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March 04, 2007

"Winter sports"

So Jack's taking skating lessons.

He went two weeks ago but did little more than sit on the ice and cry the entire time. (Or stand next to a bench and cry.) Then he got sick last week and had to bag off the lesson. This week he went back and things were greatly improved:


He had a teacher that spent almost the entire half an hour with him. By the end he was walking and pushing his bucket like a pro and was laughing. No tears and he only fell down once. Unbelieveable.

I'm holding off on calling the NHL scouts for a couple more weeks.

Then it was a chance to put some of the colossal amount of snow that hit our area to good use by making sure Jack got some good use out of his sled. He's not a huge fan of going down sitting up so he either lays on his belly or lays on his back. Either way is fine as almost every run ended with him saying: "Let's do that again!"


I think he was having a good time.

Posted by Jim at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

"Famous moments in Potty Training, Vol. 1"


Because somedays you just need to put your clean new pair of Spiderman underwear on your head.

Posted by Jim at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2007

"We have reached escape velocity..."

I had Sir Jackness shopping with me the other day for his valued opinions and keen insight. We were at it early so where most of the freestanding stores were open the mall had yet to start rolling up the security gates. Jack spent 10 minutes chasing mall walkers and addressing some of the women as "Viola" which both confused them and had me chuckling.

I had worked our path towards the center of the mall and, sure enough, there it was: a big shiny carousel.

Jack likes carousels. There's one near my dad's that I always take him to and during trips I try to do some scouting beforehand to find one. This was our first time on the one at Maplewood Mall and it might be our last.

Here's Jack as the ride is just starting to reach it's maximum speed. Notice his face:


Know what that look is? It's apprehension because...

We're going too darn fast!

The Maplewood Mall carousel might be the fastest one I have ever ridden. When we hit our stride we were going so fast that I was holding on to the horse and Jack for dear life. I looked around and the only other family onboard was havng the same problem.

Of course Jack's opinion, once safely pinned by Dad changed to this:


Fearless in the face of death. God love his heart.

When it came to a stop the other family and I staggered to the exit. The dad there gave the hapless and clueless worker a piece of his mind but there wasn't much of a response. Jack tried to run in a straight line but kept veering due to his balance being off. Finally he said "The horses made me funny".

Posted by Jim at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2007

"Good things come to those who wait and a slight foray into Logan's Run land."

A few months ago the Astronomer decided to throw his line back in the dating pool. He landed a keeper:


Not sure what her nickname is going to be yet. She's very nice and we've spoken a couple of times on the phone. She's being good to him and after the vivisectionist like ways of his ex-wife he's long due for some honest and genuine affection. (As far as the She Beast of Smyrna goes she's rumored to be seeing one of the Astronomer's old co-workers who really should know better but no dates for a long time cloud a man's mind.) In the picture you can really see a lot of the Astronomer's dad in him.

She's in the medical field and lives in an interesting part of the country. The first few dates were painfully sweet to hear about. He mercifully ignored my advice on gifts and is the better man for it. I talked to them a couple of days ago and he sounds happier than he has in years.

They met through the internets. Sometime I shudder to think what the internets will be like in 100 years. Ideally it won't be like the movie Logan's Run where you dial up someone's profile and then have them appear in your home. Can you imagine what drunk dialing would be like? "Honey. I MISS you. Please punch the button that will allow me to appear in front of you so I can soil your couch and pass out on the bathroom floor." Yikes.

Even though Logan's Run stressed The Farrah's involvement it was Jenny Agutter that was "Teh Hawtness" that you remember from when you were 9 or so and saw the commercials. I saw her in one of the Inspector Lynley Mystery movies that my dad and stepmom love so much. She's certainly held up better than Farrah. (Far less crazy.)

Logan's Run was a big deal when I was little but then Star Wars came along a year later and squashed it like Bambi meets Godzilla.

In 1993 I was in Fort Worth for the Origins show and got to ramble around the water park the ending of the movie was filmed at. It was very surreal to actually be somewhere so recognizable. That was also the show where I first met The Artist face to face and met Rapmaster Ray and Mr. Quads.

How funny that in the movie you have to die at 30 and yet for most of us our lives don't begin to really hum until we're past 30. Great lesson that.

So the Astronomer is off the market, Logan and Jessica 6 put down "The Man" and everyone gets to live happily ever after.

As Jack said the other day when a teacher asked if he liked something: "Sweet!"

Posted by Jim at 11:06 AM | Comments (1)

"The problem with setting a bar is having to raise it."

So along those line's I'll reveal that I have begun working on Jack's Halloween costume for this year.

No, he won't be a pirate or a cowboy again.

Hints as we go along. Here's the first:


It's a component part.

Have fun!

Posted by Jim at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2007

"Oh joy."

So Jack was taking a nap today and had a level 10 poop emergency in his pants while he was asleep.

Problem was that all he was wearing were a pair of Spider Man big boy underpants and his jeans.


The stench was so bad that I smelled it through his closed door and in the next room. He was blissfully asleep and didn't so much as stir. Go figure.

I got him up, stripped the clothes off, drew a bath and began the de-poopification process. This included hand cleaning his Spidey underwear in the toilet and flushing it three times.

Did I mention the overwhelming stench?

