Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Holiday's Everyone!

Generally, a good year for one and all.

Laura's consulting company, Aleami Marketing Services, has gained traction from a few very good clients and things look promising for the early months in 2010. She is also an adjunct teacher for the University of Iowa. Meanwhile, Alex's contract work with the City Manager's Office in Cedar Rapids ended. He has since moved on to help with the Executive MBA program at the University of Iowa. Like Laura, he is also an adjunct teacher at the business school.

Kids are well and busy with all sorts of activities to include piano, tennis, soccer, basketball, cross country, cub scouts, and a few other activities and events of all sorts. Unfortunately through all the activities and changes we never got holiday cards in the mail.
What started out as a grim looking year, turned out to be a year of generally positive change. Our personal economic outlook, like the National economy, is cautiously optimistic. We believe we'll sell our house in Mankato at some point, and when that happens things will be right with the world. Maybe 2010 will be the beginning of a more stable and enlightening decade? We'll see.

Best wishes to one and all and have a terrific New Year!!! The salutation for 2010 is this: If you can't LIVE LARGE, then you might as well stay in bed!! Cheers!!!

Big Dawg & Herky

Here we see Big Dawg and Herky Hawk during halftime. Hawks were beating #4 Purdue by a point and held on well into the second half before the Boilermakers put it to the Iowa. The final score was Iowa 56, Purdue 67. What you see here, is one of the few major highlights of the evening.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chicago X-mas '09

Waiting at the West Egg Cafe for breakfast. On the corner of Ontario and Columbia. Very good nosh!
The night before we see the crew with "Uncle" Murph about to dine on Geno's East Pizza. Traditional Chicago Pizza. Two pieces and out. Wow what pies! If you look closely, Chalupa's got Hefner in tow!
This picture was taken at Millennium Park next to the "Bean", overlooking the cafe and ice skating. It appears to be Chicago's version of Rockefeller Center.
Big Dawg outside of the Penguin display at the Field Museum. We spent most of our time in the Animal section. There is so much to see! We dragged Big Dawg into the Egypt section and Big Dawg was absolutely terrified by the mummy's. He had to be carried like a two year old. "Dad, PUT ME DOWN. I WANT TO EXIT THIS PLACE!!!". Of course the girls laughed out loud at this outburst, which only made matters worse.
Here is a statue of the American Gothic. Hefner is a posed just above Beaner's head on the edge of the suitcase. The original "American Gothic" painting, by Grant Wood is part of the permanent collection at the Chicago Art Institute. Grant Wood's artistic inspiration came from Eastern Iowa and he remains one of America's most recognizable painters.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tree Trimming 09

Beaner and Chalupa begin to load 'er up.

Not sure where Big Dawg gets his tree-trimming fashion tips, but they certainly are "revealing".

Chalupa, Peanut, Big Dawg, Beaner and a glimpse of Side Track all busy trimming to Christmas songs.

Beaner reaches for another ornament to place on the tree.

Post-trimming movie... "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, and the Island of Misfit Toys." Peanut! Don't look so excited!!! Great pic of Beaner!

Study Hall

No matter how you look at it...
It's still studying. Ugh!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snow on Campus

Red, white and blue... makes for a nice winter image if not a bit patriotic.
The lone student walking to (or from) class. It was 7 degrees when this photo was taken. Wind chills will not be mentioned. BRRrrrRr!

Big Dawg Turns Seven!

Playing with a new set of lego's. He scored big in the lego and puzzle department. Now, if I can remember to wear slippers throughout the house, I won't destroy my feet and curse ever time I step on a lego in my bare feet? Why couldn't they be made out of foam rubber?
And as birthday traditions go... the annual ritual of breaking an egg on Dad's head... continues.
This year I'd have to say was a smashing success. See for yourself!
Beaner, Chalupa and Peanut watch as Big Dawg opens a Birthday present. It was a great time. JA Mandy joined us as did Jonathan (now an Iowa student from our old stomping grounds in Wisconsin) and his girlfriend Callie.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Campus Waiting for Snow.

Here is the view out of my office window ... looking East. I didn't bring the camera into work today, so I didn't get shots of the the post blizzard campus. Trust me... it's snowy and cold.
In front of the Pomerantz Center looking due south at the Old Capital. Again you can see some snow but it's nothing compared to what we got later that night.
Looking North, the Pappajohn Business Building is on the right. Ahead to the right is the Pomerantz Building where my office is located. As you can see, students are beginning the migration to and from classes. In about 5 more minutes, this place is packed with the hourly herd of students coming and going.

