Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend Recap

Friday Lost and Found. HOORAY FOR WINTER COATS!!! Dontchya love the things you find in your pockets when you put on your winter coat for the first time since the previous winter?

Friday I sat on an Admin Board over at Navy Legal.
Aside: An Admin Board is used to decide how to characterize a sailor's discharge from the Navy after he has already been found guilty at a court martial. We had to review his service record and make a determination if he should get an Honorable, General, or Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge, and our decision has an impact on whether he gets to use his GI Bill benefits for education or other VA benefits after he is discharged. It was my first time sitting on an Admin Board, and it was a very good learning experience for me. If you're on shore duty or in the shipyard, I recommend telling your JAG you're available to sit on an Admin Board whenever he needs somebody.
Well, the JAG warned me that the courtroom we would be in was extremely cold and I would want to bring a jacket. I dug my black Ike jacket out of the closet to take with me to the board. It didn't take me long sitting in the board to get goose bumps from the cold. Even with my jacket on, I was clenching my teeth to keep from shivering, and my hands were slightly numb from the cold. I was overwhelmed with joy when I stuck my hand in the pocket and found a special pen that I've been "missing" for over a year now.

This is a geocaching pen that has a customized stamp in the back for stamping my name into geocaching logs. When I couldn't find it for quite a while, I went back to the manufacturer's website and tried to order a replacement, but they don't make them anymore. So I was VERY excited to finally find my lost geocaching stamp-pen when I put on my jacket.

TFTC = Geocaching abbreviation for
"Thanks For The Cache!"

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Saturday morning, I got up and went to the training for Cub Scout leaders. I had expected to get up, pack my lunch, make some coffee, and go before the boys woke up. Much to my surprise, both boys were already downstairs when I came down at 6:45, and I got the barage of "I want apple juice!" and "I'm hungry!" So I tried to get the boys settled so they'd leave LW alone and let her sleep a while longer, got my lunch packed, and headed out the door sans coffee. So I went through the Burger King drive through on the way and got some coffee.

Burger King was not at all helpful to me and my time constraints. I ordered a medium coffee with ONE creamer. I got to the window and paid for it. The lady tossed four creamer cups in the bottom of a bag, tossed a stir stick in the bag, then picked up my cup of coffee and put the coffee in the bag. Why on Earth would that make sense to anyone? So first, I took the cup OUT of the bag and put it in my cup holder. Then I had to pull over on the side of the road to open it up, put the creamer in, stir it up, and put the lid back on.
Aside: Unforunately for Burger King, I had high expectations from my trips through the drive through at the McDonald's on base. The first time I went through the McD's drive thru, it totally threw me for a loop. It's totally computerized and robotic and high-tech. When you pull up to the drive-through menu, you aren't talking to anyone inside THAT McD's. You're talking to some dude sitting at a computer in Texas. He enters your order (including exactly how many creamers or sugar packets you want) and it shows up on the computer screen in the menu. You pull up to the window, and you see a robotic arm pull out your cup size, hold it under the spigot to pour the coffee, pour in the creamer, and put the lid on. The only human involvement was the girl who took my money and handed me my coffee.
Anyway, so I get to the address where the Cub Scout Leader Training is going to happen... and it's a Mormon church. I didn't give it much thought until I got out of my car and started to walk into the building holding my big cup-o-joe. Some lady accosted me and said, "They won't let you bring that in here. This is a Mormon church. NO CAFFEINE ALLOWED!" Common! You gotta be kidding me! (AND, I had a Diet Coke in my lunch bag, too.)

Some of you may be surprised and / or disappointed with me for how I reacted... I hadn't yet consumed any of my precious caffeine to put me in a better mood, so I was a little flippant and like, "Yeah, whatever," to the lady on the steps and just headed on inside to training. What's next? Are they going to make us read the Book of Mormon at Cub Scout training? It's not like I was making the Mormons drink MY coffee or violate THEIR rule about consuming caffeine. If I were the Cub Scout leadership choosing the training location, I would NOT have chosen that facility if they were going to impose restrictions like that. If other factors dictated we use that facility, then at the very least I would have warned the people coming to training NOT to bring caffeinated products.

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Saturday afternoon - an aborted hike...

I tried to take the boys for a hike Saturday afternoon in the Waimano Valley. Some friends of ours told us they did the hike with their kids and they enjoyed it. It's a short (2-mile) loop, so not even half as long as the Makapuu Ridge hike last weekend, and it's a lot closer to our house.

We got a late start due to a traffic accident that caused a major traffic jam on Kam Highway. We parked and got all geared up and headed out.

This hike is covered by Ball Chapter 20. When you get to the sign in the picture above, you're supposed to take the path to the left down into the valley, and you return via the path on the right.

Well, not long after we passed this sign, we started heading down into the valley and could hear the running water of a stream below. Suddenly, the little black beasts with wings descended upon us in force. There was this black cloud of 783 DOZEN mosquitoes in the 10 cubic meters of space around each of us. (Aside: Did you know that 87% of statistics are made up on the spot?).

YS wasn't at all deterred by the bugs. He seems to have this belief that the magical word, "Shoo!" will cause ALL BUGS to cease and desist at once. He kept saying, shoo! Shoo! Shoo! But the mosquitoes weren't listening. He needs to learn to swat at them with his hand when they're guzzling down his blood. After about 10 seconds of trying to swat at the blood-suckers on ES's neck and arms, plus the ones on YS's neck and arms, AND the ones on MY neck and arms, and determined that I didn't have enough hands to cover all the square inches of exposed skin on the three of us, I said to myself, "Self, it's time to ABORT. "


We were only one quarter mile from the car when we turned around to head back. This should be added to those bizarre weight loss methods shown on Loping Squid's blog, because I must have lost a pound just from the blood those stinking little blood suckers robbed me of during our treacherous quarter mile hike back to the car.

