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.:: daily thoughts views opinions outlooks postures feelings rants loves glissades
impaires memories oddities observations nonsense vision viewpoint since 1998 ::.

.:: Thursday, December 31st ::.

~ 01:55 PM ~

" year's eve wishes..."

We are in Savannah, GA this afternoon. Yesterday, we arrived in Savannah after a night outside of downtown Atlanta. The first drive was about 10 hours and we split the driving. I had the second half after lunch in Nashville. I swear there is a Waffle House EVERY EXIT along interstate 24 and 75. We saw our first Denny's after Macon. In the afternoon, we walked downtown Savannah, had lunch at the Cafe in the City Market and made it down to the riverfront. I took plenty of pictures but those are not available yet. I do have videos to share.

Last night, we had dinner at the Ole Pink House in Savannah and it was great. Great service. Excellent food. Tonight, we are making plans for Tybee Island. Fireworks around midnight. Weather is warm (60 degrees) for winter but rain is forecast.


.:: Monday, December 28th ::.

~ 03:48 PM ~

"...what is the cottonmouth?..."

Neale and I had lunch together after a trip to AAA. We are set for the trip.

After lunch, I went to Costco and cleaned my car. Then, I stopped at Wine & Cheese for Edam, which they were out out so I purchased a young Gouda. Plus, a wedge of German Butterkase and a handful of assorted small wedges in the cold case. The assorted small wedges are pieces leftover from other cuts. Wine and cheese for dinner.

Holiday lights are down, cards filed, and wreath is stowed. The tree lights are off but I'll take care of it after the trip.

Maxpedition Vulture II
Jingle Bowels
Everest Gear
Amanda Palmer Does Hell

.:: Thursday, December 24th ::.

~ 11:25 PM ~

"...I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link and yard by yard.
Is its pattern strange to you or would you know the length of the strong coils you bear yourself?
It was as full, as heavy, as long as this seven Christmas Eves ago, you have labored on it since, it is a ponderous chain!..."

Having spent Wednesday doing jobs around the house, such as the annual shred of documents and other tasks that went ignored too long, I gathered supplies this afternoon. Neale got home from work before I left, which was good to see as she has been working very hard. She now has a break. Well deserved.

She went to the gym and then did final shopping for gifts. I went to Walgreen's, Blockbuster (for "The Ref"), and then for groceries. At Blockbuster, a mentally challenged man asked me while I was checking out what I was renting. He then showed me his choice of "The Hangover", which I told him was a fun movie.

The grocery stores were full of people that normally do not shop. Too many lost faces for stores that have not changed that much on a week to week basis. However, I could have avoided this by going earlier in the week. For our meal tonight, Neale requested penne pesto. I agreed to make it if I could find decent basil. I did and the dish was a success. It would have been better with homegrown basil but summer is long gone.

Next, Neale asked for an apple pie for Christmas Day. The pie has always turned out well and people like it. We agreed upon Swedish meatballs to bring for the dinner parties we are planning to attend. I made them for Neale several months ago and she remembered they we quite good. I use Alton Brown's recipe for the meatballs. After talking to my mom yesterday, we realized that we used the same recipe this season. Great coincidence. I made a double batch and using a scale, I rolled 40+ meatballs. Finally, Neale craved corn flake wreath cookies, which I had never made before today. Quite simple and very good. If you wonder what I requested. I requested that Neale take it easy while I cook. Everybody got what they wanted. Even Ellis as I dropped a few things and a bite or two carrot were offered his way. He did not get a meatball but he has a nose for pork.

After the cooking, we watched "A Christmas Carol" with George C. Scott (1984), which is the version we like. Neale enjoyed "Love Actually" while I cooked. "A Christmas Story" & "The Ref" had to wait.

RIP George Michael
Adeventures with Ruth
Ralphie behind the camera
The Olive Gallery
Exercise please

.:: Wednesday, December 23rd ::.

~ 12:30 AM ~

"...We all know that something is eternal. And it ainít houses and it ainít names, and it ainít earth,
and it ainít even the stars . . . everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal,
and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years
and yet youíd be surprised how people are always losing hold of it.
Thereís something way down deep thatís eternal about every human being. ..."

Neale's hearing went well. She had been preparing for it for several days. She is relieved.

