So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

iTunes Giveaway Recap

Well, I've gone and used all my free iTunes downloads from the Pepsi giveaway. Here's what I got:I'm pretty happy with my selections, although some of the tracks on Spike and Shake Me to Wake Me have audio glitches.

I'm hoping Apple and Pepsi do this again next January because today Jack Webb's Just the Tracks, Maam came out on iTunes. Darn me and my poor timing!

Mikesell : 8:49 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, May 30, 2005

A Tribute to Fallen Vets:
Philip Goes Commando

(no, not like that)

Last Friday was Phil's final day of preschool. His teacher had all the kids over to her house for bike/bigwheel/pedal-car fun. There was also a tree-house in the yard. When I stopped by to pick him up, Phil was playing soldier-guy. Here are some pix:Happy Memorial Day!

Mikesell : 10:59 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, May 29, 2005

One Month to P-B (no J) Day

Philip turns five in one month.

I'm too overwhelmed to blog anymore tonight.

Mikesell : 9:49 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Phil's Culinary Lexicon

So I ask the boy, "Phil, what do you want for breakfast?"

"Cold toast," he replies.

"You mean, a regular slice of bread?"


Then he gives me a look like I'm the big dope.

Mikesell : 1:28 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Friday, May 27, 2005

Buy This T-Shirt

Way back last year I suggested at Church Marketing Sucks that "Now 17% Less Judgmental" would make a great t-shirt slogan for a church.

In January I mentioned that a new church in Canada asked to use the slogan. They said they'd send me a shirt if/when they printed some up.

Last Thursday I got the following e-mail from Robin Bailey, pastor of The Annex:
Hey Chris! Your shirt is on its way, you should get it in the next couple of weeks! Let me know what you think. Also our website is www.the-annex.ca and if you run into anyone that wants a shirt they come with white or school bus orange print both on green for $20 US including shipping.
I got the shirt in the mail yesterday, and made Phil model it this afternoon.T-shirts can be big biz according to the Wall Street Journal. (link courtesy Monkey Outta Nowhere, which also offers this shirt) So cough up the $20 (I know, it's like $170 Canadian, but give 'em a break, they're under the thumb of the Empire). Help the Annex out, gently draw some attention to the foibles of the church, and make something I wrote a best-seller.

If you're interested in your church using the slogan as well, it's available free-for-swag, one per timezone (US & Canada separately). Let me know.

My other slogan, "Come for the sermon, stay for the tepid coffee and stale danish," is also available.

Mikesell : 5:56 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Map of My World

According to the latest look at the bloglogs, I've had my first visitor from the continent of Africa (thanks to Pat Loomis' blog). So, big hearty welcome for my visitor from Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa (at least that's how the ISP shows up).

I also see that I've had a visitor from a certain publishing house in Bloomington, Minnesota. Was it the ack-ed himself, or his new intern, Smart-Woman?. Either way, someone from Bethany House has seen my writing. (I'll just sit here and wait for the 6-figure contract to arrive.)

Here's a map of what countries have seen my blog. (For some reason a picture of Phil in the tub has been popular with folks from the U.K. My guess is The Sun printed naughty pix of Mr. Queen Liz, Prince Philip and people actually want to see those ... yeeesh.)

Mikesell : 11:32 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Life’s Not Fair (an Afternoon of Grace)

(this one’s pretty long, so get comfy; I think it’s worth it)

Sometimes things work out easily. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they don’t so God can show you that, really, they do.

Take yesterday afternoon, for example.... Actually, let’s back things up to Monday so yesterday afternoon makes sense.

On Monday, I was watching The Iron Giant with Phil. Not to spoil the ending (which really isn’t the ending anyway), but the giant robot makes a big sacrifice for the sake of the boy who befriends him. Phil noticed that right before that happens, the robot closes his eyes.

“Why’d he close his eyes?” Phil asked.

How do you tell a 4-year-old that the robot didn’t want to see the end coming?

“Sometimes it’s easier to be brave if you close your eyes,” was the best I could do.