Fast Forward to Sunday morning - LW scolded me for not aborting the hike and turning back sooner because there are SO MANY little red bumps from mosquito bites ALL OVER the boys' necks, arms, and legs. That was another reason we went to the Commissary today was to look for some anti-itch lotion for bug bites.

I'd still like to try the Waimano Valley hike again, but we'll go back with some long pants and a coat of bug spray next time.

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Saturday Evening - Family Movie Night.

The boys have been asking to watch Indiana Jones ever since they started watching the ads for the Lego Indiana Jones game, and bought the Indiana Jones character to play with in Lego Star Wars. So tonight we had family movie night and watched Indiana Jones. It was rated PG, but LW and I had to invoke the parental covering of the boys' eyes during a couple of creepy parts.

All during the movie, YS kept referring to Indiana as, "Han Solo" and talking about Star Wars. When the girl in the movie put on that white dress for the German bad guy, he said, "Princess Leia!" He clearly doesn't understand the concept of actors pretending to be the characters they play in movies.

After the boys were in bed, LW and I popped in the latest Die Hard movie - Live Free or Die Hard. It was worthy of the Die Hard name. I didn't care for Die Hard 2, but the original Die Hard, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Live Free or Die Hard were all really awesome action flicks. There were some really spectacular stunts that you know could never happen in real life, but they were fun to watch.

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Blackberry versus Palm Pilot continued...

Sunday after church, we went to Tacos Del Mar to get some lunch before going to the Commissary. They were playing some upbeat kind of pop music in the restaurant, and while YS was eating his chocolate chip cookie for dessert and had chocolate all over his face, he started doing a little chair-dance to the music in the restaurant. It was really funny to watch. As much as I love my new Blackberry, I did miss having that camera in my Palm Pilot.

In my previous post on Blackberry versus Palm Pilot, I had commented that there were a lot of little things that just made me say, "Wow! Why didn't Palm think of that?" Of course, when I was writing that blog post, I couldn't think of any concrete examples at the time. Well, one came to mind earlier today. When you're typing in an email address on the Blackberry, if you push the space bar, it enters an @ symbol, and on subsequent times when you push the space bar, it enters a period. So on the Palm, I would have typed in name, symbol button, @ sign, domain name, symbol button, "dot," com. It's a lot faster on the Blackberry where I just type name, space, domain name, space, com, and it automatically puts in the @ and the "dot" and cuts out two extra keystrokes (and eliminates hunting for which button has @ or the "dot" as the symbol associated with that button).

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UpWords is a big hit. I've been playing it with ES every night for the past three nights. It came to mind tonight that it's not just helping ES learn spelling. It's also helping practice his math skills, too. The way the scoring system works, you get two points per letter for a word spelled all the on the board level (no stacked letters). If the word you make has any stacked letters (like someone put an S on top of the H in HAT to turn it into SAT), then you count one point for each tile - including each of the tiles in any stacks in the word.

So tonight, for example, ES made a five letter word (PIANO) and he counted out loud by two's (two, four, six, eight, ten) to add up his points. I thought that was good since it's one of the skills he's had to do in his homework recently. Then, he laid down three tiles that spelled new words in two directions at once. Like Scrabble, you count up the points for both words. He counted the points for one of the words as 5 points and the other word as 7 points. Then I asked him, okay, what's 5 + 7? He thought for a second and told me 12. So that worked on another skill he's been working on in his math homework - simple addition. So it's a pretty good game all-around for my first grader.

ES has a little trouble looking at the letter tiles in his hand and figuring out which words he could spell, so he needs help with that. I help him out by looking at his letters, then asking him leading questions, like "What type of musical instrument are you taking lessons for?" and he figured out PIANO. I still need to figure out how to incorporate the words that are specifically ON his spelling list each week. Maybe I should pull out the letters that will spell his spelling words and tell him to figure out which of his spelling words he can make.

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Girl Scout Etiquette. Okay, so it's that time of year again. We keep having girl scouts come to the door trying to sell us cookies. What's the right thing to do? Should you only buy one box from each girl scout so that you spread the wealth? Should you place your entire order all at once with the FIRST girl scout to show up at your door to reward her for her initiative? Should you place your entire order all at once with the girl scout who lives closest to you as a friendly-neighbor gesture? Should you tell them they picked a HORRIBLE time to come selling COOKIES when you JUST made a New Year's Resolution to lose all the weight you gained over the holidays??? LW placed our order with the girl who lives across the street from us (she qualified under both the second and third category above - she's both the one who lives closest to us, and she was the first girl I saw out on the street working the neighborhood when I got home on Friday). More of them just kept ringing our doorbell through the weekend, so LW made up a nice little sign to hang on the door and scare off any other girl scouts by telling them we've already been "cookied."


Sagey said...

Regarding Girl Scout Cookies: Actually one of the troop leaders that lives in our neighborhood emailed everyone and warned us that they would be descending upon us and she included the sign to hang on your door once you have hit your limit. Second, I placed an order with the first girl to come knocking and that was a complete stranger as I did not know the girl across the street was a Brownie. I did not place a full order so, yes I will order some from our neighbor. So if you saw the neat sign sitting here, why didn't you hang it up for me? ;-) I guess I should go do that!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Seriously, don't you know better than ordering coffee from Burger King??

And in regard to taking coffee into the Mormon church, I would have just said, "Look, let me have my don't want the alternative." :)

blunoz said...

Sweetie - thanks for setting the record straight. :-)

CC - Yeah, yeah, yeah. I NEVER would have PLANNED to go to BK for COFFEE in advance. I was in a hurry and it was on the way. I should have just prepared the coffee maker and set the timer on it the night before.