Alex Camacho
Crosby, TX, United States
Born in Houston, Texas and raised all over living the life of an Army Brat. I Went to eight different schools (three elementary, one middle school, four high schools) and have one little brother who’s not so little anymore. I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now to a woman who rocks my world and I've been blessed with two wonderful children. Our dog, Sally, is a big black lab saved from a local shelter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Puzzling Around

christmas2009_092Another Christmas for the books. We've managed to recover mostly. Wrapping paper and empty boxes have been bagged, most of the chocolate cookies are gone, and the new toys have all found a comfortable spot with the rest. Oh, and Christmas pics for 2009 are finally posted.

We spent a wonderful Christmas at home with Lana's grandma and dad. Don's doing great for those that remember his little emergency room visit. We baked cookies and slathered them in frosting, watched Christmas movies with the kids (Jack Frost and A Christmas Story, and then nerded out out to District 9. We even remembered to leave Santa his share of cookie tax before calling it a night.

christmas2009_055christmas2009_033Now the only problem is finding our regular groove. I think I would have spent the entire past week in pajamas had I been able to get away with it. I'll eventually get back on track I guess though I'm in no particular rush. It's rather nice not having regular jobs and being chained to a work schedule. :)

I did manage to pick up a new-but-old hobby. When Lana and I first got married we moved away to the far away land of Tennessee. I was just a newly promoted PV2, straight out of AIT, at my first duty station and neither of us knew anyone. Before we made friends with the people I worked with at the hospital, we found puzzles when we ventured out at 3am at Walmart. Looking back, it was really a pretty darn wonderful time. It was just us and we were both on my night shift schedule. We'd sleep all day and spend the whole evening together watching movies, playing scrabble, or putting puzzles together. On my off rotation we'd pack up and head out for three or four days and forget I was in the Army. I even have the Article 15 to prove it.

Lana bought a big value pack of puzzles at Walmart for us to do as a family. We tackled the small one first. We moved on quickly to the 1,000 piece puzzle. While it may not be what some call fun, I enjoy it. It's especially fun when Lana scoots up on the other side of the table. It becomes marvelous curveball of fun when Marcel sits down. Maybe you don't get it, but that's okay cause I do.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa Town in College Station

christmas2009_santaswonderland15christmas2009_santaswonderland53So we finally got a majority of the Christmas shopping done. Lana and I spent an early morning wrapping presents together while the kids slept the other night. We're usually pretty late on the boat, but Lana's been all over it this year. This year, we did the bulk of our shopping through Amazon. So now we're just biting our fingernails and hoping it all gets here in time. I'm told by my Amazon account that it should all be here before Santa, so we should be good. The only trouble we have right now? Keeping the little girl from unwrapping the other presents under the tree. She can't seem to help herself. The moment she knows I'm not watching her she's tearing into a present. The next week or so will be a battle of wills that will end with us probably hiding the presents until Christmas Eve.

christmas2009_santaswonderland65Other than that, we're really just counting down. We haven't made our trip out to Prestonwood yet but we did drive out to Santa's Wonderland with some friends. It was really pretty impressive. I only wish I could have set up a tripod for some extended shutter speed shots but they don't allow you to get out of your car on the road that goes through the lights display. Once you've done the lights display, they even have a little Santa Town. They had live music, a Santa, and even a mechanical bull. Most importantly, they had funnel cake. :)

Other than that, it's been a bit lazy around here as we bunker down waiting for Christmas. I've been reading theHeroes Die books again and not been getting a whole lot of other things done. It's a bit dangerous to have books accessible through my phone at my whim. I'm going to write my Owlcon GURPS 4th Edition Demo game based off the setting written in the first two books. I've decided the adventure will take place in the years between Blade of Tyshalle and Caine Black Knife (Acts of Caine). Now I just have to write it in umm... three days? That's when the preregistration opens up which means maximum exposure to gamers. I do work best under pressure...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Giving Thanks Twice

christmas2009_005Thanksgiving is over - sort of. Like most folks, we're still living off leftover turkey but thankfully the sweets are long gone. Unfortunately a good portion of it went down my own gullet. We ended up actually celebrating Thanksgiving twice this year so it was a double helping of gut-busting food. I even made Sweet Potato Pie this year thanks to Alton Brown. I've recently discovered I actually enjoy cooking. I don't have the natural palette for it Lana does, but I know how to follow directions. I can't tell what needs to be added or in what quantities but if given good directions I get usually make something eatable. I've come a long way from paying my little brother to make me grill cheese sandwich.

christmas2009_006christmas2009_004Even with crazy schedules, we managed to get the Christmas tree up! I brought down all the boxes from the attic room with help from Marcel. We sat around the fireplace listening to Christmas carols streamed through the TV from our home network, watching our family photos on the slide show, while we hung ornaments. Livie decided they were all too nice to hang and it was a constant battle. We'd hang two and she'd take one off. It ended up being a pretty lengthy task but that's all right. I'm not sure how many more Santa years we're gonna get out of Marcel. I think that he already secretly knows who the real Santas are and it does make me a little sad. Maybe that's why he hasn't said anything. Normally I wouldn't give a kid that kind of credit for being that sensitive, but Marcel's that kinda kid. I'm a lucky guy and I have a lot to be thankful for.

christmas2009_009So now we're on Santa countdown with the calendar. The kids move the little bear every evening together. Marcel reads the day's hint and Olivia looks for the spot to move the bear. It's really pretty damn cute. So at some point Lana and I need to finish our shopping. Olivia will be pretty easy but Marcel gets tougher every year. He claims he doesn't really play with his toys anymore but I can't help but notice the G.I. Joe's scattered across his bedroom floor in a very reminiscent fashion of a good ol' ass whoopin dropped down by his heavily armed and loved Halo figures. So I think maybe this year I'll grab a few Collectible action figures that he can continue to urmmm, "display" in his room.

I should go. The living room just got really quiet and when I rolled my chair out as a bluff move, I heard little feet take off running.