Archive for Family

Just a quick word to say….

I got married!

Unbelievable eh?

It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a wedding which is a great thing. Didn’t want the day to end, what fun!

Just got back from the honeymoon. Now to get back to the grind….

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A small goodbye

Rest in peace dear great-aunt Nancy. Your funeral is starting right now, I’m sorry I couldn’t be there. I remember your birds, smoking (sorry you were the only relative I knew that smoked) and wry smile. You were always very kind to my sister and I, and had a way of talking to my cantankerous grandfather that blew my 10-year old mind. I’m sorry I haven’t seen you for many years, I hope to see you on the other side. I’m glad you’re no longer in pain.




I guess they’re like buttons

A few weeks back the whole family made the trek to the farm. It was warm and beautiful and a little crowded with all of us under one roof. One morning after showering I was in the bedroom getting dressed for the day. I had just finished putting my pants on (thankfully) when my 4-year old niece, who hasn’t fully grasped the concept of knocking, sauntered in. “I can see your nipples!” she exclaimed as she excitedly reached up and poked my left nipple. Feeling slightly embarrassed I thanked her for poking me and hurriedly put my shirt on. Without missing a beat she deadpanned “I can still see them” and reached up and poked them again. I don’t know what my sis is teaching this girl but she sure is fascinated with male nips….

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Might have to clear this up

I just received this email from my dad:

“Mikayla (My 3 year old niece) was talking to me this morning and I thought she asked if Uncle Otto lived at my place and I said he had died. Your mother later told me that she was talking about Uncle Micah–so she might think you are dead–you better go visit her. Sorry about that, but it’s hard to understand her.”

Oh well, imagine her delight when she sees me again! I hope she’s not too shaken up about it, but at 3 years old it is nothing a little Barbie or Dora the Explorer couldn’t cure.

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Threat Dynamics

“Get down on the ground!” I yelled as I leveled my weapon upon the intruders. The two men ran away, one ducking behind a car and the other behind a large crate. “I can see you, come out from behind that car, I’ve called the cops!” Slowly the shadowy figure stepped out and I my eyes darted back and forth scanning the area for his partner. My brother in law (JimBob) standing next to me began yelling commands at the stranger. I don’t remember what was said all I remember was seeing the man pull out a gun and point it straight at us. Gunshots filled the air as JimBob and I each fired 3 or 4 shots into the intruder. He slumped to the floor before the ringing echoes of our gunshots left the air. With my adrenaline pumping and my eyes wide open I turned my attention to the other intruder hunched down behind a crate. I could see the tip of his head moving around, so I yelled at him to come out. I figured he would quickly comply since we had just filled his accomplice full of hot lead, but the intruder stayed hidden. He kept peaking his head around the corner and I said “yes I can see you! Now come out!”.  I’m not sure if I blinked or was momentarily distracted but without warning there was a sudden bang and a flash that came from a gun, not our guns but his gun. My knees buckled as the pain promptly pierced my side and I rapidly returned fire. “I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot!”.

All of this happened in Hillsboro on Saturday. I’m alive to tell about my experience because fortunately it was only a simulation. A simulation that was about as real as it gets. For my birthday JimBob and I went out to Threat Dynamics located in Hillsboro, Oregon. TD is a state of the art facility that is used to train police officers in a wide variety of scenarios they may experience on and off duty. Recently the training facility was opened to the public as well.

Threat Dynamics has a variety of range types and also hundreds of scenarios that you can choose from. They use real Glock 17 handguns that have been modified with a laser inside of them and a Co2 cartridge that simulates the kick of a real gun. The ranges start out from very basic stationary targets, move up to moving targets and eventually end in full on realistic simulations where you interact with people on screen. There is a controller that not only changes the range types but also controls the scenarios. I don’t know if this is true or not but I was under the impression that not all scenarios end the same. Depending on our commands we may be able to remove the threat verbally rather than killingly.

