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JOURNAL



.:: Friday, January 26th ::.

~ 08:27 PM ~

"...the earth will save our eyes
don't blink tonight
the earth will rot away
go blank tonight
i really wish these snakes were your arms
i, i really wish you'd make up your mind
the earth disguised away the plague tonight
the earth will save our eyes
go blank tonight
i, i really wish these snakes were your arms
i, i really wish, you should make up your mind
i, i really wish these snakes were your arms
i, i really wish you'd make up your mind..."

I spent the morning at Bill's house sanding the trim and windows. Then, I washed them off, waited for them to dry, and taped two rooms. The front bedroom and living room are ready for Neale tomorrow. She is beginning the staining and with the new doors, does not need me there to wrestle close the doors. I would have gotten more done but I had a meeting at 1:30 at Alton High School with Chantay and an AHS representative. We are working on a funded project to help high school students develop diversity projects. Today was the first meeting and we should have some numbers next week. The project runs quick and should be done before spring break. Given that the groups involved at AHS are young teachers and progressives there should be some interesting ideas.

Despite missing lunch, I went to three grocery stores on the way home looking for truffle oil. No one had pure truffle oil but there was truffle oil with olive oil blends. I was willing to give up and make our adult mac n' chee without it but Neale wanted to look at the Trader Joe's in Des Peres. They had a blend as well and that is what we are using for the dish. I will order the real deal online soon. The blend is tasty though.

I prepped and have cooking Neale's pulled pork. 4.45 pounds of Boston Butt is covering slow and low at 210 for 12 hours. I used Alton's recipe. The adult mac n' chee was moved up because she starts phase one on Monday. Yes, South Beach rises from the shallow grave dug by the train tracks to stalk the halls of Sutcliff Manor again.

Linktastic:
Overdrive Spider
Days that end in Y
Appy Polly Loggy

.:: Wednesday, January 24th ::.

~ 08:59 PM ~

"...uncommon but not unusual..."

My question to MLB.... why? MLB.TV may be my only option.

Linktastic:
San Fran Brewcraft
Lewis and Clark
Tom is dead
Diversity in the Oscars
Gas

~ 01:53 PM ~

"...I told you I'd shoot..."

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Linktastic:
Dave Barry: 14 Things
Live and Learn


.:: Monday, January 22nd ::.

~ 07:27 PM ~

"...flames and stuff..."

I don't mean to jinx anything but if we get a good tax return we are upgrading to HDTV.

Linktastic:
Good discussion about Autism

.:: Sunday, January 21st ::.

~ 10:18 AM ~

"...One drink too many
And a joke gone too far
I see a face drive like a stolen car.
Gets harder to hide
When youre hitching a ride
Harder to hide what you really saw..."

We went for a walk before training yesterday. Ellis did well. Neale was watching an episode of the "Dog Whisper" and he states we should mix up the walking route for the dog (& me too). They get bored seeing the same yards (me too). So, we will map a new path.

Neale is at the office finishing a few vital things and I plan to watch a lot of football.

Our table came in fourth at Zonta's Trivia Night. We won no door prizes or 50/50 drawings. The Powerball drawing eluded us as well.

We got a few inches of snow. I already shoveled the driveway and walk. Ellis enjoyed bouncing around in the snow and chewing a few snow balls.

Linktastic:
When in Rome
Nina Simone
MythBusters: The Results
Domino Fun
F.V.K + Big Take Over + Pay To Cum
Today's Dollars
Hello Americans, This is Paul Harvey
Missing

.:: Saturday, January 20th ::.

~ 11:11 AM ~

"...Keep you apart,
Deep in my heart,
Separate from the rest,
Where I like you the best,
And keep the things you forgot....."

Neale had fun with Sara and Shannon. They went to Bigelo's Bistro, which she said I would like and the menu does look good.

Last night, after my work at Bill's house, I stayed off my feet and hung out in the basement. Besides the typical stumbling around the Internet and making electric noise, I watched "Miami Vice" and "The Ringer". Reviews posted on the film page.

We have training today and we are playing trivia with Neale's coworkers, which raises money for a local womens' group.

Also, we have a Power Ball ticket since it is over 200 million. If we win, I might let down the bridge so you can cross the moat.

Moonlight might be closing.

Linktastic:
Another reason to avoid trans fats
Temple
Priceless Zappa
You are a pirate

.:: Wednesday, January 17th ::.

