Friday, November 26, 2010

What’s Thankgsiving Without Wings.

Posted by He Said

There are many laws and rules which shape our lives and the world we live in.  Gravity, Physics, Murphy’s Laws and a more specific but particular favorite of mine is the If You Have Been Married For Any Length Of Time You Will Be Required To Purchase Feminine Hygiene Products For Your Wife Law. Now let me be clear, I don’t find this embarrassing or awkward in any way.  It’s life.  In fact, there is something particularly enjoyable about being asked if I would mind “picking something up” when I KNOW it’s going to give me fodder  for a good mocking.

My wife looks at me all doughy eyed as this is going to be a HUGE inconvenience for me. “Will you pick up some panty liners for me?”

YES. In my head I am already processing, realizing that there is a good joke in here somewhere.  In fact I thought about it so much I apparently stood there looking dumbfounded because I paused long enough for her to ask if it was a big deal, and then for her to retract her question.  After a bit of convincing that no, really, this is just funny for me because the If You Have Been Married For Any Length Of Time You Will Be Required To Purchase Feminine Hygiene Products For Your Wife Law has just kicked in and I think its funny.

So I ask “What kind?”
She Said: “It doesn’t matter.”
Me ( very skeptical ): “What size?”
She Said ( very mockingly ): “There is only one size.”
Me: (throw skeptical WTF are you saying look).
She: (throws are you an idiot look)
Me: (quickly retract skeptical WTF look and say) “Ok, I will get some at the store.”

Now in a society that has human beings of many shapes and sizes I just assumed that there would be super tiny panty liners for oh say a size 0 woman. Everything we buy has choices to be made.  For a moment I thought I just MIGHT be right about this (I was right once before) and then the moment passed and I realized that of course I MUST be wrong.  There probably is only one kind of panty liner.  Right?  Getting my wife’s preferred panty liner details was like pulling teeth.

When I finally got to the Feminine Hygiene products aisle I see that I was right.  There is more variation in panty liners than Ford has in its auto lineup.  To prove it I had to use the panorama app on my phone to capture it.

Photo Nov 25, 11 59 01 AM

So the texting conversation went a little something like this.

Me: There is only one kind (include picture above).
She: LMAO.  Unscented. I don’t care what brand. Smile with tongue out
Me: What brand do u usually buy. Only generic say unscented.
She: Always. I think. Usually grab the best deal. Go figure.

The cheapest unscented brand was a box of 24 for like a dollar.  I KNEW if I brought this home there would be something about them that was wrong.  I just couldn’t get myself to do it.  I couldn’t find the Always brand in unscented. So I started browsing the various types.  Just a small sampling of the “one size” as my wife put it.

Regular, regular with wings, regular with wings scented, long, long with wings, long with wings with baking power, all night, super thin and all variations in between.  My favorite choice of all were the thong shaped. I thought about bringing those home just for fun to prove that I could screw this up somehow.

In the end I found a non $1 brand that met the detailed requirements and purchased those.

This blog is the follow up to the mocking my wife got when I got home. I don’t think I will be letting this go anytime soon, and as such, I don’t think I will be asked to buy panty liners anytime soon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What’s In A Number Anyway

Posted by He Said

This last week there has been an unusual focus from the kids on numbers.  I don’t know if it has to do with what the kids are studying in school, a change in what Susanne and I are asking of the kids, or that Susanne has been counting the stacks of $100 bills we have been saving since we moved out of the house.  Regardless there has been a lot of Braedyn walking around the house counting by 1, 10, 20 and even by 100’s as high as he can go.  And he can count high, let me tell you. As proud a parent as it makes me to hear him get started, it’s a little like listening while sober to someone sing “Bottles of beer on the wall” and counting down from one billion.  Yeah.  It really is a little like that.

Just a few days ago, we were all sitting around in our family time circle.  For newcomers this is me on the couch with my iPhone and/or laptop, Susanne at the dining table on her laptop AND iPhone and both the kids either watching a movie, or playing on their iPods.  Like I said, family time, I mean we are all in the house at once, what more can you ask for.

So there we are, enjoying family time and Braedyn starts counting by 1,000’s.

“One thousand, two thousand, three thousand” and no, I will not edit this for brevity, if I have to live through it, then so do you, “four thousand, five thousand, six thousand, seven thousand, eight thousand, nine thousand and one MILLION!”

He looked at me with an ear to ear grin, just bursting with pride.  He was SO thrilled with himself and looking for confirmation of his grand feat, and what does this un-father of the year do?  I look at him, tell him, great job, but “after nine thousand comes ten thousand.” 

He pauses for a moment and says “No dad, when you count to one thousand by one hundreds there are no ten one hundreds, so there are no ten thousands.”

Now this is logic that is hard to argue with. I mean when you think about it, he has a point.  There are ten 1’s when counting to ten and there are ten 10’s when going to 100 and there are ten 100’s when you are going to 1,000.  So who am I to argue that somebody really screwed up this counting thing and that Braedyn’s logic is sound. But I tried to explain that there really were 10,000’s and more on the way to one million.  All I did was make my son feel bad.  I took note of this, slotted it in the back of my mind in the section “thing’s NOT to correct my son about”  and said, “well, ask about it in school and let me know. “  End of the argument and we all returned to family time.  I don’t think I ruined him for life.  I won’t know till he calls from from jail to bail him out.  That will likely wait till he is at least 18.

As I said, this has been the week of numbers.  Saturday the three of us (Susanne had left me yet again, and yes, she came back) were on our way to get a little high.  Doughboy Donut sugar high that is.  Nothing like an angel cream stuffed chocolate covered donut to start the day.  Halfway to our destination Braedyn pipes up with a comment about lines of cars being the definition of traffic. I of course was shocked that he was focused on SOMETHING, ANYTHING other than how to piss his sister off in the car. So I jumped on the opportunity to keep the conversation going.

Me: “Yes, technically the cars don’t have to be in a line to be traffic, there just have to be lots of cars on the road to be a lot of traffic.”
Braedyn: “Like in China where there are lots of cars?”
Me: “Yes, and in China there were thousands of cars on the road, wasn’t there?”
Braedyn: “Yeah, maybe millions, or even billions!”
Me: “Yeah, maybe!”

