Sunday, December 30, 2007

The End of '07

So did everyone have a nice xmas? I promised pictures, so hear you go..
Opening up my new wine fridge. Now I just have to find a place to put it. I think I'm going to try to build a wine rack type thingy that'll hold the fridge and additional bottles and glasses. I have to bust out the graph paper and sketch something out first though. I also got a deep fryer (which I've wanted for a while, next comes the crock pot). A wine fridge and a deep fryer, can anyone else hear that banjo playing?
Hanging out with the fam (sans middle brother) post gift opening xmas morning. I gotta say, mom did great this year with gifts, so thanks mom :) Although giving me a winning scratch ticket (instead of all the losers I got) wouldn't have killed you, would it?
The lovely wife playing with her new gloves/scarf/hat from mom. And S, props to Sasha on the watch, the misses loves it.
We haven't taken a family picture in forever. This is the official clan right now, with hopefully two more additions eventually. (no pressure there on the brothers euh)
And finally, a dinner table shot at the in laws to cap off the evening...
So there ya go, my holidays in a nutshell.
Random thoughts:
  • It is sooooo good to be home. Not that I don't love being down in MA seeing everyone, but it feels like I spent the entire time in the car. It stinks, cuz we didn't get to see nearly as many people as we would have liked, but that's the way it works sometimes. I really really really love our house now, so every time we head south, about Freeport I just want to turn around and head home haha.
  • The brother and sister in law came up yesterday (left today). They seemed to really like the house, which is nice. Of course we took them over to see Uncle D and family and the horses and snowmobiles. Cousin D and I took each one of them out for a ride and they really seemed to have a great time. California people usually aren't that easy to please haha
  • Great game last night huh. Lots of yelling at the tv done in this house, that's for sure. Great to see the Pats come out on top though.
  • Played Guitar Hero for the first time too. I need it. Fun fun fun game, and I found myself really getting into it. (those of you who have seen me do karaoke would know what I'm talking about). Lots of great songs too. Too bad the brother-in-law left and took it with him..booooo haha
  • Have tomorrow off, how fantastic is that? The company was feeling generous and gave us last Monday and this Monday off. Good times.
  • So is anyone out there making any new years resolutions? I have a few. 1. To finish projects in a more timely manner; 2. To start going to the gym again (haven't been in like 2 months), which will lead to losing 10 or so lbs hopefully; 3. Stop spending and start saving more. Pretty basic stuff really. Other than that, I don't think there's anything else I really need to change. Although the misses might beg to differ.
  • Speaking of new years, heading over to the uncles house for the night tomorrow. Lots of chinese food to be had by all. We'll see who actually makes it to midnight though. I guess this is what happens when you get old huh.
  • See everyone in 2008!!! Have a happy and safe new year! Its still not too late if you want to come up to our booming metropolis to celebrate :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Almost time to go home!

You'll have to forgive me if I'm not as assuming (intentionally or not) as usual, as I'm a little under the weather and all hopped up on tylenol cold and flu right now.
So Christmas, what a great day! Fantastic to see everyone, and have lots of great food. We woke up, and opened presents with the in-laws which was fun. The lil'lady got me the perfect gifts, and she really seemed to like what I got her.
After hanging out for a bit, we headed over to my parents for some more gift opening and some quality family time. We arrived just in time, as my father and brother were making french toast and bacon as we walked in... perfect!
Most of that afternoon was spent laughing, eating and really getting to hang out with my brothers, who I really don't get to see enough. I took lots and lots of pictures, so when I get home I'll be sure to post them.
After a quick stop down to see Mike & Kim and baby Maya (and to see her take those first couple of tentative steps! its really amazing to see), we shot back to the family to take part in the Yankee Swap. LOTS of laughs here, I really need to record a family gathering one of these days. I ended up with a 12 pack of Sam Winter, which is perfect and the lil'lady ended up with this thing that sits on the floor by the door to keep the drafts out... riiiiiight.
After that we shot over to the in-laws for an early dinner, which was very tasty, but we had just eaten 2 hours earlier so we really didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked (meaning I didn't get to eat as much as I usually do). Next we had to go pick up the brother and sister in law, and home for some more conversation and bed, as I wasn't feeling all that well.
Today... work in Salem, don't get me started... then we met some people out for a drink at the Beantown Pub. Originally it was supposed to be just Tom, but that turned into more. A couple of the wife's coworkers came out with us, followed by Sue & Phil, then another of the wife's coworkers, and finally around 730 Tom showed up. Great time had by all, lots and lots of laughs, and its always great to see people before leaving. Thankfully, I was home by 9 as I'm still not feeling 100%. And big props to Phil (or more likely Sue) for finally giving me a picture of me Mike, Phil and Jim from Phil's wedding. Now I have a pic from all the guys weddings I was in. Really my favorite part of the library back home :)
Time for bed now.. more Fri/Sat when I can post some pictures.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa's Coming!!!

Good day today. Dropped the misses off at work, and headed to mom's house to hang out for the day. Didn't do much, helped clean up a little (and I mean a little).
The wife's family has a tradition of going to a movie for christmas eve, so that's what we did tonight. We saw "Charlie Wilson's War", the new Tom Hanks flick. On a scale of one to 4, I'd give it a solid 3+. Very entertaining movie. Lots of great one liners, very smart movie. Both Tom Hanks and Philip Seymore Hoffman were fantastic in their roles as Representative Charlie Wilson and his CIA agent buddy. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you get the chance.
Afterwards, we got some take out chinese food and hung around trading stories for the next couple of hours. All in all, it was a really fun night.
Tomorrow will be a really busy day, but we'll get to see lots of people, which will be great.
Couple of random thoughts:
  • I've heard more police sirens in the past day, then I've heard in the past five months in Maine.
  • People in MA do not know how to drive. Going thru red lights, stopping for no reason, drifting lane to lane without signaling. Seriously people, learn how to drive and the road rage will go way down.
  • So what's everyone doing for new years? We'll be home, so anyone who's bored is more than welcome to come join us!
  • Tried whiskey tonight. I've never had it straight up, and not sure I ever will again. Buuuurns on the way down. Maybe someday I'll try it again, but it won't be anytime soon, that's for sure haha.
  • Have a safe and very merry christmas!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve, Eve

