Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kansas Vanity Plates

Kansas, it turns out, was allowing each county in the state to issue vanity plates with the same license plate number, the only difference being the county designation shown in small letters in the upper corner.

Wisely, law enforcement has convinced the state this should be stopped, so the state is recalling all duplicate plates, allowing only the person who has had the plate the longest to keep it.

This gives us a unique opportunity to see what plates were most popular in the state of Kansas. Interested? Here they are, followed by the number of counties that had issued that plate:


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pre-Christmas Troy

 When these photos were taken last Sunday, Troy was 8 weeks and 2 days old. He's coming right along, this boy!
He was feeling a little under the weather the previous Friday, so we decided to go to David and Lucy's for Sunday dinner instead of making Troy travel. He was awake and alert and ready to play! Well, as much as an 8 week on can play.
 I call this one "Skeptical Troy"...maybe he's still skeptical about the camera. Lucy says he's sleeping for six hour stretches at night now, much better than the 2 hours he was doing at Thanksgiving.
 He was very fidgety this particular evening and we were having a hard time getting him to be still for even an instant for photos. But we managed to get a few really good ones - these are my favorite photos of Troy yet.
 We bought dinner at Olive Garden and brought it over with us so nobody had to cook...we could all just enjoy the evening...and we did.
 Eventually we all moved to the floor so Troy could stretch out on a blanket. At this point, he is able to hold his head up, turn his head, and track objects with his eyes. I held up the camera case and made it bob across his line of sight, and he tracked it very well back and forth several times.
 David said he was imitating the cooing sounds that Lucy was making earlier in the day, so he starting to communicate more too. He doesn't have much control of his arms and legs yet, but it is obvious he is trying....that development will be fun to watch in the next few weeks.
One last photo before Troy had his dinner....he is very photogenic and a natural born poser...just like his Lucy, David, and my wife. Hmmm...I guess I'm the only one in the family who missed the posing gene... Anyway, hopefully we'll get more photos at Christmas....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving: Troy at 1 Month

 Time for a Troy update! He brought his parents over for Thanksgiving dinner and it was surprising how much he had progressed in such a short amout of time. He very clearly uses his eyes to track and watch things...we're not sure how clearly he sees, but he definitely knows he is looking at something.
 Here is Lucy with her son. She is such a loving mother that we have no doubt that Troy is going to grow up in the best possible environment. It is also fun to see how just the sound of her voice sooths him and makes him feel secure.
 Grandma (we still don't like the sound of that) is just as tickled as Lucy and holds Troy at every opportunity. It won't be long before Troy will know his grandparents by sight and voice also...we're working on it!
 All these photos are from Thanksgiving, but they also brought Troy over last night...we have re-started the tradition my folks had with us...having us over every Sunday for dinner. It works well on many levels...we get to see Troy, they get out of the house for awhile, and Lucy gets a night where she doesn't have to make dinner. Everyone wins!
 Our son Ron came down for Thanksgiving and was able to see and hold his nephew for the first time...he was so thrilled...he's very into children.
 Troy is still not sleeping through the night, getting up roughly every two hours. Lucy is trying a new strategy by keeping him up as long as possible during the evening. Last night we all chipped in...he woke up at 6 PM when they came over, and working as a team we were able to keep him awake until almost 8:30 before there was no stopping those eyes from closing. He was a very good kid even when he got crying, no fussing, just a gentle drift off into the land of harps and sheep...
Good night, Troy. See you on the other side.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Edgar Winter

I forgot to mention it, but about 3 weeks ago I opened up the paper Friday morning and there staring me in the face was a small ad..."Edgar Winter Saturday Night at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts". WHAT?

Not many people know this, but I am a big fan of Edgar's "They Only Come Out At Night" album from the 1970s. It has a couple of excellent well-known songs (Frankenstein and Free Ride) but it also has many great obscure songs.

So I rushed the paper over to my wife and said "we're going to this tomorrow night!" and she smiled. So we did. Now it was a very unusual concert in a very unusual venue. The place is designed with plays and classical music in mind, not necessary rock acts. So the feeling was very...stiff and formal. And the crowd was all 40ish and 50ish couples with a few 40ish to 50ish dads with their sons in tow.

We got seats in the first row of the balcony and had an excellent view of the whole show...there were only about 200 people there by my estimate.

There were no frills. No fog, no backdrop, no colored lights. It was a stage and a few white lights and that was it. It wasn't even that loud in there.

I was a little disappointed in that Edgar mostly played things off his new release, Rebel Road. He played very little of his older stuff, except for the obligatory aforementioned Frankenstein and Free Ride. But seeing him perform Frankenstein was worth the price of admission alone, so if I had to do it over again I surely would.

Edgar wore his traditional long black coat with large metal buttons. But I was in for a few surprises. First, he is now over 60 so his tall lanky body is very can see it in every movement. Second, he wore sneakers instead of black boots with a tall heel as I would have expected. And third, Mr. Edgar Winter talks with a Texas accent! All these years and I did not know he lives in Texas. He talked about playing the dive bars in Texas and said he is known as the "Texas Tornado", which he said with a classic Texan drawl.

In any case, a good show. But not a great show. Worth it for Frankenstein alone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cage the Elephant

All right folks, it is here. My vote for album of the year...Cage the Elephant! If you have any taste at all for Jet with a splash of Smash Mouth, Nirvana and maybe a little Beck, then you have to try this one on for size. Here's a little ear candy from the album for you:

...and if you liked that, you had better lay an ear on "Ain't no Rest for the Wicked"...mmmmm