Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yard of the Flies

Ours being a double block, which is also flat, there are a lot of families with kids on it.

I said kids but what I really should have said was boys.  There are a lot of BOYS on our block.  Tons really.  That is, of course, if one were to add up their collective weights.   Those of us with boys in our family unit however, know that this would be next to impossible...since you could never get them to stand still long enough to get an accurate read on their weights in the first place.

They are always moving, these boys.  Much like boys in every corner of the globe I assume.

And no where is that reality more evident than on our double sized block.  There is one front yard in particular where they congregate to commence with their wilding and mayhem, boy style. 

I have taken to calling it The Yard of the Flies.

On any given afternoon there are upwards of 10 boys of various ages who gather with swords and sticks and lightsabers and tennis rackets and any other household item that can be remotely imagined as a weapon, ready to participate in mock battle sequences and the like.  Honest to goodness, yesterday one of them was wielding a chainsaw over his head chasing around the other kids cackling before catching up to a couple of unlucky fallen ones and pretending to cut their limbs off.  

Okay, that WAS Lukas but in his defense it was only a toy chainsaw and he found it in on the house's porch.  During all this madness I'm usually a safe distance away, guarding the signal fire.

Yes, these boys play like warriors a lot but it is certainly not all they do.  They have also set up obstacle courses, played classics like tag & hide and seek, as well as climbed trees and demonstrated to each other their various skills in a wide range different activities like solving the newest rage The Perplexus maze ball.  Lukas has one of those now too, and it's his new favorite toy.

This house is across the street, which is routinely busy, so up until recently we hadn't let Lukas partake in the wild rumpus and fun that takes place in The Yard of the Flies.  Now though, we think he is old enough to account well enough for himself to join in - but only if he is still supervised by either myself or Mrs. LIAYF.

Oddly, on many days we are the only parents standing out there keeping an eye on the boys.  The other parents are watching from the relative safety of their houses.  Perhaps we are a teeeesy bit overprotective of him but he is still our first and only child. Plus I did mention the battles, didn't I?

It may sound crazy and at times dangerous and not for the feint of heart, but in actuality these are all very good boys from good families who are outside playing and making friends and using their imaginations and getting much needed exercise for kids their age.  I am especially impressed with the older boys, some closing in on their teens, who treat the younger ones like Lukas with a measure of gentleness. 

Best of all, during all this imaginative play these boys are not sitting in front of screens munching on chips and drinking soda.  And that's a pretty good thing in my book.

I just hope they don't all decide to turn on me one of these days.

How about you readers?  Do you have a Yard of the Flies where you live?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Small Boy Spotted Flying High Above Seattle

After a few timing and booking delays held us up for some time, this past Saturday the LIAYF crew and I were finally able to take advantage of a Lukas' FINAL 5th birthday gift. Yes, we tend to draw things out on occasion.

Mrs. LIAYF and I bought the Helicopter Ride for 3 as a birthday gift for Lukas last fall.  This was actually part of a Living Social deal, proving that if you are patient enough to wade through the 50 or so email 'deals' a week you might just find something worthwhile to purchase.   Anyway, we have been sitting on it all this time and our year window was about up, so rain or shine we were touring the Seattle skyline on Saturday.

Thankfully, it shined!

We took off from Boeing field just south of the city, hovering about 20-30 feet above the ground for a minute or two, which was a sensation unlike any we had ever experienced.  Needless to say it was pretty cool.  

We were immediately so taken with the gorgeous views of the city and surrounding region that we didn't say anything as our pilot headed East over Lake Washington towards the city of Bellevue.  We had wanted to ask if he could instead fly West and do a flyby of our neighborhood and modest home.  But instead, within minutes we had crossed the lake and our pilot, Charles, was pointing out a somewhat less modest home bordering the lake.

If you hadn't guessed, the home in the center of the picture above belongs to one William Gates Jr., otherwise famous for being the richest man in the world.  And just to think, a 5 minute helicopter ride to the west would bring you to a house owned by a family in the other 99.99999% (number of .9's a completely random guess). 

