The Gonzalez Family Herald

Headlines and commentary from a Northern California family of seven.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How smart can she be?

OK, I am going to spill the beans. I have a daughter that is addicted to blogging. So much so that she asked me for her own blog for Christmas. Not that this is an outrageous request, but she is only none years old.

Nonetheless, I, being that geek that I am, decided to appease my daughter and set her up a blog. Her first blog post reminded me that she is full of stuff to say and that she is, after all, nine years old.

Well, to add to this story a bit, my wife was going to get on the Internet this morning and she went to open Mozilla Firefox when my two year old saw what she was doing and exclaimed...

"Mommy, that is!" Man, that girl is so advanced for her age. Anyhow, she amazes me with her cognitive abilities. Just thought I'd share that with you.

And if you are interested in what a nine-year old and her younger sisters and friends have to say, swing on by to Merry Christmas sweetheart.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Chaotic Insanity Run Amok

Merry blinkin' Christmas!

I know, that was not nice. But I wanted to prepare you for this post. You see, I did something so stupid, so insane, so ludicrous, you would think that I digressed in age and mental stability to that of a block of cheese. Are you ready for this? Here it comes... I went to a store at 5:00 AM this morning.

Now that the laughter has subsided and the tears are wiped from your eyes, I can tell the whole story.

I was reading the paper yesterday and ran across an ad for an HP Photosmart 2610 printer/copier/scanner/fax with built in networking, front card readers and PictBridge. It was listed at $260 with an in-store instant rebate of $130 and a mail in rebate of $30. I thought this was too good to pass up so I figured I be at the store when it opened to go get mine. Mind you, this was not so much a Christmas present as a business necessity seeing I am currently using an HP Laserjet 4 something or other that prints one page per year if it decides to print at all.

OK, where was I? Oh yeah, I set my alarm clock last night so I would wake up at 4:30 AM and be at the store when it opened at 5:00. I figured that there would be a ton of people at other stores so there had to be a chance that I would be able to find what I wanted with some degree of reasonable expectation. That being said, I went to bed last night with the alarm clock on and set for 4:30 AM.

Sometime yesterday my two year old daughter decided she wanted to go play in my room. Her favorite things to do in my room is jump on the bed and draw the blinds. Oh yeah, and mess with my alarm clock. She had somehow managed to set my regular clock two hours later without me knowing about it. So when the alarm went off at 4:30 I was up and out of bed, dressed and in the car within minutes. As I am pulling out of my driveway I notice that the clock on my radio is showing 2:51. So I look at my phone and it shows 2:51. So I park the car, go into the house and look at the VCR, the microwave, the kitchen clock. Yep, you guessed it. 2:51 AM.

So now I am noticeably irritated, but still willing to hunt down my bargain, trap it, kill it and bring it home to feed the family. So I reset the alarm clock time, go to sleep and prepare to awake in two hours to pursue my dream of owning a really nice printer. Except, I can't sleep. Not only can I not sleep, I can't even rest. So I lay in bed until about 4:00 AM and then gracefully doze off to sleep until the stinking alarm clock decides it wants to wake me up at 4:30! My irritation level has just gone a step higher.

But not to be thwarted, I rush out of the house to get to Circuit City to get my printer. As I drive over an overpass near a Walmart and Fry's Electronic I begin to think that the world is coming to end and everyone in my city is rushing to get out of the area. There was a line of headlights that spanned about a mile to get to Walmart and Fry's. At 5:00 AM. What are these people thinking? I am supposed to be the only nut that goes out this early on the day after Thanksgiving.

Anyway, after trudging through endless traffic and numerous people that should seriously not be on the road that early in the morning without their happy place, I made it to Circuit City and stood in the half mile long line to get in.

The line moved pretty quick getting in the store, but once inside it was sheer and utter mayhem. What I thought was going to be a nice buying experienced turned out to be a trip to the ninth circle of hell. Funky smells, bad words and grouchy faces were present in abundance. However, my printers were not. Apparently the first 50 people through the door were able to get one, but everyone else just had to grin and bear the fact that they were stupid for not waiting in line since 3:00 AM. Irritation level rising... must... get... out.

I left Circuit City badly in need of some coffee and a nap. I went home, got on the computer to see if there was an inventory left of the printer I wanted and found that the Internet told me they still had some. Hooray! So I pulled out my handy dandy credit card and, voila, I was the proud owner of a new printer. All I had to do was go to the store and pick it up. Which I tired to do later that day.

