Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2 Vegas Trips...7 Vegas Days

Claire and I have been in Vegas since Sunday. We love this place.

Every year we do our annual trip with my family. Every year we look forward to it. Every year it does not disappoint.

Thanks again Pops for the wonderful family tradition.


Starting today, my family is heading back home to SoCal and Claire's sister/husband will be joining will Steve/Stacey. We are ringing in the New Year's in Vegas. None of us have ever done it, but thought it would be fun to try once.

What are we doing? Well, a lot of things...

We are staying at The Paris. Dinner's will be at Mesa Grill, N9NE Steakhouse and Sushi Roku...We are seeing a comedy show and Phantom. We are ringing in the New Year's at Tao with Christina Aguilera. We are spending a day at Qua. We will be chill'n at the Shadow Bar.

Good times, good people.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Avatar and Tacky Cards

Claire and I saw Avatar last weekend. Silly story, but visually stunning. It is long (nearly 3 hours), but it did not drag that much. Think Independence Day or Armageddon.

Claire said that she has seen Avatar before, but it was called Fern Gully.

I think she has a very legit point.


Can I rant for a minute? Great...*Stepping on my soapbox*

I love Christmas cards. I love seeing what my friends are doing and the picture(s) that define their year.

I HATE when families send out cards with pictures of just their kids. You know which ones I am talking about...the ones that have just the kids sitting on Santa's lap or the kids frolicking in the sand during the family trip to Florida. The parents are missing from the picture. That is just wrong.

Listen, I love your kids. They are cute (well, most of them). I love to see how big they are getting. I think it is so cool that they are laughing and sitting up on their own.

But I am YOUR friend. I want to see what YOU are doing.

Please include a picture of the parents on the card. It is the right thing to do. If you don't, it is tacky. For those of you who do, thank you.

*Stepping off my soapbox*


I give Poop a pass, because his was funny and and had a legit reason to not include the parents.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

And no, we are not making an announcement of anything other than Merry Christmas and to remind everyone why we celebrate!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let Me Be Your Hero

Everyone has one, whether they have it listed out or not.

Skydive. Bungee-jump. Eat a Rocky Mountain Oyster.

You know the list. Some call it a Bucket List.

Drive a race-car. Hit a home run. Dunk a basketball.

Things you want to do before you die.

Become a dad. Travel to Istanbul. Live in a house on the beach.

Some are silly. Some are very serious. Some are in between.

Kiss a girl taller than you. Run into a burning building. Get paid to play a sport.


I have crossed some off my list. My list does not stop growing, but I like it that way.

Last Thursday, I got to cross one was actually two, but they sorta went together.

Run into a burning someones hero.


As Claire and I got to the parking lot and saw the flames on the fifth floor, we realized it was not a drill. Our place was not in danger and even if it was, it is just stuff. Claire and I were safe.

Our neighbor, however, did not think he was that lucky. His apartment is directly below the one on fire. There were no firemen, yet. Our neighbor realized his cat was in danger.


I hate cats. You can put "Eat a cat" on my bucket list. Mostly out of spite. I prefer dogs. They are much more my speed. Cats are too aloof, moody and mean. I hear they taste like chicken.


Our neighbor's cat had run under the bed when the alarm went off and could not be coaxed out. As our neighbor sat there worrying about his cat, I asked him why don't you just run up there and get it. "I am scared" he said.

"Give me your keys" I replied curtly. And Claire did say I was very curt with him. I prefer to call it hero mode.

He looked at me and thought for a second. "Give me your keys, I will go get your cat!" I was not asking anymore. I was in hero mode.

"No, we will go together. Just don't leave me."

Really, he said that.

So we ran...up four flights of stairs...down the hallway...through his door. I lifted his bed and he climbed under and grabbed the cat. We ran out.

Yes, we saw smoke. It was so cool.


The next day I was walking down the hallway and bumped into him and his family. He was getting what was left of his stuff out of the apartment. The flames did not get down to his place, but the water from the fire hoses and sprinklers did. Most everything was ruined.

I asked him what his plans were. We chatted for a second...then he stopped mid-sentence and introduced me to his family.

"This is the guy I was telling you about. This is my hero. He saved my cat."


What is on your bucket list?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bogart and the Burning Building

Thursday night Claire and I had just settled in...wrapped up on the couch, sipping a nice bottle of wine and a DVD. We were 90% done with the movie when a piercing sound hit our ears. It was followed with a strobe light.

Our fire alarm was going off.

You would think this would be cause for us to jump out of our seat, rushing to exit the building, but this is not the case. Our building has some issues and we live in P-Towne. False alarms are normal. So, Claire and I got up, changed clothes, made sure we had the right jackets, got our wallets and slowly made our way out of the apartment.

About 2/3rds of the way down the hall we realized this was not a drill or a false alarm. It was a real fire.

By the time we got outside, we could see flames in the corner apartment on the floor above us. Everyone is standing outside, freezing our tuchus off...I love that word!

6 Fire Trucks, 8 Cops and 2 Ambulances were surrounding our building. The local news was aiming their cameras at the big, white monstrosity we live in. Luckily, we have a friend that invited us over to get out of the cold.

4 hours later, we were escorted past 2 condemned apartments, through puddles of water and over debris that fell from the ceiling. We got to our place, snuggled back in and finished the movie.


