Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What's the Deal with Drip Pans?

What is with these things? I went to clean a couple of our drip pans on the stove top the other day, and when I removed them, the junk I found underneath was nauseating. Why is there a hole in the middle that allows crumbs and spilled liquids down into your stove? Wouldn't these things be more effective if they didn't have a hole in the middle? I mean, I understand that one of them needs a hole because there's usually a vent for the oven on one burner, but does every one of them need a hole? Couldn't they make some without holes...or do they?

Regardless, let me just say that I can't wait for us to finally replace the icky stove that came with our house almost nine years ago. I'm guessing that it's the original stove, and since our house was built in 1992 or 1993, the stove would be almost 15 years old! You could say that it has issues, the most unique being that the numbers that tell you the oven temperature have all rubbed off, so we've got ridiculous looking stickers that tell us how far to turn the dial. Tell me that isn't downright embarrassing!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Serving In Style

Just last week, Chad and I were talking about how it would be nice to have more dishes for serving snacks when we have guests over. Then yesterday he brings home the most awesome gift from our friends Bill and Lindsay! It's pretty much the coolest serving dish ever, and I totally love it! Can you blame me--look how beautiful it is! I can't wait until the next time we have friends over so I can use it! Oh wait...Super Bowl Sunday is coming up, so I can use it then! Would it be bad to use it while we watch a football game even though it has a basketball on it? I think not. Now I just have to find the perfect snack for it. Let me know if you have any great ideas!

Yea for Lindsay and Bill! Thanks, friends! :)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'll Admit It...I Like Weird Al

I've been meaning to share this song ever since Chad and I discovered it a couple of weeks ago, at which time we were doubled over and crying with laughter. However, for you to understand how we found it in the first place, I sort of have to start at the beginning.

A while back some friends of ours were telling us about a very funny "music video" by the infamous singer R. Kelly. At the time, I'd never actually heard an R. Kelly song (that I was aware of), and the only things I knew about him were those things I'd learned from Dave Chappelle, which were not flattering, to say the least. Regardless, apparently a couple of years ago R. Kelly attempted to make a serious "hip-hop opera" which has reached minor cult status because it is such a ridiculously hilarious piece of unintentional comedy. All twelve chapters of this masterpiece, called Trapped in the Closet, can be found on YouTube. Although we actually only watched the first chapter, it was all we really needed to get the gist of how absurd the whole thing was. Really, to appreciate the rest of the story, you kind of have to watch a little bit of the ridiculousness, which you can do here. Or, if you'd like a special treat, you can watch a little of the "performance" of Trapped that R. Kelly did at the Video Music Awards back in 2005.

So the other night, Chad and I had a few minutes to kill and we decided to watch another chapter of Trapped just for kicks. What we found on YouTube and ended up watching instead were several parodies of Trapped that were hilarious now that we were familiar with the original. The one that made us laugh the hardest was Weird Al's Trapped in the Drive Thru. I will admit that Weird Al holds a special place in my heart since he was popular during my childhood, but I do seriously think he is actually pretty creative and talented! Once you've watched a little of the original Trapped, you have to check out Weird Al's version. There's no video or anything, but hopefully you'll still find it as amusing as we did.

If you want to check out the rest of the song, click here. Better yet, if you want to see another hilarious recent parody by Weird Al, check out the video White and Nerdy. Funny stuff!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I Survived!

Since I'm sure everyone is dying to know, yesterday's blood drive at KUEA was a big success. We had 31 people show up to donate with the successful collection of 23 units of blood. And guess what? Mine was one of them! I was very excited and relieved!

When I first sat down in the "draw" chair, I told the technician that the last time I'd tried to donate I'd failed to fill up my bag in time because I was apparently a slow bleeder. When she initially stuck me it didn't start flowing very quickly, and I was worried that the problems were starting already! My technician called over another person to help her, and with a little wiggling of the needle, they were able to get a reasonable stream going into my bag. About 11 minutes into my bloodletting, the tech came over and said "Uh oh, you've stopped." I told her I didn't want to stop, so she did a little more wiggling and the bag started filling up again. My pint made weight with 3 minutes to spare! :)

I did ask her about why they can't use a half pint or an almost pint of blood, and she said that there's already a certain amount of anti-coagulant in the bag before the collection starts, so if there isn't a full pint of blood in the bag, the ratio is off and the blood can't be used. Now it all makes perfect sense!

