Kids – April 2004

Tuesday, April 27, 2004: Picked up the kids at 4pm and we went Geocaching for several hours. This is the first time I’ve ever taken them and they really enjoyed it. Our first was in a cemetary which was hidden inside a hollow tree and Emily found it within a few minutes. The kids traded in some of their own useless toys for some new & improved useless toys. The next one was in the middle of nowhere by a creek, hidden within a few trees. They traded in even more toys, then we walked down to the creek and played under the bridge for awhile. We tried one last cache but failed to find it after about 30 minutes of looking. Hung out at a park for about 30 minutes, stopped by McDonald’s for supper and dropped them back off at their mom’s. After that I hung out in Fred Meyer’s parking lot and played on the wireless internet for about an hour.

emily and payton looking at a cache

Wednesday, April 28, 2004: I pick up the kids at 4pm and ask them what they want to do. “Treasure hunting!” is the answer. So we go geocaching again. Only this time I don’t research the first hunt too good and I just pick the first one on the list. It ends up being a 1.3 mile hike through the woods. They had a pretty good time anyway, though, even if they got a little tired, hungry and whiney at points. At the end of the trail, there were some areas to sit around the river. We looked for the cache for awhile but couldn’t find it so that was a little disappointing after such a long walk. So we walked back and then went to Burgerville for some supper. Then we went to Baskin Robins for free scoop night but the line was going around the building so we went to a different ice cream shop instead. No free scoops but we didn’t have to wait for 45 minutes to get inside.

Thursday, April 29, 2004: Worked all day until 5pm. Then went to Taco Bell for some supper, walked around K-mart for awhile and then went to Emily’s school to watch her do a singing program with her class. After that I drove to Corvallis and walked all over downtown for a few hours. I really should have brought my bike to Oregon with me so I’d have something to kill my free time with.

Cellular coverage SUCKS in Albany. I can’t use my cell phone anywhere indoors. And when you try and talk while you drive around Albany, the calls always drop. The motel manager told me it’s not just my cellular carrier, it’s all of them. So if I want to make a call, I have to go stand out in the parking lot. But from about yesterday evening until the afternoon today, my cell phone wouldn’t work at all. The signal looked normal but when I tried to make a call I would always get a “network busy” error. I was reduced to buying a prepaid calling card to make a few long distance calls with. I guess in Albany they’re not worried about the cellular phone system when they’ve got the modern convenience of CB radio everywhere. To top it off, my internet connection at the motel is running anywhere from 14.4 to 19.2kbps. I’m spoiled with high-speed access, this sucks.

Another weird thing I’ve noticed about Oregon is that phone booths are everywhere. You don’t see that anywhere else in the country (that I’ve noticed, anyway) but it was one of the first things I noticed when I crossed the Oregon border and stopped at a truck stop for gas. I know in Alton there’s only one phone booth. And when the movie Phone Booth came out, an article I read said there’s only 2 phone booths left in New York City. But for some reason, every single city in Oregon seems to have them everywhere you look, even in Albany. I wonder why Oregon is so stuck on keeping them around. I’m not complaining, I think it’s pretty cool.

Friday, April 30, 2004: Picked up the kids at 4pm and we went to see Home on the Range. What a dumb movie. And Rossanne Barr sucks. But yeah, it was still fun. I think I might be going back to Illinois after this weekend so I’m trying to figure out something fun to do with the kids around here tomorrow.

Saturday, May 1, 2004: Me and the kids went to a theme park near Albany called Enchanted Forest. Spent a lot of the day there and had a really fun time. Emily had already been there before when she was 5 but she still seemed to remember everything. This was mine and Payton’s first time there. It’s kind of like a Six Flags for younger kids. Payton was scared to death of the log ride but I made him go on it anyway. He was crying in line and then shaking while the log drove around. But once we started going down all the hills, he loved it. On the car ride home he said the log ride was his favorite thing. Although I couldn’t get him to ride it a second time while we were there.

emily & payton at enchanted forrest

Spending the day with the kids

Sunday, April 25, 2004: Me and the kids go to a restaurant and have some breakfast. The kids got some birthday money from my parents so we go to Target so they can spent it on toys. Payton gets some kind of Power Rangers transformer thingie and Emily gets a giant stuffed unicorn and some Pokemon cards. We walk around the mall for awhile and then see the movie Ella Enchanted. After that we hang out at a park for about an hour, before I drop them back off at Colleen’s at 5pm. My evening is pretty boring…I do some war driving and play on the internet for awhile. Cal’s VPN server is broken so I can’t really do anything useful on the net, like check my email.