Emily had been strangely quiet up to this point, and I was wondering if she was even paying attention when she pipes in with “or maybe more, maybe one hundred and three!”

This time I kept my mouth shut, I mean, what’s in a number anyway.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Houdini, Part Freakin’ Two

Posted by She Said

Our dog saga continues, much to my chagrin. Charmin, although her squeezable softness is remarkable, should have been named Tigger due to the freak-of-nature height she reaches in her every jump. We (we being Greg) have lined our fence with an electric wire, which presumably would keep any dog cowering away from the fence in fear of getting shocked. That would be true for any dog that subscribes to the Pavlov theory, and if you haven’t already guess, that would NOT be our dog. She’ll be damned if she is going to let a little jolt stop her from riding along with me as I take the kids to school, attend a birthday party, or even tag along for those once-a-year “fun” check ups.

This, let me assure you, IS. A. BITCH.

Our test run with the fence resulted in me coming home to her terrorizing the construction workers in our expanding neighborhood. The best part? She kept jumping into the back yard of the cookie cutter home that looks just like ours only several doors away. Hey, I never said she was brilliant, just impervious to the powers of conditioning.

As my friend Kerry would say, Oy! I have a headache in my eye!

photo (23)photo (21)

Gotta love her persistence!

Actually, no I don’t.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

They Got Dad's Dancing Gene

Download now or watch on posterous (11396 KB)

Posted by He Said

I don't think this needs any explanation. I'm sure it's cute now, but high school is gonna be a bitch.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


This poor guy was hiding from all the rain behind Susanne's tire. He will never do that again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Imaginary Things

Posted by He Said

It has been a long time since I blogged and my fingers and brain are feeling rusty from the lack of it, so bear with me.  With all that has been going on, we are just finally getting settled.  Our new house is shaping up, a change in my job is settling and I am getting back into an old groove of game development and our kids are getting settled in their new routines with soccer and scool.

Now it’s not that I haven’t had the time to blog, or stories to blog about, its just a matter of lack of motivation.  So this is me trying to point the canoe upstream and start paddling towards a goal.  Not just one, but several.  Blog more, eat less, exercise more, brush teeth less, or something like that.  So forgive me if the story sways or the grammar is poor or, well, I forget an apostrophe or two.

She Said has been prodding me (I can’t call it nagging because she has been WAAAAY to gentle for me to call it nagging) for me to blog.  I have a short story to tell, but I have to warn you.  If your religious sensibilities are easily jarred, then you should just stop reading now.  I can say right here, that means every member of my immediate family should just click here, and not look back. This should scare the rest of you off.  This post is about my lack of religion…run…run away NOW!  The rest of you heathens can stay.

A few days before our move the kids and I were home vegging and I let them watch Santa Buddies.  Back off.  I don’t judge you, don’t you DARE judge me.

Wait, I can sense that some of you that shouldn’t be reading this are still here.  Seriously…some of you should just leave now, you have been warned.

Out of the blue Braedyn looks over at me and says “Daddy, some people believe in god, but I don’t.”  WHAM, it was like a 2x4 hit me out of nowhere.  Kind of like when She Said asks if she can go shopping.  I mean, it NEVER happens.

My five year old just hit me with sentence I waited until I was 17 to throw at my parents, and that I can tell you didn’t go well.

I think I was more confused as to how to handle this than if he had asked “Daddy, why does my penis get hard?”  But I pulled myself together quickly and responded as best I could.  You see I may not believe in god and frankly I think we can all agree that as a general rule parents EXPECT their children will believe (or not believe as the case may be) along the same lines as their parents, BUT I also want my children to make their own decisions and especially be respectful of other peoples beliefs. To. A. Point!  To steal a phrase She Said uses a lot.  You are free to believe in your religion.  Just don’t get any on me.

So I responded as best I could. I explained that while we may not believe in a god, that many people do.

Sounding good so far, right?

I continued on that his uncles, aunts, grandma, niece and nephew and the rest of our family all believe and that we should respect that.

Then things went downhill and I took the easy way out.

So to make life easier for all of us we just don’t talk about god with our family, ok?

Yeah, I never said I was going to get the Best Atheist Parenting Award.  Lets just avoid talking about it shall we?  You see, it’s impossible to win the religion argument when logic is completely removed from the discussion.  So I figure lets just not argue about it.  And let me tell you, I am logical.  My family used to call me Spock.  Thank FSM that one didn’t stick or I would have been labeled a geek for the rest of my life. Wait, CRAP, that happened anyway.

Braedyn seemed to understand.  He stared at the ceiling for a moment as if contemplating the depth of my Carl Sagan like insight and then responded.

“But I believe in Santa Claus.”

Me too Braedyn, me too. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Freakin’ Houdini Reincarnated as My Dog

Posted by She Said

Before I am flogged for being a blogger slacker, here’s a summary of my last couple of months that may merit your forgiveness:

  • Kids in school – there three times a day for drop offs and pick ups.
  • Sell house.
  • Pack up house.
  • Soccer practices and games.
  • Almost move into bane of our existence, aka the condo.
  • Get email on the day we are moving into the bane that the sale of it is being “expedited”.
  • Decide NOT to move into the bane.
  • Frantically find house to rent in the right school zone (not an easy task).
  • Find house.
  • Track down property manager.
  • Soccer practices and games.
  • Attend three birthday parties and a BBQ in one weekend!
  • Move. One. Van Load. At. A. Time.

OK, can you tell our life has been rather frantic lately? On the upside, we have now been successfully, and I use that term loosely, living in our new house for almost two weeks. As we navigate through school life, work, spelling tests, birthday parties, and boxes, we are trying to find our familial groove again. Apparently Charmin didn’t get the memo. Because instead of just being a nuisance by barking at every moving creature she can spot through the fence like she did at our old house, she has decided to jump it and just go see what it is for herself. Literally. She is jumping our almost 6’ fence.

In an attempt to stop it, we have tried to block the fence.

photo (16)Didn’t work.

