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AndyO Blog

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Petco Zoo

Yesterday, my boys and I went to Petco to get some flea medicine for our cats. But, as always, we ended up seeing a lot more.

We spent an hour perusing all the animals in the store, which really borders on being a small zoo. Some of the animals included:

  • Chinchillas (one was running around the cage, giving us a glimpse of how fast these rodents can run)
  • Ferrets (they were putting on a wrestling match)
  • Parakeets
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Turtles (red-eared sliders)
  • Tortoise
  • Lizards
  • Scorpion (hiding)
  • Tarantula (hiding)
  • Snakes
  • Frogs
  • Fish (beta, koi, and many others)

Cameron, my older boy, kept begging to bring home some of the animals.

As a bonus, they had a greyhound adoption event sponsored by Greyhound Pets of America - Greater Northwest, where we saw seven or eight greyhounds. Greyhounds seem like they're from alien planet, with their long narrow snouts, swept back ears, and aerodynamic muscular bodies. They also seem strangely unemotional (no tail wagging for me), but did get excited when new greyhounds showed up. Here are some pictures of the pack:






posted by AndyO @ 9:57 AM   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Swine Flu Saturday

No, the family did not get Swine Flu (H1N1) on Saturday. Instead, we set off to Stevens Hospital in the Edmonds area to get the kids vaccinated against it. We got there a little before 9:00, and the line already snaked into the back parking lot.


Cameron asked me, "Why are all these people waiting in line?"

I explained that the Swine Flu vaccine was in short supply, and that this was one of the few places people could get it on Saturday. 

The first estimate we had was that we'd be waiting 2-1/2 hours.

The line moved ahead, and everyone was happy.


Then a volunteer came by and told us we'd be waiting 6 hours. Some people left. We stayed.

I told myself that if I could wait for hours for rides at Disneyland, I could certainly wait for my kids to get vaccinated. Brenda and I talked about one of us taking the kids to a movie, but in the end we didn't exactly how long it was going to take.

The good people at Stevens Hospital (I found out later that most of them were volunteers) did everything they could to make our line experience as smooth and pleasant as possible. They passed out breakfast bars and cereal. Clowns came by and gave the kids stickers. Another clown performed a show for all the kids. (I thought several times that someone could have made a fortune selling good food, drinks, and coffee in line that day.)

After 1:00 p.m., it became clear that we were going to be in the line for a long time. Brenda and I took turns with the kids, using the car as a home base. Drew watched a movie or two. I read a book to Cam (Enders Game). I was surprised how well everyone did around us. There was no complaining. People saved places for other people in line. People shared food. And it didn't rain.


At 2:00 p.m., I was starving so I walked down to McDonald's on 99 to get some food for me and the family. When I got back, Brenda was already in the covered area, which you can see in this picture:


And then we reached the point in the line that was right next to the hospital. As you can see, Brenda's very happy.

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Then it was time for the kids to get their "nasal mist" injections of the vaccine. They both took it like men.

Here's Cameron questioning why the delivery device looks like a shot:

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Here's Drew -- I mean, The Skeleton -- getting his vaccine.

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As we left the hospital, an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment came over me. We had persevered 6 hours to get this vaccine. And now we were going to get ready for Halloween (it was 3:00 p.m.). I thought to myself, this will be a Halloween that these thousands of people never forget.

Thanks again to Stevens Hospital staff, all the volunteers, the Fire Department, the Police Department, and many others for making this day as easy as it could be.

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posted by AndyO @ 6:12 PM   0 comments links to this post

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend with Drew

Brenda and Cameron went to Cub Scout camp last weekend, so Drew and I got a chance to hang out one-on-one.


Picked Drew up early from school to try to go to the 4:20 showing of "G-Force" at Thornton Place theater. Traffic was bad, so I didn't get to Drew's school until 4:20. So we ended up going to the 7:10 show. This was the second time I saw "G-Force," and I have to say it held up pretty well. The 3-D effects were amazing.


Woke up and watched a bunch of TV with Drew. He wanted eggs for breakfast. I decided to go the distance and made bacon, too. He ate one piece of bacon and took one bite of eggs and said, "I'm done," and excused himself from the table. I put his breakfast in the fridge.

1:00 p.m. - Took Drew to Target. As I looked through the Blu-ray movies for deals, he said, "When are we going to the toys?" On our way to the toys, we stopped at the candy and snack aisle. (I faked Drew out and got him some sugar-free Lifesavers!)

Once we reached the toy aisle, and Drew was faced with all those choices, I watched him go into information overload. He would choose one toy, then put it back. By the end, he was crying.

And we were gone.

I decided to go through McDonald's drive-thru to get another one of their Angus burgers. Drew screamed at me the whole time. "I don't want anything at McDonald's! I wanna go to Best Buy!" The poor lady at the window couldn't hear me.