Hanging out with Jack in Portland

Saturday, April 24, 2004: Woke up at 3am and started driving again. I reached Portland, Oregon at 8am. I started up Netstumbler to find a wireless connection. I parked in a Hollywood neighborhood to check my email and to see who was on AIM. I was hoping to talk to Heywood from but he wasn’t online. He lives around Portland so I was gonna go bother him. Since my kids are gone for the day and I can’t see them until 5pm, I have all day to kill. I decide to track down my biological father who lives in a Portland homeless village called Dignity Village. I’ve only met him one other time before, when he hitchhiked down to Vegas in 2000 to meet me at Defcon. I get the address to Dignity Village from their website, put the address in my GPS program and I’m there in about 15 minutes. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love GPS?) I drive past it several times, not seeing it. A lady walking a dog waves at me so I stop and ask her where Dignity is. She says I’m there so I park and talk to her for awhile. She ends up being a resident there. I tell a few people that I’m looking for Jack and they tell me that he works at the Saturday Market on the weekends.

I drive to downtown Portland, park, get on the train and go to the Saturday Market. I spend about an hour walking through the crowds trying to spot him. They told me that he doesn’t run a booth there, he just helps set up all the booths in the market. I haven’t seen him in 4 years but I figure I’ll find him easily since he’s got dreadlocks. I finally end up spotting him so I start weaving through the crowds to try and catch up. After a few minutes, I say “Hey Jack!” He looks at me and says, “What’s up.” and starts to walk off. I try again, “Don’t you recognize me?” He doesn’t seem to. I tell him my name and that doesn’t seem to help. After about a minute I finally get him to realize who I am and he’s pretty surprised to see me. He starts taking me to all the booths and introducing me to everyone. Then he says to me, “There’s a demonstration downtown today. Let’s go beat up some cops and start some rioting!” So we do.

Well, not really. The demonstration isn’t too exciting. There are over 100 cops there standing around with the news crews and protesters. Everyone is pissed about a guy getting shot by a Portland cop. Jack stands there and points out all of the cops to me, seeming to know all of their names, interests and histories. We meet up with a few friends of his and head to a bar for awhile. The rest of the morning is spent walking around and meeting all of Jack’s acquaintances. Overall, it turns out to be a really interesting day. I say goodbye to him at about 2:30 and get on the train to find my car again.

I end up arriving in Albany at 4:00. I stop at a Fred Meyers to rip out a few phonebook pages of motels. I find the cheapest one and move my stuff into it, then I wardrive for awhile. I don’t end up seeing the kids until after 7pm and they decide to spend the night in my motel. Today is Emily’s birthday so she gets a few presents from me, including some FRS walkie talkies and the new Kim Possible movie. We don’t really do much since it’s late, just sit around the motel and watch cartoons on TV.

Kids – March 2004

Friday, 3-12-2004: Emily wanted to go to a movie party at the Rec Center so I picked up the kids a little early to take her. But when we got there she decided she wanted to go to the park instead so we played there for about 30 minutes instead.

Saturday, 3-13-2004: Bonnie brought Brianna and Christian over at noon to spend the day and night. Had a lot of fun with them all day, just hanging around the house and watching TV and stuff. I did a little more work upstairs on the walls throughout the day. I set up the computer upstairs and the laptop downstairs so that Emily and Brianna could chat with each other on them. I also set up the webcams but for some reason only the laptop cam would work. The ended up being a pretty big hit – they spent hours chatting with each other. My mom called and complained that she hadn’t seen the kids in awhile. I told her she should come over and she surprised me by saying she would. Her and my dad showed up and stayed for about 15 – 20 minutes. They probably would have stayed longer but the kids were too occupied with their friends to pay much attention to them.

Sunday, 3-14-2004: Emily and Brianna chatted on the computers again all morning. I ended up going out to get donuts for them all when I woke up. Bonnie came and picked them up around noon. Colleen came and picked up Emily and Payton at 2:30pm.

