Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Predictions for 2008 & Beyond!

For the last two years, Jessica and I have had some people over for New Year's Eve, and we've made it a tradition of making predictions for the coming year (lovingly stolen from Dr. Todd Hillyard). We seal them up in an envelope and open them at year's end, finding that we are parts sooth and parts ridiculous. Here are some predictions I NAILED for 2008:

  • "I will be engaged or married to Jessica." NAILED IT!
  • "I will break a bone" -- OK didn't nail it but tore my Achilles so I'm putting this in the "kinda got it" category
  • "Gilbert and Nicole will get pregnant" -- NAILED IT!
  • "Matt and Catherine will have a child" -- TRIPLE NAILED IT!
  • "Earthquakes in Southern California, China" -- I was amazed at this one, I'm opening up a psychic hotline now
  • "Obama elected President" -- now I'm on a roll
  • "Housing prices continue to slump - US in recession" -- HOW COME NOBODY ASKED ME?! Also, how come I didn't re-allocate my 401(k) so I wouldn't lose so much? Hmmm...

Here are some I was way off on, for humor's sake:

  • I will go to Hong Kong twice (none, actually and remarkably. Now that I have friends there I wish I were going finally. Harrumph.)
  • Jessica will get a new car (apparently I forgot about the whole "married to me" prediction)
  • BYU will go to a BCS bowl (grrrrrr....)
  • Celebrity Deaths: Jimmy Carter, Paul McCartney, Bob Barker, Dick Cheney, Paul Harvey, Neil Diamond (no on each count. Maybe next year.)
  • Patriots win 25 straight games (not even close -- thanks to a Tom Brady injury)

So -- what are some predictions for 2009? Here are some of mine, feel free to add yours in comments and I can check them at the end of 2009:

  • There will be an exciting new space discovery
  • Justin Timberlake gets engaged to whoever he's dating (it seems like it's about time)
  • There will be new "To Catch A Predator" Dateline shows
  • Two college football teams finish undefeated and 1-2 in the polls
  • Madonna & A-Rod begin publicly dating (again, it's about time)
  • International community/UN intervenes in Sudan & Congo
  • Jessica & I have a boy
  • Kim Jong Il, Fidel Castro pass away within weeks of each other
  • Jessica will win a prize of some kind (besides me as her husband)

What say ye? Have any predictions?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

News From Around the World



A couple observations and tidbits from life these days:




Last weekend Jess and I went to Powell's World of Books to get pregnancy books, and she lovingly (OK, strongly) suggested I get a book as an expectant father, so I know what's going on. So I purchased "The Expectant Father," and read the first chapter on Sunday. Now whenever Jessica does something I don't like, I just turn to her lovingly and condescendingly, and coo with a nod, "Yes -- the book said this would happen." She now hates my book.

Speaking of fathers... I thoroughly enjoyed this article in the Wall Street Journal about adults fighting at Chuck E. Cheese pizza parlors across the country. Outbreak of violence at Chuck E. Cheese? From PARENTS?! My favorite portion of the article was this fun anecdote about one incident:

"The biggest melee broke out in April, when an uninvited adult disrupted a child's birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant's music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain's namesake mouse perform."

Can you just picture a bunch of adults throwing chairs while Chuck, Jasper Jowls and Friends are automatronically performing their band routine? I hope this is me someday.

By now everyone's heard of Rod Blagojevich, Corrupt Governor of Illinois (can they make this part of the official title of governor in that state?). While I care about the politics of the situation, my real question is: WHAT IS UP WITH THE HAIR?! Every time I see a picture of this guy, I feel like I just time-warped to 1983 and the guy is wearing a rugby shirt with his 501's and Chuck Taylors. Or, I feel like I'm watching a Russian mob boss. Is the man ashamed of his forehead? Did he win a Lifetime Fantastic Sam's gift card 25 years ago? Does he have a second, evil head under there that was actually doing the talking on the wiretap while the real Rod was asleep? Is this the worst haircut since Trump (OK, tied with the current Donald)? I need a ruling on this.


And finally, I heard earlier this week that Zimbabwe's inflation rate is 9.7 sextillion percent -- that means that every day, the value of a Zimbabwe dollar loses half of its value. So people in stores refuse to take a check, since it would be worthless by the time the money is deposited. I think you can buy a soda with the Monopoly money below:

    Suddenly, the price of gas here doesn't sound so bad.

Country Music and Two Lines

Last Wednesday, I got home from church stuff and found Jessica in the den on the computer. Curiously, she was playing a downloaded song from iTunes, which rarely happens when she's on the computer (normally she's writing or reading blogs, or scrapping or day trading or learning Klingon or whatever happens on etsy.com). She said she wanted to play a song for me.

I could tell from the twang and the flash of the name "Clint Black" that this probably wasn't going to be something from MY playlist. With the exception of some Kenny Rogers (and The Man in Black if you count him as country), I hold little affection for country music. But my wife feels differently, and I was in a decent mood so I was more than happy to humor her and listen to a song. We spent about 86 hours doing this before our wedding, choosing songs for the various dances, videos, etc. that often come with the ring.

The song is called "Little Pearl and Lily's Lullaby." I still don't know the words or exactly what the song is about, but I'll always remember it because Jessica pulled out a pink stick and displayed it for me in a way that made me immediately recognize that whatever this pink thing was, it was important. I looked a little closer.

Two little lines... I thought. What could that mean? Oh, here's a legend:

"One Line -- Not Pregnant"
"Two Lines -- Pregnant"

I looked back at the two lines. Are there TWO lines?

According to Jessica, I asked her this several times as she stared and smiled patiently. Soon we were hugging and swaying. I couldn't really dance at our wedding, but I could do it now.

Meanwhile, Pixie was nipping at our heels and calves, wondering what all the hubbub was about. Little does she know what she's in for.