I ordered a Happy Meal for him.

He cried all the way home. As I was eating my lunch, he cried more. I finally told him he'd need to go in his room if he was going to continue. After that, he snapped out of it.

Later, we watched "Monster House" together, a charming animated film about a possessed house.


Woke up and watched a bunch more TV (I know, I know -- it rots your brain). By around 12, we headed out to Best Buy. Drew wanted to buy more candy. I wanted to get out of the house.

We looked at movies, went into the instrument section and we both played drums together. Then in the computer section I ended up showing off an HP tablet touch-screen computer to some people after the salesperson walked away. It's amazing touch screen tablets are below $1000! I want one.

3:00 - Brenda and Cam got home. But then Cameron went to his friend MacLean's house for a playdate. (They'd been together for four days but still wanted more time.)

Brenda took a bath for an hour or more, and Drew and I watched "Short Circuit," one of the new Blu-ray movies I bought. I know it's a corny movie, but the kids like it--and it was actually the first movie Brenda and I went to in college.


posted by AndyO @ 9:03 PM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The quiet of winter

Right now, as I write this, there's an eerie stillness outside. The snowstorm that had been predicted for Seattle came in today, dumping 6 inches of snow at my house. Usually I can hear the freeway breathing, but tonight... nothing. The snow must absorb all that sound before it can get here.

As I've mentioned before, when it snows in Seattle, everyone panics. People forget how to drive. Stores shut down. The news channels drop reporters near busy intersections or bad hills to watch drivers struggling with the elements.

As usual, Seattle schools were closed today. I managed to work about a half-day, but I also did a lot of other stuff with Brenda and the boys. Here's a list of our snow day fun:

  • Cameron, Drew, and I went out to a few pet stores to get flea medicine for the cats. On the way to Petco we stopped at the St. Catherine's church parking lot where I demonstrated the proper way to do doughnuts in the snow.
  • A visit to Petco is not unlike a zoo. We saw hamsters, ferrets, scorpions, parakeets, cockatiels, turtles, and a bunch of fish. We must have been in there for an hour. And it only cost $80.
  • The entire family made a trek to Red Robin for lunch. I had such a big lunch I didn't even eat dinner. 
  • I gave my cats their first bath (in 10 years). Cameron seemed to enjoy seeing the cats get dunked and washed with flea shampoo ("Dad, are we torturing the cats?"). Rocky was yowling the entire time in the tub, while his sister Jasmine almost seemed to enjoy it. Now both of the cats are mad at me.
  • Tonight Brenda and the boys built a fire for the first time in probably 7 years. While I was relaxing downstairs (uh, I mean working), Cameron and Drew asked their mother about 100 questions about fire.
  • My gig at MotoCity was cancelled by 1:30. Bummer, as we've been preparing for the past month -- but no one would have shown up for it.

In case you're wondering, I already got a call from Seattle Public Schools letting us know that they're cancelling school for tomorrow, too. Big surprise.

Tune in tomorrow for More Snow Day Fun! (tm)


posted by AndyO @ 10:56 PM   0 comments links to this post

Chicken little says "The storm is coming!"

This has been a helluva week so far (and it's only Wednesday). Here's what's happened:

Saturday night: It snows in Seattle (rare, but it does happen). The kids go outside instead of going to bed.

Sunday - The temperature drops in to the 20s. Snow doesn't melt. Drivers are confused.

Monday - The phone rings at 6:30 a.m. In my bedroom. I don't move, hoping Brenda will get it. She does. School is two hours late. I take Drew to pre-school, which opens at 9:30. Brenda and Cameron wait for a school bus that never arrives. (Why did they send out that snow schedule?)

Tuesday - Brenda has moved the phone out of the bedroom. It doesn't matter; when it rings at 7:30 a.m., she jumps up to get it. It's a friend calling to tell us that school is, yet again, two hours late. This time, it's my turn to wait around with the kids. We go to McDonald's for breakfast. I hear about a HUGE storm coming in after midnight. Meetings are cancelled at work.

Wednesday - Even though it's not snowing, Seattle Schools are ALL CLOSED in preparation for THE STORM. Brenda and I stay home with the kids, taking turns working remotely. The storm never arrives. But we hear it's snowing everywhere else (Olympia, Tacoma, Port Townsend, etc).


  • Fire the meteorologists who came up with this forecast for Seattle.
  • The Seattle School district should stop cancelling school based on any forecast. (My guess is there were millions of dollars of lost productivity today based on this one mistake.)
  • Seattle needs to get tough about snow. It's just rain that's a little frozen.

Thursday - 1:02 a.m. I just looked out the window. Still no snow.


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posted by AndyO @ 1:06 AM   0 comments links to this post