One more day until Santa comes!!!
Didn't do much today, which was nice. The misses is still getting over her cold, so she was taking it easy. We slept in (8am) then I ran to Brueggers for some breakfast. One of the only bad things about Maine is their total lack of decent bagels, so every time we come back down to MA, we have to go to Brueggers to get our fill.
Anyway, after a morning of shoveling out the driveway and hanging out, we headed over to Gramma's house to see the grandparents. Some of my cousins who I haven't seen in a while were there, so it was great seeing them and their kids. We all grew up together, so its still kinda bizarre to me that they have kids now yaknow. But its always great seeing them, and they have the greatest kids too.
After a couple of hours there, we headed back to the in-laws so I could watch the Patriots game. Great win, fun game to watch, great to see Maroney run like he did today too. Then we went to the 99 for dinner with one of the wife's friends from work and her family. Good food, good conversation, and headed home.
Couple of minor thoughts:
  • Snow in MA is much dirtier than snow in ME. I suppose its because there's ten times the car traffic, but still.. yuck
  • It was 9 degrees when we left our house Saturday morning. When we got out of the car tonight at 830 it was 51 degrees out, go figure. I'm just hoping that all the snow doesn't melt in ME. I want to go snowmobiling next wknd!!!
  • Big big win for the Celtics tonight. Orlando is a tough team, and the C's handled them nicely. With the way the Patriots have been playing though, they're still flying under the radar somewhat.
  • There are cats everywhere in this house. The in-laws have two, and we brought our four down for the week. They're everywhere, seriously. A couple of times I swear I came walking around the corner and they all looked at me in that way, ya know, like they had just been plotting against me or something. Creepy.
  • Usually, when I think of something I'd like to blog about, I write it down. I keep forgetting my little note paper, so I can't remember what I wanted to write about tonight. Its driving me crazy. I need to remember it the next couple of days...
  • Hope everyone has a very merry christmas!

Oh What A Night..

So we made the trek down south for the holiday, and here we are. We left home around 845 Saturday morning, and arrived at the in-laws house around 1215 or so. The cats came with us, as the wife didn't want to leave them alone in the house for the time we're away, so the first 30 minutes or so of the trip was filled with a chorus of meows. After a bit, they settled down and were quiet for pretty much the rest of the trip. When we drive down, we listen to stand up comics on the iPod, and we listened to a hilarious one this trip (a Christopher Titus routine, my cheeks hurt from laughing so much!)
Yesterday, we went over my aunt's house for a family party. We only stayed a couple of hours (we'll be seeing most of the people there on xmas anyway), but it was great seeing everyone. I really love the holidays, getting to see and spend some quality time with all our friends and family is really what its all about. After lots of food and lots of laughs, we headed out to Southie to see some friends.
And what a night it turned out to be. Lots and lots of laughs with Phil & Sue plus some good food and a couple of drinks makes a great night. After a bit, Loren showed up, and had some news to share... she got ENGAGED!!!! So a HUUUUUGE congratulations to Brian and Loren! Lucky for her, we all really like Brian :) The night was a lot of fun, and the misses and I headed out around 9 or so...
After the bar, we had to make a quick stop at Target. We forgot our pillows at home, so we had to pick some up. The pillows on the bed we sleep in at the in-laws really just don't cut it. (this will seriously cut into the tip I leave for the help) Thanks to the wife and her constant sniffling, I got a solid 3 hours of sleep last night. Dontcha just love cold and flu season.
Not much going on today, but we're meeting some friends for dinner tonight, then a busy couple of days ahead of us. All the shopping is done, so we don't have to go anywhere near a mall, which is nice.
To everyone we won't get to see before the holiday, have a Merry Christmas, and hopefully we'll catch up soon :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


What a game. The Celtics forgot to bring their 'A' game, and instead brought their 'B-" game. They really didn't play well enough to win tonight, yet they somehow hung in there. I'll say this though, Chauncey Billups is the new Sam Cassell. That guy has balls the size of Volvo's. Totally unafraid to take any shot, always seems to come up big. Why can't we get guys like that? Wait, we can, except we trade them 30 games into their rookie year.
The Pistons kept the C's out of their game the entire night, not allowing them to push the ball and forcing them into a half court offense. It didn't hurt either that Detroit shot lights out from three point land. Gotta love the kahunas on Ray Allen too though, coming up huge in the last minute or so of the game with a couple of big shots. Celtics were settling for jumpers way too often, they need to take it to the rim and get to the line. The referees didn't exactly help their case tonight as it seemed that none of the calls were going our way. For a while there in the third quarter, I thought the game was going to get away from them and a scrum was going to break out.
Overall, they showed that they can hang with the best. Its only December, so I'll be curious to see what happens when these two teams play again come February/March.
Not much else going on really. Lots to do before Saturday though. Clean the house, finish shopping, clean the house, wrap presents and clean the house.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is it the weekend yet???

