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Archive for January, 2008

finally…

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Tonight’s season 4 premiere of LOST definitely didn’t disappoint this guy (imagine me pointing back at myself with both thumbs right now).

If you didn’t know, Emily and I are huge fans of the show. We caught the first season during summer reruns and were sucked in instantly. We bought the first season on DVD, and have kind of been LOST evangelists every since, passing it around from person to person, hooking more and more fans along the way. So far we’ve gotten my parents, Emily’s parents, her brother Nate, friends Dave and Sarah B., Matt and Kim, and – even though we didn’t directly give him our DVD set – we hounded my cousin Don into watching it (as did my cousins Luke and Amy)…and he devoured all three seasons in a week and a half. That may be a record. Our copy of season 1 is currently with my co-worker, Jonathon.

Okay, back on track to season 4’s premiere. I was a big fan. The end of season 3 was a huge turning point for the show’s standard flashback narrative device, and season 4 is apparently going to continue showing significant moments from our characters’ future. This makes for a whole new kind of mystery, unlike I can ever really remember watching before.

I loved that the first episode focused on Hurley, too. He’s been a less significant character over the past two seasons, and it was nice to see him be integral to the show’s moral/emotional core again.

Okay, so that’s our plug for LOST. If you’re not already a LOSTie, we highly recommend it. The nice thing about starting to watch it now is that you already have 3 seasons worth of content on DVD. Trust me, it’s better than 99% of the movies you could rent. There are just too many reasons why to go into in this little post.

Oh – and you should know that I have a theory that everything in LOST goes back to Star Wars. Ask me about it sometime when you have an hour to spare on a monumentally geeky conversation.

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Online “geek toy” rumor has it that the latest addition to the Mr. Potato Head family will be…drumroll please…TATER AND THE LOST ARK!  Owen doesn’t know it yet, but he loves Indiana Jones. What guy doesn’t?!

Here’s a poor quality picture, but a picture nonetheless. I love the whip:

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Owen already has a t-shirt that features Darth Tater on it (thanks, Lynn):

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I need to get him Optimash Prime, too (Transformers fans, I know you love this one):

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get me out of here!!!

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Poor kid…he always falls asleep before he successfully breaks out of the crib!! The last few nights, we have gone in to check on Owen and found him fast asleep in this position. We think it’s pretty hysterical.

By the way, when Travis and I were looking at these pictures, we were blown away by how huge our child is getting!  Considering he looked like this in his crib 8 months ago:

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Here’s one more cute pic of our funny kid. He’s discovering that some things he does are funny and make us laugh. Unfortunately for us, one of these things is getting a big mouthful of food and then spitting it all over us. I only laughed the first time and now he thinks it’s the thing to do…I’ll have to watch what I laugh at from now on!

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dude, it’s the cops!

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So last Sunday our doorbell rings around 4:30. I went to answer the door, and much to my surprise, was greeted by the police. Our dog, Max, was bouncing off the walls, so I barely opened the door, slid outside to talk to them, and shut it behind me (an action I later realized might have been a bit suspicious). Our conversation went a bit like this:

Officer 1: Sir, we received a 9-1-1 call from his home.

Travis: Really? Um, I’m not sure how that happened…

Officer 2: When we answered, nobody said anything. So we called back, and no one picked up. That automatically cues us to check on the residence.

[at this point, I recalled that we had indeed received a call from “the city,” but we screened it and assumed it was someone either trying to get us to buy something or vote for somebody]

Officer 1: Do you have any children who might’ve been playing with the phone?

Travis: Yes. I have a baby son…

It dawned on me. Owen had been playing with our TV remote and the phone. He SOMEHOW managed to hit “talk”, 9-1-1, thereby calling the cops on his own parents!

The police asked if they could come inside the house to check and, I quote, “make sure there’s nobody beat up in there or anything.” Emily came into the living room surprised to see the police. But after they saw her and Owen, they got the picture. They were very understanding and nice, and Emily and I actually came out of the situation feeling quite confident in our local police (and yes, that’s a picture of them in our street before they left).

But you gotta admit, it’s pretty funny. Needless to say, the phone is no longer allowed anywhere within reach of Owen. We’re nipping this in the bud before he accidentally orders a pizza, calls a taxi, or hires a stripper.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this kid’s gonna be a prankster…

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Here’s the story.

We’ve been Blockbuster.com members for over a year now. We chose Blockbuster over Netflix b/c of their in-store exchange program. We live within 3 miles of two different stores, so it’s pretty convenient. We’ve had a few mishaps, but nothing major.

