13 September 2007

This Blog has Moved...

I have moved my blog once again (hopefully for near the last time). What I have done is combined this blog with my professional blog (The Amphitheater) under a single new banner: The Fry Side, which is located at my new personal website, ebfryer.com. All my archives have moved as well, so returning to this address shouldn't be necessary. I have explained my move in a post there as well.

Toodles, Folks!

28 August 2007

The Question...

To the question of Nature versus Nurture, I give you this quote from my son when asked if dinner is good:

Indeed, it certainly is.

In your face, Nature!

Luckily, it also gives credence to my belief that anyone can be taught regardless their background. Tricky part is when that background does most of the teaching.

Back to Woik...

Yesterday started off with a bit of a bang. At around two in the morning, a large thunderstorm formed over the Cities, and a huge thunderclap hit right over our house, waking all of us on the top floor. I got up to hold Austin and he fell asleep in my arms a moment later so I put him right back to bed.

I got up with Michelle just after five. She rushed out the door, as usual, but I went through a leisurely morning routine. Getting up that early means I have some extra time to get completely ready before Austin wakes up. It isn't that necessary anymore, since he knows the morning routine and runs mostly on autopilot until I drop him off at school. Still, it's nice to read a bit of news and listen to a podcast or two while brushing my teeth without a kid under me asking questions non-stop.

Work started up again this week, and it's nice to be back. Not working during the summer makes me feel like such a bum, but now I'm back to contributing to the family. Everyone at work was pleased to see my return. My position usually has a lot of turnaround, so the staff is pretty happy to have me on board for a while.

Not much changed over the summer on my end of things, so work is rather light going into the school year. Only one lab needs to have new images put on the computers. The teachers have been back since the middle of last week, so they're working at a more relaxed pace too.

There's another reason that things are a little slow and quiet around the school. We're up this year to have to renew a levy to compensate for the increased lack of funding from the state, and on top of that, there's a potential teachers strike on the horizon. Those two facts aren't going to play well together with those who are up to vote on increases in their taxes to pay for the schools. It's a pretty dismal picture if our district doesn't get it passed. Oh yeah, all two hundred school districts out here are having to do the same thing. Go figure.

That's about it. It was a good first day back, and I'm about to head out the door for another day. Oh, a little before dinnertime, I got an email saying I made it into Hamline University and its Master of Arts in Teaching program. So my pipe dream of becoming a teacher is actually going to happen. Children of Minnesota, beware...

21 August 2007

The Queen is Funny...

I just got off the phone with the Queen Mother. She called to check that we were all okay from the flooding up here, and I finally told her that we're having a baby. So when sending each other our love, here's her line:

Give Austin a hug. And give Michelle a hug. Though not too big a hug, you know what happened last time you did that.

Bless her.

20 August 2007

Some Bad Phone Pictures...

These are other pictures I found on my phone that I figure I would share while I'm at it.

Here's my wife looking beautiful after a successful interview for Target:
This picture was for Uncle Ken.  Oh the levels...
I knew M was warping him...
These amused me.  He is pointing out what he knows about pine trees in the same manner as his dad and granddad.

Toodles, folks~

A Good Weekend...

This weekend was wet and rainy and dreary.  So yes, in my opinion, it was heavenly.  Everything is wet and dark green and misty.  Everything smelled alive, growing, full energy.  It brought to mind the Pacific Northwest.

Saturday morning, Mommy was up with the boy and I.  She's doing well, though her stomach's feeling worse.  She's good at fighting through it all, far better than I.  So on a wet weekend morning, what is there to do with a feisty three year old boy? Mom had the brilliant idea: let's take him on his first trip to the library.

What a wonderful treat!  He didn't quite know what was in store for him.  He's been to the video store with me many times (we do the Blockbuster Online deal since we have the store right around the corner) so he understands the concept of borrowing things and having to return them.

But oh my goodness, the library!  As soon as you walk into our local library, on the right is the children's section.  For the first five minutes, we could barely get past the first cart of books.  He was pulling them out left and right.  And mommy and I were doing the same.  I'll admit, I was pretty excited to get my new library card and to learn that it's a wifi hotspot, so just maybe, when mommy needs quiet time with the baby, he and I can go the library to read and hang out.  I might even accomplish something outside the walls of my own house.

One might not be able to guess what we did for the remainder of the afternoon.  What would a little boy with a dozen brand new books want to do?  Have Mommy and Daddy read to him left and right!  So yes, for a nice and dreary afternoon with a warm lunch and naps, we read lots of books.  What a wonderful way to spend a day.

