Monday, December 22, 2008

Roomba!

We have a new addition to the Car Farm: a Roomba.  

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Yes, it is a member of the family.  I love it.  I can't figure out why I ever bought a vacuum.  I can turn it on, go upstairs and study, and an hour later the kitchen is furball free!  Amazing.  I've been able to "vacuum" at least one room/day, and all I have to do it clean the Roomba out when its finished so its ready for next time!  Its one less thing for me to get overwhelmed about during the next 2 months.

Day 6 of Captivity

Again, apologies for not blogging.  I thought I would have more time for that come winter, but apparently that is not the case.  

My employer has graciously allowed me to work 4 days/week, 10 hrs/day, so that I can take Fridays off to study for the bar.  Sometimes I get some studying in, sometimes I have errands to run.  Nothing gets done Mon-Thurs because of my work schedule, so by Friday there are a number of things that have piled up.

On top of that, I have this perpetual loop in my head about studying for the bar.  It goes something like, "I shouldn't be posting on the blog, I should be studying."  "I can't clean the house, I have to study."  Its really bad, and I'm constantly looking for ways I can multitask bar study with, oh, anything else.  So far all I've got "walk on treadmill and read outlines," so if you think of anything let me know.

Fortunately, we have had SO MUCH bad weather here that work has been canceled since lat Wednesday!  Hooray!  More study time!  Well, that part actually sucks, because I'd really rather be reading, or practicing music, or baking cookies, or counting my split ends, but instead I have this enormous exam to study for.  Boo.

Also, I'm amending previous snow estimates.  Last night I thought we had gotten about 6-8 in. of snow in the couple of days.  As of this morning I think we actually got about 2 feet.  At least, that's what I just had to shovel from the back steps and walkway.  No joke.  I photos, but they're on Jefe's camera and I'm not sure how to download them.  We've got some pretty massive snow drifts as well, which are REALLY fun for the dogs to navigate through.  From behind, Tick looks like a rabbit the way he hops through the deep snow.  Goose just gets stuck, then looks at you and barks.

Back to studying...






Friday, November 28, 2008

Blog - Turkey Edition

Last night we had the annual food fest at Jefe's parent's house.  In the 2 years I've been up here they host at least 25 people at their house for Thanksgiving.  Its massive.  This year I brought a gorgonzola casserole that everyone scarfed on.  Success!  For those of you who asked, here's the recipe.

Gorgonzola Broccoli Casserole
  • 3 lbs. broccoli, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter, plus 1 tbsp melted butter (for later)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • 1 1/3 cups french bread crumbs (via food processor)
  1. Preheat over to 350.  Boil 3 qts. of water, add broccoli, and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Drain.  (You can frozen broccoli; I did that the first time and it worked just the same)
  2. Rinse out broccoli pot.  Add 1/4 cup butter and melt over medium heat
  3. Stir in flour and salt and cook until bubbly (about 1 minute)
  4. Add milk and stir until boiling and thickened (3 minutes)
  5. Add cheeses; whisk until smooth  
  6. Stir in broccoli, pour into casserole dish
  7. Mix bread crumbs and 1 tbsp. melted butter.  Sprinkle over top of casserole.
  8. Bake uncovered 20-30 min. at 350.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Marcia's Wedding

Last month my college roommate, Marcia, got married back in Michigan.  I went back for the wedding.  I had to -- I was one of the bridesmaids.  

Truth be told, there was no way I'd miss this event for the world.  Marcia and I were assigned to live together freshman year at Univ. of Mich.  In a handicapped room in an all female dorm.  MANY people I know have horror stories of their freshman year roommates, but we became great friends, sorority sisters, and roommates again our junior year of school.

So anyway, the wedding.  She married Joe Hune, who is a representative in the Michigan House of Representatives.  She is a lobbyist for the Michigan Credit Unions League.  They met when she was Chief of Staff for one of Joe's good friends; the friend asked the two of them out to a movie and then never showed up ;)

On with the pictures...  here's Marcia & Joe having their first dance.


Marcia and Tara, one of Marcia's childhood friends and a bridesmaid.


