Blogging about Books is Not Gluten-Free

So, if this isn’t worth blogging about then what is? Yesterday I busted out the wheat grinder and made bread for the first time in my life. It became quickly apparent that I have mad lack of skillz when it comes to making bread. Nevertheless, it turned out pretty well.  I’m eating some right now. Yum. Wheaty.

In completely unrelated news, I pretty much gave up on reading. After busting out 51 books last year I made a conscious decision to become voluntarily illiterate. Although I enjoy an immense feeling of freedom, I somehow end up reading anyway. Sadly, I started reading a borrowed book, which had to be returned before I finished it. So I’m left hanging. And the library doesn’t seem to have it. I guess I could buy it, but I’m just thinking out loud here. Why am I trying to read again?

In completely unrelated news, I started a different job at the beginning of this year. Same company, different digs. So why do you care? You don’t! But as of the beginning of this month I get to go in at 8a, which is downright glorious. For more than two years I was starting my work day between 5:45a and 6:30a, which meant that once the kids were in bed I usually crashed. Well, now I can sleep in a bit, but more importantly, I can stay up later. And when I stay up later I have time to blog! Especially since I’m not reading! It turns out that all is not so unrelated after all!

Reading Rainbow: Part III

After an absolutely dismal performance last year, I adjusted my reading goal and renewed my effort. The last two years I set a goal to read 30 books during the year. Although I met my goal the first year I fell short last year. This year my goal was to read 50 books and I met my goal by reading 51. Several of the books were recommendations, a few were gifts and a few more were ones just laying around the house when I was ready to start a new book.

I am always looking for recommendations. If you have one for me I suggest recommending it through Goodreads. Here’s the list – it starts with books most recently read:

mowntun bicking on teh dert

Here’s a short video made by my father-in-law when we rode the Tunnel Creek portion of the TRT earlier this year. I haven’t ridden hardly at all this year. I’m pathetic.

Reading Rainbow: Part II

About two years ago I set a goal to read 30 books each year. Last year I posted a list of 30 books that I read. It’s that time of the year again, but woefully I fell short. This year I made it to 25. And that’s if you count the two audio books I listened to and the two times I finished the Book of Mormon. So, it’s time to strengthen my resolve and get started for another year of reading. Here are the books I completed during the last year:

I have a few books in the queue already, but if you have recommendations please send them over! You can send your recommendations to “brad” at this domain.

R.I.P MT

Warts and all, this page is now Movable Type-free. If you don’t know what the big deal is then you’ve never used Movable Type. MT was the first actual blogging platform I ever used. Prior to that I had played with CMS tools like PHP-Nuke, but I think I finally made the move to MT around 2003. Everything was good, even when I started using WordPress for another blog a few years later. After extended use of both platforms I finally woke up one day and thought, “What am I doing?” Long story short, WordPress has all of Movable Type’s strengths and none of it’s weakness. If it came down to a single issue, I would say MT’s site publishing process stinks on yellow ice.

So, here we are. There’s still work to be done, but at least progress has been made. Just not by Movable Type.

And lest you think I’m just being dramatic, check out MT’s blog showcase. MT is used by such winners as Britney Spears and Barack Obama. So there.

Tell Me a Story

It’s no wonder that our world is falling apart when you consider what kinds of things we read to our kids. I’m shocked as I read to the kids; the stories can be quite startling. But the kids like the stories so I keep reading them anyway.

One story they love is the story of Peter Rabbit. Anthropomorphism suits this story well for the most part. Until you get to the line where Peter Rabbit’s mom warns Peter Rabbit to stay away from Mr. McGregor’s garden because

“Your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”

Imagine being a child and having your mother say this to you.

I’m also unnerved by the Mother Goose nursery rhyme “Goosey, Goosey Gander”:

Goosey, Goosey Gander,

Wither shall I wander?

Upstairs, downstairs,

In my lady’s chamber.

There I met an old man

Who would not say his prayers;

I took him by the left leg,

And threw him down the stairs.

As parents are we supposed to use this story as a threat? As odd as this poem is, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than the story of the frantic woman who is chased by handicapped mice before she finally cuts off their tails.

Perhaps the creepiest story of all is the disturbing “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. It starts off nice enough but quickly degrades into a tale of an aged woman dragging her son, who is a grown man, out of bed after breaking and entering into his home. She then holds him down and rocks him back and forth while singing to him. It’s just like a scene out of a horror movie. Not the “Saw” kind of horror movie – I mean the really freaky movies like “The Sixth Sense” or “The Changeling“. It may just be a rumor, but I heard that the original version of this book ended with the mother’s ghost coming back to haunt the son. She whispered the song in his ear every night until he finally went crazy. They were going to print the story anyway but Sheila McGraw’s illustration showed the mother’s ghost with no eyes in her sockets and it freaked everyone out.

A lot of ladies think “Love You Forever” is a very sweet book but there’s a lot they don’t know about Robert Munsch. First, and most awkward, is that he’s a Canadian. An American-born Canadian, actually. I’m not sure how that works. Second, he wrote a book called “Good Families Don’t”. Since this is a family blog I will limit what I say about this book. Suffice it to say the plot involves beans and the effects of eating said beans.

