 comments |

Today we (using the “we” pronoun somehow sounds more impressive than “I” despite being a little inaccurate) welcome a marvelous guest poster to the blog.  He’s part of the HTF Fantasy Football league and has some knowledge to drop on us.  Take it away, Mark.

Many of you spend your Sunday autumn mornings scrambling eggs and frying bacon while your children awake from their slumbers. Or you might congregate as a family at church to teach religious values. Some families walk their children to the park to play on the swings and enjoy a picnic.

Well, I fall into none of the above categories. I am a couple years south of 30 years old working in management consulting in the Financial Services industry and living in a spacious (I say that loosely!) one bedroom in Manhattan with my girlfriend. I have always been a bit obsessive compulsive about sports and as a child yearned to be the general manager of the New York Mets (at this point, an elementary school educated child would be an improvement for the Mets front office). I am far from a natural athlete, but do take pride in being dragged out to local trivia nights and being designated by friends as the ‘Sports Guy.’ As a result, when I was introduced to Fantasy Football as a young pup in college, I welcomed the challenge. It quickly became a top three hobby of mine (only after fine dining and beach wiffle ball) and a real showstopper to any productivity on Sunday mornings (my college GPA was always significantly lower in the fall semester). I have nixed many Sunday morning plans along the way for Fantasy Football, much to the chagrin of Rachel, who is my overly patient girlfriend and a real saint during the Fantasy Football season. Sunday mornings are always spent as follows:

10AM: Wakeup, egg and cheese on a toasted plain bagel, Vitamin Water, and coffee from the local deli. Espn.com is crucial to check on headlines.

11AM: Cbs Sportsline offers detailed injury updates.

11:30AM: ESPN 2 televises a fantasy football show with mildly useful insight.

12:00PM: If Rachel is home, she must leave the main room for closed captioning on ESPN 2 and volume on Yahoo’s Fantasy Football live show on the PC. Frequent checking of updates on CBS Sportsline is part of the multi-tasking routine.

12:30PM: Frenzy of phone calls and texting to the Braintrust for final touches on the lineup

1:01 PM: Will my fruitful management decisions pay off this week (all decisions are locked by 1PM!)?

Although I joined the HTF League a few weeks into the season as a co-manager on the NY Trainspotters squad (my third league of the season), I plan on passing on a key piece of wisdom for those now hooked on Fantasy Football. Develop an inner circle of Fantasy Football experts to help you win.

As you can imagine, my sports-minded interests lend themselves to many friends who also enjoy conversing about sports. However, liking sports is much different than understanding the statistics and strategy important to Fantasy Football. Understanding individual match-ups and trends can baffle even the most educated sports nut. Advice falls from ‘trees’ during Fantasy Football season; often, everyone has an opinion and it is difficult to tune out the white noise. Trust your inner circle for advice, bounce ideas off of them, and do not feel even the most asinine trade idea is worth keeping quiet about. In this section, I will thank this season’s braintrust: SW, TS, JT, DZ, PK, MF, BB, and DB who provided me invaluable insight to prospective championship campaign(s).

Preview of Week 14’s Quarterfinal matchups:

· Rabid Possum (#1) vs. Christy’s Crusher (#8)

Skinny: Possum is foaming at the mouth for this match-up. She was the queen of the waiver wire all season; she built her team with quality players such as Miles Austin and Rashard Mendenhall. Although CC is employing the best QB on the planet, there is no way she can overcome some of her other starters’ inconsistencies.

Prediction: Possums are generally nocturnal, but this possum cruises to the semifinals with a huge day on Sunday afternoon.

· Diamonds and Dynamite (#3) vs. No Sup(er bowl) 4 You (#6)

Skinny: Always enjoyed the play-on words from the No Soup for You! squad, but Dynamite has the Maurice Jones Drew and Moreno TNT ready to explode this week. Dynamite is reeling after a loss vs the beloved NY Trainspotters and is looking for revenge. If Jonathan Stewart plays full-time like last week, Dynamite will be in for a closer contest.

Prediction: Dynamite is one of the strongest teams in the field and she will blast herself to the semifinals with an 80 point blowout over her Seinfeld competitor.

· Blue Blood (#2) vs. Pigskin Cannibals (#7)

Skinny: This is a typical trap match-up for our Cold Blooded friend. In every league that I have partaken in, the #7 team always seems to beat the #2 team in the first round of the playoffs. Pigskin has McNabb against a porous Giants defense and starts the 3 best WRs in the league (Fitzgerald, Boldin, and Driver). Frost-Bite Team does have Peyton Manning and Randy Moss, but has too many holes to compete with Pigskin.

Prediction: The Cold Blooded team keeps it close, but Pigskin pulls away with Monday night Football magic in the names of Fitzgerald and Boldin.

· NY Trainspotters (#4) vs. HTF (#5)

Skinny: Our commissioner, superdad of 4, and blogger extraordinaire is limping into the playoffs! Team Roopa is sizzling hot with three wins in a row. Trades and waiver wire pickups have certainly helped narrow the gap between the top of the league and Trainspotters. Ward disappointed mightily on Thursday night, but I fully expect AP and surprise RB Jamaal Charles to carry NY Trainspotters to a narrow victory.

Prediction: Well, well, well-HTF has some major management decisions to make for Sunday? Will HTF consult with his ‘braintrust’? Kurt Warner breaks HTF’s heart late on Monday night to catapult Trainspotters to the semifinals.