So, we decided to take her to Doggy Day Care, which worked great, but is not practical for every day. So, we bought a “no jump harness” to keep her from being able to extend her legs fully for her full Houdini-like action.

photo (17)

Yeah, that looks easy to put on a dog that won’t sit still, doesn’t it? Houdini could have used one of these contraptions in his act and wowed everyone. After Greg exercised every brain cell getting it on Charmin this morning, we all successfully went on our way. Greg to work. Me to carpool kids to school and to pick up a pizza to have after a late soccer practice tonight. After a successful drop off of kids and a quick run into the store, Emily and I drove home. TO FIND CHARMIN IN OUR DRIVEWAY. AGAIN. After the fume coming from my ears cleared, I could see the neck part of the contraption was still attached to her, but the rest of it was dragging between her legs. I guess Houdini has found a way to wow everyone after all. By coming back reincarnated as my dog. Lucky me.

Moments after getting Emily, Charmin, and the pizza successfully into the house, our not-quite-working doorbell eked out a pathetic chirp. Unsure of whether someone was actually at the door or not, I opened it to find our local friendly Animal Control. Welcome to the neighborhood! Dog ownership doesn’t get much better than this, folks. Let me tell you.

photo (18) 

Dammit, Charmin. Quit looking so cute.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Living Internet Free

Posted by He Said

So we short sold the house. The last couple weeks have been pretty crazy while we purge. We finally found a place to live not far from the old house at a significant savings. Tomorrow we close and will need to be out of the old house pronto. The new house is great, but what is the catch. NO FRICKEN INTERNET. OK, not forever. Just Internet free till Friday and it sucks. We both have lots to blog about but as much as I love my iPhone, blogging on it sucks. Updates coming Friday. G.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thank You Officer For Your Kind Reminder

Posted by He Said

So I have been TRYING to ride my bicycle to work lately. As usual, life tends to get in the way.  There is always something that needs to be done during lunch or after work, but today I did it.  I rode the 12 mile round trip to work and back.

One of the roads on my route home has a particularly narrow “bike path” and today was the first time I chose this direction home.  Now mind you the bike path is no more than a narrow shoulder.  In fact there is not even the ubiquitous bike symbol.  There is a very large sidewalk that parallels this road and as the speed limit is 35 going on 50 I decided for peace of mind to ride the sidewalk.  The perfectly EMPTY sidewalk.  Not a soul between here and roads end where the wild horses roam.


As I am cruising along I hear from a bullhorn. “Buddy, use the bike path. That’s what its for!”

I turn and look across the street to see a motorcycle policeman in his favorite speed trap eating his donut and sipping his triple mocha while yelling at me over his bullhorn.

Did he say “Excuse me” or “Sir” or even PLEASE!  No, he shouts at me through his bullhorn in a way I felt was extremely rude.  So what did I do….

“GO TO HELL PO PO MO FO!” I yelled as I stood up and pedaled away while flipping him the middle finger and grinning ear to ear.

Ok, so it didn’t exactly go like that, buy I WANTED TO! Instead I simply waved, hopped off my bike, carried it over the landscaping to the street and rode off while mumbling under my breath “go to hell po po mo fo.”

End of line.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crab Monster

Posted by She Said

Crab Monster is a not-so-affectionate term that often flies around our house. For example, when Emily doesn’t get her way in say, oh, any given situation, the beast within emerges, and Greg and I often mutter about what a Crab Monster she is being. More often than not though, it is a term that is often directed at yours truly after a not-so-restful night of sleep. This is ok though, as I have worked very diligently to accept my Crab Monster within. More importantly though, so has Greg. Which is why he does whatever he can in his power to ensure I get enough sleep at night and keep the Crabster at bay.

Greg will do things like let me get to sleep before he comes to bed, so that his own troublesome beast doesn’t emerge and keep me awake. See, if I fall asleep first, I am less susceptible to succumb to the beast’s powers of arousal. Not the GOOD kind of arousal, mind you. I mean the type of arousal that emerges when trying to sleep next to a marathon snorer. That’s right, Greg, my beloved partner, snores so loudly that it surprises me the neighbors haven’t knocked on the door in the middle of the night to demand that he roll over.

In addition to letting me fall asleep first, Greg’s feelings weren’t hurt when out of three nights of camping last weekend, I only slept next to him once. Why? Because the one time I did, I wanted to run madly into the middle of the dark woods when the close proximity of sleeping in Stella didn’t offer enough of a sound buffer from the snorefest going on next to me. OK, it was that and the fact that Emily talked in her sleep on and off all night, and the fact that we have a dog who pants loudly and wants out in the middle of the night. So, rather than becoming a widow because his wife was eaten by bears by moonlight, Greg insisted that I sleep in the trailer, a mere 25 feet away. ALL. BY. MYSELF.

Yes, I am married to an amazing man, and he’s mine, so back off! BACK THE F…

See? I didn’t get enough sleep last night. Bad Crab Monster, BAD! Maybe it wasn’t kindness that led Greg to his generous behavior. Perhaps it was self-preservation?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thank You, May I Have Another?

Posted by She Said

A couple of weekends ago, my high school class celebrated its 20-year reunion. It was two nights of partying and drinking. It would have included a third daytime event made up of a family picnic style gathering, but apparently we are all a bunch of boozers and there wasn’t enough interest in that kind of snooze fest, so it was canceled. Go class of 1990!

In all seriousness, the first night was a bit rough for me. Not because of the drinking or the congregation of some amazingly successful people, like the pediatric cardiologist, the orthopedic surgeon, and the AG prosecutor (for starters), in one small area was a tad nauseating at times. No, it was the fact that of the 100 or so people that came, I only recognized about 4 or 5. Even when the name tags finally got passed around and everyone was staring at each others’ chests for name verification, I still felt at a loss as to who everyone was. Other people didn’t seem to have this problem. In fact several times over the course of the weekend I was told I look just like I did in high school.

Shut! Up!

Seriously, people! I have worked HARD to tame those bangs and have plucked many parts to not look like this anymore:


Really? I don’t look like that anymore, right?



Ugh. Anyway, I made it through the reunion and actually had a great time catching up with some people I hadn’t seen since graduation. In fact, as I sit and reminisce about how I survived and enjoyed it, I am actually pretty amazed at some of the things I have succeeded in doing in my life.

  • Have fun at 20-year high school reunion. Been there, done that.
  • Clear a table full of people by talking politics (well, all except the FBI guy). Yeah, that was a shining moment.
  • Traverse a chunk of the Great Wall of China. Oh, yeah, baby. Check!
  • Get spanked in front of a crowd of people in a gay bar for charity. *blush* Check.

