Monday, December 29, 2008

Monkeydoo Monkey Doooo

Alana, Peanut, Big Dawg and Quinn are celebrating old times.  They are prepared to adventure into the "cavine" in the back yard of our "summer house".  The journey was good until the bitter end when Big Dawg lost a boot to the snow.  His foot was very, very cold when all was said and done.  

He'll survive.   Picture provided by Beaner... our photographer at large.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It's been another year of adventure for the Taylor's, and with only a few minor loose ends to tie up, we will look forward to a less adventurous 2009.

Loose ends you ask? Well during 2008, Side Track experienced two untimely job changes.  The most recent of which was a few weeks ago.  But despite the economy, her prospects are good and her outlook is promising.  None of this would be so bad if the family didn't have two mortgages.  This loose end is the result of our relocation back to Iowa, and failure to sell our previous house in Monkeydoo.  But as Mick Jagger would whine in his unique "musical" way..."Ti i i ime, is on our side.  Yes it is!"

The highlights for 2008 are too numerous to mention but are probably contained somewhere in this blog.

The kids are healthy and smart, and survived the move to find new friends and growing social circles.  Side Track and I celebrated 20 years of marriage!  I can't speak for her, but I can say I'm more in love today than I was 20 years ago.   Our kids are beautiful and engaging (sometime too much so.... ugh ... teeagers!), we're not in jail and we're not in the papers.  What more could we ask for?

Life is good.

We wish you, above all, Peace, Health, Friendships, Family, Love and more laughter than a robust sense of humor can handle.  Merry Christmas and have a hap hap Happy New Year!  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Polar Express

Calupa, Beaner, Tootsie (the hound ), Big Dawg and Peanut getting ready to watch the "Polar Express".  We have a seasonal tradition to watch  a series of Holiday movies between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Somewhere in the mix is the "Polar Express".  Usually, we try to finish the season review with "It's a Wonderful Live."  BTW... Donna Reed was an Iowan.     

Blizzard Walk

Beaner taking Koko for a walk.  Temps were -1 with a -20 windchill.  They were brave ladies.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rear Window

The view out the rear window of our house...  Looks like Big Dawg is leading the way down the hill (red), followed by Chalupa.   Koko looks on from the side.
The view below is from the rear window of City Hall where Buzz Daddy currently hangs his professional hat.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Christmas Tree, Trimmed

There's a tree in our living room!  It's trimmed and all dressed up for St. Nick! 

Big Dawg and Santa

I can't quite tell if Santa thinks he's been naughty or nice.  What do you think?
Holiday cards are about 1/3 of the way done.   After that, I'll have to draft the annual X-mas message for the Blog.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Big Dawg's Friends Wish him a Happy 6th

Big Dawg's crew (from the left): Sabastian, Big Dawg, Lauren, Christian, Nichole, Luciano, and Alex.  

And of course let's not forget the ceremonial egg breaking.  

Happy Birthday! Big Dawg!!!  

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Morning Commute Was a Suckfest

Winter driving conditions assumes people are driving.  This morning we were skating.  A 30 minute commute took 1:40.  Driving on a 1/4 of ice will do that you know.  Nasty stuff.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Congratulations Tim Johnston!

Winner of this year's Gival Press Short Story Award for his short story, "Water".   Click on the link and check it out!     First the Gival Press, next the Pulitzer!   

Sunday, November 30, 2008

When It Snows...

... make a Snowman!!

First Seasonal Snow

The last day of November and here is what we woke up to this morning in our back yard!  

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving '08

The night before Thanksgiving, the house was in full pie-baking mode.

The Day arrived and the table was set for one and all to eat and be thankful for all of our blessings:  Friends, Family, Health and Senses of Humor!
Then we gathered: Sidetrack, Chalupa, Big Dawg (sans one of his front teeth), Beaner, Jo Ann, Buzz, Peanut and Margaret.  It was a delightful meal. 

