Showing posts from 2009

What does this song mean? For my whole life I don't know what this song means. "Should old acquaintance be forgot". Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances or does it mean if we happen to forget them we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?

Of course, Sally responds to Harry with "Well may be it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends."

Most blogs I read end the year with a big look back at all the things that have made up "the year that was". I've done that in the past also but I'm not going to do much reflecting this year.

2009 was all over the board and for me and, personally, the "downs" outnumbered the "ups".

Dwelling on the changes and the losses of 2009 won't do undo all the downs and it's probably not the most healthy thing to do to dwell on them anyway. The downs were so consuming that the ups went by in a blur. '09 was basically out of control and I felt that I was playing catch up all year - at work and in my personal life. I guess I'm fairly "type A" because the state of chaos we stayed in took quite the toll in the sleep and happiness departments.

2010, though, is looking up. My goals are to make the most of this year, to not to let good opportunities to make good memories slip by, and to let things go when things just seem overwhelming. You can only do so much!

It's funny that we don't really do a whole lot for New Years. It's sort of a non-holiday. It's a good opportunity to stay in and rest up. In fact, we really celebrate at 11PM now since that is the live Eastern time New Years. Watching a tape delay just seems dumb and I've really gotten hooked on the CNN New Years with Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper. Kathy typically says something (or some things) that is (are) completely awful and over the top. It's a good way to celebrate watching Anderson Cooper get totally embarrassed.

It almost slipped past me that this was a sort-of milestone New Years since this is the end of a decade. The first big "milestone" New Years I remember is 1979 going into 1980.

We watched Dick Clark (these pics are from CBS footage posted on You Tube) on our floor console Zenith with two big dials and no remote control (Kids today couldn't cope. But, you didn't change channels much with only 4 to choose from!).

1979 to 1980 seemed like a big deal and I really have no idea why. All I knew is that I was getting to stay up really late.

Check out those disco moves!

It ended up that 1980 wasn't much different than 1979. And, 1989 wasn't much different than 1980. The world didn't change a whole lot for those 10 years. But, think of 1990 to 1999 - computers - cell phones - internet - all the TV channels - all in 10 years. 2000 to 2009 has seen technology just take over and there are days where I wonder if that is a good thing or a bad thing. At least it keeps me employed, so I guess it is a good thing!

And here we start another decade. Will there even be blogs in 2020? If there are and carpal tunnel or arthritis hasn't taken over my fingers, I'll still be here typing away about who knows what.

Happy New Year!

Dismantling Christmas

I think everyone we know had a financially "tighter" Christmas this year and we were certainly no exception. But, this seemed to be the best Christmas in quite a while. Everything seemed more meaningful and there were no "throw away gifts". We did the majority of our shopping online this year. Most of that was cutting out Black Friday and cutting out the impulse items. No $5 Barbie dolls that go to the thrift store 3 months later after about 1 hour of play. No buying stuff just because it seemed like good deals when it was really totally unneeded (and ended up at the thrift store!). All in all, we're quite lucky and fortunate to have what we have. It was a good Christmas.

Right after Christmas we started slowly taking stuff down. First, all of the inflatables and yard decor came down. Then, the inside Christmas items all started to disappear back into the totes they call home for 11 months of the year. Finally, the tree and the outside lights came down. Christmas was over. It was fun while it lasted.

Looking around the house, I hate to say that it is kind of a relief to have my normal and un-decorated house back. That may sound "grinchy" but the first decorations go up with Halloween and you just get tired of all the knick-knacks after a while.

First, the Christmas ornaments all came off.

Then, the tree magically came apart into easier-to-move pieces.

Then, Sara took a self-pic with my Blackberry while I tried to drag the tree up into the attic.

Finally, the weatherman showed us that the weather here will be a lot more like Saskatchewan and a lot less like normal for the next week or so.

Twas the night after Christmas

Nothing exciting happening tonight. The holiday went by in a whirlwind. I ate way too much. We've been to the movies twice in two days and stayed up way too late each night.Christmas is a lot of work but this was a good one.

I'm taking a couple of days off the blog to recharge the thinker. And, it's another holiday week coming up which means weird work hours. Christmas is all about the kids. New Years needs to be all about catching up on some rest!

Merry Christmas!

There are many great traditions out there but aside from watching the 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" over and over, my favorite has to be the last Late Show with David Letterman before Christmas.

