Friday, March 31, 2006

Spring Break Flies By Again...

It always happens this way. Spring Break is over so quickly that I didn't really get to enjoy it. I suppose it was productive though. I spent Monday - Wednesday working on my research proposal for my class at EMU. I got it done, which is a weight off my back, but it was a pain. I enjoy looking up research articles and writing proposals, but it's best to not try to cram it all into three days.

I did get to enjoy was really nice out. Today I leave for the Key Club convention in Midland. It's being held at the Valley Plaza, just a few minutes from my parents' house. At least I'll have a place to escape to for a little while to get away from Key Clubbers...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Our Flower Girl

This is Natalie, our flowergirl for the wedding. She's currently 2 years and 8 months old, she'll be just over 3 in the wedding.

There's quite a story behind the cute face though. Natalie was born at 26 weeks (as opposed to the "normal" 40). She was 1 lb. 11 oz., if my memory serves me correctly. She spent several months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. Most infants born this prematurely experience disabilities or difficulties as a result of not fully maturing in the womb. Natalie to date has shown no signs of either (knock-knock). A living example of hope in the world...

She's Quite Scary!

She's very scary! I'm hoping she'll wear the mask for the wedding...but I think her mother will have something to say about that. For that matter so might the bride. :)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Wiki Wiki

I've found a new threat to my free time: Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. This is an encyclopedia that allows anybody to add or edit all of the content. This by itself doesn't make it cool. What makes it cool is that each post thrives on internal links. So, you're reading an article on high school, and the word "diploma" has a link to the entry on diplomas. On the diploma entry they'll have links to other related entrys. You can imagine what ends up happening...for someone as curious as I am, I end up going from one entry to another, to another, to another, and so on. Big trouble if I actually have important stuff I need to get done.

Plus, you can edit entries and add your own if it is within the guidelines. I created an entry for Whitmore Lake High School. Check it out!

So now "wiki wiki" has a meaning beyond simply being the sound used when scratching on the air turntable...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I Hate Tuesdays

I know. It's pathetic. But I hate Tuesdays. It's the only day I don't get to see Sam at all. I guess it's one way that I know she's the one...I just don't feel like myself on Tuesdays. I couldn't stand to have a life entirely made up of Tuesdays. 115 days...

I really should be in bed...why am I up?

I Just Couldn't Resist

Sam has this picture posted on her page, but I just couldn't resist putting it up on my site. Beaker & Honeydew are hilarious.

Last summer Sam & I invested in the DVD set of Season 1 of the Muppet Show, and it was well worth it. We watched most of it while we were in the car during our trip our west.

It's odd to think that this show which is now 30 years old is still funny today. We didn't recognize many of the guest stars, but the bits were still funny. When does Season 2 come out?

Not much has changed

My Mom sent out some pictures around my birthday of me when I was younger, some of birthdays past, and some of old Halloween outfits. Sam was looking at the pictures and sent me an email that looked basically like this:

So I've decided not much has changed:

I suppose she's right...the only difference is that I like bubble tea in the picture on the right.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy 127th Birthday Albert Einstein!

Today is Einstein's birthday so in Physics we celebrated the event by bringing in Einstein related food items and having a mini-party. We also delivered Einstein Candy Grams that the class sold as a fundraiser for their spring Cedar Point trip.

This year we had some great desserts show up:

Jessica's Einstein Cake

Gordie's E=mc^2 cupcakes

Jim's E=mc^2 cookies

Sunday, March 12, 2006

What a Weekend! 2

Sunday I woke up early and brought Sam coffee and a chocolate croissant from the Drowsy Parrot. It sounds really sweet and nice when I read that line, but don't worry, I got myself a coffee drink and a chocolate croissant too.

After church we ran a 5K in downtown Ann Arbor called "Shamrock's & Shenanigan's." It was sponsored by Conor O'Neill's, an Irish pub on Main Street. We got there soon before registration closed, and so we didn't get t-shirts (big bummer). On the plus side, it was just gorgeous outside today. It was sunny at 60 degrees, pretty nice for early March! Sam was planning on meeting Jamie (her bridesmaid she works with) to run with. The men started at 2:00 and the women started at 2:30, so Sam held our phones and my wallet and stuff while I ran, and then I had to find her quick and grab the stuff before she had to run. It was a pretty good race, we did three laps around several downtown blocks, though there were some pretty good hills in the course. We both ran pretty hard and though we both feel out of shape were happy with how we did.
The scene downtown, looking toward the finish line, standing on the corner of Washington & Main. I would've taken a picture of Sam, but she "waved me off."

An decked out Irish runner. There was a professional leprechaun running around too, but I didn't see too much of him after the races.

