Known Johnson

December 29, 2005


Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:16 am

Suddenly last night I had the realization that nothing is ever going to be the same again. I’ve had a few little mental tremors that suggested that, but a big one was set up the other night when talking to one of my oldest friends, who just revealed that he and his wife are going to have their FOURTH child in the summer, when he mentioned that in the evenings his wife plays cards with their oldest (6!) (who reportedly is already a math-wiz like his mom – he does math in his head and memorizes the scores. Yeah, he’s probably going to get beaten up a lot in a few years.) She plays cards with him and he then goes to bed, and then they go to bed. No TV, no outings, no distractions. Work, then time with the kids, then sleep.

Tension quietly built up along mental faultlines for a couple days until the strain cracked open a fault in my thinking – that, contrary to what I’d been thinking, the time spent with your kids now isn’t temporary. I know this sounds elemental, but somewhere back in my brain I was laboring under this impression that after a few months things will slowly shift back to the way they were before Amanda came along, that I’d be on the internet a lot at night again, writing here a lot, that I’d be out at every used record store every week chasing down CDs, that we’d actually have evenings of rest and relaxation to ourselves instead of spent running from Target to Costco to Fry’s for groceries. What I’d failed to realize is that the life before Amanda came into our lives was really the temporary one, and that it’s simply going to take some time to adjust to real life.

Can you explain?

Filed under: General — Tom @ 7:12 am

Found adorning a small, square piece of chocolate Christmas candy:


Am I the only one not immediately thinking that’s chocolate on the bottom of his shoe?

December 24, 2005

Happy holidays

Filed under: General — Tom @ 10:58 pm

Whatever you’re celebrating this weekend, I hope you feel this happy while doing it:


(This is my new favorite picture ever. Amanda makes for a great subject – when she sits still long enough to get a fairly non-blurry shot. Lady luck smiled on me for this one.)

December 23, 2005

Comfort of creatures

Filed under: General — Tom @ 5:39 pm

Finally, I had a chance to take some pictures of my new Honda Ridgeline. I know you were all waiting on pins and needles, so you can rest easy now. Without further ado:


Sure, it looks like a normal truck . . .


. . . with a normal truck bed . . .


. . . that seems normal, right?


Except it does something a little different:


The tailgate swings open to the side to make getting to the trunk easier. That’s right, trunk:

DSCN2613   DSCN2614

As you can see, the trunk is actually quite deep. It fits our stroller with ease, with plenty of room on top for groceries (I know because I just picked up a bunch while the stroller was in there.) It’s about half the length of the bed, and while that may not sound like much, it’s almost the same size as most small car trunks – which is way bigger than the trunks in any other trucks (no other truck has a trunk!)

It’s a truck with car-like comfort. It’s not a hard-core off-roader, but it can certainly take that route for fun once in a while – really, how many people who own trucks actually use them off-road? I admit it – it’s pretty rare for me, too (but I have actually done it!) However, the appeal is having that bed while not giving up a trunk. Having been hindered numerous times by my inability to carry larger items, I welcome the return of a smallish bed to my life. It’ll get used, that’s for sure.

As for the rest of the truck, it’s wonderful – the ride is extremely quiet – the most quiet ride I’ve ever had in any car, let alone a truck. And it’s comfortable like no other truck I’ve owned. There are storage bins and compartments all over the inside of the truck, including the ability to fold the rear seats up to make a cavernous storage area. Creature comforts galore, too – dual-zone climate control, power driver’s seat, heated windshield wipers (like I’ll ever need those in Arizona!), power windows (including a power sliding rear window!), and a very nice 7-speaker, in-dash 6-CD changer stereo. Most importantly, Amanda’s rear-facing carseat fits perfectly – no more sitting inches from the steering wheel like I was forced to in my Toyota Matrix.

And it’s safety-conscious, with all-wheel drive that decides when it’s necessary to be all-wheel, switching from the normal front-wheel drive to all-wheel, or even directing power only to the rear wheels, plus disc brakes on all four tires, a rarity on trucks. It also monitors tire pressure, and if a tire gets low, it’ll set off an alarm so you know to check the pressure. It’s also equipped with front, side, and side-curtain airbags – they come standard, another rarity in a truck, and even among most cars. The truck’s computer also monitors the oil for quality and life left in it, so you know when you actually need to change the oil – rather than just guessing by mileage. It is, without a doubt, the smartest designed truck on the road today, and it’s also the safest, having recently received 5-star crash safety ratings in every category.

So, simply put, I’m absolutely thrilled with my new truck. Not only is it a truck – my most beloved automotive category – it’s also a Honda, and based on the two and a half very satisfying years with Alissa’s Accord, I’m now a devoted Honda enthusiast. Based on the reputation Honda has carefully built its success upon, I don’t doubt there are many, many years of solid performance in either of these vehicles, and we’re likely going to put that to the test.

For a lot more information than I can possibly give, check out these four videos about the truck (the first is about the bed, the second is about the aerodynamics, the third about the engine and drivetrain, and the last is about the interior. Firefox users beware: the videos don’t like to play, so break down and use IE for this site.)

December 20, 2005

Can’t stand the heat, kitchen, etc.

Filed under: General — Tom @ 7:05 pm

So I was telling you the other day that my wife’s husband is a moron. Well, there’s more proof to support that claim tonight.