~ 08:20 PM ~

"..Cost of War...."

I ordered the supplies for my barley wine. I decided to change the yeast strain to a slightly more tolerant strain. The Redeye Stout is still bubbling nicely.

I cannot explain this.

Linktastic:
Cheerleaders gone....(wait for it) WILD!
3AM Eternal
I would have come up with something (worse) than that.

~ 08:34 AM ~

".. michelle on the second date...."

One of the coldest days of the year in STL.

I decided to update the colors of the site.

Linktastic:
Soundboard fun
Gone But Not Forgotten


.:: Tuesday, January 16th ::.

~ 05:22 PM ~

"...some are very obivious..."

Neale was in Hannibal giving a speech and she is currently in Quincy taking a statement. The nasty weather has past so she should have a safe trip.

It was my first day back and it went well. Better than in the past in fact. Ellis and I went for a walk and we are hanging out currently.

Linktastic:
Real Grown Up Mac n' Cheese
Super Senses
WWII tank found

.:: Monday, January 15th ::.

~ 07:55 AM ~

"...MLK..."

I brewed the Redeye Stout and it had the consistency of hot fudge. The smell of malt, chocolate, and hops was powerful. Since it was a stout, I kept the water low and had to stir constantly. If that batch would have boiled over, I would still be cleaning the stove.

Since Debbie did not have cable, she came over to watch "24", which did not disappoint.

I am working on a diversity project at work that connects with Alton High School. There is some grant money coming my way for the my efforts so I am considering upgrading my amp, which I was going to wait until this summer to do that. I started a poll at Guitar Geek to see which amp fellow users would recommend. I have a preference for Ampeg but Traynor has been suggested.

The weather is too cold for the door installers at Bill's house. So, we are painting insid today and waiting for an inspector to stop by this afternoon to insure the interior is asbestos free.

I have CNN on and Saint Louis is in the Headline News twice....the Devlin abduction case and our lovely weather.

Linktastic:
Wine Zap


.:: Sunday, January 14th ::.

~ 12:01 PM ~

"...Bobby: I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.
Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?
Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.
Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?
Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees
...." ---Quote from "Five Easy Pieces", (1970) courtesy of IMDB

Training went well. Ellis was excited to see other dogs and goes directly to the training room door. Besides the Mastiff, there is now a Great Dane. The Mastiff owner is a younger woman and she is physical with the dog. She hit her dog last week and Richard, the trainer, has indirectly mentioned how wrong that is but he has kept his patience. However, I do not see that lasting another 4 weeks if she continues to do that behavior. Also, in my opinion, I would not encourage aggressive behavior in a dog that could easily take you out for a snack, images of Cujo come to mind. Both large breed dogs did well while training but their off mat behavior needs some help just like Ellis does when he sees a group of dogs that could be playmates. Overall, he did well with sit/stay and heel. We are working on a sit/stay that lasts up to a minute. He can do it. On a personal note, everybody has gas. But, when a Great Dane has gas, you might as well be sitting behind a Clysdale. Wow.

After training, we went to Border's to pick up our Hitchcock DVD set (thanks again Border's gift card givers). Then, we stopped by Whole Foods for a few things and tried to have dinner at P.F. Changs, which was too busy at 6:30 in the evening. So, we tried Maggianos again, which Neale was not impressed with the first time. Again, it was an hour and half wait unless you can find a spot in the bar area. The benefits of the bar area are quicker service. The downside is the tight conditions and some grumpy patrons. The couple next to us was an example of the latter. First, he was a "guy's guy" who started his conversation with Libby, the server, with how bad his service was last time (i.e. "how to show your a prick in under 10 seconds"). We were able to put some space between them and us when the other couple to our right moved and we could shift down. Overall, the food was good and it was worth it. Afterwards, we came home and watched "The Man Who Knew Too Much", which is always good.

Neale is out at Home Depot picking up the door hardware for Bill's house. If the weather is nice, the front and back doors will be installed tomorrow. Either way, we are painting tomorrow but we do not know our start time. The installers say they need us there and about 4 hours per door. Next weekend, I am starting on the basement, which has become a smaller job as Britt does not want as much removed as was previously considered.