Now I am going to bypass the story of the twice broken Christmas tree I bought at Lowes so I can keep you tuned in to this story. I am also going to leave out the second trip I made to Circuit City in pursuit of a laptop that, unless you had a voucher or you wanted to wait until 11:00 AM for a chance to see if there were any left, were completely unavailable. Back now to the third trip to Circuit City and the mishap that was shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

I arrived at the customer service desk to pick up my printer. After waiting for several smelly minutes for one of the two customer services reps to be freed up, I handed my receipt to the CSR and asked for my printer. He went into his little back room and came out with a guy named Frank that told me that the printer I purchased on line was not in stock and they were not expecting anymore to come in. Shocked and slightly embarrassed at the sight of this man telling me that my $140 expense was for naught, I asked the man what my options were. I pleaded with him to get me a printer as I desperately needed one and was losing my grip on sanity without one. He tried his best to help me, ultimately agreeing to sell me the floor model. After about a half hour of looking for the right accessories for the printer he finally got me back to the customer service window where his manager approved the sale of the floor unit at a reduced price of $79.

Ah, now I feel better. I also hope and pray that everyone who reads this will snap out of it next year and, at 5:00 AM, be sleeping with their spouses in a nice warm bed instead of trying to kill someone who blocked an intersection trying to get the last DVD player on sale at Walmart.

Merry early Christmas. May your shopping experience be happy and enjoyable one.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hoppy Tonksgeebin

From the Gonzalez Family to you, all of us want to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving holiday. May your house be blessed and may you find, every day, something to be thankful for.

God bless you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The great coffee debacle

It was the autumn of ought-five and I was alone in my carriage. I set out before the dawn on a cold November morn, tired yet prepared for the excitement of a full ten hours of a workday.

For my travels I had taken with me some vitals, not the least important of which was my 34 ounce "Bubba Keg" mobile barrel of coffee. I had just put my trusty steed (my Pontiac Vibe) into reverse, then shifted the workhorse into first gear. No sooner had I done that then my beautiful, extra large coffee mug decided it wanted to shift also... all over my passenger seat.

Now I am not one for the dramatic, but this one was a doozie of a spill. The mug was apparently not shut properly (I wonder who did that?) so when it went, it went. And as I went, I went on and on about this stinking cup. When I finally arrived at work I was covered in coffee, my car was doused in coffee, two new shirts, which had been used as emergency towels, were stained with coffee and my breakfast granola bars were soaked in coffee.

Now I like coffee as much as the next guy. Rather, I should say that I like to DRINK coffee as much as the next guy. Wearing it really isn't much my thing. Showering in it is a little out of my range as well. But I guess that didn't matter to my "Bubba Keg" seeing as that little varmint managed to spill all over me and the interior of my car the entire trip to work. Then it continued to drip while I walked into my office. Finally after cleaning myself up (and the table and the doorknob and the window and the tree outside) I managed to get the lid closed and finally was able enjoy a sip of joe.

A little while later my boss called and told me he was going to Starbucks. He asked if I wanted anything. Although I was thinking that I wanted a "Bubba Keg" that didn't spew it's contents all over my car and clothes, I refrained. And I asked him for a Mocha. Hmmm, coffee. And chocolate coffee at that.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Miscellaneous ponderings on a Friday morning

One of the cutest, yet most annoying, things is watching as your two year old daughter rolls around the livingroom screaming "NO!" in a shrill voice because she is mad for not getting something she wants.

The gravitational pull from a large man's belly is strong enough to cause hair to fall from his head and land on his unibrow.

300 square feet of laundry covering your 300 square foot bedroom floor looks like your closet regurgitated.

The smile on the shipping boxes has to have something to do with the billions of dollars in revenue the company generates every Christmas season.

Sometimes two years old is old enough to voice an opinion, 5 years old is old enough to read an opinion, 8 years old is old enough to refute and opinion and 9 years old is old enough to make a joke out of an opinion.

According to 1 out of 1 9 year olds in my household, you can always tell if their is chicken in your garbage can by checking for the "fowl" smell.

My wife has decided that she does not know how to be a woman... the right way.

I have decided that my wife is all woman, all the time. Oh yeah babe, just keep being you. Uh huh, keep being you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Happy Windsday

"Happy Windsday Piglet."

"Don't you mean Wednesday?"

"No. Happy Windsday. It is a rather blustery day today."

So I woke up this morning at about 7:00 AM to a loud sound. Not that this would be anything unusual in a household of seven that homeschools. Except for the fact that everyone was asleep and I had the day off. Oh yeah, there was an awfully strong breeze this morning also.