Definitely looking forward to coming back to Boston for a couple of days later this week. Can't wait to see all the family, etc. that we haven't seen in forever and a day. Hopefully the brother and sister in law will come visit us up north while they're here too.
Ok, so I mentioned this show the other day, but I really can't stress it enough how great it is. Ninja Warrior is perhaps the best game show ever. Someone needs to explain to me why we don't have shows like this here. All it is is an obstacle course with normal people trying to complete it. I make it sound simple, but only two people have ever completed all 4 courses. Some of the contestants are gymnasts or other athletes, but for the most part its just normal people who want to give it a whirl. (some people have gone so far as to construct a scaled down version of the course in the backyard to practice) Its funny too, cuz a lot of the people who compete really have no business being on the show. Anyone can try it, although not all should. The wife and I have this running joke, that kittens are made of rubber, (seriously, have you seen one? they bounce off everything and just spring right back up and keep going.) well I think that in order to be a contestant on this show you need to be made of kittens! Some of these people fall in such ways that it can't not be painful. And there's really very little padding, mostly just mud pits to land in. Like I said, great show, and we really need to find a way to bring it across the Pacific.
Not much else going on really. Xmas shopping is just about done, just a few more minor things to go pick up. Work's been crazy, we're putting in new windows.. in December... in Maine.. yeah not the best of timing, but that's not my fault. Lots and lots of other stuff going on too. The nice thing is though, that since my building is full of elderly people, its like have 100 grandparents. Which means lots and lots and lots of baked goods during this holiday season. Good times...
I love my wife, I really do, but I think she may have a problem. You see, she's addicted to wrapping gifts. The only gifts I'm allowed to wrap are the ones I buy for her, and even then I think she'd rather wrap them herself. I don't even mind wrapping the gifts I get for other people, its just that she actually enjoys it. As you can see, she's getting started now.

The box in the bottom of the picture is FULL of different types and colors of tissue paper. She really has it down to an art form, its actually quite impressive really. And when you receive a gift from her, (or me, cuz she probably wrapped it) you have to take notice at what a perfect wrap job it is. Perfect creases and folds, minimal tape usage. Like I said, its an art...

So I found a great way to stay warm too. I'm not a layers kind of guy really. Some people wear long johns and all that, but I never have as I don't tend to get too cold. I recently discovered though that soccer socks are great at keeping your legs/feet warm. They're long, so they go all the way to your knee, keeping a lot of your leg warm, and the feets are thicker than a normal sock, keeping your toes warm. I only have two pairs right now, so I think I need to buy a third just in case.

Has anyone tried the new Sam Adam's glasses? I was thinking about picking up a set, partly to see what the deal is, and partly because I like the look of them.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Weekend Report

So Saturday was a good day. I got up and hit the stores thinking I'd beat some of the crowds. Well that didn't exactly happen, but I got what I needed and headed home. There's a Toys R Us near the mall (i was going to starbucks next door) and its parking lot is always empty. Today you would have thought they were giving away free toys. It was PACKED. I have just a couple of things to pick up and I'm done with my xmas shopping. All the major stuff is done, its just a couple of minor stocking items and some gifts for my peeps at work.
Saturday night we had the family over to dinner. This was to be our first time having everyone over for dinner since moving up here. (we've basically been mooching off them for the past five months) I cooked the entire dinner, as my lovely wife got "stuck in traffic" (or so she says) for 45 minutes and didn't make it home in time to help. That's ok though, I like being in control in my kitchen. I made a shrimp scampi, pasta, sauce, meatballs, salad, bread and a desert(monkeybread). I thought we were going to have way too much food, but we didn't have that many leftovers, and what was leftover is pretty much gone by now. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, and I haven't had any reports as of yet of people getting sick, so that's good. Don't worry, those of you who don't eat anything other than beef, next time I'll make something you can eat too :)
I forgot to take a picture while we were eating, so here's the empty table. (we only have 4 chairs as the other four have yet to arrive, so we had to use 4 folding chairs)
This morning, I was lying in bed watching Sportscenter, when the phone rang. It was only 9am or so, so the misses and I immediately knew who it was. Cousin D. But it was a good thing he called, cuz he was inviting me over to go snowmobiling.
I was only slightly concerned about going. Not because it was snowing and it was going to continue to snow all day, so the roads wouldn't be that clear. Nope, it was coooold out. The car dash said 9 degrees, and that thermometer is usually a little on the warm side, so I'd say it was closer to five out. So off we went. This picture (below) is from the short trail that links up a couple of fields. It's a really neat area as the trees growing on each side form a canopy of sorts. I planned to take more pictures, but it was way too cold when I took of my gloves. I'll take more sometime when its in the 20's or something.
I've said it once, and I'll say it again. Best innovation ever, the hand warmer in the handler bars on the snowmobile. Keeps those fingers nice and roasty toasty.
The rest of today was just a normal day. Shoveled a couple of times, did some painting around the house, watched the Pats game. Nothing exciting. Speaking of the Pats game though, is it me or is Rodney Harrison incredibly chippy? Always hitting someone after the whistle or running his mouth. Just play the game dude, make a play first, then you can talk trash.

Couple random thoughts:

  • When we first purchased our couch, I would sit on it and sometime smash down the cushions, trying to get comfortable. Needless to say I got yelled at a lot! ("you're going to ruin the couch!") It seems to be nothing but cuteness when the misses' felines do the same thing.. Look at the cushion! If it could speak it would be screaming in pain!
  • You know how people have lists of things they'd like to do before they die? I don't really have a formal one, but one thing I'd really like to do is sit in the audience at a taping of America's Funniest Home Videos. Is that wrong? That show makes me laugh no matter what kind of mood I'm in. I don't care how many times I see it, other people getting hit in the groin is ALWAYS funny. I will not argue this.
  • Good win by the Patriots today. Tough weather to play in. Didn't play their best game, but a wins a win. Also good to see the Dolphins win. You never want to see go winless in season
  • Another win by the Celtics today. They're 20-2 on the season and the best part is, the bench is playing well. That was the biggest concern going into the season and so far they've stepped it up. With Ray Allen hurt, Tony Allen has been playing big minutes and playing pretty solid. Very encouraging.
  • I'd say we got about 8 inches of snow, so nothing all that bad. Its starting to turn to freezing rain now though, which isn't good. All the snow that has fallen has been the light fluffy stuff that's easy to shovel. All this freezing rain is just going to make all the snow thick and a pain to move.
  • Last, but certainly not least... a big pat on the back for the misses. She got an email today from one of her professors saying that because she had an 'A' in the class, she wouldn't have to take the final. How great is that?!?!? Someday, if our future kids get her smarts and my athletic ability, then we'll have a child that will peak athletically at 13, but will be smart enough to get any job they want! As you can tell, I don't bring much to the table in the way of genes :) But anyway, nice job baby! Now you'll only be half as cranky when you study...