The ice/rain storm missed us again. Debbie had a limb punch through her roof and lost power briefly. She is still without cable and with the debut of Fox's "24" tonight she is not happy. Ed is also without cable. The third wave of this winter storm moves through tonight and everything is melting now. So, Ellis will get a walk after the Bears game and will need another cleaning with the Pro Line Self-Cleaning spray from Bow Wow Shop. The stuff is great for spot cleaning and in-between bath situations, especially on rainy & wet days.

I plan to brew my Coffee Chocolate Stout today. I tried Schlafly's 15th Anniversary ale last night and it was quite good.

Linktastic:
Handy Health Calculators
Nonverbal
Man Can Stop Rape

.:: Saturday, January 13th ::.

~ 08:42 AM ~

"...tonight it was your face..."

The ice storm was not as bad as the last one. The ground is not covered but the trees have some icicles. The ground is wet but it should be nice enough to walk Ellis as he needs one before training this afternoon.

The storm changed travel plans to Saint Louis. Neale's friend from Texas had her plane delayed so their lunch plans were canceled.

On the holiday break, I was reading a "Guide to Bar-Be-Que" that my parents keep in my old room and found a clone recipe for Saint Louis' own Super Smokers (yes, back in business). I gave it a try yesterday (Mom & Dad that is what I was doing while on the phone) and it is a decent sauce but not a clone recipe. The use of Heinz 57 raised an eyebrow and should be excluded in future batches. I have made homemade BBQ sauce before and it is mostly in the style of Saint Louis and Texas sauces. I have never tried a mustard sauce and do not care for too much for vinegar in my sauces. A quick scan of the BBQ sauce aisle at the local mega mart is a good example of why to make your own sauce. There is usually Worcestershire Sauce and high fructose corn syrup in typical grocery brands; both I wish to avoid if possible.

We have Novice 1 training today and then we are heading to Border's Brentwood to pick up our Hitchcock Masterpiece DVD collection, which I special ordered with my gift cards.

Linktastic:
100 People
Float On
You kids keep changing

.:: Thursday, January 11th ::.

~ 08:31 AM ~

"...eat your damn onions..."

I am working on my online courses today. Setting up the schedule is the biggest investment of time.

We have rain in the forecast over the next few days, which is a problem for Bill's door installation. The door guys will not work in the rain and light snow would probably be a problem too. I am putting the last coat of door paint on tomorrow. Neale promises that the back door should be almost done since she did such a good job applying the second coat.

Linktastic:
Country Stereotypes
Just obey
Global warming denial
Newman's Own

.:: Tuesday, January 9th ::.

~ 07:19 AM ~

"...endangering your life..."

Yesterday went well. My in-service week is going well. I have most of my early prep done and need to focus on my online courses, which is tomorrow's goal. Today, we have our association lunch and business meeting.

BCS....ah, disappointed.

Linktastic:
Difficult Analytical Puzzles
Mike's Radio World
Salt...real salt
Zombie Drinking Game

.:: Monday, January 8th ::.

~ 07:47 PM ~

"...flux..."

We are watching the BCS game. Go Bucks.

It was my first day back at work and it went well.

Ellis tried a new chew and he approves.

Linktastic:
Pets



.:: Sunday, January 7th ::.

~ 09:20 AM ~

"...win or go home..."

We went for a walk yesterday, then to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch, Ellis had his first Novice One training at 3, which Richard (the program director) was running. He runs a good class and we like his teaching style. He remembered us but called me Neale. Ellis did well as he has us and has taken Puppy class. Some of the dogs had not had puppy class and it showed. We had the only corgi of course but there was a few shepards, a golden, a Yorkie, a boxer, a Mastiff, and a terrier of some questionable background. An odd thing happened when every dog was quiet and Richard was talking. The Mastiff sat up and barked so every dog had to get up and look.

After the class, we went to Borders to use my gift cards (DVDs and some books), Best Buy (my birthday gift card), the West County Mall (Teavana and to look for shoes), and Alandale Ale House for dinner. The beer was good, my sandwich was a little burned, and the service was not quick but we will come back.

At Borders we purchased the above guide books as we will be going to Europe this year as a couple. Steve and Joan were going to take the family but that will happen in '08 due to a pending birth in the family. We are going in July to Paris, Barcelona, Munich, and Amsterdam for two and half weeks. We will get an International Driving permit, a 15-day Eurail pass, new luggage, and good walking shoes.

Linktastic:
Alandale Brewing
Treadmill
Fast food veg

.:: Friday, January 5th ::.