I've really enjoyed my days as Uncle David, but c'mon. This is going to be AWESOME.

AUGUST 9th! We'll keep you updated on the gender, species, etc.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Droppin' Some WSJ Knowledge



This morning when I walked outside, I almost came inside like Steve Martin did in "The Jerk" -- "the new phone books are here!" Instead, I was feeling that way about the Wall Street Journal.


I love the Wall Street Journal; I try to read it every morning on the recumbent bike at the gym, and it helps the time go by quite fast. But I let my subscription expire (gasp!), because it costs $299 to renew for a year and only $120 a year for new subscribers. Last week I congratulated Jessica on her involuntary decision to subscribe to the paper for me.


Although I know I'm not alone in reading the Journal every day, there aren't many of us left. So in celebration of my (er, Jessica's) subscription renewal, I decided I'll share something I learned every once in a while. Today: PIRATES.


Have any of us stopped and really thought about the news lately? Almost daily we are regaled with stories of pirates off the Horn of Africa taking control of ships. PIRATES! In 2008! How are these pirates getting on board a ship, let alone taking control? Do these pirate ships drive up next to a big cargo ship and gesture with a rotating arm to the captain to roll his window down, and then jump in? Are there random ropes hanging off these cargo ships that said pirates climb up with a rusty dagger in their collective mouths?


If you're loving this Renaissance of Pirates nearly as much as I am, perhaps you'll enjoy this Op-Ed piece in the Journal today, titled: Why Don't We Hang Pirates Anymore?


My favorite part of this piece is that the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Convention states that ships aren't allow to FIRE on pirate ships... legally they are required to, and I quote, "first to send over a boarding party to inquire of the pirates whether they are, in fact, pirates." Whaaaa? Who does this? And how is this "boarding party" chosen? Do these unfortunate souls negotiate to avoid cleaning the toilets on board for the rest of the trip if they participate?


I personally prefer the 18th Century legal code laid out in the piece: "A piracy attempted on the Ocean, if the Pirates are overcome, the Takers may immediately inflict a Punishment by hanging them up at the Mainyard End; though this is understood where no legal judgment may be obtained."


Now, I don't know where the Main-yard End is, but if you're hanging someone does it really matter where?


Anyway, more to come -- on pirates, and so much more.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fun With Old Pictures


One of the benefits I have of watching my parents' house is access to some really old and really tremendous pictures. Consider this the first installment of a series of analyses of "landmark" photos in the Fuhriman Archives. I commence this exercise with perhaps the most iconic photograph of the Fuhriman kids -- this one is like that picture of the sailor kissing that nurse in Times Square on V-J Day (and no, kids that has nothing to do with MTV): The Aspen Grove Picture.

Let me set the stage: It was the summer of 1980, and we went to Aspen Grove, a BYU Alumni camp very close to Sundance ski resort outside of Provo. As I recall, it was a week of fun and hilarity, with much drama: I caught a huge fish (or so I recall), Catherine busted open her forehead in the pool, and we have some great video of three-legged races and my mom busting out an epic 40-yard dash that put her on the recruiting watchlist of Portland State.

Oh, and it appears that each of us kids were going through an "awkward stage" of some kind or another. Let's take a closer look:


JEN


In Fuhriman vernacular, this summer for Jen was The Summer Of The Del Monte Hat. I don't believe anyone is aware of the origin of this blessed head covering -- legend has it that a lonseome drifter gifted it to Jen as a tip at her lemonade stand and then disappeared in a puff of smoke, but we've never been able to substantiate that claim. At any rate, the hat in question rarely left Jen's head this entire summer -- even for pictures, where the shade provided by Del Monte hat's considerable bill gives Jen a bit of a Zorro Mask look of mystery. I'm not sure what the Del Monte Hat did to fall out of favor with Jen -- perhaps it was just 6th grade -- but I believe it was last seen on my dad setting up Christmas lights in 2004. The amazing thing? It was actually the newest item of clothing he was wearing at the time; his work shoes were a gift from Sacajawea's son Jean-Baptiste.


CATHERINE


Struggling without the benefit of a Del Monte cap, Catherine is emphasizing her most fascinating qualities: squinty smile, a pigtail perkily flopping off each side of her head, and her buck teeth -- oh, those buck teeth -- gracefully shading her bottom lip and much of her chin for that matter. What tops off this ensemble? Ah, yes, the shirt -- The Roller Queen. Not "A Roller Queen," or even just "Roller Queen." Nope, not good enough for Cath... she's a THE.



"Did you meet Catherine?"



"Not sure, who's she?"



"She's THE Roller Queen."



"Oh well of course I met HER."



Thanks for clearing that up with the shirt, Catherine. And yes, she now has more newborns than she had teeth in this picture. Atta kid!




DIANA


With Catherine, you could tell she was making a college try to keep her eyes open; Jen wisely avoided the issue altogether, but in this picture we see Diana just waving the proverbial white flag to smiling with her eyes open; it's like she just said to my parents: "Yeah, I know you want me smiling. I know you also want my eyes open. But I'm 4 going on 5, I've got these annoying glasses treating my eyes like they're ants under a magnifying glass, and it's not like you're going to see anyone else's eyes either. So just TAKE THE PICTURE!" Those eyes are glued shut... or to make use of a more timely phrase, O-Glued shut.



Di is also going with the statement shirt today -- it reads, "Kids Need Love And Other Stuff." Other stuff being things like a Del Monte cap for the 4-year-old.



ME



As far as not squinting during pictures... I don't think I had my eyes open for a picture until I was 28. This was pretty much as good as it got, a hint of the retina. I've got a "24" shirt on, no doubt an early "shout-out" to one of the best TV shows ever created.


