Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Semester wrap up

Well, I knew it would be a sprint. Between trips to DSM and all the last second grading, and the myriad of holiday celebrations,whew. Contracting the flu, was not part of the bargain. Thankfully the worst if it was just one day of complete and pathetic helplessness, but the damage was done. I'll limp across the finish line with all things tied down, by Saturday.

Between now and then, Beaner comes home from KU, after her finals (of which one she declared she was going to "wing" - by my calculation, that would be a $5k + experiment - ugh).

Big Dawg celebrates #10 tomorrow, so we'll do family things then, and then launch into holiday decorating mode on Saturday.

Woofables has turned a new corner with online shoppers. Orders are coming at a very steady pace. Somehow through all of this, Sidetrack is managing to hold it all together. Maggot and Batty are pure teenagers, and sometimes I get caught trying to figure out what planet they are coming from. Note to self: stop trying to figure this out, it's a health hazard.

And finally, an editorial note. I am hugely disappointed in Paul Tagliabum's reversal on the penalties exacted against the bounty- hunting New Orleans Saints. He shows no spine and clearly indicates his commitment to money, not sport.

That should do it for now, and so it goes...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Final week of class

Final week of the semester. Lots of papers to grade, final exam, Big Dog birthday, and Beaner comes home from KU.

On Friday I start vacation until after the start of the new year.  When I return... I'll be on flex time, half time.  My role has been narrowed to recruiting mostly for the DSM EMBA program.

In my new found time, I plan to write, consult, and help a few start ups (including Woofables). 

As the holidays approach, take some time to enjoy the fun things.  Her we see the Iowa Brass holiday celebration on the steps of the Old Capitol.  Gotta love some good tubas! And so it goes...

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Sidetrack, Ick, and Maggot went to KC for a soccer tournament and to pick up Smelly for Thanksgiving break. (See pic). I was in DSM graduating the Exec MBA class. Batty was home tending to the hounds who proceeded to take over. They commandeered the couch, and tore Ducky to shreds. Ducky was the favored stuffed animal for Addison since she was a year old. She assures us that we will be able to repair it... We'll see.

Speaking mod ducks, I turn into a lame duck as we swing into the final three weeks of school. Once class finishes up, the holidays will be in full swing. As of January 2, 2013, I move into a flex-time schedule, pick up a second class, and will seek a retained part-time entrepreneurial business strategy gig. A new professional chapter will begin. And so it goes...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Math?

Looks like Gumpa is helping Big Dawg with homework.  Of course we're not sure who I is schooling who.

Ellie comes home for T-giving this weekend. The DSM EMBA class graduates. Peanut is keeping the homefires burning while Sidetrack, Maggot and BD head to KC for soccer and Beaner.

This cat needs a break from the pace. Next up... urban chickens to be approved by the city council.  And so it goes...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Girls will be girls

Peanut had some friends over last night.  Chaos as usual.  No body got hurt, and nobody died.  Great kids, and so it goes...

Friday, November 09, 2012

Comings and Goings

Continue to travel. Am in NW Iowa right now, and here is a picture of a field driving to and from. Fall is in the air.

This afternoon I mow the lawn gets mowed for the llast times in 2012. 

When I return home, my father-in-law and brother-in-law will be there.  It'll be nice to have some extra testosterone around the house... if only for a few days. 

Big Dawg continues to do well in school, keeping up with his sisters. News from KU is good and/or not bad. We can tell Beaner is a bit homesick.  We look forward to seeing her in two weeks.

Woofables moved the bakery to a larger facility.  Still a few loose ends there, but at least we are scalable.  Lots going on here, and so it goes...

Friday, October 26, 2012

The power of Blogging

Like washing your car to bring on the rain. Blogging about not having a roof...  well THAT did the trick. Much h to the consternation of the hounds, roofers showed up at 7:00 a.m. And so it goes...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Roof?

So they've had their crap in our driveway for a week. Yesterday was sunny and eighty ... today is cold, rainy and windy, they are predicting snow flurries this weekend.  I think the new roof in my driveway will not look quite as good with snow on it, than that same roof will look on top of my house.  Argh!  And so it goes....

Sunday, October 14, 2012


It was indeed a Homecoming weekend. West High celebrated, and Maggie went to the dance with a date...Zach, I think.  And Smellie came home to balm the on-set of homesickness.  Here we see the Gals all together. 

One more intense month at the U. Looks like I may stay on for another year, but on a half-time basis. This will allow me to keep benefits, add anther class to my teaching schedule, and a few hours of consulting.  More money, less time, and flexibility to help out at the shop and at home. 
We'll see how it goes. And so it goes...

