Back Where I Belong

ITP is back ITP. I believe the kids called what I had a “Much needed vacation.” I hope you enjoyed Friday’s Q&A, I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Good Times, Far Away
I learned a lesson on Friday, multiple lessons actually.

  1. Don’t tempt Jill, she will take you all over God’s creation. (Her winding path from Duncan, SC to Raleigh, NC via a manually inserted detour to Chester, SC (in order to avoid immediately getting on an interstate) took me nearly six hours to complete. It should take no more than four hours via the interstate.
  2. It’s fun to bend the rules. Technically french fries and a Frosty (my lunch on Friday) is vegetarian; it’s unhealthy, but vegetarian.
  3. Curry Honda is dead to me. On Friday I called and asked for them to explain the ignition lock problem that I am having. I know that they have my cell phone number and they have yet to call me back.

I made it in to Raleigh about 3pm on Friday. I had planned on taking a few extra detours before meeting up with Randy and Lisa, but my ignition switch lock was acting up so I thought that I better not press my luck.

On Friday night we all went to the local Village Draft House for dinner. It was comforting to know that finishing off the vegetarian week for my Seven Day Project going to be a breeze since Randy and Lisa are vegetarian and I wouldn’t be tempted to eat meat. I had a veggie burger and fries, along with some fried pickle chips that we ordered for our table.

Saturday we started the day with some extremely non-nutritious Monkey Bread before heading out to wander around the Museum of Life & Science in Durham. After a late Mexican lunch and the arrival of the babysitter we went out for dinner in downtown Raleigh. Our first destination was called Poole’s Diner, but after going inside we realized that the only vegetarian options were appetizers. Fortunately we had a “Plan B”, an Asian restaurant called Five Star. At Five Star we not only had delicious food (we had a General Tso’s Tempeh which was fantastic), but we were also entertained. Not one, but two, large parties of women arrived dressed to the nines. The second party arrived late for the reservation and we wound up sitting at one of the tables originally reserved for them. Awwww. 😉 While I didn’t get to see it, Lisa and Randy both saw the restaurant’s host turn his ankle badly as he ambled down a stairwell. After dinner we dropped Lisa at home (damn eight-month-pregnant women can’t hand these days) and Randy and I returned to the Village Draft House for a few nightcaps.

On Sunday morning we returned to Durham for a nice vegetarian breakfast at Elmo’s Diner (thankfully no relation to the Sesame Street star). From there we wandered the Duke Gardens for a while, where I took the opportunity to play with my camera some more as we strolled.

To end the weekend on a perfect note Randy and I went and bought beer ON A SUNDAY! I exercise my Sunday beer-buying rights every time I am in a forward-thinking state (read “not Georgia”). I picked up a case of brews that I’ve not previously consumed, along with a bottle of the inaugural shipment of Fat Tire to North Carolina.

ITP Flickr Pic
In addition to the people, the house in which stayed this weekend is inhabited by their dog Sugar (previously shown on this blog) and their cat Bacchus.
It's Bacchus
I am thrilled with this shot. Don’t hear me say that much, do you? I love it so much that I’ve finally updated Jalapeño Beach again.

Oh yeah, I promised two photos today.

I find it odd that something vegetarian is called Monkey Bread.
Monkey Bread!
I mean Raisin Bread contains raisins and Banana Bread contains bananas, it only stands to reason.

I Have A Busy Week Ahead
One day this week I am going to have to find time to take my car in to get the ignition switch lock inspected and corrected. I need to do this before I get stranded somewhere.
I’ll have to find time among the other events already penciled into my calendar. Tomorrow I need to take my financial paperwork into my tax preparer and Wednesday night is the annual Black Sheep Founders Day hash (if they ever post a start). I guess that Thursday is my first opening, although it seems so far away already.

On top of all of this I have a ton of work to accomplish this week. I have a software deliverable that is looming — can you say “working long hours?” — I knew you could.

Amazing Race: The Deaf Are Utilizing The Blind
I was home just in time to get settled in for The Amazing Race. Yippee!

The teams started out at the home of Vlad The Impaler — they just don’t make nicknames like that anymore. From there they headed to Siberia. Unusually, they had many connecting-flight options from which to choose and this wound up benefiting some teams, while hampering others. In Siberia they were able to choose from “Stack It” where they had to stack a mound of wood, or “Construct It” where they had to build shutters and put them onto house from the Detour. Once done with the Detour the teams encountered their first U-Turn.

Wait a minute! This is now a Blind U-Turn which seems a bit insensitive in the face that we have our first deaf contestant. What’s next, a Mu-T(e)urn where the contestants are not allow to say who used the U-Turn?

Well, what do you know! The deaf guy (aka Luke) picks to U-Turn the Pretty People couple in order to save the Pretty People Females. For a second I wonder if Luke believes that Vlad The Impaler will have followed them to Siberia and actually blind another team in order to level the playing field for him. Instead, Amanda and Kris had to only accomplish both Detour tasks in order to move on. Unfortunately for Amanda and Kris were neck-and-neck with the bottom of the pack and the strategic move played out by Margie and Luke worked to perfection.

From the Detour the teams moved on to perform the first challenge that I think I would enjoy. One person from each team had to ride this sled-like cart on a mini-roller coaster and observe letters. The catch was that they had to complete to course in fewer than four minutes. With the seven letters that they saw along the way they had to assemble them to form the name of a famous Russian poet.

