Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crazy Ball Head

Chalupa and Mr. Shucks ... a.k.a. Crazy Ball Head. We enjoyed a C.R. Kernels game tonight. We left early and they were spanking the crap out of Fort Wayne. 5 - 0 in the 5th.

Roof Job

I think they need to replace a few shingles. This is the top of a house that was lost to the flood. The bottom half must be somewhere back up stream.

Keep in mind the water was several feet above the lower bridge further down stream. The picture does not show you all the land on the left and right that was covered in the flooding current. It's a mess.

Win Some, Lose Some

Chalupa's team didn't make it beyond the qualifying bracket at the State Soccer Tournament. But at least they qualified to get to State. It was a valiant, building year and we can all look to greater things to come in the fall of 2008.

Meanwhile... Peanut's team has reached the finals in the State tournament. They play tomorrow night against Bloomington. Keep your fingers crossed... Go MGFM (Mean Green Fighting Machine!)!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sister Act

When they weren't playing soccer, they were actually getting along. Sure made the weekend a lot easier for Buzz. Side Track, Beaner and Big Dawg were back in IC holding down the fort.

Soccer update

For those of you following the Soccer exploits... here is the latest from the Minnesota State Tournament (Blaine, MN).
Above you see one of the top three U12 C3 (under twelve, class three) teams in the State of Minnesota! Yes, that young lady on the far right is The Peanut with a championship smile. They made it to the Semi-finals and play the wildcard team this Wednesday. If they win, they play a championship game on Friday!
That's The Chalupa in the net. She's played well and only allowed one (controversial) goal this entire tournament. Unfortunately, they have one win and one loss which will require them to win their next match at by at least three goals and the other team can't score anything. That it the only way they have a shot at the wildcard slot in the final bracket. It will be tough.
And YES, we will make the commute on Wednesday up in the afternoon. Two matches (above), and return to IC. We can only hope for a return to championship games on the weekend. If not, it will go down as a week of soccer palooza extraordinaire! Stay tuned for an update to be posted on Wed. or Thurs.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


You think Ms. Congeniality (one of our primary sitters) has any influence on our kids? Perhaps this is why she was runner up, ya think?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ground Zero - below high water mark

Beaner's Godfather lived in one of these houses. Piles like these go on for blocks and blocks and blocks. It boggles the mind and tears at the heart. These photos are from NE Cedar Rapids. These are only two snap shots... only snap shots. The entire picture is much more sobering. No photo can accurately show the devistation. No words could describe the lives now ruined. No imagination can possibly see behind the tattered walls, the moldy floors, the sour smell to comprehend what once (only five weeks ago), will no longer be the same... EVER. The houses are all empty... and neighborhoods have become ghost-towns. The statistics are staggering. More than 5000 people are homeless. Of 1,800 missing city school kids, only 1,600 have been found, and of those kids, most will move again before school starts. With nearly 2,000 homes destroyed and (appoximately) 500 FEMA trailers provided (88 of which have been returned with mold)... where are the extra people (families) going to live?

How many of these owners lost their jobs? Who pays the mortgage on these empty homes? Who pays the insurance on these (now worthless) properties? Mitigation and financial resolution may not be availabe for 18 - 24 months. What are they to do for this period of time?

Nasty, nasty, nasty and very sad stuff. We don't know these people, but their in our thoughts, they're in our prayers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Saturday morning, I went to the dump. Actually, the PC thing to say is "landfill". I saw mountains of refuse and gross stuff (carpets, dry wall, clothing etc... eeeyuck) that could not be salvaged or had to be torn out, tossed out (best if burned) as a direct result from the flooding. I got a tour of one of the areas (Normandy Drive) that was devistated in Iowa City. I can verify that it was devistated and horrifying. Here is a small smattering of just a small corner of a large landfill that seemed to go on as far as the eye could see (or nose could smell). Appliances, that were swamped out. Bummer.

Also, just a quick follow-up on the FEMA Trailers mentioned below. This morning's paper reported that several FEMA trailers, such as those pictured below) are being returned. They were deemed unsafe and unhealthy due to high levels of mold growing on many of the interior walls. A sad, sad finding indeed.


Chalupa's soccer team won their first two (of three games to qualify for the state soccer tournament. They forfeited their third game with less than 10 minutes to go. I don't know the details so I can't report exactly what happened. The forfeit does not compromise state qualification. So they join the U12 (Addy's under 12 team), the Mean Green Fighting Machine, in tournament play next weekend. Should be a loOong weekend of soccer and you know what... it's better than a long weekend of household (moving related) chores!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My New Work

This what I saw on my way to CR yesterday morning... a row of FEMA mobile units.

Working for the City of CR has been an eye-opener. I see what happens behind-the-scenes. I listen and hear what's being said and done. And then the following day, I open the paper to see how much of what is said and done, gets accurately reported. I'm coming to believe that media is generally not left or right, but self-serving. Anyway, FEMA to the rescue.
Sidetrack and kids are in the Twin Cities celebrating her sister's birthday and attending the district soccer tournament for Chalupa's team. No score as of yet. I'm at our winter home with a monumental honey doo list that's calling my name. UGH!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In Her Element

She might tell you they drive her nuts, but you can never tell by this photo. Miss Jenn (our neighbor) will be greatly missed. And Big Dawg will miss his friends too.