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A Dad and Two Daughters

Marpy and Smelly were MIA, so it was left to Batty and Maggot to pretty-up this otherwise crusty picture.  Clearly, they did not get their good looks from me.

They were off to a wedding, while I stayed behind to hold down the shop. Once closed, it'll be back to DSM for this old bird.

Ellie continues to do well at KU, but sounds homesick these days. 

The pups are six months -80# & 70# respectively. Not small. 

We opened a kiosk for Woofables up in Cedar Rapids at Lindale Mall.  Seems like that will do well.  And on Campus, classes are in full swing, and I'm knee deep grading mid-terms, papers, and presentations.

Laura is orchestrating the move for our Bakery while balancing the family needs and some consulting.  We are but ships that pass in the night with no end in sight. It's crazy,  and so it goes...

Thursday, October 04, 2012


Ann Peterson, displays our new kiosk in Lindale Mall, Cedar Rapids.  Meanwhile, down in Iowa City, we've begun the long and slow process of moving into a larger baking facility.  Exciting times for our humble little business.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


"The leaves have gone to turning, and the geese have begun to fly..."   Crisp mornings with occasional light frost, and the days warm up in homage to the wanning days of summer.  Hawkeyes have resurected a semblance of a football team with their Big Ten win today over Minnesota.

As much as I wanted to clean the garage... a more lazy day was in order.  Now it's time to start a batch of chili for those more seasonably cool days ahead.  And so it goes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Chalupa scored two in one of today's matches. This is a picture of the second.  

Peanut's team also won today; so a good day in the pitch.

Smelly entertained Maggot and Batty this weekend at KU.  And an EMBA classin got canceled due to a faculty member being ill.  So I got to work in the shop yesterday for a Saturday change.

And the Hawkeyes are as bad as I can remember.  It's already been a long season.  Thank goodness for dog biscuits and good friends.

Cheers! And so it goes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Best delinquents ever

Sigh. Ike, Maggot, Marpy and Batty.  They all miss Smelliot.  And so it goes..

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Boy of Fall?

Big Dog doesn't usually pitch, but seemed to do well. Faced three batters,and struck out two.  Meanwhile Maggot won and Batty lost their respective soccer matches.

And so it goes...

Monday, September 03, 2012

24 Years

Today we celebrate 24 years of marriage; many, many, terrific years, and some transitory.  This last year was transitory.  So we are reorganizing, reprioritizing, and regroupingke sort of like a marital Chapter 11. 

We have been blessed with great family and friends through the years, and we thank you for route oin-going love, laughter, friendship and support.

Please stay tuned, and enjoyed iit continued adventures together.  And so em proceed with courage, laughter, optimism, Love and FUN.  And so it goes...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Another Item off the Bucket List

I hope many of you are sitting down when you read this post.  Yes it's true.  I'm ordained.  Not in the Episcopal Tradition ... to do that would require a bit more time, effort, discernment, trials, tribulations, inquire, investigations, proceedings, etc... you get my point.  And, for the record, my ordination is not intended to be offensive or blasphemous to any of you who might think me as a fool and disrespectful. No siree.

My general philosophy in such matters is live and let live; respect everyone's individual spirituality and traditions; do no harm unto others; and please don't disrespect other believes just because agree or understand them.  Don't push yours and I won't push mine.    

Now that I'm ordained (officially titled Reverend), I am allowed to perform the respective duties of a minister should the occasion be requested or required. Please know that I don't take these responsibilities lightly, and have begun research and study to learn and understand some of the history and tradition behind that supports the different ceremonies and blessings that I am now able to perform.

This will be a self imposed spiritual journey.  But rest assured, I'm still the same schmuck, faker, spaghetti-head, humorist, buffoon, dork, word-man, moron, dim whit, idiot, goof ball and knucklehead that I've always been.  No, I will not where a frock, turban, miter, or collar.  I might get a sash someday, but I'm still trying on responsibilities for size. 

So here goes nothing and something all at the same time.  And so it goes...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Iowa feeds the world

This evening the West Des Moines Leadership Academy (WDMLA) and Alumni participated in "Meals From The Heartland".  The picture below show several groups at many tables packaging nutritious meal pouches to help feed the hungry people of the world. 

Funding has been raised mostly from private and corporate donations.  The recent WDMLA class raised $40k for this cause. A this chaiman of the board of WDMLA, I couldn't be more proud of the efforts of the class, and the opportunity to volunteer.