Last night of krav and fight class for this year. We ended CKM for the year doing palm, elbow, and head butts. In fight, we started doing throws. No one had judo or jujitsu experience. The set of throws involved picking up the partner and it is surprising how high school football tackling drills helped. Plus, it is about leverage not lifting.

I checked our home first aid kit. Pitched expired items so it is time to refresh it. While doing a check to see what else I should have on hand using online sources, I got caught up in 'how-to' compass orientating & nav.

Turkey Trot results were posted. Best time of the year with 25 min. 14 secs. 30th place in my age group and 313th (out of 2, 357 total runners). Very pleased.

roasting chestnuts
pcis of 2009
reeduced to tears

.:: Sunday, December 20th ::.

~ 03:19 PM ~

"...stats can be misleading..."

Grading is done. I submitted the grades to the college this afternoon. Time for vacation to get started.

Neale is working too. She has not had a vacation in a year so she is looking forward to the upcoming trip.

Brittney Murphy is dead. Really?

Christmas in Hollis
ghosts of President's past
ultrlight pack help

.:: Tuesday, December 15th ::.

~ 09:14 AM ~

"...happy holidays..."

I brewed my winter warmer on Sunday. On Monday morning, it popped its top. Three times. Despite a little mess, I was happy to see a lively fermentation. Ready in 3 months.


.:: Sunday, December 13th ::.

~ 11:32 AM ~

"...ride or die..."

Despite a trip to First Watch for lunch, Ellis and I made it to Meramec State Park for a hike. Neale had to work. The park is 5 miles further than the world famous Meramec Caverns. I stopped at the Caverns to use the restroom and I could of had a personal tour of the caverns. There was no lines or crowds.

I had boots on the trail by 1:30PM and hoped the rain would pass quickly. There were brief showers but nothing worth breaking out the rain gear. Pictures are posted (HERE). Plus, the Flip was used so there are videos to share via You Tube.

The waitress at First Watch noticed Neale's weight loss. I guess we go that often.

Watching football today. Neale is working again. Considering brewing later today.

I bought Ellis' Christmas gift last night. The Dogpedic.


.:: Thursday, December 10th ::.

~ 12:07 PM ~

"...Just a word of caution..."

Pictures from the weekend trip to Chicagoland have been posted on the photos page ( (HERE).Great weekend with my parents. Bears beat the Rams. Excellent weather for December.

I have started a photos pages for the Holidays of '09 (HERE). I will add to it as the holidays develop. Since I have a Flip on the way, there will be video too. The Flip video recorder is a gift from my parents. I went with the Flip Ultra.

bed jumpers

.:: Monday, November 30th ::.

~ 01:56 PM ~

"...Just a word of caution..."

Posted photos from my Weldon Springs Conservation Area hike. Rain was predicted but it stayed dry. Photos are HERE.

I set up my tent for the first time in the basement. Easy enough. Stakes included.

Must have slept in an odd position. My lower back is stiff.

fall colors

.:: Saturday, November 28th ::.

~ 01:33 PM ~

"...Go home and get your shine box..."

Watched "Goodfellas" this morning. "Godfather" could be slated for later. The holiday lights are not going to hang themselves and it 70 degrees out. Christmas tree is up. Neale places the ornaments. I don't begin to understand the detail work she does but it always looks great.

Ellis and I went for a hike yesterday. The pictures are HERE. The state park (Cuirve River) is in Troy, MO.

vintage vogue

.:: Friday, November 27th ::.

~ 09:55 AM ~

"...drag anchor..."

We started yesterday with run and walk. Neale walked the Chesterfield Turkey Trot and I ran my last 5K of the year. I scheduled 5 and did 4. I missed the All Star 5K due to a softball injury (bruised shin). The best part of my 5K runs these days is I no longer hit a wall. It is smooth throughout the run so it is more enjoyable. My finish time was a few seconds over 26 minutes. After the race, we had a light meal at Cracker Barrel as First Watch was not open.

We had dinner Neale's brother's home with his family. Plus, Jack, Debbie & Ed. The food was great and my pumpkin pie was well received. I had not done pumpkin before and knew what I really did not like about most pumpkin pies. They are typically dense, damp, and not delicious. My pumpkin was lighter and more like mousse.

This morning I am going for a hike. Neale is at the gym and shopping in the afternoon. However, she is only going to one store and it is at our higher end mall so the crowds should be minimal.

On Wednesday, I bought a medicine ball. I liked using one at Krav class and I wanted to work with it during my home workouts.

medicine ball

.:: Monday, November 23rd ::.