Yes, folks, that’s right. I am now able to successfully add getting publicly spanked to my list of accomplishments. Go me! Yeah!

Oh, you probably want to know all the sordid details of what lead to this public walloping, don’t you? OK, OK, OK. Greg and I went to a Reno Wine “Walk” (“stumble” is more like it, but whatever), where about 30 or so establishments in the downtown area encourage you to get ripped with your friends as you run from place to place for your taste of the fermented grape. The money goes to a different charity each month, and it drums up business for some really great downtown establishments. Places like an antique shop where Greg got to tease his inner girl fashion beast.


Or the bar that offered free hookah:


And then there was the 5 Star Saloon, a local gay bar, that took the opportunity to raise additional money for a charity that helps the victims of domestic violence. By spanking them. I gave the guy at the door a dollar, thanked him for raising money for such a good cause, but kindly refused the offer of getting all kinky with a public spanking. Then we left.

That’s when the high school antics of daring came into play. I heard, “Oh, yeah, Susanne, you couldn’t take it.” Then I was stung with, “Yeah, she can’t play with the cool kids.” Or, that might have been a flashback. Anyway, I marched right back in and asked him for a spankin’.

Here I am waiting for my turn:


The woman getting spanked ahead of me was really enjoying it and asked several times for something with a little more zing. Maybe that gave me confidence to not flee the scene, because then it was my turn:


I would have posted this sooner, but I just got up the nerve to reacquaint my ass with my computer chair. And I can guarantee that Greg will be delivered some divorce papers if the video gets out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rounding Out

Posted by He Said

While in China (I know, China again, get used to it; I think that many blogs will still start like this for some time to come), I initially lost weight for the first couple weeks. Then I discovered fried bread, and I lost that anorexic look I have worked so hard to achieve. 

For those who don’t know me personally, I have struggled with my weight since my late 20’s.  I started out life as a plump well rounded 10lb 4oz baby but thinned out quickly and was a stick for most of my early years.  I could eat whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, and never filled out.  During my late teens I would eat an entire box of Lil Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and wash them down with a quart of chocolate milk. Oh, those were the days. Here is a picture of what I looked like in my late teens.  I am the guy on the far right. Please, no comments on the shorts.  I know how hot I look.


Then something terrible happened. My metabolism slowed and slowed, and food became a battle.  Not just because I could no longer eat whatever I wanted, but because food is also something I turn to when I am stressed or depressed.  Of course, the same time my metabolism slowed I also went through a divorce and boy oh boy did the pounds come on then. I went from around 185 (I was 165 in the pic above) to a whopping 275 near the end of my 30’s.  To prove this, I have a photo taken of me at Skywalker Ranch. Yes, THE George Lucas Skywalker Ranch – do you know how HARD it is to work in an excuse to brag about that one. I’m the tall young one on the right.  Not sure who the statue is of, but it looked pretty cool.

Greg and Yoda

So you can see I put on a few pounds and lost a few hairs (but that’s a blog for another day).  Some time after this picture was taken, my beautiful wife, She Said, and I decided it was time to crack down and work on our weight.  It took a long time and many struggles, but we did it.  I actually rocked my way back down to 210 and was feeling really good about myself.  Here I am in 2005.  Looking pretty slim if I do say so myself.


But I was never able to keep my weight down that low.  It has always been a struggle and while I knew that I have been putting my weight back on ever since we went to China, I have not done anything about it, nor have I really wanted to.

Until today.

Today I was walking out of the office with one of the China employees who is here visiting, and he looked at me and squinted his face.  This is the look I am all too familiar with.  It is the look he gets on his face when he is processing language translations so that he can say something he is not sure of the correct English for.

“You are looking different since you were in Beijing.”

“Really? I did shave my head this weekend,” I say.

“No,” he replies, “you are looking rounder.”

“Are you saying I have gotten fat?”

“Yes,” he says, “Why is that? Too many burgers?”, which with his Chinese accent comes out sounding like “boogers”, but I get the point.

I need to ride my bike to work.

Or eat fewer boogers.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How To Ensure A No-Nooky Night

Posted by She Said

Let this be a lesson to you, husbands, partners, and significant-others. If you want some, don’t do this:

Me: Greg, if you were ever going to leave me, you need to do it now.

Greg: Why?

Me: Because if you leave me after what I am going to tell you, I will forever think it is because of what I’m going to tell you.

Greg: OK, I’m going to leave you.

Me: *blank stare*

Greg: Now that I am going to leave you anyway, you might as well tell me what you were going to tell me. *grin*

Me: *sigh* I have proof that I am old.

Greg: *short pause* You have gray pubes?

Me: *jaw drop*

Greg: Am I right???

Me: How the hell did you guess that?!! SERIOUSLY?! HOW???

Greg: So, I’m right.

Me: Yes. Shut up.

Greg: I'll just call you my silver fox.

Me: *stink eye* Yeah, that doesn’t help.

Good Karma

Posted by He Said

I found an iPhone 4 in the street today. In fact, I am pretty sure I clipped it with my front wheel before it registered what it might be. I stopped, picked it up, and it still worked! It wasn't even locked. I could have kept it, but I didn't. As much as I want the new iPhone, I couldn't keep it. All right, all right, my wife wouldn't let me. So I looked for a number labeled Home in the contacts and gave it a ring.

"Hello, I am calling from an iPhone I found in the street."
An uncomfortable pause.
"Do you have an iPhone?" I ask again.
"My son does?", and she yells away from the phone at her son "where is your iPhone?"

I can only imagine being that teenager at that moment and nearly crapping my pants. They came by and picked it up. And my reward? A nervously gracious thank you from a teenage boy. OK that and knowing I did the right thing. Oh hell, who am I kidding? He could have at least offered to mow my lawn.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bizarro world

Today my four-year-old daughter sounds like a 90-year-old smoker and my five-year-old son asked if he could shave my head. Where am I?
Sent from my iPhone

Update: It was indeed a strange day yesterday.  Apparently I couldn't even remember my sons age (he is six) and I hadn't even tapped the box wine when I wrote this.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

I think the fear of water is fading!