And over the break, we had time to catch up with an old friend and college roommate, Brad Bartles. 

All in all it was a very nice Thanksgiving break.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Big Dawg Loses His First Fang

DURING (note the end tied to the tooth.  
What you don't see is the other end... tied to the door)

Write Your legislators: Tell Them!

Grand Forks received approximately $165 million dollars within the first three months of their flood back in 1998.   To date, Cedar Rapids has only received $40 million dollars and it's been more than 6 months since the flood waters swept through.  Cedar Rapids (above) had 10 square miles of flood water and was much more substantially damaged than Grand Forks (a city half the size of CR).  

What little funding allocated is held up by HUD.  And even the dollars allocated amounts to a grand total of $70 million.  Our estimated damages could be as much as $5 billion dollars. 

Senators and Congressmen (women) need to know the regulations and restrictions are preventing critical funds from getting to the people who need it.  

Your help would be appreciated.  Write your Congresswoman (man) and Senators.  Send them a link to this post and tell these elected officials,  PEOPLE NEED HELP IN CEDAR RAPIDS!!!   FIX HUD!!!    Find a better solution for disaster relief than FEMA Funding and Community Development Bock Grants (CDBG is not designed for disaster relief and way too restrictive).


Monday, November 24, 2008

Help Wanted? or Wanting Help?

Side Track can't seem to buy a break and is effectively out of work.  On Thursday, she was given notice the Parent company of the company that recruited her so heavily, will bring all marketing efforts into New York.  This means the marketing and executive staff positions have been eliminated.  Laura, her boss and her boss's boss are on the street and in the market. 

As for the Taylor's, we'll survive.  Eventually our house in Monkey Doo will sell and things will stablize.

Buzz's job with the City of CR is contract work which is scheduled to end in January, but there is some hope for renewal.  Unfortunately, this work does not come with benefits so we've decided not to get sick or injured this winter.   

The great adventure continues... 

To The Victor... and Loser

SMILES!   Chalupa's team, Magic defeated the Peanut's older team, Blizzard by a score of 3 - 2.  Peanut had one decent shot on goal while Chalupa was in the net but failed to get a solid foot on it.  They managed to avoid each other for the rest of the match.  It goes to show, bigger is not always better.  In this case scrappy play and finesse seems to have won the day.  The smiles were after smiles were shared after the match... so all's well that ends... sorta well. 

En Mass or Solo

"Twilight": the line.  The movie was panned by Taylor, Taylor, Taylor and Taylor - four thumbs down.  Once they got past the excitement of seeing a movie on the Big Screen, the acting was lame, the plot was shallow, and Edward was not cute as the girls thought that he should be.  Consensus... the book was better.
This guy had it right.  Get out on a limb and enjoy the view.  This Eagle was perched on a tree less than a mile from our home.  When I passed by earlier... there were two.  One must have gone out to get a bite to eat.  Better than waiting in line at a movie, huh?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hamburg Inn #2

Big Dawg and Chalupa may not have their picture on the wall of Hamburg Inn #2 with Clintons (Hillary and Bill), McCain, Obama, General Wes Clark, Huckabee, Governor Culver, Senators Harkin and Grassley and every other politico that crosses the threshold, but then again these heretofore Politicos don't have their picture on this Blog, do they? 

Scrub Crew

Chalupa and Peanut are scrubbing the stove together as loving sisters should.  Tomorrow, however, they face off against one another on the indoor soccer turf.  Hopefully there won't be much of a mess to clean up; that spirits remain high; sportswomanship is paramount; and parents can be proud.  We'll see. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Got Mileage Outta This:

What do you call a really, really, REALLY sad cranberry?

A blueberry!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Two days and five games later, the IC Thunder ended the Indianola Tournament 5 and 0, to finish as 6th Grade Champions.  Each game was  bit more solid than the last.  Chalupa sits happy and tired, front row on the left.  She slept all but 25 minutes of our 2.5 hour ride home.  She'll also sleep well tonight.   

