Home for 4th of July

I’m currently at home in Buffalo, NY at my parents to celebrate the 4th of July holiday with my family. After driving almost 9 hours Thursday to get here I spent time with a few friends, my god son, and my parents.

Today is going to be spent with a few one of my brothers, his wife, and three boys (Denver, CO), along with one of my sisters, her husband, and three boys (Columbus, OH). Relaxing and getting ready for the big party on Saturday, which includes my other sister, her husband, and two girls (Buffalo, NY), along with my other brother (Buffalo, NY), two aunts and uncles (Rochester, NY) and a bunch of their kids and grand kids (Rochester, NY and Centreville, VA).

Today should be filled with a seeing how much all my nieces and nephews have grown over the last year, since I have seen most of them. Mostly time will be spent playing hockey in the driveway, swimming in the pool, and a whole lot of cards. We are more of a gin and euchre type of crowd. Even my almost 13 year old (in less than two weeks) and his 10 (?) brother have been playing for a few years and are fairly good last time we played.

The big crowd of 34 people does not get to my parents until Saturday around 1:00 PM. At that time there will 20 adults, if you count me and a few of the others that act like kids most days and then 14 children that are 13 and under. Most are in the 4 to 8 year old range. It should be a nice quite affair at my parents.

Hope you all have a a great 4th of July and drive safely if traveling.

Please leave a message of your plans or what you end up doing for the holiday.

Semi Productive Columbus Day Weekend

This weekend was both fun and semi productive.

Friday night I did a little cheese shopping with my local cheese monger over at Rick’s Wine and Gourmet. I had stopped to pick up few cheeses for friends stopping over at my place before going to the Mount Vernon wine festival Saturday evening. I asked for some more mild cheese, since this crowd does not like the stinky and flavorful ones. I got a Gouda, truffle cheese, and another mild cheese I can not think of the name of. I also asked for some of the more stinky cheeses for a tasting I am doing for eight other friends in about ten days. My cheese monger gave me two different cheeses that had expired about a week or more ago since they could not sell it in the store. I then picked up an Epoisse for the next tasting.

I went to bed around midnight and woke up at like 5 AM for some reason and could not get back to sleep. I went to A. Litteri’s to get some fine Italian meets and then to the farmers market at Arlington Courthouse. I picked up some apples, bread, chocolate chip cookies, and a few other items.

Once I got home I showered and changed to go to the Del Ray “Arts on the Avenue”. I did not pay attention to the weather enough since when I got dressed I put on a black t-shirt with black shorts. It was really sunny and warm without a cloud in the sky. I managed to get through the whole art festival including a small snack in about two hours. Not bad considering it’s a three plus mile walk around trip and I stop a few times to visit with friends.

Once home, I got ready for my friends to come over around 5 PM, so we could leave for Mount Vernon around 5:30 PM. Some friends never made it until 5:45 PM. The rest of us ate cheese, Italian meats, and bread while we waited. After about 30 – 45 minutes myself and one of the other persons in the group had had enough of the Virginia wines. The others in the group wanted to stay until the end to get their moneys worth. I was ready to give them their $20 back to be able to go home and drink some wine at the house. We left once the wine festival had closed. I had a good time during the evening talking about wine with one of the people and we all had another bottle of wine once we got back to my place.

Sunday was mostly coffee shop to meet friends and then back for football, a short nap, dinner, and TV.

Monday morning on my day off I woke up like 30 minutes before I normally do for work and could not get back to sleep. Went to the coffee shop to see who would be there and not many people I know showed up, at least before I left. Once I got back I checked e-mail, Twitter, and then it was off to the National Gallery of Art to see the “Edward Hopper” exhibit. After spending over an hour in the Edward Hopper exhibit I spent about 45 minutes at the J.M.W. Turner exhibit. After looking at most of the pieces in that show I noticed that two-thirds to three quarters of the works came out of the Tate museum in London. I hope they left few back home for others to see.

I next got back on the metro to head up to the convention center stop so I could go by the nclud office to make sure I knew where it was for Saturday nights party. From there I walked to Chinatown for a late lunch at like 3:30 PM. After getting home I started watching a little TV and ended up with about a 45 minutes nap instead.

Once I was awake enough I went to Best Buy and Office Depot to look for a monitor for my laptop. I liked the 24″ Westinghouse that was on sale at Best Buy. I tried to see how the 32″ View-sonic looked at Office Depot but no one at the store seem to know how to get the DVD player to show a movie on the screen. All I got was a blue screen with the message that there was “No Signal!”. I guess I will have to wait until at least Wednesday night to get one, since I have wine class Tuesday night.

I then stopped at Borders bookstore and looked at few magazines. On the way home I stopped to get dinner to go. Once home ate dinner and watched the Travel Channel and then the end of the Bills vs. Cowboys game. I thought Buffalo was actually going to win the game, which would have been even better since TO missed the two point conversion. In the end it was ok.

I have to get in more practice of writing general blog posts before I start doing more technical ones. I also need to work on writing short posts.

Time for bed.