Archive for the 'Elaine' Category

Aug 09 2008

2008 Illinois Trip: Champaign

Garcia’s Pizza! L’il Porgies! First Wok! Monical’s Pizza! Papa Del’s Pizza! Ok, I sent those pictures while I was on the road… 😉

Elaine and I lived in Shampoo-Banana for nearly 15 years, first as undergrads, then as professionals. I worked at UIUC the whole time, while Elaine went from printing to computer support to airline pilot. The kids were born there, and Nathan still keeps in touch with his daycare buddies. Here are Sam, Nathan, and Hannah:

And their mom, Ellen on the right:

Erin, in the middle, had about hit her limit of being gracious about meeting people she didn’t know as you can see by her thrilled expression. Declan vs a 13 year old girl. Guess who will win… 😉

We had lunch at Papa Del’s with Leslie (I failed to get a picture, we were talking so much), Daver, and b.:

I had a couple deep dish slices because they were fast, but Elaine held out for her favorite:

Papa Del’s thin crust piled with all kinds of good stuff. Fun fact: She LOST half a pound on this trip, whereas I had to buy a whole row of seats to get home. Grumble…

I went walking around campus and surprised Lynnell Lacy:

and shot some buildings. With my camera… Here’s where we got married:

St. Johns church.

This is the main Library:

Geek that I am, I couldn’t resist meeting up with new UIUC buddies Matt Cordial and Tim Donahue from the UIUC libraries. No picture tho, it was too friggin hot!

Here’s the Undergrad Library, which was build underground so as not to cast a shadow over the Morrow Plots, the first something or other AG something.

Obligatory Quad, Alma Mater, and Altgeld Hall shots:

Ok, that’s done. So now we can go drinking and play Bingo with the Wolfs – Megan, Greg (the kids), Penny, and Bob (the old ones):

Yep, that’s Greg in a Marilyn Monroe wig, singing “Happy Birthday” to someone. We were at a bar in downtown Champaign called Boltinis. The owner is a buddy of Greg’s and was having trouble getting much business on a Tuesday night. He asked Greg if he had any ideas, and Bingo night was born. Greg’s a performer (“ham”) and plays lounge lizard “Marv” perfectly.

We had a great time and won a lot of shots.

Which we fed to Elaine. Erin was NOT amused:

Every Wednesday, since I was a pup, there is a crew that meets for BREW (Beer Refreshment Every Wednesday) at Joe’s Brewery (used to meet at Coslows – I’m that old…) in Champaign. Luckily, our trip spanned a Weds, so I dropped in and saw some old friends. Here’s Warner:

And Charley:

And Debbie with kid!

I also ran into an old business partner, Mike Smeltzer:

Elaine’s friend Kim came out to join us:

Megan and Brian were there too. Not sure if they were meeting us, or if they are just at every bar all the time…

We then had to eat, so we hit Monical’s (Jerry, eat yer heart out!):

Then capped the night off with a Black and White from Jarlings:

On the way out of town on Thursday, I had lunch with my old friend Robin:

More pictures:

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Aug 09 2008

2008 Illinois Trip: Bloomington

Next, we drove up to Bloomington to celebrate Rich and Judy Koch’s 50th anniversary. So when all y’all ask why the heck we chose July to visit Illinois, you know whose fault it is… 😉

There was a reception at a restaurant in Bloomington, and here’s where I saw some brothers and sisters I hadn’t seen since 2001.

Here’s Nuala – we’d actually seen her in Belleville, but I didn’t have my real camera yet, just the iPhone’s camera:

Brendan’s sporting the Hell’s Angels look now:

Diardra and Doug were there too:

Some of these pictures are from after mass the next day.

Kevin had also driven up with Brendan:

I was having a little fun with my Lensbaby. His hair doesn’t really look like that.

The “OOO,” Una was also there:

The only sibling missing was Aidan. He and Renia had just given birth to a new boy, so they couldn’t travel. Welcome Jacek Michael Fleming!!!

Here are the bunch of us, with Rich and Judy on the ends:

The Hardys are always gracious hosts and put us up in their palatial basement for 2 days:

Tim Flynn, a buddy from UIUC, joined us at Avantis (mmm, Avanti’s bread…):

And I got to see my grade/high school buddy Jim Taylor:

I hadn’t seen him in 20 years! After lunch, we got to go see his mom, Phyllis. She was one of my mom’s best friends:

Here’s the public housing I grew up in:

Imagine 9 people living in half of that building. Fun times… 😉

This is getting long, so tons more pictures from Bloomington here:

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Aug 09 2008

2008 Illinois Trip: Fairview Heights

We started the trip in FairView Heights where Elaine’s mom lives.

Ok, to be honest, we flew in to St. Louis and my first stop was White Castle:

MMMM!!! 4 Doubles with Cheese!

