Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New birds

For some reason we had a couple of new birds come to the yard a few days ago. A red bellied woodpecker came to the feeder, and a northern flicker (another woodpecker) was out in the yard trying to find ants and other bugs. Check out the pics below.

In other outdoors news, we finished the new garden along the side of the garage. Planted a bunch of different flowers and a couple of interesting bushes—hope they survive. Also started growing sweet peppers and oregano.

Red bellied woodpecker

Northern flicker

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Graduation rain

It's graduation day for the rest of the university (mine's next Thursday), so of course it's raining. Nothing worse than rain on your graduation day—slogging through the rain in your gown, taking pictures inside instead of out in the spring sun, family members getting drenched.

I remember my undergrad graduation day, it was absolutely pouring. My poor parents got soaked waiting outside for me after the ceremony, then everyone skuttled over to the student center for the reception and pictures. On the other hand, my grad school graduation was a perfect day in Washington Square Park in NYC. Wonder what my third (and FINAL) graduation will be like?

In other news, one of my favorite bands, Testament, will be in town in May 27 for a show, so we're checking that out. Along with Metallica and Megadeth (and many others) they were one of the originators of the Bay Area Thrash sound in the 80s. They're still going strong more than twenty years later.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All finished.

Well that's all she wrote, folks. Had my last final exam yesterday, so I am officially finished with law school. Graduation is next Thursday.

Now I'm sitting on the front porch, sipping coffee, reading the news, and enjoying a nice spring morning. Birds are buzzing around the feeder, and a bright red cardinal is on the neighbor's TV antenna, singing his song.

I'm staying home today, but still doing work Law Review. That'll be ongoing until probably August. Bar exam preparation starts on the 26th, and goes until just before the exam, in late July. My job doesn't start until January now, so I'm not sure what I'll be doing for those few months. My guess is a combination of volunteer legal work and home improvement.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Michele!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Still wet.

It's still raining.

The roof is leaking in my office.

Our grass is a foot high.

The vegetables we planted are probably waterlogged.

The sunflowers aren't getting any sun.

Please stop raining.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Is it ever going to stop raining? We're stuck in one of those big rainy messes that seem to come once every couple of months (and that delayed the World Series for a couple of days). It's basically been raining since last Wednesday.

Our grass is about a foot high; I should've mowed it during the brief break from rain on Saturday, but we decided to drink beers and listen to baseball on the deck instead. It was worth it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Flu fear

Following up on that last post, is this article really a surprise? "Emergency Rooms Fill With Record Numbers, but Many Aren't Ill, Just Afraid." Gee, I wonder how people got so scared?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine flu

This swine flu thing is really getting to me. The media coverage is all about how many people have it, how many have died, where is it going to go next, etc. The stories I've seen haven't talked about what it actually is, how you get it, how dangerous it is, the symptoms, etc. It's like the coverage of a political race where all they talk about is who's in the lead instead of what the issues are. That's not to say that there isn't any coverage of the practical issues, but it's far outweighed by articles stoking fear.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Like Michele said, our two hand-me-down lawnmowers have fallen on hard times. One cuts really badly, so you have to basically go over everything twice. It also stops randomly. The other one is really hard to start and then conks out after ten minutes or so.

These are probably fixable problems, but we're kind of sick of dealing with this stuff so we just bought a new one instead. It's a Lawn Boy (made by Toro), and has really good reviews. All I really want is for it to work consistently and to be dependable. It better last for a good ten years, minimum. To make sure that happens, I'll be taking good care of this puppy.

The tulips that Michele and her parents planted in the front garden have really taken off. We're also growing sunflowers, but they're just tiny little guys right now. Also have some beans, peas, tomatoes, and parsley on the way.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Class is over

Just had my last law school class ever. That really kind of snuck up on me, there's been so much else going on that I didn't even realize it until this morning. I can safely say that these three years have flown by. It wasn't always fun, and it's been more work than I ever imagined, but in the end it was worthwhile. Let's just hope I can start my job sometime soon and not get laid off before I even start. Michele, thanks for going along for the ride with me, I know it wasn't always easy on you.

In other news, we went to a Phillies game on Tuesday night. We had the cheap two-for-one tickets in the upper deck, but then there was a rain delay and everyone left so we moved down to the third row from the field, behind the other team's dugout. It was awesome. Just awesome. Besides the fact that Michele's head was almost taken off by a screaming foul ball off the bat of Chase Utley. She (and I) both ducked in time though. Wish I had my glove.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pushed back

Well, it's official: my job is not starting until January. Lots of law firms have been delaying the incoming folks (usually we'd start in September) because of the economy, so it wasn't a huge surprise. Still, it's a bummer—both personally and financially—to have to wait four more months to start working. Let's hope it doesn't get pushed back any further.

So now I have to find something to do between September and January... is McDonald's hiring?

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Just booked a quick trip to Pittsburgh in June. We're trying to see some different ballparks, and flights to Pittsburgh are pretty cheap so we figured what the heck. I've wanted to see the Pirates stadium for a while now, it's supposed to be one of the best in baseball. And the views are sweet.