Exposed by a Chicken and Cool-looking Continents

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 | | 8 comments |

Above my desk on the wall is a map of South America.  To quote the girl from “Up” - “it’s like America . . . only South.”  Spending sometimes multiple hours every day here at my desk I get to look at this map a good bit (it’s the closest thing I have to a window – other people may see trees, mountains and sun, but I see a whole freakin’ continent!).  A few things I noticed:

  • It has to be the continent with the coolest shape…by far.
  • Brazil = huge.  I think we forget that sometimes.  But there are large snakes there, so I’d rather it was a big place than a small place.
  • Just for fun, draw a picture of Chile.  Gotta be the weirdest-shaped country.
  • I lived 2 years in Venezuela as a missionary.  Fascinating times.  Got to see what “poor” really meant.  LOVED the people there – pretty convinced they were happier than your average Americans.

And now a quick story involving a chicken and a super awkward kitchen/bathroom moment in Venezuela:

One day we were in the “house” (air quotes intended) of a family in Maracaibo.  It was a bunch of cinderblocks with aluminum sheets for a roof.  Dirt floor.  Family of 7 sleeping in one room with a single mattress.  And Kitchen=familyroom=bathroom (they’re all one room).  Except the bathroom was a toilet surrounded by precariously-hung shower curtains.  Well, one piece of instruction I’d been given was NOT to drink the water.  I broke this rule pretty often, just because I was so darn thirsty all the time.  My stomach and I suffered the consequences.  And on this particular day it hit me in a not-so-subtle way.  I asked the family if I could use the “bathroom” a few feet from the chairs we were sitting on.  So I closed the curtains and put all shame aside.  As I sat there I saw this under my protective curtain:

A few moments later the offending chicken started pecking at the curtain – clearly he was trying to bond with me.  In one fell swoop the entire curtain contraption fell to the ground and I was a guy sitting on a toilet in the middle of somebody’s living room surrounded by an entire family who was trying, unsuccessfully, to suppress tear-inducing laughter.  The parents quickly tried to pick up the curtain and restore my pseudo-privacy, but the damage was quite done.

Not sure why that story popped out, but now when I look at this map every day, I get to think about that experience.  Well, now in our house you can rest assured that we have a strict No Chickens In the Bathroom rule.

Russians Attack Me With Ice Water And Eucalyptus

Friday, December 04, 2009 | | 6 comments |

I’m not really a spa guy.

I know there are lots of you out there, and I’m great with that, but just not something I’ve ever done…until last week.

My brothers are huge fans of a Russian Spa here in Seattle called Banya 5, and last week we all went (my brothers, brother-in-law and some other friends)  Wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  They dude image(not Russian in any way I could tell) who greeted us called me “guy who’s never been here before.”  That was funny the first few time, but lost the funny after a while.  We were given forms to sign that basically said that if we died in the spa it was our own faults – these were roughly the same forms I signed when I went to the shooting range.  Then we were given towels and hopefully-clean sandals. 

After throwing on our bathing suits, yes we wore suits – it’s not THAT kind of spa, we headed for the hot sauna.  I’ve done saunas before, but this place was roughly like being on the surface of the sun while inside a rain forest.  The walls were too hot to touch, so you just sat on your towel and after a minute our so the monsoon-sweat began.  I didn’t know I had that much liquid in me.  Not knowing how long I should stay in here, the helpful guide gave me the specific instructions - “you’ll know.”  He was right. 

After we emerged came the most memorable part of the experience (kinda like the drill is the most memorable part of the visit to the dentist).  Covered in sweat we jumped into a FREEZING COLD pool.  My heart rate instantly shot up to like 300 and in a weird way my skin felt hotter than before.  That soon changed and I was just a bald shivering guy wanting badly to hug the deadly walls of the sauna.  There were lots of other cool things that day (pun intended) like a salt water bath where you couldn’t help but float, your typical hot tub, a nap room with awesome lounge chairs, and my favorite – a steam room with intense eucalyptus vapors that made me feel like I’d never have a cold again.  Also, if you didn’t want the ice water bath there was an freezing shower thing where you pulled a chain and were dumped on with water so cold that I’m pretty sure chunks of ice bounced off my head.  Pulling that chain was awful tough…

It was a great day, and hard to leave.  We did 3 circuits of the different “stations.”  And I left feeling surprisingly mellowed and relaxed (a little bit like a long church meeting).  Russian Spa = AWESOME.  Can’t wait to go back, but I’m wearing this next time:

The Museum I Hope to Never Patronize On Purpose Again

Monday, November 30, 2009 | | 4 comments |

Sometimes you go to Chuck E. Cheese and end up face to face with a REAL LIVE GIANT ANACONDA who’s sole desire is to swallow your crushed body in one gulp.  It’s just one of those things that happens . . . to me.

Yesterday the kids helped with the “crazy extensive wet leaf clean-up project” (we’ve now spent more time cleaning up leaves at our new house that we have spent actually sleeping in it) so we decided to reward them with a little high quality Chuck E Cheese time.  Also, our awesome cousins Henry and Arthur were in town, so we wanted to show them a little hyper-fun.  When we arrived we quickly discovered that it wasn’t meant to be.  There was a LINE OUT THE DOOR to get in the place and you can just imagine what it was like inside.  Absolutely frightening….  So we told the kiddos we’d have to make other plans – only 25% of our 4 kids threw a complete NUCLEAR FIT about it, so that was good.