Download now or watch on posterous
IMG_0974.MOV (2049 KB)


Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Hatching of Evel Knievel 1 and Evel Knievel 2

Posted by She Said

My children believe every living thing – puppies, people – start from that miraculous birthing place. No, I’m not talking about THAT warm and comfy place. I am, of course, talking about… the egg. Endless hours have been spent playing “puppy” where Emily hatches out of an egg and is, amazingly, a pup that can instantly perform all sorts of tricks, like roll over, play dead, and paint. If only Charmin could play this game as well. I’d have our bathroom finally painted.

Yesterday, I am happy to report, in Thing 1 and Thing 2 fashion, Greg and I hatched Evel Knievel 1 and Evel Knievel 2. On a whim, we checked a cool, local iPhone app called Dibbs, that lists everything going on in our area. We found a kite festival up at Squaw Valley and decided to check it out. Only problem we had was after our hour and a half drive up there, we discovered this “free” event required a $60+ ride up the mountain in a gondola to get to it. Lucky for us, there was another “free” event at the bottom of the mountain with some events we thought the kids would enjoy. So, we gave them a choice – go up the mountain and watch professionals fly kites, or stay at the bottom of the hill and get to try out some gnarly, adrenaline-pumping rides.

And then my little adrenaline junkies hatched. I couldn’t be more proud and thrilled for Evel Knievel 1 and Evel Knievel 2.

Emily went first on the zip line:

Then it was Braedyn’s turn:

But Emily will definitely have to wait until she gains some weight to improve her mad gymnastic skills:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

3GS Experiences Grip Of Death

Posted By He Said

I admit it.  I love new technology and I do respect the beauty of Apple products.  As such I bought She Said an iPhone 3G a few months after they came out.  I followed up with the 3GS for myself and then upgraded to an iPhone 4 for She Said. All this hoopla about dropped calls and the grip of death had me wondering. 

Does the 3GS suffer from the “Grip Of Death?”

Yes, yes it does.

Now I did this test before I had a chance to search the internet for this issue and I see that many others are having this issue.

Hey Mr. Jobs.  Can I have a free case too?

P.S. This video was recorded with She Said’s iPhone 4 while she was sleeping.  Don’t tell. Sorry about the video quality.  Apparently Dropbox compresses on the phone so I will have to copy the original off directly for better quality.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Might As Well Walk Away

Posted by She Said

Several years ago, Greg and I bought a condo to help a family member out. In order to do this, we refinanced our house to put down the required 20%. You might be thinking, several years ago… wasn’t that the worst time EVER to buy any property? You might be wondering, wasn’t that at the peak of the housing bubble?


We purchased this condo at the going rate of $125,000. At the time, it was “hurry up and buy before the prices go up even more!” Now, the same condos are going for around $38,000.

You may be asking yourself if our bank has us by the balls?


For reasons I won’t go into, Greg and I put the condo up for sale prior to leaving for China. Yes, it would be a short sale. Yes, we’d be kissing the bank’s proverbial feet to forgive the loan difference. No, it was not feasible for us to keep it because we couldn’t rent it for anywhere near what our monthly mortgage plus HOA dues were and we simply could not make up the monthly difference out of our own pockets.

Very soon after the condo went on the market, we got an offer on it! A cash offer! Hooray, you must be thinking. Yes, hooray indeed. Only the freakin’ bank sat on it. And sat on it. And sat on it until we were about to leave China, almost three months after the offer was made. The bank “counter-offered” with what I consider to be equivalent to someone throwing a flaming bag of dog shit at our door. Seriously, they would accept the offer if we forked over $2,000 in cash AND signed a promissory note for an additional $11,000. Excuse me, which ATM machine would you like me to bend over?

We politely refused the counter offer, and the bank has been sitting on it AGAIN. We haven’t heard anything from them in about two  months only to hear today what I consider to be the biggest FUCK YOU news on our condo saga to date. It is possible the bank is ignoring us because based on the bank’s “mortgage insurance”, it may be financially better FOR THEM to let the condo go into foreclosure because they will receive more from the insurance than from the very acceptable CASH OFFER on the table. This seriously angers me to the core. So much so, that I figure if we are going to have one foreclosure on our credit, then it may as well be two. You may have seen that we are streamlining our life and have our house up on the market? Yeah. Why the hell not make it two.

Now some of you may be thinking that we accepted the terms of the loan and should just suck it up. Yes, we signed the loan papers. Some may even be pissed at us for attempting a short sale. I would expect that you would be the same people picketing businesses that leave establishments because of a bad business deal. Seriously, why is ok for businesses to write off bad deals but not individuals?

I’m so blissfully happy that all that freakin’ money that went into saving the banks has trickled down to us EVIL home owners.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Streamlining Life

By He Said

Upon our families return from China, one of the first questions that is usually asked is “how are you adjusting to being back home?”  This is frankly a difficult question to answer.

Growing up I always felt that big city living was not for me.  Seeing as I grew up in Carson City (far Far FAR from being a big city) and then spending my college years and second half of my life in Reno, Nevada I can honestly say that I have never really LIVED in a big city. Until now.

I think living in Beijing, a city of 6,483 square miles and 22 million people, in an apartment with my entire family for three months (while having a regular job) qualifies as having experienced city living.

And guess what?  I loved it and I disliked it and I liked it and I hated it.

How can that be you ask? 

For starters, I found that I really enjoyed not driving a car for three months.  There were very few occasions that I wished I had a car.  Public transportation met my every need.  Now I understand that the cost of living variation made this public transportation much more cost effective, but it was the convenience of it that I truly enjoyed.  I even learned to appreciate the bus system (not the Double Decker bus mind you because I needed Alice’s “Drink Me” shrinking potion to comfortably fit on the top deck).  Don’t get me wrong.  I understand there are things I would need or want a car to do living here in the states, but for day to day living, not having to use a car was actually in itself a convenience.

Food.  It was everywhere and once I figured out how to get Susanne to order everything for me, it was convenient. It was an adventure to try new foods from street vendors and be able to choose from 15 different food sources all on the same street.  Food variety within walking distance or by public transportation was really cool.  I am sure having McDonalds, KFC (click the link and enjoy) and groceries delivered by bicycle messenger added a little romance to it, but hey, when they refuse a tip, what’s not to like.


Green grass and expansive parks.  They had them, but they were so rare and far away that even the public transportation didn’t make them easy to visit.  With two small children this had a huge suck factor.  There was no grass, no place for kids to run and play anywhere near our apartment.

