Sunday, July 15, 2018

The weekend that was, 7/13/18

Boyd chasing waves on South Padre Island. 
I've got a photo from our week in South Padre here with this post, but instead of writing about vacation, I thought I'd write about the weekend that was...


I was in-between issues so I tried to get a bunch of "catch-up work" done... it made for a long week.

I barely left the house all week. I also got an ear infection. So I was in kind of a weird place all week.

The Amazin' Asian (Greg Nunn) texted me Friday afternoon to see if I was around and wanted to grab a beer. YES INDEEDY, I said... and I met him out Friday night.

It was great catching up with Greg. He took a big job with Walmart in Arkansas. It's not that far away, but I wonder how often I'll see him now that he's not in Derby. It was great to catch up.

What was going to be an "early night" ended up with me taking an Uber through the Burrito King drive-thru at 1:30 a.m.


Saturday morning I woke up with enough time to fire out a deluxe-o breakfast* for the family, then chill out for an hour or so before we headed to pick up my truck, then off to the theater.

I watched Serena Williams get thumped at Wimbledon (surprisingly, as I thought I was going to watch her make history... kinda like the night I thought I was going to watch Hillary make history... but with less of an impact on the world.) Then we loaded up and went to Rick's to retrieve my truck (thank you family, sorry for taking you out of the way.)

We dropped the truck off at the house and then were on our way to see SOLO. Boyd was sound asleep when they picked me up at the house. We drove for 20 minutes to get to Olathe Studio 28, then Boyd woke up and asked Evey... "Did I miss the movie?"

He thought he slept through everything. He was relieved to hear we had not yet arrived at the theater.

We did the dine-in theater, which was kind of fun. Kids got cheeseburgers, me and Adrianne got chicken fingers (random detail. Sorry, I've been drinking.)

The surprise of the weekend for me was how much I enjoyed SOLO. I thought it was really good, with a lot of twists, some great action and a few cool tributes to the original movies. Chewy was great, so was Solo. Great characters, cool sci-fi ideas. (How about the train heist? What a cool sci-fi twist to a cinematic classic!) (And the first meeting between Solo and Chewy? Way better than I expected.)

Here's my ranking of 2018 movies I've seen in the theaters so far:

5. Ant-Man & the Wasp
4. Jurassic World
3. Infinity War
The kids and I at the Action Figure Museum in Oklahoma,
on the way home from South Padre. The museum was bette
2. Incredibles 2
1. Solo

Yeah, I just ranked Solo # 1. And I stick to that. It was fun! It wasn't predictable (cough, cough, Incredibles 2). It wasn't depressing (INFINITY WAR!)

I still want to see the new Mission Impossible, the Clock in the Walls (or whatever), The Meg (if Boyd wants to see it) and that Bohemian Rhapsody movie, if it's out in 2018...

We came out of the theater and it was clear we missed a storm; the temperature had dropped 20 degrees and everything was wet. We drove home and talked about the movie... what we liked, characters we disliked, best scenes... it was fun! (This moment ranked # 1 for both Evey and I when we discussed at dinner tonight.)

Home, then chill. Adrianne cleaned Boyd's room, while he did his best to find ways not to help her. We wrapped the night up with me falling asleep on the couch while Boyd was watching Batman: The Animated Series**.

I had been struggling with that ear infection all week... Saturday night was the first good night of sleep I've had in a week. And wow, I needed it.


Sunday morning the family went to church while I hung out at the house.

(The story from church was that the Jones family sat in the front row of the pews and eye witnessed a little baby make a fool of himself and then, after the parents gave up on controlling him... he ras to the front of the church and dropped a load in his diaper for everyone.)

I recorded the World Cup final, to be watched at my convenience...

Brandy and Holden came over and Brandy gave me and Boyd haircuts while Holden and Evey hung out. Adrianne started working on Evey's room...

I watched the WC game, it was pretty good. A couple nice goals. We were rooting against Croatia, because Adrianne had a Croatian professor who was a jerk back at UT-PanAm. So I was on board with France, because F that guy.

Not much else to report beyond that. Evey's room might be clean by now, I don't know. I worked on re-alphabetizing my comics, which is good fun, and a total waste of time probably... but it's a good thing.

OH! I saw a jogger face-plant up the street. After about three minutes of watching the kid just lay there, I decided to be a good samaritan and drive up the road to see if he/she needed help. By the time I got there, the teenage jogger was moving again... and she decided, rightfully, it was better to limp home than trust the weirdo in a beat-up truck who asked if she was OK.

Kinda awkward. But I thought the kid might have really been hurt.

