Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Holiday Run Down

It's been busy since we got back from the SMA Convention in Madison, Indiana. I hope to write up the full dilly-o over the next couple of days. I also have over a hundred pictures to edit and upload to several Kodak Galleries. Links will be provided when that happens.

In the meantime, enjoy this truly stupendous picture of Matt and me as we rode The Beast at Kings Island on Saturday.

Monday, July 17, 2006

R.I.P. Father Heindl

While I somewhat obsessively checked my news sites, I saw that Father Heindl had died this morning at the age of 96.

I grew up going to St. Charles Borromeo in the town of Greece. It was and still is a fairly liberal, Catholic Church. I believe it was 1986 or '87 when I became an altar server. Father Heindl oversaw the program and trained the girls and boys who decided to get involved. For an elderly priest, this man just kept going and going. I couldn't tell you off-hand what year he officially retired, but he often filled in for mass.

There are several dedications in the works including a chapel being named in his honor and a victory garden. All certainly befitting of one of the most decorated chaplains of WW2.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I took the Bush Loyalty Quiz..

I took the George W. Bush loyalty quiz:
Your score is 0 on a scale of 1 to 10. You hate Bush with a writhing passion. You think he is an idiot, a liar, and a warmonger who has been an utterly incompetent, miserable failure of a president. Nothing would give you greater pleasure than seeing him impeached and run out of the White House, except maybe seeing him dragged away in handcuffs.

Find out your score

Thanks BuffaloPundit.

I pinch..

Sabrina shared the latest commercial for the Honda Element with me. Now I find myself going around saying, "I peench!"

Thursday, July 13, 2006

With Glowing Hearts...

You're Canada!

People make fun of you a lot, but they're stupid because you've
got a much better life than they do. In fact, they're probably just jealous.
You believe in crazy things like human rights and health care and not
dying in the streets, and you end up securing these rights for yourself and
others. If it weren't for your weird affection for ice hockey, you'd be
the perfect person.

Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Generic Stylings of Rounders 2

I decided it wasn't in good keeping to leave my blog with its borked template, so I switched to something offered by Blogger as a stop-gap measure. At least people visiting will know the name of this blog, since my header had disappeared before. And there's the added bonus of the site loading a lot faster. This will do just fine, for now.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We Haven't Done A Quiz In Awhile...

You Are a Fierce Femme

You have a wild side, and you aren't afraid to bring it out when the time is right.
But you also know when to hang back and keep your "crazy chick" persona in check.
In fact, some of your friends may be surprised to find out how far you can take it...
You may look mild mannered, but it's all an act!

And here's an old familiar...

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Putting a Curse on the World One City At a Time

Matt and I have often joked that wherever we go on vacation, either together or with our families, we seem to bring catastrophic events to the place we've just enjoyed. It's simply called the "Curse of Matt & Julia." Here is a partial list of the havoc we've wreaked over the past six years:

Toronto, Ontario CA (November 2000): The SARS epidemic comes to the city in March 2003.

Orlando, Florida (October 2002): Tropical storm with heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and lightening while we visited

Halifax, Nova Scotia (May 2003): Hurricane Juan in October '03 and then "White Juan" in February '04. The first caused heavy damage to the harbor, brought down an untold number of trees, and caused unbelievable destruction in the historic Victorian gardens. The latter dumped so much snow it shut down the city.

New Orleans (January 2003): We were engaged in New Orleans on this trip. Two years later - Hurricane Katrina

Buffalo, NY (various visits throughout our lives): I'm convinced that Buffalo keeps getting walloped with huge snow storms because of us despite it's natural geographic location for such weather events. However, the fiscal crisis for the city and Erie County that started a few years ago could be an indirect result of our time there as well.

Southern Caribbean (August 2004): While on our honeymoon, we sailed through Tropical Depression Charley on a cruise ship before that storm strengthened to become Hurricane Charley. The hurricane lashed Cuba as a category 3 storm before smashing into Florida as the strongest storm to hit that state since Hurricane Andrew.

Binghamton, NY: We've never visited, but Matt met the Mayor of that city on Friday, June 23rd. The next week, the city was flooded and under at State of Emergency

These are the events I can think of off the top of my head. Proof that the curse is getting stronger, and proceeding our arrival is the latest tragedy in Madison, Indiana. We are scheduled to visit this little city on the river at the end of this month. God help the poor place!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

This picture was taken by Matt at Clair & Kevin's wedding. I know the flag should be front and center, but it's still a cool picture.

As I hung our flag on the front of our house today, I noted how few houses on our street that I could see were showing the red, white, and blue. Just one. Our house. This also was the case on Memorial Day. Now, I wouldn't say I'm the most patriotic person, but I still believe that we should celebrate the day that lets me be that way in this country. The United States is not perfect. But it's still a good country despite the ambitions of certain leaders over the years. I'm still proud of what this country stands for and what it strives to be.

I think back about almost 5 years to a time when you didn't need a national holiday to fly the flag. Everyone was all too happy to show their pride and patriotism. Why is it so hard now for many of those people to simply hang their flag outside their front door on the days specially designed for that?

I recognize that displaying, or not displaying, the flag is a form of free speech. And I respect that. But it just seems hypocritical when I remember the street that I now live on being a field of flags not that long ago.

Happy Independence Day.

Summer Pizza

On Sunday, I made what I like to call "summer pizza." It's not very elaborate, but it's a refreshing alternative to the traditional red sauce pizzas.

Like anyone creating something on the spot, I didn't use precise measurements for some items. Most of it was done by eye, you could say.

1 - Medium Size Pizza Crust from Wegmans
3 - Medium sized tomatos
3 - Tablespoons of olive oil
Minced Garlic
Shredded Mozzarella
Grated parmasean cheese
Basil and oregano (can be dried or fresh)

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Put the olive oil in a small dipping bowl and add several teaspoons of the minced garlic. Using a basting brush, brush the mixture onto the crust. You should not use all the olive oil/garlic since you don't want your crust to get soggy.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on the crust. Sprinkle some of the parmasean cheese on top of that. How much depends on your taste.

Slice the tomatoes into medalions and arrange them on top of the pizza crust. Sprinkle some herbs on top. I used dried basil and oregano because it's what I had on hand.

Put the pizza on a pizza stone, or lay directly on the rack of the oven. Cook for 6 minutes, or until crust is brown and cheese is melted. Let it set for a minute after removing from oven. Slice and serve.

This could feed four people (1 slice each) if you're also having salad and maybe another side. Realistically, I'd say it feeds two.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Top Ten Canadian Things

I found a list via Fark of things that are truly Canadian. Here they are courtesy of this story:

1. Cadbury Crispy Crunch and Caramilk Maple chocolate bars "Because they are only available in Canada and would spark delicious memories. A skid of Kraft Dinner would also be a must." (Deborah Weinstein, president and co-founder, Strategic Objectives, Toronto)

2. A Bell telephone "Because, prior to cellphones and deregulation, the only phone any home had was from the father of 20th-century communication, Alexander Graham Bell. Who could forget such icons as the Princess or Contempra rotary-dial phones, available in a variety of colours?" (Anthony J. Stokan, retail consultant and author, Toronto)

3. Roots "Because two Americans, Michael Budman and Don Green (above), gave the hard-working Canadian beaver a fresh identity and turned the logo into the most sought-after product through the '90s, and continue to rework and update the iconic Canadian brand." (Anthony J. Stokan)

4. A CanCon CD "With music from Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, The Guess Who, The Tragically Hip, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Diana Krall, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado. Because music is the staff of life." (Deborah Weinstein)

5. The President's Choice Insider's Report "Because every season, Loblaws seduces you with innovative new products and some of your old favourites. You couldn't possibly call yourself Canadian and not have tried at least one President's Choice product." (Anthony J. Stokan)

6. Tim Horton "Because we are a coffee nation inclined to drop in or drive through and pick up our favourite hot cup of double-double in a double-cup along with a box of Timbits, and we roll up the rim, even when the contest isn't running." (Anthony J. Stokan)

7. A tree tap "Because it reminds me of maple syrup, which reminds me of maple trees, which reminds me of the maple leaf and that brings me to the flag. Ah ha! I am Canadian." (Shawn King, VP and creative director, Extreme Group, Halifax)

8. Group of Seven paintings "Because they all celebrate the vastness of the Canadian landscape." (Don Williams, creative director and partner, Free Agency Creative, Vancouver)

9. A Hudson's Bay blanket "Because it is the one universal graphic that speaks to Canada, second only to the flag." (Barry Avrich, president, Endeavour Marketing, Toronto)

10. Bob and Doug McKenzie "Because they're loose, they wear toques and they love beer. All things that remind us of Canada. Besides, who else but a Canadian would embrace those two guys?" (Shawn King)

Away, Away

We're on a mini-vaca in an area where they're experiencing forest fires (thanks asshole arsonist). It's an area that makes Clift...