Friday, December 14, 2007


It's the weekend.
Now, you have to take anything I type tonight with a grain of salt, or just ignore it, as I've kinda had too much to drink. Mmmm Shiraz....
Anyway. this week was the king of crappy weeks at work, but since I don't talk about work, it is what it is, right?
Got my hair cut today. Someday, when I'm rich I'm going to get my hair cut once a week. That's my goal in life, is that wrong?
A HUGE congratulations to Eri for getting engaged this week. An additionally HUGE congrats to Eri for being smart enough to live in San Deigo where its never cold and never snows.
So when we lived in our last place in MA, my lovely wife would take lots of baths. That hasn't really changed. What has changed though is the layout of our house. When the misses would settle in with her book, I was only 20 feet down the hall blasting my music on my iTunes. Now however, she's like forever away, plus an entire floor! So she can sit in the tub and read in peace, while I blast my country music. The bonus is I can sing as loud as I'd like. The downside is that the misses doesn't get to hear my fabulous singing.
I send a lot of text messages. Does this make me a 15 year old girl? Or does this just mean that I was smart enough to get the unlimited text messaging plan with Verizon. And thank you P, for answering my texts.
I've got pretty much all my shopping done for Christmas. Just a couple of little things here and there to pick up, which is nice.
I need to find a drinking buddy. Back in MA, I had a couple of friends I could call whenever and we'd go have a drink or 7 after a long week or whatever. Up here, I haven't found that buddy yet. It's really kinda sad. Do I become friends with the guy across the street? Do I just start hanging out at the bars solo hoping to find someone cool? I'm not sure how this works.
Have a great weekend! We're supposed to get a ton of snow Sunday, but I can't seem to find a forecast that gives snow totals, so we'll see how much we actually get. The term "plowable" seems to be codeword for TONS OF SNOW. As of Friday, I've seen anywhere from three inches to 3 feet of snow Sunday night, so we'll see what actually happens..

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One More Day To Go.

Thursday.. where to start..
  • First off, did you see the new Japanese outfielder the Chicago Cubs signed? Kosuke Fukudome. Um, interesting last name Kosuke...
  • If you didn't already know, American Gladiators is back! Its coming back to NBC on January 6th, with Hulk Hogan and Lalia Ali as the hosts. I don't know about you, but I can't wait. Here's a look at the new gladiators.
  • So there's a new Trolley in Seattle, the South Lake Union Trolley. Um, didn't no one figure out the acronym? S.L.U.T. What's the slogan going to be? "After a late night at the bars, don't take a cab home, ride the S.L.UT.?" ummm I think I'll just keep the rest of the inappropriate jokes to myself.
  • Big day today for baseball, as the Mitchell Report was finally released. Personally, I don't see why they felt the need to release all these names when they don't have any solid proof (i.e. positive test for the steroids/HGH), especially since there most likely will not be any suspensions. My view is that I'm assuming a whole lot more players used (1% of players in the major leagues were in the Report, and on average 6% of MLB players are caught using performance enhancing drugs each year) then is in the report. So like I've said before, we had the dead ball era, and this will just be known as the steroid era. Its not like its going to keep fans out of the parks. People will still watch and attend in record numbers. It seemed that almost all of the info came from three sources, two in New York and one in San Francisco, and amazingly enough most of the players named played in those cities or had ties to players in those cities. So it seems to me to be a very incomplete synopsis of drug use in the sport. Apparently, players in Chicago or Kansas City or Atlanta don't use steroids. Baseball needs to implement blood testing, not just urine testing, if it really wants to get serious about abolishing all forms of performance enhancing drugs. An independent third party needs to do the testing, so that neither the owners/commissioner nor the players can be accused of tampering with the samples.
  • And it seems that you guys down in MA are getting quite the snowstorm. A whole 6 inches is it? Oooh poor babies. Come to Maine, we'll show you some real snow, when we get 10+ (for the second time already this winter, and its not even winter) this weekend! Although it was funny, I was joking around with Jamie this morning on the way to drop him off at the bus station. It was only 8 degrees out and we were saying that usually when he sees an 8 on the weather there's at least a 7 in front of it. (he's living in LA) Although if it was that warm, we wouldn't be able to snowmobile!!!!
  • Speaking of which, if you'd like to donate to the "Buy J a Snowmobile Fund" feel free :) They're pretty expensive, but that's ok, I'm going to start out by buying a used one. Gotta save my pennies for next winter now! I figure I'm going to need at least 2g's...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Half Way There...

Completely crazy day at work, but then again in my business there's never a dull moment. After work though, we headed over to my uncles to take the brother-in-law out on the snowmobiles. Great time as always. Cousin D, J and I headed out into the trails and probably spent an hour or so out there before heading back to the house. I think I need to start saving my pennies now so I can buy a snowmobile for next winter. They're so much fun. Plus, I don't want the family to think the only reason I come over is to play with their toys. But again, common sense, gotta know what's too fast and when you can go fast and when to slow it down.
Caught a new show on the G4 channel called Ninja Warrior and its awesome. It's another one of those fantastic Japanese games shows. You know, the ones where they have these cool obstacle courses that the contestants have to run through. Why don't we have this kind of show over here? We steal crappy reality tv shows from Europe, so why can't we steal this idea from Japan? Here's a couple of clips, here, here and here (this last one is the best clip). They run subtitles because the show is in Japanese, obviously, and they change the course from time to time so people can't practice all the obstacles. I guess its HUGE in Japan, like people build replica's in their backyard to simulate the course. I NEED to get on this show.
The Mitchell Report comes out tomorrow. That's the report down by an "independent" group on steroid use in baseball. Supposedly there are a lot of names of supposed steroid users in the report. It'll be interesting to see how baseball responds. Do the suspend everyone who's still playing? What do they do with the stats of those who were named? My question is though, how, without testing, do they know for a fact that certain guys used? The report only has 50-60 names, but there's no way that little amount of players was using and the rest were clean. As a fan, I really don't care. I assume that a lot of guys used, hitters and pitchers, but whatever. You can't go back and change the past, so put in place a solid testing procedure (not like the one currently in place) and move on. We had the dead ball era, we had the era before blacks were allowed to play, and now we have the steroid era. It is what it is and you can't change the past, only learn from it. But I doubt anything will change. In order to detect a lot of the steroids out there now, a blood test needs to be done, and we all know that the player's union will never allow that to happen.
Have you heard about the storm on the way? We're supposed to get another inch or two tomorrow night, followed by a huge nor'easter this weekend. They're saying double digit amounts up here... again. I don't mind the snow though. The shoveling isn't so bad and our car drives just fine in it. Plus, that just mean more snowmobiling!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Moving right along..

