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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Celebrate Freedom

Lovely Wife and I will be in our church program titled "Celebrate Freedom" this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's a great "Branson style" musical performance complete with pyrotechnics. Lovely Wife and I have small narration parts--but we still get to wear these cool vests. If you're anywhere near the vicinity of Lake Saint Louis on Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening, you are cordially invited to attend this most moving and patriotic performance.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Hey, I always serve from mid-court I can look at the camera and still hit the ball

Yeah, I'm cute.  I know it.

Lovely Daughter has been taking tennis lessons this summer and is getting quite good. There is an upcoming tennis tournament this week, so Lovely Daughter hit the courts to prepare.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Well, BoyHead has been hounding us to get his N64 upgraded for most of the day now. We finally broke down and agreed to let him get an XBox. After all, he's had his Nintendo for five years-more than 1/3 of his life. He packed up all of his Nintendo paraphenalia (seventeen games, six controllers, memory packs, game sharks, rumble packs) and prepared for the trek to Slackers.

The young gentleman (bandana, nose ring, eyebrow rings, earrings--heck, he looked like he fell into a tacklebox) attending to us at Slackers carefully counted all the items and looked them up in "The Black Book". Combined, the items we brought in cost $2,436 new. The used value was calculated to be $168.00. BoyHead was ecstatic! This would allow him to buy a used X-Box, three used games and an extra used controller. All that stuff would cost nearly $200.00 brand new. The pictures show Scott, Shelby, Alex and Ryan (left) and Scott, Alex and Ryan (right) playing X-Box in the basement. I don't expect to see them again for at least three weeks.

So what is $2,436 worth of game equipment really worth if it is no longer used and enjoyed. He had five years worth of fun and excitement--how much is that worth? I'm sure he'll get years more entertainment from the new box. The added bonus is that I got to see all the joy on BoyHead's face and it didn't cost me a dime. Now that doesn't happen very often.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Lovely Wife and I had a beautiful evening at The Muny. What is The Muny, you ask? Well, it's just the oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre in the country and it's located right here in good ole St. Louie. This year marks their 85th season. The theatre holds about 11,000 and has seven shows per season. Each show runs Monday through Saturday.

A couple years ago I came upon a brainstormer of an idea--I would get Lovely Wife season tickets to The Muny for her birthday. What an excellent idea, indeed. Especially since her major in college was theatre and art. The true beauty of it is this: now every birthday is a no-brainer. Just get The Muny tickets. I'm a hero.

Anyway, tonight was Fiddler on the Roof. Excellent. I love the music. Oh yeah, they also have a live orchestra at The Muny. It is truly done right. I had fond memories of watching Lovely Sister in the Humble High School production of Fiddler on the Roof (circa 1980). Temperatures were cool (in the 60's) and the air was still. I tried to surreptitiously take pictures (no photos allowed--the actors guild and all. You'd think these people would want their picture taken), but I don't think they turned out too well. I posted a couple just so you could get the feel of the thing. See the trees in that picture on the right? They're real trees. Some things are possible in an outdoor theatre. Two years ago they had Miss Saigon. They used a real helicopter. Very cool.