Apartment living.  I can live in an apartment.  I have done it here in town.  As long as you can take a short walk and find a place to play Frisbee or simply chase each other around it is livable.  The apartment situation in Beijing was not kid friendly.  Living on the 10th floor where the only place for the kids to play is the walkway around the center “space” of the apartment building was not cool. A 10 story high empty space surrounded by a walkway on each floor – (where one small leap over the guardrail meant certain death). Every time my kids ran out the front door my stomach was in a pit.  This is one of those things I am glad to be done with. Here are the kids looking up to the apartments above (where we lived).


So I learned that there are certain things about city living that I like and others that I do not.  I learned that if there was a way for me to live near a big city and still have the ability to live near the mountains or a place where parks were plentiful, or even better yet near the ocean as I have always wanted to, then that would be the ideal situation for me.  What is my ultimate fantasy?  Seattle area, Bainbridge Island, Issaquah or similar area. A big city with the outdoors and ocean/sound right in the backyard.  This is nothing new.  This is something I have wanted for over 20 years now.

This is what I want for myself and my family.  To sweeten the deal, that is what my wife would like as well.

Beijing taught me that ultimately Reno is not the place for me. I want more.  I want to live out my dreams, see more, experience more.  It was my extended family that convinced me to take the opportunity to move to Beijing for three months.  They of course had no way of knowing that it would also show me the world is full of so many opportunities and that I should try explore and experience those as well.

My father was an explorer at heart.  He had dreams of buying a motor home and traveling the USA.  He wanted to see all that America had to offer.  He worked long and hard.  Always planning to do everything he wanted to do AFTER the kids had graduated college, after he retired.  He got cancer. He had a stroke.  He had to quit working and he died before he ever got to do the things he wanted to do.  This will not happen to me.  I want to be able to do things in the now.

So we put our house on the market today.  Yes, we can banter the pros and cons and talk about weather and rain and the bad real estate market, but ultimately what I want is a change.  This is not a change that is happening today, tomorrow or even this year.  But it is change that WE ultimately want and we will be prepared when it comes.  When adventure calls I want to be able to move quickly and swiftly.  I don’t want to say “oh, that would be great to sail around the world on your expedition.  What? My family can come and there will be schooling on board and snorkeling with turtles and dolphins! Oh, I have this house and I need to sell it first, sorry, I can’t go” (this is an extreme example, there are no plans to go on an expedition, but if you know of one feel free to message me!) or when Susanne says “OMG Greg, its Bill Gates on the phone. He wants you to come work for the foundation, says he found you using BING and you MUST come work for him!” (ok, I told you this was about DREAMS!).

I do not want to be caught behind the eight ball when adventure comes calling or there is an opportunity for change. Even better, if we are prepared for adventure there is nothing stopping us from looking for some rather than waiting for it to find us!

So we have put our house on the market.  We are purging and selling our stuff.  We are streamlining and preparing. When we sell the house we will find an apartment and save some money.

Simply put we are preparing for some unknown change that has yet to come. We are streamlining our life.  I hope you all will support us and come along for the ride.

P.S. If you want to pay me to “adventure” and blog about it you can DM me on twitter @gmoyle.

P.S.S. If you do ever move to Beijing or have an extended stay, be sure to use Beijing Home Delivery and tell them Susanne and Greg sent you.  They won’t know who we are, but it might be fun to listen to them pretend to remember us.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Help Me Return This To Its Rightful Owner

Posted by He Said
Back in my college days, I was taking a photography class, one of many as it was my major (obviously English was NOT!).  During one semester our entire class went down for a week to Tonopah Nevada.  If you have never been there, well, you haven’t missed much.  I can say that we visited the “famous” Mitzpah Hotel, stayed in a shell of a home in the desert which is now owned and refurbished by some Richie Rich who put his heli-pad out there and we visited several underground nuclear test sites.  If I ever get lung cancer it’s because I laid in the dirt that actually was registering on the Geiger counter.  Boy did Peter Goin point out what a stupid move that was.
I had a great time and while most of my fellow photographers took landscape and abandoned building/mining/rock painting photos I hauled around a blow up sex doll I named Helga.  She really got around.  That’s right.  My photo series was called Helga Does Tonopah.  Just a taste for you.
6-15-2010 9;48;31 PM
Ok.  Now that we got the dirty doll out of the way.
While in Tonopah a group of us found it fascinating to enter our fair share of abandoned homes. Don’t think we were alone in this.  These places were a popular hangout for the teenagers of Tonopah, and several in our group were photographing these kids in their “natural” habitat.  On one occasion I thought we were all going to die in a fire because the kids had a “campfire” burning on the second floor.  Not in a fireplace mind you, BUT ON THE WOOD FLOOR!  The ashes could be seen burning through and falling to the first floor.  Ah, to be young again.
So let me get to the point of this blog.
One of the small homes that we poked around in had a small pile of rubbish pushed up into the corner.  I, being the scavenger that I am, always poked and prodded looking for “treasures”.  In this particular house I found one, a small photograph of a girl. This Daguerreotype is framed in metal and in typical folding frame of the time.  Only one side exists as the other broke off at the hinge.  Here is the image of the little girl.  You will notice that her face and gold necklace have been hand painted.
Normally this sort of photo would be untraceable.  But it is what is behind the photo that gives me some clues as to the family. It reads (to the best of my translation ability). 
Jane Hollow Howard Chambers
Jane Hollow born Oct 19 –1858
Jane Hollar Howard Chambers
Jane Hollar born Oct 19 1858
Mother of Edith Gertrude Cain O’Rourke born Jan 2 - 1878
Here is a photograph of the writing that was hidden behind the photo for all these years.  If you have any suggestions as to corrections to my translation, please, let me know.
Please, share this blog with your friends, Facebook, twitter and other friends and help me return this photo to descendants of this family.

Em does her own makeup

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Power of the Dollar (Store)

Posted by She Said

Emily’s first day of preschool was awesome! She was self-confident and ready to go. Here’s proof:


Her second day? I got a call about 2 hours into her day to let me know that she “just wasn’t herself.” Translation: she was lying on a rug and wanted to be left alone. The culprit? A 102° fever for two days. OK, I need to get this straight. THREE months of me begging her to get off of the subway floors in China and her not complying didn’t get her sick, but ONE day in preschool does?