Not much to report on. The wife's brother arrived this evening after a bus trip up. The bus was only a couple minutes late too, so that was nice.
After a quick tour of the house, all he keeps saying over and over again is that our house is so big! Mind you, he spent the past week in NYC with his girlfriend in her itsy bitsy apartment, so his sense of scale is a little off I think.
Not much on tv tonight, but thank goodness for ESPN. First I caught that new show E60. Basically a sports version of 60 minutes tweaked a little. Pretty entertaining actually. After, they had an hour long show where they showed the best of the best "This is Sportscenter" commercials. I forgot how funny some of those commercials were.. good times.
Ok, big day tomorrow. The wife is going to take J around town, then we're going to head over to my uncle's and do some snowmobiling after the cousins get home from school. Perfect.
Oh, and for a good laugh, check this and this out...
The wife and I watched the recent Garth Brooks concert on CMT last night. We talked about buying tix (along with plane tix and a hotel room) to go see the concert (it was in Kansas City, and he's playing LA in January. Very limited shows), but we obviously didn't and I really wish we would have. He hasn't toured in ten years, and it would have been great to be there.. ooh well. Hopefully he'll come play some place on the east coast, so we can go see him there.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Two new beers:
Weyerbacher Winter Ale. Very tastey, but those of you who read on a regular basis know that I really enjoy the weyerbacher brand. Goes down smooth, brewed with a chocolate malt, but its not overly chocolately. I highly recommend it. I'd give it a sold 8 on the jayscale. For comparison sake, it is similar to Sam Adams winter ale.
Sebago Slick Nick Winter Ale. There was nothing really wrong with this beer, but there was nothing calling me back for seconds either. If I saw it on tap at a bar, I'd give it another whirl, but otherwise I doubt I'll be buying a six pack anytime soon. Nothing special either way about it, so I'll give it a 6.5.
So my pick to win it all was eliminated from The Amazing Race last night. My 2nd and 3rd place finishers are still in the race though. Overall, the show has been entertaining this year, but there are far too many scenes in airports where everyone is just sitting around waiting for the ticket offices to open. More action, less sitting please! And my offer still stands, anyone want to go on the show with me?!?!?
One of those Kay Jewelers commercials came on the other day, and I turned to my lovely wife and said, "I can't wait for the day when I'm rich enough that I don't have to put any thought into a gift for you and I can just go out and buy you some diamonds. Because I don't do that, I actually have to put real thought into your gifts, and thinking isn't my strong suit." She agreed, but mostly cuz what girl doesn't like diamonds. It drives me crazy though how all these commercials show people buying people bling for xmas, when that requires zero thought, just a platinum card. I work hard trying to pay attention and get my wife what she wants. Sure this is the opinion of a poor man who usually fails at purchasing the perfect gift, but so what! And yes, when I am rich, I will buy her diamonds.
Speaking of gifts, you know who I'd like to thank? The person that invented the grab. I have basically four gifts I'm responsible for. One for my brother M(who I have in the grab for my side of the family), one for lovely mother in law (who I have in the wife's side of the family grab), the wife of course and my parents. All the grabs (including the wife and I) have a monetary limit, so I don't have to worry about people spending too much on me either. And with the few gifts I do have to get, I can really put some thought into each of them, and hopefully get the person something really worthwhile. To me, Christmas is really about the kids and I can't wait to someday spoil ours, but right now its really about seeing all the family and friends we don't get to see that often now that we've moved. Sounds sappy, but that's the way it is. I'd much rather have a beer and watch the Celtics with my dad then have him (or more likely my mom) worry about what to get me or visa verse ya know. That sounded kinda preachy huh, sorry about that I didn't mean for it to come across that way. Basically what I'm saying is that they best part of the holiday's is seeing and spending some quality time with everyone, especially those we don't get to see very often. Gifts are great, but its the joking around and laughing and rehashing old stories that have been told a million times, and hearing new stories for the first time that I look forward to the most.
So I tried making an apple tart type thingy tonight. Presentation wasn't all that great but it tasted pretty darn good. Sugar and water mixed together in a cast iron pan. Butter added eventually to get a carmel sauce. Add some chopped up apples, cover with a piece of pie crust just big enough to cover the apples and throw it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. When the pie crust is brown, take it out (now here's the tricky part) and flip the tart onto a plate. There was some spilling, but I was at least smart enough to flip over the sink. Like I said, it tasted very yummy (and the wife agreed), but it lacked proper presentation.
And finally, the brother in law is arriving via bus tomorrow for a couple of days. Should be a good time. We'll drag him around town to see the sights, maybe over for a bit to play on the snowmobiles, we'll see.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

