Thursday, December 30

the day the talking stopped

Our good friends, the Shaffers, invited us over this evening. I guess you could call it a holiday visit.

We were hanging out in the kitchen eating, drinking, and swapping stories. For the first time ever, Brian was at a loss for words--he was in the middle of telling a story and suddenly had no idea what he was talking about and completely clammed up. Come to think of it, this happening was probably funnier than the story would've been so it all worked out ok.

Jake enjoyed playing with Katie and Johnny. The poor kid was hoarse by the time we got home. No sooner were we walking through their door to leave did he ask "when are we coming back?"

There always is a downside to hanging out with the Shaffer clan, though. Every time we end an evening with them, my face hurts from smiling/laughing so much. What can I say, my facial muscles aren't used to such a workout.

wascally wabbit

I was letting Lizzy out after supper this evening when she started barking her proverbial head off. I figured it was probably the one neighborhood kid who always seems to be walking his dog whenever I let ours out. But no, it was a rabbit. A rabbit. In December. I suddenly had a flashback to May and June--the two months out of the year with the worst proliferation of rabbits. Starting in May, there are always rabbits outside--particularly at dusk and dawn. So, I always have to go chase the bunnies away before I let the pups out. You can normally see me around 5am in my PJs chasing rabbits (well, hopefully YOU don't see me). Not only do I have to chase rabbits out of the yard, but out of the dogs' sight as well (and this can take me quite a distance). At dusk, I'm normally fully dressed, so feel free to watch and/or help out.

Anyway, I digress...I brought Lizzy in, put on my shoes, and then chased the rabbit out of the yard. Just like in spring/summer.

You know, the only good thing about winter is that I never see any rabbits. If you can't count on that, what can you count on? But, I guess if the worst thing about the winter is that it is too spring-like, I shouldn't be complaining.

Wednesday, December 29

noodling

Now, this puts some sport into fishing!

Monday, December 27

christmas 2004, day 5

OK, this is my last Christmas post of the year. Finally.

Brian's parents came over this evening for a visit and to check out the goods we got for Christmas. Alcohol, cookies, and snacks were consumed. It was an enjoyable evening.

Since they were coming over, I had to straighten up a bit after work. I moved a bunch of the boxes and whatnot to the garage. I was also able to put away some of the gifts they already saw (i.e. the ones we opened at their place).

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year--putting all of the Christmas presents away! I've always enjoyed doing this, though I admit it is more of a challenge than I like now that Jake gets a roomful of toys every Christmas. But, putting my own stuff away is always fun.

On a side note, Jake had a soda hangover this morning. All of the caffeine and sugar he consumed yesterday kept him up late last night so he wasn't able to get up this morning. Seeing that he had to go to daycare this morning, this wasn't a good thing.

Sunday, December 26

christmas 2004, day 4

Today seemed like the most hectic day of all Christmas weekend. I don't know if it was because we had to leave the house so many times or if it was due to all of the hours we spent in the car.

It all started off with church this morning. The Sunday after Christmas is always student recognition Sunday and there is a combined service (rather than the usual two services). This year's service took place at 9am, so I had to get up rather early this morning. Jacob and Brian are used to getting up early on Sundays, because Brian takes Jacob to Sunday school every week and that is also at 9am. After church, we came home, had lunch, and fooled around with our Christmas gifts for a bit.

Sometime around 1:00, we went to visit Brian's grandmother. She was staying at Brian's aunt's house in Scottdale, PA. Luckily, the same people who entertained Jake at Thanksgiving were there, so Jake had a great time. We stayed there for a few hours--pretty much till the Steeler game ended, and then we came home. Jake and Brian crashed out in the car while I drove.

We did some stuff at home for an hour and then headed to my parent's for a short visit. We only stayed there for an hour or so before we headed home.

Jake is still wired from all of the soda he drank earlier in the afternoon, so I don't know how he's ever going to sleep tonight, but we can only hope he does at some point, because it's back to the old grind tomorrow for all of us. At least it's a short week. The three of us are off Friday. Brian and Jake are off Thursday. Gotta love those long weekends. Too bad it's the last one until Memorial Day...

Saturday, December 25

christmas 2004, day 3

Well, today was the big day. I have to say that things went about as well as I could've hoped. Brian got up at 6:30am to put on the turkey. We got it ready last night, so he pretty much just had to put it on the roaster and into the oven. But, it was still nice of him to do so. My dogs have me trained to feed them every morning around 5am, so I wasn't in the mood to get up again.

Our plan with Jacob worked--he didn't get up until about 8:45am. We told him to go see if there were any presents under the tree, otherwise, we were just going to stay in bed. We heard him squealing a few times as he looked around. He came into our bedroom to tell us Santa had come and left a sleigh! (Jake got a sled as one of his presents.)

So, we opened all of our gifts and Jake played with his. Here was his favorite. That's right, a box. We kept telling him that Santa was going to bring him a box and a chair for Christmas because that's all he ever seems to play with. You'd think the kid didn't have any toys. Maybe next year we'll save some cash and go pick up a refrigerator box for him to play in.

Afterwards, Brian and I started getting ready for dinner. I kept the menu pretty simple because I figured there would be enough to do this morning. Things went smoothly. My mom, dad, brother, and grandmother were in attendance today. None of us could eat fast enough for Jake, though--he wanted to open the gifts that they brought and we weren't doing that until after dinner.

Brian's dad stopped by this evening because they forgot to give us our gifts from Brian's grandmother when we were there yesterday. And since we're going to visit her tomorrow, Brian's mom would've caught hell if we wouldn't have opened our gifts by then. I can put this on the internet because Brian's grandmother doesn't have a computer. His dad stayed for a few drinks and we had a very enjoyable visit that consisted of much bs'ing.

All in all a great day for all. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 24

christmas 2004, day 2

Today, we raced around like a bunch of crazy people trying to prepare for Christmas (it wouldn't be Christmas Eve unless Brian was working on someone's gift in the wood shop). We had some stuff that needed to be done today, and the rest of the work was preparation for tomorrow's festivities (we are having Christmas dinner here with my family).

The turkey for tomorrow was still frozen like a rock, so we tried defrosting it submerged in water in the sink. Unfortunately, our sink decided that today would be a great day to leak, so we had a watery mess to clean up. Multiple times.

After this, it was time to go to Brian's parent's. Brian's sister, Jennifer, and her family were in from NY today, so we got to spend the evening with them. We had a nice dinner, opened gifts, then went to church.

Now that we're home, Jake wants to play with all of his toys. We're planning on letting him stay up a little later than usual this evening so that maybe (just maybe) he won't be up at 5am wanting to open his gifts. Of course, either Brian or I has to get up at some ungodly hour to put the turkey on, so it might not matter anyway.

Thursday, December 23

christmas 2004, day 1

Judy came over this evening for our annual present exchange. Somehow, I think she's getting screwed on that deal. Let's see--she has to buy presents for three people, we have to buy for one. Hmmm. I'm no math major, but that doesn't seem to add up. Wait a minute--I was a math major, so maybe I'm right.

Jake was very excited at the prospect of getting some presents this evening. Last year, he kinda got the Christmas thing, but this year, he's running on high octane. He has been telling everyone all week about the fact that Judy was coming over on Thursday (just ask the daycare staff--they'll tell you). And today, he only asked every 15 minutes what time she was going to arrive. It's not so much he was anxious to see her (though he always is), but he was REALLY excited about opening some presents. And this, my friend, is just the beginning.

Anyway, we got some cool stuff and had a great time bs'ing all evening. A few adult beverages were also consumed, of course.

dishwasher=fixed

The repair guy came on Monday to take a look at the dishwasher. Of course, he had to order a part (we all saw this coming, didn't we?). Luckily, the part arrived today and he fixed it today, so my dishwasher is back in working order. And, by 'the part', I mean a new motor. The motor seal on the dishwasher was leaking and the only way to fix it was to replace the motor. So, I guess I will be adding Frigidaire to my list of companies to boycott (They're right up there with Dodge...Brian got a recall notice for his truck today. The upper ball joints for the front wheels might fail and the wheels might fall off while he's driving. How nice. At least Dodge is footing the bill for this one).

But getting back to the point, I know I use my dishwasher a lot, but shouldn't a motor last more than four years? The cost to repair the dishwasher was over 1/3 of the price we paid for it. Granted it was cheaper to fix than to buy a new dishwasher, but I think if this happens again, we're going to have to seriously think about replacing it.

Let the dishwashing commence!

Tuesday, December 21

now i've heard everything

I don't even feel the need to comment on the absurdity of this:
Extreme Ironing

Monday, December 20

my second haiku

Even more than snow
I do not like frigid temps
It is too damned cold.

frosty the monday

When I checked the temperature this morning it was minus two. Minus two. That's the actual temperature, not the wind chill factor. This is the sort of thing I'd expect to see in January, not in December. That is one of the many reasons why January sucks.

That's all I have to say.

Saturday, December 18

jaded

At some point in the past 10 years I started viewing holidays through jade-colored glasses. I'm not sure how or when this happened, but I believe it was a slow progression brought on by marriage and having twice as much family to contend with. When it comes down to it, I tend to have a good time wherever we spend the holidays, but the stress of thinking about all of the running around does me in beforehand.

But, then there are days like today...Last Christmas, Jacob was bemoaning the fact that he didn't have a Christmas tree for his bedroom. My father caught wind of this and picked him up a little artifical tree after the holidays. This morning, Brian and Jacob picked out and cut down our tree. While we were putting it up, I suggested that he decorate his tree. We got it all set up on a table, put on the lights, and he came out to the living room periodically and picked the ornaments he wanted to hang on his tree. On one of his trips, he exclaimed, "This is the best day of my life!" This even made me, the jaded holiday queen, smile (for more than a few minutes at that). Just wait till Christmas, kiddo. I guess this is one of the benefits of having a child--they can make you remember how much and why you enjoyed the holidays in the first place.

