Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Texas Coincidence AGAIN?

You just can make this stuff up:

Mayor William "Bill" Bohlke (he who survived military service in Vietnam and was a decorated B-52 pilot) was taken down by his own donkey while tending his prize cow-herd.  (Why don't Republicans own elephants instead?)
~later, tw

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Not Sure...

I believe in this kind of coincidence:

Fortunately for all concerned, both the wife's and the husband's story matched that of the skunk's (who showed up during police investigation to corroborate the story).

Only in Texas...

~later, tw

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

KC Picnic (or "catching up with photos")

This June Jenny and the boys were able to join us for the annual Knights of Columbus picnic.  It wasn't the warmest day but it was a change of venue with a new park to explore. 

The KC do a BBQ lunch with plenty of hotdogs and hamburgers to go around.  Michael was on BBQ duty.'

Of course, everyone wanted to meet our adorable little guys!

After lunch, grandpa & Jax were off to set up and try their hands at bocchi:

There was also a small playground where Shay could swing and Jax could slide and climb.

Jax made some new friends and even though they were a bit older, the girls were very patient with Jax and showed him how to ride their scooter.

She tried to show him how to ride by himself, but Jax liked it a lot better when riding together.

Girls are fine to play with but now Jax is looking forward to playing with his cousins, Mattias and Magnus, who arrive from Sweden this week!

~later, tw

Friday, August 17, 2012

You Decide...

...if the Dutch start-up company "Mars One" is looking for the best and brightest or dumb and dumber"Mars One" has announed that they are "dead serious" (their words) about sending four astronauts to land on Mars by 2023 (seven years ahead of NASA's projected date).  Dutch reality show to offer one-way tickets to Mars

Now to be fair to NASA, those seven years are pretty darn critical ones.  See I'm fairly confident that NASA is hoping to return their astronauts to earth and apparently those seven years are going to ensure that.  Not so much with the Dutch - theirs is a ONE WAY TRIP!

I get wanting to be first to Mars.  What I don't get is why anyone would be willing that this adventure would be their last.  Reality TV and fame aside, there must be a gazillion book deals, movies, action adventure toys from which to gain additional notoriety, to say nothing of the money to be made by someone willing to venture out into space.  Captain Kirk wouldn't have made much of a ding in our collective "space continuum" if he and the Enterprise had flamed out on their initial voyage.

I do, however, totally understand WHY "Mars One" is taking this approach.  As the mechanical engineer for the project (Bas Lansdorp) states, "Funding will be made possible through the media spectacle built around the adventure."

There's a sucker born every minute.
~attributed to (if erroneously) P. T. Barnum, American showman, businessman and scam artist

~later, tw (not going to Mars - sooner or later)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Absolutely Perfect!

There have now been TWENTY-THREE perfect games in major-league history.  And only THREE of them this year!  And I've seen TWO of Safeco!  (Okay the first one, while pretty darn special, involved a loss by the "good guys" so it doesn't count nearly as much.)

On this most gorgeous afternoon I got to see Felix Hernandez, Mariner ace pitcher (and probably headed to the Yankees), throw 12 strikeouts on his way to the First Perfect Game in Mariner History!!!

So to recap my Mariner highlights, I've:
  • Attended the one-game playoff that sent us to the 1995 playoffs
  • Seen the 2001 incredible season of 116 wins
  • Caught a foul ball
  • Unfortunately watched a perfect game tossed against us (by Chicago's Philip Humber in April 2012)
I'm not sure if it gets any better than this!

~later, tw

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Starry, Starry Night

I was ready for bed, in my jammies and going to grab my Kindle, when I remembered hearing Brian Williams talk about the annual Perseid Meteor Shower and that tonight was going to be the best, last view for the year.  I asked Gerry if he wanted to hop in the car and get away from the bright city lights (okay as it turns out, it is actually pretty darn dark where we live - especially after midnight - and we could probably have seen them from our backyard).  Always one to indulge my whims, he said sure.

Surprisingly (actually shockingly), Chris, our resident 27-year-old "usually unmotivated and generally one to opt out of anything that remotely smacks of "family" time", said sure, he'd go to.  Everyone started grabbing things: binoculars (check), blankets? (check), snacks? (okay - definitely way past dinner but you never know how long we might enjoy this event), chairs (Gerry grabbed some old camping/stadium seating things while Chris went right for a folding chair).  And we were off (like a can of bug spray, as Gerry would say).

