Tuesday, June 28

nine years and counting

Today, Brian and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. We (all three of us) went to dinner at Rizzo's Restaurant in Windber to celebrate this evening. As luck would have it, Brian had a meeting in Richland at 4:00 today, so he was able to get home early enough so that we could go out for dinner.

Brian and I had some delicious home-made ravioli along with some equally delicious valpolicella wine. Jake had spaghetti and meatballs. It was a good meal. It's been a few years since we've eaten at Rizzo's. Of course, we don't eat out that often. When we do, it's usually for a special occasion.

Next year, we'll hit the big "10" year anniversary. I already know what I'm getting Brian. I like to plan ahead in case you haven't noticed. I'm not sure what we're doing to celebrate, but I'd like to do something special like go on a little trip or something (without the kid). I want to go here. All I need to do is convince Brian. Good thing I have a year to do so.

Sunday, June 26

party all day long

Yesterday, Jacob went to a birthday party for one of his friends from daycare. After this, we went to a Thunder in the Valley party at Jacob's babysitter's house. It was cool--there were real bikers there and everything (as opposed to the fake kind). Also, another one of Jacob's friends from daycare was there, so he had someone to play with. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay there long (though we would've liked to) because we had a wedding to go to last night.

My dad picked Jacob up and Brian and I went to the wedding. We didn't stay very long because we wanted to head down to Thunder in the Valley for some additional partying. We got down there around 9pm and it was still hot. What's with this weather, anyway? (It's so hot in our office that our cable modem wasn't working today because it overheated. I'm starting to think I should have a backup on hand for when the inevitable happens.)

After Thunder, Brian and I came home and enjoyed a margarita while sitting by the chiminea and basking in the glow of my new solar lights.

It was a good day.

Saturday, June 25

let there be light

I've been wanting to put some solar lighting outside for quite a while now. I finally got around to buying some lights this week. I put some low accent lights in the myrtle patch and put some staked lanterns in my butterfly garden. I have to say, it looks pretty nice and I got them installed just before our cookout last night (my brother came over for dinner).

This is not the end of our solar lighting journey, though. We still need to put some around the driveway area out front, but that will probably have to wait until we replace the driveway (and who knows when that will be). We could also really use a light at the end of our sidewalk. I'm still waiting to find a solar light that will work well out there. And, once the shed area gets landscaped (this will occur over the next few years), I'll probably put some lights around it as well.

Thursday, June 23

hit me baby one more time

For some reason, I find this show entertaining (or maybe I'm just desperate for Thursday night entertainment). For the uninitiated, this is a show where five one hit wonders from years past play two minute versions of their three minute long hit songs in the first half hour and then play a hit from a current artist in the second half hour. The audience then votes on their favorite. The artist who wins donates their winnings to the charity of their choice.

If there's one thing I've learned from this show, it's that old white men can't sing. At least that's true most of the time. Billy Vera proved the theory wrong tonight. But he didn't win, either, so there.

It's not like the show is the greatest thing on earth or anything, but I'm compelled to watch it each week. I think this show is directly aimed at my demographic (and maybe those a little older than me). In the past weeks, we've heard "867-5309", "My Sharona", "Working for the Weekend". Finally, a show for old people! It's about time someone caters to my generation.

Tuesday, June 21

first day of summer

Could you have asked for better weather on this first day of summer? I couldn't have. Much like most evenings, I spent my time in the garden. I've been having problems with some animal eating my beans and peas, so I replanted the beans and put up a temporary fence around them. The location of the peas doesn't allow me to put up a fence, so I can only hope that whatever is eating them will stop because I will not be happy if I don't get a crop of sugar snap peas from this year's garden.

I guess there really is a first time for everything--I'm pretty much caught up on weeding. Brian made the observation this evening that weeding is kind of like sanding, but worse. I don't agree. If the weeds get out of control, taking care of them certainly is a chore. But I'm in maintenance mode this year, so it hasn't bothered me at all. It's a zen thing.

Something also keeps making a mess of the mulch in my herb garden. I straightened that out yet again. Note to self: don't mulch the herb garden next year.

It's getting to the point where I'm going to have to find something else to do with my time in the evenings. The weeding project will continue all summer, but you have to give the little buggers a chance to grow before you pull them out. Looks like I'm going to have to dust off my "to do" list. Luckily, there are plenty of items on that list to keep me busy when the weeds aren't calling.

Sunday, June 19

father's day 2005

The extended celebration (did you ever notice how everything's an "extended celebration" when it comes to our families?) started yesterday when we went to my parent's for supper in order to celebrate the holiday with them. We had a brief visit and then had to come home in time for Brian's band practice.

