Monday, May 30, 2011

And A Happy Memorial Day To All

I've got Old Glory flying outside the front porch. In today's wind (gusting around 40 mph) her colors are well displayed!

Little Geoana spent Friday and Saturday nights at the lake with one of her friends (and the friend's family). Sunday morning she comes through the front door. Tired, a little scraggly, a bit sunburnt, and not quite full of energy.

Turns out she spent plenty of time in or right at the edge of the lake, making sandcastles and engaging in other activities such as playing boat with a fallen tree and throwing mud clods at the other kids. She herself was the recipient of a rock to the head, courtesy of friend's slightly older brother. (He claims it was an accident.)

My words to her? "Sounds like you had a great time."

She did.


Popped up the camper this morning, first time this season. Thankfully everything is safely intact and there was no mold or mildew from the wet spring.

We have only one trip on the docket this summer. Unfortunately little Geoana's summer commitments combined with Geogal starting school soon makes for a June-July-August with little downtime, family-wise.

The one downside of camper check-out came when we were readying the rig for takedown. The bungee on the back end bunk canvas snapped in two. No big surprise, we already knew the thing was worn when we bought the pop-up. In fact we're a bit surprised it held out this long.

No matter. A quick look on indicates this will be a fairly easy fix.

I hope.


More evidence of the double standard.

Geogal and I went to Kearney on Saturday. I find a pair of swim trunks at Old Navy on sale for $8. (For the record, I have had my current pair for over 10 years. The elastic in the waistband is gone. I'd say I got my money's worth.)

Geogal, on the other hand, can't seem to find herself a suit that runs less than $50 or $60. She finally finds something online she likes but when it comes time to place the order it turns out the item won't ship for about three weeks.

My comment? "Women's swimsuits seem to be one of the biggest rackets there is." She agreed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I win!

This morning was just like many others in the Geohouse.

Geogal went to go wake up little Geoana.

Upon returning, Geogal tells me the little one had her hands to her face while in slumber. "Mommy, I dreamt I got braces."

(We did spend Sunday afternoon with a family we've befriended, since our last get-together their son is now adorned with braces.)

Geogal's answer? "I dreamt I was eating a breakfast burrito."

My dream? "I was driving up Interstate 10, heading for Sky Harbor airport. Had plenty of time to make my plane. Then the Highway Patrol pulls all vehicles off the roadway in groups of 50. They then question us one at a time. Nothing about any possible criminal activity, rather the questions were the nature of 'What is the maximum speed allowed on such-and-such highway?'

"I was looking at the clock, trying to determine if I could endure this delay and still make my plane."

For what it's worth I won the "weird-dream-just-before-waking-contest." Hey, I take my victories where I can get 'em.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dinner table conversation

On Sunday we ordered a pizza for lunch. Brought it home, Geogal and little Geoana already had served themselves and were seated at the table. I prepared my plate, went into the dining room and was hit with a distinct whiff of something pungent.

I thought for a moment, then identified it as Parmesan cheese. Sure enough, Geogal had torn open a packet and dumped it over her slice. I verbalized my discovery, saying the smell was unmistakeable.

Little Geoana said in reply: "That's what that is? I thought somebody farted."

(She shares my disdain for most things cheesy, save pizza.)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Further indoctrination into the ways of rural Kansas families

It's no secret that many people around here are farmers, related to farmers, or have lasting friendships with farmers. And along with the growing of wheat, corn, milo, and alfalfa comes raising critters as well.

I already get farm-fresh eggs from one of my coworkers (her mother owns numerous hens and this is the time of year where their egg production skyrockets). Therefore, excepting the winter months, the Geohouse enjoys the best-tasting eggs around.

A few weeks ago I heard this particular colleague talking in the hallway about one of her acquaintances about to send in a cow for processing. My ears perked up and I butted into the conversation by saying I was interested in buying into this process. Before I knew it I was on the hook for one quarter of beef, the price to be determined. (It's based on the weight of the cow/steer and the current market price.)

Last week I got a card from the locker, my meat was ready for pickup. I loaded my truck with coolers and thermal bags (the locker is about a 45-50 minute drive one-way).

We now have a freezer full of beef. Steaks, roasts, stew meat, ground 90/10, premade hamburger patties, BBQ ribs, and liver to boot.

In case you're curious, the cow weighed in at almost 1500 pounds. No tipping this bovine.

Yesterday I thawed a couple of packages of hamburger patties and cooked them up on the kettle charcoal grill (still don't have the propane beauty working yet).