One good thing that happened...I got to cross off something on my Bucket List. On Wednesday you can read all about that...and the heater in our Apartment making snow on Friday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

99 Cent Store Wonders

***Edit December 16, 835am***

So the post I had intended...the "Sexy Daddy" and the "Placenta Soap" cut from Jay Leno is no longer available...I will just let you use your imagination as to what it was like...and yes, "Sexy Daddy" is a children's book.

Thanks for pointing that out Poop...the video not working, not the "Sexy Daddy" being a kids book...although it would not surprise me that you would know that.


Claire is traveling the next couple of I am back to bachelor life. Luckily, I get to do it at home where I can cook my own meals.

The downside of that is I have to figure out what I want to cook.

Last night I ate hamburger meat...with some ketchup and bacon.

This morning I had a hamburger omelet.

I need to find something more appealing for dinner...maybe Pickles and Ritz Crackers?


I have watched the first two episodes of Men of a Certain Age...I like it.

It is funny, but not slapstick. It is serious, but not tears in your eyes.

I find myself strangely drawn to the characters, the fights they fight and the conflicted feelings they are dealing, I am not the age that these characters are, but I can see some of the things they deal with and relate to them. If you are a guy of a certain age, it is worth checking out.


I am reminded of something my mom said to me many years ago when that show "thirtysomething" was on TV...she was watching it and I complained that it was a stupid show. She responded, "it is not stupid, you are just not thirty-something".

I think of that comment when I watch Men of a Certain Age...

Maybe it is the gray hairs that are making like rabbits on my head.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Heart Warming

This weekend was a great one...After having been gone for the better part of 2 weeks, it was so nice to be back with my Claire!

We stayed up late Friday night watching 30-Rock, the Office and Top Chef (we have 1 more episode left to watch...don't spoil it for us!) on the DVR. On Saturday, Claire baked Almond Cranberry Spice Muffins and we watched UP...then to the movie theaters to see Blindside...then home to watch Chicago.

We loved all three movies and suggest them for anyone!

Somewhere in there, Claire also found time to make a homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch, we hit up the Happiest Place on Earth and stopped by the dry cleaners.

Saturday was a good day.

Sunday was fantastic as well, starting with CBS Sunday Morning in our PJ's, church and to a friend's house to watch the Charger's manhandle the Cowgirls.

Good times...Good times!


Have you had a chance to see this picture?

You can read the story here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom...

39 years, where does the time go?

I am so very thankful for you.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Heading home

Heading home today...whew. That was a long 9 days. Cold. Like -5 wind chill Thursday.

Can't wait to get to the balmy 45 in VA!


I love eating out, but 9 days in a row of every meal being eaten out sucks. Not gonna lie.


Why is it that every bathroom has a guy who insists on using the john while either texting or talking on the cellular? How hard is it to tap out for 5-10 mins? Dude, enjoy your private time.


Loving the new job. I enjoy being involved in "The Game" again. I missed being productive.


Have you seen the HBO Special featuring the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame performance yet? Amazing. Simply amazing. Watching Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel play...Metallica and Ozzy...U2 and Mick Jagger...and a whole host of others. If you like music, you have to watch it. Such a must see!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brrrrr. Cold.

Sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City.

It is cold here. Been as cold as 10.


That is cold.

We are to wake up with 2-3 inches of snow today.

I think I need to rethink this new job...or at least the travel to KC during the winter.


Real quick request for those of you in the service industry. If you are working with a client, please try your best not to pass stinky gas when your client is around. It does not help your case.


Did you see Nebraska almost take down Texas on Saturday night? Oh that would have been so glorious!!


There is this homeless guy in P-Towne that has been on my mind recently. It is an unusual thing. He has sorta stuck with me for a while. I can't explain it. Wondering if there is something I should be doing for him besides praying for him and his circumstances.


9 days away from my wife is too long. Only 4 days left, but I have had enough of this.


I need to figure out how to balance this blogging with the new job. Any tips?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Camping At Home

Claire and I had friends arriving on Saturday morning for brunch.

We were going to make fresh baked cranberry muffins and Shrimp & Corn Grits.

Claire woke up, put together the muffins and baked them perfectly. They were beautiful and really good.

My job was to create the Shrimp and Corn Grits.

I started cooking. It was not working. The stove had little to no power.

I could not even melt butter.

Turns out the power company said that we have a "Phase Out".

I have guests arriving in 15 mins and now I have a "Phase Out". No appliances can run. The heater is out. The stove top is not working. The fridge is dead in the water.

I have Shrimp and Corn Grits to make. Crap.


Earlier this year, Claire and I won a drawing over at Wonderful World of Weiners.

We won a bunch of camping equipment including a machete, wind-proof lighter, knife, flashlights, multi-gas coffee pot and a camp stove.


We are watching the stove...nothing is happening.

We are watching the is ticking.
Claire says, "Hey, wait. Don't we have that really awesome camp stove and a small propane tank?"

Sure enough, we have that wonderful camp stove. I pull out the is still packed in the original shipping box...and assemble it.

First words that appear on the stove when you open the box?


We did anyway. And the camp fire Shrimp and Corn Grits were awesome!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Scores

The following ratings are based on a 1-to-10 scale with 10 being the best and 1 being the worst.