Ok, on to family. My brother Kevin, and his son Kevin, live in Belleville, the next town over. Randy and Nuala were also in town, so we all hooked up at Denny’s for lunch. Here’s little Kevin:

Here are the little and big Kevins wishing us a fond farewell, later:

I met Randy, Nuala (my youngest sister’s husband):

We mostly hung out at Elaine’s mom’s (Donna) house with Elaine’s brother Matt and his kids:

Here are all the decent pictures from that leg of the trip. I’ve got a bunch more, but I thought I’d show some restraint for once:

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Aug 09 2008

2008 Illinois Trip

Wow, what a whirlwind! 12 days, 4 locations, 6 out of 7 siblings, tons of friends and extended family. We’re pooped, but had a great time.

I tried to blog on the fly using the new iPhone, and got some pictures and a little text posted using the WordPress for iPhone app. It did a good job. I’m still not used to the iPhone keyboard (this is short hand for “it sucks”), so I didn’t include much text. I think people like to look at pictures more any way! 🙂

The trip started in a very exciting manner. As I’ve blogged earlier, the Stupid Dog has a skunk fetish. After the second run in and subsequent spraying, we hired a skunk trapper. The traps were set up in the backyard for about a week with no real action, so we kind of ignored them. Robert, our house sitter and driver, came over on Weds to take us to the airport. He took Stupid Dog out to the backyard to let him take a pee before we left, and guess what?!? There was a skunk in a trap that we didn’t notice. Stupid Dog noticed…

The trapper had wrapped the traps in garbage bags to contain any spraying, so Stupid Dog ripped through that and got sprayed full in the face. At this point, we’re thinking about finding his embedded chip, cutting it out, and setting him free. Ok, maybe that was just me. Elaine quickly changes clothes and does the dance – peroxide (oh, we’re out – Nathan RUN to the store), vinegar, baking soda (where IS it now?!?) – finally getting the dog into some state of smell that we can lock him up in the house and Robert can still breath over the smell.

This whole time we’re watching the clock because we have a flight to St. Louis at 12:05…

We made the flight, but in the rush to get out the door, I forgot my camera, and we forgot car and house keys – things that we’ll need to actually get back to the house after the trip. Nothing like a little extra stress added to a long trip…

Long story short, Robert shipped my camera with a ton of insurance, and later shipped keys once we got those logistics figured out. Robert kicks ass. 😉

There are already a lot of highlight photos below. I’ll put in a view of all the pictures here, then some specific collections.

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Jul 26 2008

Koch’s 50th Anniversary







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Jul 19 2008

New Toys! 24″ iMac, iPod Touch, iPhone 3g

Published by under Declan,Elaine,Erin,Tech

I am not a Mac head, but we’ve had some additions to the toy cache. The campus bookstore had a great deal on a 24″ iMac, with a rebate on an iPod. So Elaine got the big Mac and I got an iPod Touch. It’s a ton of fun!

Our newest arrival is an iPhone 3g that I got for work. It is even cooler than the Touch because it has a camera. I’ll have a lot of lower quality photos now, but it’s super convenient.

A couple complaints about the phone, that I’m sure I’ll get the whine about on the MacVeritas podcast soon:

Battery life – with 3g, wifi, and heavy use, don’t expect this thing to last more than 5 hours.

Charging change – this just kills me. The device won’t charge in my car now. Lots of discussion on the forums that Apple decided to drop the pins where most car systems charge the phone. I’m hoping there can be a firmware fix. If not, maybe my car device has a switch, or I can build a little wire switching dongle. Either way, shame on Apple for messing with this with no real warning.

Exchange email set up was a snap – but I think I’m missing some emails… It’s being a little flaky with the ActiveSync. More experience with the device is needed.

Calendar confusion – some recurring events that have canceled exceptions are showing up as valid meetings. I know this is complicated programming from the WirelessKnowledge days. Apple needs to get ahead of this or people will lose confidence in their data.

Apps crash a lot – and have to be reinstalled. AIM, Twinkle, and others just try to start, then go back to the home dock. I’ll even get an occasional reboot.

Other than that, the device is nice! It’s sleek, so it slips in and out of pockets nicely. So far it is way more resistant to scratches than my 60G iPod.

Now that I have the phone, I don’t know if I need the Touch. The girl wants it, but I might sell it and the cool Surefire flashlights I won and buy a proper lens for the camera.

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Jul 19 2008

For Sale Cheap: Stupid Dog

Published by under Elaine,Photography,San Diego

Twice. Twice the stupid dog fights with a skunk in the backyard.

For the record, peroxide, baking soda, and vinegar take out about 80% of the stink. For the record, 20% skunk stink is still almost unbearable.

Stupid dog.

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Mar 10 2008

Desert Wild Flowers

Published by under Declan,Elaine,Friends,Photography

Jenny, Holly, Elaine and I took a trip to the Anza Borrego desert to take pictures of the wild flowers.

I stole Jenny’s “looking up” technique and got some pretty pictures:

Here’s a panorama of one of the flower fields with a mountain in the background. Click the image to see the full original image. Warning, it is very large! 🙂

Here are all of the pictures:

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Dec 25 2007

Christmas at the Fleming’s

First we got up and had some presents:

The we joined some buddies and had some Dim Sum!

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Dec 23 2007

Elaine has a BBQ Birthday

Published by under Elaine,Family

We tried out the new BBQ place for Elaine’s birthday. It’s no Li’l Porgies, but it’s pretty good.

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