Friday, November 30, 2007

Let it Go, Because Man, it's Gone

Heather, Beren, and I got some hot chocolate at Borders yesterday. It's really fantastic hot chocolate, by the way, with syrup, whipped cream, white chocolate shavings and even a handy solid chocolate stirring stick. That's actually the source of this little story.

Beren, bless him, accidentilly dropped his stir stick down into the cup. When I explained to him that this was not a recoverable situation, the poor little guy cried the cry of 1000 deaths. He was really bummed, I mean REALLY upset about the loss of his little chocolate stir stick. Heather and I had absolutely no idea how very important that stir stick was to him until this moment when he let loose the most pathetic, genuine sob of remorse I think I've ever heard out of him. Our reaction, of course, was to laugh because... what else are you gonna do? We were caught so off guard. Poor guy. We eventually got him calmed down, you know, laid on with the "It will be OK, it will probably melt and make a yummy spot at the bottom" type of arguments, but it really shook him up. Maybe some day he can read this blog, look back on this, and laugh a little.

I yearn for a time where life will become so simple again, where priorities are so black and white, and there is nothing more important to worry about than the state of my solid chocolate stir stick.

As I think back, it reminds me of one of those SNL Jack Handy quotes:

“If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they're gone.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Got Costume Party?

Michelle "Paris" Linton (with child) and her insecurity guard (Freeman)
Conrad and Lisa "giddyup" James

A man and his pregnant cat. Don't cover up the prego! Embrace the prego! (Elana and Nathan Nordstrom)

Brian "the climber" Bowlsby and his Punkin' (you see what I did here with the double entendre?)
PS - Pregnant, the third (with twins!)

Uncle Scott, the sage.... that cloak looks familiar... and that staff... all very familiar...

She's smiling cause she just whacked him in the head. He's smiling cause he thinks he's a dolphin now. (Dave and Becky Brallier)

Eric, the brigand and her majesty, the queen of 21658 SE Oak.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Christmas Wishlists

Because some of you have asked . . .here are the items on our santa lists this year:
(used items are okay)

- A race track set that allows him to race two cars against each other. This could be circular or straight, loops and underpasses welcome, but not required.
- A clip-on tie and white shirt for church (probably size 6) He wants a tie like Daddy. His favorite color is green, but any color is fine.
- Thomas the train: Quarry mine tunnel, load and sort recycling center, or Sodor engine wash building.
- Kidizoom Camera from V-tech (This is expensive($60), or other knock-off brand kids' camera for less. We saw several at Toys-R-Us.
- Any kind of metal car where the doors and trunk and (dare we hope it?) the hood open. Beren loves to "fiddle" with these things and the more detailed the better.
- Any kind of "city" play set that has road signs (yield, stop, merge) and safety cones etc. He really likes setting these up himself and maneuvering traffic around them.

- Cuisinart (knock-off brand okay, just something that is large and lets me chop, dice, slice, grate etc.)
- Raquetball and tennisball pressurized storage cans (keeps balls from going flat)
- Covers for raquetball and tennis raquets
- Long sports duffle for transporting raquetball and tennis gear
- Gift card for "Napster" or simlar website that allows me to download MP3's to my fake I-pod. NOT I-tunes! They won't work on my fake-pod.
- Cherry wood curio cabinet with glass front door. (see example pic) I want to mount this on my wall and change the knick-knacks inside to go with the seasons. I think it will be fun to create a new display every couple of months and to select little miniatures that I like. One with a variety of shelf sizes would be good. That way I can get different sized figurines.

- Please see Eric's wish list on Board Game geek to know what he most desires. He LOVES games. He does not care if that is all he gets for Christmas. Really. Most games can be obtained at "" or "" or "" They also do gift certificates. Here is the link to his Board Game Geek wishlist: click here
- Note from Eric: I'm really just thrilled to recieve anything at all for Christmas. *blush*

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Berenisms (He's on a Roll)

Last night Beren says "Mommy, I love you. I wish I had a whole lot of mommies." Heather wasn't sure if she should be flattered or insulted.

Monday, September 3, 2007


With the 'dangerous' bees incident behind us, we did what any self-respecting parents would do in this situation,... we decided to tease Beren about wild amimals (that's his world for Animals).

Beren: What are some wild amimals, Dad?
Me: Well,... there are bunnies....
Beren: No, you silly! Bunnies are NOT dangerous!
Me: Oh,... well,... let's see... there are chipmunks...
Beren: Yeah, chipmunks!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Berenisms Chapter V

(While watching an animal cartoon on TV with Dad)
Beren: Caterpillars don't really talk do they?
Dad: Nope. Animals don't talk; it's only pretend.
Beren: Dogs talk though.
Dad: They do?
Beren: Yeah, they bark.
Dad: Well yeah, but that's not really talking. They don't speak English like we do.
Beren: They speak "Barkish."

