For the potty-training geek dad
Did you know that you can put animated GIFs in a PowerPoint presentation!?!  Here are some that I put in a PPT that I presented during a meeting to discuss strategy and terminology in a 3rd party vendor application.

(all pictures came from http://thecodinglove.com)
I came home today & found Katie with this around her neck. It soon found it's way to my neck.
Katie came home yesterday with a couple bearded dragons that she rescued.  She brought them in to the bedroom where I was working on my laptop and plopped them on my chest saying, "Can you watch these guys while I clean out their tank. Thanks."
Between coring out the kielbasa and pulling them out of the oil, I got so busy that I didn't stop to take any photos, sorry =\

Here's the recipe as best as I can remember it.  
  1. Cook bacon strips in a foil-lined oven-safe tray for about 5 minutes at 400F
  2. Cut kielbasa into widths the size of the bacon strips.
  3. Holding two steak knives side-by-side, stab the center of each kielbasa chunk, rotate the chunk and stab again to punch out the center.
  4. Fill the hole with the string cheese.
  5. Fill the pot with cooking oil so that it's about 2-3in deep.  Heat it to about 375F (turned out to be setting #4 on my stove).
  6. Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl:
    - 1 cup flour
    - Grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
    - Creole seasoning (to taste)
  7. Add 1 egg and about 1 cup of milk to the mixing bowl.  I eyeballed the milk so that the mixture was about the same thickness as pancake mixture.
  8. Wrap the cooked bacon around the cheese-stuffed kielbasa chunks.  Keep the bacon in place with a toothpick and leave about 1/4in of the toothpick sticking out so you can hold on to it.
  9. Cover each kielbasa chunk in the batter and drop it in the hot oil.
  10. When the batter turns brown-ish, it's ready, take it out.

If I were to do it again, I'd try oven-frying it instead of deep-frying to get the cheese to melt better.
My dad joined us for the christening of the Gute Fahrt and took some awesome photos too.  Here they are!
After taking the Gute Fahrt out for it's maiden voyage, the kiddo & I spent the night hanging out at the campground. For him, it was his first time sleeping in a hammock. At 6:30 the next morning, the sun shone through the trees directly on his face.
I took the raft, which I've decided to call the Gute Fahrt, out on Battle Ground Lake just north of Vancouver for it's maiden voyage yesterday!
Lessons Learned:
  1. Use a checklist!  I forgot to bring the PVC that was going to be used for the tarp frame so the tarp was mostly useless.  It did, however, still act like a sail which wouldn't have been prevented had I remembered to bring the frame.
  2. Use a real oar/paddle.  I bought a $14 plastic paddle from Walmart and found that it was also mostly useless.  Every stroke of the paddle resulted in the paddle bending almost 30 degrees and gave the raft little propulsion.
  3. Bring an anchor.  Once I was able to get out into open water, I ended up spending most of my time paddling just to stay in the same spot.  Next time, I'm going to get a big rock or something that I can tie off to the frame to keep it from drifting while relaxing.
All told, I count it as a success since the Gute Fahrt floated and the hammock worked like a champ.  The next time out, I anticipate that we'll be better prepared and will have an even better time!
The question arose as to whether I would need to get the raft registered as a vessel with the Washington State Parks association so I contacted them to find out if that was necessary and how the raft technically qualified.  It turns out that I don't have to register the raft as long as it's human-powered, but once I use mechanical propulsion, I have to get a registration and boater safety classes, and all that hoopla.

The raft does, however, qualify as a vessel which means that I am required to have Coast Guard approved life jackets for everyone on the raft as well as a signaling device (a whistle) and a light should I spend the night on the water so that other boats can see me.  One quick trip to a box store and all three criteria were met.

In finding out the legal requirements for the raft, I also found out that there may be restrictions on using barrels that once contained DMSO.  I've also sent an email to the Washington State Ecology Department to see if they can help figure that out.

We also went to a nearby cedar factory outlet and loaded up on 6' planks that worked nicely as deck boards for the raft.  On a side note, the outlet closes at 1pm on Saturday, and we arrived at 1:30pm not knowing that they had already shut down, but the guys were awesome about it and they let us load up anyway.  A special thanks to Cedar Factory Outlet in Battle Ground, WA!
"Yargh!" says my pirate crew.

By way of construction, all I have left to do is to add in the other two 6' lengths of PVC so that I can lift both sides of the tarp, attach the fish net to the underside for carrying the cargo, and slap together the mini-hammocks that will fill in the open middle sections so that lads can hang out while floating on the water.