Friday, December 04, 2009

ANOTHER lost tooth!!!

Big Dawg lost his third tooth in less than a month. It's CRAZY.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"The Missing Tooth"

"The Missing Tooth" adapted from a poem by Ken Nesbitt - recited by Big Dawg (the toothless wonder). Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taylor - Tentinger - Miller Reunion

Dave was in town as a guest panalist for a presentation to MBA Finance students. His outlook on the economy is cautiously optimistic. Afterwards he spend some time visiting the Taylor croud. Pizza Friday finds Big Dawg and Beaner chowing down, and Peanut doing some homework.
Here we see Andrew (Horn Dawg) Miller, hitting on the bar maid at Vitos. I'm not sure if he's started shaving yet, but he sure got a head start on his womanizing. Certainly, he couldn't have learned this from his father. :)
Last, but not least, here is a picture of the crew. We are missing a few: Melanie and Jennifer left early; Beaner and Big Dawg stayed home; Tyler and Laura are still at school. So from the left: Peanut, Scott, Chalupa, Side Track, Andrew, Buzz, Renee, Lisa, Jeff ? (Lisa's nephew); Scottie, Zach and Professor Tent. It was great to get the crew together again, if only for a brief night on the town.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Loose tooth - Method #4

So Big Dawg has this loose tooth, and tells us that if you sneeze hard enough, it will come out of your head.

A little history: We have tied strings to door knobs and the other end to the tooth and voila... out comes the tooth. We have asked and been given permission to give it a tug to help the poor kid and voila... out comes the tooth. We have NOT been given permission, but instead said "let me take a look" ... out comes the tooth. But NEVER have we heard such an absurd approach as described above.

This morning Big Dawg shoved pepper up his nostrils and waited. Shoved more pepper up his nostrils and waited some more. Finally, he shoved more pepper into his nose and then sneezed convulsively for about three minutes. But... nothing happened.

This afternoon in class, he gave it a tug and voila... out comes the tooth.

Moral of the story is that the pepper-up-the-nose is no replacement for the simple tug of a sixth grade hand (or a string attached to a door knob - my personal favorite).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Off to School

Below we see Chalupa leading the charge, Peanut, on the way to the bus stop about a block away.
Next we see Andi (blue) hopping into her car. She is Beaner's (passenger) "bus" to West.
And of course, here is Big Dawg, entering the grounds of Webber Elementary.
And so it goes... another day begins.
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Another Wacky Weekend

Friday night was mayhem as Chalupa and Peanut prepared for the Junior High Dance. Here we see Chalup and her posse all dressed up and ready to go.
Meanwhile Big Dawg and Luciano had a sleep-over. This turned out to be a lot of fun for both boys. As you can see... their mouths are a clear indication of first grade toothless blues.
On Sat., my childhood pal, Dorf, took me to the Iowa football game. It was a sad loss indeed but if we can't muster an offense, we can't expect to win. Despite the loss to Northwestern, the weather was great and it was especially cool to spend some time with a guy I've known for 40 years (can you believe it? - don't answer that).
On Sunday, we took The Toots (Tootsie) to the Dog park for a little recreation. Always a treat for owner and pets. Here we see Big Dawg, Peanut and Chalupa hanging out. Meanwhile Beaner slaved all weekend (except for a brief babysitting gig) on her AP Euro project. I was her manual (slave) labor helping her until the late hours of the night put together the final pieces to her timeline mobile for the Renaissance Period.
Looking ahead, it should be a good week. Quite relatively speaking.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Another Lost Tooth

Big Dawg is beginning to look like a jack-0-lantern. He lost this tooth on Nov. 2. It's always something.
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Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween 09

Well, Halloween '09 has passed and here's a smattering summary of the weekend activities:
Sidetrack and Beaner headed North to MN. Beaner spend the weekend with friends in Monkeydoo and Sidetrack celebrated her mother's birthday with her family (sisters, brother and father). All's well up North and the house is still for sale.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch... Big Dawg had a costume party Friday night. Then Saturday the chaos hit overdrive. Chalupa and Peanut reffed several soccer matches in the morning. Then Peanut had a soccer match that afternoon, while Chalupa took off for a BB tournament in DeWitt.
Hawkeyes rolled in the fourth quarter to catch and soundly defeat Indiana to go to 9 and 0. Buzz Daddy jogged over to the stadium after the game to tailgate with a few college friends and celebrate Iowa's continued Big 10 leadership.
Peanut's friend, Morgan, was in from Menomonee Falls and the two of them went Trick or treating with Big Dawg. Chalupa came home at 11:30 with a 2nd place medal and we all hit the rack with a hour gained from Day-light-savings.

