Monday, December 04, 2006


I was watching Saturday Night Live this last weekend and saw this skit. I thought it was pretty funny. This is for my good friend Chrisy, who is a chocolate lover, and for any other chocolate lovers out there......

OK, now the video link I posted is no longer available. I linked to it via and now when you try to view it, you get "This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner NBC Universal because its content was used without permission Director Videos "

OK NBC/Universal, I understand you want to protect your copyrights, but c'mon....its a 3 minute sketch! Letting people post stuff like this will help PROMOTE your show. Anyway, sorry you can't view it now.....if I can find another link, I'll post it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Its beginning to look a lot like.....

Now that Thanksgiving is past, I can let loose and let the 'Christmas' in me go wild. For my feelings on Christmas before Thanksgiving, you can check out my post from last year. First off, I am happy to report that we had a very nice Thanksgiving. We spent the holiday with my Aunt Marlene and Uncle Ron at their home in Brainerd. Of course, I ate way too much, but it was worth it. Everything was great from the turkey to the desert. Julie made her first pumpkin pie and it was AWESOME! Every year I struggle with how to explain what the day is all about to my kids and how to help them have a thankful attitude on more than one day of the year. I also still struggle with having a thankful attitude on a more consistent basis. We have much to be grateful for and it overwhelms me sometimes.

We decided to use what would probably be the last 'warm' weekend of the year the best way possible. On Friday we put up Christmas lights on the house. Looking at the picture, it doesn't look like much (well, to me anyway), but it took all day to complete. I guess at our previous home in California we had a system down and knew where to put the lights and power/extension cords. Here, it was completely new. A few trips were made to the local Target.

Saturday night, we went to the Holidazzle parade. The Holidazzle Parade can be described as a Disneyland Main Street Electrical parade at Christmas except you're not on Main Street and you're not at Disneyland. Also, its just a bit colder....just a bit. They run the parade down Nicolett Avenue in downtown Minneapolis at night. Julie and I were back here at Christmas in 1996 and we went to the Holidazzle was mind-numbing cold. I mean COLD and we ended up watching the parade from the Skyway. Not this was much more bearable. Thankfully, it was in the high 30s at parade time. It was a lot of fun and the kids really enjoyed it.

Sunday, after church, I took the two older kids to see HAPPY FEET while Julie put up all of the XMAS decorations in the house. It feels good to have the Christmas spirit back and I'm glad I didn't see too much of it before Thanksgiving this year, despite the efforts of some friends back in Cali.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006

T-Bone's Movie Minute

Welcome to the first 'T-Bone's Movie Minute' brought to you by I'd like to use this space to reflect on a movie that I have viewed recently, either at the theater or at home on DVD. In this first movie minute, I'd like to talk about one of each.

First up is a film that was a recent rental. The film was TSOTSI. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film earlier this year. Tsotsi is the name of the title character in the film. When translated into English, Tsotsi also means 'thug' or 'gangster' in the language spoken in the townships of South Africa, where the film takes place. In the film, Tsotsi is a brutal, cold-hearted person who runs with his a group of fellow thugs. Together, they spend each night looking for the next 'job,' hoping to score some money. Through a series of heart-breaking events, Tsotsi is forced to face his past and what made him the way he is and decide his course of action. This is one of those films that is required viewing for me from time to time. A film that sucker-punches me in the gut and leaves me on the floor in pain. In this film, you see the living conditions in the South African townships, the disparate lifestyle between the people living there and the people who are better off. You see what Apartheid left behind and how AIDS is a REAL problem in South Africa that cannot be ignored. It also had a pitch perfect ending. This film further cemented feelings in me after hearing stories from friends who spent time in South Africa earlier this what they saw and experienced impacted their lives greatly. This film is not easy to watch, but should be watched. This film helped me realize (once again) how much I have to be thankful for in life. It also helped me think about how much I squander on unimportant things.

