Trash Pickup

Redflare called the trash pickup company once the snow melted and she had a chance to actually watch what they were (and weren’t) doing but between then and this picture every trash pickup day there would be quite a bit of stuff floating around the neighborhood.

On one such occasion sweet little Newbie picked up an offending item in each hand and walked it home after school to be properly disposed of.




With archiving home videos I’ve been able to digitize our memories and carry them into the latest decade.

This then let Mom take a picture comparing us.


Breakfast of Champions

So we found that while at the hospital TJ had trouble taking pain medicine in pill form.

They were kind enough to give us a pill crusher (though I’m sure that will show up on the non-itemized bill as a secret expense) and we then mixed it into some pudding for him.

His pain was well controlled the whole time. Amazingly he didn’t even need any of the harder stuff.


Appendix Be Gone

In late March TJ woke up in the early morning to declare that he was feeling sick.

Well, the whole family had just fought off a spring-but-it’s-still-cold-like-winter-flu-like-bug so we first dismissed it as probably that.

He insisted that it was “The worst pain [he’s] ever felt.”

Time to go to the hospital to find out what’s going on.

After the checkin process he got a moment to rest.

The pain described was starting to sound like a kidney stone to me… something I’m familiar with.

A CT scan later though…

And it’s confirmed it’s his appendix.

They worked him into surgury nice and quick.

A doting girlfriend was basically having a panic attack about the whole thing and stopped by to check on him after surgery.

And given how his body was bouncing back nice and quick, and so they released him just in time for us to beat the snowstorm.

Interestingly this post is lining up with his birthday, which was entirely unplanned.

I’m sure pictures from his actual birthday will be coming later, but for now I’ll sneak in a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TJ!” here.


VHS Rescue

So my original VCR died that had been on my desk and it gave me the sinking realization that the clock was very much ticking on if I would ever successfully get these home videos transitioned from VHS format to digital.

With the living room’s VHS/DVD player (the DVD side had recently broken anyway), a composite to HDMI converter, and my Elegato game capture device which you can see the handiwork of in posts like this.

Don’t mind the desk, it’s usually this… busy (and fairly tidy when compared to Redflare’s off to the right).

While I don’t know if I’ll share any of the home movies at this time in their raw format it did seem right to share a picture of the process, especially since I’m able to say hi to Dad on this one.


Traveling South

With my newfound family we couldn’t make it south to the Thanksgiving event due to my work but we thought, hey, let’s try for a different weekend to at least finally get down there and meet my little brother, my grandma, and anybody else who might be nearby.

Well, it didn’t quite work out that way…

On the way down, nice and close to Mason City, IA, the battery light on the van came on. Redflare frantically started searching through the manual to see what that might mean as I kept on the interstate.

Slowly things started failing.


GPS power (lighter port).

Cruise control.



Power steering.

We coasted our way up an exit ramp that fortunately had a light at the top of it.

Tired, stranded, it wasn’t a fun evening.

How, after all, do you fit _seven_ people into a tow truck, for instance?

Arranging with our insurance for a free tow, Redflare had the foresight to pack some emergency hard currency which was able to fund a taxi ride for everybody.

Superman stayed with me as the taxi and tow truck arrived at the same time.

Police stopped by to check on things too.

The next morning, after staying overnight in a hotel, was filled with me frantically finding someplace open on a Saturday morning that could take the van. Once confirmed, I arranged for another tow and we lost most of the day to an expensive repair of the alternator.

There was then the question: do we go home or continue? Redflare advised that since we were out this far we may as well finish and head back home Sunday like we originally planned, so South we continued.