Erin, another bridesmaid, and Joe.  This is the only picture I have of Joe where you can see his face.  Erin is one of their friends from Lansing (where they work). 


Most of the bridesmaids: Dierdre, Erin, me, Tara.  The only one missing here is Kate, who was the Matron of Honor.


As you can tell by the previous photo, I'm sporting some sort of blonde bouffant-helmet.  This is what happens when: 

1) the bride doesn't care how you wear your hair, 
2) you don't care how you wear your hair, and 
3) the hairdresser thinks that "your hair is the PERFECT length for a blonde bob, kinda like Katherine Heigl, and it would look really great with your dress..."


And last, a full length shot, because the bridesmaid's dresses were actually GORGEOUS.










Saturday, October 4, 2008

And We're Back!

Winter is upon us here at the car farm, which means I am resuming my usual posting schedule.  Which isn't really a schedule at all... just means that I'll actually post something because the weather is too crappy to be outside.  

There's been big doing here at the farm the past week or so.  El Jefe decided to replace the siding on the house, which led to a variety of other projects.  Wisely, I decided to take off to Michigan for a wedding the same weekend he started the project.  How convenient!

I've dressed up the ol' blog in colors more appropriate for fall.  Until I get photos of the previous events up, I'll post this one of the mutts in the Nova.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Tim Gunn's Guide to Polygamist Style

Yes, yes, I haven't posted in... oh... 2 weeks.  I've been busy.  Its "fireworks season" out on the Rez and I pretty much run from meeting to meeting all day.

I have, however, managed to keep up on the whole Polygamy/FLDS/YFZ Ranch story, which I am fascinated with.  Growing up Mormon, there were many trips to Utah to visit family.  Occasionally you would go to the grocery store and see "Polygs."  They're kind of like an urban myth with Mormons.

Anyhoo, someone forwarded me this today and I loved it.   For those of you who are not so technologically inclined, click on the word "this" in the previous sentence and it will magically transport you to the link. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Top Gun

About 2 weeks ago, Jefe and I headed down to Oak-town to catch the Res Sox season opener against the A's and check out the A's new all-you-can-eat seating.  I forgot to bring my camera to the game, so I have no pics of that even.  

I do, however, have pictures of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, which is docked in Alameda.

View of San Francisco from the flight deck.

Surgery room. 

Control tower.

Back when the U.S. was flying Apollo missions, the did recovery of the space pods and astronauts.  Here's one of the pods.


This was a "Decontamination Unit."  Also known as an Airstream trailer.  NASA was totally worried about "moon germs" at the time, so they sent the astronauts straight from the Apollo pod to the Decontamination Unit for about a week, just to make sure they weren't infected.  I just found it amusing that they used an Airstream trailer...








Me, on Masonite

Our neighbors, Ross and Sharman, are artists.  Although they create their art using a variety of mediums (wait til you see their garden), Ross mostly does bronze sculpture and Sharman mostly paints.  They are AWESOME people and I probably wouldn't have survived the transition to Enumclaw  and Washington without them.

So, I was totally stoked last week when Sharman asked me to model for a series of paintings.  The paintings will be up on her blog, which she posts on WAY more often than I post on mine.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hey Money!

Has anyone seen that Comcast commercial "Everybody Loves Money?"

"Mr. J, Mr. J!"


Snow Day?

Enumclaw, March 26, 2008, 7:15 AM: Snow?



6:00 PM:  Still snowing.
11:00 PM: Still snowing


March 27, 2008, 10:00 AM


Gooser does her "snowplow" imitation.


It pretty much snowed off and on for until the following Monday, March 31st.  I kept thinking I was going to get a snow day from work, but no.  Nothing.  

March 2008: In Like A Lamb, Out Like A Lion.

Friday, March 21, 2008

No-Va

The 1963 Nova Chris bought on St. Patty's Day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chariots of Fire

In case you missed it, my brothers Marty (red shirt) and Colin (white shirt) ran the L.A. Marathon on March 2nd.  This is the boys at mile 15.  Marty was already hurting.  He ended up quitting at mile 19 in Skid Row L.A.  Nice move.  He waited a while for a wagon to come pick him up, but none did, so he rubbed the cramps out of his legs and finished the race.

