Archives 'Fun'

9 December
Chris Arends

Tonight my sons and I went and picked out our Christmas tree.  Despite that fact that they are 11 and 13 they didn’t mind that we walked down to the neighborhood nursery to pick out the tree. 

They happily looked through the selection of trees and easily decided on a tree.  After my evaluation of their choice we purchased the tree and as is our tradition proceeded to carry it home.   At this point they both eagerly grabbed an end of the tree and started for home.   I expected at some point one of them would get tired or just be annoyed that I wasn’t helping.  To my surprise they happily, almost joyfully carried it all the way home.  Now it is only about 5 blocks but it seems a  lot longer when you are carrying a 7 ft tall tree.  Yet they both could have gone on for miles.

After we got home they each helped in getting the tree up. Nick going into the attic to get the stand and ornaments and Robert setting up the tree stand.

Now I am sure to most of you that sounds great.  And to some extent it is to me as well.  Then I stood back and thought of the first time we did this, when they could barely stand the walk back and forth. Now here they are easily carrying the tree.  It is just one more reminder to me of how fast they are growing up and how I need to savor these moments.   In 5 or 6 years they may not be home for this part of Christmas, returning just in time to ask for the keys and gas money so they can see their friends.

This morning I was thinking how I wasn’t in the Christmas mood and how I needed to do something to help the boys slow down and remember the spirit of Christmas and here I am 12 hours later with thoughts of Christmas’ past, present and future going through my head.   Now all I need is for it to snow.

30 November
Chris Arends

Over the Thanksgiving holiday my parents came down from Minnesota. Growing up in Iowa we always had Anderson Erickson Dairy products. This time of year was especially anticipated as they make their Egg Nog.egg nog

I don’t know if this is really good egg nog or just that it brings back childhood memories of Christmas but it is held up as the best egg nog myself of my brothers have ever had.

Now my parents knowing that we all love this egg nog told me they were going to bring some down. I thought, great and forgot about it until they arrived with 5 quarts. Now you might say that was nice of them except that I am the only one in my house who likes egg nog and the expiration date is December 8th.

It 250 calories in a half cup serving that is an extra 10,000 calories.  I don’t want to do the math on how many hours of cycling I am going to have to do to burn that off. T And I am sure it will be of no benefit to my cholesterol numbers either.

So as I sit here with my third glass of the day, I say thanks Mom and Dad for the egg nog.

14 March
Chris Arends

Get out of the way!!!

I was out on a ride this weekend when the weather was beautiful.  As it was a nice spring day it was one of those days where you want to go as fast as you can.  The bad thing is when the weather is nice everyone is riding around the lake. On one long stretch of road it is normal for cars to have to slow down for cyclists. This is good for safety but annoying if you are a faster rider. Yesterday though I found a bright side.

Being early in the season my legs can take the distance but probably aren’t really ready for 3 hard laps. These slower riders yesterday served a purpose. Because cars are thankfully cautious when passing these slower riders,  they made me slow down when I would have hammered all the way and been totally burned early in my ride. Them making me slow down was better for my ride as it let me recover to ride hard when I had clear road and go harder longer.

Why are you stopping?

As I was finishing up my third lap of the lake, I was coming up a short but steep hill. In front of me was a an older driver. She drove slowly up the hill. Her speed was okay as I was at the end of my ride and not really going to blow by her anyway.   As she came to an intersection where she didn’t have to stop, she did anyway.  Admittedly I was initially a bit annoyed as I had started cramping up the hill and didn’t  want to have to stop. Another rider coming up the hill yelled at her to get moving.  Then I thought about others who may be on the road with her in front of her.  If she didn’t stop what would happen to them.  So if I was inconvenienced for just a second and it saved someone later because she stops that is okay.

Never Mind

The next week I was once again out on a beautiful day. I came up behind a convertible with the top down.  As I got closer I had to slow down again as the drive either didn’t know where they were going or was unconcerned about other people on the road.  At first I flashed back to my previous ride and thought of the benefits of letting people go slow. As I got closer and realized it was a larger, older man, in a Miata with his shirt off with a hairy back. I have since changed my tune. Get out of the way or at least put a shirt on.

Enjoy the spring.

9 March
Chris Arends

Following the days of the week is just one value of Facebook posts. I have  found another one. TV listings.

By watching your Facebook posts you can see what nights TV shows are on. I now don’t need to look up shows in the guide.  Just check Facebook and either the Fan page ( if I like the show) or my friends will tell me how excited they are for the next episode.You can also find out who everyone likes or hates on Survior, American Idol or what ever reality show you are into.

Not to be out done the fans of Glee, 24, Lost and others will let you know when their show is on.  The funny thing is you can find out some things about people you would have never guessed.  For example the captain of my high school wrestling team is a fan of Desperate Housewives.  Who knew?

One thing to watch out for though is if you are watching the show you can’t post about the show or your friends who are recording it or are in a later time zone will hate you for giving up the ending, especially if it is reality TV or a season finale.

Nielsen ratings has no need to spend time on all those expensive surveys and equipment to monitor viewership. They  just need to monitor Facebook.  Looking at the demographics, these are the people that advertisers want and they are willing to participate in any number of surveys and games to let them know how much they watch and who they like or hate.

