Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Ok, this song was on and a debate broke out. My wife says she realized that the song is about "Mommy" actually kissing "Daddy", but I maintain that there is no evidence of that and that she is actually kissing Santa. Not that there is any kind of sordid intercontinental love triangle going on, it's innocent, but I think it is actually Santa the song is referring to. I searched the internet but came to no definitive conclusions. The second verse of the song references Santa's white beard, and the original cover art features a traditional Santa, so I maintain my original opinion. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Special Guest Blogger....

Hello to all of my Daddy's readers (both of you)! I am Obi-wan-ka-Zoey. Although I lack the opposable thumbs, I type remarkably well. We had a big storm last night, which left me pretty scared...
But it did soften the ground enough for Daddy to dig a hole in the yard...
Which he filled in with a new crepe myrtle!
It would look much better if he would figure out how to change the string on the weedeater and get rid of the dead weeds along the fence. My grandma and grandpa gave us FIVE crepe myrtles to plant in our empty backyard. I really hope they fare better than the Bradford Pear that Daddy planted a couple years ago...
It hasn't done so well!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thanks Mom and Dad!

With Christmas season fast approaching, I had been feeling really guilty that I had not yet used a gift certificate my parents got me for Christmas LAST YEAR to have my car detailed.

You see, during the summer, Texas weathermen like to do this thing my wife and I call the "Summer String-a-Long" where they always predict rain to be about three days away. The problem is, the third day never comes, the rain is always three days away and never shows up, it just stays really hot and dry. I used this perennially pending rain as my excuse for not having my car detailed. Ok, ok, I am the ultimate procrastinator! I finally went, and I am so happy, I don't think my car looked this good when it was new! It's really shiny inside and out!

I m
anaged to take a picture before it got too dark. Thanks Mom and Dad!! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Important information about the DTV transition!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Let's get analytical!

I should cook more often.. my last post generated the most unique visits ever on my blog-
There must be a lot of vegetable pasta fans out there!

You may be wondering- how did I get this data?

I will tell you how!

I am a big analytical nerd. It's half of what I do at my job and it's a lot of fun (the other half is marketing, also a lot of fun). So naturally, I would discover the cool tool that is
Google Analytics. It is free and as the name would suggest, it lets you analyze your blog. Without this, I wouldn't know that I have received 81 visitors who came here from my Mom's blog. Thanks Mom! Another cool feature is a map that lets you see where everyone is coming from...Most of my visitors are from the U.S. of course, but it was neat to see I have visits from Spain, Greece, Argentina, Columbia, China, England, and Chile. Maybe one of those people will buy me a ticket to come visit their country and cook them some vegetable pasta. :)

As if that was not cool enough, you can click the country to view further detail..
then you can click on the state to view even FURTHER detail! This is where it gets really cool. Google really thinks of everything. You can click on the city to get a street by street interactive map of who visits your website. After clicking on the street name you can get even more detail about your individual visitors, like this...

Ok, so that last part was made up, but Google Analytics is really cool.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hey, I can cook!

Growing up, my dad was always the master of breakfast before we headed off to school. I took it for granted that *every* kid probably had a plate of eggs, bacon and toast before heading out for the day. Or maybe pancakes (with smiley faces of course) and sausage. And if the syrup should "accidentally" get on the sausage, all the better. Heaven forbid if we just had "dog food" (his word for cereal). Mom usually handled dinner and on the rare occasion she was not there, Dad's supper time stylings were either breakfast foods (no problem there) or something that involved pan fried potatoes sliced like fries. No problem with fries, but after a few times you realize it's not quite the gamut of Mom on the dinner side of things. Luckily, I like to think I inherited the breakfast food skill. My wife is quite the chef, so I was thrilled when I made scrambled eggs one day and she was trying to figure out how I made them so nice and fluffy. I thought adding a little shot of milk to the mix was common knowledge, but it was new to her. I think this is the sole culinary technique I have been able to share with her, so I was quite happy.No, I can't take credit for that bread. When I got home yesterday I could tell my wife was exhausted. She had spent the day making TONS of delicious apple cinnamon bread and didn't feel up to making dinner (uh oh). Excluding breakfast food, my expertise in cooking consists of spreading tortilla chips on a plate, putting shredded cheese on top, and microwaving for about 30 seconds (Dad really has me beat with his fried potatoes). So I asked what she had planned to cook before volunteering my cooking skills. "Vegetable Pasta" she said. Luckily, this one was pretty simple. I just boiled some water...... and put in the noodles. Then I chopped up some mushrooms, squash, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes. I put this in the skillet after melting about half a stick of butter, let it simmer, then added salt and pepper and garlic of course.
I admit I was nervous as she spooned it up, but it turned out delicious! Plus, it's hard to screw up, especially when you coat the end result in half a can of Parmesan cheese. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Lightning Strikers Are Undefeated!