We're looking forward to a good season at The Muny this year. On the schedule are: Showboat, South Pacific, GodSpell, Cinderella, Side-by-Side by Sondheim (a Sondheim Review, duh) and can't remember the last one. Hey, I gave you the hyperlink, check it out for yourself. Don't be so lazy. Eric out.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Father's Day What a great day it was. I think this is the best Father's day I've had all year! It started when I got up for some antacid (ughh pizza) at 12:30 a.m. and Lovely Wife was right there (she only sleeps 45 minutes per day) to wish me a Happy Father's Day--and it just kept getting better from there. Church was very moving: one young lass sang a tribute she had written to her father for guiding her through "difficult" teen years. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. After church we managed to find sustenance at OCB (that's Old Country Buffet, for the uninitiated). What I like best about OCB are all the vegetables: I started with a big salad, and also had brussel sprouts, carrots, beets and oh yeah, lots of beef. At home Lovely Family showered me with gifts and praise and love. Lovely Wife made me the best card I've ever received. On the computer, she combined pictures from the years with witty remarks about what I'd like to do on "My Day". The caption that accompanied the picture on the right was: "Dress up like a Quaker woman. Always good clean fun". Well, that dour look was intentional--I was "acting" like a Quaker woman. There were other (less flattering, if you can believe it) pictures of me which I have declined to publish to the website. TTFN.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Friday the Thirteenth: Much badness today. The worst thing was this basement flood. It seems our outgoing water pipes are clogged at some point approximately under the mailbox. The good news: 1)the flood was more like "high tide" which gradually receeded. 2)most of the overflow was from showers and washing machine. hey, it could have been much worse. 3)the flood did not affect the "finished" side of the basement with 6-month old carpet and a refurbished pool table. The bad news: 1) it occurred on a Friday afternoon when all plumbers are extravagently expensive and hence, we have no water drainage til Monday afternoon--we decided it would be cheaper to stay in a hotel than pay the increased cost of a plumber on the weekend. 2) We are not staying in a hotel over the weekend. 3) Daddy needs a shower. As we said in the military: Papa-Uniform! (yes, I know my Alpha, Bravo, Charlie's)

Update: We got a plumber to come out and "snake" our drain. He snaked 60 feet out and the water finally drained. Bravo! Lovely Wife (henceforth, The Wise One) remained unconvinced and continued to monitor the situation. After a few hours of normal draining, The Wise One noticed the tide coming in. "Perhaps it's the moon", I remarked, quite satisfied with my knowledge. "Snake-man" was recalled to the abode whereupon he snaked 120 feet. We didn't strike oil, but we do now have fully functioning drainage and a clean smelling Daddy.

Sunday, June 8, 2003

Wow, it's been a whole week since I updated the Lovely Family page. It's been a heck of a week too. As you can see, it's taken a lot out of Lovely Wife. Just kidding. She starred as cranky, old lady Marge in a skit at church today. Think the crochety old gal on Golden Girls--yeah, that's her. Lovely Wife not only starred in the skit, but also wrote and directed it. It was about how often in life we have "Big Plans" and think that we're in control of everything. Whenever we assume control, our plans don't always turn out or we are left feeling unfulfilled. But when we let God take control everything works out for the better. It was very good and it got quite a few laughs. It's already been quite a long weekend. Saturday we catered a wedding for 150 people. The Menu: Steamship round of beef, chicken tenders in sherried mushroom sauce, rice pilaf, red potatoes, green beans and bacon, Ceasar salad, vegetable medley and croissants--whew! 14 hours on my feet--and I whimped out and left early. I don't know how Lovely Wife does it. And just to show everyone that L.W. is not old and crochety, here's a "real-life" picture of her at bottom right.----------------------------->

Sunday, June 1, 2003

June, hello it's June. Apparently no one bothered to mention this small fact to Mother Nature. Criminey, it's cold. Lovely family all went to the Meramec River this weekend to get a little R&R. Beautiful spring-fed river winding through forested rolling hills and some steep bluffs. Many caves. We rented a 6-man raft on Saturday and floated from Meramec State Park (Sullivan, MO) to Meramec Caverns--about a five mile trip floatilicious. Spent the night right there at the Cavern (nice little cabin--motel room really--right along the river). Lovely. To the right is a picture of the bluff at Meramec Cavern (unfortunately, I forgot to change the settings on my camera, so all the earlier pictures I took are impossibly huge for the web site). Sunday, we explored Meramec State Park a bit more--very nice. I narrowly dodged an attempt to visit the Jesse James Wax Museum. We were as close as the parking lot. The deciding factor was one young man who commented when asked, "well, it wasn't too bad. Well, that clinched it--Jesse James was a no-go. Instead, we went further up river, to Cuba, MO. The river was a little faster here. We explored a cave, but to do so had to paddle about 1/2 mile up river. With temperatures in the 60's the paddling kept us warm. If you happen to see Mama Nature, tell her to get with the program. It's June for cryin' out loud.