Yesterday afternoon Phil visited his pediatrician to get his final round of shots in preparation for school next fall. His appointment was set for 45 minutes before his swim lesson (which was about 15-20 minutes away). I called the doctor’s office on Tuesday to see if the timing would work or if I should reschedule.

“No problem,” the receptionist said. “In, out; don’t worry about it.”

Ten minutes into our scheduled time — when we were still in the lobby waiting for the appointment to actually begin — I began to worry. Still, about then we were ushered into the examination room; I did my best to remain patient.

Fifteen minutes later when the pediatrician had been in, done his routine exam, and left — and we were still waiting for the tech to come in with shots — I decided it was time to say something.

I stuck my head out the door and asked, “How much longer is this going to take?”

“Five, ten minutes. We’re waiting for the shots to be drawn.”

I explained what I had been told. They said they’d see what they could do. Going ballistic in front of the boy didn’t seem to be the wisest course of action. So I reviewed the plan for being brave when it was time for the shots (close your eyes) and foreshadowed the possibility that we might have to forego the swim lesson. Fortunately, Phil also (for once) skipped the nuclear option.

As the swim lesson began, the tech came in with the syringes. (I suspect “the tech” is not the industry-standard term for the person who administered the shots, but it’ll do.) The intern who ushered us into the exam room — what? a half hour plus earlier? — came with.

So, Phil was up on the exam table waiting when the tech says, “I hate giving these shots because the kids always —” I have no idea how that sentence ended because my full attention was given to not commencing the launch sequence that would result in a reflex mallet being propelled in the tech’s general direction.

Instead, I positioned myself at the end of the exam table, facing Phil, put my hands beside his cheeks like blinders and reviewed the plan again. In went the needles: one on the left, one on the fight, a third on the left again. The boy kept his eyes shut and didn’t make a peep.

As Phil got his shirt back on, I told the tech we’d come back later to have Phil’s inoculation record-card filled out. We hit the door and hurried to the car. Maybe there’s a later lesson he can join in on. Maybe there’s a wading pool he can splash in. Maybe my blood pressure will go back down and my jaw will unclench. A whole lot of maybes.

So, we head for the main road connecting Junction City to Eugene. There’s major construction one block up that has the road down to one lane each way and traffic backed way up. But a semi-truck has left the intersection open. I pull into the gap and traffic starts moving. When I’m about halfway down the highway, I call Dina to see if she has any advice — I’ve not fully conceded the First Strike option, it’s just a question of who I’m going to go off on. She offers to call the pool and see if there’s anything that can be done, or at least warn them of the homicidal lunatic coming their direction. What a great wife, yes?

There are six traffic signals on the seven miles of road I have to travel before turning off onto smaller streets. They all stay green, including the left-turn I have to make to leave the highway. I hit a red light at the next street, but I’m in the right turn-lane, so I stop and then proceed without any wait. A road-crossing pedestrian with a baby carriage and a school zone later we arrive at the pool. At a parking spot right in front of the building.

I wiki-wiki the boy inside and begin my spiel on why we’re twenty minutes late. The receptionist’s face is cold until I get to the part about the shots and the 15-minute doctor’s visit that turned into 45. Then her half-scowl disappears and she asks whose class he’s in. I tell her and she turns to the man coming in through the straight-to-the-pool staff door (as opposed to the circuitous route everyone else takes) and asks if he would please take Phil to his class.

I scurry around the long way and see Phil getting into a lifevest so he and his classmates can jump off the low diving board. Phil got two dives in before the class ended.

It was enough. Phil wasn’t thrilled he had to leave the pool so quickly. And I can’t honestly say I was excited about the way things went. But it was enough.

There’s no reason the trucker in Junction City shouldn’t have closed the gap when he saw me coming. There’s no reason I should have hit six straight green lights. There’s no reason there should have been a spot right in front of the pool building. The receptionist at the pool could have commiserated with me about how my life’s hard and left it at that. Phil or I could have pitched fits at any time and no jury would have convicted us. But none of that happened.