Friday, December 17

dishwasher blues

My dishwasher has been leaking all week. This happened once before and it was caused by the dishwasher being out of level. Unfortunately, that is not the case this time. Brian pulled the dishwasher out from under the cabinets and there's an important-looking part that's leaking underneath the dishwasher. When I say important, it's like the motor or something.

So, we had to call the repair guy. We waited all day for him to call back and he called to say that he can't come until Monday morning. Good thing I work at home that day. What do people with real jobs do when the repair guy has to come--take a vacation day? Anyway, I'm not thrilled about all of this because I'm going to be without a dishwasher for who knows how long. I'd put money on the fact that he's going to have to order a part for it, so that'll probably push the fix back until after Christmas.

I guess part of the reason I'm so bummed out about this is that we generally fix everything ourselves. What's next--hiring someone to remodel our bathroom? *gasp* The second reason is that I cook A LOT. The dishwasher is run every day. There are some days the dishwasher gets run two or three times.

Brian, being the sweetheart that he is, washed all of the dirty dishes that had been piling up in the kitchen. Will this be a regular occurrence until the dishwasher is back in order? Time will tell.

It's not like I always had a dishwasher to do my dishes. My mom always had one, but after I moved out, I didn't have one until we remodeled our kitchen in 2000. But, I'm afraid four years of not having to wash dishes has spoiled me and I'm going to be lamenting the fact that it is broken until I no longer have to wash dishes by hand anymore.

Thursday, December 16

bad santa

Now, that's my kind of holiday flick. No one's going to mistake this movie for It's a Wonderful Life, that's for sure. The movie was fairly amusing, but pretty much forgettable. Billy Bob Thornton, while a total freak in real life, is actually a pretty good actor. I like him (and Angelina Jolie) ever so much more now that they are divorced.

The whole Santa concept was interesting. I've done my best not to perpetuate the whole Santa thing with Jacob, but, as you know, he does have grandparents, so I cannot totally shield him from the myth. I remember figuring out the Santa thing at a very early age--mostly because Santa had the same hand-writing as my mom and stored our gifts under my parent's bed. And, oh yeah, we didn't have a chimney for him to come down. Jacob, being the little genius he is, is sure to figure it out himself sooner rather than later. But, we'll keep going along with the idea as long as is necessary. Just don't expect to see me at the mall in the line to see Santa.

The Flick Filosopher totally loved the movie, but what do you expect from an athiest?

Tuesday, December 14

let it snow!

Well, the first official snow of the season is upon us. Jake's all excited about playing in the snow. Lucky for me, my dad watched him while I worked today, so he got to go out and play in the snow with Jake. Surprisingly, they were out for quite a while.

On a sort-of related note, the "by Angela" stamp I bought for my Christmas cards came on Saturday, so I got all of my cards ready and they are being mailed this week. Seeing that I'm too lazy to go to the post office, I'm putting a few in our mailbox each day this week so they'll all be mailed by Friday. Friday, incidentally being "gift wrapping" day. Jake will be at preschool in the a.m., so Brian and I will get his gifts wrapped while he's gone (we're both off on Friday). After he comes home, he'll have to entertain himself upstairs while we wrap the rest. I guess we'll have to decorate the house a bit between Friday and Saturday as well. We also need to get our tree on Saturday. The place we buy our trees is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, hence the wait.

And, I've been baking dog treats like a mad woman since the weekend. Three recipes down, two to go. I still have my human treats to make. All of that should be wrapped up by the weekend. Busy week--not only here but at work as well. It seems like I'm always ridiculously busy at work around Christmas. You'd think I could catch a break somewhere. The main problem is that I'm doing some testing for a project I reviewed, and the testing takes four days. So, pretty much everything else is getting pushed back until I'm done, which will likely make my next few weeks incredibly busy. Oh well, at least it makes the day go fast. I don't mind having a lot of work to do, I just hate getting interrupted every few minutes when I'm trying to do it.

Sunday, December 12

weekend update

Today, the boys went to see Santa Claus at a Shriner's function in Altoona. They went with Pappy Law and Jake's cousin Erika. This gave me an opportunity to accomplish a few things on my Sunday "to do" list. First off, I took a nap (of course) on the couch with the pups. Then I went down to the shop to work on one of my finishing projects. Note to self: never do a finishing project after sleeping on the couch with the dogs. I spent about as much time picking yellow hairs out of the project as I did shellacing it. I guess we'll call it my "Mission Hair" finish.

Afterwards, I wrapped a few Christmas gifts. This coming Friday is our official gift wrapping day, but I thought I'd try to get a jump on things. Now that Jake is in the picture, gift wrapping has taken on a whole new dimension. After that, I ran to Em's for a sub. By the time I took two bites out of it, Jake and Brian returned (about an hour earlier than I expected). So, I still have some things to accomplish. Maybe after the Steeler game is over...

Friday, December 10

driving

Every time we are in the car, Brian says "just think, next year at this time, we could be on the motorcycle." This statement is patently false for two reasons:
1. Jake is always in the car with us. Three people cannot fit on one motorcycle (at least not legally without a sidecar--of which Brian's motorcycle is not going to be equipped).
2. It is winter and we live in Western PA.

Needless to say, he is even more excited about the motorcycle! motorcycle! motorcycle! now than he was before. He even has a timeline in place to get him through the next few months:
1. Christmas=good (presents!)
2. January=bad (nothing good ever comes out of January)
3. February=good (new tattoo for him and it's also his birth month)
4. March=good (time to order motorcycle accessories)
5. April=good (new tattoo for me & motorcycle safety course for him)
6. May=good (motorcycle delivery)

One subject that keeps coming up is whether to drive the motorcycle home or to have it delivered. Seeing that he will be taking the motorcycle safety course before delivery, I think he should decide after he sees how that goes. I mean, if he wrecks the bike at the course, he'd probably be better off having it delivered, you know? Otherwise, I guess I'll be trailing him in the RAV4 after pressing the 9-1 portion of 9-1-1 on our cell phone.

Thursday, December 9

is it spring yet?

I ordered a bunch of gardening stuff over the weekend--the main thing being a "grow light" system so that I can start my own plants from seed. Now, I'm anxious to start planting! The seed catalogs usually start coming out after Christmas, so the planting season is closer than it appears. I'll probably have to start planting stuff inside around February/March. I already have my garden plotted out for next year--how's that for anal?

Yes, I am the Queen of Anal Retentiveness. What can I say, I like to plan. I got it from my mother. I used to think all of her planning was ridiculous, but I have far eclipsed any planning benchmarks she ever set. I mean, I even have a "to do" list for the house that has the year a change is planned for. I could go on and on with more examples, but I probably shouldn't. That said, I should probably go and make another list or something.

time to play...name that illness!

Today, I feel kinda woozy, my nose is stuffy, and I have a sinus headache. I think I might have a minor sinus infection. Hopefully it will resolve on its own because I don't like taking antibiotics. Antibiotics are the devil. Besides, my doctor won't prescribe them without me having to go into the office and going into the doctor's office is something I like to avoid at all costs during the flu season (particularly when I haven't gotten a flu shot, like this year).

Sigh.

Wednesday, December 8

deja dead

aka CSI: Montreal

I finally finished reading Deja Dead this evening. It was written by an author named Kathy Reichs. I can't say I really enjoyed it, though it's probably because I'm not much into the whole crime scene investigation thing. This might be surprising to some, but is a fact nonetheless.

Since NYPD Blue is going off the air this year, I thought it might be a good idea to find another police drama to watch. CSI: NY seemed like a good choice (maybe we just picked it because it had NY in the title). Brian and I barely made it through one episode. It's not that we were grossed out--just bored. Everyone else seems to like those CSI shows, but we just couldn't get into them.

So, I guess it's no suprise that I wasn't into this book. My impetus for reading it was mainly to finish it so I could move onto something else. This should've been the tip-off...this was the author's first work of fiction--her previous books were "focused on forensic anthropology and fossil humans." Zzzzz.

On that note, I'm going to bed.

sickboy

Another health update. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to change the name of the blog. How about "Name that illness?!?"

Well, Jake was sick again last night, so he had to stay home from daycare today. Rather than taking another sick day, I opted to work at home (normally I work in the office on Wednesdays and Fridays, and at home the other days). Jake seemed to feel ok today, so that's good. Of course, he seemed to feel ok yesterday until he threw up all over the living room last night, so who can say? He kept himself busy by watching the tube most of the day. His eyes should be falling out any minute now. My mom's watching him tomorrow and Brian's off Friday, so hopefully this will give him a chance to recover before next week.

Tuesday, December 7

sardonic to the point of bitter*

When this phrase* was muttered on Three Sisters, I knew I found a character I could relate to. Three Sisters was a short lived (about one-and-a-half seasons) show on NBC a few years back. Not only did it deliver one of my all-time favorite lines, but it also had a profound influence on our lives--it was the impetus for the Sunday brunch that is now a staple at the house of Law.

The show wasn't that great to begin with, but a sitcom's a sitcom, and it did have its moments. The first season was much better than the second, so it's no wonder the show ended up cancelled. In the second season, they tried to make the 'bitter' sister more likeable, and the show went downhill from there. What's wrong with bitter, I ask?

Just daydreaming about the time when there were sitcoms...

Monday, December 6

sick day

Not for me, but for Jake. He had a belly ache when he went to bed last night. He woke up at 4:30am with the same issue. This quickly turned into the dreaded "stomach flu". Unfortunately for me, I couldn't fall asleep last night due to laying on the couch all afternoon yesterday, so I got a whopping 3.5 hours of sleep last night. In retrospect, I guess I should've just stayed up and finished watching the Steeler game.

