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Showing posts from August, 2010

first day of school 2010, part 2

well, we made it to the second half of "first day of school" and here are the pictures to prove it.  at least cade is only in school for a couple of hours; that seems more bearable, although it does seem strange to leave your youngest child at school.  there's no one left at home!  it's our first "empty nest" experience.  yikes.

we were doing the "abc's" with him before he left for school today, and here's how he sings them:  a - b - c - d - e - f - g - 8 -9 - 10 - 11 - 12!  i know that "h" sounds like "8," but it seems that he has things more than a little bit confused:


to see how jack's first day went, click on the "keep reading" link below

first day of school 2010, part 1

a picture is worth a thousand words (and a few teardrops, too).  in about an hour i'll pick him up from his first day at kindergarten.  i hope he's had a good day, because i've been a nervous wreck all day!  first day of preschool for child #2 tomorrow.  i don't know if i can handle all of this.

wish to join

before i moved, i had been approached by someone about making a collage for them, and i just couldn't do it at the time because much of my stuff was already packed, and i had too much to do in preparation for the move.  but we agreed that once i got to sunbury and got settled in, i would work on this piece.  well, i'm so glad for that set of circumstances because that agreement really served as the catalyst for me to make it a priority to unpack and organize all of my collage stuff.  if not for the commissioned piece, my boxes and boxes of paper, glue, and paint might still be in stored away in banana boxes.  but they aren't.  in fact, i've got a sweet little area set up in my basement that is my "art room," and i've already been putting it to use.  having already started working on the commissioned piece (i can't show you that one yet because the intended recipient hasn't seen it yet!), i got inspired and starting working on some other pieces, to…

lego firehouse

as you may remember, we are big fans of legos in our house.  me and my boys once built a lego replica of heinz field, and the whole family worked together to create our piece d' resistance, our lego methodist church.  so, in keeping with the tradition of sharing with you the lego productions of the milinovich house, i thought i would show you some pictures of the lego fire station that shannon and the boys built last week.  to see the pictures, click below where it says "keep reading." 



i'm terrified of the bricks

normally the approach to a red brick building isn't so terrifying, at least for me.  which makes this that much worse.  i mean, after all, every day i walk out of my red brick house and take the 380 steps - usually accompanied by flitting birds and bright-white-tailed little bunnies hopping playfully - to my red brick church.  like snow white, or a modern day st. francis, i walk in comfort with nature, from one brick building to another; my ease and genteel fluency are my companions on this pleasant stroll. 
which is why it feels so strange to be this uncomfortable with this red brick building. 
last night jackson had his kindergarten open house/orientation.  siblings weren't invited, so either shannon or i had to stay home with cade, and i volunteered, because i wasn't sure how i would do talking the long walk to the big brick building at the bottom of the hill, like a death row inmate walking the longest mile.  not that i think school is death - quite the contrary, i'…

different house...same ol' dance parties

every once in a while, we get charged with an epiphanal experience, like a bolt of movement-inducing lightning, and we just have to dance.  we call it a dance party.  they are not planned events.  they just occur sometimes, without warning or pattern.  but when they happen, they are a complete joy.  i have one particularly fond memory of marching around the dining room table with the whole family to the entire length of a chieftains song.  you just never know what it's going to be. 
i was a bit worried that with the change of scenery of moving, we might not connect in the same way to the joy-core of the universe, that maybe we were in some sort of "hotspot" in clinton or something, but it seems that it isn't a climate or geography issue, so much as a personality one.  which delights me.  the other night, jack was wearing his scooby-doo boxers, put a bucknell headband around his torso and a backwards steelers hat on his head, and BAM, it hit.  he became a kind of danc…

random: sweater vests and ricky bobby

it's a beautiful monday morning from my perch here on my front porch, my clicking keyboard accompanied by the sound of triumphant birds, singing their little hearts out.  it's about as good a time as i can think of to sit down and pen some thoughts, but i've had little time to collect my thoughts into anything resembling a unified post, so i'll begin this particularly day with a one of my random posts, a sort of stream of consciousness entry into the far reaches of my subconscious.  please only enter if you dare.  it is a bit of a scary place. 