Now the tough part - where to go?  There were certain requirements:  1) away from the "halo" of Seattle and surrounding metropolitan area; 2) a rather open field; and 3) less than 30 miles away (since I only had ~60 miles of gas in my car).  Again, this pretty much describes our house but we were in search of an adventure.

We found a place ~15 miles away that seemed ideal.  The stars were definitely out tonight - and not a cloud to be seen (although we did have to get a bit higher since the fog was misting over the river and surrounding area).  We didn't have to wait long to see the celestial firework show begin!

We were a bit early for the "true" show (where apparently the meteors are zooming very frequently) but I think I enjoyed this better.  We had to each be searching the sky, pointing any viewing to the others, and had ample time for amiably chatting - about the stars in specific and nothing in general.  It's not something Gerry and I have really had much opportunity to do with Chris and after my initial shock that he'd agreed to come, I was aware that this was a memory not likely to be repeated any time soon and one I'm determined not to take for granted.

A magical night!

~later, tw

Friday, August 10, 2012


Tonight while flipping between Olympic coverage and the Mariners game, we did something we almost never do.  We saw a commercial - in real time!  (TIVO - it's a beautiful thing!  Don't you wish you had the power to have a little instant replay in your life?)

A woman comes on - a plain ol' regular "Washington Mom" - asking if this isn't the time to have a serious conversation about the marijuana situation.  Apparently she has just discovered that it's a mega-million industry and "we get nothing from it."  She tells us that she "doesn't like it" herself but she sees this as a way out of our financial difficulties.  "We could regulate it" and "free up police to fight more serious crimes" and (this was one of my more favorite parts) "we could keep it away from gangs."


"Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!" 
~Judge Judy Sheindlin

You want to legalize that joint you've been hiding, go right ahead and do so.  But don't pretend that you're doing it for our own good (because frankly if you're thinking this is the way to relieve our city, state and/or national debt, you're thinking way too small.  Don't forget that the cocaine "industry" is also ripe for picking.  You might have a just a wee bit of trouble getting tax id numbers for the various "play-ahs"  as I'm not so convinced that the gangs are going to give it up like the lady on TV seems to think, but we'll see).

[I really, REALLY can't wait until November 7th for all paid political ads and telemarketing calls to cease!]

~later, tw

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Amykins I'm thinking of you...

As I head to the kitchen to start dinner, I'm thinking of Amy.  I always think of Amy (and/or Jenny) when I make "Corndog Casserole." 

I know - it sounds strange, possibly even disgusting but seriously, it's not that bad.  It's a recipe I stumbled across years ago when the girls were in high school.  It sounded absolutely bizarre and I was chuckling as I read it to them.  Turns out they were more intrigued than amused.

"Let's try it!"

Never one to squash they enthusiasm, I said sure - go grab a package of hotdogs from the freezer.  The recipe is actually fairly simple and the ingredient list contained items I typically have on hand anyway.  What's the worst that could happen?  We hate it?  The take and bake pizza place is only a couple of miles from our house (and the oven would already be hot).

We didn't eat pizza that night... "Corndog Casserole"  lived up to its name.  It truly does taste like a corndog and I have to get points for the fact that it's got to be at least BETTER for you than the actual corndog would be (since we've completely eliminated the calories, to say nothing of the mess, deep fat frying could cause)!

Last night I was feeling totally uninspired by the contents of my refrigerator.  Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the discovery that our A/C has bit the dust and will need to be (no doubt expensively) replaced, but I just wasn't in the mood to whip up something fantastic.  Then Gerry came home (or as we say now thanks to Mattias "and then there was trouble") and I could tell, uninspired or not, he was still going to want something for dinner.  He suggested I make actual, honest-to-goodness corndogs.  It took a little bit, but I managed to convince him that THAT wasn't going to happen and we agreed on something else last night as long as tonight it was "Corndog Casserole."

