Friday, June 30, 2006

An unbelievable shakeup in the Tour

I'm currently shocked, jaw-dropped, stunned and saddened to read which riders won't start this year's Tour because of Operacion Puerto, the Spanish-based drug and doping scandal that is currently rocking the cycling world. Am I surprised that high-level cyclists dope? No. Am I surprised that they're getting caught? No. Am I sad that they dope? Yes. Am I sad that they're getting caught? Yes, except selfishly to the extent that my Tour dream for this year of seeing Ivan Basso in the yellow jersey in Paris and Jan Ullrich scraping together whatever he could to try to win is now crushed. There are other great cyclists and the Tour will always be the best race ever but I can't hide my disappointment on so many levels. I am rocked.

Out with the old, in with the new

I've mentioned before Kevin's aversion to bare- or even socked-feet. When he first came home he'd scream without his shoes on so he even wore them to bed. We tried to get him to wear slippers but it took a lonnnnnng time for that to work out. Once it did, we created a slipper monster. It's hard to find replacement slippers during warm weather when you don't want to spend more than $10 (mail-order surely works but we were hoping not to go that route.) As you can see, the time came when it was necessary to suck it up and hand over the cash.

Kevin ceremoniously slam-dunked the old slippers in the trash after trying on and determining that he loves the new slippers he picked out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tomorrow the Tour teams will be presented

I have a scrapbook in which I create a page for each of our wedding anniversaries. It's fun because really only one picture of us, to see how time and living with each other damage us, is all that is necessary, so I get to really whack out on the creativity. (If you know me well, feel free to chuckle now.) Anyway, I did years 1 and 2 but haven't done any since then. This year's anniversary passed a couple of weeks ago amid a flurry of photographic activity because I was determined not to let another anniversary pass without a page in our anniversary album for it. At this point, we can't even remember what we did for our anniversary the past two years - neither of us can remember, and that's saying a lot for Mr. "I Remember The Date We First Did 'X' Activity Together" for every single activity we've ever done together. See how important a special anniversary scrapbook is? It'll help you remember all of those fancy dinners at restaurants you never otherwise visit. Or at least that's our life.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about Le Tour, according to the title. So Andy was searching through my old blog posts to find out what we did the past two June 16ths. Alas, I mentioned it was our anniversary but said nothing else. He told me to get with the program and write what we did because he is getting old and can't remember much. Maybe he didn't say that.

In searching through previous summers' blog entries, Andy was heard to exclaim, "Sheesh, you really ARE obsessed with the Tour - every year!" My excuse is hey, it happens every year, how much more often do you want me to obsess??

Tomorrow is the presentation of the teams. It's the official start of the Tour although they don't ride until the Prologue on Sat, July 1st. It'll be a fun and crazy tour by my estimate. Not only is the winners podium pretty wide-open this year without Lance Armstrong, but there has been a way huge doping scandal that is ramping up in the press as more information leaks out before the case goes to court. If it goes to court during the Tour, who knows what might happen? If it stays only in the press, it will definitely get top billing among news of who attacked, who was dropped and who won each day.

My picks for this years podium? Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and Floyd Landis. I was going to say that they're in no particular order but the more I think about it, the more I realize that's how I think it will shake out when everyone rides into Paris at the end of the show.

This year I will miss the Team Time Trial which provides some of the most spectacular bicycle racing viewing around and the photos the professionals take of the TTT are pure artistry in photography and subject matter.

Vive le Tour and may you all find yourselves inexplicably glued to the TV whenever you click by Outdoor Life Network's coverage of this year's 3-week ride across the plains, bridges and mountains of Europe.

The best bike race starts in THREE DAYS!

Tour de France Fans (and those of you who will soon see the light, no doubt), we have 3 days to prepare for the amazing 3-week spectacle! I hope you've got your DVR ready to record every precious minute of racing (if so, send me a copy because we don't have cable ;-)

I splurged $8 on the VeloNews Tour de France Official Guide yesterday. Andy said it didn't count as a splurge until he found out that I went to the bike shop specifically to get it instead of just finding it somewhere that I already was. Oh well, it's not like he's not reading it, too :-)

I was afraid that I'd not get any reading done of the 2 books I'm in the middle of (The Secret Message of Jesus and The Grail Bird) while poring over the VeloNews TdF guide, but when I went to bed last night I decided that it wouldn't help me sleep to read that because it would be too exciting. Andy agreed, mostly because he didn't want me to keep him awake talking about it.

