Category Archives: Cake Show

Biden my time

It’s the dog days of summer, with highs breaking the century mark, right on schedule for our anniversary (which we usually celebrate at a water park). Naturally, we’re finding ways to have fun while keeping cool, like running through the fountains at Stinson Park and installing new light fixtures in the basement.

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Over the weekend, Hannah and Aaron got to participate in the annual River City Confectioners’ Association cake show once again. Hannah made a cute little snowman while Aaron made a shark cake, and they each won a ribbon and a bag of prizes for participating. The cake show was held at the Douglas County fair, which itself was inexplicably held in a series of empty storefronts at Village Pointe Mall. I didn’t see any show animals or rides, but we did stop by an exhibit full of science-related toys and activities. They also got some balloons and paint-work done before we called it a day.

A few days later, my Uncle Andy and Aunt Nancy stopped by for a visit, so we took the kids over to visit with them a bit and play a few rounds of charades with the kids.

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A few days later, former Veep and Democrat front-runner for President “Sleepy” Joe Biden stopped by Council Bluffs for a visit. The button brigade was outside as usual as a couple hundred people showed up to squeeze into the Grass Wagon events center. The crowd included the usual media types along with former Congressman Brad Ashford, local blogger Dave Begley, and the  pair of autograph hounds who followed every candidate back in 2016. Biden was introduced by a local cancer survivor named Connie Gronstal shortly before eleven, and then Biden gave a remarkably short stump speech — just under 19 minutes — focusing on standard Democrat topics like healthcare and free college.

Afterward, Biden stayed for nearly an hour afterward to greet everyone along the rope line and get photos with anyone who wanted one (including me, of course). I’ve never been a fan of Biden, but sticking around to meet and greet that many people when you’re already the party front runner put him up a notch in my book.

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That day also happened to be Grammy’s birthday, so we had her over for dinner and cake that evening. Jack grilled up some “tomahawk” rib-eye steaks, which he carved up for us (letting Aaron take a whole bone to devour). The kids had also decorated a chocolate bundt cake, which we lit with candles and let Grammy blow out afterward. Then Grammy opened a few presents with the kids as the evening wound down afterward.

Color Run and a Cake Show

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The summer fun continues, as orange lilies and hostas bloom in our yards and the kids reenact the Memorial Park concert in our living room. Hannah also lost another tooth, making it increasingly difficult to eat an apple, among other things.

On Saturday, Vivian participated in another 5K, this time the Color Run through downtown Omaha. I dropped by to surprise her with Grammy and the kids over the bridge to Heartland of America Park. There were quite a few painted-up (and tutu-wearing) participants in the parade, but we were eventually able to spot Vivian and Tamra trotting along with the lot of them. I took Hannah and Aaron down to the street level for a few high-fives before they continued on, and Hannah got in some extra puddle-jumping for good measure.

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Then on Sunday, we spent the afternoon at the Douglas County Fair, an event that was inexplicably held at a few empty shops at the Village Point Mall. Our primary reason for going was to see Hannah and Aaron win some awards for the little cakes they make for the River City Confectioner’s Association cake contest. There were quite a few fancy entries once again this year, but Hannah and Aaron still managed to walk away with ribbons. Hannah got both a blue ribbon and a medal for best in show for her House Cake in the Wee Folk category, which was particularly nice.

There were other fun events going on at the “fair,” including a science exhibit with a variety of neat toys, as well as a Bubble Show, where both Aaron and Hannah got to be inside a big bubble for just a moment.

We’re closing in on another milestone this week as Vivian and I celebrate ten years of marriage together. More on that in a bit!

Cakes, a lake, and a housewarming

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Hot enough for you? Yes, it’s July in Nebraska, which means steamy summer days and trying to find ways to stay cool other than boarding up inside the house with air conditioning. This is why we have sprinklers in the front yard, which Hannah and Aaron made use of on Thursday.

On Saturday, we took a trip down to Louisville to cool off in the lake. We brought along an inflatable alligator and killer whale for the kids to float around on, and then we stayed just long enough to have some lunch (and a little sunburn) before heading home.

