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{Sunday, March 25, 2007}

Christmas on Lafayette 2006

In catching up this blog I'm now at Christmas 2006. We had wonderful bushy doug fir christmas tree with lots and lot of presents this year.

We had fun continuing our tradition of going out for Pho at Pho Hung and then heading to the boy scouts tree lot at St. Ignatius on Powell. We got our trees from this same troop when I was a little kid. After getting it up we waited until the following evening to decorate. Here's a close-up of a few of our favortie ornaments:

Bo of course inspected things to make sure all was in its right place:

And this was Oscar's first christmas with us. It took him a little while to figure out what was going on, but soon found a favorite place under the tree:

Bo enjoyed being right in the middle of things as we opened our presents on christmas morning.

We also got the kitties some christmas goodies and put them in silly little stockings:

Oscar enjoyed the stocking just as much as the stuff that came in the stocking:

Well, I'm slowly catching up here. I've still have to get some great snow pictures from January 2007, Mardi Gras in February 2007 and our recent trip to Orcas Island just over a week ago.

posted by The Brooklynite 3:32 PM

{Tuesday, March 20, 2007}

More Views of Our Feline Companions

Continuing in my attempt to play catch-up with this blog, I moved onto my December 2006 picture directory and decided we needed a special post dedicated to our cats, especially since most of the photos stored in that directory seem to be of them.

First, a reintroduction. Here is Bo and Oscar enjoying a fleece blanket nap with A. Bo absolutely cannot resist the fleece blanket on the couch and even more so if there is a human under said fleece blanket:

And Oscar likes to settle down in strange places:

And as I've posted before nobody can resist a kitty in a box. First we have Oscar investigating a partially unpacked box of xmas decorations:

And then Bo had to make sure the same box was thoroughly investigated:

The two of them have got along pretty darn well from the very first day we brought Oscar home to Bo just over a year ago. Here they are kind of sharing the heat emanating from the furnace vent shown in the right side of the picture. Of course, mr. alpha cat, Bo, is hogging most of the heat:

They even somtimes, though rarely, will even sleep next to each other. Mostly this has occurred at night when it was the colder parts of the winter, but this photo shows their eagerness to share human and fleece warmth:

And oh do they like to have fun together. Their usual routine is to greet A who gets home from work before I do, and then settle down with her as she either sits down or relaxes on the couch. Soon as I get home, they get all riled up and end up chasing each other and wrestling all around the living room. This is a great example of some kitty wrestling including Oscar bunny kicking Bo's head:

posted by The Brooklynite 8:55 PM

{Sunday, March 18, 2007}

The Garden Plot in Review

With the recent nice 70 degree weather (last year that didn't happen until mid-April), my thoughts turn to my yard. Yesterday I mowed the lawn for the first time this season. We've already had crocuses and mini-irises come and go and the daffodils fill our neighborhood.

Last year I created a garden space where once stood an ugly metal shed and I documented its progress and decline over the season with photographs. I thought it would be fun to republish the pictures in order of time.

First up, the plot as it was in early May before planting began:

Next, the plot in later May after planting but before much growth:

Then, the plot starting to rev up in early July:

The garden in the full lushness of late July:

Peak harvest time of early September:

The plot in the decline of late October:

And finally, the die off in November:

This next year will be a far different year for our yard. We made the momentous decision earlier this year to punt on remodeling and instead have our hose completely demolished to have a new house built in its place. Here's a link to a preview of the plans we have for the house. We also intend to have a two-story garage built right about where the garden plot was. Here's a link to the preview of the plans for the garage. I'm intending to photographically document the progess of this huge undertaking. Keep cheking in for pictures of demolition, excavation and eventually construction.

posted by The Brooklynite 12:49 PM

{Saturday, March 17, 2007}

The Spirit of Halloween...

