Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stardate 60663.60 - One More Movie

The Transporter 2 is, above all else, an action film. Don't mistake it with high art, and don't expect to see it at the Oscars. But in terms of action - it delivers. It is a bit over-the-top...ok, maybe more than just a little bit...but I give it a thumb up. For mindless entertainment with the good guys kicking ass and completely over-the-top car chases - I highly recommend it. Just don't expect anything intellectual. And clearly, this was not a movie that Cheryl was going to spend time seeing, so don't expect her to weigh in on this one.

Thumb Up!


Stardate 60662.67 - Movie Reviews

I've watched a couple of movies recently, so here are some really quick reviews.

Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor) is a Russian film based on a trilogy of books that was hugely popular in that country. This is a film that was shown here in NYC back in 2004 at a festival that Cheryl and I didn't make it to. No worries, I thought, it will be released on DVD any day. Two years later, I finally got to see it. Despite the cool trailer, I went in with low expectations due to the reviews. Overall, I liked the movie, especially since it didn't end as I expected it to end. There were lots and lots of things I just didn't get, which I expect are known to people who have read the books. The movie actually made me want to read the books, although I have not looked to see if they are available in English. While Cheryl could read them in the original Russian, I cannot. Cheryl fell asleep part way into this (it had been a long couple of days with Loren not sleeping well) and after I stayed up to watch it to the end she said to go ahead and send it back. So it only has one thumb to measure it, and I give it a thumbs up. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone, however, as you have to really, really pay attention (it is subtitled for the dialog, although the voice-overs at the start and end are in English). Also it is a bit odd and like I said, if you didn't read the books there is a lot which just goes over your head.

Regardless, one thumb up (and one missing as Cheryl fell asleep).

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events was one I went into with very, very low expectations - again, due to the critical reviews. I read about 6 or so of the books, and while it is an interesting concept (and dark), after about 6 books you start to wonder how many more relatives will come and go while evil Count Olaf pursues the inheritance belonging to the three kids (they do get really repetitive). The movie is essentially the first 3 books, with one part out-of-order. While the ending has a bit of sunshine (literally), it still ends much as each book ends, with the children moving on to yet another relation. Regardless, I did like the movie and have to give it a thumbs-up. Jim Carry is a little over the top as Olaf (which I found annoying) but the children did a good job. Warning to parents - this is dark. I'm not really giving anything away to say it opens with the death of the children's parents in a fire and continues with several more deaths, including several attempts on the children. If watching a baby in a cage suspended several stories over the ground being threatened with dropping isn't what you want your kids to see, don't see this movie. These are not happy children and this is not a happy movie.

Regardless, one thumb up (and one missing as Cheryl didn't really like the books and wasn't interested in seeing the movies).


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stardate 60660.58 - Question of the Week

Anyone know of a good way to get fingerprint dust off of a coffee table?

Yes, that question appeared in an e-mail chain I've been part of all day today. Someone (not us, and I won't reveal the identity unless he/she self-reveals in the comments), had their place broken into last night. Apparently the thieves didn't have a taste for Science Fiction/Fantasy because the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings DVDs were the only ones not taken. They also took a Nintendo Gamecube and jewelry box.

Have I mentioned that in my world thieves are executed? Along with people who spit gum on the sidewalk and don't clean up their dog's crap from the sidewalk. There are a lot fewer people around in my world and things are a lot more orderly. :-)


Stardate 60660.03 - How Much Would You Pay?

How much would you pay for my blog? A lot, apparently. At least, a lot more then you would pay for James' blog. :-)

My blog is worth $9,597.18.
How much is your blog worth?

But I'm no-where near the value of Jessica's Blog:

My blog is worth $37,259.64.
How much is your blog worth?


Monday, August 28, 2006

Supplemental - Higher Quality Video

And here is the same video as below, but higher quality.


Stardate 60658.49- Loren Sits

Loren decides that her travel high-chair makes an excellent seat for lounging around the house. I used Microsoft Windows Move Maker to shrink the video down before posting, but am worried that the quality has really suffered. I may upload the original also to see what Google's compression does with it.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Stardate 60655.35 - House for Sale

No, Cheryl and I haven't suddenly found a place to purchase or anything like that. Instead, my Mom is selling her house and moving to Vermont. It isn't the house I grew up in, as that one was sold back when I was in College, so it doesn't have the same nostalgic impact as the selling of my childhood home did. But she's been in this place for longer then we had the house in Churchville, so it is a significant milestone.