Today, we went to Brian's parent's for supper. Jake and Brian planned on going swimming, but it was kind of chilly out this evening, so Brian didn't want to go. Enter: Pappy Law. Jake asked his Pappy to take him in the pool, so he, of course, did (what are Pappys for but for stuff like that?). Once his teeth started to chatter, they got out of the pool. Brian will have to take him swimming when the weather is more appropriate for such activities.

All in all, a pretty good weekend. And, I got out of cooking two times! I love to cook, but since I do it every day, it's nice to catch a break once in a while. I'm sure I'll make up for it this week.

Saturday, June 18

wine & computers

Last night, I took a break from the disaster which is Brian's laptop and we bottled two batches of wine--a Chardonnay/Viognier mix and a Riesling. The Riesling was superb! I pretty much stuck to it all evening, but the Chardonnay/Viognier was pretty good, too. I'm looking forward to drinking it in the future. So there's another 50 or so bottles of wine for my racks.

Brian's new hard drive came yesterday, so I've been trying to get his laptop back in order. I'm not quite sure when I became the IT wizard around here, but I guess we all have a cross to bear. I was having all kinds of problems getting our wireless access point working with the laptop yesterday, so I quit working on it and started from scratch this morning and at least he has the internet now. I'm currently installing all of the windows service packs. When that is done I'll have to assess the rest of the damage--there are still some drivers I need to install, but I can't seem to find them on the cds that came with the computer.

I just hope to finish it up this weekend because I'm ready to move onto some other project.

Tuesday, June 14

step away from the computer

This has not been the week for computer hardware at the House of Law. As mentioned before, Brian's laptop hard drive died over the weekend. He took it to a company that does data recovery, but they were not able to do anything with it. Someone he works with has done data recovery before, so he's going to take a look at it tomorrow. But we're not holding out much hope.

After that debacle, we thought it might be a good idea to get an external hard drive in order to facilitate backups. Circuit City has a deal where they're practically giving them away, so we picked one up there yesterday. I got it set up in a matter of minutes and started backing up files. The copying of files was going to take a while so I went upstairs to do some other stuff. After a bit, I went back downstairs to check on the progress and some sort of error had occurred. After this point, I was not able to see the hard drive on either of our computers. And, to top things off, the power button would only turn the unit on, not off. So, I went back to Circuit City today and exchanged the defective drive for a new one. I'm currently attempting another backup. Hopefully this time it will work.

So, if you are having computer problems this week, don't ask me for help.

Saturday, June 11

the weekend thus far

I was off work yesterday in order to set up for a garage sale at my parent's house. Every year, Portage has a town-wide garage sale day (aka "White Trash Day"). Not to imply that all garage sale shoppers are white trash--that certainly isn't the case. However, I saw a large enough share of that demographic today to justify my alternative title.

The sale went ok. The rain held off until after 1:00, so most of the shopper traffic had dissipated by that point. We made a couple of bucks, but no where near as much as the last garage sale a few years ago when I sold all of Jake's baby stuff (playpen, high chair, etc.)

While we were gone, Brian had to fix a leaky pipe in the laundry room. Unfortunately for him, it took most of the day. To top things off, his laptop's hard drive appears to be, for all intents and purposes, dead. So, he was using my pc to check his email and whatnot. While he was on my pc, he found some incriminating evidence as to what his anniversary present might be. Then, I received a package in the mail today that made things look even more incriminating.

Brian is a stickler for giving/receiving presents on their proper day. But, all of this was just too much for him, so I suggested that we exchange anniversary presents today. He agreed. As it turned out, he didn't quite get what he was hoping for, but was still rather pleased with the results. I got him a print from an artist he really likes, Ric Stultz. He was thinking that he might have been getting a painting from the guy, but given the price of the print, I don't think we could afford one of his paintings.

I kind of knew what I was getting for my gift, too. Yesterday, he had to run to United Jewelers to get a few pieces of my jewelry fixed. He mentioned to me that our credit card was coming up as expired there even though it isn't expired. So, I knew he must've gotten me a piece of jewelry because they don't normally charge us for the type of thing they were fixing yesterday. I got a gold box-link bracelet, by the way. Nice!

Thursday, June 9

black friday

This is another one from James Patterson. It was originally published as Black Market. You'll find when his books were originally published as another title, they're from his early works.

I started this while we were on vacation and read almost all of it. But, for some reason, after we returned home, I never seemed to have the time to read it. Too busy with other things, I guess. So, I made a concerted effort this week to finish it up.

Long story short, this was a book about a goverment conspiracy that turned on the government. I liked it. It was written in the same style as the majority of his books. I happen to like the majority of his books, so that's just fine with me.

This concludes my James Patterson marathon.