(Eating breakfast with Grandma Blanchard before going to the Oregon State Fair)
Grandma: Are you excited about seeing the animals?
Beren: What?! There aren't any animals at the fair!
Grandma: Sure there are! Cows, chickens, goats, horses . . .
Beren: Oh, farm animals. But not any dangerous animals, right? Like bees?

(Following a conversation where I had explained that our friend's mom had passed away and what all that meant. Beren approached the kitchen table 10 minute later with this concern)
Beren: Mom?
Mom: Yes?
Beren: Did she die because someone forgot to say "bless you" when she sneezed?
Mom: Uhhhh . . . no. It was a little more serious than that. You know, Beren, when I said that it's polite to say "bless you" after someone sneezes, I didn't
mean . . .

(Beren's preschool class is taking a bird watching walk. Beren is at the front of the line)
Child #1: Look at that crow!
(all children point their mini-binoculars skyward)
Child #2: Look, teacher, I found a feather!
(I collect feather for our art project)
Beren: Mom! Quick! Bring the kids. This is very unusual.
(Children gather around an automobile parked on the curb)
Beren: This car is a Toyota . . . but its hubcaps say Volkswagen!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Laziest Cat Eh-var!

So the other day while Eric and I were watching TV in the living room, Darth Kittius, who was lounging on the back of the couch, stood up, stretched, and tried to leave. He couldn't, however, because one of the claws on his front paw wouldn't unhook itself from where he had penetrated the upholstery. He pulled on it, he shook it, he wiggled it to and fro. In the end, he laid back down and went to sleep. Pitiful.

Cruise Irene Visits Oregon

So we finally had a visit from another cruise member besides our beloved Brian and Windy. Irene, (on right)who was doing a bike tour on the Oregon coast, stopped by to say "hello" a couple of weeks ago. She brought a charming friend, and we enjoyed catching up and playing, you guessed it . . . board games! We liked our dining table mates from our cruise last year so much that we'd like to have them all visit at some point. So far we've only managed three. Six more to go!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Some Games Bring Out The Worst

I just played my second game of Taj Mahal yesterday with my friends Sam and Dave. I must say, that game brings out the worst in me. I guess the good news is that the worst isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. But still, I just felt myself getting really angry and... we... call me crazy but that does NOT enhance the game experience for me (or anyone else).

There is this mechanic, it's basically an auction, where you're bidding on stuff. The problem is that if you bid, you pay, whether you win or not. This leads to the inevitable bidding war, followed by at least one person going home with nothing and having payed great cost for the privilege. Some people would call this 'intensity', but for me it's just complete and total frustration. The kind of frustration that makes me cranky... angry even. Thinking back, I think this sort of thing is a key factor in games that really tick me off. Not all games are this frustrating for me. Certainly, playing hard, making what you think are good choices, but then getting clobbered in a game will cause a certain amount of frustration, but not the kind that makes you want to hunt down the designer and surprise him in a dark alley.

I'm glad I've at least pinned down one of the mechanics that really sets me off. I'll have to think long and hard about a game with all or nothing auctions (where everybody pays) as one of the main mechanics.

I guess another known mechanic is direct combat. I don't like being attacked in a game. Even if it was a good tactical move for my opponent, I can't help but take it a little personally. This usually ends up in making retaliatory moves for the sake of revenge, rather than maximizing my score or potential for winning the game.

I should make a list of these. Then if somebody makes a game with everything on the list, I can skip out on playing and go straight to waiting around in dark alleys. At least then I'd have friends left, willing to visit me in the big house.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cool friend Windy solves "zazzy" mystery


Heather! Great to hear from ya.

Here’s the scoop on Zazzy, it’s slang. See

1. zazzy: A basic cross between "zany", "pizazz" and "snazzy" to create an adjective suggesting that something is too great to be confined to one word.

"Did you hear about that trip to Holland? Everyone's coming back saying it was completely zazzy!"

tags: snazzy jazzy zany crazy funky

2. zazzy: something shiny or flashy.

That's some zazzy silver you got there.
Forget bling, I got zazzy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Girls camp was da bomb!