That's right, the Lightning Strikers are undefeated! Who are the Lightning Strikers? My fantasy football team of course! I have the coolest wife ever. How cool? I asked where she wanted to go out for our seven year anniversary Monday and she just looked at me with a dissappointed face and asked if I really thought she would rather go out and miss Monday Night Football. Anyways, she is the one who created our fantasy league two years ago. How did my team get a crazy name like the Lightning Strikers? Well, when we are not engaging in such cool activities as fantasy football, we often enjoy a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit on the weekends (we are really wild party people I know). My dear wife usually kicks my rear with her amazing knowledge, but I have a rather mean tactic to stay in the game. On the final space of the game the opponent gets to pick the question from any of the categories on the card. So, since she is usually in the final space way ahead of me, I always choose the hardest question on the card so I can catch up. Usually the most obscure sports questions about golf, tennis, or soccer. One night after literally about 5 hours of a mind numbing Trivial Pursuit standoff, the question I picked was regarding the name of some foreign soccer team that nearly no one on earth would know. Feeling particularly evil, I wouldn't let her just say that she didn't know and I pressed her for the name of the team. Finally she blurted out, "I don't know... THE LIGHTNING STRIKERS!??!". We burst out laughing for the longest time because we are huge nerds. So now I proudly use the name for my team. Man, that was the geekiest post ever. Also, kudos to my brother-in-law for the least creative team name this season. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Say hello to my little friend...

This is one of the fun parts of my job. Our veterinary hospital is also a drop off location for the local wildlife rescue center. We get lots of injured birds, but usually just the garden variety sparrows and what not. But today this little guy came in! I think he is a Tennessee Warbler. He even posed for the camera!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Reader's Indigestion

My Reader's Digest threw up...

I really dislike the "Business Reply Mail" cards in magazines. I was reading an article in this month's Reader's Digest and the cover slipped out of my hand and I lost my place. I was having trouble finding it again due to these stupid cards so I decided to rip them out. There were four! Then I got overzealous and decided to rip out every page that had a full page ad on both sides. It was 19 pages! On top of that, there were 22 other full page ads that had actual content on the other side. I didn't even bother counting smaller ads. So.
. 19 pages with full page ads on both sides= 38 full page ads. Add the 22 to that and it is 60 FULL PAGES OF ADS! This isn't even counting partial page ads and the four "Business Reply Mail" cards! I think it would be best if these would only reach people who want to read them, so I have started my own publication which I call "Just the Ads". Let me know if you want to subscribe and I will send you a "Business Reply Mail" envelope! :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bacteria Soap Woo hoo!

I somehow wound up on dialsoap.com today...

I have never bought into the benefits of anti-bacterial soap. I think it kills "good bacteria" and weakens our immune system. That's just my zany opinion. Anyways, on Dial's website, I found it funny that on one side of the page they mention they are celebrating 60 years of being the "gold standard" in "antibacterial clean" and then, just a FRACTION OF AN INCH on the SAME PAGE from that they promote the new "yogurt nourishing body wash"...

If I remember my 3rd grade science correctly, yogurt is made through the BACTERIAL fermentation of milk. That's right. Yogurt has bacteria in it. But I thought I antibacterial soap was best! WHAT'S GOING ON HERE!?!?!

