Family & Friends Archives

October 28, 2004

Home again, home again, Jiggity-Jig

I'm back in Columbus from Boston, and glad to be so. Some pleasant surprises from my trip:

Ben carved out an evening for me, and took me for some fantastic sushi at Blue Fin. We met his friends Josh and Amanda, who are lovely people.

I discovered that Sun has an local (probably a sales) office in Columbus! Not more than a mile from my house! With ~20 floating loaner-offices for use by remote workers! I'm going over there tomorrow to scope the space out.


January 3, 2005


Bradley is up and running with Wordpress, and I for one am tickled pink about it. My daily dose of Braddles is one of the things I miss most about California. Get to postin' bro! And add me to your blogroll, punk.

March 1, 2005

For Annie

Lone Desert Gold
Originally uploaded by Pink Pepper Photo.
A beautiful bloom standing proud.

April 19, 2005


Further evidence that each generation becomes exponentially less cool: it occurred to me tonight that many (if not most) of my Dad's stories from his youth include one important detail -- how fast he "musta been goin'" at the time.

My Dad's best stories always took place around 50mph.

My stories, however, typically involve 'Dr. Pepper' and 'Microwave Burritos.'

May 4, 2005

Another Week

I'm still in California on business, and have had many truly nice opportunities to catch up with friends in the evenings (and over a nice weekend in San Francisco). A smattering of my week...

On Saturday, Bradley and I started our day in Woodside, with the hog-riding accountants that congregate at Alice's Restaurant (which, I discovered, is named after the Arlo Guthrie song, not the other way around.) Here's a tip -- the sausage gravy there is incredible, made from real chunks of what tastes like chicken-apple sausage. Yum.

After Alice's we tooled up Skyline and ended up in San Francisco, enjoying some touristy delights (the Golden Gate's northeast lot for cheesy 'me and the bridge' shots.) North Beach, the murals at Coit Tower, walking the Filbert steps. Caffe Trieste and the Stinking Rose. Much good conversation. It was a great day.

Sunday was spent with my friends Mikol and Sandra, and their adorable son Ezra. (And his impressive collection (15!) of foam-fabricated 'blasters.') After brunch at Park Chow (and some open-faced egg sandwiches that -- no lie -- represent all that is good and true about living in our fine republic) we spent a lazy, fun hour at Bernal Park.

Hitchin' a ride, originally uploaded by soldierant.

Monday was mostly work, but a side-trip to the Yahoo! campus for lunch with a bunch of my old AOL friends. K-Lo, Erin, D-Rob, Lance, and Matt.

That evening I got to see many of the same folks again for craft-night! (My first ever.) Matt led us through paper pop-up cards. I made a cool little elf that springs out of the card. And tonight (Tuesday) was movies with most of the gang again. Hitchhiker's Guide, which I enjoyed -- the designed elements were really well-done, and I thought it was well-paced. It's been enough years since I read the book that I remember almost none of it, so if you're one of those people who don't think the movie lived up to the book? Of course it didn't. Do they ever? I don't wanna hear it..

May 17, 2005

Bro' Bloggin'

This is awesome. My brother Brian has started a blog. He's a little cracked at times, but Brian's perspective is one that I treasure. It's gonna be fun watching him find his blog-voice. And crackin' jokes at his expense while he does it! Like, for instance, did you know what finally inspired Brian to start his blogspot site? Rosie's Blog. Yep. It's true.

May 20, 2005

Happy Trails

We've spent a wonderful week here at the ant-hill with Bradley, who just left an hour or so ago. Updates to his own site have lapsed since the 15th because, he tells me, he enjoyed himself with us too much to bother writing about it.

Isn't that what every host wants to hear?

Many nice meals were had. Many good comic books were read (Braddles and I hit The Laughing Ogre, one of my few must-visit stops on any tour of Columbus.) Much XBox mayhem ensued. Much conversation, some deep, some shallow.

So now he's gone, back on the road, north through Findlay, 23 to 75, up to US-80 and the l-o-n-g haul back to CA (by way of the Oregon coast.) The dogs are a little glum -- they miss their new friend. LeeAnn is a little glum, too. Our little family grew by one this week, and it was rather nice while it lasted.

June 16, 2005

Keep Lantzilla's Head Kissably-Smooth

Lance is a new (well, new-again) father and one of the kindest guys you'll ever meet. With three girls, a wife, and a full-time job, he doesn't always have time to keep his bald head in peak shape. There's this slick head-razor that'll make it so easy.. even for a busy guy like Lance. C'mon Internet! We owe this to the guy...

