Monday, June 12, 2006

Two Very Different Baby Pictures

I've really been diving into organizing my photos recently, or more accurately, the entire family's photos. I've been scanning some of the old ones, with my new HP 7410.
I think this was taken when I was about four years old. It's not the highest resolution scanner, but I'm pretty happy with it.

The evening after my first scanning adventure, my parents and I went to ACME Food & Beverage Co. The owner, Kevin Callaghan, sends out e-mail to their mailing list about every week or so. That week, he said that the first soft shell crabs were in. We had to go. Below is actually a picture that was close to the way that they served them, but a few weeks later. I eagerly started my first serving before remembering that I wanted to take a photograph. As you can see, it came with a roasted red pepper sauce, rice and greens. The first version had delicious sugar snap peas.
For dessert my dad and I shared a strawberry rhubarb tart, which was excellent.

The next morning, after a traditionally traumatic, but lovely, haircut, I played Long Black Veil on the guitar for my mom. ...while singing. Scary.

A little before noon that day, I took a very nice shot of some of the trees in my yard.

I tried out the copying functionality on my HP 7410 and I was very happy with that, too.

The next day was the free lunch for Duke Staff Appreciation Week. We ate our barbecue, coleslaw and fried chicken at the teak furniture on the patio near the library. I thought the food was pretty good. People swarmed towards the quad from all directions. The coleslaw was pretty good and similar to Bullock's, although somewhat hotter. I believe I overheard that the catering was done by Abrams.

That afternoon I cut the cord on NT's baby spider plants. Office plant propagation is way too much fun, especially without windows. Thank goodness for the full spectrum lighting! Here's one of the babies.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Just Ducky

Here's an example of the hail damage from all the storms we had. Note that this is a rather large Paulownia leaf.

One evening, AE, GM and I ate at Nosh, which is in the same complex as Chai's and Shade Tree Coffee. I had an egg salad sandwich, which was good, but it was a little over stuffed to eat in any sort of normal way. I also tried an Izze grapefruit soda for the first time. It was very good. They have a pear, too, but I like the grapefruit so much that it might be a while before I get one of those.

I had taken this last quad duck picture that afternoon.

I ordered, received and started using an HP 7410 all-in-one printer, because I'd been wanting a scanner and a printer after not having either for almost two years. The real advantage of this particular model is that it's wireless. My dad bought one about 6 months ago and my parents have been really happy with it, so I thought it was a safe bet.

At the end of that week, I went to JK's farewell party at the Sitar India Palace near South Square. He wanted to work closer to home, but it was sad to see him go. I had a good time and there was a good crowd of people there. I had a lot of fun meeting and talking with DS, who graduated from Duke three years before I did. It's often fun talking to alums about friends and professors that we may or may not have had in common. The food was good, too.

That night, I had dinner with AE and AE's mom at Chai's. I ordered Pad Thai with tofu, but they gave me Yakisoba Noodles with tofu instead. At least they didn't give me beef. I'd never tried that dish before and it was actually pretty good, so I kind of liked the surprise. GM joined us and we all had very interesting conversations and a good time. Afterwards, GM and I went to his apartment and we made cookies while watching a new Doctor Who episode. We made molasses spice cookies from the Baking Illustrated cookbook, which I gave him for Christmas. They were delicious and I now have all the ingredients, so I can make them, too.

Here's one of many hypericum blossoms blooming outside the CIEMAS building.

Catching Up at a Turtle's Pace

Unlike previous instances of blog negligence, I've been jotting down things in a notebook. Unfortunately, this means that I haven't been anxious about forgetting things, which may have decreased my need for posting. It's really no excuse, though and I will try to keep you all updated more regularly.

Almost a month ago, I went to various graduation events and talked to various people. Free food. At the East Campus lawn reception, I mostly ate spanakopita and fruit. The food used to be so good at that reception. While I always enjoy good spanakopita, I still miss the little ham biscuits, decent kool aid based punch and the royal blue petit fours. My parents still reminisce about the bacon wrapped shrimp at my mom's graduation. That Sunday, I also went to the computer science reception and got to talk to several of my old professors. Fares Hanna, owner of Twinnie's and Blue Express, on campus, did the catering and while it was all good, I particularly liked their three bean salad.

We had a lot of storms that weekend, including a tornado warning for Hillsborough. The power was out in our neighborhood for 45 minutes and my new generator kicked in automatically, exactly as planned. We also had hail twice that Sunday, including marble sized chunks. It took several hours for it to all melt. I also made my pasta with shrimp, bacon, garlic and wine dish for my mom, for Mother's Day.

The next week, HC started working at CIT, so that was exciting. I also checked out my first book from the library. That was surprisingly exciting to me. It was Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury, recommended by my boss for improving my negotiation skills. That night, my parents and I saw the HBR Motorsport team at Casa Ibarra. They are Austrians who do formula BMW racing.

That Tuesday, we celebrated HC's and SA's arrival at the Loop. NC and I both had milkshakes, but I made the mistake of also getting fries. The fries were fine, but it was just a little much.

That evening we had the most important arrival, Hook! Hook is the fourth brother of the three yellow bellied sliders that we released in my parents' pond almost two years ago. We released him as soon as we got back to the pond, unlike his brothers, who spent the night in my garage.
Note that the house pictured in the distance above is the one between my house and my parents'.