Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Wonderful Word I Learned


I heard it on the radio.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yippee Yippee-aye Cowboy

On the lone prairieeeee...

Like other members of The Mrs.'s siblingry, somehow Ellie managed to scam a trip out of her employer to come visit us. Something about a "conference" in "Denver."

Naturally, being the fantabulistic host that I am (when I'm awake, at least), I began planning a whole week ahead of time. On our way to Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend, as we entered Estes Park, I said, "Look. There's a riding stable. We should take Ellie horseback riding."

Only HannahC heard me. "Could we Dah? I love riding horses."

I should note that HannahC had never ridden a horse. She had been to pony camp and ridden ponies. Apparently, though, one of them was a "full size pony" whose back came up to, like, her chin. So she referred to it as a horse.

We talked about it every day for the week. The night before Ellie's arrival, I looked up the availability and found it to be good - didn't seem to matter what time I selected on the web page, rides were available.

HannahC happened to ask her mother if we were taking Aunt Ellie horse riding, and got a flat response of, "No." The Mrs. later claimed that this was the first she had ever heard of this scheme and had thought that HannahC had thought it up all by herself.

HannahC later took full credit for thinking it up.

However, Ellie has this Dude Ranch fantasy, where she goes to a dude ranch and enjoys herself (yeah - that's the fantasy part). Now her loving husband does not have this same fantasy, so I figured that for the good of their marriage, she should try to get some of this out of her system whilst here in Colorado.

Plus, I'd never ridden a horse despite listening to country music for years and owning a pickup truck, albeit a small one.

So we packed our sorry butts back up to Estes Park this Saturday to hit the riding stable. These folks have a nice bunch of land on the side of a mountain that they've put a bunch of trails on, it's quite picturesque, and the prices are pretty reasonable.

We paid our money, signed our wavers, and picked out helmets. Then there was a bit of milling around while they put together a few more riders to fill out the group. We went out to inspect the rides, as they were all lined up in a row. The first two horses were substantially larger than the rest of them - a good foot taller, I'd say, and with very large hooves. The first one was a bit skittish, but the other one was calm and friendly. We pet it a bit.

Then the cowboys came out to tell the women and children to choose their steeds. MaxieC decided it was too scary for him to have his own horse, so he rode with me (which save $35). I didn't get to choose my ride, as those two big, giant horses were reserved for double riders. A nice German lady and her son Max got the calm, friendly one.

I got Bam Bam. Bam Bam was so tall that the stirrups were almost at shoulder height. They brought out little steps to help poor old me climb up on him. He was the biggest horse I'd ever seen that wasn't pulling a beer wagon.

Ellie picked out a horse named Dr. Pepper.

The Mrs. picked out a cute little painted horse whose name I don't remember.

And to round it out, HannahC got a friendly little dark brown horse whose name I also do not recall.

HannahC had a long chat with our guide, Levi (in theory, not a fake name), in which she learned that he had been a karate instructor in San Schmose not too far from where we lived before moving to Colorado to become a cowboy. All the ladies had a thing for Levi.

That's Long's Peak over Lake Estes. A scenic overlook. Lake Estes was created by putting a dam across the Big Thompson River. The snow was new - having fallen roughly Wednesday.

We rode for a bit over two hours. You would not believe how much biotching went on afterwards about being sore. I, oddly enough, didn't feel all that sore. I just felt like I had sat on my ass for two hours while I was carried around. MaxieC, on the other hand, gave me all kinds of graphic descriptions during the ride of what he though the saddle horn was doing to his "nutsack."

Next time, he'll need to get his own horse.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It has recently come to my attention

that I haven't blogged in a while.

Well, I had decided to not blog unless I had something masterfully entertaining to say. Which I don't. However, I have just been informed that all that is required is a heaping dose of sarcasm.

I'll chat with The Mrs. to see if she'll let me borrow that.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I didn't think they'd breed.

Another gem of a quote from The Mrs. when, after finding little baby Giant Madagascar cockroaches dead around the cockroach tank (note - outside the tank), and wondering if they could possibly live in the walls, I inquired as to why she let HannahC get a male and a female cockroach.

