Friday, June 30, 2006

Stardate 60495.66 - Trip Down Memory Lane

Everyone seems to be digging out old college and post-college pictures to share (thanks, John and Cheryl, for posting yours on your blogs). Since not enough of these pictures had me in them (and I'm pretty partial to all things Curt), I found 3 old photos stuck in frames in a drawer that I decided to post. Most of my photo albums are in my Mom's basement in Virginia right now (there is just not that much storage space in a Manhattan apartment), but here are three that I did seem to have.

This one was taken in 1995 on Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC.

This one (what in the hell were we doing?) was taken in James' apartment in Sterling, VA so it had to be in the 1990-1992 range.

This one was taken at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD. This may have been the last time I saw Jenny, before this past Saturday. I'm not sure of the date.

And finally, by popular demand, it is the disembodied head picture!!


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Supplemental - The Full Graduation Album

In case you did not get enough pictures in the post below, here are all 60+ shots we took. Just click on "slideshow" after you click on the link.


Stardate 60492.87 - Sailing Graduation

As I posted previously, I recently became ASA certified through the Manhattan Sailing School (specifically, Basic Keelboat Sailing 101). The Manhattan Sailing Club has a club house out in the water near Ellis Island, and they hold races there on Wednesday and Thursday nights. On Wednesday nights they invite recent graduates of the school to attend as a "graduation party". Cheryl and I decided to go last night, even though the weather was supposed to be iffy, and we had a great time!

It was Loren's first boat ride, and here we are on Lil' Toot (the launch) heading over to the club. It was low tide, so the water was actually pretty choppy. One little girl (not in the picture) covered her eyes the whole way.

Once we were over there, we had a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty.

Here is Cheryl with Loren and the skyline of Manhattan behind her.

Of course we were there during Loren's dinner time, so we had to feed her.

Here are the boats, ready to race. The club/school own a bunch of J/24 sailboats, which is what I learned on. Once I join the club I'll be able to go out as a crewman anytime I can find a skipper who needs crew.

The view back to Manhattan really was quite stunning, even with the haze.

The sailboats are running downwind with their spinnakers deployed.

Passing by the clubhouse with the sun sinking in the West.

A nice group of people (one was a club member, but two had been through the school) took our picture by the rail before we boarded Lil' Toot for the return trip to North Cove.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stardate 60490.35 - Jessica's Movie and How You Can Help

I know people think I pimp like hell for Jessica Stover, but I think her projects are worth supporting. If you want to be convinced as well, just purchase her book.

In the meantime, lets talk about movies for a second. Have you noticed recently that Hollywood just recycles the same old stuff with sequel after re-make after sequel after re-make?. Are you as bored with all that as I am? Do we really need Saw 3? Well, Jessica has a film trilogy, which on her site she abbreviates as TSL. It goes against the unspoken rule of the studio model because it's not based on a book, comic or other existing property. Based on reading her blog and her book, I think TSL needs to be made.

As an audience member you can stop complaining about how Hollywood doesn't deliver what you want to see and instead take action. If people start these Eventfuls all over the country and get their friends to say, "Yes if you make TSL and let them do it the right way then I will be there opening day with all my friends," then the numbers will be there. Perhaps Hollywood will listen and take a chance on something original that is not just a re-make, re-hash, or based on yet another comic.

Lets all be a part of what Jessica Stover calls, "the undeniable future victory of getting this film made." Click on the Eventful link and ask that her movie be made. Demand it!


Stardate 60488.82 - Nothing New to Show You

Nothing new to show you today. No new pictures of Loren, no new activities. Went to the gym on Monday, skipped Tuesday, and ended up skipping today due to the rain. We are going to try to go to the Manhattan Sailing Club's Club House tonight for my "graduation party" from the Sailing Class, if it is not raining. The sun is out now, but I'm not sure if it will last.

