Chihuly pictures posted online

Posted on October 17th, 2009 in photos,RealLife by Andy

Last Sunday afternoon I took Kristen out on a surprise trip to the Columbus Museum of Art Chihuly Illuminated exhibit as it was a family day and had extra events going on. What I didn’t know what that the family day meant the $10 entrance fee was waived which was excellent as it the exhibit area is pretty small and the rest of the museum was not very  impressive. The exhibit itself was good although I don’t think it was as good as the one at Franklin conservatory. Although the big pieces were pretty amazing and made your mind boggle as to how they would have been made. Photos online in my Chihuly flickr set don’t really do it justice – especially as the forest of spikes seems to have come out in black and white for some weird reason.

Happy Anniversary Luv!

Posted on August 14th, 2009 in Events,OurNews,RealLife by Andy

It’s our tenth wedding anniversary today – time flies by so fast. We’re off to a nice restaurant tonight to celebrate. Thought I’d add one of my favourite photos from our wedding all those years ago.

Andy and Kristen leaving the reception through bubbles

Kristen is no longer in quarantine!

Posted on August 5th, 2009 in OurNews,RealLife by Andy

HalfLife 2 Ep.2 Borealis Ship is a product of Aperture Science (by The_Roc)

Kristen was due to go into quarantine for the next 10 days as she undergoes tests to ensure that the cancer in her thyroid has completely gone. They give her some radioactive iodine to swallow which means she is not allowed to be near people.

It now turns out that the isotope she is going to be given is type 123 which does not need the quarantine as opposed to type 132 (I think) that does, so all those changes to her schedule that she made were not necessary, but at least she doesn’t have to lock herself away in her room for 10 days.

On the downside, she has no reason to play half life anymore (hahaha). I mentioned this to Kristen whilst she was taking a drink last night and she almost snorted it out of her nose – it’s great to be married to a geek girl who got the joke 😉

Funny Maru video

Posted on July 23rd, 2009 in RealLife by Andy

Kristen forwarded me a link to a new Maru video -very funny and worth 3 minutes of your time to watch – I think we might be purchasing some new bins for our cats soon…..

Swine bugs….

Posted on July 7th, 2009 in RealLife,shopping,summer by Andy

It’s been hot in the house the past couple of nights and last night it was really difficult to get to sleep. Kristen called the AC man out today and he arrived this afternoon which was nice. After looking at the unit inside and the thermostat he went outside to the unit that was not working (it was the other day). Taking the side off the electric work he quickly said “There’s your problem” – a bug had wedged itself between the contacts and shorted it out. A quick trip to turn the power off and as we were walking back to the house I said “Hope the bug died a slow and painful death” – especially as the stupid thing cost us $134 – about $90 of that was a call out charge and then “labour” for the 30 minutes he was here – would have been nice if the labour was included in the callout – hmmph…I guess I’m a little grumpy as it’s not quite called down enough yet.

Happy Birthday – now here’s a bill!

Posted on March 18th, 2009 in RealLife by Andy

It’s been a busy week – so much so, that I’ve not even had a chance to blog the fact that it was my birthday a week ago! Even the birthday was long as I woke up at 4am, got up at 5 after giving up on getting back to sleep and then got paged (as I was on call) when some servers failed to come back up properly after a reboot.
Kristen and I went to the cinema to see Watchmen which is the worst film I’ve ever seen – do not go see it – and what made it worse was that we paid extra to see it on the imax, which means we saw even larger “blue bits” (trying to keep this blog family friendly).
Kristen got me a copy of Ivor – one of the dvd’s we had watched recently, which is great – well worth watching if you’ve not seen it already. I especially like John Cleese as the mad scientist yelling “Igor – Pull the switch!”
I also got a glow in the dark batman tshirt from my brother and sister in law which is also cool – I’ve ended up with a “batman thing” after getting the nickname Batman at work. I’m glad I got this nickname as some of the other nicknames are not as complimentary! I also got some money which I’m putting into savings at the moment but we’ll probably put towards a new bed (or chiropractor appointments!)

Update Doh – I just realised that I forgot to blog about the whole point of the title of this post….So in the USA you have to get your car tags renewed every year on your birthday. Makes sense, but it’s a sucky birthday present, especially when the tags cost $84 for 1 little red sticker.  Then as I handed over my licence as proof of identity the clerk asked me if I realised my licence was about to expire. I said No and he mentioned it expired on my birthday (ie that day) so I had to get my licence renewed by taking an easy vision test and having my photo taken – another $24 – so that is what my birthday money was spent on 🙁

MY kind of music.

Posted on November 3rd, 2008 in RealLife by Andy

Ione had  a blog post about her top 40 songs and invited others to post their music choice in.  I dredged through my memories to come up with the songs that I’ve enjoyed listening to in the past. I admit some very strange (and obscure) choices amongst them but I spent many an hour listening to them once I discovered the walkman!