If you know anyone looking to buy in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, here is this listing. It is a custom built 3 bedroom, 3 bath home with a finished basement with family room and study. Lots of storage (I should know, I still have boxes of stuff there). It has a 2-car garage, a separate screened-in porch, a gazebo with hot tub, and two additional separate buildings for the mowing equipment. Large amount of cleared space on the river, beautiful landscaping around the house. Very large kitchen, lots of light in the living room due to the "A-Frame" windows.


Stardate 60655.12 - Weekend Part Three

Today was in the mid-60s and rainy so we spent the morning in the apartment, straightening up while Loren napped. It was a nice break to just sit at home with the windows open, cool wind blowing through the apartment. We're talking about going out for dinner so we get out of the apartment today, and I may even have to put jeans on (instead of my normal shorts, which I wear until the last possible second of the fall).

Here is a video of Loren with her new walker. It is very short. Try to ignore the messy pile of books and stuff. It was before we straightened up.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Stardate 60653.12 - Weekend Part Two

We arrived at Denise and Greg's place Friday afternoon, about 10 minutes before Denise got home with Alison (their daughter). They live where the green arrow is pointing in the picture - it looks like the middle of nowhere but there are some nice little villages and towns near them (and lots of good hiking!).

We caught up with Denise and swapped stories and discussed the weather and its impact on our plans to hike on Saturday. Her husband Greg was driving up from DC that night (left sometime after 7 PM and got to their house around 1 AM - yuck!) and we decided to play it by ear.

Saturday morning arrived rainy and cold (not really cold-cold, but damp-cold). Since we really had not packed for rain hiking, we decided to spend the day shopping instead. We purchased Loren two things - a doll-baby stroller to push around, and one of those activity walker toys that she can use to walk around the house. This version, unlike the one she loved at Trent and Jenny's place, has a "speed control" on the front wheels. So far she has only crashed once with it.

We also discovered that we need to purchase her a large, stuffed animal. Denise and Greg had a large turtle on the floor and Loren fell in love with the thing and kept climbing on it and hugging it. I think Cheryl has been looking at different ones on-line this evening. Loren also had a great time playing with Alison, and loved playing with all the new and interesting toys - like the Elmo cell phone she has in her hands in the picture!

After shopping we returned to Denise and Greg's place to pack up and then we drove back home. Traffic was not bad at all and Loren slept the entire way back.

It was nice to completely have Friday off (I didn't work at all), and it has made today seem like Sunday so tomorrow will be like a bonus day off! I think the rain might hold until the afternoon, and the temperatures are cool (68 degrees F right now) so it may be a nice day to get out into the city for a while.

To Be Continued...


Stardate 60652.62 - Weekend Part One

On the way up to Denise and Greg's for the weekend we stopped at Washington Irving's house. Sunnyside, as it is known, is in Tarrytown, NY (part of which was once known as Sleepy Hollow - maybe). The official site, in case you are interested in visiting, is here. Admission was $10 per adult, and even Loren got an admission sticker!

The weather was cloudy and just as our tour started it rained pretty heavily, but it was befitting the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and really set the mood nicely for the tour.

Apparently not many people tour the house on a Friday, as our group consisted of me, Cheryl, Loren, and the guide. Which was just as well, as Loren was getting hungry and bored by the end of the tour and our guide was nice enough to speed things up a bit. By the time the tour ended the rain had stopped and we had the run of the grounds all to ourselves and got some decent pictures taken.

The house was in fantastic shape, and you get to see quite a bit of it. The Irving family held onto it for a long time, until 1945 when the property was acquired by the Sealantic Fund, Inc. a private philanthropy established by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. It opened to the public as a historic site in 1947.

They do Christmas lights for the holidays and we are thinking of going back up there during the holiday season (if we can get a babysitter!).

Afterwards, as rain was still threatening, we decided not to go hiking but instead took the scenic route up to Denise and Greg's, arriving about 10 minutes before Denise got home from work.

To be continued...


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stardate 60647.57 - No Camera Day

Today we walked over to the West Side to hit the Swatch store for Cheryl, Barns & Noble to get some hiking books for our trip up to Denise and Greg's place this weekend, and a sports store for me. We were mostly successful, although the sports store had closed down since the last time we were there. We then walked back home. While it was good exercise, we forgot the camera so I have no pictures. I'm going to try to put up a video here of Loren instead - we'll see how well Google Video is working these days.