They cooked all my meals. They let me make crafts and canoe on the lake. I hiked, I swam, I quilted, I ate snow cones. What's not to love? 'Course I also taught and watched over the well-being of seven 12 year olds, but that was fun too! Lovely girls :). My partner adult leader was great and we had two awesome junior counselors to help us out. I also discovered a new campfire dessert . . . chocolate eclairs. This consisted of toasting biscuit dough shaped around a wooden 3/4' dowel and then filling it with mini-chocolate chips (these melt quickly in the hot dough) and pastry cream like the kind they put in bismarks. Goo-ooo-ood! My camp talent was writing songs and chants for flag time. We had to come up with two of these a day so it was a handy skill. I usually wrote them during the morning devotional (while also paying very strict attention to the the speaker's message.) Late morning is a sleepy time for me so it was good to keep my hands moving. Nobody expected us to come up with much, just being 1st years and all, but we rocked their world. It was a lot of work getting ready for camp, but in the end it was totally worth it. I have lots of ideas for next year. Yes, I AM going every year that they'll let me! Wouldn't you? besides, I never did figure out what "Zazzy" means. New root idea: "Jazzy?"

The Pumpkin Vine That Ate The Bulldozer

Beren ran in from the yard a couple of weeks ago calling, "Mom! Come here! Something strange is happening!" I went outside to where where Beren was indignantly holding up a pumpkin leaf in the garden. "It's eating my toy!" he complained. Sure enough, it was. I'm pretty sure if we had got to it even one week later, it would have been a goner. The tendrils were complete wrapped around it in 3 places. This spawned a nice little discussion about the scientific method though and we ended up creating a hypothesis about viney plants and performed an experiment with the cucumber vine. Grandpa Blanchard (the science teacher) was proud.

Pirate Party

So this is Beren and I before the pirate rock concert at the library. I know . . . "Hot!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blanchard Family Camping Trip

You'll notice that Beren is holding the leash of the "fatted dog" that will be served later on for the dinner meal. It is a singular honor.

Nature Twins!

This is how Beren traveled for most of the camping trip. He found Uncle Reid to be energy efficient and to offer stunning views.

Don't be fooled by the fact that Adam and his girl friend, Ashley, are standing upright. These people are still asleep.

Reid and Melissa Cooked ribs for us on their dinner night. Mmmmmmm . . .

Matt and Theona thrilled us all with their stylish PJ's from the North Pole collection.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Zebra Booty

Soooo I'm going to Girl's Camp as a counselor next week. It is pretty much taking me an entire week to pack. I'm doing other things, but mostly they are just interruptions of the packing. Like today Beren and I went to a Pirate rock concert for kids. That was good times. I'll try to post some pictures later. We got all decked out like groupies. Pretty rad. The name of my unit at camp is "Zazzy Zebras." We actually picked this. (The camp theme is "Welcome to the Jungle." Actually though, I think zebras are more fond of the savannah. Anyway . . .) I don't think "zazzy" is even a word. I championed "Zesty," but the adolescents shot me down. "Zesty" is funny; like salad dressing or a beverage with a splash of lime. The thought of this adjective applied to striped, safari equine amuses me in ways I can't explain. It did not strike a similar chord with my charges. My goal at camp is to define "zazzy" once and for all. Root: pizazz? sassy? I'll probably have to conduct interviews. You may receive a phone call.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Dead Horse

Here is a picture I drew at work today and sent out as an attachment to an email. I was trying to drive a certain point home, if you get my drift, and I'm quite pleased with the results. That considering I spent a grand total of about 30 seconds on it. Still makin' me chuckle...

Friday, June 22, 2007


Some funny BGG images. I'm bummed that I couldn't find the geeklist that had most of the good ones.

Something Funny From Worth1000

If you haven't ever checked out Worth1000, you
should. They run daily photoshop contests in all kinds of different categories. They're not always funny, but the talent is always top notch.

Even in the serious categories, the submissions are brilliant.


Freshly killed antelopes are wonderful things.

This is from 'If Women Ruled'

Friday, June 8, 2007

Old Maid

We played the game of Old Maid with Beren for the first time yesterday. Can't say it's the best game I've ever played. It's 100% luck driven... well if you don't factor in cheating. I suppose there is maybe a minuscule amount of reading faces and 'knowing your competition', but still.

Anyway, what is my point?... Ah yes. Beren did a really good job. Usually he's horrible at any game that requires him to have information that only he is supposed to know... like... i dunno... hide and seek (Mr. "I'm over here" as soon as you walk into the room)... or... I Spy (Again "I spy something green... it's the Geo"). He didn't disappoint during the first game when he told us all he had the Old Maid card, but by game three he actually had it down. Not only did he not tell us that he had it, but he DREW it and kept a perfectly straight face. Well done, Beren.