Sometimes things don’t work out easily so God can show you that, really, they do.

“The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.” — Reliant K


Mikesell : 2:10 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Celebration Recap

Just a couple notes on yesterday's Celebration of New Christian Fiction: There were 151 page loads on the site yesterday, 26 first-time visitors, and my first visitor from France (who the stats page says came via relevantblog). Today's stats are also high in the new visitor column: 30 (so far), with most showing a participant as a referrer.

A big thank you to all the contributors, and to all who continue to visit due to the Celebration: Welcome!

Mikesell : 11:44 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Christian Fiction Celebration IV

Good day and welcome to the fourth monthly Celebration of New Christian Fiction. This is the fourth monthly Celebration of New Christian Fiction, and you're welcome to it.

Our contributors have given us a feast this month, with everything from pears to tortilla soup to a variation on linguine. Some entries are meaty, others (mine, perhaps) frivolous meringue. There's something to suit everyone's appetite, so have a seat, loosen your belt a notch, tuck your napkin up under your chin...


...and (in mostly alphabetical order based on the last letter of the authors' first names) let the celebration begin:

Linda Gilmore, over at Lindaruth's Spot, has always told stories, just not always written them down. But writing them down has opened the door to more writing and now she can't stop. Take a look at her answer to the question Why Do I Write?

Paula Moldenhauer, GraceReign blogger, presents us with thoughts on Blossoming, as well as the 3 Ps: pear trees, patience and prayer.

Valerie Comer, blogger at In My Little World, offers Way Too Funny advice every writer should know, even if they don't follow it.

Thanks to the published results of a recent Merriam-Webster word-invention invitational, Jeanne Damoff can rest easy knowing she's not married to a "lingweenie" (i.e., a person incapable of making up new words). In fact, fictional words and/or definitions flow with melliphonious hydroxeny at her house. Read all about it in her blog post, Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls. As an added bonus, aspiring romance novelists will also glean valuable advice for those oh-so-challenging-to-write bedroom scenes. Warning: Rated R for Ridiculous.

Editor Mick Silva over at MyWritersGroup has been discussing the type of fiction worth devoting one's life to. His Learning from the Masters entry was the most-read post since the group's inception.

Chris Well, Learning Curve mastermind, presents MORE BERTRAND! Take a break from asking for Forgiving Solomon Long wherever crime fiction is sold and read his interview with J. Mark Bertrand, author, miniature-vehicle enthusiast and interviewer to the stars.

Pat Loomis, possessor of Deep POV (the blog and the state of consciousness), gives us Faith in Writing. The first time I read Pat's contribution I thought she was referring to a lecture given by TV's Wil Wheaton, not a lecture at Wheaton College. I know, this reflects poorly on me. But, please, don't hold it against her -- read her entry on the strength of faith (if not the weakness of virtue), courtesy of a luminary much, much greater than Ensign Crusher.

Mary DeMuth, blogger of relevance at relevantblog, tackles the eternal question of what bridges the gap between writerly rejection and tortilla soup. Read her article, More than Tortilla Soup, to discover the connection.

Two more things:

Dee Stewart wrote an excellent article in Spirit Led Writer on magazine article publishing that holds true for fiction writing as well. Dee didn't submit the entry, but I felt it was one of the best things I've read in the past month (no offense to everyone else who's stuff I've read ... yours was good, too). Too wonderful to pass up an opportunity to call attention to it. Also check out Dee's Christian Fiction blog and her personal writing blog: Angel on the Back Pew.

And finally, my own contribution to this fiesta: Speaking the Language, a narcissistic stroll down memory lane that honestly was written before I read Val Comer's entry.

Thank you for your patronage. Please tip your hat to Pat Loomis who started this celebration four months ago. If you'd like to join in with us next month, leave your name and e-mail address in the comments below and she'll be in touch.

God bless and drive safe.

