Monday, June 23, 2008

The Dome Revisted

Karine accused me of being a bit of a Negative Nancy for my post last night about the Metrodome. I want to make a couple of clarifying remarks before we set off on our adventures today. I love baseball. I love the Minnesota Twins. I especially love enjoying both of those things with Karine's family. But the silliness of the Dome is undeniable. Minneapolis, a city with the most gorgeous summer weather in the country, forces its beloved team to play baseball inside a giant dirty marshmallow. Its a real bummer.

But not forever. In 2010 we have this to look forward to. $544.4 million dollars worth of outside baseball awesomeness. We can't wait.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Play Ball!

Karine's parents are in town right now. We made it into the city today to watch the Minnesota Twins beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3. We had an awesome time. The game was at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. In the late 1970's people thought it was a cool idea to watch baseball inside. They were wrong. The Dome is the worst place to watch baseball ever.
Best thing about the Metrodome: Dome Dogs. These giant 1/4 pound hot dogs rule. These wieners are made especially for the Dome by Minnesota's own Hormel Foods, the flavor geniuses who brought you SPAM.
Here's a picture of Karine and her dad Gary. It was taken just moments after they ate Dome Dogs. They are very happy.
This picture is a little bit blurry because it was taken from over a mile away. But it is actually a picture of a man in a giant bear suit shooting a Dome Dog out of some sort of air cannon. I love baseball.

Monday, June 23

Tom wanted me to put up a post to let everyone know that it's his 30th birthday tomorrow. He's registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Borsheims, and Macy's.


Also celebrating a birthday tomorrow is Karen Roesner (Tom's sister)!


Rumor also has it that Graham "The Dog" Notch will another year older too. I'm not sure if either of them are registered anywhere.



I'll probably post something tomorrow about the actual birthday, but this is an invitation to comment some well wishes for the birthday mornings.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oops! We went to a wrestling match.

Tom loves reggae music, sometimes maybe a little too much. Nonetheless, I am taking him to see Israel Vibration for his birthday on Monday night. We went to First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis last night to buy tickets. The guy who sold us the tickets was nice enough to let us slip into last night's entertainment free of charge. We found ourselves with accidental front row seats to an amateur wrestling match. We got scared and left soon after this video was taken:

video

The Israel Vibration concert on Monday should look more like this:


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Good Wholesome Fun

Tom is running for the title of Best Uncle Ever. Yesterday, he entertained the kids with dog washing and music making. What a guy! (And the kids are pretty darned cute too!)


Here's a video of Somewhere in the Ocean. This great children's book comes with music to sing the pages to. Sam loves everything ocean, so this book/song is awesome!

video

Monday, June 16, 2008

Minnesota!

We made it back to chilly Minnesota after a long 30 hours of travel. Thanks, Tommy and Casey for picking us up and taking us up to Andover. We've spent the past week bonding with our niece, Natalie, and our nephews, Sam and Christopher. They're so much fun and full of such exuberance! It's been good to catch up with Anne and Jon too. We've really enjoyed our long-overdue family time so far.



This past weekend, we headed up to Park Rapids to New Frontier Resort. We enjoyed 2 days of delicious food, playing on the playgrounds, watching the 3 and 5 year old kids waterski, and trying out our new Wii.

Yes, that's right, as of Friday afternoon, Tom and I are the proud owners of a Nintendo Wii. So far, my favorite game is the Olympic Trampoline. Tom is especially talented in golf- parring holes on an "expert" course!


We're still getting settled into our new summer routines, but we look forward to catching up with more of our friends and family soon!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Homeward Bound

We're heading back to the United States for the summer. We'll be staying at my older sister Anne's house in Andover, Minnesota. We'll be posting from there this summer. I'm sure we'll have lots of fun stuff to write about. Anne has three super cute kids -- Natalie, Sam, and Christopher -- and a golden retriever named Graham. Her husband Jon is pretty great too.

