2011 Christmas Card

2011 has been another crazy year, and our lives haven’t gotten any less hectic – or fantastic. One of our life-changing updates this year was the purchase of our first home. The process was certainly a roller coaster, but our love for the new home has not been. It’s already become a very major part of our lives, especially as Ian continues to grow up and explore his new home.

This year, for our Christmas Card, we invite you to explore our new home through the memories we’ve made there. You’ll see a few of the rooms of our house. In each room, you’ll find some Christmas ornaments. Hover on the ornament to see a video clip, photograph, or other memory that took place in that room. We promise they’re adorable.

View our 2011 Christmas Card here.

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s a new year. Truth be told, I’m a little wary of this year. 2010 had such beautiful mathematical properties. 2011 just seems… off. However, 2011, has a ton of promise, with a lot of big things coming up.

To launch this year, I’ve put up a new mixlist. Actually, I put up two. I just realized that I never posted my 2009 Best Of… mixlist. So, I made pages for both of them. I didn’t dig into the songs as deeply as with the 2008 Best Of…, so don’t expect to read much on those pages. Also included were the Grooveshark embedded players.

And now, to sleep. Perchance to dream. Likely to have to get up three or four times with my son.

It’s New Year’s Eve and, so far, most …

It’s New Year’s Eve and, so far, most of our conversation has been about snowflakes. It’s a long story.

We’re about to watch 9. We had a couple plans for tonight – one was to watch episodes from our favorite TV shows that take place during New Year’s Eve. That is a fine idea until you endeavor to figure out which episodes those might be. IMDB plot searches proved fruitless.

The next plan was to watch a movie that takes place, at least in part, during New Year’s Eve. This, too, was largely fruitless for the same reasons. Also, I couldn’t recall a single movie we own taking place (in whole or part) during New Year’s Eve.

Our final plan was to rent something from iTunes. We enacted this same plan over Christmas at the Gregg household. There we purchased “Four Christmases”, which took about sixty minutes to download (and produced about three minutes of laughter). Tonight we’ve purchased “9”, which took about twelve minutes to download. Thank you, MidcoNet high-speed broadband internet.

So far I’m enjoying “9”. Check it out. As Holli put it, it’s kinda fitting that we’re watching “9” on the last day of 2009. That’s totally what we meant to do, yo.

Dumb post.

UPDATE: After discovering that Hulu’s ball drop was truly a livestream (and not being re-broadcast for Central Time), we rung in the new year with a fireworks display in the city of Funchal in Madeira, Portugal. Thank you, Ustream. The action starts about 3:00 into it.

Thus Spake Father Winter

It is cold out.

The cheerless chill that has descended upon us is one I connect to the maroon-shaded gaze of Lord Voldermort. It’s a cold that I’ve associated with the oft-written “chilled me to the bones”. For what has been a relatively mild winter, recent weeks have yielded a fresh bought of low temperatures and high snowfall.

Our travels last Christmas from Big Stone City, SD, to Sioux Falls, SD, had been a harrowing misadventure, during which we witnessed a handful of stranded vehicles, many of which my father took the time to rescue. Mostly, though, it was 10 mph “white knuckle” driving though terrible roads, low visibility, and general fatigue.

This year, we thought we were free of such a torment. Instead, once we were outside of Milbank, the blowing snow hit. I had, hitherto, never considered “blowing snow” to be anything close to dangerous. ‘What harm is there,’ I thought, ‘when you can drive right through it?’ Then we hit enough blowing snow to create white-out-like conditions, and I knew the harm. It was like driving through cloud. Tiny, island patches of road would open up (and close) before us, offering hope and despair. Our only real guidance came in the form of the reflective road posts and occassional road signs. We did eventually make our way safely but not before a couple of tense moments.

This Christmas has been a little sad. It’s been our first time seeing a lot of these people since our news, and that reminds us of our news, which makes us sad. Plus, it’s a generally happy time, which makes one think of puppy dogs, candycanes, and babies, which makes us sad. And, by terrible coincidence, the movie we saw for Christmas day, Marley and Me, features a scene in which the couple discovers that they’ve been experiencing an Anembryonic pregnancy, which made us sad. But that’s how it is. It all just makes me all the more eager to be able to try again, which will hopefully be soon. I’ll be sure to video-blog our progress.