So lets see. Saturday was a fantastic day. We headed over to my uncles house around 1230 or so and basically spent the next two hours out on his snowmobiles. The wife and I on one, cousin D on the other. Great great times. I have a new mistress and her name is Ms. Snowmobile. There are tons of trails around them, all clearly marked so because we stay so close to home, there's really no way to get lost. In a couple of places there are big wide open fields, where as long as you can see clearly enough, and you stick to the already made tracks (to avoid rocks etc) you can really open it up. Hitting 45-50 mph on a snowmobile is really an amazing feeling. There's one spot, behind my cousin's aunt's house, where there's a hill that acts as a little jump. Awesome stuff. The thing with them is though, you always have to remember to be cautious. Every year you see stories about people getting killed or seriously hurt on them. Common sense is your best friend on one of those.
We did manage to get stuck on a trail that hadn't been ridden yet this year. A tree was down, so we had to turn around, which ended up being more difficult than we planned due to the fact we were in a bog. After about 15 minutes or so, with the three of us executing some nifty 50 point turns, we made our way out.
That night, we had cousins D and B over to help decorate the tree. This is me trying to wrap the lights around the tree while standing on the window sill and step stool. Safety first right!
With a little help from D, we were able to wrap the lights around the tree, mostly.
The wife decorating our lovely mantle. (all photos courtesy of cousin B)
The finished product. We really should have turned more lights on though, huh. You can see though, that we really didn't decorate the bottom 12-18 inches of the tree. This is what happens when you have 4 cats.
Next years christmas card?
The house looks very festive I must say. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and thanks to the help of my cousins we finished in about an hour or so.
We didn't do much today. The wife has a paper due soon, and finals coming up so she spent most of the day working on that stuff. Although for breaks, she was very productive painting her office. (pics to come when completed) At first I wasn't sure about the color, but its coming out really nice.
I hit Target today, had to pick up a couple items for the house and do a little recon for last minute gifts for the wife. (I'm pretty much done with my xmas shopping. although i had very little to do this year as i only have to buy one gift for my family and one for the wife's. i love grabs) But Target was absolutely mobbed. No kids, all moms and dads out shopping. I've never seen it that crowded. This is why I do most of my shopping online now. People in stores seem to move in slow motion and that just annoys me. I know what I need and I get in and out, none of this dillydallying that seems so prevalent these days.
Also, one of our neighbors stopped by this evening and dropped off some home made fudge. She said she loved the lights on the outside of the house (good job by me). I've really only met them in passing and they seem quite nice, but this was unexpected. We'll have to figure out a way to invite them over for a drink or something some night.
Nice, big statement win by the Patriots tonight. Loved the crowds chanting of "guarantee" though. Great stuff. I would like to see Donte Stallworth get some more balls thrown his way, as he's great in the open field and deserves the reward for doing all the little things (blocking, etc). But when the team is playing this well, who am I to nitpick right?
We also got the news that my brother-in-law is going to come up for a couple of days this week. He's in town from LA, so it'll be good to see him and hang out. The wife's other brother and his wife are planning on coming up to visit the wknd between xmas and new years. Good times all around I'd say. Its always nice to get to see family you don't get to see very often ya know.
Alrighty, hope everyone out there had a great wknd, and we'll see you all soon for xmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend!

  • Don't forget.. My cousin Lisa's husband Jeremy won a really cool contest. He is hosting a one hour show from the Margaritaville Cafe in Orlando on Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville this Saturday, December 8th. Two others won also, and each of them gets a 1 hr show, from 2-5pm (his slot is 4-5pm), and then the winner is chosen from a voting period which is from 5-6pm. The winner gets to host future after-concert shows along with some other stuff.Radio Margaritaville is available on Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 31), on the Dish Network (Channel 6031), and on the internet at If you don't have either Sirius or the Dish Network and want to listen, you can go to and sign up for a free 3-day trial to listen via internet. Voting is from 5-6pm this Saturday, Dec 8th at 866-55-PARROT or online at I know I'll be listening.
  • We bought a Christmas tree Thursday night. First we went to Nicky's for dinner, which was just fantastic. I got a chilly cheeseburger (minus the cheese of course, i wouldn't want to be unhealthy) and the wife got an omelet with toast (they serve breakfast all day/night. we took Eileen and Ern there and the in-laws when they visited). After waddling back to the car, we drove the 7 feet over to the xmas trees and picked one out. Here it is... We put it in the library, and I think we'll get to decorating it today or tomorrow. Hopefully we'll convince some family to come over and help. If there are people around, there's less of chance the wife will yell at me for decorating it wrong. Well, thats not quite right, she'll still yell, just not as loud as she would if it was just the two of us. Dontcha just love the holidays!
  • So when I went to work yesterday, it was -5 degrees out (at 730am) My kitchen thermometer totally said it was 4 degrees out, but I think the weatherman knows better than the free digital thermometer/clock I got for opening a checking account.
  • We got another inch or so of snow last night. Barely noticeable really except when the plow comes by and pushes all the snow from earlier in the week back into my driveway. I'm afraid the plastic shovel just isn't cutting it, I think we'll have to upgrade to something metal to take care of the ice. Back to Home Depot we go..
  • Went to see Enchanted last night. Obviously, it was the wife's turn to pick the movie. If I was a seven year old girl, I would have loved this movie. Fortunately, I'm not. It wasn't a bad movie per se, it just wasn't really my type of movie. I mean who doesn't dream of being a princess one day, but I got over that two or three years ago. The funny part is, the last two movies the wife has picked have been fairy tale type flicks (Stardust being the other). I guess I'm not providing her with the happily ever after she desires, so she has to live thru the characters on the big screen... The weird part about the movie though was that it was edited in such a way that both the misses and I kept expecting commercials. Its like they filmed it so that in three years when its on TBS every twelve minutes, they can just slide the ads in seamlessly.
  • Woke up this morning, turned on the tv and What about Bob was on. I've always loved this movie and its even better when you catch it randomly on cable. Dr. Leo Marvin's (Richard Dreyfuss' character) daughter was played by the girl from Law & Order Criminal Intent (the one that used to be on Sunday's now its on USA with Vincent D'Onofrio). It took us like 10 minutes of watching before we finally figured out who she was.
  • So I go to Home Depot this morning and hit Starbucks after, cuz we're addicted now. Of course I had to remind the barrister to use soy (one of these days they're going to kill me). As I'm pulling out of the parking lot, this 7-8 year old kid starts giggling and picks up a huge chunk of snow and throws it at my car! No parent around of course, so I let it slide. As I get into the car and start pulling out of the spot, he throws some more snow on the car, then some more! So I decide to hadle this in adult way (who am I kidding). As I pull towards the exit and he's running behind me, I stop, then gun the engine, spinning the tires kicking slush up at him. Little shi*t, I'll teach you a lesson...
  • Well, I just got the call I've been waiting for. I'm going snowmobiling now (and I have to fix my uncles cable, its a horrible picture for some reason) Off I go...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Its finally over...