The letters they saw were : C – O – H – K – E – H – V
Piece of cake! Shit, I don’t even read and I immediately recognized Chekhov’s name. I mean, they even made it easy by placing the first, middle and last letters into their correct positions!

Wait a minute! Some of the teams apparently have never heard of Chekhov? Are you shitting me? I only hope it was the pressure that got to them, because their lack of Russian literature frightened me.

Off to the Pit Stop! It’s a race between Kisha & Jennifer and Christie & Jodi. It appeared that Kisha & Jennifer had things in the bag, but they missed the proper entrance into the Pit Stop building and Christie & Jodi took first place.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – good, scared, harried, worried
Current Music – listening to this weekend’s “The Sound Opinion” podcast
Website Of The Day – One of the people I follow on Twitter is an Appalachian Trail hiker. His site is known as The Trail Home.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Monday Morning Weigh-In – 199 pounds

Foot Mileage – 2.5 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 6 (6) [back at it!]
Vegetarian Days – 8, Carnivorous Days – 1
Marta Rides – 0

March Goals
– Complete all necessary work on my kitchen
– Lose no fewer than one pound
– Run no fewer than 30 miles
– Completely read Softbox Lighting Techniques for Professional Photographers, and Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas

2009 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
РEarn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Jalape̱o Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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15 Responses to Back Where I Belong

  1. Before you ask, I haven’t selected task for this week’s Seven-Day Project. “Giving up coffee” is already out because I am currently living on it.

  2. Laura says:

    Ahhhh…Bacchus – a.k.a. Snoop’s nemesis.

  3. Snoop’s nemesis indeed. Bacchus has really seemed to take a liking to me. He came to me often so that I could get into that mess of hair and scratch him.

    I tried hard to get a shot of Sugar and Bacchus together, but failed. The two get along swimmingly, but never stayed together and still long enough for me to capture an image.

  4. Steve says:

    Cute picture..

    I too was amazed they didn’t know Chekhov. Haven’t they seen Star Trek?? 🙂

  5. Steve says:

    Wait a minute- Someone is hiking the Appalachian Trail and on Twitter? That seems wrong to me- on so many levels.

  6. You can’t escape Teh Internets these days.

  7. Barb says:

    The best part of the blonde bimbos winning the stage was they won motorcycles. Their expression were hilarious, it was like….”What? Where’s our trip?” I am kind of bummed that Amanda & Kris got eliminated, I actually liked them. But, this year so far there isn’t any totally annoying teams left, the blondes are jsut not smart most of the time.

    Glad you had good time in NC, and I understand the pleasure about buying beer on Sunday, you just have to do it when in a state that allows it.

  8. For a moment I thought that this would be non-elimination leg so that Margie and Luke would have to face the people they U-Turned. I didn’t mind Amanda and Kris and was surprised they didn’t last longer.

  9. Martha says:

    The Monkey Bread picture is driving me crazy…we use to make that stuff as a kid…dough, sugar and butter…I want to make some soooo bad, but I’m tapering and can’t afford any extra calories, you are a really mean person Paulie.

  10. Eat it as your reward for finishing, Martha.

    Yep, dough, butter, sugar, cinnamon. Combined with my french fry and Frosty lunch at Wendy’s I was not exactly the picture of healthy living even though I avoided meat. 🙂

  11. Debbie says:

    Very handsome cat!

    The short guys are bugging me because they are continually boneheaded. It was really painful watching Luke struggle with Chekhov. Is there a rule that once you decide on which teammate is doing the challenge, you can’t switch?

    I loved the Russian guy by the wood piles who was getting all the cute American girl sugar when they completed the challenge. He was no dummie!

    I know what I would be tweeting from the Appalachian Trail… “come pick my ass up!”

  12. Barb says:

    back to Amazing Race – I do like the theme this year of having some locals drinking and laughing at them while they are doing the challenges.

    and Paulie – when exactly are you the picture of healthy living? 😉
    I love frostys and french fries too.

  13. Damn, I just realized that I could have used a play on words and titled today’s post “Bacchus Where I Belong”

    The short stunt guys frustrate me. I don’t understand their difficulty following the clues.

    I wondered about partner shifting. For some reason I thought the rule was that once one partner started he/she had to finish. However, I thought I remembered at a situation where the partners switched out.

    The locals are cracking me up, mostly because I’d like to believe that I would be doing the same thing.. drinking, laughing, getting the pretty women to kiss me on the cheek.

    @Barb, I am never the picture of healthy living, in fact no hasher should be. However, I should have been eating healthier since I was eating vegetarian food.

  14. RanLiCoop says:

    Thanks for the positive review of the weekend – we too had a great time.

    The monkey bread tasted even better than it looked, although I still maintain we should have cut it in half right off the bat and saved some for Sunday – mmmm, sugar buzzes by 9am 😉

    Best picture I’ve ever seen of Bacchus. In fact, I stole it as part of a much-needed update to our blog – Thanks!

    Lisa found Fat Tire at Harris Teeter last night for $1 less per bottle.

  15. $1 less? D’Oh!!! 😉

    btw – Check your email too. I sent a larger version of the Bacchus photo along with two of the lad to you guys on Sunday night. A few more will be sent your way when I get around to process them.

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