Back in early December, Emily picked up a DVD from one Blockbuster store, but I accidentally returned it to the other Blockbuster store. My bad. I called the store that night after we realized what happened, explained the situation, and offered to come in, pick it up, and take it to the correct store. “Oh no! No big deal. This happens all the time – we’ll take care of it!”, they said. I was pleased with their service at this point. Note: we had only had this movie for about two days.

Flash forward two weeks. We get a call saying we’re going to be charged $26 for not yet returning the DVD. I call to explain what happened and how I was assured it would be taken care of. “Oh yeah, it’ll be taken care of. That charge will probably never come into play. Don’t worry about it,” I heard again. So I assume all is well.

Flash forward to this week. I get a letter from a credit collection agency saying we owe Blockbuster $26. I was mad. I called and talked to Blockbuster employees TWICE IN ONE MONTH (all caps – angry!) so that this very thing wouldn’t happen. So I talked to the store manager who said that the DVD had indeed been returned – but it got to their store 30 days past due, so I owe them them the money. I explained – calmly, I might add – that this was not my fault, but rather the other store’s fault. Apparently, someone at that store sat on their hands for a couple weeks, waited to check it into their network, and then further waited until JANUARY 4th to return it. And now I’m supposed to pay for it?!

I figured that after explaining the situation these guys would totally understand…especially since they now have the DVD in their custody, and they had assured me multiple times that I would not be charged, and that I needn’t do anything. But no. They say I owe them the money now. It’s like I’m getting squeezed by the mob!

I explained that this was absurd, and that I should probably take my $16/month subscription to Netflix. They still didn’t budge.  Let’s do the math…losing my $192 a year for one measly $26 bill that they made a mistake on…hmm…I’m thinking they didn’t think that through. Oh, and as we got off the phone, the manager told me, “Next time, return it to the right store and you won’t have this problem.” It was all I could do to hold my tongue. I OFFERED TO COME PICK IT UP AND BRING IT TO THE RIGHT STORE! TO TAKE CARE OF MY OWN MISTAKE! (again, please notice the all-caps writing) But they wouldn’t have it. So now we’re not having any more of them.

Granted, my money isn’t going to break their corporation. But hopefully my little tale will inspire you to go elsewhere. Netflix, here we come…

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Yesterday we went over to Em’s parents’ house to watch the Mizzou/KU basketball game (Phil ordered ESPNU just so we could watch this game). Em’s brother, Nate, also came over. The Tigers gave the #3 Jayhawks a run for their money, but alas, we were just too outmatched. But it was at least a competitive game. And we still beat them in football (which I never thought would’ve been something to brag about until this year).

Anyway, as Emily mentioned in her previous post, Owen’s becoming quite the talker. During the game last night, he really got going. I was able to catch a little bit of it on camera…enjoy.

Owen also got a new toy yesterday: a three-in-one sports system. I think I like it as much as he does. He seemed to get into the basketball part of the toy the most – which put a big smile on my face. He’s gonna be dropping treys on helpless defenders in no time…

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And for the heck of it, here’s a nice little family shot.

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Actually, looking back, I’m slouching and Owen’s not even looking at the camera. So let’s rephrase: “Here’s a nice shot of Emily. Also pictured are Owen and myself.”

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8 months old!!

Today is the day! Owen is 8 months old!

Here’s Owen’s new grin…he looks like a little Jack-o-lantern with his crooked little snaggle-tooth grin!

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Some of Owen’s big achievements this month include:

*Rocking back and forth on all fours…he’ll be crawling before long!

*Talking ALL the time! His favorite sounds include bah and gah, as well as many other random sounds thrown in.

*Eating Sweet Potato Puffs (for those who don’t know, these are similar to Cheerios). He’s still working on getting them from his fingers to his mouth, but when they do get there, he loves to use his gums to chew them.

*Splashing in the tub! Travis and I have been saying that we need to get a video and put in on the blog of Owen’s bath time. It’s hilarious. He gets this real intense look on his face and then proceeds to kick his legs from the time his body hits the water to the time I remove him. By the time it’s all said and I done, I feel like I’ve gotten a shower myself!

*Banging on EVERYTHING! This kid is all boy. He loves to take things in both hands and bang them together. He even bangs on his bottle while he’s drinking it. He never stops moving!

*And finally, Owen is starting to get hair! I think it looks a little reddish, which makes Travis really proud. You can kind of see it in this picture:

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