Later on, Sam's parents took us (thanks!) out to Grizzly Peak Brewing Company at Sam's request. The hazelnut fettecine alfredo that is great that Sam had been planning on ordering for her birthday dinner was taken off the menu last week, so she settled for another dish (which was still pretty good). She received a free dessert for her birthday, a $10 off coupon for her next visit, and a free Grizzly Peak beer glass.

Happy Birthday!!

What A Weekend!

Sam's 28th birthday is today! Happy Birthday Sam!!!

It was quite a busy weekend for the both of us, especially because Sam is a big believer in the "birthday week" idea. One of the bridesmaids who works with Sam at Pfizer has a birthday at the beginning of the week, and Sam's was today. They figure they have the entire week between the two of them to celebrate. I'm not sure I'm sold yet...

Sam went out to Bella Ciao (downtown Ann Arbor) for dinner with a couple of friends, and then went to Goodnight Gracie's- a local martini bar with really good martinis (just ask Sam). I, on the other hand spent most of Friday evening grading Earth Science tests that I gave on Friday. I knew I wouldn't have much time to grade them the rest of the day, so I had to get it out of the way.

On Saturday we met up with another of Sam's bridesmaids in town from Kalamazoo to pick up her dress. We met Chris and her husband at the bridal shop and then went out to eat at the Original Cottage Inn. After dinner Sam and I decided we were within walking distance of Bubble Island- the best bubble tea place we've ever visited. In addition to bubble tea, we also got Mochi ice cream, which is a little round bit of ice cream surrounded by some type of rice mash (not the right word) or something. It sounds weird, but it was pretty good. Anybody in Japan heard of it? I'm pretty sure it's an Asian thing.

Here is Sam in front of Bubble Island. I told her to do a fun pose. I don't think she did a very good job of it. It was pretty busy when we stopped by. It's right in the middle of U of M's central campus, and appears to be very popular with the college crowd. I can't blame them.

Sam took my picture in front of Bubble Island as well. I am demonstrating what a fun pose looks like. A+ job, I must say.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

127 Days and Counting...

Sam and I went to Darling Brides (the bridal store she bought her dress from) for a groom's try-on today. We went in earlier to look at styles and options, and we picked out a couple different jacket styles that we liked to try on later. Today Darling Brides called to tell us the tuxes were in, so we decided to stop by. We were glad we decided to try-on a couple different styles, since one style we really didn't like. It had big goofy buttons and just didn't look quite right. The other style was great though, so it was OK. I didn't have my camera, so we don't have any pictures for you. :(

So...if you're a guy and a member of the wedding party, we need your sizes by the end of April! We have some cards they gave us, and we may try to scan them in to the computer so we can email them out, or we may just send them via stamp mail.

In other news...we picked up a CD with a potential song to be sung at our wedding, AND we signed up for dance lessons. A new place on Washtenaw in Ypsilanti called Moonlight Dance Studio & Boutique was offering 8 lessons for $39.95 to the first 50 people who signed up, and Sam and I signed up. Sam also signed up her parents (though without her father's prior consent). They offer all sorts of types of dance lessons, although we're hoping to fit in Ballroom and something other style yet to be determined. Sam's vote is for swing, but I'm voting for the Paso Doble.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

A Bright Idea

An 8th grade teacher in New York (Kenny Luna) came up with an idea to save millions in energy costs and CO2 emissions: give every student in America one compact fluorescent light (CFL).

To fund the project he is enlisting the help of the masses in petitioning Oprah (of course) for support. According to his calculations the effect would be $2.3 billion in energy savings. Pretty impressive.

CFLs do contain some mercury, but it's been calculated that the amount of mercury added to the atmosphere needed to power a traditional incandescent bulb (assuming coal-burning electricity plants) is higher than what is required for a CFL, and the mercury in CFLs can be recovered if they are recycled.

I have several CFLs in my small apartment (I only have 7 light fixtures), and even though I didn't have high electric bills before there was a noticeable difference after I put in the CFLs. It's been nearly a year and none have burned out yet.

Monday, March 6, 2006

I'll give equal time

I didn't want to give you the impression that her face got stuck permanently in "funny" because she was always pulling funny faces as a kid...

This is from Meika & Mike's return trip for the 2005 holidays, we all went ice skating together while we were in Bay City. Aww...

Speaking of "cute"...I don't know how many of you have had the opportunity to meet one of the big things I "inherit" when I get married this summer. I know Mark met the kitty, as I recall they got along really well. I don't think Tabby let me near her for 2 weeks after Mark's visit simply since I looked similar to Mark. She does look cute here...and most of the time she is. Though she really doesn't like strangers. After nearly 14 months of me being around on a regular basis, she's finally not freaking out whenever I come near her.