The other film is one Julie and I were able to catch at the theater a few weeks ago. That film is MARIE ANTOINETTE. It was written and directed by Sofia Coppola, who also wrote and directed LOST IN TRANSLATION, my favorite film of a few years ago. At this point, you are either with me completely or I have lost you. I recommended LOST IN TRANSLATION to many friends after it came out and the reaction was 'loved it!' or 'that was the most boring 2 hrs. of my life and what was it exactly that Bill Murray said to Scarlett Johansson at the end of the film?' In my opinion, Sofia Coppola has a talent for evoking emotions and feelings that help me get lost in the moment through her use of the film's soundtrack, both music and the 'sound' of the environment, and the lack of dialogue in certain scenes. One example of this in LOST IN TRANSLATION is when Scarlett's character, Charlotte, travels to Kyoto (the film takes place in Japan) to explore. In this scene, music by the French band Air (now I have completely lost some of you....thanks for reading this far) is playing and Charlotte spies a traditional Japanese wedding procession. A lot of detail placed on Charlotte's point of view and what exactly she is looking at. I won't describe the whole scene, but to me it says so much about Charlotte's character without one word of dialogue. Its brilliant! Go watch it.

In MARIE ANTOINETTE, Sofia continues in this tradition. From the opening credits this film had me with its 'Sex Pistols-type' of font being used for the credits and Gang of Four's 'Natural's Not In It' being blared over the speakers. During the opening credits, there is a brief shot of Kirsten Dunst's Marie Antoinette reclining in a chair, getting a pedicure, like in the picture to the right. During this shot, after sampling some French pastry, she looks right into the camera with a grin on her face that I can't quite explain, but it let me know that was not going to be your ordinary French historical period costume drama. Along with the classical music one would expect to hear in a film like this, there is much 80's post-punk/new wave music (from the likes of Bow Wow Wow, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Adam and the Ants, and New Order to name a few) used throughout and it works so well. There are so many great shots and little moments in this movie to get lost in. Kirsten Dunst carried this film and she was extraordinary. Jason Schwartzman (who played the infamous Max Fischer from one of my other favorite films RUSHMORE) also turned in a good performance as King Louis XVI. My wife and I enjoyed it very much and you will too if you are willing to try something different and let go of what you come to expect from typical movie fare.

Now I know that these are two films that most of you won't care to see, but I would like to challenge you and try something new, hoping you will come away surprised.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Happy Halloween from the Cloyd's! (A.K.A. Mr. Incredible, Incredible Dog, Hot Chick, Cinderella, and Stitch) It was cold out there on the streets, a chilly 28 degrees. We decided not to keep the kids out for very long. We saw other intelligent parents driving their kids around the neighborhood, using their car as a warming hut. Need to remember that for next year, although it should not be as cold. The kids got plenty of candy none the less. Now I get to go eat it all............

Do a Good Turn

Julie and I started encouraging our son Cameron this past summer to think about joining scouting. In his case, Cub Scouts. We wanted him to start thinking outside of his own box, to learn new skills, and to have fun outside of the home. At the start of the school year, the local Cub Scout pack put on a information meeting for parents and future Cub Scouts. Cameron said he was interested.

We went and he ended up joining. I also volunteered to be an assistant den leader. It was my intention to invest more time into my kids when we moved to Minnesota. Back in California, I invested so much time into our church (which is not a bad thing) and started to realize that my kids were growing up rapidly and that I should do something about it. Well, here was an opportunity looking me right in the eye. I took it. Cameron and I have been enjoying it very much and it has provided some great time for us to spend together.

This last Saturday was the annual pack community service project. We spent the morning doing fall yard cleaning for an elderly couple who were too sick and too weak to do it for themselves. It was good to get Cameron out and do something for someone else and to explain to him why we were doing it. The Cub Scouts have the philosophy of 'do a good turn daily.' What that means is we should do something for someone else, whether it be big or small, every day. How simple and easy is that?

Well, we ended up filling 30 tall compost bags from Lowes with leaves. We could have spent the whole weekend there. It looked as if their yard had not been cleaned in a long time. We only stopped because we ran out of bags. Still, it was a good experience. The boys did as best as they could, but I think the parents did most of the work. That's OK though. I think the elderly couple were very grateful.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Well duh! We told you so!