Category: 2009 Thanksgiving Day

Rest: 8...Claire and I had a lazy morning, we slept well and there was little to no stress.

Company: is not that the people we were with were not fun, cause they were. We enjoyed the conversation and like the people we were with. I also love every minute I am with my wife. But the score reflects the missing family and other close friends that we were not with.

Food: Solid 6. My pancakes fell a bit flat (Why can't I ever remember to put enough sugar? I have been making these since I was a kid!) and my Famous Egg Nog was a little on the salty side. But the turkey that Suzie made was amazingly succulent (despite the lack of dark meat) and the rum cake was straight from Heaven. I was also missing the one thing I have had at EVERY Thanksgiving (and Christmas!) since I was born...Yiftees. It is not Thanksgiving without Yiftees. That certainly hurt the score.

Football: 2-minus. The only reason this is not a negative score, was that the 30-mins of the first half I got to see of the GB/Detroit game was actually pretty good. The rest...well, there was no rest. There was no football on at our friends house. We had Sly and the Family Stone albums playing and that was pretty cool, but the football was not there...Oh yea, I also gave consideration to the fact that I really did not miss anything and it was not Baseball.

Turkey: 8.75. I know I already mentioned the food, but this bird was rock'n. It was moist and good. I even had a turkey sandwich last night with nothing but a roll and the other thing was needed. Why was it not a 10? I love me some dark meat and it was not there. Apparently they sell white meat turkey only. For shame.

Weather: 9. It was Sixty Five and Sunny. What more could I want? Maybe 75 and sunny, but a 9 is a GREAT score.

What categories am I missing? How do you rate your Turkey day?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Honking the Horn and Getting Chubby..wink, wink, nudge, nudge

Most of the time I really like the fact that I live right next to the water. The ferry stop is 100 feet from our building, we have a great waterside view of downtown Norfolk and we just love being near water.

Then there are nights like last night that make us question the sanity of living on a busy waterway...1:30am...ONE THIRTY AM...on a Tuesday...a Navy ship decided it was time to test their horn. The ship is buoyed less than 150 yards from our place.

Navy ships have loud horns.

Especially at 1:30am.

Over and over and over and over...

I respect our Navy. I love our servicemen. I am married to one.

I HATE the horn honker at 1:30am.


I really don't like the fact that the horn honking has continued on a regular basis ever since...about 5 or 6 honks per hour.

That last line...scratch it from your memory...sounds like a bad line from a B-Movie.

Or remember it if you are a movie script writer...I just want the credit.


We decided to try this recipe from Tyler Florence on Monday night.

To prepare, we picked up a Sugar Pumpkin at the farmer's market this weekend. Well, at least we were told it was a sugar pumpkin. Sure, it was larger than the one's Tyler used, but the farmer's daughter told us this $6 pumpkin was the same...we believed her. (Little Lying Farmer's Daughter)

We then proceeded to make the pies...exactly how the recipe directs. We cook/bake often. We know how to follow a recipe.

The pies turned out way under sweet. They tasted vaguely like banana flavored pumpkin sauce that really needed sugar.

Boooooooo Farmer's Daughter....Boooooooooo,..


We did manage to fix the pies last night with a little ingenuity and elbow grease...First, we took 1/2 a loaf of cinnamon bread and one of the pies...cubed them and turned them into this wonderful Cinnamon Banana Pumpkin bread pudding. Oh my. (We used this Paula Dean bread pudding as a basic guide)

Then I took the other pie, mixed in more sugar and made a new pie. It is okay...edible...but nothing like the greatness that is Cinnamon Banana Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

My love handles just got a lot more lovely.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hoooray for the Holiday's!!! Hoooray for San Diego!!!

Its the most
Wonderful Time
Of the year...

I love the time from now until the end of the year. Christmas music is playing in the stores and I get to eat Turkey.

This weekend, Claire and I will be picking out a Christmas tree and decorating the house.

I love it!!!


On Saturday...
1. Went to the Happiest Place on Earth
2. Made Chili with Claire...the 5 alarm type
3. Watched Cal beat Stanford...Watched Nebraska roll K-State
4. Walked around town to look at the Christmas lights

What else could you want from a Saturday?


Chalk this up to my love of all things San Diego...

1. The Chargers won! Convincingly. First Place...woohoo!
2. Jimmie Johnson won. 4 NASCAR Sprint Titles in a row. I am not a watcher of NASCAR, but Jimmie is from San Diego. Ergo, hooray!
3. San Diego is named #1 Beer town in America. I don't drink beer, but San Diego was named #1...Rock-On San Diego!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bring Me My Lychee

Our trip to the Second Happiest Place on Earth a couple of weeks ago was a wonderful time with Claire's family.

Having never spent time at Disney...except for that unusual situation in January, I was very excited to check out what people east of the Mississippi think is the Happiest Place on Earth.
And yes, we really did have a great time.
I am so blessed to have a family-in-law that I love to be with.
The Food and Wine portion of the Disney trip was a bit disappointing. The food and wine booths they had lining Epcot were interesting, but the few things we tried were: 1. Expensive 2. Average.
I know, I know...what should I expect. We are at a theme park where food should be expected to be: 1. Expensive 2. Average
I just thought that since it was "Food and Wine Expo" that it might be a bit different.
I will say, the amount of Lychee things I ate (mostly thanks to my wife finding them and bringing them home with her!!!) was fantast-i-licious! Gummies, hard candy, Sake, etc....yum, yum.
And if you have not tried a Lychee, you NEED to. A Lychee martini might be a good place to start.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SuperMegaNews...or just an update. much news...okay, just some news, but I figure if I make it sound important y'all would forgive the two weeks without an update.


