Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mt Hood

Just had to share the photo that Alex just sent to me via his phone. This is a miracle for several reasons... First of all, he never texts me. Unless he needs a ride. (He rarely texts anyone, really.) And this is also the first photo he's ever taken with his phone. Oh, and it's also the first I've heard from him in 3 days... I can't wait to hear more about his trip and maybe get more photos along the way!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week in Review

We've been busy this week and put many miles on our cars! Our weekend at the Jersey Shore was wonderful and went by far too quickly.

It was nice to get away, just the 2 of us and spend time with friends.

When we got back, Eric had to turn around and go to Long Island for work. Alex was at Cornell at cross country camp and so I was left all alone for 3 days. And what is a girl to do when she's all alone?? Get a pedicure of course!

And have a girls "evening out" with Paula!

Today I took the day off of work and went to pick up Alex. Cornell is a lovely, but HUGE campus. I'm thankful I didn't get lost too badly.

We had to meet the campers for their end of camp "race". Alex is always so serious...

He's finishing the race here. He took is easy... there was no reason to go all out.

After the run, the coaches had a nice talk. (The camp coaches are also the Cornell Cross-Country coaches, which is a nice bonus!) It seemed that all the kids had an amazing time, they worked hard, learned a lot and got a lifetime of memories. (I still remember my week at Brandeis University Track Camp when I was in High School!)

I think Alex made a lifetime of memories as well...

This was the dorm he lived in. Looks nice from the outside.

It had the look and feel (and smell!) of an old beaten up Frat house inside. I think I envisioned nicer rooms for an Ivy League college!

On our way home from camp, we stopped at the A&W and got car-side service! What a nice treat.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Busy Times Ahead

This coming weekend, Eric and I are taking a little ("Mini") road trip to the Jersey Shore. (I'm really hoping Snookie won't be there... ) This will be the house we're staying in. It's in Barneget Light. Which is apparently on the northern end of Long Beach Island. I had to look this up. I've never been to the Jersey Shore! Eric's friend Chris (from HS) is having a 50th Birthday Bash, the house we're staying in belongs to his wife's family. Win-win for us!

This is Barnegat Lighthouse. It looks like such a beautiful place. It will be nice to get away for a couple of days!

And speaking of getting away, Alex will be quite the little traveler over the next few weeks. Thursday he leaves for NH for a few days. He returns in time to go to X-Country camp at Cornell University. The day after he returns from camp, he's off to Oregon and Washington with his Grandparents. I think this trip will officially put him ahead of me for states visited...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beaver Lake Bug Fest

It seemed like a good idea at the time. To head over to Beaver Lake Nature Center for a nice evening run.

It's a beautiful area, with lots of trails for walking and running. Lots of wildlife to look at.

Flowers to enjoy.

But tonight, there were bugs. Thousands of bugs, swarming our heads. Alex tried to run the 3-mile loop. He ended up sprinting the whole way to avoid being eaten alive. I did the .5 mile trail, and sprinted the whole way too. It was crazy. They were everywhere.

As I stopped to take this photo, I realized what a mistake that was. I've never been so covered with bugs so quickly. It was such a shame... such a beautiful, peaceful place. It almost made me wish for colder weather when the bugs were gone. Almost.

Four Square, A Divided Neighborhood and Guilt

Some of you already know all about FourSquare. And have been doing it a lot longer than I have. Some of you are probably annoyed by people posting the "FourSquare" updates on Facebook. I'll tell you though, it's kind of fun! I've debated on whether I should have it go to my Facebook, but so far I'm going to keep doing it. Even if it annoys some. They can hide the FourSquare entries if they want.

With FourSquare, you check in at various places you visit. And you are awarded with points, mayorships and badges. You have "friends", just like you do with Facebook. Anyway, if you're not doing FourSquare, you should be! It's fun. It's the "next big thing"...

So this is a photo from our neighborhood. They are doing some road work and have closed the thru-street right in the middle of our neighborhood. It's almost been a month and I have to say it's about the most annoying thing in the world. This was usually our short-cut to work, to shopping, to school, to everything. Now we have to take the "long" way around. We have no idea when they will re-open the road, but it won't be soon enough!


Because I was dismissed early from Jury Duty, it has been driving me crazy that I didn't know the outcome. So I searched online and found some information. It seems my thoughts were the same as the remaining members of the Jury. He was guilty on 5 counts. And for the charge of Grand Larceny, he was given the lesser charge of "Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle". It also looks like the Jury decided that afternoon. He is currently in custody, and was not granted bail. He finds out his sentence on August 4th. I'll be sure to re-visit the Inmate website to find out about that! Here's some information from the Inmate Lookup Site regarding the defendant:

001 COUNTY COURT 08/04/2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kelly's Birthday

This evening we celebrated Kelly's 6th birthday! Sheila made these adorable cookie monster cupcakes and giant cookie cake.

They were so yummy!

Paula posed with the birthday girl.

Gary lit the candles while Sheila looked on. Kelly waited very patiently... while sneaking cupcake frosting on her finger.

Blowfish picture!

Paula helped Kelly read the cards. Cards first, presents second!

Eric gave the play-by-play to Greg on the phone. And told Greg that I took this picture and that I would post it to the blog tonight. So here it is!

All the kids were playing so well together. At least for a moment.

Clem and Marilyn were at the party too.

As was their sweet granddaughter, Audrey Elizabeth Amanda. :)

Then out came the super soakers!

Alex got in on the fun.

Kelsey ran away while Laura tried to soak her.