Anyway, I had to take today off in order to take care of him. He's doing much better now--he even had some crackers and tea. I think he'll be fine tomorrow. I'll be happy just as long as I don't catch what he has. If you thought I washed my hands a lot before, you should see me today. OCD--it's for me.

Sunday, December 5

oh, my aching head

I thought I had a cold last week--it turns out that was just a precursor for today. At 3am this morning, I awoke to a sore throat. I have a splitting headache and my nose has been running all day. I still made it to church today and we had our traditional Sunday brunch, but after that, I laid on the couch for a few hours.

But, there's always work to be done, so I'm up and at it again. I only hope I feel better tomorrow. I hardly think I'll need to call off sick, but I have a lot to do at work this week, so I'd prefer if I didn't feel like crap while I was doing it. And, this is the last week I'll have to work a Friday until 2005. Brian and I took off the 17th in order to get ready for Christmas. And, we're off due to the holidays the following two weeks.

Saturday, December 4

productive day

Brian had to help his Dad with some electrical work at his house today, so he and Jake went there this morning. I expected them to be back by now, but forgot the cardinal rule of Law time management--whenever someone with the last name of Law says something is going to take x amount of hours, you can safely double it.

I'm not complaining, though. In their absence, I accomplished a lot of things today in addition to my usual Saturday chores. All without interruption, I might add. Additionally, I managed to grab a coveted nap this afternoon. All in all, a good day.

Right now, there's a pot of lamb and barley stew simmering on the stove. Hopefully I won't have to eat it all myself.

Friday, December 3

american wedding

Not being in the mood for intellectual stimulation this evening, I suggested that we watch American Wedding, which was playing on HBO (It's not TV, it's HBO.) this evening. I have to say, we were both pleasantly surprised. I laughed, I laughed till I cried (twice). It was all good. And, the perfect way to end a long week. Besides, that guy who plays Stiffler is darned cute. He must be quite the actor, because I can't imagine how hard it would be to play that big of an ass.

The Flick Filosopher didn't have anything to say about the movie.

it's that time of the month

You know, time to go to the liquor store! I made my monthly trip there today and picked up a little extra for the holidays. One more thing to check off my Christmas "to do" list. While there, I picked up the holy trinity of alcohol (according to the book of Angela, chapter 6, verse 13)--tequila, rum, and vodka. Mmm. Methinks this is going to be a margarita night. I ran out of liquor last weekend and could use a good stiff drink this evening. If you don't think a margarita is a stiff drink, then you're not making them right.

Thursday, December 2

time

Time is something I don't have too much of. I am constantly busy. When I'm not busy, it only means that I'm procrastinating. There are always things to do around the house. And if I ever run out of actual work, I can always fall back on my hobbies. It probably wouldn't kill me to practice my guitar or bass once in a while.

With the holidays upon us, things are even worse. There's all of the holiday crap to deal with: decorating, shopping, wrapping gifts, baking, parties, visiting, sending cards, etc. As if I don't have enough to do already.

There are some people, however, who apparently have too much time on their hands. Take this site, for instance. Whoever compiled this list of fictitious books certainly had a lot of reading to do. The Stephen King ones alone would've kept me busy for quite a while. And, it just goes to show how busy I am--I never even would have thought to compile such a list.

Wednesday, December 1

you might be a redneck if...

I work at the office on Wednesdays. I rarely make it in on time (I'm 5-10 minutes late, usually), but I've been making a concerted effort the past few weeks to get to work on time because they changed breakfast time at the daycare. So, if Jake is to eat, I need to get his butt there early. OK, so I don't really care about getting to work on time--Jake just needs to get to daycare in time for breakfast. But, if he's on time, I'm on time, and we're all happy.

This morning, time was on my side for a change. I went into the kitchen to pack my lunch and looked out the window to see one of our garbage cans blown halfway across the yard. The other garbage can was nowhere in sight. So, half-dressed and with wet hair, I braved the elements and went on a garbage can/lid scavenger hunt and reclaimed our property. (At least I think the cans I reclaimed were ours. Either way, we win.)

Now for my pet peeve. Normally Tuesday is our garbage day. But, Monday was a special holiday here in western PA otherwise known as "First Day of Buck Season", so the garbage men had the day off and it pushed back pickup by a day for the rest of the week. Otherwise, we could've avoided the situation entirely.

I guess it could've been worse. Our neighbors lost about a half dozen shingles on their newly shingled roof. I can always buy a new garbage can, but I'd prefer to not have any roofing projects on my plate in December.

Oh yeah, I was 5-10 minutes late this morning.

rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

The 40th Anniversary showing of Rudolph was on this evening. We thought Jake might enjoy it, so we all watched it. Boy, did that bring back the memories. Remember when the month of December used to drag on for an infinity? Now, time seems to go by so fast. All December means to me anymore is that I have a crapload of work to do in order to get ready for Christmas.

I used to watch all of those Christmas specials every year when I was a kid. Jake enjoyed it for the most part, though he yelled "BORING!" during the singing parts. And the stop-motion animation looks so dated--nothing like the CGI used for movies like Shrek, that's for sure.

Monday, November 29

winter cold

Jake and I both caught our first colds of the season over the weekend. I can't believe it held off until almost December this year. It was two years ago that we were both sick from August till May. That year sucked. These are the things they don't tell you about when you decide to have a kid. But, I guess this daycare thing will pay off next year--by the time Jake starts school, he should be immune to just about every bug out there.

And speaking of cold, the weather hasn't been too bad. I actually like having some snow for Christmas, but other than that, I can do without it. If we can just get to January without a permanent blanket of snow on the ground, I'll call it a winner.

Saturday, November 27

attic project, part 2 continued

Jake stayed at my parent's last night, so that gave Brian and I an opportunity to finish up our attic project. Assuming all goes well this winter, we should be done up there. Otherwise, we might need to add some more insulation. Time will tell. I'm almost looking forward to some snow just to see if our project worked or not.

That said, everything was put back in the attic, so the library/office space looks about as good as it's going to. I still have some cleaning to do in the library, but as we found out with the office, that probably won't make much of a difference.

Friday, November 26

sometimes i wonder...

...if it might not be cheaper to just buy a new vehicle. My car went to the garage today for some routine maintenance and an inspection. The garage called to say that it also needs some brake-work and new tires. I can almost see my money flying out the window. Granted, brakes and tires are maintenance items, but they don't come up all that often (unlike an oil change). Oh yeah, Brian's truck needs new tires as well. Needless to say, between this and our previous expenses, our vehicle maintenance fund has been depleted. Let's hope nothing else comes up until it has time to replenish itself.

OK, so it really wouldn't be cheaper to buy a new vehicle unless we were paying out $300+ per month in maintenance costs, but I can certainly dream, can't I? Unless my car falls over and dies, I won't be getting new vehicle until Brian's truck is paid off and that's a good two-and-a-half years away, so I guess I should get used to it. In the meantime, I'm glad we live only two blocks from our mechanic's.

Thursday, November 25

thanksgiving 2004

We spent this Thanksgiving with Brian's family. His Aunt Phyl and Uncle John hosted this year's event. They live in Scottdale, PA, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away. There were various representatives from both families there. All in all it was a nice day.

Jake spent most of the afternoon playing with Brian's cousin Erin and her fiance Justin. Kudos to them because they were playing with him like they were enjoying it. He had a blast. Since Jake was the only kid there, it really made his day.

The only downer today was coming home. We were just about to go up Ligonier Mountain and saw a firetruck blocking the road. As it turns out, the road was a sheet of ice, so it was closed. There had already been an accident on it so I guess they weren't looking for any more trouble. The firemen told us of an alternate route to get home, which added 45 extra minutes to our trip.

This evening we're just hanging out and watching television at home--bouncing between the Pitt/WVU game and the NBC comedies.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 24

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Let me preface this review by sayin' that Jacob spent Monday, Tuesday, an' Wednesday (today) at daycare. Daycare requires naps in th' afternoon. Jacob dasn't need t' take a nap anymore. If he does, then he's up very late. So, after three days o' naps...well, ye get th' picture. So, I thought it'd be a good idee t' watch a movie this evenin' since we don't be havin' t' get up early tomorrow. I thought he'd be into it since thar were sea dogs in it, but it unfortunately only held his attention fer an hour.

Anyway, this was a pretty cool movie, from what I can tell. If ye've e'er tried t' watch a movie while a four year old was runnin' around th' room, ye'd understand what I'm talkin' about. Brian particularly liked th' skeleton buccanneers--nay surprise thar. In honor o' th' film, we drank grog and coke while watchin' it. Johnny Depp be a pretty cool actor. But, this movie does raise an important question--do all buccanneers wear eye makeup?

Th' Flick Filosopher liked it, too.

Arrr.

Translation provided by Pirate Speak.

gmail anyone?

When I set up my gmail account, I received six (count 'em, six) gmail invites for your emailing pleasure. So, if anyone wants one, e-mail me and you can have one. First come, first served.

Monday, November 22

pig sty

The upstairs part of our house (where our office is and our library will be) is a total pig sty. This is mostly due to the fact that it has been a work in progress for a few years and will be for a few more years to come.

It finally got so bad that Brian commented on it. My response was that if it was bothering him so much, maybe he should quit complaining about it and go clean the room. Much to my surprise, he did just that on Saturday. And, that motivated me to mop the floors up there (which I did after work today).

While the office looks about 10 times better than it did before it was cleaned, it still looks like a pig sty. Hence, my lack of motivation to clean it in the first place.

I consider this whole situation to be a trade-off. His cat's litter box is also upstairs. I got sick of nagging him to clean it. So, after eight years of having a cat in the house, I'm now cleaning the litter box for the first time. Eating my own words, I guess.