So I started a new job last week. I was surprised when I was recommended for a job with the SuperMegaCorporation. I was surprised when they flew me out and I liked it. I was surprised when they made a solid offer.

I am most surprised that I accepted and will be working from home some of the time...while traveling to the middle of the country some of the time.

I wanted to say "strange things are afoot at the Circle K", but that seemed so 1990's.


So, I was gone last week...the week when the "Kill Bogart" storm hit P-Towne. If you click on the link, you will see the beginning of the flooding, including the ferry that stops at the base of our building...the same ferry that they say they don't shut down...the same ferry that was shut down for Thursday and Friday because the area that they dock (1.25min into the video) was completely underwater.

Oh, if you look for it, 59 seconds into the video, you will see a shot of the Big White Monstrosity that Team Bogart currently resides in...wooohooo.

Nothing like making the local news to make you feel famous...or something.


Poor Claire had to deal with the crazy flooding all by herself. Even being rudely awakened on Thursday morning with water dripping on her head.

Drip....Drip....Drip...4:30am...Good thing she found the buckets and pans to catch all the water!


My experience with the storm? We had wind shear warnings when we were landing on Friday night...made a couple of attempts to land and then were diverted to Raleigh-Durham, NC. We deplaned, sat around and then reboarded. We made one final attempt, landing safely around midnight.


It is nice to be back home. It is nice to be back to the blog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Alive and Well...Thanks for Checking In

Being alive is good.

While we did have a couple of close calls upon landing on Friday night in Norfolk, including a redirect to North Carolina, Bogart is alive and well.

As far as the blogging goes, well, clearly I have lacked in that department for the past two weeks.

I know it is really no excuse, but I was in Chicago then Kansas City, covering the better part of the last two weeks...

I do have so much news and still owe you an update of pictures from Disney.

I will be getting to it soon.

No, really, I will.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Drifting Mind

I find my thoughts often think of him.

Sometimes they are memories of hoping in the car or working on some chores. Other times I am reminded of how he treated her and how much he loved life.

Mostly they are of random things that really don't make much sense.

How I was amazed that he never would wear shorts...How his hair had a cowlick in the exact same spot mine does...How he always took his coffee black...How he took a nap every day...His little, practical jokes.

I don't know why those things still strike me. I don't understand why he is the one that pops into my head so often.

Well, I guess that is a lie. I know.

He was the most influential person in my life.

The pain of his loss has faded, but the disappointment of him not being around is still very real.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thanks and Stuff

Our camping equipment arrived recently.

It is so sweet!

High quality and fantastic.

Thanks again Hallie!


The only thing that did not arrive was the Windproof Lighter...I hope that cool thing shows up!


We had a great time in Orlando with Claire's family. I will post some pics later this week, but I can sum up the trip this way...

5 Disney parks, 2 Disney water parks, 5 fast food drive thru's, 7 family members, wonderful weather, Sake and sausage.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Second Happiest Place on Earth

Claire left last night for Orlando...It is the Food and Wine Expo at Disney, so her family is going to be doing the whole Disney thing for a week.

Lucky me, I get to join them on Tuesday!

I have never been to Disney in Florida except to run through it...I grew up with Disneyland in SoCal and always figured the original was the best. I guess I am about to find out.


What did I do with my bachelor night?

I watched Playoff Baseball and Sunday Night Football...I ate spicy sausage...I drank Scotch.

Good Times....Good Times.


I baked some cookies I got from Ramblings, Rants and Recipes. They are Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies....cause that is what bachelors do on the first morning their significant other is out of town.

I actually had to make them for my Volleyball team because they swept both matches last week...


And if any of you are wondering...Costco, according to my sister, is the Happiest Place on Earth!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Colorful Past

The girls volleyball team I coach had a team dinner last night. We had finished eating our carbo load (stuffed pasta shells and garlic bread...yes mom, we had a salad too) and we were tearing into the caramel layered of the girls said that they like my red sweatshirt. It was "a good color".

I told her that I seem to wear a lot of red. Claire likes me in that color and I have always sorta liked it. As a matter of fact, I confided in them, I have always thought it would be cool to have a nickname that is a color like "Red" or "Blue". They laughed and thought that was silly.

It was then I remembered that from about age 8 to around high school, I did have a nickname that was a color...or at least a color was in it. White-Boy.

At that age, my father was living very close to the Mexican Boarder. I was the ONLY white kid in the neighborhood.

Everyone called me "White-Boy". My friends, their parents and even the ice cream man.


I think I would prefer to be called "Red" or "Blue".

Nah, I will stick with Bogart.


So we went and saw the 12:01am showing of Where the Wild Things Are last night...this morning?...I'll stick with last night.

The reviews have been generally good and the previews are really freak'n fantastic.

The movie...well, it was good, but not quite as good as we had hoped.

