• Category Archives day by day
  • This is the category closest to just being a plain diary. Places I go, things I do, people I see, what’s happening in my life.

  • BBQ USA

    Our grill has been in pretty bad shape since late last year, when some burner parts — the heat shields, which should have been stainless steel but weren’t — basically rotted away to nothing. We let it sit for the entire start of grilling season, only picking up some replacement shields at Lowe’s the other day. The replacements were the wrong shape at the ends and couldn’t attach to our grill, but I was able to trim them to fit with tin snips. Some new propane, and we were good to go!

    Old Grill, Shiny New Heat Shields

    Last night was our first barbecue of the season. We had a Warm Showers guest, a guy from Poland who had biked across the country and was getting close to his finish in NYC. We had John & Donna over too, and had hot dogs and burgers and beers, plus a few summery salads.

    When it was dark enough, we watched the city fireworks from the front porch. Happy Fourth, everybody!


  • Ghost Town

    Not much being said here lately, but it’s not for a lack of things to say; in fact it’s probably the opposite: I’ve been getting in plenty of riding (including some on my side gig — my job — with Road Scholar), and some big GIS/mapping fun, and I’ve been super-busy in general, leaving little time or inclination for writing.

    I have also been in the middle of an infrastructure crisis: I broke my Garmin on an otherwise fantastic ride at Sals, and while I was waffling over getting it fixed, other Garmin devices all started going on sale everywhere, then Garmin released their next generation GPS’s. More waffling and I bought the Edge 830, which will probably show up tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve been using my old Edge 705, which always was a pretty good workhorse.

    Also on the infrastructure front, I’ve been in a panic because my laptop is suddenly having trouble. It looks like the wi-fi chip is getting wonky, intermittently failing then reconnecting etc, so for now I’m connected to the router via Ethernet cable and am researching new laptops. This has been a long time coming: my laptop was petty top-of-the-line 10 years ago, but it’s a 32-bit box, and there’s software I can’t even upgrade anymore because of it, and it’s been slowly obsolescing for years even without these sudden end-of-life issues. Stay tuned…


  • Garbage Plate

    Posted on by Don

    Greetings from Rochester, NY! We’re up here to celebrate our nephew Greg’s graduation, which is tomorrow. We drove up today, got into town maybe an hour or so ago, and immediately went out to Nick Tahou Hots for “garbage plates.” They lived up to their name, being basically everything the place makes (hot dogs or sausage, with potatoes, macaroni salad, etc) all scumbled together on one plate and covered with meat sauce. Not HUGE huge, but plenty of food and very filling. We are both stuffed now, and sitting in our hotel room trying to digest — we expect to have to go to dinner at Sticky Lips BBQ when the rest of the gang arrives…


  • Readings

    Posted on by Don

    We went down to visit Ben & Candace in Philly on Monday. We took a walk around Bartram’s Garden, grabbed some lunch downtown, and made our traditional trip to Penn Books — they may not be there much more longer, so it was good to get in one last visit. I got a few SF titles, and already finished one: Jeff VanderMeer’s The Strange Bird. This is another story in the “Borne” universe, and I think it’s by far the best story in that universe, though it probably can’t stand on its own – it needs those other stories to make sense. Still, it’s got my recommendation.

    Last night was a poetry reading at the library: a public reading of Leaves of Grass in honor of Walt Whitman’s birthday. Anne read a poem, as did our friends Matt (poet/librarian), and Sarah, and many others. Very fun!


  • The Week of Living Busily

    This week has been fun, but a bit on the busy side:

    Tuesday night we hosted a “meet & greet” with City Council hopefuls Will Carpenter and Paige van Wirt. Some friends and neighbors, cheese and crackers, and some insight into who the candidates are, why they are running, and where they stand on local issues. Democracy!

    Wednesday night was Anne’s ukulele night, and we hosted, and Thursday night Anne had some friends over to play flute/violin quartets, and Friday morning was cello duets for me with Donna H.

    Today I’m doing a cello recital at the place I take lessons, then we’re helping with Bike Day at the Easton YMCA, and tomorrow is a birthday lunch for Anne’s mom.


  • The Old Tree

    Service Berry Flowers

    Continuing my themes of Death and photography, here is a photo of some flowers on the service berry bush in front of our house. This was a from a few weeks ago, at the tail end of its bloom — glorious blossoms, white as snow on the ground when they fell. Most years we could expect berries in a few weeks, ones that taste like cranberries (only sweeter and more delicate), great in pancakes and a favorite of birds, but as of today the tree is no more: it had always been small and spindly, and it started to lean over the past few years, and the lean began to accelerate this fall; the tree guy, showing us that it had been improperly planted, pushed and almost knocked it over. That was probably in December, and today was the day they came to take it out. (They also pruned the persimmon trees out back.)

    We have plans for another tree, but we don’t yet know what kind we want. Maybe another service berry, maybe an oak…


  • Goodbye, Old Friend

    dog in snow
    Langston in the Snow

    We heard the other day that our old dog Langston finally had to be put down. Anne had him when we met in 2008; he wasn’t more than two years old at the time, and we were the best of buddies for about two years, until it became apparent (rather I should say: undeniable, un-hideable) that he was making me very sick, and we had to give him to her ex. We saw him a few times since, the last time being about two years ago, when we all got together to plan Emmi’s wedding. He was a bit older and grayer, but then so were we, and he was happy to see us, breaking out some of his toys to play tug-of-war. He had a pretty good life, but I still feel bad that he couldn’t have stayed with us.

    I don’t have very many photos of him. That one was from a day of hiking and playing in the snow at Sals, in January of 2009.


  • Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen

    Happy birthday to me! That was last week, but I did manage to milk it all the way through the weekend: Anne and I went out for drinks at The Mint on my actual birthday, then on Friday night we went out again, to Lehigh Pizza and Bonn Place, with John & Donna.

    On Saturday night we saw Dar Williams at the Sellersville Theater, with Kathy and Jordan and a friend of theirs, and I got more birthday greetings but I think the bloom was finally fading from that rose. We had a great time at the concert: I knew the name “Dar Williams,” but I knew none of her music (Anne swears that she’s on the radio all the time) and so she was an awesome discovery, at least for me. I am currently in the process of putting her music, ripped from the CD’s we bought after the show, into our system.

    Earlier in the week I got in a great ride at Sals, with John E and his friend Dan. I rode really well and felt good, but when I got home I found that my GPS had died somewhere on the ride. Permanent malfunction: I lost the data for my awesome ride, and I also need a new GPS. Oh well…


  • Seize The Days

    Posted on by Don

    There was no concert tonight to go to, but except for that the last few days have been extraordinarily full: I got in a ride on Saturday and today (and did a “practice event” for BikeSmart Lehigh Valley on Saturday), got in some pretty decent practice sessions with the cello, and went to local concerts on Saturday and Sunday. I’d consider those days seized…