Well, that's my weekend report for 7/13/18. It was a good weekend. Low-key. Just the way we like it.

*The best breakfast I cook, in my opinion, is eggs over medium with breakfast potatoes, bacon and tortillas. It's also the messiest/most time consuming breakfast. I mean, I can scramble eggs in about 5 minutes... breakfast burritos are fun because they're so easy. But the Daddy Special # 1 is a mess to make... and only me and Boyd will eat it! (I make the girls a separate order of scrambled eggs so they can ruin their own breakfasts.)

** I used to watch Batman: The Animated Series after school everyday, in stereo surround. It was such a cool series at the time. I still remember the stereo system Mom and Dad had at the time -- it was a funky Aiwa stereo that did OK... and since I got home at 3:15 and they didn't get home until around 5-ish... I would listen to that cartoon LOUD! I hear that they're going to upgrade B:TAS to high-def soon. It needs it. Funny how bad the colors look with modern day TVs. But I think the animation and the stories still stand up today. So it's cool that my son wants to watch this series... he doesn't know it, but he's got a guy sitting right next to him who would watch the whole series in order if he wanted to....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Talkin' Tracks Season Two, Episode Three: Best Summer Music

Talkin' Tracks is back! This time with our pal Sean Lipford as the special guest star!

Monday, July 9, 2018

2018 South Padre trip: best moments

(Note from Seth: I wrote this last week, and I'm just now getting to posting it. Sorry for the long absence!)

We’re back from a weeklong vacation to South Padre Island. It was a nice trip, but it’s even nicer to be home…

We left last Saturday morning and drove to Austin (on the road from Eudora at 7:15 a.m., pulled into the Fairmount Hotel in downtown Austin at 7 p.m.) Then we returned Friday morning (left the beach at 8 a.m., arrived at Abasolo’s house at midnight… then left Saturday morning at 8 a.m., home by 11:30 a.m.)

I might go into some detail later on the vacation… but for now, here’s a recap of our lunch conversation here at the house, when I asked everyone to recall their “single favorite part of vacation.”

Adro: She refused to give one favorite, but instead three. They were 1) Watching the new Jurassic Park movie at the South Padre theater… 2) the dolphin watch, particularly when two dolphins chased the boat… 3) sitting in the water on the beach.

Evey: Her favorite moment was when we were at South Padre Island Brewery together for lunch on Wednesday… it was a return trip, and we re-ordered the good food from the day before. It’s possible I was a little, uh, fun-lovin’ at the time, as I started my day at the Kraken to watch the Mexico/Sweden World Cup game, and I was yelling at Boyd about eating all the cheese curds that we ordered.

Boyd: Interestingly, Boyd’s favorite moment also came at South Padre Island Brewery… the same lunch, when we ordered a bunch of, what he calls, “cheese turds.” The day before was the first time him, Evey and Mom ever tried cheese curds… Boyd was a BIG FAN and wanted to eat a thousand of them.

Seth (me): I thought everyone’s top moment would be the same, but clearly the South Padre Island Brewery had a more profound effect on the kids than I thought it would… my favorite moment was when we chartered a boat and took a “dolphin watch” tour that Adrianne arranged… two dolphins playfully chased our boat, and even shot water out at us and slapped the water with their tails. The dolphins — big ass dolphins —  were damn near within arm’s reach.

The joke I made to a co-worker was that if I knew the kids enjoyed breweries so much, I could have saved a lot of gas and hit one a lot closer to Eudora! But it was pretty sweet, I think Evey enjoyed it so much because it was our family together... and Boyd thought those "cheese turds" were really funny, and really tasty.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Incredibles II week!

We are so excited to be heading out to see the Incredibles II this weekend! We bought about 100 movie-themed juice boxes to celebrate.

Somehow Dad's cold Dos Equis amber snuck into this photo too...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sheer terror!

Well, that's the look I was going for, at least...

Silly photo taken at Shawnee Mission Park, a few weekends ago.

Writing from the Irish Pub at Chicago Midway. I've been in central PA the last three days at a work meeting/retreat. Pretty good stuff. Company is doing great. My presentation was a home run, got a lot of compliments.

Hard to believe tomorrow is June 1. This year is going by fast.

Heading to Mulvane this weekend to celebrate Mike's 40th. When my kid brother turns 40, I guess that means I've gotten old. I'm taking him to one of the finest golf courses in America to celebrate... I think that's a fitting way to toast my best friend since 2nd grade.

I'll stop by Mom and Dad's graves to put some flowers out. First visit there in a while. I won't drive by our old house, no way.