And since I haven't mentioned it in a few weeks, if you haven't demanded a screening of Jessica's movie in your hometown, please click here to read all about how you can help out.


Stardate 60646.51 - Dinner Out with Friends

We went with Jeff and Patti to John's Pizzeria Eastside for dinner last night. The pizza was, as usual, quite good. They brought a nice stacking toy over for Loren before dinner, and Loren has really enjoyed playing with it so far. It was nice to catch up and talk about old friends from High School and what everyone is doing now. It doesn't look like they will go to the 20th reunion next year.

Today we have gotten off to a slow start with grocery delivery and a dishwasher issue that had to be looked at by the maintenance staff. And now I am off for a haircut.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Stardate 60644.28 - Mid-Day in Harlem

Today we went to Harlem for lunch and to take in a museum. We actually ate lunch at two places, House of Seafood and Roti Plus. Both places had been recently mentioned in Time Out New York as part of one of their Cheap Eats articles. We subscribe to "TONY" as it is known, and it is worth is - great content on food, theater, film, etc. We keep their food issues around for at least a year and go back months later to find someplace new to go.

Anyway, I had been craving fish and chips since last weekend when Cheryl and I tried to go to A Salt and Battery in the East Village and found it closed. Based on TONY we decided to go to House of Seafood. The chips were just ok, but the fish was pretty darn good - white fish with a cornmeal breading. The plate was HUGE for just $6.50. There is a small counter inside but most of their business seemed to be carry-out. Cheryl, on the other hand, was craving Roti so after I had my fill of fish we went two doors down for her to eat.

Roti Plus (Caribbean) was quite good, and the owner? manager? was very engaging with the customers, sitting down at the table with some (regulars?) and chatting away. Roti Plus was actually a sit-down place, with a high-chair for Loren, and was very pleasant, clean, and tidy. The food was really good, and Cheryl said it was worth a trip back if we were in the neighborhood again (but the neighborhood is on West 125th street in Harlem, so unless we were going to the Apollo we probably won't be there too often - 60 blocks away and the other side of Manhattan from us).

We did have one customer chat us up in Roti Plus and admire Loren. On the way out she tried to have her husband give Loren a dollar. We refused as we exited, and thought afterwards that hopefully it wasn't some type of cultural thing and we hadn't completely mortified them with our insensitivity.

After lunch we went to the Studio Museum Harlem and looked at the works there. It is a very tiny space, and at $14 "suggested donation" to enter for the two of us we felt a little cheated. We could have read every plaque below every picture and still been out in under an hour. With Loren, reading all the plaques is a little more problematic, so we just read the ones by the works that caught our eye and were still out in less than 30 minutes.

By this time we were hot and tired and we went back to the subway. Loren fell asleep on the way and Cheryl had to hold sleeping Loren all the way back to our stop. Loren continued to sleep through the transfer to the stroller and all the way home. She slept until about 10 minutes after we got home, after which she woke up refreshed and ready to tear through all her books! By that time, Cheryl and I wanted naps because she was up every hour last night and we are exhausted.

Tonight, Jeff Reed and his wife Patti are stopping by and we are all going to go to dinner. I went to High School with Jeff and he is in town on business. We kept in touch throughout college (WVU for him) and we both lived in the Northern Virginia area after graduation at the same time. I'm looking forward to catching up and having them meet Loren.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stardate 60642.18 - Opera in Central Park

We got a call this afternoon from our friend Lisa (who doesn't read this blog nearly as often as she should!) to invite us to Opera in Central Park tonight. So we packed up Loren and her dinner and some dinner of our own (along with a bottle of wine, but don't tell the NYPD!) and headed over to Central Park for the Opera. It was a diverse group from multiple countries. I got to show off my 10 words of German (which came in very handy when stopped by the Polizei on the Autobahn, but that is another story)!

I don't remember what the opera was, because about 30 minutes into it was past Loren's bed time so we packed up and left. But we did get to enjoy the picnic and socializing before it started, and that really is the point of opera in the park.

And on the way back home after 8 PM we looked like all the parents we used to "tisk, tisk" about, out "late" with their kids in strollers. At least Loren fell asleep on the way home!