We're leaving our house and our dog in the capable hands of our new friends Kimmy and Chris. We had a lot of fun with them at the soccer game last night and we hope that they have a wonderful time in La Ceiba. If you want to see what the dog is up to this summer, you can check their blog Wandering Rascals.

We think Ruby might be upset that we are leaving. I explained to her that we will be back in two short months, but she ate the freshly planted palm tree in the front yard anyway -- three times.

Superfans

Honduras beat Haiti 3-1. People like to throw full drinks in the air when the home team scores. We got wet, but it was super fun.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sunset on Mars

Andrew Sullivan posted this picture of a Martian sunset on his blog this morning. We thought it was a pretty good way to start a Friday. More amazing NASA pics here and here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

American Nerd: The Story of my People

This book by Benjamin Nugent -- no relation to Ted -- looks like a real winner. I haven't read it yet, but a review described it as an exploration of nerd images, trends, and culture. And that sounds pretty cool to me.

Here's the author from an interview at Salon.com:

"I wanted to find out what makes someone nerdy in the eyes of their peers, and also what compels them to keep doing the nerdy activities: what they get out of it, what urges it fulfills, whether it was a voluntary decision for them to be nerds, or whether it was foisted upon them. I wanted to give the reader a window into the heads of nerds, and into the heads of people who hate nerds."

I am not sure if I am a nerd or not. Or if I have ever been one. But I have some dear friends who are unquestionably nerdy. I want to read this book so I can out-nerd them. If you know more than nerds about the culture and history of nerds, what does that make you?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sign Language Clarification

While scuba diving, it is important not to confuse the shark signal with this signal.


This is the internationally recognized symbol shows that you're not going to be the one to "eat it". If you don't know what "it" is, just ask anyone under the age of 14.

Certified

Yes, Tom and I are certified- divers that is!

After 5 months, 4 visits to Roatan, 3 stormy non-divable days, 2 rounds of sandflea attacks, and 1 gross bout of seasickness (Tom on Saturday), we're finally both certified Open Water Scuba Divers.

One benefit of living in Honduras is the ability to take a quick overnight jaunt to the Bay Islands to do some diving. We left Saturday morning and did a dive with our favorite intstructor, Arturo, at Sueno Del Mar dive resort. This dive resort has been extremely flexible, friendly, and also has beautiful rooms.

Arturo took us underwater with 8 others, and while exploring the reef we saw a whole bunch of fish. It was as if we'd just gone to some Disney aquarium display and jumped in. We saw brightly colored reefs, corals, and of course a bunch of really cool fish. We saw angel fish that were the size of a steering wheel. It kind of put my 12 gallon hex aquarium (circa 2001-2004) and the 15 or so 1 inch angel fish I went through to shame. One highlight of this dive was an 8 minute encounter with a sea turtle. Below, Tom is showing the signal for a sea turtle. (Since yelling "Hey look at this sea turtle!" is pretty difficult to do while you have the breathing apparatus -called the 2nd stage- to your mouth.)


On Sunday morning, we went out for our final step toward certification. This dive was also awesome. I began to think about the fact that since we, as regular folks, can't explore space, exploring under the sea was pretty darn cool. About 20 minutes into the dive, I noticed one of the gentlemen in our group do this:


Tom and Arturo had swum ahead, but I noticed just in time to see. The nurse shark was hanging out underneath the reef, just checking stuff out. I wasn't even scared!

This is a picture of a nurse shark. I don't have one of those fancy diving cameras yet.

Now that school is over, we're just wrapping up some loose ends at school. We'll be headed back to the states for the summer on Monday.* We're so excited to spend June and July with the Notch family. The Karine and Tom in Honduras blog may appear to be Karine and Tom in Minnesota for the next two months. We are, however, looking forward to returning to La Ceiba for Year 2 in August.

*Note to any would-be-burglars: Our vigilant, well-connected, tough friends will be housesitting all summer, and our guard dog will still be working full time!