$wpsc_version = 169; flint | Rebecca & Dale

Rebecca & Dale

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If it's Christmas? It's a road trip…

I forgot to take pictures for most of the weekend–I was too busy socializing! But I did grab a couple of photos. Here they are…

Pipi lives in the sunglasses case in the car–she is always excited for a road trip!

Those of you who were curious about the giant present under the Christmas tree? It was for Dale’s dad. It was some Gorilla Gear for his car. It’s almost impossible to buy for him so we were super excited to have something we knew he might like–and since he put the gear in his car asap we think we made the right choice! It’s a heavy duty liner for the back of his car. He liked the Gorilla Gear we got with Betty.

The kids were rather excited to get Nerf guns that quickly turned into a non-stop game of finding the Nerf sponge bullets.

On Christmas morning we went to Wayne and Lisa’s house–and everybody got to play with the Wii, which was fun–Barb is obviously kicking ass here…

Lisa even made a turkey! We had a tasty turkey lunch before heading over to my Aunt Diane and Uncle Randy’s for ham and all kinds of family favorites. Amazingly, I never got around to taking any pictures there! Can you believe it? I’m super sad I forgot to do that. I got to meet my cousin Ryan’s little baby Riley–he looks like a Gerber baby! And got to catch up with the family. It was really nice!

The day after Christmas we stopped in to say hello at the bowling alley where Lauren and Ian were enjoying the annual “Day after Christmas Bowling” that everybody does. Right? Dale got some cute pics of the kids bowling.

That evening we took Dale’s mom out for dinner–the 27th is her birthday and so we feasted at a steakhouse called Lucky’s–it was good! I didn’t get any pics of that either. Gah!

Trying to take a serious portrait of the children is not the easiest thing to do!

Ian throws the ball pretty much straight up in the air–he’s lucky it doesn’t take out his toes. Even so? He’s still a better bowler than I am. Sad, but true. In other news, I got my mom’s bowling ball with the custom bag that my father made for her. So now I have my own purple ball with my initials on it and a leather bag with my initials on it! My mom and I shared initials for those slower kids playing at home…I got the bowling ball from my Aunt Judy. I met up with her and my Aunt Charlene for lunch last Sunday and it was so great to see them and hang out. I wish I’d had more time with them!

Dale and I took a little time between visits with people to check out the slowly-revitalizing downtown Flint. Very cool! The ol‘ town is lookin‘ pretty good, all things considered. I wish we’d have had time to check out the restaurants there.

On our last night in town we met up with our friends Meghan and Bravin and had a FEAST at the Japanese steakhouse at Great Lakes Crossing called Miyako. It was quite tasty! We really had a nice time catching up with those two and stuffing our faces. Seriously, that place is delish!

We wish we could have seen more people and spent a little longer with everyone we saw!

And, after several days of eating out, I’m ready for one of those detox diets or something. Wow, we feasted our way around Michigan and had a really great Christmas! Thanks to everyone for hanging out (and for the presents and the food, of course).

Dale and I are celebrating our Christmas together tonight so we can savor them over this long weekend. Is there anything better than having four days off with no plans but to relax?

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Dale’s Speaker Project

A post from Dale:

I have had the below set of speakers for about 16 years and though these 20+ year old speakers are not exactly attractive, I absolutely love the sound and it would cost an absurd amount of money to replace them. Why? Because I am NUTS!

So, like most men, I prefer function over style so the big ugly boxes did not bother me much until Rebecca noted they were an obvious eyesore. She reminded me of this OFTEN – and I realized I had to do something about them.

I launched a scheme to wrap the original black boxes in new wood in an effort to make them more attractive. It did not take long for my nutty mind to decide I needed to build brand new cabinets out of walnut and take what was supposed to be an easy project and create a major endeavor over the Christmas holiday.

I managed to get Dad to agree to all of this – I think he just might be a little nuttier than I am; thankfully it did not take a whole lot of convincing, honestly. He is a pretty easy mark, sometimes.

View below exhibit A, the 24-year-old ugly black box:

Following are a few shots of Dear Ol’ Dad working his hide off on yet another one of my projects. Thankfully he has not charged me for glue and fasteners over the years or I would be in the poor house.

Think we have enough clamps on it? Honestly I think we could have used a few more of them but we made do.

Here is 50% of the finished project – sans the finish. The other one was in the confines of about 10 clamps allowing the glue to dry. Pretty darn hot looking if you ask me.

Yeah, about the finish; Dear Ol’ Dad left me to fend for myself in that regard – I must be losing my touch with him. Actually, he is smarter than I give him credit for because finishing these SOB’s was a lot more work than I had originally imagined they would be, which is usually the case.

Here they are on the dining room table – note the subtle orange wall in the background – waiting for the walnut banding to cover the plywood edge.

Test fitting the banding before permanently attaching it.

Now here they are really coming together, each cabinet has a couple coats of Danish Oil to really bring out walnut figuring. This is what I had in mind when I selected this wood – great looking grain and a deep warm color. It is just a shame that I will be covering the front of these with fabric.

After getting three coats of hand rub polyurethane on them it was time to take them for a test drive; I am pleased they sound and look better than ever.

Here they are completed with vintage fabric fronts. As mentioned above, my goal was to get these to better fit with our mid-century modern style and I think I have successfully done so. In fact, a coworker saw this picture on my computer and asked, “What’s with those old speakers?”

I honestly think this past Christmas has been one of the best; I got to spend a ton of time with my dad doing something we both love – working with wood – and I will be able to see and use these speakers everyday for years to come. Nothing beats the pride of accomplishment.

Of course, working on speakers was not the only thing I did over the holiday; I also managed to whip my mother in a few games of scrabble, which rarely happens. No doubt she is chomping at the bit to reestablish her dominance on the scrabble table.

Nothing beats doing what you love with people you love.

Now I wonder what project I can sucker my dad into next year…

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Wayne Bowls 800 Series

Dale’s dad reached a personal best recently and got a write-up in the Flint Journal!

You can see the article on Wayne’s (Dale’s brother, not his father) blog by clicking here.

Pair roll 800 series in same league on same lanes

GENESEE COUNTY
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION

Sunday, February 03, 2008 Journal Sports Writer

…Cox, who surpassed a previous high of 767, connected on the same pair of lanes (7-8) where a few weeks earlier he’d watched Wayne Murray reach two personal milestones in the same league.

Murray, bowling for Monogramming by Martha, followed a 300 opening game with scores of 226 and 279 for 805.

The perfect game was a first for Murray while the series exceeded a previous high of 803 set last season in the Duane Clinton Senior Classic at Galaxy.

His 29-strike performance made the Grand Blanc resident one of only a few area bowlers to boast multiple 800 series in Flint Senior Bowling Association leagues.

“I think this one was more satisfying than the other 800 since I had to come off a 300 start and stay focused for the next two games,” Murray said.

“I didn’t want to do what I have seen happen so many times when a guy starts the day with a perfect game. He loses his focus or gets too caught up in the moment or something and crashes.”

Although delighted to have recorded a career high, Murray believes his series should have been higher. He did not miss the strike pocket and left only single pin spares.

“In the second game I rolled the ball as well as the first game,” Murray said.

“You begin to wonder, ‘Am I doing something different?’ It’s funny how things happen and how luck plays in scoring.”

The 300 game completed for Murray his “big five” of accomplishments on the bowling lanes and golf course.

In golf he has recorded the rarest of shots, a double eagle, while also having made a hole-in-one and eagle.

His double eagle came at Willowbrook Golf Course in Byron.

“It was 20 years ago, a blind shot with a two-iron with a lot of luck from about 220 yards,” Murray said…