Once a boat guy, always a boat guy. Even though I have 'moved away from the maritime industry' as people put it when introducing me to others who didn't, I'm still a boat guy at heart and would love to drive four hours to Connecticut to see The Woodenboat Show at Mystic Seaport.
So that's what we did this weekend. We saw and stayed with Nick and Bonnie at their place, getting miraculously lucky with NYC traffic and arriving in time for sangria and a nice evening. Saturday we saw the boats made of wood, old and new, and quite a bit of Nick's handywork on display in the museum's exhibits.
After we'd seen the sights and taken enough digital photos for Nick to (maybe) create a (hypothetical) future (possible) addition to the vintage transportation room, we visited Mystic proper. We stopped at a posh bar for a round and then went home, where we enjoyed a dip in the neighbors pool and a luxurious dinner off the grill. Sunday we visited the USS Nautilus museum in Groton and departed for points west, along the beautiful Merritt Parkway and through scenic northern NJ with a stop for a very authentic Mexican lunch.
posted at 10:10 PM - comments
Thursday, June 26, 2008
We're home alone again as Nancy departed for points west this afternoon, leaving memories of fun and Texas sheet cake, which she and I baked last night while Jenelle was at math^last. At work my new rotation is set to kick off Monday, though I have some things left to wrap up with my current rotation. We're also gearing up for a weekend away in CT; Google Maps' traffic predictor is helping us choose an optimal departure time and our friends in East Lyme are helping us create the optimal packing list.
posted at 9:49 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Jenelle and Nancy are off in a) Philadelphia again and b) visiting family in NJ, so I was home alone. I hopped on the T2k and did a nice loop through the thigh-high corn and wheat growing in the fields to our west, covering 22 miles including the climb up from Alburtis to Mountain Road.
Back at home I used the el microwave to create some dinner, then waited for evening light and headed down to Mill Creek (or the Little Lehigh, we aren't sure which it is where the grated steel bridge crosses down the hill from SRC) to practice SLR-ing.
Jenelle's college roommate Nancy is here; we've been up to lots of different things, none of which are blogging. Last week kind of flew in and out, but with two gatherings with friends, the latter of which we hosted on Friday night. It was Thai night, which started out as 'sit on the deck and enjoy the heck out of normal, nice June weather' night and then transitioned once noodles hit the hot wok and mangos landed in sticky rice - a raving success.
Saturday we visited Longwood Gardens down near Delaware. We wandered and took pictures and were amazed at the incredible lily pads which were shaped like tart pans. There was quinua salad at the picnic grounds and then tired bodies found AC and soft seats in the Vibe. We stopped by Longacre Dairy on the way home and kicked it at 5815 for the evening. Really, we kicked at 5815 on Sunday, too, with a trip out and about to see Allen and pick up a few exurban essentials. I talked with everybody who I'm related to that has a phone, the girls did lots of this and that, and before long it was time for bed.
Somehow I missed the chance to blog about a professional weekend of sorts... company picnic at HersheyPark on Saturday and WAHS graduation on Sunday. It felt odd to be with work folks on the weekend, except that we genuinely like our colleagues so it was fun. Mixing spouse with work faces is something that is not really new for us but somehow still feels different and more serious.
Tonight I mowed the lawn - with a gas-powered mower borrowed from friends - for the first time. We don't have a big patch of lawn, but there is something inherently American Dreamy about pushing the mower up and down the yard. Then there's something very satisfying about looking down from the deck and admiring the lush green. After we returned the mower we stepped inside for a very impromptu barbecue gathering to help neighbors eat leftovers, then home for a few quiet hours before bed.
It's Saturday night, Prairie Home is live from The University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium, and Garrison Keillor has apparently discovered the incandescent, vibrant glow of Ann Arbor Summer Festival.
A few years ago the whole world discovered a hard cover book written by a man with a beard who put an annoying number of tangential details into his book which featured a heavily-Photoshopped image of our planet superimposed onto a quarter on the aforementioned hard cover. Mr. Thomas Friedman wrote "The World is Flat" and everyone seemed to cry "oh yes! have mercy! oh yes!" in agreement. However, a few months later he wrote an article condemning General Motors as a 'crack dealer' who pushed energy consumption as its lethal vice - and a conundrum was born. An article on the cover of Friday's Wall Street Journal described the fall of outsourcing at one Midwestern company, which brought production of its bulky product back to the Midwest from China. The world is getting rounder again.