OK, any Minnesotans (or anyone who lives in cold weather environments) can skip this post so I don't have to see you roll your eyes at me and mock my California-ess. (Not that it won't stop you from doing that anyway)

Well, we had our first cold snap of the season last week. Let me set the scene for you. On Saturday I am wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops. I get in the first mow of our lawn. I am sweating when I finish. We take our dog to the dog park later in the day. It was 80 degrees F! The next day, Sunday, the rain comes. By Wednesday it is the 30s and we were getting snow flurries! That night I had the fireplace going as I pondered the crazy climate that Minnesota calls its own. Granted, this is not normal for October and by the next weekend we were back in the 50s-60s and there was no evidence that it had snowed. But, it can get weird weather wise here in the fall and spring. People actually watch the weather reports back here and they mean something. If you don't, you could end up in trouble.

When the snow flurries started Wednesday morning, Julie called me at work and I could hear the kids screaming with delight in the background. I know the time is coming when we will be counting the days until the ground thaws out, but I am enjoying this weather. Bring it on! (Famous last words......)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Field Trip Two

A couple of posts back I posted an entry called 'Bachelor Life Field Trip One.' I fully intended to post more parts but just did not get around to it. I guess I should start catching up. In light of the last two posts, let's keep the whole Twins theme going, shall we?

Way back in July I scored a couple of tickets to the Twins game through work. I got the tickets late in the day. So, I called up my brother Pat (who I was staying with at the time) and asked if he wanted to go. We decided to take the light rail line to downtown Minneapolis where the Metrodome is.

In recent years a light rail line was built in Minneapolis. It goes from the Mall of America in the south up to downtown Minneapolis due north, stopping at various points along the way such as the airport. Pat and I agreed to meet at the Mall of America station after work and hop on the train. It took about a half hour and two bucks to get to the Dome.

We got to our seats and they were GREAT! They were behind home plate on the first base side in the first deck. Cool! However, I have to was weird watching a ball game indoors inside of a building. I didn't quite like it. Definitely not the same as being at Angel Stadium watching the Angels play....outside. Thankfully, the Twins are getting a new stadium in a few years and the design will do away with the dome. They will be getting a traditional outside ball park. But, for whatever reason, it will not have a retractable roof. With the Minnesota weather, which can be 'schizophrenic' in the spring and fall, you need a roof to protect you from the elements from time to time. The powers that be will be kicking themselves in the rear when the rare April snowstorm hits and cancels opening day. Anyway, thanks to yours truly being in attendance, the Twins lost to the Cleveland Indians. Still, it was fun to go. Here is a photo of me, Jinx Boy, unaware of what he is doing to the Twins.

Good night and good luck.....

Holy cow......I wasn't kidding was I? To all the Twins fans out there I say 'I'm sorry!' I should have known better than to publicly align with the Twins, sealing their fate. I didn't think they would get swept like they did. This was definitely not the Twins of the regular season. Oh well, there is always next year.

There is a bright side to the story for me. I will start accepting offers to root for a particular team. Dodger fans.....for the right price I will root for the Mets or vice versa. Highest bidder wins. Just make the check out to me.......

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Go Twins!!!

The Minnesota Twins clinched the American League Central Division Championship today. The very act of posting this entry to the blog has doomed their chances of getting to the World Series. But hey, who's reading this anyway?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Huh?......What??? Was I sleeping?

(Picks up microphone, taps it....)
Hello? (Sound of insects chirping away) Anyone out there?

