Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cheesecake Factory

After our stroll at the beach, we headed out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. This is our second time there. I had Wasabi Crusted Ahi Tuna. The tuna was perfectly grilled to be uncooked in the center. Very well done. I also managed to get a few shrimp from my wife's plate of Shrimp Scampi.

The best part was that we unexpectedly found out that it was National Cheesecake Day and our cheesecake was half price. We brought two pieces home since we were so full from dinner. My wife got a slice of 30th anniversary cheesecake that has 4 layers of yummy stuff including chocolate, which was her top priority. I brought home a pineapple upside down cheesecake.

Laguna Beach

We started our day by skipping Starbuck's and heading to breakfast at Coco's instead. The waitress was a bit overworked, but managed to take care of use just fine. On the other hand, the host was less than pleasant. I had a nice breakfast called "Deviled Benedict" which was essentially egg salad over bacon on an English muffin. Smothered potatoes on the side. To be honest, I had though about Coconut Cream Pie for breakfast.

We headed to Laguna Beach right after breakfast. Our first stop was the Sawdust Art Festival where we wandered around the booths and looked at lots of inspired arts and crafts. I think I liked the glass blower the best. I couldn't persuade my wife that she needed anything though.

We took the free trolley to downtown and hopped another trolley to the beach. We ended up walking on the beach that I had visited many times in my youth. Lots of signs posted telling us that we couldn't do ANYTHING - kinda sad. We climbed over rocks and I dragged my wife out to the tide pools. I was very sad that I didn't see any anemones in the pools I looked at. I remember seeing all sorts of them when I was young. We really didn't go very far out though. I did see some nice little fish and crabs. We walked along the water's edge so that I could get my feet wet.

We left the beach and headed up to the boardwalk (yes honey, they do have a boardwalk). We found a nice bench in the shade and sat and talked for a bit while our feet dried and the sand could be brushed off.

After leaving the bench we wandered up past the Laguna Hotel which is where we spent the first night of our honeymoon. We were so busy that weekend that spending the night was pretty much all we did there. We also went past the place my sister got married and stopped at a nice lookout point.

All in all, it was a very relaxing day. Unfortunately, both of our working camera's are off with the kids, so no photo shots to share.

The Melting Pot

After dropping off our son at LAX, my wife and I started our small staycation at home without any kids for a few days.

After coming home and freshening up a bit, we headed out to The Melting Pot. It was recommended to us by my daughter's friend. I have had fondue before, but this was my wife's first time. On the other hand, I have never had fondue as refined as this. We ordered the "Big Night Out" deal designed for two people. It included a four course meal:
  1. A four cheese fondue with vegetables and bread pieces to dip.
  2. A light salad with tomato slices and cheese, and a light vinaigrette dressing.
  3. A main course of meats including lobster, shrimp, beef, chicken and pork, along with assorted vegetables such as mushrooms, potatoes and broccoli. There were also some delicious cheese filled ravioli 'purses'. The fondue was a Cajun spice blend in a vegetable broth base. We were given specific instructions for cooking the meet and vegetables in the fondue. There were about 8 sauces included to dip things into, and they all had wonderful flavors.
  4. The final course was a chocolate fondue with caramel and nuts. Dipping items included cheesecake, brownies, marshmallows, rice crispy treats, strawberries and banana slices. I also had a great cup of coffee to wash that down.
My wife was smart enough to stop eating when she was full, but I just polished off everything else that was left. I practically rolled out of there. We came home to a wonderfully empty house and spent some time tweeting and posting to Facebook before calling it a night.

The Jungle Quiz

Journey2Learn gave my blog a plug today and mentioned that my boy is headed to Africa. She also posted a link to The Jungle Test. Here is what my result was:

You Are Wise

You are a protector and teacher. You help people deal with their struggles.

Right now, you are seeking excitement and a bit of adventure in your life.

You are drawn to people who are passionate and deep.

You feel like there are a few minor things in your life that need to be changed.

You find that any decision you have to make needs to be slept on... often for multiple nights.

David off to Kilimanjaro

My son David left for Kilimanjaro yesterday afternoon. He's going with the Boy Scouts. I can't possibly keep up with all the details my wife has on her blog, so take a look there.

The picture on top includes (from left to right) William, Alec and my David. They all started scouting in the same cub scout den in Pack 234. We moved to Fullerton and David joined the other two in 2nd grade. They are all great kids, and I am glad they have shared scouting for so long. And now the three of them will share an experience of a life time, climbing Kilimanjaro together. They are the youngest three on this outing, with my son being the very youngest.

My wife fretted over the packing but she easily got the duffel bag under 50 pounds as required by the airline. We did have one minor incident just before leaving - the zipper of the duffel came apart on the other side of the latch. I had to force the latch back and re-zip it. We tried securing it with some bungees, but the airline made us take them off. I am really hoping that it stays together during the flight. We don't want him to loose important gear before he even gets there. No matter, I am sure he will make do with whatever he has left.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

We seem to be very busy at the moment with kids coming and going.

My Daughter, Rebecca, went to Youth Wave for the week of July 13. She flew up to Portland Oregon for a church retreat that was hosted at Cascade College this year.

Last week my youngest son, Andrew, went to Camp Cherry Valley for Boy Scout summer camp.

This coming week my daughter will leave for Teen Camp, another week long camp for her. And this Wednesday my son David will be leaving for a climb up Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Africa.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dead Computer Chair

When we moved into our house a little over 8 years ago, we set up an area for my computers. I spent some time researching and bought a fancy armoire to house my computers and allow me to work on computers for friends and family. The armoire was designed for a computer, though I have had a many as 6 stowed away inside. The doors close so you don't have to see the computer stuff, but more often than not the doors just remain open.

I also bought a nice computer chair, since I knew I would be spending a lot of time in it. In fact, when my wife and I are home, it seems like we play musical chairs at the computer desk, with one of us sitting down whenever the other gets up.

Today, my chair broke. It had been listing over to the side for several weeks, so it was only a matter of time before it gave way. I had actually looked at it today and thought I might be able to repair it and get a little more use out of it. Times are tough and money is tight.
While I was sitting in the chair it suddenly toppled over. The weld that attached the chair part to the caster base just cracked and separated with just a small part remaining attached. The back of the chair was left horizontal to the floor. I had to crawl out and get up. Click on the pictures for a closer look.

So, I ran out and bought a new slightly better chair, with that assumption that we would be using it quite a bit for the next 10 years.