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.:: If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.-- Henry David Thoreau ::.

C & N since 1998

.:: Monday, February 28th ::.

~ 12:12 PM ~

"...night vision..."

Neale had to work so it was just Ellis and I for the annual trip to Soulard for the Dog Parade. We have gone several years in a row but the last two years had us walking in the parade. The trend this year was coloring your dog as I saw several short hair breeds like Jack Russells painted green or purple. We ended the parade and tossed about 50 strands of beads. However, the route was covered in pooh and some vomit so watching the ground was important. Afterwards, I called my parents, headed to Whole Foods for ingredients, and then home.

We watched the Oscars, Neale had more correct picks, and the winter root vegetable stew was great.

stuff we carry

.:: Saturday, February 26th ::.

~ 09:14 PM ~


Today, we watched the AMC Oscar Movie event in Chesterfield. Neale went early for seats and I joined her at 11AM for the start of "Winter's Bone". Well, Missouri was not showing its best part in that film but please feel free to shot more films of our fine state. Last year, St. Louis and the immediate area was featured in "Up in the Air" and this year was our not so good tweaker side. I hear the Ozarks are lovely. Once the weather gets warm (for spring), I plan to do a prep AT overnight in the Mark Twain forest. I left after "Black Swan", which was great. "King's Speech" will win best film but Natalie Portman easily has best actress. Neale stayed for all the films. Last week, I did not attend the first half of the AMC Oscar Movie event but I did join her for dinner.

Tomorrow, Ellis and I are attending the Beggin' Pet Parade. Ellis' costume is simple this year and I will post a pic tomorrow.

Cheesecake in a Mug

.:: Friday, February 25th ::.

~ 11:44 PM ~

"...oh, Charlie..."

Very good week. Alright start. On Wednesday, we had a diversity event but it was not a speech. It was a panel. I wish was more successful but I cannot make people come to the event. I can only help design it and offer it. The process toys with my emotions. I have been with the diversity project since inception so I have a personal connection to it. Black history month is handled by the Black Student Union so those are separate events from the diversity calendar. On Thursday, we grappled in fight class as it was the last Thursday of the month. Good session but I was the only student to show. My trainer and I have had two one on one session in February. However, I signed my cancellation papers since I need to end my membership for my hike. Time at this gym has been a great social experience. I cannot say if I will return after the hike to fight class but it could happen. I have some skill as a fighter. I may want to go into something else during evening hours. Today, winter returned but I had errands to accomplish. The rear wiper nozzle on my car had to be replaced. It fell off after the true heavy snow in late January. (Note: Yes, I used parts of the titles of the Best Pictures nominations on purpose in this paragraph.)

Tomorrow, AMC Oscar Fest continues. Our Oscar party was canceled since the host had a death in his family. I am planning our smaller Oscar party and I am not sure what to make....yet.

johnnie brocks
got the time
forest mood

.:: Monday, February 21st ::.

~ 08:55 PM ~


President's Day was uneventful. Nothing of note.

~ 12:02 AM ~

" my chemistry..."

deep forest

.:: Monday, February 14th ::.

~ 08:49 PM ~

"...old glory..."

Good day at work. Tried to knock a few items off my 'do list' and accomplished most of them to satisfaction. After work, I stopped at Costco for paper towels. I found a woman's wallet in my cart at check out. I checked the ID and cash. ID was there but not much cash. I would have returned it untouched but I was checking to see if it has already been cleared out. It was intact and I hope the person gets a call from Costco's customer service. After Costco, I went to Straub's for cake ingredients. I made a vegan flourless chocolate cake. I got to use my spring form pan and it worked well considering the entire recipe combines in a blender. Neale enjoyed it after a good chill in the fridge. It should be great tomorrow. Making a raspberry sauce for it next.

Neale received a bottle of her favorite and I got a tarp. I know a tarp does not sound exciting but it will be my shelter for my camping hammock all summer. Also, it doubles as an emergency shelter than I can string up with my hiking poles and sleep under on a clear night.

ten and now

.:: Sunday, February 13th ::.

~ 07:36 PM ~

"...the chicken man..."

With the nice weather, I went for a hike on the Chubb Trail (photos HERE). I was using my new trekking poles, which are Leki Makalu poles. They were great especially on a day like today. The trail was snow covered in spots with slush/mud throughout the park.

Neale saw "Another Year" and was not impressed.

to all non-pet owners

.:: Saturday, February 12th ::.

~ 04:32 PM ~

" are things on the west coast?..."

Interpol was at the Pageant last night. Great show. Lifetime favorite for Neale.

Dropped items to be recycled at Best Buy and donations at Goodwill. Then, Ellis and I went to the park. Neale is seeing a few more movies before the Oscars.

Attempting my first flourless chocolate cake for Valentine's Day.

Going to try my new hiking sticks tomorrow. Planning a hike as the cold has broken in Saint Louis.

head to head

.:: Wednesday, February 9th ::.

~ 01:07 PM ~


Picked up my hammock tarp and Dutch clips. Almost geared out for the trail this summer.

Ellis has a scheduled dental appointment. Mr. Grumpy at the Vet is going under for the cleaning.

trek light V9 tarp
peak to peak

.:: Saturday, February 5th ::.

~ 08:30 PM ~


The film Southern Comfort comes up too often when I tell people about my upcoming AT hike.

sliding cats

.:: Thursday, February 3rd ::.

~ 04:25 PM ~

"...any day of the week..."