Saturday, November 20

christmas shopping: done

Today, I met my goal of completing my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. I had to go to Boscov's in order to complete it. *gasp* I think I ordered just about everything else through the internet. If only I could get my groceries through the internet, I wouldn't ever have to leave the house.

There are a few items on backorder, but they are scheduled to arrive before Christmas. Of course, the items I ordered from Brian's Rickety Ol' Furniture Shoppe haven't arrived yet, but I expect them by December 24. I don't know how that place stays in business...

We normally reserve a weekend around 10 days before Christmas to get our tree, decorate the house, and wrap all of the gifts. I'd do it earlier, but gifts are a lot easier to store when they're not wrapped. In the meantime, I need to address all of my Christmas cards (which are hand-made this year, by the way) and Brian needs to take a picture of Jacob so that I can send one out with the cards. Oh yeah, there's also the baking. I don't make a ton of cookies, because we don't really get that much company over the holidays. I actually make more dog treats, if you can believe it. I give most of them away to people who love their dogs as much as I do. It's a lot of fun and Jake likes to help with the baking.

150 bottles of wine on the wall

150 bottles of wine. Take one down, pass it around, 149 bottles of wine on the wall...

We bottled two batches of wine last evening. One was a Primativo Syrah and the other a Pinot Blanc. We got a little over two cases each. Both were pretty tasty so I'm sure they'll be even better once they've had the opportunity to bottle age for a few months. These were the remaining two kits from my 2004 Limited Edition collection. Tomorrow, when I put them on the wine racks, that'll bring my total up to 150 bottles of wine! If I plan on keeping up with Brian, I guess I'd better get drinking.

Last week, Brian ordered my 2005 Limited Edition kits. So, the wine cycle will begin again in January. All five kits for next year look pretty good.

I also have a hankering for some strawberry wine, so if I can squeeze a batch of that in this summer, I'll be happy. It's been a few years since I've made it, so I guess I'm due. We'll see.

Friday, November 19

today's lesson

Mea culpa. I had erroneously been referring to the 'national debt' as the 'national deficit' (previous posts have since been fixed). It turns out that the national debt is the total amount of money that the government owes, whereas the 'national deficit' (or budget deficit) is the amount the government overspends in a single year. If you add up the national deficit numbers from every year, you get the national debt.

If the government doesn't overspend, it's called a budget surplus. Clinton was the only president in recent history to have a budget surplus. Bush took care of that "problem".

Our elected officials, in their infinite wisdom, have increased the national debt limit to $8.18 trillion. If this doesn't screw up the economy, I don't know what will. Alan Greenspan concurs.

National debt: $7,449,106,021,485.29
Your share: $25,264.80

You can send your contribution here:
ATTN DEPT G
BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT
P O BOX 2188
PARKERSBURG, WV 26106-2188

Thursday, November 18

jesus complex

OK. So, Jake's taking karate. About a week or so after he started, we received our payment booklet and some general information from the karate school. One of the things they ask of the students is that they wash their feet before going to class. Karate class is conducted in bare feet, so I can see their point. Anyway, the first time I washed Jake's feet he was pretty into it. Now, every week, way before it's time to leave for karate, he's asking to have his feet washed.

The first time he asks me to wash his feet with perfume and my hair will be the end of karate as we know it.

Call me Mary Magdalene.

Wednesday, November 17

politics, as usual

Comedian Janeane Garofalo was quoted saying that "being a Republican this year is more than a difference of opinion—it's a character flaw." I couldn't have said it better myself.

I should mention that I don't normally talk politics. In fact, I don't normally even make my politics known. Occasionally I will do so with like-minded people, but even that's pretty rare because I don't ever bring the subject up. So, it kind of has to present itself.

The reason I don't talk politics with non-like-minded people is that I'm not going to change their opinion and they're not going to change mine, so what's the point in discussing anything? I'm not one to argue just for the sake of arguing. I can find better things to do with my time (like pontificate on my blog, for example).

It is interesting that I don't seem to have any problem discussing politics on my blog. Of course it could have something to do with my audience (you know, all six of them). For many of my readers, I'm preaching to the choir. For the others, I guess you're learning something new about me, eh? Don't agree with me? Get your own blog.

National debt: $7,451,639,974,177.92
Your share: $25,274.76

Monday, November 15

what would brian do?

Evidently the answer is "drink all of the beer."

This evening, I was raiding my wine bottle supply in order to find a few cases of empties. This Friday, we are hoping to bottle my last two batches of wine for the year. I found just enough so I am in good shape for the pending event.

While going through all of the boxes in our storage area, I happened upon some bottles of beer that Brian made (last year, perhaps?). One of the cases (12, 20-ounce bottles) was one of the better batches he's made--oatmeal stout. So, he was pretty excited about my find. Apparently all of the excitement muddled his brain (or maybe it was the hockey puck he took to the noggin last Friday), because the conversation we had went something like this:

Brian: "This is great. I'll have to put two in the fridge and try them out and make sure they're still drinkable."
Angela: "Yeah, I can't remember exactly when you made that beer. But, since it's a stout, it'll probably still be ok."
Brian: "We'll be able to drink this at practice on Saturday. It's too bad John's not drinking beer right now because I don't know how Shawn and I are ever going to be able to drink all of this in one night."
Angela: "So, what you're trying to say is that Saturday is the last time you're ever going to have practice? You won't be able to drink some of the beer this Saturday, and say, some of the beer the following Saturday?"
Brian (with a look of dawning realization on his face): "Oh, right..."

So, if you ever find yourself questioning what to do with your alcohol supply, just ask yourself, WWBD?

Friday, November 12

'twas a hockey night in johnstown

Brian, Jacob, and I went to a Chiefs game with Judy this evening. A good time was had by all until Brian got his bell rung by an errant hockey puck. After that point, only Judy, Jacob, and I were having a good time. There's nothing like a hockey puck to the noggin to put you in a bad mood. Or, so I am told.

Of course, Jacob ate the whole game, so how could he not have a good time? Eating is his favorite pastime. It's almost hard to believe that he's thin--I don't see how he could possibly eat any more food in one day. Just what are these overweight kids eating, anyway? Sticks of butter for their snacks?

So, we're walking to the car after the game, and there's someone in the parking lot explaining how to use a chainsaw to their friend. That's something you don't see very often.

By the way, the Chiefs decided to win tonight's game for a change, rather than tie it. They beat Peoria 6-5.

Thursday, November 11

last letters home

Brian made us watch this HBO documentary this evening. I was not up for such a show (actually, I wouldn't ever watch a documentary such as this on my own volition--too depressing). Thursday nights are for sitcoms, but try finding one to watch (but that was a different post for a different day).

Anyway, I tried to not watch the show, but you couldn't help but pay attention to it. The documentary was about 10 soldiers who died in the Iraq war and the last letters they wrote to their families. The documentary showcased the 10 soldiers and their families (quite a small sample of the 1100+ who have died so far). Members of the soldiers' families read the last letters they received from the soldier and discussed their lives.

Very sad. It's even sadder when you think that the person who put them there never served a day in his life, but we'll just try to stick to the subject at hand. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want my kid in a war, either. But, I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who has served in the Armed Forces.

If you are looking for a reason to be depressed, I highly recommend this program. I also highly recommend it for Republicans or anyone else who thinks that war is a good idea. I never thought of myself as a peace-loving, hippie type, but that lifestyle is starting to look pretty good to me.

Number of days until the next presidential election: 1245

Wednesday, November 10

i don't like s&m

Oh, the things kids say...

Today, Jacob took a bag of Skittles from his arsenal of Halloween treats. For the uninitiated, Skittles look just like M&Ms, but they have an "s" printed on them rather than an "m". After eating a few of them, he decided that Skittles weren't for him. So, he came out to the kitchen to inform me, "I don't like S&Ms. I want some M&Ms instead." I think most of us can agree with him.

Tuesday, November 9

where have all the sitcoms gone?

I like sitcoms. There don't seem to be many on these days, though. Reality TV is all that's on anymore. I haven't watched reality TV since the first few seasons of the Real World on MTV. And, let me tell you, that was quite a while ago. Nowadays, if I'm looking for reality, you won't find me in front of the television.

The sitcoms I like are the following:
1. Malcolm in the Middle
2. Arrested Development
3. Scrubs
4. Joey
5. Will and Grace

And, thank goodness for Friends reruns on WJAC. I've seen all of the episodes at least six times a piece and they're still funny. How can that be?

At least this lack of quality TV is allowing us to catch up on our movie watching--particularly since we got HBO a while back. Yeah--that, and the "free" Starz channels the cable company added on recently. In cable-speak, free translates to $10/month, in case you were wondering. Like they need a reason to increase the cable bill.

Sunday, November 7

how 'bout them steelers?

The Steelers won another one today--against the formerly undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. Every year, you hear people talking about how they think the Steelers have a chance to go to the Superbowl (well, if you live in Western PA, you do). This year, I heard the usual conversation and said, "Yeah, the Steelers have about the same chance of going to the Superbowl as the Red Sox do of winning the pennant."

Food for thought.

pie crust

The youth group at our church was holding their annual apple dumpling fund raiser today. We bought one for each of us. Brian and I are saving ours for "supper". We're going to have some hot sausage sandwiches and baked beans while we watch the Steeler game this afternoon and didn't want to ruin our appetites. Jake, on the other hand, doesn't have such concerns. So, he went downstairs with it once we got home and ate his in front of the tube.

He brought up his plate when he was done. I noticed that there was an awful lot of pie crust left (like, just about all of it), but the apple was history. What the heck's the matter with that kid--doesn't he know that the only reason we eat pie is for the pie crust?!? It is not socially acceptable to just eat pie crust, so we have to eat the fruit that goes along with a pie, just to keep up the facade. But, no, that's not good enough for "he who must have fruit." He give up the nutritionally void part of the dessert for the healthier portion.

