Family

  • My Mom Can Beat Your Dad In Fantasy Football

    I don’t want to blog about menopause and how it is a soul sucking monster that reanimates every skeleton in your closet into a zombie apocalypse of brain gnoshing abattoirs, rendering you incapable of producing simple nouns, therefore I will take this opportunity to inform you of how I am crushing my Fantasy Football league. I reside alone in first place amongst my astonished co-workers who saw me merely as a part time personal trainer and a stay at home mom who surely knows little of the NFL.

    What they didn’t know is that deep from within my lair at Pad & Quill world headquarters, I have multi-tasked digesting hours of ESPN radio and fantasy football analysis on my iPhone. Couple this with a somewhat unhealthy obsession with the game, that took root in Denver, November of 1977, when Craig Morton lead a comeback victory over the dreaded Oakland Raiders, pushing the Broncos to our first AFC Championship and Superbowl trip versus the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve learned the ins and outs and thought I’d share a little bit about my strategy with you.

    My strategy:

    Listen: Having an iPhone 6, a MacBook, a Mac and countless hours of carpool, accounting etc, listening is easy. The league has evolved away from a running back dominant, to a pass and run dominant offense. I used this analysis to strategize the foundation of my draft plan.

    Strategize: I picked 12th of 12 in a snake draft in a league that awards PPC and PPR. I watched as my coworkers wrangled over running backs and proceeded to claim for my 12 and 13th picks, 2 receivers I knew would be heavy targets for their teams; Odell Beckham Jr. and Julian Edelman. Round 2: while my co workers were still elbowing around for running backs I took Andrew Luck and Steve Smith Sr. Round 3: the folks were starting to look for QBs and receivers. Having watched Denver’s D in the preseason, I drafted the Broncos defense/special teams and the Patriots kicker. In Round 4 I needed to look to running backs and tight ends, so again I looked at strength of offense and teams from which nobody had drafted. For the former I drafted Richard Rogers from the Packers, and for the latter, I chose the Atlanta running back who was hurt in week 1. I waved him immediately for Rashad Jennings. Needing to fill out my bench and roster in Round 5, I grabbed KC Chiefs Defense/ST and Rashad Jennings. Being a bit of a homer, I took Blair Walsh and Kyle Rudolph in the 6th Round. They have only started the week of New England’s bye. When Luck went down injured, I claimed Michael Vick, and he did not disappoint, leaving Luck on the bench until last Monday where, in spite of losing, Luck outperformed Brady in fantasy points. I am in first place, having defeated 4 of the next 5 places in 1-1 competition. The most savory, taking down my boss in week two, in spite of his 152 point showing. 156.7 points for me! :-)

    Have a Solid Team: Mr. PQ has become my assistant coach and Tim, our Fedex rep and longtime fantasy veteran has become my waiver/trade consultant.

    Be Mrs. PQ: One of my girlfriends in our league isn’t fairing so well, so as an early Christmas present to her, I’m going to negotiate trades for Edleman, Smith and Luck over the next couple weeks. I’ve had my 6 weeks of fun, now it’s time for someone else to have a chance!

    Not to mention Pad and Quill has me crazy busy starting yesterday in preparation for a great holiday season. So, I feel better knowing my team is in good hands.

  • Double Chins, Wandering Feet and the Year of the 6s Live Photo

    Autumn has come to us here in the great glowing north. As a local radio announcer has observed, “Fall comes to us here in the midwest”. Somehow, in Minnesota, in this “coming,” we have a unique ownership. Whereas every other state simply have leaves that change, we have a sense of foreboding.  As the fiery cloud of autumn rolls down our state, it is closely followed by the cold hand of winter, to which you eventually resign yourself, and understand that it is trying to kill you.

    We took our annual sojourn to the Apple Orchard, where Mr. PQ took every advantage of the iPhone 6s/6s Plus' "Live Photo" feature. I have to admit, the live context of the 12K megapixel photos captures a mama’s heart.  It also capture her double chin and stomach suck in just prior to every picture.  I now have a Pinterest board with 7000 pins depicting how to “get rid of a double chin.”  I like to pretend mine is from aging, but alas, the ole activity target on my Apple Watch tells a different story.

    For this reason, among many others, I am thrilled that our crack marketing team has decided to spare me any future “real” pictures by converting my visage to a comic character.  This is not the first time I’ve been able to hide behind a nom de plume, and I love it!

    I am also thrilled that Mr. PQ has assented to re-entering our triathlon lifestyle of yesteryear.  We’ve aged and sustained injuries since our Ironman days, but I think we could pull a sprint and an Oly next season.  Of course with the Ironman World Championship taking place this month, my soul is assured of going to where my feet ought not wander.

  • Good Idea, Naked Idea

    Good Idea: maximize your time by fitting in a workout between training clients.

    Bad Idea: Leave your work out clothes at home.

    Good Idea: Decide to do your weight sets in spite of wearing your personal trainer uniform pants. Should work, you move in multiple planes while training clients, how is this any different?

    Bad Idea: Going with “should work”

    Good Idea: Walking lunges with arms extended overhead and holding a 35 pound weight to build stabilizer muscles for hiking and rock climbing.

    Good Idea: Listening to a sweeping rendition of Con Te Partiro on your iPhone 6 while doing said lunges.

    Bad Idea: pay no attention to static sound that has never been present in this piece before.

    Good Idea: don’t allow distractions to interrupt your workout, keep lunging.

    Bad Idea: Keep lunging until you realize that “static noise” was really your work pants splitting open from crotch to knee, exposing you for all the world to see.

    Good Idea: remembering to throw on jammers when you got dressed as a little extra insurance against wardrobe malfunction.
    Insurance that anticipates wardrobe malfunction is priceless when walking down the hallway at the Y with your leg gaping out of your work pants.

    The other day I read a great article at The Loop Insight about Apple iPhone 6s upgrade program. I’d summarize UP like this: The iPhone 6s upgrade program is essentially like leasing a car, except Apple provides the insurance against theft or damage via Apple Care and you can opt up to newer model without breaking your lease. Seems like a win win for Mr. PQ who can’t resist an technology upgrade.

    Mr. PQ also can’t resist redundantly dropping his iPhone 6 Plus from his desk, the table, his Jeep, all just to prove the point to me that our new leather Traveler Case for iPhone 6s/6s Plus is indestructible.

    Being trained in the detection of concussions, I would highly recommend the average person not drop their iPhone repeatedly to prove this point, Apple Care or not. An iPhone has no neck muscles and doesn’t wear a bite guard, so I can just see it’s poor little brains getting squished around with each impact like it’s been popped by an NFL linebacker.

    Being popped by an NFL linebacker is a bad idea, just ask Peyton Manning.

    Buying a gorgeous leather iPhone 6s/6s Plus from Pad & Quill is quite possibly the best good idea you could have all day.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Today my name is Jezebel

    Whenever Siri sasses me, as she is frequently wont to do, my rejoinder is inevitably that of Linus, as spoken to his femme fatale, in A Charlie Brown Christmas, “Jezebel was the evil wife of king Ahab in the Old Testament. In II Kings, it says that her servants threw her out the window and she landed on her head.”

    Just as Linus’ new love interest was intent on keeping him guessing, so Siri Apple Watch changes identities faster then Ilsa Faust in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.  (Loved this character!)  Last week, Siri and her Activity Watch app went all in as psychotic personal trainer.  Mr. PQ and I took some much-needed time away, reviving ourselves in the brilliant, blue-sky town of Breckenridge, CO.  While Apple Watch granted me 9 minutes of heart pounding exercise for 2 hours of bear climbing up a bowl with a 40 percent grade, Mr. PQ was gifted 40 minutes just for ambling down the street to the local coffee shop.  12 minutes for a 3-hour rigorous ascent of Baldy Mountain, while Mr. PQ received 10 minutes for commuting up the jeep trail.  She keeps this up and she will not be getting an upgrade to her wardrobe compliments of our new Pad & Quill Apple Watch Bands.

    Who will be getting an upgrade is my new Pad & Quill Backpack.  We humped our haversacks over miles of rock and trail, ascending to the highest chairlift in North America, and they performed sublimely.  My PQ backpack is now to be named my Favorite Daypack for Adventures.  While I generally carry a Camelbak trail running pack, I was very happy with how my Pad & Quill pack performed in rucking my hydration and nutrition in addition to extra layers and sundries up and down the mountain trails.  While not suitable for a multi day trail excursion (we are working on accessories to enhance that ability) I was pleased with the overall balance and adjustability of this pack.  Unlike its nylon/synthetic counterpart, this leather and wax canvas creation will not be worn out by years of rugged use, weather, and the occasional tumble down a cliff.  A good backpack is an investment, and my field research tells me this one is worth every dime.