Mikesell : 2:01 AM : 3 snarky remarks

Monday, May 23, 2005

Phil's First Swim Lesson

This afternoon Phil had his first swim lesson. As far as we can tell, he did pretty well. He didn't drown -- which is always nice -- and he wants to go back on Wednesday. Maybe our criteria for success is as shallow as the end of the pool he was in, but we'll take it.

Most of the pictures came out very grainy and/or very blurry (Phil's pretty fast for a shrimp). These three came out nicely:

Mikesell : 9:29 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Rite of Passage

Over on my writing blog, I've just written an entry with the same title as this one. That one's somber, this one's happy. Stay here with this one.

This morning at 11:15 I got a call from Philip's preschool teacher. When I saw the caller ID readout, I thought, "uh-oh," but it turned out that the class was having a little graduation party ... starting in five minutes. Fortunately we live four minutes away, so I grabbed the camera and called Dina to see if she wanted to go with (she did). So off we went and made it just in time (Phil's teacher had meant to give us more warning, but knowing how distracting just one four-year-old can be we were sympathetic toward what a room full of them could do to a person).

Here are some pix:

Mikesell : 2:24 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Cool Star Wars Stuff

If all goes to plan, I'll be stopping by the multiplex to see Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith this Thursday in between running soundboard for Lifegate Christian School's graduation rehearsal in the morning and the real deal that evening.

If you're like me and haven't seen the movie yet, here's some stuff from around the web to tide you over:And in a shameless attempt to get more male readers, here's a website devoted to:

(all links courtesy digg.com)

Mikesell : 7:50 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Phil's Playdate

Phil had a playdate this afternoon with his friend Maggie Shidek while I went off and learned how observe a timing belt being changed (thanks Don). A good time was had by all.

Here are some pix I took of Phil and Maggie when I picked him up:

Mikesell : 9:28 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, May 20, 2005

On My Birthday List (7 Months Early)

I read this today on Infuze Magazine editor Robin Parrish's E3 (game convention) coverage:
[Ultimate Spider-Man] puts you in Peter Parker's shoes (ahem, webs) and lets you swing, climb, and crawl your way all over Manhattan and Queens, which have been built as huge game worlds in which you can roam freely, but in which you will have specific tasks to carry out. I was also told that the game will boast the largest cast of Marvel characters ever in one game. Among the few recognizable characters I saw during the demo were Venom (whom you can also play as, later in the game), Rhino, and Nick Fury.

Get a load of (cyber)Rhino.

Mikesell : 11:18 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Amazon Double Milestone

At Amazon, I currently have 1,200 "helpful" votes and - for the first time - have broken the 1,800 "reviewer rank" barrier. I'm in 1,797th place (along with 20 other people). Technically, I suppose I'm in 1,815th place by myself, but allow me my moment, please.

Mikesell : 10:21 PM : 2 snarky remarks

What the Internet Is Good For

Do you remember a few years back there was a whole "personalized book" craze? For a whole bunch of money you could have your child's name printed in storybooks so the little nipper would think: "Hey! I had an adventure with Winnie-the-Pooh. Good thing Christopher Robin had this commorative book published and handsomely bound, as I have no recollection of these events."

As far as I know you, as a grown person, could have your own name printed in the book, but why you'd want to do that (hoax your kid? win a bar bet?) is beyond me.

(Disclaimer: Philip has a VeggieTales singalong CD where Larry, Bob and the whole gang use his name in their snappy patter and in the songs. Phil does enjoy it, and the voice acting is good. It's not like a robotic voice fills in his name the way a form letter will have your name printed in a different style font and/or typeweight.)

Well, now you can have the same thing happen on the internet but with fake (and unflattering*) search engine results. My friend, Brenda Coulter, sent this to me this afternoon. Of course, I retaliated in kind.

Now it's your turn. Go spoof a friend.

*Unfortuantely, the real MSN search results aren't much better. "BEARD CONTEST 2K3 : CHRIS MIKESELL : Hall of Shame" is their second link (fortunately it's for a different Chris Mikesell; my beard is not shameful).