More pics

Now that I've returned to our "winter home" I can download the photos from my camera. Here's a smattering of pics from the past two weeks.

A mix bag of birthdays resulted in a five egg smasharoo. A heck of a lot easier to clean up when you're bald!

Dr. Jekal/Mr. Hyde or Dr. Andy/Mr. Pyrotechnics? You decide.
Kids final blow-out before the big move. The party involved a long wet dance in the rain. The photos do not do this justice.

Monday, July 14, 2008


As of today, we have one kid (Peanut) up Nort', outside of Brainard; one kid (Beaner) in Monkey Doo with Buzz; two kids (Chalupa and Big Dawg) at our "Winter Home"; Side Track in Boston. We get around.

Tomorrow Buzz and Beaner leave Monkey Doo to take up residence in Iowa. And soon we'll all be under the very same roof once again.

Unfortunately with this move, we'll lose our family vacation. The public schools in IA start sooner than Minn. and it just so happens the start date coincides with our scheduled vacation to the N.C. mountains. So rather than riding inner tubes down the South Tow River, the delinquents will be seated at desks and expanding their minds. The price of moving continues to escallate into the intangibles.

Hopefully, the long run benefits will far out-weigh the sort run headaches and sacrifices. We'll see.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Current Schedule

Last night we had 20+ screaming girls (as well as Big Dawg, Dr. Andy and Buzz) running around the house, eating pizza and causing a ruckus. Around the house because inside the house was almost completely off-limits due to wood floors being finished. There was access to a bathroom and the basement which came in handy as storms passed through around 8:30 p.m. This party was the last harrah for the girls as we stage our final departures from Monkey Doo.

Today it's laundry, dusting, packing more stuff for the trip to IA.

Tomorrow, Sidetrack leaves for our winter home with Chalupa and Big Dawg. Buzz will drive up nort to drop Peanut off at camp. Beaner will hold down the fort at our summer home.

Tuesday will be Buzz Dad's last day of Corp. America for a while. He will depart with Beaner shortly after work and head down to the winter home. On Wednesday, he will begin work for the City of Cedar Rapids to help with communication needs around their disaster recovery efforts. Should be interesting.

Friday, Sidetrack returns to the Twin Cities with Chalupa to pick up Peanut who will return from camp. The three of them will spend the weekend at the district soccer tournament for Chalupa (Peanut's team got a bye and heads straight to the State Tournament). Buzz will stay at the winter home to continue unpacking and settling in - with Beaner and Big Dawg.

I believe a week from Monday will be the first time the family will all be under one roof at the same time (first time in more than 2 weeks). What a nut house.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just Curious

Has anyone seen or heard from our conspicuously absent V.P.? I don't think November's election can come soon enough for this erstwhile public official who seems to have found a good rock to hide under while he waits out his term. He, among many things Bush, is a damn waste of our tax dollars. Hrumph!

Regular Season Ends

Soccer season has ended for Peanut and Chalupa. Peanut's team qualified out-right for the State Tournament. Chalupa, on the otherhand, must battle with her team at the district tournament in order to qualify for State. We shall see.

In other news, it appears my last professional day in MonkeyDoo will be Tuesday, July 25th. If all goes well, I will begin a new professional adventure next Wednesday in Cedar Rapids. More details to follow as details get ironed-out the opportunity solidifies.

Onward and upward!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Straddling State Lines

Side Track is in Iowa living in (what we affectionately call) our winter home with Beaner and Big Dawg. I am in MonkeyDoo (our summer home) with Peanut and Chalupa.

In an effort to enhance the marketability of our summer home, the colored walls have been repainted to a neutral color. Today the wood floors are getting sanded and treated to look like new. Wednesday the carpets will be thoroughly and professionally cleaned. The house WILL sell. The house must sell.

Soocer every night this week. Matches and Practices galore!

All the camera equipment is back in Iowa so no photos will be posted for a week. I'll have an updated collage from the Fourth of July and other activities... once I get upload capabilities.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What Kind of Angels?

BD and Chalupa enjoy the sidecar rides given by Mr. Jim. Perhaps a motorized two wheeler will be more of a necessity when they grow up? Better get used to it now, I suppose.

The Move

BEFORE: Mayflower movers arrived and it was time for panic packing... DURING: Boxes, boxes and more boxes. The good thing is we found our long lost traveling companion, Hefner! And here is Hefner helping with our packing. On the van... clean laundry (and Hefner). In the van, an asortment of items to include more laundry, bags, two dogs, two kids, a lawn mower, gasoline and propane. Thank God we weren't stopped driving down... lest they think we were terrorists.

AFTER: Mayflower arrived at our new home. One thing for sure is we'll need to improve our landscaping. Thankfully, our resident author and erstwhile contract Guru, TJ has helped paint a few rooms and may even undertake some construction. Thank goodness this place has a finished basement. Next to boxes, I never want to see another unfinished basement.
THE PLAN: Buzz will remain in MonkeyDoo until such time he finds work or sells the "Winter" home. There is also the District and State soccer tournaments AND summer camps which both Peanut and Chalupa hope to attend. When all the chaos is over... then the move will be perfected.