At this point we brainstormed other options, hoping to still show our kids and cousins a little fun.  I made the lame proposals of the mall or bookstore (a family favorite) and then Traci spit out something totally random that piqued tons of interest from the kids and utter fear from daddy -

REPTILE MUSEUM  (click the link)

I kept my protest limited to my inside my head voice.  You see, you don’t know anybody who is as petrified of snakes (which happen to be reptiles) as HTF, but I didn’t want to voice that weakness too loudly.  But I was pretty sure there’d be some snakes there since there’s a giant mock King Cobra head above the entrance to the place.  I was banking on one of our kids misbehaving so I’d have to sit in the car with them.  This technique is usually quite successful for me.  Well, no such luck.  Instead, I had a little girl who needed the bathroom and my introduction to the museum was the lady at the front desk telling me that the restroom was “straight back, all the way through the snake section, just after the Anaconda.”  Oh good.  On the walk back, I’m telling you friends, I almost passed out.  Sydney had to talk me into leaving the bathroom by pulling on my hand.  embarrassing?  Yeah.  But what are ya gonna do?  Oh I survived it, but just barely.  They had the 10 DEALIEST SNAKES there and my 4 year old took me by the hand from cage to cage and pounded on the glass.  Sheesh.

Anyway, I don’t know where the phobia came from, but I confirmed that it’s quite real.  The kicker is that I paid money for that experience – kinda like a root canal I guess.  But the little kids all had fun (I guess that was the point)!

PS – I was gonna post a snake picture on the blog, but did a search and was too freaked out at the images, so you’ll have to settle for this:

What’s Manlier than Singing to Plush Toys?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | | 12 comments |

Putting the kids to bed is admittedly easier than it used to be now that our youngest can dress herself, sorta.  (We still mostly believe that wearing Dora underwear on your head is super-funny)  Still, if you have children or have observed “bedtime with kids” from a reasonably close distance you know that this is not for the faint of heart.  (or maybe it’s just my kids that are trouble)  A few nights ago I found myself bathing uncooperative girls (meaning I got wetter than they did), reading books about princesses, and singing “Goodnight Sweetheart” to a toy sheep.  In and of themselves, none of these are real burdens and I’ll probably miss it all someday.  Still, after 3 of the four kids had melted down and were throwing small, but deadly, objects at my head I walked away.  My wife asked me where I was going and all I could spit out was,

“I’m going to do guy stuff.”

Not sure why that was the reaction, but it came out.  Let’s be clear, by most reasonable definitions of “guy stuff” I don’t do much.  I remember a Jan 5th night a few years ago where, after saying our bedtime prayer, I opened my eyes and realized that I HADN’T WATCHED A SINGLE COLLEGE BOWL GAME.  Wow, kinda crazy how life changes things.  Here are a few of the “guy” activities I very occasionally do:

  • Chopping wood – never felt more “guy-like”
  • Playing basketball – this is fun, but inevitably depressing since my skilz here peaked well over a decade ago…
  • Watch TV Sports, but never live, that takes too much time.  I DVR so I can skip commercials.  Also I usually have to turn down the volume so low that I sit 6 inches from the screen to hear (kids are “sleeping”)
  • Loud rock/rap music – I’ve corrupted the kiddos with this one.  (i’m good with that)  But the volume is a constant battle with the Mrs. HTF.  I don’t need to tell you who wins…

So I’ve been racking my brain for what kind of “guy stuff” I’d do given the time . . . and I’m coming up emptier than I’m comfortable admitting.  Since most of you readers are very much not guys, I’m not sure how much you can help, but do you have any suggestions?

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 9 Update

Sunday, November 15, 2009 | | 2 comments |

An update on the league is a couple weeks overdue, particularly since I somehow crept back into first place in spite of being one of the poorest scoring teams in the league.  This week Blue Blood and I play in a grudge match for the outright best record in the league.  Here are the current standings:

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Emmy and I should be pretty worried about D&D and the Possumz.  Still there are a lot of weeks left and you can expect the standings to change big time.  In the HTF mailbox this week I got this note that I will do my best slightly try to respond to (see answers inserted in the actual note):

Dear HTF,

Since I’m still a novice at this stuff, I hope you don’t mind a couple of NFL related questions. 

1.  Do you think that I am the only person who kept wondering why the Miami Dolphins (Hurricanes?  Herald?) hired Tony Soprano as their coach?

A: Pretty much it’s just you and Ricky Williams.  Just understand that there may or may not be consequences for crossing the new coach…oaklandkicker2korton

2. Who is scarier:  Kyle Orton or Sebastian Janikowski?     

A:  Tough one, but I gotta go with Janky there.  KO is REALLY hard to look at and his facial hair looks like a science experiment gone horribly wrong.  But J-dog could literally kick my bootie through the uprights from like 50 yards out.

3. Would you be open to throwing your match-up during week 11? 

A:  You bet, so you won’t even need to play any of your good players, go ahead, bench ‘em, give ‘em a rest that week. 

4.  Who has the more interesting facial hair:  Kyle Orton or Sebastian Janikowski?

A:  See question 2

5.  I heard the person who has the most number of moves and transactions gets a prize!!  I am well on my way toward that goal.  What is it??? 

A:  The prize is that before your first playoff game everyone in the league gets to give you their worst player and you have to find a spot for them on your roster . . . big congrats on that one!

6.  Who has the greatest number of teammates avoid him because he is just so . . . creepy:  Kyle Orton or Sebastian Janikowski?

A:  Since SJ is a kicker, he pretty much gets avoided by default.  Most teammates hardly remember he exists.  The KO is actually stared at pretty often by teammates in much the same way that it’s hard to not look at the albino crocodile at the zoo.  You try to take your eyes of it, but find yourself stealing glances because, well, it’s so incredibly weird.

gregolsen 7. Is it okay if I make a public apology right now?  Thanks!!!  I would like to apologize to Greg Olsen because I was on the verge of dropping him on Saturday night, but I did not do so because I became distracted by an episode of Top Chef.  If anyone cares, I am rooting for Kevin or Jen, but the Voltaggio Brothers bring lots of entertainvoltaggio bros ment value and make me laugh every single time they bicker.  Does anyone else have a hard time telling them apart when the one brother’s tattoo sleeve is covered up?  Anyway, I would also like to tell Mr. Olsen I’m sorry that I went around and told several people that he may or may not have a mullet.  I’m thinking that he must definitely have a mullet after he scored three touchdowns yesterday because everyone knows that mullets give players power, strength, tons of FF points, and uh . . . unique(?) style.  (See Drew Von Breesi.)