Mikesell : 7:39 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Phil's a Shrimp

I signed Phil up for swim lessons this morning. (Technically, I signed him up for a wait list this morning, and it wasn't until this afternoon that he was placed in a class.) This coming Monday we'll be heading into Eugene for his first half-hour lesson at River Road Park. He goes Mondays & Wednesdays through mid-June.

His beginning group is called "the shrimp." I think he'd probably do fine in with "the clams," but he's never been swimming without a lifevest so we'll take it slow to start (he can probably be bumped up later if necessary).

Expect more pictures soon.

Mikesell : 5:05 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Five Days to Save a Quarter

A quarter of the purchase price of an item at Borders (or Waldenbooks or Brentano's), that is.

Get the 25%-off coupon here. (expiration date: May 30th)

If you use it, let me know what you got (if it's for Phil's 5th birthday next month, I promise I won't tell).

Mikesell : 1:20 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Invitation to New Christian Fiction Celebration IV

[this post originally appeared here]

Yes, it's time for the IV edition of the New Christian Fiction Celebration. We're going intravenous this time, so if you're squeamish you might want to read blindfolded.

Actually, we're doing nothing of the sort, but feel free to bring the blindfold anyway. And a cigarette. I'm hosting this month and I have no expectation of making it out alive.

No theme this time around, but in the entry I'm working on I consciously avoid making a pun (then paranthetically call attention to the non-pun) and wind up awarding myself five points. Feel free to do likewise.

After you decide which blog post in the past month you want to submit (or post an oven-fresh one), send me:

* Your name
* Name of your blog
* Name of the specific article you'd like to highlight
* Permalink to that specific article

No one's ever been rejected, so don't stress yourself out. (My e-mail address, by the way, is chris-dot-mikesell-at-gmail-dot-com (substitute the appropriate -punctuation- and you'll do fine).)

I'm supposed to write a brief synopsis of your entry. Y'all know how I am, so if you'd rather I didn't, please summarize your piece in 37-52 words in the body of your submission e-mail. Hyphenated-words count as one. French expressions will be retranslated into Portuguese, tenho a vossa atenção.

The Celebration takes place May 24th, so please have the info to me by May 23rd at 8pm. Feel free to be edgy, but no frontal nudity or extreme pottymouth language please (there's always a first time for rejection, y'know).

[if you don't know what the heck a New Christian Fiction Celebration is, please see the April edition.]

Mikesell : 8:44 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Getting In Print

I'm not sure if this is going to be picked up in the dead-tree version, but Homecoming Magazine has validated my existence by publishing a book review I wrote (scroll down).

Tear Sheet City, here I come.

Mikesell : 5:29 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Monday, May 16, 2005

Phil's Musical Moment

After Saturday's evening band concert, Sarah let Phil mess about with her baritone (horn, not secret lover). Here are his first two attempts at making music:  1   2

Okay, so Sarah had to autoclave her mouthpiece later.

Family-friend George Wild came to Phil's assistance and helped him position his mouth correctly. Phil then gave a couple pretty good toots on the horn. So if you ever need a studio musician to blow a sweet G note on your album, give Phil a call. He is quite the music maker (and a not-too-shabby dreamer of dreams as well).

Mikesell : 10:40 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Visiting Family & Friends

Yesterday Phil and I made it up to Salem for a couple band concerts. My sister Sarah was down from Seattle with her church band (Salvation Army, Seattle Temple), playing a concert at Waterfront Park at 2pm and then at the Salem church at 6pm.

Due to a big train debut as a new park feature we had to park three or four blocks away. Consequently, we didn't reach the band site until 2:10p. Fortunately the band was on Salvation Army-time and we were five minutes early. I told Phil I'd pay him a dollar to go dance up on band platform or shout "Freebird" while the band shuffled their music, but he resisted my bad influence. (I got to keep $2, so it wasn't a complete loss for me.)