The verdict? Out of this world. Little Geoana commented the burgers practically melted in your mouth. Everyone liked the flavor. Just about what we expected. One of Geogal's coworkers warned her, "Once you've bought a local cow, you'll never go back to grocery-store beef."

And we haven't even tried the steaks yet....

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Home Improvement

Last Sunday Geogal and I cleaned out one of the rooms in the basement. You know the type--it's the quarter where all of the extraneous boxes and items wind up mainly because there's no other storage alternative. It's known in this dwelling as "the guest bedroom." Simply because it includes a queen size bed. The rare occasions where we have company finds this room as base of operations for the visitors.

While spring cleaning is a good pretext the real reason for the downsizing and moving of boxes and bed was due to a project that's been in planning stages for many moons now. Geogal has long wanted an egress window in the basement. We are acquainted with a fellow here in town who is engaged in his second career as a remodeler/construction dude/cabinetmaker/old item replacer and the like. I can't call him a contractor as I don't know if he is licensed, but no matter. He took a look at our basement last fall and recommended the window go into the larger bedroom rather than be situated in the den. We noted his advice then simply waited.

A short time ago he came by and said he and a colleague would be starting the job soon. Then last week he came around and said they would begin on Monday. Sure enough, they did.

It's now Saturday and our guest bedroom contains an eye-appealing egress window.

(For those of you not in the know, an egress window is a large rectangular ventana facing out to a well that is large enough to accommodate a normal-sized adult. Inside said well is a ladder reaching up to a translucent cover that opens out to (in this case) our backyard. It's meant for emergency exit of the basement as well as to allow a firefighter access to the "downstairs.")

So either today or tomorrow Geogal and I will move the items back into the "guest bedroom." We also have hope that we can organize the boxes just a bit better to make the room appear less cluttered. Not to mention we can now officially call this a "bedroom" (apparently it couldn't have the government-approved moniker without an egress window).

To add icing to the cake he also replaced our garage door yesterday (another project with which we approached him). Our old door was not only showing its age but also last fall it snapped one of the support springs which made it nearly impossible to raise or lower. We elected to take the more expensive route and just have a new door installed.

And now every time I go online to check the savings account balance I swear I hear the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

May Day! May Day!

Decided to get little Geoana up to speed on something crucial to her future functioning.

A working knowledge of "Star Trek."

Thanks to the business entity that is Netflix we are now having episodes of Star Trek: TOS delivered to us three episodes at a time. We got her started this past week with "Where No Man Has Gone Before," "The Man Trap," and "Charlie X."

She's observant. In "WNMHGB," she picked up on Gary Mitchell's hair slowly turning gray which is something I didn't catch in numerous viewings. She also got scared by the true appearance of the creature in "The Man Trap," turning her face away from the screen and having us tell her when the creature was gone.

In all fairness it is one of the most grotesque beings ever seen on "Trek."

One thing that struck me in watching these episodes is just how well they hold up after all this time. Even though they're more than 40 years old these eps show that good storytelling is truly timeless. (That the special effects have been updated in recent years doesn't hurt.) Plus the acting, still superb today even with Shatner's mannerisms and speech now fodder for the comics.

Case in point: When the mutating Gary Mitchell turns to the camera (knowing he's being watched by the senior officers) and gives them an arrogant glare it can send a chill down your spine.

There's a good reason for the little one to start on her Trekkie journey. Both Geogal and I are fans, plus my mom has been watching the series since it first aired in 1966. I remember as a little kid my mother watching the reruns on weekends even though Dad hated (and still despises) TOS although he is much more partial towards "The Next Generation."

Geogal and I have fond memories of catching "TNG" in its first-run syndication while we were in college. And now, with little Geoana enjoying shows such as "Futurama" we figured it was time to let her in on the Star Trek jokes plus have her enjoy some of the best science fiction television around (well, maybe not season 3 of TOS).

The little girl sometimes will join us in watching TNG reruns on weeknights (though they're on at 10, a bit late for her right now). Many weeks ago I kept an eye on the schedule and finally was able to watch "The Inner Light" episode from start to finish.

You remember that episode, even if the title doesn't ring a bell. It's the one where Picard is knocked unconscious by an alien probe, during which he lives most of the adult life of a man from a planet that's long gone. When the probe releases the good captain it turns out only 25 minutes has passed on the Enterprise.

Again, good storytelling is timeless (no pun intended).