Not only do we have the excitement of the Quarterback Challenge (where Dave and Jay Thomas attempt to knock the meatball off the top of the Christmas tree with a football)...

...and Jay Thomas' annual telling of the Lone Ranger story...

...but we also get my favorite part which is Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)".

The one from this year is already online and she was unbelievable. She gets better every year. To think - she first recorded this song in 1963!!

Also, I have attached two more - the one from 1995 and the one from 2006. She has been doing this every year on the final Late Night / Late Show before Christmas(except for the writers strike year) since 1986.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

The Christmas Eve Webcam is off!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and shared part of our Christmas Eve with us!

The Christmas Eve Webcam is LIVE!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Welcome to our Christmas Eve get-together. This is the third year we have streamed live video. I was inspired by Randall who has been streaming his Christmas Open House live for several years. It's a good way to those far away from us to stop by, check in, and say "Hi".

Comments are open on the blog so click right below here where it says "comments" and let us know you stopped in!

One note - don't hit CHAT as that is off and it seems to stop your video. Just refresh the page if that happens.

If you see a frantic game of Uno or the dog tearing up a box of Kleenex, these things are totally normal around here!

If you are seeing this post on Facebook and can't see the cam, come to the blog at to see the cam!

Charlie Brown's Christmas Updated

The cam will be on later as we tear into gifts and have our annual fight to the death Uno card game match. Until then, here is a nifty clip I found on the internets. Enjoy!

Christmas Cam Test

I am testing the live video cam that we'll try to have on for some of our holiday get-togethers. This is merely a test!

The chat is disabled - don't hit that or you will have to refresh the page to get the cam going again!

If the stream is off, you will see Alex the Dog instead!

The video is on for Christmas Eve in a new entry!

An appreciation: The House Foundation

Top Row (l-r) Mike Bohan, Gerry House, Al Voecks
Bottom Row (l-r) Richard Falklen, Duncan Stewart

There are familiar aspects of the towns we live in that seem like they will never change. These things bring comfort. They are part of who we are. For some, that might be an old theater or a park or maybe a sports team or the old high school.

For me, it has been a radio show.

That show is called The House Foundation and Wednesday morning it sadly changes with the loss of two of the members due to what the some say are budget cuts and others say is just the result of management's desire to see change.

Breaking up a team that has been together for the best part of 29 years seems strange to me especially since they are always #1 or #2 and have won award after award after award.

I guess someone just understands the industry better than I do.

For me and thousands and thousands of others, they've been there through our good times and our bad times and we've all gotten to know them pretty well along the way. They made unbearable mornings bearable. They made us laugh. They made us think. They included us as part of the conversation. That is a rarity on radio that today seems filled with talk show screamers or endless, human-less playlists.

And, once you spend four hours a morning with someone for so long, they become part of an extended sort of family. I many times talked to people about what had happened on the show and was always amazed at how many others were also faithful listeners.

To Al Voecks and Duncan Stewart - thanks for always being there. My mornings won't be the same without you.

Merry Christmas - from Jimmy Fallon

I need to go on the Horatio Sanz diet. Wow!

Monday Murmurs

I spent way too much time working today. I decided I was going to install a wiki on our documentation server with the hopes of moving our stuff over to a wiki at the start of the year. Easier said than done! It's not that the wiki install itself was bad - it's that I inherited a server with completely goofed up permissions that took forever to fix.

But, it's up and ready to work on. Half the battle is over. Maybe the rest of the week will not have 12 hour days.

I did learn that Microsoft programmers could use a proofreader today:

I also remembered why the new Walmart logo seems vaguely familiar.

I'm a big fan of Zayre history. It rolls right off the tongue. Zaaaayyyrrreee. My grandmother shopped at the Zayre here quite a lot. It was the ultimate 70's store.

And, as you can tell from this commercial, the Zayre store in 1984 looks a lot like the Kmart stores still do in 2009!!:

School Christmas Party!

Yes - the kids are now out of school until Tuesday, January 5th. It's that time of year where I say to myself stuff like "Christmas is such a festive time of year" and "Will I make it to January 5th with my sanity intact?"

Here are some random pics from today's festivities:

Lindsay with one of mom's chocolate-covered strawberries. It was a massive sugar fest all morning.