We got to spend about 90 minutes with Sarah in between the two concerts, and then visited some more after the evening show. We also got to visit a while with Rob Birks (my best man, almost 17 years ago), Jenny Hood (who used to be a little midget) and George & Olive Wild (who knew me when I was a little midget).

Both concerts were good. I kept the brass band vibe going today by playing a CD recorded by the Flint (Mich.) Citadel Band through the sound system at church today before the service began. The CD was burned from an LP-recording (Love's Manuscript) I digitized. It sounded pretty good (the pops and crackles weren't that noticeable). Still, when I take over my regular shift next month (I was covering for someone today), I think I'll go with a compilation of God-oriented Superchic[k] tracks lest I lose my reputation as the "edgy" soundguy.

Tomorrow: Phil's Musical Moment

Mikesell : 7:38 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Millennium Philcon

Adding to the list of Cool Star Wars Stuff, Phil got picked up a pretty spiffy Millennium Falcon in a Burger King kids meal this week. Pull it back and when you let it go it starts out slowly then speeds forward in "lightspeed" mode. The radar dish even turns. Phil is blown away that the driver's place is so far over to the side.

Here are a couple pix:  1   2

Also going on at Burger King is the "Choose Your Destiny" scratch off game. These come on medium-and-larger orders of fries and large and wet-the-bed sizes of soft drink. You're presented with two scratch-offable Death Stars. Behind one, the lady; the other, a tiger. Okay, actually, behind one is (most likely) a small food prize (though there are some nice Sony and cash prizes, too); behind the other, a "thank you ever so much for playing" message. So far we've won an order of French toast sticks. Yee-haw!

I'm looking forward to Revenge of the Sith. How 'bout you?

Mikesell : 12:40 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Friday, May 13, 2005

Safe For Now, Bambi

(... Angie hasn't updated her blog lately, so she's probably still at her conference.)

Phil and I encountered this on the trail yesterday. We had seen three a couple days before when I didn't have my camera with me (as was the case this afternoon when we found a baby snake).

Happy trails!

Mikesell : 8:17 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Getting A Jump On Autumn

Philip has not genetically inherited Dina's or my procrastination skills, as evidenced by these photos:  1   2

Mikesell : 11:06 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Lock Up Your Wimminfolk

The Mikesell boys are sportin' new hairdos.

After Kindergarten Visitation Day (yesterday), Phil and I went to town, picked up his immunization records, set an appointment for his final three innoculations, went to Burger King, dropped off a bank deposit, bought discount bread, and got our hairs cut. (Somewhere along the line we picked up a screw in the front passenger-side tire. We got that attended to after the haircuts.)

Do our new 'dos look like doo-doo? You be the judge.

Mikesell : 1:53 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


This morning was Kindergarten Visitation Day. Dina and I accompanied the boy and learned what to expect in the fall and what to do between now and then (three more shots, what joy! $20 to prove the boy was actually born, oh goodie!). Phil and the other kids got some routine testing done and he came out at an age-appropriate level.

I took a few pix; they look like this:The only concern raised by the evaluators was that Phil should get his vision tested (he was kind of squinty during the hand-eye coordination tests). With my astigmatism and Dina's wackadoo vision that's hardly surprising. One other boy in the class wears glasses, so they'll be able to start an exclusive club.

Mikesell : 1:14 PM : 4 snarky remarks

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Stay Frosty And Alert

Wendy's Restaurants are servin' up free Frosties this weekend (Fri - Sun) as a thank-you for patron faithfulness during the recent chili-finger debacle.

I only eat at the Big W once in a great while, but it looks like I'll be stopping by a time or two in the near future.

Details here. (thanks digg.com)

Mikesell : 2:46 PM : 0 snarky remarks

A Model Child

On Mothers Day, Phil and I sat out on benches while Dina was in Eddie Bauer. To avoid Phil giving himself a complex from extended exposure to the mostly-nude Abercrombie & Fitch models, I decided to let him do a little modeling of his own.If blue-and-tan striped shirts suddenly become all the rage, I think we know who started the trend, don't we?

