The Gravley Life

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Level4 project

I've been working on a home theater project at my house and posting my progress at another site. Here's the link to the LEVEL4: Center for Entertainment Build Thread.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Sam is 2 now. I bought a new house (in Mahtomedi), love my job (same one), and am having a blast.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kids in Tow

One of the joys of coming home to young kids is making up and playing new games. The old stand byes; watching TV, building blocks, and tag are fun, but often you get bored with those and have to branch out to new and more creative activities.

Last night, James was playing with a rubber snake. It's about 5 feet long and is very stretchy when pulled. He was running around and slipped on the floor, sliding several feet in his sweat suit. I considered his nearly frictionless state and thought it would make for a fun new game.

We cleared the kitchen, dining room, and part of the living so that we would have a clear path on hard floors. He sat in the furthest corner of the kitchen, and I pull him through the rooms as fast as I could, making a crucially timed 90 degree turn to prevent a collision into the door frame into the living room. Our tow rope, the rubber snake, was elastic and provided a powerful slingshot effect that further elevated the top speed and the fun James was having.

James loved this game! We even got Sam to sit on his lap for a couple of Sunday-Drive speed rides.

Occasionally, I'd pull a little too hard and the snake would slip out of his hand, whipping back behind me. One time, this happened in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I had not remembered to put away the cup full of chocolate milk that was sitting on the kitchen table. As if Indiana Jones had done it himself, the snake whipped the cupped with great precision, splattering the chocolate milk at a high velocity over about half of our kitchen. I even found drops on the ceiling in the next room 15 feet away!

We all laughed and cleaned up together. After that, Bets pulled James for another 20 minutes before it was bath time and we had to stop.

I know I don't post much here, but I wanted to share part of our day to day lives with you. I hope to keep it up!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Three Plus Two

In moments of questionable judgment, Bets and I decided to increase the size of our family by adding a cat first, and then a kid (the decisions were made in the reverse order). We didn't do this to test the limits of how many "beings" (human or feline) we could fit into our 990 sq ft house, although I'm sure the results will be interesting. We also did not feel the necessity to measure up to some ideal that trumpets the false sense of fulfillment from having two heterosexual parents, a dog, a cat, a commuting car, a minivan and 2.4 children -- especially considering the legal/medical implications of creating 0.4 of a child. Although, we're actually there, sans the 0.4 "it", which gives me an unsettling urge to jump out of plane with a air board strapped to my feet, screaming "I'm alooooooonnnnnneeeee" for 8,000 ft and "Oh craaaaa" for the rest of the fall. As an aside, when do I get my midlife crisis toy, and what's the price limit on that? I'm thinkin' Tahiti.

So we got a cat, Jack Wyatt. He's about 8 months old. I was against this addition and had been for a long time, but even the strongest of defiant walls are worn away by the constant pleadings of a wife and a 3 year old. Jack Wyatt (JDub) is actually an exceptional cat. He's mellow, affectionate, doesn't shed, looks nice, knows how to use the litter box, and is endlessly patient with James. He was a gift from Kirsten, James' Aunt, for his birthday.

The other addition is that Bets is due February 4th with a new kid, a boy. His name will probaby by Samuel Henry Gravley. I'm reserving my thoughts on the new kid for another post, but in short, we're very excited!

I changed the image on this site to something a little more personal. Below, I've posted a couple of pictures from the shoot.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ten Pin Alley - James Bowling

As parents, Bets and I sometimes get stuck doing some of the same activities over and over on weekends like going to the MN Zoo or the Mall of America. We thought we'd try something new last weekend, and headed to the Brunswick Zone in Lakeville.

The Brunswick Zone just opened up. It's a bowling alley with an arcade, restaurant, corporate meeting space, and lots of alleys (I'll bet you had guessed that part). It's very nice.

We came into the place during "Cosmic Bowling", luckily. The lights were down, laser lights and fog machines painted the alleys, and music blared overhead. James loved it!

We had a great time. Here's a vid of James knocking the hell out of a couple of pins.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Mr. Bubbles

I've posted this video, not because something amazing happens, not because hilarity ensues, but because it's a simple peek into our bathtime routine.

The quality isn't the best because it was taken with my phone, but I hope you'll enjoy watching James play with bubbles in the bath.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Anty in m' bowly

"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." John F Kennedy's inaugural speech contains the most famous example of an antimetabole. That is, a phrase where you reverse the key words or the first part at the end for effect or new meaning. This example is also probably one of the few antimetabolies that doesn't rub me the wrong way.

It's not that they can't be somewhat useful or insightful. It's the lack of effort and smugness inherent in every desk calendar, church bulletin, mechanic street sign, or hopeless know-it-all that ruins the entire rhetorical mechanism for me. Let me make one up here; for your pensive and potentially perspective-changing reflection.

My feet don't smell if you don't smell my feet.

...wait, I can do better. Let's get real, you know, soulful here.

The steps I take in my simple life teach me that life is simply a set of steps.

Oh yeah, now that is stick-a-straw-in-my-back-and-rub-my-belly Buddha drink mug quality wisdom there.

My first hope is to educate, but more importantly show you that hope is firstly about education. I'll stop now.

We need to expect more out of what we're trying to communicate. We don't need to resort to cheap cliche semantics to give our words power. If you have something to say, be frank, focused, raw or anything but antimetabulelar (sorry, couldn't resist, try to say it out loud for fun maybe). And please, the next time you run across a failed antimetabole, roll your eyes dramatically and spread the word to those around you that this trend is on its way out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hanson Visit

We have great times with the Hansons, especially James, now that he's getting older and can keep up with the girls a bit better.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Kids are Fun

Here are a couple of examples of James and I having a great time. The first is the two of us playing in the leaves. The second is a picture of the two of pretending that the playdough wrapped around his fist is a puppet names Stumpy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It was a dark and stormy month

I will be joining about 100,000 other people and my brother during the month of November to try my hand at writing a novel. Wish me luck!

Click on the image to get more information about this program.