8.  What do you think Sebastian Janikowski's nickname is?  'Cause that is one loooong name.

A.  “Drum-Stick” – cuz have you seen those legs?! 

Thanks for answering my questions, O Froggy Football Expert!  I am so lovin' this game!!!  Destination:  PLAYOFFS!!!!

rabid robot possumz

Glad you’re enjoying the party!  Good luck to everyone this week, except for, of course, Sangre Azul!

Hitting things with sticks and my eye doctor tries to make me cry

Thursday, November 12, 2009 | | 1 comments |

It’s been a little while.  No real compelling reason other than the fact that it gets dark at like 3:30 here now and the evenings zap my will to push buttons.  Here are just a few random things:

  • Today I received the following instant message from a coworker:  “ok I'm going to connect a corp and then give you a ping”  If you know how to interpret that I’m all ears.  I’m not sure how to feel about it.  (my current list of options are fearful, complimented, or offended)
  • A couple nights ago my wife articulated in out-loud-words what exactly was going through her head.  (typically she filters so well, whether intentional or not, that I’m left being, well, a guy trying to guess)  Her exact words were, “You’re supposed to read my mind!”  Trust me, there’s no good response to a statement like that.  And women everywhere agreed with her statement.
  • We (by which I’m pretty much just referring to myself) bought Guitar Hero World Tour (the one with the drums and mic and stuff) last week.  We’ve had fun being wannabe rockers.  We did it for FHE activity the other night and at one point my sons and I were all gathered around a single mic singing the “lyrics” (air-quotes intended) to “Beat It” while Traci strummed the guitar and the girls (ages 4 & 6) hit anything they could find with drum sticks . . . repeatedly.  Our family = not the people to put in the ads.
  • My optometrist told me yesterday that I don’t drink enough water – how does she know that you may ask?  Well, it was because she (and I’m not making this up) "couldn’t make me tear-up (cry)”  Wow, ok.  I guess women drink like WAY more water than guys if that’s the measure of water intake.  And no one told me I was paying that lady to make me cry.

In other news, Go Larry Johnson!!  (I’m serious, dude, go, go far away)

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 7 Update

Saturday, October 31, 2009 | | 3 comments |

This week I recieved the following e-mail in the HTF mailbox:

Dear Popester McFroggy Pants:
Have you ever heard people raise questions when the organizer of a fantasy football league winds up in first place? 
Me neither.
CM – not in first place

That’s right, something super-weird is afoot, because after last week I am in FIRST PLACE (barely).  I’m gonna chalk that up to pity from the folks in the league.  After an amazing run in first place, Emmy actually lost a game and I snuck in there.  Yet again (5th week in a row) the Possumz show up on the Toyota-sponsored blowout-board, and again it’s on the right side of the board.  They have run up the most points in the league, followed closely by D&D.  :

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 image image

Things are heating up – we saw our first trades in the league this week.  Lots can change in the next few weeks as we battle for those playoff seedings.  Good luck everybody!!

You Put WHAT In Your Nose?!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | | 6 comments |

Last Friday night we took the crew to “Culture Night” at the elementary school.  This awesome activity featured interactive booths from 27 different countries including exotic places like Iran, Thailand, Oklahoma, and Utah.  We had a blast sampling the local cuisine, seeing photos, hearing music, and reading cool facts about literacy rates. At the Japan booth the kids even got to sport some kickin’ kimonos.  (great name for a rock band)

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As we approached the India area (I won’t call it a booth because somehow they got to have an entire end of the school gym, and it was a super-colorful area), Allison quickly became fascinated with the small jewels the women were wearing on their foreheads.  She was super-excited when one of the ladies knelt down and put a smallish plastic “gem” on Allison’s forehead.  She wore this with pride all the way home and to bed.

Later that night Traci and I were veggin’ on the couch watching reruns of The Office (as show she’s recently decided is good) when Allison called down from the balcony with a weird quote: “I have something in my nose.”  That didn’t sound like a big deal until she came down and we noticed a little blood on her nariz.  Then she informed us that she had decided to stuff her Indian-forehead-jewel up her unsuspecting nostril – a move that made perfect sense at the time I assume.  This was no small feat given the size of the piece of plastic.  I ran for the tweezers and Traci started digging around in there as Allison squirmed and protested.  But nothin’ doin’.  We exchanged glances and knew that an all-night visit to the swine-flu-infested ER was regrettably going to be part of our plans.

But then something happened.

While laying in Traci’s lap our little four-year-old gem hider let out a huge sneeze and the purple plastic parasite exploded from her nostril and landed safely on her upper lip.  All we could do was burst out into semi-controlled laughter.  I wrapped the thing up in a kleenex and delivered it to the trash can and we sent our wanna-be Indian to bed.  The moral of the story I guess is that you shouldn’t really put the culture in your nose, and if you do, be sure to sneeze it out before you go to bed.