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mssrs. Abercrombie & Fitch.

Mikesell : 11:14 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, May 09, 2005

Close To Another Amazon Century Mark

Bumped up to 1,804 this afternoon. Looks like my CutThroat Island and and Top Secret! reviews crossed the 2- and 10-valid-vote thresholds.

1,700s here I come!

Mikesell : 4:50 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Mothers Day Redux

I took several sets of photos yesterday, so there should be something new from Mothers Day at least through this Wednesday. I only mention it because Phil's wearing the same outfit in all the pictures and you need to know that he does change clothes more often than it may otherwise seem.

Dina picked the food court at Valley River Center for lunch (she didn't want to stand in line for brunch anywhere; I only mention it because I don't want to seem like more of a dink than I actually am). Afterwards, we made good on our bribe that Phil could ride the coin-op cars if he behaved at lunch.

Here're some pix:

Tomorrow: A Model Child

Mikesell : 11:22 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mothers Day

Phil did an excellent job during the musical this morning. He kept to his mark and (for the most part) kept his fingers away from his nose. He did the obligatory "wave" thing about five minutes in, but other than that didn't break character.

Here are some pix:The musical was called The Tale of Three Trees (info on the musical, here).

All the moms (and the dads for that matter) were blessed by the performance. Here's hoping your day has been great, too.

Mikesell : 8:35 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sunset Philevard

When I was in high school, the folks in the annual musical were divided into three groups: the Leads, the Chorus, and Rocks & Trees. If you were cast as a Rock or a Tree it was your job to pretty much just stand there and not call attention to yourself.

Our church is presenting a children's musical tomorrow for Mother's Day.

Phil has been cast as a Tree.

Here are some pictures from the dress rehearsal:Sorry for the blur in some of the pix; a certain nameless someone put a juicy fingerprint on a quarter of the camera lens and didn't tell me.

Mikesell : 4:47 PM : 1 snarky remarks


This is awesome. But wrong. So, so wrong. <link>
(courtesy digg.com)

I wonder if they come in GI Joe flavor?

Mikesell : 12:05 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Friday, May 06, 2005

SpongePhil FrycookHat

"I've been in a firefight."

"Well, I was in a fire."

"Actually, I was fired from
 a fry-cook opportunity."

            — Wash, on Firefly     

(click photo for alternate view)

Mikesell : 10:10 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Friday Bonus!

Well, I was going to save these for tomorrow, but if everything goes to plan, I'll have something much better to blog on tomorrow afternoon/evening.

After I rescued Phil from the replicants (I was like a one-man army, like Charlton Heston in 'Omega Man.' You ever see it? Beauty.), he showed me the game he and Dina had been playing in the barn: racquetball with ping-pong equipment. We played that for awhile, then Phil and I played a game that was like hockey ... with ping pong equipment. Call it Pockey (which sounds slightly better than the alternative, Hong; James Hong is a great actor, though, don't get me wrong).

Here're some posed shots of our little pockey player (the camera doesn't take action shots all that well, so these are staged):  1   2   3

Mikesell : 7:22 PM : 0 snarky remarks


Dina took Phil up to the barn to play while I finished my lunch this afternoon. When I came to retrieve him, he had been replaced by a craftily-designed robotic replicant.

Here's RoboPhil 1.0:  1   2

I'll miss the boy, but the robot can open pickle jars easily with its vise-like grip.

Mikesell : 6:14 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Lazy Day

I'm recovering from posting twicely and thricely every day this week. Just takin' it easy.

Plus it was overcast all day and the boy slept 'til 11am. Hopefully tomorrow will be marginally more exciting and there'll be something to blog about.

Then again, maybe I'll have to blog on snackfoods.

Mikesell : 7:30 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Bargain Hunting

Phil and I stopped by St. Vinnie's this afternoon and blew $5 and change on books. Here's what we scored:Anybody else snatch up some great values whilst thrifting recently? Snark away and make me repent of my envy.