Colin, on the other hand, had no problem with the race.  Apparently he runs 8 miles a day up at San Luis Obispo.

Daniel, who hopped into the race with Colin in the last 200 meters, ended up with a medal and a t-shirt and all the other stuff they gave the runners.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Toy

Last weekend Chris and I decided to buy a new computer.  His iBook had kinda gone in the crapper lately, and my old law school HP laptop circa 2001 hasn't worked in years (the backlight burned out, so the computer actually works, but you can't see anything).  We... or, rather, I... could deny it no longer -- we needed a new computer.

After much hemming and hawing, we decided to ante up and buy a new iMac.  And I love it.  I still, however, can't figure out how to "right click" anything, even with the advent of a Safari internet that allows tabbed browsing. 

We're now also officially a 2 computer household.  This may turn out to be a bad thing, like introducing a television in the bedroom.  Right now, he's downstairs reading about car stuff on the laptop while upstairs I'm blogging about it.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Rainy Day



After about 2 weeks of near perfect spring weather (at the end of February -- whoulda guessed?), it is all gray and cloudy and dumping buckets outside.

Fortunaatly, we're heading to California tomorrow to see my family and for Chris to go to drag racing school. The weather there is supposed to be 75 and sunny almost the whole time. This is good -- a vacation from the vacation that wasn't. The Mexican food will be just as authentic, but everyone will speak English :)

Speaking of languages, it appears that our adventure to Mexico has inspired Chris to learn Spanish. The day after we got back he purchased Rosetta Stone online access Spanish lessons. I've seen him do a couple of the lessons -- he's getting pretty good and I'm really proud of him for taking the initiative to do that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How Do You Spell Vacation? D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R

We tried to take a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last week. It was a non-weather related disaster. I say "non-weather related" just to rule out that potential vacation spoiler. So let's get into it.

We arrived at our hotel Friday afternoon two hours late because our plane was delayed. It then took us about an hour to get through customs because there are no lines, just mobs of people. Got to the hotel, checked in, went to our room and found this:



That's the view from our room. And that's a green construction fence. Here, let's zoom in a bit.




Still can't tell? Let's zoom in one more time.



Mmmm, yeah. Awesome. You know what else is fun? They do construction from 7am to 9pm EVERY DAY. They don't even take Sundays off.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the walls at the hotel were paper-thin. We could hear everything our neighbors said or did. Even better, we could SMELL everything they cooked. One day we came home to find that the neighbors had cooked spaghetti for lunch; we couldn't get the smell out of the room OR our clothes. FYI: we stayed at the Playa Del Sol Grand, in case you were thinking of going.

As it turns out, our hotel was not actually a hotel, it was a condo/timeshare resort. The first problem with that is that we were constantly getting hit up to buy a condo, a timeshare, a discount card, become a member, attend a timeshare presentation, etc. The second problem was that we got significantly worse service than the "members," obviously, because we were merely guests and not permanent.

Saturday we went down to the beach. The beach was nice, but we were in a touristy area, so there were a lot of people walking around. We did, however, find a great beach-front restaurant down the beach called Etc. Staff was nice, food was good, and the drinks were strong. I likey.

Sat. afternoon we went to downtown Puerto Vallarta and walked around/shopped. Bought Mexican wrestling helmets.



That was a good enough time, though we still got harassed by people trying to get us into a timeshare presentation. We took the bus back to up the hotel for that "authentic" Mexico touch (a cab cost $25, but the bus was on 10 cents -- sign me up).

Sat. night we had dinner in Bucerias, a small town north of PV. We LOVED Bucerias. The food was much cheaper than anywhere else, and there were significantly fewer tourists than anywhere else. That night was probably the best time we had the whole trip. We can highly recommend Bucerias.

Sunday... eh... can't remember what we did. We had to stay indoors or in the shade because Chris got sunburned -- big time -- on Saturday, despite that I had brought down 15 different kinds of sunscreen. I know we had lunch again at Etc, but that's about it.

By this time it was pretty clear that we weren't going to get any relaxation by staying at the hotel during the day. Every day there was some idoit on the loudspeaker announcing volleyball on the Lido Deck or some other activity that we were neither interested in parktaking in nor interested in listening to. We were refugees. We couldn't stay in our room because of the construction, but we couldn't just go sleep by the pool because of the announcements. So I hatched what I thought to be a brilliant plan: a day-trip to Las Caletas.

Las Caletas is the former home of director John Huston. It is a private beach located at the other end of the bay from where we were. Only one tour company has a lease on the property. I thought this would be perfect; if only one company can go there, the number of yahoos will be limited. According to the brochure, all your food and drink was covered, and you could snorkel or kayak as you like.

The boat left at 8:30 am. Its still cold then. And there were about 100 people on the boat. Chris was not happy.



There's a mug I'd like to avoid ever seeing again.

On the boat, the same idiots who had been yelling about the Lido Deck at the hotel were yelling at us on the boat, telling is to "be happy -- you're on VACATION." Really? That's what I thought too, but your "gentle" reminder is making me think differently! And, you're REALLY pissing off my companion, which makes this EVEN LESS like a vacation THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

And then, we docked.



"Beautiful! Wish You Were Here!"



Umm... I take that back! Not really!



Here's a shot down the beach, the other direction.



Turned out that all the activities they had available on Las Caletas could only be done at certain times, much like being on a cruise. If we wanted to snorkel, we could only do so from 10:30-11, kayaking from 11-11:30, yoga from 11:30-12, etc. Lunch was paella, but it was seafood paella. Chris hates seafood. I like seafood, but this was octopus legs and shrimp that were neither de-veined nor peeled. In fact, they still had legs. Gross. Well, at least there were drinks.



There was also wildlife. They had trained a couple of parrtos and macaws, which was actually pretty cool.








Mas poquito? Si!



An owl. Not exactly tropical, but I'll roll with it.



Touch my monkey?



Aquiiiii gato, gato gato!



Speaking of animals, this reminds me of something that bothered both of us.



That's a boat with a cage. The cage was for a "trained" sea lion they had. You could pay extra and go swim with the sea lion. The poor thing was on a leash and could only be either in the water or in the cage. This company also has a dolphin facility where you can pay to swimming with dolphins. This may have appealed to me when I was 10, which is probably who their customer is, but now it just makes me sad for the animals. Also, the water looked gross, and both dolphins and sea lions are known to bite people. So there.

Tuesday we headed back to the States and to the mutts. I think the dogs actually had a better vacation than we did. Tick hung out with Chris' parents while we were gone, which I think he LOVED. I think he loved being the center of attention and not having to compete with Goose.

Goose, on the other hand, went to a boarding facility that is "kennel-free." We figured that would be perfect -- she could just play all day and night for 5 days. And that's exactly what happened. They had to give her a 1/2 day "time out" just to get her to rest for a bit. Here she is after we got her home, which pretty much exemplifies how we all felt: pretty tired, and really happy to be home.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Leavenworth

The weekend after New Year's we went to Leavenworth, WA. Chris' buddy Tyler was throwing a surprise 30th for his wife Anna up there. I had never been there, and Chris wanted to see his buddy, so we boarded the dogs overnight and headed up.

Apparently, Leavenworth is an old train stop town. In the 1960's the town started to die and someone came up with the idea of turning the whole town into a Bavarian Village.



Say Cheese! (New Year's, part deaux)

Arch Cape was just a little up the coast from Tillamook, home of 1) Tillamook Cheese and 2) the Tillamook Air Museum. Luckily, both were open and available for tours.



The Tillamook Cheese factory.



Wow, that's attractive...



The cheese getting packaged and ready to go.



And now, gratuitous photos of Chris eating cheese.





After inhaling a bag of cheese curds we headed out in search of the Tillamook Air Museum. The Tillamook Air Museum is housed in a gigantic hangar that was used to house blimps during WWII. Seriously, the place is HUGE. Which is why I was so surpised when we got on the road and Chris said, "I hope I can we can find this place. I can't remember where it is."

Gee, I don't have the slightest idea...



And, a picutre of a weird looking plane, nicknamed a "Guppy."