Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hummin' Along

Chalupa is helping to teach Big Dawg how to use his new gmail account. I think the first thing she should have taught him is how to UNLOCK CAPITAL LETTERS! When I got into work the following morning I was inundated with a series of ALL CAP emails talking about boogers. Great, huh? Boys will be boys I guess.

And in a voice that sounded frighteningly like Napoleon Dynamite, BD came down to breakfast the next morning, "Oh, I've been emailing."

We continue to refine the Woofables business model and are now offering customized dog treats. To the best of our knowledge, we may be one of a handful of vendors that provide this service and believe ourselves (of course) to be the BEST.

The week ahead is more the same, work, teaching, Woofables, school, soccer, guitar, piano, driver's ed (Addy), and consulting. Buzz heads to Des Moines on Thursday, and Sidetrack will be in and out of Cedar Rapids a few times. Hopefully she'll be watching her speed as she makes these trips. We don't need any more photos taken from the speed enforcement cameras .

Onward and upward.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Deep Freeze

Well we woke up this morning and there were negative 12 degrees outside. Not quite as cold as MN, but darn cold none-the-less. The month is 2/3 of the way closer to Spring and that would be a good cure for cabin fever. When it's this cold, a person simply doesn't want to go outside. So we all hunker down in our bunkers (on campus, in school, at Woofables, in our offices, and in our rooms). As you can see below... event the cat is snuggling up to the dog to stay warm.
The executive MBA program has me in Des Moines about once a week. We're also in the midst of our mid-year budget review. Not exactly my cup of tea, but a necessary evil. Meanwhile this semester's class, E-Commerce Strategies for the Entrepreneur seems like a nice change from past semesters. I have more Liberal Arts students in this class, and they tend to be a bit more laid back (less high strung) than the business students.

As for Woofables, we're in the process of updating our biscuit shapes, so I'm making new cutting "presses" and Sidetrack is testing new recipes. Did you know that February is National Dental Month for Dogs? Yep! It sure is. So we are going to sell a peppermint flavored biscuit shaped like a bicuspid. Helps with bad doggie breath and settling on the stomach. I tried one, and it left my mouth feeling a bit winter fresh!

Sidetrack is swamped with consulting, and somehow she manages to balance the Shop and her teaching obligations. It's all really a blur to us. And the house is trashed. Not like Beaner's bedroom trashed, but it should could use a good Spring cleaning... maybe later this spring... when it warms up. . Maybe.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One person's art, is another person's laundry

I got to wondering what gene causes messiness. I believe when I was growing up I was fairly clean and picked up. This may have been the result of strict parental requirements or just good, common sense. However, in college, I confess there were a few years where things got out of hand.

My recovery from college clutter began my junior year. I developed a new system to manage my laundry. After my clothes were clean they'd be put away and hung up. Then as clothes got dirty, instead of piling them on the floor of my room (see picture of Beaner's room above), I would toss them into the trunk of my car.

Then when I ran out of clothes, or when my trunk got full (which ever came first), I would drive to the laundry shop and clean the mess, and start all over. This seemed to be a good system.

I haven't shared this idea with Beaner for fear that she will ask for a car. And even if she did have a car, I'm not convinced she would use the trunk for this purpose... especially when the washer and dryer are just downstairs from her room.

She'll grow out of it. right? Hopefully sooner than later. Until then, you enter her room at your own risk and peril.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Don't Tire Seeing These

Last year, I went for a 7 mile run along the river, and to my surprise, I counted no fewer than 19 eagles.

Growing up in Iowa, my father would take me on the Winter Bird Count, conducted every December by the local Audubon Society. Each year, the counts would be recorded and benchmarked by species, and appearances. Over time, the data becomes one more environmental measurement that can be reviewed and evaluated.

This year, the big find was a pair of Trumpeter Swans that have recently been reintroduced to the upper Midwest. However, at the time I birdwatched with my father (the early to mid-70's) it was a BIG deal to see an eagle. Heck, we would drive out to the reservoir just to see if we could catch a glimpse of an eagle when they were rumored to be nesting out there. And sadly, I remember several disappointing, "empty handed" drives back to town when no eagle sightings were made.

Today at lunch I went for a walk along the river and counted no fewer than 28 eagles. They were either sitting in trees along the river (in the photo you can see three eagles very clearly, and in the upper right background you can see the shapes of three more), or soaring along the water looking for food.

It is indeed quite spectacular to see these magnificent birds with such frequency and proximity. I'm only sorry my father is not around to share these sights with me. But I can be thankful to enjoy them while I can; and to echo the words of my friend Crazy Pete, "I never get tired of seeing them".

Monday, January 10, 2011

As kid parties go... this was about as good as it gets. Big Dawg turned 8 in the middle of December, but postponed his birthday party until after the holiday chaos.

We packed 'em into the Par Tee Zone where the kids scrambled around the maze (like hamsters). After about an hour, we pulled them into a large room, offered up a frightening version of "Happy Birthday", fed 'em cake and ice cream (sugar), then released them back into the wild. There was a lot of energy in this group to be sure.

Big Dawg (back, left, in red) had a very nice time and I think the kids did too.

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year's Pic with Pop

Peanut, Chalupa, Buzz and Beaner enjoy a New Year's hug. If I had to be surrounded by women... these are three that are as good as any! I'm a lucky father to be sure. Now I just need to remember where I keep that 12 gage... it may come in handy.