After this trip, we'll have been to see baseball games in:
  • Philadelphia (Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park)
  • Pittsburgh (PNC Park)
  • New York (Shea Stadium)
  • New York (Yankee Stadium)
  • Baltimore (Camden Yards and Memorial Stadium)
  • Chicago (Wrigley Field)
  • Toronto (Skydome, or whatever they're calling it now)
  • San Francisco (AT&T Park)
  • Oakland (just me, at the Coliseum or whatever it's called now)
  • Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium)
  • Kansas City (just Michele, at Kauffman Stadium)
  • Cleveland (Jacobs Field)
Next up will probably be Washington.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Goodbye Harry

It's a sad day here in Philadelphia. Harry Kalas, the Phillies broadcaster since 1970, died yesterday. Listening to baseball won't be the same without him. Sad to see you go, Harry. We're all going to miss you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Grillin' n' birdin'

With temperatures almost hitting 70 yesterday, you know we busted out the grill. Made some chicken with peanut sauce marinade—great stuff. You can use the peanut sauce from Trader Joe's (which is more of a marinade, less of a sauce), or you can use the more soy sauce-based type, which is what we went with this time. Grilled chicken can be kind of bland, but this has a nice Thai flavor.

Also managed to snap some decent bird pics. They're coming back to the feeder now, after a long winter. Saw a mockingbird, tufted titmouse, and a bunch of blue jays. Blue jays are probably my favorite, and they seem to be the smartest, too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More on DVR

I didn't really see what all the DVR fuss was about before, but now that we have a free one with our Verizon service, I'm loving it. Pausing live TV is cool, but my favorite aspects are (1) the seamless way it records your shows automatically, and (2) the 30-second fast forward button. This is old hat to DVR devotees, but I'm new to it and still think it's neat.

I love that we can watch both the American Idol performances and results show—three hours of programming—in 1.5 hours or less. I love that I can find a two-hour Andrew Jackson documentary and, instead of having to watch it at 10pm on a Thursday and sit through forty minutes of commercials, I can record it (with one button press) and watch it over the weekend in eighty minutes.

Yes, you could technically do these things with a VCR, but with DVR there's no tapes, no malfunctions, no system to learn, you can automate the whole thing, and you can fast forward in 30-second increments to avoid commercials.

For some people it lets them watch a lot more TV, but for us it just lets us watch television smarter. You don't plop down in front of the TV and see what's on--you check your DVR to see what you recorded. Then you skip all the commercials and other BS.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


You guys watching American Idol? We're pretty into it, especially since we can DVR it now (more on that later). Any favorites? I'm big on Danny (the guy who looks like Robert Downey Jr.) and Adam Lambert. For whatever reason the guys are much more interesting than the girls this season. I'm also a fan of Anoop--hope he makes it through the wildcard round tonight.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


For some reason I recently came across Helen Keller's obituary from the NY Times, which is basically a mini-biography. She died in 1968.

Anyway, one part really stood out. Talking about her disabilities (remember—she was deaf, blind, and could barely speak because of her deafness), she wrote:
I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times, but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers. The wind passes, and the flowers are content.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bathroom remodel

We're remodeling our downstairs bathroom. I don't know if you've been to our house before, but the bathroom on the first floor has to be the smallest bathroom ever created. It's a tiny space, but it wouldn't be that bad if it were just painted and decorated properly. So that's what we're doing.

Previously it was kind of a light brown color, kind of the color of mud. The old owners got paint all over the ceiling. Here's what we've done (or will do):
  • Repainted the ceiling white and repainted the walls a really light yellow
  • Took down the old medicine cabinet and put up a plain mirror with dark brown trim
  • Repaint the vanity cabinets the same shade of dark brown
  • Replace the cabinet hardware to something more modern, like nickel
  • Change out the sink fixture from a brass finish to something darker, like this (it'll match the hardware)
  • Hang a dark brown wall cabinet above the potty for storage
It's not much but it will make a big difference. You can probably tell that our theme is light yellow for walls, dark brown for cabinets and trim, and bronze for hardware and fixtures. Should look awesome. All that HGTV will finally pay off.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Big trip

A snowy day like this makes me look forward to the trip we just booked for August, after the bar exam. We're heading out to see my sister and her hubby at their new house in Slovenia—I absolutely can't wait.

We're flying into Venice and staying there for a couple days, then heading to Slovenia to stay with them for the week, then heading to Croatia for another few days, then flying out to Portugal for a day before coming back home.

Here's a little map I just made, with points at the main places we're going. Portugal's on there too but you have to zoom out a bit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finally some snow

Hey everyone. Well, we finally got some real snow. After being teased a few times with a half inch of wintry mix, this time we got four to six inches of white, fluffy, honest-to-goodness snow. It was really pretty around our neighborhood last night, with all the trees decked out in white. Quite a change from Sunday, when we were outside in the 50-degree sun, sitting on the deck and grilling.