Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wedding cake *UPDATE*

Don't have time to say much about it right now, but here it is, along with some making of pictures.

*UPDATE* Okay, now that I have some time I'll clarify. It was a three-tier cake (12", 10", 8"). Each tier had three layers of butter cake with raspberry preserves and lemon curd. The frosting was a Swiss meringue buttercream with a hint of lemon. Angele did all of the assembling and the decorating (and didn't it turn out amazing?). I did all the baking and made the frosting and fillings. So you can't really see what I did from the pictures, you had to taste it. We always say that I make things taste great and Angele makes them look great so people will want to taste them.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Insta-garden...just add water

Forget hard work, forget labor, forget Miracle-gro! We've got a real miracle right here. Introducing, for a limited time, the Insta-garden. Here's how it works:

Just build your box following the handy instructions, then add our special, proprietary blend of radioactive - but harmless - soil. Even a child can do it.

Okay, so maybe a little adult supervision is necessary...
Next, add water and before you know it, in the time it would take a 2-year-old to take a nap, you've got a fully-grown garden:

Act now, this amazing product won't be available forever (Stan and Debbie only have a few more potted plants to give away, if any at all)!

Friday, June 12, 2009

'Cause I said I would *UPDATE*

I told Brianna I would post this so here I am. Olivia used to sleep just like this (and she still does, I've been told). Last month I caught Camryn doing it. She hasn't done it since, but I thought it was funny. I couldn't find a picture of Olivia doing it or I would have put it next to this one.

*UPDATE* - Brianna sent me a picture of Olivia.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My girls

These are my girls. I love 'em! They have the best smiles. I love that Camryn is smiling now. It's a whole lot easier to forgive her for the endless screaming when she smiles and looks excited to see me. Though I have to admit, I'm ready for her to grow already. I told Angele that our next kid is going to come out a potty-trained toddler. She told me that if that's the case, then I can go ahead and have the baby myself. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


So this is pretty much how we feel right now after all of last week's craziness and making our first wedding cake. We'll post pictures of the cake as soon as we get them.

Flying high

So last Tuesday (June 2) I got a chance to fly in a WWII plane as a sort of promotion for the Wings Over Gillespie Air Show. They wanted me to write about my experience in the paper so people would come to the show. They let Bryson and Angele see me off and even let Bryson sit in the cockpit before take off. My pilot, Jack "Ripper" Draper, even did some aerobatics for me. You can read my column on the experience below the photos.

In April I mentioned growing up in a house fairly close to Gillespie Field. Through the years living there, I would often go outside and watch for planes flying overhead. Of a particular fascination were the World War II planes. I loved the exhilaration I felt when the fighters buzzed over, or when the ominous bombers seemed to loom over the neighborhood.

This week, as if in answer to years of boyhood dreaming, I had the unique opportunity to fly in one of these planes.

The plane, a SNJ-5, belongs to Air Group One, the San Diego Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, a non-profit group dedicated to maintaining and showing World War II planes. They offer rides out of Gillespie Field year-round by appointment, but the opportunity will be readily available at this weekend’s air show. The cost is $295, which, considering maintenance, fuel and the experience itself, isn’t too steep.

I talked to my pilot, Col. Jack Draper, whose call sign is “Ripper,” ahead of time and he let me know of the possibility of trying out a few aerobatic maneuvers, if I was up to it and the weather was right. The boy in me lit up. It was a few hours later that the adult in me tapped that boy on the shoulder and discussed the very real probability of throwing up. I didn’t eat anything the morning of my flight.

I arrived at Gillespie and met Jack. He told me that the plane was used as the final step in training fighter pilots before getting the real thing. It essentially has two cockpits, one in back of the other, for training purposes. I got situated in the back.

Sitting in the cockpit, I was struck by how something so complex could look so simple. It was all metal bars and levers.

I was strapped in to a parachute, then the harness for the seat itself and was shown where the “sick sacks” were. Before we took to the air I checked and double-checked. I took one out to see how fast I could get to it.

Flying in one of these planes is quite an experience. You feel the rumble of the engine and you smell the fuel. It’s almost as if the plane’s vibrations send you drifting back in time. You can almost physically feel what a pilot flying in World War II felt. The emotions, I’m sure, are much different.

As we flew out to an unpopulated area Jack asked if I was up for a loop. Trying desperately to hide any doubts in my voice I said, “S-s-sure!”

We dove down, pulled back up and around we went. The pressure was incredible. As we finished the maneuver I reached for the “sick sack,” but it was unnecessary. Surprisingly, I was fine. So, Jack took me on a simulated bombing run, followed by a corkscrew. The whole experience was utterly amazing and a testament not only to the brave people who fought in these planes, but also to the engineers and builders. I now have even more respect for them than before.

For your own taste of history, head to the air show. A ride in the SNJ would be the perfect Father’s Day gift. I know I’m going to be saving my money for another flight next year.