The Adventures of LatteMan....

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Come Sail Away

It is official. I have given up on Blogger.

Please come visit me at

Friday, December 29, 2006

Under Construction

Blogger has been buggin for 2 days now. Eating posts or just not letting me in.

I've been warning. Hell even CNet has an article about Blogger's sloppy stumble out of Beta.

So, I am currently prettying up my new home for your first visit.

Be back soon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 Year In Review : Part I

There are certain things that I will miss from 2006. Not many. And really I guess it is more about things that have changed more than things left behind. Any parent knows the feeling. The "where does the time go" feeling. It just seemed so accelerated this year.

Gone are the days of kiddie pools, or "having to" go swimming with LatteGirl. She can swim... well. No more inflatable arm bands, silly little inflatables or other such "baby toys." Now she swims on her own and those silly little toys have been replaced with diving sticks, underwater hoops for swimming through and other "big kid" toys.

Gone this year is the simple version of soccer that was just more like us kicking a ball back and forth. Now we run drills in the yard (her choice), have orange cones (her choice), and she sets up a goal so she can (try) to shoot it past me.

The Christmas wishlist also changed quite dramatically. Gone are Color Wonder Books, Wiggles Videos, Barbie Stylin' Heads and Play-Doh. This year the requests were things like a Pottery Wheel, a telescope, a Chemistry Kit ("My First Chemistry kit" not a real chemistry set), and Leapster Math Games. Where toys were requested, they were more mature, including (one of my old favorites) MouseTrap. She also got a FurReal Friends Chimp, but that was TheWife's idea and wasn't actually a requested toy.

I know they grow up, and we can't stop them. And I am sure I will lament this again many times in the future in a similar fashion. But somehow I think I will always look back at this particular year as the end point of my "baby" and the begining of the years I can call "my young little lady."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Jell-O mold like Holiday Recap...

(Sort of looks like a post, but is tenuous at best in its construction, with lots of odd things thrown it).

LatteGirl did not feel well, and was a bit off right up and through Christmas Eve. By Christmas Even she even seemed a bit depressed. By being ill for the past week, she sort of felt like she missed the "run up" to Christmas, and several times lamented how Christmas seemed to come way too fast this year. (What child complains about Christmas arriving too quickly? Really!)

By Christmas morning however, whatever has been keeping her down was gone. She was her bright chipper self. Full of enthusiasm, excitement and awake far too early in the morning for my tastes (and it should be noted... I am a morning person in general). I will go more into the specifics about present and such later (with photos).

When I was a younger lad (way back when), the running "joke" (meaning every parent had been burned by it at least once), was the dreaded, "*batteries not included." While I have been snagged by that once or twice myself, it is nothing that a quick run to the corner store, while other gifts are being played with that cannot be remedied quickly. No, that is not it. For me the bane of my Christmas Eve life as a parent can be pointed to three different little words. Words that seem to apply to at least one gift a year. Those words that make me shudder... "some assembly required."

Our car broke down on Saturday. The Saturday before Christmas. Water Pump and Timing Chain went. We needed a vehicle so we decided to rent on for the weekend. Have you ever tried to find an open Car Rental Place on a Saturday afternoon of a three day holiday weekend? 23 places need to be called before we found one open.

As it turns out, that event was almost a blessing in disguise. LatteGirl's haul from my mother's house (my mother, my aunt, and my sister) never would have fit in the trunk of our car, so at least we reaped that benefit from having the rental car. But I think I would have happily traded having to make an extra trip back to go get the remaining goodies rather than spending $600 in car repairs, and another $150 (or so) on the rental.

TheWife and I "agreed" no not buy presents for each other this year as "we" (read: she) wants a new painting for above the sofa in the living room. She got me CSI Season 6, and a Chiminea that I had my eye on for the deck. I bought her, a bracelet (which unfortunately did not arrive in time), a vegetable steamer (she wanted one), a Target GiftCard ('cause what woman doesn't enjoy shopping?), and a pair of diamond earring set in white gold (she is now on a kick where she doesn't want anything "yellow"). So obviously... we both broke our "agreement." As it turns out that probably was a good thing, because the money we would have spent on a print for the living room (She wants a "Kinkaide") is now going into her car for repairs.

I started baking on Friday evening when I got home from work, and didn't stop until around dinner time on Christmas Eve. I was exhausted by the time I was done (which was not a good thing to be, when I had "some assembly required" gifts assemble once I could get LatteGirl off to bed), but the house smelled fantastic. I was a bit behind because of LatteGirl not wanting to bake this week since she was under the weather, but I did manage to complete all the cookies I promised people here I would send out. In the end I wound up baking about 16 dozen cookies and a couple of cakes.