Her third and fourth days? All of her previous self-confidence was channeled into her spookishly strong little body to fight us taking her to school. She decided one day of school was enough for her. Thank you very much. Been there, done that.

Me: <holding up an outfit> Em, let’s get dressed for school.

Emily: <taking on a fighting stance> Oh, you go ahead and try. My Kung Fu is stronger than yours.

And to be honest, she was right. It took both Greg and me to get her dressed and keep her dressed. She is seriously freakishly strong.

As she screamed going out the door, Greg flashed me this look that said, “I can’t believe I am stuck with the job of dropping her off at school. YOU. OWE. ME.” And the bite marks on his shoulder were proof that him having that job was SO the right choice for me.

Last night as Greg was threatening divorce if I didn’t take her to school in the morning, I had a moment of absolute brilliance.

Me: Emily, if you go to school all three times this week without fighting us, I will take you to the dollar store and you can pick out ANYTHING you want.

Emily: <starting to cry> But I don’t WANT to go to school.

Me: Well, you are going. And you can fight us if you want, OR you can be good about it and get to go to the <dramatic pause> Dollar Store <said with some serious flare and excitement>.

This morning there was a gigantic welling of tears in her eyes, and she gave me extra hugs and kisses as Greg drove her off to school. The lesson learned? The mighty Dollar Store is stronger than her Kung Fu.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

When Sarcasm Goes Bad. Very, Very Bad.

Posted by She Said

Emily, who is now a whopping four years old, has two favorite words. “I” and “know”. She loves to say them every chance she gets.

Me: Emily, it is time to brush your teeth.

Emily: I know!


Me: Emily, please go wash your hands before dinner.

Emily: I know!


Me: Emily, did you know that the full version of the Reimann Hypothesis is still not proven to this day?

Emily: I know!

Yeah, her knowing everything has prompted Greg and me to follow up her “I know” with a “Yes, because you know EVERYTHING, Emily.”

Apparently, four is not the age where sarcasm works. I know this because of the following conversation I had with her in the car yesterday:

Me: Emily, you have school again tomorrow. Are you excited?

Emily: I know! I know everything, remember!?

Me: Ah. OK. <realizing maybe we need to have a talk about the joy of learning new things WE DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW> Emily, you know what? It is fun to learn and discover new things!

Emily: But I know everything!

Me: What’s two squared?

Emily: <long pause> One… Two… Three… Four…

Me: <long pause waiting for her to keep counting> <Dammit! Why didn’t I ask her what 18 squared was!!!???> Um…. <sigh>   OK. What is the name of our country’s first president?

Emily: I don’t know.

Me: See, you don’t know everything. And it is ok! It’s ok!

Emily: But I know everything, Mommy!

Me: Then who was our country’s first president?

Emily: <bursting into tears> Buuuut, I <sob, sob> know everything.

Me: Would you like to…

Emily: <sob>

Me: Emily, would you like to know his name?

Emily: <sob>

Me: It’s ok to not know everything, Emily. Just look at your Daddy. He’s ok and happy.

Emily: <sob>

So, lesson learned. Sarcasm and four year olds are not a good match.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

But Wait!

Posted by She Said

Yes! We are home!

Yes! I have a new computer. Woot! Woot!

Yes. We need to blog. Zip it.

Yes. We need to update our banner. Pfffft!

NO. I’m not fully functional yet. This jet lag is kicking my ass.

But! Before you think we have gone totally geeky (thank you, Greg, for that last ÜBER nerd fest post), I thought I’d at least post a quick picture from our visit to Fragrant Hills.


More to come very, very soon. Pinky swear.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dropbox Saves The Day, Then Screws With Me

Posted by He Said

While we were in Beijing there were several tools that made our life easier but none was more useful than Dropbox. This personal version control on steroids allowed me to quickly and easily share files with friends and family as well as come home from work to find my my recorded TV shows already on Susanne’s laptop as well as easily upload images to Picasa.  Picasa you ask (well if you don’t ask I will ask for you)?

Along with Facebook and Twitter we found that is blocked in China.  As this is my web album of choice it made it difficult for me to upload images. On the PC that we left at home I configured one album for each month we would be gone to automatically web sync to Picasa.  These three folders were located in my Dropbox folder.  This meant that all I had to do in China was drop my daily pictures into my Dropbox picture folders and wait for them to be magically synced to my PC here in Reno, then automatically uploaded and synced to my Picasa web albums (March, April 1 & 2, May 1 & 2).


It worked magically till the day it didn’t.

I used another tool of choice called LogMeIn (which allows me to control any PC from any other PC, or from my iPhone using LogMeIn Ignition) to access my PC only to find my C drive full!  The PC uses a small 30gb SSD drive as the primary boot partition and a secondary drive for everything else.  When I left I had 15gb free.  I kept logging in only to find the C drive full.  After some digging I found the issue. 

Dropbox keeps a cache of files deleted and active in a cache folder on the C drive.  Even after I had deleted my TV shows from Dropbox they were still being held onto in the cache location and filling up my boot drive and causing all kinds of havoc.

Dropbox does not natively support changing the location, nor can it be changed from the registry (that I am aware of).  In Windows 7 the files are stored in the C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\cache folder so installing the application to a different drive will not solve the problem.  After a quick search I ran across only one application to address this, and it did not meet my needs. DropBoxDataWrapper requires you uninstall Dropbox first and I did not want to do this.

So I fixed this myself and I didn’t have to uninstall and reinstall anything and now my C drive is happy.

Of course the week before I left China the Chinese government blocked Dropbox as well.  I think they wanted keep American Idol out of the country.  You know, to preserve their youth’s innocence.

How To Move The Dropbox Cache Folder

Windows 7 / Vista:

  1. Shutdown Dropbox
  2. Browse to your Dropbox cache location
    • Likely here c:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox
  3. Move the entire cache folder to another drive location. 
    • I created F:\Program Files\Dropbox\cache folder.
  4. Execute the command (using your correct path locations)
    • mklink /D C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\cache “F:\Program Files\Dropbox\cache”
    • Be sure to use quotes around the folder name if there are spaces
  5. You should see a new folder created in the location of your original cache location.  It will have a shortcut arrow, and if you open it, you should be directed to the new location of your cache folder.
  6. Restart Dropbox and rejoice

Windows XP

Windows XP does not include the mklink command.  You can use junction.exe or linkd.exe to create symbolic links7 using similar steps as shown above for Win 7/Vista.  Instructions for junction can be found at Microsofts Technet.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Last Post From Beijing

It is 6:45am on our last day here. In few minutes we will pack up the
Internet hardware, collect the last of our things and head home.