A little darker than the previews would lead you to believe, but both Claire and I enjoyed it.

I am not a parent, but I am guessing kids under 8 or 9 would probably be a little scared...older than that and they will enjoy the heck out of it.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kings of Leon are Stalking Me

Ever have a song follow you? It can be a little strange.

That happened to me yesterday.

I put on some music in the morning and the Kings of Leon song Use Somebody was playing.

I said to myself, "Self, I like that song. Let's go to iTunes and download it." So I went to iTunes and listened to it there. Then I downloaded it. It played as I downloaded it.

That makes it 3 times I had heard it in about 10 minutes.

A couple of hours later, I hopped into the car to head to the gym and what song that was playing? Yup, Use Somebody by Kings of Leon.

I arrived at the gym. It was playing there.

I got home, flipped on an Internet radio station and it was the second song I heard.

At 230, I left for Volleyball practice. The song played on two different radio stations during my 25 minute drive.

Sorta sick of it by this point.

I am regretting the iTunes purchase.


On Friday, I baked a pumpkin cake...had some extra pumpkin, so I baked pumpkin cookies.

They both were fantastalicious!

Except that I ate so much of each that I am now orange and becoming very round.


My wife has invited me to a date on Thursday.

She would like us to go see the 12:01am showing of Where the Wild Things Are.

I have not gone to a 12:01 showing since early college.

I am not a night person.

Neither is she.

It should be interesting.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Somebody's Momma is Lying

Coaching girls high school varsity volleyball has me spending a lot of time with teenage girls.

Occasionally you forget that you are around teenage girls when they are there constantly.

For example...last night I was sitting in the stands watching the JV team play. My players were sitting near me and I struck up a conversation with our setter.

Me: "Which sister is older? The outside hitter or the middle blocker?"
Her: "They are not sisters."
Me: "Of course they are. Look at them. There is no way they are not sisters...I actually am surprised they are not twins."
Her: "They are not related. They are not sisters. They get told all the time that they look alike, but they are not from the same family."
Me: "They are from the same family. They have to be. I bet they have the same dad and nobody knows. I bet the milk man is their real dad."
Her: **Blank Stare**
Me: "Or the mail man. Has anyone seen the mailman in their neighborhood?
Her: "Coach...the one dad is sitting right behind us!"
Me: **Blank Stare**


Need to refrain from those conversations in the future.


I am baking a cake today. Pumpkin Spice cake for Claire's book club. I have not baked a cake since the Angel Food Cake incident earlier this year.

I hope I don't die.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Party in My Mouth

I think I have found nirvana.

I think my Heaven has been decided.

The Maple Bacon Doughnut.

Yes, that is a big'ol fatty, maple favorite...with a couple of slabs of baconny goodness on top.

I think that has to the best "party in your mouth" ever...EVER!!!


For those of you living in the Pacific Northwest (Portland to be exact) or within driving distance (Wes, I expect a road trip out of you!), I need to hear about this. I need to know if it is as amazing as my dreams about it are. I need to know if I can finally say that my culinary life is complete. I need to know.


They are sold at Voodoo can see their other sinful breakfast items here.
So, I went and looked a little more closely at the offerings...please be aware that there may be some sexually explicit doughnuts sold there...venture on at your own peril.

Forget Europe next year, we are headed to Portland!


Do you think they have to post the calorie count and the fat content in Portland?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Taste Buds A-Flutter

So I went out and bought this Breyers Yogurt.

It is Mint Chocolate Chip flavored.


I can't decide if I like it. I have decided to keep eating it.

You know, for interesting sake.


Yea, I know, Mint Chocolate Chip yogurt sounds disgusting...In my defense:

1. I love mint and chocolate together. It is second only to peanut butter and chocolate.
2. I had a coupon and it was double coupon day at the grocery store.
3. I like to try new things.

Would I recommend it?

I don't know. It is very weird.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

2 Years Running

Two years ago today, I moved to Virginia.

I started blogging a couple weeks later.

It was not an easy move. I left behind my beloved Southern California. I left behind my closest friends. I left behind my family. I left behind carne asada and avocados.

I struggled to adapt to my new life. Living away from SoCal did not immediately agree with me.

Two years later, I would so do it again...and again...and again.

She made it worth it. She made it a lot easier than it could have been. She became my companion.
To celebrate, I am going to the U2 concert tonight with 7 other guys...a limo ride from Norfolk to/from Charlottesville included.
I probably could have thought that ticket purchase through a little more.
Although, having never seen U2 in concert, I am rather excited about it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wash that Mouth Out with Soap

There are times that I am truly amazed by what people will name things.

I saw this place in Salem, Mass.

I did learn that a "Bunghole" is actually the name for the hole in wooden barrels and the cork that is plugged in is called the bung, but c'mon.

Even Beavis and Butthead knew what a Bunghole really was.


While we are at it, do we really need to call the game "Cornhole"? It should be called Bag Toss or Baggo...not Cornhole.

I can't even say it without snickering.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Are We Pretty?

Claire and I went to a charity event for the United Way a couple of weeks ago. They had an artist doing caricatures there.

I am not sure they truly captured my essence.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

At Ease Sergeant

Having done student ministry in some shape or form since the mid-90's, I have had a chance to get to know a number of "kids" and watched many of them grow up...and boy do some of them grow up!

