Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh No! More Thomas's on the West Coast!!

My Dad came to visit over the weekend, it was great!  He came in on thursday and we had a couple days before he went to the Gage Art Acadamy's Drawing Jam.  I guess the Gage Acadamy is great, but the drawing jam wasn't.  Anyway, more time with us eh!?  We went to Gas Works Park and drew for a while and had some pretty great time together.  I'm really enjoying being here in the Pacific NW, but I really miss my family back in Minnesota.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Layton Howerton

I'm sorry all, I've been so busy; we - Ange and I, have been so busy. But, here is a little song to satiate you. And I dedicate this post to Paul the Monk.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coffee Blog

Hey everybody!  I know it's been a while since I've written, I have a couple that I'm working on and should be available soon, but I have a small venture I want to show you - it's a new blog.  It's about coffee.  Why not eh?  I am in Seattle...  Let me know what you think of it.  That means you Ron.  (smile)

http://thecatscoffee.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Producers Panel

Angela and I were fortunate to attend a presentation of coffee producers that were brought up and asked to discuss with the audience many issues concerning coffee and specialty coffee.  I made a small video (my battery began to run out) documenting the panel, and it touched on Fair Trade vs. Direct trade, how Fair Trade, in most cases, doesn't even cover the cost of production and percentage of coffee and specitaly coffee trade world wide.  It's a frustration that I think many people share but do little themselves to impact that world.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Brother Showed Me.



Seth had a link to this on his website, and I was impressed, here is mine.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Good Don Hunting


Here's my dad hunting grouse and pheasant in central Wisconsin with a guide.  The guide is actually being featured in the Milwaukee Sentinel(I think).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Camera for a New Town

I finally have a new camera! I am so excited about this! My last two camera's have been the Nikon CoolPix L19. I've liked those but chose the CoolPix L20 just to stick with the family, plus they're cheap and really great. From what I could tell there's only about a 20 dollar difference and it bumps you up to 10 mega pixels as apposed to 8 with the L19. Otherwise they're the same. This one isn't silver like the last two, it's red. Kinda neat.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and movies that come from me, they should be more frequently coming now, and better quality. In fact I have a new post with a picture taken from my new camera, over in my "Cat Wanderings" blog... it's about time I updated that one!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hello Scooter.

My mom's new bunny's name is Scooter. Just thought you'd like to know.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Trip!

We are THERE!! Seattle! It's pretty crazy that we made it all the way. Three days of travel, concluding with a fun barista jam at Victrola, where Seattle and L.A. competed against each other. It was a crazy drive.

Day 1: St. Paul MN to Billings MT, 849 miles, at 60 miles per hour equals about fourteen hours of driving. We did it in about fifteen to sixteen hours because of stopping for gas and such. We stayed at the K.O.A. in Billings which was an interesting experience, I've never done K.O.A. before, I've also never slept next to a refinery before either. That wasn't the best, especially hearing them burn off something early in the morning.

Day 2: Billings MT to Spokane WA, 529 miles, also at 60 miles per hour AND THROUGH MOUNTAINS!!! I'm glad that I installed a transmission cooler before we left cause the 6% grades up and down were crazy on my truck! Especially for so long - six miles up at a 6% grade will easily heat up your engine! My truck was easily running at speeds of five to six thousand RPM's for almost the whole time. We stayed at a K.O.A. there too. That one wasn't so bad, oh yeah, except for the freight train barreling through town blowing it's horn at three in the morning. It might as well have been running through our tent it was so loud! In the morning I looked over to see that the rail road tracks were about 50 feet away...

Day 3: Spokane WA to Seattle WA, 305 miles, 60 miles per hour. Some more mountains and desert, actually. A lot of eastern Washington reminded me of North Dakota, I thought that was interesting.
All in all it was a good trip. My "service engine soon" light came on near northern Minnesota, I stopped in a small town and had a guy check what it was for; it was for one of my O2 sensors, first bay second sensor. Really no big deal, maybe a little lower mileage but it wasn't going to hurt the truck. And we also found that Angela was driving on three wheels, basically. One of her tires was inflated to 15 PSI.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mom's New Bunny

I forgot to mention that my mom got a new pet for her classroom, a little bunny. She got it at the State Fair. As far as I know the jury is still out on names for him, so if you have some good ones, send them this way.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Days in Brainerd

These days in Brainerd have been fun. Ange and I have had a lot of time to relax and be together and then I've had a lot of time to have some real fun learning time. My second day here I started to learn how to weld! Greg and I did a little MIG welding, some stick welding and some heliarc welding. He had to build an aluminum truck bed, with some bumper and exhaust modification. It was pretty fun!