This pretty much sums up how I feel all through the holidays.

Lindsay's class is getting ready for the distribution of the presents.

Sara is getting ready to fight it out to get a good gift.

Sara got one of the Junie B. Jones books she doesn't have and she made this abstract popsicle-stick reindeer head. We should eBay it.

And the stones in the road fly out from beneath our wheels

So, I have been slacking on the blog for a while now and that is due to most of my concentration and energy being spent on getting my office closed up. For the last four months I have been going through hundreds of pieces of equipment - dividing up the good and the bad. For the last week I have been working on my last batch of PC's and laptops - trying to get as much good equipment configured and upgraded as possible so these items could find new homes.

It has been a very hectic last few months and a grueling last few weeks. Being even more stressed than usual at Christmas has really been a drag.

I actually set a move out date in mid-November. Then another at the end of November. I finally realized that I will always find one more thing to fix - one more piece of equipment I can build out of two bad pieces. I had to just cut the cord and set a date and stick to it.

So, I finally set December 16th as THE move out date.

Today, I shipped that last batch of PC's and laptops out. Tomorrow, I will move out of my office which at this point barely resembles the picture here. Most everything I am keeping (and there is not much) is now in totes either waiting to be given to my co-worker in Knoxville or waiting to be put in storage in my garage until it is needed. The furniture and the rest will either be assigned to another location and end up with the liquidator.

The good news for me, my family, and the people who I pay bills to is that I am still employed and just moving back to my home office. Of course, I will be back on the road again in January (most likely coming to a town near you at some point in 2010) and I rarely saw my office anyway.

I really had this office organized into a nice lab of sorts and I will miss that. I could work on multiple pieces of equipment at once and I do not have near that kind of room at the house. (I do computer support / repair / training / etc. I never really mention that here.)

But, I'm already formulating a plan to get at least a couple of folding tables so I can create a nice little workspace in our remaining area building. Sometimes you just have to tear some stuff apart.

For now, I'm just going to be glad that the only commute I will have when a problem happens at 5AM is to my desk looking out into the backyard.

Music Videos for Wednesday

Here are a couple of Dan Fogelberg songs to mark him being gone two years today. First is one of the many fan-created videos on Youtube for "Same Old Lang Syne". It's one of the more normal ones but just close your eyes and listen unless you are wanting to get that karaoke experience:

And, here is my favorite Dan Fogelberg song - the video appears to have been plucked from VH1 back in ancient times when they still played music videos:

Monday Mumblings

It would only be fair if everything in Wal-Mart China was made in America.

I think we're all still exhausted from the weekend and Monday has whizzed on by also. Now it's already time to go to sleep so we can get right back up tomorrow and do it all again.

I have three days left at the office and it's getting a bit hectic trying to get all of the last minute stuff done. I don't want Thursday to turn into a chaotic mess so I am trying to stay ahead of everything. It didn't help that the repair man that showed up to fix a piece of equipment I need to ship brought the wrong part and won't be back until Wednesday. Unfortunately, I didn't have a stun gun with me to give him a good "adjustment zap".

Now our goal is just to stay healthy and get to the end of the week which is the last day of school for the holiday break.

Finally Friday

I finally hit the "wall of exhaustion" today. I've been rushing to knock out everything that needs to be done before I move out of my office next Thursday plus there was a meeting here this week plus I am slowly losing my battle against this nagging cold that seemed to pop up out of nowhere.

This whole week was a complete blur. We had Lindsay's 7th birthday on Wednesday. I can't say I remember a lot about it. We have her party at the movies tomorrow. I'll try to get some sleep between now and then so I don't snore during the film.

My new inability to sleep is getting downright annoying. I wake up at random times and hardly get back to sleep before the alarm goes off. Maybe I should try to be productive during those times. Maybe I can do some dishes or catch up on all the recorded shows I'm behind on. These are good thoughts I need to keep in mind when I am sitting on the couch in the dark at 3AM like some sort of insomniac zombie.

It sure doesn't feel like Christmas but I am hoping next week will be better. I am a bit ahead of all the move about to happen at work and I am looking forward to settling back in to the home office and stopping the daily commute which adds hours each week. C'mon Thursday!

And that's the way it is - Friday, December 11th, 2009.

Christmas Parade

The Christmas Parade was today. It was much warmer this year than it has been the past couple of times we went but I am still cold. I must be getting old.

