Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#Occupy This... Really Nice Suburban Home

Copied from WITNESS TO INSANITY (with my comments in RED)

Brig and I were invited to a couples Halloween Party last year, and we forgot to take a picture of our costumes. How lame are we?  super lame, I'm pretty sure that was well known, but good to restate for newer readers who might be confused.

It was the first time we actually picked out a couples costume and this was Brig's idea (wait, this is an "at fault" situation?). Amazingly, we had all this stuff in our closet (wow, that is even lamer, what, is WIFE in a Scottish Bag Pipe band that she didn't tell me about?.

In case you can't figure out what who we are you might need to check out this blog entry. It's kind of buried in Brig's post. So if you've given up I'll help you out (I'm sure most of you were smart enough to figure this out, my readership is pretty sophisticated, you all read the backs of cereal boxes and pizza coupons right?). We are Occupy Wall Street Protestors. I guess we weren't totally playing the part because we both showered that day.  Well, and we weren't playing the part well because we were protesting inside a really nice house in the burbs, and I am still employed and I forgot to delete my LinkedIn account and well, maybe Wife showered, but I can't guarantee that I did.

So we went online (but we did it on a Dell, not on a fancy Mac like regular protestors would) and browsed photos of the protests and got all these great ideas (especially as we never attended an actual OWS rally). Mabye I have secrets, Wife didn't tell me about the bag pipe band, so maybe I sneak out at night and go to OWS rallys.  We probably should have taken a picture without the signs so the whole outfits could be enjoyed. What you're totally missing is the book nerd t-shirt I'm sporting with one of our kid's monkey harnesses (note of clarification, wife is a Book Nerd, I'm pretty sure she is the text book definition of Book Nerd, and she is the president of Book Nerds, I have the transcripts, diplomas, SATs, GMATs and LSATs to prove it). At least you can see how hip I am with my side ponytail and hipster glasses. (I spent all night wanting to pull on the pony tail.)

And who can't love Brig in some man-capris? He's rockin' it! (I wanted to claw my own eyes out, wife is just being nice.)

And what's not to love about a nalgene bottle worn on a belt. It's always the accessories that complete an outfit, isn't it? I thought the earbuds were the highlight, but I guess you could make the case that the empty water bottle was a good call out.

And here's a close up of the signs. These were definitely two of the best signs.  Despite your politics, you have to love the protestors, especially the OWS protestors who proudly proclaim to have no message and no specific demands.  I am all for this because it sounds an awful lot like "Camping" and I love camping, and they get to do it without paying tent fees, and they get to shake down food cart vendors in lower Manhattan for free food.  The only thing better than food cart food in lower Manhattan is FREE food cart food in lower Manhattan.

#Occupy

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Did You Give Up for Lent?

I pose the question, what did you give up for Lent?  I know, I know, I'm not Catholic, but I have always had a lot of Catholic friends, so I like to play along.  After all, I am sure that they are bored of asking me (every Monday morning), what did you do this weekend, in which I would answer soccer/basketball, naps and CHURCH for 3 Hours. 

So I figure it is the least I can do as my friend's struggle to give up chocolate, sodas, favorite TV shows and other assorted things that give us but temporary pleasure, but we know long term are just going to kill us faster.

Aside:  A friend of my wife and I told us that her son was giving up his Birthday party for Lent, his birthday is in October...  I like this kid's style!  Gaming the system has always been one of my greatest strengths, but I have been bested by a child.  And that is the only time this week that has happened IF..... you don't count Twin #1 lapping me on the track last night, YES, there were witnesses, and YES, I pretended not to notice.

So, what did I give up for Lent?  Diet Coke, who did I notify of this just YESTERDAY!  Wife, yes, I told Wife I was giving up Diet Coke for Lent.  What did wife buy at Target today?  TWO 24 PACKS of DIET COKE. 

Whhhhaaaat?

Exactly.  Now some of you probably remember THIS.  Yep, that was the post where I lauded Wife for her foresight into the futures trading market when she bough 2 24 packs of Diet coke at the start of the Summer of 2010.  I bowed to her knowledge of commodity pricing and retail trend analysis.  So you are probably thinking, "what does she know this time?"  You are probably also asking, "should I get in on this early?".