And about my arms/hands -- I have two hypotheses: I was either in Ricky Bobby form and had no idea what to do with my arms and hands during a picture, or I was doing the first ever recorded "raise the roof" for Aspen Grove's tremendous hospitality. Obviously, it was the second one.



So there you have it. The Summer of '80 in a nutshell. Well, this and "Magic" by Olivia Newton-John being tops in the Billboard charts. A few minutes later, we would hop into our yellow, wood-paneled station wagon and plod our way back to Oregon -- the headwounds heal, the fish get eaten, the Del Monte caps make their way to some landfill... but The Aspen Grove Picture lives on. And thank goodness for that, right Dear Sisters?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Song Remains The Same




I was listening to Song Shuffle on my iPod at work today (yes, it actually helps me work better believe it or not), and a song came up that I hadn't heard in a while: "Dreaming My Dreams" by the Cranberries. It's not a well-known song; I doubt very many other people would know it, at least by its title. But it's funny, it took me back to a very specific (but rather nondescript) time in my life. It was October of 2000, and I was driving home from work as the sun was setting and I was listening to that song in my Subaru's CD player. Nothing special happened -- but it was so clear looking back on that night driving home. So it got me thinking about other songs and what specifically they remind me of. Perusing my iTunes, I found several:






  • U2 Joshua Tree: Driving through the Columbia River Gorge in my dad's old Honda Accord, coming back from a soccer tournament in Tri-Cities (in between my dad's orthodontic journal tapes -- NyQuil Set To Words)


  • More Than Words, Extreme: Walking through the dorms at BYU campus and hearing dozens of freshman guys (fresh off their first 2 Beginning Guitar classes) serenading women from the lawn outside their rooms to this song. This is Unintentional Comedy at its very best.


  • Best of Bruce Springsteen Album: Driving up through Goldendale on the way to Lake Roosevelt in eastern Washington for a week on a houseboat with the Robinsons. 100-degree heat, Super Big Gulp, Blow Pops and Born To Run. Mmmmm...


  • Boys of Summer by Don Henley: Summer of (probably) 1985, riding around Oak Hills on my bike, going to AM/PM or Scooter's and staying out until the last of the light was fading away.


  • Southern Cross by CSN: Tahiti, when I saw the Southern Cross for the first time on a ship and couldn't get this song out of my head for the rest of the trip. Ah, Tahiti...


  • Life For Rent Album by Dido: This was one of only 2-3 CDs we had on my trip to New Zealand with Cath & Matt. We were driving a RV on the "wrong" side of the road, shifting with our left hand. That was an epic journey, and every song on that album reminds me of how amazing that country is.


  • Kyrie by Mr. Mister: OK, this one isn't in my iTunes, but I heard it the other day and it reminded me of riding in a car with Chris Erickson. We were listening to the radio randomly and he turned to me and said, "Do you know that song..." and for whatever reason I just blurted out, "Kyrie?" "WHAT?! Yeah! How did you guess that?" Our alpha waves must have been communicating that day, I like to call it a Miss Cleo moment.


  • Don't Change Your Plans by Ben Folds: Listening to this song in concert in Hollywood somewhere, when William Shatner appears on stage and points to the balcony, where Weird Al Yankovic is chilling with his posse. Quite the surreal moment. Captain Kirk? Like a Surgeon? It was then that I realized I really was in LA.


  • Pour Some Sugar On Me: Driving back from a field trip in junior high to Mount St. Helens and listening to my BMG-purchased (12 for the price of 1?! No Way!) cassette tape on one of those bright yellow Sony Walkmans with the clip holding the tape in place. I felt cool.

By the way, here are some of my music "firsts":


First music I ever owned: 45 (that's a RECORD, people) of "We Built This City." I got it in my stocking. I don't believe I asked "Santa" for this, so I blame Jen and Catherine for convincing my parents to get this for me. C'mon, it couldn't have been "The Who" or at least The Gloved One? Instead, I'm still knee-deep in the hoopla on this one.


First BMG Purchase: I don't remember all of my first cassettes, but here's a slathering of them: Janet Jackson "Rhythm Nation," Milli Vanilli (awwww yeah...), U2 "Under A Blood Red Sky" ("Hey, This is Red Rocks!"), Def Leppard "Hysteria," and something from Billy Joel.


Oh, and some "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em."


And Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock.


Did anyone NOT do either BMG or Columbia, then forget to turn in random Biz Markie tapes sent to them and refusing to pay for them?


First Compact Disc: Journey's Greatest Hits. Still, awesome. Tied with Boston for best album artwork ever (they may have had the same person do theirs). A beetle with humongous WINGS, equadistant from two illuminated orbs? AMAZING!

I rue the death of the importance of the album cover art -- some monumental artistic expression there, my friends:



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Obama


In 2004, I was so frustrated with my choices as President that I ended up voting Libertarian (Michael Badnarik, about 400,000 votes) instead of my other choices. I could not stomach either major candidate for a number of reasons.


This year, I felt differently. I understand the general cynicism around politicians and candidates, but I honestly felt that either candidate -- in spite of their weaknesses and my differences with them in philosophy -- would do a much better job than the current President. McCain brings a moderate Republican view and a practical, experienced voice to the White House. Obama brings a more enlightened view on diplomacy, and from a more general perspective represents a significant shift in how politics is viewed in the US.


I voted for McCain, mainly because of his philosophies on the use and purpose of taxes and his health care proposal (if health care is to survive, we need to view it more like home or car insurance where it's used for significant events and not general "maintenance" -- you wouldn't use your car insurance to pay for an oil change or new wiper blades). But I'm not mad at Obama either. I think he will be a serviceable president at worst, and if he makes some changes to his view on business, taxes and health care could actually help the country a lot more. And generally, I think he's a nice and reasonable man.


