Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's a simple game...........

Simon says has been a popular kids game for centuries. But look at the twist Evie gives it.

Here's Graham doing it correctly

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Cost

(CBS) Thanks to a recently filed Congressional expense reports there's new light shed on the Copenhagen Climate Summit in Denmark and how much it cost taxpayers.

CBS News Investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports official filings and our own investigation show at least 106 people from the House and Senate attended - spouses, a doctor, a protocol expert and even a photographer.

Read the Congressional Expense Report

For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That's $2,200 a day - more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.

CBS News asked members of Congress and staff about whether they're mindful that it's public tax dollars they're spending. Many said they had never even seen the bills or the expense reports.

Copenhagen Congressional Junket

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is a key climate change player. He went to Copenhagen last year. Last week, we asked him about the $2,200-a-day bill for room and food.

"I can't believe that," Rep. Waxman said. "I can't believe it, but I don't know."

But his name is in black and white in the expense reports. The group expense report was filed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. She wouldn't talk about it when our producer tried to ask.

Pelosi's office did offer an explanation for the high room charges. Those who stayed just two nights were charged a six-night minimum at the five-star Marriott. One staffer said, they strongly objected to no avail. You may ask how they'll negotiate a climate treaty, if they can't get a better deal on hotel rooms.

Total hotel, meeting rooms and "a couple" of $1,000-a-night hospitality suites topped $400,000.

Flights weren't cheap, either. Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates -- $5-10,000 each -- totaling $408,064. Add three military jets -- $168,351 just for flight time -- and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars -- not including all the Obama administration officials who attended: well over 60.

In fairness, many attendees told us they did a lot of hard work, and the laid groundwork for a future global treaty.

"I was there because I thought it was important for me to be there," Rep. Waxman said. "I didn't look at it as a pleasure trip."

But considering the size of the deficit, and the fact that that no global deal would be reached -- critics question the super-sized U.S. delegation -- more than 165 -- leaving the impression there's dollars to burn. In this case, more than a million.

Austin Caper

Last week we got an email from Jenn asking if it would be at all possible for us to come to Pflugerville and watch the kids while she and Anth went to The Inn over Onion Creek to celebrate the anniversary of friends David and Deedra's wedding. They have done this for 3 years straight............
I was not scheduled to work and Bev can work on the fly so we were happy to do it. Col and Anna are a piece of cake to look after. They both listen well and are patient with Nana and Grandad.
Anth said that they needed to do their piano practice every day before ANY tube or game time. We complied.

We did a lot of interesting stuff. Nana took the kids to Super Target and while you wont see in the pictures the loot they got believe me they did OK. Anna liked her pillow so much that she slept on it! She also got Welligogs that are so cute they need a license.

I made a double portion of Lasagna for one dinner

And we had the pleasure of going to KaPow's for lunch on Saturday (no pics from me but Anth has some)And Anna got all dressed up and even put on makeup

Here's a coupla vids.....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The 2010 Houston Marathon

Luckily the weather was perfect for the runners. It was cold for the spectators. Look at Nana and Evie.

We were particularly interested in this race because Gail Beckley Brooks was an entrant. She's Bev's brother Joe's wife and she has been doing marathons in the last year or so in just a little over 3 hrs. She did 3.05 in the 2009 Tulsa Route 66 marathon and came in 2nd. In 2008 she won in Tulsa with 3. 02. Breaking the 3 hr barrier was a biggee for her.
Here is the group arriving at the first stop-mile 8 water station...

We stood at mile 8 and I got this shot of the first ladies going by .....

Then Gail.....

Then at mile 14 this one.....

We grabbed a Starbuck's coffee and hurried up, climbing over a fence at one point, to mile 23. I thought I had video at the important mile 23 marker, unhappily it didn't record.
We decided at the last minute to go downtown for the finish but detours and cop cars made it difficult. It took us 1/2 hour or more to get there and by that time we knew from the internet tracking that Gail finished in 2 hrs 59 mins and 34 secs. Whooo!!
We are so proud of her.
NAME: Gail Brooks
EVENT: Full Marathon
DATE: January 17, 2010
BIB/DIV: 982 / F3539
TIME: 2h:59m:37s (gun) / 2h:59m:34s (net)

Despite no cell phone coverage downtown??? We were fortunate enough to spot Gail in the thousands of people just as we had given up hope of finding her. Here is a video of that........

Here Gail and her sister Michelle celebrate.

Here's what the crowd looked like downtown...

And another group with the friends...

And finally old Brian. This guy was walking downtown with beer and cigarette after the run. Go figure.

It was a great day...........

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm BACK!!!!

Wow between Christmas and New Year's and a nagging back ache that lasted 3 weeks I haven't had time nor inclination to post.

We had Paige overnight last week and I missed taking a picture of that event. We had crab for dinner and PK loved it.
This week was Graham's turn and he wanted crab too but got award winning chili con carne instead. He loved it and had two helpings. Next morning I made full English breakfast and he ate like a starving prisoner........
Here's a vid...