This area has such a history of mines and quarry's. I drew on a map to show you that all the digging they did remained there and that the lakes near by were actually mines that filled in with ground water.

We also went to an old ghost town that had failed about fifty years ago or so, called Manganese. If you check it out on Google there's not much there to see, but we went and saw some foundations of what used to be a hotel, bank and the post office. Sadly people have been filling these holes with garbage. It's neat to see tree's and plants grow through a concrete foundation.

Yesterday I woke up at six and Greg, Chris and I slaughtered a bull (this picture's kinda graphic and bloody). Besides welding and farming Greg also raises beef cattle, and this bull they kept for themselves.
"That bull's about as organic as they come, he hasn't had a shot in his life." Greg said gathering up tools we would use to slaughter him. "Does he know he's going to die?" "Nope, and I'm not even going to let him on to it."
After we quartered the bull we took him to a neighbor to be processed. This was a hard thing for me, to meet the animal we were going to kill and process. I didn't have a hard time skinning and gutting the animal, it was watching it die that was a little trying. It just goes to show you though just how removed we as a people can be from the foods we eat. Because, yes, I do eat beef occasionally, and this was a good chance for me to see and be thankful even more for the sacrifice that this animal made for me. Albeit it wasn't really his choice, it was still a sacrifice. Greg was reminding me about when Israel would sacrifice a bull on an alter. They must have tied it down or had some super strong guys to hold it, cause that's a big animal.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The NW Awaits

So, very soon, my wife and I will be taking a journey across country to the gateway to Alaska - Seattle Washington. Our apartment is in shambles from packing, our wardrobe is dwindling to a few boxes, and I'm fighting a cold. How nice.
A lot of people have asked us: "why Seattle, why move?" Our answers somewhat remain the same each time, as we look our disappointed friends in their anxious faces, we say:
When we were dating Ange sat me down and basically said that she didn't want to settle down, she wanted to travel. I was so releived, I was actually thinking just about the same thing - how I wanted to travel and see the world with my bride, not before my bride. We started talking about where we would like to live and pretty quickly we narrowed it down to Germany or Seattle. We decided to start with Seattle.
It's been an interesting time seeing what this adventure could hold. We ask for your prayers, moving isn't easy for me, and it's definatly going to be interesting seeing our friends and making new ones. We really don't see Seattle being a long term place for us... we have to move to Germany anyway... (smile), but I may go to school and get a degree while I'm there. It may happen.
So, the departure date for this duo is September 24th, I hope we get to see you before we leave! If not, well... we'll be back.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Seattle or Bust!

It's official, there will be a great migration to seattle washington this fall! There will be more details soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jars of Beer

Why do I sometimes wake up in the morning with these songs in my head? Because it's so funny? I don't know, maybe I'm crazy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Basil


I have been very excited about my little garden of Basil. I took two plants that Ange got from Cub and planted seeds for the rest. They are coming in wonderfully!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Christi is like a boss

This past weekend Angela and I had a visitor, a wonderful guest from Angela's high school and college days, who goes by the name of Christi. Christi came from Oregon to be in a wedding and stayed a little bit longer to be with us. Christi is pretty awesome, though I think I annoyed her with all my questions about the long and dangerous trail she took! She showed me one of her journal entries, and a picture of her and her husband when they moved out there about five years ago, and I was pretty shocked. She then showed me an interactive blog on her blackberry that she made documenting the journey. Sadly her husband Chris died of dysentery along the way... and she had to bury him along the trail... and then she lost an oxen... but, she still made the wedding...


We visited Kopplin's while she was here, also went to crazy cathy's.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Writing on the Wall??

I feel like this picture is somewhat prophetic, I can't imagine a Caribou coffee that isn't toasted beyond it's limits. I see that their sign is having trouble hiding that fact.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Uh oh, here come the Thomas boys...