To add to the realism they strongly suggest that we wear special belts that shock us with 5,000 volts of electricity when and if we get shot. When we were presented with the belts JimBob got all smiley and unsure if he wanted to do it. I turned to him and shook my head “this was supposed to be a nice bday present and now you have me getting hooked up to electrical torture belts?!” Needless to say neither one of us was going to look like a yellow belly so we donned the belts.  The first time I got shot I was actually mad because it hurt and I didn’t want to get shot! JimBob thought he has positioned the belt so when he got shot it would shock him on the sides near the kidneys. He actually had it positioned the correct way so that there is a shocker in the front and the back. During one of the exercises I heard a yelp and a “HUUUEEERRRGGGHHH!!”. Thinking that maybe a dog’s foot had been stepped on I turned to my right and didn’t see any canines, only JimBob reacting to the pain. He said it’s not that it hurt so bad but it surprised him when he felt it in the front…down low. Either way I got a kick out of it and I’m pretty sure the controller did too.

On the screen there were objects (cars, boxes..etc) in the foreground that we were told we could hide behind. We were also told to move and crouch because the system will be able to detect this and this could prevent us from getting shot. Those were nice ideas and good advice but basically JimBob and I stood our ground like Rambo against Columbian drug lords.  We would learn to follow his advice when he brought us to the next room.

The ultimate tool in training at Threat Dynamics is their 300 degree screen you stand in the middle of. It brings the training to a whole ‘nuva level when you have multiple threats or multiple avenues for a threat to appear on. We did good for the most part but there was one time in particular that we were so focused on what was happening in front of us that we failed to see the guy come up behind us and shoot me in the back. It was like a back massage with spiky electricity…I didn’t like it.

Overall the experience was an awesome one and I will be going back. In fact JimBob and I have plans to go back in a couple of weeks, although we may be checking out more of the ranges rather than the scenarios. We both found the ranges to be a lot of fun and even more challenging, a great supplement to punching holes in targets at the real range. I highly suggest for anyone that is interested to give it a try it really was a blast. Heck call me up, I’d like to go again! But you have to wear the belt this time.



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Thanks to all my cheerleaders

In regards to my last post I am just 3 weeks shy of entering the dragon.

The dragon is Phase A training in L.A. for a week. I’ve hinted to this before in my blog or if you’ve met me in person you have probably heard me talk about it. Basically it is 7 day instructor training for students of Krav Maga. By getting through the training you are then certified to teach just the first level stuff of Krav. If you decided you wanted to teach higher levels you would be required to go back and go through another week of intense training. Now you’re probably thinking, ‘that doesn’t sound so bad, who wouldn’t want to go to L.A. in mid-October and soak up some rays while training in the sport they love?’. There is some truth to that, but unfortunately there will be no soaking of rays. The week is meant to be grueling and tough, just like everything else in Krav. Eight hours a day of non-stop sweating is how I would sum it up.

A day before my last post I was full of confusion and worry. I had been gearing up mentally and physically to get ready for L.A. when my instructor gave me all the details and said “you will probably get through it”. Even though my instructor is not one to give compliments it totally deflated me to hear him seem unsure about my level of conditioning. The next day I was a bit mopey and confused. I didn’t know if I should wait another three months to go through the training or roll the dice and go in October. I was confused until my sister gave me a call and verbally slapped me around like a pimp on a ho.

