Friday, July 28, 2006

Look out New Hampshire (and all the states in between) - here we come!

We're leaving for New Hampshire in a couple of hours. Andy is napping so that he can drive through most of the night. Kevin will hopefully sleep through most of the drive and we'll have breakfast at a restaurant (Kevin has inherited my love of eating at restaurants, although I suppose most people do) and meet my cousin at her in-laws' house in the late morning or mid-day. That's our guess, at least, given our current plan, which is, of course, open to change.

Big thanks to the Sitnicks for lending us one of their older laptops to use on the drive for Kevin to watch a video.

Congratulations to our relatives in Missouri - there's a new member of the family. Welcome, Christina Maria!

Catch you in a week or so.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Historic? Yes. Questionable now? Yes.

I previously stated of Floyd Landis's epic ride in Stage 17 of the Tour de France, "
It was astonishing and it will never be questioned as heroic.

Apparently, I was wrong.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In-car entertainment - DENIED

Andy's coworker was embarassed and quite apologetic when he told Andy that he'd forgotten his wife's trip to Vegas next week and that she'd asked to take his portable DVD player with her for the plane trip. D'oh!

In-car entertainment for the young-un

We're driving to New Hampshire this weekend. The trip could take anywhere from 10-12 hours. Lots of people have told us to borrow/get a DVD player for Kevin to watch on the trip. Our first reaction was, "No thanks, he'll have to learn like kids did in our day to entertain himself with books and toys in between times that we entertain him.

After thinking it over for a day or two, I thought that maybe watching a video for no more than 2 hours of the trip wouldn't be so bad for him. That's still a lot of hours that he'd have to entertain himself with books and toys.

I told Andy that if a DVD player landed in my lap, I would - and at this point I could tell Andy was still reluctant so I said - "consider it." I left it for him to think about and if indeed a DVD player landed in my lap, we'd talk about it then.

Andy arrived home from work yesterday with... a DVD player in his lap! I asked him if it just fell there and he said that yeah, it kinda did. One of his coworkers brought in a DVD with pictures of his recent trip to Alaska and a portable DVD player to show the pictures on. Andy said, "Hey, that's kinda nice. Do you need it for the next week or so?" Note that this is the same coworker whose digital camera I dropped on the tile floor and broke when we borrowed it a few months ago. He was willing to let us borrow the DVD player but he did comment, "Oh, sure, now you're going to let your son break my stuff."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Floyd Landis brings the yellow jersey back to the U.S.

Stage 17 of this year's Tour de France is going to show up in all of those "Best nn Tour moments in history" highlight reels. When this year's Tour is about and there is talk of the bouncing of the top contenders before the start, other contenders being taken away from the race in ambulances because of some spectacular crashes, THIS stage will also be discussed. Floyd Landis's name has gotten much bigger.

In a stage with 5 categorized climbs through the Alps, "Floyd Landis splintered the field on the day's first climb" and never stopped (quote from The climbs were as follows:

(1) 14.9 km climb averaging 6.4 % - Category 1

(2) 5.9 km climb averaging 7.1 % - Category 2

(3) 11.8 km climb averaging 5.8 % - Category 1

(4) 5.1 km climb averaging 4.9 % - Category 3

(5) 11.7 km climb averaging 8.5 % - 'Hors' Category = "beyond category"

Eurosport calls it

"a performance that will go down as one of the greatest in the history of the Tour de France."


"an exploit worthy of Eddy Merckx."

Bob Roll says it's

"the greatest single day ride in the history of the Tour de France."

"What Floyd Landis did today is all that even if you completely ignore his ride yesterday [in which he couldn't hang with the other riders and he lost over 10 minutes to the race leader]. Throw that in, and it's just incomparable.

Landis versus 142 riders today just wasn't a fair fight; the peloton needed more guys.

Frank Schleck:

"We didn't let him go, he was just so strong at the beginning and we didn't think he would make it to the end."

Carlos Sastre, CSC's GC man [the CSC team's rider going for the win] said he expected Landis to attack today:

"I saw him this morning and I thought he would attack, but he just split the peloton in thirty pieces. He went like an eagle on the first climb and against that you can't do anything."

What Landis did on the road to Morzine was unthinkable. It was astonishing and it will never be questioned as heroic. Nobody (that I've read, anyway) has mentioned of this epic ride, "Would this have happened were Basso and Ullrich in the race?" because as good as this ride was, there's no doubt in our minds that it would've happened had it needed to.

And with that ride, he brought himself close enough to the top of the heap that his time trial yesterday clinched his title as Winner of the 2006 Tour de France. Congratulations, Floyd. You made us all believers.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lady in the Water

We saw Lady in the Water today because we love most of M. Night Shyamalan's movies ("Signs" and "The Village" are AWESOME, in my opinion.) I was letdown by this one, although I admit to not having high expectations given the previews I'd seen. Andy really enjoyed it, so whether or not we recommend seeing it depends on which one of us you ask.

So that's what you think of me?

Andy: If you went to a costume party, what kind of costume would you wear?

Dianne: I don't know, I don't like wearing costumes. I guess something mild.

Andy: Mild?

Dianne: Yeah, so I wouldn't have to wear something very different than what is usual for me - I'd be someone or something similar to who I am and what I already have.

Andy: Barbara Bush?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Both usages are correct

Scene: Andy and I discussing the amount of clothes in his dresser that he never wears.

Me: Can I help you by pulling stuff out of the drawers and asking, "Do you ever wear this?"

Andy: That might not help because I keep some of those things for their sentimental value.

