Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The 2 hour camping trip

Well i was all excited to go camping, and mother nature taught me again that I am NOT in control.
It was overcast when we left - figured it didn't look TOO bad, we can make it, besides how wet can it get: it's been dry for the past few weeks! We take the scenic way up through Poland Junction and Walker, past Hassayampa Lake, and up the mountain. When we got to the camp site it was drizzling, but still; nothing we couldn't handle. Time - 12:00
So we cleared the ground, pitched the tents, got some sleeping bags/blah blah blah put away, and I started looking for wood while Danni went to find marshmallow roasting sticks. 
Against all odds, i actually managed to get a fire going with mostly damp wood, some axe work, and a blissfully dry patch of pine needles (so there Danni, I can make a fire!).
So, we get the fire ring all built up against the wind, and the fire is starting to get going, and then it all goes horribly wrong.  That drizzle that wasn't that bad (and for all intensive purposes, seemed to be diminishing) suddenly turned on us.
As though it was a great beast, finally turning docile whipped by it's evil master the wind suddenly kicked up and sheets of rain were pouring down around us.  We made a quick scrabble to get all the windows in the truck closed, get the camp bag sealed up and thrown under the truck, then we dash into the tent. It all seems okay for the first 15-20 minutes; it's raining, but we are semi-dry in the tent , and we even strung up a clothesline to help with the soaking bits of clothing. Then we notice a small amount of water coming through the fly, just a drip or two at first, but as the wind and the rain get worse, so does the drip. Quick: throw a tarp between the fly and the tent to drain keep the water out.
This seems to work for a small amount of time, we eat some string cheese, and play a game of bullshit, but then it starts coming in the un-closable windows of our summer tent. So we wait for it to die down, and when it does diminish a bit, we make a mad run to break down the tents, shove them in the back of Danni's truck under the camp bag, so they dont fly away. Finally, making sure that we pack out everything that we packed in, then we tuck tail and run. Time - 2:00
After a quick jaunt on Senator Hwy. we were back at home, and all ready to dry out. We piled the wet gear on the porch to deal with the next day, fried up some burgers, and roasted marshmallows in the fireplace.  While it wasn't quite what we were after in a camping trip, we still had a blast!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Awesome Freaking T-Shirt designs at Threadless.com

How can you not like some of these?:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Going Camping

So we finally get to go camping this year!!! DaNece's friend suggested it, which meant that DaNece was totally in. I can't wait!

Great Photography

This guy's photography kicks some serious arse! A lot of it looks like it is probably High Dynamic Range. I love his use of color in the images, spot on!

http://notleyhawkins.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Flickr

Loving the new pro account at Flickr. I'm up to 14 sets, and 296 photos!! Plus I downloaded the flickr desktop program, which makes uploading them super easy. Select the photos, right click - 'send to Flickr, then wait for the upload, name, add to set, describe and I'm done.

With the pro account I can upload as much as I want, PLUS (and this is a biggie): they keep the original file size available to me, so if my computer ever goes down hard (hopefully both drives wouldn't go at once, but you never know), I could re-download all of my flickr photos to my computer.

Go Flickr!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lynx Lake Cafe

Me and DaNece went to the Lynx Lake Cafe on Saturday after a family friend said that there was German food to be found there.

 

The restaurant must first be described by it's surroundings. It is in the same building as the bait shop/boat rental store at Lynx lake. The entire restaurant has a cozy feeling to it (with all sorts of interesting things to see on the walls/furniture). If you sit in the front part you get a view of the bait shop, and if you sit in the backside i believe you get a view of the lake (and a lot of sun in the morning time).

Initially when I talked to our waitress and asked if they made their own sausage/bratwurst locally, I was disappointed to hear that they did not, but that it was special ordered from an authentic butcher that knew their stuff. So I order country potatoes and eggs with smoked bratwurst, and DaNece orders the potato pancakes with apple sauce. I realized I was in for a good breakfast when the waitress immediately came back with a container of spicy mustard, places it on the table, and walks away without a word. Mmmmmmm... spicy mustard and bratwurst.

The food arrived, DaNece was making noises reminiscent of an adults-only movie over her pancakes, and I was practically spasming with joy while eating the wurst. I also had a home-made biscuit, which was pretty bland. All in all though, we got an AWESOME meal for $20! Plus we looked at the lunch menu and saw schnitzel..... we have to go back to try that!!!!

So if you get the chance, want a cool environment, and some awesome food, check out the Lynx Lake Cafe!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Its Freakin Knots!

Everything you never knew you needed to know about knots. And it's animated so that you might actually learn to tie them!!  Luke: they even have decorative knots!!!

http://www.animatedknots.com/

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Took the plunge

Well I took the plunge and signed up for a Flickr Pro account. This was due to an infuriatingly small number of sets allowed for the freebie account (4 or 5?). So now i am creating sets like a madman!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tombothetominator/sets/

I guess this gives me a good excuse to take more pictures with my new camera. :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Vacation Recap

Well I am finally getting my lazy ass around to posting a recap of my vacation to Philadelphia to see Daryn.

 

 

I took the red-eye flight out, got stuck in New York Saturday morning due to fog. They wanted to re-book me on a flight that left 10 hours later in the day. I said no thanks, and called Daryn to come pick me up at JFK airport. After chillin at the airport for 3 or 4 hours Daryn showed up and the ride back to his place began. Of course at this point I'm still not feeling great health-wise, plus I'm jetlagged, and tired as all get out from not being able to sleep on the plane. This all culminated into me passing out for the 4 hour drive home. Then sleeping for 14 more hours after arriving at his place.

 

 

Sunday on the other hand was an absolute blast!! We went to the Jersey Shore for the whole day. Other than having to pay to get on the beach ($5!!!!) it was all good. We played in the surf, layed on the beach, ate frozen custard, pizza, fries, and even played at an arcade on the boardwalk. Daryn and I even got ambitious and tried to body-surf. Needless to say it is an art that takes practice, and mostly I just got tossed around by the waves, but there were one or two that i caught.... lots of fun! After the sun went down we got a burger and shrimp on the boardwalk (which was nothing to write home about) and packed up to head home, with more sand in my crevices than i care to think about.

 

Monday took the train into Philly and met up with Daryn's friend Nick, who runs the Prescott House. After a quick bite to eat at the train station (at some fast-food joint that thought it was hoity-toity) we got stuck in a parking lot with a non-functioning ticket booth for 30 minutes. Afterwards we had Nick drive us to the 'Jeweler's Row' in downtown so I could pickup something shiny for the other half. After going through about 12 shops which 'knew they had something that she would love' but all had minimal inventory and were overly pushy, we finally went to Steven Singer Jewelers, where not only was I offered a cold beer while I browsed, but for the first time all day, I was asked what my budget was. As soon as I told them I expected to start seeing jewelry at least $100 above what i told them, but to my surprise they started bringing out pieces that met all my requirements and were well within my budget. So i picked one out, payed, and received my gift-wrapped goody, 2 shirts, some cleaner, and about 10 pens. Then it was off to Reading Terminal Market for some shopping.

Now it should be mentioned that my original intention was to cook dinner for my hosts. But once we got to Reading Terminal I was just in a mood to browse, so we opted to get dinner out. Reading Terminal Market is one of those places that i could spend all day in. Not so much because it is huge, or because there is anything there that i couldn't find anywhere else. It is simply because it is like nothing in the Prescott area.  While perusing all the stalls we stopped and got an awesome fresh fruit juice drink. This became the obvious time to talk about life, the universe and everything, so we did.

 

At this point i was unaware that i would be subjected to one of the oddest mixtures of ethnic cuisines of my life. Daryn just happens to know of a little Thai restaurant that we can go to for dinner. Though not in the mood for Thai, i grudgingly agree, and am taken to a place whose sign instills an instant sense of fear and foreboding: Thai-French Cuisine...? Surely not! Don't get me wrong; I like Thai food, and I really like French food, but in my mind, I don't like them together.

