Friday, September 28, 2007

Golf is EASY!

My dad came up to visit last weekend. Saturday morning, we went to the driving range. Now, I am normally quite bad at golf. I've been trying a couple of things to improve my swing that haven't been working. I have a tendency to hit it to the right a bit, which I don't want to do because when I actually play a round, I always end up in the trees to the right of the fairway, looking for my ball. Every once in a while, I'll hit a straight shot, but it isn't very repeatable.

Last Saturday, I tried a couple new things to fix my swing. Well, they must've worked because I was actually hitting the ball straight! And far! One of my shots went past the farthest flag on the driving range. I have never even come close to that flag in the past.

I was having a great time. Not only were my drives going nice and straight, but my irons (which are probably worse than my drives) were going where they were supposed to as well. I couldn't believe it.

But the best part was that I was hitting the ball way past where my dad was hitting his. Now, you have to understand that my dad plays golf pretty much every day, which means that he hits a lot of golf balls. I only play once in a long while. So I had great fun telling him that I'm a better golfer than he is. When we got home, I had great fun telling Mrs. BigKat that I'm a better golfer than my dad is. I even found the LilKats and told them that I was a better golfer than their grandpa is. My dad kept trying to interject something about putting, but I wasn't listening to that part. I just thought it was funny that I can hit the golf ball better than he can. Now, whether or not I can do it again the next time I go to the driving range or on a course is a different story. But I'm not going to worry about that right now. It's more fun to assume that I will.

More Games

Our family has been really busy lately. School, soccer, Sunday School, people visiting, men's basketball, birthdays...our weeks have been pretty packed lately. But this week, after the kids have gone to bed, Mrs. BigKat and I have found time to play some games. Here is one of the new games that we've played...

It's the new Heroscape Swarm of the Marro Master Set. There isn't as much stuff in it as the first one. What you basically have is a team of 5 guys (an army guy, a flying lady, a ninja, a guy with a little dragon, and a big robot) against a whole bunch of aliens (including the giant alien shown on the box, and a 'hive' that produces new aliens). I had been waiting to get this set for a while. Mrs. BigKat knew how much I wanted to try it out, so she said that she would play with me (she's the BEST!).

The scenarios that they provide actually worked quite well for us! One new feature is that 3 of the scenarios build upon each other in kind of a story mode. Basically, the 5 good guys are battling the aliens, starting with just a few aliens, but leading up to a big battle against all of them.

This worked really well for a number of reasons:

1) Mrs. BigKat had played Heroscape with me before and doesn't like it when she has to move too many guys. The first scenario really eased her into things because she only had to worry about 3 guys. One of the guys was the guy with the dragon. Normally, Mrs. BigKat wouldn't like to play with him because his special abilities are a little more complex than others, but since he was only one of 3 guys, she was able to figure him out pretty easily. I think she is now more willing to play with characters that have interesting special abilities.

2) The first 2 scenarios definitely provide an advantage to the good guy team (because if it didn't, then it would be pretty difficult to get to the grand finale in the third scenario). I'm a bit better at Heroscape than Mrs. BigKat is, so having a natural handicap was quite helpful and made things more fun for the both of us.

3) The new set comes with multiple copies of some of the alien squads, allowing you to have a whole bunch of them at once. I don't have many of these 'common' squads, so it was fun for me to be able to try them out.

We finished the first 2 scenarios. Mrs. BigKat won both of them, allowing us to proceed to the third and final stage. It looks like it will probably take a little longer, so it will probably have to wait for an evening where we have a little more free time than usual.

I asked Mrs. BigKat if she actually liked the game, or if she only played because I wanted to play. She said that at first, she only played because she knew I wanted to play. But then when we started playing, she actually had a lot of fun. This made me happy. My wife likes Heroscape!


We also played another game of Battlelore last night, this time using the Lore rules ('Lore' in Battlelore is where you get to use these special cards that throw fireballs, or move guys from one side of the board to another, or cause stuff like that). She was a bit intimidated by the Lore rules at first. Battlelore has a lot of different rules that you have to remember for combat, and I think she didn't want to have to worry about another thing. But as we played, she realized that the extra Lore rules were not very complex and added another interesting element to the game.

The interesting part about the game was that we didn't even come close to finishing (we got a late start on the game), but we still had a very enjoyable time just playing together. I think it was because we were both having fun trying something new (it was only our 2nd time playing Battlelore together and our first with the Lore rules). There were some funny moments (like when I spent several turns, trying to save up 9 Lore tokens so that I could unleash 'Creeping Death' upon her army, only to whiff on all of my rolls when I was finally able to play it).