Apparently, I'm doing something right here, but I'm not quite sure what it is.

Saturday, November 6

misery

I just finished reading that cockadoodie book by Stephen King this evening. It was one bitchly book. I've read that effing thing so many times that I can't even count. It was a Christing good movie, but the book was so much effing better. So, if you haven't read this effing story yet, get off your big bastard of an ass and do it immediately.

Now I must rinse.

beef: it's what's for dinner

I just finished defrosting my freezer in anticipation of the side of beef my mom and I are getting next week. We'll each be getting 150+ pounds of beef, so none of us in either family should end up anemic in the next year.

The beef is from a farm in Friedens, PA (which is in Somerset County). They raise Black Angus cattle there. Mmm, delicious. Their meat is hormone-free and they raise their own feed, so that helps them to score some points with me. I'm not some kind of organic zealot, but I try to take the healthier route whenever it is available.

Let's see, I've done the pork and beef thing already this year. Maybe next time, I'll try a whole chicken! I probably won't split it with my mom, though. (I can almost hear the groans.)

kill bill vol. 1

Last night was another margarita and a movie night.

I wasn't planning on liking this movie. I just wasn't interested in watching a gratuitously violent movie last night. However, I did like the film. Don't get me wrong, there was more arterial spray than you could shake a cauterizing gun at, but it was still pretty entertaining. The violence was so extreme that it was almost comical. So, I guess we'll be watching Kill Bill Vol. 2 when it comes to cable.

The Flick Filosopher hated the film, but her review is pretty accurate anyway. I guess we are all entertained by different things.

Friday, November 5

emotive

I got the new A Perfect Circle album, eMOTIVe, yesterday. There are a few songs on it that I like and a few that I will never like. But, I would have bought the album no matter what, just to support the band. They definitely made the covers their own. Maynard seems to have added a new vocal style to his repertoire--the jury's still out on that one, though.

Of my two favorites, Imagine and Passive, Passive is my favorite. Passive is from Trent Reznor's Tapeworm project that never came to fruition. I was never really into the song Imagine before, but I like this version of it well enough.

If you thought their last album was too mellow, this one is definitely not for you. All in all, I liked the t-shirt I got with the cd better than the cd.

Wednesday, November 3

old joke

Brian said not to post this because the image is like, two years old (though he saw it with different text). But, I can't stop laughing about it so here you go.

Number of days until the next presidential election: 1461

what's that in the air?

The stench of defeat...

Things aren't looking good for the Kerry campaign. I guess there's still a chance that they'll win the election, but I've resigned myself to another four years of W. Unfortunately. I'd like to thank all of you one-issue voters for making this possible.

The only thing I have to console myself with is the fact that Kerry won Pennsylvania. What this means is that even if everyone I know voted for Bush, it doesn't matter. Thank you, electoral college.

National debt: $7,451,711,310,009.45
Your portion: $25,285.61

Tuesday, November 2

vote

I hope you all voted today. If not, then we dedicate the next rottenstone song to you. And that's not a compliment.

Brian and I always vote after supper. We were numbers 502 and 503, respectively. I don't ever remember getting a number that high, so voter turnout must've been good today. We can only hope so. A high turnout translates to minorities and youth which translates to a Kerry victory. We'll see...

Sunday, October 31

halloween

A wise man (Peter Steele) once said, "Every day is Halloween." While this might be true for some people all of the time, it was certainly true for everyone today. But, it was apparently true for less people this year than last--we have a ton of candy left over. I wonder if it was because trick or treat night was on a Sunday this year. Normally, it is on a Thursday.

Jake was "Batman Beyond". Whatever that is. You be the judge--view our Halloween pictures here. The kid was so anxious to get home and eat his candy that he hardly went to any houses. Sooner or later, he'll learn the lesson of Halloween: the longer you stay out, the more candy you get. And while this might delay the instant gratification of eating your candy at 6:15 on Halloween, you will be eating candy for many more days. And, that makes it all worthwhile.

Saturday, October 30

attic project, part 2

Since Jake was at the grandparent's today, Brian and I spent the day working on our on-going attic project. We*** inserted baffles in order to keep the insulation off of the roof deck and to improve ventilation for the soffits we previously installed (see attic project, part 1 for details). We also tripled our available storage space by putting more flooring down in the eaves.

So, half of the attic is now completed. We're slated to do the other half next month. Of course, the other half will be a bigger pain because there's more stuff stored in that part. And to make it even more of a challenge, there's ductwork and pipes running all over the place.

At least the job went quickly. It probably only took 3 to 3 1/2 hours, which is better than I would have guessed. Either way, I'm still beat. I could really use a nap right about now, but we're off to pick up Jake soon, so I guess I can forget about that idea. At least I'll get an extra hour of sleep tonight--don't forget to turn back those clocks!

***When I say 'we', I mean Brian. He got to roll around in insulation all day, while I mostly handed him stuff. But, he wasn't complaining. Some help is better than no help, I guess.

Friday, October 29

bass and keys

Jake is staying at Brian's parent's tonight so this evening was dedicated to rottenstone. I completed the bass and Brian completed the keys for our latest song, (a)pathetic. It sounds pretty cool, if I do say so myself. Brian hasn't written the lyrics for the song yet and I have yet to write my first guitar solo (think: Kurt Cobain), so the song probably won't be done for a bit since Jake isn't scheduled at the grandparent's again till the weekend after Thanksgiving. So, we'll have to see if we can squeeze some rottenstone time in before then.

Wednesday, October 27

vampires need not apply

This afternoon, I planted 216 cloves of garlic in my garden. Just in time for Halloween--our whole neighborhood should be vampire-free thanks to my efforts.

That might sound like a lot, but it's about the same amount I planted last year (and I've been tearing through that supply at an alarming pace. I guess making a recipe that has 46 cloves of garlic in it isn't exactly helping to ration the supply). I planted four varieties, two of which are new (to me). I'm trying to determine which varieties grow the best in our soil. That will give me a little more flexibility when ordering my garlic for planting. Sometimes I forget to order early and the choices are limited.

It's kind of cool to plant stuff in the fall. Once spring arrives and the garlic plants start shooting up, it's like an instant garden. We haven't even gotten any snow yet and I'm already looking forward to spring. It's going to be a long winter...Remind me again why I live in Western PA?

Tuesday, October 26

baseball

'Brian, do you like baseball? I hate baseball.'

For almost 11 years I've known Brian. Not once have I had to watch a baseball game. Suddenly, we're watching baseball every night. And, he's enjoying it. You think you know someone...

Monday, October 25

political rant

I don't know why the current election pisses me off so much (well, ok, I have some ideas), but when I see a Bush/Cheney sign in someone's yard or a sticker on their car, I make a mental note to not like that person. I'm anxious for the election to be over so I can stop judging everyone on earth.

And, no matter how it turns out, I'm sure I'll live. I mean, I got through the past four years, didn't I? Kerry certainly wasn't my first choice for a Democratic contender, but I'll take him. And if/when Bush gets re-elected, at least there's a silver-lining to that cloud...Hillary in 2008!

Did I just say that? Uh oh. For reasons such as this, I don't have comments turned on in my blog. That is, I don't care about YOUR opinion.

This message was brought to you by riesling-gewurztraminer.

got wood?

As you might remember, Brian bought a bunch of lumber at an auction on Saturday. All of the loading/unloading of the truck must've affected his brain. That night, as we were going to bed, I asked him a question about the project he's currently working on in the shop. His response was "I have enough wood." Needless to say, that wasn't a valid answer for my question. Apparently he was drifting off to sleep and thinking about the day's activities while I was talking. Indeed, we have enough wood.

In sort-of related wood news, we celebrated "Law Arbor Day 2004" yesterday by planting a dogwood tree, a white spruce, and four more yews (hedges). We've been planting stuff every fall for the past four years. I hope to finally finish off the hedges next year (we need around 6-8 more plants). Other than that, we're good on the tree count. The only major landscaping I have left is around the shed and to create a herb garden. The herb garden is planned for next spring, but I think I might drag the shed thing out for a few years.

Sunday, October 24

21 grams

21 grams is supposedly the weight of the human soul. It is also one cool movie. Brian and I caught it on Starz last night.

It was 30 minutes into the movie before I could figure out what the heck was going on. It was rather Memento-like in that the scenes were played in a different order than they happened. Once I figured that out, the movie started to make some sense. And, Brian and I really like Naomi Watts--she's such a great actress. Whenever I want to see a movie again as soon as it's over, that's how I know it was good. It's on again Wednesday, so we're going to catch it again then. There were a lot of interruptions (i.e. Jake) during the viewing last night, so I'm sure we missed some cool stuff.

Strangely enough, the Flick Filosopher didn't have anything to say about the movie.

Saturday, October 23

with visions of cherry furniture dancing in my head

Well, we finally won the lottery today--the auction lottery. In the past few years, Brian has attended the occasional auction in an attempt to get some cheap lumber. The only thing he ever won the bid on was a small pile of oak.

Today there was an auction that had some cherry and maple--the two types of wood we need. So, Brian went and won the motherlode--two truckloads of wood (mostly cherry). His friend John was there (unfortunately for him) and had his truck. And being the nice guy that he is, he offered to help Brian haul the lumber home.

Of course, we don't have any place to store that much lumber, so into the shed it went. It's sitting in the spot reserved for the motorcycle! motorcycle! motorcycle!. Looks like Brian has a lot of work to do before next spring in order to reclaim his spot...