See, the noise I heard was not fighting or jumping or frolicking or tom-foolery. No, it was the sound of our beautiful gazebo, the one we got on sale last year for like $60 at Target, slamming into the house.

Imagine my surprise when I stumble into the kitchen with one eye still shut from being half asleep, desperately in need of a hot cup of coffee, to find that my stinking gazebo WAS STOLEN! Then imagine my embarrassment when I realized that no idiot in their right mind would steal a 12 foot high gazebo and expect to get away with it. So I peaked outside and what do my eye (remember, I am still half asleep) discover? Hoorayyy! It is still here!

OK, I have never been parachuting or parasailing or "para" anything (except pair of panting), but I can tell you that when the wind is blowing the last place you want to be is holding onto an enormous windcatcher. So after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I decided to remove the canvas canopy cover and sun shade then right the gazebo and stake it down solidly in an effort to keep it from flying into my neighbor's bathroom window. Well, I'll tell you what. What? Well, I just told you.

No, seriously. The gazebo turned out to be a pretty mellow fellow after the canvas came off. Of course when it is just an aluminum skeleton without it's parachute, it really doesn't need to be paid any attention. But hey, at least it is still now, right?

By the way, if any of you know where I can get a good but cheap gazebo for next year, please let me know.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A cute and cuddly moment

Mom was out of town this weekend and I had to get the kids upfor church this morning. That is usually not aproblem except that it seems I don't sleep very well when my wife is not home. Needless to say I got up a little late this morning and had to rush to get the kids up. I got them all up and all of them were cold so they all gathered on the sofa under a blanket. Man, is this cute...

And now a few more...

Anyhow, mom is on her way home now and there is still cleaning to do. Gotta go for now. I'm sure you'll more from us soon though.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Flippity, floppity, floop

The boy flipped over today. No, I don't mean he was so excited about today that he flipped. I mean he was laying down on his back one second then the next second he was on his belly. He's a little over four months old now so this is interesting. I say two more months before he starts walking.

Speaking of come accelerated development, our five year old is reading. Not "Hop on Pop" type stuff either. I mean she is reading "Pride and Desire", "No Left Turns", "Warning", "Shell Fuel" and the like. This is insane. Just a few months ago she was still spelling our words like "Red", "Dad" and "Bag". I have got to say, without a doubt, the reason that our children have always been ahead of the curve is because we homeschool. Our kids learn at their pace on their terms. This makes teaching more effective and learning easier. Not to mention the fact that my wife is the best teacher on the face of this planet. How could our kids not learn?

Anyhow, I am getting tired. I will write again in a couple of days. I am working a half day tomorrow then the kids and I are going to camp out at the house for Friday and Saturday as mom will be at a women's retreat for the first half of the weekend. Think of me. Then remember that I enjoy my kids' company and having them for almost two whole days to myself is a joy and blessing to cherish.

Goodnight, sleep tight, don't write on a kite with no light without a fight.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And now back to our regularly scheduled program

OK, OK, I know that I have been away from the blog for quite a while. It has been busy around here lately and always, without a doubt, family comes first. Given this concept, and the fact that I need to shave before work, I will keep this short and sweet and pictorial...

I absolutely had to take this picture. How could I pass this up?

I do believe that I have the cutest family on the planet (Mom included!).

See what I mean?

Do you see?

OK, you gotta see it now?

How about now?

Man, this bath thing really womps!

Lord help us, one of the kids got creative with a marker and plastic cup again.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hola Noviembre

Well, it seems like we just got done putting the Christmas tree stand away and already it is time for Christmas again. No joke, seriously, I just put the Christmas tree stand away last weekend. OK, I know what you're thinking. What kinda redneck leaves his Christmas tree stand out for eleven stinkin' months, then puts it away a month before getting another tree?

Me, that's who. Of course, in my defense, I didn't even realize Spring was over until I heard the weatherman say the other day "Today is going to be a usual Autumn day". Autumn, what the...? All of a sudden I spring into action, clean out the garage, set my clocks back an hour and BAM... it's November.

Finally, a chance to catch my breath. No biggie. I will probably be up the day after Thanksgiving setting out the Christmas lights all over the house. But they are so pretty so it makes it fun. Not to mention the kids really get happy when they see the lights on the house. That by itself makes it worth it.

Enough rambling. I just wanted to say HI! because it has been a while. I will be posting pictures of the kids and their Halloween costumes in a few days. Oh yeah, if you haven't seen the movie Dreamer yet, go see it. And take the kids with you. It is an excellent movie.

Until next time. Now where did I put that Christmas tree stand...