Saturday, November 22, 2014

NY/DC Trip - Day 3

Woke up on this morning at 6:15am.  I woke Todd up at 8:00, and we finally left the hotel at 9:15.

Good morning New York

We took the E train at 7th down to the 23rd Street station and walked from there to Doughnut Plant - hooray!  We had eaten there in 2011 (photos noted) on our way to the New York International Auto Show, and were excited to go back.  I had a peanut butter-and-banana cream donut, and a carrot cake donut.

Good morning New York!  (2011)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NY/DC Trip - Day 2

Woke up at 6:30am and got out of bed at 7.  I showered and unpacked, then headed down to the gift shop at 7:30 to look for my hat.  Although hope springs eternal, they unsurprisingly did not have the exact same hat I bought there 3 years ago.  :o(

I went back to the room where Todd was getting ready.  We walked across the street and at 8:10 we had breakfast at the 810 Deli & Cafe.  I split a protein wrap with Todd, and had a Bolthouse Farms (funny, I just realized it was Bolthouse, not Boathouse) strawberry banana smoothie to drink.  Our local Kroger sometimes has these on sale 2 for 1, and they are tasty.

Today we had early reservations for the Statue of Liberty, so after breakfast we got on the 1 train at 50th and took it downtown to the South Ferry station.  We arrived at the ferry landing at 9am and were able to go immediately through the airport-style security and onto the first boat of the day with no waiting.  This was a huge change from April of 2011 when even with advance tickets we had to wait 2 hours to get through security and on to the boat.

Leaving the Battery Park ferry dock, looking at One World Trade Center

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NY/DC Trip - Day 1

Just got back from a trip with Todd and Mom to New York and Washington, D.C. and we had a great time.
My aunt Shirley was also going to go, but had to drop out due to the death of a friend.  We were sad for the loss of Antonio, and also sad that she wouldn't be able to join us.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Really?

Now that I've finished the trip report, I can get around to posting some other items I've had in the wings.  Like this gem I found posted above one of the two urinals at work:

I don't remember them coming around to take that particular poll...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Colorado Trip - Days 7 and 8

Today we start for home.  I didn't make any notes, so I'll just caption the photos.

Funny, I always thought both tunnels were collectively called The Eisenhower Tunnel.  Apparently you exit through Johnson's tunnel.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Colorado Trip - Day 6

This was our last full day in Vail, and I didn't take many notes.

I was up at 5:30am and relaxed in bed with the iPad until 7:30, when I got out for a coffee and croissant which I squirreled back to the room to share with Todd.  We cleaned up and left the hotel around 2 hours later.  We stopped at Mountain Cupcakes again for another burrito breakfast (yum), then wondered around the village, looking in the different clothing stores, souvenir shops and art galleries.  We didn't buy anything, but the highlights were definitely PISMO Fine Art Glass and Vail International Gallery.  Bates Wilson and Carlos Trost at the Vail International Gallery were two of my favorites.

Colorado Trip - Day 5: Fondue Or Fondon't?

The temperature was so perfect, we bundled up under the warm comforter and slept with the balcony door open all night.  It rained several times during the night, but the overhang kept it out of the room.

Good morning world

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Colorado Trip - Day 4, Part 2

I must have had a temporary brain aneurysm the other day, because I just realized there were other photos I meant to include in my Day 4 post.  So here they are - these were taken by Todd.

The Stanley Hotel

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Toilet Repairs

We finally, finally, decided to fix the two leaking toilets, starting with the downstairs one.  Both were leaking due to rusted bolts connecting the tank to the bowl.

After about an hour and a few pronounced bouts of yelling at each other, we finished the first one.  It didn't help that the water won't shut off completely at the valve (that's a project for another day).  It wasn't too bad all things considered.  We're having pizza delivered as a reward, then we'll tackle the upstairs toilet.
Take that, porcelain devil!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Colorado Trip - Day 3

So where was I?  Oh yeah...

Up at 5:00am; Todd still asleep.  I stayed in bed surfing on the iPad and playing with the camera until 7:00am when I got dressed and went across the street to Starbucks to get a venti decaf nonfat vanilla latte.
Sleeping Beauty

Sunday Lunch At Home - Not Quite Vegan, But Not Like I'm Trying Anyway

Spent a fun morning in the kitchen today making a tasty lunch:

Spaghetti with tomato sauce
Braised eggplant topped with onion, plum tomatoes, basil and parsley
Whole-grain french baguette split lengthwise and spread with butter and smashed garlic
Mexican chocolate pudding made with tofu instead of milk, a combination of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate, cinnamon and chili powder.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colorado Trip - Day 2, Part 2

We next drove to the little (blink and you'll miss it) town of Goodland to stop for lunch.  An app Todd looked at said there was a good local restaurant there called On the Bricks, so that was our destination.

We pulled off at the Goodland exit and passed the town's one-and-only (I guess) tourist attraction - a giant reproduction of one of Vincent van Gogh's sunflower paintings.  Who knew?

Van G(r)oh

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Colorado Trip - Day 2, Part 1

Today's destination:  Denver.

Up at 6:30am.  Had breakfast in the hotel at 7:30:  scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, bran muffin, raisin bran cereal ;o) 2% milk, orange juice, water and decaf coffee.

Spent about an hour picking a hotel for our stay in Denver, then showered and hit the road at 9:50.

Windmill sightings at 10:10am.  Most were white, but some were painted a bluish gray to blend in against the sky.