And so it goes...

Gumpa and Grandson

There are few things as cool as a relationship between grandfather and grandson.

Monday, August 20, 2012


So here is my latest attempt to prevent our dogs from escapingthe deck. Until now, they would hurtle over the "gate". Now that I've placed strategic extensions... I win.  They lose!  Victory is mine!  Ha!   I'm smarter than a five month old dog, and am damn proud of myself..

Might have to open a business building custom, escape-proof fencing.  And so it goes...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Which Way Did She Go?

We are now a nest that is 3/4 full.  Beaner is doing the Rock Chalk Jayhawk thing in Lawrence, KS.  The dogs must miss her.

Shop continues to bring in new business.  I think we're growing too fast...a good problem to have.

Kids are back in school, students are back in town, and teaching resumed this week.

Big Dawg if playing Fall Ball (base ball).  And this weekend, my father-in-law comes to town.

Sidetrack and I are working through a bumpy part of our journey together, and that seems to be going in a positive direction.  One day at a time.  And so it goes...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A day in the life

Class for EMBA students begins this week.  An impressive group of students.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A house of sand

Sand sculpture contest in downtown Iowa City. Big Dawg, Sidetrack and I checked it out. Fragile things, houses made of sand.

If they collapse, they can be rebuilt with time, patience, a little water, and care.  And so it goes...

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Big TV Adventure

Last Wednesday night, Maggot came home all excited. She proceeded to tell Batty and her friends that she found a Big Screen TV for FREE!   Wha???   Really???

"Dad, this is a really BIG TV.  Almost as tall as me!!"

 When pressed for details, she shared that this TV was sitting by the curb, three blocks away, with a giant sign that said FREE.  The people in the house were moving. 

"Dad, can you help us move it, and bring it home?"

You know that saying, "If it's too good to be true... then it must not be true" ?  I said "nope".  "If you want that TV, you get it yourself.  There are enough of you girls, you have a car and a driver.  You figure it out, but I want nothing to do with this. You are on your own."

"Then we can have it?"

"Yep, but I will not lift a finger to help.  You figure it out."   And off they went.

About 15 minutes later, we hear the girls at the front door.  A lot of banging and thumping and moving going on. Dogs are barking and going nuts, Ick is all excited and running around like only a nine year old can.  I'm looking at Sidetrack just shaking my head.  Smelly has also joined the mix... and the TV is loaded into the front hallway.  It required the efforts of all six girls to haul this thing and get it moved.

Yep... it's a big one to be sure. The TV is a first generation flat screen; it sits on the floor, is about 4 feed high, 12 - 18 inches wide.  A 55" TV!!! Sort of a hybrid between today's flat screen and yesterday's console TV.  The kind of TV you'd see in hotels and hotel bars for karioke etc...  BIG and Ugly and unwieldy.

Once in the hallway, secure... the debate begins.  "Where do we put it?"  In the basement was the popular idea.  Ick suggested that it be put in Smelly's room since she is going off to school.  Then the room could be a theater and great place to play wii.   Of course Ellie objected to this because it would take up roughly 1/4 of her room, not to mention the loss of floor space.   Where would she through all her dirty clothes?   Nope, this idea was met with vehement protests and objection.  

So I asked...  "Has anyone plugged it in and turned it on to see if it works?   And if it does work, how are you going to hook it up to the satellite?  You'll need a hook-up.  How about the internet?   You need to figure this out.  I'm going to bed."

"DAD!  We'll figure this out!  We're keeping the TV"

With those words echoing in my head, I went to bed. Sidetrack stuck around just to listen to the discussion.  Marpy showed up and things hit a fevered pitch. But as clocked turned past 10:30, the discussion slowly wound down, and logic started to kick in.

According to Sidetrack, the girls reached the end of discussion, when one by one they turned on The Maggot.  "What were you thinking?"  "This was a dumb idea".   "This will never work!" etc.... On that note... Sidetrack headed up to bed.

I woke up early the next day to take the dogs for their "constitutional."  I got back, fed the hounds, grabbed a cup of coffee, and went up stairs to shower.  "Hey Sidetrack? What happened to the TV?  It's not in the hallway". 

"Hmmm, no idea".  She gets out of bed and goes downstairs to get her coffee, and comes back about five minutes later. "No TV anywhere. Not in the basement or anywhere."  We both looked out front.... nothing.

So when Batty got up to head out for Cross Country practice, I stopped her right before she left.  "What happened to the TV?" I asked.

