the weekend review in 60 seconds or less...

Friday: Homemade chicken coup, live bluegrass, coffee spiked with Effen vodka, the company of great friends...
Saturday: German pancakes, car/tractor show, scale model madness, orchard, french dip, spiked cider, the company of great friends...
Sunday: French toast and bacon, more scale model madness, bad sci-fi, homemade borscht, the company of great friends...

Thanks again for the great weekend Deb & Brian!

Hobby Day

Jen and I decided on a day at home today to do craft and hobby things. After mowing the lawn (not a craft or a hobby, but it needed to be done), I spent some time cleaning up my garage. But before that, a word on wildlife, specifically arachnids...

While I failed to get a picture of this spider yesterday, when we were leaving to go to the museum, I noticed what appeared to be an illusion of sorts by the trunk lid of the Toyota. It was a very large spider which had built a web off the back of the Toyota and was attached to, and I am not kidding, the overhead telephone/cable TV lines...a good 15-18ft in the air...this was one solid web. Jen and I both looked at this ambitious spider and I concluded: "No Jennifer, just leave it, that's the spider's Paseo now...". Unfortunate for him/her that they built in such and exposed location...either a bird got him or the neighborhood kids did, as he was absent, web and all, this morning. Just as well, Jen can have her car back...

Labor Day Weekend

I do love the long holiday weekends of Labor Day and Memorial Day. I was originally intending on working on Friday, at least half a day, since we had a go-live with a customer in Iowa. They decided to postpone for a weekend for further training on the software. Since that was my only planned event for the day, I took the day off to spend with Jen on her big birthday weekend. Thursday we had takeout from Jen's favorite Chinese restaurant and watched V for Vendetta to round out the evening. I got a late start on making her a chocolate cake, but I did bake that Friday morning (better cake then never). After a quick breakfast, I dragged Jen kicking and screaming from the house to go see the new glass pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art (to be fair, it was a rather pleasant overcast and cool day...perfect for doing nothing...and she wasn't really kicking and screaming). When we arrived to the new building, the information desk informed us they would be giving glass blowing demonstrations several times during the day. There was one already in progress (almost over) and it was rather crowded so we milled about the exhibits until the next demonstration. We had a nice gourmet lunch in their cafe and finished just in time to catch their next show. We found some great seats and watched the artists warm up by creating small animals (birds, cats, etc.) as an exercise to loosen up their hands. The new pavilion has an amazing setup for teaching glass blowing and other forms of glass art work. They have multiple blast furnaces and work stations that are bright and viewable from all directions (the walls of the building are also glass). Anyhow, it was very interesting to watch the demonstration as the three artists made a split neck vase...I felt so cultured...

Where Chicken is King...

This past weekend was the annual Delta Chicken Festival. This is a fun small town style summer festival complete with carnival rides, midway games, live entertainment, etc. The main attraction is, of course, BBQ chicken...and a lot of it. We headed down on Saturday after working on the patio so we could get a schedule for Sunday's events. Every year LifeFlight lands one of their helicopters and opens them up for show-n-tell and questions. We always like to be down there for that to watch it land...something very cool about the type of flight technology...anyhow, a very pretty helicopter...hope I never have to ride in one...

Weekend Review

Now in reverse-o-vision

Just watched Matt Kenseth win at Dover, so a little victory dance is in order. Jen and I spent the afternoon moving my mom from her house she has rented for the past 14 years to a single bedroom apartment at a seniors only apartment complex. The apartment is very nice for a one bedroom. She has a corner unit with windows on both walls that you can literally stand in. It is a historic building that was recently renovated. My sister and brother-in-law were on scene to help, as well as my crazy uncle Tommy (again, I can only hope I have half the energy that man has when I'm his age) and my aunt Carol. The move, including moving items to a storage area, only took about 4 hours, so that was good.

sometimes I'm a little fickle

Blur6ex just wasn't doing it for me...time to try Drupal for a while...

Ireland 2007

I contacted a travel agent (Larry Courtney of travelallover.com), who I've used a number of years for domestic travel, regarding Ireland in 2007. We discussed a number of things I thought I would make mention of, intermixed with my own ramblings/ceaseless prattle:

Travel Dates: With Dave having commitments starting in May, we figure last weeks of April would be a good time to propose a trip. I think Jen and I would like to go for 7 days or so, but there is not written rule stating we all have to stay the same amount of time. Larry said that a good idea would be to leave the US on a Friday or Saturday and return on the following Sunday.

Craig Takes a Day Off

I took a vacation day today so we could take in a fun afternoon at the Toledo Zoo (see Pictures in my Gallery section). We had a nice breakfast at Panera (souffle and orange scones) and got to the zoo around 11:00 or so. It was a pleasant day so many of the animals were out and about. If you've never been to the Toledo Zoo I highly recommend it...I think it's one of the finer ones in the country. We had lunch from the Carnivore Cafe and called it a day a little after 2:00pm as we were all pretty tired. Tonight will be some movies and dinner including lobster stuffed tenderloins, jumbo shrimp,

big weekend of slack

After a hellishly busy day at the office on Friday (think the scene in Jurassic Park III where the baby pterodactyl's are nipping at one of the characters), Jen rescued me so we could play hooky by catching a matinée of Ultraviolet. I know what you are thinking, but all I have to say is Milla Jovovich in form fitting outfits, big guns (weapons that is), gratuitous violence, amazing CGI, and Milla Jovovich in form fitting outfits (that bears repeating). As any comic book adaptation to the big screen, it was cheesy dialogue, but that matters not (see my previous reasons). Afterwards, it was not quite 5:0pm, so going back to office was not an option. We decided to browse the Maumee Antique Mall for about an hour...so many cool old things, so many wacky items as well (almost axwackey). The rest of the evening was spent having yummy pizza and of course, BSG. I enjoyed the episode well enough, but as seems to be the trend on some of the past episodes, they are moving at break-neck speeds through their storyline, leaving some things out. I understand they need to setup quite a bit of foundation for next weeks 90 minute season finale (w00t!).