Well work inspection has come and gone and everything worked out fine.. thankfully.. Now onto the good stuff.

  • My cousin Lisa's husband Jeremy won a really cool contest. He is hosting a one hour show from the Margaritaville Cafe in Orlando on Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville this Saturday, December 8th. Two others won also, and each of them gets a 1 hr show, from 2-5pm (his slot is 4-5pm), and then the winner is chosen from a voting period which is from 5-6pm. The winner gets to host future after-concert shows along with some other stuff.
    Radio Margaritaville is available on Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 31), on the Dish Network (Channel 6031), and on the internet at If you don't have either Sirius or the Dish Network and want to listen, you can go to and sign up for a free 3-day trial to listen via internet. Voting is from 5-6pm this Saturday, Dec 8th at 866-55-PARROT or online at I know I'll be listening.
  • Two new beers: Anchor Brewing Christmas Brew. Excellent stuff. Every year they make it and every year they tinker with the recipe a little, so every year it tastes a little different. This year its very very good. It tastes very similar to the Harpoon Winter Warmer, with a little less of a gingerbread flavor. I highly recommend trying this, and I give it a strong 8 on the jayscale. I also tried a Floris Framboise. Its a Belgium raspberry fruit beer. If you're into the fruity beers, I definitely recommend it (I like them from time to time). It basically tastes like a Clearly Canadian, circa 1989 when Clearly Canadian was cool.
  • So I made pasta and crescent rolls for dinner tonight. The pasta was fine, but when I opened the rolls, they were all messed up. Like normally you pop open the container, unfold the dough, then refold it into the correct shape and bake. Well it was almost like Pillsbury just shoved a bunch of dough into the container and hoped for the best. They tasted fine, but they weren't very crescent in shape.
  • Joke for you: you know you're old when your wife says to you "honey, lets go upstairs and make love." and you say "I can't do both" hahaha.. ahhh i'll be here all night, tip your waitress!
  • Spent the night, like I do from time to time, listening to music. Tonight's music was mostly Brad Paisley. For those of you who really like country music, I highly recommend his newest cd. I think his last one was a little better, but this one is still fantastic. And for those of you who don't like country music, well you don't know what your missing. Every song tells a story, a lot of the lyrics make you laugh out loud, and in general they don't take themselves too seriously. Heck, my ringtones are even country songs. ("Not as good as I once was", Toby Keith. fitting i think) The unfortunate part to my night was that my poor lovely wife had to listen to my "singing" all night. And I use the term singing loosely. Anyone who's ever heard me do karaoke (late night at mike and kims.. ahhh good times) knows that I don't have a single musical note in me, but to me, I sound just like Kenny Chesney, I don't care what you all think. Speaking of Chesney, we tried getting tix and couldn't get them, and I'm still peeved. Sure I can spend $200 on a ticket if I really wanted to, but c'mon, that's way too much. Plus, I'd need 8 total, so we could all go again. I'm still holding out hope that they held back some of the tix and will release them at a later date.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is it the weekend yet?

Maybe I should quit my job and hang out with this guy...
So we ended up with about 13 inches of snow. Not too shabby for the first storm of the season. It really doesn't seem to effect people around here though, as most everyone plans ahead and stays off the roads allowing the plows to do their job.
Big day tomorrow. State is coming to inspect us...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Well the weather outside is frightful...

Well, here we are at 8pm..
The snow started around 6am, and is supposed to end sometime tomorrow. They're predicting another 6-10 inches, so it shouldn't be too bad. So far I've shoveled 3 times, but that's because I like to try to stay ahead of the snow. In my opinion, shoveling 5 inches at a time is much easier than shoveling 15 at once.
So we closed our office early, and when I got home we took Princess to the vet. She hasn't been feeling well lately so the wife wanted to make sure everything was ok. (it seems to be) After the vet, we went home, I made dinner (boneless pork ribs cooked on top of the stove, in wine, garlic, salt & pepper; peas, and carrots in a butter & brown sugar sauce) Yummy if I do say so myself. Half way thru dinner we got a call from uncle D, asking if we wanted to come over and try out the snowmobiles. File that under DUH! Of course we did. So we inhaled our food, thru on as many layers of clothing as possible and headed over...
So we went riding down in the pit behind their house. Lots of fun. Those things have some giddy-up to them, that's for sure. I really really really wanted to open it up, but it was pretty dark so I'll wait until I can see better and actually know what I'm doing first. The fastest we hit was about 30 miles per hour, but it feels like you're going so much faster.
Needless to say, I need a snowmobile now.

That's me on my cousin's sled (they call them sled's up here)
Here's cousin D with the wife on the back(my wife of course, not his. he's 12, that would just be silly). He's driving uncle D's sled as it has a higher weight capacity (for two people). We had a great time, and after an hour or so we called it a night and headed home. (one of the neat little extra's on the sled, there are hand warmers in the handle bars, so as you drive it keeps your hands warm. how cool is that? its the little things, it really is.) The also have plastic sleds that you tie to the back of the snowmobile, so you get dragged around. Sorta like tubing on water, only you're in the snow and there are trees and whatnot.

I took this pic earlier in the evening, so you could get a better look at the house with the lights. There will be more lights next year, don't you worry. Like I said earlier, Princess hasn't been feeling well. This pic is for all you crazy in-laws out there. Lucy (the kitten) has been spending a lot of time with her. I think its cuz Princess is fat, and Lucy isn't, so she stays close for warmth.
Just a couple of random thoughts before I let you go

  • In the snow, momentum up a hill is your friend. Down a hill, not so much.
  • I really need some sort of ear protection. My head just looks silly in a stocking cap (I've got a really large and odd shaped head, you all know this though). I think I need to buy one of those things that wraps around the back of your head and covers your ears. I also need to buy a pair of good gloves. All I really have is my leather pair which look nice, but don't really keep my hands warm.
  • Wearing cuffed pants in the snow is a no-no. Snow gets in the cuffs and you end up dragging it all over the house.
  • I love our new car. It handles so well in the snow. Other cars may cost more or be bigger or whatever, but I'm really glad we bought this one.
  • Book review (courtesy of Phil): The Rescue Artist. Its all about the search for the painting The Scream. Very entertaining read throughout. It discusses other stolen art cases and goes into the background of the paintings etc. The wife is reading it now, and she seems to be enjoying it to, but I'm sure she'll tell you about it when she's done.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Weekend Report.