Here is a picture of Cheryl's favorite bridge in Central Park, the Bow Bridge, taken back in the winter of 2002.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stardate 60486.08 - Extra Pictures of Loren

Here are some pictures of Loren from the reunion event on Saturday that I didn't post as part of that entry. She is really, really pulling herself up to standing on anything she can find - ottomans, boxes, pants legs, my leg hair - anything at all. She really walks with a purpose now, too (as long as someone is holding her hands as she doesn't quite have the balance thing down yet). She followed Cheryl around the apartment this morning as she was getting ready to leave.

This was a late morning for us. I guess we were all recovering from the weekend and the early mornings but we all slept until nearly 7:30 this morning.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Stardate 60484.25 - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

So my friend Bill (who unlike me, was actually alive when this movie was released), has been making some recommendations as to some older movies that I should see. One of his recommendations was The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

I give this movie a solid 4 stars out of 5. With both John Wayne and James Stewart, the movie packed a lot of star power in its day. Not a traditional western, this "revisionist western" was very, very enjoyable. Lots of good forshadowing in the start of the movie, the relevance of which is revealed in a flashback (which is what most of the movie is). High production values (for the day) contribute to the experience. And for those trivia buffs, it was the first occasion of John Wayne calling someone "Pilgrim".

Highly recommended.


Supplemental - Where the Hell is Matt?

OK, this is pretty cool. More information is here.

Stardate 60485.03 - Loren Drives

During the weekend in NoVA, we spent about 90 minutes bowling Saturday afternoon. Did you know that the first year I lived in NoVA that I was on a league? And that I averaged around 140? I was not very good, although I did have one game over 200 and still have the scoring sheet to prove it.

Anyway, Loren was a little too little for bowling, and neither Cheryl nor I brought and shoes that required socks (and I was not about to put a bare foot into a rental bowling shoe), so we watched the others bowl and also took a short trip to the arcade room. Loren liked the car racing game.


Stardate 60484.97 - Weekend Reunion

On Saturday James and Ginger hosted a large gathering of the old college gang at their place in NoVA. It was great to see everyone (some of whom I had not seen in probably 7+ years). It was a good time, we enjoyed catching up, and without further ado, here are the best of my pictures.

James cooks up the food.
Chip says, "I can drink with my eyes closed!"
Kim in the Kitchen
Alice Anne and Kellie hang out

Loren says, "I'm ready to eat, too!"

Griffin shows us the many uses for the paper bowls.
After lunch we take a quick trip to the park, but it was quite hot and humid.
Cheryl says, "Those had better not be the keys to my convertible!" Or maybe she is saying "Where are your parents?!?!"
Loren is exhausted. So many people and kids in one weekend!


Friday, June 23, 2006

Supplemental - Terra Naomi

Here is someone that Jessica Stover has been promoting a bit on her site recently. I listened and liked her music so I purchased her album on iTunes. I suggest that you sample some of her music here. I recommend you start with Up Here and Something Good to Show You.

Here is her web site.

I'd like to hear from the music people (Steve? Andy?) as to what they think.


Stardate 60475.28 - Loren Getting into Trouble

Loren has learned how to open cabinets and pull out things (like sliding drawers and old VCR tapes). Here she is (above) getting into trouble, and here she is (below) saying, "Who, me?"


Stardate 60475.08 - ASA Certified

Yesterday I finished my practical portion of my sailing class and then took the exam to be ASA Certified. I missed 3 questions out of 130, so I easily passed the exam. I'm planning on joining the sailing club, and I'll probaby sign up for the ASA as well.

I think I can work it out to sail once a week through the summer, as long as I can work the schedule so Cheryl is not left alone to manage Loren too often. And I'll probably have to give her more girls' nights out to make up for it! :-)


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Supplemental - Politics

I'm not going to pontificate in a long post on politics, but if you are as frustrated as I am with both the Democrats and the Republicans there are a couple of sites you should check out:

I think Senator Tsongas hit the nail right on the head with the following quote:

"The core of America is not racist. It is not hostile to women. It is increasingly offended by gay bashing. Yet it abhors government waste. It believes strongly in fiscal responsibility such as balanced budgets. It is pro-economic growth. It is concerned about the environment. It is intolerant of people on welfare who disdain the notion of work. But it wants poor kids to have school lunches and it wants to spend money to have good schools. In sum, most Americans are sensible, good-hearted, and prudent. The issue, then, is whether there is a political party that can welcome them home."
---Senator Paul Tsongas

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stardate 60472.31 - Loren Update

I mentioned in an earlier post that Loren has an ear infection. We are on day 3 of 10 for her antibiotics treatment, and she likes the flavor of that stuff better than the children's Tylenol. Which is a good thing, since she has to have 3/4 teaspoon of the stuff. It takes a couple of passes for her to be able to swallow it all.

