Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Lionel Town
Josh and I took a ride over to Glen's train shop over in Akron yesterday and bought a few accessories for his (our) train. It almost seems like one would need to open up a home equity loan to buy some of this stuff...and as it is turning out...the locomotive is the cheap part of this hobby. Josh had some Christmas money that he was wanting to spend, so he picked out the gray/blue country house, the Harley Davidson billboard, a couple of extra 8" tracks, and some people to populate his town. With the little guys being $25, the billboard $35, and the house $30...he went through his dough pretty quick. I had wanted to get some trees for the layout, but this particular shop doesn't carry them. Oh yeah...a typical 6" tree will run you about $15.

As I conveyed to Josh...and myself...this will be a hobby or ours that we can add pieces slowly over time, as the cash flow permits. The old black water tower and coal station are both from my collection as a kid (Josh doesn't know that yet...) The grass mat came just today, so with Josh off at a buddy's house for a sleepover and Sarah Kay snoozing away upstairs...I meticulously disassembled everything to lay the landscaping mat. It would have been a whole lot easier had this come prior to Santa's arrival last week, but the postal system didn't exactly cooperate.

Our next investment- next to the trees of course- is a trestle-bridge. Donations can be sent over to Barberton for anyone who would like to buy some stock in this layout.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

After what seemed like months of hiding gifts and anticipating Christmas morning with the kids...the New Year is almost here. 2009 sounds so weird- especially considering that I was born way back in the 60's...ouch!

Ironically, Marie was the first one up, followed by her brother. After watching the older two stare at the tree for what seemed like hours, I meandered upstairs to wake the two year-old. I figured redemption was in order for all her past early morning arousals. At first, she wanted nothing to do with leaving her warm bed, but as soon as I mentioned the Santa word, little Sarah Kay jumped out and scooted down the hallway to see what he had left her under the tree.

Saying for months that she simply wanted a dolly for Christmas, I don't think she was disappointed as she opened her packages, complete with a high chair, baby doll accouterments, and a bunch of other toys that I don't even remember buying.

Josh was totally pumped when he and Marie opened up their Playstation Rock Band. I gotta tell ya...this is one addicting game. I've never been a big fan of Nirvanna, the Clash, and Weezer, but jammin' on their songs with this is nothing short of awesome. Both Josh and Marie prefer to play the drums, and I'm definitely hooked on the guitar, with little Sarah Kay leading the way on vocals.

Being a HUGE fan of my beloved Cavs (not sure when she got that from), Marie was pretty excited to get an autographed photo plaque of her favorite player, Boobie Gibson, who she'll get to see in person as we're also going to see them play this afternoon at the Q. The teenager is also an official member of the 24 fan club, complete with an array of 24 gifts...including a poster of the none other than Jack Bauer.

With all the packages opened, Josh found a letter under the tree addressed to him. It read that there was a special present for him and his daddy waiting downstairs...the Lionel train. This was the one gift this year that I was most excited about giving to my son. Having had one myself- given to me by Santa for Christmas when I too was 7- I had assembled it all for him the night before, combining the new set with some of my old cars and accessories. Thanks to Scott who had delivered the plywood a few days prior, the train was all set to go as Josh ran down the stairs to see what "the special gift" was. He and I are planning on heading over to Glen's train shop later this week to get a few more buildings; I'm waiting for the landscaping cover to arrive any day now, so I'll definitely post "updated pics" of the train as we add to our layout.

After playing for the Christmas Eve services at the Chapel, we headed down to Marietta the following morning to spend the day with Cindy's folks, and then had Christmas #3 with mine on Friday.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Blues
So I just got this new toy...no, not the kid...I've had him for quite a while now. But Santa came early and left me a Canon PowerShot SX100 the other day.

I've been wanting to get a new camera for a long time now, and I figured the arrival of the holidays would be an opportune time. I constantly was battling red eye and blurriness with the old one. I am so impressed with the zoom feature on the Canon. I think I took this photo about 25 feet from the little guy...not to mention, the camera is also equipped to take true night shots as well as landscape settings and video clips. The manual is about 100 pages, so I've got a little homework to do between now and Christmas morning...gotta be ready for the kiddos.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This pretty much sums up my disdain for the Yanks, who once again, were big winners at the winter meetings. We'll see if it pays off for them in October...hopefully not!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Varejao Wig Night at the "Q"

Leading the way with 17 points, Andy Varejao- along with the rest of the Cavs- destroyed the Pacers last night. This team is frighteningly good...and I have big time expectations for them to compete for the championship this year.

After chowing down at Quaker State and Lube, Marie and I donned the wigs right before we headed to our seats...fun evening!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches...that is, if I could actually see them!
-Sarah Kay

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Kalahari Thanksgiving

After a quick lunch at Appleby's, we arrived at the Kalahari around 1:00. Thankfully, our room was already available, so after quickly unloading the car and changing into our swim gear, we headed down to the water park.

Marie and Josh immediately took off for the big slides while Cindy and I took Sarah Kay over to the "little kids" section, which is brand new for this year. With absolutely no fear of the water, Ms. Sarah played pretty hard throughout the afternoon. Knowing that we were going to have a huge Thanksgiving dinner buffet on Thursday (and let me tell you...it rivaled just about anything you'd see in the Vegas hotels), we ate at the resort's pizza parlor Wed. evening and then headed back for some more swimming/ hot-tubbin' till the park closed at 10:00.

I got up around 5:00 the next morning to work out in the fitness center and then meandered over to the lobby to read a bit, which would have been quite pleasant (big overstuffed leather sofas/ roaring fireplace) had it not been for this utterly annoying talking moose machine whose recording continued to ask whether you wanted your fortune told. Half tempted to plow my bum leg through it's showcase, I instead moved to the other side of the room and read until 8:00. The kids were already up and ready to go for another day of swimming.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our story begins before time began. God, wanting to show his love, must create people who can choose to accept or reject his love. In order for them to truly choose to be a part of his kingdom, they must be able to reject him and create kingdoms of their own.
-opening scene of Kingdoms

Pastor Herb, Kent (pictured here with my son), and the Straight Street singers should all be so incredibly proud of their production. Just the thought of directing 140+ kids (grades 1-6) is amazing...but they pulled it off magnificently.
Josh's very first "theatrical speaking role" came right after the Tower of Babel was destroyed as he stepped up to the mic and- as only a method actor could deliver the line- belted out his much anticipated two word soliloquy..."Oh, no!" I'll never forget the night when I picked him up from rehearsal- he was so excited that he was chosen to say an actual line, albeit a short- but nevertheless- extremely significant line. (at least in my eyes)

The kids had great audiences both performances but appeared to really nail the show Saturday morning as you could simply tell the the leads really got comfortable with both their lines and songs.

Josh's favorite tune from the show (not surprisingly the one leading up to his infamous line) was Build a Tower, but his favorite part was when he got to play one of the fierce Babylonians and rush on stage to seize/ capture the poor, helpless Israelites. The scene pretty much rivaled anything you'd see in Braveheart...

I couldn't be more proud of you, little man!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Princess and the Pea

Little Sarah Kay's first bed...


Just when I thought I had seen all the cool toys at physical therapy, out came the “ACL torture rack” this morning. I joked with the Doc as to whether they confiscated this thing from descendants of the Inquisition. Still not being able to completely extend my leg, they strapped my thigh to a robotic table. Then, with a remote control, I could raise the table…tightening the strap along the way until I could feel an intense stretch to my knee ligaments. I got to do this 30 times with 10 second holds. Way too much fun for 7:30 a.m.

The game plan is to continue physical therapy through the holidays, and then go “solo” at the YMCA. I’m going to shoot for the Canal Place 5K run in early May as my comeback run…as well as our first Boettler Park sand-volleyball match later in the spring.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Working Hard? Hardly Working?

The two were given the simple task of raking the yard on Saturday...not sure how many leaves actually made it into the trash bag, however...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!
Indiana Jones and the Search of the Ferocious Feline

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My ouchie

That's what I've been hearing from my two year old for the past 3-4 weeks, anyway.
I'll be 42 in March, and to date, I've never had any type of surgery to speak of, with the exception of having my wisdom teeth extracted back in college. But come this Friday, I'll be heading over to the Health and Wellness Center in Montrose to have my ACL replaced.

If nothing else, this has been a crash course in anatomy for me the past few weeks. I know I probably learned this stuff years ago in school, but it's been kind of interesting to read up on the parts of the knee...so just in case you're interested...

The ACL crosses from the back of the femur (thighbone) to the front of the tibia (shinbone). It acts as a strong support for your knee, but it can be injured if you twist your knee too far or change direction too quickly. With a complete tear of the ACL (as in my case), your knee gives way more easily, letting the tibia shift forward while at the same time placing greater stress on the other major knee ligaments: the MCL (medial collateral ligament), the LCL (lateral collateral ligament), and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament)- got all that? See diagram for clarification.

Funny...when I first hurt myself, I thought it was just a sprain- even after visiting the Barberton ER that same night. They took x-rays, wrapped my knee, and sent me home after 4 glorious hours of waiting. But, after seeing my doctor a week later, he feared that it might be something a bit more severe...so after having the MRI done, the pics came back indicating a complete tear of my ACL. Unlike the X-rays, which simply show pictures of bones, the MRI is able to depict injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and cartilage.