I took time out from baking Sunday, to go to church (it didn't burst into flames and burn down... who knew), so I could see LatteGirl and her Sunday School class perform a nativity scene play. LatteGirl was one of the 3 Kings. She was thrilled to be the one presenting Gold. TheWife however did not find it amusing when I kept referring to her as "the king presenting the bling."

Fortunately (for us), we no longer have any family members that actually still make the Jello mold for the holidays. (Although we still have a party with TheWife's family on Saturday, so I may be a bit premature). But I have to ask. Who the heck looks a Jell-O and thinks... "that needs carrot slivers in it"?)

I hope you got everything you wanted from Santa. (If not, the post-holiday sales start today :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

I must have wronged somebody, somewhere.

That is the only explanation I can come up with. I did all my Christmas Shopping, late as usual but with more than enough time to get everything here for the holidays. Then, once those deadlines for shipping have passed, the e-mail start rolling in. "Sorry out of Stock," "Shipment Delayed," etc. etc. So now, to fill the void, the weekend before Christmas, I still have to go shopping!

This is so unfair. I swear this is some sort of Karma kickback for something I did to somebody. I even considered looking towards the Bible for some answers. What did I find? "...Latte Man the cross maker was the richest man in all of Galilee..." Ah... That explains it.

Oh well, a shopping I will go. Wish me luck. Oh, and in case this is the last time we see each other before then (or I get trampled at the mall) . Best wishes to you and yours for this Holiday Season.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Picture Perfect Thursday XIII - Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays
From Our Family To Yours

(I think that is really all that needs to be said for this one)

Christmas Meme

OK, I don't have the picture handy I want for Picture Perfect Thursday, so I was tagged with a MeMe, and decided in the spirit of the holiday, I should do it... so allow me to use this to entertain you (and tag you... snicker) until I get to Picture Perfect Thursday later on.

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? I hate the waste of wrapping paper, and would use nothing if I could. I can't. TheWife insists on paper for Christmas. I get away with (reusable) bags the rest of the time. As a kid, we never had presents wrapped. It would be too hard for Santa to know who got what present if they were all wrapped I was told.

2.Real tree or artificial? Pre-lit Martha Stewart, because TheWife wanted "nothing to do" with a real tree "ever again" but now she is having second thoughts and we may go back to a real tree next year.

3.When do you put up the tree? With the artificial, right after Thanksgiving. With the live tree we generally waited until about Dec. 15th or so.

4.When do you take the tree down? On the 13th day after Christmas.

5.Do you like eggnog? Yup. And now I even like it without it being spiked. Who knew?

6.Favorite gift you received as a child? Is it awful that I say, I don't know. I can't think of one that was way better than any other.

7.Do you have a nativity scene? hahaha... uh... No. I have received several as gifts though. (See Number 14)

8.Hardest person to buy for? TheWife and my mother are a tie for royal pain in the butt.

9.Easiest person to buy for? I don't find anybody particularly easy, just some less hard than others.

10.Mail or email Christmas cards? Mostly mail, some e-mails though.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Oh, there is a long list of items that tie for this honor. Many came from my MIL.

12.Favorite Christmas movie? Christmas Vacation

13.When do you start shopping? January 1

14.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes.

15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Triple Venti Gingerbread Latte of course. Does Coffee count as food?

16.Clear lights or colored on the tree? Color lights when I was a kid. TheWife only wants white. I settle for putting the color outside now.

17.Favorite Christmas song? Bobby Rivers: The Twelve Pains of Christmas

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel, but only about 12 miles to Mom's house.

19.Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer? Of course.

20.Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither, we have an Olde World Santa Claus

21.Open the presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning. I'm not done wrapping anything until just before the child wakes up Christmas morning.

22.Most annoying thing about this time of year? Cranky people that bitch and moan about all the work they have to do to plan for the holidays. If it is "work" you are doing something wrong (in my not so humble opinion). Yes, there is work to be done, plenty of it. But when we get family and friends together, I feel like it is all worth it. Updated to add: This goes Double for Bill O'Reilly and his Faux War on Christmas

23.Do you have Jesus in your heart this Christmas? I don't think so... It is probably just heartburn

24.What would you like for Christmas? A smile on my daughter's face. Everything starts there.

Now to find three people to tag with this, that I think will actually do it. How about:

Cathy (Feel Free to Tag Team with Doug)
Chicka (c'mon you know you want to)
CMHL (It will make a nice diversion for a couple of minutes... PLEEEZ)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Run Away!

On the idea of leaving Blogger, figuring I would do it after the holidays when things slow down. However, apparently their new version is out of beta. Personally, I do not know a single person that is happy after they made the switch. So now I am very afraid. I may have to make a decision or move sooner rather than later.

I created a test blog on the new blogger, and while it is not as bad as I have heard some people complain... it still looks half baked. Many things were added to catch up with everybody with some long overdue features (like labels), but none of it seems complete. Just slapped on with a "we can fix it later" sort of mentality.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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