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Then that evening we dropped by Phil and Jen’s new house for a little Housewarming Party. Naturally, they had a bunch of unique food, including some bacon toffee and other things made in their giant, industrial strength stove. They also made some coffee in a strange glass vacuum brewer, which looked like an odd science experiment or drug paraphernalia. The coffee it made was good, though.

The usual batch of our friends were there, and Hannah got to have some quality time going crazy with Kate’s girls before we called it a night.

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Then on Sunday, I took Hannah and Aaron to the River City Confectioners’ Association Annual Sugar Arts and Cake Show. Hannah and Aaron had each made some prize-winning cakes and stuck around to collect their blue ribbons (along with prize lambs and some cookies).

There were several other unique entries, including a Cinderella Cake, a Fast Food cake, a cactus, some literary characters, and a detailed living room set that was made entirely out of sugar (even the glass ship-in-a-bottle). Vivian even made a cake topper, which she brought home on Friday night.

It was back to work after that, which included short-circuiting the Civic. Fortunately, I just needed a new battery and a fuse replaced after that mess.

Furries, a Cake Show, and Jimmy B

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We’ve had a couple fun and busy weekends since Vivian and I got back from our little overnight anniversary. Last Sunday, Hannah’s little forest cake won the blue ribbon down at the Douglas County Fair (held inexplicably at Crossroads Mall), so the whole family went with Grammy to pick up her award and her gift bag of prizes. We nearly lost her cake on the way home, but fortunately it stuck to our roof long enough for a passing car to warn us that it was there.

Then on Monday, we had an picnic lunch at the park with the kids and got a little wet playing in the fountains. In the meantime, actual grown-ups wandered around looking for Pokemon, in a case where life imitated art, as shown in my web comic. It’s always good to enjoy being outdoors, though — I did that by biking to and from work every day of the week, a lovely commute through the cornfields.

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On Friday night, we made our first visit to the SumTur to see Zootopia with a handful of our friends. It was a remarkably cool July evening for the kids to run around. I was surprised the crowd wasn’t even larger than it was. Among them were a group of actual, legit furries, who showed up in full fur-suit to delight children and horrify adults.

Then on Saturday night, we had a game night down at Jessica’s friend Kate’s place. Hannah and Aaron got to run around and play with some kids closer to their own age as the grown-ups played a few crazy rounds of Telestrations over tacos. The best thing about mutual sets of kids is that they negate the need for a grown-up to keep them occupied.

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On Sunday, I made a last-minute decision to drop by the Sokol Auditorium to witness the final performance of Jimmy B and his orchestra. I’d heard about Jimmy B for ages (mostly from Dan Wondra), but I never got the chance to see his band in person. The Sokol is a lovely old venue that feels like walking back in time, and this year’s Cowtown Jamborama will be happening there as well. I got in a few dances, but there was a serious lack of Jitterbugs in the (mostly gray-haired) crowd, so I was content with taking a handful of pictures before I headed home.

That evening, Jack and Donna came by for dinner with us before going on a road trip to California. They brought Diggy to live at our house for a bit, and Vivian got to show Donna my anniversary present, which I installed myself the other day. The kids also played a few rounds of the Memory Card game, but they kids seemed to get a bigger kick out of playing with the leftover frames after punching out the cards.

Sadly, we missed seeing their show this year, but we did get to see a few of the jets from our house as Aaron napped.

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One last thing. On Monday, Hillary Clinton came to Omaha, and I decided to take one last stab at giving her a copy of Dr. Hilgers’ book, reliving my glory days from the presidential primary. What happened instead was that I stood outside for a couple hours getting burned to a crisp (and dehydrated) only to be escorted into an “overflow room” to watch the event on a giant TV screen. I was particularly disappointed when I saw pictures of the event online later and saw there was plenty of room left in the gymnasium that somehow went unfilled.

I still had fun chatting with a few friendly democrats in line (and caught a glimpse of Ben Nelson) and witnessing protesters from both the right and the left denouncing Hillary from the sidelines. If I were smart, of course, I would have brought a few cases full of ice water and sold them to the thirsty throngs waiting in line. I could have made a fortune. Maybe in four more years.