Uh, probably not, since I haven't posted since......... freakin' JULY!!! Yeah, yeah......I know. I need to update the blog. (Insert excuse here) OK, OK....its coming. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, here is a photo of a guy in a gorilla suit playing an accordion (photo taken across the border in Wisconsin, which explains everything) to tide all two of you over.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bachelor Life - Field Trip One

'Bachelor life?' you may ask? 'Tony I thought you were married?' you may say. Yeah, I am. However, recently, during this time of transition, I have been living the life of a bachelor during the week. Oh yeah baby! It has been great! (Not actually sucks being away from Julie and the kids and she deserves mucho kudos for basically being a single mom during the week) You may be wondering what I have been doing to fill my time. Do you even have to wonder? I have been doing what every bachelor does........ I go sight seeing and I take pictures to post on my ultra-cool bachelor blog that reeks of sexiness and has the aroma of all that is hip.

With that I bring you the first in a series of field trip reports of various sights around the Twin Cities. In this report you get to hear all about a unique place that one wouldn't think existed in a metropolitan setting, Minnehaha Park and Minnehaha Falls.

The park and falls are about a fifteen to twenty minute drive south of downtown Minneapolis. The falls are part of Minnehaha Creek which flows through the southern part of the city. Along the creek is Minnehaha Parkway which is a very scenic drive along which nice homes are located amongst numerous trees and small parks. My Mom would go ice skating along the creek in the winter when she was a kid. Here is a description from Wikipedia:

Minnehaha Creek is a short tributary of the Mississippi River located in Hennepin County, Minnesota that extends from Lake Minnetonka in the west and flows east for 22 miles (35 km). Including Lake Minnetonka, the watershed for the creek covers 181 square miles (469 km²). Much of the stream flows through southern Minneapolis. The creek might have been unremarkable except for the 53 foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls located near its confluence with the Mississippi. The site is not far from Fort Snelling, one of the earliest white settlements in the region.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was partly inspired by pictures of the falls to write to his famous epic poem, THE SONG OF HIAWATHA.

When I was a kid living in California, I would make trips back here to Minnesota to visit family. My Grandma would always make a trip to the falls with me every time I came back. So, the falls will occupy a fond place in my memories. So, with a free evening and nothing to do I made another trip to this oasis in the middle of the Twin Cities.

It was a great evening to visit. It wasn't too hot and there weren't many bugs out. There was a live band playing in the park cranking out some classic rock tunes. After checking out the falls, I decided to do something I hadn't done there before. I hiked the trail along the creek after the falls that goes down to where the creek meets the Mississippi River. The hike was longer than I expected and after a while I was alone on the path. It didn't really feel like I was in Minneapolis, but rather lost in the woods somewhere. Eventually I reached the Mississippi and observed a paddle boat passing by and people fishing along the shore. After the hike back to the park, I got an ice cream and sat down to listen to the band finish its set. I really enjoyed it. It was also nice to be back at Minnehaha Park.

Here more pictures I took. Enjoy.

Hiawatha & Minnehaha

Minnehaha Falls

The Band

Minnehaha Creek

Hiking along the creek

Where the creek meets the Mississippi, looking north at Lock & Dam #1.

Are ya feelin' hip yet?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New & Improved Minnesota...Now with Warmth!

Hey everyone. By popular demand I am back with an update. Thanks for all the comments and I'm glad that folks are enjoying the blog.

Its been almost two weeks since we have arrived here in Minnesota and it has been busy.

First off, everyone is asking how the new job is going. It is going well! I am looking forward to a good future there! I really don't want to discuss work here on the blog, so I will just leave it at that.

How is the rest of the family doing? Very good so far. Let's just get something straight first......when we told people that we were moving back here all they could talk about was how cold it gets here. It was as if everyone thought that Minnesota was in a perpetual winter. Well, guess what? The weather here has been very warm and comfortable! We have been having a blast.

Ever since Julie and the kids arrived at my cousin's house, they have been playing their hearts out. I think that Cameron has been fishing just about every day. Along with their second cousins, Jared and Brandt, they have been doing all sorts of activities. They swim in the lake, catch frogs and turtles (yeah, turtles!), fish, play in the yard, and so on and so on. Just take a look at Madison, who fell asleep in her high chair at dinner the other evening. That is the sight of playing hard.