.:: Wednesday, February 2nd ::.

~ 01:13 PM ~

"...things divided..."


.:: Sunday, January 30th ::.

~ 01:13 PM ~

"...that knowledge, doesn't it?..."

Yesterday, Ellis and I went for a hike at the Lewis & Clark Trail in Weldon Springs. The trail was snow/slush covered in most spots. It would have been a great day to try out my trekking poles but since they are new I am not use to taking them. There was also a number of people out as the trailhead parking lot was full at 1PM. We spent 3 hours on the trail.

Neale continues her quest to see all the films nominated for Oscars that she possibly can. Yesterday, she saw "Rabbit Hole" and she recently saw "Blue Valentine". She claims "Blue Valentine" was heart wrenching.

full text
seuss quotes

.:: Sunday, January 23rd ::.

~ 08:01 PM ~

"...I think I have a job..."

Last night, we went to Chuy Arzola for dinner. I purchased a coupon for cheap a few months ago and we used it. Excellent food. Tried to find a bar Neale swore was nearby but ended up at Llywellyn's Pub in Webster. I did not smell or see a hint of tobacco. They may be smoke free. Schlafly Extra Stout on draft and Neale was in the mood for Bushmills.

With the optical audio cable hooked up, we checked out the Internet connection on Apple TV. It worked fine. Also, the radio feature is great. I can get WXRT if I wish. But, 3wk is on there too and that is great. It will not replace KDHX but it will help to mix up the selection. I can get Neale is listen to only so much bluegrass and folk.

Dusting of snow this afternoon. Ventured out for chili ingredients as I made a vegan batch for me and pork chili for Neale. She does not like too much smokiness in her chili. I used three chipotles and she prefers one. Overall, both batches turned out well. Vegan cornbread mini muffins too.

Watched the Bears. Ugh. Go Jets? Try as I might, I cannot dislike Aaron Rodgers especially when the guy was also my fantasy QB all season on two teams that placed 1 and 2.


.:: Saturday, January 22nd ::.

~ 05:37 PM ~


After I talked to my parents, I headed to the park to play ball with Ellis. He was more interested in smelling the area today and played briefly with a Border Collie that was in the park. I spoke with the owner as they played and learned her sister had a corgi as well.

Stopped at Starbucks for coffee to warm up. Starbuck's counter guy gave me an odd look and I thought he was being rude. I get home and Neale asked "what's on your face?". I had fuzz from my neck warmer stuck in my chin hair. Thanks Starbuck's guy!

Neale bought home the necessary optic audio cable and Apple TV is working great. Played the radio, checked out the Internet, and she can access Netflix's when she wants. Excellent purchase.

hammock hanging
Shakespeare Insulter

.:: Saturday, January 15th ::.

~ 11:01 PM ~

"...maybe they are gallivanting off in the woods..."

Great week. Since I am involved with a grant project and developing an Honor's College, I had to go into work everyday this week. Plus, I worked late on Friday. Very fun and productive week. Prepped today and almost ready for Tuesday.

Had a great night sparring on Thursday. Plus, I am running everyday since last Sunday.

Tried making vegan sweet potato pancakes again. I still do not have that recipe mastered.

Shopping for an ipad on Monday. Neale wants one for our upcoming trips.

Watching the Bears tomorrow.

one girl's thru hike
beers fill through the bottom

.:: Wednesday, January 12th ::.

~ 05:25 PM ~

"...what is that? wipe it off..."

For a dog that hates water, he loves the snow.

gone skinny
instant dog mom

.:: Tuesday, January 11th ::.

~ 11:48 PM ~


Back to school on a snow day. We received a solid 4 inches but MODOT did a great job clearing the roads. My commute for an 8AM meeting was slow but arrived the same time as there was no traffic. Diversity Council meeting yesterday and we roughed out the semester. Today, it was the mandatory all faculty workshop morning and it easily was the best I have experiences in my time at LC. My afternoon meeting was rescheduled so I worked on a few small tasks: cleaning out the email inbox, return phone calls, a grade change or two, and moving my decorations. My schedule and course load is the same as last semester so I do not have any new preps.

According to Neale, I missed a touching moment between her and Ellis as he interrupted her book time for a cuddle.

I returned to cardio kick and fight class. Learned new foot work and integrating upper cuts into sparring. The right uppercut is strong but the left needs work.


.:: Friday, January 7th ::.

~ 03:48 PM ~


Very happy to hear my Dad's surgery went well.

My hike on Wednesday got delayed by my own sloth. Plus, it was too chilly to enjoy.

We have a new water heater. Excellent product. My concern about a flooded basement is over.

AT Gear List

.:: Wednesday, January 5th ::.

~ 12:41 PM ~

"..the real deal...."

Going for a hike.

On Monday, we test drove a Volvo C30. Neale is looking for a new car and has a buyer for her current ride. The neat part of the Volvo experience is the trip to Sweden. The company works with the Swedish tourism board and has the customers flown to factory in Sweden. So, you get a discount on the car and a free trip to Sweden. Plus, there is a side trip and I think we are going to Spain too.

vegan quiche
typical hiking breakfast

.:: Tuesday, January 4th ::.

~ 11:42 PM ~

"..hit the water...."

Very happy to watch the Buckeyes end on a high note.

Previous journal has been archived.

hot dogs

trail ahead 2009

Photo from our 2010 hike of Chubb trail. More on our photos page.



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