Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

Hurricane Isaac has come and gone, and thankfully it wasn't as bad as previous hurricanes.

Sure, our house was practically the first house to lose power. But we expected it since our power goes out if a single drop of rain lands within 10 feet of the house, so we had cranked down the AC the night before to make the house nice and cool. Instead of being hot and humid, we were pretty comfortable until we got the bright idea to open a window. Then the mugginess set in!

Spending Wednesday alone with the kids was actually kind of nice. We built block towers up until "Hurricane Pete" came and knocked them down. I beat Betty in Rummikub not just once but twice - unheard of! She beat me in our third game but she totally went past her time limit, so I'm putting an asterisk by that game log. The kids napped for close to 3 hours, Betty also got a nice nap, and I read some of my book. And when it was time for everyone to go to sleep for the night, we all snuggled in Peter's big new bed and had our portable fans blowing on us.

On a normal day, we're all too busy to really bond with our neighbors. But in times of need you really find out who your true friends are. We got several offers to stay at friends' houses where generators were available. One neighbor was going to be working through the hurricane and even offered us his generator. Our other neighbors came to check on us and Betty said we were fine, but joked that she just wished she had some coffee. Less than 10 minutes later, our neighbor brought us over a pot of coffee that he had heated up on his gas grill.

We figured that the food in our freezer and fridge would spoil, so we took practically everything out and stuck it on the BBQ pit. We asked our neighbors to drop on by and we had grilled fish, chicken, sausage and pork. I boiled water on the stove and Betty made instant mashed potatoes. For dessert we heated up bananas, chocolate and marshmallows on the grill, and Betty iced a big slab of cake that she just so happened to have laying around. The kids took out every toy in the house, which was fine with us, and we just sat and chatted until it got too dark to see. We all had a great time at our little hurricane party.

We live in Ascension Parish, and the parish community was on the ball as well. On my way to work Tuesday, I saw workers trimming trees around power lines in preparation for the storm. We have a few houses on our street that flood pretty regularly, and the parish dropped off a big pile of sand to make sand bags. Several guys in my neighborhood helped them bag up the sand and put it out in front of their doors and windows. I had already gotten some sand bags from the fire department in Gonzales - which, by the way, thank you to all the firemen out there! - so I went to help out my neighbors with their own houses.

Early Thursday morning we started packing up the van. Had we left 5 minutes earlier, we would have been at Betty's parents house for a bit before making our way to Lafayette to spend the weekend with my parents. But just as we were about to lock up the house, the power came back on! Power!!! So we called my parents and crushed their hopes that we would come by and see them, unpacked the van... and then the power went out again. The power was on and off for the next few hours, and finally we decided that our phones were charged enough that it didn't matter if the power was out - we could finally check Facebook again, so nothing else mattered. It's back to our normal routine where we interact in between checking our Fantasy Football projected scores and posting Facebook messages.

So... all is well in Tanory Land. But some people didn't make out as well. The levees were breached in Plaquemines parish and a lot of houses were completely flooded. The damage there in some areas is worse than from Katrina. Other people have dealt with tornadoes caused by the hurricane.

So today we're especially thankful for our great neighbors, our wonderful friends, and for modern technology. We've made a note that our next house should have a built-in generator. I'm thinking about getting some solar panels or wind turbines.

If anybody needs anything, please let me know! I hope everyone is safe and dry.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Betty and the Kids are TV Stars!

Betty took the kids to the Children's Museum in New Orleans this week, and they just happened to be there while the museum was filming a promotional video for a party at the museum this weekend. Check them out in the video below!



Betty's parents are also in the video. You can see several shots of Peter playing with Betty, and there's a part towards the end where they show Annie playing in a dressing area. They also got close-ups of both Annie's and Peter's faces. And of course Betty looks beautiful, as always!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Doppelgangers

Now that you know that Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan to be his Vice Presidential candidate, now's as good a time as any to tell you what I've been thinking for a few weeks now:

Paul Ryan looks like Ryan from The Office.

Don't believe me? Look here!

[Which one is which?]

They even have the same name... Paul Ryan, Ryan from The Office. I should be in casting for movies.

I had also just told Betty that Lolo Jones looks like Rashida Jones but then found out that practically everybody else already thought so.

Lolo Jones, Rashida Jones
The picture above is courtesy of EOnline, assuming they let me hotlink to it.

I have an uncanny ability to spot resemblances. It all started when we determined that my dad looks like Danny DeVito.

[We call him Daddy Devito]

We call my dad "Daddy DeVito," or will now that I've just written that. Here's a true story: my two year-old son saw a clip of a movie or TV Show with Danny DeVito in it. It might have been a clip of Sesame Street or something. And he immediately pointed to the screen and shouted, "Papa!" It was cute and hilarious, but it proves that they do in fact look alike. A two year-old is incapable of lying (although not incapable of destroying a house in five minutes flat).

My mom would also want me to say that my dad looks like George Clooney. But my kids have never mistaken George Clooney for Papa, so I'm not going to post a picture of him.

So now you're thinking, "OK, Smart Guy, who do you look like if you're so good at this?"

I knew you'd ask me that. Here it is. I am Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson.

[My doppelganger]
[My doppelganger]

He also stutters, so we've also got that in common. And of course we look exactly alike when we both get our heads stuck in turkeys.

I'm also apparently Hugh Jackman...

[My other doppelganger]

and Jimmy Neutron.

[And my other doppelganger]

Not too shabby!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

New Olympic Game Suggestions

One of my favorite Olympic events to watch is Beach Volleyball. Specifically, Women's Beach Volleyball. Not only are Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor incredible athletes, but they look pretty good in skimpy bikinis. Especially when they're making the other team eat sand.

