Sunday, July 29, 2007

More St Louis Pics

Meet Me In Saint Louis

This weekend we went to St Louis.  A first for both of us.  We had a great time.  This trip was engineered by my wife- who came into possession of a pair of major league baseball tickets.  A friend of hers from work had the tickets but the game was rained out. But the friend couldn't go on the reschudualed date.  He offered them to said wife instead- woohoo!  We drove the 250 some miles Saturday morning to beautiful St Louie.  Downtown was really impressive.  The new Busch Stadium and The Arch are both next to the river and only a couple blocks away from each other.  We watched the game- Cardinals vs Brewers.  


We were almost the only people NOT wearing red in the entire stadium.  There were 3 guys in the same section as we were- Milwaukee fans and all wearing blue jerseys- resolutely cheering against the overwhelming boos that erupted every time the Cards got spanked.  No booing from the boys in blue though.  We were a pretty long way up though.  They were probably scared of getting thrown over the railing.  At least they weren't Cubs fans.  The second-most-popular apparel at the game behind Cards paraphernalia was "Cubs Suck" shirts.  So the game was cool.  Our seats were in the shade.  And there were lots of entertaining little blurbs and gimmicks in between each inning. I was disappointed that there wasn't any free stuff getting passed out for the early birds- like they did at the Oakland A's games I went to as a kid.  It costs $4.50 for a bottle of water.  Gay.

I touched it!  I touched it!


After the game we walked around the waterfront and checked out The Arch.  Elevator tickets were sold out for the next 5 hours so we didn't go inside.  The weather was sunny and HOT.  We splashed around in a fountain to cool off a little and went down to the free St Louis Zoo.  It was small as far as acres go, but they had a lot of really neat animals. It had a suprising number of endangered and nearly extinct animals- like the Amur Tiger, and the Mountain Gorilla.  
We tried to see all of these first and take their pictures in case they are all gone by the time my kids are old enough to start appreciating them.  The one constantly crappy thing about the zoo were the people in it- and especially the kids.  I look at going to the zoo like going to a museum.  There should be a little respect and reverence observed for all the poor captive suffering animals.  Especially the ones who are on the brink of extinction.  At one point a little Hispanic boy and his fat mommy were hitting the glass on the other side of which was leaning a pair of resting chimpanzee.  I dearly wanted to pound on the glass with her fat stupid face and then feed her kid to something.  There was a shirtless white trash hill-billy whooping and hollering into the gorilla enclosure, and a black all-girl family big enough to pass as a school field trip in which every member litterally screamed every pithy, ignorant thought that passed through their narrow, closed minds.  (I am not racist- I hate all stupid people the same)

  My wife taming a black mamba.                                               

Otherwise- It was an amazing experience.  Almost all the enclosures were clean, dynamic, and inhabited.  The grounds were beautiful, and the animals inside all looked healthy, and only slightly dazed and neurotic.  The highest point for me was getting to feed a giraffe.  I wished my wife got to as well.  As soon as the other patrons saw what I did, there was a tsunami of children.  Some were literally climbing over the fences and into the pens to hold up handfuls of grass.  Concerned parents assuage this with- "Billy, do you really think you should be inside the giraffe cage?"  Nice job, dad.  We split quickly before anyone got trampled- and have it pinned on my bad example.  My other favorite thing was getting to watch the chimps from really close up.  They are awesome- and seem so smart.  After watching them for a while I half expected them to look up and start talking.
We didn't get home until almost two in the morning on Sunday but we had a great time.  Hope you like the pictures.  We finally got our camera replaced.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home-made Rootbeer

I tasted my first home-brewed root beer this afternoon and it was GOOD. Sunday afternoon The Wife and I turned our kitchen into a brewery and cranked out a gallon of root beer and a gallon of cherry soda. They have been in the basement fermenting since then and I pulled one of each tonight for dinner to check how things were coming along. The cherry is still flat and tastes like NyQuil. It even has a gross menthol taste. I don't know where all that came from but- oh well. The root beer is awesome. It has a thick foamy head and its not too sweet and soooo good. It's so good I don't believe we actually made it ourselves. We are keeping it in the basement for one more night and then moving them all in the fridge after that. The cold is supposed to slow down the fermentation so the glass bottles don't all explode. The cherry stays for another 48 hours I guess. Hopefully it will improve with age. If not can give them to friends we don't really like as gifts. Either way, we had a lot of fun making them, and will do it again soon. It's easy and kids could even do it. We spent about thirty bucks on bottles, a capper, caps, and a bottle brush. We spent another fifteen on three different flavor extracts-Root beer, cherry, and cream soda. Each little bottle is good for 4 gallons. And the champagne yeast we used is less than fifty cents a packet. We got our ingredients and instructions form this website.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Our Cheap Heap.