I need to get a golf lesson in, FAST.

Also: if the Cavs win Gm 1 tonight, the boss is closing the office tomorrow.


Monday, May 28, 2018

Happy Memorial Day 2018!

Evey, Ava and Bella (I think Bella?) rocking the chalk art!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The leading scorer for the Blue Blazers!

Allow me to introduce to you the LEADNG SCORER for the K/Pre-K Blue Blazers...



OK, maybe I should qualify. The team went 0-6-1. So, being the leading scorer on a losing team is, well... 

He was the leading scorer, still, right???


OK. Fine. Full disclosure.

He had one goal. We scored three goals all season.

STILL! It was a good goal, and the first goal of the season. It was a corner-pocket rocket. 

We scored three goals all season, and Boyd scored the first. So he tied, three ways, for leading goal scorer.



Our team was crap this year. Not gonna lie.

I thought the team looked good early on. We had a couple big kids, we looked fast.

Then league play started. 

Oh, my, damn.

We got rolled in the first game. Second game too. We got rained out a lot. Those were our best games.

We scrimmaged a team mid-season and destroyed them. 

It was a scrimmage.

The best we did was a 1-1 tie. And we had three penalty kicks in that game. 

Regretfully, I gave the first PK to a kid who was "playing hard" and didn't give it to Boyd, even though he had the strongest leg on the team. Didn't want to show favoritism. 

I told Adrianne at halftime... if we got another PK, Boyd, "the Rifleman" in my book, was taking it. She didn't say anything. (We're both really sensitive to other players' feelings.)

Sure enough we got another PK. HERE WE GO, I thought. I lined Boyd up, told him to get it done.

He missed the sweet spot of the ball and the goalie made a save she couldn't help but to make... by standing still.

We got another PK. Gave it to the girl who drew it, who was a really good player last season.

She missed it wide. A sophomore slump all season. Thankfully, there was no drug testing in our league.

I don't know. That's possible, right? Flintstone Vitamin Downers?


S'all good. Season is over. I look forward to the next season. Boyd shows some promise, even though he's a little tentative. Definitely the strongest kid on this year's team.

My Evey Jones? She'll attend 6th grade next season. 

It occurs to me that... if she asked me to coach soccer, volleyball, whatever... I probably can't... because she's middle school now.

That's kinda sad for me. Maybe it'll make me appreciate the Saturday shellackings better.

But Evey is a 4.0 student. Creative, artistic, studious. 

It's all good if she doesn't need Coach Dad.

I'll be Cheerleader Dad.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The weekend that was, May 18-20

The Joneses take in a paddleboat ride at Shawnee Mission Park.
We had a great weekend here, hope you did too!

I arrived Friday night after a few days in Minneapolis. Hustled home from the airport and picked up the family at 7 p.m. and we ran out the door for CHINESE BUFFET! Boyd wanted it to celebrate the end of kindergarten, but now they're closed on Tuesdays so we missed them last time (this is like the opposite of Taco Tuesday... No-Chinese-Buffet-For-You-Tuesdays.)

It was amazing and we stuffed ourselves, because yeah, BUFFET!

I was pretty wiped out on Friday so as soon as I got home, I got cleaned up, watched the two-episode Modern Family wedding episodes and then zonked out.

Saturday morning the kids, Adro and Judy got up at 3 a.m. for some reason... oh yeah, the Royal Wedding of Harry and Megan. Turns out the festivities didn't start until 5 a.m., so everyone just kinda fell asleep in the living room waiting.

I got up at a normal time and whipped out a bad-ass breakfast (eggs over-medium, breakfast potatoes and bacon with toast.) Then we headed out to Christopher Lipford's graduation party at Shawnee Mission park.

I've never been to that park. Turns out it's awesome! They even had paddle boats for $10/half hour, so we jumped in one and paddled all the way across the lake. 

This was amazing... when we first walked out to the dock we saw a sick fish swimming sideways in the marina. Then we went to the car to get cash... on the walk back to the dock, 500 yards away, we saw a blue heron.

Adrianne says, "that fish needs to get better fast or that blue heron is going to get him!"

(You know where this is going, right?)

Then we're halfway across the lake and really close to said sick fish. It's like we alerted the blue heron to its presence. And he took off, and we're all like, "UH-OH!" and instead of a straight line, it made like a J-turn and NAILED the fish right in front of us. We all screamed/cheered at the horrific/fantastic sight. 

It really was pretty neat, how many times do you see that so close? Adrianne actually voted this her favorite moment of the weekend.