I was pretty impressed by the overall organization and efficiency of the event, which I think was put on by the Red Cross. The sign up was all done online, and on the website you could search for blood drives that would be in your area. However, the coolest thing they had was this new type of medical tape they used to hold your gauze pads in place after you're all done. It's like this stretchy fabric that's not even sticky, but it's got these little ridges that sort of hook onto each other sort of like Velcro--it's really cool! Of course, I'm clearly very easily entertained!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Bloody Friday

Today I am donating blood for the first time in many years. I'm slightly nervous, only because the last time I gave blood (during college) I didn't fill up a bag in the maximum allowed bleeding time, so they had to throw my blood away. I've never really understood that--isn't half a pint better than nothing at all? Maybe today when I'm donating I'll find out the reasoning behind that rule.

The first and only other time I gave blood was in high school. I think it's kind of a funny story, which means I've probably shared it with most of my friends, so please feel free to skip today's post if you've heard this one. :)

Every year the Student Council at our high school sponsored a blood drive, and as a StuCo member, I volunteered to help out my sophomore year. Not only did I sign up to give blood, I also signed up to help at the canteen, where my job was to serve food and drinks to the students so that they could replenish their fluids and regain their strength after they donated. However, I decided to give blood right before my shift at the canteen, which would later prove to be a scheduling error on my part.

The actual blood donation went just fine. Although I was a slow bleeder, I finished within my allotted 20 minutes or so, then went to the canteen to sit and have snacks. The Red Cross people suggest that you drink water and juice and eat pizza, but since I was a typical 15-year-old who was obsessed with her weight, I forewent the pizza and just had some fluids for a few minutes while I waited for my canteen shift to start.

I felt fine, so after a few minutes I jumped up and started going to and from the kitchen to load up the canteen guests with pizza. Ironically, I distinctly remember Chad and our friend Dart sitting at the snack table, loving the fact that they could boss me around (and not be in class), saying, "Hey Almquist, go get us some more pizza!" It's pretty safe to say that at that point, I never in a million years would have believed Chad was my future husband!

Regardless, I continued to rush back and forth doing my duties, but after a few minutes, a sudden wave of nausea came over me. My friends said I looked a little pale, so I sat down with the patrons having snacks and waited for the feeling to pass. It didn't. I remember saying, "I'm going to throw up," and then jumping up to run for the nearest bathroom. Unfortunately, the nearest exit also happened to be the entrance to the cafeteria, where what seemed like hundreds of students were standing in line, waiting for their turn to donate. I guess the good news is that I didn't vomit in front of them, which truly would have been the worst thing that could have happened to an insecure 15-year-old girl. Instead, I passed out before I made it out of the cafeteria, and when I woke up, there was a nursing hovering over me, pumping my legs, trying to get my blood flowing. I was absolutely horrified at all the eyes staring at me, and I pleaded for her to let me up, but she made me lay there on my back in front of everyone for several minutes until my blood pressure rose. I don't remember exactly what happened after that, but I think I probably relaxed for a while and ate some pizza!

I guess I wasn't scarred for life, because here I am preparing to give blood once again. I'm drinking lots of water so that I'll be well hydrated, and I'm planning to run the stairs for a few minutes beforehand to make sure my blood is pumping nice and hard. Here's hoping the 3rd time will be a charm!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Crazy Creativity

Friday night, Chad and I went to the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. It's something that Chad has to do for his job at Westar, since he's the Community Support Representative for the Lawrence area. He wasn't especially excited about going, so I tried to get him to just think of the evening as a date with his wife where we happen to get some free food, which I thought made it sound a lot more desireable! :)

The evening didn't start out so well because we got to Liberty Hall at about 6:30, thinking there would be a social hour, but they'd already started the sit-down portion of the program. The problem with starting so early was that dinner hadn't been served yet, and those of you who know Chad know that he gets really cranky when he's hungry! After a speech about the Lawrence Person of the Year and a speech from the outgoing board chair and a speech from the incoming board chair, we finally got to the keynote speaker, an artist/motivational speaker named Eric Wahl.

Although Eric's presentation was more geared toward corporate or educational settings, it was still pretty entertaining. He started and ended the program by painting a picture to music in dramatic fashion. The first was a picture of the Statue of Liberty and the second was this portrait of Einstein, which he actually painted upside down. His message had to do with fostering creativity and thinking outside the box when problem solving.