To be fair, Mr. Friedman argued mostly about the globalization of knowledge industries, but he also assumed that, all things being equal, industry would flow to the lowest-cost areas. However, for any industry to flow anywhere there must be a massive consumption of energy to equip the new location and build connections (be they buried optical fiber or flying carbon fiber), and thus flattening is a crack dealer, too. I think we'll be back to an oblate spheroid in no time, with local industry - knowledge and otherwise - being critical to sustaining our very way of life.
PHOTO! (Programming note: I think every post with a photo shall start this way.)
This is what we'd imagine the loft could look like and it only took ~10 months to get it to this shape. We cleaned and broke down the old table/desk and took it downstairs and then enjoyed doing office-y things in this new space. (Some other night it will be fun to create a wire management solution.)
It was also Jenelle's last day with students, so we had a bit of celebratory dinner at local hotspot Gio, which is a place we hadn't visited but will return. Then, back on our own hotspot - the deck - we enjoyed a nightcap and square of dark chocolate as the sun set and June bugs came out to run the gauntlet between Ollie and Maya, who were hellbent on catching and eating(!) them.
Even though it seemed later in the week than Wednesday, it was a good day. It was less hot, thanks to some epic t-storms that crashed through last night, with blue skies and a slight breeze: perfect June weather. We celebrated by hunkering down inside - Jenelle at the session of her class which marks halfway done and I in the loft with product. 2xMCE1R5430G. 2xAUPMSGV. Now we have a desk and it is poppin...pictures to follow.
posted at 9:22 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Part of my goals for this rotation included the training of one of our Asian partners. Over the past two days I have done just that with some success... teaching a complex, totally integrated tool to a person whose first language is not English is a challenge but I think the team did just that. Huzzah! On to indirect spend and miscellaneous!
The heat wave which made national news was a central part of our focus, too. It felt like August on Monday and Tuesday; Jenelle's A/C-less workplace rose to 'not fit for man nor beast' range during finals and at home we hunkered down indoors. Jenelle made a great cold salad for dinner tonight and we sat in the front room to read rather than braving the cloud room's sauna-like temps.
There are few things which you can bank on happening every single time out. Some of these things are Webbstock related: rain will interrupt the music at some point, one oddball student will disrobe, and there will be traffic on the Cross Bronx Expressway at all hours. We proved all three; initially the weather was great - though hot - for music and frisbee and burgers and seeing random faces and the Comptons and Doug and Johanna, but during Monkey Wrench's set a little cell roared through and cooled the ground and ended that act's show. Spider Nick came out a bit later, rocked, and that was Webbstock 2008, which lead to a new twist on this familiar event... we climbed into the Vibe and drove home. Seriously. We partied all day, well into the night, and then slept in our own air-conditioned home in the PA countryside. Dy-na-mite.
Today we didn't get much of a jump, but then had brunch at The Buckeye (a local tavern whose exposed timber and brick construction is charming enough to overcome the negative connotation that comes with its name) and talked about a lot of stuff both light and not. One of those topics was picking (y)our own strawberries, and we were so moved that we went home, changed, and headed down to Bucks county for some mid-afternoon sweaty backbreaking labor. Ahhh summer! Now we're at home again, there're strawberries flash freezing and piano music is making its way up to the loft.
Today was a low-key end to a stressful week. After work we kicked it with a bit of out-and-about then pizza in the loft with (gasp) Cherry Coke and The Station Agent. It was also Robin's birthday, among other big events.
posted at 9:51 PM - comments
Thursday, June 05, 2008
We just came back down the hill from Countryside, excited about weather and Webbstock. This is a spur-of-the-moment list... ice cream was totally spontaneous and Webbstock is only possible due to 'unprecedented geographic proximity.' But, Spider Nick closes out the night, it's only 131 miles away, and why not? I love being on campus and Jenelle hasn't been to this particular aquarian exposition so it will be fun all around.
Last night was approximately the halfway point of Jenelle's class but also the end of sports season until fall. It's over because the Red Wings clinched last night and, after a bunch of familiar faces skated the Cup on unfamiliar ice, hockey season is over. Now I'm left with EDSBS's countdown to college football kickoff.
This is Jenelle with the rhubarb strawberry custard meringue pie that she made with the rhubarb we bought at the Emmaus Farmer's Market which we visited after the ride to Topton that we went on after we watered the seed that we'd put on the lawn the day before. It was delicious.