Archive for March, 2009

Things I think I think, part 3

21) Free planter boxes just when you’re in the process of planning your garden is a magnificent treat!

22) When God talks to you, you’d better darn well pay attention.

23) Rain + Exposed ground in backyard * 2 greyhounds = MUDDY MESS.

24) There are few things better than an unexpected dessert of homemade chocolate brownies.

25) My grandfather, Paul Eckley,  is an inspiration for how he lives life to the fullest (and he’s a pretty darn good painter to boot!).

26) If spring lasted all year round, people would be much more happy all the time.

27) Whoever decided that it would be super if you could lock your cell phone by holding in a single button should be beat with wet noodles repeatedly.

28) Omnisphere is the do-diggity. Word.

29) My son is poised to become the first 8year old Harvard graduate… he’s reading at between a 3rd-4th grade level — and he’s THREE.

30) I love when my wife gets excited about projects like our recent foray into Square Foot Gardening  – it’s contagious!

Things I think I think, part 2

Second installment…

11) It takes some impressive lung capacity to crack a rib while sneezing…

12) Being woken up to a child crawling into bed, kissing you on the cheek and saying “I love you Daddy” is about THE best thing in the world.

13) Pancakes are food for the soul… forget that Chicken Soup nonsense.

14) This recession could possibly HELP more in the long-run than it will hurt

15) There are some things in this world that just shouldn’t be messed with…

16) God is in charge, and he doesn’t read MY playbook… he’s got his own

17) Mathematics can be beautiful sometimes… if you don’t agree, check this out:

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

And my Favorite…

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=12345678987654321

18) Sarah is not going to agree with #17 no matter how cool it is…

19) Coffee + Donuts = Sheer Bliss. Coffee + potato chips = not so much.

20) I’m discovering that Tolkein is a masterful storyteller…  no wonder so many people have fallen for the Lord of The Rings.

Random Ruminations…

Here are some things I think I think… in no particular order:

1) Jack Bauer is the new Chuck Norris.

2) The DVR is the single-most useful technology since the invention of the computer, HANDS DOWN!

3) Facebook is an incredible time-sucker… must… look… away…

4) Leftover beef stew is somehow even better than fresh

5) The Eagles will dominate the division this year

6) No matter how well you raise them, toddlers will still find a way to pour dirt on each other’s heads.

7) If I somehow increase my income by $100 one month, I’ll easily find a way to spend $101.

8 ) I don’t care about Lance Armstrong…

9) I’m getting really tired of any reality show that has to do with singing or dancing, racing, untamed wilderness or Donald Trump.

10) Bobby Flay could make a pile of poop taste good (and he’d probably do it by adding some chili peppers).

More ruminations tomorrow… or later today…

This weekend was one of those that you just live for… not much to do, so of course, you can do A WHOLE LOT! The weekend started with a wedding on Friday night that Sarah and I played for… we had a great time helping out (and making some extra money), and made some connections with one of the wedding coordinators and a gentleman on the pastoral care staff at VCC. They seemed impressed by Sarah and I and hopefully they’ll be able to recommend us in the future. We’re planning a new website and hope to put together some “promotional materials” for our wedding business, but for now we’re just relying on business cards and word of mouth…

We got home around 8:30 (after stopping off for some yummy chocolate-chip cheesecake from Frisch’s!) and spent the rest of the evening watching some DVR’d TV… nothing better! It was great to just be able to hang out, stay up late and know that we had NOTHING URGENT to do tomorrow. Grocery shopping for dinner was already complete, and the rest of the day was just going to be spent cleaning the house in anticipation of company… good times!