P.S. Cheryl just reminded me the Opera was "La Traviata"


Stardate 60641.35 - J.G. Melon for Lunch

At 1100 we find out the Government is slipping the due date to next Monday for the proposal I've been busting my ass to get done by 2 PM today. At least I can relax a bit and enjoy some of my time off this week as a stay-at-home Dad while Loren's daycare is closed.

We went up to J.G. Melon for lunch today for a good old burger and fries meal. Except it wasn't that good. I mean, it was adequate, but for $8 a burger and $3 for the side of fries I was expecting something extraordinary - and we didn't get it.

So our advice is to avoid J.G. Melon and if you want a really good burger go to Goodburger or Jackson Hole.


Stardate 60640.65 - New Car Seat

I know, I haven't posted in 3 days and then I post an exciting entry on car seats. This past week has been pretty stressful. I cannot go into great detail as some of my co-workers and clients know about this blog, but I will say that I was working 10-16 hour days all week last week on this proposal and then put in 8 hours yesterday, when I was supposed to be on leave. High stress all week and over the weekend, but it is due today so there is an end in sight. I ended up doing two jobs because one of my co-workers had his appendix burst and was unavailable. Some people will do anything to get out of working on a proposal!

Loren's day care is closed this week so Cheryl and I are taking the week off to hang with Loren and also to do some exploration of some different places to eat and see here in NYC. A friend of mine from High School will be in town with his wife and we're meeting them for dinner Wednesday night, and Cheryl is trying to set up some play dates for Loren. We both get to play stay-at-home parents this week! Then for the weekend we are going to Greg and Denise's place up-state to do some hiking.

This past Sunday we went to Cheryl's parents (where I had spent the entire week while working on this proposal out of our NJ office). We did a little shopping and purchased a new car seat for Loren. She was 1/2 inch from exceeding the limits of our first car seat. We purchased the Britax Marathon, which is convertible so it will face the rear until she hits a year and then it turns around to become a forward facing chair. A little complicated to get installed (took us two tries), but Loren seems to like it. We stopped by the bookstore on the way home and purchased Loren some new books. We had to replace Peekaboo Kisses because it is her favorite and we apparently lost it while returning from the family events from a few weekends ago.

While it was out of the box and sitting on the dining room table, Nicki decided it would make a nice bed and tried to adopt it. We had to kick her off so we could install it in the car.

This morning I'll be finishing up the proposal, then today we have the excitement of groceries arriving and finally we'll go out for lunch someplace interesting. I think Cheryl is looking forward to taking a nap this afternoon. Excitement abounds!!


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Stardate 60632.91 - Smart Spam? Not So Much.

Spam is getting smarter and smarter. They are embedding the entire message in a graphic, they are using more and more legitimate sounding subject lines, as well as various other techniques to by-pass the spam filters. I seem to be in the middle of a mini-surge of it right now.

I got an e-mail on Friday that, at first glance, appeared to be legitimate. It had a Word document as an attachment, but the subject line, text, and From lines all appeared normal (at first glance). Here is the e-mail, minus the key spam indicator (I've also deleted my e-mail address):

So lets review:
  1. Subject line is legitimate. I get invoices from subcontractors and they frequently have subject lines very similar to this one.
  2. From line is legitimate (mostly, but more on that later). It has a reasonable-sounding name.
  3. Body text, while sparse, might be what you would expect some type of automated system to spit out, so while questionable, it could be legitimate.
  4. Attachment is a word document of reasonable size to be an invoice, with a legitimate (while obvious) name.
Here is where I got suspicious:
  1. The e-mail address it is to is my personal address. It was not my work address (all my e-mail comes into a single tool, so I only know work vs. home by the To: line).
  2. I didn't recognize the name on the From: line as anyone from subcontracts or any of the organizations I work with.
Then I looked at the expanded e-mail address on the From: line:

Carlene Sanders []

Yep! Spam!

Lesson: If you are going to all the trouble to make everything as legitimate as possible, don't use fuck-her-melons as your fake domain name.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Stardate 60629.69 - Viewership Dwindles

I tell you, I leave for a week to work on a proposal, fail to post every day, and I'm already down to just 40 people visiting the blog yesterday. Maybe it is the summer? Maybe it is the weekend coming? Or maybe the lack of new content.

