Lego Downtown Diner

Elijah loves Legos. (And yes, I know the plural is technically “Lego” but too bad. This is ‘merica and most people say “Legos”.) We watch JANGBRiCKS YouTube videos daily. I guess all the Legos floating around the house and the videos got to me, because I finally caved to one of my childhood dreams and bought an enormous set.

Lego has a set of modular buildings in their Creator Expert series that are extremely impression. The detail is beyond anything I’ve ever assembled and it seemed like a fun project to work on with Elijah. It was fun to see the look on his face when the 2480-piece Lego Downtown Diner arrived in the mail.

He sat with me for most of the assembly, but a lot of it was too complex. He had fun looking through all the pieces and finding the new ones that we haven’t had before. It took us 6.5 hours to assemble the whole thing.

I thought about taking pictures, but then I realized that it’s exactly the same as the one that everyone else has built. If you want to really dive in, check out the JANGBRiCKS video review. I’ve also posted some photos below.

If you stop by for a visit, remind me to show this to you! We will be leaving this one fully assembled.

Good Brewing Company Taproom

“My neighbor brews beer in his garage.” When I say that, people usually have a picture in their head that doesn’t equate to what is really happening. Five houses down from me, Kevin is making some epic beer. He has over a dozen taps in his garage and some fancy brewing equipment. He’s had his license for a little over a year and he’s already won second place at the Washington Beer Awards for his Pink Boots Double IPA. He makes a lot of great beers, but that one is my favorite.

His garage is a very convenient walk from my house and Elijah loves taking bike rides to see “Mr. Kevin”, but now his garage door is closed a lot more frequently. That’s because he has taken a big step and opened his first taproom! It’s located northwest of the Woodinville Costco and we headed there for the grand opening. I didn’t really know what to expect, but it certainly was NOT what we actually witnessed. There were well over 100 people there with live music, a BBQ trailer and tons of people in line for beer. Kevin seemed happily in awe of the turnout.

I’ve been back a couple times since then and he always seems to have a good crowd on hand. In addition to a big variety of beers on tap, he also has some limited food (pizza and pretzel bread) available for sale. I’ll have to see if I can convince Tyla that this is a viable dinner location. Pizza, beer and cornhole? How could she say no?

Congrats to Kevin for an incredible start to his taproom. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing what the next year brings!

Instagram: @goodbrewingco

Safeway Monopoly

Every year I get sucked into the Monopoly game at Safeway, and most times I finish thinking, “Well that wasn’t at all worth my time.” This year was probably the worst though. Last year was pretty good with the easy ability to collect lots of free movie rentals on Fandango and some gift cards. This year the only thing I got was one gas discount ($0.10/gallon for one fillup), one free Fandango rental and three free donut coupons. They made the free Fandango rentals extremely difficult to acquire and threw in a bunch of ridiculous coupons and discounts that hold no interest for me.

One big positive for this year was that the phone app not only lets you scan in the second chance pieces, but it also keeps track of your Monopoly properties for you. The skeptic would say that I never won anything because their app was “keeping track of my pieces”. Possible but not plausible.

I got a few free item coupons too but those items are always out of stock and is it really worth it to spend time trying to hunt down free packets of gravy?

So this year was a bust, but I’ll probably get suckered in again next year.

Happy Easter!

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him.  Now I have told you.”  Matthew 28:5-7

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Credit Freeze

Tyla and I have been part of numerous security breaches over the past couple years. I’m confident that all of our private data is floating around out on websites to be easily purchased for a surprisingly small amount of money. (Seriously, you can buy tens of thousands of credit card numbers for less than the cost of going out to dinner.) A couple months ago, I put a fraud alert on our credit reports. It’s free and it basically adds a note that says that you have to be called before any new credit is opened. That’s a good step, but it only lasts for 90 days and it’s not bulletproof.

I recently took it a step further and put a full credit freeze on our account. Nobody can see our credit report while it is frozen which is an even bigger red flag for creditors to see before they extend a new line of credit. There are plenty of downsides to it though. If we ever need have our credit reports checked (buying a car, signing up for a new cell phone, etc), we have to go through some extra steps to unfreeze the report. And oh yeah there are three credit agencies and oh yeah, two of them charge $10 to toggle the freeze flag.

Before you do anything like this, you should understand all the ramifications by reading the FTC page. Herb Weisbaum, the Consumer Man, has a good article that also talks about some of the other services that the credit agencies are offering that are more convenient (and cheaper) than the full freeze. But read the fine print and understand that you’re probably saving money because they are selling a bunch of your data. That was a deal breaker for me.

If you decide to go through with the full freeze, grab your credit card (remember it will cost you about $21 to do this) and head to these three sites:


Each one will give you a pin which you need to keep in a safe place so you can unlock your credit report at some point down the road.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s nice to know that I’m much less likely to have surprise credit cards opened up in my name.