More importantly than any of that, he's turning out to be a really good winner/loser. He lost twice yesterday and there was nothing but good times. I guess he got his mom's genes there... I'm just sayin'...

Monday, May 21, 2007


This question was posed by Beren during not only dinner, but dinner where we had guests present:

"Um... *chew chew*...Where is Darth Kittyous' ... *chew*... anus?"

I forget what we gave him as an answer, but I believe it was something like "That's not really a good question to ask during dinner, but wherever it is, based on his grooming habits, I'm sure it's very, very clean."

Monday, April 30, 2007


Haiku, The First:

I am filled with rage
Should I throw the screw driver?
Yes, what could go wrong?

Haiku, The Second:

Armoir overflows
Games come crashing down on me
Stupid, small armoir!

Haiku, The Third:

What goes through the mind
of my little four year old?
Escorts and Geos.

Vogon Poetry

I gaze and slurp at the willowing smashy
palpitating undone, wandering, running
like a smoking figgly, not frothy or smoot.
Alone, it dashes up the spindly spine of roont.
Don't frondle my scattertooth, I say.
I willen haven hopen it stay.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


After a 2 month break, I'm back on Dofus. It's this really cool little MMO I found. I say little because it's not like your typical Everquest II/World of Warcraft MMO. For starters, the graphics are 2D sprites, in an anime style. For seconds, the whole thing is in Flash. For thirds, the combat is turned based.

And yet, it's a really cool game. I like it because the aforementioned items keep most of the really super duper hard core MMO crazies away. Whats left are mostly casual players that enjoy playing an MMO, but don't necessarily want to team up with 39 other people for 12 hours at a time in order to get good loot. The largest group you'll ever need is 8 and most dungeons and critter hunts take no more than an hour or two... maybe 3 or 4, tops.

Add to that the fact that it's a French game, which means that there are people playing from all around the world. For the most part, this is a good thing. It's fun to meet people from all over. Every once and a while you'll have people speakin gibberish (IE some language other than English or German, for me) on the English servers, but not too much.

If you're interested, I'll post the link here. I'm on the Rosal server, one of the 3 English servers. In game, I'm Bahdunkadunk or Ghan-Buri-Ghan.


Beren: "I love you, Mom."
Heather: "I love you too, sweetie."
Beren: "I just really love you so much... I need to know... why did you and daddy get a Ford and a Geo?"
Heather: ... *boggle* ...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Hair Through The Ages

Thought it would be "interesting" to look at some of my hairstyles over the years.

As you can see, the beard comes and goes.

I like mid length to long hair.

"I'm your huckleberry." BTW, I only wore this for a week or two for fun. Sometimes when I shave my beard, I'll try out a funny one like this for a while because I can.

I'm pushing Taliban here. You can click on a picture to see it full size, BTW.

Geddy Lee. Well, I think he sports a soul patch now, but I'm close.

A little bit of snail wrestling.

Eric of Nazareth.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Yesterday I told Beren, in a rather stern voice, mind you, that I was out of patience with him. He jabbed his finger in desperation at me, like some sort of magic wand, and declared "You just got more!"

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Hurty Things

They hit our car.... again... for the 4th time. I have no proof of who done it. This is really getting old.

The passenger side front door hardly closes now. Weeeee! Now it's an adventure to ride over there.

Speaking of broken. Beren fell off a ladder at the play ground and broke his arm. As you can see in his... um... x-ray, this is what doctors and children alike refer to as 'hurty'.

At about 7:15 on Thursday night, we took him to the emergency room. They took a look and said "Yep, it's hurty. Only, we can't fix it. You need to go to the special hurty hospital that fixes hurty things."

I'm not sure why I'm surprised, seeing as how we hit no less than 3 hospitals when he was born. This is a pic of him after they put a splint on in the first hospital, then went home to not sleep for the night, then returned Friday afternoon to the special "we fix hurty things" hospital.

They had to put two pins in his arm, because of the type of break. It wasn't that the bone was shattered or anything, just that it's hard to keep this kind set without them.

This is his window. You can't ask for better than this. The ambulances come in, as you can see, right there. What you can't see, is that there is also a helo pad right there, about 10 yards to the left.

This is the limo ride out to the front door. I presume that is one of his nurses... or it could be some random lady with scrubs and stethoscope that wanders the children's ward of the hospital and poses for pictures with total strangers.

Our neighbors had a little treat for him when he got home. Look at that smile.

"Hey mom... my face is getting tired from this over the top smile... hurry up and take the picture!"