Thursday, March 26, 2009

Earth Hour

Saturday, March 28, 8:30 PM
Turn off your power for one hour - Earth Hour -

Make a statement about climate change and help yourself, your family, your community, your country, your world. I just heard about this yesterday, and it sounds like a great idea. Jen and I will definately be taking part in this. I don't think there is anything in our house that can't do without power for an hour, so we'll just switch our main breaker off, light some candles, play our crystal bowl and send love and healing energy to the universe. Even if you live in an appartment or have appliances that need continuous power, you can turn off all your lights and unplug things like TV's and computers that still use electricity even when turned off. Events like this are great for their immediate impact, the message they send, and as reminders to all of us to change our daily habbits.

Sweeney Todd

Fun movie, in a very dark and disturbing way. When the movie was done I realized I did enjoy it quite a bit, but was a little perplexed as to why. I think there are two characteristics that appealed to me.

The first is watching how someone reacts when they are pushed to the edge and mentally "snap". I've always been a little curious as to how I would react in a situation like that. There are several movies where a man looses his wife/love/children...that might make me loose it too. I don't really plan on ever snapping, so there is little worry about me becoming a demon barber :)

The second aspect of the movie that sucked me in was karma. There are lots of examples in the movie about negative actions bringing negative consequences on yourself. There are also some examples of positive karmic relationships - you just have to look a little harder in this dark movie.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Busy Weekend

Jen and I had a busy weekend, filling our time with an assortment of things, people, and places. Friday evening I had an appointment with Gayla, the intuitive/clarivoiant Jen and I like to see a couple times a year. She uses intuition and communication with your spirit guides to answer questions or concerns you may have. She is an amazing person and always a pleasure to spend time with. Then we went to Green Bay for the night. Rae and Joeli got to play with Serenity and Adriana again...they all get along so well and have lots of fun.

Saturday we left the girls with Mom and Karen, and headed to Rhinelander for a martial arts seminar. We had a great workout and reconnected with many friends that we haven't seen since last summer. Lots of sweat and lots of bruises...AWESOME! We had time to go out for a quick beer and some conversation before heading back to Green Bay and the girls.

We stayed in town for another night. Saturday night and Sunday morning we got to play with all four girls, and put the trim put up in Mom's new office. That room is all done...and doesn't look half bad! The caramel corn room is coming along well too. The drywall is all done and Mom has it all painted...looks nice with some color! We still have to hook up the outlets, build some cabinets, hang four doors, put in a sink and trim...little by little...

Sunday afternoon we headed to Darboy and dropped the girls off with Pauline. We had dinner plans with friends of ours, Bob and Noel. It was great to catch up and share stories with each other! We tried out a new restaurant, Solea, in Neenah. Very good atmosphere, good margaritas, and decent food. Then it was back to get the girls and head home.

What a great weekend...lots of family, lots of friends, lots of fun!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Kitchen Floor

We were really getting tired of our "OSB flooring" in the kitchen. So we decided to finally get a new floor put in. We ended up going with a floating laminate floor. It's the first time I've worked with this type of product. It was way easy to put in...once the first row is laid out straight the rest of the pieces just snap together. Nothing gets attached to the floor or walls, you just have to leave a gap around the walls and vents for just "floats" on the subfloor. It doesn't look near as nice as hardwood or tile, but its easy, cheap, looks decent and installs quickly...all the things we were looking for right now.

First you lay our and tape a foam underlayment

The first couple rows took the longest...trimming and fitting them to our 110-year-old wavy walls.

Half way done. The middle rows went super fast!



Monday, March 9, 2009


Here are some pics from a couple of recent family birthday get togethers.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


TED - Ideas Worth Spreading. This is amazing and wonderful and SO NEEDED in our world. Here is a brief description of TED from its website,

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become even broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

I've only had time to watch a handful of the talks, but I've already been blown away. Here are a couple examples from the 2009 conference just last month in California.
Willie Smits talked about how he and a team regrew a rainforest in a most difficult location. Not only did he dramatically help the orangutans, his original goal, but changed climate, fostered immense species diversity, and helped stabilize a region of people socially and economically. It was unreal what he has accomplished and his knowledge from so many vastly different spectrums needed for this project is stunning.
Elizabeth Gilbert talked about genius in a most novel way for our generation. She talked about the history of genius and how each of us can tap into the Genius in us...or more precisely "out" of us. Awesome perspective!
Eric Lewis played the piano with an astonishing and unique style. I don't know much about music, but I was blown away! He was outstanding on so many levels...talent, passion, emotion, focus, expression... You have to see it!!
David Merrill talked about and demonstrated Siftables. These are tiny computers the size of building blocks that interact with each other and in their own spacial orientation. I don't even know where to begin in how to describe just have to see it yourself. Physical interaction with technology is his focus...WOW!!

I can't believe I haven't heard of this before this year. TED is an amazing resource for all of us to connect, and more people need to know about this and spread the ideas!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rae's First Day of School

Rae went to school yesterday! She had her 3 year old screening at one of the Omro elementary schools. It is a 40 minute, play orientated session with a professional that is trained in childhood development. Rae didn't want to go back with Miss Megan alone right away, so Jo and I went with her. It didn't take more than a few minutes before she was off playing with Miss Megan and stopped looking for me. So, Jo and I went back to the waiting area and played in the halls. Rae got to stack toys, count, name colors, use her words, play catch, climb stairs...all sorts of fun stuff. It was really great to see how fast she was comfortable in that setting.

Miss Megan said she did great with all the games they played, and there are no developmental concerns. All the sounds she struggles with or doesn't say yet are normal for her age, and all her skills are right on track. Rae seemed to have lots of fun!!