Don’t Make Me Do That Zombie Dance on your Face!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009 | | 6 comments |

Thriller was the first album I remember we had when I was a kid.  We wore the thing out.  And the video on MTV (a banned channel at my house that we sneakily caught glimpses of occasionally) was pretty much the coolest thing out there along with MacGyver.  I was genuinely sad when the MJ died.  That feeling surprised me.  Well about a week ago the Mrs HTF came home from the YMCA with a flyer for a class where they would teach us all the Thriller Dance!  There was zero hesitation – the Popes were in.  So on Friday night we walked into the small gym at the Y and learned just how difficult it is to be a dancing zombie.  (for a more informative account of the night check out Traci’s blog)

There were a lot of people, and I took some solace in that.  And they were all different shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities.  Except that about halfway through the class I made the realization that one demographic was dangerously under-represented – THE ADULT MALES.  As I looked around I suddenly realized that I was the only torch-bearer for the not-so-coordinated “guys over 18” crowd.  I’ve been in this situation before at the YMCA, but never in a dance class.  In spite of that I wasn’t about to quit – we hadn’t even gotten to the part where we struck the were-wolf poses yet.  And we all know how important that is.

We practice for an hour an half for the 3 minute dance – super efficient I’m sure.  I was reminded of high school a bit.  Back then I could play full court basketball for 3-4 hours at a time with no problem, but we did dance rehearsals (for the musicals) for 20 minutes and I could barely move the next day.  Those just aren’t muscles we use that often I guess.  And in Seattle style I was wearing HIKING SHOES, which turned out to be a pretty terrible idea – meaning that I got to feel the fun on my feet the next day.  The kids all started out doing it, but quickly bailed on us.  Braeden stuck it out though.  Still, we learned our little routine and later that night Traci and I reenacted the whole dance back at our house.  (If that image troubles you that’s perfectly reasonable.)

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 6 Update

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | | 6 comments |

Don’t look now, but after 6 weeks of play in our league I’ve crept my way into second place!!  I can only assume this is pity coming from my fellow playas.  Here’s quick rundown on the week 6 results and standings:

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It was a huge week for points and a whopping SIX of our teams have the same record (3-3).  And now a few comments about the league:

  • Blue Blood came through yet again and in spite of having only the 5th highest point total still sits happily atop the standings with the best overall record.  Congrats, Emmy!!
  • D&D continues to pile on the points.  JJ has by far the highest point total, but has only won half of her games.  Not someone you’d want to play.
  • The Possumz are the bipolar team in the league (in a good way).  AGM has appeared on the Toyota Blowout box in each of the last FOUR weeks.  Two of those times she’s the one being blown out and the other 2 she’s the victor.  Second highest point total too…

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  • Cooleyer had a super-hot start and looked poised to challenge, but a couple really close loses the last two weeks have dropped her to the middle of the pack.
  • The Beckinators seem to have figured some things out and have landed 2 Ws in a row.  Who knew Eli Manning would be so good?!
  • The Chrushers have been Chrushees a bit more of late, but did land a W this week on the strength of Drew Brees and his mullet.
  • The No Soup team is kinda the opposite of D&D.  Fewest points in the league, but has still won half the games.  We’ll call that luck efficiency.
  • NY Trainspotters have been dropping and adding players like crazy.  Must be a rebuilding year.  It appears management has been turned over to some mysterious guy named Mark…
  • The Cannibals are just plain getting eaten.  Looks like that Pittsburgh D and McNabb aren’t exactly what they used to be.  Still the point total isn’t too dismal, so don’t count ‘em out!
  • As for me, I’m just glad I loaded up on running backs and that Tom Brady knows how to find Wes Welker in the snow.

Hope everyone is having fun.  Good luck in week 7!!

Those Glorious Days of Cleaning Toilets and Mopping Floors

Monday, October 19, 2009 | | 7 comments |

I love talking to people about all the jobs they've had in their lives.  I find it a little bit interesting that as folks tick through their job descriptions the roles get a bit more "boring" as they approach the current day.  It's amazing to hear what people did for money back in the day.  For some reason tonight I got thinking about a job I had in college.  Life was simple then, I had no idea just how simple, and I was proud to be a "lead custodian" at the university library.  For the first year or so of this not-very-prestigious gig my main task was CLEANING THE BATHROOMS.  Let's be clear, the restrooms of a huge university library can be frightening places, in much the same ways that restrooms frequented by my toddlers can be.  I'll leave it at that.  For some reason though I really liked cleaning those bathrooms.  (To my wife's extreme disappointment, my desire to clean bathrooms was something I left at college)  I was the master of my porcelain, tiled, mirrored, domain.  I was shocked to learn that forimage reasons I still don't understand, the women's restroom had a huge adjoining "sitting room" complete with a raised ceiling, couches, mirrors and carpet.  I can only assume that this area was for people with serious bladder-control issues or something.  Otherwise, why in the world would you want to spend hours on a couch in a BATHROOM?  I just can't imagine why anyone would want to meet up with friends IN THE BATHROOM.  But I cleaned it all dutifully and woke more than a few girls up who were sleeping on the couch in the BATHROOM I was trying to clean.  Trust me, that was super-awkward for everyone involved.  The girl goes to sleep knowing that she's in a "secure female area" and is awakened by a funny-looking dude with earphones and a dripping toilet brush.