One of the portions of the presentation that I found most interesting came when he asked how many people in the audience could draw. Only one or two people out of several hundred raised a hand. Eric mentioned that pretty consistently, less than one percent of people in his adult audiences believe they can draw, but in high school classes, 10-12 percent of kids believe they can draw. Of course, when he asked how many children in a preschool audience would raise their hand when asked the same question, we all knew that every 4-year-old in the world believes he or she is an artist. Eric claims that painting and drawing are learned skills, but that they aren't skills that are taught or valued as much in our society, so at some point the budding artist in all of us is squelched. Anyway, it was an interesting presentation, and you can actually go to his website and see a some parts of his presentation on video if you're so inclined.

The evening concluded with some really good food at the Eldridge Hotel. That's the second time in the last month or so we've been to an event there with excellent food! It topped off a nice Friday night date with my wonderful husband!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snowman Mania

Can I just say that I love snow? I was outside yesterday afternoon enjoying the beautiful snowfall here in Lawrence, hoping and praying that we would get the 6 inches the weathermen had predicted. We only ended up with about 4 inches, which would normally be enough for me to drag Chad up to Campanile Hill for some sledding. Unfortunately, today's snow was very wet, the kind that was great for snowman making but a little too soggy for sledding. As I walked the dogs this afternoon on our regular 1.5 mile route, I counted TWENTY snowmen in front yards alone! That's like a couple of snowmen on every block. Some were a little more elaborate than others, but every one of them brought a smile to my face. I should have been out there helping to make them. I LOVE SNOW!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Woman's Best Friend

The other day I read a short article from the January 8 issue of Sports Illustrated that I wanted to share with everyone. I looked and looked for the exact article online, but to no avail, so I'm just going to retype it here. :)

Woman's Best Friend
Thanks to her faithful dog, an adventure racer survives a frigid 52-hour ordeal

Around noon on Dec. 13 pro adventure racer Danelle Ballengee and her dog, Taz, went for a casual eight-mile trail run outside Moab, Utah. After an hour Ballengee slipped on an icy patch and fell 60 feet down several rock faces. With Taz, a 3-year-old mutt, by her side she crawled for a quarter mile before the pain forced her to stop. Says Ballengee, 35, "I kept telling him, 'Taz, I'm hurting. Maybe you can find someone to help me.' "

The first night, with the temperatures dipping into the 20s, Taz curled up on Ballengee's stomach. The next day the dog began leaving her for long stretches. On the third day a member of a rescue party spotted Taz barking frantically and followed him down a trail for five miles into a remote canyon. Ballengee broke into tears when she heard the rescuer's ATV approach. "I wasn't ready to die," she said. "I was thinking of having to face a third night. I was starting to get depressed." A week after her rescue Taz and Ballengee--who is expected to recover fully from a shattered pelvis, internal bleeding and frostbite--were reunited at a Denver hospital. There the four-time winner of the Pikes Peak Marathon gave her pooch a well-deserved scratch behind the ears.

--Yi-Wyn Yen

For a much more detailed story on Danelle and the rescue led by Taz, check out this article from ESPN. She is really an amazing woman!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy Endings

I'm pretty sure I tell more dog stories than more people care to listen to, but when homeless dogs have happy endings, I just can't resist. I'm guessing most people just tune me out when I babble about the importance of adopting from shelters, so maybe sharing success stories will be more effective!

My first story is about my dear doggie friend Baron. I first met Baron last April, soon after he first arrived at the Lawrence Humane Society. He was a super happy and friendly boy who was also a terrific retriever. He never met a dog or a person he didn't love, and although he was slightly rambunctious, he quickly became a favorite of the volunteers. When no potential families had come along by November, Baron and I spent a day together at the Douglas County Animal Fair, where I took him to meet potential adopters. Our day together solidified Baron's place as my favorite dog at the shelter, but it still didn't solidify any adoption applications.

Then, earlier this month, a woman in Grand Junction, Colorado, saw Baron's picture on Even though she'd never met him, she submitted her application, telling the staff that she could just tell by his pictures that he was a great dog. Last week, a volunteer drove Baron to Colby, where his new family was waiting to meet him! Since I spend my weekends taking pictures of the LHS dogs for Petfinder (for the plethora of readers just tuning in to my blog), I have to admit I probably get overly excited when those efforts pay off.