So lets see..I already wrote about Friday, so I can just skip that. It was pretty quiet here anyway. Now Saturday was a good day.
We just hung around that morning, cleaning the house, nothing all that exciting. Around noon we decided to get check out the furniture store down the street that was having a 50% off everything in stock sale. We're on the lookout for a dinning room set and (for me, not so much the misses) a leather recliner. Well their recliner selection wasn't really what I was looking for, so we focused on dining room sets. We found two that we really liked, but we had the toughest time making a decision. Thankfully a lovely couple came along and bought one of the two we were looking at, forcing us to make a decision. Here's what we got..
Its actually really nice. Far nicer than anything I thought I'd ever own. Thankfully the misses has really good taste. Its dark cheery in color, with a leaf that folds into the table. There are only 4 chairs in the picture, but we bought 8, the other four had to be ordered. We're very very happy with it, and now we can fit everyone when my family, the wife's family or the Maine relatives come over for dinner. (we've been pretty much mooching off the Mainers since we moved up. now we can show off our cooking skills (and i use skills loosely) and repay them for all the dinners etc they've fed us)
Bringing the table into the house was an adventure in itself. No delivery, that was part of the sale, so we loaded everything into the car (two trips, one with the chairs, one with the table) and brought it home. The wife, she's like and ant. She can lift like 10x her body weight. Unfortunately, the table weighed more than that, so we somehow pushed and pulled and slid the table from the car, up the stairs and into the house. Mind you, it was 19 degrees out when we did this, so that didn't help any...
After putting the legs on and setting it up, we started decorating for Christmas. Cousins B & D came by to help and off we went. Sarah and B took the inside while D and I took the outside. Again, the temperature was in the teens, so that didn't help, but we got the job done. And thanks to D for sacrificing life and limb crawling under the porch stairs to help run extension cords. Nice gloves on D huh. He's never going to lose those..
Our camera really stinks at night, so you can't see the house at all, but you can get a decent idea what's going on. I think we need a few more candy canes though. Maybe two-three more on the left, then 3-4 running up the side of the driveway.
This is on the porch. I had to tie it down as it keeps getting blown over. This year we only bought a few lights, but I'll be at Target the day after xmas buying more stuff 1/2 off for next year! Yes, I am that guy who goes overboard. There are worse things in life though.

The wife took the inside, and as you can see, she didn't really want me to take her picture. If you look closely, you can actually see that her eyes are in mid roll. Since she started dating me, she's really become a master of eye rolling. Its gotten to the point where even if I have my back to her, I can feel her eyes rolling. You can also see cousin B's hand in the corner there. She had no interest whatsoever in being in this pic either. I've never seen her move so fast...

Cousin D stayed over Saturday night and we got some pizza (Amato's... mmmmmm) and watched a Harry Potter movie and Transformers. I. Love. Transformers. The misses and D, not as much, but everyone still had fun.

Today was another busy day. The misses ran a bunch of errands (mostly Home Depot) while I stained the attic floor. No pics yet, as I still have to put the 2-3 coats of poly on it. So I'll have pics in the next day or two. I gotta say though, it looks fantastic. A hundred times better than it did before we did all the work on it. We're getting pretty good at this home improvement thing. After we finish the attic (this week hopefully), we've got a couple other indoor winter projects we're going to tackle. Good times. We also finished winterizing the basement and I attempted to fix the doorbell. Still not working though, and I think its the speaker the chimes come out of, not the button itself. When you ring the doorbell, it rings for 5 seconds then goes all static-y. I didn't turn off the power when fixing it though, so I kept getting tiny jolts every time I touched the wires. Doorbells don't use enough electricity to hurt you, but it does make your fingers tingle. We also switched out all the outlets in our bedroom as the ones already in place were at least 75 years old. Ok, maybe not 75 years old, more like 20, but still they needed to go. A trip to Home Depot for one last extension cord for the lights and a stop at AC Moore for some indoor decorations for the misses and home we went..

To finish off, just a couple of random thoughts:

  • Ticketmaster suc-didily-ucks. A bunch of us tried getting Kenny Chesney tix for this summer. Couldn't get thru online or over the phone. One of our friends even stood in line for over an hour, only to be told once it opened up that they couldn't sell tickets in person for some unknown reason. If it turns out that all the tickets were purchased by resellers and scalpers, I might have to bust some heads. Not cool...Still holding out hope that they'll release some more tix at a later date though.
  • I'm addicted to Starbucks. This is not good. I've never been a coffee drinker, at all, up until the past week or so. Now I need it all the time. Not good at all.
  • They're finally coming out with a Ghostbusters video game for xbox. Can't wait, looks fantastic, and the the script was written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, with all the original characters doing the voices. Nice.
  • Celtics: Good game today. Still not 100% happy with them though. They settle for jumpers way too often. Too much driving and kicking. They need to attack the hoop more and get more layups. Otherwise, I love the way they're moving the ball and playing tough defense. You don't see that in the NBA all that often anymore.
  • And finally... I know all you Boston folks are expecting a little snow (an inch or two right) this week. Well so are we here up north. Only its not a little, its a lot. They're saying 8-16 inches. I'll believe it when I see it, but holy crap, Mother Nature doesn't mess around up here huh. Although this does mean I'll soon be taking my first snowmobile ride. And thankfully cousin D has given his approval on our snow shovel selection. He's gotta be the only 12 year old ever that actually enjoys manual labor.