~ 08:00 PM ~

"...It's as forward as can be
Some things I do for money
Some things I do for free..."

We had a great time at Corgi Fun Day again. Meet another relative of Ellis. Ellis is still the best looking Corgi I know. How many dogs have eyebrows? My parents came down, which made it better.

After the Corgi Fun Day events, we went to the Stable as Bell's Oarsmen was on draft. Great sour ale. Not the funkiest sour ale I have had and Neale could appreciated it. They agreed to fill my rival micro brewery growler with their beer. They don't do growlers of all taps. Their marzen was quite good. The ziolgi was out and the helles was decent.

I had to keep my office hours today during this short week. I was in traffic on the way there when I got a call that the power was out. I went to Trader Joe's for flax oil and saw sausages for Neale. I made her a version of a dish she orders at Llywellyn's. Sausages with green beans. I had a taste for sushi so Match Meat crab and brown rice rolls were prepared. Wasabi never disappoints.

Ellis and I walked this afternoon. There was a high temp of 57 here. However, the sun disappeared in the afternoon.

I decided to change my weight workout again. Also, I am working the SPRI resistance bands into the routine. I dropped flys on the Soloflex but have two resistance bands exercises that capture the same area. Plus, I am adding plyometric push ups and medicine ball as well.

Made a second batch of mead, flavored with orange and touch of cherry. It is cooling. Also, I have to rack my 85 Ashes ale to secondary.

My apple pie was well received. I have to made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I have been researching recipes to see how to make it more than your typical pumpkin pie. Baking on Wednesday.

If the weather holds, I am doing the last 5K of the season on Thanksgiving. I did one 5K walks (Cure in June), missed the All Star race due to injury, did Strides for Kids in August, and Miles for Meso in October.

Considering a hike over the weekend. Maybe an overnight.

GA Parks
Heartbeats (cover)
marble house
the dude

.:: Friday, November 20th ::.

~ 10:32 PM ~

"...interesting in a dull sort of way..."

Spent the morning grading. Walked Ellis. Went to Costco for two items. Hey, I needed to leave the house. Painted. Used the soloflex and baked a pie.

Neale worked a little late and went to the gym.

Delta Lady
Mistaknen for Strangers
Hank & Peggy

.:: Thursday, November 19th ::.

~ 10:32 PM ~

"...To call for hands of above to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me, oh..."

I took the night off from Krav. I am sore all over. Also, the main instructor for fight class is on vacation and his instruction is fantastic.

Neale went to the gym. I watched "Blood of the Vampires" by Cinematic Titanic. Live show on Saturday. Panel on Friday.

Yesterday, I showed "The Fisher King" as part of the Diversity film series. Not a great turnout but still a great film. My night class enjoyed leftover pizza.

My parents are in town this weekend. It is Corgi Fun Day on Sunday.

silent shout
Changing Face of Labor
veg burger

.:: Sunday, November 15th ::.

~ 11:36 PM ~

"...the long-winded, winding road..."

Up early on a Sunday as I thought a hike was possible. The 50% chance of rain made me reconsider. Plus, there were a few things to do around the house. Yesterday, I raked all the leaves and will have a lawn service vacuum them away. Today, I made bagels, which I only tried once before while in Strongsville. My next technique was better and the stand mixer helped immensely. Good batch. Next, I cleaned the gutters, which the gutter guards kept helped keep clean and winterized the backyard. Winterizing the yard includes storing the planting pots, stacking the furniture, and bringing in the summer items like our yard torches. The futon was sprayed for the last time and I cleaned up the garage. Once the futon frame was dry, I reassembled it in the basement. It matches well. Finally, I painted the stairwell. It is almost done.

Neale bought home King & I and it was very good. We watched the Pats v. Colts on SNF.

cult horror
pot pie
feminist man

.:: Saturday, November 14th ::.

~ 01:01 AM ~

"...What's it going to be then, eh?..."

I was going to call it a night but "A Clockwork Orange" is on Indieplex.

It has been 25 years since I saw the film "Saturday the 14th". A Jeffery Tambor film fest would probably not even show that part of his career.

Did grading in the morning and met a buyer of my glass carboys at Costco. Since I was there, I stopped in. I used Costco's self-check for the first time and it works better than grocery store units. Next was the post office and then home to walk Ellis. Neale's gift was my birthday arrived and I am very impressed with the Leatherman Charge ALX.

