Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 Ohio State Fair... or should I say Ohio State Fail

Jennifer took the girls to the Ohio State Fair this week to see "Aunt Morgi" in her horse shows. Jennifer's sister is 14 and was showing her horse at the fair. She is VERY into her horses and actually walked away with a Grand Champion ribbon and trophy this year! Way to go Morgan!!

One thing that surprised me is that Jennifer said it was like a ghost town when she was there. I guess the midway was nothing but tumbleweeds and rides that weren't even running. Upon further explanation, it all made sense: the prices.

The state fair is supposed to be a place where anybody should be able to take their kids. Not just the wealthy, or even middle class people. But anybody including kids that don't have a whole lot. It's a time for the city to get together in the middle of summer and have fun. Unfortunately it has gotten so insanely expensive that people are probably staying away because they simply can't afford it.

For example, Jennifer withdrew $100 to go and she said it was gone in no time. Here are some of the prices that she was telling me about:
  • Admission: $10 adult / $8 kid
  • Parking: $5
  • Ice Cream: $3 / scoop
  • Small Drink: $3
  • Cheese on a Stick: $3.50
  • Caramel Apple: $5
  • Jumbo Drink: $13 / $6 refill!!
  • Sky Ride: $4 / person
  • Day Pass for Rides: $22
  • Cheeseburger: $too much
  • Etc..: $insane
I think it's safe to say that the fair has turned into a full blown money pit. It's a (damn) shame! How can they expect people to get excited about the State Fair if they can't even afford to go. I (for one) have no desire to go to the Ohio State Fair this year, or next year, or the year after... I'll wait for the Hartford Fair; prices are still high for the Hartford Fair, but not AS high.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hardbarger Farms Open House

Jennifer and I are looking to move. However, before we can move, we have to first sell our house. We actually put it on the market last week. The reason for my post is to tell you that we have an Open House: Sunday, July 25th from 2pm - 4pm

While I think that the pictures and write up from our HER Realtor is great, this doesn't give any of the goodness of what we're really selling. Here are the schematics, strait from the chickens ass (?):

Our House

We bought our house in June 2003 and we've done a lot of stuff to it. The first thing we did was waterproof it. We were in the house for about 7-8 months and we had the great 50 year flood. Jennifer went downstairs one night to throw in the laundry and she stepped in about 6 inches of water. Needless to say my office was down there, my drums were down there, all of our books, etc... We got it waterproofed that next weekend and haven't had ANY problems since. I dry as a whistle (if that's even a saying?).

That next summer we went on vacation and came home to a demolished pole barn. We tore it down and had a brand Pole Barn from 64 Metals installed. We used this barn to house all of our farm animals for years. We even had horses in here for a few months. The barn is a huge selling point to the house in my opinion because it completes the requirements for a "mini farm". It's a solid barn and houses all of our farm equipment.

After we got big into the "goat bidness", we decided it was time to build a fence. We fenced in a huge 2 acre lot for all of our goats. This fence was built by us and our friends and family. It's built real solid as well. We've kept horses, goats, and even cows in here over the years. Inside the pasture there are two small lean tos to keep the animals safe in bad weather. The one is in pretty bad shape right now, but could easily be patched up and working like new. The fence also helps sell this place as a mini farm. Anybody with any type of livestock or farm animals would benefit from this: llama's, goats, hogs, horses, cows, peacocks, mother-in-laws, etc... (just kidding Janet). :)

2+ acres of fenced pasture

It was around this time that we were expecting our 3rd child and we quickly realized that our living space was getting pretty crowded. One of my old buddy's (Corey) helped me build a little addition onto the front of our house. That project added an extra 180+ square feet of open floor plan. It really changed the feel of this house and we benefit from it everyday as we have nice meals in the dining room while we watch iCarly. The old Kitchen / Dining area was very crowded and very dated. Extending the dining room onto the front porch made a huge difference and I'm sure it will be a huge selling point when someone walks in the back door.

Last year for Jennifer's birthday, my buddy (Tyler) and I ripped up our nasty carpet in the living room and exposed some beautiful hardwood floors. Jennifer went out with one of her friends for her birthday and Tyler snuck over here and we cranked it out in about 3 hours while the girls kept themselves entertained. Needlesstosay, Jennifer came home and cried and laughed and cried and laughed. It was a great "Luc and Jen" moment. :) Not only that, but it looks really sharp in here now.

The Old

Just this past spring we had quite a bit done around here as well. We got our old 1950's bathroom updated to the 21st century. The way it was laid out before was a bit too crowded for us. The sink was too small, but the counter top that it was on was too big. We had these huge cabinets that were only being half used, and the entire bathroom was in pink / white / black tile. We got rid of the cabinets, put in a double bowl sink with a huge vanity. We flipped the toilet around to the other side of the room and slid the shower down to allow for maximum capacity in there. It opened up our our bathroom immensely and now the girls don't fight over who gets to use the sink anymore. We just love it!

The New

If you have animals, we just got invisible fence installed around our property too. We fenced in a 2 acre chunk in the front of our property. The layout gives the dogs pretty much full access to the entire living area of the property. They can protect the barn, the garage and our house. They even have a little chunk in our woods that they like to go to and dig for moles and other critters. They just love it and it's a great peace of mind for us knowing that they're not going to be wandering all over the country side, like our old dog Diesel loved to do (RIP bud). :)

This tree is gone now. :(

To top it all off, we just had a brand new roof put on top of this thing. Last month my Dad and I tore down a huge tree between the garage and the house that was getting a little too big for it's own britches. Once it was down and no longer a threat to the house, we put a brand new roof on the entire house to give it that nice "new shingle" glow. It's complete with all new gutters and warranty's.

