Monday, June 17, 2013

Where did we Go?

Hello Everyone!

I would kind of be amazed if people are still checking in to this little journal. As you can see posts started slowing down, and then kind of died out...

I am fine with that. This blog has served it's purpose. It was a great way to stay in touch with family when I was far away from home. And while I am still far away from home, having Gwyn around makes it seem much closer.

I think that trend of the past few months will continue, there will be a large lack of updates. Everything will stay here as long as Google will let me keep it up. I may post a recipe or two as they come up. But things are dying down on the Bard of Lincoln/Stained Tartan. In the future, things may start up again. We shall see.

Thanks to everyone for the support!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Best Part of Wedding Planning!

Today Gwyn and I are doing it. We are going to go out and start the awesome process of planning the Gift Registry. I am stoked. You all should be excited too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nemo Can't Keep Me Down

So some of you may know that the North East part of the US got some snow. Interestingly, here in New England, whenever 'they' worry about something they name it. So they called this one Nemo.

Starting about last Wednesday, people started freaking out. The weather forecasters were upping the accumulation rate about 4 inches every 6 hours. First it was: "There will be snow on Friday" then that moved to "There will be accumulated snow on Friday" progressing to "There will be 6 - 18 inches of snow on Friday" to "There will be 1 foot to 2 feet of snow accumulation on Friday" all the way up to "GO RANSACK YOUR GROCERY STORE! THERE IS GOING TO BE A STORM!"

In all seriousness, the last estimate on Thursday evening was 2 to 3 feet. This caused the mayor to yet again tell everyone to stay home. That was announced on Thursday. A whole 24 hours before it was even forecast-ed to start snowing. There was also a driving ban that was to start 4PM on Friday.

This meant that Gwyn and I got a great extended weekend of relaxing, eating, playing board games and watching movies! To be exact: Breakfast in local Diner, FryDay Friday, Pancakes and Eggs, Home Made Chicken/Pepperoni/Pepper/Onion/Buffalo Pizza x 2; The New Science, Twilight Struggle, Fluxx, Carcassonne, Cosmopolis (horrible movie), ThunderBall (007), Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb (as a result of playing Twilight Struggle)

On Saturday (after it dumped all night Friday to Saturday) we decided to venture out and check out what Woburn looked like in the snow.

So presented with few comments, the images from Saturday:

Powder Snow + Wind = Snow Gets Everywhere.

A view from our Kitchen

The back deck

Surviving Nemo

 So this does require a little description. We got all bundled up, we got the garbage, we locked up our apartment, and we walked down our stairs to leave, to find that the snow had drifted up against our door. This meant that we could not open our outward opening door. For our apartment, this is our only way out. In an emergency, we could climb on to the building next to us, but that is not really optimal. So I asked our downstairs neighbors if they would not mind me walking through their apartment and using their back door (that exits on to ground level). They said sure, but they had not shoveled out the back yet. I did not let this hinder me. So after getting through a snow bank up to my chin, I was able to come around to the front door and dig out our door.

There is a car in that

Only a few business were open, the  convenience shop next to us was... this meant all of the now removal people would stop and get some coffee or cigarettes.

No coffee today...

So all in all, I would estimate that Woburn got 8-14 inches. Now, growing up in Spokane where 6-12 inches is a heavy, but normal dumping, this may seem like very little to get excited about. But, what Nemo brought with it was wind. And a lot of wind. There was hurricane force winds the entire storm. This meant that snow did not 'dump' it drifted. That up-to-my-chin snow bank up there, was right next to a bare spot. This combination makes for interesting problems, effects. Our cars, that were in a line of other cars, parallel with the wind, had almost no snow on them. But as you saw, door were drifted shut, there was snow in our mail box, Snow between the screen and the glass of our windows, and worst of all was that as soon as you moved any snow, it would blow back to where it started.

The city of Boston also has the added struggle of dealing with parking and cars. There are too many cars, and not enough space... and that is before any storm affects things. Then add snow to that, and it could have been chaos. The officials were most worried about the Friday evening commute getting snowed in and having a city's worth of cars snowed in on the highways.

