Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stardate 61488.9 - Hotel Phone Rings...

I'm sitting in my hotel room, unwinding and watching Mythbusters on Discovery Channel and the phone rings. It is highly unusual in this day and age of mobile phones to receive a call on the actual hotel phone, unless it is the hotel staff calling for something.

I'll drop out all the "I can't hear you!" and "What?" and "I'm sorry?!?" parts of the conversation, but it boiled down to this:

Female Voice on Phone: "Is this the Embassy Suites?"

Curt: "Yes"

F: "Is this room ###?"

Curt: "Yes"

F: "How do I get there?"

Curt: "I'm just a guest at the hotel, you should ask the front desk for directions."

F: "You're the guest in room ###?"

Curt: "Yes."

F: "How do I get there?"

Curt: "I'm just a guest at the hotel, you should ask the front desk for directions."

F: "They sent me to you."

Curt: "I can't help you." (Hangs Up)

My first thought after I hung up the phone was that someone ordered a prostitute and gave her the wrong room number. Other theories?

McLean, VA

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Stardate 61490.66 - Loren and the Hat

Apparently they got some type of hat or something at day care and Loren wore it all day and when Cheryl tried to take the hat off and take her home Loren threw a fit so Loren ended up going home with the hat. This is all quite ironic because on vacation on St. Martin we couldn't get Loren to wear her hat hardly at all. And in NYC on a day that hit 92 with a heat factor of 100 she wants to wear a hat home.

I'm sure Cheryl will post a comment with more details or will correct me if I mis-heard her during our brief phone call this evening.

Herndon, VA

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Stardate 61476.48 - Loren Rides the Train (Video)

Here is a video of Loren on the train at the company summer event. She really did have a great time, although by the time I shot this she was pretty tired and starting to really slow down. You can see at the end that she is having a good time.


Stardate 61476.42 - Company Picnic

My company's local office held its summer picnic over at Central Park tonight, so even though Loren was down a couple of hours on sleep due to an early wake-up and a very short nap, we went ahead and proceeded over to the park. We arrived just as the event started, and the crowd was very light.

We put Loren on an airplane ride, not too sure if she would like it or not -- she loved it! She refused to get off of the ride, and luckily there was no line so she went multiple times.

We then moved to a boat ride and a train ride, both of which she also enjoyed.

We also did a bouncy car ride but it was a bit much and we didn't do that one again.

After our picnic dinner we took her back to the plane and the train and she really fell in love with the train, yelling "yellow car!" (the train car was yellow) and pulling at her seat belt and yelling "seat belt!" over and over and over. We hated to tear her away from the rides but by 7:30 PM we felt we should get her back home and to bed.


Stardate 61475.72 - Playdate

Loren had a morning play date with Inna and Vlad's son David this morning, and we went to Washington Square Park to play. The play set in the park was perfect sized, and Loren could do everything on the set (climb stairs, slide down the slide, climb into/out-of the bouncy animals, etc.) without assistance. The playground near our apartment has play sets that are too big, with high drop-offs and steep steps and subsequently Loren has to be watched pretty closely when on those.

And when I unloaded the pictures from the camera I discovered I didn't take any pictures of Vlad, Inna, or David! Ooops!!


Stardate 61475.69 - Corpse Bride

Cheryl and I finally watched Corpse Bride last night. We've been very slow in watching our NetFlix movies recently because with it getting dark so much later in the day, Loren has been moving her bedtime later (past 9 PM). So we have not had time to watch movies at night for a while.

I was a huge fan of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, so despite the poor reviews I had high hopes for Corpse Bride. It did not live up to expectations. I found it slow and predictable, and the music was forgettable. Nightmare was a great story, and the music was much better (so good I purchased the soundtrack). It was just not innovative enough (in terms of the puppet technology) to make up for a weak story. Maybe computer animation and puppetry have gotten so good now that we expect it to look awesome, and that makes a weak story more obvious - where in the past we could ignore a weak story to marvel at the technology we don't do that anymore. I own Nightmare on DVD and now I want to go back and re-watch it to see if it stands up to the test of time.

For Corpse Bride, two thumbs down, or as Cheryl said last night "sideways thumb at best". To the best of my recollection, two thumbs up for Nightmare Before Christmas.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stardate 61466.63 - Sailing in Gardiners Bay

On Tuesday I decided to take a day off as a belated birthday present and go sailing. Thomas, our skipper (pictured below), arranged a 34-foot Catalina out of Sag Harbor Sailing School for 0800 on Tuesday.

First we sailed into and then around Gardiners Bay, and then into Coecles Harbor for lunch. The crew was comprised of me and two people from the Manhattan Sailing Club, Wendy and John.