Keep in mind that these are just the "improvements" we've made. I didn't even get into the "already kick ass" features of the property. The house off the road on a peaceful and safe chunk of land in Toboso. We are the only house for about a mile on this side of the road. I have a nice workshop style garage, complete with all kinds of "handy man" goodies. I'm a computer geek, so I only use it when I feel adventurous or Jennifer is getting on me to fix something. We live 1 mile from a state nature preserve (which I literally visit +5 times a week). We're 45 minutes from Columbus, 15 minutes from Zanesville, 15 minutes from Newark.

Oh yeah, I have to mention that we also have a killer area in the back of our property where we host our annual bonfire party. People park in the pasture and walk through the pine woods to the other side of our property to enjoy the sites and seclusion of east Newark. This is what sold the property for me 7 years ago. I still love to go up there and just get away from everything once in a while. It's relaxing to mow up there because there are no signs of life for as far as I can see...

This house / property has all the privacy and country feel that we could ever dream of. Little by little, we've turned this place into our own little log cabin. We can only hope that someone will come inside and fall in love with it the way that we did. The only reason that we're moving is because we have our eyes on the next big thing...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Swimming Milestones

We've been spending some fun times at Frosty's Lodge. This is Aunt Barbie and Uncle Doug's new place out on in the sticks. They bought a 100+ acre lot with a huge house that looks like a Ski Lodge. Their last names are Frost, so... Yeah, you get it now. Anyway they have an awesome in-ground pool that they let us use whenever we want. They live about 7 miles from our house so we make good use of it. Thanks Aunt Barbie and Uncle Doug!! :)

We've been taking the girls there on the really hot days and today was no exception. The temperatures were in the mid 90's, so we packed some lunches and headed to the pool. Today was an epic day for Lizzie and Jazzy.

Lizzie Mae (8) is able to swim in the deep end with no life jacket. Of course, I still have to be by her side at all times, but I'm literally there for moral support and have only had to "save" her 1 time. She was jumping off of the side of the pool today and swimming back to the surface. She was also able to swim from one side of the pool to the other side of the pool with no problems. GO LIZZIE!

Jazzy (7) is also kicking butt in the pool. She is able to swim from the shallow end to the deep end with her snorkel. I think that once she realizes that the floor is further from her, she freaks out and starts to panic. I had to help her to the side one time because she tensed up and got a little water in her snorkel once she got over the 'deep water'. Regardless, she did it a few times with great success and I think that both of the girls are going to be swimming by the end of the summer.

Jazzy swimming with her snorkel.

Daizi's big milestone today was that she was jumping off of the side of the pool into Jennifer's arms. She went under a few times as well and had a great time. She keeps her life jacket on the whole time and swims out into the deep end whenever she wants. This kid feels extremely comfortable in the water; so much so that it's a bit scary when she's in the deep end by herself (in her life jacket of course). I'd much rather them be comfortable, than tense in the water though...

It's great that the girls no longer have a fear of deep water. It is such a free feeling to know that if the girls fall in now, they'll know HOW to get back to the surface and not freak out. There's nothing like jumping in the deep end and just wade underwater and swim around upside down, backwards, however I want. I just love that my girls are learning to love swimming as well. I mean really holding their breath and using their limbs to stay afloat "swimming".

Congratulations girls!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

P90X Noob

I was so excited to start P90X this week. I ate right all weekend and got all the supplies I needed to get started first thing in the morning on Monday.

The night before I was to get started, I read the instructions and realized that I still had a bit of work to do in order to start the program. I still needed to take the fit test, and record all of my "before data" (weight, measurements, resting HR, etc..). It was also recommended that I do the fit test a few days before starting the actual program (assuming I pass).

I took the test and passed everything with flying colors... except the pull-up requirement. The program suggests that I should be able to do 3 wide grip pull ups. I couldn't do ONE! :'( I can do about 2 normal pull ups (shoulder width with underhand grip), but the wide angle pull ups are too much for my big 'ol butt.

Instead, I decided to just use this week to eat right, and do a few of the exercises anyway to get a feel for them. I'm glad I did, as I now realize that I can do the program anyway and use assistance on my pullups the first few weeks. I just need to use the chair technique for the more difficult pull-ups. After about 2-3 weeks, I should be able to do (at least) 1 wide angle pull up and then I'll be able to keep up for the next 10-11 weeks...

On Wednesday I did the "Chest and Back" program and it hurt bad... I'm still feeling it actually. Yesterday I took a rest day; did some situps, and ran 3 miles, but let the upper body rest. This morning I did "Legs and Back" program and... ouch. It hurt. :) Tomorrow I think I'm going to do Kempo X (it's like kick boxing), and then I'll do the Stretch X program on Sunday. Assuming I can still move. Of course, I'm still running everyday and keeping up with my training schedule.

This is the first time that I've ever really kept track of my food intake, and I am discovering that it's amazing how much CRAP we (as Americans) eat when we don't pay attention. I've been a food Nazi and eating small portions of (rather) healthy food every 2-3 hours. Even when doing this, it's putting me over the 2,000 calorie limit almost everyday. The protein bars may have something to do with it, but Sodium, Potasium, Fat, and Calories add up very quickly when you're not paying attention; even from raw fruits and vegetables (I couldn't believe it).

I start the full program @ 6am on Monday. BRING IT!