Thanks for hosting the fun event, Paula & Gary! Always a good time when we all get together. And Happy Birthday Kelly!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Jury Duty is officially over for me. Today I was dismissed. After the closing arguments and the instructions from the judge, he let me go. Apparently I was an alternate. We think they didn't want us to know who the alternates were so that we'd all pay attention! (I really don't know why they did it this way or if it's normal.) The other alternate and I left and were then able to discuss the case. He was on the same page that I was. And I'm pretty sure the rest were as well. I'm hoping they post the verdict on the courthouse website eventually, I feel like I need some closure!

In case you are interested in the case, you can read the news story about it here. And the reason I thought he was guilty so early was not because of how he looked. But because the lawyers stated the charges and mentioned that police officers were the witnesses. The charges included stealing a car, leading police on a car chase through the city, causing 2 accidents, and then running away from police on foot after he crashed his car into a house. And then after all that, he resisted arrest after they tackled him. They had to taser him twice. I could not imagine how you could be innocent of all that, especially if the police were the witnesses and they were the ones who chased him down and eventually arrested him. Why would someone run away from the police if they didn't do anything wrong?

Even the guys own lawyer said he was guilty during his closing arguments. I guess the whole trial was about the "degree" with which the crimes were that he committed. Sure, he stole a car. But, was it Grand Larceny? Or did he intend on returning it? It was afterall a car of an acquaintance that he took without permission. Apparently there's a BIG difference between stealing something and taking something without permission. (Who knew!?) That charge was my sticking point, but today the judge offered a lesser degree for that charge. I'm pretty sure I would have gone with that. But guilty on the rest.

I feel shortchanged that I didn't get to vote with the rest of the jury or see how that end of the process worked. It was overall a good experience, although very boring at times. I am glad I did it, and kind of sad that I didn't get to finish what I started. But I'm happy I don't have to do it again for 8 years.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Snail's Pace

If Jury Duty has taught me anything, it's that I think I'd enjoy working for the government. There's a lot of sitting around. A lot of breaks. A nice long lunch. And you always get out exactly on time. I'm sure there's no working weekends or holidays or late nights either. It's also made me quite aware that someone should put a fire under these people's butt's and get them moving! I can't believe how much time is wasted and how long the little things take. I think I could get in there and organize things a little better!

For example, if they're going to take cameras away, they should also take phones away too. Especially one's with cameras. Because today I felt comfortable enough to snap a few photos with my phone. This is looking down at the security area from the 2nd floor. The man standing next to the railing is a fellow juror. I don't know his name. And I'm pretty sure he had no idea I was taking a picture.

This is the sign to the juror room. That's the room I spent my entire morning in yesterday, just waiting. At least there was wifi in there so I could check in on Facebook!

Here's a view of the city from the 3rd floor. I really like this building, it's really neat and modern. You can see the city from here. That's Columbus Circle straight ahead. I ate lunch there yesterday, I bought a hot dog from a street vendor. It was kind of fun. Even if it was 93 degrees out.

So it looks like my Duty will most likely end tomorrow. The prosecution and the defense both rested today. Tomorrow we will hear the closing arguments and get instructions from the judge.

I still think the guy is guilty. At least on 4 of the 5 counts. I think that 5th count might be a sticking point. I just need someone to explain it to me a little better. But maybe the judge will explain it tomorrow and it will all be clear...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Juror #330

As many of you already know, I was summoned to appear in court for Jury Duty today. As like most people who have to appear for Jury Duty, I was pretty annoyed by the idea. But I had no choice. And I thought maybe I'd get out of work for a couple of days. So I made the best of it. The courthouse area is in the above photo. The building on the right is the Syracuse Police, the building behind the sign in the brand-new court house. (Ok, it's not that new... Eric and I got married there almost 3 years ago!)

This is the entrance to the courthouse. I was pretty excited about documenting my Jury Duty with pictures. Until I stepped inside the courthouse, went through security and had my camera confiscated. Don't they understand I have a blog to support?! Although... I got to keep my phone. That had a camera in it. I don't get it. I did not take any photos though, I was afraid of getting in trouble!

My first day of Jury Duty was very, very long. I thought by 1pm I was in the clear. But by 3pm, I was called up. And then by 4pm, I was picked. And for the next 3 days I get to go back. And I probably am not the best juror in this case. I already think the guy is 100% guilty. I'll explain later, because apparently I'm not supposed to talk about the case until it's over... so you'll just have to wait. But my prediction is guilty. And I think it will take less than 5 minutes to decide.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Margaritafest 2011

Yesterday Eric and I attended "Margaritafest"! A co-worker had done the design work for the event and had extra (free!) tickets and she gave them to us. The tickets were a "passport" and you had to get each venue marked off to get free admission to the Parrothead concert. It was a lot of fun! It was basically a pub-crawl through the village of Baldwinsville. At each venue, you got a sample margarita. The best part was getting to see new eating/drinking establishments. There were a couple that we really liked and can't wait to go back for dinner.

This is a view from above (stolen from a website) of Papermill Island. The red building in the middle was one of the venues, called The Red Mill Inn. The building behind that was the amphitheater where the Parrothead band performed.

This is the Lake Effect Bar, it was a hopping place.

This was one of our favorites, Pizza Man. We can't wait to go back for pizza.

Here is Eric at the Red Mill Inn, over looking the river.

Self-portrait... shadows in the water...

Lock 24 of the Erie Canal.

We made it to the Island after all the pub stops. (There were 8 in all.) This is the view of the amphitheater... waiting for the bands to warm up.

The Jimmy Buffet wanna-be. Lead singer of "Parrots of the Caribbean". We liked that he wasn't wearing shoes.

We were basically standing next to the stage.

It was a very fun evening. Fun music and fun drinks. And exploring an area we weren't that familiar with.

What's a blog post without one of these shots?!

We ended our evening at the B'ville Diner of course!