Geoff and I got hired whilst traveling through Madison WI on a freight train to cut and till a man's back yard. Huh, wasn't hard. Geoff cut the yard with a sod cutter and I tilled it with a 700 pound ape. There wasn't any gas in the sod cutter so Geoff just had a little tinkle in it and away we went. Meanwhile I had to tame the ape I happened to free from the train we came in on, and tell it to beat the shit out of the ground. Geoff and I had a good time, it was a fun days work.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Geoff!

Angela baked Geoff a cake. Based on the renowned character "Number Man", Geoff had a shitty cake made as chocolate as chocolate can be.

+ =

Monday, June 8, 2009

April 2nd, 2009

I turned 27 and my wonderful wife made me a cake, for breakfast ... and dinner. she made me a carrot cake for breakfast, we met Paul and Libby at the Wok for lunch and had awesome wok food and then ... a raspberry cheesecake for dinner! How awesome is that! Also check out that I got a plunger for my birthday!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Here I Go ... Finally!

Wow, more than two months have passed... Here I go recapping the past two months:
  1. I had a birthday, I am now 27. It's weird to think about but I'm 27.
  2. I went to the Cabin with the Steiger House. It was fun, I basically went to make sure that things were closed up when we left. I had some time to myself and that was nice, though I fell in the river - through the ice. It was cold, and my phone died from the water, but I had my insulated pants on and my insulated boots.
  3. Kira and Craig's Wedding! Angela was in kira's wedding. They've known each other since high school. One of my favorite moments of the weekend was when I caught the bride's maids playing fuseball before the ceremony.
  4. Geoff's Birthday Cake. What a shitty cake!
  5. Got my boots re-soled, that was exciting for me...
  6. Phil and Sari's Wedding, which was awesome.
  7. Geoff and I tilled up our parents back yard, fun stuff with big machines.
I hope to fill in the gaps where your questions of details and pictures lie, soon. Keep watch.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Than a Month Has Passed!!

Hello everybody, it's been a long time, I'm sorry. I'm not dead, nor was I close to death, but I have been really busy! This is just a quick note to let you know that I will be back on soon. Thanks everyone.

- Pat

Friday, March 20, 2009

Linea Installed

I'm so happy for Paul and his crew at Amore, look at him working at the new machine! And with Gibbie's cow no-less.

Culture

I'm behind in reading, all the books that I've collected in the past couple of weeks are piling up and it's a bit exciting, I have all this to read and no pressure. Surprisingly I've been somewhat busy these past couple weeks. I've been getting more hours at Home Depot, been doing some fun things with Angela, my friend Liz is in town for a little while - she came to visit with Paul and Libby, and most recently Angela, Sam, Marissa and I took a neat little trip to the Walker. It was a good time seeing the art. I have to admit that it's been a while since I've been to a museum so I think I was a little tired afterward. We saw an exhibit about book art, one on a specific artist (Tetsumi Kudo) who had a great deal to do with the topic of metamorphosis, granted it was pretty extreme and somewhat graphic - he used the image of a penis as the form for metamorphosis, a chrysalis as he said. There were lots of penis's there. In a different exhibit there was a cool little video that Ange showed me - turned out one of our friends did the background music to. It was all very intense. I think that my favorite pieces were in the Mythologies exhibition.
We all all got in free with a pass from the library. This is us in the conservatory, next to the sculpture garden. BTW, right now the cherry is gone... I don't know why.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Linea for Amore!!

I am sure that Paul will blog about this soon, but I am too excited about this!! Amore Coffee just got a new/used LaMarzocco Linea. It'll be so good for them to work on a good machine instead of a crappy Conti. It's still not installed yet but tomorrow it should be up and running.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thomas Bread Co.

I almost forgot! I've been baking! Since Angela and I are poor, I've been baking our weekly bread. It's been fun and interesting. Here are the first two loaves that I baked three weeks ago. It's made with 100% stone ground whole wheat and honey as a natural sweetener, otherwise it's got other stuff that bread needs - yeast, egg, water, butter, salt. This was the first time I've made bread in about ten years so it took me a little while, about six hours. It now takes me about four hours, most of the time is letting it rise in a greased bowl (three hours). I highly recomend that you try and make your own, the house will smell so good when you're done.

Rockin' in the Free World

Dear friends, my apologies for the lack of posts recently, I've been busy. That's funny, seeing as how I have a part time job that doesn't really give me hours, but my mind has been occupied with thoughts of the future and what it really means to be a husband. And wow, how great a luxury it is to have this time to spend on my wife and our marriage! Please allow me to share with you those things in my life that have started to weigh on my mind.

