Thursday, December 18, 2014

Favorites From My Christmas/Winter Playlist

Here's a few of my favorite songs and albums for the holidays:

2000 Miles - Pretenders
Arbolito - Tish Hinojosa
Old Toy Trains - Joe Nichols
Merry Christmas - Johnny Mathis
Merry Christmas - Andy Williams
The Heartache Can Wait - Brandi Carlile
Peppermint Winter - Owl City
The Velveteen Rabbit - George Winston & Meryl Streep
A Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi Trio
Carol of the Bells - The Bird and the Bee
Christmas Is - Lou Rawls
Christmas Island - Jimmy Buffett
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
A Very Special Christmas - Various Artists
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Annie Lennox
Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton
Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles
I Like a Sleighride (Jingle Bells) - Peggy Lee
Jingle Bell Jamboree - Keb Mo
Nanita, Nana - Tish Hinojosa
Light the Candles of the World - The St. Philips Boy's Choir
Merry Christmas From the Family - Robert Earl Keen
The Classic Christmas Album - Willie Nelson
You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch - Aimee Mann
All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey

Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Earthquake

Another earthquake this morning at 6:01am.  It was a 2.7 magnitude quake.  I was downstairs on the couch and heard the windows rattle - didn't really feel it this time.

That's the 9th so far this month, and the 12th since April.

According to the local Emergency Management Coordinator "The city...continues to monitor and is in contact with seismologists who tell us the magnitude of earthquakes we have experienced is low, and earthquakes happen regularly. In fact, the UniteStates Geological Survey estimates several million earthquakes occur in the world each year and most have very small magnitudes, such as those occurring (here)."

What they conveniently don't mention is that prior to the past couple of years, earthquakes in this area were a rare occurrence, and the current earthquakes are centered near recent natural gas drilling operations.

If it's not related, then maybe it's Godzilla about to wake from his slumber.  In the U.S.

Of course; that must be it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Miscellaneous And Unrelated

Here's some other stuff I've been sitting on while finishing up the trip posts:

Mural from the now-defunct Horizons ride at Epcot.  Photo from

Dragon riding Domo-kun.  Yes, I was bored beyond belief at the time.

This swirling cosmos would eventually become delicious pecan pralines

Accidentally took this photo.  Any guesses as to what it is?

Red Velvet Peeps - Yummy, but three was enough.

NY/DC Trip - Epilogue

Hello.  Just a quick follow up post with a couple of photos I forgot to post and a couple of new ones.

Here is the Arlington National Cemetery Amphitheater at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as seen from the air.  Photo from Wikipedia.

NY/DC Trip - Day 8

Last day.

Woke up at 6:30am and went into the living room.  I sat on the couch and covered up with the throw while surfing on my iPad.  The alarm I had set went off at 8:30 and I packed and showered, then we met Mom at 9:30 for breakfast.  I had the same breakfast again, this time with the chicken sausage, juice and whole grain toast.  Todd had french toast, sorry, Pain Perdu, again.

Pain Perdu if you're fancy

NY/DC Trip - Day 7

A lot of photos in this post, so it's kind of long.

I woke up at 7:00am on this morning, and got out of bed at 8:30.  We met Mom at 9:30 for breakfast, where I had the American breakfast again; this time with pork sausage and decaf coffee.

A view of Pinea, the hotel's restaurant where we had breakfast each morning
Breakfast tableau

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

NY/DC Trip - Day 5

Today we take the train to Washington D.C.

I woke up at 5:30am, then ended waking Todd up at 7:30.  We got out of bed at 8 and I showered and packed.

We met Mom at 9:15 and checked out, left our bags with bell services, then walked across the street to the 810 Deli & Cafe.  I had the same breakfast as before; a protein wrap that I split with Todd, and a Bolthouse Farms strawberry banana smoothie.

After we ate we walked to Central Park and watched the falling leaves around the duck pond, then walked to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NY/DC Trip - Day 4, Part 3

A short ride from 34th Street/Herald Square on the R train took us to 49th Street, then we walked to the Gray Line office at 777 8th Avenue and bought a double-decker bus tour of the "Downtown Loop".  Todd has always wanted to do this, so he was excited.  We walked over to Times Square to get on the bus.

Times Square

NY/DC Trip - Day 4, Part 2

Coming up out of the 34th Street/Herald Square station, we saw throngs of people lining 5th Avenue.  We walked over and the Veterans Day Parade was in full swing.  We stayed and watched for a few minutes (the whole parade lasted 4 hours), then continued around to the entrance of the building.

The Veterans Day parade

NY/DC Trip - Day 4, Part 1

Tuesday, November 11th - Veterans Day.

I don't remember what time I got up on this morning, but it was well before the 8am alarm went off.

After everyone was up and ready, we walked up 7th Avenue to Europa Cafe for breakfast.  I ordered an Europa omelet with egg, tomato, cheese, and onion, a side of diced potatoes, and orange juice.

The Europa omelet may not look that appetizing in this photo, but it was delicious
Hi Mom!

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


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