    Siri on the other hand…..

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Poop and the Apple Watch Bands

    “Mom, there’s an app that let’s you track your poop, you can even categorize it by type.  What stinks though is that they have nowhere to report the smell.”  An ironic pun there and one of the many things I’ve learned from my kids this summer. I’ve also learned, that, “dirt is a natural way to keep your hair clean; it absorbs the oils.”  Never mind the mud slick on your scalp.

    Our US Women’s National Team won the World Cup, taking home the gold and not much else, hopefully FIFA will address that whole pay inequity thing before my grand babies begin to play the Beautiful Game, I look forward to many more July’s with no voice.

    We have launched our new line of leather backpacks and leather briefcases.  Very timely as we set off to explore everything from the north shore of Minnesota to the fourteeners of Colorado.  One of the many great things about owning your own company is that you can make backpacks that perfectly suit your own lifestyle.  Then you get to spend a weekend shooting video and you get to thank god that you didn’t drive over Mr. PQ when the awesome photographer, Corey, keeps urging you to get a little closer to the Triumph with the FJ Cruiser.  Perched on the tailgate, Corey was intent on getting the perfectly tight shot and I was intent on not cashing in Mr. PQ’s life insurance policy.  We wed our two intents and the final product was infinitely better then this:  (either picture of the bike car or link to bike car)

    Next on the agenda, Pad & Quill leather Apple Watch bands.  Which is great because while I love my modern buckle, I also love to float my arm out the window as I drive during summer and I’ve yet to see the Apple video demonstrating the impact of 70 mile per hour wind sheer on the integrity of the Modern closure.  Perhaps Mr. Cook can test that on his Watch, because I wouldn’t need a poop app to tell me how much it would stink to watch my Watch shatter upon the toasty blacktop.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Briefcase to Cafe Racer

    Mr. PQ was busy becoming a major radio star the other evening but I had no idea what his topic was to be, I wasn’t allowed to be at the PQ World Headquarters while he was participating in 9to5Mac’s weekly podcast.  This has nothing to do with the fact that the FIFA Women’s World Cup is competing in Canada this month.  My exclusion from the taping also clearly has nothing to do with my propensity to scream insanely at the television when a goal is scored or mutter incoherently at the oops-I-fell-so-clearly-Christie Rampone-knocked me-over smathlete.   Who am I kidding?  When it comes to world-class soccer, I revert to my 18-year-old Colorado self; this would be the self, weaned on Bronco football, who lived in the mile high city where exuberant cheering is an art form.

    Art forms have been a significant point of conversation in the PQ household, or at least this is how Mr. PQ asserted his claim that surely the best way to be motivated to create world class backpacks and briefcases for Pad & Quill, was that he be fully immersed in the artful, gritty, urban world of the Café Racer.  To do so meant purchasing an artistically rich cafe racer motorcycle, specifically, a Triumph, preferably a Thruxton.  He appealed to my accounting side: “it’s a great tax write-off”.   Sorry babe, the IRS won’t see it that way.  He appealed to my affection for history: “Mom is English, it would tie me to my heritage.”  Honey, scones and tea would do the same but I don’t see you clamoring for them.   He appealed to my sense of nostalgia: “Steve McQueen and Anne Margaret rocked the Triumph in iconic photos and movie shots”. Me, having a lifelong love for Anne Margaret wavered.

    Original Photo by Cal West, 1964. Original Photo by Cal West, 1964.

    Once Mrs. PQ wavers, it’s not terribly hard to push her over.  Especially when the one pushing has worked 70-80 hours a week, month after month, year after year, putting food on the table and a roof over our heads.  There are people who might view Mr. PQ’s new bike as a mid-life crisis, I’d say it’s a ride well earned by a guy who’s taken loyalty and devotion to an art form.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Another Apple Watch comes home

    Item One:  The youngest Quill received his Apple Watch last Friday amidst great fanfare and excitement.  I was given explicit instructions to pick him up from school, bring the Watch with all packaging intact and bring a knife to facilitate opening.  As Mr. PQ has been visiting our design folks south of the border, he requested a video and Face Time presence for the grand unveiling.  If there were any more geekdom going on in my car at that moment I believe it would have permanently smelled like Taco Bell and all night gaming sessions.  I have to admit, affection from a 14 year old boy can be hard to come by, especially when they are in the public arena, so it does this mama’s heart good to feel the haptic heart rate of my kid pulse against my wrist, and he sends it routinely and serendipitously.