Off in the distance

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wisconsin For Work

I recently travelled to Madison, Wisconsin for a work conference.  It's the state capitol dontcha know.

The meetings and events were held at Monona Terrace, on the shores of Lake Monona, Of the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood Nokomis, the old woman...
Sorry, I drifted off into the Song of Hiawatha, by Longfellow.  It's early and I'm tired.

Monona Terrace
Monona Terrace was designed and revised by Frank Lloyd Wright between 1938 and his death in 1959.  However it was not actually built until the early 1990s, and only Wright's original exterior design was kept.

To me, the capitol area of Madison felt like a miniature cross between Austin, TX and San Francisco.
Photos below.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ghost Haiku

You will not see me
unless you are cleverer.
Ah! You have found me.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

OCT OMG

I'm all for the right to own a gun for protection, or hunting, or...whatever...

Rawhide Kid
Sean Connery in Zardoz
This guy
But do we really need to parade them around the suburbs like I saw today?  I mean, we also have the right to own a venomous snake or a flamethrower, but carrying those things around in public places is unnecessary and asking for trouble - either by inciting, escalating, or by accident.

Because apparently you need firepower when going to the Lush Nail Lounge
Or buying fried chicken

RuPaul And The Beauty Of Nature And Weight Loss

Steak Friday last night (New York strips), and after four glasses of wine I was three sheets to the wind.  Ended up watching the Kurt Russell corrupt cop movie "Dark Blue" in English on a Spanish language channel.

While the movie wasn't dubbed in Spanish, it was dubbed in English - apparently the movie had a lot of cursing in it and they were using the badly dubbed safe for TV version.  Every other sentence was out of sync with the actors' mouths, and I swear there were a couple of scenes where it wasn't even the same actors doing the over-dubbing.

Up at 3am this morning waiting for the sunrise.  Got out at 6am to go walking.  For the past 2 months I've been walking 3 to 4 times a week, doing 4 to 5 miles in an hour each walk.  I've also been walking 2 miles at lunch when I can, though it's getting too hot for that.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Buttermilk Chess Pie

Well, half of one would be more accurate I guess.
So good
I seem to be on a pie kick recently.  Partly because of the Nothing in the House pie blog, where some of the recipes I've tried have come from, and partly because pie shells are sold in twos and I always have one left over (as I mentioned in my last post, I don't make my own crusts, and I tend to shy away from pies with a top crust - too...well, crusty, I guess).

This pie came from Allrecipes and could not have been easier to make:

2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350.  Combine the sugar and flour in a large bowl.  Beat in the eggs and buttermilk until blended (I didn't want to haul out the mixer so I just used a big spoon and went to town on it until the sugar dissolved a little and wasn't so grainy - about 2 minutes).  Stir in the melted butter and vanilla.  Pour into the pie crust and bake for 45 minutes, or until it's set.

So a couple of notes on the cooking part, for novices like me:

  1. The filling came almost right up to the edge of the pie crust when I poured it in.  I had to be VERY careful when getting it into the oven that I didn't spill it - I had it sitting on a cookie sheet just in case.
  2. I was worried that it was going to rise, which it did.  However, it only started to rise as it was setting, so instead of bubbling over, it looked a little like a soufflĂ©.  It falls as it cools.
  3. I jiggled the pie a little at 45 minutes (scientific, huh?) to see if it was set and it was too wobbly - sort of like a little waterbed.  So I added another 5 minutes and tried it again.  It was still just a little shy of the mark, so I added 5 more minutes then took it out after that and it was perfect.  This made the crust a little darker (not burnt though) which I actually love, so I was fine with it.
  4. I let it sit on a wire cooling rack for an hour before cutting it.  It was still very warm and delicious!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Let The Weekend Begin

With steak, of course!  Seared in the grill pan on the stove then 6-10 minutes under the broiler - easy peasy.  I season mine with a little garlic, a little worcestershire pepper, salt and lots of fresh ground pepper.
Steak, baked potato, corn on the cob, asiago parmesan bread, and a nice Napa Valley Pinot Noir
Can't forget dessert.
Strawberry pie (homemade, except for the crust - I don't do crust).  Not as good as Mom's, but still pretty darn good!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Things I Learned Today

In a pinch you can use tortilla mix instead of flour in your cornbread and it will come out fine.
A little dry, but good
Cotton candy "fudge" isn't as fun as it sounds.
It's more fun to call it a pound of Sulley flesh

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What I'm Listening To

Francesco Rossi - "Paper Aeroplane".

Guacamole Paradise

Anamia's for lunch.

Made to order

Pet Shop Boys - Electric Tour

I have some time now to write about the concert on Tuesday night.

Todd has always been a fan of Pet Shop Boys.  We had been to their concerts before at the Bronco Bowl (remember the Bronco Bowl?) and the Nokia venue, now the Verizon Theatre.  He has a signed LP of their album Actually from a Sound Warehouse (remember Sound Warehouse?) appearance in Dallas in '88 or '89, and has all of their albums and almost all of the singles.

So, early in February when I saw they were touring for the Electric album I ordered VIP tickets for the concert which included good seats and a meet and greet with PSB before the show.  The tickets would arrive in the mail, and about a week before the show I would receive an email with additional details and instructions for the meet and greet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PSB 2

Autographs:  check.
They were both very nice and personable.
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant

PSB

In line for the meet and greet before the Pet Shop Boys concert.
The Majestic - downtown Dallas