But beyond issues, yesterday was a "game-changer." As we watched Grant Park in Chicago last night, I turned to Jessica and opined that our unborn kids will maybe someday ask us where we were when we saw this (for the record, I was working on my laptop and Jessica was doing crafts... so there you have it). I didn't vote for Obama as president, but he will be MY president, and I take courage in the renewed political interest of the company and his platform of post-partisanship, regardless of how unrealistic that may be.


Many will disagree (some vehemently) in either direction -- but that's the blessings of living in a democracy.
I'm glad it's over.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lookin' Fine-a in Carolina

Thanks to Will for this picture - not bad!

Our dear friends Austin & Shanda McKeehan and their chitlins have been in North Carolina for 4 years or something, and I haven't made it out to visit them once... even though Austin's owed me a ticket since USC beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl several years back. I suppose I could have gone by myself all this time, but I've been hoping to have someone to take with me. Wait, what's this? I'm MARRIED now?! Well, why don't we go then?





We left last Friday at 6AM, after I got home about 1AM from a business trip to Denver. So I pretty much just stayed up and did laundry and work until I needed to wake Jessica up at 3:30AM for our flight and take Pixie for a decent-sized run to tire her out before our flight. By the tugs on the leash I was getting as I tried to rev up the early-morning engines, I think Pixie was saying, "Geeesh! It's 3:30 AM in the morning! You're never up at this time of morning, let alone running. So WHAT IS THE DEAL?!" Well, we dragged ourselves and our tired dog onto a 6AM flight, landing in lovely Charlotte about 7PM that night. Austin greeted us with his trusty sidekick Will, who successfully pulled Jessica's bag off the conveyor belt in Baggage Claim and, after a few minutes of warm-up time, also successfully began charming my wife with his perceptive statements and tokens of devotion. We were feeling quite at home in Charlotte.





We polished off the evening with Five Guys Burgers. It was tremendous. If you haven't been there, they just opened one up in Beaverton and I highly recommend a trip (we already went again last night), and stayed up late like we were back in college.





Saturday was spent hanging with the kiddos, and watching Coop's baseball game before we headed to the National Whitewater Center for a tremendous adventure there (see Jessica's blog, she certainly does it more justice than I could). It doesn't do it justice, however, to just say that we went there; we were actually running way behind schedule, and Austin had to practically beg the box office personnel to let us on the last run of the day, pay over the phone and bypass half of the orientation (if you've read Jessica's description of the orientation, you'll understand how great that was for us). After thoroughly soaking through our clothes, we sloshed our way to a splendid sushi joint where we dined on rolls and Doctor Dave's Sauce (shhhh! it's secret).





We spent Sunday at church and in naps/football trances before taking a fun walk to see their neighborhood (so perfect it looks like a big movie backlot), polished off with a fantasy basketball draft for me and Austin (I love my team!), and a fun dinner with Shanda's mom there and Shanda on the grill.





We took off Monday afternoon, but not before being treated to some Carolina barbecue and picking up Will and Cooper from school. Earlier in the day I watched Paris for a while, and amazingly she and Pixie got along swimmingly; Paris even got some licks on the palm from Pixie, which made me a bit jealous since it took me about 10 months to get so much as a sniff of a lick from Pix.





Thanks to the McKeehans for being such great hosts! We're amazed that we had such a great time, and that Austin & Shanda (not to mention their kids) showed no signs of being sick of us. I'm particularly pleased that Jessica and Shanda were practically inseparable, even if part of their bonding was the common struggle of dealing with their budget-conscious husbands. And now I will close with my Senior Will-type ode to the McKeehans:





I, David Parker Fuhriman, hereby bequeath to the McKeehans the following:




  • To Paris: the key to the heart of our firstborn son.


  • To Will: a black t-shirt to cut down the middle - because really, what else could you askf for? Well, perhaps a candy-bar sandwich (my bad).


  • To Cooper: More soy butter and more quality time with Jessica.


  • To Shanda: Two more hands for crocheting (or you could go Bonnie Consolo with your feet -- just ask Austin about that).


  • To Austin: My Spring trip idea -- Vegas. Stay gold.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Shameless Plug: O.REGON S.CIENTIFIC WAREHOUSE SALE

SATURDAY -- TOMORROW!


10AM -2PM


19861 SW 95th Ave.


Tualatin, OR 97062




One of our favorite shows is "The Biggest Loser." I tend to make it up to go to the gym on Wednesday morning a bit easier because the night before I saw a bunch of people in worse shape than me get their collective butts kicked by Bob and Jillian. For those who follow the show, we particularly enjoyed last week's show when what'sherface did the slo-mo "Truffle Shuffle" after her weighing.




But one thing we always roll our eyes about when we watch the show is the pseudo-planted meetings between trainers and Losers (not sure what else to call them) to pitch products. For instance, suddenly Jillian is in the kitchen helping someone prepare their meals for the week. Wow! These Ziploc Zip n' Steam Microwave Steam Cooking Bags are so great -- they really do combine the convenience of microwave cooking with the freshness and healthy eating of steamed foods!




So I'm not going to do that to you - I'm not going to pretend I have some other motive than for your to spend money on my company: I work for O.regon S.cientific, and it was my bright idea to have a Warehouse Sale this Saturday that offers products at 50-80% discounts from our suggested retail pricing. Some of the product is old or in old packaging, but with prices ranging from $5 for pedometers and clocks to $125 for high-end weather stations (that are normally $300), you could find all sorts of holiday gift items and stocking stuffers at the sale. I'll just go ahead and list two of my favorite products you may want to consider:




SmartGlobe: This was the 2007 Educational Toy of the Year, and my nieces and nephews love it. You use a SmartPen to play games and learn about different countries of the world. You know those statistics about how most American kids can't find the world on a map? Miss South Carolina really captured the real problem when she eloquently stated that it's because "some people don't have maps... such as." Well said! But I can tell you that I played the "Find It!" game on this globe against my nephew, and he was able to quickly find places like Sudan, Romania, Singapore and Indonesia. Now the kid's related to me so he's an uber-genius, but still... a GREAT, FUN product for kids that is normally at $130 and is selling Saturday at $60.




