Jan 23 2010

The Three Meanings Of We

by posted in Quotes

In English we have three definitions of we: the regular we meaning you and I, as in “we had dinner together”; the royal we meaning I, as in “we are not amused”; and the marital we meaning you, as in “we need to take out the garbage.”

—Chris Bovbjerg, Letter to the Editors of the Economist

(via Charlie Park)

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Dec 19 2009

A Winter Wallop Adventure

by posted in Events, Trips

This weekend Kristina and I traveled with her folks down to south-western Virginia for her cousins wedding. We left early Friday morning and it took about 6 hours to get there from the DC area. Our drive was complete just before the snow started falling as we pulled up to our hotel in Pounding Mill, Virginia. What made this trip out of the ordinary is the fact that the largest winter storm of the decade was making its way towards us.

The wedding was supposed to start at 6 but the snow had been coming down all afternoon making for some slick conditions. The snow might have changed some plans, but it didn’t stop everyone for having a good time. Lindsay and her now-husband Luke went ahead with the ceremony. The ceremony was beautiful and the couple even managed to get some pictures together outside in the snow. Of course this was the end of the night and the snow was a good 6 inches deep.

Linday and Luke kissing in the snow on their wedding day.

Luke and Lindsay kiss in the snow on their wedding day.

The next morning we took in the view from the hotel room and started our voyage back home.

The snowy landscape view out of our hotel room in Pounding Mill, Virginia.

We didn’t get too far as the roads were still rough as the storm progressed northward to Maryland. Interstate 81 was backed up for miles and we passed dozens of abandoned cars; some of which were in the middle of the road. After being on the road from 9:30am to shortly before 5pm, we had gone a whopping 121 miles. We pulled off in Salem, Virginia, at a hotel for the night where I’m writing this thanks to the free wifi. Its back on the road tomorrow to complete the rest of our journey. I hear there is 21 inches of snow waiting at home in Glenmont!

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Nov 30 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

by posted in Events

The 4-year tradition of spending Thanksgiving at my parent’s house lives on. Every year Russell, his parents and other family members come over and spend thanksgiving at my parent’s house. My mom doesn’t mind as she loves to cook and I help her out as much as I can. Russell helps by eating!

Mr. Naude cooking vegetables out on the grill.

My dad is finishing up bbq-ing some vegetables.

Overhead view of all the Thanksgiving grub.

Russell and his mom were the first to dig in.  We enjoyed turkey, spare ribs, marinated bison, egg rolls, cole slaw, corn bread, homemade corn tortillas, potato salad, veggies and cranberry sauce. Yum!

A box full of leftovers.

And everyone got their fare share of leftovers to take home and enjoy for the following week. It was a great Thanksgiving and I can’t wait until next year.

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Oct 14 2009

An Afternoon At The Maryland Renaissance Festival

by posted in Trips

Kristina and I took a trip back in time when we visited the Maryland Renaissance Festival this past weekend. There were many sights and sounds to take in from the throngs of eager guests decked out in 15th century wear, to the numerous shops selling all kinds of hand made crafts.  The festival was littered with performers involved in plays, musical groups, and even a jousting match.

This jester was a hoot doing visual gags with his fingers.
Bugling Jester at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

We saw a glass blowing demonstration and these were some of the finished products hanging outside of his shop.
Hanging Glassware at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

The jousting match was the most exciting part of the event. One of the knights even fell off his horse during one of the routines.
Galloping Jousting Knight

This queen was one of the many different costumes we saw people wearing throughout the day.
Rennaissance Queen at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

The longest line at the Maryland Renaissance Festival was for the ATM though some shops accepted credit cards.
Lady Visa Sir Mastercard

Kristina sure had a fun time! I did too I just couldn’t get a picture of myself enjoying everything.
Kristina Smiling at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

I can’t believe how far some people get into the renaissance time period but it is fun to experience a bit of history for yourself. And we didn’t have to worry about fighting a dragon and crossing a moat to get back home!

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Aug 26 2009

Goodbye Villager, Hello Rav4

by posted in Car

The cash for clunkers program was made for someone like me. My hand-me-down 1994 Mercury Villager minivan just barely qualified for the program by 1 mpg. I had always been contempt with my loveable clunker as I don’t drive very much. But when I started hearing hissing sounds when driving around in my van, I knew the cash for clunkers was the ideal way out. Unfortunately I came to this realization the week before the cash for clunkers program was scheduled to end.

Russell and his 1994 Mercury Villager
Russell saying his final goodbye to his old minivan.

Cutting it close is an understatement as I was finally able to land a deal on Saturday morning, August 22nd. The cash for clunkers program officially ended two days later but many dealers were stopping Saturday night. Russel Toyota (no relation) was able to get me a Pacific Blue Rav4 that was in transit but still qualified for a $4,500 discount. Needless to say I jumped on the offer as every dealer within 100 miles was absolutely sold out of Rav4s.

I signed the paperwork, handed over the keys to my clunker, and updated my insurance in a 4 hour process. Since I no longer had a car, and my new one wasn’t there yet, the dealer gave me a loaner.

Russell's Toyota Camry Hybrid loaner car
A Toyota Camry hybrid was my temporary ride until my Rav4 came in.

The loaner car was nice with leather seats and a built-in GPS system, but there were a few quirks. I was happy to part with the loaner car once my Rav4 was ready. Kristina and I picked it up last night just as the sun was setting.

Russells new blue Toyota Rav4 at dusk

The new Rav4 parked at home
The first morning home with the new car.

I’m happy I came out on top and I love my new car. The van did have one feature that I do miss: it was paid off!

Here are some of the 4×4 Rav4 stats for the car heads.

  • 4×4, 2.5L 4-Cylinder, 4-Speed Automatic
  • 179 hp @ 6000 rpm/172 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
  • 21-27 mpg
  • Exterior: Pacific Blue Metallic
  • Interior: Ash Fabric
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