The good news is that last night she slept almost completely through the night. She was up once for about 10 minutes, but that was it. Much, much improved from Sunday night, which was miserable for us all.

Tomorrow I have my make up sailing class, weather permitting, and I think I take my test to become ASA certified. Then I can join the club and on light days when I have my hours in I can take off a couple hours early, find a skipper at the club, and go out on a J/24 for a couple of hours!

Enjoy these extra pictures from Cheryl's Grandmother's birthday event in NJ on Sunday.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stardate 60469.52 - Loren After a Bath

Here are some cute pictures of Loren, right after her bath (Cheryl washes and Curt dries).


Stardate 60468.04 - More From Casino Night

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the Casino Night my team held at work. Here are some additional pictures of me at the craps table (I'm in the dark blue shirt and my co-worker Rocky is in the light blue shirt - he did much better than I did). This was my fist time playing craps, and in general I don't gamble with real money because I don't believe in voluntary taxation. I know, you only have to pay up if you lose but there is a reason the odds are in the house's favor (even if you stand the best chance of winning at craps). Here I am just starting out.

And here I am building up my fortune.

And once it was time to leave I bet everything, and after a couple of tries finally managed to lose everything.

And then I left for the night.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Stardate 60466.52 - Grandma's Birthday

Sundy Cheryl, Loren, and I went to New Jersey for her Grandmother's 80th birthday party at her Aunt Elaine and Uncle Dave's place on the water.
We had a nice time, and Loren enjoyed playing with everyone. The highlight of the event was when Dave and a neighbor were installing a floating dock and their small motorboat became untied and started to float away. Dave just missed catching the line with his foot, so he had to jump in (clothes and all) to catch it. Later I heard him say it was his third set of clothes for the day, but I'm not sure what happened to set number one.

We did not enjoy the Garden State Parkway on the way back. We didn't get home until late as all the North Jersey residents were returning home after spending the weekend at the shore. Once we got onto the Turnpike traffic was better. This is Dave and Elaine's view from their kitchen sink, by the way. Almost makes you want to wash dishes.

Today (Monday) Cheryl took Loren to the doctor to see why Loren has been unable to sleep at night for more than 90 minutes for a couple of nights. Loren also seems upset when she takes her naps. It turns out she has an ear infection. So now we have medication for her and she already seems happier and better. Also, two of her bottom teeth are very close to pushing through. And she has had a cold with a bit of a fever, although the fever seems to have ended yesterday. The end result of all this is that Cheryl and I are both exhausted, and Cheryl stayed home from work today with Loren. Tomorrow we plan to send her back to day care, as long as the fever remains gone.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Stardate 60461.39 - Brokeback Mountain

Cheryl and I watched Brokeback Mountain this weekend (in two installments, as it was 2 hours 15 minutes long).

I felt the cinematography was fantastic, and it would have looked really great on the big screen. The story was pretty good too, although I had a constant feeling of dread leading up to the end - dread of the "this cannot possibly end well" variety. The ending, however, was not what I had been expecting.

I thought the actors did a fine job as well. Complaints were that it seemed to drag in a couple of spots, and Cheryl thought that the actors did just an ok job with the aging process. She did admit that trying to play the same character over a 20-year span is difficult.

Overall, two thumbs up. Cheryl said, "Not a 5-star film, but a solid 4-star film."

See my Brother-In-Law's review here.

Oh, and in the ironic and humorous advertisement department, this arrived in our blue Valupack this week: