Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Late Christmas Present

This past Christmas the kids got together and gave us a number of presents and one of them was tickets to see the Moody Blues. The Moody Blues was Ann's favorite group when I first met her and we used to listen to them a lot as we dated and later married. We had seen them once before, like 15 years ago, when they came to the Nissan Pavilion. A good show that was partly ruined by two women sitting behind us who decided they were way more interested in talking to each other then listening to the music and the fact that it takes two hours just to get out of the Nissan Pavilion parking lot. The tickets this time were for the DAR Constitution Hall. DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution. I've lived in this area going back all the way to high school and I've never been to Constitution Hall, which is a crime in itself. Anyway the venue was very nice and the Moody Blues didn't disappoint. They played all the old favorites and the crowd ate it up. The crowd itself was definitely on the older side. I felt like we were on the younger side of the average age, which is saying something these days. Overall a very good time so thanks kids for the treat.

Saturday consisted of a rowing club meeting in the morning as we try to get things rolling for the coming year. We also signed up for dog sitting for Daughter#2 as she and her husband were headed to Philly to pick up a drum set. We were a little worried how Gracie, her dog, would get along with our three new additions. Ann drove out to Gainevilles to meet Daughter#2 and pick up Gracie. When she got back to our house, we slowly introduced Gracie to each of our new dogs one at a time so she wouldn't feel overwhelmed. Amy and Emily can do that. A few butt sniffs and everything seemed to go well and we all settled in to enjoy the rest of the day watching the basketball tournament.

Sunday I got up early and walked first Gracie and Scruffy up to the tennis courts and back a distance of about 2 miles. After walking them, I walked the twins, Amy and Emily, around the loop, which is just over 2 miles to burn off some of that terrier energy. It seemed to work. Daughter#2 and her husband had returned from Philly Saturday night and they wanted to go out for lunch. The Son joined us and we headed out for Thai, I'm not a big Asian food guy, but Daughter#2 and The son are so I don't mind eating Thai. We all ate our fill. They had a sea bass special that I got and loved. It came with a seaweed salad, which I really liked. Who knew? We said goodbye to Daughter#2 around 2:00 and I spent the rest of the day catching up on chores - doing laundry and grocery shopping. Needless to say, I crashed early, but a good weekend overall.

The weather forecast is calling for temperatures to reach the high 70s and even low 80s by the weekend. Rowing season starts this weekend so a perfect fit. I can't wait to get back on the water. I just hope the winds stay down so I can actually get out. I need the work.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Bad Treat

I didn't want to let another whole week go by with out writing something here. I have a post ready to go in my head about Daughter#1's and her Husband's visit last week, but I have been putting it off until I upload some pictures I have to go with it. I was going to do that last night, but I couldn't put my hands on the camera and I was too lazy to go look for it. Hopefully I can get around to that tomorrow so check back.

I mentioned a time or two on here that Thursday is Treat Day here in the office. We all take turns (or least those of us participating) bringing in goodies for the rest to enjoy. Usually it's some combination of bagels/donuts/egg casserole/fruit/etc. The usual early morning fare as we try to get our eyes open and focused. It's a nice way to start the day and mingle with the co-workers. I have to say though, and we had them this morning, that Thomas makes the worst bagels in the world. There ought to be a law that they can't even call them bagels. They're just bread shaped like a donut with a bad aftertaste. Blah!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daughter In The House

Yesterday Daughter#1 traveled down from Connecticut to visit with the rents for a week. She's down to look into getting registered for some college classes when she leaves Connecticut in May for the foreseeable while while she works on her nursing degree. Her husband will join her on Wednesday and stay until the end of the week when they will return back to Connecticut. Hopefully they will have some power by then. It has been out since Saturday night. Ann and I went and picked her up at National Airport yesterday morning.

It was Daughter#1's first chance to meet the new kids in the house - Scruffy here on the left and the twins, as we are now calling them - Amy and Emily, the miniature schnauzers. She loves them all, of course.
The twins are so full of energy, but seem to be settling in well. We even discovered that they know how to fetch. Obviously someone has spent some time with them doing some training, but lord can they be loud. We also bought a "coupler" so we can walk them on one leash that splits into two leads. Note the last remnants of our February snowstorms. Even this little bit is now gone.

Scruffy too has settled in and we are even getting him to eat without to much problem. Seems he likes various takes on dog stews. The Hill brand Irish Stew seems to be a favorite.

The twins are into everyone and everything. Here The Son keeps an eye out to make sure they don't get into trouble. Amy on the left and Emily on the right.

I forgot to mention in my last point that the previous weekend, my rowing club, hosted erg sprints for the local high schools. It is the 7th time we've held the sprints and it marks the end of their winter on land training as they switch to on water training. We had upwards of 180 rowers competing. The registration desk: two coaches and a rower checking in.

We hold the sprints at the local Gold's Gym where our club and Golds own 20+ ergs. 10 ergs were set up, and run through a laptop and the display shown on a large screen TV so spectators could follow the action.

Rowers taking their seats on the ergs. It was very competitive and everyone seemed to have a good time. A fitting end to the toil that is winter training.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Big Hearts...Weak Minds

In my last entry I briefly spoke of the web site Petfinder.com. It's a wonderful site for adopting all types of pets. It's also crack for those of us with big hearts and weak minds - like Ann and I. One of Ann's (and Daughter#1 for that matter) favorite activity is surfing Petfinder and looking at various dogs. Periodically she would send me links to certain dogs with the suggestion that we should adopt such and such dog. They all come with such sad stories (owner went into a nursing home, a victim of divorce where neither party wanted the family pet, etc.). Obviously you can't adopt them all and we just did adopt a dog (see last post), but your heart does go out to them. Did that deter us? Of course not! So this past Saturday found us on a road trip to of all places, Follansbee, WVA. Of course Follansbee wouldn't be that part of WVA that is just over an hour away. Oh no Follansbee is located about as far north as you can possibly be and still be in WVA. It's that portion of WVA that is like a spike up between Pennsylvania and Ohio. It's actually WEST of Pittsburgh. Oh man. Not to mention that Pennsylvania was hit by a snowstorm the day before. For that reason we opted for the slightly southern route taking I-68 rather then the Pennsylvania Turnpike. So we rolled through the mountains of western Maryland that looked like this:

We rolled through the town of Cumberland, Maryland:

Finally after 300+ miles and 5 plus hours on the road, we arrived in Follansbee. We were short on gas at that point and we wanted to refill before arriving at out ultimate destination. The first three gas stations we saw in Follansbee were all closed and shuttered up. Their gas pumps long removed. We eventually found an open station and gas up and headed off to the Brooke County Animal Shelter. It had started to snow as we pulled up to the shelter. It was an old building that had seen better days. It has two outside kennels for dogs and additional space inside. After filling out the appropriate paperwork we were now the proud owners of Amy and Emily - miniature schnauzers. That's right - we no own 2 more dogs.

They really are miniature. They are 2 years old and barely 12 pounds each. And seem to possess endless energy. Their previous owner was the "had to go into a nursing home" type. As I texted the kids, right now they remind me of the Siamese cats in "Lady and the Tramp". It's going to be interesting.