-we've had company this weekend, friends from michigan, and it's been wonderful to see them and spend some time with them.  i have particularly enjoyed some of the philosophical conversations we've been able to share, as i find those conversations sharpen me and stir my spirit.  great to have that. 

--last night we went to a great little art deco-style theater in downtown lewisburg, pa.  this theater, called the c…

happy birthday to my awesome wife

today is my beautiful wife's birthday.  she is a saint, and for putting up with me 24/7, 365 days a year, she really deserves a very happy birthday.  i am a blessed man, and today, more than any other day, i celebrate her awesomeness.  so if you have a glass (or whatever you have in your hand really), raise it with me: 
here's to you, shannon!  happy birthday!

the princess

one thousand posts: a look back

it's been an amazing journey, it really has.  as i look back on the last 1000 posts, i am surprised at how much i've written in the last four years.  i have written about all my loves: Jesus, my family, the steelers, the yankees, art, being ridiculous, and so forth.  i have written through deep belly laughs and some gut-level tears, as well.  i have tried to say something new, but have mostly been saying the same thing over and over. 

but you have continued to read, and i continue to need to write down my reactions to this amazing life, so i keep going.  i have no intentions at stopping right now, so keep checking in here at agent orange records and see what new ways i am thinking of saying the same old things. 

today i thought i'd give you a list of 10 of my favorite posts, or at least a good sample of 10 posts that pretty fairly represent this old blog.  if you've been reading for some time, enjoy the walk down memory lane.  if you've just joined me, maybe you&…

999, and other randomosities

you are currently reading my 999th post, which means (for the mathematically-challenged readers) that my next post will be my one thousandth.  of that thousand, at least 10 were worth reading, so i'm just wondering...does anyone have any favorites?  what was/is your favorite agentorange post(s)?  maybe i'll do a little "best of" feature for my 1,000th. 

-in other randomosity, i never really got the chance to write about it, but the steelers played their first preseason game this weekend, and won, which is completely irrelevant, since the games don't count.  still, it was fun to see the black and gold in live action again.  things i am excited about: dennis dixon getting a chance; isaac redman running over people; daniel sepulveda kicking off; improvement from lamar woodley, lawrence timmons, key fox, rashard mendenhall and mike wallace; and seeing hines ward continuing his unorthodox trip to canton.  oh, and the steelers winning plenty of games. 

-currently lis…

losing my ham sandwich

yesterday a friend from church invited me to spend a couple hours in the afternoon in a kayak on the susquehanna river.  for those who don't know, we live just up the hill from the susquehanna, and the river, which cuts down through the center of pennsylvania, really offers some beautiful scenes.  having not kayaked in a really long time, but thinking i would enjoy a little recreation while getting some of the local flavor, i took him up on it. we agreed that he would pick me up at one, kayaks in tow, ready to take a ride around "the island" on which is located shikellamy state park. 
so i left work around noon, grabbed a ham sandwich and looked forward to a couple relaxing hours.  my friend picked me up, we got to the park, unloaded the kayaks, and were in the water in no time.  i really enjoyed the tension of the oar against the water, propelling me forward; the sound of the water lapping against the kayak; the feel of the wind off the river.  we headed north for a bit…

pics from knoebel's amusement park

last week i promised you some pics from our trip to knoebel's amusement park, in elysburg, pa.  so here's one, and to see more, just click on the "keep reading" link. 


more from training camp

tuesday afternoon i stopped back in at training camp in latrobe, but this time i did a bit less studying players and watching drills.  i had both of my boys with me, and while i was thinking we'd just drive home yesterday afternoon, they were insistent that we go to see "the steeler guys," so we went.  i didn't think they'd really like it, since the heat index was 103 yesterday, and the whole thing is centered around watching guys practice football, but they loved it!  we first went to the steelers store and picked something up  (they got free magnets there, and nothing makes my kids happier than swag), then we went to the concession stand and got some enormous freeze pops, most of which ended up in the grass, on their clothes, and covering 93% of their epidermis.  i'm pretty sure that while i was watching the defensive backs do some drills, my children literally bathed in freeze pop juice. 