WeatherNow: I could tell you stories about this product and the many sleepless nights I spent a few years ago on the phone with Hong Kong talking about this thing. But in the end, it turned out to be a pretty cool product that sits on your countertop and constantly updates with the 4-day forecast for your metro area, including: Hi/Lo temperature, chance of precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, barometric pressure levels, UV levels, severe weather statements, sunrise & sunset, air quality, and even visibility. Pretty cool! In stores you'd pay $130 bucks, but it's only $50 at this sale.
You also get a 15% of coupon to use as many times as you'd like on our website or in our Bridgeport store before the end of the year. Yes, I am that awesome for offering that to you.

So, another reminder about the Sale Information:

October 25th (This Saturday)

10AM - 2PM
19861 SW 95th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062



If this thing isn't a success, I think Hong Kong is going to transfer me to our Ugandan operations, so I beg for you to come and to spread the word to your friends and family.




We now return you to your scheduled blog programming. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One Growing Job Market In A Recession...

I'm in Denver for customer meetings, and I just flipped on CNN during their debate coverage.

I counted 14 different people on the sound stage. 14. FOURTEEN! Each with a laptop, presumably half of them preparing for their fantasy basketball drafts.

There weren't even enough seats, so two people stood on the edge of the stage, leaning against the 12-person table like they're picking up ladies at the hotel sports bar.

Assuming 15 minutes of commercials an hour, you have 45 minutes of actual debate coverage. With the host (Anderson Cooper) getting a few extra minutes of talk (let's say 6), that leaves an average of 3 minutes per remaining analyst.

I am so ready for this election to be over.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Slater Fuhriman?

So one thing nobody prepares you for about marriage is discussions about baby names. You think you know someone until they start telling you the names they love for your own kids. Let's just say Jessica and I have different tastes (and different memories of names).

Slater is a perfect example. Jessica loves this name, to the point that if the name itself were a man I believe she would annul our marriage and marry it and have its own babies.

When I hear that name, this is all I can think about:
Oh, and this:


That's not to say that some of my own favorite names aren't "out there" a bit, but how am I supposed to expect anything more from my son named Slater than to hang out at Max's and wrestle? Oh, and date Elizabeth Berkeley and call her "Momma."

Jessica likes that when she asked on WikiAnswers what the name "Slater" means, the response she got was, "Cool." I hate WikiAnswers. To me, we may as well call our son Screech Belding LisaTurtle Bayside Fuhriman.

So what do you think, friends? Am I being unreasonable? Should I work to get over my fear that with the name Slater our son will be born with a greasy mullet? I ask for your help this fine day...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Free Advice: Don't Da-Do What I Don't Da-Do

I was a Child of the 80's, and this great montage of old commercials proves it -- I think I recognize at least half of these beauties. CAREFUL -- this is 10 minutes long, and once you pop you can't stop... Some comments to guide your video adventure:

  • The "how many licks" Tootsie Pop commercial is a classic, but kind of depressing... that was our best available animation?
  • He-Man Cups -- Had 'Em, Collected 'Em All, Bought the T-Shirt.
  • The "Karate Kid" action figures commercial is just as wise as Mr. Miyagi himself: "True strength, come from HEART (No, not the "Barracuda" Heart)"
  • Ronald McDonald, Grimace and Birdie: Are they, along with the rest of McDonaldLand citizens, banished from television forever? Hamburglar? Fry Kids? Whither Mayor McCheese? Let's put an APB out... and yes, I still feel bad for chuckling when kids at school called the librarian in the purple dress Grimace.
  • Nintendo: OK, I didn't have one of these puppies (I was the mooching next-door neighbor, nice to see you again) -- but what in the samhill was Rob the Robot?! Was this thing real, an actual robot that shipped with Nintendo systems? I just remember the gun for "Duck Hunt."
  • Tony Danza -- great in his time. Now when I hear his name I think of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer."
  • Need evidence we were low-maintenance kids in the 80's? Check out the free Play-Doh "Fun Flier." Yup, that's a super-small Frisbee, too small to ever actually fly, so two kids need to stand about 5 feet away from each other and huck it. And yes, this was FUN.
  • "Simon" -- this game eventually won me and my friends about a dozen orders of breadsticks at Little Caesar's -- they had a "simon"-type machine where if you got enough points you won free breadsticks. This was huge, since we were already traveling a half-hour to get to Little Caesar's on Highway 99 in Tigard (why? I have no idea), so we'd better win breadsticks to make it worth our while. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the band in this commercial is supposed to be Sting and The Police, given the "De Doo Doo Doo" type melody and the singing style of the lead guy. C'mon, "don't da-doo what I don't da-doo?" RIPOFF!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Baby, We Were Born to Run


First of all, I'm excited to find a reason to use this title, since I love old Bruce Springsteen songs. Back during the BMG "12 CDs for the Price of 1" days, I picked up the Springsteen Greatest Hits and the "Tracks" box set to get my fix of Bruce, and I recommend both of them. Top hits on "Tracks" include "Roulette," "Dollhouse," and "Ricky Wants a Man of Her Own." Any Bruce Springsteen song reminds me of driving down the Gorge Highway, and then over to Highway 97 through Goldendale and up to the Gorge Ampitheater. Great memories!
So why the Bruce song title, Dave? Why the Forrest Gump image? BECAUSE I CAN RUN AGAIN. I spoke to the orthopedic surgeon this week, and after more than 4 months of pain, limping, crutches, Roll-A-Bouts and rehab, I have been cleared to do everything but soccer, basketball, football (tennis, racquetball, chess...) and I'm working on running at full speed. For now, I just jog a bit when I take Pixie for a walk and that's enough for now.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fun at the State Fair

Jess and I went to the State Fair on Labor Day -- awesome time. Some pictures, videos and comments:

The highlight of the day was the Jumping Dog competition, including this great leap (not catch) by a nice black Lab:


video


There are some questionable contests and wins in the State Fair, including this embroidered quilted jacket that I thought might have been dug up in a 1988 time capsule... but instead found that it won a blue ribbon:





And lest you think this is just one crazy outlier, I give you as evidence this entire showcase of questionable judging choices. I didn't take the time to see the contests these things won blue ribbons for, but I'm guessing "Most Likely Clothing Article To Be Found on Clearance at Mervyn's... in 1989."





