News for August 2007

homeward bound

everything we own, with few exceptions is in a moving truck and secured with a $10 lock.  i’ll sleep tight i’m sure.  that’s probably not the kind of thing you should post on the internet.  although it may provide a certain sense of freedom were it all stolen.  it happened to sonic youth once.  all their equipment gone, and with it all their messed up tunings.  glad i’m not sonic youth.  the experience was not freeing for them.

but the big news today? elsa found her toes.

Posted: August 30th, 2007
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internet free walhalla ND

I made the ride from fargo to grand forks.  it was a bit of a disaster.  i took highway 81 which is a totally straight and narrow, shoulder free, poorly kept highway that seems to only attract semi’s carrying sugar beets, and one idiot on a bike.  I spent way too much time gripping the edge of the road as the curteous drivers of scary large 18 wheelers did thier best to accomodate me.  by the time i got to grand forks i was fried.  my shoulders were crazy tense, my right calf beet red,  (and i know how red those beets can be), and my arse was in so much pain that i named it partway through the ride to make the conversations i was having about it in my head a little more interesting.  Gunthar.  I pronounce it GOON-thore. (oddly similar to glute soar)  So in grand forks i gave my father in law a ring who was actually leaving fargo at the time and who’s home in walhalla was my destination and i asked him to pick me up at the starbucks where the iced drinks were ventifull.

so if you’re doing the math, this means my 3 day trip only took 2 days.  but i’m totally okay with that.  i’m not sure if i could’ve made the last day physically, but mentally i was kind of shot – i didn’t need any more time on the road with semis and combines.

i’m at the church right now where i just got done with a rough mix of my father in laws gospel quartet, border harmony.  i recorded them two days ago and wanted to give them an idea of how things turned out before i left – it’s a pretty fun cd.

also in walhalla i’ve had fun helping my brother in law’s family move (i’m so sick of moving!), cleaning out a garage, and mounting antlers onto the front of my mother in law’s bicycle that jodi rides around when we’re here.  it looks pretty sweet as you can imagine, but it does require that you wear orange when you take it out.  anything with antlers is fair game in these parts. 

sure shootin, tex.

Posted: August 29th, 2007
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finished packing up the house, moving everything to storage, and cleaning the house last night at 8pm. slept at friends. woke up said goodbye to my family and my minivan, got on my bike and started my 80 mile ride to fargo. i only have 23 feet to go. I’m in moorhead at atomic coffee drinking a latte and eating chocolate and staring at amazement at my thighs and how much pain they are in, a pain rivaled only by that of my posterior. ow.

the ride in brief: amor to rothsay – hilly but fine, cool weather and a healthy dose of optimism.

lunch in rothsay – with that healthy dose of optimism still very present i rewarded my first 40 miles with a huge mushroom swiss burger and fries. they were delicious. they were my death.

rothsay to barnsville – the wind picked up and i quickly learned why power bar hasn’t gone into the burger business. my stomach was lead. really sick lead. i cursed my optimism and contemplated calling my brother in law for a ride. yes dear reader this indeed was my darkest hour.

barnsville to atomic coffee – i walked around a bp in barnesville and had a cup of coffee and took a 15 minute rest. this helped. and yippee the wind had stopped! and been replaced with rain. I put on my yellow jacket of inspiration and headed out on old 52, which until sabin, was a totally ill-maintained road and i may point out has succesfully knocked my rear wheel out of true, or as mr. may would say, ‘wonky.’

atomic coffee to ? – i’m no fortune teller, but i do have a plan. i’m going to finish my latte, get out in the drizzle and find my brother in laws work place. i’ll walk in and scare everyone away with my practical albeit unflattering biker shorts and rod and i will find a bike store to true my wheel, a place to eat anything but mushroom swiss burgers, a shower and a bed. my bedtime is 8pm. i’m shot. then in the morning i’ll decide if i’m heading on to grand forks or hitching a ride with my (favorite) father in law who godblesshim has an appointment in fargo tomorrow morning.

now i’m going to stand up.

ow. ow. ow.

Posted: August 21st, 2007
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rachel rock

Monday night I played a little rock and roll with Rachel Kurtz at the Cokato Corn Carnival

Micah took a few shots

It went really well – I’ll sum up quickly

No rain during show (always good during an outdoor event)

Discovered Lap steel + tube screamer sounds great through acoustic amp which meant i could do mandolin, banjo and steel all throught the same amp, a wonderful back saving discovery!