Donate now to the Keep Lantzilla's Head Kissably Smooth campaign! (Sorry, not tax-deductible.)

The razor costs $75.00. I'll kick in shipping costs. (And if we don't meet our goal within a week, I will refund your money.)

Update 6/17: We have already aquired enough donations to purchase the less-deluxe, but still pretty cool headblade classic. In all likelihood, I will be ordering the Classic for Lance, unless an influx of support comes pouring in.
Update 6/18: Okay, scratch that last update. As you can see, we're flyin' high... almost there.. so none of that cheap-ass plastic crap for our Lantzilla. Which is cool, cause I really want him to have the kickstand. Cause.. how badass is a razor that requires a kickstand!
Update, 6/21: We're almost there! And on a serious note... I started this 'fundraiser' on a whim (cause I've been wanting to try the Dropcash Service, cause Lance is a genuinely good guy, and cause I figure he's got enough wired-in friends that we'd actually get to the $75 mark.) But I don't want to make light of a seriously worthy cause that our friend Jamison has been fundraising for. All week long, I've felt a little silly, watching the kitty grow for this 'cause', knowing that I'd not yet pried open my wallet for Jamison, a true hero, working toward AIDs prevention and treatment. A true cause. Perhaps one of the defining causes of our generation. Well, I just rectified that. And you can still be a hero too. (Oh, and if you do contribute, I'd like to remind you that many companies offer donation-matching for charitable contributions -- check with your human resources dept. to see if they won't pony up as well.)

June 22, 2005

Mission Accomplished!

Thanks to a last-minute push by a generous donor, we have achieved our goal! Lantzilla will soon be enjoying the loving caress of the HeadBlade (I'll be ordering the unit tomorrow.) Thanks to all who donated! I'll be asking Lance to follow up on his blog, maybe with some macro-zoom before and after shots of his dome. :-)

August 1, 2005

Napping at the Folks

I spent the better part of the day today at Mom and Dad's, in Zanesville, and it was the perfect relaxing Sunday that I needed after a (somewhat hectic) week of business travel. Restful, quiet, cool. LeeAnn dropped me and the dogs off with them, then continued on to a bridal shower further down the road. (Deep into the heart of the cell-phone reception void that's also known as 'Southeast Ohio.')

Lemme tell you, you've never truly relaxed until you've napped at my parent's house. On the ride home with LeeAnn, I figured out why -- because my mother is such a polite person, she will never, ever try to wake you up! Now, don't get me wrong -- my wife is generous with my napping allowance, god bless her. I'll lay down 'just for 20 minutes' and she'll let me go the full hour.

But juxtapose this with a nap at my parents.. There I'll lay down with nary a mention of my intended wake-time. And my parents will just let me sleep. FOREVER. Seriously -- it's entirely up to me to decide when I wake. (Okay, me and the 70-some lbs of 2 dogs piled onto me on the couch.) There's just something about a completely unbounded napping opportunity that I haven't really been able to enjoy since I was, oh.. 17 years old or so. Since when I lived with my parents.

October 12, 2005

Words to live by

For my friend Gary, I present Rules for Drunk Bastards, which includes the following pearl:

For the sake of the children, leave the pistol at home.

While you're at it, leave the children at home, too.

Link found on the excellent blog of one John Tolva, an ex-colleague from my Georgia Tech days.

I love reading John's blog - slightly geeky, global in outlook and casually comfortable in it's erudition. It's alot like talking with John face-to-face, in fact.

Did I mention that -- when I was courting my wife -- John suggested that I impress her with the virtual gorillas at Tech's GVU. Damn -- all them smarts, and the guy's a romantic too. (Thus endeth this man-crush interlude.)

November 13, 2005

An Accident

Ronnie Today was a bit trying. Around 11 this morning, we were relaxing over coffee and watching Headline News (a bit of a Sunday ritual for us) when LeeAnn's Dad called. Her uncle Ron was in a car accident this morning, and was life-flighted to OSU Medical Center (all the way from Southeast Ohio.) With no more information than a Room number, we left for the hospital, girding ourselves for.. well, whatever we would find.

We arrived at the hospital to good news. Ron looks like hell, but he's going to be okay. Sutures in his scalp, a beaten-up eye and part of his ear had to be reattached. He laid for the whole day, immobilized and increasingly cranky. He didn't really remember the accident, but the guy was worried about his dogs. He must've asked about them 2 dozen times, through his exhausted and medicated haze.