My other happy story involves my friend Danae from KUEA. Several weeks ago, Danae called wanting input on how to find a good breeder. She had done lots of research on dog breeds and had decided that she wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy. While I'm certainly not an expert in the area of purchasing purebreds, I tried to share with her what I know about responsible breeders and some ways she might get in touch with one. However, since I generally don't encourage people to buy purebreds in the first place, I also made sure to remind her about how she could search for specific breeds on Petfinder. Although I knew our shelter wouldn't have what she wanted, I thought there was a chance that another Spaniel-ish puppy on Petfinder might catch her eye.

To make a long story short(er), Danae e-mailed me the other day to share some exciting news: not only had she and her husband found their Cavalier puppy, but they'd found it through Petfinder at a rescue just a few miles away in Independence, Missouri! I couldn't have been more excited! They found exactly what they wanted, and they saved a life as well! You can read about Danae's beautiful new puppy on her blog.

Many people don't understand that even adopting a very adoptable dog from a no-kill shelter or rescue saves a life. While that puppy might not be in danger of euthanasia, when he or she is adopted, space is created at that shelter or rescue for a new dog--one who might very well have been in danger of being put down. When compared to purchasing from a breeder, adopting from a shelter saves lives!

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox for now, but I won't stay off it forever. The 3-4 million dogs that were euthanized in our country last year wouldn't want me to.

Monday, January 15, 2007


I'm sure not everyone will find this as funny as I did, but our friends James and Beth shared this video with us the other day, and I found it absolutely hilarious. It's a musical prank of sorts put on by Prangstgrup, which I would describe as sort of a comedy troupe that does practical joke type performance art. Apparently this group started at Columbia back in the early 00s. You can go to their website and check out a bunch of different videos they've done, but the one below is by far my favorite.

I generally enjoy musical theater, and while I never really considered musicals to be realistic, I hadn't thought as much about the absurdity of people busting into song in the middle of everyday life until I actually saw it happen.

Can you even imagine how hilarious it would have been to be in that lecture hall?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Nancy Drew-Aholic

My husband sometimes refers to me as a Nancy Drew-Aholic. Strange nickname, I know. It comes from my love of these silly CD-ROM games based on Nancy Drew mystery novels. I started playing them several years ago when my friend Erin sent me one to borrow after she'd finished it. Although they're actually intended for teenage girls, they are very fun and challenging! You're probably laughing right now, but Chad will back me up on the fact that at least played on the "senior detective" level, they are extremely complicated.

I actually hadn't played any Nancy games for a couple of years, but over the holidays when I had some extra days off, I decided to bust one out that I had never finished. They take a lot of patience and critical thinking, but they're great for detail-oriented computer nerds like me! Although Chad doesn't have the patience for things like wandering around creepy mansions looking for clues, he has been known to help me by looking over my shoulder, although he probably won't admit it. His favorite way to help is to go online to cheat and find the solutions, so that he can give me subtle hints when he thinks I'm taking too long. He just can't stand the suspense!

Last night I finally finished The Curse of Blackmoor Manor, which I'd been working on for the last couple of weeks. I keep telling myself that I need to take a break and not go out and buy the next game immediately, but it's hard to resist when you're an addict!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

U-G-L-Y...You Ain't Got No Alibi

Today's game was not only ugly, but also extremely stressful! My jaw still hurts from being clenched for so long and my shoulders still have knots. I can't believe how poorly we played after such an amazing game earlier in the week! Sherron Collins had a good game, and Brandon stepped up and made some clutch plays when it counted, but for most of the game we couldn't buy a basket, while ISU threw up prayer after prayer that went in. Oh well, I guess a win is a win is a win. For the full scoop on the game, check out the LJW.

A Dog's Purpose

Probably the hardest thing about writing a tribute to Ginger the other night was that it made me miss our boy Steeler so much. It's so hard to let your dog go when you just don't feel like it was their time. I received this via e-mail from two different people in the last month or so, and I thought it was appropriate as we grieve the loss of two of our faithful four-legged friends in the last few months.

