Enjoyed our Blueberry Banana Smoothies

Tonight, Leslie made blueberry-banana smoothies with our new Ninja Master Blender. The smoothies were wonderful – made from frozen blueberries that we had picked this summer at the u-pick up the road from our house.

Making Smoothies with the Ninja Blender

We used to have an old food processor to make smoothies, but we wore it out. For awhile, we were left with the Magic Bullet to do the smoothies with, but finally came across the Ninja, and I’m so glad we did.

The Ninja is so easy to use. It’s perfect for most every use in the kitchen. The main thing, as a blender for smoothies, is that it has enough power to chop up the ice with ease.

Don’t get me wrong – we love the Magic Bullet. In fact, I used it just yesterday for pureeing some veggies to put in the chili that I was making. It has it’s place in the kitchen, but the Ninja is much better for the heavy duty jobs like chopping ice for smoothies and fraps.

Going Shopping

My idea of shopping, and my wife, Leslie’s, idea of shopping are very different, indeed.

When I go shopping, I know exactly what I want and I look for it. If I find it, I buy it. If I don’t find it, I leave. I’m in and out in 10 minutes.

When Leslie goes shopping, she has a general idea of what she wants. She goes to the rack and proceeds to touch each and every item and analyze the color, style, price, etc., then she moves to the next rack to start the process again.

After she has thoroughly memorized the entire inventory in the department, she selects two or item from each rack and carries them to the dressing rooms. Two hours later, she lines up in the check-out area to purchase the two or three items she has selected.

When I go shopping with Leslie, I spend a bunch of time just waiting. Waiting for her to finish her shopping is one of the most agonizing things I’m compelled to do. I’m happy to say, that I found a list of ways for guys to keep themselves occupied while waiting for their wives. Try them out and let me know how they work for you.

American Idol Began Tonight

This is an event that happens about this time each year. Leslie won’t miss an episode.


There will be several weeks of auditions to endure. We’ll have to listen to thousands of “William Hungs” just to find a few “Carrie Underwoods” and “David Cooks”.

The one benefit of losing my wife to American Idol during this season, is that I have more time in the evening to work on HighVantagePoint.

We still have some together time, despite American Idol. That’s because we both are glued to “24”. I won’t go so far as to say that we are indebted to Jack Bauer for the success of our marriage, but it’s great to have found something that pulls us together for at least one hour each week.

Golfing in a Sauna

Have you ever golfed 18 holes in 100+ degree weather? I did today. I don’t think I will, again. The only thing higher than the temperature was the humidity. It had rained earlier, along with the thunder and lightning, then the sun came out and turned the moisture to steam. I enjoyed the company that I was with, but the heat was miserable.

To top it off, I hit my highest score in 10+ years. OK, I lied. My score was higher than the temperature, too – way higher. (For those of you who don’t golf, high scores are bad.) My score??? I’ll never tell. I’m much too embarassed. I think I’ve bared my soul too much, already.

Fourth of July Celebration

Leslie, Austin, and I spent the 4th with some good friends of ours up in Yakima – Rob and Karen and their 2 young boys, Isaiah and Micah.

We went to a matinĂ©e of “Transformers”. I was pleasantly surprised with the movie and enjoyed it very much. It had lots of fast paced action from start to finish. It contained a good amount of humor and an interesting, although somewhat predictable, storyline.

Following the movie, we went to Rob and Karen’s house for barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs.

After some leisure time, we watched the fireworks displays in Yakima. Rob and Karen live up on the hill in Terrace Heights and have a great view of the city. Every 4th of July, there is a small fireworks display at the Yakima Speedway followed by a much larger display at the fairgrounds. Our view of these displays from the hillside was spectacular.

More Kart Racing

Leslie, Austin, and I just returned from the Horn Rapids kart racing facility int he Tri-Cities where we spent the day racing.

The day started off a little rough. We were slow getting going and arrive at track with barely enough time to participate in one practice session before the qualifying round began.

Then things got worse. While preparing the kart for the practice session, we found that our brakes weren’t working properly. After much fussing and finally enlisting the assistance of other more mechanically inclined friends, we were able to get the cart out on the track for about 4 practice laps.

It was critical to get a few laps in before qualifying because we had just put a new set of tires on the kart and they need a few laps to cure before they are ready to be raced on.

Austin qualified third with a qualifying time 1/10th of a second slower than the top qualifier. He finished the first heat race in 3rd place in a race where the top 4 drivers raced bumper to bumper from start to finish with absolutely no passing. They were that close.

2nd-place-kart.jpgIn the main event, Austin was determined to finish better than 3rd. He was all over the kart in front of him for 2/3rds of the race. There was quite a bit of bumping and rubbing between the two karts, however, parents of both kids considered the racing to be safe and clean. After Austin got past the other driver, he quickly put several kart lengths between them and finished in 2nd place.

This turned out to be one of the most exciting races that I’ve witnessed. All the kids had a great time (even the one that Austin passed).

Quick “How to Blog” Tutorial

Uncle Stan asked for some guidance on how to put together a free and easy blog. I spent about 30 minutes setting up a little “how-to” blog on Blogger.com on which I posted some simple step-by-step instructions to follow my exact steps.

Actually, setting up the blog took about 5 minutes. The other 25 minutes was spent documenting all the steps I took so I would be able report my steps exactly as they occurred.

Stan was the only one to ask for assistance in this activity, but if there is anyone else who is interested but didn’t ask, click here.

Finally, a New Bike

Well, not so new (2001), but new to me.

Many of you know that I drag raced motorcycles several years ago. I sold my dragbike and got out of the sport after I ran out of money about 10 years ago.

I don’t plan to race again, but I have purchased a new bike. The distance of my commute, the fuel economy of my pickup, and the price of gasoline, have all combined to push me to this decision.

Kawasaki ZRX1200RMy new bike is a 2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R. It’s classified as a “Naked” bike which is sort of a sport tour bike. It’s got more of a sit-up riding position than an all out sport bike, so it is a little more comfortable for the commute. At the same time, in it’s stock condition, it is probably just about as fast as my old dragbike was, but I don’t feel the need to find out.