I think this was a life changing experience for all of us. As a
coworker put it in a text to me. "It will be hard to go back to normal
life." He is right in so many ways on so many levels. This was how our
son felt last night as he said goodbye to Rachel and said with tears
in his eyes, "Daddy, I don't want to leave Rachel, I love

_IGP8882 _IGP8889

I plan to take many of the things I have experienced and use them to
make my "normal life" a little better and a lot different in how I
live it.

Goodbye from Beijing, thanks for reading. I hope you keep coming back
because we have so many stories still to tell, and Susanne will get to
write hers on her new birthday gift from home.


Sent from my iPhone

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Can’t Read This. I Hope You Can.

Posted by She Said

Some of you may realize that the computer we brought on this trip is failing us. Well, we can change that to past tense.  It HAS failed us. I can not see what I am typing as I type this. Forgive any misspellings, ok?

The train ride to Xi’an was pretty interesting. We had our own little room with two bunk beds. The kids thought this was really cool, and it gave them an adrenaline rush that put their bedtime WAY too late. It took forever for them to finally crash so Greg and I could watch a show on my lovely PC. It must have been the bouncy cab ride to the train station that broke my computer’s proverbial back. In order to watch our show, we had to pinch and twist the monitor in just a way to make the screen not freeze up. This, I assure you, is not the exercise my husband prefers for his hand. Ahem.

So, to compensate, I used my amazing engineering skills to hang a pair of pants from two carefully mounted hangers attached to the monitor. Shutup! It TOTALLY worked!

Here is proof:


Sadly though, this technique has not worked in our hotel in Xi’an. Instead I am typing blindly and missing my TV shows because there is no way to hold, pinch, and twist for that long without cramping. So, instead I thought I would blog blindly.

This city is pretty spectacular. We have come here with Lilian and Chang, and they had a full schedule, so we hit the ground running. First, we saw an amazing fountain. The kids were little stars again but had a great time running through the water (which was choreographed to music).


This was seriously the largest fountain any of us had ever seen.


The above picture only shows about half of the fountain. Then we hit the Large Goose Pagoda (the large tower in the above building). Filled with a sense of tranquility and peacefulness, we roamed the luscious and meticulously maintained grounds. It was stunning.

_IGP8177 _IGP8160

To hell with it. This is simply too hard, so I am going to cut this blog short. But, I will leave you with two things. First, a video of me trying to blog blindly:

Second, I will leave you with a list of blog posts we intend to write after we get home and do this to my computer:

  1. Spachinglish on the bus to the Hot Springs.
  2. Almost getting in trouble with the law in McDonald’s.
  3. The woman who offered Greg a smoke and why.
  4. The man who offered Greg a smoke and why Greg took it.
  5. Muslim street.
  6. Terracotta soldiers.
  7. A Song of Everlasting Sorrow
  8. The train ride.
  9. Food. Food. Food.
  10. Partaking in public urination.
  11. English translation fail pics.

Thank you all for following us on our adventure!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Final Open Letter To My Coworkers

Posted by He Said.

This was the last letter I wrote to my coworkers while here.  Perhaps I will write a final FINAL one detailing my adventures in Xi’an after I get home.  Tomorrow night we leave on the sleeper train.  We may have internet access and will post again if our laptop doesn’t die on us. We return to Beijing for one night only and will be busy packing everything up (including the internet hardware). If we are not able to post again, I want to thank all of your for your letters of support, encouragement and smart ass comments.  It has been quite the adventure.  I do hope to post again before I leave, but I cannot guarantee it.



This weekend was my last here in Beijing.  Friday night we leave for the week and will be in Xi’an returning to Beijing Thursday morning and leaving on a plane to fly home on Friday at mid day.

We have had a lot of fun here, and have made many friends.  We want to thank all of you for your assistance and kindness while we have been here.  Susanne and I hope to come back again some day to visit.

Thank you all for being the kind, friendly and helpful  people that you are.  We will miss you.
Oh, and if you see any pictures of my kids showing up on Chinese internet websites, please let me know :).  I know that my children will miss many of you!

Our children are having a hard time understanding how much time passes before we leave home, so I used my fine art skills to produce a calendar to help them mark off the days.image003One of the things that I have always wanted to do was ride on a train. A very fast train.  We do not have these in America and China has some of the fastest trains in the world. So this weekend we took the speed train from Beijing South train station to Tianjin.

We packed up the family and took the subway to the train station and were able to buy our tickets with the help of someone in the line who spoke a little English. We rode the train and I loved watching how fast we were going.  A top speed of about 206 mph.  It does not feel like you are going fast at all.image005 image007 image009 Then we explored 古文化街 (Ancient Culture Street) in Tianjin.   We did some shopping (the prices were very good) and the people were very kind.  Fewer people asked for our children’s photographs so we were able to explore without being bothered much.

I even found shoes in my size. :)  image023 image024 image025 image026 
We walked across the bridge on the 海河 (Hai River) and then took a cab back to the station and came home.  It was a long and fun day. I think it is a very good place to recommend foreigners to visit.  If we had more time I think we would have taken a ride on the very large ferris wheel over the river.

Saturday night the lightning and thunderstorms came.  We sat on the patio outside and watched and listened to the sounds and sights of the night.  It was awesome.image027Sunday was Mothers day.  The children made cards for Susanne (drawings) and we took her to Starbucks for a coffee treat!image029We took the subway over to Sanlitun to eat at our favorite western style restaurant for her Mother’s Day Lunch…and it was good.

I ate a giant burger called the Montana with bacon, cheese, onion rings, BBQ sauce and lettuce and onion.  It was HUGE!

image031 image033And I finished it….  image039 They had these very cool rubber drink coasters that we were considering sneaking home.image040Then we talked to the manager who was from Dallas Texas.  He was a very nice man and he told us to just TAKE THEM.  He said during the busy season that over 200 a week go missing.  We felt a little bad taking them without buying some too.  So … we did both!!  :D

It was a good weekend.