Thursday, October 21

sponge bob the second

I almost forgot to mention the new addition to the family, Jake's new betta fish, Sponge Bob II. Hopefully this betta will live longer than the original Sponge Bob's 5 days. He ate a bunch of fish food today, so he's already ahead of the game. I think I might buy him a larger home tomorrow, perhaps a nice goldfish bowl would do the trick. We'll see if he's still alive in the morning and then I'll decide.

the karate kid

Brian and I always vowed that if we ever had children, they would take karate. This revelation came after watching a bunch of little kids expending all of their energy while we went to watch a friend practice karate a number of years ago.

With much apprehension and even a few tears in anticipation of, Jacob had his first karate lesson this evening at Joe Goss Karate. Jacob takes a while to warm up to situations in general, so this was no different. He was all freaked out about going and has been talking about it for days now. But, once we got there and all of the kids started to arrive, I knew everything was going to go well. After the lesson was over, he came out to the waiting room and proclaimed "I love karate!"

I knew he would.

Wednesday, October 20

busted

I tried to cash one of Brian's expense checks this afternoon (for the whopping amount of $5.88) and was reprimanded by the bank teller: "Angela, did you sign both names on this check?" Duh.

So, instead of cashing it, they had to deposit the darned thing. I've only been signing Brian's checks for about 8 years now. It must've been a new teller, because all of the other ones I've gone to sure didn't care. Jake's more pissed than I am, though--he didn't get a lollipop.

Tuesday, October 19

i'm angela law and I had prunes for breakfast

Maybe if the politicians were saying that instead of their usual spiel, they wouldn't be so full of shit.

At any rate, the election is two weeks away. Make sure you exercise your right to vote--even if it is for the wrong candidate (I think we all know who I'm talking about). I'll need someone to blame if/when the world goes to hell in the next four years.

my first haiku

I hope the rain ends
Before the winter arrives
I do not like snow.

Let's just say that this was inspired by the weather. If you live in western PA, you know what I'm talking about.

Monday, October 18

bushisms

Surely everyone has heard about these before. But, they're worth another look since the election is so close. They always crack me up until I realize that the guy who is saying these funny things is the leader of the free world. Yikes.

Sunday, October 17

here we go steelers

Here we go.

Hooray--the Steelers beat Dallas today. Sometimes I watch Dallas games just so I can root against them. It's always sweeter when a team I like beats them, though.

Jake, however, was not rooting for the Steelers (don't tell Pappy Law). He decided that he "likes that team Shawn likes". Just don't quiz him on the name of the team...

The Dark Tower VII

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." So began the greatest literary series in history. I finished The Dark Tower VII this afternoon and was not disappointed. It seems that I've been reading the series for about as long as Roland has been searching for the tower. What an incredible journey. Reading the last book in the series only makes me want to start over again!

Thankee-sai Stephen King. I can only hope your retirement is a temporary distraction.

Saturday, October 16

my favorite pastime

Vacation is officially over. This afternoon, I finished painting the library. Can I hear an amen?

While I was painting, I also had a mean marinara sauce simmering on the stove. Yum. While it was cooking, Jake remarked how delicious it smelled. Then, when it was time to eat supper, he said, "You were cooking sauce?!? I thought you were making food!" Needless to say, he ate his pasta plain.

(a)pathetic

That's the name of the new Rottenstone song, of which I recorded the guitar this evening while drinking a margarita (it is Friday night, you know). It's a song about voter apathy (pretty appropriate for this time of the year). The recording during the first half of the margarita sounded much better than the second half (I start sounding like Jimmy Buffet after a margarita. For those of you who think this is a good thing, sadly, it is not), so we ended up fixing my mistakes rather than trying to re-record the song. I'm anxious to hear what it sounds like to a sober ear tomorrow.

Somehow the recording session took a "Right Turn" into a Stone Rotten session where we jammed on songs like "Doll Parts" for about "Twenty Minutes". It was rather fun. We really need to start the Stone Rotten thing up again. For those of you who don't know, Stone Rotten is our (me & Brian's) acoustic cover "band". We normally play to an audience of none, in case you were hoping to catch one of our performances.

Thursday, October 14

shark tale

This afternoon, Jake shut the TV off long enough for us to go to the movies and see Shark Tale. I was hoping to catch a movie at the Westwood Plaza Theatre, but nothing good was playing so we went to Richland instead. That's the first time I'd been to the new theater--it's very nice.

Anyway, the movie was ok. We all enjoyed it, but I don't think we have to worry about it winning any Oscars or anything. We were the only people in the theater so that was cool. I guess most people are at work on Thursday afternoons...

The Flick Filosopher hated the movie, however: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/flickfilos/archive/2004/sharktale.shtml

TV's back on, of course.

Wednesday, October 13

powerball fantasies

Yeah, I know someone won the powerball last weekend. I also know it wasn't me. But, I was just thinking how nice it would be to never have to go to work again. Brian and I are both off all week, so it's easy to think about such things when you're hanging around the house with nothing better to do.

But, we do have a plan...while we were on our vacation, we played this little game where we'd guess what elevator was going to open (the hotel had six elevators, but only one button controlled them, so you never knew which one was going to open). Guess who won almost every round? Jake, the elevator savant. So, next week, we're going to introduce him to a new game. It's called "pick the winning lottery numbers".

Till then, I'm yearning for the day when weekends don't matter anymore.

Tuesday, October 12

pittsburgh, pa

Brian, Jacob, and I spent a long weekend in Pittsburgh. Sort of a pseudo-vacation if you will. Here are the details:

Saturday:
Carnegie Museum of Natural History & Carnegie Museum of Art

These two places go hand-in-hand because they are in the same building. Basically, the Museum of Natural History is the "dinosaur place" and pretty much the reason we went there. I had forgotten how cool the dinosaurs were. We didn't catch much of the Museum of Art because, as you might recall, we took a 4 year old with us. Though we did manage to walk through the section labelled "Adult Content". We peeked in and saw a bunch of nude statues and said "what's the big deal about that?". Of course while peeking in, we couldn't see the pictures of all of the pole dancers on the walls. Oops. Oh well, it's nothing he hasn't already seen on the Sopranos.

I should preface my next story by saying that there are a ton of glass doors throughout the museums. As we were leaving one area of the art museum, I heard a thunk. It was the sound of Jake's head connecting with the glass door. Apparently the museum window washers do a fine job, because he did not see the door. I turned around to see what was going on and he yelped "Nufin' happened!" That, coupled with the mortified look on his face and Brian choking back a laugh did me in. I couldn't stop laughing. The more I laughed, the madder he got. Poor kid. He'll probably be scarred for life.

That evening, we were trying to figure out where to eat dinner. Brian didn't want to eat at the hotel, so we went for a walk in order to find a restaurant. A few blocks from the hotel was Max & Erma's. Brian didn't want to eat there either, because we were going there on Sunday before the game. So we walked until we got lost and still hadn't found a decent restaurant. By this point, Max & Erma's sounded pretty good. Once we found our way back and settled in at the restaurant, Jake announced "I never want to eat at this restaurant again!". Little did he know that we were only 2 blocks from the hotel, and not actually one hour away by foot.

Sunday:
Steeler game

We met up with Brian's parents and our niece Erika at Max and Erma's before the game. We trekked over to the stadium on foot. It was a bit of a haul to the stadium, but the Steelers pulled out another victory, so it was well worth it. I hate to say it, but the Steelers almost look good this season. I guess we'll find out what they're made of once they start playing some real teams. Next week: the Cowboys. That will be a good test. I hate the Cowboys, though, so they better win.

We spent the rest of the evening watching football on the tube. Jake busied himself playing with some toys I bought for the (football-watching) occasion. I bought two toys for our trip. We planned on giving one to him on Saturday night and the other Sunday night. Well, we were sitting around talking on Saturday and didn't notice that he was looking through our luggage and he found both toys, so we gave them to him then. Booger. But, they did the job and kept him busy Saturday and Sunday evening.

Monday:
Carnegie Science Center
Station Square

We planned on catching a boat to the science center, but since it's the off-season, the boats only run on weekends. And, the closest bridge to walk over was under construction, so we had to take the long way around. Why we didn't just hop in the car at this point, I have no idea. All of the walking we did to that point must have affected our brains. So we walked over to the Science Center. At first, things didn't look too promising. But once we found the cool stuff upstairs, we practically had to drag Jake out of the place. He had a blast playing with all of the cool stuff and also interacting with the other kids that were there. On thing we all learned is to not go to any more Omnimax theatres. All of us emerged from the movie feeling a bit woozy.

We drove over to Station Square that evening for dinner. I wanted to check out a Japanese Restaurant there, but the menu looked too complicated (I've never had Japanese food before and want to try it, but have no idea what to try first) and they didn't have a kid's menu, so we nixed that idea. We ended up going to the Hard Rock Cafe and that worked out well. Jake was able to watch TV while we ate (albeit music videos were playing, but TV is TV). Jake had $10 that was burning a hole in his pocket, so he bought a toy garbage truck at one of the toy stores. But, that's all of the shopping we did because we were all tired from all of the walking.

Tuesday:
Andy Warhol Museum
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

The Warhol Museum was pretty cool. We blew through it in about an hour, though because as you might recall, 4 year olds and art museums don't mix. We had planned on eating lunch there, but their cafe hadn't opened yet, so we drove over to the Strip District and ate at a really nice restaurant called Roland's Seafood Grill for lunch.

Next, we made our way to the zoo. Of course, everything was cool there. Unfortunately, seeing the zoo involved more walking. I don't remember the last time I was there, but I'm sure it was at least 20 years ago. The exhibits were great--very natural looking. And, I really loved the PPG Aquarium. Jake's favorite exhibit was the sea lions.

You can view our pictures here.

Friday, October 8

pita

How big of a pain in the ass is this guy's dad?