A Dog's Purpose - from a 4 year old

Being a veterinarian, I was called to examine a ten year old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for their four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life--like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Whether this wisdom truly came from a 4-year-old, I don't know, but regardless of who said it, I find it comforting. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

How 'Bout Them 'Hawks!

If you missed yesterday's basketball game, let's just say it was pretty incredible. While our beloved Jayhawks haven't exactly been consistent this year, last night they were darn near perfect. Bill's boys dominated the #6 ranked Cowboys from OSU, forcing 20 turnovers with tenacious defense and putting on a dunk clinic in the paint. I'm pretty sure no one keeps official stats on dunks, but it seemed like there must have been nearly 10 dunks in the game from 4 or 5 different players, even though we missed two dunks that were pretty much wide open layups (much to Coach's chagrin, I'm sure)!

The Jayhawks had 17 steals from the Cowboys that they turned into 23 points, and they eventually won the game by 30 points. Clearly, their defense played a big role, but their offense just seemed to be clicking like never before. That saying about a good defense being the best offense definitely held true last night! The most impressive and most improved performance had to be that of Sasha Kaun, who was a man possessed! He had a season high 16 points and was 7-8 from the field, plus he played incredible defense and set amazing picks!

I'd have to say that my favorite play of the game was an amazing dunk by Darnell Jackson, who is one of my favorite players, I guess just because I think he has great potential. I couldn't find a picture of his awesome rebound dunk, but I did find a highlight video that contains it, so take a look if you didn't get the chance to see it last night! If you're interested in a more detailed synopsis of the game than this one, you can check out the Journal-World article as well.

Can you tell I'm excited? Let's keep our fingers crossed for lots more exciting hoop action in the next couple of months!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Our Dear Gingerbread Dog

Today is a sad day in the Luce household. We lost a dear four-legged member of our extended family when my mom's elderly Beagle Ginger passed away early this afternoon. We don't know exactly how old Ginger was or what exactly her life consisted of prior to 2004, but we do know we will miss this beloved member of our family tremendously.

In the summer of 2004, Ginger became a resident of the Lawrence Humane Society. The family who turned her in had found her as a stray the year before, but felt like they could no longer keep her because she had food aggression issues, and they had small children. While they couldn't be sure about her age, they guessed she was somewhere around 8 years old when she arrived. The shelter staff thought she was closer to 10. We estimated she was closer to 12. Because of her advancing age, cataracts and partial hearing loss, Ginger wasn't exactly the most adoptable dog. She spent 9 months at the shelter waiting for her perfect family, but when none arrived, Chad and I decided to take her home as our 6th foster dog.

When we first brought Ginger home, we were worried that she was on her last leg. She was so lethargic and wanted only to sleep or lay out in the yard all day. We had the vet check her over to see if she was ill, but he assured us that she was fine--just old. We began to worry that we had inadvertently adopted a third dog, since we couldn't see how anyone would be interested in a companion so ancient and inactive. After a few days, Ginger came out of her brief depression and began to make herself at home. She got along with the boys well (except when it came to food issues), never had any accidents, and was content to lay out in a sunny yard all afternoon. She was slow as molasses on our evening walks and sometimes had to be carried, but after a couple of weeks of regular walking she was able to make it the entire 1 1/2 miles. She was by far the lowest maintenance foster dog we'd ever had.

My mom and Cliff had talked for several years about adopting a dog, but commuting and other travels made dog ownership impossible for them. Then, just around the time we brought Ginger home, Cliff made a job change that would allow him to be home most of the day. The timing was perfect, and Ginger was perfect too. They loved Beagles, and they definitely wanted a lower energy dog. I took Ginger over for a "home visit" with Mom and Cliff in Topeka, and they decided they would come to Lawrence the next day to fill out the paperwork. I informed them that usually it worked best with our foster dogs if their adoptive families picked them up from our house, because then they felt like they were getting to go somewhere special as opposed to being left behind at a new and strange place. As I told Mom and Cliff they could come pick Ginger up the next day, I opened the front door to leave, and Ginger just stood there and stared at me. I called her several times to come get in the car, but she just stood there, unwilling to walk out their front door. It was very obvious that Ginger knew she was home. I drove back to Lawrence alone, feeling wonderful that we'd found the perfect home for her.

