Archive for the 'Friends' Category

Aug 18 2008

Red Island Repository Institute – PEI Trip

I just got back from a week on Prince Edward Island in Canada. I was up there for an intense, 5 day introduction to Fedora (the digital library repository, not the RedHat variant).

I haven’t processed the content yet, but I did take a lot of pictures. What encapsulates a trip better than a grown man in an Anne of Green Gables hat and braids?:

Jim Tuttle is so silly… I wouldn’t be caught dead…

Dang digital cameras…

PEI is famous for its lobster, and there is good reason:

They are served almost everywhere. We had these on Monday night:

We also had a few tasty beverages. Here Grant and Jim listen politely to Mike tell a story. The politeness comes from not understanding a thing he was saying due to a very strong Boston accent:

or a lot of beer.

The University of PEI’s University Librarian, Mark Leggott, took us all on a walk to the red sand beach:

which he said was lovely. We had to take his word for it because there were no lights, the moon was covered in cloud, and we were all dizzy from blood loss to mosquitoes.

Thankfully, there was a bar at the end of the walk, so we could hide from insects and Chris could get a drink:

For lunch on Wednesday, we went to the local farmers market:

where three of the locals – Paul, Peter, and Alex demonstrated the East Coast Canadian habit of stopping and standing in the middle of a walk way. I’m not kidding, these people have getting in my way down to a science.

Then we walked the length of the island on a path:

Ok, not really, but the path does stretch from tip to tip. Maybe someday I’ll bring my bike up there.

The locals bath when the sewers back up and spew what can only be raw sewage 6 feet into the air:

Or it was a clever fountain.

This was a small petting zoo for crabs and lobsters. Notice no one putting their hands in:

Jim was then sent home for “disturbing” the local livestock:

Ok, so the water and boats and beautiful:

But what is prettier than a man sized potato?

I’m talking about the one in the back…

On Weds night, we were sitting at dinner and I got the Lensbaby out and got some nice shots:

Here’s Richard Green from Hull:

Peter Binkley from Canadia:

And Mark Leggott again:

The flowers really add to the scene… 😉

On Thursday night, Grant and his daughter brought us down to see Victoria Bay:

Note the famous, ubiquitous red soil.

I got a little bit of the sunset:

Then the rain rolled in:

On Saturday, Jim and I got a car and drove from Charlottetown as far East as possible and looped back.

PEI has many lighthouses:

And pretty, red cliffs:

And pretty streams:

And more light houses:

That one is on East Point, the farthest we could go East.

Jim was too cool for all this:

And I was eaten alive by mosquitoes:

Then we went to see Pineapple Express. All in all, a pretty good day! 🙂

Here are a lot more pictures (Flickr link):

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Aug 09 2008

2008 Illinois Trip: Notarus Visit – The Final Final Chapter

So, I figured, I’m going to Chicago at the end of this long trip, let’s see Mark and Leah. Maybe a couple more UIUC/Chicago buddies. Mark and Leah ran with it and hosted a great BBQ with all kinds of blasts from the past. I only wish we were less exhausted and could enjoy it more!

Mark, the man with the meat:

Leah “I hardly KNOW her”:

Jason Hoos:

Mark demonstrates his child care technique:

Chirs Tromboski (I knew I’d spell it wrong, so why not be absurd?):

Dorothy Moe, wasted:

Elizabeth Badrov, hitting on me, as usual:

Super cutie Kate Badrov with Kera in the background:

Some guy:

Liz and Heather do what they do every day, plan to take over the world:

More pictures here:

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Aug 09 2008

2008 Illinois Trip: Naperville – The Final Chapter

Well, kinda.

One of my best buds is Greg, my brother in law. We sneak off and play Trivia, drink beer, and eat chicken wings. Usually before or after 2 or 3 movies. Sweet…

A highlight of a visit to Elaine’s sister Beth is when they start drinking and get caught in a darkly descending spiral of hysterical laughing. It usually ends in someone peeing. This was a bonus year because their other sister, Jean, made the trip up to Chicago. This adds an unstoppable critical mass to the spiral. Enjoy:

Beth has lost it. Now it’s Elaine’s turn:

Jean tips over:

Finally, Beth’s head asplodes:

They hate me now, but someday they will appreciate that I had my camera shipped 2000 miles to capture this. Like I care… 😉

I got some more time to play with my Lensbaby and got some nice shots. Here’s Rebecca:

And Rachael:

Jean’s daughter Candice (not Kelly. Don’t ask.):

Jean’s son Ryan:

A bunch of cousins:

More attitude than I can handle:

Just to be fair:

We had a great time in yet another palatial basement. I wish we could have basements out in California. The lack of humidity, bugs, and lots of heat help… a little.

More pictures:

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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

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 22 2008

Scary Lunch

Published by under Declan,Friends,Fun,Photography

Today’s lunch in Santa Barbara. Holly kept it to make into a hat.


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Jul 22 2008

Why to ride the train

Published by under Declan,Friends,Fun,Photography



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Jul 22 2008

This is @Smiff being social

Published by under Friends,Fun


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