The Gravley Life

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I dig *grunt* yardwork

The previous owners of our house took out a stump, but not very well. It was still mostly there beneath the surface and the ground was raised, instead of level. This bugged me, so I took my trusty 35 cent garage sale shovel and went to town. This hole is the result. Luckily the stump had rotted, so it was easy to take out. The hole is below ground level by a few inches, so now I just need to fill it in. ...where to find dirt...

The only problem is that I'll be hard-pressed to discipline my dog for digging after letting him watch me displace a couple hundred pound of dirt.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Emotional precipice

One of the funniest things about James (and probably most babies) is that precarious time before naps or bed when he is really tired and fussy but he's still in a good mood all the same. So, while James is crying a little (let's say whimpering), I'll say hello and smile at him, and he'll take a 3 second respite to smile and laugh then immediately revert back to crying. It's almost mechanical in its repeatability. I laugh so much when I can do this, but I have to stop soon after because I feel like I'm being too manipulative.

In this picture, we've captured the last 0.5 seconds before he goes back to fussing. Oh, and that's a froggy towel we got from Kirsten which we think is very cute, but not too cute - because too cute is definitely not what we want, you know...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Nickels and Dimes

I'm sure you've probably noticed that I've taken to posting a bunch of small posts instead of doing big long stories. It's easier this way, and I'll still post longer posts when I have a chance. I have to give credit to Pat Beyer for the idea, since his blog is where I realized this was a good idea. That, and taking picture with our cameras, which are always with us, is so easy and convenient.

James:0 Jumperoo:1

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A kiss for the gipper

My advice to James: When it comes to maternal smothering; better to be a leaf floating down a river than a rock fighting against it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Before Playstation.

Before Nintendo.

But slightly after Pong.

There was Intellivision. The Gravleys had hours of good old-fashioned 32-color fun on the Intellivision console. Here's an ad for and Intellivision game.

(click to enlarge)


Funny thing is, I played that game and loved it, but no, it's not the best space game ever - I think Super Mario Galaxy will be.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Cannibalism, hiking, and traveling

James laughs as I pretend to eat his belly. Honestly, it wasn't that tasty, but he seemed to enjoy what I thought would be a terrifying experience.

Bets and I went for a hike Saturday and tested out a baby backpack donated to us by her sister, Kirsten. After a few miles, my shoulders were sore, but not too bad. The best part? This backpack is 75% less emasculating than a Baby Bjorn! I actually like it a lot. It has many useful pockets, and is really good quality. We even used it again yesterday when we took Bones and James for a walk around the neighborhood. We have another pack that has metal braces for support, i.e. even more hardcore, but it frightens me a bit. I'm working up the courage to try it.

Bets is off this morning to Duluth for about a week. Her mom is having shoulder surgery, so she'll be there for the surgery and a while afterwards to help her recover. James is going with her. I'll miss them both, but I mostly just wanted you to kind of think good thoughts about my mother-in-law's surgery.

Update: I guess Betsy's Mom's surgery was pushed back a couple of weeks, so my family is coming back home! ...and then leaving again in two weeks.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Vacation photos that are actually interesting? You decide...

Tracey and I were talking about Disney the other day, and I spiraled into my black, dismal abyss, i.e. Disney nostalgia. So I dug up my old vacation photos and posted just few of them for your entertainment, whether you have memories of this 2003 trip, or just to serve your natural voyeuristic human nature.

This was taken in the German pavilion at Epcot, but I can't help to caption this, "In Soviet Russia, the beer drinks you."

Throughout Disney, they've hidden little Mickey heads for the obsessed (pronounced Gravleys) to find. Here's one of them in the coffee counter at the Polynesian Resort.

This picture reminds me of those Arby's cowboy hat commercials, but here, Tracey has Disney on the brain.

We actually had uniforms for this trip, named the Libation Vacation 2003.

Crisp at the helm, and privates Gravley on deck at MGM studios stunt show (crewman Kevin Crisp was below deck in the engine room). I got yelled at after the show by the staff for going outside the rope during the "explosions". I should have told them I was looking for Eisner's dignity in that watery grave.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

This is a hold up

Taken at Easter, Betsy shows James to the camera. He doesn't understand what's going on, but yet, we persist is posing him ... all the time.

It still amazes me that an entire kid's outfit (sweater, shirt, and pants pictured here) only costs like $7.99. I think that the only way they can charge $7.99 and still make money is by using child labor.

Little Esmerelda or Xiang are slaving away making clothes they would love to be able to wear for 4 cents per hour while being verbally and physically abused to make more size 2 courderoys.

...and yet, you notice that I patronized the system. I guess I have hope that, somehow, I'm buying one of the outfits that is actually made by well-paid Americans and sold for a loss.

"Yeah, that's the ticket." - John Lovitz

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The ridiculous hat

We went for a walk outside with James and my family. The choice: let his scalp burn, or put on this ridiculous hat. I'm not sure we made the right choice.

Monday, May 08, 2006

YouTube present the History of Dance

YouTube, if you don't already know, is one of the "latest" things on the Internet that allows you to post and view videos easily and completely free.

Here's something that made me laugh, a lot. A white guy doing the complete history of the popular culture of dance. Sound is required.