I plan to get some new material up over the weekend. Hang in there!
Eatontown, NJ

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stardate 60624.21 - Weekend Day Trip and Loren's Stats

I'm on travel working a proposal so this is going to be a short entry. On Sunday Cheryl and I took Metro North railroad out to the New York Botanical Garden to see the Chihuly glass sculpture exhibit. On Tuesday Cheryl took Loren for her 9-month check-up and her measurements are 28 1/2 inches (75th percentile), and 19 pounds (50th).

Eatontown, NJ

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stardate 60622.99 - Two Party System

The religious right has taken over the Republican Party and Hollywood has taken over the Democratic Party. Our two party system has become polarized so much that we, as Americans, stand choosing at each election between "the lesser of two evils."

---From The American Moderate Blog

True, so true.

Holmdel, NJ

Stardate 60621.48 - Priceless

Drive from NYC to NJ Office: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Hours awake yesterday: 19
Sleeping 7 hours without interruption: Priceless

Yes, yes, yes I miss Cheryl and Loren. It is funny how you don't realize how much time you waste on silly things when you are away from the time sink, I mean the baby. ;-) We've been watching very little TV over the past several months, partially because of the reruns but partially because by the time we feed, bathe, and play with Loren it is her bedtime and then we're so tired we just catch up on a little reading or something.

But last night at my in-laws I watched 2 solid hours of Wife Swap. It was just the mindless entertainment I needed at the end of a long day, but it got me thinking about all those hours I spent pre-Loren playing computer games, watching too much TV, or otherwise wasting time. All time that I could have been doing something more sailing!

Eatontown, NJ

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Stardate 60616.91 - Dream a Little Dream

It is nice to have a goal – a dream to fulfill. I’ve always been interested in sailing ever since I first went out on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire as a child on my Aunt and Uncle’s boat. I was hooked at that point, but living inland in Virginia I did not have much opportunity to pursue this interest.

Later as an adult, I had to opportunity to sail near Seattle on a boat owned by a couple who were friends with my Mom. Additionally, my wife’s aunt owns a Beneteau First 310 and we’ve sailed with her in the San Francisco Bay (where she used to keep it) and in Monterey Bay (where she has it now).

When the Manhattan Sailing School sent us a direct mailer for their class, I was very intrigued. Cheryl saw that I was interested and suggested that as a combination Father’s Day/Birthday present I should take the basic keelboat course, so I signed up. I enjoyed the class and the people I met so I went ahead and joined the Manhattan Sailing Club, which means I can go out as a crew member when a skipper member takes a boat out (the club has a fleet of J/24s).

But the dream, of course, is to own my own boat. I’ve heard all the negative comments from people about how much the maintenance is and everything, but shouldn’t dreams be a little unrealistic? Lots of people spend money on lots of silly things (for example, some people buy a $5 beverage at Starbucks every workday, and that’s about $1,250 per year – more than the sailing club costs for a year).

So I’ve been looking over sailboats new and used on the Internet, and while a used boat is probably much more likely (have to move out of Manhattan first as it is too expensive to keep anything docked here), I’d love to be able to purchase a new boat.

And I think I’ve found one I like.

My decision is based purely on reading some reviews and lots of looking at pictures on the Internet, but I’ve been drawn to the Hunter line of boats.

And since my dream has to be somewhat realistic, I’m particularly drawn to the Hunter 33.

The Hunter 33 has enough room for two couples to cruise overnight with a few children very comfortably. It has some nice features like boom and traveler placement. And it is pretty cool looking on the inside.

So there you go – a goal of mine is to one day own my own boat. And if I am going to dream big but still attainable, then the Hunter 33 is that boat.

Of course, I may completely change my mind whenever I really start to look at them and actually get on some different ones! But for now…

Hunter 33.

P.S. I'm going to be in Eatontown, NJ for the week, working on a proposal. So I may get very few posts up while I am gone. And I'm staying with my in-laws so I cannot post complaints about the accomodations on this trip! ;-)


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stardate 60614.58 - Thailand in Queens

Hi everyone, this is Cheryl posting for once. One of the things we've missed since Loren was born is getting out of our neighborhood for great ethnic meals. She's always been very patient in restaurants but the effort to take baby & stroller on the subway to an outer borough was too much to justify just for a meal. This weekend the weather got cooler (anyone who's taken the NYC subway in the summer will know why this is a factor), and also we've reached an important milestone that makes restaurant meals a lot easier: Cheerios. So we decided to head out to Woodside, Queens for lunch at a Thai restaurant I've been meaning to try for ages, Sriraphai.