This one is about the house.  We decided to put some focus on the attic today.  Our house gets so hot during the day, and its just a puny little thing anyway.  We figured the roof is the culprit.  We figured right.  We discovered the our attic has no vapor barrier between the ceiling and the woolly blown insulation.  There is no outlet for the vent in the bathroom- and it was covered with black, moldy insulation.  The insulation ranges from 10 to zero inches.  There is no mesh under the spinny roof vents, so we found lots of bird "evidence", and most of all- no soffits.  Soffits are vents along the eaves that allow outside air to enter the roof space, and replace the super-hot air inside the attic.  Our house doesn't have a single one.

My wife was able to secure a 6-foot wide roll of fiberglass from a job site that we used to cover the bathroom- after digging out all the nasty molded stuff- and a couple other bare spots.  She spent the most time working in the attic.  Hours.  It was easily over 100 degree and really humid.  But she made a lot of progress.  I didn't do very much work.  We started out trying to do it together- but ran into creative differences.  In the end she threw me out.  I still got to help with cutting up the new padding, forcing my wife to drink an occasional glass of water, tinkering with our chainsaw, and setting fire to a bunch of junk in the back yard.

Like most projects ion this house- we start a "small" job and find ourselves up to our eyebrows.  As my dad puts it- "The joys of owning a home!"

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Sold Out

"I hope this movie is really good since we are going to hell for seeing it",
I whisper to my wife as we snatch two REALLY good seats in the local theatre mega-plex. We went to see Transformers last night. We arrived 15 minutes before our show started but it was sold out. So were the next 3 showings- which meant bumming around for 2 hours, or getting creative. Not that creative. We just bought tickets for a different movie and went into the sold out show. I only felt bad because I am supposed to have grown out of doing stuff like that, and my wife was with me. She's above baser things. Only once the show started the place was only three quarters full! So I didn't feel bad at all after seeing that. I think everyone outside waiting their two hours would be a little indignant if they knew that "sold out" didn't really mean it. If not we felt indignant for them. Does anyone know why theatres do that?
(Ha! Asking a question like anyone is actually reading this! Silly Dave.)

And oh- its was worth it. So worth it! We loved that movie. When we came out into the parking it wasn't full of cars. It was full of Autobots and Deceptacons. Except for ours, it's a sport bike and there were no motorcycle transformers- sad. We both stood next to it for a few seconds thinking the same thing: "GO!"
Maybe it's the transformers best kept secret, or they are waiting to but it in the sequel. Oh, I hope so. We love our bike.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Few Of My Favorite Things.

Saturday afternoon I went to the Land Between the Lakes Rec area with my wife and some friends. While there we played in the lake, went off-roading, grilled some brats and roasted some mallows. I brought some fireworks with me because- it's always the right time for fireworks. We used the bottle rocket sticks to roast marshmallows. Naturally that evolved into the shooting of marshmallows into the air. The culmination of our mallows and explosives combo was marshmallow grenades.

Step one- Cram a stick of water dynamite or M-5000 (toned down M-80) into a large marshmallow
Step two- Light
Step three- Count to 4 and throw

The result is an explosion of flavor. Have fun dodging flying shards of fluffy goodness. It's so easy a child could do it. Um but they shouldn't.
I think this is one of the better ideas I have ever had. Not just because it is fun, but because it combine two treasured summer traditions into one.
I am not done with the evolution of this new novelty either. I am planning a PVC marshmallow grenade launcher blowgun. I wish my digital camera was working. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Little Did He Know...

... that pretty much sums it up.
I think that the first post of a new blog should be funny, unique, interesting, and whatever that word is that means something like- incites discussion, conflicting opinions, and scandal. Sadly this is none of those things- even if you are a close friend or family. This is for y'alls benefit as much as mine. I am posting again because I like to write stuff and I think I'm funny. I feel left out on the attention spawned by my siblings' creations, see SavvyMom and Nemesis. And I think its fun.
So- here's what you might expect to find here:
  • Updates on the slow improvement of our house.
  • Updates on the slow deterioration of our house.
  • Stuff that happens to me I think y'all might find amusing.
  • Rants about stupid people, ideas, institutions, laws, animals... the list goes on.
  • Pictures of stuff- eventually, our camera is not working right now.
  • A commentary of my own personal efforts to make the world a more better place.

And with that I would like to take this time to share a few things. Blackberries are in season so go pick some. We got our on the side of the interstate where they are growing like crazy. I recommend wearing thin work gloves that you wouldn't mind turning purple, and long sleeves and jeans. I didn't remember this from years and years ago, but I turns out the thorns are prolific and exceedingly sharp. Also, look out for the spiders, fire ants and ginormous june beetles that fly up your arms and into your faces and make your freak out like a sissy in front of your friends. Otherwise, have a blast. We did.

Okay folks, talk amongst yourselves. Everybody leave feedback so I have warm fuzzies.