Last Friday I was reunited with the family for the long 4th of July weekend! I was so excited to see everybody! On Saturday, a friend of my cousin invited all of us to join his family on their pontoon boat on Lake Koronis. It was awesome! The boat was huge....24 feet long. We swam and fished off of the boat. We also BBQ'ed and had margaritas. Later in the evening, we watched fireworks that were shot off over the lake from an island on the lake.

Sunday, back on my cousin Doug's lake, we did some more swimming, relaxing, and we took our kids to see CARS. If you go see it, listen for a reference to the town we will be living in, Shakopee.

On Monday, my Uncle Greg threw a family party. His cabin is also on Lake Koronis. It was great seeing many of my family members again! I got to see my cousins, my Aunt, my Uncles, and second cousins. I'm glad that I will have many more opportunities to spend time with them and get to know them better since I didn't get to grow up here.

Anyway, I feel like I am rambling here. I just wanted to fill you in on how we are doing. Cloyd out.....

Various Pics

Kids & House

Lake Fun

Contemplative Cameron

Hot Chick

Chelsea & daughter of Doug & Dawn's friends

T-Bone & Dawn (post margaritas)

Friend of Doug & Doug

Making Progress

Sunday, June 25, 2006

On the Road - Day 6 The Final Day

Well, this is it. The final day of our looooong road trip. I can't believe it is coming to an end. We all thought it would be good to sleep in some and get some rest since we did not have much driving to do today. As we hit the road, it is starting to set in that we will not be returning to California....that this trip was more than a vacation and served a purpose. Even though it is exciting to travel across the country and move your family to a new state, some of the pain of saying goodbye returned today. On this leg there would be no landmark or monument to see. Everything was now behind us. It made me somewhat sad. Also, the anxiety of starting a new job in a few days and meeting all kinds of new people started to hit me. But, I know that good things lie ahead and I will do what I always do......just be myself, put my faith in God and everything will be fine. It may not be easy, but it will work out.

We arrived at my cousin Doug and his wife, Dawn's home around 2:30. During the drive there, we missed one severe thunderstorm and got in just before another one got in. The storms out here are something to behold. It can be sunny in the morning and turn dark and stormy in the afternoon. It was good to get to Doug and Dawn's place. They live on a lake outside of Darwin, MN. The kids got right to doing what they do best, playing. Cameron and his second cousin, Jared started fishing right away off the dock. It made me happy to see them out and about and not cooped up in a car. It took me about an hour to unload the van an get ready to leave, I still had a two hour drive ahead of me. I was bringing Pat, Sarah, and Carl to their home in the Twin Cities where I will be staying during the week so I can be closer to work until our home is done in August.

If you have been reading all these posts, I just want to say thanks for checking in and sharing in our journey. It has been a blast! As I have been saying to a few people, we have seem more things on this trip than most people will ever see in their entire lifetime. What a beautiful country we live in. So rich in history and landscape. We are fortunate to be living in a place that is so varied and interesting. This will be a trip I will never forget.

As we settle in to life here in Minnesota, please think of us. Keep us in your prayers as we adjust to life. Pray for my family as we will be separated during the week. That is the part I am not looking forward to...not seeing my wife and kids every evening as I get 'home.' It is only for six weeks, but will be hard none the less. Pray that our home will be done in time and that our move into it will go smoothly. I am already missing my friends and family back in California and they will be in my thoughts over the next few weeks.

With that I will close the book on the 2700 mile Cloyd family road trip. It won't be the end of the blog though. Keep checking back and please use it as a way to keep in touch. I will look forward to hearing from all of you from time to time.

See ya!!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Detour- Life on the Road

  • My butt hurts even more
  • All I am eating is junk food
  • Scanned the radio for FM stations. Wtached the radio go all the way around to find nothing......NOTHING!
  • Discovered it IS fun to Wang Chung tonight
  • National Public Radio is EVERYWERE
  • Feeling a pain like no other in my lower right back-can't make it go away
  • Watched gas get cheaper as we traveled east
  • I'm sick of driving
  • Still waiting for Christie Brinkley to pull up along side of me in a red Ferrari

Day 5 Pics