Thursday, February 28, 2008

Welcome to Astria!

A few weeks ago we hiked Mt. Rubidoux here in Riverside with my mom, Ned, and their daughter Ella. I captured many more images from this day that I'll post later. Here's a video trifecta for now:

Don't mind my breathing which is likened unto a small hippo:

Welcome to Astria (Carte made up the name "Astria" right there on the spot):

Ella reaches the summit:

Random Photos

I have hundreds of photos and dozens of video clips I want to post (you've heard that before). Indeed, I still have entire photo collections from vacations past that I still need to finish editing for print and to blog. That said, here are a few random photos taken recently. Enjoy!

My two favorite girls!

Me under the guise "Mista Todd"

Please, get my good side. Oh, I don't have a good side? I oughtaa...!

I thought this turned out great...I didn't mess with the color at all...isn't that purple cool? I should have made these higher res.

Pre-Mt. Rubidoux hike. I think I could actually eat her she's so cute.

Carter's eye.

My sweetheart.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

3 Year Old Talking Star Wars

We aren't showing Carter Star Wars anytime soon, but this family decided to show their three year-old the sci-fi classic and her response is supremely cute and comedic.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 - 2007

Click above to check out an interactive graph of box office returns (not adjusted for inflation).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

All the riches in the world
Hello! By the time you read this hopefully I'll have placed the new title I'm working on for the blog at the top of the page. Since it's The Todd Pad, I'm trying to come up with something related to Mr. Toad's adventure/wild ride. My dad is the original, or O.G., Mr. Todd and now I am Mr. Todd the second. In fact, one of my father's students recently transfered to Fontana Middle School and he has my class for Language Arts so he's now had both Mr. Todds! The first day he sat there dumbfounded staring at me.

Anyhow, the real reason for this post is to relate a sublime experience I had this week. On Tuesday morning I intercepted Carter as he made his way toward our room in order to allow Sarah to sleep for a few more minutes. I turned on the Disney channel and went back into the bathroom to finish getting read for work. When I came out, I passed Carter on my way to the kitchen and, for some reason, I turned around and looked at him. He looked beautiful sitting there with the light from the television dancing in his bright eyes. I said, "Carter Todd," he looked up a bit surprised and with a slight look of concern since his full name is often used when he's being disobedient, "you're a good son. You are a good boy!" He looked up at me and a big smile broke out on his face.

"I love you daddy!" he replied in booming voice. I smiled and told him the same. As I turned back and walked toward the kitchen I glanced outside and it hit me that no amount of money in the world can buy what I, and many of you, have in our homes: genuine love. As the perpetual rat race goes on, it's vital to have moments like that one to put everything into perspective.

I am so grateful and cognizant of the importance of families. Although not everyone has a traditional, nuclear family, we can all have a family of some sort. Indeed, we are all one great family. I wish all of you happiness and peace...and moments like the one I described.

I created the "beta" title for the blog. As you can see, I have abandoned the "Mr. Toad" idea. Instead I tried to work in images of foxes since the name Todd is of Scottish origins and means "sly or foxlike." The colors don't go with the blog exactly, but it was fun and makes the blog more unique. I'd eventually like to recreate the blog from the ground up, but that might have to wait until I can dedicate a significant amount of time.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Parker's Party

After our humble beginnings in Colton, we found a rental home in the "Wood Streets" near downtown Riverside (Rosewood). Not only did we love the old fashioned home and the quaint street, but we found out that a couple from church, Josh and Marla Ontko, lived just a few houses away. They, like us, were expecting and, before long, we both had newborn little boys. Carter came in December and Parker arrived a few months after that. It was great fun to watch them as they progressed. Since then, both of us have moved on and added more children to our respective families but, thankfully, we've remained friends despite the fact we don't see each other that often (mostly because Josh is a terrible fisherman and one of the requirements of my friendship is that one must be at least decent in terms of angling ability).