Craig Dion on drums, Michael May on guitar, Micah Taylor on bass, Rachel Kurtz up front – What a freaking talented group – it’s also the first time I’ve played with the same rachel kurtz band twice (we had the same band in lacrosse back in february/march sometime)

Was able to pass off 4 acoustic guitars, a mandolin, a banjo, two electrics and a tiple as well as a hodge podge of thumb pianos, chinese flutes, rain sticks and chimes to Micah who took them back to Mpls and will store them for me till we move the end of this month which means no leaving instruments in hot storage bins or moving trucks.  God bless you Micah the moving man Taylor! (and lindsay for going along with it all)

Drove through the worst lightning storm of my life on the way home.  For 20 minutes the sky was strobing to the point that my wipers looked like they were in slo-mo and for a few minutes lightning was hitting the ground around me every 5-10 seconds with blinding flashes and instantaneous thunder.  It’s the first time I’ve ever been freaked out driving through bad weather.  Luckily I was following a semi so it was okay that I couldn’t see the road, I just followed his tail lights.

Above I lived to tell the story of my rock and roll adventure.

and while i was gone little elsa rolled over for the first time. growth happens.

Posted: August 15th, 2007
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camp houge

scary camp barbieas the grains of wheathikinglydia by tent

here are a few shots from the father daughter camping trip we took last sunday.  no bears, plenty of firewood, no mosquitoes, no rain, good times. yippee.

Posted: August 15th, 2007
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 The triathlon was a success if i do say so myself, and i did, and it was, and i’ll stand by my claim.

we had a delayed start thanks to lighting (lightning + lake = dead), but the delay allowed me time to eat a whole wheat bagel with honey (smart), a bowl of shredded mini-wheats (wheat is healthy) a blueberry muffin (berries are heallthy) and a custard filled donut (calcium?) John and I finished at two hours which was my goal and the others came in under 3 hours, which was there goal.  I don’t really know if they had a goal, but I think if they did it would’ve been that and so way to go, they met their goal.  (Hi goal, I’m Nate, nice to meet you)

anyways, we all slept good that night and woke up pain free.  As a bonus Jason took one of our cars back to the cities for us loaded up with a pain to pack crap like 4′ T squares and odd shaped art and stuff.  Way to go Jason, thanks for helping with the move.

end times

The end is near!

As the Houge family prepares to move we have been thrilled to have a ton of great events and visitors coming through.

On Tuesday my friend and fellow stay at home dad Jonathan came up with his two kids, Paavo and Svea to spend some time with us and we had a blast.  Lydia and Paavo are both super verbal and played together for hours on end without a snag.  Their combined imaginations were so fun to witness as they took their invisible lizard Ralph for walks on his leash (I think Lydia got this idea from Ramona Quimby), picked dragon berries, made pretend camp fires, went fly hunting, and roasted marshmallows on real fires in the evening.  Svea (10 months) went for her first swim on tuesday and loved it so on wednesday I thought Elsa (3 months) would like to join in the fun.  I was wrong.  But at least I tried.  What she lacked in love of lake she made up for in love of nap, setting a new daytime nap record of 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Her previous record was 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Way to go Elsa!

On top of the positive kid experience it was even greater to spend some time with my friend as Jonathan, Jodi and I had some great conversation/catch up time after the kids went off to bed.  It’s always nice to hang out with another full time dad – it got me more excited about my recent decision to continue in this role as opposed to hooking the kids up with child care after the move.

Now it’s time to get some rest.  Saturday I’ll be participating with a few others in a home grown sprint triathlon that starts with a jump off our dock at 8 am.  It’ll be a 1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike ride, and a 3 mile run.  I’m hoping to finish in 2 hours.  It’s the swimming I’m most wary of.  And the running I’m least looking forward too. 

Check back saturday for official stats.


Posted: August 9th, 2007
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2 weeks till we move.

pulled out the boxes today – most of studio packed up – jodi’s gone a little overboard, i keep hearing phrases like, “Okay Nate, you know where are dishes used to be?”  meaning the dishes are packed.  she’s left out 5 place settings, but i have a feeling that by the end of next week we’ll all be sharing a single cup.

lydia and I had high accomplishment weeks.  she completed 4 days of baton twirling camp and recieved a trophy at the end which she has named angel girl.  she took it to bed last night.  no she didn’t poke out her eyes with it.  thanks for asking.

i circumnavigated ottertail lake this morning I thought it would be about 30 miles but it took less than 2 hours so I’m guessing it’s more like 20.  or maybe i just got faster on my new bike.  that i love.  and slept with.  i wasn’t as lucky as lydia though, thanks to the rear derailer folks at the cafe are calling me cyclops. 

must pack must move must go go go


Posted: August 3rd, 2007
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