Monday, January 25, 2010

Best Toy EVER or Doggy Crack

For those of you who don't know my dog Jake, he is one of the most even tempered dogs I know. He's a lover, not a fighter and he wants to make friends with everyone. Today, however, we had a little change from his usual. For a short time he actually became a junkie. You might ask, how can this be? How can dogs become junkies? Well we found out. It all started at Christmas.

Lots of our friends and family remembered Jake this Christmas. Mom gave him this cool dog treat thing that looked like a stocking and was filled with rawhide treats. Here is a picture of it when I unwrapped it:Looks fun, huh. Well it was. The rawhide treats were a hit. (All rawhide treats are a hit, for that matter.) So at last, Jake had eaten all the treats in the little stocking. But wait, just when you think the fun is over, the stocking itself if made of rawhide. So, today Chelsea gave the stocking to Jake. Due to it's unusual shape she didn't know if he would know what to do with it, but he did. In fact he prized it above just about any toy we've ever given him. It was a while before he even got down to the business of chewing it. Chelsea said he spent some time just carrying it around the house. It was too cool to let anyone (even Chelsea) near it. So Jake spent most of the afternoon munching away.

Then, as is my custom, I went over to pet him while he was chewing. Usually he just lays there happily chewing while I pet him a little, but today, as soon as I touched him he started to growl! So, like that person you can't help but tease because of the reaction, I couldn't leave him alone. I don't think I've ever seen him get like this. So now we've come to the reason for this long-winded post. I took a video because I had to share it with all of you. Enjoy.

Sorry Jake, but it was really funny. How about that, the container was more interesting than the actual gift.

By the way, this was my 100th post. It only took me four years to get here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why Not Take the Train?

Good question. Why not take the train?

That is the very same question that Chelsea and I have been asking ourselves. This summer my family is meeting in Nauvoo Illinois for our second bi-annual family gathering and we thought it might be fun to take the train out rather than flying. It turns out we were wrong.

Don't take this as being anti-train, it isn't. I still think it would be fun to take a trip somewhere by train. On those kinds of trips it's about the journey more than the destination. This, however, is more of a destination trip. As you will see shortly, taking a trip all the way to Illinois from Washington by train would probably be a little much for us.

This is how it compares:

Flying: We could fly from Seattle to Peoria for around $500 per person round trip. The trip would take about 6 hours and we would still have to drive for about 3 hours to reach our final destination which is near Nauvoo. Not bad. (It turns out that Nauvoo is a little more remote than I thought.)

Train: I've been looking at Amtrak's website and it looks so fun. All the lines have cool names. Taking the "Empire Builder" is so much cooler than "flight 1554". So anyway, to get to Nauvoo by train you take the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago and then the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Fort Madison. This trip is a little longer. The trip from Seattle to Chicago is a modest 45 hours and the trip from Chicago to Fort Madison is only about 3. The catch is that you get to Chicago about 45 minutes after the train for Fort Madison leaves, so you have to spend the night and get that train the next day. Fort Madison is then about 40 minutes from the final destination. There is one Empire Builder each day, so if we got it on, say, a Monday afternoon, we would get to our destination on Thursday night. That costs about $360 per person round trip.

Chelsea said I was a weenie for thinking that was a little too much to bite off.

Well, it looks like we'll be flying. I don't even know if Peoria is the best airport for getting to Nauvoo, but I just used it to have something to compare to. We will probably end up flying back from Indianapolis, though, because we're going to try to visit my brother's house while we're out there.

I'll yet you all know how it turns out.