I’m also including my choice here for my own reference and searchability (comment on Ione’s blog though please)

u2 – still haven’t found what i’m looking for – A favourite and also by Brussel Spaceship who miswrote it into “I still haven’t found the M&S store”

simple minds – dont you forget about me – an early tape with one of my favourite tracks – it just went on and on and on.

marillion – warm wet circles – On a mix tape a friend made for me at school.

meatloaf – bat out of hell/Dead ringer – fond memories of listening to this on my walkman at the top of a very steep hill having ridden UP on my mountain bike, drinking an ice cold coke and then TANKING down the hill again with this roaring in my ears.

abba – super trooper (I preferred the serious aardvarks version – Another greenbelt fav – The Serious Aardvarks played a punk version – at their last ever concert. I’ve not managed to find a copy and Google has one mention (now two) of the Serious Aardvarks.

The call – Let the day begin– introduced to this at greenbelt – awesome song when played loud and with lots of bass.

steve taylor – i want to be a clone– the whole concept is amusing to me. One I can just about get all the words out too.

petra – somebody’s gonna praise his name– Great tune, lyrics and a drum solo.

Jerusalem – Dancing on the Head of the Serpent – nice air guitar possible on this – woudl be fun on rockband.

Paul Young – toast – – a strange song.

queen – Gimme the prize– Highlander was one of my favourite films – probably because it was the first 15 certificate I saw.

b52’s – loveshack – A greenbelt fav – I had many good times in the youth tent enjoying the fun and messy games – this song and The Call’s was often played.

coldplay – clocks – (reminds me of our cruise as this was one of the name that tune questions)

otis redding – sitting on the dock of the bay – for my more mellow moments.

israel kamakawiwo’ole – over the rainbow– Another mellow song.

Nescafe’s I can see clearly now (Johnny Cash) – spanish version at – Not sure why but I liked the advert – I couldn’t find the english version so this is a terrible alternative.

sixpence none the richer – kiss me “our song” –

Happy Monday’s – Step On (Twistin’ My Melon) – played at the first party I went to paired with
KLF Justified and Ancient

Quireboys – Hey You – no idea how I came to like their stuff – friend at school I think.

Thanks for the memory jogger Ione – I also like a lot of the other songs mentioned by others but I’m running out of time and already spent about 90 minutes doing this! The funny thing is the music can’t be that bad as Winston has sat in front of the speakers throughout the whole period of reminiscing 😉

The branches are now all cleared up.

Posted on September 27th, 2008 in RealLife by Andy

Well almost….. The tree guys eventually turned up on Thursday this week – they were meant to have been here Monday, and the downed tree has now been removed. The stump and the other half of the tree remains – we’ll have to get rid of that soon as it’s not stable. However most tree companies are charging silly rates at the moment so we’ll wait a while for the work to die off.

This morning I finished chopping up the rest of the fallen limbs and carting them out to the front of the garden to be picked up by Dublin. The guys did a great job earlier in the week picking up the wood from the front garden and so I had space to fill it all back up with the back garden. I had another big branch suspended from the tree out the back, but this one was not nearly as painful (in all manners of speaking) to remove – it came out pretty quickly and with no injuries unlike the first branch which left me feeling like I should be blogging in superscript for a few days

I now have all the small twigs and leaves to rake up which will be a job for the rest of this week in the evening – hopefully it won’t take too much time – still on the bright side with the amount of branches that fell, thats a lot fewer leaves to rake up this year.

Hurricane damage photos

Posted on September 21st, 2008 in RealLife,shopping,vacation by Andy

Another view along the trunkI’ve posted a few of the pictures of the trees that fell when Hurricane Ike blew through Ohio. The crazy thing is that North Carolina (that was meant to get the hurricanes earlier in the week) was hardly affected. Hopefully some tree surgeons will be here tomorrow and my insurance people will be talking to his insurance people. Hopefully they do bother to show up rather than go somewhere else as we need to talk to them about taking the other trees down.

I actually went and got an electric chain saw from Lowes yesterday to try and tidy up some of the damage. Amazingly they still had some saws left, but only a choice of 2 electric or 2 gas powered ones. As the electric was $60 and the gas ones $250 I got the electric (as we have power).  I was surprised at how well it works and was very pleased that I got it rather than a hand saw. It was a slight risk as the next time we have a storm we may not have power, but I figured that if we don’t have power it’s unlikely that I’m going to want to start chopping branches up anyway.

The power is back – hurrah!

Posted on September 16th, 2008 in RealLife,vacation by Andy

In ironic news, Ohio was affected worse by the hurricanes than the Outer Banks – we ended up without power for a day in Ohio but didn’t have any hurricane outages in the Outer Banks (although we did have a power outage when the weather was gorgeous).  The good news is we now have power back at the house – I was able to find this out by checking to see if I could connect to our internet router back home – when I was able to do this I knew the power was back.  The bad news is that we have two trees down in the garden.  One is across the driveway and the other narrowly missed the next door neighbours house.  Not looking forward to dealing with those two.

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