During my porcelain polishing days I started dating the future Mrs. HTF.  She wasn't the least bit bothered by my chosen occupation.  In fact, she would very often come visit during those late night hours while I played with chemicals and danced around a bit.  These visits were AWESOME!  Since I never knew where I'd be she'd have to hunt all over the library for me - no one had cell phones back then.  Don't tell my former boss, but sometimes we'd lock the door to that palatial women's sitting area and "hang out."  More often than not this consisted of her watching me perform manly duties like changing the toilet paper and buffing the floor with a huge rotating brush and lots of sweet smelling chemicals.  But we'd pass hours like that moving my cleaning cart from bathroom to bathroom.  Talk about a way to kick up the romance!!  I know it sounds just a bit odd, but she kept coming, which was a clear sign of her tolerance of me (this is a trait that has served her well during the last 11.5 years of image marriage).  After a while if she didn't show up some night I was devastated (you know that feeling).  Actually, I remember a few nights where we had some of those serious relationship "talks" that guys dread so much right there in some bathroom.  In all likelihood I was wearing rubber gloves when we decided to have a more serious relationship.  But it still worked somehow and in a very real way I miss those days (except for a few parts that are even too gross for a guy to blog about).  I now have a job that most folks would consider a lot better, by which I mean there’s more money and less need for plastic goggles.  But I'm glad I had those nights spraying windex and sliding around the soapy floors at the Harold B Lee Library.

PS – Just realized this is post #300.  Wow… not sure whether I should cheer or apologize to you.  Thanks for reading along though!

How we got Bison Slobber on our Mini-Van Windows and Other Reasons to Come to Seattle – The AGM Visit

Friday, October 16, 2009 | | 5 comments |

I guess time is a limited resource, kinda like money, or for me, hair.  We try to take advantage of it, except when there’s something really good on TV.  This is particularly true when you make trips to places.  I learned early on that the Mrs HTF DOES NOT mess around with taking advantage of every moment to get the most out of trips, and that holds true for when folks visit us.  They’re gonna see a bunch of stuff . . . and they can sleep on the plane ride home.  This was the case last weekend with the talented AGM made a trip from Kentucky to Sea-Town to party with our troops.  Apparently she’s so big time that she owns her own company out here . . . who knew?!  (this is an actual sign in the city we live in)

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I’ll spare you all of the details of the weekend, because you’ll get a WAY better synopsis, complete with photo gallery on her posts here and here.  But in just a few days we saw beaches, mountains, waterfalls, bison slobber, worm dancing, bored bears, kindergarten break-up songs, 4 episodes of The Office on The Wall, my own office which the group packed up in 4 boxes for me, flying fish, stuffy crab restaurants, ferries that literally rock, a super-confusing airport scene (detailed in AGM’s post), blinged-out horseshoe sunglasses, and of course, GUM . . . all over some old building.  (photo below was blatantly stolen from the AGM, but since it’s my kids in it I figure I have a few legal rights)

Seattle is an awesome place to visit and you can bet that all visitors to the Pope fam will have an great time here and will likely be given a personalized 2 hour dance show in our kitchen/family room.  So come visit!!  To the AGM, thanks for coming and partying with us – we all had a marvelous time!

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 4 Update

Saturday, October 10, 2009 | | 2 comments |

While week 3 was the week of close games . . . week 4, wasn’t.  The charge was lead by the often maligned Possumz who had a SICK number of points:

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Also, the D&D team brought a huge score.  Of course the big news was that I squeezed out a W against the Crushers.  Oh wait, that really wasn’t the big news.  The big news is that there is now one, lone, undefeated bunch.  Congrats to Blue Blood who sits alone atop the leader board.  6 teams are bunched up with a 2-2 record.  And the Cannibals are looking for that first meal still.  Here are the scores and standings:

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Good Luck to all in Week 5, except for “Cooleyer.”  (But I suspect they don’t fear the HTF squad too much and won’t need much luck.)

Part II – The Day I Shot Bin-Laden With My Boss’s Handgun

Friday, October 09, 2009 | | 5 comments |

This post is a kinda continuation of the previous post, so if you haven’t already you might wanna read that one first.

So we left the golf course and I quickly noticed that we (my boss was driving) were taking the “scenic route” back to the office.  I figured this was to grab something to eat OR to “accidentally” miss some meeting (I’ll admit I’ve used that tactic a few times).  But then we pulling into a parking lot of a non-descript little warehouse-looking building.  And then I saw the sign declaring that we were at a gun club.  I immediately thought back to my last performance review to see if perhaps my boss had brought me here to just shoot me and move on.  But then he told me what we were going to do.  Being a guy, I was immediately juiced.  I was moments away from shooting a handgun in the firing range.  My experience with “firearms” over the last decade has been limited to squirt-guns, rubber bands shooters, and those little “guns” that shoot the plastic discs where you start with 30 projectiles and in less than 30 seconds of firing can only find two ever again.  (the same thing seems to happen with yogurt and toilet paper at our house – you have it and then a few minutes later it’s all gone, no matter how much you start with)  But I digress…

I filled out a lengthy form promising to not shoot myself or anyone else while I was there.  And then I was presented with Mr Science Glasses and huge black ear muffs.  I told them my ears weren’t cold, but they insisted.  I later found out that guns are kinda loud when they’re, you know, shot.  We went to the range and my boss pulled out the first target.  It COULD NOT have been better.  It was Osama Bin-Laden holding a little AK-47.  I’m pretty sure this was the most popular target for military types too.

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After some training on the 9mm handgun I started shooting in the general direction of the target.  My accuracy was questionable at best, but my boss pointed out a bunch of bullet-holes in the ceiling right in front of us, so AT LEAST I was better than that guy.  It was a total blast (no pun intended) that day.  I’ll probably never own a gun, but as manliness goes, shooting one at Osama’s turban sure feels cool.

You’re Comparing Me to Who?!