    Item Two:  We will be staging a contest to see who can load more Apple Watch Apps to their watch.  The tie breaking round will consist of creative artistic expression utilized in app layout.  Mr. PQ currently has a Christmas tree of euphoria on his wrist.  Extra coupon love to those who post an Instagram of their own creations.  #applewatchart  (you need to add @PQ handle for Instagram)

    Item Three:  I cannot wait to get my hands, or in this case wrist, on the new leather straps we are designing for Apple Watch.  I love the sport band for it’s utility, but we are heading into the hell furnace that is Minnesota summer and I find the sport watch keeps my wrist sweating working out and other wise.  The supple feel of leather tanned by craftsmen who quite possibly geek out more about leather craft over generations of family members then my boys geek out about their electronics, is appealing at multiple levels.

    It’s the great thing about Apple, they keep proprietary the things they need to, while valuing what other companies bring in terms of value to their products.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Supernatural Apple Watch

    Wednesday night either is or is not the grand finale episode of the television series Supernatural, and because our teenage daughter speaks in code, I may never quite discern what prompted the flurry of texts that pulsed through my Apple Watch this afternoon. So I called.  “Mom I’m going to my friend’s house to watch the big finale of Supernatural”.  Ok that is fine, does this mean the show is ending?  “Yes, well no, well there is a season 11 but… oh mom it’s complicated.  Can you bring me…?”  Being the operational person that I am, I have learned to have the quills text me whenever they require a list of things and the list exceeds my two item memory capacity, I suggested the kid send me a list.  “Mom, it’s simple, I need my Supernatural shirt, it has wings on the back and it’s in my room.  And I need my Supernatural blanket, it’s on my bed, oh, and I need the little guy with the big black eyes on my shelf, it’s the finale so I’d better go all in.”  The stress of this request made me realize that this was the grand finale not because it was the end of the show, but it was the end of this weekly meeting of friends to watch the show as they are all headed in separate directions to college this fall.  Sentiment overwhelmed my aversion to entering my teenage children’s rooms and I initiated a hunt for the “simple” list.  The blanket was easy, because it’s big.  Digging around for the shirt underscored the reminder that I need to change my bank account password.  This kid has a lot of clothes and I believe that is a direct correlation to the fact that she knows how to transfer “gas” money into her checking account.  Daily she departs for school with a “you look cute today, where did you get that shirt?”  “Oh this? I’ve had this forever.”  It seems my daughter’s entire wardrobe pre-existed her entry upon the planet.

    “Mom, I figured out another reason I need a Apple Watch.”  Oh really, this ought to be interesting coming from our plain spoken teenage boy.  “If I had a Watch I could text you at any time during the day.  Then I could tell you my tennis match is starting, because I can’t text when I have to get on the court, then you would never miss a match.”  I like the sympathy play here, I’m just not certain it warrants a $400 watch on a 15 year old boy.

    Mr. PQ will be departing soon to meet our design partners in Mexico, with a sketch book full of ideas for Apple Watch accessories.  The Apple Watch accessory list has definitely exceeded my 2 item maximum, lot’s of great new products in the pipeline, and a shiny new whiteboard to track them all.  So, Mr. PQ is leaving, meaning for a number of days I will be completely outnumbered.  It’s a good thing Siri and I have synced our monthly cycles and we are getting along much better now.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Do you like the Apple Watch?

    “Is that an Apple Watch?”

    Yes, it is.

    “Do you like it?”

    In addition to compliments about how cute I look in my cowboy boots today, my Apple Watch is the most commented on accessory I currently own.

    Do I like it?

    My initial response is that I feel the technology is a little lost on me.  This has nothing to do with the fact that our son can rewire the space station with it and I have trouble locating the time of day.

    Do I like it?

    What I really think?

    I have decided that Apple Watch is a female; a PMS-ing female.  You can talk to her and she won’t talk back, she’s hypersensitive to how you touch her, and way too often you find yourself talking to the hand instead of her face.  There is only one solution, I need to eat more chocolate and drink more wine until it oozes from my pores and through her sensors.