Thursday, October 7

bringing home the bacon

The bacon was finally ready to be picked up from Froehlich's yesterday. All eight pounds of it. This is precisely the reason that I split the meat with my mom. Eight pounds of bacon is more than three people should consume in a short time period (or maybe even in a long time period). I guess your consumption limit depends on what diet you are following. I happen to follow the "everything in moderation" diet. Eight pounds doesn't happen to translate to "moderate" in my view. Plus, bacon doesn't keep very long (1-2 months in the freezer), so we'll be eating it practically every week until it's gone, anyway. Not that anyone's complaining...

Wednesday, October 6

debatable

Maybe it's just me, but did anyone else see a pair of leathery wings emanating from Dick Cheney's back during last night's debate? His hands kinda looked liked cloven hooves, too, come to think of it. You had to squint to see it...maybe my tv's just on the fritz.

Monday, October 4

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

I just finished making the last of my Christmas cards this evening. Take that, all you people still getting ready for Halloween! If it's any consolation, it's not like I actually wrote out the cards and addressed the envelopes...yet.

This is the first year I made Christmas cards. Not knowing how long it was going to take, I wanted to get an early start. It took about three weeks so starting in October should be sufficiently early next year. It's no fun making cards if things are down to the wire, so I want to be sure to do them well ahead of time. If only I had my Christmas shopping done, then I'd be happy. Some people, like Brian and Jake are always easy to shop for. Others, like some of the family members I've been shopping for year after year after year are a bit more difficult.

Sunday, October 3

happy october

Brian's at the Steeler game today with his parents and Shawn so Jake and I thought this might be a good opportunity to get ready for Halloween. First, we (or should I say I) made up the treat bags with what was left of the candy after Jake and I got done with it. Yum! At least Willy Wonka won't have to worry about going out of business this year. Last year we ran out of candy, so I made up a bunch more bags this year. There seem to be a lot more kids in the neighborhood these days. I guess that's a good thing.

Next I got all of the decorations out of the attic and we decorated the house. The clutter is maddening. I'm looking forward to November 1 already. Of course, November marks the first of two months of holidays. That is perhaps my least favorite time of the year, but that is another story for another day.

Saturday, October 2

attic project, part 1

Today, Brian and I removed the plywood ceiling from our front porch and replaced it with vinyl soffit. Doing this provided us with two benefits:
1. ventilation for the attic
2. a maintenance-free porch ceiling (no more painting! paint is my nemesis. but, somehow I always find myself painting something...)

Hopefully this will sufficiently ventilate our attic. If not, we'll need to put vents in the fascia boards next year and that would not be a fun project to say the least. Today's project took about 5 hours and we didn't run into any issues (which is unusual for us), so we'll call it a winner. Eventually, I'd like to cover as much wood as possible outside with vinyl. Up next year: fascia boards.

I've come up with an aggressive 5-year plan that will significantly reduce our remodeling "to do" list. I like to keep Brian busy--it keeps him out of trouble. Also, by the time I'm 40, I don't want to still be dealing with all of this crap. I know there will always be maintenance items to do around the house, but if we could just get everything the way we want it, maintaining it wouldn't be a problem. We've been working on the house for 8 years now and I'm more than ready to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

anger management

Jake is staying at my parent's this weekend, so Brian and I decided to do a "margarita & a movie" night. (Andy Lasky, take note!) Anger Management was on the tube so we watched that. Frankly I was a bit disappointed. It's not like I'm a huge Adam Sandler fan, but his movies usually elicit a few laughs from me. This one just wasn't that funny. I've always been a huge Jack Nicholson fan, but his character in the movie was just too weird--does he have to look insane in every movie?

The Flick Filosopher concurs: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/flickfilos/shortcuts/shortcuts17.shtml#anger

Friday, October 1

annoyance, inc.

That's what Atlantic Broadband should change their name to. While it is great that Brian's ftp issue has resolved itself, we found out this evening that we can't get any of our local channels through the cable box. Argh! We can get them if we bypass the box, though, so at least we can still watch them. I guess I'll wait till Monday and see if this resolves itself, too. I'm not looking forward to talking to their support people. Given the level of support Brian got with his ftp issue, I imagine it will go something like this:

support: "Atlantic Broadband support. How can I help you?"
me: "None of the local channels are coming through the digital cable box. There's a message that says 'to order this service call 1-800-555-5555".
support: "Hmm. Did you buy your tv from us? We can only support the cable box if it's connected to one of our tvs."
me: "No. Do you sell tvs."
support: "No."

Dish Network, anyone?

lost in transition

Time to celebrate--Brian can ftp to his website again from home! Ever since Atlantic Broadband took over Charter in June, he has not been able to ftp from either pc at the house. Interestingly enough, I noticed in my blog stats that the pcs from our house were always showing up as IP addresses. But, other people on Atlantic were showing up as charterpa.com. Then, as of last night, both the pcs in our house and other people on Atlantic started showing up as atlanticbb.net. So, I told him to try it this morning. Lo and behold, it worked.

Of course, Brian contacted Atlantic about this months ago and they were absolutely no help. Since his website wasn't hosted with them, they wouldn't look into the issue. Of course, the weird thing is that he couldn't ftp to any site on catalog.com, but all other sites worked ok. Either way, this was obviously a problem with Atlantic. I'm half-tempted to get satellite tv just so I don't have to give them as much money every month. I'm not giving up my cable modem, though. DSL is not available at our house and I'm certainly not going to use dial-up.

Thursday, September 30

america's sweetheart

No, this isn't another post about me, but rather Courtney Love's newest album. Brian wanted to purchase it because we have all of her other stuff. I was kinda on the fence because it bombed on the charts. But, he bought it and I've been listening to it for the past few weeks and I love it! At first I wasn't so sure about it, but then the songs started sticking in my head--particularly the lyrics--and I got into it. The lyrics are ridiculous to the point of good. Courtney does her usual off-key singing/screaming. I don't know what, but there's just something about her voice that I like. If I had to pick a favorite song from the album, I guess it would have to be "I'll Do Anything". Don't get me wrong, this is no Lateralus (the best album ever written. period. by Tool). I'm sure I will tire of it sooner rather than later, but for now, I'm greatly entertained.

Monday, September 27

going to the dogs

All of our money, that is.

The vet called today with the first of Ripley's test results. Her thyroid numbers are way low, so she needs to start on thyroid medication. I'll be picking that up after work. One good thing about thyroid medication is that it is cheap. In reading about hypothyroidism, a number of nagging health issues she's had through the years could be contributed to the thyroid. So, this might greatly improve her quality of life (and possibly cut down on the number of trips we make to the vet). If so, then it's well worth the money.

Something that I think may no longer be worth the money is the place where we board the dogs. Don't get me wrong, it is the coolest place you could possibly leave your pet. It's just that the cost of boarding has almost tripled since we've been going there (and it's not like we've been going there for 20 years or anything). Plus, it's not all that convenient to get to. So, between that and the money, I'm thinking about finding a place closer to home. Brian will be thrilled to hear this because he hates driving out there. The girls will still be going there for our October trip, though. But, since we're just going to Pittsburgh, it's practically on the way.

Saturday, September 25

miscellany

You can add this to my list of things not to buy in the future: German dogs. Today, Ripley made her fourth trip to the vets for the year. She has some sort of infection in her leg and was put on antibiotics. For that and some other reasons, the doctor also recommended a thyroid test. ka-ching! If she keeps this pace up, they'll be able to add the "Ripley Law Memorial Wing" onto Richland Veterinary Hospital next year. All kidding aside, Ripley is a wonderful dog and I will definitely get another doberman in the future. Just not a doberman puppy. I can't afford to buy all new furniture again.

Today, we're having our last hurrah of the summer season. Looks like it's going to be a nice day for it, too. Lish & Brent, and possibly his son are coming for a cookout later today. Should be fun.

I don't know what's gotten into Brian today. He's washing the car and the truck. I've never known him to wash a vehicle voluntarily before. The only thing I can figure is that he's perfecting his washing technique before he gets his motorcycle! motorcycle! motorcycle! next year. He's even been reading how to wash a motorcycle on the Harley Davidson site, for goodness sake!

And speaking of Brian...Is it just me or is he in way too many bands? Here's the complete list:
1. Rottenstone: Brian & me
2. Garden of Ashes: Brian & Shawn
3. East of Eve: Brian, Shawn, John & me
4. Temple of something or another (see, he's in so many bands that he doesn't even know the names of all of them): Brian, Slim, Shawn, & Rob

And, if you were really stretching, you could add Stone Rotten to that list. That's an acoustic cover "band" consisting of Brian and me. I guess you could say that I'm in three bands, but it's not like I ever go to practice, so I'm really more of a session player. Or maybe just a lazy musician. It's too early to tell.

Friday, September 24

holy ham, batman!

I picked up my ham at Froehlich's yesterday. It weighed in at a whopping 26 pounds! I planned on cooking it last night, but didn't account for the size. So, I was up till after midnight carving (and eating--yum!) ham. Needless to say, I'm tired today. At least it's Friday and I can sleep in tomorrow. I'm dropping off my parent's half after work, but I have a feeling we'll be freezing a good portion of our ham.

The bacon wasn't ready, though. :( They had a problem with their smokehouse so they won't be able to do it until next week. So much for a bacon brunch on Sunday. I guess we'll have ham instead. It's not like we're going to run out by then.

Jacob was absolutely fascinated with the picture of the fat guy that I posted the other day. On his way to daycare the next day he told me, "Tommy* eats a lot of candy, but he's just a little fat--he can still walk." [* the names have been changed to protect the overweight] When I picked him up from daycare that same day, he proceeded to tell me that he told all of his little friends about the picture of the fat guy that his mom showed him on the computer. I'm sure that went over well with the teachers.

And speaking of fattening items, the damned vending machine at work is out of cookies again (cookies are my breakfast staple), so now I'm forced to eat a Twix bar for breakfast. At least they have a cookie in them.

