As Brandee and I were having dinner tonight our two furr-ball children began their typical ‘food encroachment’ activities. Although both of our children are well-fed and taken care-of, they have instinct to beg for food. Anyhow it occurred to me that I should supply an update on the happenings of Isabella Neal, our nearly 11 year old orange blood-thirsty daughter, and Jackson Neal, our nearly 7 year old black high-energy son.
It’s amazing what joy the last 10+ years have brought us. First with our daughter, Bella, who was an orange nearly hairless (hard to believe) little kitty. She was so small and fragile that just getting her healthy was our main priority. Little did we know that she would not only become healthy, but she would rule the entire house. The truth of the matter is that she is the boss.
Bella is a huge furr!
Bella doesn’t wander too far from home any longer. She typically hangs out either in our backyard on the cool grass or she is inside the house with us. In her youth she would be gone the entire day and only show up for meals. In fact Bella was so wild that we would have to lock her in the house to avoid her leaving and causing too much ruckus in the neighborhood! These days she is more conservative but she still has an occasional wild streak so humans should be aware of her instant ability to draw blood within seconds.
Jack – A great hunk-o-doggy
Over the past few years Jack has grown from a little puppy into a terrific, full-grown doggity-dogg! In fact while I’m trying to write this very update about him in particular, he thinks he’s still this little 25lbs guy instead of a 80lbs mammoth and wants to lean on me. Jack; sit!
Jack enjoys activity and he’s always got to be the center of attention. We have taken Jack camping, car-traveling and shared all of our experiences with him. Jack is way overprotective of his sister and he is always well behaved.
In particular I am so proud of him with small children. As you can see from the photos, Jack is not a small guy and I would assume that he might be mean given that he is some sort of Rottweiler, Labrador mix. However, Jack is absolutely trustworthy with young children. Brandee and I have several friends with infants or young children and we love to have these people to our home for visits. Jack is always such a gentleman and kind with babies or your children.
The kids care
I’m glad to report that Jack and Bella are absolutely a great brother-sister combo. They spend nearly all of their time together because they want to. These kids are certainly an odd combination but it works well and I hope that each one of them is so happy beyond belief (which I think they are). The only thing in this world that we want to do for Bella and Jack is to give them the best in the world.
It’s amazing to me how much my furr-children really are my kids. I often get good natured teasing about how often I post pictures and/or updates about ‘my children’ on Facebook. All I say to them is — My kids have furr!
Today was a day to take some chances on some ‘KevinNeal-Like’ movies and thankfully Brandee was in the mood to let me explore some, let’s say, ‘iffy’-grade movies. So we selected “Human Centipede” as our first movie to watch today.
Human Centipede is a movie about a deranged German doctor who has a vision on dissembling, and then re-assembling three human beings into a centipede, obviously. The movie starts out innocent enough with two girls stuck in the deep forest with car trouble. Another driver pulls-up alongside the girls who you would think is there to help. But instead he starts hurling nasty/vulgar language at them in German speech so these two ladies couldn’t understand (however in the movie it was clearly subtitled word-for-word). I share this because it was a foreshadowing into the rest of the movie.
I must admit that I was somewhat intrigued by the unique plot. I was interested, as disgusting as it was, in the morbid believability of this movie and the acting was good for a B-grade type film. Why was it intriguing to me? Well, they explained the doctor’s intention clearly before he began to dissect these three people into one combined Centipede.
In general I liked the movie even though I’ve expressed several thoughts that could be perceived as negative. My feelings are if that a movie can elicit an emotion (good or bad), without being completely ridiculous, then that’s a movie worth of debate. Whether to watch it or not is another story.
In summary, this is certainly a solid NC-17 or X-rated movie, for content in my opinion. Watch at your own discretion, as I choose to do so, but be prepared to be repulsed. Human Centipede still tells an incredibly believable story, and good quality cinematography, and I have to be fair and give them an above average Steeler-Star rating of 6 out of 10 Steeler-Stars.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Brandee and I have a busy Summer 2014 planned; and Summer is still one and a half months away! However, it got off to a great start this past week and weekend.
The fun started when I made a business trip starting this past Sunday to the luxurious Omni La Costa Resort in beautiful Carlsbad, California. The schedule was to include three straight days of golfing on world-class golf courses. While I do like golfing every-so-often I admittedly get bored quickly, become lazy with my shots and generally don’t enjoy myself after playing so many consecutive days but these three rounds were different.
Golf – and a lot of it!
The first golf round we enjoyed was Aviara Golf Club which was a short drive from our hotel. Aviara is quite famous in the golf circuit for hosting the recent Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Kia Classic in March 2014. This is an extreme high-quality golf course which takes enormous skills to play. The course was full of beautiful scenery with wonderful waterfalls on many holes. The putting greens were insanely impossible because they were too fast to stop the ball and every putt had difficult twists and turns to navigate. Aviara was fun but I’m glad we only played it the one day or else I would have lost all my golf balls and not had any for the rest of the week! 🙂
The next two days we played golf at La Costa. They have two courses. One is the Champions Course and the other is the Legends Course. The first of the two days playing the La Costa courses was on the Champions Course. I think I played fairly decent and ended up shooting a 105 score which is about my average however this course was much more challenging than what I typically play. So, not too bad all-things considered.
