Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Presidents Day Weekend 2013

Well, I was able to fish Friday, and while I didn't do much good, it was still nice to be out on the water. But, I knew that I was in for a LOOONNGGGG weekend.

My wife, my friends, and even many of my followers (especially via my Facebook page) have all expressed interest in me writing about more than just fishing and survival. Which is why I changed the name to Best 5 Zach Outdoors. I encourage you to join, as it has lots and will have lots of Outdoorsy things for everyone.

Anyway, where to start? Friday night, dad and I came home to find that a dinner had been planned for my family of 5, mom and dad, aunt, and my grandparents. Sometimes I probably take things for granted, but I want to express how awesome it is to be able to have spent, and continue to spend, so much time with my parents and my grandparents. I've probably said so, but much of my youth was spent with my grandfather, whether it was hunting, fishing, camping, gardening,....anything outdoors. While I doubt my kids will get that kind of experience with him, since he is in his 80s, it's still great for them to spend time together.

So, dinner adventure. Anytime you try to have a quasi-formal dinner with 3 kids, things get interesting. Plus, it wasn't scheduled, so dinner was a cornucopia of food from beef stew, to Japanese noodles, to winter greens. But, we wouldn't have it any other way. The kids played with great grandparents, great aunts, grandparents, one chocolate lab and 9 chickens. Good time was had by all.

Saturday was another long day for us. If you didn't know, I had been borrowing a GoPro to do my fishing videos. But, the owner has moved to Florida, taking his GoPro with him. I decided that first thing Saturday, we would go shopping for one. So, we all loaded up and headed to Best Buy. Despite getting the cheapest one, the Hero3 White,  I was still out $347.

Aubree had been complaining of not having new books, so we headed to The Book Shelf to buy some new books. Alas, she didn't find any new books....but I did :-)

From there, we ran the kids to a free hockey clinic. Neither of them play hockey, but Griffin will never be a football monster, just like me. Turns out, you can have all the speed, hands, fundamentals, and desire in the world...but if you are 5'4'' 140 ain't playing college ball. Well, that's not fair. I could have played, but I chose not to play at smaller schools. Hockey, a different matter all together. Josh is a great hockey player and he and Emily have encouraged us to look into it. So we did! While we were at it, we let Aubree take a crack!

Aubree had softball tryouts next. Well, technically  I had softball tryouts, since am the coach. It was in the 30s. Snow was blowing. And 20 something 8 year old girls were trying to do their best despite not really knowing what try outs were. I, on the other hand, was trying to write notes on each and every girl. It was so cold, the pen wouldn't write. Seriously.

After thawing out, it was time to celebrate Griffin's (our middle kid) 4th birthday! We had a banquet room reserved at Lone Star Steak House. What a great experience. Great service, great food! I am so happy to have had all the grandparents, great grandparents, and 2 Great Grandparents! Here is my Great Grandfather with my youngest, Gavin.

I put the GoPro to good use and took a LOT of still shots and videos! Check them out here:
I am so proud of him. He was such a booger before he was born, requiring a LOT of hospital time. You would never know it now! And, he was so appreciative of everyone's love and gifts!

When we got home, he pulled out one of his toys, a remote control car...took the camera...and told me to put it together. I hadn't ever thought of it...but it sounded like a great idea!

Well, that was all fun. This is where the trouble began. Sunday morning, as we were all piling in to head to church, I noticed a small puddle under the Yukon. Didn't think much of it. I haven't had ANY problems with it. But, after church....there was a much larger puddle. Of coolant. Great. So, after church, we had to do our softball draft. That didn't take long, so I used the remainder of the day to track down this problem.

Having seen this problem on several previous GM products, I tried the $12 fix, which was a new set of water pump gaskets. An hour later. Still leaking. With further inspection, the housing itself was leaking. Which meant a whole new water pump. Luckily, one of my best good friends, Kevin..who was a roommate in college, and still very close to, manages the local O'Reilly's. So, he hooked me up on the parts. If you live in the Harvest/Monrovia/Madison area...look him up. He's the man. He had all the parts in stock. I didn't have to wait. And the prices were great!

After 3 trips to the store, fighting daylight, I managed to get it back together, but not in time to check it. Which meant that, though the kids had school and my wife and I did not due to Presidents Day...we wouldn't be able to slip out for some fishing on our own. I guess we could have chanced it, but I didn't feel it was worth it.

So, Monday morning, instead of taking off for the lake, I was back under the car. While I was under there, I did a plethora of work including oil filter, plugs and wires, and a front brake swap. After fighting, scratching, and clawing (wait, that's not right...the car was doing all the damage), I was able to call it "done." But the day was essentially gone.

With the little bit of daylight left, I was able to at least do some cleaning and organizing in my garage.

The fun didn't stop there! Although yesterday was a weekday, it was my wife and I's 8th anniversary! But, she was throwing up sick all day. Sigh. I did the best I could for her, but it seemed like a waster anniversary to me. I couldn't give her the one thing she REALLY

But, I got this on video to cheer her up!

What a weekend! I KNOW I am missing a lot of our weekend. But, those are the high points. Just another weekend in the land of Best5Zach Outdoors!