Sunday, January 31


A couple of weeks ago, my upright freezer started acting up. After a few days of weirdness, it died. Luckily, we didn't have a lot of stuff in it (and also that I caught the problem while the food was still mostly frozen), so we transported the food to the freezers of our two refrigerators.

Shortly thereafter, we went to Krisay's to purchase a new freezer. Since the broken appliance was past its expected life expectancy, purchasing a new one, rather than getting the old one fixed, seemed like the better option.

We found one that we liked and they had it in stock, so we scheduled a day for delivery. The old freezer was a tight squeeze, so they had to take it apart in order to get it out of the room--not to mention that the door (and door stop) to the room had to be removed in order to get it out. We bought a slightly smaller capacity freezer, so we didn't think to check the dimensions when we made the purchase. As it turned out, the new freezer was even bigger than the old one and it would not fit through the entrance to the room (newer freezers have more insulation, so that's why it was bigger). At that point, they took the new freezer back and we needed to make a decision about what to do next.

After doing some research and finding out that there weren't any new freezers that were small enough to fit through the entrance, we made the decision to keep the freezer in the family room. Neither of us were thrilled with this idea, but there weren't really any other options.

Saturday, January 30

the winter people

This book was recommended to me by one of our employees. It's considered a ghost story, which is decidedly not my favorite genre of horror, but I gave it a shot and am glad that I did. It was quite a good story and was very original. I rather liked it.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday, January 23


While Snowpocalypse 2016 was going on outside, we figured it would be a good time to watch a movie. We were really looking forward to this one. While it was funny, it was nowhere near as funny as we were expecting. Maybe we're just over the rom-com? I don't know.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday, January 17

the switch

Jake recently inquired about moving his bedroom upstairs to the room that we call the office. The office is slightly larger than his bedroom and has a better layout, thus prompting the request.

Our upstairs has been in need of new flooring since we moved in. To kick off the project, we ordered some maple laminate flooring for the entire upstairs area. It came in last week and Brian and Jake installed the flooring in the new bedroom yesterday. We got everything moved up there today. We're still working on putting the office together in the room that was formerly his bedroom.

The goal is to finish the upstairs before the end of the winter. Besides the rest of the flooring, we're going to paint the bathroom and install new fixtures (it's just a half bath), install some bifold closet doors to replace the ones we removed 20 years ago (nothing like putting things off), replace some trim, install new railings around the stairs, and the biggest thing is to finish the library. I'm not entirely convinced this last thing will get accomplished by the end of winter, but I'm sure significant progress will occur. It's going to be so nice up there when we're done that we're not going to want to move.

jurassic world

Jake and I watched this movie last night. It was good for what it was. But, I think if we've learned anything from these Jurassic movies, it's that opening a dinosaur theme park is a horrible idea.

My rating: 3.5/5

Monday, January 11

outer dark

This was a rather bleak tale from Cormac McCarthy. The word "apocalyptic" was used on the back cover, when describing the book, so I'm afraid I got my hopes up too much. Definitely not one of my favorites, but, it was an interesting read, anyway.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, January 9

groundhog day

This was another film from our top 13. Brian and I thought it held up pretty well. Jake didn't seem all that into it. Perhaps the humor wasn't juvenile enough? I guess it was more of a date-type movie.

At any rate, my rating stands:


Friday, January 8

birthday girl

Lizzy turned 14 yesterday on her observed birthday. We adopted her on September 7, 2002 and she was about 8 months old at the time, so we celebrate her birthday each January. 14 seems like quite a milestone--not many dogs make it to that age. While she has a few health problems, she's still pretty peppy--you'd never guess she's as old as she is.

Sunday, January 3


Jake was looking for something to watch last night and came upon this movie. I liked it so much when I was a teenager that I named one of my pets, a parakeet, after it. While the guys thought it was really funny, I was not as amused. But, given my previous affinity for the movie, I'll give it an extra half point.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday, January 2

feliz navidad

This evening, we had our annual Christmas get-together with Judy (and Ben) at El Jalisco. This restaurant is the brother of Rey Azteca. They both have the same menu and whatnot (and the food was just as good). But, I digress. We had a nice visit with the two of them. Plus, there were gifts!

Friday, January 1


2015 was an average year. There were good times and bad, but overall it was good.

Let's start with the negatives...

In an attempt to jump-start our move to the country, we attempted to sell our rental property, but to no avail. I guess this counts as more of a first world problem, but it would have been nice to sell it and get things in gear. On the plus side, it is rented out again, so at least we're getting some income from it (after being empty for a year). Down the road this is going to go one of two ways--we're either going to dump the property or buy some more.

On a sad note, we lost two of our pets this year. In October, it was our cat Marley and in November, our dog Alice. They both lived long lives, but it's always sad to lose a pet.

Now for the positives...

We vacationed in Forest County twice last year (and both times, we took Alice). That was a lot of fun. We did a winter weekend trip and our usual summer trip.

I don't really have a favorite book, movie or album for 2015. I watched a lot of good movies and read a lot of good books, but nothing stands out as a favorite. I didn't buy a whole lot of albums, though. But, we did get to see the Foo Fighters in concert and it was a great show (they are my current favorite band). As for television, I canceled cable, but that hasn't had much of an effect on our viewing habits (with the exception of NFL football). We have a digital antenna, Sling TV, Netflix and Amazon, so there's plenty to watch. My favorite find of the new year is the show The Americans. It's about two Soviet spies living in America during the cold war era and it's totally excellent.

The year had a lot of notable work news. 2015 marked Prime Design Solutions' 10th year in business, which was pretty exciting. We even had a party to celebrate. Earlier in the year, Brian was nominated for a Governor's ImPAct Award and the two of us got to go to Harrisburg for the event. And, I started a new company, the details of which will be coming soon. So, 2016 should prove to be interesting.