Sunday, August 26


Brian and I went to Canonsburg yesterday for Miss Avery's first birthday! It's hard to believe a year has already passed since she was born. She had quite a turnout for the event. With so many milestones on both sides, we got to see a lot of each other this year.

Saturday, August 25

balcony railing

Our balcony railing has needed replaced since we bought our house 22 years ago. Since the existing railing would have to be removed in order to do so, there never seemed to be a good time to do it. But, now that we're getting down to the wire with selling the house (hopefully in a year or two), we needed to get that project done. Conveniently, Jake went to the beach with one of his friends the other week, so we started on the project then. It actually took a lot longer than we thought it would (it always does), but at least the handrail was in place by the time he returned home. On Thursday evening, we finished installing the balusters, so now the project is complete! And, it looks amazing.

Friday, August 24

yarn crafter

We (at Innovative Tomato) released our second app recently, Yarn Crafter! Our office is full of knitters and crocheters, so everyone was pretty excited about it. We have so many features planned for the app--it's going to be a really useful tool for yarn crafting hobbyists! If nothing else, I'm going to use it, but we're hoping that everyone else finds it as useful as we do.

Sunday, August 19


This was a pretty good western. It told the story of an Army Captain who had to escort an Indian chief and his family back to their homeland, while going through enemy territory. It starred the always excellent Christian Bale and featured some stunning cinematography.

My rating: 3.5/5

Thursday, August 16

r.i.p. lizzy

Lizzy turned 16 in January so we knew that there wasn't much time left no matter how you looked at it. She developed numerous health problems over the course of the summer and we had to make the difficult decision to put her to sleep, which happened yesterday. It is always a tough decision to make--it always seems too soon or too late.

I like to think she had a great life with us. She's been here since almost the beginning--she would have celebrated her 16th adoption anniversary in just a few weeks (September 7). Besides being a constant companion, she was also Jake's first dog, which he picked out when he was only two! Not to mention she's been around 1/3 of my life (and I'm not exactly young).

After Alice passed a few years ago, Lizzy became the office dog and went to work with us every day for a few years. We also took her on vacation with us in 2017 and she enjoyed it immensely. She was also my sidecar-riding partner. She enjoyed everything--even going to the vets. And she loved everyone. Brian took one last photo of her yesterday, while outside at the vet's office and she was even smiling in that.

It's going to be strange around the house for a long time.

Monday, August 13

the mechanic

Jake and a lot of his friends are really into cars, so he has been working on them for a few years now. He's made a ton of modifications to his own and does all of the maintenance on it. He does occasional work on our vehicles, but we still take them to the garage for most things. I was recently lamenting the fact that we have to get new brakes/rotors on our car before it gets inspected again and he cheerfully offered to take on the task. He said the quality would be better and it cost about half as much (because there were no labor charges). While Brian has a lot of skills, working on cars is not one of them, so it's nice to have a mechanic in the house!

Sunday, August 12

the americans

For those not in the know, this show was about a pair of "married" Russian spies living and working in America in the 1980s. I wouldn't have guessed I would like the show so much, but I was hooked from episode 1.

I finished watching this series last night and I have to say, it was on par with "Breaking Bad". Every episode was excellent. Much like "Breaking Bad", they had their story to tell and told it. While I'm sure they could have dragged things out for a bunch more seasons, they chose not to (take note, "The Walking Dead"). The whole show was like watching a chess match, but with way more bloodshed.

The finale was pretty good, too. It wrapped up most of the storylines, but left some stuff to ponder.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday, August 11

another thing

I decided to not make any wine this year. I'm not quitting the hobby--it's just that we don't drink or entertain like we used to so what's the point in having 200 bottles of wine in the house? For that matter, even when we do entertain, it seems like everyone else is drinking less, too (I guess because none of us are getting any younger). Once my stock gets low, I'll make some more for sure, but until then...

Friday, August 10


This is only the second book I've read from Michael Crichton and I liked it much better than the first. It was sci-fi so I was surprised I liked it at all. Though, I have been getting into some sci-fi stuff lately, so maybe it'll be my new thing.

The book's plot was kind of complicated--the story took place in a pod at the bottom of the ocean. Not sure how much of it was scientifically accurate, but it was interesting enough.

My rating: 3/5

Monday, August 6

fcmf 2018

We had free tickets for the festival (for doing some free design work for them) so we caught a couple acts over the course of Friday and Saturday. There weren't a whole lot of bands that interested us, but the ones we saw were pretty good. There were a couple of other bands I would have checked out, it didn't work out with our schedules.

Wednesday, August 1

progress edition: the house

We paid a contractor to soffit and fascia our side porch. Boy, did it need it! It looks amazing now. Just one bigger project remains for the outside--painting the siding, which we're also going to have to pay someone to do, due to its high location. This might have to wait until next year, but we're getting closer to done! We still have a couple of bigger projects left in the house (which we are handling), but we're getting started on one of those this weekend, so there is progress on that front, too.