My doc told me that the most common type of surgery for an ACL tear is reconstruction, which involves replacing the torn ligament with my own tissue. (evidently, they'll be "borrowing" one one of my hamstrings for this procedure). I could have opted to use one from a donor- as in a cadaver- but I told Dr. Franken...I mean Dr. Canterras that I was good with using stuff from my own body.

After Friday's surgery, I'm not gonna be able to drive for 7-10 days, and then shortly thereafter will begin physical therapy, which will require a 4-6 month program. All I know is that being sidelined for the fall volleyball league- not to mention the Akron Road Runner Marathon- has been utterly depressing, but my goal is to be ready to run some 10 k's and play some serious sand volleyball come this spring.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


And now starring in the role of Waldorf...Joshua R. Eubank

So you never heard of the Biblical famed Waldorf before? Evidently, he was the infamous little dude who was terrified when God decided to destroy the Tower of Babel...at least according to Pastor Herb's script.

Now I don't mean to brag, but Josh landed his first actual speaking role in the church's fall production of Kingdoms. Each morning on the way to school, I've listened to Josh rehearse his "big line" in preparation for opening night. He's been attending rehearsals now for over a month, and trust me, you are NOT going to want to miss this show! Plan to arrive early to ensure premium seating for this production.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd
Ever heard of this one? I sure didn't, but this was the spring musical of my junior year (1984) out at Walsh Jesuit. An old classmate of mine recently sent me this photo. (I'm one of the chorus urchins located in the second row, far left) And of course, Ms. Melina Kanakaredes (of CSI/ Guiding Light/ Providence fame) is pictured in the first row, second to the right. Told ya I knew the gal in high school....in fact, it was probably this show that inspired her career (doubtful...)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Master Cub Scout

It was kind of a long day for the little guy. While Sarah Kay and I headed out to Goodyear Metro Park to participate in Alyssa's Hike, Josh tested for his second degree blue belt in karate. Then, later in the afternoon, he and mom headed over to school to attend his Den meeting for his Cub Scout troop that he recently joined. Following that social event, he and Cindy met me over in Hartville for our ABF get- together. While the adults stayed upstairs for group discussion, Josh and the rest of the kids played downstairs and jammed on Guitar Hero.

Sarah did remarkably well on the hike this morning. I'm guessing that she walked at least 1/2 of it by herself (@mile or so) and then climbed up on my shoulders to finish up the trek. Beautiful weather and a nice turnout made for an awesome event for the Calaway family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm actually posting these pics for an insurance claim that I made this morning. Evidently, the wind storm that we endured last night was a present from Hurricane Ike. Never in my life have I seen trees sway like I did last night...and unfortunately, our favorite one in the backyard took a hard hit. (not to mention our fence)

I was stunned that I was actually able to get through this morning to our insurance company, USAA- considering the fact that they are located out of Texas. They told me to simply take pics and save receipts from the cleanup/ repair work. I have to believe that they- along with all insurance companies- are inundated with claims over the last few days.

Power just came on about 1/2 hour ago, and most of the schools in the area are closed for the day. I've been trying to get hold of Barberton Tree Co., but so far their lines are busy...surprise, surprise...

I guess I know what I'll be doing the next few days.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Me and Sandman...WeeMee Style

...compliments of my beloved teenage daughter, Marie

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor of Love Race '08

This year's race proved to be a bit more "laborious" than the past couple of years due to my new running partner- Ms. Sarah Kay- at my side. Dan Salmons and I split the 5 mile race- with each of us running 1/2 of it all the while pushing the kiddos in their racing strollers. The first part of the run went ok- although Sarah's front wheel came unlocked, and it started to jiggle the entire stroller- I think I gave the poor kid whip-lash. But, after a brief stop to lock the wheel into place, we continued along our trek...and made fairly decent time. But, that one hill going up through Akron U's campus by the JAR is an absolute killer!

As a warm-up to the 5 miler, Josh and I tackled the 1 mile "family fun race". Once again, the little guy ran the whole route without stopping. Way to go, my little man!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Smash Volleyball
Summer '08
Well, another season of Smash Volleyball has come and gone. Since way back in May, we only had two rainy evenings...and still, the die-hards prevailed and showed up to play. As I shared with Big D a few weeks ago, these outings have been so enjoyable to me not only because it's been an opportunity to spend some quality time with friends but also with Marie.
I'm guessin' the time will quickly come when "the teenager" may no longer want to hang out with her ole' dad, so I'm gonna cherish these summer outings as long as possible...course...I could do without the Ace serves and numerous commentaries about my age/ athletic abilities (or lack thereof) from my beloved daughter.
Thanks everyone for an awesome summer of Smash Volleyball!