Got up Saturday morning and took our first stab at using the whole grain pancake mix — we subbed this out with our regular Bisquick in an attempt to eat healthier — and enjoyed quite a delicious breakfast. We even included turkey bacon cause Mimi is allergic to pork products (poor Mimi!!) and really enjoyed the entire meal. Very tasty! Afterwards we headed out to Hope Depot to formulate an attack plan for creating our vegetable/herb garden (see Sarah’s post) and ended up getting all of our seeds (except the Mr Stripey tomatoes) and the starter kits. Next we picked up the car from the shop, picked up the meds from Walgreen’s, and headed home. Since it was close to lunch, Mimi decided to spring for the meal and we got subs from Jersey Mike’s. I’ll tell you tat the cheesesteak I had was pretty DARN good… especially considering I’m from Philly (Yo).  The roll wasn’t Amaroso’s, but it was pretty good nonetheless.  :-)

More cleaning after lunch, and a little work in the yard raking up some left over leaves (more to come on that later). We had our good friends over Joe & Shannon over for dinner on Saturday night and had some fantastic filets with a balsamic reduction, blue cheese mashed potatoes and broccoli. Shannon brought some fantastic white chocolate & cranberry cookies (which we are STILL snacking on!) and Joe brought some yummy “adult juice” as I like to call it… for Ethan’s sake.  :-)  We ended up talking till way past 11pm and ran out of time to play games…  you always know a good friendship when you’re having a good time just talking and not doing anything else! Here’s to more fun in the future!

Got up Sunday, went to church for a great message (and fantastic music by the band!). I had a hard time concentrating through the special video because the soundtrack featured music by one of our music pastors (Jim) using the new keyboard synth (Omnisphere) that the church bought and that I’m ITCHING to play. Still, it was quite a moving time…

We were going to go home to get Ethan fed and in bed in time for nap, but Sarah and I decided to be spontaneous and changed plans, stopping off at Cracker Barrel for a nice quiet lunch with E. After that, nap time — and I started in on the yard… ugh.

Sarah helped out by raking a lot — all in all, we ended up with 5 full bags of yard debris, not including the sticks and stuff. I’m sure there was a lot left from the fall and possibly even back to last fall… as a result, our grass isn’t doing so well in the back. Our yard is difficult to maintain anyway, with all the exposed tree roots, popor drainage, sticks, stones and doggie “surprises”… and I’m sure having so much stuff matted down into the lawn was helping our grass grow. :-(

Dinner was a crockpot meal (stew) that we started in the morning, and the rest of the night we spent just chillin’. I was spent…

Advil — take me away…

A Tale of Two Monkeys

Originally posted by Sarah on her blog, reprinted for the benefit of the Rockin’ Reset crew:

MONDAY, JULY 16, 2007

A Tale of Two Monkeys

Meet Monkey:

Name: Monkey Rezer
Height: 15 1/2 inches
Weight: approx. 4 oz
Hair Color: orange
Eye Color: black/brown
Notable features: tail
Siblings: twin brothers, Monkey Rezer 2, 3, and 4
(separated at birth, now reunited)

Autobiography (written by adoptive mother – Sarah Rezer):
For any of you who are familiar with the Rezer clan and with the big E in particular than you know of “Monkey.” He has received a LOT of love since E was about, ummm…maybe 5 months old. I don’t remember getting him, although I do know that it came from Jeff’s cousin, Kristen…to whom I am very grateful…I don’t remember ever really giving Monkey to him and I don’t remember him every becoming really attached to it until the deed was done and it became a part of the routine. He would sleep with Monkey at naptime and bedtime and never really carried it around otherwise.

Ethan with Monkey…10 months

Over the last year he has become increasingly important. Monkey is a family member and E has taken to carrying him around everywhere…mainly because while we are living with my mom in a 2 bedroom apt, it’s really easy to go in to his room and find Monkey and pull him out.

After a while Monkey started to look “well-loved” and was in desperate need of a break. This was when Jeff’s mom, being the wise one she is, decided that she should start shopping for the same monkey. We knew it was a Ty toy, but had no idea what his name was or anything. She ended up finding him in a gift shop somewhere and picked him up immediately. Monkey had a twin brother…someone to share the love. Ethan was young enough and the original Monkey was clean enough that E didn’t really pick up on the switch. Since then we have had clean Monkey and dirty Monkey…they trade places as necessary. This was a great system since Ethan’s favorite thing to do was chew/suck on his tail and nose. It was pretty disgusting…seriously.

