Late night reviewing design and engineering with a host of relevant people, then a few phone calls, btb, and the first game of the college football season. A day.
posted at 9:43 PM - comments
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Things you may not have known about great weather: it's good for washing cars and swimming. The past week plus has been incredibly perfect outside, so we celebrated by washing our cars and going swimming. We visited Jim Thorpe for the first time, and swam in Mauch Chunk Lake to boot. It was our first swim in fresh water this summer, and it was everything I remembered. Last night we made a huge stir fry using peppers that we grew in the garden, which lasted through leftovers tonight. We ate late because I shared a round with frisbee friends at Liberty Street after a pretty good, pretty big game tonight, and now it's now.
posted at 10:23 PM - comments
Sunday, August 24, 2008
A year ago we walked down to Brookside road with some candy from a bucket Judd gave us and watched the street rods cruise north. This year, we invited friends to join us with lawn chairs and then all headed back to our house for a pesto dinner which featured a healthy local harvest from our own garden. This milestone somehow reinforced in my mind how hard we've worked and how far we've come; some serious published research may describe why it takes an anniversary to realize such things. PS, street rods are cool. Next year I could take or leave the Awkscht Fest but Wheels of Time is on our list.
Saturday was several things: lazy, hard work, frustrating, cool, hot, and fun. We got a late start, but also got plenty done. I mowed the lawn, helped friends move heavy furniture, went to Wheels of Time at the park, kicked it on the deck, went down the hill for a barbeque, then were feeling crazy to packed up and went to Coldstone and the late show at Promenade. Being an adult is fun.
The Olympics are ruining my life. Well not actually; truth be told I love the Olympics, but it's that enthusiasm for the proceedings that means I'm sleep deprived and haven't done much of anything this week.
We did more on Sunday. A morning bike ride up the hill to Mountain Road, which was a first for Jenelle, and then lots of little things around the house. We took a few minutes to check out a Cedar Crest estate sale, which provided plenty to talk about. It also provided, interestingly, a freezer. Seriously. There in the garage, with food still in it, was a freezer for sale at '90 minutes left before the bank takes it' prices. Aces.
This week has been about two three things: work, telephone, and frisbee. And Olympics. I played ultimate until the sun went down on Tuesday and watched the rest of the athletes in the world playing various sports inside the TV after that.
Two things which feature prominently among my own Stuff I Like are cool downtowns and the Olympics. Today, both. Doylestown and Bethlehem's southside were each cool, but somehow the Lehigh Valley offering was my preference... but I'm sure we'll revisit both.
In the Olympics, dang. More photo-finishes and lasting glory than I can ever remember. I was floored by Bolt's qualifying heats/jogs and continue to love the swimming relays. Apparently the US also won shot put, which used to be aired but now is behind a bunch of Jamaican kids saying "lightning!" into a camera in terms of global sporting priorities. Phelps has earned the airtime but at least we're just watching him race; where are the other races that I know I'm missing? I suppose this is the great conundrum of the Olympics: even if we were there we could only watch a few select things - at least here we can read about what we missed.
Everybody is talking about the Olympics and why not? We've seen some of the great Olympic performances of the past few decades; Lezak's leg of the 4x100 matches Keri Strug's vault or Michael Johnson's 200m or Bode's hip-slide in my book of Olympic memories.
That being said, I'm back on my anti-NBC platform. During Phelps' 200 free gold, we were treated to a close-up of the most decorated Olympian during the final 50. Trouble is, he was over a body length ahead of a great battle for other medals, where Peter Vanderkaay held off the world for bronze in a great, great finish. While Mary Carillo was eating wacky foods and Chris Collinsworth was flirting with Phelps' mother, Team USA swept women's foil and made it out of repechage in rowing. We're missing CBC, big time.
If blogging were an Olympic swim meet - which it isn't - then Gram would be ahead of the green line. I've been off the pace and here's why:
Friday night Ryan from the 'hood invited me to go check out the Iron Pigs with him. We saw pretty good pitching and hitting. Defense, not so much. But, we talked cameras and summer and enjoyed the Pig power on a great night. At home, Bill and Sharon arrived from Michigan after a long day of motorcycling through the rain.
Saturday morning I got up early and turned 22 miles through the valley before breakfast, then had to step out of my shoe and take it off the bike with my hands due to my sore ankle. After some brunch and some hanging out we set off for MusikFest in Bethlehem. We saw the whole festival and some tunes, ate some food, checked out crafts, and then were mesmerized by Strange Fruit, the acrobateers from down under who sway above your head on poles. This is my favorite art form of all time. It just is. If you've seen it I bet you agree.
Sunday was more relaxed, in no small part due to the weather. Despite rainy conditions we took in a Moravian Tile & Pottery factory and the artists' colony of New Hope. We enjoyed both but were happy to be home for pesto and a nice evening.
It's been an interesting and busy few days. Here's how and why! Tuesday was frisbee; I braced up and headed out. It was an especially fun crowd and I played especially slowly, which averaged out to an average outing. Wednesday Jenelle surprised me with a picnic dinner trip to Bushkill Creek to our east. We were going to swim in the rope-swing equipped swimming hole, but it was darn cold and we just were not feeling it. Instead we found a spot on some rocks and had still-warm grilled steak and veggie paninis that Jenelle had whipped up for the occasion. On the way home we got some happy news via mobile phone, which trumped the DQ we found first. More later once news has traveled around the horn from its source.
At work: business is picking up. In three days I got three new projects, which is aces. I think all three are good exposure and good learning and good fun. It's also time to wind some projects - or my involvement therein - to a close, with varying degrees of great success. This kind of work, when you are really hard at it and making things happen, is pretty cool.
Bristol day here in the Valley: low 80s, perfectly clear, a light breeze. We honored the onset of faux-fall by taking in Das Awkscht Fest and sealing the driveway. Both took about two and a half hours, leaving us time for an evening drive.
We opened the roof and put on Van Morrison and explored the vast woods south and west of South Mountain. In the cool air we discovered the geographical oddity of Huff's Church - three miles from everywhere - and the hills and valleys that lead to Fleetwood and Maiden Creek, where we found a DQ that was the western apex of our trip. On the way back we traced very, very bike-able roads through Kutztown and past Topton and back along Mountain Road into Macungie, where the 'Fest had completely vacated the park. We had dinner on the deck and lounged through what was left of the weekend.
Ahhhh summer Saturdays. The cats were chilling, we were chilling.
We did a few errands - tracking down a brace for the hop-a-long blogger - and then toured the car show, from which everyone was departing as we were arriving. Perhaps tomorrow?
At home we relaxed in the loft with ice and no agenda. Then we picked the third major round of cherry tomatoes from the vines which are the envy of the neighborhood, apparently.
With them we made a family-recipe pasta sauce and enjoyed with some wine. The meal was simple enough and delicious enough to warrant retiring to the soft chairs with dark chocolate and a tall glass of cool water to reflect.
posted at 10:04 PM - comments
Friday, August 01, 2008
It's Friday night and we've already been busy. After a good day at work which showed great promise for the future, we hosted a few friends for burgers and salads and then cycling at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. An oddity of having friends with kids is that the time is now 10pm and we're back at home, in the loft, after an evening out. Two of the friends and two of the kids were new to the social circle, and we had a darn good time hanging out.
posted at 9:59 PM - comments