Then we came home and relaxed in the garage... got a few games of Uno going. I didn't win any. Oh, I also worked for a little bit, wrote Golfdom Gallery because we were going to press Monday morning. And we watched the storm blow through... a big shower, with a little hail. We all watched with the garage door open. This might have been my favorite moment of the weekend.

Sunday, the family went to church. It was perfect out, so I took the dog for a walk. Then I came home and wrote my column for the new issue (an essay on a longtime superintendent who will be retiring at the end of June... perfect for the June issue, eh?) I wrapped the column just in time for the family to come home, then we all went to Kash's birthday out at this beautiful home with two private ponds in Eudora.

It was raining but we still went out and fished. Boyd caught maybe 10, 12 fish. A couple big bluegill! I took photos and will share them later.

After Kash's b-day it was Virginia's b-day at Paisano's. Yup, I ate again. The Marco Polo, chicken fettucini alfredo with vegetables. Excellent!

And then Evey got sick at the table (she felt like she might throw up.) Ten minutes later, I got sick at the table (my stomach felt like it would EXPLODE.) We hustled home.

I got violently ill, then took a long shower, said a prayer to the stomach pain gods, then got my laptop and proofread copy until I fell asleep.

It was an awesome weekend, even with the rough ending. Let's do it again next weekend! (Minus the explosions.)

Friday, May 18, 2018

School’s out for summer!

That's a wrap on the 2017-2018 academic school year. It went by so fast!

Photo is Evey accepting her 5th grade certificate from her teacher, Mr. Stadalman.

Boyd will be a 1st grader and Evey enters 6th grade and middle school! Holy cow! I must be getting old.

Lervik asked me if I felt like I had a 6th grader... I said no, I feel like I have a 10th grader!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cousin Melissa visits

Hello blog! How have you been? Lonely, I'm sure.


Been on the road a ton lately. That's why I haven't been posting. I'm down an editor and I'm on the road every week. In the last three weeks I've been in D.C., Cincy and Philly. And I've got more cooking. I added a day trip to St. Louis today, and I've got Minneapolis on the horizon. 

It's all good, though. I knew busy times were coming, and we were kinda prepared. I shut down travel earlier this year while Judy was on the road, and now it's payback time, baby.

But vacation isn't too far away, either.


Photo is from a recent visit by Cousin Melissa. A pleasant surprise, always good to see Cousin.


The Cincy trip was for the annual TOCA awards ceremony.

How did it go? Well, it was a little bit of a butt-kicking. Only 7 awards. Last year we won almost twice that.

Ouch! But hey... it had to happen eventually.

Looking forward to comeback time, baby!


Boyd got a new bike this weekend. I would have taken a photo but I was too busy clutching him by the armpits to keep him from falling.

Yes, he's trying to learn to ride. I think Evey was older when I taught her (remind me to check the blog to confirm), but Boyd is excited to learn. So I thought we'd give it a try.

Next time we go out we're leaving Sis at home, because Boyd was too easily distracted by Evey riding her bike. Apparently BJ doesn't realize the danger involved in wrecking a bike... Hopefully he learns the not-too-painful way.


Only three more days of school left.

What, huh?

(Seriously, the kids get out about two weeks sooner than the Johnson kids do!!!)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Recent photos from my phone

Craig and I in front of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. 
Evey, Boydee and Marina enjoying some of my birthday fried ice cream
at Salty Iguana at Olathe. Sorry to catch y'all with your moths full!

Did you know Evey plays guitar? Here she is in the 5th grade
musical program strumming along!

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Stay-home snowy April weekend

We talked about it Friday night. Boyd really wanted to have a movie night. Me and Sis wanted to work on eBay.

We negotiated. We would have a "stay home" weekend and not go to the movies (I was going to take BJ to see Rampage) and instead have a movie night at the house.

It turned out to be a really fun weekend!


Our soccer team got smoked again, 3-0. It was frustrating. At least Boyd managed a shut-out as goalie in the fourth quarter.

We're going to change our tactics this Saturday. Keep a kid back home on defense at all times. Maybe that will help.

It was cold out for the game, maybe 34 degrees. Miserable.


We rented two movies: Coco and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Coco was really good! We had already seen Spider-Man, except for Mom... so it was a movie weekend downstairs.


Evey posted some more stuff on eBay for me, while I worked on reorganizing my comics in the garage. We also listened to Radiohead, Soundgarden and Interpol.

This was my favorite part of the weekend. Evey is fun to hang out with.


Made enchiladas today. Been a while. They turned out solid, too! I made some chicken enchiladas (as well as cheese, of course) -- I think Evey kinda liked 'em!