Me: That's fine, but can't we archive those items in a place that isn't in the way on a daily basis?

Andy: My clothes don't belong in a museum!

Dianne: What?? [pause...] Ohhhh - you mean like archiving important papers?

Andy: Yeah, like the National Archives.

Dianne: I mean archive them like taking them off the file server and putting them on tape to store offsite and out of the way yet accessible in case of emergency.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The last straw?

I walked out to the truck to drive to the mall in the searing heat to find this...

My first thought was, "This is it - Andy is going shopping for a new car tonight."

A friend was expecting us at the mall and I was going there to get something specific so I drove with the mirror dangling like this. I felt more hickville-ish than usual, which is saying a lot. Fortunately I didn't get pulled over for this surprisingly-obvious-to-other-drivers situation because we also have a crack a third of the way across the windshield.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The excitement - it's really here!

I admit that even though I'm not a Lance Armstrong fan to the max, I enjoyed watching him steamroll the competition in 7 Tours de France. He was/is a machine and I have the utmost respect for the level to which he took his gifts and abilities.

This Tour was going to be exciting because without Lance racing, so many riders had a chance to wear the yellow jersey into Paris. Then came the doping scandal and a number of top contenders were ousted before even coasting up to the starting line. I was bummed not to see some particular face-offs (Ivan Basso vs. Jan Ullrich, specifically) but I knew that I'd still enjoy watching the race because no matter who rides it, it's an amazing thing.

A few more top contenders are out now due to crashes and that's never good. It's hard to see people who have worked so hard to be in The Race get beat down by what seems like a cruel twist of fate rather than some other rider being better than them. But that's all part of Le Tour - hard work, conditioning, mental toughness, and luck/fortune/fate/whatever you want to call it.

The first week of the tour is all about the sprinters, those guys who go fast and hard like rockets only to be left behind (usually) when the race moves into the mountains. Yesterday was the first day of "real" climbing in the Pyrenees and it was a surpisingly "boring" event. I could only guess that the contenders were playing it safe to get a feel for their own legs and a look at the condition of their competition.

Then came Day 2 of the Pyrenees.

And what a day it was! I had a hard time containing myself at my desk at work while reading the live updates at as a group broke away from the peloton only to be reeled back in while some more people broke away and then a bunch of people got dropped off the back when they couldn't hang with the large group pedaling up the mountains. On the screaming downhills, the groups would meld back together and then smaller groups would take off up the hills trying to leave the rest of the riders behind to get their names in lights, try for the stage win and pick up some climbing points. And then... then came the breakaway of contenders that I'd been waiting for! Leipheimer, Landis, Evans... But wait! There was only one Discovery Team rider in the bunch and it wasn't Hincapie! Oh, Big George, you dropped my heart like the lanterne rouge on an HC climb. You didn't hang with the leaders and I don't understand why! Why, George, why? Azevedo was there but I just don't have any heart left for him. Landis and Leipheimer and Kloden were there, but they aren't you, George. They aren't due to shine in yellow after playing a perfect lieutenant role for Lance Armstrong all those years. It's your turn, George! I fear that you're out of contention now but there are more days of climbing ahead so I'll keep some hope alive for you.

American Floyd Landis, who rides for Phonak, is now wearing the yellow jersey and I'm proud of him but I just can't find a soft spot in my heart for him no matter how hard I try. If he wins it all, and at this point it is his race to lose, I will be proud of him and American cycling.

No matter who won today, they were exciting times and I look forward to the next week and a half of watching these amazing men dance on their pedals.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

At the Independence Day parade

I'm sorry, Kevin, that your mother had no idea of the proper way to put a liberty headpiece on until after this picture was taken.

Beets are cool

I don't eat a lot of vegetables but beets are one of my favorites. There isn't much that tops pulling beets out of the garden, cooking them and eating them fresh with a dab of butter. Yummm! So this time of year, people visiting our home for a meal are likely to be offered beets. Now I know that beets aren't high on many peoples' lists of yummy foods, but I love them so I serve them.

Jeff and Elesa came over for dinner tonight and I offered beets. Elesa ate one (I'm very proud of her because she's done that before even though she knows she doesn't like them) and Jeff ate a piece smaller than a square centimeter but it was more than he intended to eat. I tried to get them to find beets intellectually stimulating if not delicious.

Dianne: Do you know what is cool about beets?

Others: No, what?

Dianne: The red pigment in them is water-soluble and most people can't digest it so when you go to the bathroom, it comes out red.

Andy: Ugh, our son is so going to get beat up when he gets older.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Me: Kevin, I'll be home after you go to sleep. Well, that is, assuming we win our first match.

Andy: Which you should, right?

Me: Yes, definitely; we've been in first place all season. Then we'll wait while the other match plays before playing in the finals so I'll be home after 10:00.

Andy: If not, then just don't come home at all.

8:30 pm, I walk in the door

Andy: Why are you home?

Me: We lost.

Andy: What, did you play with 4 people?

Me: No, six.

Andy: (blank stare)

Me: But not our usual six.

Andy: Please tell me you lost in 3 games.

Me: Yes.

Andy: Ok, you can stay home.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I just sold my copy of Aural Ecstasy, a techno CD, on I was surprised to see that I'd offered it up for sale and a little saddened by that. What if my kids want to listen to it someday to hear how cool I am?

Before shipping it, I decided to listen to it one more time. Andy was in the room when I put it on and he asked, "Isn't this the kind of music they play to torture hostages and make them talk?"

I'm very lucky... have time like this every day.

Kevin is very lucky... have time like this every day.