I recently was sent this link of a "Morning Salute" one of the news channels in San Diego did about a of my old students, Sgt. Brian Atkinson. He was one of the kids that you get to know well...loud, goofy and always fun. Now he is "organizing water polo" in Saddam Hussein's old pools and serving our country around the world...I love that!

They grow up oh so fast, don't they?!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some Boston Pics

The day after the ceremony, we headed down to Boston for the weekend. Of course we had to hit up Fenway!

Once Claire joined us Thursday night, we had a wonderful time touring Boston, one of my favorite cities!

It was a beautiful weekend...fall weather most of the trip, but beautiful nonetheless.

We toured the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides). To say that the quarters for those sailors were a little cramped is an understatement.


We visited the Old Library on the Southside of town. It was stunningly beautiful. If you are ever in Boston, you need to check it out!

Here is a shot of the courtyard...
In the library it was a scene right out of a movie...all the seats were taken and there were students actually studying, reading and working on their computers...oh yea, it was the first month of school...
Derek and Emily by the fountain in the middle of the courtyard.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Congrats Derek

I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire to witness the "Pinning Ceremony" of my good friend Derek. He was recently promoted to Chief Petty Officer...a BIG DEAL in the United States Navy. It was a really neat thing to see and be a part of.

Derek and me at the after party...

Standing with the 6 new Chiefs from the Helena...
This is right before he was admitted to Chief's Mess...

His wife and father were honored by pinning his Chief's pins on his lapels...

You can see he is proud of his accomplishment...and he should be!

Congrats to Derek and all of the new Chiefs!
A quick excerpt explaining how big a deal making chief is:
Unlike Petty Officer First Class and lower ranks, advancement to Chief Petty Officer can only advance after review by a selection board of serving Senior and Master Chief Petty Officers, in effect "choosing their own" and conversely not choosing others.
Advancement into the Chief Petty Officer grades is the most significant promotion within the enlisted naval ranks. At the rank of Chief, the Sailor takes on more administrative duties. In the Navy, their uniform changes to reflect this change of duty, becoming identical to that of an officer's uniform except with different insignia. Sailors in the three Chief Petty Officer ranks also have conspicuous privileges such as seperate dining and living areas. Any naval vessel of sufficient size has a room or rooms that are off-limits to anyone not a Chief (including officers) except by specific inviation. In addition, a Chief Petty Officer, no matter how much he was on a "first name" basis with other petty officers before promotion, is always addressed as "Chief" by subordinates and superiors.
We went to Boston after the ceremony...those pics will be up tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Girls are Wierd

Now that I am back coaching High School Girls Volleyball, I am putting together a list of things you never see/hear at a guys practice, but you see at a girls practice:

1. Skipping...guys don't skip. I don't think guys past the age of 9 skip. It really does not happen. Girls seem to skip until they are 80. My volleyball girls do it all the time...during practice. I say "Hustle-up, there is to much walking going on!" and they respond by skipping. What is that about?

2. Fixing hair...You are working out. I am pushing you pretty hard. Why are you fixing your hair while we jump on boxes? Why are you putting your ponytail in when we are running lines?

3. A player saying "I missed that hit because my hair got covered my eyes"...really? Weren't you just fixing your hair a minute ago when we were running lines? What the junk?

4. Crying during practice...I know, I have seen guys cry at practice, but that was because he got a note that said his dog had died, not because it was hard. Guys puke when practice gets really hard, girls cry.

5. Coordinated Cheerleading on the court. When a guy hits a good shot, the other guys high-five them or slap them on the butt...girls circle up and cheer. "Oh snap, beat that ace!" or "Roof, Roof, you just got Roofed"...hand motions to boot.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some NoLa Pics

Thought we would share some shots from our tubing adventure in LA last weekend...

We had a great time with the family.


I also mentioned that while we were down in Louisiana we met Leigh-Ann from Starting Somewhere, one of our favorite bloggers...
Sorta looks like an AT&T commercial...more bars in more places.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The New Laundry Day

Back home from a two week jaunt through the country. We had a great time this past weekend in New Orleans, getting some quality time with the fam.

This weekend, I am off to Roanoke, VA with the volleyball team and then New Hampshire and Massachusetts next week. One of these days I will need to settle down.


While we were in SE Louisiana, I got to fly my RC Plane again. I will tell you, we have gotten more use out of that thing...might be the best $30 I have ever spent.


We walked around the French Quarter last week. One of the highlights was meeting fellow blogger Leigh-Ann at her work.

I thought it was funny that she recognized Claire before she recognized me.

I mean, c' is MY blog and all.


If you have not had a chance to read Leigh-Ann over at Starting Somewhere, I would highly recommend that you do. She is always an enjoyable read!


It was Southern Decadence Festival this weekend in NoLa. I have never heard more people say to me "Hey Big Boy, what is in your pocket?"

Sadly, I did not see any buttless chaps. You know it is a bad party if no one is wearing buttless chaps.


I just held up a roll of quarters and told them it was laundry day.

I think it was laundry day for a lot of people.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Am A Daddy

When I am asked if I have any kids, my standard answer is "none that I know of!"

Then I saw this video and figured that I actually have a kid...I was a redhead until I was 4 or 5 and dude has the exact same moves as me...except my worm is better.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Weigh In

We had our weigh in last night...