If you get a 3rd-place ribbon in the "Jarred Dilly Beans" category, do you tell anyone about it?
Or even a 1st place prize... for a "Adult Danish Cookie" (no, I'm not sure what makes this an "Adult" cookie)



And here is Jessica, enquiring after an embroidery machine... on sale for just $8495! On a $1999 table! Don't worry, I already told the saleswoman they forgot the decimal point on this $85 machine. They didn't find that amusing.



Overall, we had a GREAT day! Our Tomato Truck Runneth Over...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Taco Del Fuhriman: Now Serving Pixie Tacos

Along with learning to live with an actual human since Jess and I got married, I have been learning to live with Pixie (she's the dog you see in half our pictures -- the other half she's the one taking the pictures). This is no small task, since I a) haven't had a dog since Chips treed Andrew Knaupp in the back yard maple when I was about 5 or 6, and b) I am allergic to dogs (and cats, but this didn't seem to stop my family from having them while I grew up).





But she likes me now, is excited when I come home and we have a great time. I do frankly get some/a lot of crap for her being a "small dog," but whatever -- her turds are that much smaller and easier to pick up, and I am comfortable enough in my manliness (Ricki Lake documentary notwithstanding) to have whatever size dog I darn well please.



She likes to play a lot, and one game we taught each other is the one in the below video: I say "Picky Taco," she jumps in her bed and then tries to bite my hand through the bottom of the bed as I fold the bed in two, not unlike a silky blue tortilla of Yorkishness. It may not seem all that interesting to you, but it's hilarious to us:





video

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Heart Wikipedia

Yes, that was me. I was the kid laying on the carpet in his living room reading the World Book Encyclopedia for fun. What can I say? When you grow up in rainy Oregon winters in a family of girls and Atari hasn't been introduced yet (at least to my family, not exactly early technology adopters those dear parents of mine), you turn to a) puddle activities, including splashing yourself and others, damming and creating tributaries and collecting worms, or b) reading the World Book Encyclopedia.



Wikipedia, my friends, is my new World Book. It's amazing the type of information you find when you just start searching. For instance, for whatever reason I came across an entry in Wikipedia for "mass hysteria" (probably was reading up on the Jonas Brothers or something) with the following instances:


  • The Dancing Plague of 1518 in Strasbourg France, where scores of people danced for days and weeks without stopping, to the point of exhaustion and eventually death (And yes, there was evidence of Kevin Bacon shimmy dance moves and Kenny Loggins music found on site)

  • The 1962 Laughter Epidemic in Tanzania that apparently began at grammar school when someone told a joke that people laughed at -- and kept laughing, and laughing... interestingly and ironically scientists believe the incident began as a result of stress. Go figure.

  • The widespread belief in South Korea (still today) that leaving a fan on overnight could result in death. I can unequivocally refute this one, since I sleep with a fan on about 350 nights a year.

  • The Loveland Lizard of Loveland, Ohio that when first sighted in 1955 was said to smell of "alfalfa and almonds." My, such a nice-smelling lizard! I think this one may just be ALF, folks...

  • The New Delhi Monkeyman (seen below looking like The Great Gazoo (who has HIS OWN WIKIPEDIA ENTRY HERE) from the Flintstones with the helmet) which set off panic in the streets of New Delhi in 2001 and was last seen boarding a plane to Moscow (really?! Boarding a PLANE?! How does a monkey man get a passport?)

And this is just what I found in about 15 minutes of time.

And rest assured, NONE of this was in my World Book.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Once, Twice, Three Times A Baby



Back in March I got a call from my sister to call her when I get a chance. Now, I love my sister and we're tight, but it's not like we have urgent business to discuss all that much. I had a couple options of what was going on that made her call with a request for a call back soon:


  • she was coming to Oregon to visit (if you know Catherine, this is not unusual -- she falls asleep wrong and wakes up in another state if not another country)

  • she had a free ticket to go with Matt and her to Djibouti or something -- also not unusual, given that I traveled with her to Austria for a week one time on 2 week's notice since Matt had a trial come up, and we kind of ended up in New Zealand on a whim.

  • she had her identity stolen and needed to borrow mine (she's had this happen before, but thankfully for her she didn't need mine at any point)

  • She was pregnant.

She and Matt have been trying for a looooong time, so naturally I was hoping it was the last option (I mean c'mon, Djibouti in March? Not all that exciting. Everyone knows that's the off-season on the Red Sea). I popped in my oft-reviled Jawbone headset on the way home and gave her a call from traffic. I don't remember the whole conversation, but the Cliff's Notes version is:


Cath -- "Dave, you know how we've been trying to have a baby?'


Dave -- "Yeeeeeeeeaahhhh" (with an ever-increasing pitch)


Cath -- "Well, we're pregnant with five."


Dave -- "Babies?!"


