Guitar Expo

What a weekend!

I already told you how Lisa and I did yardwork yesterday.That was so much fun that I figure I’d let you in on today’s adventures. Well, just one for now. The others will need to wait.

Today saw Giovanni, Marco, and I going to a local Guitar Expo. Marco was complaining a lot. Giovanni was somewhat listless. Marco was irritating me and I found it hard to describe the awesomeness of what we were seeing to Giovanni with Marco ranting about how there was nothing to do. god help me. The expo was very loud and there was a lot of stuff going on. Giovanni had no idea where to begin. I needed a solution. It was lunchtime. I took them outside to get food.A truck was parked outside the expo and they had a big sign describing how awesome there pulled pork sandwiches, lobster rolls, and clam chowder were. You had me at pulled pork sandwich. Marco got that very sandwich. I initially told him he had to share it with his brother (me) because it was way too big but then he snarfed it down before you can say Jiminy Cricket. Giovanni got some fries and fried chicken. They had beer at the expo, which was driving me nuts, but Lisa wasn’t around so I got a bottle of water. Once I verified that the wild beasts were tamed, we headed back into the expo.

Giovanni trying out distortion pedals

Giovanni has been wanting distortion effects for a while so I started talking to one vendor who had an amazing array of effects neatly arrayed at his booth. There must have been 60 different units. I explained to the guy that my son was just starting out. He asked what kind of music Giovani liked and my son replied: AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen. I swear to god light started streaming from the windows. I glowed with pride as he didn’t reply Travis McCoy or Bruno Mars. I was amazed when he went through almost all of the models and not only explained what they were about, but how he personally felt about each of them. Anyway, we could not decide on  a M78 Custom Badass ’78 Distortion, a relatively cheap intro-model for $75, or a more expensive hand-made model in the $150 price range. Obviously there were other models costing hundreds of dollars but we didn’t come expecting to buy anything. The guy offered to have us hear the difference. As the man turned to set things up, I asked Giovanni if he wanted to play. He said, “No, no, that’s ok.” We both expected the guy to play for him. When it was all set up the guy handed his Epitome / Les Paul to Giovanni and told him to go ahead. Giovanni has the same Guitar. When handed the instrument, Giovanni didn’t bat an eye. He sat down and started playing and going through each filter with the man running the booth. Eventually he settled on the Custom Badass ’78. I was super proud of my son. Giovanni payed the man with his own money. When we got home we had to install a battery since the unit didn’t come with a DC cord it could use. Instead of installing the battery for him, I handed him a screwdriver and told him to figure it out. He opened it up, installed the battery, and went downstairs to play. He was down there for hours.

Spring Yardwork

Today, Lisa and I set aside the day for spring yardwork. The lawn was a mess this winter and it’s finally filling in after heavy seeding and careful watering. Not to mention that I roped the whole front yard off to make sure the kids stay off it. Between the heavy use the lawn gest with the kids and the over-watering, fungus, and other pests, the lawn did not grow well last year. I told the  kids they can go back sometime in June, which gives me another 4-6 weeks to let the lawn establish itself. We don’t have a large plot, so the front-yard is a play area I want them to have. I just want to avoid a muddy wasteland. Lisa did a ton of mulching and the yard is looking very neat and orderly now.

We opened the pool  last week and this weekend I tested the water and added a few chemicals to get it all back in shape. I opened up our big filter and cleaned it thoroughly with a hose. I skimmed out tons of leaves that had settled at the bottom and set our robot on automatic suck-it-up for the rest. I cut away one of our trees in the back so our fig tree would get more sun. It looks like a really bad hack job and Lisa is kind of mad at me. Hopefully it won’t look so bad when that fig tree fills in that space.

My BBQ was very dirty so I took it all apart and wet/dry-vac’d the insides. I even took the burners apart, cleaned them, and replaced the cross-bars with new ones from the BBQ store. I was pretty careful to put it all back together but somehow I was left with 4 parts I can’t figure out a home for. I tested and didn’t smell gas so I think it’s good.

We found a mouse in the pool and I fished it out. Sera grabbed the tail and ran around the yard scaring her brothers with it. She’s such a brave little girl.

Sera's Mouse

Tonight, I’m catching up on e-mail and enjoying a beer brewed in NJ called Tripel Horse. It’s a decent Belgian-inspired tripel that’s bringing a nice calm to the evening.


Spring Update

So it’s spring, I think. It was warm all winter then we had  this crazy cold day yesterday which felt like it was winter again. Then today was beautiful. Go figure. It’s nice to see  the days getting longer and it’s still light when I’m heading home from work. Only I’ve been working late in recent weeks so it hasn’t been so light when I left. Go figure.

Yesterday, all four of my kids had flag football games and the weather was miserable. Sera’s game was first and she toughed it out like a champ. All of the kids were cold but she ran with the ball and grabbed flags and seemed to have a great time. Marco, with all his superpowers, was no more than a puddle of tears. He hates being cold. He gets miserable and was useless to play. I comforted him as much as I could. It’s amazing how he can deteriorate like that when his little sister practically danced in the rain. The older two boys also played in the cold, less rain, but more wind. They lost and brought their season to 3-1, I think. Today, all of the kids had games again but the weather was glorious. Marco was on top of his game and did wonderfully. Antonio and Giovanni played really well too and won their game. I was proud of them all. At the end of the game the coaches started arguing over the final play of the game and things got ugly. I think the game was actually stricken from the record as a result. Crazy town.

Lisa and I signed up for some kind of obstacle course race in June so I started to train. I’ve been running for the past two weeks, about 5 days a week running about 1.5 miles. Easy. My pace is as slow as it ever was, about 12 minutes per mile. I bumped up my run to 3 miles today and I felt good. Kids are off the week after Easter so I’m looking forward to taking a day or two off work and spending some time with them.

Can’t wait for summer, opening the pool, grilling food and drinking some good summer beer.