On the home front, Peanut had a soccer match this morning (indoor - which is played just like hockey), and she scored one of the team's 7 goals as well as assisted another goal.  A good day in the house for Taylor sports.   

Let's hope the ensuing week garners the same victorious results for one and all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Before the game it was Dave, Alex and Scott.  Like old (OLD) times.

During the game it was Peanut and Buzz Daddy.  

After the game it was Lisa, Laura and Renee. 
Iowa 22, Purdue 17.  All in all it was a magnificent day!  Go Hawks!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Side Track Celebrates!

It was actually 11 days ago, but we finally celebrated tonight.  All's good with 29 and she'll tell you that.  Warm wishes (comments) are encouraged.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hef and the gals

Hefner is back in the picture.  And look who's with him, Beaner, Emily, and Hannah.  You go Hef! 

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pella Trivia

Today, Chalupa played in a basketball ball tournament in Pella, IA.  Home of the largest wind mill in the United States and Canada!  Chalupa's team finished with 2 wins and 1 loss.  There is one team, CCA, that seems to have their number... and we all know they can beat them.  Today... was not that day.

Meanwhile, on the homefront... Iowa delivered to Joe Pa what will surely be the death knell to his hopes for a National Championship.  I am not sure many Hawkeye fans would want to wish any malice or ill will upon Joe Pa, but as Hawkeye victories go, this was in the top 5.  Go Hawks!!

PSU... finish the season undefeated.  Iowa will support you!  Go Lions!

Old Friends

Peanut, Jenny, and Ellie.  Reunited after 14 years.  Life's good.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's a Good Day When...

We get a new president to replace an otherwise failed executive;  When our nation, despite some of it's flaws, demonstrates to the world what a democracy is all about;  When a country continues to heal from the deep wounds left by some of our ancestors;  When there is an ember of hope that things may actually get better... not worse.  When our process works, our voices get heard and our votes count (no more Supreme Court "Justice" thank you very much!).  

And best of all, it's a good day when I know tomorrow will be even better! 

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We'll Call It.

For Immediate Release

The Taylor Family Congratulates President Obama!

November 4, 2008.  Iowa City, Iowa.    The Taylor Family wants to congratulate Senator Barack Obama on his election to President of the United States.   We are officially calling the election and will sleep a bit easier tonight knowing that George W. Bush will be out soon enough. 

Life will get better.  

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Chalupa and Abby Normal seen here as Eeyor and Rabbit.  Not sure where Winnie and the rest of the crew are.

Morgan and Peanut were dolls.  The pic doesn't do justice to how silly they looked.

Big Dawg, again doing his impression of Eddie Munster.

Guests from afar

In from Menomonee Falls, Morgan "Hawkeye" Schwartzendruber and the Peanut enjoy a laugh and some trick or treating.  This was their costume (NOT).  Scary, huh?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Big Dawg and Gumpa

Nothin' like reading a story with Gumpa to make a young man feel special. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Jacko who?  Two down, two to go.  Stay tuned.

Kids Being Kids

Beaner, Big Dawg and Chalupa... goofin' off during the world serious baseball game.  We were all cheering for the Billies. 

Off to School

Abby-Normal, KFC, Chalupa and Big Dawg are off to school on this chilly fall morning.  If you look closely, you can see Chalupa's safety belt.  She is a safety patrol just like her dear ol' dad was... back in the day!   We're so proud .  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Side Track, Peanut and Chalupa prepare for a Halloween Party.  Check out ST's shadow and Chalupa's tail.  Meanwhile...

Big Dawg and Beaner are playing games on the iTouch. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Boasting Board Returns Home

After a multi-year drought, the Iowa/Wisconsin Boasting Board has returned home to the delight of Buzz Daddy and chagrin of Mr. Beep Beep.  

Big Dawg and Nokidoh battled it out in one of many bean bag fights.  Good fun was had by all!