Within weeks, Ginger and Cliff were so bonded you'd have thought they'd been together her entire life. She followed him everywhere he went--partially because he tended to feed her a lot--and they were constant companions. Mom diligently walked her and they bought her all the treats and toys a dog could want. Ginger couldn't have been happier, and she brought tremendous joy to Mom and Cliff's life as well. Although her health started declining just a few months after her adoption, her determination and love for life never seemed to change.

Ginger was a loyal companion throughout Mom's cancer treatment, and she picked a new favorite sleeping spot near my mom's bed to keep her company. I know Mom was thankful that there was always someone at home who was ready and willing to spend at day at rest. Ginger could nap with the best of them (see picture :).

A few months ago, when Mom was finally finished with chemo and starting to feel normal again, Ginger suddenly began having difficulty standing and walking. Mom and Cliff lovingly carried her in and out and upstairs and downstairs, and painstakingly cleaned up her messes as she became less able to control her bladder. They never complained about the burden, but always continued to thank us for bringing her into their lives. They were the most wonderful family she could have hoped for, and I have no doubt that the last year and 9 or so months were the best of her life.

The day after Christmas, Ginger began fighting an intestinal virus of some sort that just wasn't responding to treatment. Then yesterday, she began having frequent seizure-like episodes, and Mom and Cliff knew that it was time to let her go. I know her nephew Steeler was there to welcome her to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

We miss you, little Gingerbread.

Ginger (bottom right) and her pack, March 2006. From left to right: her nephew Celtic, friend Tater (begging in center), nephew Steeler (top), and niece Hope.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Corporate Brilliance

You may have seen in the news last week that Home Depot's CEO resigned after investors became angry about lagging stock prices. Tonight, Chad and I believe we witnessed first hand one of the problems with Home Depot's efficiency that might be fueling their financial woes.

I will say that in general, we like Home Depot. Of course, here in Lawrence we have no other large home improvement stores. Let's just say that we were thrilled when they came to town because the Payless Cashways that was here prior to their arrival was pathetic. But I digress...

This particular Home Depot story starts with Chad cleaning the garage a couple of weekends ago and deciding to build some new shelves. He went to HD to find some brackets but didn't find the size he needed. He came home and went to the handy-dandy Home Depot website, found the brackets he wanted, and ordered them online.

So this evening, I walked out the front door to take the dogs for a walk and there were six huge boxes sitting on our front porch. I glanced to see that they were from Home Depot, then walked off puzzled, wondering what in the world Chad had ordered. When the dogs and I arrived home a little later, I went to bring the boxes inside and noticed that each was remarkably light.

Chad arrived home a couple of hours later and was startled by the huge boxes in the entryway, since, he informed me, he had only ordered 6 wall brackets. As he started opening boxes we were absolutely astounded with the findings. As you've probably guessed by now, each bracket was in it's own box! Since you really had to see it to believe it, I ran and grabbed a camera immediately.

The words coming out of Chad's mouth right now are "You have to be flipping kidding me!"

These are the six brackets, after they'd been unpackaged, stacked in two piles.

Since clearly each box barely had anything in it, there was a lot of packaging involved!

Chad badmouths the "quailtards" who must have done the packaging.

As you might of guessed, I got a darn good laugh out of the whole thing, but then again, I'm easily entertained. The less entertaining part was spending 30 minutes of the evening popping all of that bubble wrap so that we could actually fit the stuff in the trash and recycle the boxes! How incredibly wasteful could one company be?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Snake Versus Rabbit

My friend Danae sent me this incredible video the other day and I just had to share. Maybe I've said this before, but seriously, I think this might be one of the most amazing things I've ever seen! The commentary is quite classic as well.

I can't figure out if the rabbit was just crazy brave or crazy stupid. I think I'm leaning towards him being a young and stupid rabbit who actually thought the snake was a really fun play toy since he never actually got bit. It's amazing that the snake struck at him that many times without actually making contact! I must say, we have an amazing animal kingdom!

Friday, January 05, 2007


Thanks to our friends James and Beth, last night we had our first opportunity to play with Wii, the new Nintendo video game console. It's pretty much all I could talk about all day long! This is so my type of video game! While I'm not that much into video games in general, I am a big fan of Dance Dance Revolution (a game we have on Xbox), so I guess maybe when it comes to video games I like to exercise my whole body and not just my thumbs. Quite honestly, I don't like most video games because they're way too complicated for me to figure out. Even if I could figure them out, it would take me years to improve because today's games have too many buttons and levers for me to learn! That's the beauty of Wii. You move your arm around and push one button, and you can play tennis, baseball, golf or bowling--and those are just the games that come with the system. As you can tell from our pictures, it is so much fun!

