Friday, August 29, 2008

Bowling with Kids

This past weekend we took the kids out bowling. I got a text from Brenna as I was finishing my soaking wet mountain bike loop out to Oak Mountain. "Hey, we are going bowling" is how it read. Soooo...it was something of a quick turnaround when I got to the house. The perpetual activity in my house boggles the mind sometimes...

Yeah, Aiden picked the 16lb ball right away. No wussy lightweight kid bowling balls for the Buddha, but he did seem to have an issue picking it up.

As an aside, Buddha isn't really a good nickname for him anymore. He is huge, but no longer the really round shaped kid. He looks more like a little boy now than he does a chubby baby.


Ansley bowled a couple of frames with Mom's or my help. She was equally pleased with the jaw breaker (seen below). She looked like a chipmunk with that thing jammed in her cheek for an hour or more.



Bryce bowled pretty well...legitimately. He even had two strikes. Not to shabby for a 50lb kid.



The kids were good and we all had a good time. My only wish out of the whole experience is a recurring one. Why can't I throw the ball where I am aiming? Sheesh...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Deck Debacle Days 9 - 3 million

Will it ever get done? Will my yard ever look like something more put together than an eternal construction project? Would some of the scrap piles laying in the grass fossilize into stone to be found by the next inhabitants of this planet before I could finish this thing? These, my friends, are questions that have plagued the Mabry family for some time now. We didn't really lose motivation, we just lost a month worth of time it seems.

I now have a very simple answer to those questions.

YES! Except for the fossilizing thing...that would be no...


Before:


After:

Yes, the deck was finished in conditions that were alternately sunny and humid or spitting rain this past Sunday. Powertools in the rain...cool. Hurricane Fay, which dumped several inches of rain on us overnight gave way to billowing clouds with patches of blue. There was enough sunshine to get us outside to the deck debacle and finish it off.

I had to build a nifty set of steps and we needed to get the railings finished, and then CLEAN UP! I'm not sure what I dreaded more...

Here are my cool stairs.


Now you may ask, how might one go and test out a new set of steps? Walk down them? Pfff... This is how it's done...period. My test may not be graceful, but it was way more fun than walking on them.

video

Now, all that is left is to get my Christmas Lights up and going and string wires for Cable and power out to one corner for the Football weekends!

I want to thank my Dad for taking a week off to come out and mess around with this project. Without him doing that, this whole thing never would have happend. Thanks Dad.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fay and Mountain Bikes

Now that I have moved to Alabama, I have had more rain and issues related to hurricanes than in the 7 years I was living in Tampa.

Anyway, now that I have scared myself silly that I am not going to be prepared to ride 6 Gap in late September due to a myriad of factors...Sure, I blame my lack of riding and steady weight gain on several factors, but I am also not kidding myself. I LOVE hot wings among other terrible dietary choices and most of all...well...I lack willpower...

Anyway, I have discovered a small reserve of motivation to go ride again, and I went out again today after killing myself yesterday at Oak Mountain. The rain from Hurricane Fay decided to come out during the night, so today's ride was seriously sloppy on the trails. Typical...

I noticed myself making faces that I had forgotten. I probably shouldn't be giving you other cyclists a Rosetta stone to read my race facial expressions, but I thought it was funny. If you read this, you will know when to attack and leave me whimpering on the side of the road.

Here is my "I'm feeling strong and having fun" expression.

While riding yesterday...sadly, only about 5 miles into the ride mind you...I discovered I was wearing my "Crap, this hurts, and it's hot, and my legs are burning so badly someone could cook eggs on my quads" face. Yes, this would be a good time to push the pace on me.
Now, few have seen this other expression, but if you see me making it, DO NOT, under any circumstances, ride right behind me. You do so at your own risk... Please, be a kind brother/sister in cycling and ask me if I need to slow up, or suggest that I take a break...or something, like consider another hobby...

I have also noticed, that there are exactly ZERO ways to look good in a bike helmet when someone takes a picture of you. Oh well...the photos were way too accurate to not put in a post sometime.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Myrtle Beach Amusement Park

These few pictures are from our summer vacation. Trust me there were a load more pictures than this, but I only have an attention span to write so long today. I'm just hoping you guys have somewhat more of an attention span to read this stuff.

We went over to this amusement park, and honestly I was dreading it. We all have been spoiled by going to big time places like Disney, Six Flags, Busch Gardens, etc, so I figured this joint was going to be like one of those seriously rickety-half-baked parks.

It wasn't. The kids had a ball...I had fun too. I will probably go back next year.

Here is Bryce on one of those sling-you-around swing rides. I'm sure the park attendant wasn't too happy with me leaning backwards out of my swing wielding a camera.

Ansley, on a mini roller-coaster. Yep, my kids are just like their parents on rides.


We went on one of those pirate ship rides that loft you up in the air and swing you back and forth producing a falling sensation from both of the ends of the swings.

Bryce and Ansley were excited and having a fun time on a pretty big ride. They kept yelling I'm falling and giggling, but after about 4 swipes up and down, that became...I'm falling and I don't like it. Then come the tears... That was kind of miserable as a parent as they cling to you and want to get off, but there is nothing you can do but ride it out. I'm guessing we aren't going to get back on that ride for a while... They were pretty relieved to get off of it, but immediately were back on something fast but not so...swingy.

Bryce really really wanted to go on a the big wood coaster there, but there was no way he would like it once he was on it, so Brenna and I snuck off and rode it. We used to ride coasters all the time B.C. (before children), and it's nice to get back on them again. Busch Gardens season passes get you really spoiled though when you ride ones like this. It was pretty shaky, but I think the video conveys the fun stuff. That last left turn hurt though. Everyone was getting off holding their right hip where they got jammed into the side of the car by the force of it. I love coasters anyway!

video

All in all, a very good time was had by all. Now I am being summoned by a screaming Aiden who wants down from his high-chair in the other room, so I must bid you adu...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wrong Wrong Wrong

Needless to say, there has been an absolute frenzy of activity over the past month, and regrettably, I haven’t posted anything in a tad longer than that.

I now am forced to make a decision between blowing off a load of good posts based on events/pictures that took place a month ago and starting from the present, or just throwing the convention of posting chronologically out the window and writing the stories when I see fit. Coin flips…(ting)…Coin lands (clank clank CRASH! - cat yowls, dogs bark, kids scream) Ok, I’m just gonna post all out of order whenever I see fit until I run out of ideas…or motivation. That may not take long…


Now, sadly, this first post back isn't out of order at all. It's quite current in fact. Actually, I just noticed this atrocity as I was hoofing boxes of diapers up the stairs from the basement. When I walked by my bike, I could have sworn I heard a sound. Something a neglected unfed puppy would make...only sadder. I looked over and saw this sad sight.


Yes. It has been so long since I have been on my bike that cobwebs have appeared among the wheels and components.

I ask myself. How could this be? How could a guy that actually likes riding bikes...a lot...to the tune of several thousand miles a year...have taken so much time off? I didn't have an answer for myself. I just know that I have some serious doubts about being fit enough to even ride my favorite race of all. Six Gap, which is 100 miles of mountainous roads covering 11,000 feet of cumulative climbing at the end of September. Thats about 37 days away...

I need to take some hard looks at how I have been allocating my time over the past months.

I am back to posting though, so expect more stuff. Hopefully with no more closeup pictures of cobwebs.

Oops, Bryce just missed the bus. I have to go and take him to school. That's not all bad though!