BUT, this holiday season is not meant to be sad. It’s meant to be a joyous time. So, to share the happiness, a happiness that Holli and I have been enjoying these past weeks, I present to you the pilot episode of the anime Bleach.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Concerning Christmas

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Miles Rausch family, of Sioux Falls, SD, would like to make the following announcement: don’t get us anything for Christmas™.  They do not request this out of hatred or ill-will of their Internet fan-base, friends, or family.  They would like to stress how much they love their Internet fan-base, friends, and family.  This comes, rather, as a further indicator of the troubling financial and economic times that we live in.  Christmas™, the couple adds, isn’t about presents so put the wallet down already.

They would also like to announce, at this time, that they will be drastically scaling back their own gift-giving.  The family estimates that more that three hundred presents will lose their jobs to keep the family in the black.  Sources close to the couple say that they are limiting present bestowals to siblings, parents, and possibly grandparents.

Wife, Holli Rausch, added, “These announcements were hard for us to make. One thing we haven’t considered is just how overwhelmingly awkward every day of the rest of our lives is going to be now. But we’ll just have to live with that or get new friends.”

To stem the backlash from the announcement, the Miles Rausch family has begun a Christmas™ letter which could be ready for online distribution as early as March of next year.

2008 Unofficial Election Results

General Election (National)

President: Barak Obama (306)

Vice President: Joseph Biden

General Election (South Dakota)

United States Senator: Tim Johnson (62.55%)

United States Representative: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (67.84%)

Public Utilities Commissioner: Gary Hanson (65.89%)

District 04

State Senator: Jim Peterson (100%)

State Representatives: Val Rausch (39.65%) ; Steve Street (36.98%)

District 09

State Senator: Tom Dempster (52.01%)

State Representatives: Deb Peters (30.25%) ; Richard A. Engels (29.04%)

Vote Or Die (Slowly Over The Next Four Years)

Today is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, making it Election Day. If ever there was a day to make time to get home before seven, today is it. The South Dakota Secretary of State website has a number of great election resources, including this gem: Unofficial General Election Results.

This web application will automatically update itself when new election results are in. The site allows you to view election results for Statewide Elections, Ballot Questions, and Legislative Results to name a few. It’s the perfect web companion.

A bowl of popcorn, a warm blanket, a loved one, and election results. Who could ask for more?

MilesRausch.com endorses Val Rausch!

The Bachelor Party

Da Crew

If anyone was going to ruin my bachelor party, it was going to be me. I have a bad habit when it come to people trying to do nice things for me; I don’t usually let them. That’s why, whenever anyone would ask me if I was excited for my bachelor party, I would tentatively respond with “Yeah…”. Not that I didn’t have the utmost faith in Bryce and Tony (and everyone else involved in the planning), but I had no faith in myself to actually let a group of people (guys, no less) devote an entire evening to me.

That being said, it was a great time. The first highlight of the night was Bob Davidson. That might sound strange, but Bob is a good friend, and I was really glad that he was able to make it. Of course the other highlights were everyone else in attendance: Bryce, Tony, Dan, and David.

First, Bob came over to my apartment in Madison, and we drove down to Sioux Falls together. Our first stop was Buffalo Wild Wings, pretty much the only place in town for wings that we yet know about. I ordered 6 Teriyaki and 6 Asian Zing. Bryce got really hot ones, and took them to go. Both Bryce and I were in tears. I ordered a Jack and Coke to drink, and the waitress, when she brought water, set a glass of water in front of Bob on a napkin, and then slid it over to me, and put Bob’s glass of water on the table without a napkin. This behavior made us think that he had somehow offended the young lady, but we decided not to address it.

After wings, we went to Nitwits Comedy Club, which is a couple blocks from our apartment, and we saw some stand-up. There were three performers: the first one was lame, the second one was good, and the last one was funny. I had some girly drinks there and made Bryce order them for me, which meant he had to order twice as much of his normal drinks to seem not gay in front of the wait staff.

After this, though, the plans were kinda up in the air. Dan had brought a PS3 with Rock Band, and the goal was to play it at the hotel, but the hotel didn’t have AV hookups. So, what to do? Rent a TV from Wal-Mart.

Yes, I said “rent”.