THREE DAYS, people. That is all.

More pictures more of the time

Look out for changes ahead. Andy and I ordered a digital camera last night. *gasp*

We decided it was worth it to get a point-n-shoot type for now instead of waiting for years until digital SLRs drop in price enough. We'll see how well it works. If the pictures come out well (will probably print them at Snapfish) then I'm sure I'll carry the new camera around much more than the film camera we use, which is quite big and heavy.

Despite the valid warnings from our friend-in-the-know, we ordered a Canon A620. If we end up with the dreaded E18 error, Kirsten is free to laugh at us.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Father's Day Interview

Click here to read the 2005 interview.

June 2006

Is Papá tall or short? Tall
What color are Papá’s eyes? Black and white
What color is Papá’s hair? Black

What does Papá like to eat? Scrambled eggs
What does Papá love to eat? Watermelon
What does Papá like to drink? Milk. Does he like milk?
What does Papá take with him to drink every day? Soda

What is Papá’s favorite color? I don’t know, I need to ask him.

What does Papá do at work? He works!
What kind of work does Papá do at work? Puts books in a truck

What do you like to do with Papá? Play tumble on the old couch and with the pillows that we land on; you don’t want to use your shoes, you should wear slippers

Where do you like to go with Papá? To the zoo
What do you like to help Papá do at home? I like to help him make dinner
When Papá wears a yellow shirt, what do you like to wear? A yellow shirt

What does Papá do to make you laugh? He makes jokes
What does Papá do that is funny? Tumble with you

Is Papá a good singer? Yup, he’s a great singer
Is Papá a good dancer? Yup

How old is Papá? I don’t know - is he fourteen?

Does Papá love Kevin? Yup!
Does Kevin love Papá? Yes!

Monday, June 19, 2006

He's pretty cute

If I were his age, I'd totally have a crush on him.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Canning terminology

Andy: Do you put the paraffin in the lid?

Dianne: No, you put it right on the jelly.

Andy: How do you get the paraffin out - is there a string or a ripcord or something?

Note: Never fear, I don't use paraffin for canning, I use a hot water bath canner.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Weekly Roundup

Our hot water heater was supposed to be delivered to our local Sears store on Friday, June 2nd. It arrived yesterday. It will be installed on Friday morning, hopefully. We decided not to do it ourselves.

We went to the MOS Annual Conference this weekend at Rocky Gap State Park near Cumberland, MD. It was gorgeous out there with beautiful weather. Kevin was a champ on all of our field trips and the amount of compliments that we got about his behavior has made me consider a lot about him and our family with new perspectives. More on this maybe later.

I started a new work schedule this week - in the office Monday and Thursday plus a half day at home on Wednesday mornings. Kevin is in school all of that time, instead of being with a sitter for just the 2 days. This makes sure I can "easily" get my extra work hours in each week but it is a definite change and it will take some getting used to.

I picked 25 pounds of strawberries today. I plan to eat lots of them plain, freeze some in sugar syrup, make ice cream and make some jam. I've not canned jam before myself so that should be fun. I think that another friend will join me to learn as well. She's never canned anything before and at least I've done that part with other fruits and I've made freezer jam.

The House Finches in our front bushes should be hatching any day now. I keep expecting to hear the little buggers begging for food everytime I go outside. I guess they haven't hatched yet, but the parents are definitely still around (last year their nest was predated by a neighbhorhood cat and they didn't re-nest here.) Gray Catbirds nested in our front bushes, too, but were dumped on by a Brown-headed Cowbird so they packed up and moved to the bush closest to our front door (and right next to the House Finches' bush) and they have 4 eggs incubating. The catbird parents are highly visible and fun to watch.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Me: I emailed the group about... The only person who responded was Will.

Andy: Who?

Me: Will.

Andy: Will?

Me: Yes, Will.

Andy: Will.

Me: Yes.

Andy: Huh.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Future stars?

Just try to tell me I won't be bringing these out when they go to Kevin's senior prom together.