Thai food in Manhattan is almost uniformly awful. Admittedly I'm a bit of a Thai food snob, coming from the DC area which has great Thai restaurants. I find that most NY Thai food is sweet and gloppy, with large chunks of undercooked onion. I got some insight into the onion issue when we went to Thailand two years ago: in Thailand there are sweet onions that are delicious raw or slightly cooked. Apparently similar onions are not available in the US and the NY restaurants just substitute regular white onions to miserable effect. There is one passable Thai restaurant on the west side of Manhattan: Pam Real Thai on W 49th. It's not a destination place, but if we happen to be in the neighborhood we go there.

I've seen glowing reviews of Sriraphai in Queens, about 15 minutes out of Grand Central on the 7 train, and it was just rated one of the top 5 Cheap Eats in all of New York by New York Magazine.

The restaurant was pleasingly similar to many of the not-completely-touristy places we ate at in Thailand. A lot of the clientele appeared to be large Thai families. There was a supplementary illustrated menu with pictures of all the dishes (which I assume is just for tourists but it was a fun reminder of the Thailand trip). The food was served with phrik naam plaa, a condiment of fish sauce and hot chilies that is on every table in Thailand but that is not generally offered to Americans in Thai restaurants here. We ordered green mango salad with chicken, squid and shrimp; sauteed drunken noodles with chicken; and green curry with pork. Everything was excellent but the salad was the highlight. We did order it Thai spicy and I think they toned it down anyway (it was way below the spice level of the spiciest dish we've ever eaten, a glass noodle salad with pork at a bar in Chiang Mai). It still had an excellent level of heat and delicious, fresh flavors.

On the way back to the subway we stopped at V&V Italian bakery by the subway stop and picked up pastries for later: cannoli for Curt and an eclair for me.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Stardate 60610.79 - Make Your Own Motivational Posters

James liked my post from yesterday on the Star Trek Motivational posters and posted this link where you can go and make your own. Here is my first attempt. Please tell me what you think.


Stardate 60610.73 - Loren's 9-Month Birthday

Loren is 9-months old today. Hard to believe - the time really does fly. She never holds still so these are a little blurry. She is wearing her sailor dress that Steve and Rachel gave her.

(I know, I should have photoshopped my hairy leg out of that one, but who has the time?)


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Stardate 60603.40 - What I'm Reading from RSS Feeds

I was posting on Nickerblog about using Newsgator to see the RSS feeds from the blogs I read in Outlook (they look just like e-mail boxes). In case anyone is looking for a good RSS reader that integrates with Outlook but also has a web-based interface for when you are on the road (that syncs with the Outlook client), I recommend Newsgator. It is not free, but it is not too expensive for something that I use every single day.

Above is the list of blogs (that have RSS feeds) that I read every day (I just added Buddy's Lollygag to the list after I took this screenshot - I've been reading his the old-fashioned way). You cannot tell the addresses for the entries from the screenshot, although you could probably Google them or look at the list over on the right below the Jessica Stover TSL graphic and figure them out.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stardate 60602.48 - Thanksgiving in August

As I mentioned earlier, while on our vacation to visit the family we had our relatively new tradition of Thanksgiving in the summer. My aunt Melinda and uncle Harry hosted this year at their home in Richmond, and the turn out was pretty good. Even my cousins Erinne, Angelique, and Justin made it from Connecticut, New York, and Georgia (there, Justin, you got another mention in my blog, and I'll mention your girlfriend Natalia as well).

Unfortunately, my pictures were not so good. Maybe it was the beer, or the margaritas, or the wine, or the lack of skill in general, but my pictures were not so hot. So here are the best of a weak selection. Too bad for Erinne not a single picture turned out well of her or her daughters Maeve and Alex.

Here are my grandmother (much improved) and Angelique.

My sister Tracy, cousin Angelique, and Cheryl (my better half).

Judy with Zoe, my cousin Erinne's daughter and the latest member of the family.

My Uncle Harry keeps an eye on things while Cheryl smiles for the camera.

Van and Loren play at the fireplace.

Cheryl and Natalia (the girlfriend of my cousin Justin) watch Loren.

Cousin Justin, his Dad my uncle Herb, his wife Randi, my cousin Jenny, Natalia, and my Grandmother all chat and eat in the kitchen.

Jenny says, "I'll give you a goofy look if you take my picture so you won't use it." But surprise! I posted it anyway.

Here comes double trouble!