"Oh.  We took it back to the house where we got it."   
But wait, that's not all... [late breaking news].  It was well after midnight when Maggot (left) and Marpy (right) rolled the darn thing, down the middle of the road, more that 5 blocks, back to the curb where they found it.  Where did the picture come from you ask?  Ellie took it.  She follow these idiots in the van!  (thanks for the help Ellie!).  Amazing!

Sigh....   I reserved the right to say "I told you so."   But for the time being, I'm enjoying the laughter and amusement of it all.  What a bunch of stooges!   Three hours of cheap entertainment, and a life time of crap to be dished out at my leisure for the stupidity of it all.   And so it goes...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Baking Outside and In

90+ degree weather drives some people to the pool. But a voids chunk of our weekends are baking biscuits.  No complaining here, business is good and growing.

We do chuckle that despite the warm weather, we're baking x-mas trees, and soon, snowflakes and snowmen.

We're opening a kiosk in Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids, and may have to move into a large baking facility a bit ahead of schedule.

X- mas biscuits and moving... Who says time stands still?  And so it goes...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dog Daze?

Summer has gone to the dogs, to be sure.  These two rascals have carved a powerful existence in the already chaotic Taylor household.  Budda (left) and Pipsqeak (right) have consumed a few house plants, a couple of throw-rugs, one dog bed, a parakeet and a shoe (or two). 
It's particularly difficult to look at this picture of Pip (below) and think of her as ornery.  She's a pistol to be sure.  Buddha now weights 37 lbs on his way to a projected 160 lbs.  Pip is about 27 lbs on her way to 120 - 130?  We'll see.  Despite her feisty ways, she was the runt of the litter so it seems she has something to prove.
Not sure if we'll take 'em to the mountains or not.  But that's where we'll vacation at some point this summer.  It'll be a nice reprieve from the daily grind in Iowa City.  As soon as we return, classes resume in DSM for the Exec. MBA program, and the following week in Iowa City.   Kids will begin School and Ellie heads off to KU.   Whew.   

Between now and then, we've got to replace a parakeet and keep our garden watered.  It is very, very, very dry (drought) here in Iowa City and surrounding area.  Corn is very stressed. 

Things at the shop (Woofables) continue do challenge our abilities to control the growth.  We may be forced to expand capacity a bit ahead of schedule. No matter, we'll figure out a way to get 'er done, but it'll be a push.  We'll keep you posted.    And so it goes..... 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Big Dawg with Big Dog

BD having a bonding moment with Tootsie.  Girls are in Pittsburgh for a youth group project, so it's BD, Sidetrack and me.  Quiet.

This year for the Fourth...we.te heading to a Cedar Rapids Kernels game.  Hot and fun. 

Happy Fourth everone!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thundering Herd

Its very hard to believe such cute little puppies will one, outgrow this car seat to the point where only one will fit and will need to wear a seat belt; and two, can be a source of almost instantaneous chaos, mayhem and unmitigated destruction. But it's true.  These are two very talented beasts who most assuredly will endear their size and personalities to all who make their acquaintance.  Pipsqueak "The ornery" is the fawn colored gal who towers over her brother, Buddha.  But it is Buddha will command superior size and girth. They will eat, they will crap, and somewhere along the way they will be great entertainment and comfort for all.
Meanwhile Big Dawg wraps-up his Baseball Season with the Twins.  They actually had a reasonable good season winning the vast majority of games.  Regretfully they ended the season with a three game skid that, coincidentally the three season-ending tournament games.  Since Big Dawg has opted out of soccer, we now have to wait until FALL BALL!
(Below) Chalupa "The Maggot" and her friend Feaner (spelled Finer) decided this over-night would be under the stars.  The dogs were unaware of the girls in the back yard and were slightly confused as they woke to find this strange mass of humanity sleeping peacefully under the morning sun. Of course the confusion led to barking which woke the neighborhood and (I'm sure) further endeared us to those who require sleep like vampires.  Still, props to the gals for their pioneering ways.  Next time, the dogs will sleep with them, and that will solve that problem

And last but not least, we want to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Alexa Larson (right) on their recent marriage.  Happy is as happy does.  We hope you enjoy many, many chapters of fun and adventure in your exciting lives together.  Cheers.

And so it goes....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

Attended the Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Conference where I met some amazing people, and completed the Leadership Iowa program with a very talented and special group of colleagues. After almost a year together, I will miss them tremendously.

Summer is in full swing in IC. Sleep-overs, play dates and general laziness abound. Today was one of those days with me.  I do love my immediate family, but would like to include my extended family in that mix...(You know who you are).