For awhile, we were worried about what to tell him -- Ron travels everywhere with his dogs, and no dogs were found at the accident site. We weren't sure if they were in the truck with him or not. And, as I mentioned, Ron really couldn't remember too much about the accident. Later in the day, his sister called with the news: the dogs are fine, and are all safe at his home. He didn't have them with him.

But he did have a friend in the truck. He too was brought by helicopter to OSU, and I'm afraid his prognosis looks worse than Ron's. When we finally left tonight, around 9pm, he was 2 hours into a 4-hour MRI. His parents had driven 2 hours, and would wait until 11 to get some word about the MRI results. My heart is breaking for them tonight.

November 27, 2005

And a good time was had by all

We had the folks (LeeAnn's and mine) over and down for Thanksgiving this year, and I have to say that we're getting much better at this entertaining thing.

Our great advance this year? We set the table the night before. Simple, I know, but you'd be surprised at how bottlenecked we've been in years past; the path from kitchen to dining room is the most narrow in our house and, inevitably, right as the meal-preparation is reaching its crescendo, someone realizes that the table still hasn't been set. Much mayhem ensues. But not this year! So that was a win.

The other way that I made this holiday more enjoyable for myself was cutting back on the number of dishes I attempted. Every year, my father-in-law wins one or more turkeys at a work-raffle. (I think he's rigged the competition somehow.) So we can usually count on him and Diane to bring the bird (ready-to-roll in this awesome portable broiler that they have.) And a ton of food besides. Then my Mom kicks in a couple of of her signature dishes and -- before you know it -- meal's done!

In years past, I kidded myself into thinking that I was needed in the kitchen, and tried to add in some supplemental stuff to round out the meal. And we'd always end up with way too much food. (And usually my additions are goofy 'experiments' that, while sampled by all, are not really what you'd call essential holiday fare: Mediterannean Stew, one year, for instance.) This year, I made noodles, rolls, and the mashed potatos. And I poured some cranberry relish out into a bowl for serving.

In fact, my noodles were a disaster. The low-point of the day for everyone involved. And you know what? Noone cared. We still had plenty of stuff to eat -- hell it even gave us all a good laugh. Diane called them 'German Noodles' and claimed that they were supposed to taste that way. Problem solved.

It was a really nice day. I like spending time with my parents and my inlaws. Isn't that something to be Thankful for?

Two updates

Because I realize that it's kind of rude to blog about a crisis, and then never give an update about its resolution... here are two updates on past postings.

First, LeeAnn's Uncle Ron is doing well after his accident. He got to go home from OSU Med Center after only one night in observation. His truck's a total loss, but he's got his health, and for that we are all eternally grateful.

Ron's friend Pat, who I mentioned before, did not fare nearly so well. Pat is still at OSU, although the last word we recieved was that he would soon move from intensive care to the rehabilitation clinic, so that is certainly positive forward movement. It doesn't feel right to say any more than this (out of respect for his family's privacy) but it looks as if Pat has a long road ahead to recovery, and I wish him well.

My second update is a small one. It's about Kirby. He's doing extremely well, but he's causing us a small amount of mental anguish. As much as we are growing to love him, we're just not sure that we have the right circumstances for him to flourish under. We're absolutely committed to getting Kirby strong and healthy and beautiful again, but we wrestle every day with our longer-term commitment to Kirby. We'd love to keep him, and maybe we will, but we're also preparing ourselves emotionally in the event that we find someone who can better care for his needs.

He's been mostly living in our back sun-room with supervised visits inside.. two potty accidents so far. :-( The picture at left was taken on Thanksgiving Day. As his weight comes back, so has his spirit and he's getting more and more dissatisfied at being cooped up. (Of course, 'cooped up' means frequent visits from us, regular trips to the backyard with the dogs and once-daily high-impact walks around the neighborhood with me.. this damn dog might end up making me healthy! The horror!)

So, anyway.. Kirby is doing well, and we love him. I just worry about him now like I worry about everyone that I love.

December 15, 2005

Holiday Cheer

Coffee Does Grow on Trees, originally uploaded by soldierant.

LeeAnn has got our house looking warm, bright and cheery for the holidays. With ample help from me, of course, and almost no help from three dogs underfoot. Far from having the winter blahs (I'm sure those'll arrive in January) I am instead feeling full of appreciation for the good fortune and love that I enjoy in my life. Here's hoping you feel the same way this Christmas!

About Family & Friends

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Soldier Ant in the Family & Friends category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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