Here are some of my favorite photos followed by a slideshow of all of the photos I took:

The kids and me without my makeup on.

Me and a very tall shampoo bottle. My new Facebook profile pic.

Lindsay and Shampoo.

The SWAT team. Play music too loud at your holiday party and these are the guys that show up.


Nothing says Christmas like an inflated woman and a purple superhero.

Yes, it's snowing - somewhat

Too bad you have to be up at 3AM to see it. I also doubt we'll get enough to even dust the ground. All I see now are big, wet flakes that are more closely related to a slushee than actual winter snow.

Still, it's a start and this is the earliest in the season that we've seen weather cold enough for this to happen in years. January and February might get pretty interesting around here.

Confuse your dog for Christmas

It appears that L.L. Bean wants you to encourage your dog into playing with a toy that looks like a Christmas tree light and then scold that same dog for wanting to pull the lights off of the tree and play with those also.

Nothing says "holiday fun" like a totally confused canine.

The Elf on the Shelf Returns!

He's sneaky - he's creepy - and he's always watching you!

It's Andrew the Elf - he's telling Santa all that you do!

Oh well - it rhymes about as good as the song in the commercial does. It's early and I haven't had my coffee yet!

November - Adieu. Aufwiedersehen. Gesundheit. Farewell.

Another month has flown by and the nation is all caught up in the spirit of giving.

This is not true.

Actually, the nation is recovering from adding to an average per family credit card debt that makes most incomes look like a mere speck on Black Friday and is still totally fixated on Tiger Woods and his golf club wielding wife.

It takes very little to entertain us all and we're easily distracted.

Our forefathers would be so proud. They built this country with their blood, sweat, and tears and the far majority of us sit at keyboards all day long with the greatest risk of bodily harm coming from a jammed finger or rolling our chairs over our own feet.

It's been one of those days - pondering junk like this can put you in a foul mood. Sitting in my office as one of the last four people left in a 130,000 square foot building with heating that reminds me of my old '73 VW Super Beetle doesn't help lift my spirits either.

I was lucky that I had very little time to sit still long enough to be cold. I ran back and forth between fixing 3 different laptops (try rebuilding just one laptop and get ready for hours and hours of Windows Updates before you can finish it up and ship it out) and 1 PC and 1 printer all day long  and all of it will still be waiting for me to finish up tomorrow as I make yet another 40 mile trek back to the office. Staying busy does make the day fly by and that is a blessing even when I feel I made little real progress against my never-ending to do list.

Just working at all in times like these more than makes up for any complaints I could have and I'm blessed eventhough this will be our tightest and most budgeted Christmas in years. I avoided Black Friday this year in part due to the fact that I just can't afford any impulse buys this year. It's all strategically planned like a military procedure. Just call me Captain Christmas.

I'm glad there is nothing new on TV tonight because I need the break. There is so much pressure to keep up with TV shows and that's probably why I watch less and less TV each year.

I am going to clean up some stuff and I am going to finally attack the stack of coupons that is taunting me. Hopefully, I won't get a papercut. I'll be brave and think of the many coupon clippers that came before me.

That's how I am going to close out this November.

Christmas Decorating = Done

It seems like I worked non-stop all holiday weekend. Wednesday night, the tree went up - with ornaments. Thursday was a small break but I can't remember any actual rest. I did all my Black Friday shopping online at 2AM so Friday this years was all about the decorations (I confess that I did make two midday trips to Big Lots and Radion Shack) and going through the "6 Totes of Christmas" which meant deciding what to display and what to leave packed up (Sentimental but out of style) and what to give to the thrift store so someone else can junk up their holiday.

I ended up with a car full for the thrift store. This is a good thing. We finally went through all the kitchen cabinets also and pulled out all the extra mugs, glasses, and silverware. It's part of the 6 month rule that reigns here - if it is not used in 6 months, it is gone. And, why should we just keep things we never use when someone could need it? Since we really cut back on the clutter this year, the thrift store has made off quite well.

Saturday was the outside of the house. It was almost 70 degrees here which is unusual. I tested all the lights and still a part over the highest point of the garage went out which is typical. This added even more time but after 6 hours of work, it was all wired up and finished. All the totes were back in the attic and we are done decorating for the holidays. Now, we just maintain and try not to think about the effort it will take to pack it all back up again in a month.

