Archive for November, 2007

menko

Chocolate was beer??? Say what?!?

Chocolate UrnStumbled upon this article today explaining that chocolate’s origins in Central America 3000 years ago was as a beer-like drink, not the nice sweet delight of today. Actually pretty fascinating! Check it out: http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USN1248646820071113

menko

Long Live Spontaneity!

This weekend we decided to prove that spontaneity and flexibility do not become extinct when you are blessed with a young child. Since it was a 3 day weekend and Oma’s birthday on Saturday, we had the chance to make a little trip. Saturday was a day of firsts! We had brunch with the Lundes at 11am, which despite the lackluster service was quite enjoyable because it gave us a chance to catch up and plot our next cycling adventures. The kids were a bit sleepy so the slow service was a bit trying, but hey, it’s a good life.

On the drive home I turned to Cami and said “you know, we should take a drive someplace this weekend.” Being the lovely wife that she is, she of course had already contemplated a trip to Claremont on Friday, but since we both were wiped out by the week, voted it down. However, Saturday was good, and we were off to a good start, so we went home, packed up the car, setup the dog harness to have Matty and Beckett in the back seat together, and called the parentals to get the ‘OK’. Never ones to turn us down, they were thrilled we were coming, even if it was a last minute piece of spontaneity.

But before we could leave, we had one more stop to make—our first rock climbing experience at Planet Granite with the little kiddo. Dusting off our climbing gear with a mix of trepidation and excitement, we set off to have some fun.  It was great, and I realized how much I miss it.  Several pictures are on our gallery:

 Matty and Cami Climbing

menko

A Weekend at Home, FINALLY!

After what seemed like continuous travel, we finally had a quiet weekend at home which all of us needed badly. Menko went to work Saturday morning to support an event in the Incubator Classroom Saturday morning, which left Cami and Matty some time to go to the Y and spend a little time shopping to replenish our house with real food. The rest of the time was passed cleaning up, relaxing and playing games. We even did some Fall cleanup, which entailed putting down new hay, giving away more possessions, and generally just catching up. Mattheus and Beckett thought that hay was the best place to play, and we captured them on video. Quicktime movies are in our Photo Gallery.

menko

A Night with Bono

BonoI had the rare opportunity to actually attend a lecture given by Bono entitled “A Lesson in Giving Back” at Claremont McKenna College. Cami happened upon the advertisement on CMC’s webpage, and the wheels began to turn and before I knew it, a late night plane ticket was booked and pass to the lecture procured! This was clearly one of those :”once in a lifetime” opportunities, so I took full advantage of it.

I fully expected a very wordy presentation based upon “speeches” he has given during concerts, and upon glancing the sizeable number of folded sheets he brought to the podium, it seemed justified. However, Bono was uncharacteristically short, switching between well-prepared written statements interspersed with ad-hoc storytelling that seemed more like the Bono I was accustomed to hearing in live recordings. Either way, I found myself barely warmed up as he started to rev up the crowd with true preacher-like glory, only to conclude his speech in a mere 25 minutes. I felt cheated! However, he did an excellent job of doing question-and-answer with CMC President Pam Gann in which he debunked much of the criticism of the conservative press. He also explained how entrepreneurship led by himself and others was impacting Africa, and why he personally is committed to trying to expel “extreme poverty” in Africa. I have to admit I felt 18 again, swept away by the positive idealism of someone who is several years older and many lifetimes more experienced with the political system saying ‘these are difficult problems, but we can solve them.’ One person at a time. In all honesty, it made me feel connected to the world again, and ready to give something of myself to work on a cause bigger than myself.

Yes, we should also work on regular poverty in the US and elsewhere, but the ridiculousness of the death and illness caused by easily curable or treatable conditions is truly appalling. So please, send my Christmas gifts to the One Foundation, thanks!

menko

Matty and Daddy Halloween

Matty and Daddy Halloween

Matty and Daddy Halloween

Wednesday was a particularly scary Halloween night, but luckily, Menko had Superman to protect him! This scary character was one of the many at Greg’s house greeting us. Greg and Stefanie dressed the twins up and pushed them around in the stroller. Devin was a dog, and Bethany the buzzing bumble bee. We had a good time and saw some people that really get into decorating their houses (Greg included!)