The two books to our left have been helping me see what kind of strengths I have as a person, and looking forward with those things in mind. "What Color is Your Parachute" was a suggestion from Ray Rivera, a career counselor at UW Stout; "Now, Discover Your Strengths" was lent to me by Kevin Hendricks a local freelance writer and friend. Both books have been great to read, though I've felt that the things I'm discovering are well known to the people that know me best. I've gotten some "I told you so's! " When I was at Stout I took two tests, a Myers Briggs personality test and an occupational interest test, which I took in about forty minutes and got the results back in about twenty minutes. I didn't really expect it to be that accurate, but it was, I'm a serial killer... just kidding. Basically it put on paper what I couldn't really express about what I like in a job or how I interact with people. I'm not taking the results from these tests as concrete, rock solid truth, more like a grain of salt but it is interesting, very interesting.

I've also been working on a couple other books, focusing on my marriage. They happen to all be written by the same person, Gary Chapman. I'm happy that the first book here, "The Five Love Languages, Men's Edition" is in an audio book format. I got it from the library. The original book on the five love languages has been a great help, Angela and I definitely speak different languages. It's been a great challenge but so rewarding, I'm really able to see her when I do things or say things in "her language". If I were spoken to in her language it wouldn't mean nearly as much as it does to her.

All of this research into myself and into Angela, has been a wonderful time of taking wisdom and holding it up to God and saying, wha'dya think? Ultimately God is the author of love and life choices, I'm getting excited to see where life could go, I'm getting excited to see where God could take Angela and I. It's all a little exciting, but scary, I suppose that's the risk and adventure when walking with God.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Gibbie!

It was Gibbie's birthday today, sooooo much fun at his party, from the popcorn tickets to Ezra wrapping me in a blanket and pulling it off yelling, Pat present! That was pretty cool. The show that Gibbie and his friends put on (not to mention Libby!!!) was so quality! It was great to see them act and play! Here is their performance, Paul was the cinematographer.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One Year and Counting

A year ago today I met the someone who was going to be my wife, Angela. I've told this story a bunch of times when someone asks, how did you meet? Well I had just moved into a community house associated with the Salvage Yard Church of Jesus Christ, called the Steiger House, and I wanted to see my neighbors who lived down stairs Noah and Wendy. I walked down stairs, and low and behold they had a guest, she was sitting quietly reading her Bible, and her name was Angela. We talked a little and then she had to go to her home for a house meeting, she was in a community house as well. Wendy walked her to the door and I said, "it was nice to meet you", she left, and the first thing that Wendy said was "... why are you smiling Patrick?"
"She seems nice..." I said with a grin from ear to ear.
"She's pretty great, and single." Wendy said with an equally large smile across her face.
"Wendy!" Noah yelled from the back room.
"What?! She is ..." Wendy defending herself, still smiling at me.
Well, the rest is history. She is now Mrs. Thomas, my beautiful flower. It's a little hard to believe that I've only known her one year. Praise God for Angela!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One More Video, Atleast for Now

Thanks everyone for your responses on my previous post, here is a little treat that I stumbled upon, it's G rated and funny. And I wish I had one.

Sheep Jumping On Bed

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Question for You

I just wanted to ask if people are getting sick of me posting videos on my blog, do you mind or should I just link to them? For some reason I'm feeling a little self-conscious about the use of large blocks of youtube on my blog, is it too much? Please tell me what you think.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cutting the Rug

I just ran across a video from my wedding. Ange and I had left by this point but our coffee friends namely Reed, Sam and Dillon were tearing it up on the dance floor. Thanks Kristen for the video.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Local on the TV !

I just want to give a shout out to a friend and fellow Minnesotan, Chris Morrissey, who happens to be playing bass on letterman this week!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Twitter = Information Overload

I've heard Twitter being mentioned a lot and I didn't know anything about it. It sounds like a caffeine overdose or maybe one of those actual instance's where a child is left alone at a coffee shop and actually gets a shot of espresso and a puppy! Whoa, that'd be chaos... and awesome! In looking up what this strange condition is I found that Twitter is not a condition, but a website. Honestly I didn't find it very interesting, but I did find the informational video creative and clearly worded. Which led me to their site commoncraft. So, needless to say, you won't find me on Twitter any time soon.