Brrrrrinnngggg brrriinnnggg

Me: Hello?
Sis: Hey what’s going on?
Me: Not much just Small talk small talk small talk weather, small talk
Sis: Oh cool, well what else is going on?
Me: Oh I’m just sitting here trying to figure out if I’m going to go down to L.A. in October or not.
Sis: What’s to figure out? I thought you were going?!
Me: Yeah but my instructor said this and that (see above paragraphs) and now I don’t know. I mean I know I’ve had a few brews and bbq’s this summer but I didn’t think I was that fat and out of shape…
Sis: What is all the drama?! You’re going.
Me: I am?
Sis: Yes, here is why. You’ve always been one that works well under pressure. So now you’ve got a month to get it all in gear, that’s plenty of time to up your conditioning to the next level. You’re going to work out 6 days week; several hours a day and Sunday will be your day to rest and soak in the tub because you’re going to need it. I’ll even bring over the Epsom Salts.
Me: Oh, ok if you think so…
Sis: Yup, that’s what you’re going to do and then you’re going to go down the L.A. kick some ass and be done with all of this!
Me: Well that would be nice, but I —
Sis: No buts, you’re doing it.

After that conversation the decision was made for me, there was no turning back as my sister wasn’t going to have any of it! Since my last post I have really turned the working out dial to ‘11’. If I am not at the Krav gym for 2-4 hours working out I am at home running stairs, doing pushups and the like. On Saturday morning I worked out for 2 hours kickboxing and taking a Krav class. After the classes a fellow Kraver and I went to the local grade school and I showed him my routine on the stairs. Up and down pushups, dips, pull-ups…up and down again. I try to make it nasty and interesting because when I’m by myself I have no one else to push me. After the workout my friend said that I was ‘nuts’ and that made me happy. I need to be if I’m going to get through L.A.

My brother-in law’s ears perked up when he heard I was in training for the big day. He told me, “You need to get your lungs in order”. Then he graciously offered to take me and Phil up to Mt. Tabor and show us how a man trains for an event. Even though he’s 2 to 3 times my age I knew it was going to be hard. That’s because my bro in law likes anything that is hard. Guns, guitars, hills, getting up early…etc.  Seven minutes into the first hill my legs were burning so bad I thought I was going to have to stop. I pushed on and kept my legs moving. They did and I was able to keep going. Once we reached the grueling stairs I caught a 2nd wind and moved to the front. I took a rest at what I thought was the top only to find out I was only ¾ of the way there. It didn’t matter too much as the stairs proved to be Phil’s waterloo and I had a few seconds to rest. In the end both Phil and I got through it, although I thought Phil’s head was going to pop off judging by the redness of his face.  

Today my legs are a little sore but they’re not used to running 2.5 miles in a row, I actually don’t feel too bad. I am pleased by this. Not once on Sunday did my lungs give out or did I completely gas out even though we were conquering hills and plenty o’ stairs. This is encouraging. Part of me is still nervous as to what awaits me down in L.A. knowing that I have never been through anything like that, but I can rest knowing I’m doing just about as good as I can here. My love handles are disappearing faster than ice cream in Phil’s house, and that is a good thing.

Thanks to all my cheerleaders for cheering me on!

KT used some voodoo reverse psychology on me to fire me up and motivate me to kick some ass.
SH said “Are we ever really ready for anything. The point is you just have to go for it”
HES said “Please don’t get hurt!”

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Top 10 Collapsed Gmail conversations

Sitting in my room last night I found myself slipping into a 100 yard gaze deep into my computer screen. I was worn out and tired from work and after work festivities. I was trying to muster up enough motivation to do something productive but instead I found myself reading the one-line previews of my top Gmail conversations. If you don’t have Gmail you won’t understand how it works, but after reading a few I laughed at how varied and random these conversation snapshots seemed between friends.

Here are my Top Ten at the moment, each line is from the start of a different email. Post yours in the comments!

Lots of nerve everywhere! My rice is almost done. So I guess mark me down for…

No Touching!

Haha we have irish dancers and I can’t stop laughing I just keep picturing kath and kel..

Mine is about the size of a baby’s arm.

Party for Phil! She missed her chance, now I’m gonna start AD with kelli. After I finish the..

yes come on down.

true kelli. I’m not sure but either way it’s full of pussies.

Sweet. TF2 is pretty cheap. Everyone bring your own wires. I probably have enough, but bettyer..