The way it works is that Wal-Mart’s return policy is pretty forgiving. At least, for now. We went in and picked out an SD TV to get. One that wasn’t so expensive that, if we couldn’t return it, we’d be stuck with a huge bill. Despite the rules, I called Holli. We were looking at HD TVs, and I thought, “Boy, those sure look nice.” I flirted with the idea of buying one. Holli told me what the wedding money that we had so far accumulated would buy, and she said she trusted my judgement. In the end, I wasn’t brave enough to actually buy one. We cavorted around town, but got to Best Buy too late. So it was back to Wal-Mart. We got the “perfect” TV and headed back to the hotel room.

Then we played Rock Band. It was that simple. The hotel room was nice, and there was a desk to put the TV on. Then we all took turns on the different instruments: guitar, guitar, drums, and microphone. Bob left first, because he had to work. Then Dan left. And eventually it was Bryce, Tony, David, and I. The next morning, Bryce returned the TV claiming, “I thought it was an HD TV.” The person responded that it doesn’t even say “HD” on the side. “I know. I’m retarded.”

That phrase apparently works for Wal-Mart’s return policy.

All-in-all, it was a fun time, and even though no one got so drunk they couldn’t remember the night, it was filled with wings, comedy, screwing “the man”, and video games; all my greatest passions with my greatest friends.

See the pictures in My Bachelor Party.

Our Honeymoon – pictures

We’ll both post about this later, but I thought I’d show off the pictures we have so far. Internet is $9.95 for 24 hours of usage, which means that this might be the only time we do that.

Our Honeymoon – Day 1: Airports, All-Star Music Resort, Disney Hollywood Studios

Our Honeymoon – Day 2: Disney Magic Kingdom

Our Honeymoon – Day 3: EPCOT, Downtown Disney, Boma’s

Our Honeymoon – Day 4: Disney Animal Kingdom with Albie

Our Honeymoon – Day 3 – Diana+

Our Honeymoon – Day 4 – Diana+

Christmas

NOTE: abbreviated post so I can get my life back I just want my kids back!

Christmas was good. We spent it the weekend previous at Hawarden, where there was an early Christmas on account of Adam and Cari being unable to be in town on the 25th. My big present there was a box of N* t-shirts. Holli did a good job of keeping me in the dark on it, and she contacted a number of people and sold them t-shirts – thoroughly undercutting any profit I hope to make off these shirts in the future. Just kidding!

Between Holli and I, we got a bathroom for Christmas. I also got Born Standing Up by (The) Steve Martin from A&C. It’s super awesome, though I haven’t had much time for it lately. Marissa got the big present: she got a new MacBook. She had to earn it, though. It was at the end of a long series of bogus presents, which was beautifully orchestrated by Larry “Puppetmaster” Gregg.

After Hawarden we went to Big Stone City. Bryce and Lindsey were back, so we got to see them. We had the usual get together at Grandma’s which ended in presents. Sue’s gift for us all was a used pack of cards. And then there was an iTunes gift card inside. I haven’t used mine yet. I’m waiting for the perfect moment. Holli and Lindsey both got presents from Sue this year.

Then it was back to the Val Rausch house. I got a snow globe, Extras Series 1 DVD, a movie trivia book, and a Garmin GPS unit from Mom. I was a little taken aback looking inside the box because half the stuff listed on the contents was missing. Then she mentioned the word “eBay”, and I knew the score. Still, the device is neat, and I definitely need to devote more time to playing with it.

The big present here went to (the youngest) Brenna. She got Rock Band for PS2. Good thing there’s a large living room there. We hooked it all up, and we played for a fair amount of time. It works with Guitar Hero II guitars, so we were playing bass, lead, drums, and had a singer. We all took turns and Dan and David and Tom came over.

Christmas Day, Holli and I headed to Sioux Falls. And a storm hit. We were driving 10 miles an hour at some points. We got to witness a collision, but thankfully made the trip just fine ourselves. The GPS brought us straight to Kevin’s place. There we had a great meal of prime rib and lobster tail. Holli and I were originally going to head to Madison, but we scrapped those plans pretty quick. At Karin’s, then, Holli broke out Pop 5, and it was a hit.

I’m sure there’s plenty I’m forgetting. It’s late at night, and all this last minute wedding stuff has a lot of us over-tired. All-in-all it was a good Christmas. Let’s do it again next year.