So all in all, it we were fine. At the moment, it is sunny and warm, I would guess 60%-75% of the snow has melted (it rained the last few days).

Not quite as pristine as a fresh snowy morning in Colbert, but still a fun weekend.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

This post is specifically in honor of Stan and Laura. They called me out for not posting for the entirety of December.

It is true, life tried to get in the way of logging life here in Boston. Some of the major things that were going on:
1) Christmas! Planning/traveling/gift buying/decorating/and honest to goodness vacation took up a piece of the pie
2) Thanksgiving! I know this is more of a hold over from November, but there was a lot to do for that too.
3) Engagement Stuffs. I don't like planning things. More on this later...
4) Work. Work for me is still going really well, it just got really busy as we prepared for a presentation. I was working right up to my flight to California. Now, things have gotten back to normal pace.
5) FTC. I am, apparently, in charge of putting on a qualifier for the FTC program I am helping mentor. Turns out this is much more than I could handle, and I am struggling though it. I know event planning is not one of my gifts. I don't know how I ever said yes to this... oh wait... yes I do... I didn't know I was saying yes to!

and the lamest excuse ever: I cannot put pictures up! I have had a few recipes come up, but when I go to post pictures, Google dies and Picasa throws up. So my blog writing time is eaten by picture management time.

Christmas was great! I love being home, and I love spending time with family. Awesomely for me, Gwyn got to join me! She got the grand tour of Santa Rosa and Spokane, seeing wineries, Boo Radley's, Roccy's, A Zag's basketball game, Downtown Spokane with the falls... it was great! All of the time in between was spent eating, playing games (Yeah Twilight Struggle and Ticket to Ride!) and spending time with family. Oh, and moving TVs.

Gwyn and I are in the thick of wedding planning. We are trying to get our act together to see if a 2013 wedding date is possible. Ill let you know when we know more... I have read a number of things saying that I am not supposed to say too much about the first stages for fear of hurt feelings and missed expectations... maybe I will just let Gwyn inform you all on wedding stuff. Regardless  we had a wonderful party hosted by my mother in honor of our engagement when we were in Spokane. Thanks to everyone who was able to be there. And we are having a great time planning and dreaming.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Answered Question

Hello There Friends.

Its been a while. Im sorry I have been gone for so long but I thought I would return with great news.


Crazy Town! We are both very excited. There will be pictures posted later (a friend of ours was snapping shots but we have not received them yet) There are pictures now! Read on!

The story from my point of view:
Scott and I traveled to Pittsburgh to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and sister. We will be heading up to Spokane and California for Christmas so decided that Thanksgiving would be a great time to see my family. After a few days of food and fun and way too many hours in a car Scott told me that we would be spending Saturday night together on a date night. The only thing he told me was that we would be getting milk shakes and that I should dress warm. So using my limited wardrobe I brought with me, I bundled up in a t-shirt, two sweaters, two pairs of socks, leggings, jeans, a scarf, gloves, and a large winter jacket... I may have overdone it but I wanted to be prepared for whatever was in store. After a delicious milkshake from Burgatory we headed off on a secret trip. Scott had me close my eyes and promise not to look as he drove me to a secret place. It was hard but I promise I did not peek! I had no idea where we were headed. After a little bit turning and going in circles in parking lots we ended up at our destination. Scott lead me out of the car and told me not to open my eyes until he told me too. He walked me across gravel and pavement and grass, and even took me down a few steps. When we stopped he turned on music and told me to open my eyes. When I did I was surrounded by people holding lanterns with candles and flashlights. I still did not know what was happening... and didnt until he took of my gloves and knelt on one knee. He asked me, and through some sobs I said YES! I then found out that the people behind the candles were some mutual friends and my family. AND he proposed at Mellon Park, the place we had our first date. It was such a perfect night and it ended with CUPCAKES and drinks with friends. I am so lucky to have Scott and I am so thankful to all of you that are now a part of our life.