Kids Snuggie

Lindsay looks like she is ready to head to the monastery.

More holiday decorating progress!

With the help of child labor, we got all of the ornaments on the toxic gas emitting interior living space tree substitute! (At least that's what the Al Gore people call them.)

Notice that there is no theme on this tree - just tons of ornaments from different places and times.

 "Baby's First Christmas" and "First Year Together" and "A Christmas Story" and different odd places we happened to visit.

Today I will dig out my E.T. ornament from my childhood and will sneak that on the tree somewhere.

Do you have an ornament that looks like the front of a Cracker Barrel? I do. I have 10 (they were a dime a piece) but I am only allowed by the Wife in Charge to display one. I wish I could collect all types of businesses such as McDonalds and Wal-Mart. Let's do a Capitalism Christmas.

I do have a Walmart in the ceramic Christmas village and can't wait to find something tasteless to add there like an ATM machine or a Coke machine. Don't worry - there will be pictures.

Christmas at my house - it's like a holiday mismatch timewarp came in an barfed all over the house. In a weird way, it's oddly comforting.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

He's watching you - each and every Christmas

Yes, kids, the Elf on the Shelf sees your every move and reports back to Santa in real time. One false move and poof - coal under the tree!!!

And you thought I was joking for the last three years about how creepy this is. I love filling my kids with fear and paranoia for the holidays.

I'm writing the sequel which I am sure will be a hit: "The Christmas Tree in the Living Room That Beats Up Bad Kids While They Sleep".

A different kind of Christmas gift...

Looking for something meaningful to give this Christmas? Well, the old days of heading to Zayre and buying some trinkets are long gone.

This Christmas, instead of diamonds, show your love with lead.

Yep - right there on the front page of the sale ad is your chance to bear arms for the holidays.

It's perfect for getting those pesky reindeer off of your roof!

Michigan - Day 3

Yeah, nothing from her not even a smile. So I down shift into small talk, and I asked her where she went to school and she said. "Michigan State", and this reminds me of Helen. All of a sudden I'm in the middle of this mess of an anxiety attack, my heart is beating like a wild man and I start sweating like a pig.
Helen went to Michigan State?
No she went to Northwestern, but they're both big-ten schools. I got so upset I had to leave the restaurant.

Our final full day in Michigan ended with the drive up to East Lansing to visit Michigan State and eat our best and cheapest meal of the trip. Yes - I bought pencils and stuff for the kids at the Spartan Bookstore. It's always good to get out and drive to a few places when you're out and about.
I'm looking forward to being home tomorrow. I'm ready for some non-hotel rest.

Michigan, Day 2

And each town looks the same to me
The movies and the factories
And every stranger's face I see
Reminds me that I long to be
Homeward Bound

Believe it or don't - warm enough here that I have the air conditioning on in the hotel room. And, I've already taken the Tylenol PM so the coma is already starting.

I hoping that I can check off the rest of the "to do's" on my list tomorrow so Friday won't be rushed. We have to leave around noon to drive back to Detroit and make our flight.

Not much else to add here - a fairly non-eventful day.


"Kathy," I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
"Michigan seems like a dream to me now"

Another week, another airport, another hotel room - but this should about wrap it up for 2009. My travel agenda is empty for the remainder of the year and I am ready for the break. I've been all over the east since February and returned to some places two or three times. Visited every major city in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina - by car. Enterprise Rent-A-Car probably had a sales increase just because of me this year.

Mentally, I'm just about exhausted.

This would explain why at dinner tonight that seeing popcorn shrimp on the menu at Red Lobster reminded me of going there with my mother starting from age 4 or 5 and always ordering that. I guess that was our tradition and "our time" through the years and these are the little details that start hitting you randomly when you realize you are watching someone slowly fade away. Then, you feel guilty because you haven't been there and preserved "our time" as much as you should.

To say my mother is not exactly healthy is an understatement but there is an incredible amount of uncertainty to what that means exactly. I started writing here right as she was admitted to the hospital for surgery in 2007 but she is avoiding the doctors and a diagnosis this time. Part of me understands when there is no desire to go through all of that again but then there is the constant fear of that unexpected phone call (much like one I got in 2007). And then  part of me wonders if it is all in my head and this is all moving much more slowly than I think.