On Sunday, Peanut had soccer in CR, Big Dawg had Soccer in IC and Chalupa had Soccer in Muscatine. (whew). Combined they went 1 - 2. Then Chalupa had a BB game which they lost, but not from lack off effort.

We finished the weekend with a Birthday celebration for Sidetrack. She officially celebrates on Nov. 2, but no one will be around so Nov. 1st will have to do. Sunday night ended with a minor flood in the basement which has since been fixed... but ugh...

Anyway, Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday. Time to start resting up for next weekend!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Update

Fall is in full color here in the Midwest. The air is crisp and trees are turning. The lawn has been mowed one last time for 2009, and the mower has been replaced by a snowblower in waiting. Big Dawg's soccer has wrapped up for the fall, and the girls have one final weekend of outdoor soccer. The indoor season begins, but only Peanut will play any games. Chalupa will practice, but she will only compete in basketball games in an effort to keep her schedule manageable. As for Beaner... she may continue to practice her tennis at the indoor courts and will resume her bid to make the varsity tennis team... it will be close.

Sidetrack is swamped with business and teaching. All is good, but perhaps a bit more than she can digest. Once the semester ends, she'll cut back to one class which will ease things a bit. Buzz continues to teach and work is still quietly augmenting towards a substantial schedule of activity. He is also maintaing a steady schedule of running in hopes of participating in some distance events in the Spring.

That's about it from the southern side of Bertram. Coming soon... Halloween posts and a new addition to the Taylor household (sort of).
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Conference in San Diego

I tried to arrive early enough to enjoy a long run (12 miles or so) along the shore of the harbor. This picture (above) was taken about 4 miles north of the City. It's typical shore-line weather, humid and warm. A nice change of pace from Iowa, even thought it's the nicest time to be in the Midwest.
It's a tradition of mine to try to run around any major sports facilities in the area, so I managed to extend my run around Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Sadly they didn't make the play-offs. So instead we are relegated to watch the Yankees play the L.A. Angels, and Philadelphia play the L.A. Dodgers. The two LA teams are all the hype around these parts, as you can imagine.

Meanwhile back on the homefront: Peanut's soccer tournament in Rockford resulted in 1 - 1 - 1 record (win, loss and tie). Chalupa's Des Moines soccer exploits - 1 win, and 1 loss (both scores were 1 - 0). Chalupa ran a 5k (3.1 miles) this morning with a time of 23:20 and finished just behind the #1 runner for 8th grade girls. Beaner volunteered to help with traffic control and now one got hurt. Big Dawg and Side Track ran the one mile fun run (with some walking). And Big Dawg also had soccer this afternoon, but I didn't get that score yet.

Last time I checked, the Hawkeyes were 7 wins and 0 losses! But are currently not mentioned by the BCS ... it's probably just as well.

That's tricks from San Diego... for now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cross Country Finale!

What a great cross country season for the Taylor sisters, Peanut and Chalupa.!
Chalupa (above - going into the finisher's shoot) went coast-to-coast as the #1 runner for NWJH 7th grade girls. In the final meet (pictured here), she came in 6th over-all out of about 70 girls. Her efforts, along with her teammates earned a second place finish over-all.

Peanut (pictured during the final meet, making a pass with 1/2 mile to go), started the year in the middle of the pack for NWJH 8th grade girls. But through solid effort and a willingness to improve, she slowly climbed the ranks into scoring position (5th place). She admitted that she wasn't too tired after the meets and maybe could push it a little more... and did she ever. In the final meet of the season, she placed 16th over-all (out of 60 girls), and was simply elbowed out at the finish line from a medal. She also finished as the #3 runner for the NWJH 8th grade girls. Her efforts and improvements were remarkable to say the least.

Congratulations Peanut and Chalupa on your exciting Cross Country debuts. Best wishes for continued success, and know that your mom, dad and siblings are very, VERY, proud of each of you and your ongoing efforts in school and sports!

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 10 - SNOW!

Big Dawg wanted to put on his snow pants and was reaching for the sleds. The snow was very short-lived. But the cold lingers on. One more weekend of soccer, then things move indoors after that. Brrrrr. It's too early for snow!
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