Seriously, I am sure both products are fine, I just thought it was a strange parallel. (Please don't sue me Dial)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our silly dog

Ok, I have had writers block for a while and my week has been pretty mundane, so I will tell you how our dog's week has been. I know, I know, exciting stuff! Our little pup is quite the morning person. Most mornings when she wakes up, she does sprints throughout the house just because she is so happy to be alive another day (we can learn a lot from dogs). Sunday was no exception. Unfortunately, in her excitement while trying to jump on the bed, she miscalculated the trajectory she would need to make it at her current speed. She hit the corner of the bed hard and fell backwards and landed on her back. For the rest of the day she was more sedate than usual. After she yelped a couple times when I tried to pick her up, it sealed my decision as an overprotective pet parent that she needed to come to work with me Monday morning and see the doctor. It turned out she will be fine, the diagnosis was "probable strained muscle due to collision". She is on pain meds for a couple weeks, but it is liquid that tastes like honey, so she is fine with it. We have also been lifting her when she wants up and down to make sure she doesn't hurt it any further. However, she is quite a sly dog and I think she has figured out this system. I am not so sure that she is hurting anymore but she is really liking being lifted up and down wherever she wants to be. Now she just pauses and looks up at us like "Well?? Are you just gonna sit there?". Yeah, we are well trained.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our weed eaters

I was passing by our back door the other day and caught this bunny lounging comfortably under the shade of our patio cover. If you look closely (click the picture to enlarge) you can see his friend by the terra cotta pot on the left (with the rain-beaten tomato plant). They do their best to try to keep our weeds trimmed, but it is just too much for them. Our dog likes to chase them, but has no interest in actually catching them. If she gets within a few feet and they haven't run away, she makes a wide circle around them until they run off. They don't even leave the yard, they just hop off a few feet and she is happy that she has scared them enough. I think she likes them because they drop that unique tasting kibble that she likes to eat when we aren't looking.

Run for it!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This one is for my crazy cat lady sister.

Fix yo kittehs!

Click the picture for more. It's one of my favorite sites.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My drug lab?

Not quite! Last week "the Mrs." discovered a LOCAL supplier for me to get the good stuff pictured above. It's good quality stuff, not that stuff you get at the local big chain stores that is full of sodium laurel sulfates and whatnot. Ordering good stuff like this online always negates my profit due to the high cost of shipping, so I was really glad to find a supplier nearby. The pharmacy requires an ID for me to get sinus medicine, but the stuff in the picture I walked out with and didn't even have to give my name! What is it? Well, when put into the hands of a master craftsmen (or just me), it becomes this:

Fabulous soap! I have made it for a few years now and thanks to finding a local shop with good quality supplies and over 2,000 scents to choose from, I have taken the plunge and am selling it online in my (second!) Etsy store: Mr Soap! It is a lot of fun to make and even more fun to wash your hands with something that smells like Funnel Cake or Cantaloupe rather than plain old Dial.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympics!

For the past several days my wife and I have been enjoying watching the Olympics. Yesterday we got into a discussion of how certain sports had only one event, you either win a medal or you go home with nothing. However, in swimming, they have like 30 chances to win a gold medal. It's like getting to go to the arcade with a roll of quarters! Game over? Nah! Try again! This discussion led me to do an internet search related to Olympic swimming and I came across a great story from the Sydney games back in 2000. This, my friends, is Eric Moussambani...

"Eric the Eel" is from Equatorial Guinea, a tiny sliver of a nation on the Atlantic coast of Africa. Prior to 2000, Equatorial Guinea was not known for it's swimmers, mostly because in the whole country there are a total of two swimming pools. That's right, only TWO swimming pools! Luckily, the Olympics has a wild card drawing of sorts to allow developing countries that would otherwise not qualify to participate to have a spot in the games. Due to this excellent rule, Mr. Moussambani would represent his country in the 100m freestyle.

Only eight months prior to the games Eric began training in a "less than Olympic size" hotel swimming pool. Before arriving in Sydney he had not even seen an Olympic pool. Needless to say, swimming all 100m at the same time was quite a tall order for Eric. There were two other competitors in his heat of the 100m, but in a bizarre turn of events, both of them had a false start, which disqualified them from the heat. This meant the pride of Equatorial Guinea was the default winner of the heat and would just have to solo swim the 100m to win. I will let you view the video to see this great Olympic moment. Make sure you keep an eye on the world record time on the left and Eric's time on the right. Both hilarious and inspiring in my opinion.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Favorites- Compost!

I am hooked on composting. It is the nerdiest pseudo-hobby ever. It all started a year or so ago when my father-in-law decided he wanted to get rid of his compost bins. I am the eternal opportunist when it comes to useful things that are destined for the curb (it's genetic), so I jumped at the chance! They may look like simple Rubbermaid panels that interlock to form bins, but, well... ok, that's exactly what they are! You can make compost bins out of anything or just pile up your materials in a corner, but the bins are a little more aesthetically pleasing than a bunch of ramshackle pallets hammered together into a box.