That evening, M and I watched part of the Twins game, basically through the Rangers winning 5-0 with no hope in sight for the Twinkies' bats.  But at least she managed to catch what is apparently a regular special.  On Sundays, when an adult ticket is purchased in the cheap seats or family seats (alcohol free section), you get two free kid tickets.  And so, that was what we planned as a surprise for the boy.

Sunday morning was relaxing and lazy, just as a Sunday morning should be. We read more stories and had lunch. Austin had no idea on where we were going. We packed some water in his backpack and headed out. I was excited too. I love baseball, and actually going to a game is a particularly special treat. We got downtown, and I told Austin to keep an eye out for a big white building. He finally spotted the Metrodome, and without provocation, he guessed that it was a ballgame.

I'm such a dad sometimes. Soon as we walked in, he and I bought new baseball caps. The happiest moments for me is teaching my son what to watch for and having him cheer a strikeout.

The game was grand, a huge pitcher's duel. Johan Santana was on the mound for the Twins, and I was wearing his jersey. Michael Cuddyer hit a solo homerun, the only run of the entire game. Without notice or warning, Santana matched his personal best of fifteen strikeouts in a game, and then went on to set a Twins record of seventeen strikeouts. It was the kind of game I love. Amazing pitcher goes eight straight innings without shrugging and a closer comes in the 9th to seal the deal. It's how it should be. And my boy and I were standing and cheering for the final out.

We got home and had some dinner, and to calm Austin down at the end of the day, I popped in the classic Peter Pan. I think that it's by far his favorite movie; the crocodile cracks him up. Plus, Peter Pan is just one of those entities in our culture and literature that for some reason reaches me. And this old Disney movie is such a great touch of pure classic innocence. It was Mr Walt Disney's ultimate goal, what he always wanted to make, and I love it like that.

It's nice to have such a good weekend. That way, before six in the morning, when cats are meowing and I don't want them to wake the boy, I take it as an opportunity to wake up early and work out and shower before the day begins. I wish I could start every day like that.

"Tee dum, tee dee, a tiddly dum te day... We march, along, and these are the words we say..."

18 August 2007

My Son's First Blog...


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15 August 2007

A Small Renewal...

On Monday night, a pair of very powerful storms blew through our area.  80 mph wind shears, two inch hail, some flood and tornado watches, knocked out power, lightning and thunder, the whole kit and caboodle.  I really wanted to get out and see it, but my wife made me stay in the basement with her and the off their rockers cats.  The boy was actually staying the night at Grandma and Grandpa's, and wound up sleeping through the whole thing.

It was exciting, and I was glad that I smartly did not water my lawn that day.  Actually, even though I have free water and an in-ground sprinkler that works occasionally, I refuse to water too much.  Most of the summer, we have been in a drought, and I let the lawn get yellow while neighbors were forcing the green.  I figure the plants can actually take being not watered for a while, and it's good for them.  Then they're not used to having daily doses of water, and when a big rain finally comes, it won't drown them.

Our neighborhood at least wound up barely touched by the storms.  Other places saw lots of unfortunate action, but we got some rain, a little hail, and winds that didn't even destroy the wind-susceptible dying tree in my yard.  As exciting as it would have been, I'm glad we didn't get damaged.  Not much in this world would seem dumber than replacing glass on my rust bucket vehicle.

Following the storm, though, the rest of the week has been mild and beautiful.  And green.  Our world has been a little cleansed and woken up.  I feel like I've had the same renewal as well.  After over a week of no soda, my headaches are gone and I don't feel so groggy in the mornings.  Of course, not being sick as a dog has helped that too, and not hurting when I speak is also a nice treat.

I'd still been antsy for the first half of this week, because it was leading up to an ultrasound last night.  Michelle and I were able to go together, and we were able to finally see the fetus and its heartbeat.  We couldn't quite hear it yet, and I know Michelle would have really liked that reassurance, but I'm a happy camper.  She's now seven weeks along and finally feeling sick, so I really think we're in the clear, and I tell you, that's a huge weight off my mind.

What was also great about last night, is that our neighbor was able to help us by watching the boy for a while.  She has a four year old boy of her own and the two of them are school chums.  She also teaches there, so she knows our boy well.  Living only a couple doors down makes it all very convenient, and she was able to relax a bit too.  The boys had dinner and played well together, and Michelle and I were able to talk to another actual adult in our home.  It was a lovely change of pace and it finally feels as though we're progressing in our lives out here in the 'over.  Of course, now all our boy wants is to go play with his friend.

So now it's a beautiful Thursday morning.  I'm writing while sitting in my backyard, watching my boy turn into an Iguanadon (he knows a vast array of dinosaurs and their attributes) and roaming around the yard, roaring and eating leaves off my ash tree.  It's not a bad life at all.  But I am eager to get back to work and teaching.  While most will disagree with me, I think summer vacation is too long and the school year is too short.