Moving along

I’m coming to you tonight from a laundromat because, well, our dryer conked out a couple weeks ago. First it was the washer, which we had fixed. And then a week later a pulley went out on the dryer. Son of a …

As I did with the washer, I diagnosed the problem – the Internet is great – and decided again that it made far more sense to get the machine repaired rather than begin looking for a new one. So I called the same repairman who fixed our washer, because his service charge is reasonable and he treated us well. When he arrived at our door Wednesday afternoon, he looked at me and said, “I swear I didn’t touch the dryer the last time I was here.”

He disassembled almost the entire machine, and I gotta say it was pretty interesting to see the guts of a drying machine Seriously, it never occurred to me that the drum – the tumbler, as I call it – is just an aluminum barrel. The repairman found the bad pulley and ultimately figured out he had to order a new part.

Hopefully, our dryer will be back in service early next week, and my weekly visits to the Laundromat can cease.

* * *

Thursday was Valentine’s Day.

And it was a much more joyful and less stressful affair than a year ago.

Much of the joy stemmed from Phoebe, who had been talking about and counting down to the day for weeks. And Thursday morning, she woke up and bounded into our bedroom shouting, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

The memory of the day, though, came when we headed out for dinner.

After discussing our options, Kates and I settled on the Chinese super buffet uptown, the same one we took the family to after Faye’s baptism. We hadn’t had an opportunity to return there since that day, but, oh, my mouth was watering just thinking about going back.

So we loaded up the car, and headed there. Valentine’s Day joy was overflowing.

But when we arrived, the parking lot was overflowing, too. Thinking it didn’t look good, I headed inside to check on the wait time, while the girls stayed in the car.

Inside the restaurant, I could barely get in the door. There were no hosts at the front, and I could see immediately that getting a table was going to be fruitless. One woman who was waiting with her family seemed to read my mind and told me they had a reservation but the restaurant wasn’t even honoring those.

I promptly went back to our car and broke the news that we would not be eating there.

Phoebe was crushed and burst into a sob.

After listing nearly all of the other dining options in town, we finally got Phoebe to settle down by agreeing to go to Subway – her favorite.

So there we went, to share our special Valentine’s Day family dinner. Everybody was happy, and Faye enjoyed flirting with the college boys who also were dining there.

And as promised, we returned to the Chinese buffet Friday night to getting a table again. We were successful, and we ate heartily.

* * *

Finally …

We have a crawler.

For weeks, Faye had been close. We’ve watched closely as she’s scooted across the floor. And then started reaching for things, which landed her on her belly – but she couldn’t figure out how to coordinate her hands with her legs and could only move backward.

At other times, she reached as if she might be ready to start moving forward, but she always got one leg stuck in front of her belly and couldn’t figure out how to move it behind her and propel herself forward.

We figured we had a few weeks yet. After all, Phoebe was 10 months old when she started crawling – on Valentine’s Day 2009. And she did the belly crawl.

Then, this afternoon, all of us were in the playroom when Kates caught Faye – fully on her hands and knees – crawling across the floor like she knew what she was doing all along.

All of us stopped what we were doing and watched Faye in wonder for a few moments. … Then we realized she was heading directly for Phoebe’s play food and the other trinkets she had strewn across the floor. It propelled Phoebe into a race to pick up as many of her things as she could before Faye got to them.

We’ve entered yet another phase of “Things will never be the same” at our house. And now Phoebe gets to see another dimension of having a little sister.


World War Braun II: D-Day Plus One

Taking my headline and inspiration from this post at Brew Crew Ball. ... Here we go again is right.

My heart sunk as I scrolled through my morning news emails and saw The New York Times headline. ...

Ugh. Say it ain't so.


Legion hall collapses to rubble

Now here's one I got a good chuckle from as I read it this morning ...

In short, a local American Legion hall collapsed Sunday night, suffering from old age as so many buildings are.

It took only a few seconds around suppertime on Sunday
for decades of tradition and history to crash into rubble
along Main Street in Burlington Junction.
Sad story. But what threw me was this quote from one of the Legion members ...

"We knew it was going to happen, we just didn't know when."

Deeper in the news story, there's another gem of a reporting.

While on his way to Shenandoah, Iowa, around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Bragg said he noticed that a section of brickwork, perhaps six feet by ten feet, had crumbled away from the structure's east wall. He didn't think much about it and went on his way.
Why the heck were these guys still using the building!?

Why weren't they repairing it!?

Why weren't they gathering up all of their history and memorabilia and putting it somewhere for safe keeping!?


The Super Bowl ... and those commercials

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens on winning the Super Bowl ... But, boy, was I breathless during the second half, hoping the 49ers would finish the comeback after that crazy power outage.

Good game, good game.

a It's John over Jim in HarBowl
a Reasons for defeat lost on 49ers’ Harbaugh
a Joe Flacco drops f-bomb during Super Bowl ... Yep. Totally heard it, along with the s-word during the same exchange.

We enjoyed watching the game, and the commercials, and Beyonce's big halftime show with friends.

Add to that, we enjoyed watching each other's kids -- 11 girls, three boys, all under age 10 -- romping around in a basement playroom as we sat in comfortable lawn chairs and watched the broadcast on a big screen projection system.

a Beyoncé Silences Doubters With Intensity at Halftime
a Beyonce puts a Super Bowl ring on it
a Beyonce Rocks Super Bowl Halftime Show With Destiny's Child

There were certainly moments of the game I missed, and commercials I didn't see. In fact, we had just boarded our car and were about to head home when the power went out in the Superdome, only to discover what had happened when we were back in our own house and turned on the game. (Funniest Super Bowl power outage tweets)

But after a little bit of catch-up and surfing the interwebs this morning to see what I might have missed, here are my favorites ... For the record, I think critics are being a little harsh and this year's batch of ads was pretty entertaining.

Here's a look at the best and worst.

My favorite commercial, hands-down, was the Hyundai Sonata turbo ad.

Another big winner, for me, was Dodge Ram's "So God Made a Farmer."

Hometown Wistfully Toured Via Google Street View

Another instant classic from The Onion ... I do this all the time.

Hometown Wistfully Toured Via Google Street View


Super Sunday

I'm not super psyched for the Super Bowl today. All of the teams I would have been excited to watch and cheered for were knocked out -- the Packers, Peyton Manning's Broncos, the Patriots. ...

Nontheless, I'll be rooting tonight for the 49ers. I like their storyline, and I have a soft spot for them, having grown up watching the great 49ers teams of the 1980s.

So there's that. And seeing what kind of show Beyonce puts on after Inaugura-gate. ... I'm looking forward to a rousing performance of "Single Ladies."

Here's some good reads that caught my interest during the Super Bowl run-up ...
a Brett Favre says during his NFL Network visit 'there is no ill feelings' regarding Aaron Rodgers
a Donald Driver, retiring after 14 seasons, didn't want to play for anyone but Packers
a A 49ers Lineman Really Does Feel All the Weight of His Position
a Whatever the route, 49ers coach charts course for victory, just as he did as a quarterback
a Joe Flacco doesn’t provide flash, just wins
a 49ers’ Randy Moss calls himself best receiver ever
a The Harbaugh Who Did Not Last in Baltimore
a Harbaughs Set to Meet Biggest Fan: Each Other
a Pressure? Niners Were 5-0 in Super Bowls With Montana and Young