Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting Closer to Christmas



With only a week to go the final plans have been submitted. Now I just have to get eveything done before the deadline...






Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Griswold's Are Home Again...

I read recently in someone elses blog that having a little one makes it so you can not help but enjoy the Holiday Season. I guess that is true. What we failed to grasp is that baby can be a 19 year old one. My Baby and I spent the best part of the day getting the Christmas lights hooked up. Yea, Mayor, you're right... It's good to have a baby at home. It will be even better when all the "kids" are together again...


video

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mama's Got a Brand New Tattoo

Who would have thought that after threatening The Girls if they ever got a Tattoo she would take it off with a belt sander, my Sweetheart would get one. No, I had not filled her with Singapore Slings beforehand either, although we did visit Raffles Hotel the other day. For some reason I couldn't get her into the Long Bar...








We have really enjoyed this trip, even if we got to spend an unplanned night in Bangkok. Yesterday we took a walking tour of "Little India", that's where the tattoo came from. Yes, kids, it's just Henna.




Today I didn't have to work a normal schedule so we had time to go into Malaysia and visit some Batik fabric shops.




Don't ask how much fabric we are bringing home...




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One of those things

I always wanted to do was get inside a Concorde. Today I made that happen, even if it was tied to the ground likely never to move again.




What a fantastic hunk of metal. I'm in Seattle for a screening and had some time to kill so I spent a thoroughly enchanting couple of hours at the The Museum of Flight. I highly recommend the place if you're ever in Seattle and have time to spend. Both the pilot and the historian in me had a grand time in the original Air Force One, the old 707 model, as well. To close your eyes and let the history seep into you as imagine the people it carried and the places it went.
And the WWII aircraft... To listen to a Pratt and Whitney R-2800 wind up... Okay only a pilot or a mechanic would love that.


To think we went from this DC-3 to the supersonic Concorde in a generation.....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It Doesn't Happen Too Often





It's pretty rare when I get to post pictures before the Mayor does. Guess that's the advantage of having the camera. I had a screening in San Francisco this last weekend and the kids drove over to have dinner with me. That was great fun. I hope they enjoyed the evening as much as I did.




Exactly who do you think you're kidding, Mom? I watched you stich that on the way into the city to see Gramps.



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's been awhile

What happened to August? Good Heavens, I don't know if I've been having fun but time sure has flown. August saw me in Kansas City, Boston and Washington DC to say nothing about the fun and games here in LA. Like the Cheetah Girls, Jonas Brothers and High School Musical 3. Yes, I'm living the dream...

Fortunately, the nightmare paused for the Labor Day weekend and I got to have all The Girls around.
video

Friday, August 8, 2008

I found a place that makes St. George look good!

Well, no… Not really. But what is it with this part of the country? When I was in Springfield, Missouri a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d found the replacement for Rogers, Arkansas as the “Bubba” capitol. This week I’m in Overland Park, Kansas. Right next door to Kansas City… The last bastion of civilization before heading out West… HA! Imagine my surprise while awaiting breakfast at the local IHOP (Couldn’t find a Waffle House) when I hear this “shink… shink… shink… sound. Curiosity got the better of me and I glanced over to see Billy-Bob with his big ‘ol oil stone, sharpening his big ‘ol Buck Knife right there on the table… What is this? Deliverance, the Live Act?!?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I’m not an Alarmist… (I think).

I enjoy bread baking. Real bread. There is something in the perfect execution of creating bread, the manipulation of time and temperature, evoking the fullest potential of flavor from the grain that twirls my beanie… That’s why I conned my beautiful wife into letting me build a hearth oven in the backyard.

I generally order fifty pounds each of 14%, 12% and 8% protein flour and a fifty pound bag of hard red wheat about every eight months or so from Honeyville Grains. Two years ago I was paying $45.00 for the wheat; today it’s $55.00 a bag. The milled flour has also seen similar price increases. So the price is up twenty cents a pound, big screaming deal, right. It now cost me 73 cents to make a loaf of bread instead of 53 cents.

But what is driving the cost of wheat up? Fuel has gone through the roof along with just about everything else so it makes sense that wheat and flour should too… Honeyville will still ship your entire order for $4.49 anywhere in the United States. No, the cost is going up because grains that were once so abundant are becoming scarcer. In the fall of 2000 wheat was trading at $2.55 a bushel. This spring wheat was nearing $20 a bushel. We still feed a lot of the world so when stories like this pop up about the number five producer of grains in the world being taken over by their government I can only assume that the costs of our foodstuffs will increase even more.

I’m really not Chicken Little but now might be a good time to lay in some of the wheat stores we have been putting off if only to save a few bucks. Besides that, homemade bread is so much better!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blog Sloth



I'm a little out of order, chronologically speaking, with this post. These pictures of the crib building were actually taken before I left town for Swing Vote a couple of weeks ago. And there has been more progress since these pictures, I just don't have pictures of it yet...











Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dad's Toy Shop

Paradise in Missouri? Doubt it but the Grizzly Store in Springfield does mean there is one redeeming feature to the place.



Our flight out of Springfield to Chicago was delayed an hour and a half so we landed just as our connecting flight to Washington, DC was taking wing. Three extra hours added in Chicago saw us landing at Dulles about 10:30pm last night.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dueling Banjos, Anyone?

Ok, I'm not one to get creeped out easily but....


We arrived in Springfield at 10:00pm last night. Of course all the eating establishments in town closed at 9:30... Except the Kum & Go.. I kid you not.... Mmmm.. Pizza and Beef Jerky are mighty tasty in the middle of the night.


So Girls... Given that we have had long discussions on the topic, you had better go online and vote...



It seemed so wrong to walk into this place without Grandpa Smith...



Oh, and how did I get here?


It's a long story...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dew Rag


Yeah, that's me in the the Dew Rag. It's been hotter than blue blazes in the woodshop lately so production sorta slowed down. However, this is the last of the raw wood sanding and either tonight or tomorrow the sealer and stain go on!!


Opps... I was just summoned by Miqui. "Uh, Dad... Mom needs you...."


One entire wall of clothes rod seems to have pulled right out of the wall.. Hummmm.... Off to Home Depot we go....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Fun








I’m back in Washington DC again this week. I was here for a fast trip last week to check out the new theatre at the Newseum for a Wall-E screening. As with most new facilities there were a few issues but on the whole the systems checked out okay. I guess that should have been my warning for thing to come…

Everything was peachy at the start. Like a rocket to the moon, it was over much too soon. I had thought of taking an earlier flight but decided against it because I couldn’t do anything in DC until after 9pm. Good thing as the VP on this show was on that flight and it was delayed with mechanical problems. The 7am flight left L.A. at 5pm. We had a lovely tailwind and appeared to be arriving about 20 minutes early. Then I heard ATC call “United 966 report when ready to copy holding instructions”. Uh Oh. “Enter the CVG eastbound 135 radial and fly 15 mile legs. We’ll have further instructions at 21:30:00, time now 21:08:30. Here we go. Funny thing about Cincinnati; it doesn’t look much better from 36,000 feet covered with clouds than it does from the ground and I had an hour to study it as we flew the racetrack. But we made it into IAD about 70 minutes late.

We could not get access to the auditorium until 9:30-ish as another program was running that night so it wasn’t a huge problem. In fact we had time to grab dinner at the Capitol Grille before the other show ended anyway. That’s when things really went to Hell in a Handbasket. Once I started running Wall-E we noticed some very strange artifacting in the image. I tried a few tricks of the trade without any measurable success so I decided to switch over and use the museums Number One machine. I had originally decided to use the Number Two as it was closer to screen centerline. Because the content is encrypted switching to the other projector required considerably more work than moving a couple of video cables. That solved our problem with the picture but now we had a monster ground-loop in the sound. Oh, and all this has to be undone and restored to “normal” so the museums regular show would play during the day and then be reset again prior to our screening. All in all it was after 2am when we finished for the day.

On show day we again could not get in until 5pm for a 7pm show. Paul Capuano from Dolby Labs and I spent about four hours walking the Mall. I got a few pictures and a neat sunburn…





I even found my cousin on the Vietnam Memorial. That's a pretty sobering monument. There is just a different feeling there than at the WWII or Korea Memorials. Let us never forget those who gave us the freedom to blog and say whatever comes to mind....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day in the Outhouse

I have had much to muse about today.

It started with reading a posting on another blog, something about her knowing that she could and would love a child that did not have a common biology. The big worry was if the child would bond to her.

Eight years ago today I was called "Dad" for the first time. When Yannette spoke in Sacrament meeting that day and said "Kent Peterson is not my Father, but he is my Dad", it was about the last thing I ever expected to hear. It was the last time any of the girls called me Kent. There have been moments when my own insecurities over the last eight years have caused me to wonder, needlessly, if the girls have bonded to me. Then days like today come along. A video posted in blog-space removed any thoughts that my girls are just that; My Girls. I guess that's why I have such a hard time letting go of them.....

So, thank you, Yannette, Erica, Jessica, Moraya and Miquela for letting me be "The Man I Always Wanted To Be".
Love, Dad

And a very special Thank You to Tami, for being the center of it all and making everthing possible.
I Love You and Thank You, Me

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Production Mode!



Not that I am responding to any implied pressure but today saw great leaps in the crib business. All the parts for the sides are now dimensioned and mostly sanded. Funny thing about sanding, it's such a mindless task that you can work on all sorts of mental gymnastics while doing it. For instance, I figured it takes about three minutes to sand the four faces of each slat. There are thirty slats so that's ninty minutes. Each slat needs three passes, so that 4 1/2 hours just in sanding. Not to complain just explain. There is nothing I'd rather do than spend the day creating something that will, hopefully, be enjoyed and used long after I'm gone.
Would it have been easier to go buy one made in China at Costco? Absolutely. Would it have the the underlying expression of love as my way of welcoming Little Miss into this family? I don't think so....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy 80th







It was my Mother's 80th Birthday yesterday so all three of the kids got together for the party.













That might have been a mistake but what the hey.....




















At least the were a few good laughs......
















Tami made a quilt for Mom..













It was 10 years ago when I was in Salt Lake for her 70th that I ran into Scott and Tara that started the ball rolling which lead me to meeting Tami and the Girls... Maybe birthdays aren't all bad after all.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent...



There is a lot of truth in that silly phrase. It has been cold and drizzly for the last two days here in the Bay City. Tipping 24 feet of gear when it's wet is a game for young men and I'm really getting too old old for this nonsense but that is what God created stagehands for.
I made Mike walk from the Bart station at Powell and Market to the top of Nob Hill where we are staying at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. He's still not speaking to me. Not only am I getting older but I seem to be slightly out of shape. Today is show day, the wrap party for Wall-E then I get to go home tomorrow after we load everything at in the morning. It will be good to be home.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Narnia-ed Out


Slowly losing my mind.. Can't take much more.. Only 20 minutes left.. Hopefully this is the last time I have to sit through Prince Caspian...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Guess I'll never grow up.



Some of the fondest memories from my childhood involve trains. Those memories include the model trains my Dad had, the layout my Brother had under the pool table downstairs and the model layout(s) I had. My Dad took lots of pictures of trains both before I arrived on the scene and many with me posed in front of them. Taking pictures of them comes pretty naturally. Then there were the train rides to Los Angeles with my Grandparents. I guess there is some deep-seated fascination with trains in me. So I drove out to Golden Colorado and spent a couple of hours prowling around the old trains.





Just like riding a bike. One hand on the Johnson bar the other hanging on for dear life..