Tuesday, September 21

I'm a highway star

Got my car back today. Paying the bill was a little painful, but at least I have wheels again--just in time to take Jake to daycare and go into the office tomorrow.

We did an experiment today and Jake stayed at home while I worked. It didn't go too badly. It would be nice if he could stay at home every day starting next summer, but I don't know if he'll be up for it by then. The key is to keep him busy with things that don't involve me. And give him food every few hours. Boy, does that kid like to eat. But not as much as this guy.

Monday, September 20

new "hobby"

Yeah, another one.

I thought it would be a good idea to read up on upholstery so that I can upholster the furniture Brian makes for our house. Brian's dad saw my upholstery book so he thought it would be a good idea for me to reupholster one of his family heirlooms. I said "what the heck". Might as well practice on someone else's stuff. The piece was a rocker and had a naugahyde vinyl seat. The finish was in dire need of major touch-ups. It took me quite a bit of time to get it looking good. Next came the seat. Following all of the steps in my book, I had the seat done in a weekend. Not too shabby, eh? It was actually more work to do the finishing (and I sort of know what I'm doing when it comes to that). It looks pretty good if I do say so myself. Hopefully, it won't fall apart the first time it's used.

Tonight, I caught the reupholstery bug again. The chair for the desk in my bedroom was rather worn. I've been using it a lot lately due to my new card-making (i.e. stamping) hobby. Every time I sit in it, I think "boy, I should really redo this seat." I had some material left from the rocker, so I decided to reupholster the chair. This one was a lot easier to do because of the style. It probably took 90 minutes or so to complete. And, it looks darned good, too.

Anyway, the point of this is, I apparently have a new hobby. I actually enjoy upholstering furniture. Luckily, it's not something that I'll have to do all of the time. I mean, I have all of these other hobbies--card-making, cooking, gardening, finishing wood projects, playing music, reading, wine-making--to contend with. There's only so much time in a day.

"Idle hands are the Devil's playground" or "No rest for the wicked"? You be the judge.

Sunday, September 19

modes of transportation

I can't believe I forgot to mention this in my previous posts this weekend...My car (Toyota RAV4) was due for a new timing belt. It was to be installed on Friday. While they were working on my car, it was determined that it needed a new serpentine belt as well. But, they didn't have one in stock so my car is out of commission till they are able to get one (Monday or Tuesday). I think Brian planned it this way so that I couldn't go to Michael's while he was gone yesterday and buy another $100-worth of stamping supplies. I got even with him, though. I placed an order for stamping supplies on the internet instead. :) http://www.impressrubberstamps.com/

I'm not complaining about my car, though. It is seven years old and has nearly 100,000 miles on it and this is only the second thing that has been wrong with it ever. The first thing occurred earlier this summer and it turned out to be minor (something in the engine needed cleaned). Don't ask me what. Do I look like a mechanic?

In contrast, Brian had to take his two year old Dodge to the garage the other week. It needed a new distributor cap, spark plugs, spark plug wires, and maybe some other stuff. (Like I said before, do I look like a mechanic?) It was kind of expensive. And, this isn't even the first thing that was wrong with it. The other thing was at least covered under warranty, though. I was thinking about buying a Ford or Dodge for my next vehicle, but I think I'll stick with Toyota, thanks. I like having a car that actually runs.

The only real issue coming out of this is that I had to ask various grandparents to take Jacob to daycare and possibly pick him up tomorrow. Lucky for me:
1. Jacob has grandparents that can help out.
2. I work at home on Mondays.
3. The garage (Deyarmin's) is only two blocks from my house so I'll actually be able to go get my car when it's ready.
4. I drive a Toyota, so I haven't been having car problems for the past five years.

Saturday, September 18

sweet bliss

I've been enjoying my time alone today. This morning, I decided to paint our library. Unfortunately, I ran out of paint, so was not able to complete the job. But, at least most of it is done (and the section that will contain our first set of bookshelves is done, so Brian can start on those any time hint hint). Anyway, we'll need to run to Home Depot this week to get more paint and perhaps the supplies for our fall project of ventilating and insulating the attic. I can't wait to work on that project, let me tell you. It'll be about as fun as crawling around in insulation in a small space. Wait! That's exactly what it'll be...

Needless to say, I haven't done much else today--just regular Saturday stuff like washing clothes and paying bills. I hope to get some vacuuming done before everyone returns. I lead an exciting life, I know. I did manage to get a nap in this afternoon, so not all was lost.

Today has inspired me to get those two signed up for boy scouts. Then I'd be able to have weekends like this all of the time. :) That said, I should probably go and enjoy the remaining few hours before the chaos returns.

Friday, September 17

mas tequila

It's margarita night in Johnstown...

Brian and I had a good evening. We wrote our 5th rottenstone song tonight. Now, all we need to do is record it and we'll release our EP. Jake's staying at my parent's until tomorrow evening, so that gave us an opportunity to go to the "music room" and jam for a bit.

Tomorrow, I will be without both of my "boys". Brian is going to a Penn State game with my dad and Jake won't be coming home until he does. I won't know what to do with myself. Actually, I will. I'm sure I will get a lot done around the house (including an afternoon nap) without being interrupted with Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! or "Honey, I can't find the french fries." It will be nice to have some time to myself even if I am busy working all day. Being alone has never bothered me. I think this is due more to my misanthropy issue than anything else. Lately, being alone hasn't been an issue, though. I'm never alone. But, that's ok, too.

I've been ignoring my margarita for too long, so I better get back to it...

Wednesday, September 15

this little piggy went to the market...

...and this little piggy went to my freezer!

Froehlich's called today. The half of a hog I ordered is in and will be ready to pick up tomorrow. Nothing makes me happier than a freezer full of meat (well, a bar full of booze, maybe). This is the second half I've gotten this year. But, unlike the first one, my mom and I are splitting this one. It's not that you get too much regular meat, but you get too much bacon and sausage for three people to eat in a timely manner, so hence the split. Ooh--I almost forgot to mention that this is a hog from the Cambria County Fair. Hopefully, one of the award-winners.

Tuesday, September 14

lazy town

Is it just me or has anyone else experienced the absurdity that is Lazy Town? What is this Lazy Town, you might ask? Besides keeping one former gymnast off of the unemployment lines, it is this totally weird show about this "evil" guy who is always trying to get the people in Lazy Town to not exercise. The inspiration behind the idea is to make children more physically active (by watching TV? hmm).

Needless to say, Jacob loves the show. He's watching it now...on the couch.

Monday, September 13

nothing

I don't really have anything to say, but I haven't posted since Saturday so I feel obligated...

Let's see. Yesterday, we briefly attended a picnic after church. We were there just long enough to eat and for Jacob to break a few balloons. They had clowns there doing face-painting and making cool things out of balloons (like dogs, flowers, etc.) Jacob wanted a flower. It took the clown a few minutes to make it and then the countdown was on. 10...9...8...7...***pop*** I was just about to say "Make sure you don't drop the balloon in the grass or it'll pop." Too late.

Afterwards, we came home and Brian watched the Steeler game while I fooled around with my new hobby of making cards. Later that afternoon, we attended Brian's work picnic in Bellwood. Nothing like a waste of a completely good Sunday.

I guess it could've been worse. After we got home from the work picnic, I got to fool around with my card hobby again, whereas Brian had to go to a church council meeting for two hours.

And sadly, last night was the season finale of both Six Feet Under and Entourage. It's not TV...It's HBO. At least Malcom in the Middle and Arrested Development will be starting up again soon. And, there's always football to watch on Sunday nights.

Saturday, September 11

shed

If you've spoken to me since Memorial Day, you've probably heard me talk about the shed we were building this summer. Well, I'm glad to say that it's finally done. Here's the final picture:

http://www.brianlaw.net/shed/photo_28.htm

Over Labor Day, we got a bunch of things moved from the woodshop to the shed, so Brian's a happy camper because it gives him a little more room in his cramped shop. It is also the future home of the motorcycle! motorcycle! motorcycle! How else would I have motivated him to build the thing?

garden state

Yesterday, Brian's parents took Jacob to the Cambria County Fair. Since they were anticipating a late arrival home, they suggested that he stay overnight. We were hoping to catch Fahrenheit 9/11 at the Westwood Plaza Theatre, but, its run was over on Thursday. Fortunately, another movie we wanted to see, Garden State, was playing. What a cool movie! Zach Braff (J.D. from the sitcom Scrubs) wrote, directed, and starred in the movie. There were so many absurd things going on in it, that I'd like to see it again. Besides, any movie with two dobermans in it (albeit briefly) is ok with me.

Here's what the Flick Filosopher had to say about it:

http://www.flickfilosopher.com/flickfilos/archive/2004/gardennapoleon.shtml

We saw one of our neighbors there so Brian invited him to go out for drinks with us afterward. We were going to check out the new Album Cuts bar, but they had some karaoke thing going on and it was PACKED so we ended up going to the Westwood Gardens instead. It was decidedly NOT packed. Two Advils later and my head still hurts, so I guess I had a good time.

Friday, September 10

motorcycle! motorcycle! motorcycle!

The deed is done. Brian ordered his Harley on Tuesday. It'll be in around April/May. Here's a pic:

http://www.harley-davidson.com/PR/MOT/2005/05_model_enlarge.asp?bmLocale=en_US&market=US&family=Softail&model=FLSTF&num=0&side=1

Needless to say, it's going to be like living with a kid on Christmas Eve for the next 7 or 8 months...

Bring on the debt! Who says money can't buy you happiness?

dubya

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0903-04.htm

Enough said.

hey!

This is my new blog. Judy's always telling me to start one so that she knows what's going on with me and the family, so here goes! Since she'll probably be the only one to check it out on a regular basis, I've decided to name the blog in her honor.