Just a few minutes ago I . . . I mean, he was going to heat up some water to warm up refrigerated milk for Amanda. I . . . I mean, he put the pan on the stove to heat up, then stepped away for a moment to start preparing some dinner. I He then noticed that the pan was off-center, so he corrected it, but in a most unique way. Not by using the handle – no, no, that’s far too simple. No, it was by grabbing not just the sides of the pan but also the burner itself. And then tugging, even after a split second of searing pain raced through his body. Let me tell you, if he were writing this himself, he’d want you to know that his left ring finger really hurts to type the letters s (ouch!) w (ouch!) and x (ouch!)

December 19, 2005

Weekend roundup

Filed under: General — Tom @ 6:27 am
  • Extremely busy weekend. Shopping, shopping, shopping and . . . oh, yeah, a little more shopping. See below for more on being behind on everything.
  • One of the things I shopped for this weekend was . . . a new car! As mentioned previously, I had my eye on a Honda Ridgeline truck, and that’s exactly what I got on Saturday. I don’t have my own pictures yet (see above about shopping – it took up the whole weekend) but here’s exactly what mine looks like, minus the sexy red-rock desert setting. It’s friggin’ awesome – best thing I’ve ever ridden in or driven. More later – maybe some pictures of mine.
  • With the Ridgeline, we were then able to much more easily transport the Christmas tree we finally tracked down (after a couple of nights cut short by our lot of choice being closed at night – seriously, what are you people thinking?! That, followed by what seems to be a shortage of Christmas trees everywhere had us worried there’d be no first Christmas tree for Amanda. Alas, we finally tracked a good one down.
  • We still have not managed to get Christmas cards done yet. We’re behind on everything this year. For example: we bought pumpkins two days before Halloween, then ran out of time to carve ’em up. I just threw them out this past Thursday night. As for this holiday, well, we just got our tree decorated last night. We’re going to get those cards out tonight, however. Hopefully they’ll actually make it to people before Christmas.
  • Jack Black hosted SNL this weekend, so, being a Jack Black fan, I decided to give it a shot again because after several extremely lackluster seasons, I’ve pretty much given up hope. I thought maybe JB might be enough to make the show bearable, and it was – in spots it was actually humorous. And I’m glad we watched because we got to see what was, hands down, the funniest thing SNL has come up with in years: Chris Parnel and Andy Sandberg’s rap video about cupcakes and the Chronic(what?!)cles of Narnia. Could there be hope for SNL again afterall?
  • Pixies fans, be sure and sign up with to take advantage of their 50 free mp3s. Why? Because there’s an exclusive “two disc” (a term that means nothing when speaking of files) compilation of official live recordings of their recent tour. And it’s awesome.
  • As of 3 am this morning, I’m wide awake. No idea why.

December 16, 2005

Minus one ingredient

Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:27 pm

Let me be known that my wife’s husband is a moron.

The other day at work, I saw someone making a french-bread pizza in the microwave and thought “Wow, I haven’t had a french-bread pizza in forever.” That night, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up the usual necessities and the thought re-occured to me, with a prompt to head to the frozen-food section to seek out pizza-related items.

I quickly located the string of freezers and looked for the familiar french-bread pizza brand – Stouffer’s – but didn’t find it. I did, however, find “four cheese and garlic” french-bread pizza with the Red Baron stuff. “Garlic?” I wondered, as that seemed an unusual “topping,” but I grabbed a couple boxes anyway because nothing else was around that fit the bill. If anything, we could ward off vampires with the pizza.

Tonight we decided to give the french-bread pizza a try, so I heated up the oven and tossed the four pieces in. Twenty minutes later, the house awash in the thick aroma of garlic, we settled down to eat. The first bite revealed a very cheesy flavor. Extra cheesy, really. Wow, I thought, this is really cheesy pizza.

I got up to grab something when Alissa made a comment about the cheesiness of it, or, more accurately, the lack of sauce. In return, I said, “Yeah, I noticed that too. That’s what it is, there’s not much sauce to this.” Alissa then asked, “This is pizza, right? It seems like garlic cheese bread.”

I went to the recycling bin and pulled out the boxes. I scanned the top and sides and noticed what was missing – the vital word “pizza.” When I pointed this out, we needed a few minutes to compose ourselves. It’s hard to swallow food while you’re laughing hysterically, it seems. But, being hungry, tired, and needing to go out quickly while Amanda was quiet, we decided to carry on with the french bread non-pizza. Our dinner was an appetizer. That’s right, our entire dinner consisted of garlic cheese bread. Please refer to the first sentence of this post for closure.

December 15, 2005

Fun with greeting cards

Filed under: General — Tom @ 3:37 pm

Long-time readers know that I like to have fun with the many, many greetings cards that make their way around my team at work. Why go with a cliche when you can befuddle people with genuine weirdness?

A coworker who has graduated with her doctorate gets this message in her card: “You know what they say, the mind is like a sponge. It can absorb many times its own weight, but if you squeeze it, everything squishes out and makes a mess.”

December 10, 2005

Question of the day, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005

Filed under: General — Tom @ 5:37 pm

What is it that differentiates a regular minute from a “cotton-pickin'” minute? Of all the people that have used the latter in conversation, none of them have been picking cotton at the time (of which a pause in their work might truly be a cotton-picking minute,) nor were they known to have picked cotton at any time. I am unsure of exactly what I am supposed to infer when someone grumpily uses the phrase “now just you wait a cotton-pickin’ minute.”

December 9, 2005


Filed under: General — Tom @ 7:21 pm

Don’t you wish you could feel this comfortable?

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