Tag Archives: Julie R.

Ooooooh! Aaaaaaah!!

Love the multicolored ones!

Love the multicolored ones!

Last night our master-planned community showcased its Fourth of July best with its annual fireworks show.

Looks like we’ve got a red theme going on.

Looks like we’ve got a red theme going on.

The Mister, our younger son, and I decided to watch from the bleachers at our nearby middle school with the kid’s pals, Jared and Ricky, and Ricky’s parents, Julie and Carlos (our trivia aces).

Glad I could capture all the pretty bursts

Lots of pretty bursts

I didn’t take long to consider my photographic options for a change. For past fireworks displays I’ve tried serious, point-and-shoot lazy, and embarrassingly sloppy.

Blue and green make for a nice color combination.

Blue and green make for a nice color combination.

This time I opted for my Nikon D700 and beloved Nikon 70-200mm lens. The fireworks were being blasted from about a half mile away, so I needed some focal length. I also eschewed a tripod totally due to laziness. So when my arms got tired from holding the heavy combo, I only had myself to blame (darn it!).

It’s the palm tree effect!

It’s the palm tree effect!

Due to some kind of glitch, the colorful show kept starting and stopping over a 25-minute time span, confusing the crowd. That made it hard to get the sort of rhythm you need to hopefully capture a half-dozen decent pix.

Fortunately, I managed to snap about a dozen photos that I thought best represented what we saw. Even though I appreciate the crisp, clear, multiburst shots, I must admit that one favorite stood out.


Electricity is in the air.

It looks like a science experiment gone awry! This is what happens when the camera’s shutter speed is way too slooooow.

It’s a great reminder of last night’s funky, fun fireworks extravaganza.

We Are the Champions, My Friend!

The motley crew pulls through!

The motley crew pulls through!

Need proof that even a blind squirrel can find an acorn?

Team Beowulf actually won our local Buffalo Wild Wings’ weekly trivia contest recently! Woot woot!!

The best we had done up to that point were a couple of second-place finishes, which we were very proud of. We figured we’d never top that given that there are several very-serious and talented trivia teams competing each Friday night.

This time we had a gang of 11, which included the four of us, my older son’s high school/college buddies Josh and Jon, the other members of the Core 4 (Jared, Ricky, and RJ), and Ricky’s parents, Julie and Carlos.

What really helped us along the way was that the second-round double-point question (worth 18 points for us) was about Hugh Hefner and the “Girls Next Door.” Anything about that TV show and the Kardashians is smack dab in the Mister’s wheelhouse. It makes me roll my eyes . . . except when it helps him answer trivia questions correctly.

We were miraculously in first place going into the final-round question, which amazingly was the easiest one we’ve encountered so far (often they can be impossible to figure out). We had to put the following in order from largest to smallest number:

Good, old Charlie Brown reads to Sally

Good, old Charlie Brown reads to Sally

a) The number of sisters that comic strip-character Charlie Brown had.

b) The uniform number of retired Houston Astros star Jeff Bagwell.

c) The number of living children of Queen Elizabeth II.

d) The number of seasons that “Three’s Company” was on TV.

This was one for the true adults. Julie, Carlos, the Mister, and I were certain of the first three numbers: One (Sally), five, and four. We didn’t know exactly how long “Three’s Company” was on, but we figured it had to be more than five seasons (it actually was seven). So we opted to put that first on the list with the others following in chronological order. Teams can bet from zero to 20 points; if you’re wrong, you lose what you bet.

Our fearless leader, my younger son, decided we would wager 18 points. If we blew it, we would probably at least finish fifth and gain one point in the league competition. But we were right! We placed first by six points. Whew!

Our reward? A $50 BWW gift card and eight precious league points.

As well as the knowledge that miracles can happen!

“The Office” Rules

Jared, the kid, and Ricky show their Office alter egos.

Jared, the kid, and Ricky show their “Office” alter egos at last Saturday’s Senior Serve.

Three years ago when it was our older son’s turn to participate in his high school’s Project Graduation dinner and silent auction (aka Senior Serve), he had utterly no interest.

The sign is held up by paper clips!

The sign is held up by paper clips!

Fortunately, his little bro bought into the concept and had two of his besties, Jared and Ricky, on board. The seniors think up themes for their tables and then do their best (with a lot of their parents’ help, of course) to carry them out with decorations and costumes. At first, the boys wanted to do Beowulf.

Why? Why not!

Jared’s mom, Mary, borrowed her work’s office supplies.

Even the tablecloth is paper.

Fortunately, they came to their senses after realizing how hard that would be to pull off. Thus came Plan B: “The Office,” which is one our favorite TV shows (well, the early seasons when it was funny).

The table’s centerpiece was reams of copy paper and a dead laptop.

The table’s centerpiece was reams of copy paper and a dead laptop.

My younger son quickly decided to be Michael Scott, the character he likes best. Ricky was tabbed as Dwight Schrute, because sometimes he wears glasses. That left Jared to be Jim Halpert, who he definitely favors with his lankiness and laid-back style.

A novel idea for a tip jar!

Cool beans: A novel idea for a tip jar!

The boys practiced a couple skits to perform so they could earn tips (which go into the ProGrad coffers). We set up a mini desk (a card table) for them to use complete with official-looking phones and our three office chairs. On game day (aka last Saturday night), they were ready to go and highly amusing.

Sidebar: For me, the best part of the process was bonding with the other moms, Julie (Ricky) and Mary (Jared). We had a blast brainstorming ideas with and without our sons and then helping them make these special memories.

Our cake had a lovely presentation.

Our cake had a lovely presentation, thanks to Mary.

The kid made a credible Michael Scott (despite his lighter hair color), complete with a faux suit (a new-looking blazer we bought at Goodwill for a mere $15), World’s Best Boss mug, and a wristband that read “Support the Rabid.” He, his buds, and the parents had a great time at the event, which featured a lot of other wonderful themes, including the Bachelor, Duck Dynasty, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and even a carnival.

I’m sure it was tough for the judges to pick the three top tables, which won a bunch of the coveted Bulldog Bucks that the kids use to buy prizes at the June 8th ProGrad.

Katherine, Kristen, and Brittany are coming up roses!

Katherine, Kristen, and Brittany are coming up roses!

In the end, though, the table next to us, Garden Party, won as best theme. It smelled as good as it looked!

Too bad there wasn’t a prize for the table that had the most fun with the cutest guys. Ours would’ve won that hands down!