In the last few months since we moved to Ohio, Monkey has gone from well-loved to white trash. One eye was hanging by a thread, literally, and the other Monkey was close behind with one eye starting to come loose as well. My Mom decided that she would try and make new eyes for the one that was really bad off. Because of the amount of “love” this eye had received she had to make rather large eyes in order to cover the hole…she used two larger pieces of felt and sewed them on…this Monkey is now known as the soul-less monkey as his eyes look completely vacant and empty…the Monkey is now only used for punishment or taunting since Ethan finds him exceptionally scary (poor Monkey).

Soul-less Monkey

Because of said incident we decided to go shopping for new Monkeys so we could continue with the clean Monkey, dirty Monkey system. We found out that Monkey is retired from the Ty company and can only be found through the internet; however, I was able to find him rather quickly and have since received 2 replacement Monkeys. Why only get one when the other one is bound to go sooner or later? Soul-less Monkey will remain in the Rezer household as a memory of what once was and will always have a place in our hearts (except for Ethan’s…he runs and screams at the sight of him…haha). R.I.P soul-less Monkey…we will remember your happier days.

Ethan, being both older and wiser, has caught on to the fact that this is not the same Monkey…he’s prettier and softer and his tail isn’t completely threadbare. But he is taking the change in stride and is warming up to this newcomer well enough.

Ethan with new Monkey…21 months

Monkey, thank you for your years of love and comfort. We salute you.

First gig in a while

Sarah and I are playing for a wedding on Friday night (yes, Friday…) which means there’s been a lot of music-gathering and whatnot happening over the last few days. This will mark the beginning of our new foray into the wedding business… so if you know anyone in the Cincy area who needs music, let us know! We kinda stalled on getting the website set up, but the plan is to create a site where we can post samples, pix, etc and allow people to ask questions. Sarah already did a nice job of putting together some business cards, and a flyer is also in the works. 

Another idea we have been batting about is having me give piano lessons during the week. It would be a great way to make a little extra money, and would probably go a long way towards helping us keep motivated about keeping the house clean!  :-)

First thing we gotta do, however, would be to get the piano TUNED. It’s a great little piano (thanks Sara & Mike!) but unfortunately it’s probably quite a bit off concert tuning and depending on which register you play in, it can be quite painful to listen to…  :-)

So — anyone know a good piano tuner?

Face 2 Face

GREAT concert, all things considered. I’d give it an 8+. Here are the only things that detracted from Billy Joel & Elton John’s Face 2 Face performance last night in Cincy:

1) Billy didn’t play long enough. Seriously, I didn’t time it, but I’m positive that Elton must have played at least 15-20 minutes longer during his set with the band. Maybe it was because of the lineup and the fact that he got to take a break before coming back on again… dunno.

2) Our seats were pretty bad. We knew that going in, but having seats that weren’t actually behind the stage would have been much better. I’m pretty sure there was some cool stuff going on in front, and we would have been able to really get the whole visual on it. One thing that was really cool was that they put up extended video screens in the back for everyone whose view was blocked. Class move.

3) Would have liked some additional “deep cuts”. While there were some surprises, like Elton’s Mad Man Upon The Water and Billy’s Zanzibar, most of the offerings were straight outta the normal concert menu. I’ve seen Billy so many times that nothing really truly surprises me anymore, but it would have been great to hear something like Baby Grand done with Elton. That woulda been killer.

Overall, the whole show was great. I was INCREDIBLY impressed with Elton’s keyboard player, who managed to cover the entire opening to Funeral For A Friend. It was SIMPLY AMAZING. I kinda knew what to expect having seen this tour once before in DC, but it was still great hearing them collaborate on each other’s songs. I must say that Billy still has it. He may be pushing 60, but his voice still gets it done and he seemed to outshine Elton just a tad. 

I actually noticed that there were quite a few songs they did that seemed like Billy could have pulled off on his own… they matched his voice/style fairly well, and the thought of him covering stuff like I’m Still Standing or Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues would have been cool.