Ruby

Angela and I have had a house guest for a few days. She's visiting from Geoff's house, her name is Ruby. Some times Geoff calls her Tubby, as she can roll off of things by mistake. She's been a very good house guest, she talks a lot though, and this morning as she snuggled with Ange suddenly realized she wasn't alone and had a scratching fit. So other than that she's been great.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Home Made Goodness

Look at what my beautiful wife made! I was surprised to wake today to the wonderful smell of cooking granola. Ange found a recipe for granola in the Joy of Cooking and she made some for breakfast. Such a delightful breakfast - granola, yogurt and blue berries.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's a Marriage Really Mean? To You.

Angela and I went to Kopplin's today and continued to read our marriage book, Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, where I got some funny/uncomfortable looks from a few folks about what we were reading.
"Is this weird? That we're reading a marriage book? I don't feel like it's weird but is it just not the norm for couples to read marriage books together?" I asked Angela, I felt a little confused not really knowing how to interpret the selected looks I just got.
"Sadly, it kind've is. I mean really, a woman will suggest it and get grief from her husband."
Hrmph, this is a sad thing indeed.

There were a couple of things that our marriage counselor's (Mark and Kirsty) told us, as suggested good things to do:
  1. Always be reading a marriage book. It's a great way to start conversation and spur eachother on to a better marriage. Plus, you can always be improving yourselves and the marriage.
  2. Fight for your marriage. The enemy wants to destroy marriages, they are/can be a fantastic image of God to his people and that's the last thing that the enemy wants. Mark and Kirsty reminded us that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the powers in the spirit (Ephesians 6:12). It was suggested that one of the best ways to battle for your own marriage is "to have sex as much as possible" - direct quote.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Today is the one month anniversary for Angela and I and our marriage. It has been a great month, doesn't seem real at times and sometimes a little too real, if that makes any sense. We've enjoyed this time and I think the biggest thing that we've learned in this month, and probably the rest of our lives, is how to effectively communicate - and listen. So critical are those moments when we expect something and our partner doesn't even know that we're expecting it; when we're hurt and we're not sure why or when talking is painful but beautiful at the same time. I love my Angela so much.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wedding Online

I finally got the video of the wedding ceremony online on the YouTube. It's cut up into two videos, so don't worry when it cuts out about nine minutes in. There's also a video of my mom and me dancing, you'll have to tip your head for it though, I couldn't figure out how to tip it myself.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Bachelor Party

I should have done this a long time ago but here is the picture from my bachelor party that Paul threw for me. It was a great night. Paul got us a room at the Golden Leaf on 7th st in St. Paul. These are the men accounted for: (from left to right) Chris, Paul, Geoff, Don, Me, Noah and Reed.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Otter and Mrs Otter on the YouTube

I did something for the wedding that I've never done before, I created a video blog, as best I could I suppose. It's a playlist on the YouTube. I've made a link for it - the way it works is you click the playlist on my channel page and it starts to play a series of videos. These videos are of me and Geoff up to and after the wedding. I thought it was kinda fun, hope you like it. Wedding Countdown.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Meet the Mrs

Hello everyone, it's been a little while since I've blogged last, I've been a little busy. I got married to a wonderful Angela!! The wedding was real fun, the honeymoon was real fun and now we're back to life. I've been learning a lot about this new life style, and am reminded that I am no longer a bachelor, and the kinds of things I should be mindful of is a little different than before. I think the greatest thing that I've learned in these three weeks is that God is faithful and provides. I already know this but the reinforcement of it is sometimes necessary and appreciated, cause I forget sometimes. I love that we both are seeking God and can see Him in each other.
People ask "how's married life?" and I have to respond "Good!" cause really this is such an adventure in uncharted territory everything is good, even when we fight, those times have turned out to be such wonderful times that we can learn about each other and connect in a more intimate way.
The wedding wouldn't be what it was without God's help and the help of a few other awesome people, my shout out's go to: Noah and Wendy, Sam and the amazing helper Dillon, the family that let the Johnson family stay with them in Winona, aunt Mary-Anne and Harrow for letting people stay at their house, Kira's mom for letting us have some pictures taken with her horse and letting us change into our kilts in their room and last but not least Libby - for all her hard work on the Kilts and my hair (giving me a cut right before the wedding). I love you tons Lib.
My Wedding