~ 12:08 PM ~

"...allegedly...."

Christmas Day photos are posted.

~ 09:32 AM ~

"...Lookin' for some happiness
But there is only loneliness to find
Jump to the left, turn to the right
Lookin' upstairs, lookin' behind....."

New year, new content. I am removing older files in order to add new content this year. So, some older photos have been backed up and removed. Fresh pictures coming.

~ 12:18 AM ~

"...shizoforest love suite...."

It was raining so we did not walk. It was my first break this year and Neale got a pass on yesterday due to the fillings. Ellis did not seem to mind.

I finished one door and have the second one halfway done at Bill's house. I also used my tile removal tool (Mr. Mule) on the tile to test and it came up quite nicely. I was concerned that the tile would be difficult. My frame of reference was the original bathroom tile in our home. Luckily, not so bad. We are returning Sunday to paint the door, move the stove & desk, and I will do the tile. Britt is coming on Sunday to help with the stove & desk. We found a service that will take the goods but only if they are outside on the curb.

Tomorrow is a day for me to do some errands (oil, haircut, etc.). We maybe seeing "Children of Men" too.

I am making flax bread soon. First attempt. Desserts are out for awhile.

Linktastic:
Energy Hog
Little Green Bag
Gitmo problems
Got skillz?

.:: Thursday, January 4th ::.

~ 08:38 AM ~

"...In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun don't ever shine,
I will shiver the whole night through...."

Neale's fillings went well and she said it was not as bad as she expected.

I am heading over to Bill's soon. I only got one of the doors done yesterday. But, I can apply the second coat on one and the first on the other. It is a lot of detail work. There is still plenty of time.

It has been a great bowl season and there is just one to go. The Domers keep their Bowl history consistent.

In flashback to years past news, Mike Nelson is still keeping the MST3K dream alive.

Linktastic:
Healthy but cold
Jefferson's Qur'an
Bush...a real fiscal conservative

.:: Wednesday, January 3rd ::.

~ 10:12 AM ~

"...its a living thing, a terrible thing to lose..."

Phase 1 of South Beach has reared its head for the last time in this house. The death rattle was heard yesterday when Neale looked at an egg white omelet and could not bear it. Putting the indulges of the holidays (which was one of the best) behind us, Neale is convinced to make better choices. I am changing my eating habits a touch with a new meal plan that involves smaller meals but at about 5 times a day. My lunch habits were getting stale so I need to mix it up. Plus, I am teaching 8 to 1:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester so there is no room for a 20 minutes lunch.

Ellis is worm free! He may get the day off from walking as I am heading to Bill's soon and Neale is having her cavities filled so she has warned me that she will be in a terrible mood this evening. Oh bother.

Nick Saban took the Bama job. I give him 2 years.

Bush can actually say with a straight face that Congress should curb spending. If you are a Republican and you like his track record on spending, then you are not paying close enough attention. Let's see...Iraq, Homeland Security, Hurricane Katrina, the military, and so much more.

Linktastic:
Bloopers


.:: Tuesday, January 2nd ::.

~ 05:43 PM ~

"...lazy eye..."

We went for a walk and Ellis needed to have his yearly vet visit. He is set for rabies for 3 years. But, Ellis is about 4 pounds too heavy so he is switching to low fat yogurt and a little less food.

Neale is watching Gone With the Wind and I am taking down the holiday decorations.

Linktastic:
Oscar



.:: Monday, January 1st ::.

~ 06:49 PM ~

"...mein..."

We had a great dinner at Cafe Balaban's and a great time with Kelly & Sara. I had the veg entree and Neale ordered the Beef Wellington, which was medium rare despite her preference for well done. I have to admit if I ate meat, I would go with medium rare. There is no use for a charred hunk of flesh. We got home alittle after 11PM so the sparking wine from Stone Hill was well chilled. We slept late today (ie no leftover sparking wine) and went for a walk. We just finished The Godfather and will probably watch The Godfather II when Neale returns from Pho Grand.

Ellis has been with us for 1 year.

I am painting the doors at Bill's house this week. Also, I am removing the old kitchen floor.

The barley wine will be brewed in the near future. The mead (honey wine) is resting nicely. Next brew is the Coffee Stout though.

The previous journal has been archived. Please see links above.

Linktastic:
Wonder Showzen


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