I dropped some poundage and now weigh 1lb less than I did when Claire and I got married.

Claire dropped the same poundage and EASILY won the weight loss challenge.

She is my rock-star!


Everyone in the family lost weight and it showed. I think among us we dropped a small village worth of weight in the past 6 weeks.


Last week I was at my mother's home when the "Shaving incident" happened.

No, it was not my mom's shaving cream I was my sister's.



This week we are in New Orleans with Claire's family. A day for tubing down the river is on the docket fo'sho.

Friday, August 28, 2009

This Blog Post is Rated PG-13

No, really, it is.

If you would not watch a PG-13 movie, you should not read on...if you choose to, do so at your own peril. If you prefer not to go on, here is a link you can enjoy.


Okay, those of you still with me...


So I took a shower today. A normal event.

I am traveling and did not bring soap, shampoo or shaving cream. Also, a normal event.

I used the "body wash" that was in the shower...I prefer my Lever 2000 bar, but I got clean.

I used the shampoo that was in the was fine. I like to smell pretty.

I then needed to shave. Usually, if I don't have shave cream, I just use conditioner. It works well and keeps my pretty face, soft and supple.

Today, in the shower, there was shave cream. It was not manly and not because of the aroma.

No, the shave cream had a very...uh hem...interesting name...


Digest that for a moment.


I don't think I had said that word since I was 16.


And I put that on my face to shave with.


Really? Is that the best name? I mean, it does say rash free body wash for "All Over", but really, what is is for?

No, don't answer that.

I am just troubled that I put Coochy on my face to shave with.

I think my life is complete...or my political career is or the other.


If you don't know what Coochy is slang for, just think of a girls "who-ha" you got it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Proverbs 31:10-12

Nothing like having your cell phone die when you are 1500 miles from home.

And that sucker is dead. Even the tech guys at Verizon could not get it to turn on.

Claire really wants an iPhone. I really don't have good feelings about AT&T.

But, one of my life motto's is:

Happy Wife, Happy Life

You can also translate that to "What my baby want, my baby get".

So, unless there is something new and exciting for Verizon customers, I think I will be porting over to AT&T fairly soon...and my amazing wife will have her new toy.


Which leaves me with few options for a temporary phone. I am trying to find a used one to borrow for the next 2 weeks while I am traveling. I really don't want to buy a Verizon phone if I am just moving services in a couple of weeks...


If she gets a new toy, I think I get a new toy.

Claire gets an iPhone. Bogart gets a 52 inch flat screen.

I think that is fair.


Traveling is the word of the month for me...I was 1500 miles away from home yesterday...I flew out in the AM and flew home later that night. For a 4 hour stay. Long day.

I travel tomorrow across the country for some work and R&R...will be flying back next Wednesday, only to leave again Thursday for a New Orleans trip.

Can you see why I just want a loaner phone?


Still looking for tear-away pants for our official weigh-in. I think J in L-Towne would love me to walk up to the scale, tear my pants off and get weighed wearing only my sounds like the perfect son-in-law thing to do!

Monday, August 24, 2009

We Win...We Are Wieners

Claire and I were big Wieners on Saturday over at Wonderful World of Weiners. What did we win? How about a boat load of camping equipment...(Pictures here, about 1/3rd of the way down)

Folding Chopsticks
Gator Machete
Crucial Multitool
My-Ti Folding Fork/Spoon
Remix Knife
Omnimore Flashlight
Lamplight 360
Brewfire Dual-Fuel Coffee Maker
Profile Duo Range Grill and Stove
Helios Stormproof Lighter
Vapor Cookset
Solo 3.4 Power outlet

Now we will be camping and tailgating in style!!!

Thanks you Hallie!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Locks of Yuk

I was listening to NPR yesterday as I drove to the HS Volleyball tryouts (I am coaching again)...they had a weird show that had a guy act as if he is Thomas Jefferson and answers questions about his life. It is a very strange show that has a very strange appeal.

Anyway, the interviewer asked him "If Monticello was going up in flames, what 5 things would you grab?"

He started with his collections of 7000 books. Really?

Then he talked about his 5 journals.

Then he creeped me out. He told the story about his wife dying. Just before she passed away, she wrote out a poem that she knew, leaving the last line blank and then dying. So, TJ finished writing the poem out and took a lock of her hair; he put them both in an envelope and hid it in a secret drawer. He said that would be one of the things that he went into the towering inferno to get back.

I understand some sentimentality about the poem, but the hair thing is just wrong. I then realized that I even get creeped out looking at Claire's baby book and the lock of hair that is in there. I am uncomfortable seeing any lock of hair that people keep for whatever reason.

This discomfort includes the Locks of Love chairity. I love the charity. It is so cool. I just don't want to see that clump-o-hair in the ziplock.

Is it just me or does the idea of a lock of hair creep you out too?

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Can Lift Weights in Prison

This guy has continued his music...recently adding a synthesizer and a microphone. Now he has the steel drums, the keyboard and faux back-up singers. Oh my goodness I am getting tired of hearing him 6-days a week.


The Weight Loss Challenge is going well. The gym has been visited 3-days a week and, outside of communion on Sunday and a certain soccer game last week, I have not touched bread since we left New Orleans.

