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Always bet on the tortoise

January 1st, 2011 by nebulous

Well, it’s been almost a year since i posted that I was going to build some built-in shelves around our fireplace. I’ve gotten as far as making an initial design. Maybe, maybe I’ll get around to updating the progress page as I do this. See you again in 2013.

Posted in DIY |

XBox Sabotage

January 3rd, 2010 by nebulous

My XBox died, which has provided me with some extra free time. Around the same time, Kristen just happened to mention that she would like wrap-around shelving built around our fireplace. I’m not suggesting a correlation. I’m just saving Internet tube space by mentioning them in the same post. I have not designed these shelves yet. I haven’t even decided what they will look like. So the journal starts here, in a page I like to call Non-Flammable Shelving.

Do not expect frequent updates or quick progress. I do not intend to start building these shelves until the weather warms up. I’ll use these 23 degree days to gather ideas and design the shelves.

Posted in DIY |

Energy Food

August 24th, 2009 by nebulous

Ryan is done taking naps…sorta.

She won’t nap at the appropriate time, but this is the third day in a row that she has fallen asleep at random times and places. Maybe she has that necrolepsy.

I bet she’s not the only Ryan that’s exhausted right now.

Posted in Ryan |

An Expensive Compromise

August 8th, 2009 by nebulous

Marriage is all about compromise. I know this all too well. My story takes place in November of 2008. We had been living in this house for 3 1/2 years. The surround speakers of our home theater area, while installed, had never actually been wired-in during that time. One cloudy weekend that November, I mustered the determination to end these 3.5 years of suffering. I spent the weekend running network, video, and speaker wires through the walls to enable those surround speakers and hide all of the cables that used to be ever so visible. Something else happened that November. The week AFTER I did all this work, Kristen made a suggestion. Her suggestion was to move the entire home theater system from one part of the basement to another. Of course, doing so would nullify every bit of the work I had just finished. Her reasoning was that the kids’ play area was too broken up. It was split into 2 sections. Moving the home theater would not increase their play area, but it would make it more contiguous. She said this was just a suggestion and the decision was mine.

I said “No”.

She insisted I think about it for a day.

The next day, I said “No”. She replied, “Fine”.

Three days later, after realizing that my wife had not spoken to me since “Fine”, I began to conclude that the decision was never actually mine; the suggestion never actually a suggestion. It was a wife-suggestion. The military calls these orders. My only hope was to explain my reasoning and try to get her on my side. I took various measurements of the current home theater area and measurements of the suggested area and was prepared to make my argument. When she asked “Why” a few days later, I showed how I could never fit the TV, front speakers, and subwoofer in the new area she was suggesting. With authority in my voice, I told her, “The space on that side of the basement is not right for a home theater”.

I think she was prepared for this. Looking back, she had cleverly started this conversation in our garage, directly in front of my workbench. With me standing there, surrounded by all of my power tools, the smell of sawdust and polyurethane in the air, she said “So change the space.” I was helpless. The thought of tearing down walls and rebuilding them as my own was intoxicating. It was my turn to say, “Fine”.

What followed was 6 months of work renovating our basement. While I failed completely to take any ‘before’ or ‘during’ pics, I at least took some ‘after’ pics. You will find them on a page called The Basement – Revised Edition.

Posted in DIY |


November 2nd, 2008 by nebulous

We once assumed that Taylor was one of those climbing toddlers because she would climb onto our couches all the time. Now, two years later, Ryan has shown us that Taylor was actually just scared of heights.

Taylor also never gloated about her climbing conquests.

The kitchen table is a favorite spot because it commonly has goodies on it.

Some goodies are the kind you eat…

…others are the kind you make a mess with. Note: there is a large overlap between these two groups.

Now to be fair, it’s unclear whether Ryan climbed up here. My father-in-law may have just been giving her a bath.

Posted in Ryan |

Time for Something Manly

July 11th, 2008 by nebulous

I found out recently that Kristen tried to get me a workbench for Father’s Day. It was one that I had admired at Costco one day. She went back later to find they were all gone. So my gift was that I could get a workbench for the garage. I had two choices on achieving workbenchdom.

I could go to Home Depot, Lowes, or Sears and buy a workbench.

Or I could design and build myself a workbench.

It then occurred to me that having kids meant that there was a third possibility. I decided to design a workbench and manage its construction. When that one fell apart, smelling like carrots and milk, I decided to try again on my own. I am documenting the progress on a page that I call DIY – Catch-22. Enjoy.

Oh, and here’s the worthless one:

Real useful gift, Dorene. Thanks.

Posted in DIY, Kids, Ryan, Taylor |

Green Grass and High Tides

April 24th, 2008 by nebulous

It’s a difficult song in Rock Band. Also this:

I wanted everyone to see what my lawn looks like before the DC July weather completely crushes it. Oh yeah, and those are my kids.

Posted in Ryan, Taylor |

Add 1 Cup of Humiliation…

December 14th, 2007 by nebulous

I have no idea what the law says about child abuse. I imagine the border surrounding the territory known as Child Abuse is a big gray line. Spanking a kid isn’t against the law. Spanking a kid in the face with a brick is. We may disagree on how gray that border is, but we can all agree that this picture lives in the land-locked heartland of Child Abuse. There is no question.

She cries every time I drink coffee. I think she’s convinced that I’m going to eat her. I have no idea how you undo this sort of psychological damage.

Also, you might think this picture was taken professionally, since only a studio would have these kind of props available. You would be wrong. My wife definitely purchased a giant coffee mug (or possibly a shrink-ray) for this photo. Yet I’m sure I still would have lost the argument referenced in my previous post.

Posted in Ryan |

Innovative Portraits

December 10th, 2007 by nebulous

We recently had some professional family portraits taken. My wife takes approximately 600 pictures each month with her billion dollar camera and various million dollar lenses and [insert exaggerated amount] dollar backdrops and props. So, as she can explain, I was very supportive when she said she wanted to pay some other people to take pictures of us. I took a stand and gave an argument based on facts and logic. Fast-forward. We had pictures taken. Also, I owe her a massage, some jewelry, and I have to watch the kids so she can go out. Here is a picture of the kids lying on a burlap sack that we paid someone else to take with a digital SLR…but it wasn’t our digital SLR. That’s key.

It’s too bad I’m not up to Month 35 yet. This would be a perfect picture for a caption:

Taylor: Just give up. You will not get more attention than me.

Ryan: Are you kidding? Look at me. I’m a baby. You don’t stand a chance. Just look at my hat! The readers of this web site have already forgotten that you’re in this photo.

And for those that didn’t notice, a page for Months 23 and 24 was added a couple weeks ago.

Posted in Ryan, Taylor |


November 17th, 2007 by nebulous

I think Taylor has really turned a corner. She’s starting to become useful and thus I’m starting to like her. I’m trying to bestow all my fatherly wisdom on her. For instance, why rake when you have a bagging lawn mower?

Kristen thinks this is unfair because I’m just teaching her to do my work for me. Of course, I’m not the one upstairs playing Peggle while Taylor is burping Ryan.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go teach Taylor her next lesson: Why figure out how to assemble the food processor if you have a bagging lawn mower?

ps: Month 22 is new.

Posted in Ryan, Taylor |

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