A few weeks ago the Ontkos, threw a little bash for their son, Parker, who recently turned three. He and Carter have been little buddies since the beginning of their lives which, of course, wasn't that long ago (those of you who are perceptive know that "the beginning" was-duh, duh, duh, daa!-around three years ago!). All of the mommas and kids met at "John's Incredible Pizza" in Moreno Valley during the day and then, later that evening, they had some friends and family over. Sarah, who works one day a week, was working on the night of the party so I showed up solo with Carter and Claire in tow. Here are some photos from that day(thanks for remembering to send them on Marla!):

*By the way, if the photos look a little pixelated it's because they are downsized to fit on the blog. Click on them to link to high resolution versions.

Carter and Parker at John's Incredible Pizza

Sarah, Carter and "Claire Bear"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How Grandma (and all of us sometimes) Sees the Remote

In this comic by Roz Chast really sums it up nicely, for grandmas, parents and, let's be honest, sometimes even ourselves during our darkest moments of troubleshooting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chuck Norris "Facts"

When you visit google and enter a word or phrase, you generally click on the button "Google Search" which then searches millions (billions?) of websites searching for the term(s). By clicking the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, it shows you only one web page. Sometimes the page is perfect and has the information you're looking for, other times it is not. It's sort of a gamble. Apparently the folks at google have a good sense of humor. Check this out (thanks for the tip Wes):

Go to

Enter the words: find Chuck Norris

Hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button

Image:Cnf rs.jpg

In case you don't know, the idea of Chuck Norris being the coolest, toughest guy on the planet has become an internet meme. It's called "CHUCK NORRIS FACTS." People take turns coming up with the most ridiculous, and funny, ways of describing the awesomeness of Chuck Norris. For example:

If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.
There is no 'ctrl' button on Chuck Norris's computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.
Apple pays Chuck Norris 99 cents every time he listens to a song.
Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.
Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip.
Chuck Norris is suing Myspace for taking the name of what he calls everything around you.
Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


It's almost bed time but I want to post some misc. photos before I go to sleep. I am currently working on editing a lot of content (photos mostly) that I plan on preparing for Sarah's scrapbooking endeavors as well as this blog so I've been transferring files back and forth from the various memory devices, cameras, and hard drives we have. In the process I'm finding miscellaneous photos here and there.

Here's one I found of my mom, dad, April, Ella, Weston and Ned that was taken in October when they all went up to a pumpkin patch. Heidi must be the photographer because she's the only one who went who's not pictured, so nice shot Hide! I love this photo because everyone seems to happy in it.

Baby Claire and I at Disneyland some months ago:

"Nanna" and her grandchillun' on a Sunday eve sometime in the recent past
(or the Eternal Now depending on your perspective...):

Last, but not least, an awesome picture from Halloween I should have posted some time ago. I'd love to go into my theories as to why little boys such as Carter and Ryan love Spiderman so much (it has to do with style, color, and archetypes), but suffice to say there was a lot of webslinging going on that night and spider moves being flashed:

My "Army" Uncle Roger Delivering Mail to a Bucket?

My Uncle Roger delivers mail in Northern Utah. He's a great guy who has stood as a good example for me and many others over the years due to his strong principles, faith, hard work, and consistency. He recently received his fifteen minutes of fame in the Standard Examiner, a paper up there. Why is he delivering to a bucket? Well, apparently people's mailboxes were covered with snow. Read the whole article HERE.

This reminds me of the "profile" series I want to do in which I profile members of my family one at a time. Be on the look out for that one of these days. I think I'll start with Sarah, my favorite person! (;

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Universe...a Matter of Perspective

Unlike most of my friends' blogs, my blog not only provides blurbs from out lives and the accompanying photos, but also some of my thoughts on the world, the universe, and on spirituality in general. I guess the best word to describe this blog is eclectic which is perfect, since that's a word that I feel aptly describes me. So, here's another item I personally found fascinating. I had forgotten how small our planet and sun are compared to some of the known stars of the universe. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO WATCH THE SHOW.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Creepy Old Ads

Here are two particularly funny and disturbing ads from back in the day (the first one is almost enough to make one go vegan):

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Food Battle

Carter rarely takes issue with eating. On occasion, however, he refuses to even try something. In this case it was mashed potatoes (or as he kept referring to them, "hot potatoes") and spinach leaves. Now, I am not particularly fond of spinach leaves either, but when momma makes them, you grin and bear it.