"I didn't think they'd breed."

Cockroaches. Didn't think they'd breed.

Yeah. And we'll pay for Obamacare by cutting unspecified waste and corruption out of Medicare sometime in the unspecified future without having to raise taxes on anyone.

It's amazing how people can delude themselves. Or perhaps how well they can flat out lie to your face in order to avoid explaining gross lapses in judgment.

Not that I am accusing The Mrs. of lying. However, at the time she originally came home with the cockroaches, she did happen to tell me that HannahC was planning to breed them so she could sell the babies. Apparently, this was HannahC's plan, but The Mrs. didn't think that the cockroaches would breed if kept in captivity. You know, in a glass tank with an electric heater to keep it nice and warm and with a continuous supply of food and water that requires no effort whatsoever to find. Cuz, you know, if there's one drawback to cockroaches that everyone always notes, it's that they are very hard to get to breed. That's why they're on the endangered species list. They're like little, creepy panda bears. Only cuddlier.

Well, today The Mrs. schlepped The Childrens back to CSU, where HannahC exchanged Hallie (who she believes is incubating another little of eggs right now, given the swelling of her abdomen that matches the swelling that occurred shortly before all these baby cockroaches showed up) for Henry. She also turned over all the babies.

When asked why, she apparently said that she didn't want baby cockroaches all the time, to which the kindly old professor replied, "You know, if you get a male and a female, they're going to breed."

And, no, they can't live in your walls in Colorado. It's too dry and too cold (in the winter and in the summer if you have A/C or keep them in the basement (and we do both)).

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Attack of the Mad Axeman

Monday was orientation/schedule day at the Options school for home-schoolers, a school which is itself an interesting development. See, the longer we homeschool, the more convinced I am that the primary function of schools was originally intended to be preventing parents from eating their young. It was really only recently that they morphed into their current primary function of marxist indoctrination.

Well, these Options folks have figured out that most homeschool parents (out of the unschoolers) are actually over-parenters - a bizarre malady where you insist that the childrens be with you at all times, so much so that their mere presence begins to grate on your nerves and throws you into oscillating bouts of depression and anger until the idea of eating your offspring, common in the hamster world, and, apparently, also the porcine world, beings to look like not such a bad idea after all. But lo, the options people swoop in with a one-day-a-week program where they teach things that are reasonably specialized enough that many parents couldn't easily teach the matter, but not so specialized that you actually need some sort of professional degree to understand. And, as an added bonus, even one-day-a-week qualifies the school for the federal per-pupil money that they wouldn't get if your kid stayed home every day and you ended up eating him or her.

Now, I'd just like to say for the record that I am sitting here eating cheese balls from a 2-gallon bucket of them from Sam's Club, and I can't imagine how any child could taste anywhere near as good as this giant bucket of cheese balls does. But, then again, I'm at work most of the time, and the homeschooling thing wasn't really my idea, so maybe, just maybe, I'm not the one you should all be worrying about.

Nudge nudge. Wink wink.

MaxieC will be starting one-day-a-week kindeygarten. HannahC, on the other hand, will be something like a 4th grader. (Yeah - I don't actually know. How suck am I? Clearly, not an over-parent.) And she got all her classes.

One of those classes being guitar. This is, of course, a very touching thing given how her daddy is an accomplished guitarist.

If by "accomplished" you meaning taking twelve years of lessons but not remembering how to play any song whatsoever from beginning to end and whose greatest accomplishments as the lead guitarist of the tumultuous "Flo Jackson" were, in order of importance:
  1. Naming the first album (never recorded) "Go with the Flo"
  2. Firing the lead rhythm guitarist
  3. Quitting
So we had to run right out and get her a little mini-Marshall MS-2 amp and a 3/4-size Squier mini Strat copy. Now she wants me to teach her how to play something. I figured something that is just the standard I-IV-V progression (a staple of both rock and folk) in D would be just the ticket. So I'm teaching her this.