Well, let me tell you, this time she has really outdone herself, not just to torment me and play the Devil's Advocate, no, get this.  She was thinking just one 24 pack, but she went with 2, even though I gave up Diet Coke for Lent, BECAUSE, she could get a FREE Diet Coke Themed notebook with the purchase of 2 - 24 Packs of Diet Coke.

Wow.  It is not even "college ruled" and I have small handwriting.

Oh, and we bought 20 of my favorite notebooks just a year ago at a super back-to-school sale at Wal-Mart, enough for roughly 16 years.

I love Wife.  She knew I would love the notebook.  Am I really that predictable?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Major Award!

Every once in a while I have to post something so that my mom and my mother-in-law don't think I am a complete failure. 

Check this out!  I got this for having the best legs in the office.  No joke, I've been running a lot lately.

Fortunately this week, I got some proof that I am not just a bum that breaks my kids out of school in the middle of the day to go climbing.  I don't even post the good stuff for fear that my kid will get expelled when his school administrators hire another 300 people to do nothing but sit in rubber-rooms and troll family blogs for incriminating information.

Which reminds me, I probably need to pull down my Recession Series blogs from 2009, some teacher might see those and send the cops and CPS over to investigate. Seriously, I can't even read stories anymore about a little girl getting expelled from Junior High because she shared her inhaler at school with a kid having an asthma attack.

In other news, I helped land a couple of really big deals for "The Man", and for my efforts, I got these really sharp cornered glass desktop things.  I've already cut myself twice.  I should probably not scramble to hold them up every time someone walks past my desk.

Being the finance lead for all of Dell's Healthcare and Life Sciences solutions definitely has its perks.  I get to use really fancy titles like Unified Clinical Archiving, Unified Clinical Cloud Computing, Mobile Clinical Computing and Electronic Medical Records, but mostly all that means is that I get to talk with sales guys all day and tell them repeatedly that they shouldn't be afraid to make money.  And don't think I didn't write all of those big titles on my LinkedIn page, because I did.  That said, these solutions teams are great, and because of them, I get glass.

And yes, that is my favorite Rudy's BBQ cup in the Background, thanks for noticing, and yes, I will be eating there next week, and yes, if you are here, you can come with me.  You may also have noticed my Christmas sock thing, that is full of  candy, mostly suckers that I stole from the boys after Halloween to give to them when they come to the office and I am trying to keep them quiet.

So brag brag braggidy brag brag.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Texas Sunset 'n Smiles

One of the things I like best about Texas is is the Sunset. 

Every night we get treated to something different.  Here is an October sunset that we captured right outside our front door.

Enjoy.

In Other Fashion News -Beauhunks

In other fashion news, I am working on some new custom shirts.  Most of the time I would have spent blogging this past year was spent designing a series of dress shirt collars, getting shoulder and side seams to lay flat, and figuring out the perfect stitch length for each piece of my shirts.  I am really really really close to getting these perfect.

Here are a few of my latest shirts.

This is a white 100% cotton broadcloth shirt for a friend of mine.  It is waiting on a second fitting and then it will be done.

The soon to be owner of this shirt is really tall and pretty fit, so I had to make some significant modifications to my standard pattern.  I lengthened the arms and took in the sides to make it fit a bit more snug.  I think this is going to turn out really nice.

The collar stand is Italian 100% cotton pink gingham.  The collar is a 88 degree 2 11/16th inch spread.  The cuffs will mirror the collar.

This is my first shirt with sew in interfacing, I hope it wears well.  I haven't been able to find the perfect iron in interfacing that holds up well in the wash.

My Friends next shirt is going to be made entirely from the pink gingham.  I may have to go buy some of this for myself, it is going to be nice.

This shirt was supposed to be for sale, but I ended up giving it to Twin #1.  He has been bugging me for a blue dress shirt for church for weeks.  I found some really nice blue broadcloth, but haven't had time to put it together, so he got this one.

I am really happy with the way this turned out, the arm plackets are some of my best so far.  It helps that I redesigned them to take some of the bulk out of them so the edge stitching can be perfect.

It is cheap Cotton/Poly, but it has held up really well.

This collar is a 90 degree 2 1/8th in spread and looks perfect with a tie.

I liked this shirt so much, I made one for myself.  This has made it into the office rotation and looks really nice with a pink/purple tie.





This next shirt turned out perfect.  It is the same white cotton broadcloth as above, but with the blue cotton/poly gingham inside the collar stand, back of the cuffs and on the arm placket (basically the reverse of Twin #1's shirt).