to read more and see more pictures, just click below where it says…

training camp, 2010

well, i had an awesome day at training camp yesterday, although it was brutally hot.  i went by myself, so i really enjoyed just being able to run around and see whatever i wanted and do whatever i wanted.  i stood by the gate and watched all the players walk down into practice, and then sort of alternated between fields during drills and scrimmages.  i was lucky enough to be very close to the action when coach lebeau returned to training camp after being away for his incredible hall of fame weekend, and all the players and coaches greeted him.  it was a pretty cool moment.  here is a picture of tomlin welcoming lebeau back to camp.


practice was good, and i enjoyed watching everyone do the drills, especially the rookies.  i was most impressed with ziggy hood, who looked like a man possessed, with motor that just wouldn't stop yesterday.  he looked great.  as far as rookies go, antonio brown looked great as a wide receiver, catching some sweet passes, and i was also impressed with…

work of art, etc.

+ shannon loves to watch "top chef" on bravo on wednesday nights, so i often watch it with her, and this year, at 10 pm, right after "top chef" is a new show called "work of art: the next great artist," which is nothing groundbreaking because it essentially follows the exact same formula as the other competition shows that bravo has had (top chef, project runway), and yet it really intrigues me because of the subjective nature of the product. 

as you know i am very interested in art and while i don't really care at all about "the art world," in which pretentiousness and shock value seem to rule the day, i am very much fascinated by the topic of art itself: what makes good art good?  what makes bad art bad?  and who decides?  sometimes i absolutely detest the winning piece on the show, and would have chosen something that the judges critiqued harshly.  at other times i agree 100% with the judges.  so this show has been very interesting to me…

congratulations, coach lebeau

today, in canton, ohio, dick lebeau will be inducted into the national football league's hall of fame.  you might decide to stop reading now, or to ask, "who cares?" but i want to be clear from the beginning: as you know i love the steelers, and loving the steelers has, for the most part, been good to me.  whey then haven't been winning 6 superbowls, they've been usually putting a quality team on the field, and nearly always acting with class.  and know this: the steelers are the team and organization they are today, in no small part because of the presence and contributions of one dick lebeau.  is he superman?  no.  but he is an everyman, a man who gets to live out his dreams day in and day out, and who has made a conscious decision not to take it for granted. 

as evidence, consider that, to a man, the recent defensive players of the steelers - grown men, mind you - call him "coach dad," because of the influence he has had not only on their football …

camping trip 2010

every year we take a family trip with shannon's side of the family to elysburg, pa, so we can spend some time at knoebel's amusement park, which is a great family-friendly park.  but it's not just the amusement park that makes for a great few days; it's also the camping itself, with all the cousins and aunts and uncles and the grandparents.  click the "keep reading" button to see a few more pictures from our camping trip.

why i am happy for alex rodriguez

yesterday, new york yankees slugger connected for his 600th home run in the big leagues, becoming only the seventh player ever to accomplish that milestone.  while much of the baseball world applauds this achievement, there are some who refuse to celebrate this because of the questions about steroid use in a-rod's past. 
i understand this.  i really do.  i remember when barry bonds was on the quest for baseball's all-time home run record, and i recall my own distaste for bonds' attempts and eventual success.  some of this was because of the obvious effect of steroids in the barry bonds story, but not all of it. 
actually, i'm realizing, the effect of steroids and other chemicals on the game of baseball, while very disappointing, is hard to measure and quantify.  who did it?  and for how long ? and we will NEVER know the answers to those questions.  and while i hate that it happened, i have to just deal with the fact that it happened.  these numbers that players are rea…