John relaxes.

Wendy in an action pose.

We passed Cedar Island Lighthouse.

Wendy tells Curt how she appreciates his advice on helm.

After the sailing day was over, we went to Dockside Bar and Grill for dinner in Sag Harbor. The staff was very friendly and the food was pretty good. Wendy complained that they took her drink away when there was still a little left, but overall I think everyone enjoyed the meal.

It was 10 PM before I got back home (2 hour drive each way on a Tuesday with no traffic).


Stardate 61466.58 - Father's Day Weekend - Sat/Sun

Saturday we drove into NJ to Turtleback Zoo for Loren to look at the animals. Loren was a little behind on sleep, so she mainly wanted to walk on the walls around the animals, using them as balance beams.

Not all the animals were friendly...

She was not very interested in petting the animals - she really wanted to play with the fence instead.

No trip to Grandma and Grandpop's place is complete without some time with the yellow car.

We also took a trip to Longstreet Farm to look at more animals and to give Loren some time to run around.

On Sunday we went to the beach, but forgot to take any pictures. We then went to Elaine and Dave's for dinner, but again we forgot to get the camera out. At Elaine's Loren had fun climbing into and out of their kayak in their garage.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Stardate 61455.73 - Father's Day Weekend Begins

At Loren's day care they had a special Father's Day event at the end of the day Friday. Loren was quite happy that Daddy showed up at school, and she brought me several books to read.

Then she realized that her teachers were giving food to the other children on the other side of the room and she abandonded Daddy for food. She proceeded to eat two huge strawberries and many, many grapes. Once Mommy arrived we went by our new place to get the mail (the first mortgage bill was already in the mailbox) and we met another Mommy and her 2-year old daughter who live in our unit, only 9 floors up from us.

We're going to take a trip to NJ today to visit with Cheryl's family and to take a trip to the Zoo.

And can I just say, Telenav is the coolest application on my phone! I used it to go to Rome, NY this week for meetings, and I'll be using it to get to the Zoo!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stardate 61439.19 - Gone Sailing

Cheryl and I hired our regular babysitter for the afternoon/evening on Saturday and finally had our "date" for our 11-year anniversary. Between closing on the co-op and everything else over the past few weeks, we never made it out for our anniversary.

Since Cheryl has also taken the basic sailing course through the Manhattan Sailing School (which is part of the Manhattan Sailing Club that we are members of), we decided to go sailing first for our date, and then go out for dinner.

There was a large event going on around North Cove and the fire boats were out on the Hudson, putting on a display.

It was the second day in a row where I'd sailed with Carol (who was our skipper for this sail and is standing up in the photo below), and the water was a bit rough Saturday afternoon. Winds started out around 20 knots with some gusts, but it eased a bit as the sail went on.

Here is the "Willy Wall" - the club's very cool clubhouse out on the water.

After the sail was over we shared a drink with the skipper and the crew on the dock, then we walked into Tribecca for dinner. We ate at Mocca, a "Restaurant, Lounge, Espresso Bar" that we stumbled onto as we were walking around. We started with an appetizer of hummus, and then Cheryl had the Tilapia while I had the "mini-burgers" (or "sliders" as they are called in middle-America restaurants these days - I think it was originally a naval term).

The appetizer was huge, so we skipped dessert. The "frozen" margarita was somewhere between "on the rocks" and "frozen", but was tasty nevertheless. The hummus was very good, and I enjoyed the fries and burgers. The fish was also very tasty. The prices were not too bad (my sliders were $12 and included the fries). For the price, the place was pretty good.

While we were eating a large procession of people continued to walk by, and we found out it was the Out of the Darkness walk to raise suicide awareness.

We got home around 10PM and learned that Loren had a pretty good evening and went to bed just fine and even went to bed earlier than she has been for us!


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stardate 61428.44 - Loren Dines Al Fresco

Cheryl and Loren left early this morning for work so they stopped for a little breakfast al fresco.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Stardate 61427.02 - Breaking Into My Own Place

Today I went over to the co-op and using the key to our rental apartment was able to jimmy open the bottom lock and gain entry to our new home. I set the bottom lock so that it will not lock when the door is closed, so now we can use the deadbolt to lock (and unlock!) the place. Cheryl went to a locksmith over lunch to inquire as to our options for having the bottom lock replaced (and we may go ahead and get the deadbolt replaced as well - who knows how many keys Dora gave out).

I met Cheryl and Loren at the co-op after work and we let Loren play while we took some additional measurements and then ate our first meal in our new home - a bottle of water and a brownie!

Here are the "before" pictures with all the previous owner's stuff gone. You will have to wait a couple of months for the "after" pictures.