Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Random Photo Installment #1.

I recently became the proud owner of a new camera. I've always loved photography but have never had the time nor means to turn it into a hobby. But now that I have the means (certainly not the time), hopefully I'll be able to explore it. So, occasionally, this blog will feature a random photo from me. This is the first installment.

"Happy James"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm feeling pretty manly these days.

Lately, I've experienced a profound transformation. I've gone from a reserved, unable, meek male to a hardened, domesticated, sturdy MAN. It all started this weekend when I decided to install some shelves in my garage.

I headed down to the ol' Home Depot to check out the storage systems. The aisle showcased several options. Fully assembled, easy-to-install options. The price tags were a little more than I wanted to swallow, however. But what other options did I have? I inquired of a sales associate.

ME: Excuse me, are these all the garage shelf systems you have?

HOME DEPOT GUY: Sure are. Unless you want to just build your own. Lumber is in aisle 45.

It was at this point that I realized the Home Depot guy wasn't really being helpful. He wanted to take a jab at my void of manliness. He saw a scrawny father of two standing amongst the wire shelving units (one row over from the decorative hanging lights, mind you) and he took his shot.

Well, the shot stuck.

I curled up my bottom lip, puffed up my chest and headed for aisle 45.

It was like a whole new world. A completely different culture. It was filled with real men. Everywhere. I mean, these guys came to Home Depot wearing their own gloves and everything. Everywhere I turned, guys were haulin' lumber. Taking measurements. Casually swearing. The whole nine yards.

Upon entering this world, I was quickly spotted as an outsider. I'm sure my lack of leather tool belt and gloves gave me away. So I quickly turned my focus to the stacks of lumber, pretending I knew what I was looking for. But after about 20 minutes of this facade, I realized I was in over my head. I had to make my escape. I coughed up some minor fit, like they didn't have the exact kind of wood I like to work with or something. I tossed my hands into the air, said something involving the words "hell" and "damn" and stormed out into the parking lot.

Once there, I snuck into my 1999 Honda Accord and returned back to my home. But, I never made it back home. At least not to the home I remembered, the home where I wasn't a real man. I now had a new resolve. I was a changed "man" as it were.

But I still had a problem. Like any changed hero, I needed to cross over the threshold. I needed to conquer the shelves. Through means of real wood, real hardware and real power tools.

I retired to the privacy of my bedroom, where I secretly googled "How to build garage shelving." My search results took me to a site called ExpertVillage.com. And wouldn't you know it, they had a five-video tutorial on how to build some simple storage shelving. As I soaked in the tutorials, an amazing sense of excitement overcame me.

I can do this. In fact, this looks really easy.

I watched the videos a second time just to make sure.

I swept out any remaining doubt, found my hardly-used work gloves in the garage, fastened a measuring tape to my hip that was part of a simple man's toolkit I was given as a wedding gift and returned to Home Depot. Without hesitation, I confidently obtained a lumber cart. I even entered through the contractor's entrance.

This time I blended right in. I strutted around, throwing lumber onto my cart like it was nothin' doin'. And it felt awesome. Just then I spied a feeble father entering into the area for his first time. I could see the pain and confusion in his eyes. This world was so desirous, but, at the moment, unobtainable. I offered a hardened scowl as I passed. I was going to spit by his shoes to show him just how desensitized this world was, but a painful canker sore held me back. So the scowl had to suffice.

I confidently lined up in the contractor's checkout line sharing company with society's most calloused.

I returned to my garage. With the tutorials still fresh in my mind, I went to work. I turned on the classic rock radio station and let ACDC take the lead. With a power drill in one hand and a two-inch deck screw in the other, it began.

Two hours later I emerged from my garage. I had done it. I had crossed over. I had become a real man. I had built, perhaps the finest garage shelf Longmont, CO had ever seen.

And from that moment, I have been forever changed.

So now, as a real, manly man, it really doesn't bother me that the rental car we were given from our insurance company while our wrecked car is in the shop is a BIG, HUGE, HONKIN', EXTENDED CAB, MONSTER OF A TRUCK.

I'm probably gonna use it to haul some stuff to the dump this weekend. Or maybe even pick up some landscaping boulders.

Or maybe even both.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Burned by a four-year-old.

I was brushing the knots out of Berlin's hair before school when the following conversation occurred.

BERLIN: Daddy, it hurts!

ME: Just hold still and it won't hurt.


At this point I decided to use some good ol' fashioned parent judo.

ME: Berlin, if you don't hold still and let me brush the knots out of your hair, your hair will fall out.

Berlin paused for a moment.

BERLIN: Is that what happened to you?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

This was the week of tragedy here in Colorado.

Yesterday, a downed power line sparked what would become a massive wildfire in the foothills of Boulder. Several were evacuated and some homes were destroyed. Winds gusts throughout the day were clocked at over 100 mph, thus aiding in the fire's spread.

Then, just when you think it couldn't get any worse, this happens. A man somehow began to fall from the ski lift at Vail, but caught himself. By his pants? Luckily he was rescued. Unluckily, camera phones exist.

Yes, definitely a devastating week to be had here in Colorado. But perhaps some good can come from all of this. Lessons learned. So, may this post be a reminder to all you out there to be careful. Watch out for wildfires and always, always, always wear long underwear when you go skiing. This is SteveHappens reporting. SteveHappens News. Back to you, SteveHappens.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Love > Economy.

Hailey and I have concocted a little scheme. A scheme of love, as it were. You see, from now until February 14th, we are selling all the stuff around the house that we no longer use on ebay and craigslist, with all proceeds going towards Valentine's Day gifts. Because, nothing says love more than clearing out a pair of old size ten snowboarding boots and a Kenmore range hood.

Speaking of, anybody in the market for some Bebe clothes or perhaps some Playstation video games deemed by mother to be too aggressive for a house with little kids?

So who's with us? Any other couples out there interested in partaking in this little challenge? It's a great way to clean out the house and score some extra loot - all in the name of love. And money. But mostly love.

And money.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Cleaning it up.

This week, Hailey charged me with the task of cleaning out and organizing the garage. For years, we've both had boxes upon boxes of random memories take up valuable real estate. And while Hailey definitely takes the crown for Pack Rat of the Century, I also had some cleaning out to do. In one of the many boxes, I came upon a photo repair project I did in a photoshop class over eight years ago.

Now, the question here isn't whether or not my repair job was any good. It's where in the heck did I get such a random photo? Of all the possible photos to use, I chose this one? Well, this classic visual ditty is of Hailey amidst her teenage wonder years teaching some homely onlooker the basics of cheerleading. "Ready? Okay. The first thing you're gonna want to do is pull your sweat shorts up four inches higher than normal. Go! Fight! Wedgie!"

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Well, hello there 2009.