Anyway, just after that I remembered to ask if we could fly west and was informed that we didn't have the time.  Not on the Living Social special anyway.  Given that, we would simply have to enjoy some to the other sights, the region had to offer.  So we turned and headed back towards Seattle.

Lukas was relatively quiet during the trip, which was proof that he was pretty impressed since he is usually talking non-stop, and would certainly have been checking out all the cool buttons and levers the small copter had to offer.  We did, however, communicate with him through the headsets and he was particularly impressed seeing several playgrounds and soccer games being played as we passed over.

Minutes later we were back over the city, taking time to circle the hills on the north end and watching the cruise ships leaving Elliot Bay before flying close to, and around another famous Seattle Icon, The Space Needle.

After banking around the Needle we proceed down along the city waterfront to the south end where the Seattle sports stadiums are located.

And to my utter surprise and enjoyment, since I am a huge Seattle Mariners fan, the pilot flew us almost directly over Safeco Field allowing us to look down into the stadium, where the team was busy practicing for a game with the Texas Rangers. 

I'm sure it's not a coincidence that the Mariners won this game.

From there we continued on south back to Boeing Field to finish out this fantastic trip from Helicopters Northwest, which we would definitely recommend to anyone visiting the region.  

Best of all, Lukas absolutely loved his final birthday gift, calling it "Cool" and giving it his final seal of approval.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tweetcycling VI

I just realized that it's been quite a while since I did my last Tweetcycling post. Over a year actually, and probably for good reason.  But hey, I won't let that deter me.

Somebody stop me! (In my best Jim Cary Mask voice).

For those of you new to LIAYF since my last version, this is the series where I give some of my crappy little used humor tweets a second chance at life. You can read the first four installments here I, II, III, IV, V.

As always, you will find these tweets barely used and in decent condition. 


Forget the bed of hot coals. If you really want to inspire a parent, teach them to walk barefoot painlessly over a carpet full of Lego's. 

5yo: " I really liked the cheese you packed me today!" His Mom: "Those were pats of butter, buddy"

Earlier ~ 5yo: "Dad, you remember the time when we saw those Crawdad's fighting in the lake?" Me: "You mean from 10 minutes ago? Yeah, I do" 

Just used my rudimentary Origami skills to make an old favorite. Coffee Filter from Brawny Sheet. 

Pondering his missing favorite shirt, 5yo's first proper use of "Maybe a Robber broke in and stole it" Proud Dad.

Just heard a gal ask a guy if his dog was a 'Datsun' 

Betting my 5yo has a dog-eared copy of 'The Extending Bedtime Encyclopedia' under his mattress. Hungry, Thirsty, Pee, Question. Whats next? 

Found a phone book on our porch today. It has already served a purpose, as we laughed at the absurdity of it's existence. 

If the nations capitol were located in Seattle the national bird would be a Bald Seagull. 

I'm thinking of boycotting Science Fiction. Seriously, when was the last time you heard mention of a Father ship? 

Just killed a giant fly. It looked a bit like Jeff Goldblum. 

As soon a I get my Crown later today, I am throwing my dentist in the dungeon to rot. I can do that, right?  

I have a beer named after me! Sure, It's just one bottle and I named it, but it is still an honor.

I bet that right about now, Gaddafi is really kicking himself for not getting the Flux Capacitor. 

The label at the end of the string on my green tea bag says 'Private Collection'. Because I've reached that station in life.  

Took a bite of my 4yo's half eaten & abandoned corn dog tonight. Tell me there's a support group for this.

Tell me readers, if this didn't finally drive you away of course, some of your own favorite humor tweets.  Happy Saturday. 

I have to work.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 1 Down - Thousands to Go

"Go on, lean in.  Listen.  You hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."

 ~ Dead Poets Society

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Scarface Dad

Say Hello to my Leeetle lines.

We went to a Superhero birthday party Sunday for three former Pre-K buddies of Lukas'.  It was at one of those bouncy house places. He had a terrific time.

Of course, he was beet red in the face and probably already on the road to dehydration withing the first 5 minutes.  It was no where close to a record, but a respectable time nonetheless.  And those places can get pretty wild too.  For instance I saw a bloody nose, a kick to the head, and one parent dragging another sweaty and crying kid over to a bench to administer juice treatment, during one 10 minute span alone.

