Football and Campfires

My Sunday consisted of a raucous and fun football party this late morning into the afternoon followed by a quick trip home for some naps while I enjoyed the Ravens/Steelers game (and snoozed a bit). And then, this evening, we loaded up the dryer fire and had us a little suburban campfire in the backyard. The pic to the right is me holding Brogan and was taken by Grady (who's developing a pretty good eye for photos) the pic below of Mike is also one of Grady's.

The party was the culmination of our local and long running football pool. It is usually held at someone's house and includes lots of meat on bbq's, much drinking, much gambling and more hooting and hollering than you can shake a stick at. This year was a little different because the party was held at a restaurant owned by a friend of the guy who ran the pool this season. It ended up being a great location with lots of space, some sunny, some close to the tv and a couch to relax on as well.

The Cardinals and Eagles game was all that it was cracked up to be. The first half belonged to the Cards and most of the second was the Eagles with the Cards pulling out the win to send Kurt Warner, Larry "Hat-Trick" Fitzgerald and the Cards to the Super Bowl.

Besides my two boys, there were two other kids, one a little older than Sully and the other a wee toddler just finding his way up to two feet. They mostly played well but, as the afternoon got longer, the meltdowns and battling became more and more frequent. But, by that time, the game was just about over and it was time to roll out.

On the drive home, the boys were out cold asleep by the time we merged from 17 to Highway 1. I'll admit that I was having a hard time keeping my own eyes open but I had a job to do and I was going to get it done.

We pulled off the highway into Watsonville and stopped at the light and some idiot lady in her Honda Accord bashed into us from behind. Neither of the boys got woken up and there was no damage to our car but it still rattled me a bit. I hope my trailer hitch mangled her front end a bit.

After enjoying most of the Steelers and Ravens game, including some moments when it looked like the Ravens were going to close the lead and maybe even win, and then Palomalu made that interception and ran it back in for a touchdown and the game (and spread) were done. I headed into the backyard with my cool new LED headlight to put together a speedy dryer fire as per Grady's many repeated request from the last two days.

I don't know where he saw it but he's been asking for a campfire for a few days now and was getting rather annoyingly persistent. Not that I was against doing one, I just wanted to watch the end of the game in peace, ya know?

The dryer fire, for thems that aren't already knowing, is the steel barrel from a washing machine that's had the center post removed. It makes a fantastic contained and portable fire pit.

I set it on a pair of bricks, loaded it up with some cardboard and sticks, then layered it up to larger sticks. It took about five minutes to get ready for action and then it was lighting time. I had extended a bit of torn cardboard down into the hole left by the center post and lit it from underneath. But that was taking too long and the smoke freaked out Grady so I lit it in several other places and, within about five minutes, we had us a roaring fire.

Once it had flamed up and then started to die down, we made some s'mores and gnoshed happily for a little while. I even made myself a marshmallow torch by allowing one to catch fire and held it aloft (but not over me as the dripping marshmallow bits are sticky and very, very hot).

After the thrill of the fire and s'mores had worn off and everyone else went inside, I grabbed a hot dog and cooked it over the fire. There is nothing better than food cooked over an open fire. It was the best tasting hot dog I've had in a very long time.

A good fun day, some good fun pictures (Grady borrowed my camera at the football party and took some outstanding photos of people in addition to a whole bunch of WTF photos but that's the beauty of digital, just erase the ones that we don't want).

Oh yeah, I also had fun putting the fire out at the end of the night. It threw off massive clouds of smoke and steam as I hit it with the hose. That was cool!
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