Payback! :-P

Over break I always told my sister that I was going to take pictures of her pulling weird faces and then post them on the internet. Well...the time has come!!

Isn't she cute!

Alright...I'll be nice and just post those two up here. I shouldn't be too worried though...I'm well outside of tickling range at this point!

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Picking up Mark

Mark was planning on taking the train into Ann Arbor last night at 6:30ish. Sam & I were going to meet my Mom & Dad at the station and then go out to eat in Ann Arbor before they went back to Bay City.

It didn't quite work out like that though...
Mark waiting a loooong time for his bus to take him to the train station in Chicago, and even though he left early, with the late and slow bus he missed his train. According to Mom:

He didn't swear when I was talking to him on the phone, but maybe if he was talking to you he would've been.

Anyway, Mark changed his ticket to come into Flint at 9:22 pm. We decided to meet in Flint and we'd just snack to tide ourselves over and then eat a late dinner. So we all arrived at the Flint station 9:10ish, and waited, and waited, and waited for his train to come in. The train finally did arrive at 10:40 or so. You wonder why people are wary about public transportation...

We ended up going to Bennigan's for a bite, which was good, but we didn't leave the restaurant until about 11:45. A little later than we were planning, but we toughed it out :).

Mark & Dad at Bennigan's

A bearded Mark in his trademark pose...

Because Cars Are Still Necessary...

Cars are definitely still necessary in most places in the U.S., seeing as the mass transportation that exists in 99.5% of the places in the country is inadequate (or not dependable, right Mark?). Since it's been well shown that cars are a major source of CO2 emissions and contributing to global warming, people like me who are concerned about such things but still need their car to get around have a way to not feel as guilty:

TerraPass: I randomly found this site from a short article on another site I randomly found (surfing the net, dudes!). Since stopping driving altogether is not really possible for many people, TerraPass set up a service in which you can calculate your car's CO2 emissions from the make, model, and how much you drive, and then they recommend a TerraPass level. You then can buy a TerraPass, the money goes toward "fund[ing] clean energy from sources like wind farms, methane capture facilities, and more." In this way, you in effect make up for the CO2 pollution your car creates. You also get a decal to put in your window with your emission information. They're also audited by an independent agency which verifies your donation is doing what they tell you it is.

Unfortunately, I drive a lot. With Sam living in Saline (about 20 miles one way), class in Livonia (25 miles away), and bible study in Southfield (way too far away), I'm packing on the miles. My car gets decent gas mileage, but the TerraPass calculator figures I emit 17,158 lbs of CO2 a year, which qualifies me for the "Utility TerraPass." The highest level of course...

If I ever have money left over after I pay bills and buy gas, I'll have to try this, it looks like a great idea to me.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

A Day Off

Today is an ice day! Yay! I really didn't think we were going to get any more snow days this year. We've had twice this year where the meteorologists were predicting significant snowfall or ice and it just rained all night.

Here's a funny story though: I would've had today off even without the snow day.

I was scheduled to go to a Michigan Science Teacher's Association (MSTA) Conference Thursday and Friday. I've been to several of these types of meetings, and typically they have sessions for teachers all day Thursday & Friday, then on Saturday they have a luncheon and some meetings for board members or presenters.

Earlier this week I got a letter from the conference that verified my registration, but it didn't have a schedule, it just said to check online. So later I checked online, and it turns out that there aren't any sessions on Thursday, only early registration for people staying over in hotels. The actual sessions are on Friday & Saturday, which is really weird in my experience.

My first thought was "Super! A free day!" Subs had already been arranged, and the time off had already been approved. Then I thought maybe I should show up...maybe I should go to work since I'm sure they could cancel the sub. I talked to Wendy (WLHS chemistry teacher) who was planning on going to the conference as well. She said she was just going to take the day. I figured I might as well do the same, though I felt slightly guilty about it.

Today turned out to be snow day though, so I guess that removes the guilt factor a little. :)

A New Start

I've decided to switch styles in this blogging business. I use a counter on my school webpage that keeps track of how many people and who looks at the site. I added that to my existing school blog, and what I found is that the only people who looked at the blog in the last three months are family members, fiancees, friends, and people from Germany who randomly stumble across it.

It turns out my school related blog isn't being read by anyone from the school, and I keep wanting to post more personal stuff on it, but didn't want to necessarily have that info so readily available to all students and parents. Here's the result. I've decided to start a new blog for all of you out there who've been following my blog, one that is a little more personal as opposed to school related (not that school stuff will be totally absent).

I hope you like it!!

This is fun.