This brief video depicts Carter who is strapped into his chair until he eats at least one bite of potatoes and one of the spinach. He eventually ate the potatoes but gagged on the spinach. Since he at least tried, we "released" him.

I have a ton of great photos to upload, but I just haven't had the time to edit and prepare them (mostly because the main computer's in Claire's room and she's usually asleep when I have time to work on them in the evening).

Oh yeah, if you look closely, you can still see a small bump over Carter's left eye from when he fell and hit his head at my parent's house. It's hardened up and we are going to have to show our physician to see what she thinks. A friend of ours said that their child had to have a similar bump removed (I'm trying to think of the word to describe his hardening of scar tissue...I think it starts with an "s").

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another method of self-identification

If you know me, you know I love video games and I have since as far back as I can remember. My family's first console was the Atari 2600 which I remember playing with my dad and my uncle Kevin. I still recall watching the little white blocky dudes running up and down the field on the football game. That was as real as it got back in the day. The next console I remember really playing like crazy was the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I still recall going to Fedco with my dad and buying the console along with the game Kung Fu. It came packaged with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt as well as two controllers and the light gun. For years that console got mad play, including many lost hours at my cousins house in Utah during the summers playing Tecmo Bowl, Pro Wrestling, and Bases Loaded. Fights, tears, and fist pumping were common during those marathon sessions.

Today I find a state-of-the-art console under my HDTV. I still waste plenty of time playing, but I no longer play for six hour stretches nor do I pump my fist and punch people over losses. Indeed, this week I've only turned it on once and that was to play a brief session of Beautiful Katamari with Carter. I love gaming for the escapism and the ability to do things I would never otherwise dream of doing in real life. I find, however, that the term "hardcore gamer" doesn't quite describe my gaming habits and "casual gamer" reminds me of seeing my mom or dad sitting in front of their Dell playing Solitaire. Tonight, in fact just a few minutes ago, after making chili for my co-workers and helping get the kids to bed and the dishes done, I stumbled across a new definition of gamers who find themselves somewhere in the middle: mid-core gamer. I said to Sarah, who is reading a book on the couch, "Hey, I think I'm a mid-core gamer!" "Oh, that's interesting," she said politely, "what does that mean?" After explaining it to her and she agreed and although I definitely have my moments of mania, generally after a mega-hit, triple AAA title like Halo 3 ships, I generally play electronic games on the weekends, after she's in bed. Having kids has made it a lot harder to find time to play since I don't play any non-kid friendly games and, in general, like to limit Carter's exposure to no more than thirty minutes at a time, something he's grown accustomed to (he is happy to quit after about a half hour which is great). Anyway, I've probably gone on far too long on this subject, but I thought it was funny. My number one interest is still reading, most of which I do online or from magazines, although I'm always reading at least one novel.

The following is from: JOYSTIQ.COM (my favorite gaming blog):

Are you a mid-core gamer?

Plenty of gamers are often stuck between the definitions of "casual" and "hardcore." They care too much to be the former, and yet they don't care enough to be the latter. If you're one of them, and yearning for your own defining category, then worry no more. You might just be a mid-core gamer.

What does your new-found identity mean? According to 8-Bit Rocket, it means you're the type of gamer who doesn't want to buy a new computer every time a new game comes out. You might love MMOs, but you don't have the time (or patience) for eight-hour quests. You might own the latest consoles, but you might not finish every single game you buy. 8-Bit Rocket also suggests that mid-core gamers are generally of the older generations, but we firmly believe that young people can be mid-core as well.