    And then I need to thank her.  Because last Saturday, for the first time in my life, I locked my keys in my car, which left me staring blankly at my driver seat where my iPhone and keys lay taunting me.  Palm to forehead.  But then it occurred to me that the Apple Watch has a phone calling capability and as the NASA wannabe son was with me, we used the Watch to call Mr. PQ for help.  (Unlike Black Widow critics, I am perfectly comfortable being a damsel in distress)  Mr. PQ is not terribly accustomed to distress calls from me, and likely fell over when he noted the call was coming from the Watch.  This is the only explanation I have for why he suggested I call a locksmith.  There is a fighting chance I’d still be standing in the parking lot if it was up to me to summon help via that device.  I suggested Mr. PQ might want to make that phone call for me if he didn’t want to spend the next several nights sleeping on the couch, and that snipe has nothing to do with the Costco-size bottle of Midol currently sitting on my desk.

    He called, the locksmith arrived, and 45 seconds and $180 later my door was opened.  What a country we live in when you can make $180 an hour breaking into cars.

    On the bright side, I have figured out how to use the Watch for heart rate training and remain remarkably impressed by the health applications I foresee, just don’t ask me for the time.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Mrs PQ gets the first Apple Watch

    It’s Mrs. PQ’s birthday today or, in other words, the annual rite of acknowledging I have the activity level of a 30 year old, the body of a dinged up 40 year old and the mind of a 92 year old.  Which explains why I’ve begun referring to myself in third persona.

    If it were up to me, we would be offering a 47% discount on every product purchased today, especially our Apple Watch Stand and Catchall for Apple Watch, but Mr. PQ has already lost enough hair trying to teach me to use my Watch that arrived upon my doorstop yesterday afternoon at 3:57pm. (Not that Mr. PQ was paying attention or anything).  You see, Apple must surely love me better and thus explains why my watch arrived before Mr. PQ’s.

    Allow me to set the scene:  As Mr. PQ was across the city on errands with the youngest kid, every other kid, including the adopted neighbor kids, were notified to be on the lookout for the Big Brown Truck.  I think for humor’s sake alone, numerous people wanted to be in audience for this grand unveiling, knowing full well that my reactions would be rich fodder for tweets and texts titled, “OMG, Mom! R U Serious?”  I believe the Oldest Quill has a blog entitled, I can’t believe the s@*% my mom says”. However, as Mr. PQ and I needed some quality time, we bought a bottle of wine and decided to wait until the kids were in bed to commence with the experience.

    Suffice to say, once I had rambled my way through the unpacking experience and began trying to figure the Apple Watch out, Mr. PQ was ready to switch to bourbon, straight up.  I insisted on attacking this like the plebe I am, seeing how much I could manage to figure out on my own.  Five minutes later, and Mr. PQ physically restraining himself, my Apple Watch blinked awake.  Pardon me for thinking the turn on switch should be the long narrow button by the knob.

    Then, for your iPhone to sync to your watch, you need to “take a picture of the Watch face”.    Apparently, this requires lighting on magnitude of the sun, so I allowed Mr. PQ to complete this step while I sipped my wine.  Since he is pretty cute when he is geeking out, it appealed to me to give way and let him walk me through the remainder of the set up.  He was cautious in trying to coach me verbally, and when our Watch vocabulary synced, I was deftly able to rotate the crown to navigate the home screen.  The whole scene was reminiscent of the Dad in “A Christmas Story” delighting in Ralphie’s newly opened Red Ryder BB Gun with the compass in the stock, except Ralphie didn’t kiss his dad in thanks.

    I have now sent my heartbeat to Mr. PQ and god only knows what strangers, I’ve fulfilled my Dick Tracy fantasies of my youth, talking to my watch to communicate and I’ve come to understand the most magical part of the Apple Watch is that you can set time forward by 7 minutes so you always feel on time for everything.  (yes, my clock setting fetish drives my family crazy).  The awesome thing here though, is that your alarms know the real time, so you actually can be on time for everything and have the added euphoria of being early.

    This great company Pad and Quill, has compelled me to become an early adapter of Apple technology, while it isn’t always a euphoric experience, it certainly is an entertaining one.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

Items 11 to 20 of 48 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5