The lights were excellent! One of the highlights to the show was near the beginning when they lit everything up full for the first time… during the opening chorus to Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, the whole arena was blasted with a powerful yellow and orange wash that lit up the room. SO cool. Hard to describe in words, but it definitely whipped the whole place up into a cheering frenzy almost instantaneously. They had started with some mellow tunes (Your Song and Just The Way You Are), so this was the first time they actually “let loose”. Very cool.

Additional highlights:

  • Billy’s opening song, the rock anthem Angry Young Man, came ripping out of the gate like a hurricane. He opens with this a lot, but it still gets me pumped every time I hear it.
  • Funeral for a Friend. Elton is a GENIUS, his keyboard player rocks, and the band still KILLS it.
  • Zanzibar’s trumpet solo by “The Trumpinator”. To quote Sarah: “There is NOTHING easy about what he just played…” True dat.
  • Every time Billy’s bandmates came outto the  front of the stage and did what I call “the lineup”.
  • The live horn section on Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. Brilliant.
  • The live horn section on a few of the other Billy Joel tunes
  • Watching Crystal Toliafero and Mark Rivera do what they do best… and admiring the sax mike on Rivera’s tenor that probably cost more than my house.
  • Elton’s descent into insanity on Mad Man. The sonosphere took you to a completely different state of consciousness.

It was great being able to share this night with Sarah. She found some new songs to enjoy, and I got to share my love of some older ones with her. It was nice to get away — just the two of us — and lose ourselves in the music. Even thought the tix were expensive, we definitely got our money’s worth. A 300 minute concert cost each of us about $.17/minute. That’s cheaper than some pre-paid calling card rates (just sayin’…).

One additional downer… Traffic, parking, etc was managed VERY poorly. I’m sure I could have done a little better with the whole thing had I knew a little more about the downtown area, but I guess you get that anytime you squeeze a huge event like that into a downtown area. Oh well. I’d still do it again in a heartbeat!

Many fun things coming up…

Tomorrow — Billy Joel/Elton John concert!
Wednesday — RESET group at the Hines’ place!
Friday/Sunday — visiting my nephew in Tuscola!

I’m gonna be beat next week… :-)

Blogging again. Sarah and Mimi are watching some crime/police/true story thing on TV… not really interested at the moment, although I’ll probably get sucked in as soon as I’m done posting, and Sarah will probably comment on the fact that I got sucked in by it. That’s what I do…   :-)

She’s feeling a little better I think, and I’m still hanging on. Looks like I missed the majority of the yukkiness.  So far… Hopefully Ethan gets through unscathed as well, cause it always makes volunteering at church for an entire weekend interesting when he can’t stay in childcare.

Gonna try to do something with the yard tomorrow… even if it’s just “making a plan.” It’s really gone on too long without me taking action, but I never seem to have any time, especially in the winter. We still have a ton of branches to get cleaned up, leaves to rake, ground to level, etc. It’s supposed to be in the 70′s tomorrow, so I think I’ll try to give it a go… although I may need to wear my ankle boots to trudge through the slop.

Rockin’ the home office

Working from home this morning… Sarah is feeling “like butt” so she recommended I stay home to take care of dropping Ethan off at pre-school, since it probably wasn’t a good idea for her to go anywhere near the kiddos. Good call. Right now, he’s at school, and she just left for the doctor… the house is quiet with the exception of the whirring washing machine and the occasional greyhound scratchy-stretch on the carpet. I’ve got my coffee, internet access, I’m taking care of items in the inbox… Today is a good day. 

Supposed to hit 60 degrees today, which is saying something since it was below 20 a few days ago. I welcome the warmer weather, but it means the ground is starting to soften up again after all the snow/rain we had a few weeks ago, and the ground is a SLOPPY MESS. It’s really approaching natural-disaster status, and unless I do something soon, I fear we all may sink beneath the muck and mire if we try to go out there. The dogs love it… but it does make things a bit nasty when they come back inside.

Might need to resod or do something drastic out there cause it really does get quite yukky. Anyone have any CHEAP ideas? I’m considering reseeding or laying down straw or something like that. Wish I had the money to hire someone to take care of it cause I don’t have the first idea which direction to go. The dogs need a place to run, otherwise I’d just pave the whole dang thing and call it a day. Oh well…