Now that I think about it, a book that combines the stories from “Love You Forever” and “Good Families Don’t” might actually be a good read.

Venus Flytrap

 

Venus Flytrap, originally uploaded by nevadabrad.

A little more than six weeks ago I acquired a Venus flytrap while at The Home Depot. I think I was there looking for stuff to revive certain parts of our lawn that are less than spectacularly healthy. Anyway, I was inspired to spring the few bucks to buy this plant by the fact that our house is constantly full of flies. It could be because the kids leave the back door open all day. It could be because we have four kids in diapers and that makes our house a particularly delectable resort for these pests. Whatever the reason, I was intrigued by a plant that murders flies to live. I mean, I love to murder flies but I have yet to test whether it is truly a matter and life and death to me.

As it turns out, the plants they sell at The Home Depot are pretty much meant to played with for a few days and then tossed. At least that’s the impression I get. I’ve taken it upon myself to try to make the plant a healthy one. I re-potted the plant, arranged for sufficient lighting and moisture and so far it seems to be doing very well. I’m currently in the process of trying to propagate the plant through a couple methods. First, I’m using a cut flower that I’ve been working on for a few weeks. Second, I just started a pulled leaf today. It remains to be seen whether either method will work.

The plants are very interesting so it’s been a lot of fun to watch and experiment. I’m embarrassed to show a picture of it because it’s not very attractive. First, I had it in sort of a mini-terrarium and the shape of the container was making the leaves grow in strange directions. I cut the top half of the container off so that the plant is free to roam, but it’s looking pretty crazy. Also, it seems that there are at least three plants growing based on the number of traps. If my propagation attempts are successful then I’ll try experimenting with splitting the main plant.

You can see in the picture that there is one trap with a fly corpse in it, another with just the head showing and less obvious is one with a yellow-jacket in it. The plants caught the flies on its own, but I gave it the yellow-jacket (I heard that’s like ice cream for these plants). In the background you can see a round container with the flower in it and in the far rear is the pulled leaf.

Watch for more exciting updates!

The Number 30 – One Year Later

What was happening last year about this time? Here’s a refresher:

  • Sam was turning 30 – (link removed)
  • Birds were waking us up at 4:30 in the morning (and a squirrel posed for a picture) – original story here
  • Emilie and I announced that our new baby would be a boy on July 30original post here

While all these exciting stories that included the number 30 were happening, I was also setting a goal to read 30 books within the next year. I finally achieved that goal today. In a house full of kids and chaos I’m not sure how it happened, but miraculously it did.

Some of the books were outstanding and some were stinkers. There will be a clear bias apparent in the books I chose to read. I’m always willing to take suggestions, but I’ll state that I’m not a big fan of fiction. Soooo, for those dying to know what sort of trash Brad reads, here’s the final list:

You can always see what I’m currently reading over at Shelfari.

Ow. Ee. Too.

I never really finished up what I was talking about in a previous post. So, I had finished the physical part of the exam and had to go back two hours later to take the written exam. All would have been well except for one problem. The running portion took place on a road that was a short distance from the gym where the other tests were completed. To get to the road we walked through a field full of brush of the rabbit and/or sage variety. The run was completed and I went on my way to grab some lunch before going back for the written exam.

By the time I showed up for the written exam I was starting to get the sniffles. It didn’t appear to be much of an issue initially, but shortly after starting the test I had a full-on allergy attack. I had my pocket full of paper towels from the bathroom and still had to get up half a dozen times to “clear” and restock. It hit me so hard that I thought I was going to have to excuse myself and take the exam another time. I pushed through and completed the test, but felt horrible. It was certainly one of the longest and most painful drives home ever. I can’t remember when I’ve had any allergy attack that bad. I hit the bed as soon as I got home, but once the Excedrin kicked in I felt a lot better.

I finally got the results just yesterday and I passed handily. I thought for sure that my little outbreak would be my demise.

I donated blood last Thursday. Once again, they wouldn’t let me do a 2RBC donation because they needed whole blood in my blood type. Or so they said. I begrudgingly complied. The guy who stuck the needle in me was quite aggressive and had to back the needle out after it popped through my shoulder. He didn’t really have to back it out, but it did hurt so bad that I was fighting back tears. Not really, but it did hurt a lot. Really. But for all my pain I got a complimentary box of 4 poison-laced compact fluorescent bulbs. Yay! There is still some mystery about how many pints I’ve donated. My theory is that when I go to United Blood Services they tell me how many actual donations I’ve made. When I go to bloodhero.com it shows the number of pints donated. This would make sense since I know I’ve done at least 9 or 10 2RBC donations. If this is true then my May donation was number 40, which is 5 gallons. And I didn’t get a pin. I need to get to the bottom of this. The numbers just don’t…add…up…

Do You Know What Today Is?

Today is a historically significant day. Do you know why? That’s right! It’s National Doughnut Day!

Celebrate today (and the closure of Krispy Kreme) by treating yourself to a delicious treat from Doughboys Donuts. Don’t forget to tell them Brad sent you! They’ll have no idea who you’re talking about, but I promise your donut will taste better.