Monday, October 05, 2009 | | 5 comments |

Last week I got to go out with several of my co-workers to hit golf balls at a driving range over lunch.  This wouldn’t be that big of a deal except that it’s been like 3 years since I did that . . . and it does take some degree of skill, which I totally lack.  Those balls are really, really, small and they don’t EVER go the direction I want them too . . . unless I throw them.  I’m told that method (the “pick the thing up and chuck it method”) is against the rules though, so I grabbed my clubs and off we went.  By we, I’m referring to my international posse of golf aficionados.  One guy from India, one from Italy, and another from a country called Kentucky.  (I say that delicately because the Kentucky guy is my boss)  As you might expect, they all have great accents AND better golf swings than me.  :)

We arrived at the range and found our spots.  I went for the last spot where, in theory, the fewest people would be able to see me.  I did notice that there was a guy giving lessons to a couple next to me, but they’d surely be too involved in their lesson to gawk at my golf prowess. 

I was wrong. 

The instructor had a TV and like 30 photos of different golf swings.  He was going on and on about hips and elbows and knees and such.  I had my back to him and I tried not to pay attention, but that’s pretty hard when a professional golfer is talking a few feet from you AND he has a monogrammed golf bag.  But I just kept on hacking away.  At one point I noticed that his voice got a bit softer and then I realized he was talking to his attentive students ABOUT ME!  He was comparing my swing to some video on the TV set that I couldn’t see.  And let’s just say it wasn’t a very good comparison.  As if I wasn’t already paranoid enough I glanced quickly over to see the students slowly shaking their heads while looking at me and then and here’s the kicker, I heard the instructor point to the screen and disclose that he’d been comparing my golf swing to the form of a guy named …. TIGER WOODS.  Ugh. Like that’s not setting the bar too high!

I actually did ok that day, meaning the club made contact with a few of the balls and they went in a general forward direction, without injuring anyone.  But when I go again I won’t be setting up shop next to the golf class, that’s for sure.

And just wait until you hear what I did after my golfing fun

TO BE CONTINUED

Blog post coming soon – Just moments after leaving the course I have a run-in that involved Osama Bin-Laden and me shooting a 9mm handgun.

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 3 Update

Thursday, October 01, 2009 | | 5 comments |

This week was the week of the close games.  I honestly thought I had my game won going into Monday night, but then . . . well . . . not so much.  I lost by 6 stupid points!!  Ugh!!  I’m down in 8th place now and tip my hat to the NY Trainspotters.  And rocketing to the top of the standings is BLUE BLOOD!!  Big congrats to Emmy for being our only undefeated team!  Here are the scores and standings:

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And when I said the games this week were close, there was one that, well, wasn’t.  And Toyota wants Christy to know about it:

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Good luck in Week 4 everyone!

A Poem About Someone Else Losing Their Hair

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A couple weeks ago my mom forwarded something to me and I want to share it with you (with the author’s permission of course).  A dear family friend who we’ve known for a long time is battling cancer.  Her name is Barbara, and she’s a super amazing person.  She only found out about the cancer recently and the chemo therapy is doing what you might expect to her hairline.  (I have no such excuse for my cue ball)  Barbara is also a great writer/poet and she wrote this poem about her experience:

Ode to my Hair

Oh how I love my short black hair

To be losing it now just don’t seem fair

But how can I complain about mere hair

When the Lord sees fit my life to spare

But still as I watch the strands come out

I laugh, I cry, I cringe, I shout

I see more of my scalp with each passing day

And know soon my hair will be all gone away

The wig I chose is actually pretty good

It fits my head just the way that it should

And I got a few hats that make me look sassy

Plus a silky black turban that’s really quite classy

I hear that when it starts growing back

It may come in blonde instead of black

Now that would certainly be a sight to see!

Would anyone even recognize me?

All in all, I will try not to despair

Over temporary loss of my short black hair

For the loss is merely a small sacrifice

For the blessing of living a long healthy life

You rock, Barbara!

The Importance Of Knowing Who (and how many) you’re inviting to your House to Eat Cake

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | | 8 comments |

Last week we had the realization that our Allison’s birthday was coming up and we hadn’t planned a party yet.  This wasn’t a huge deal, since she’s was turning 4 and, well, she’s pretty easy to fake out.  We also realized that we were going to HAVE to make a cake and, eventually, you know, eat it.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re not anti-cake by any stretch, but we (by which I mean the Mrs HTF of course) have made a few birthday cakes over the years and we always end up with massive leftovers that only slowly get eaten.  (except for the frosting – this part is usually gone by the evening after the birth of the cake, thanks to one of our kids literally LICKING THE TOP OF THE THING OFF.)  Well, we decided that it would be fun to have some folks over to munch the cake and to hang out.  Allison would think it was a birthday party AND we’d have a night of fun with friends.  The perfect plan . . .

We picked a few folks that we wanted to get to hang out with and get to know better and made the calls.  To our surprise, and I am usually surprised by this, they all said yes.  It was only then that we figured out something, really, really, important.  We’d picked 3 couples without paying attention to the number of kids involved.  Minor oversight . . . until I did some math (dangerous) and realized that we had just committed ourselves to hosting 16 SMALL CHILDREN.  Two of the families had 5 little people and the other brought 2, so with our 4 we suddenly had more kids bouncing around than my daughter has in her kindergarten class . . . and we don’t have a gym inside our house or an on-site nurse. 

I was more worried than I let on, but it actually went extremely well.  (although I think a few of the parents were a bit worried the whole time since their children were roving around our house and yard in a small herd of mischievousness)  Unfortunately the kids were way too busy playing to eat much of the cake, so our party didn’t really solve that problem.  But we did fake Allison out and she gleefully assumed the whole event was for her.  The adults were only able to get through one wild game of Outburst, but that’s ok.  I’ve learned that most folks only tolerate me in small doses anyway.

