Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

 The big kids did not join us for most of the Easter festivities today, so Eli got almost all of the attention.  Here, the Easter Bunny (Max in disguise) is giving Eli pointers on how to scoop up the most eggs in the hunt.
 Eli has lined up here with the other kids his age.  He gathered a lot of eggs and didn't push any kids down doing it.  Good job, kid.
 Eli with his bestest girl, Sid.  She appears to have gathered a gaggle of eggs, herself.
 Max on the hunt for his eggs at Grandma's house.  It took him a while, as his eggs were hidden by one of the more devious aunts.  He found them, and there was money.
 Eli found his eggs rather quickly at Grandma's.  He is showing off his bounty.
It's a big birthday month around here, with Eli turning 7 and Denise hitting the big four/four.  There will be more to celebrate later the month, too.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lots of Reading Material

My wonderful in-laws know how much I love old cars, so they picked up a few books for my birthday.  Isn't it awesome that I don't get neck ties for my birthday??  Thanks for the thoughtful gifts.

'merica

Apparently, McDonald's will make you a "Monster Mac" if you press them.  I wonder which states have the highest instance of Monster Mac orders?  It's 'merica, so it's wonderful that you have a choice to order such things, but----  WHY?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hanna's hair

 Before:  This is Hanna getting her hair did.
After:  Hanna's hair is so long and luxurious!  Such a sweet heart.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Big Shark Work Horse

This is a photo of the Big Shark van instrument panel that I took at a stoplight while driving it tonight.  You can't see the mileage (the flash flooded it out) but it's got 208,000 miles on it, and there is a nifty little "ABS" warning light there on the left.  I'm pretty sure that brightly lit orange "ABS" light is not brightly lit just to let me know that the anti-lock braking system is doing fine.

Over many years, I have driven the van occasionally.  Tonight, the beautiful Mrs K needed to have the van taken to a co-worker who will then drive it to the Tour of St.Louis time trial in the morning.  I flat out refused to let her drive the van, knowing that the unsuspecting Mrs K wouldn't be...prepared...for the treat that is the Big Shark van.

As the van lurched and wheezed it's way up Skinker, I marveled at the sheer decay that has beset this van.  The seats have foam and fabric still attached, but in such a way that they look to be molting.  The steering wheel in it's complete malaise, has no real association with the front tires.  The cacophony of noise that accompanies EVERY SINGLE MOVEMENT of the van is deafening at times.  Benny Hill  (and perhaps even the Three Stooges) could have an entire skit built around the noises alone.  And the brakes?  The right pedal has had the dubious distinction of being called "brake pedal" for a decade, yet now it is the single mechanical connection that works perfectly, ABS be damned.  Yes!!

Through all of this, it is necessary to know that if you attended bike races in the St. Louis area over the last 10 years, this vehicle delivered the hardware to put on those races.  Stuffed (literally) in the back of this thing are banners, cones, tents, tarps, zip-ties, tables, chairs, pens, consent forms, race bells, race numbers, bull horns, police tape, snow fencing...I can't even name it all.  If you attend a St. Louis area race, ride or event that is remotely associated with biking, the overwhelming chances are that this vehicle had something to do with the set-up.

Those who drive it always have a comedic story afterward.  But each one of those 208,000 miles has a story, too...stories from all of the racers and riders that have benefited from this old work horse and the job that it does.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Beef Stroganoff

I remember hating it as a young kid.  I would ask my mom what we were having for dinner, and she would say "George is making Beef Stroganoff".  George, of course, being my dad.  Beef Stroganoff, of course, being something that my young palette couldn't enjoy for a few more years.  And I remember it taking forever.  And all of that pounding of the beef on the cutting board with the cool little hammer.

Why all the pounding?  "To make it more tender", my mom would say.  My mom would say this because good ol' George would just look at me and half-way grin and go back to the all-day process of making the stuff.  Such a pity when we could have just had hamburgers, I thought.

By the time I was a teenager, I really loved the stuff.  Dad didn't always make it anymore, as he was slowing down a lot.  But my mom was learning to cook a lot of the things that Dad used to cook, and she was getting better at it. (A side note:  my mom was not what I called a good cook.  She would admit it, too.  But after my dad stopped cooking, she actually became much better.  Until, of course, she stopped putting in key ingredients that she thought were unhealthy, which is a completely different story.)  I really looked forward to Stroganoff as I aged.

Fast forward to now.  Sure, you can get the stuff when you dine out...sometimes.  And I think Noodles has it on the menu.  Not quite the same as home made, though.  Now my lovely wife makes it.  Not often, mind you, but it is awesome.  We had it for dinner tonight and I am engorged.

I never thought I would like Beef Stroganoff.  Or meat loaf.  Or Mom's stuffed peppers.  Oh, wait...I still hate those.  Sorry, Mom.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

More photos of my Buddy

Hanna emailed me three photos of Rosco that she found on her camera.  I'm pretty sure that they are a year, year and a half old at most.  Hanna is very beautiful in them, as well.  They made me and my heart smile.