...filled our home (as usual). A got busy and after she filled our home with lots and lots of Halloween goodies she added more to the yard transforming this flower patch into a Halloween greeting:

And then she did a great job of dressing up our flamingos as trick-or-treaters complete with tiara for the princess:

We went to my sister's annual pumpkin carving gathering and chili feed. What used to be a gagle of toddlers has become a group of elementary school kids. Lots of pumkins were carved and lit:

And I participated for the first time at my still relatively new job in the office Halloween activities. My contribution, beyond dressing up as an evil lawyer in suit, tie and horns, was this big jello brain.

posted by The Brooklynite 4:29 PM
A Late Fall Harvest

After returning from New York, we were graced with yet more sunny and relatively warm weather that allowed A and I to get one more big harvest from the garden. Here's a shot of the overall bounty inlcuding lettuce, peppers, tomatoes of various ripeness and tomotillas that never really did fully ripen:

The peppers we stashed away and dried. In mid-March we're still dipping into the peppers for occasional meals.

The pupmkin patch produced wonderfully round jack-o-lantern-ready pumpkins.

Our flowers even kept blooming late into October. Heck, with the weather we had I was forced to mow the lawn one last time after Halloween.

But Fall was creeping up on us as the leaves from the crab apple trees showed us. It was just a week later that record rainfalls came roaring over us as a big wet, warm kiss of the Pacific.

posted by The Brooklynite 4:02 PM

{Thursday, March 08, 2007}

Far Above Cayuga's Waters...

A and I travelled by car from NYC up to Ithaca to visit my alma mater, Cornell University, for Homecoming weekend. I had not been to campus for something like twelve or thirteen years. We got into Ithaca Thursday afternoon in time for me to go with the Lightweight Crew Coach in his launch for practice. That was a fantastic experience. We were evenable to get well out into Cayuga Lake and the pracitice even turned into some rather intense seat racing. What a blast for Crew Coach on sabbatical such as I am. Especially since this squad won the Eastern Sprints, IRA's and lost a close final at Henley to a much bigger heavyweight crew from England (and that was after beating the dominating Cal Frosh heavies in the semis). It was clear and cool out on the lake:

On our way up to Ithaca, it being mid-October, we stopped at a rural pumpkin farm and bought some yummy fresh apple cider:

On Friday we hit the wineries along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake (one finger lake to the west of Cayuga). We hit a couple of great wineries and a couple of basically mediocre ones. Here is a shot of Seneca Lake and then a shot including the vineyards in the foreground:

I took A up to the campus and we wandered spent too much money in the bookstore including an acquisition by me of a Cornell Hockey sweater (Go Big Red!!!). Then wandered over to Straight Hall. this picture captures a part of Straight that reminds you that this is an Ivy League campus:

On Saturday after I attended the Crew homecoming activities which included sitting my fat ass back into a coxswain's seat for an alumni boat, we hiked with my old roommate from senior year, Veg, and his lovely significant other, Erin, for hike up through Cascadila Gorge. I had an unfortunate up close encounter with this gorge situated back in 1987. Our fraternity house is situated along the north edge of this beautiful trench gouged out by Cascadilla Creek:

We stayed with Veg & Erin in their beatiful house located on the south side of Cascadilla Gorge. On Saturday we got dressed up and went over to the fraternity house (Lambda Chi Alpha for those who are curious) for the homecoming dinner. Here's a shot of A and I before we headed over:

Fun was had by all. We headed back to NYC on Sunday so that we could fly out of LaGuardia on Monday morning. We stayed at a former rower's teeny, tiny apartment and he took us out to the Upright Citizen's Brigade, of which he is a member and employee, for an amazing Sunday night improv comedy show. I got to drive through Manhattan and Queens again and we safely made it home. We loved the trip and will most definitely go back to The City again in the future.

posted by The Brooklynite 6:42 PM

{Wednesday, March 07, 2007}

Picking up from where I left off, a trip to NYC

So I've obviously neglected this poor blog for months. I recently got an email from a college buddy that I visited in New York back in October prodding me to update this blog. Well just I began editing digital photos from that trip and planning on doing the same with more and later photos my computer went kaput. I finally figured out that it was a harware issue and took it to a local computer geek store/repair shop (Belmont Computers on SE Belmont and 45th). I had fried my memory because I had let dust and crap build up in the system. A few blasts of compressed air and a new bank of RAM later I'm back up and running.

The rest of this post will be pics and comments from A & I's first part of our October trip to New York dealing with NYC. My next post will have the Ithaca leg of our journey.

We flew out to LaGuardia on a Monday getting into the city late that night. We stayed in cool little hotel out in Flushing at Queens Crossings just a couple of blocks from the end of the number 7 subway line. On Tuesday morning we rode the subway into Manhattan with plans to visit the Guggenheim and otherwise walk around. After we got off the subway we started to wander around mid/upper East Side Manhattan when we stumbled past this curious doorway:

After some coffee and light breakfast we cruised around (and I mean around) the Guggenheim which had a cool exhibit from an Iraqi-born British feamle architect who designed cools stuff like a BMW plant in Germany:

Later that evening I had the pleasure of meeting up with a few of my fraternity brothers and a guy I coached in rowing when he was in high school way back when. We met at this cool bar not far from the Guggenheim and it was warm enough (70+ that day in NYC) to sit at the outside tables. These guys and I were part of a faction within the fraternity that was called either the "farmer faction" or "fart faction" depending on the situation. Of course they have all gone on to great success. One of them works for financial giant UBS and another is a Ph.d in medicine and is in the midst of conducting various medical trials. Oh well, we used to sit around and smoke way too much pot and fart a lot:

Damn it was good to see those guys again. I feel pretty isolated from my college crowd out here in the Pacific NW.

The next day, with the handy help of two member passes from my former rower Eli, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). With his handy passes we were able to visit a members-only showing of modern pop-art. After that we spent most of our time on just a single floor. Here's a shot of A viewing Van Gogh's "Starry Night":

Here's an arty shot of the crowd in MOMA:

And here is a cool Picasso:

The MOMA building itself is a cool bit of architecture. Here is a shot that tries to capture some of it:

So after all that excitement, I was able to acquire tickets to Game 1 of the Mets-Cardinals NLCS at Shea Stadium through connections via my Father. The problem was that it started raining, hard, at about 4 pm and did not stop until much later that night. Alas, my plans were thwarted as the game was postponed and we were due to leave NYC the following morning for Ithaca. Our hotel was only one subway stop from Shea, but pretty dang far from Manhattan. We got dressed up and went back to Manhattan anyway and had dinner down in Greenwich Village. Here is a shot from the subway platform at Grand Central (cool, huh?):

We eventually ended up at this historic Irish pub, McSorley's. Here's a shot of my wonderful Irish lass A outside the pub and then a shot from within:

Finally, on the way back to Queens on the subway we asked a fellow rider to snap this shot of us:

New York City was way cool and we both want to go back for another vacation trip. We will sometime in the next few years.

posted by The Brooklynite 9:24 PM

{Wednesday, October 04, 2006}

A Fall Visit to Hood River

A & I drove out to Hood River on Sunday afternoon after we tried to catch our friend Katie who was running the Portland Marathon. We waited until will after she was supposed to be at the 21 mile mark and never saw her. I hope she is okay and that we just didn't see her.

Out in Hood River we went to the Rasmussen Farm where it was the opening day of Pumpkin Fun Land!! We bought a whole bunch of pears and apples which I am going to turn into cider and other things. The prices were fantastic compared to our local store. I paid 49 cents a pound for the apples and 59 cents a pound for the pears. Compare that to between $1.99 and $2.99 per pound for the same varieties.

They had a big U-Pick pumpkin patch out back:

We wandered through its expanse that also included these incredibly huge sunflowers. A is posed next to them to give the proper sense of scale.

Well next week we are off to New York for vacation. We're doing New York City for a couple of days before we drive up to Ithaca for my alma mater's homecoming. I haven't been back in about a dozen years and A has never been to the Northeast. We should be hitting darn close to peak Autumn colors. A has threatened to ship back 40 pound bags of the red leaves. I'll take pictures and hopefully be able to update while I'm there. I'm not taking my computer because of the hassle, but i should be able to find plenty of computers with internet access if not in the City then in Ithaca.

posted by The Brooklynite 5:43 PM

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