The graphics aren't spectacular like an Xbox 360; in fact, they're rather goofy and cartoonish, which is part of the charm of the whole system, I think. You can create a little "Wii Mii" (wee me, get it?) that looks just like you to be the participant in all of your games. I think it's a blast!

While Chad enjoyed the Wii, he is much more into the consoles with the amazing graphics and ridiculously challenging button pushing combinations, which is unfortunate because I was hoping he'd ask for a Wii for his birthday. :) He's also extremely paranoid because he read an article about people losing their grip on the controller and accidentally throwing it (with force) right into their plasma TV. Since our TV is Chad's prized possession, he isn't too interested in getting a game that will endanger its very existence! Maybe the next edition of Wii will have a no-slip grip on the controllers, and then I can ask for one for my birthday!

By the way, Beth is an amazing Wii bowler! Check out that form! :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jayhawks Watching Jayhawks

When my brother was in town last week we were able to score tickets (thanks to my friend and coworker Jerome) to a KU basketball game. Although the 'Hawks didn't exactly play up to their potential (it was the Detroit game), Eric and I still had a good time hanging out in those 6th row seats and taking pictures afterwards with our cell phones in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics. It's great fun to be that close to the players, although I must say that Eric was quite dismayed at how lethargic the crowd was compared to those that filled Allen Fieldhouse back when we were in school a few years ago (okay, make that 10 or 15 years ago). The crowd certainly has changed a great deal during that time, as the rich but less rowdy "fans" fill the Fieldhouse according to how much they've forked out to KU Athletics. While the current Athletics administration has certainly been successful in their fundraising, it feels like we've lost so much of the awesome Allen atmosphere as a result. Granted, probably a lot of the students were gone because of the Christmas break, but there were times during the game that the Fieldhouse was so quiet it sounded like we should have been shooting free throws! Gone are the days of students basket tossing each other into the air. Gone are the days of shouting "we're going to beat the h*ll out of you...and you...and you...and you and you and you" while the band plays along. Gone are the days of all the students and alumni knowing how to do the rhythmic clapping to the off beats of "I'm a Jayhawk." It's just so sad to us that the current classes and future generations will never know of these wonderful traditions! Eric and I blame the Orc. ;)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bonus Day

Today I got a bonus day off. As I'm sure you know, federal offices were closed for President Ford's funeral, which meant that state offices were closed, which meant that the University was closed, which meant that KU Endowment and the Alumni Association were both closed. While I'm not complaining, I'm still totally confused about why G.W. declared it a national day of mourning and closed down the government. It's not that I'm second guessing the decision to honor our past presidents--it's just that I'm baffled as to why we didn't show the same respect when President Reagan died back in 2004. Let me also just say that it scares me at how quickly time flies, since before I just looked it up, I felt like Reagan's death was just a few months ago--but my poor memory is a totally different story. Well, then again, maybe it's actually the same story. Maybe the federal government did shut down for Reagan's funeral as well and I just don't remember it. Somebody please help me out here. I hate inconsistency. Did federal offices close for Reagan's funeral, and if not, why not? Honestly, this is not intended as a commentary on who was the better president or anything, even though most historians would agree that Reagan was significantly more popular. I'm merely very curious. Although I haven't scoured the Internets for an explanation, I have yet to hear a plausible one from those people to whom I've posed this question. Help me out, friends!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Since today is a happy holiday, I really wanted to post something funny to my blog. As I was searching through silly videos and e-mails we'd recently received, I came across a very funny audio file that our friend Jason sent. It's an interesting rendition of a classic Christmas song, and while I'm certainly a little late for Christmas, I'm hoping that it will still give everyone a good laugh. Since I'm not smart enough to figure out how to post an audio file to my blog, I thought I'd just go find the song somewhere else on the Internets and link to it. Low and behold, I found a blog where someone had written about the exact same song and embedded it into their page for everyone's listening enjoyment. Since this blog is much more eloquent and funny than mine, I'll just give you the link to the post, called O Holy Crap. The blog is funny and the comments below are just as hilarious! Enjoy and have a happy day!