To start this "hobby" I got my bins set up and did some research on what to put in them. I was delighted to learn there is really no way you can mess up compost, unlike my previous hobby of building small nuclear reactors in the garage, man did that go wrong! Anyways, given enough time, anything will compost, but if you do it right you get compost faster. Composting is simple, you basically mix up "browns" and "greens". Browns are your carbons- dried leaves, hay, shredded newspaper, etc. Greens are your nitrogen- grass clippings, coffee grounds, fruit & vegetable scraps. You can even ask for free "Grounds for your Garden" at Starbucks! Caffeine fix and nitrogen, all in one stop!

Compost occurs in nature pretty much everywhere leaves (browns) fall on the growing plants (greens). This creates a thin layer of compost on the ground over the course of several months or years. The idea of a compost bin is to speed the process by making it into a large pile. The reason for having a good nitrogen/carbon balance is for the little workers who make your compost for you. Tiny creatures, from bacteria to visible bugs use the carbons for energy and the nitrogen for growth. They basically eat all of your yard waste and turn it into compost. By "turn it into compost" I mean the microbes eat your yard waste and then poop compost. Before you decide that is too gross to even touch, think about the part that microbes play in how your yogurt, cheese, or beer is made... and you actually EAT that!

After you start a compost pile you start to realize just how wide a variety of stuff can go in it. The tomato on your plant rotted in the sun? Toss it in the compost! What do I do with all the corn husks from those tamales? Into the pile it goes! I even bought a blender to liquefy scraps and really speed up the process. I'll be honest, the "veggie scrap smoothie" looks disgusting but when I add it to the pile I feel like Uncle Jesse from the Dukes of Hazzard putting the "fixins" in the moonshine still.

Ok, now that you have your compost, what good is it?
See for yourself-
Ok, I should have taken the picture before the heat made the marigolds all scraggly. The marigolds on the right I got for free because they were clinically DEAD. When I planted them they were tiny brown crumpled stems. I mixed some compost and potting soil (1/3 compost and 2/3 potting soil) and planted them and they have taken off like crazy. The marigolds on the left were bought and planted alive and just put in regular potting soil. They remain status quo. But who wants status quo plants? I like my super-freak plants, enhanced only by the natural decomposition of the junk that came out of my yard and kitchen!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A little insight into my weirdness

One year in elementary school I was in a classroom that had a large calendar that took up the entire length of one wall. Each month of the year was on it's own giant poster board in a unique color. It is for this reason that I confuse February and November to this day! As you can see from my handy color coded calendar, February and November were both brown! All the other months were different colors, although March and May were different shades of blue and June and July were different shades of green. For some reason though, this has always made sense to me because they both start with the same letter, so it would be logical to have similar colors.

Also in elementary I was always a little stressed in the lunch line because I would confuse salad and lettuce and didn't know which one it was to tell the lunch lady that I didn't want. I'm sure she was entertained when I asked for no salad on my burger. Hmm... let's see what other weirdnesses can I try to justify through my crazy logic... I tend to read magazines backwards, not the sentences or paragraphs, when I pick one up I just always start from the back cover and peruse backwards. . Ok, for the finale I will reveal how I visualize numbers. I have explained this to a lot of people and there are only two reactions- they either think I am completely nuts or they can relate exactly to what I'm talking about. Ok, so here it is. This is how I view numbers in my head-At 101 the pattern repeats, going up, then to the right, etc etc. Makes perfect sense, right? :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Favorites!

Ok, I am blatantly copying my mom and sister's ideas and I'm going to start posting some of my favorite things every Friday. Pictured above is my delicious dinner from last night, BRATWURST!!! I first discovered bratwurst when I was somewhere between 10 and 13 years old. The good people at Johnsonville had set up a huge trailer sized grill at some sort of Octoberfest event my family was at. I expressed interest in this new dish and so my mom bought me one. They were served wrapped in a flour tortilla (although I have not had them in this format since) and were delicious! I remember going back for at least two more that day. Now that I can grill my own, I do every chance I get. There is only one rule to grilling bratwurst. The rule is this: never poke holes in the bratwurst!! Doing so releases all the delicious flavor juices that make them so good. What you end up with is something that resembles a bratwurst visually but only with a hint of the flavor. Another good tip- when you are out somewhere (especially fast food places or ballparks) and you see it advertised that bratwurst is sold, but it is the size of a hot dog and kind of grayish, don't eat it! It's nowhere near as good! In the picture you can kind of see I was indecisive on my toppings. One has mustard, one has ketchup, and the third has ketchup on half and mustard on half. If you are really daring, onions and relish are good to. My wife likes Miracle Whip on them.. she even does this to chili dogs. Disgusting, but it's the only thing we disagree on, so I'll let it slide.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Farewell to Bennigan's