Well, after several months of drama, bed-rest, and daring road-trips to my wedding, my sister gave birth to three healthy babies (one girl, two boys) on Tuesday! Such a blessing, we are so grateful that everything went pretty well and babies and momma are OK. Thirty toes and thirty fingers. I can't wait to meet them! They haven't decided on names, but I have a couple suggestions:



  • Alpha, Bravo and Charlie

  • Peter, Paul and Mary

  • Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato

  • Snap, Crackle and Pop

  • Butcher, Baker and Candlestickmaker (OK, I guess Maker could be a middle name)

  • Alvin, Simon and Theodore

  • Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria

CONGRATS TO MATT AND CATHERINE!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Random Musings...

I've been writing and crying and whining on this blog thing for several months now, but what more do you REALLY know about me since I started it? What, that I'm incoherent under general anesthesia? That I don't enjoy watching R.icki Lake give birth? That I'm great at picking out hot chicks in pageants? That I have a weak Achilles tendon? OK, but what BESIDES that? Here are some things I've been thinking about as I sit in the Salt Lake City Airport Courtyard Marriott, Room 345:
  • When I was about 5 years old, I was convinced that I had invented skipping. Don't ask me why I thought that, except that perhaps I was the first person in my neighborhood to do it. That may be true, except for the likely fact that my older sisters had probably skipped in front of me before... so actually I must have just been delusional, my friends.
  • Try as I might, I never feel like I have put the right amount of ice in any fountain drink. It's frustrating and annoying, but I always tenderly touch the lever of the ice dispenser, rhythmically tapping the lever like the pecks on Jessica's cheek as I leave each morning (awwwwww....) until I feel as if I've gone OVER the amount of ice I would like. What is that amount, you ask? It's the amount where the last morsel of the last cube melts just as I take my last sip of the soda. And yet, I have never found that perfect amount.
  • I think too much about ice at the soda fountain.
  • When I misspell a word when I type, I have to go back to the beginning of the word and restart. Absolutely inefficient, but in my mind for some reason necessary ( I did it twice in this sentence alone).
  • If I decide to re-phrase an entire sentence or paragraph, instead of selecting the entire paragraph and pressing the Delete key once I will feverishly press the Delete key or just hold it down. Again, inefficient. Is this some disorder I should be aware/scared of? Can someone let me know?
  • I put the over/under on my crying moments during Olympics coverage at 10. First of all, I plan on watching a lot of it, and second, I am a sucker for the heartstrings-pulling stories with soft camera tones and Kenny G soundtracks that NBC and that jerk B.ob Costas pull out almost every hour.
  • I already turned in my man card after watching the R.icki Lake documentary, so don't ask for it again after that last bullet point. It's being held for me until further notice at the Mad Greek Deli on West Union Road.
  • Most surprising artist I have lots of songs from on my iPod: Sade. I have her Greatest Hits.
  • Second most surprising iPod artist: Positive K ("What's your man got to do with me?" "I got a man" "I ain't tryin' to hear that, see?")
  • Jessica found 3 gray hairs on my head a couple months ago. I blame work.
  • I always choose the aisle on a plane. If I have checked luggage, I choose an aisle in the back of the plane (less likely to have someone next to me and I have to wait at Baggage Claim anyway). If I only have carry-ons, I try to get as close to the front as possible (I once stowed away in the cockpit just to be the first off the plane).
  • If I'm flying internationally, I always order a special meal -- initially I went with kosher (if a rabbi blesses it, it CAN'T be too bad), but it got annoying because every individual plate had to be shrink-wrapped which took a lot of time and effort to get off. I now opt either for low-fat or high-fiber meals when available. At any rate, the special meal is the way to go since you get your meal before anyone else and it makes you feel kind of special (OK, maybe that's just me. And there's another way to feel special on a plane: fly First Class, punk!)
  • Songs that always get me going when I work out: Snap's "The Power," The Who's "Baba O'Riley" and Cake's "The Distance."
  • I would rather drive an extra 15 miles if it means not sitting in traffic. If you want to see me at my worst, sit with me in traffic. I hate all of humanity and wish various and sundry plagues on anyone in front of me who lets someone cut in front of them. I'm ashamed, but it's true.

OK, perhaps that's enough information for now. I'm tired, and still crying from Mr. Costas' last tribute to Nicaraguan table tennis.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

One Small, Limping, Semi-Step for Dave


There are some famous steps in the world...

Neil Armstrong's ALLEGED first on the Cheese Planet...


The Spanish Steps of Rome (everyone says these are amazing, but they look pretty normal to me. Help please?)



And of course, the 5 steps set forth by those sages of the 80's, The New Kids, to "get to you girl":

1. We can have lots of fun (that's a capability, not a step)
2. There's so much we can do (See above)
3. It's just you and me (Thanks Captain Obvious, but where did our court-appointed supervisor go?)
4. I can give you more (We knew that when we first heard you)
5. Don't you know that the time is right (It WAS)

But in terms of my most important steps, the one I took out of the orthopedist's office Thursday ranks up there. After more than two months of some kind of hindrance or contraption on my leg, I left the office with two shoes on my feet (never mind the lifts I have to wear, thus breaking the Little Person's Code of Ethics made famous by Seinfeld) and with pride in my heart.

As I awkwardly and break-dancingly sauntered down the hallway, a tough old man with tennis elbow turned and looked at me and, with a tear rolling down his whiskered cheek, loudly started a slow clap -- first 2 seconds between claps, then slowly decreasing the gap between claps and joined by an ever-increasing mass of mangled-limbed humanity that crescendoed into an enormous ovation as I herky-jerkied into the elevator and down to my waiting automobile.

Wish I had a camera, so I could prove to all of you that I am totally not lying and didn't practically trip on my spaghetti leg the moment I left the waiting room. I wish.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another New Video: Honeymoon Recap!