The kids ended the night without disturbing the structural integrity of the house OR spending any time in an ambulance, so we’ll call that a win.  However, next time we have a get together I will do more math . . . earlier.

HTF The Fantasy Football League – Week 2 Report

Friday, September 25, 2009 | | 5 comments |

Our second week is in the books and Christy’s Crushers has leapt to the front of the pack (much thanks to the Drew Brees) followed by our other undefeated team, Blue Blood.  I eeked out my first win of the year, and apparently am being sponsored by Toyota, cuz this graphic appeared on our site:

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That’s right, the rabid robot possumz look more like mechanical gerbils whose batteries have run out.  Ha Ha!!  (I don’t plan to win often so I have to enjoy it)  Here are the rest of the results and the standings:

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Good luck in Week 3!

How I Nearly Melted 11 Coworkers

Thursday, September 24, 2009 | | 6 comments |

A few nights ago we had an awesome work “team-building” event.  We went to this cool restaurant on the water and a dozen of us divided into two teams.  Our mission was to, well, make dinner.  I was pretty skeptical that we’d do anything worth munching, but hey, it would be fun to try.  They had one of these massive kitchens, and here’s the kicker – it was stocked with EVERYTHING you could ever want to cook stuff (utensils, veggies, seasoning, meats, ovens . . . and fire extinguishers).  Let’s be clear, my cooking skillz are right in line with my hair gel skills.  Here are the top five things I’ve been known to “cook” (and the Mrs HTF will keep me honest on this):

  • Pancakes with chocolate chips (the mix is one of those that you just add water to – highly complex)
  • Assorted meat products dropped on the grill and heated until . . . black
  • Cereal – I have been known to do both Life AND Honey Bunches of Oats
  • Mac ‘n Cheese – but the kids have taken over the adding of cheese, milk, butter and stirring, so I pretty much just pour the Mac in the agua
  • Microwave Popcorn

So you can see why I had some trepidation about cooking for people I had to work with.  My main assigned task was the cooking of the steak.  I was assigned to create a “dry rub.”  There was a shelf with roughly 654,987 different bottles of spices.  So I grabbed a few and gave them a highly-scientific sniff.  Then I started dumping spoonfulls in to a bowl while pretending that I had some idea of what I was doing.  We were going with a Latin theme, so I found a little Cayenne Pepper and added that for a bit of a kick.  At the end, I again sniffed my creation and didn’t feel immediately nauseous, so I had a coworker sniff it too, and she said it was alright.  As a final check we took it to the supervising chef who was a pro helping both teams.  She asked if we’d tasted it.  “Um, no, but we smelled it.”  She looked a little confused at my answer.  Then she took a pinch of it and put it in her mouth.  She then smiled and said, “how much Cayenne Pepper did you add.”  I gave the same answer my kids would’ve given: “I don’t know.”  She then told me to taste it.  I did.  Very quickly portions of my tongue turned into Little Flaming Taste Buds (good name for a rock band).  The stuff was disastrously hot.  She suggested a do-over, and I dumped it in the trash can . . . defeated.  I called it my Dry Rub Dry Run.  I thought my screw-up would be kept quiet until I turned around to see my boss with A VIDEO CAMERA!  So I’ll probably get to relive that funness a few times.  My second attempt actually worked quite well, and I was pretty happy with how the meat eventually turned out.  By which I mean everyone who ate it survived.  My team actually won the competition in spite of my involvement.  So it was a fun night.

But I’m sure glad for the chef who taught me that the best way to know how something will taste is to, well, taste it.  The sniffer isn’t totally accurate sometimes…

Two Head are better than, well, …..

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | | 5 comments |

The Mrs HTF has a twin sister.  My brother and sister are twins.  I’m AWFULLY lucky we didn’t have twins.  Although our oldest son does sometimes makes us feel like we’re dealing with unruly triplets, when it’s only him doing the skullduggery.  (yep, I just said a word that you should totally use all the time)

Traci’s twin sister is here visiting us.  We’ve spent some time together over the years since her clan lived only about 4.5 hours away from my herd.  The kids get along great, and act, well, the way cousins should . . . which sometimes results in boisterous laughter interrupted occasionally by serious injuries.  There are 4 kids in our group and 5 in theirs, so we can field a terrible, but almost totally potty-trained, baseball team.  We’re kind of a sight to see when we roll somewhere together.  It looks more like a daycare field trip than two families out and about.  The kids are pretty close in age.  And the two sisters look pretty similar according to most folks, so I often lie in wait to see people start talking to my sister-in-law as if she were the marvelous Mrs HTF.  Makes me totally wish I had a twin.  He would go to lots of meetings at work for me and also he’d spend entire Saturdays doing yard work at my house while I was watching football somewhere. 

When my wife and her sister are together though I get to see some really disconcerting twin dynamics (DTDs).  Think for a second about the bizarre conversations you have with yourself in your head about, say, what to wear to church or how to decorate a room.  Seriously, how do those conversations go?  Here’s my guess – they are scarily blunt, they skip entire phrases because some things are just “understood” by the “two” parties, they may seem like actual fights at times, but you never actually offend yourself.  You actually end up liking yourself at the end of these mental debates.  Well, with my wife and her twin sister they have the exact same types of discussions, but they do it out loud.  Don’t worry though, they limit the topics of their debates to, well, everything.

It’s interesting . . . from a safe distance.  I’ve learned never to interrupt or even worse, to get involved in the discussion.  Not only would I not be able to keep up, but I’d walk away feeling deeply offended and/or utterly confused.

So the next time you’re trying to decide what to wear on your night out, imagine those thoughts being “out loud” and well . . . laugh at me.  And if you see my twin, please send him back – there’s weeding to do.

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