So today I dug out the recipe.  Didn't have to look too far - it actually made the cut for the family cookbook.  I'll admit though - it's a strange concoction, one I don't think I've made since the girls were at home.  Not exactly comfort food, definitely not the meal you choose to make if the hubby's boss is coming for dinner.  Come to think of it, it's not really the recipe I'd pull out if ANYONE was coming to dinner!  (Though I doubt that it would be worse than my sister serving my in-laws "Chipped Beef on Toast" - well that's what we called it when I was growing up.  Of course my dad and my father-in-law and, well basically anyone who served in the military in WWII, had an entirely different name for that.  In the presence of genteel folk it was usually referred to by its initials "SOS" but the guys called it...well you get the picture!)

Anyway, the casserole is in the oven, Gerry's on his way home, I'm going to toss a salad to go with (veggie box arrived today!)

But I'm lifting my fork to you, Amy, and to you, Jenny!

~later, tw

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Welcome to the Clan!

Making us once again officially "Great Aunt" and "Great Uncle" (though many of our nieces and nephews already think we're pretty terrific!), Miss Ella Grace Mason made her debut yesterday afternoon.

Ella Grace

The Important Details:

Time: 5:13 pm, Monday, August 6, 2012
Weight:  7 lb. 5 oz.
Length: 18.5 inches

She is already quite a cutie and her mom, Tessa, who we spoke to last evening, proclaims she is definitely a "keeper."  She says that this was pretty much a "textbook delivery" (which I told her was to lull her into thinking she should do this all again!)  Ella, Tessa and Sean (the proud papa) are all doing well (as are new grandparents Margo and Lyle!) and are expected to head home soon - maybe even today! 

Love to all of you!  We can hardly wait to meet her in person!

~later, tw  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Keen Whah????

In an on-going attempt to bring health and wellness to our diet, I'm always on the lookout for a new recipe (especially ones that incorporate those "wonder" foods everyone is talking about!)  Yesterday I came across this one that is DELICIOUS!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (so hot here yesterday I didn't even thaw it!)
  • 1 - 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (in addition to their fabulously sweet grape tomatoes, our Costco has something called "Symphony" tomatoes - they're pretty much the cherry version of heirloom tomatoes and incredibly delicious!)
  • 1/4 cup FINELY chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finally chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 large or 2 small lime(s) ~ 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tbls plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  1. Rinse quinoa to remove bitter coating (who knew?)
  2. Place rinsed quinoa into 2-qt saucepan with chicken broth.  Bring to a full boil and then cover and reduce heat.  Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes (until water is absorbed).  "Fluff" quinoa and set aside to cool.
  3. Place cooled quinoa into a salad bowl with the corn, blackbeans, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno and cilantro.
  4. Whisk lime jice, oil and cumin in a small bow.  Drizzle over quinoa , the toss.
Try it!  It's amazing!!!  We had it last night with just some BBQ steaks (thanks Chance & Rosanne!) and some corn on the cob.

~later, tw

Friday, August 3, 2012


This season we were treated by the Mariners to see a game from a suite at Safeco.  We were, quite literally, just off the "boat" on Saturday, May 26th (having just returned from our short Alaska cruise) and I figured this was a great way to transistion back to the real world after cruising!!

Tessa, Sean and Pete check out the spread.
The suite provided us with 20 tickets for friends and family and it was a lot of fun - visiting and eating (there was a TON of food - a complete nacho bar, burgers/brats/hotdogs, veggies, popcorn, peanuts, brownies, cookies and "much, Much, MORE!!"

The gang - or most...maybe only some?..of it

The usual suspects were in attendance: Marne, Pete, John, Chris, Carol and Mark, Michael, (along with a few others not in the photo: James, Neal, Ian, Brenda, Rachael) and as you can see we had lots of room to spread out and some of us even got to watch a bit of the game!

Jax and Travis enjoy some food while watching the game!

Cindy and Sam
A first for Cindy!

Additionally, my niece (Tessa), her hubby (Sean), my nephew (Sam) and his girlfriend (Cindy) were able to join us from Spokane. 

This was Cindy's first game at Safeco - she even received a certificate!

Love those shades!

Jenny and Travis along with the little guys, Jax and Shay, were able to join us as well.  The boys had a great time as well and Jax especially enjoyed taking it all in. 

Grandpa Michael with Shay

Pete and Marne with Jax

Jax was pretty tuckered out by the end of the game when it came time to leave the suite.

Oh, yeah...I think there was a game going on as well.  I didn't get to see much of the game (I don't think the result went our way) but win or lose it was a marvelous day to be at the park!

Thanks Mariners!

~later, tw