The whole thing was something like a mix between MMA and WWF -  with capes thrown in.  The only thing missing was a cage.

Thankfully he survived though, and so did we.

Afterwards, back at home while we were eating dinner, Lukas mentioned how the other boys thought his scar (the one from the camping trip incident) was pretty cool.   A scar always gives you good cred with other boys.  After all, you have been bloodied, and lived to tell about it.

"I think it's fading though dad" he let me know as he pulled back the hair on his forehead to let me see where the gash had been.  The redness of it was indeed becoming less pronounced. Then, as I leaned in to take a closer look he squinted his eyes and looked back at me with a concentrated look.

"You have a scar too dad"  he announced.   This got the attention of Mrs. LIAYF who was also seated at the dinner table.  "Oh yeah, where is that?" I asked, genuinely curious as to what he was referring.

Had I forgotten about an old wound that upon up close examination he was now witnessing? 

With that he lifted his finger and pointed to the edge of my left eyebrow and ran his finger across, just above the bridge of my nose.

"Right. There." he announced.

I was just about to ask if that made me cool too when a smiling Mrs. LIAYF, who couldn't contain herself, chimed in with.  "That's not a scar Buddy, that's a wrinkle.  Daddy has a few of them." And, with that, she started laughing.  Of course this made Lukas laugh too which, in turn, made me laugh as well.

I'm sure glad we could all have a laugh about my ever advancing age.

You know, I'm fairly certain getting old would be no where near as funny without a 5 year old around to share it with.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Skull Hunters

Lukas had his pirate happening on Friday night.  We were out for dinner to celebrate our  'First Night of Vacation'  and he was decked out in his black shorts which were adorned with skulls.

To top it off, he was also wearing a new belt (his first) that sported a very neat metal buckle - complete with skull and cross bones, and which also held a solid plastic ruby studded sword within easy reach in case an opportunity to plunder just happened to present itself.  You'd be amazed at how often that actually happens.

The whole look was very Blonde Beard.

Anyway, as we were roaming the neighborhood post dinner, we stopped into our local independent record store when Lukas decided we needed to play a game of find the treasure.  (Treasure can be various things, in case you were wondering.  Anything from real coins, to make believe items.)  On this night though, he decided we were searching for skulls.  SKULLS.  Apparently, we needed to find 10 to get ALL the treasure.

"Ooooh, there's one!"  he excitedly called out spotting the following album cover:

Onethorix.  Anyone?
As he kept walking he was not having any more luck though, he looked back and forth, and was immediately discouraged.  "I can't find any more Dad" he bemoaned.  "Hmmm" I responded. "well this is the Rap section bud.  If you want to find Skulls, you need to head on over to the Metal section."

On the way over there, after asking the record guy the way, he looked up and there on a high wall he spotted a large poster version of the album art for the Ting Tings Sounds from Nowheresville.  "That makes 3!" he called over to me.

Once at the metal section we started thumbing our way through the bins to see what we could find.  After a few seconds I pulled out a Metallica Greatest Hits CD which raised the count to 5.

A few discs later Lukas pulled out another CD with a skull on it. "Six?" He asked with a puzzled lookon his face as he studied the album cover art.

 "Uh, yeah" I responded.  "I guess that would qualify.  That looks pretty silly doesn't it?"   "Yeah", he responded.   And as I was looking over realizing we had somehow ventured into the Death Metal section, I was also pulling another disk out of the pile.

I took one look at it, slipped it back down, and decided that maybe it was a good time to move on to something else.

"I think we have found enough Skulls for now buddy."  I offered.  "How about we look for something else instead?  Birds maybe?"

"Yeah, that would be good"  he agreed "I have an idea" and was off to another section.  When I caught up to him, this is what he was holding up as his found treasure:

"Good One?" He asked.  "Yes, it is" I responded with a smile.

No it wasn't a parrot, but this bird was still more the type of plunder I was comfortable with my little Pirate procuring there.

At least for now.