By the end of the process Jack was clean, a load of soiled pants, underwear, sheets and blankets was swirling in the wash and all was right with the world.

Jack's only had a few accidents like this but I always seem to be the one to get them. Lucky I guess.

Posted by Jim at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2007

"Well at least I joined AAA a couple of weeks ago."

So I go to the Wild game by myself Thursday night. Car's fine on the way there and all is right with the world. After the game I try to start it and it won't turn over. Thinking it's flooded I decide to give it a while and let it sit.

Ha ha.

I finally get home, via the tow truck, at 5 a.m. Friday morning. My cold, already bad enough from the day before, goes into overdrive and I spend most of Friday feeling like the tow truck had run over me. I end up losing my voice to boot.

Top it off? Cell phone is gone. Vanished. No clue. Verizon is kind enough to spot me a week or so on my renewal deadline and I got the new one today. Problem is I can't remember the last time I wrote everyone's phone numbers down out of it.


Posted by Jim at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

"Jack stole Wyatt Smith's girlfriend."

Lots of Minnesota Wild stuff. Turn back now if you don't like hockey.

I've talked before about how the Minnesota Wild seats I've got used to belong to the NHL. (They released them to the public for sale after the strike to boost ticket sales.) One of the nice things about this is that nearby are some seats still owned by the NHL and used by visiting players, players families, prospects, etc.

An example of this was at the start of this season when the Wild had brought some player from Dallas for a couple of games his Mom was behind us screaming herself hoarse during the first period. (Those of us sitting nearby suggested she pace herself but she was too excited.)

It makes for some interesting speculation in our little section of the world. The regular season ticketholders break down like this: I've got the Snap-on guys in the row behind me and then two rows of mothers and daughters from the same family in front of me. There's the former Viking that sits near us and he's great with kids and the occasional autograph. (Despite being retired for more than 10 years he is unbelieveably fit.) To my left is the man who always brings a paper to read during the slow periods and his wife and to the right the couple from Hastings who make it about half the time. After two seasons they all know Jack and he knows them.

So recently we noticed that the NHL seats were starting to be filled by the same people. After puzzling it out over a couple of games we finally just let Jack break the ice. One of the regulars is the wife of one of the players and their kids. (Kids are cute as can be and Jack plays with the little girl.) The other is the girlfriend of Wyatt Smith.

Smith is the Minnesotan the Wild signed and whom was living in Dallas before being called up. In getting to know his girlfriend we've heard all the great stories on Wyatt that just make you like him more and more. It's been a great glimpse into the world of the NHL from the perspective of someone early in their career.

So Jack was initially shy around Wyatt's girlfriend. That's been chipping away steadily though. He's been yelling "Go Wyatt!" and giving her high fives for the last month. Then last night was when Jack decided to make his move:


That's my son working his mojo on Wyatt's girlfriend.

Jack spent most of the third period sitting on her lap and chatting with her. Fortunately both her parents and Wyatt's parents where there to act as chapperones. They chatted about Wyatt, Gaborik and Bouchard, cats and “popplycorn” as Jack calls it. Finally Jack decided to come back down and as I reached up to get him Wyatt’s girlfriend says:

“Would you like to come downstairs after the game? I’ve got some extra passes.”

“Sure! That would be great!" (Try not to pass out. Try not to pass out.)

So after the game we find ourselves outside the Wild locker room waiting with the family of the players and their girlfriends. Deciding that Wyatt’s girlfriend is probably not going to come around to his way of thinking Jack tries his luck with another player’s girlfriend with a game of peek a boo:


"Jack! Open your eyes man! She's looking right at you!"


"Too late now. Denied."

Despite the success of the initial ploy Jack again strikes out. Must be the salary disparity.

Around this time Manny Fernandez walks out with his wife and family. As it’s clear they are leaving I refrain from pointing him out to Jack despite knowing how this would put Jack into orbit. It’s a tongue biter though and I hope that in 20 years Jack will forgive me.

As the crowd thins a bit we’re chatting with Pierre Marc Bouchard’s girlfriend. Jack proceeds to talk about his Bouchard puck that he got the other night and then pulls his cap off and reveals his freshly shorn head. “It’s BOUCHY!” shouts his girlfriend which brings laughs from everyone. When Bouchard comes out it’s a mini-me moment and he’s kind enough to sign Jack’s jersey and pose:


"Jack and Pierre Marc Bouchard share a smile and clipper sharpening tips."

A good moment was when he rubbed Jack’s head and laughed. He then signed Jack's jersey and cut up with him for a bit. As he walked away Jack loudly told everyone: “That was a nice guy!” which brought a huge laugh from everyone in the hallway.

What else did I notice? Kurtis Foster’s height is nothing to sneeze at. The coaching staff were in understated but high spirits. Marian Gaborik has a very enthusiastic smile and is very animated. Brian Rolston’s kids look like they were struck from the exact same mold as their father. There were other things but I was a visitor for a brief period of time and the players and their loved ones rightly deserve their privacy. The chance may have been there for more autographs I didn’t think it was appropriate.

Finally the door opened and Jack got to meet Wyatt. While Jack might not be Wyatt’s #1 fan…


I think he’s certainly in the top ten…

Posted by Jim at 02:33 PM | Comments (1)