More BSG fanboy thoughts...

At the end of episode 2.11 there was so much tension built with the assassination plots, the impending battle, and the teaser sneak peek at the upcoming episode, we have been discussing it all week at home and at work (I have managed to get three of my coworkers completely hooked on the show). There are very few shows I can think of which captivate my thoughts like this series...well done Ron Moore...well done indeed...

I was not disappointed with this episode in any way, shape, or form...the subtleties in many of the scenes and the acting ability of this cast never fail to impress me. And wow, thank god for squirreling away funds because that CGI battle scene was pure fraking visual poetry...the cut scenes of the two battlestars slowly circling the basestar while reducing it to scrap metal...the scene of the vipers destroying the resurrection ship, the bodies of the cylons drifting out into space...I think what I love the most is that they do not treat the vipers like airplanes limited to forward motion and attacks, as they drift through the resurrection ship slowly turning and firing while moving in an entirely different direction is practically ballet...

Activate Fan Boy Mode...

We should all bow our heads and take a moment to thank the greater powers that be for the joyous return of Battlestar Glactica...

Once again, after a bit of a break and a massive cliff hanger episode last year, the writers of BSG manage to open up with both barrels at point-blank range with the Season 2.11 episode. Could the crew of Pegasus be any more sinister? With the exception of the XO who is the only like-able character. Even then, if there is anything else I've learned from BSG is not to take characters at face value...so I'm not even sure about him. So much revealed and so many new questions raised. Really, how are they going to get rid of Pegasus? Cain is obviously insane and the rest of her crew does not question here, probably out of fear of getting capped in the head. But it's obvious that the fleet cannot go on with her and/or pegasus...to many damaged goods there...

January 1

The new year's off to a great start already...I love being able to sleep in! I tried a new french toast recipe this morning which was pretty tasty:

3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbls sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
a splash of dark rum
1 loaf of pepperidge farms cinnamon swirl bread

Today I think will be a little gaming, a little video entertainment (BSG, March of the Penguins), a little chanter practice...

Happy Holidaze

I always somehow manage to get a cold in November or December to end the year with...this year it was December. Specifically, Christmas week. I started getting the tell tale signs early in the week and tried to head it off by taking Thursday as a sick day (I already had Friday off as a vacation day) which seems to have helped as it never really got out of hand. Thursday was pleasant enough, work only beckoned a few times, but it was otherwise spent dozing away on the couch watching a Godzilla marathon on TV (thanks to Jen for letting me get away with that...your sacrifice has been noted).

Friday was slated to be the cut off day for finishing our holiday shopping. While we tried to do homemade type gifts this year for most folks, it was not to be for everyone on our lists. We managed to finish the shopping by 3:00pm which allowed us time to get home and clean up for dinner at my sister's house. Every year, as most people, we have a long list of places to visit and people to see, this year is no exception. Dinner at my sister's house was uneventful, it's an opportunity to see my mother and niece and nephew and re-affirm my beliefs in birth control. I love my niece and nephew, they really are great kids in the grand scheme of things, but I just do not have that parental instinct. As Moe from The Simpson's puts it: the laughter of children cuts through me like a dull knife...As usual, my mother spent way to much on us, but the shawl that Jen knitted for her was very well received and worn all night...dinner was a variety of polish meat delights like kielbasa, ham and city chicken legs, we provided dessert in the form of a key lime pie purchased from GFS that same day...I ate way too much as usual...

a late birthday update

Where has the time gone? It's almost the last day in November, and I am trying to remember this blur that has been the past week. The birthday was a lot of fun. This was the first time in my professional work history that I actually went into work on my birthday. I normally reserve a vacation day for that, but it was so close to thanksgiving, which I had already taken a few days of vacation for, that I opted to go in. Jen baked a double batch of her famous chocolate-espresso cookies for me to share at the office, although there might have been a few missing when I finally made into work. Jen met up with me at my office after work ended so we could grab a bite at the Claddagh with Dave and Jens father and brother, then a viewing of the latest Harry Potter flick. In addition to the practice chanter, Jen also got me the latest Star Trek ornament and the Queen: A Night at the Opera CD (I listed to that to and from work on Tuesday and found myself singling along to all the songs without missing a beat). It was a grand day indeed.

november 22 comes early this year

Jen was bursting with excitement to give me my birthday present when it came in the mail today. After baking me a cake and getting ice cream, we had a pre-birthday celebration. My present: a practice chanter for learning bagpipes with the first three levels of coursework (workbooks and CDs). The chanter itself is very well crafted, a good weight, and has a nice smooth finish. I read a bit of introduction and assembled the reed and lower and upper portions. As the introduction stated, my first sound emitted from it sounded like that of a sick duck. I got slight sense of apprehension from Jen, almost as if to say "was this a good idea?".