I like it that we both like boardgaming. With 3 kids, it is very hard to find things that we can do together. We like to watch movies together, but there isn't a lot of interaction during movies. We like hiking together, but our main time together is after the kids are asleep. Boardgaming works well for us because we get to talk and interact and enjoy each others company while we have a great time playing the game. And there are so many great games available that we can pick the game that best suits our time frame and energy level. Plus, since we're already at a table, we can eat dessert while we play!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Sucker

LilKat2 just came into my office. He had a yellow sucker in his hand. He showed it to me, and said 'Look what I've got.'

I said 'That's very nice! You have a yellow sucker.'

He said 'But I'm not eating it. I'm licking it.'


And he left. Not a very interesting story, right?


Well, apparently there was a lot more to it. Mrs. BigKat had to take PrincessKat had a doctor's appointment today, so LilKat2 had to go along as well. When they got there, the nurse gave him the yellow sucker. He was quite pleased with this and said 'I'm going to show this to my daddy when I get home!'

The nurse told him that she didn't think it would last that long. But he insisted that he was going to show it to his dad. PrincessKat had her appointment and LilKat2 sat there, just taking licks of his sucker, making sure that he didn't crunch it. As they were leaving, he told the nurse again that he was going to show his daddy the sucker when he got home. The nurse still didn't believe him and told him again that she didn't think it would last that long.

In the car, LilKat2 carefully held his sucker, making sure that he only took licks and not bites. On the way home, he told Mrs. BigKat, 'I'm going to show this to my daddy when I get home.' It sounds like he said this repeatedly (not surprising).

When he got home, the first thing he did was head straight up to find me. Which lead to him coming up to my office and showing me the sucker. I wish I had known the whole story. I would've been more impressed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I love It's a website that helps you find good (sometimes great) deals on lots of different things. If did not exist, I would have a lot more money. But I would also have a lot less cool stuff!

Here are some of my favorite deals:

100 GB Hard Drive for $5

160 GB Hard Drive plus 200 GB External Hard Drive for $20 total

Tonka Mighty Dump Truck (with flames) for $5

Lazer Tag Master Blaster for $5 (got 4 of them)


Other good deals include:

Free Schick Quattro razors

Free can of some green energy drink that I can't remember

200 CD jewel cases for $2

3 boxes of Nestle Crunch Sticks for Free


But my all time favorite deal was:

28 twelve pack cases of various flavors of Pepsi

3 24-packs of bottled water

12 bags of Lays/Tostitos chips

for $20 (actually $120, but with $100 in Safeway and Home Depot gift cards). And if I turned in the cans for the deposit money, it would be free!


I still have a bunch of the Pepsi left over. When I first put it in my garage, it looked like someone had just dropped off a pallet of Pepsi at my house. And our cupboards were full of chips.


My newest SlickDeal is a cast iron hibachi for $40. Do I need a new grill? No. I already have 4 grills of various sizes. Am I buying it because $40 is not very much money to me? No. I could really use $40 (I could almost buy Tide of Iron with that money!). Can the hibachi do things that my other grills can't do? Not really. Anything I could cook on the hibachi, I could easily cook on one of my other grills (although, if I went to the beach or tailgating, the hibachi would be much easier to bring along. Unfortunately, I can't think of the last time I did either of those things).

You know, I just saw the deal on the front page and, somehow, my love of grills, cast iron, good deals compelled me to make the purchase. I really like SlickDeals, but it has a way of very slowly chipping away at both my disposable income and my available storage space.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


LilKat2 made a friend in preschool. His name is Kyle. So far, each time he's come home from school, we ask him the standard questions: what did you do, what did you have for snack, who did you get to play with. And each time we ask him who he played with, he gets a little grin on his face and says 'Kyle'. So he really likes Kyle.

Today, when Mrs. BigKat dropped LilKat2 off at school, she asked his teacher, 'So, which one's Kyle?'

Her response: Kyle? We don't have a Kyle.




So now we're trying to figure out who Kyle is. We think that he's either a fake kid or a misnamed kid. Mrs. BigKat questioned LilKat2 about it and she thinks that Kyle is a boy that LilKat2 likes to play with, but doesn't quite know his name, so he just calls him Kyle. We're going to try and get more clues to help solve this mystery on Friday.