 

Thankfully a cursory look at the menu shows that although they share the same sign, they are kept pretty separate on the plate. So Daryn opted for something that smelled like fiery-diareah waiting to happen, and i opted for a crispy duck in a raspberry chamard sauce. The only unexpected thing on my plate was some basmati rice in place of a standard starch (namely potatoes), which I could definitely live with, and turned out to be a delicious meal. After this I ordered some mango sorbet, which was an oralgasm. Equal parts sorbet and whipped cream transformed into pure magic the moment they touched my tastebuds and i was transported to a place that every human ought to go to at least once in their life; pure ecstasy.

 

 

Tuesday consisted of a hike through a very lovely, and very spider-infested creekway. It is the same hike that we went on when i came out during the winter, and it was interesting to see how much more alive everything is during this season. There were frogs everywhere, and spiderwebs traipsed across every foot-path, with mothers carrying fat white egg sacks around with them. Daryn found some ropes hanging from a branch, and had a good ol' time swinging out over the water (pictures to be posted at another time). All in all a good time. This hike was followed by some more swimming at the pool, and finally some pizza and cheese-steak: good stuff!

 

 

To continue the shitty flight theme of Friday/Saturday, my flights home were a disaster. I arrived at the airport at 7:00AM, and my flight didn't leave till 1:00PM, so there went 6 hours of reading books. Philly to Atlanta seemed to be going well, until we were supposed to land. Apparently Atlanta was having a REALLY bad thunderstorm, so we got to sit in a holding pattern for an hour. This was followed by a trip to Tennessee so we could get more gas (which i think was a good idea, because running out of gas in a 747 seems like it could pose some serious problems). But then what was supposed to take 20 minutes turned into an hour and a half in Tennessee. Finally we got to take off again, and sit in a holding pattern for another 30 minutes before landing at last.

 

Of course this also meant that I missed my 4:00PM flight to PHX, so I am now booked on the 7:00PM flight. This flight changes departure gates twice, which means that i am running from terminal to terminal hoping that i don't miss another flight. At 8:00PM (1-hour delayed) the flight finally leaves, and I'm on my way home. Everything is good right? Well other than the fact that the battery on my MP3 player finally gave up it's fight for life, the flight was good. And i show up, and hugs and kisses are exchanged with DaNece as we head down to baggage claim. And i sit and wait for my bag to come out on the carousel, but sadly it does not. 'All bags delivered' and the carousel stops spinning, so after 17 hours (it's 12:00AM EST by now) we head to the baggage customer service desk, and sit in line behind a gaggle of people. As we stand there, more and more people I recognize from my flight from Atlanta, and i keep hearing the words "We don't know where your bags are, but we will get them here as quickly as possible". My heart begins to sink.

 

'Oh well,' i think to myself, 'there isn't anything in that bag i can't live without.' I get to the counter and talk to the agent, and am told that indeed my bag is here, it actually arrived hours ago (thanks to my arriving 6 hours before my original flight left). We go out to a glass case, get my bag, get in the rental, and drive home. Finally at 3:00AM EST we get home, and I pass out.

 

After that i spend a couple of days being a lazy bum at home, replace a radiator, as well as Nikki's brake pads, and call it one successful vacation.

 

So there.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Interesting music video

Well I dont know what she is saying, but Utada Hikaru sure has a nice music video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3txQCQFuG-U

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Two turn tables and a violin?

http://www.videosift.com/video/Love-child-of-the-violin-and-turntables 

Awesome if for nothing else than the Gnarles Barkley halfwaly through. I love it.

Freakin Cool!!

Ok,

So I'm back from vacation, and I will post up a full trip report sometime this week (work is crazy), but for now this is just plain awesome!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF1vFTQOWN4