This was my first attempt to mix fibers, cotton and a blend, and although I probably won't do it again, it really didn't seem to hurt the finish of the shirt and has held up incredibly well in the wash.

The collar is a 87 degree 2 3/4 inch spread.  I made this pretty wide because Little Guy loves a fat knot in his ties.  I thought a nice spread that winged out a bit on the collar bones would show that off nicely.

Most of my shirts are sporting mitered cuffs, but I have experimented with some straight multi-button cuffs as well.
Little Guy decided to have fun with the photo shoot despite my best efforts to get a really good shot of all of the shirt elements.

Here you can see the inside of the cuffs.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dress Like a Really Cool Guy Day!

I work with the coolest people. 

I decided that starting in January I would wear a tie to the office every day, and because it is nice and cool out, I usually don the sweater-vest.  Although I haven't worn one everyday, I do wear a tie about 4 days a week.

Being that I work in Tech, the tie kind of stands out, and not in a really good way, just in a rather odd way.  Nobody here wears a tie, ever.  It is kind of sad really.

On Wednesday, I showed up to the office in jeans and a sweater-vest, but no tie. 

One by one I see my colleagues, each wearing a tie, but it wasn't until I saw lady colleague that I put it together.

My crew decided to have "Dress Like Brig Day", which I interpreted to mean "Dress Like a Really Cool Guy Day." 

My team is awesome. 

So, some trivia for you:One of the ties in this picture is Burberry, one is a $2 Wal-Mart special and one is made of cardboard.  Can you guess which is which?

Playing Hookey w/ Uncle Justin

I have been shamed into blogging again by the Wife, but what a glorious year I had without blogging it.  I figured that this is probably a pretty good time to start posting again, and what a better first post than to publicize that Wife and I are shooting for "Parents of the Year".

I have a friend that often says, "We don't let school get in the way of our children's education," and we decided to take that to heart last week and have some fun.


Seeing that my brother was going to be in town on business, I hatched an evil plan that involved all kinds of fun stuff.

On Thursday afternoon, I had Wife drop off Little Guy at my office where he and I jumped into the Cruiser and went down to the Airport to pick up Justin.


Oh, how convenient, Little Guy's favorite golf course is 5 minutes from the airport.  So we went golfing.  On hole #2, Justin par'd, I bogeyed, and Little Guy Triple bogeyed.  Nice.  It was pretty much a multiple-bogey fest and beach vacation after that.  Good news, I finally hit my 60 degree wedge consistently and I have my 4 iron dialed in, I think that is my go-to club now.

Next morning after rolling into the office for an hour, I jet for home where Wife said, "Let's go out for lunch at Freebirds".  I'm game, I can always do steak tacos and chips.

After lunch, but before heading home to grab some gear, we conspired to sneak Little Guy out of school for some afternoon climbing.  Next thing he knows,  Little Guy hears his name over the intercom, and gets escorted by the school Gestapo to the front office where we created a distraction and broke him out all Matthew Broderick style, with wife driving the getaway swagger-wagon.

We headed to the Greenbelt for some familiar climbing only to find the place packed.  We basically discovered the winter hang-out for Occupy Wall Street protesters.  No joke, they might as well just set up an unemployment office at the top of Seismic Wall, because anyone that can climb that overhang has way too much time on their hands.  It was all knit beanies, skinny jeans and Obama '12 stickers as far as the eye can see.

You couldn't drop a carabiner without hitting a "down on his luck" social anthropology major in a Che' T-Shirt whining about the 1% stealing the factory job he was never going to apply for anyway and shipping it to China (while forgetting to mention how the chronically unemployed 99% could afford a new $269 70m Mammut Serenity dry rope and straight off the sweatshop floor $145 Boreal Kintaro's with nothing but a pocket full of food stamps, 2 year old couch cushion Jolly Ranchers and daddy's credit card... Wait... What?)

Am I jealous?  Heck yes I am, those are sweet shoes!

We climbed Magster (5.10a, http://mountainproject.com/v/magster/106366888).  Our variation was probably a 5.8 as we heel hooked the pocket rather than high stepped the side pull, but it was still fun.

Even wife got in on the action, at 17 weeks pregnant, she still has mad skillz.

Everyone but Twin #1 had fun climbing, he wasn't impressed with the overhangs.

Then it was back to the airport to see Justin off.

Awesome way to end a work week.