Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Delay for reasons other than snow?

Bad things happened last Sunday.  First of all, our computer's RAM burned up, necessitating a blog shut-down until more RAM could be shipped to New Mexico.  Secondly, the 'Skins lost.  To whom you may ask?  JC presents the answer on his head along with his feelings on the matter.


Continuing our adventures while my dad was in Boston....after Thanksgiving, it was time to decorate for Christmas.  We started with the tree and used every garland except for Judy.


Next was the Christmas cookies!  Batter was left for only one cookie after we were done licking the spoons.


The batter gave us all the energy we needed to hang ~76 stockings, one for each member of the family.  Each is individually named with a picture detailing the person's interests.  No two are alike!



My dad returned from MRS and drove us back to the Land of Enchantment.  So ended our furlough in Utah.  Aren't you glad we got some new RAM so we could give you an update!?! 
Thanks Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

When the dad's away....

With my dad in Boston for the week, it gave the rest of us an extra week in the snowy Wasatch Front.  A snowball fight broke out in the backyard!  JC and I's chances seemed slim with our larger cousins on one side!


I suddenly remembered chapter 9 in Sun Tzu's Art of War where it stated, "If the enemy holds the high ground, do not ascend and do battle with him." With gritty determination I start my ascent up the slide.  My brother is to follow later with our tobaggan.  This will turn the tables in our direction!

Halfway up the slide, I remembered that I'm a lover not a fighter.  Did you know that Brit band Hot Chocolate had a #1 hit every year from 1970 to 1984?  Their hits, though, pale in comparison to my Great-Grandma's house brew!

Along with the hot cocoa, we got a snack of cheese and crackers.  Hmm...cheese?  Inspired by the mild cheddar, I requested a visit to Charles Edward Cheese.  Would my beautiful momma give in?  Look at the photo below!

To make this story even sweeter, we didn't add Nutra-sweet or even Equal.  We added our cousins R, H, and H!


The above shot was a rare time at the Chuck E. Cheese where JC was not doing this...
Distraught at his inability to set the store record in Skee-Ball, JC blamed his bangs.  Luckily Aunt K is not only a Stevie Wonder fan, but also a part-time barber.

Unbelievably, our week can't be contained in just a single post!  Next time - decorating for Christmas in the town named after Etienne Provost.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Once thou hast found turkey....

My beautiful momma's heightened sense of smell lead us to this empty house.  A party had either just happened or was about to happen. 

Then my brilliant brother JC noticed there were no scraps on the floor for after meal snacking! The party had yet to be!  In nary a half hour the whole party crew had arrived.  My, my I hope there's a BIG turkey!
Alas, before I could get my camera, it was already dessert!  Notice the Hershey's Chocolate Cake at the end of the table. We know Aunt JC is terribly jealous...
My dad's incomprehensible plan had succeeded!  Turkey was had in the midst of a Thanksgiving party with 41 relatives.  JC and I got to see our great-grandparents.  Here, I'm pictured with Great-Grandma and a baby that's not nearly as cute as me!


Our Great-Grandpa taught JC and I checkers.  He gave up after realizing that he could never beat someone wearing a bow-tie!

Soon after our Thanksgiving weekend, my dad had to fly to Boston to present the best talk (EVER!) on something that is really boring to you and me.  He asked if we would miss him.  With so much fun around I said "Sure, dad...we'll be so lonely."

Find out about all of our adventures during my dad's conference week next time!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Man's Search for Turkey

Wednesday Night...6 PM....After looking through our entire kitchen, JC and I found no turkeys anywhere!  How can we have Thanksgiving tomorrow night, if we don't already have the turkey?  I would ask my beautiful momma, but she had been packing all day and had fallen asleep with only one sock on!  The headlights of my dad down our dirt road indicated he was coming home.  What would he say?  This...
Not knowing what else to do, he threw me, JC, our bags, and then our beautiful momma in to the back of the Swagger Wagon.   He pointed the wagon north and explained that he suspected domesticated turkeys, due to their low IQ, would fly north for winter, instead of south.  So off we went through the dark snowy mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.  When morning broke several hours later we had made it to Cortez, Colorado.  This gas station had a view!
Doesn't the air look crisp and clear?  It was 20 below and my dad's hand froze to the gas pump!  After a slight delay that involved warm water and an unhappy gas station attendant we were back on our way.  My dad's hand had "Mahr" across it for most of the week and he had to eat Thanksgiving with only one hand!  No turkeys (besides my dad according to the gas station attendant) were in Cortez, Colorado and so we pushed forward and ran into this state.
This is what most of our trip looked like. We were on an interstate for about twenty or so miles of the 1100 mile trip. Two lanes were wonderful to look at!

My poor dad!  With only one hand and everything closed for the holiday, it looked likely that it would be bologna or pimento loaf for Thanksgiving.  I guess turkeys fly south....Wait!  As we drove near the end of Price Canyon, the gigantic windmills pushed the sweet smell of meat, both light and dark, towards our vehicle.... 
The smell was so fragrant, my beautiful momma woke up.  Using her finely tuned pregnancy sense of smell, she directed us to a small house in Provo, Utah where we found....
Learn what happens, next time on "Atomic Hokies". 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mission With No Record

Sixty years ago this month, John Ford released a movie starring John Wayne called "Rio Grande" based on a short story entitled, "Mission With No Record."  JC and I went on our own mission to the Rio Grande Friday morning, but with a small change.  We brought along our beautiful, camera-happy momma to make this a "Mission With A Record!"  Below you can almost make out our target for the day - the Rio Grande!  Looks like a short hike to me...