Here's a video from our last evening in Puerto Vallarta as the sun set over the ocean. Our hotel is in the background, as is the beachfront restaurant we ate in on our last night. Our eloquent thoughts (and my fly-fighting skills):


video

Pixie To Grandpa: You're a Phony!

The cardboard version of Grandpa came out to meet Pixie for the first time, and she treated him with utter contempt. Let's hope the actual meeting works out better...

video

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Plea For Help -- To Nicole

Nicole Dewey, Jessica's too shy to ask herself... but PLEASE INVITE HER TO YOUR BOOK CLUB! Shhhh, don't tell her I said anything, but how can you say no to THIS GIRL?!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday Fun: Pets in the Pearl



Today was Pixie's 3rd birthday, so to celebrate this weekend we took her in the car with us to Pets in the Pearl. Ever since the Fourth of July and the World War III Pixie thought was going on outside, she has suffered from severe separation anxiety when we leave the house together... to the point of charging the door and growling when Jessica attempts to leave. So just taking her with us somewhere was a treat in and of itself for our little Pixie.


Pets in the Pearl is a charity-oriented festival with booths from local pet-oriented business and organizations. Among the honored guests were the Winterhawks mascot (Tom-A-Hawk I believe, which has rocketed up the list of "Names for a Son If We Have One"), Lumberjaxx (local pro indoor lacrosse team -- hey, we take what we can get) and Blaze of the Trail Blazers which is a big dog. By the way, Pixie barked at and hated each of them, no surprise if you've met Pixie before.

We had a great time at the festival and Pixie had an even better time, sniffing a lot of butts (dog butts, not human) and getting at least 5,000 tail wags in. We finished off the festivities with some Hot Lipps Pizza, highly recommended for their slices of BBQ Pork and Asparagus, Roasted Garlic, Shitake Mushrooms and Goat Cheese. Pizza's come a long way, hasn't it folks?


Enjoy the pictures!

A Doggie Bakery with some elaborate cakes. We could have bought our wedding cake from this place, but we got a Diva Cookie for Pixie instead.



The First Sniff -- this is like the first pitch on Opening Day of the baseball season. Batter Up!


What's important about this picture is what you don't see -- a slightly odd (OK, very odd) looking man dressed all in black about to walk by Pixie. She then attempted to attack with full vigor, barking to the point of conniption and making her parents quite proud. She hates and fears all non-normal things, like she's stuck forever in junior high.



This is a classic picture - the llama intrigued by Pixie, and Pixie leaning back with all her might to avoid this hideously hairy creature from approaching her. Hopefully you can blow up this picture to see Pixie's leg leveraged against Jessica's arm, trying to launch herself out of her mother's grasp and away from this curious camelid.

OK, so you can't blow that one up, so here's a closeup of Pixie. Gotta love the terrified look of her animal friends... Lassie she's not!



Cat on a leash. Not sure what to say here...

I Know Beautiful Women: Miss Universe Competition



So clearly I have good taste in women (For more evidence please reference "Fuhriman, Jessica Leigh"), but how do you REALLY prove your prowess in such a field? How could I validate the fact that my view of beauty is superior to those of my friends? Answer: Miss Universe Competition.




As you've read before, for the past few years the Deweys have hosted a beauty pageant competition that spontaneously began one night when we were playing games and a Miss USA pageant broke out on television. Since then our scoring and methodology has dramatically improved, also helped by the Deweys' decision to get Tivo so we could stop and compose ourselves between the non-stop pageant action.




This year, I had Miss Venezuela picked as my front-runner from the beginning. Why, you ask? First of all, I caught the ending of the Miss Venezuela pageant last year in a hotel room in Hong Kong and I realized that they were all, well, hot. Whoever won that contest had to be, well, REALLY hot. I don't know if it's the water, the tropical weather or the socialist agenda of Hugo Chavez, but something is going on in the Bolvarian Republic of Venezuela.


Secondly, in my extensive research I saw that Miss Venezuela hadn't been a Miss Universe in a dozen years! A travesty...


I went into the pageant with a definite list of top contestants based on beauty and a bit of pragmatism. For instance, in the Top 15 round I knew I would be selecting:


  • Miss Venezuela (she always makes it and she's hot)

  • Miss USA (TV ratings, baby...)

  • Miss Vietnam (host country -- RIGHT GILBERT?)

  • Miss Japan (Miss Japan won last year, and this year would make the semi-finals to avoid embarassment in the home country even if she had a goiter the size of Mount Fuji coming out of her neck)

  • Czech Republic (Jessica is part Czech, so it make sense that Miss Czech Republic would be hot and nice)

After a tremendous performance in the Top 15 round (I picked 11 of them), I slumped in the Top 10 where I got last place (only chose 5 of the Top 10). But I tooootally redeemed myself in the Top 5 competition, where I picked all of the Top 5 -- including my Miss Venezuela selection.


I won't bore you with the rest of the details, but the final results included an astounding win of 149 points for me... including a selection of Miss Venezuela to win it all from the beginning, netting me bonus points that made it a massacre of my fellow competitors, who now hate me. In fact, Jessica is disgusted that my "icky taste always wins." Icky taste, says my new bride? Hmmmm... :)


I have a sinking feeling that my hot streak ends with next year's Miss USA, but I'll be sure to let you know.



See Nicole's scorecard below, including her quite scientific analysis of the Top 3 which includes the comment: "Miss Venezuela: just hot":


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dave's Birthday

Posted by Jessica


Yesterday Dave turned 33 and we had about 20 of his best pals over to wish him well and eat some sugar. The night got pretty rockin'- check out the dance party pics!









The dance party begins!






Max joins in the dancing by pointing his toe.




Kaitlyn pirouettes like a pro.



Sam plays the air guitar. Max looks on in fascination.



Note the accomplished Sam demonstrating an impressive break-dancing move


Bust a move!











My favorite pic of the night: