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Friday, June 17, 2005

Today is my Wedding Anniversary

My wife Sha and I have been married for 16 years today. And what do we have to show for it?

A wonderfully supportive relationship without which I would be completely lost.

Our beautiful son Lucas.

All of those other intangible things that make up a marriage that you don't think about every day, but that I'll be spending a good portion of today reflecting upon.


Happy Anniversary Sha!


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Happy Birthday Ned!

Today is my friend Ned's birthday.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY NED!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Turducken

My wife and I were at a dinner party this evening and someone mentioned a dish called Turducken. I'd like to think that I'm pretty knowledgeable when it comes to food, but I had never heard of this. Turns out it's a cajun roast made by stuffing a boneless turkey with a boneless duck, which is in turn stuffed with a boneless chicken. Isn't this illegal in most states? ;-)

But seriously, anyone out there ever tried this? It sounds pretty bizarre.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I know what I did last summer

And I'll be doing it again...

For the past few years, my family and I have spent a few weeks each summer in a small resort town in the Southwest of France called Hossegor. Most Americans have probably never heard of it. I certainly hadn't. But my wife's family has had summer houses there for many years. In fact, I think my wife's Grandfather bought the first house some time in the 1930s. There are now two houses and my mother-in-law owns one.

Before my son Luke was born, we'd go there occasionally to visit the family. In recent years we've gone every July since my son was 9 months old so he could get to know his French cousins. It's really a wonderful vacation. On any given day, the most important decisions to be made are: what time to get up, what time to go to the beach, what time to come back from the beach, and what to have for lunch and dinner. And, being in France, the lunches and dinners are magnifique!

I have a real appreciation for good food--French food in particular. And my wife's family quickly came to appreciate that appreciation. I also like to cook, although in France I do so with great trepidation. My mother-in-law and her sister are fantastic cooks. Needless to say, cooking for 6 to 8 (and sometimes more) French people can be intimidating. So I tend to stick to cooking things that French people would find unusual--typically on the grill.

For years the grill at the house consisted of a few bricks and a metal grate. So I decided a while ago that I wanted to get a "real" grill for the house. Two years ago, my wife and I searched high and low for a good grill. But I couldn't find anything I liked. All of the grills seemed kind of flimsy and pricey. And then on the last day of our vacation, on the drive to the train we were taking to Paris, we saw it: a store in the small town of St. Vincent de Tyrosse. And in front of that store was a giant banner with just one name written on it. A name that I never expected to see in France. A name that almost brought tears to my eyes. That's right, the sign read:



But there was more. Underneath that sign was a sign that read "soldes," which is the French word for "sale"!! But alas it was too late. Our vacation was over. But we promised ourselves that we'd return to St. Vincent the following year to buy a grill.

And so we did. We ended up paying about twice what we'd pay in the States, but we were on a mission! And it was worth it.

Here's a picture of my first attempt cooking sausages.



The sausages came out great. And my eyebrows have mostly grown back ;-)

And here's a photo we just received from a few of the French cousins in anticipation of our return in July



Isn't that nice? Note the empty bottle of Absolut Vodka on top of the grill, representing martinis past and future...

Friday, June 03, 2005

Divertor

Bob reminded me about this short cartoon yesterday. It's absolutely hilarious.

Warning! Contains brief (almost indiscernible really) cartoon nudity

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The cathartic value of after-work drinking

And speaking of martinis...

I get together for drinks with a group of colleagues once a week after work. There's a restaurant directly across the street with a large bar at which we've become regulars. Jamie (bartender par excellence) sometimes has our drinks on the table even before we've sat down. I feel a Cheers moment coming on...

We used to call this the "Thursday Evening Drinking Club." But some (mostly the single ones) ended up there a bit more frequently and so "Thursday" really became more of a euphemism. And on certain days, some of us were so fed up with work that we ended up there a bit earlier than could be justifiably called "evening." Eventually we started referring to the destination by nicknames such as "WTF6" or "The Hall of Justice." I can't really explain the "WTF6" without giving away information about where I work. And you never know what a company considers confidential information these days. For all I know, the fact that many of us are driven to drink by the environment in which we work might be considered proprietary ;-)

But I digress...

We meet every week for reasons you can probably guess: to bitch about work. We do talk about other things, but the discussion invariably returns to work. I think most of us find these "meetings" quite therapeutic. You gets to vent a bit and also know that others are going through the same thing. And sometimes you find out that some folks are not going through the same thing, which gives you hope. Support and advice on how to deal with various situations at work is also plentiful. But even more important are the people. I work with a lot of great engineers who I like very much and who also happen to be great people. And most of these folks show up every Thursday evening at the "HOJ." Since many of us work on different teams, it's one of the few opportunities for all of us to get together to shoot the...breeze.

I really look forward to this time every week. And the martinis are pretty good too...

180 Degree Martini Bar

Oh I have to have this! Actually, I guess I need a place to put it first. I really like martinis. Not the nouvelle frou-frou martinis, but your classic vodka or gin martini...very dry. I acquired a taste for martinis from my parents. Hmmm, my mother lives in Arizona. This might work really well next to the pool and jacuzzi! Mom, can I have this? Please, can I...

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