While playing with Ellis in the basement, I fixed the problem I was having with UVerse. Last night, I did a chat with two techs to fix the DVR playback on the basement TV. They had no solution so a tech was going to visit on Wednesday. A visit will not be necessary.

Leaves tomorrow, paint if I can, and possibly a hike on Sunday. Weather gets wet on Sunday.

Plain Brown Popper
STL Recommendations
Social Media Trends for 2010
movie quotes
Chez Bettay

.:: Wednesday, November 11th ::.

~ 08:38 PM ~

" your worst for I will do mine..."

Thanks to all the veterans.

We hiked St. Francois State Park today. Pictures are HERE. The park is about an hour from home and located in Bonne Terre, MO. It is north of Hawn, which was hiked in August. The trail was obscured by leaves but marked for better or worse. It was muddy in parts and since the trail is also used by horses, there was beaten areas with ruts. Also, the trail was rocky. It must be ranked as rugged. We did 6.6 miles on the South Loop and investigated the backpacking camp.

Dinner was at Amigo's in Kirkwood. Great meal.

core work
egg salad
tofu in spicy sesame

.:: Monday, November 9th ::.

~ 09:27 PM ~


Inspired by our visit to 3 Monkeys on Friday, I made Red White Blue pizza. Tomato, vegan pepperoni, and blue cheese on a wheat crust with olive oil. Yes, a little orange but that is the influence of Shropshire Blue. Very good. Next time, Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?

I painted the stairwell walls. The trim has one coat, ceiling has one coat, and upper walls still need a coat.

Neale continued her physical therapy. She has improved lateral movement.

Yesterday, I laid the new phone and cable line along the walls. Neale approved. Now, I can shut the door if I have too.

Odd moment...I thought of Ellis' bedtime and he comes to stare at me. Corgis.... mind control.

No One Loves Me and Neither Do I
Open Cola
Chimchurri sauce

.:: Sunday, November 8th ::.

~ 07:31 PM ~

"...may be dumb, but I'm not stupid. - Terry Bradshaw..."

Ellis and I went to the park to play ball. We walked around the grounds too. Then, I went to Straub's to gather items for Neale's dinner. I made her a chicken parm with yellow squash and green beans. Old Webster was very busy as people were participating in the Art Fine Art event.

I painted the stairwell trim and ceiling. Later, I laid the new line for the TV and phone connections.

Neale was at work. Came home with a curtain rod and curtain for the basement window. The rod was not suited for our window so she returned it after a stop at the gym. The next curtain rod was the correct one and the curtain was installed.

Ellis had a bath. Currently, he is frapping, or frantically running and playing. Neale calls it 'rocket dog'.

Nobody Love Me & Neither Do I
the core
hands hand hands

.:: Friday, November 6th ::.

~ 10:51 AM ~

"...sensational discovery...."

Yes, it is my birthday. I am not sure what my plans are for the evening. Dinner out but not sure where.

Last night, we saw Neko Case at the Pageant. Great show. Indy show was stronger but the mood was more relaxed last night.

Unhappy Birthday
St. Francois

.:: Thursday, November 5th ::.

~ 05:04 PM ~

"...start the show...."

I survived the DMV. Eye test...pass. Signs....pass. $20 to Missouri. They still let you smile in the photo.

Neko Case tonight.

kettle bell
3 Monkeys

.:: Monday, November 2nd ::.

~ 10:27 PM ~


Not tonight Yankees.

Home office is set up. Still tweaking set up. Found out new TV has a tilt back feature. HD in the basement is great.

I did a Goodwill sort of Neale's clothes. She loses weight and Goodwill benefits too. She is looking great.

Neale met with the plastic surgeon today. She needs physical therapy on the wrist. Her PT starts soon.

We went for a family walk. Warm but the sundown is 5PM. Woke this morning to an early sunrise. Worked out on the Soloflex. My right shoulder was sore as Garry during Krav last Thursday threw me further than I expected. I was helping him during the first few throws. Since I developed a small black right eye from last Thursday's fight sparing, I received my new headgear today. I tried the first time without headgear.

Made Greek Chicken for Neale with steamed broc and red rice. She cleaned the plate.

cow juice?

.:: Sunday, November 1st ::.

~ 09:16 AM ~

" life for yours...."

Out of Darkness walk this morning.


Photo from our 2008 Cave visit. More on our photos page.



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