Day two of playing the La Costa courses was on the Legends Course and this was a ‘best ball’, ‘scramble’-type format. Instead of everyone playing their own golf ball for each whole, the group of four all takes a shot and then everyone plays from whatever the best shot the group likes. This is a really fun format of golf to play. It makes the round go quicker and everyone gets a chance to contribute. Personally, I sincerely enjoyed my group because we all did truly contribute equally so it wasn’t one person doing all the work. Also, and I can say without any doubt what-so-ever, we talked the most trash of any other group so if there were a prize for that we would have certainly won!
Kick-off to Camping 2014!
So after a full week of golfing, socializing and participating in various events what is probably the dumbest thing one could do? Go immediately camping, of course!
A fellow colleague had planned the years first camping trip to Henry Cowell State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains starting on the Friday that I was returning from my business trip. Brandee and I had so much fun camping with these same people last year that I committed to going although I knew I would be tired. No Rest for the Wicked I reckon.
Brandee picked me up from the airport at around noon. She, as usual, had everything perfectly prepared so we loaded up the car, put Jack in the back seat and off we were by 1:30pm. How is that for a quick turn around?
We arrived at the camp site first and had everything setup within an hour. Around 4pm or so it started to get a bit chilly and windy. Since, when we left San Jose, the weather was so warm and nice that both Brandee and I were dressed in t-shirts and shorts. We started a fire and got out some snacks to relax and wait for our friends to show up at the camp site. As the weather got cooler the conversation turned to adding a layer of clothing or getting some jackets. That’s when the reality of our camping challenges for the first trip of the year started to set-in. Little did we know it would get much worse.
You see with so much activity through-out the week I just hadn’t really considered how cool it may get in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Brandee asked explicitly if we should bring jackets and warm clothes and I laughed it off as crazy because we had been experiencing 80-90 temperatures.
Nevertheless we were determined to be troopers and tough-it-out. Our fellow campers showed up in the early evening and we had a pleasant chat around our campfire. Them in their warm jackets with hoodies, myself in shorts and a t-shirt with Brandee in her t-shirt and Tinkerbelle pajamas! Brandee and I were nearly in the fire itself trying to heat out bodies. We were as close as could be without getting burned. After the nice chat with our friends it was time to head to the tent in the hopes that snuggling under the blankets would provide some relief from the cold. It didn’t work out too well.
After several hours of Brandee, Jack and I snuggling as close as could be on the cold air-mattress, with few blankets in the 41 degree temperatures we all finally had to go to the restroom. It was around 5am and pitch dark. The restroom was a little bit of a hike so we decided to take my car for the short drive. Immediately on entering the car we cranked up the heat. Game-over for heading back to the tent! After defrosting for a bit we were so warm in the car there was not a chance that we were ever going back into the freezing tent.
It was still too early and dark to clean up our camping equipment and head home so Brandee, I, and even Jack, made the obvious decision that upon daybreak we would breakdown camp and head home. We felt horrible that we couldn’t explain the situation to our fellow campers before we left but they must surely have understood the circumstances. We stayed in the car, with the heat on, until the sun started to rise around 5:45am. Needless to say by 6am we were completely done dismantling the camp site and on our way home. Overall it was another fun, albeit short, camping experience. We will right this one off as ‘preseason preparation’ for the real upcoming Summer Camping 2014 Season.
Looking forward to the next camping trip with our friends!
The official start of Summer is still about one and a half months away and Brandee and I already have a full schedule of activities planned. Iâ€™m exhausted even thinking about everything, but eagerly anticipating on sharing many great memories with family and friends!
For starters we have LOTS of camping trips planned. As I previously posted last year I introduced camping for the first time to Brandee and Jack last year. Little did I know that I have created a camping-monster! I absolutely love the fact that Brandee is so eager for these camping trips. She already has a few calendar dates committed and has begun recruiting others to join us.
Before these summer camping events start a co-worker of mine had actually planned a Spring time trip coming up this weekend. We invested quite a bit of money into new camping gear last year and we are certain to get a full return on our investment this year http://www.kamagraoraljelly247.com.
BBQ time at Casa Neal
While yearly Brandee and I host several BBQ summer events at our home each year we strive to do more because everyone seems to genuinely enjoy themselves. I think this year will be particular fun for several reasons. Number one is that we demolished a useless shed in our backyard that was not only an eye-sore but it took up some much valuable space that we can utilize for other purposes. Now we have a nice area 10â€x10â€ area of concrete to set up chairs to lounge, tables for snacks or other fun purposes.
As most anyone reading this blog knows Brandee is an absolutely wonderful cook and I think the theme of our Casa Neal events this Summer will be â€˜celebrate foodâ€™, or something to that effect. I will suggest this to her and maybe each event has a different ethnicity of food? I will leave this up to her as she is an excellent planner.
For one of the unique BBQ themes at Casa Neal Iâ€™m going to suggest a â€˜working BBQâ€™. I have a vision that a small group spends the afternoon doing a little (very little) work mixed in with a lot of fun and pool-time. It would be a lot of fun for sure.
â€¦..thatâ€™s all I have as an update for now folks. I will post another quick-hitter update on our Summer plans soon which will include â€˜Hunting with Frankâ€™ and â€˜Travelâ€™. Please remember to subscribe to KevinNeal.com updates to be notified immediately of new posts.