It will be fun to roll around in all those twenty's like I just hit the jackpot in Vegas!


Anyone know where I can get some cool, tear-away pants for the official weigh-in?


Saturday Claire and I cleaned the house, went to Costco and did misc. chores...yet we had a great day. How cool is that?

Sunday we went to church, spent a few hours at the beach and had a seafood extravaganza at Jon and Lisa's house. Great way to end the weekend!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Catching Crabs

Two weeks ago, Claire and I went up to Ocean City, MD to visit our friend Kelly, her two kids and some of her other extended family. It was a wonderful trip, full of good food, good times and great people.

We made sure to have a dinner full of MD Crabs...they were nice and big...just the way we like them.

The house was right on the water (bay side) and we had a great time diving off of the dock, watching beautiful sunsets and stunning lightening.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Man of Steel

Ever have one of those moments when you are sitting, all alone and you do something really stupid? You know, one of those moments that you look around just to make sure you really are alone so that no one saw it?

Yeah, me neither.


I got to say, travel does not make trying to avoid sugar, fruit and carb's very easy. They are everywhere.

At least at home, I can not buy the bread or pick up some sugar-free jello. On the road, there is little I can do.


Why am I avoiding those things you ask? Well, cause this guy (the groom) and I were teasing each other a couple of weeks ago. I think he was calling me tubby and I was calling him chubby...or maybe it was fatty and jiggly. Or maybe it was both.

Anyway, I told him that I was going to come back to Louisiana in 6 weeks and I was going to be looking better and have lost more weight than him...Kyle, never being one to back down from a challenge, accepted.

Claire heard about this and wanted a piece of the action. Then Sarah (the bride above and Claire's baby sister) wanted in. Then it was the girl's father. We also drug Pamela (the middle one) and her boy (the candidate) into the fray. Suddenly it was a bet with lots of trash talk going on.

So, on the Friday of Labor day, there will be a weigh in. The person who looses the most weight by body percentage wins $120, second place gets their money back ($20) and last place becomes the drink and food getter.


Not gonna lie Sarah, I am looking good. No longer jello, more like steel.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Lady Friend

This weekend Claire and I went to Ocean City Maryland to visit one of her closest friends from College. I will post a few pics later this week, but have been laughing about one incident.

Claire's friend Kelly has a five year-old son Luke. He seems to be a bit smitten with my wife.

Claire was on the back patio, playing with Luke's little sister, Lilly. They were in their swimsuits and Luke had noticed Claire. He turned his head, looked out the window at her, looked back at me and said, "Bogart, I like your lady."

I punched him in the nose.


I don't condone violence, but he looked at her funny.


Okay, I may have exaggerated...I may have actually just laughed a good, deep belly laugh.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dialing Puerto Rico

787...I raised my hands in triumph.

787...not my ideal weight.

787...not just an airplane made by Boeing.

787...not just an area code in Puerto Rico.

Seven Hundred and Eight Seven...I had just won the bet.


Claire and I were at the car dealership on Saturday, working out the financing portion of our new Subaru Forester. We asked the dealer if he could share our scores.

Claire and I then made a $1 bet that my score would be within 12 points of hers if it mine was lower...I figured it would be lower since if you are born with a dumb stick, you get docked points on your really, you do. I am the guy, therefore I have a little lower score.

The dealer pulls out his calculator, plugs in the numbers and smiles. He looks at me and says that I got Claire by 32 points...THIRTY TWO POINTS!!!

I might have done the sprinkler in his office. Okay, I did, but I did NOT do the worm, although I was tempted.


He then dropped the news that I actually lost the was hers that was in 819.

787...might be a good credit score a herculean score. wife's new nick-name.

819...787...sure they are both good, but one is just a little bit gooder.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bad Jokes and Bacon

I picked up some clothes from the cleaners today.

As I was paying, the dude behind the counter says to me:

"I really like your shirts. They are very nice. If they would have fit me, I would have kept them and told you they were lost in the cleaning process."



Loving the new car, but I hesitated to drive it this morning because my clothes smelled like bacon. Normally, bacon is the greatest smell you will get to enjoy during the day, but the thought of ruining the new car smell in the Forester was making me worry about getting in the driver's seat.


Received my shipment of Bacon Salt today.

'cause everything should taste like bacon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Claire and I Have a Kid!!

Claire's birthday was yesterday and it was a great day for me!

We had driven up to DC (via a car dealership in for clunkers worked for me...more on that later this week) to celebrate her birthday. We woke up Sunday morning, ate at a great little French Bakery/Bistro (the same one as July 4, 2008) and went to the National Zoo. Then we took Anthony Bourdain's recommendation and stopped at a fish market to get some fresh crabs. (No William...not that kind of crabs!)
Then we headed off to Nationals' Ballpark to watch the Padres play the Nationals.

While we were at the park, Claire over heard a security guard talking about kids running the bases after the game...her eyes lit up. "I want to go on the field" she says. Problem was, to the best of our knowledge, we don't have kids. But the couple behind us had 3 of them and offered to let us borrow one.

So yea, we ended up on the field.
Happy Birthday to Claire (and yay for me!)
***UPDATE 11:40am)***
The Calypso Music has started again this morning...he opened with some free form song, but he has added a mike and a louder speaker, so now I get to hear him sing!