What would make this story better?


There is an art installation in Mellon Park where an artist put LED lights in the ground to form constellations.  The lanterns, flashlights and LED lights made the whole park seem to glow

The big moment. 

The aftermath. 

The cupcakes. Key Lime, Chocolate, Vanilla, Coconut, Peanut Butter- Yum.

The ring. It was CHILLY- so my hands were starting to shrivel and turn a beautiful shade of purple.

The people Scott schemed with to surprise me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And Athena comes next

At the moment I can only see about 100 yards out my office window. This is due to the fairly heavy snow that is swirling around outside. Upon looking up the weather forecast, I learned that the next storm to be jealous of the inland area of the North East is being called Athena. Dang. It looks like for us, it will be dying off soon and turning in to rain. But for New York it looks like they are getting a little salt all over their wound in the form of Snow.

Last weekend was awesome! I got to go to Portland for a wonderful wedding. Congrats Amy and Ben! You two were so beautiful, it was an honor to be a witness. Along with that I got to hang out with Jamie! Which was an awesome surprise. We realized that we had not seen each other since she and Bill and Danica visited me in Pittsburgh. It really was a great weekend. Portland was awesome. The plane rides were bearable.

But then Sunday night was no fun. Something happened to my designational track, either in the form of a stomach virus or food poisoning. This rendered me helpless Monday. But then yesterday and today I have felt 90% of normal health.

Last night Gwyn and I spent the evening watching election coverage and getting to know our new game Agricola. A game all about agrarian society. I called up dad, told him. He knows.

It is interesting that my entire family is apathetic to the election this year. Don't get me wrong, Chelsea is not that out spoken, but Caleb? My parents don't seem to care either. It is an interesting contrast to our apartment. I think Gwyn cares more about Democrats winning, and I just seem to care about the whole process.

I also talked to my father last night, after which Gwyn asked: "Wait... so when we go to Spokane, your Dad and I can share a joint? Yes!"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sandy was a big wet blanket.

I was going to write a witty tongue in cheek post about our hurricane experience, but it felt wrong to do that with so many people actually suffering, and people who have lost loved ones. My prayers go out to the family of people lost to the storm, all the way from the Caribbean up to New England. I hope everyone who is without power or shelter finds relief soon.

Onward: Most of you know (more than me as it turns out) that there was a major hurricane that decided to crash into another storm right over New Jersey. I was not really paying attention to this until work sent out an email on Friday telling everyone to take precautions.

Gwyn and I were at some friends' house for a game night when both of us got texts saying that work was canceled for Monday. The next morning I would find out that the Governor told all of Massachusetts to stay home and a significant portion of the population followed the suggestion. In preparation we filled up the cars, made sure we had some food, collected our candles and flashlights, located our passports, checkbooks and a light pack of clothes. Also, in fear of loosing power, I baked the Rocky Rococco's pizza that was in my fridge. I was not having that go bad if we lost power for the freezer.

The whole week before Sandy made her appearance the weather was rather fall-ish, upper 40s to lower 70s, overcast, rainy. And Monday was no different, in the morning at least. Around noon the wind started to pick up, and then the alternating cycle began, the wind would pick up, then the rain would hit, then they would both die down, each cycle lasting 20 minutes or so.

Not much to look at... except those trees flying all over the place.

Our activities included making cookies for a Halloween party, baking a pie, playing lots of board games and watching the news.

Check out the new table cloth!

During the afternoon we lost power twice, but only for 15 or so minutes each time. Then later in the evening Gwyn and I were standing on our balcony watching the storm when we saw the power go out for the whole complex. It was a eerily cool thing to watch.

By the morning the wind had died down. The commute to work was interesting. It was obvious that there was a storm, from downed branches to power lines across the street. Only a little off roading.

The rest of the week has been back to the similar dark fall weather.

Certainly an interesting experience. I can add that I have been effected by hurricanes and tornadoes (in Pittsburgh)... to my list of natural disasters.
First Hurricane: Check.