The week ahead should be fairly quiet. Ellie goes to orientation at KU, and I get to enjoy a prostate screening (and all the appropriate prep - joy of joys). Shout out to some b-day people - Crazy Pete, Ellie, JoAnn, Nancy, Brad et al.

From the cheap seats... Ron Paul is a welcome disruptive opponent. Think people! Think!  And my only other comment is witnessing some troublesome leadership in this State, I'd enjoy the challenge of being Govenor without influence-peddling of the parties.  It seems our political parties sometimes get inthe way of progess.

And so it goes...  


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week in Review

Last week was a blur.  On Sunday I drove down to Missouri for the funeral of Marge Messick.  She was a terrific spouse, loving mother, doting grandmother and caring Great Grandmother.  She was traditional country music fan, and loved her St. Louis Cardinals.  I met her through her daughter Carole and Carole's sons Tim and Tony (pictured here).  Marge will be missed.
I detoured my return trip through Des Moines.  Sufficient time has passed since Monty was stolen from the shop.  So I let our friends as Jett & Monkey's know that we are in the market for another puppy.  Sure enough, Monday morning before I left Moberly, I got the call about two puppies.   When I drove up to DSM, I couldn't split up the siblings (see Sophies Choice) so I brought them both home.  So I introduce to you, Buddha (left) and Pipsqueak.  They are nine-week old rescue Mastiff puppies.  The will grow to be 130 - 160 lbs.  YIKES!

On Monday I returned home with the puppies and West High Women's Soccer advanced to the Quarter Finals in the State Soccer Tournament.

Tuesday and Wednesday were quiet days.  Laura and three delinquents took off Thursday for Chicago to help prepare for the funeral and interment of her mother who passed last years.  I headed west to Des Moines for a West Des Moine Leadership Academy event.  Maggie stayed behind to play her Quarter Finals Soccer Game against Cedar Rapids Kennedy.  (They lost - Congratulations on a good season WH Girls).

Friday, Maggie and I headed over to Chicago area for the funeral and burial.  Then back to Iowa City Friday night.  Saturday, I hustled out early to run the Grinnell Games 1/2 Marathon in a respectable sub 2:00 time. Then back over to DSM with the family for a wedding.   Then back home.   Sunday morning, Ike and I were up at the crack of dawn to drive to Waterloo for a soccer match in which they won 11- 2.   Then back home.   Whew, I'm tired of driving.

This week, after today (Tuesday) I'll be in DSM all week.  The puppies continue to grow.  Kids continue to stay active and our lives continue to spin recklessly out of control.  And so it goes....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

How Does a Parakeet Drown?

Pork Chop (right) and Apple Sauce were hanging out in our back porch.  Unfortunately, Pork decided he wanted a drink of water.  He dropped down onto a pitcher (ewer) that we use to water our plants.  He slipped into the ewer and the curved shape at the top prevented him from flying out.  And so Pork is no longer with us.

The discovery of this gruesome tragedy was a fright for Sidetrack.  After our extensive search for our missing bird (Chester the cat was the primary suspect), we simply gave up.  Mamacita decides she would water plants, and when she went to refill the ewer....   SHRIEK!!!     Sure enough, there, in the bottom, lay Pork, dead as a door nail. 

So we welcomed Whisp (short for Whisper) into our house.

It's official!   Ellie has graduated and here is a picture (above) to prove it!   And yes, Maggot did indeed turn 15 (below).
Today is the last day of classes for Batty, Ick and Maggot.  Tonight the house will be full of screaming mimi's which is a standard for the last day of classes.  Seven teenage girls, a cookout and bomb fire.  This all assumes the rain lets up, and it appears it will.

Speaking of fires, the smouldering fire at the IC Landfill appears to be dowsing out with the rain.  The sanitation department covered one of the landfill areas with several layers of shredded tires.  Little did they think this would ever catch on fire (cause still unknown).  This burned for 5 straight days with plumes of thick black smoke wafting over Iowa City as the breeze goes.  Nasty stuff to be sure.

State Soccer is upon us.  West High Girls (Maggot's team) won their first match in "sub-state" and need to beat City High next Monday to advance.  They look good.  And so it goes...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer's Here...

"Summer's here, and I like that.  Got my rubber sandals and my straw hat.  Drinkin' cold beer, man I'm glad that it's here..."  - JT

You can always tell it's summer when you see these pics:

And so it begins.  Next up is Smelly's (left) HS Graduation!  This date just so happens to be Maggot's (right) 15th Birthday!