How sad that Bennigan's is closed for good. Granted, I only ate there probably once every five years. The best thing on the menu was the Monte Cristo (pictured above), a delicious ham and turkey sandwich with melted Swiss AND American cheese that was then DEEP FRIED and smothered with POWDERED SUGAR. If that is not enough, it came with a side of RASPBERRY JELLY to dip it in, and fries of course. While not the healthiest meal, it was tasty and will be sorely missed. However, this closing means there is an opening for another restaurant to come up with something even more delicious and twice as unhealthy! I thought I would give them some help, so here is what I've come up with. I call it, the Monte Jaybird!I am not sure if it will be as delicious, but I am certain that the health aspects will be about the same.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stargate Continuum!! Woooot!!

Today I took a trip to Target. Not just Target. SUPER TARGET. Things are usually good when they have "SUPER" in front of the name. This is unfortunately not the case for Target. Today is a very exciting day because "Stargate Continuum" is out on DVD! What's that? You have no idea what I am talking about? Ok. Here is the run down. Back in 1994 a movie came out called Stargate. It starred Kurt Russell and James Spader. If you haven't seen this, I highly recommend it. This kicked off a TV series starring Richard Dean Anderson (aka MacGyver) called Stargate SG-1. This is our (my wife and I) favorite show of all time. It lasted a whopping 10 seasons. The series finale was kind of a downer. There were two main storylines that they didn't really sufficiently finish. So, a few months ago, they released a feature length "straight to DVD" movie to finish one storyline, and TODAY, they release "Continuum" which wraps up the other storyline. Here is the bounty I seek-

Now for the reason I do not like Super Target. When the first DVD came out, I stopped here because it was on my way home from work. Unfortunately, the store is 5 miles wide and I had parked at the south end, only to find the DVDs were on the north end. With this lesson learned I parked on the north end this time! I'm so smart! I quickly grabbed my DVD and headed for the checkout lanes...

As you can see, I am at checkout lane 19, meaning I have passed 18 registers that are closed. 24, 26 and one other was open, but their were people with basket-loads in those lines, so I walked to the far SOUTH END of the store (yes, opposite of where I parked) to get to the "express" lanes. Only one person was in front of me in this "10 items or less" lane... you see where this is going.. yes, she had 17 items! Although there may have been 10 UNIQUE items, there were 17 total. Since the customer is never wrong, I'm sure Target will never explain this nuance to anyone, inconveniencing those of us taking advantage of the convenience of the express lane. I filled my canteen and hired a guide and took the long trek to the opposite side of the parking lot, but I got the movie! And an excellent movie it was! Well worth the trouble!

I look a little loony in the picture, but that is only because it is hard to covertly take pictures of yourself in a store without being thrown out.

Let the weirdness begin!

Ok, you are probably wondering why I would name my blog something as random as 431 LKH. The reason is twofold. First off, when signing up for my blog I tried several clever and witty names, all of which were taken of course. And since I didn't want to settle for a blog name like coolguy42313, I decided on the one letter/number combo that couldn't possibly be taken. It is the alphanumeric designation given by the Texas Department of Transportation to my parent's Oldsmobile Delta 88 sometime in the mid-eighties. I don't know why, I've always just remembered that license plate number. The earliest event I recall remembering it was when we took a trip to the Guadalupe river. Mom and I went to get the inner tubes to float down the river in while Dad and my siblings parked the car. The guy issuing the inner tubes asked my mom what the license plate number is. This is a system they have in place to stop inner tube theft. In case we decided to suddenly abscond with their precious valuable inner tubes, they would take possession of our priceless Delta 88. Anyways... I remember Mom saying "Gerad, go back to the car and get the license plate number." I said "I don't need to go back, it's 431 LKH". She gave me a strange look and asked me how I knew that. And so began a long string of strange useless things that I remember over long periods of time, while I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday..