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Pumpkin Carving with the kids

We attempted to carve pumpkins with the kids. It went okay, the carving gear we got took some getting used to since it wasn't a simple knife but a motorized deal with a very dull blade. The funniest part is the kids did not want to help get the cuts out of the pumpkins. They didn't like getting their hands dirty. It was cute but a little disturbing. Kids should like making a mess. I think Melissa got some pictures so she'll probably post those at some point.

Landline is nickel and diming itself to death

Why does AT&T still charge for Caller ID? Do any cell phone companies charge for Caller ID? The landline companies could bundle in a bunch of features and it wouldn't cost them very much money. It would, however, gain them some desperately needed good will and customer retention. They also need to figure out there's a lot of people who don't want an $30 bill for a connection they don't use much. They really need to figure out that $10 from a customer is better than $0.

Of course, they could have decided that they cannot make enough money off of landlines to make it worth trying to compete. If that is the case than it makes sense. Just keep soaking people until you can shut the network down. The long lines will than be free for wireless back haul and business connections. Triple-play becomes just one way of easing the shutdown process.

Downstairs freezer died... few hundred in meat went with it... :(

We replaced our old upright freezer with a slightly newer upright freezer. It has died. We didn't realize it right away and we lost a a few hundred in meat. Gagging on the rotten meat smell while throwing out all that meat was adding insult to injury. :-(

One Birthday is good. Two is better.

Today was Henry's birthday at Grandma Gross'. It was a good time between the pizza, the presents, and the hickory nut raking. Okay, maybe the hickory nut raking wasn't as much fun. However, with four people raking it didn't taking long. Henry was a huge fun of his new toy garbage truck and he played with it for hours.

Henry's birthday party

We had Henry's birthday party today at Playworld. It was a pretty basic party with pizza, ice cream, cake, and a room to dump stuff while the kids played. We had a good number of people show up and everyone seemed to have fun. The kids certainly ran themselves ragged. One thing that I enjoyed was that Sammy found a girl to pal around with. I don't usually get to watch her play with anyone other than Henry.

Crack and Matt Scott a wonderful combination

Melissa decided to rake some leaves and found a bag of crack in our yard. Never occurred to me that I'd be typing that line. The cops figured that someone chucked it out the window because they thought they were being followed.

On a more positive note, Matt and I made the trek down to Kalamazoo for a computer club meeting. I have to say it was probably the first time I'd seen him in person for a couple years. We live in the same town but with Melissa working things just didn't work out. It was a lot of fun although I probably won't make it down to kzoo for a few more years. Hopefully, Matt and I will get a chance to hang out a little more often.

Melissa is moving from On Call to Part Time

Melissa is moving from On Call to Part Time. This means she'll have a guaranteed minimum number of ours. Unfortunately, they'll be all second shift. However, it is a step in the correct direction. We also learned that because of her time at as a pharmacy tech at the hospital she might avoid having to work quite so many holidays. She can still pick them up from others who do not want to work them but she shouldn't have to work them.

I'm still hoping she'll be able to get on third shift. She'd be home with the kids more and it seems like it'd be easier to get on than first shift. First shift is likely going to be a much longer wait. Regardless, full time is now one step closer.

Anniversary and the Pumpkin Path

Anniversary dinner was a new place in Byron Center called the Texas Traditions Hot Sauce Factory. It only had five or so tables but as the name suggests they're selling their jars of hot sauce in addition to the restaurant. The hot sauce was hot, however, it actually had flavor as well. It seems that there goal wasn't to try and blow you out of the water. A rare thing sometimes. The brisket sandwiches were good and if we ever get a chance to stop by again than I would like try the ribs. We than did some shopping at Target and Godwin Hardware. What an anniversary celebration huh? At least my mom was watching the kids.

After Melissa went to work I took the kids to the Pumpkin Path in Wyoming. Unfortunately, it turned out it was a mile long line that went past vendors handing stuff out. The kids ended up playing on the playground equipment instead. They had fun though and that is what matters.

The old freezer is finally gone.

It seems like it took over a month but we finally managed to get a newer (hopefully) freezer downstairs and the old one upstairs and out of our hair. It is now either my cousin Josh's problem or, if he refuses delivery, my brother's problem.

We also discovered that birds and squirrels are into spelunking. My brother's truck was parked at our house under a tree for a couple of days and now its got bird droppings and squirrel eaten acorn shells throughout the bed of the truck even thought it has a topper. The only way in was to climb up under the truck body and through a couple of small holes in the bed.

Honey, Pumpkins and a Hole in One

The morning started off with a simple project. We go to the Byron Center Farmer's market to pick up some honey for making mead. Eighteen pounds of honey later and I was all set and the kids were having fun. In the process we learned from Melissa's mom that Pumpkin Fest was going on in Zeeland. The five of us headed off and the kids had a blast at the petting zoo, getting faces painted, and wandering around the downtown.

The downside was a disastrous visit to Pizza Hut in Zeeland. Despite the festival going on they were woefully understaffed even if it had been a slow day. It wasn't slow, the place was packed. The main waitress was trying to cover about four times as many tables as she was qualified for. It took so long for them to get us our pizza that we ended up eating the appetizer and having them box up the pizza. The kids had completely lost any control and desperately needed some naps. We made it home with little further incident but it was a rough ending to what had been an otherwise good day.

On a totally unrelated note, Melissa's dad hit a hole in one the other day. He got the plaque and everything. This is actually his second.