Sexy, sexy sand.

But Beach Volleyball was only added as an Olympic event in 1996. This only proves that the Olympics is an ever-evolving collection of games and events. That's why I've compiled a list of 10 new games that should be added for the next Olympics.

1. Olympic "Olympic Watching"

How many hours of the Olympics can one person watch? I don't know, but I bet I can watch "all of it." That's why I'm throwing my name into the ring for next Olympic's "Olympic Watching" event. I will compete with viewers from China, Russia, Great Britain, Brazil and Australia to see who will win the gold medal.

If you think this is kind of silly, it's already happening - just in the form of marketing. How does NBC know how much to charge each sponsor, and how do the sponsors know which events they want to run their commercials during? Or how do they know which Olympians they want to sponsor? They've been crunching the numbers on our viewership for decades, and now I not only want to fast forward through their commercials, but I want a gold medal for it.

I think I could win it, too. The Olympics is now on 4 channels, can be Tivo'd / DVR'd, can be viewed live online, and can be streamed on your phone. There's no shortage of ways to watch the Olympics. And it's not like I have anything better to do, other than possibly work or watch my children. That's why I'm a shoe-in for the gold.

2. Olympic Beer Pong

Beer Pong is a staple of college life. It takes skill, determination... and at least one person 21 or over to pay for the Keg. Sure, a lot of teenagers would be excluded from competing, but only if the Olympic Games are played in a place with strict laws on who can consume alcohol. Women's Beer Pong has the potential of being up there with Women's Beach Volleyball, Women's Regular Volleyball, Women's Diving, Women's Swimming - basically any Women's event - as a viewership hog.

3. Olympic Sleeping

Who can sleep the longest? Who can take the quickest cat nap? These events will separate the well-rested from the fatigued. Contestants get points deducted for Snoozing or going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

4. Olympic Eating

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is already a big deal. Why not make it an Olympic Event? The people shoving 68 hot dogs down their gullets in 10 minutes deserve to be on prime time. We could have different heats, like the "1 Minute Hot Dog Run" or the "72 oz Steak in 1 Hour" contest. America should take gold, silver and bronze in pretty much all of these.

5. Olympic Brushing

How fast can you brush your teeth? How many times can you brush your hair in 1 minute? This event could be combined with Olympic Eating and be done right before Olympic Sleeping for a triathlon.

6. Fantasy Olympics

I love Fantasy Football. Seriously, I would marry it if it were legal in Louisiana. Instead I just have to Common Law marry it. But imagine if we had a fantasy draft for the Olympics, and got to pad our rosters with 2 Swimmers, 1 Diver, 2 Track and Field runners and 1 flex player? I'd put up $50 for that.

7. Olympic Shopping

That old TV show Supermarket Sweep was ahead of its time. Having contestants run around, finding specific items in a supermarket in the shortest amount of time, and then finding as many items as possible for under a certain dollar amount? That sounds like an American pastime to me. With the popularity of Couponing nowadays, we could definitely turn shopping into an Olympic event. The contestants could even do all of their shopping in an Olympic gift shop to show of all the goods. The winner's home country could get 10% off.

8. Olympic Pool Volleyball

Beach Volleyball and Regular-ass Volleyball are Olympic events, and even Water Polo is an Olympic event. Why not Pool Volleyball? By the way, I think Water Polo should be played with sea horses.

9. Olympic Jumping

I came up with this idea when my kids were jumping off the couch continuously. At first I was annoyed, then amazed at how much energy they had. Then I tried to do it and forgot that I'm now too old to do anything but blog and sleep.

We have the long jump, the high jump, the triple jump... even the trampoline has become an Olympic event. But do you know what would be incredibly awesome as an Olympic event? Base jumping.

10. Olympic Sex

What are the Olympians doing when they're not competing? Probably joining in the orgy that is known as the Olympic Village. Now we know why some of the track and field people were walking a little funny right before their events. These are the XXX Olympics, you know.

So we know the Olympians are sexing each other's brains out. And we know that porn is extremely popular. (Or so I've heard. I mean, uh... read in Scientific magazines.)

Categories could be just regular sex, Solo sex, and of course, Synchronized Sex. It would take a lot of training to compete in any of these events, though. Also a lot of juice and carbs.

That's it for my top 10 list of new games to add to the Olympics. If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment or email me and I'll be sure to send everything to the IOC before the XXXI games.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

SQL Saturday

If you or someone you love lives in the Baton Rouge area, is a software developer, database administrator, SharePoint developer, etc, and is either looking for free training or looking to spend a day with like-minded people, then please direct them to LSU's campus for the annual SQL Saturday in Baton Rouge. It's TODAY, August 4th.

Yeah, sorry it's kind of last minute, but I figured you'd forget if I blogged about it any earlier.

SQL Saturday is a great event for developers. First off, it's FREE. Second, it's put on by people who work in the Baton Rouge area. Third, it's going to be attended by people who aren't forced to be there but WANT to be there.

Let's be honest, it's like Comic-Con for developers.

I love that the people in Baton Rouge do so much to help grow everyone's skills. Thank you to all the sponsors who helped to make this event possible, thanks to the people putting on the event, and thanks to all the volunteers who are giving their time. I went to this event last year and had a great time, learned a lot, and met a lot of really cool people. We had people from Lafayette and New Orleans show up, and even a few people from Texas and Mississippi. Everyone is welcome!

The schedule of events and map of how to get there can be found here. Hope to see you there!