Picnic, City Museum

Saturday, 2-28-2004: My friend Kristine brought her kids over for a few hours during the day to hang out with my kids. They left around 11:30am. Then we went to the park and had a picnic. We stopped by a Casey’s for lots of sandwich supplies, then hung out at the park for about 2 hours. At 4:30pm me, Tricia, my kids, her kid and her niece squeezed into the car and drove to the City Museum. As usual, I was blown away by the number of improvements there since my last visit. I go there several times a year and there’s always new things to do. We stayed until about 9:00pm. This is my first time visiting the City Museum in the evening. They had a campfire with free marshmellows for everyone. That place rules. By the time we got back into town, I was the only one in the car awake.

Payton and Jordyn on the drive homePayton, Jordyn and TriciaPayton and JordynJordyn, Tricia and Emily roasting marshmellows.

Feeding Ducks

Sunday, 2-15-2004: After spending half a day doing nothing but play Simpon’s Road Rage, we decided to take a trip to the cemetary to feed the ducks. We gave them bread, crackers, cinnemon thingies and wheat thins. It was only 30 degrees out so we didn’t last more than about 10 minutes. There was a whole lake full of ducks but for some reason they stayed away from us. Here’s a few pictures:

feeding geesefeeding geesefeeding geesefeeding geese

January 2004 Entries

Saturday, 1-24-2004: Did a lot of nothing all day. I don’t have the kids all weekend so I’m bored. I worked on my bathroom a lot, something I’ve been neglecting for a few years. Finished up a wall and ripped out the old wall. Tonight me and Tricia went to see Rent at the Fox Theater in St. Louis which was good, but would have been better if we were sitting closer. Next time we spring for good seats.

Sunday, 1-25-2004: During the night there was an ice storm so everything outside is covered with a sheet of ice. It took me 15 minutes to get the ice off my car windows so I could go get a McGriddle. I stayed in pretty much all day after that, doing a lot of updating and fixing of, mostly to the links page. In the afternoon I went to pick up Tricia from work which meant another 15 minutes of chopping the ice off my windows since it’s been raining all day. We went by Taco Bell for some supper and I snapped a picture of the manager after he gave me my food. Here’s the picture:

taco bell manager

Wednesday, 1-28-2004: Emily got out of school early today. Neither me or Colleen knew about it because the previous 2 days were snow days. So Emily was put into the after school program and I picked her up an hour later. Me, her and Casey went sledding for a few minutes at Vanprater Park, then came back home.

Thursday, 1-29-2004: After work, I set up a streaming PLA radio thing to play pranks on. Went to Tricia’s and we made a cardboard box car for Jordyn. Then I drove to Brighton to see what cars were parked at Zach Peters house. None. I ended up getting slightly lost and went to Jerseyville first. Today I did a lot of phone searching for Zach. I’m trying to figure out where he’s working. I took Purry to the vet today to have his tail looked at. He got into a fight with something. They recommended it be chopped off! So I’m going to pick him up tomorrow and he won’t have a tail.

Friday, 1-30-2004: Picked up the kids from school and took them sledding. Payton only rode down the hill once and I think Emily did 2 or 3 times. It was freezing out but I wanted to take them since tomorrow is supposed to be even colder. We had pizza for supper with Tricia and Jordyn.

Saturday, 1-31-2004: Stayed home all day with the kids. Bonnie brought Christian over around 10:30am or so and I kept him all day & night. We also had Ryan over a lot during the day and Jordyn, Chelse and Keirstan. So the house was pretty full and noisy. Gina stopped by to pick up a computer and drop off her own.

March 2003 Stuff

Saturday, 3-1-2003: Worked on the drive-thru video footage for most of the morning. Did some work on the laundry room walls for a little while. Picked up Sheila’s kids from her house around 4pm and they spent the night.

Sunday, 3-2-2003: Amy and her kids came over. Plus Casey was here all day so we had 7 kids running all over. We ordered Papa John’s pizza and me and Amy watched Clerks. Everybody was gone by 4pm and Colleen picked up the kids at 5:30. But THEN I had to go pick up Payton because Colleen decides to take Emily to the hospital because her neck was hurting. They took xrays and told her to take Motrin. There was really no reason to take Emily to the hospital, I’m guessing Colleen’s intentions were to make me look like a bad father in court by telling the hospital that Emily had a serious neck injury and I’d ignored it. But Emily was fine, she had hurt her neck the night before because she was playing too rough with Allison. She had been running all over the house and playing fine all day.