Going down the cliffs was pretty slow for little JC.  His legs are really short!



So this is how we went down most of the way.  Good thing my dad was there!  Look we are getting closer!  We've almost made it down to the second plateau...



Once we got to the second plateau, things got a little bit easier for my dad's back and for all of us!


Alas, before we could continue our descent down off the second plateau, the sun started to set necessitating a return ascent.  Rats!  Unlike John Wayne's Kirby Yorke, we did not succeed in our mission.  But look how close we got!


The return ascent started off quite easy.  Here is an action shot showing JC hauling across the second plateau...


Then the ascent got tougher....Here JC asks, "We have to climb up that?!?"


Wait a second...did you hear something?!?


The howling of the coyotes caused us all to flash back to an early scene in Willow!  And so the ascent restarted with a sense of urgency!

We reached the crest and made it back on the White Rock plateau.  We may not have made it to the Rio Grande, but the shared experience will give my brother and I a bonding experience we both will remember for the rest of our lives.  How will a two year old remember an experience for the rest of his life you may ask...



....because this was the "Mission With a Record"!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter has begun....

"Whaa?" said my dad dressed in a golf shirt and sweat pants.  "Is that..."




"SNOW!"


Look at it come down!


Winter began in Los Alamos this past Sunday.  By Monday it was almost Fall again, much to little JC's chagrin!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dad, why does everything close at dark here?

Oh, how different the living is here.  Not too long ago, a certain Aunt J talked about how poorly maintained the road in front of our house looked.  Here is a picture of of my brother, JC, and I on the main route through town.



The fences on either side are meant to keep the coyotes out as they chase elk, rabbits, and other delectable treats down main street after dark.  Most people keep rose bushes on the inside and outside of their fence to prevent the elk from jumping the fences and drawing the coyotes into their yards.  Our house is no exception!
      At the end of the road is an intersection with our local supermarket.  You can see the traffic is a bit more intense here than in other places.  We are walking home empty-handed because they had already sold all their bananas for the week!


When a (rare) car passes, we step to the side of the road.  It's a good thing it only rains three months out of the year here, or the town roads would be impassable. 


With wild life control problems and a low population, our town shuts down around dark every night.  We better book it to beat the coyotes!  

To quote the great Tecumseh speaking to Governor Harrison in 1810, "Any tribe could go to an empty land and make a home there."  That's true, as long as we have Net-Flix and Hot Pockets!  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Swimming in the Sky

My dad says that it's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything.  Here you can see my brother, JC, and I unrolling the new carpet while my dad supervises from the couch watching the Army football game.  We are excited, as we can now eat indoors!  Just in time for winter!

My dad also says that rules, just like wild hearts, aren't meant to be broken.  In this case, the rule was amended to it's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except swimming.  Here we are at the local aquatic center.  The life vests are meant to help us stay on top of things!
Behind us you can see the gigantic indoor obstacle course!  Here I finish the course in the astounding time of just over 34 minutes!  I'm the new Esther Williams except without all the baggage!
There was an assortment of floating toys that my dad didn't have to blow up, even though my beautiful momma says he has no shortage of hot air.

At the local library, I checked out the movie, Beauty and the Beast.  If you haven't seen it, I will tell you the entire story ad nausem.  My brother, though, checked out the movie Sync or Swim after hearing it had won best feature at the 2009 Kansas City FilmFest.  Here he attempts to master some of the basic moves involved with the sport of synchronized swimming.

video
I welcome all challengers of the under five variety to beat my time of 34:12 on the indoor obstacle course!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Weekend

With apologies to all those who think Halloween only lasts for one night, I, M, present you the full-on Los Alamosan Halloweekend!  First, you must paint your toenails on the preceding Friday with polish mailed from the great state of Virginia!
Second, the whole lab leaves work early.  The town shuts down for vehicle traffic.  All kids trick or treat through the commercial sector.  I am dressed as a flower.  How 2008 you may say?  Well it still fits me (kind of)!  My brother, JC, is dressed as Mister Lady's Bug - a lesser known parody popularized by Tim Meadows.  Finally, my dad is wearing an ultra-rare non-plaid mackinaw.
Here's a picture of the local video rental/tanning salon/sports memorabilia/pizza shop.  They now do Fed-Ex, too!  We had to take a picture in honor of Gma L.  My dad wanted to go in but he was feeling a bit kyphophobic!  Too bad, because inside they gave me and JC a LOT of candy!

Here's the main crossroads in town.  A Halloween band was playing.  We looked for Uncle B on the bass drum, but it looks like he still may be in basic training!

After counting your candy, head to sleep!


After waking up, head to a Halloween party followed by Trunk or Treat and a Halloween carnival!  Look at the decoration job done by my beautiful momma...

Look at all those trunks!

After a carnival that involved my old favorite, the dangling donut game, go home and count your loot again!

And that, my blogger friends, is how you go Los Alamosan for your Halloween!  Thank you for all the care packages!