Negotiations With Western Digital

We bought a Western Digital external hard drive for Jen's computer while we were in Omaha. I hooked it up when we got home and it was dead on arrival. I called for an RMA ("return material authorization" — basically permission to return it to the manufacturer) and got the replacement a few days later. Unfortunately, they didn't include a pre-paid shipping label to return the defective part, and the customer service guy wasn't too keen on giving me one.

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Fresh Sushi Better

Jen and I took Jake and Ari to Omaha. I had joked with Jake that I was going to make him eat sushi, and to my surprise he loved the idea. There was a restaurant downtown within walking distance of our day's destination and I thought we'd leave Norfolk early and have an early lunch. On our way in, though, we were running a little late. As we passed Yet Another Strip Mall, I saw a big "SUSHI" sign and asked Jen if she wanted to see if it was busy rather than getting all the way downtown and finding out we didn't have time to eat.

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Mowing With Max

I have a nice Craftsman lawn mower. I like my lawn mower. I have no desire to get another lawn mower. And yet, I got another lawn mower. Jen bought a cordless string trimmer from someone she knows and they offered to throw in their mower for free, so why not?, we took it home. I began mowing the lawn this weekend, and at one point I stopped to adjust the deck height on one side.

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Pre Packaged Sushi Not Bad

I was buying groceries and saw a new display of pre-packaged plastic boxes of sushi. In the middle of Nebraska. Supermarket sushi. The idea kind of horrified me, but eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I had to try some. I settled on the spicy surimi roll and threw it in the cart. As I was checking out, I asked the cashier if anyone else ever bought these, or if I was the guinea pig.

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Long Weekends

Summer's upon us again. The kids just got out of school on Wednesday, which reminded me that my last post was to say that the kids were just starting back and I haven't said a word since then. Anyway, we have them signed up for pretty much every summer sport offered and Gabby's getting ready to start piano lessons, so they'll be keeping pretty busy. Jen and I have been mulching the flower gardens, to the tune of about one pickup load of mulch per weekend.

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Up In The Morning And Out To School

Well, it's officially school time again. Gabby and Ari started back yesterday, and Jake went this morning for the first time. Gabby seemed really happy. She got in line with her friends and immediately jumped back into the swing of things. When we took Ari into the Montessori preschool, she ran off to play with the other kids as if she'd been there all along. When I picked her up in the afternoon, she told me that she'd learned how to read (so I suppose that they'll cover math today, and maybe start on biology next Monday).

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Tilden Days

Last weekend, we took the kids to Tilden's "Prairie Days" festival, a celebration that raises money for various local organizations. Events included: Whiplash, the dog-riding monkey. We arrived about ten minutes too late to see him, which was unfortunate because he was the main thing the kids were looking forward to. An officially-sanctioned cow chip throwing contest. I didn't know there was an official governing body for such things, but there is.

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Running Before Walking

The kids started swimming lessons yesterday. They all had a great time and left smiling. As I was putting Jake to bed, I asked him about his day: Me: What was your favorite part of swimming lessons? Jake: Jumping off the diving board. Me: Really? Jake: Yeah. It was a little scary, though. Me: Well, sometimes the most fun things are a little scary. Jake: Yeah. (pause) I wish I'd done a back flip.

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If God Meant For Man To Roll

It seemed like such a simple idea at the time: I'd buy a cheap bike and ride to work whenever possible. I'd get fresh air, exercise, and a tan, and most importantly I'd save money on gas (because I'm a cheapskate and hate paying $3.00 per gallon regardless of whether I can afford it). So, I went to Happy Fun Land — what we call Wal-Mart when we want to antagonize the kids — and picked up their $80 generic mountain bike.

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How To Make A Survival Kit

On my birthday in 2005, I read a Slashdot article discussing what things you might want to take with you if you had to evacuate your home. This was only a few months after Hurricane Katrina leveled southern Louisiana and Mississippi, so quite a few people had given this a lot of recent thought. The article started off talking about which personal documents you should take copies of (driver licenses, marriage certificates, passports, etc.

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