Sunday, June 5

erin's shower

Today, I went to Brian's cousin Erin's bridal shower (which is why my birthday celebration was yesterday). She's getting married in September. You can read all about it here. The shower was at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Connellsville. Luckily Brian drove me there (and he and Jake hung out at Erin's parent's house during the shower) otherwise I never would've arrived. The directions I got off the internet did not seem to be correct (plus I can get lost in my own house. my sense of direction is that bad). Win some, lose some, I guess. Usually the internet does us well, so I won't complain about this one time.

Anyway, the shower was nice and Erin and Justin sure made a haul. They won't be wanting for much once they set up a house. Jacob is in their wedding. That should be interesting. This will be his second wedding. The first one was right before his 3rd birthday so he was too young to argue about it. I hope he cooperates. He really likes Erin and Justin, so we can only hope that will help. After this wedding, he will have been in as many weddings as I have been in (not counting my own). Who would've thought I'd have such a popular son?

i'm too young to be this old***

Today is my 35th birthday. Can you believe that shit? Me, either. This seems like another one of those age milestones (you know like 30, 40, 50, etc.). Though to tell you the truth, every year seems like a milestone anymore.

Here's one way to tell you're getting old--buy a car with a sunroof. There's nothing like the sun shining down on your head to show you just how many gray hairs you have. I knew I had a lot of gray hair, but this is just ridiculous. Some days I think I should bite the bullet and start dyeing my hair (but, it's kind of hard to justify that since I don't wear makeup. hell, I don't even own any makeup. why start caring about my appearance now?). Other days, I wish it would just go all gray and get it over with.

The only good thing about growing old is that I'm taking everyone with me.

Happy Birthday to me.

*** Courtney Love, "I'll Do Anything", America's Sweetheart

Saturday, June 4

another birthday celebration

We celebrated my birthday a day early and went to the City View Bar & Grill (I even got to open my presents!). I've been wanting to check it out, so the three of us did this evening. The food was good, the view was great, the new decor was awesome. It's nice to see a restaurant operating there again. Hopefully they will have much success. Brian and I have a soft spot for that location because that's where we got engaged.

All in all it was a pretty good day. I spent most of it gardening and doing yard work. Brian managed to wash all three vehicles and I cleaned the car and truck on the inside. Today was pretty busy, but in a good way.

Now, I'm going to go downstairs and chill out on the couch for a while before I hit the sack.

this is pathetic

Last night, we finally recorded the solo to (a)pathetic (you know, that rottenstone song we started recording about 9 months ago). We scrapped the crappy solo I worked on a while ago, Brian hummed something, and I played it. It sounds pretty cool, too. Not the best solo in the world, but it'll do. So, that song wraps up our EP. We're planning on recording a cover song for a bonus track. Hopefully that won't take long because I just want this thing to be finished already.

Friday, June 3

like it or not?

I don't think I do. I changed it to display one day's worth of posts rather than just one post, but I don't know if that's going to do it for me either. I mean, I usually just post once in a day, anyway...

There are a few other formatting changes I want to make, but it's going to have to wait--there's a margarita with my name on it that I have to attend to...


I made some formatting changes today. I'm not sure if I like them or not. Let me know what you think--I'm not the one who has to read this blog. Basically, I'm only showing the most recent post and links to the last 10 posts are available in the sidebar. I even turned comments on so make your vote count!

I also put my archives in a drop-down menu. That change is staying for sure. The archives were starting to get a little lengthy.

I suppose this would look better if I had really long posts. I guess I'll need to keep that in mind when I'm posting from now on.

Thursday, June 2


I'll have to watch for this the next time I'm out on the highway.

Wednesday, June 1

random thoughts

I'm no Jack Handy. That's why these are random, but not deep.

It must be summer--I finally turned off the thermostat yesterday. I'm pretty sure I normally do this mid-May, so I hope this isn't a harbinger to how the summer's going to be. The first hot day, it'll be reprogrammed for the air conditioner.

I hope the weather is better this summer than last. My garden sucked last year. It didn't help that I couldn't devote much time to it due to our shed project, but the weather wasn't very conducive to growing vegetables. I already have a lot of time invested in the garden this year due to planting a bunch of stuff from seed, so I hope it all turns out well. I hope to produce a bunch of produce this year. Did you ever notice that those two words are spelled the same? I did not until just now.

We have been kicking some landscaping ass the past few evenings. I managed to mulch all of our deciduous trees and Brian did all of the edging (without prompting from me!). I still have a bunch of weeding to do, but the yard looks so much better already.

And, finally, Brian sent me a link to this site today, postsecret. It's listed under my blog section on the right. I just thought I'd mention it because I have been thinking about it all day. I read every post on the site and found some of them haunting, some funny, and some insightful, and some way too personal. Check it out.