New camera

I just got a new camera. We have a standard digital point and shoot camera that we've been using for a while. It's been fine, but with small kids, it seems like I miss a lot of good shots with it. I wanted something that was more responsive and could take better quality pictures. So I decided to try out a digital SLR camera. I went with the Nikon D40. It had many of the features that I wanted and the price was much lower than the other cameras that I was looking at. I was able to get the camera, a bag (actually 2 bags), a 2GB memory card, the standard kit lens (18-50mm), and a zoom lens (55-200mm) with built in image stabilization for just over $800. The major thing that I'm giving up is that it has a 6MP sensor rather than the 10MP sensor that most of the other entry level DSLP cameras have. Anyhow, here are a couple of shots that I took while playing around with it.

How much does my wife love me?

You know how much Mrs. BigKat loves me? She loves me so much that she played Battlelore with me last night! It's not her favorite style of game in the world, but she played with me anyways. She's the best! And so is Battlelore!


It's a miracle!

So at Sunday School last week, I miraculously healed a little girl. When she woke up that morning, she said that her stomach hurt and that she didn't want to go to church. The family went anyhow, and she told her parents that she still didn't feel well. She wanted to stay in the main service with her parents and not go to Sunday School. They still brought her up to class. She walked in the room, saw me, and was immediately healed! She told her parents that she felt fine and joined the group. A miracle!

Ok, here's what really happened...I've been this little girl's Sunday School teacher for 2 years now. My class was the K/1st grade class. The little girl is now in 2nd grade so she thought that she was going to have a new Sunday School teacher. According to her mom, she was not happy about this at all. Well, things changed a bit and I am now the 1st/2nd grade teacher. When she saw that I was still going to be her teacher for another year, all her troubles for the day just disappeared. So apparently, I just made her year much better! Hearing stuff like this from parents really helps motivate me as a Sunday School teacher. I want kids to learn more about Jesus, to learn more about the Bible, things like that. But I think that it really helps when going to Sunday School is a place that they really look forward to going to.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Back from school!

LilKat1 is back from school. We went to meet him at the bus stop. Our next door neighbors and across the street neighbors were also their to meet their boys. They all got off the bus together, came over to us, and immediately started playing together.


Which meant that I didn't get to hear about how school went.


So I went back inside to work. The kids rode their bikes in the front yard for a while and then went over to the next door neighbor's house to play. After they came home, Mrs. BigKat gave me an update on how LilKat1's day went. Here's what he said when he went over to play next door:


"Today was the best day ever! I got to ride the bus, I got to go to school, and now I get to go over to my friend's house!"


So I think things went pretty well. But I'll have to wait a bit to find out the details.

Not home yet

LilKat1 is still at school...Kindergarten takes too long! I told Mrs. BigKat that she should start homeschooling next week, so I wouldn't have to wait for him to come home, but she said no.

He should be getting on the bus right about now. I think I might have to go stand outside on the corner in a few minutes.


I miss my son.

The bus

LilKat1 just left for school!

On a bus!

And I didn't drive after it in my car!

He should be arriving for his first day of school right about now...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Conversation with a 5 year old

A conversation we had today in the car...


LilKat1: Hey Dad!

Me: Yeah?

LilKat1: You remember Lightning McQueen?

Me: Yeah...

LilKat1: I know his number!

Me: What is it?



(more silence)


Me: Is it 95?

LilKat1: Don't Tell Me!

Me: Ok...



(more silence)


LilKat1: Pretend you didn't say anything.

Me: Ok...



LilKat1: Is it 98?

Me: No.

LilKat1: Is it 95?

Me: Yes!

And the record is...TWELVE!

PrincessKat has set a new personal record for consecutive number of unassisted steps taken before doing a faceplant. Her new PR of 12 steps was confirmed by both Mrs. Bigkat and myself.

I asked her how she felt about her new accomplishment. She responded by grabbing my face and droobling on me. 

Good News from the Fair!

Check out this article from the NY Times. If you're going to the Indiana State Fair, you're in for a treat. Apparently, thanks to some new regulation, you can now be sure that your deep fried Snickers and deep fried Oreos were fried in oil that contains 0% trans-fats! Which is really good news because otherwise, they'd be really bad for you.

The article also references the addition of the deep fried Pepsi. Although if eating the can results in Alzheimer's, they may have to do something about that as well.