Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 3: Sort of Normal


In an effort to act like "Normal"people, the Nerds visit an amusement park.

The Blond packed a great picnic lunch.

(I just like this picture)


After lunch, the temp started rising, so we made a pretty good deal with the young parents. We'd each take turns watching Emma while the others went down some water slides.


Their trip up the wooden steps went by without any difficulty.

The blond and I would not be so lucky.

Heading up the steps for this slide, we got in line behind The Six Most Annoying and Self Absorbed 12 Year Old Girls in the World.

Knowing how high the bar is set for that sort of thing, you will obviously need some proof from the 45 MINUTE NON-STOP, NOT EVEN A PAUSE FOR BREATH, JABBER SESSION they held for our benefit. The Colonel actually tuned them out after about 5 seconds, so here is a quote that the Blond remembers:

"Idon'tknowhowIgotsotallwhenmymomissotinyImeanshe'sabout
4feetorsomethingswimmingistheworstexcerciseIwasinswimming
andilostallthisweightbutthenIjoinedsoftballandgainedallthismuscle
Ilost40poundsnolienokiddingIwantedtobeputinaregularclassbut
theyputmeinthisotherclasssandItriedtotalktotheteacherbuthedidn't
understandsoIwasdoingidenticalworkfortwoclassesovertwo
trimestersbutIamdonenow...."

At one point (this is true), the Blond looked at me and mouthed, "Please...kill me."

Through the fog of this conversation, a new horror began to dawn on the Colonel. This ride only allowed four people per raft, and there were six of them.

The sign at the top of the stairs confirmed my worst fears. It stated that groups of less that four would be paired up.

Being a clever Colonel, I sized up the situation by employing mathematics.

6 annoying girls minus 4 annoying girls equals 2 annoying girls.

2 annoying girls plus one Blond plus one Colonel equals One Raft Ride of Continued Purgatory.

This time it was my turn to direct the Blond's eyes toward the ominous sign and silently mouth, "No...please sweet mercy...no!"
It was then that fate intervened. There, in line in front of the Irritating Gang of Six were two wonderfully quiet 8-year old boys, riding alone. The attendant looked at them and shouted, "Any other groups of two?"
The Colonel almost dislocated his arm shooting up his hand.
"Us!" I pleaded, "We'll ride down with them!"
On the ride down, the boys and I discussed Randy Moss while the Blond screamed.
I'm still trying to figure out if her screaming was from the ride, or simply out of relief.

Epilogue:
Baseball heroics, wrong way driving, mass transit, shark petting, Uber-nerddom, laughing babies, Texas Hold 'em, roller coasters, and annoying pre-teens; it was all fantastic.
But often, the best moments are the simplest ones. Our family doesn't really know this, but sometimes when we are all traveling together, the Blond and the Colonel just like to hang back a bit behind the rest of them and appreciate what the Lord has given to us.
As we were leaving the park, following a wonderful day together, we were reminded once again how rare and precious these times really are. Everyone is getting older. These opportunities to be all in the same place may become more impractical as careers and geography begin to spread us apart. We can't possibly know what changes the next days, weeks, and years may bring.
We only knew that for that moment, we were together, and we were happy.
...and the Blond and the Colonel are very, VERY Blessed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Nerdvana: Day 2

Emma's Dad had a toothache, so the Colonel & The Blond took her out to learn Important Life Skills.

Here she learning how to pet a shark.

I don't know what her parents were thinking. The Colonel is getting to the age where he shouldn't really be trusted to keep his eye on a 1-year old, or even operate an automobile, for that matter. On this trip alone, by my latest count, the Colonel has:

1. Missed about 12 exits while engaged in animated discussions about Baseball.
2. Gone the wrong way down a one-way street (I am not making this up...) TWICE.
3. Driven over several small barnyard animals.
4. Allowed his granddaughter to pet a shark.

As if that were not bad enough, while the Blond and I were at the mall, we were thinking about how great of a workout it would be to briskly walk all the way around all three levels. With this in mind, I began to look around for stationary staircases, reasoning that one would want to take the stairs between floors for maximum workout efficiency.

I was a bit disappointed to see that there were only escalators available. That's when I thought, for a split second, and I am still not making this up:

"Man...no stairways. Only escalators...If they had a power outage they'd be Toast."


The Director picked up some Dr. House Medication, so it was off to Our Ultimate Destination.

"Everyone there was a nerd, except us."
If there is a pilgrimage for Geeks, we had definitely arrived.

The Hermit looked concerned.

Emma made some new friends. (Note the picture behind R2-D2)

Penny exhibited little or no resistance to the nerdovirus.

Neither did the Colonel. Most disturbing was the fact that we were ALL able to pose this shot from memory.

Fans of the strip "Great Moments in Star Wars" (Roughly 92% of the Colonel's readers) will appreciate the Director's joy at finding this strikingly accurate souvenir.

I include these final two pics, simply because they are just so cool. To stand there, right next to the real props and models, was actually pretty great. Yeah, there was some "educational" crud and applied science and all that garbage mixed in with it, (The Hermit said they had to include that interactive junk to get government funding) but overall, it was just totally, totally...well...

...cool.

And yes, we are Nerds.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Circle Me, Bert

News from Nerdfest '08

Welcome to Minneapolis. Mall of America, Guthrie Theater, Fine Dining & Entertainment.

Or...You can sit in your room and play poker.

Some of the Prizes:

  • Star Wars Stickers
  • A Coloring Book
  • Fudge Rounds
  • 2 Chuck Norris Posters
  • $7 in Cash Next Day, in true euphorian fashion, the Nerds get a big kick out of using the Mass Transit System.

An Example of "Minnesota Nice": A Lady gave up her seat for the guy with a baby. Then she disembarked at the Airport Station, so maybe it was "South Carolina Nice". Emma wanted to pull that kid's hair.

We don't know if Bert Circled Emma, but she did make it onto the Jumbo-Tron. Nerd quotient +23%

Emma missed some of the game.

video

But the Twins won their sixth straight.

Tommorrow: Nerdvana.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"This is for Everybody in 'Sota!"


His quote, of course, not mine.

Pretty classy, though.

Way to go, KG.