So now that it I am done with my post for today it is time to see what’s on.

8 March
Chris Arends

Well its Monday morning. Time to check Facebook and see what all my friends did this weekend and how much they hate Monday.

Facebook is a wonderful thing in that it lets people connect and share what is going on in their lives. The funny thing is that you can know what day of the week it is by the type of posts on Facebook, for example.
-Monday – Great weekend, weekend too short, I hate Mondays,
– Tuesday – Is it Friday yet? Crazy week, how did I get so behind this early in the week.
-Wednesday – Is it Friday yet?, Its only Wednesday, How am I going to survive this week?, I am in conference call/meeting hell
– Thursday – Is it Friday yet?, its almost the weekend, One more day till vacation/holiday/Friday or looking forward to girls night out.
-Friday – TGIF!!, looking forward to busy/relaxing/kids gone/kids home/sporting event/concert
-Saturday Morning – Got up way to early to get kids to sports/work in the yard or relaxing with paper and coffee
-Saturday night – exhausted from working in the yard/kids sports, way to go “name of child here” on great game/competition, date night with significant other, spouse or headed out to party.
– Sunday morning – over slept late for church, that was a great concert/game/date, relaxing with Sunday paper and coffee
– Sunday afternoon – Ready for big game!!, Go “insert favorite team here”,
-Sunday night – What a great weekend, is the weekend over already, Do I have to go to work tomorrow? What happened to my weekend?, the alarm clock is going to go off way too early tomorrow, getting on a plane again.

Have a great week. Don’t worry, the weekend will be here in 5 days.

26 February
Chris Arends

If you have noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately, things have been moving and shaking around here. Here are some updates.

I have been interviewing quite a bit lately so the interviews, prepping, following up, looking for new leads have been taking a lot of time. All good things. No home run yet so if you know of any one who needs marketing or channel management help send them my way.

There has also been a lot of fun stuff going on.  Finishing up Cub Scouts and crossing over my Den of 10 Webelos – 9 with the Arrow of Light. Enjoying the big snow storm we had in Dallas.  See my last post for how I spend those days. And finally the Olympics. Every four years you have to see the maniacs do half pipe, aerials, luge bobsled and all the other crazy speed events. Throw in a little figure skating for some culture and you have the winter olympics. Fortuneately they will be over this weekend so I can get some work done and get some sleep.

In other news, I am working on a new home and some expansion on More than Half Full.  I am not ready to spill the beans yet so stay tuned for some fun stuff.

Look for me to be more regular with my postings and trying some new ideas.

Have a great weekend.

15 February
Chris Arends

When you live in Dallas and you wake up to 2 inches of snow and more is on the way, things start to shut down. Since my phone interview had been canceled, I had nothing I had to do so I decided to take a snow day.  A day to do things that I truly love but never make enough time for was what this day was all about.

My snow day started with two hours of taking photographs.  I explored an area that I had been dozens of times but never ventured off the path.  Today, I took the path not traveled. What I ended up with can be seen here. Snow Day photos Being in Dallas yet not seeing anything that resembles one of the largest cities in America was amazing.  I felt as if I was back in Iowa for the first snow of the year. The large flakes, the silence of being in nature and the beauty of fresh snow.

After getting lunch and drying off, I went to pick up my kids from school.  Another Dad and I carefully set up an ambush for the kids as they got out of school for a three day weekend.  What followed was a 20 minute melee where everyone was covered with snow and exhausted from throwing and dodging flying snow. The joy of the kids being free to be kids in weather that they almost never see was inspiring. The amazing thing was that the snow was falling as hard as ever.

That night we had some small power outages as the trees started to feel the strain of the beauty that was piling on them and they came down taking power lines with them.  Fortunately we had power all night.  With me setting my alarm for a pre-dawn wake up call to capture the snow after it stopped. As we went to sleep we could see the brightness of the city lights reflecting off the clouds and snow making a strange glow everywhere.

As I drove around making photographs I had to avoid trees and branches that had fallen overnight.  Making sure to pay attention to the stop lights that were out. This really wasn’t a big problem as few people were out before daylight. Each time I set up my tripod I was amazed at how much snow we had.  I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen this much snow. Since there was no wind as the snow came down there were no drifts and the snow was a smooth layer of white icing on the world.

As I was revelling in the beauty of what seemed like a foreign land,  the silence was occasionally broken by the sad sound of branched straining and breaking under the weight of the snow. Just as anyone who was with out power for more than a short time can attest, beauty can have a price.

After almost three hours of photographing the winter wonderland, my wife called and the power had gone out.  Not that there was much I could do but I had the only camera that was charged so she has no way to capture the kids frolicking in the almost foot of snow.  When I got home I found kids, dogs and adults playing in the snow along with a new snow man my wife had built.

The rest of the day was spent wondering when the power would come back on and trying to dry clothes by the gas fireplace. When the power did finally come back on here is what I found I had created earlier that day. Wonderful memories of a snow day.

The reason that this is a no job joy is that I had no where to be, nothing I HAD to do and was able to enjoy the snow day as if I were a kid again and create something I can share with others in my photographs.