Mikesell : 12:26 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Imitating Life

The parking set-up at Triangle Lake School (where Phil does Pre-K) is like this: spots arranged all around the perimeter and then a few telephone poles laid end-to-end in the middle with parking on both sides. We've pretty much always parked in the telephone pole spots.

Yesterday, Dina and I were quite amused to see how Phil had arranged his construction trucks around a tree root before coming inside for the evening.

Three views:  1   2   3

Mikesell : 4:01 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Half An Hour From Goodwill

Yesterday, another lovely day here in Oregon, Philip wanted to go outside and play.

"Not without your shoes and socks," I said.

"Grrrrr! I want my boots." (he has some lined boots he wears without socks)

Now maybe you're comfortable with the fashion statement made by shin-topping boots and shorts, but I tend to discourage that sort of thing. So we went back and forth, until Phil announced: "Sandals!"

"Do you know where your sandals are?"


So we found 'em and put them on. We bought them midway through last summer, so I was kind of surprised he hadn't already outgrown them. Give him another thirty minutes....

<front view>   <side view>

Mikesell : 2:32 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Star Wars Goodness

I'm not exactly a Star Wars fanboy, but I do like the odd bit of merchandise now and again. Here are three things I've come across lately that I think are more than a little cool:Got a Star Wars goody to gloat about? Leave me a snarky remark.

Mikesell : 7:12 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Paper Pilot

After we kicked the soccer ball around yesterday, Phil and I headed up to the barn so he could fly his paper airplanes from the 6-ft.-tall bleachers. Phil made the planes at Freddy's PlayLand a few days ago (technically, the PlayLand attendants made the planes, but Phil supervised); you can see he still has his PlayLand security bracelet on in some of the photos (they usually cut them off, but Phil used his Jedi Mind Tricks to keep his on last time we were there).

Here're the pix:

Mikesell : 1:49 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Monday, May 02, 2005

Bombs Away?

(mooched from my writing blog)

Well, I've sent my first-ever non-fiction article off. It went to Writer's Digest by e-mail this afternoon at 1pm PDT.

I know there's no need to keep checking my Gmail account for a response (esp. since it's almost 8pm EDT), but that's what I'm doing every 15 minutes.

Mikesell : 7:04 PM : 4 snarky remarks

Soccer It To Me

It was mildly pleasant this afternoon, so Phil and I took his soccer ball out to the meadow.Game over, man.

Game over.

Mikesell : 6:06 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Photo Extravaganza - Day 5

Well, this is the last of the photos from Emerald Park - which means Phil better do something amazing tomorrow or I'm stuck.What astounding feat will Phil accomplish tomorrow? Check back early and often.

(Rumor has it clicking ads that interest you will speed the update process along.)

Mikesell : 10:05 PM : 1 snarky remarks

A Philip Anecdote (No Offense Intended, Dee)

Okay, I just started the photo entry for today when the following occured:

I went into the kitchen to get some Pringles (chili cheese flavored, yum). As I passed back through the living room, Dina began reading Jay Leno quotes from the newspaper. They're mildly amusing, as Jay frequently is. For instance:
"There was one embarrassing moment [at the Michael Jackson trial] when [Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe] was asked to point out the man she was married to for three years. She pointed to Latoya."
Okay, are we agreed - these aren't the funniest jokes ever, right? But still, Dina and I chuckled. Courtesy chuckles, yeah?

Philip, however, wanted to get in on the yuks, so he started laughing his fake I-want-to-get-in-on-the-yuks-even-though-I-don't-know-from-humor laugh. He really let loose on the final quip:
Here it is folks, this is the end of the world. A restaurant in Decatur, Georgia, is now serving a double bacon cheeseburger that is served between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We are now officially ancient Rome.
Philip: Bwah-haaah-ha-haaaaah ... Georgia ... hah-haaah-haaaaaaah.

Guess I've got to make him flashcards.

(now back to the photo entry....)

Mikesell : 9:50 PM : 0 snarky remarks