I may be getting older but I doubt I'll ever grow up....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Gotta Blog More...



There was a comment that I should blog more often. While I have no doubt that is true, I plead lack of internet connectivity as the reason.

I left Los Angeles on Friday morning; Miqui drove me to the airport so there would be another car at home while I am gone, and flew to Chicago. By the time I checked in with the theatre, into the hotel and had dinner I called it a night. No blogging…

Saturday I was at the theatre bright and early to check out the equipment, build the print and rehearse the movie. Given a comedy of errors, I finished the run through at 2:30 for a 3:00 screening. This tour is for “Prince Caspian” and it’s a two and a half hour movie so by the time I had the print torn dawn and back in the cans it was 6:30. There was just enough time for dinner and bed, as I was leaving for New York in the morning. Again, no blogging.

I figured if I left the hotel at eight and caught the train to O’Hare, I’d arrive about two hours before my flight. I should have taken the rain as an omen. And not a good one… Fortunately, my Sweet Wife suggested I inquire about the train schedules as it was Mother’s Day. Turned out that CTA was doing track maintenance that day so there would be at least half and hour delays. Screw it. I’ll take a cab, thank you. Now I was checked in more than two hours early, no problem, I’ll grab some breakfast. As I was finishing my Chili’s Breakfast Taco’s, my phone rang. Who would be calling me this early? “This is United Airlines with an automated update. Flight 642 to Newark has been cancelled. Thanks for flying the friendly skies”. Swell. Not only was my flight cancelled but so was the one after that. Great. After doing the O.J. sprint, twice, through the airport, I arrived at gate C19 where the 9:00am departure to Newark was still at the gate. Could I get so lucky? I doubt it, but it’s worth a shot. When I told the gate agent that the next two flights were cancelled, he said, “Oh, really… You want to jump on this one, I have six seats left”.
“Sure”, I said.
“You check any baggage”?
“Yeah”
“Hopefully, we’ll get it to you sometime”.
So now I’m on a 9:00am flight that didn’t leave until 10:15. That’s a whole different story. It was almost 1 o’clock by the time I got to the hotel. I walked to B&H camera , had dinner at Don Giovanni’s and figured it was bedtime. My bags arrived caught up with me around noon today.

A sad excuse for not blogging? Probably. But it’s the best I can come up with on short notice. We’re about to start our 7pm show in New York than it’s back to the hotel and bed. I leave for Denver in the morning…

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Well, today didn't exactly turn out the way I had planned it. Today was going to be big production in Little Misses crib. I just needed one quick trip to Home Depot to pick up some material to finish Erica's room then the rest of the day was to be spent making sawdust in the shop. Things were going according to plan until I went to straighten up and heard/felt a rather sickening "pop" in my back. The kind that leaves you barely able to breath. That sort of gummed up my plans for the rest of the day. Being fairly well medicated, it was pointed out to me that I had no business around sharp tools, powered or otherwise. So in looking at some old photographs of a time when I was more flexible, I found a remarkable similarity and forty years seemed to slip away...
Hawaii, 2008

Long Beach, 1969

Guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks after all......


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tag.....

It would seem that because of my lack of blog-ness, I've been tagged.....

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here we go, jump starting my blog...

1. I love baking and eating bread.
2. The only thing better than my four Daughters is thier Mother...
3. I fought the good fight against iPods. I lost and so have embraced the stupid things.
4. I'm the youngest of thirteen Grandchildren.
5. I have flown over half a million miles.
6. My only regret is not meeting my wife sooner.
7. According to my wife, I'm the Greatest Lover in the Universe.....

Tag. You're it....Nothing was said about "tag-backs".. Yannette, Jessica and Tami.
Okay, so I don't know more than three people with blogs......

A sawing we will go......



It's all starting to come together and it even looks like a crib. During the last week the top caps were installed:




And despite the puzzled look it's coming together rather nicely..

Just think how much I could have done if I had not spent all day Saturday baking....