The bad part is that I'm not usually wrong about these things. I can only hope that this time I am and that these holidays won't be a series of lasts. Yet, I can't help but treat it that way. We'll do what we always do - have faith and move forward. What other options do we have?

Detroit Tomorrow

If I see this guy running down the street, I will turn the rental car around and return to the airport...

The good news is that I am only flying into Detroit. I jump right on I-94 West and drive 65 miles west to Jackson, Michigan for 3 days of work in chilly, rainy Michigan. At least there will be no snow and no below-freezing temps. I owe Al Gore one.

I have not been to Michigan since 1989 and that was just passing through on the way to Toronto. I'm looking forward to this one because I think it will be helpful for the job and I will finally put a few faces with voices I have heard on the phone. And, it's one of the few places I haven't been so new places are always a bit fun.

Hopefully, I'll update the blog safe and sound from the warmth of the Comfort Suites tomorrow night!

More Fun With Coffee Creamer!

The weather has been perfect here for some coffee creamer fireworks so we took the opportunity last night to clean out all of the expired coffee creamer from the cupboards. Good times were had by all.

This was all filmed by Sara using our RCA Small Wonder video camera.

Special thanks to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board for posting a document (click here) on how to convert and edit the Small Wonder videos. This camera gave me a ton of grief at first since the version of AVI kept crashing Movie Maker and even took out Adobe Premiere Effects!

This is a very handy guide especially considering that Big Lots is now selling a version of this camera for $28 in the US!

Without any further delay...enjoy the video while my eyebrows slowly grow back.

More weekend memories....

Some more pics from our weekend out and about...

Here's where all dad's take their kids - the bar. We're waiting for Sara's cocktail - her shrimp cocktail.

Here's Lindsay and her nutritional advisor.

Here's Sara with her nutritional advisor.

And, here is Sara - who watched me doing some impressive cart slides before wanting to try her own. This is the first step to becoming the female Johnny Knoxville. They would have asked us to leave but we bought a lot of stuff.

Fall Festival Night (and pictures I will pull out on prom night)

Yes, it was the Fall Festival thingy up at the elementary school. It's the one time each year when I take a wad of 1 dollar bills and blow them so the teachers will actually have enough money to buy paper and other things you'd think our tax money would pay for when we're actually too busy funding pork projects but that is another subject for another time.

This is "Minnow Races". Guess how you make your minnow win? You repeatedly pop it in the fish butt with a popsicle stick. The kids should pay strong attention to this since it closely resembles life in the American Work Force (for the lucky 89.5% of us still employed).

In the next two pictures, look at how Lindsay reacts to getting her hair spray colored. She begs me to let her do this and then reacts like she is getting sprayed by a flame thrower.

Sara has a slightly less dramatic reaction. This reminds me of the face my grandmother always made when taking medicine.

The finished results:

Sara looks like a real nut in this one. I will hold this out for some really big bribe.

Finally, another picture of the weird dog inflatable.

Sights and Sounds from the Road

I did not update the blog while I was in the Charlotte-area since I was too pooped every night when I returned to the hotel. But, I got my entire list of fun tasks including installing receiving scales, installing printers, etc. finished so that counts for something.

Here are a few pics and a video that pretty much capture the excitement of the trip:

 This is the huge statue/fountain at the airport. The airport in Charlotte is excellent except for the attendants in the restrooms with the huge tipjars. I call it the Charlotte Pee Tax.

I like that we have a Turbo dot matrix printer - because regular dot matrix is not fast enough in 2009. And yes - this bad boy is USB and yes - I installed it.
Enjoy these exciting specs right from the Oki website:
Tank-Tough® reliability, expanded head gap and zero-tear capability for dedicated forms printing. This 9-pin dot matrix printer is blazing new trails in productivity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Blackberry makes a little shutter sound when I take a picture so I don't have near the number of candid pictures anymore due to this annoying sound that I have not been able to get rid of. However, I had to risk it and take a picture of "Guy in a Suit wearing Tennis Shoes". Only Letterman can pull this look off.

Finally, the toilet at the hotel sounded like it was a train every time you flushed it. The horrifying gasping and weezing would last as long as five minutes and I could hear other people flushing up and down the halls. I thought I was staying in a train station.

The good news is that I am home all next week. Then, I take my last trip of the year to Michigan for four days of chilly fun!