Monday, 3-3-2003: Took Payton to Colleens at about 8:30am. Worked for most of the morning, then the cable guy got here at noon and installed our cable TV. (Got rid of the Dish last week.) Picked up the kids at 1pm for the rest of the day. Did some more editing on our drive-thru video and went to bed.

Tuesday, 3-4-2003: Worked all day, Colleen had the kids. Josh & Lori were having electrical problems so I went over there and worked on things. Dennis came over to help.

Wednesday, 3-5-2003: Worked all day, Colleen had the kids. Went and worked on Lori and Josh’s wiring some more by myself. Finished up the drive-thru video. Amy and Angie came over and we hung out here, then went driving around, then me and Amy came back and watched Titanic.

Thursday, 3-6-2003: Colleen lied to me about keeping Emily home from school today. She lets Emily stay home a lot just because she likes to sleep in. Which sucks, but oh well. But today she called me and said that she would be happy to pick Emily up from school so that I could work a little later. Then I find out from Emily that she didn’t even go today.

Saturday, 3-8-2003: Got up early, got some donuts and went to Lowes to buy deck stuff. Worked on my deck for pretty much all day. I had the kids from about noon until 5pm. Then went to Lori’s and fixed the leaky hot water heater. Then to Tom’s and we worked on his basement room. It was 75 degrees out today around noon, now it’s under 30 and it’s supposed to snow for the rest of the week. Bizzare…

Saturday, 3-15-2003: No kids today. Worked on the deck all day, then went out with Amy and Angie to some bar in Granite Citiy that featured a hair band that played a bunch of late 80’s metal. Was fun to laugh at.

February 2003

Friday, 2-22-2003: Went to my mom’s retirement party at her store. Went to Fast Eddies with Amy, Angie and Rick in the evening. Angie picked me up to take me there. It was Jayme’s last night singing there. After that we went to The Celler for awhile and played pool.

Saturday, 2-23-2003: Worked for a little while, took Payton to Austin’s birthday party at Godfrey McDonalds then took him back to Colleen’s. Me and Tom worked on his basement room for about 3 hours in the evening.

Sunday, 2-24-2003: Picked up the kids from Colleens and had them until 5:30. We mostly just hung around the house a lot and then went to Jamestown Mall for a few hours to play on the slides.

Wednesday, 2-26-2003: Worked all day, Colleen had the kids. Me and Amy went out and did the drive-thru happy birthday trick during the evening, then came back to my house and watched Dogma.

Friday, 2-28-2003: Went to Lowe’s a bought a bunch of 2 x 4’s for more walls in the basement. Took off work a little early to work on that stuff. Amy calls me around midnight while I’m sleeping and convinces me to get up and do some more drive-thru pranks. So we went out and did that for a few hours with her friend Tami. Got some great footage.

Kids – January 2003

Thursday, 1-2-2003: Had both kids home today. Last night we got about 6 or 7 inches of snow. Worked for about half the day, then took them out to play in the snow and we wenting sled riding at Vanpreter Park. Ryan came with us.

ryan and emily carry their sled back up the hill
preparing for another trip down the hill
Payton heading for the playground

Sunday, 1-12-2003: Took the kids to see Treasure Planet at Cottonwood Mall.

Tuesday, 1-14-2003: Worked all day, then went to Kim’s and spent the night.

Wednesday, 1-15-2003: Left Kim’s at 6:30am and came home to work. Worked until 1pm and then went with Richard P. to Best Buy to get a laptop for him. He got a cool laptop, I got more memory for my laptop and a wireless USB connector. Tried out the wireless connection from Tom’s house and it works great.

Thursday, 1-23-2003: Me and Amy went to Applebees to eat. Then we ordered a bunch of pizzas to her boyfriends house and then sat in the car on his street and watched them deliver them. We need to grow up.

Monday, 1-27-2003: Colleen got the kids at 5:30, I went to Amy’s and we watched Enough on pay-per-view.

Friday, 1-31-2003: Worked all day, picked up both kids from school. Took them to Wal-mart to get some stuff then to my parents to visit for awhile.

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