Feets are sexy. Except for Micah’s. He has frinkly toes: Just kidding Micah.

there is? Oh crap.

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Let’s Play

I had to stop by the pukey poopy house this morning (which has turned into a whole ‘nother saga) and on the way home I decided to swing by my sister’s house to see what was going on. It’s always nice to see the family, plus she usually has some sort of good food to feed me and that makes me eternally happy. Today was no exception, homemade bread and chili with cheese and sour cream, yum yum. I ate and helped her with the computer. I got her a zune gift card for her Zune but I’m ready to start buying her only vinyl albums because it also seems more trouble than it’s worth when it comes to my sister and technology. I was deep into my bowl of chili and her zune problems when my 5 year old niece began tapping my shoulder.

Niece: “Let’s play uncle.”

Me: “In a minute, I’ve got to finish this.”

Niece: “Let’s play now!”

Me: “Just let me finish this!”

She went and found some books to entertain her for all of 2 minutes before she came back over but instead of tapping me on the shoulder she climbed up on my leg and began balancing on her knees in my mid thigh. Not the most comfortable position for me. I was click-clacking away on the keyboard when she leaned over and said,

“Let’s play.”

Me: “Just let me finish!”

She got down and pranced around like little girls do. I finished up and was trying to tell my sister what she needed to do to download music to her Zune but my niece kept tapping my side, trying to grab my attention.

Niece: “Uncle! Uncle! I have to tell you something. Uncle!”

Me: (giving in) “Yes?”

She motioned me down to her level, so I bent down and she cupped her hand to my ear as she whispered “Let’s play.”

I was finally relieved from my duties as ‘Mr. Computer Fix It Guy’ by my sister so I turned to my niece and asked,

Me: “What would you like to play?”

N: “Let’s play school!”

Me: “Naw I just got out of school. Let’s play work!”

N: “I don’t know how to play that.”

Me: “Oh? It’s easy, see you pretend you’re at work and I come in to see you.”

N: “Ok…”

Me: “So, you pretend that you are a Massage Therapist and you have to go to work by rubbing my shoulders. Ok?”

N: “I don’t want to play that.”

Me: “Oh well that’s the only thing I know how to play.”

She suggested that we play doctor and I told her my idea was just like playing doctor. She was the doctor and my shoulders were the patient, but she wasn’t buying it. In the end we played doctor and the only thing I got was a whack to my knee, because apparently in a 5 year old’s mind that’s how you fix sick people.

Good times.

Oh and Happy New Year! This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but You tube was being lame so it’s a day late.

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Recipe for a hodown

Recipe for a hodown
First start with a reluctant Grandmother “oh…I don’t know if I have enough wind to play anymore” as she whips out her harmonica WOOOHEEWOOOHAA (that’s what a harmonica spelled out looks like).

Then add one brother-inlaw with sick guitar skills that would make most men cry.

Next drop in one banjo pickin’ goofball

Top it all off with the adoring fans

And you have yourself a good old fashioned country hodown.

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Last night I dreamt that I was part of an illegal cocaine packaging operation (as opposed to the legal kind). It was strange and I have no idea what in the world would prompt such a dream since I haven’t done cocaine in….never! I was in Mexico and the whole time I felt super guilty but I kept trying to justify it in my head. “Think of how fast you can pay off your bills, think of how the money can be used to send the nieces to college..etc”. In the dream I believed that my dad would understand but I was more worried about what my sister would think of me! This is funny b/c I know she already disapproves of my debaucherous ways! Anyway my lack of knowledge of how to package illegal drugs played out in the dream since I really had no idea what I was doing. At one point I spilled a bunch of the white powder into the wet sink and quickly tried to scoop it up and schlop it into a package…it was a mess and I was scared trying to hide my mistakes.

At least it’s good to know that I have some sort of conscience buried deep in my brain and dreams, after some dreams…..I’m not sure. :)

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