Sunday, July 31, 2011

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Vacation is over.

It was a nice week, mostly spent relaxing, but it's back to the grind tomorrow. We spent today vegging and recovering from yesterday's jaunt through Epcot.

I'd planned on writing about the trip, but I'm fading, so I'll leave you with a segment from my favorite WDW event:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Neon Tour of Daytona

Yep, I'm at it again. This time, Daytona's neon. I could probably spend a week taking pictures and not hit it all, but here are a few:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eat Where the Locals Eat

Well, something like that, anyway.

When we ventured out to California five years ago, Ed and I made a deal that we'd only dine at places we couldn't find on the East Coast. We got the In and Out Burger, Marie Callender's and a bunch of local mom and pop places that were, without fail, good eats.

Ever since, we've subscribed to that philosophy. Yes, we do eat at chain places when we're back on LI, but other vacations, we've unwittingly followed the same rule: avoid the chains, eat at the independent restaurants and get recommendations from locals.

In Daytona, there are places we know. For instance, every trip, since Ed's first stay in this town twenty-some years ago, we *will* at at the Ocean Deck. We enjoyed a meal here on our honeymoon, the open air bar and reggae band hooked me on this favorite, too. We've been with the kids a few times, too. There are no overnight stays in this town without a meal here.

A couple of months ago, Ed and Chef spent a night over here, looking for bike gear. In addition to the above, they visited a place in Ormond Beach called the Pig Stand. Both raved about the 'que, so today's lunch was revisiting this place for them. I have to agree, the burnt end sandwich was rather tasty.

Besides those two repeats, we drove down A1A the other night, trying to figure out what appealed. We happened on a place, but the quoted wait was a little too long for four ravenous diners, but the aroma was enough to entice us back. So, tonight, three of us picked crab legs at the Charley Horse and left the place stuffed with fantastic snow crab. The price and quantity for 1.5 pounds of crab legs was appropriate, so we skipped their nightly all-you-can eat. We've added a place to the Daytona list.

The other night, when we didn't want to wait for dinner, we ended up a few doors down at the Black Sheep, where we had British beers and fare that were top notch. Then, lunch yesterday netted a kitschy place, but good food at the Cruisin' Cafe. As something of a burger snob, I have to say theirs were pretty darn good.

So, three days on vacation and not a single meal at a chain restaurant. I think our strategy is a good one-especially in this town...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


This is the first birthday that I've been on vacation. I could get used to the idea.

We relaxed near the ocean and waded in the surf, got hotdogs from a truck on the beach (breakfast!), spent another hour or so by the hotel pool. Ventured out for lunch and a skim board for Chef, then free drinks from the hotel bar and dinner at the world famous Ocean Deck.

Along the way, Ed managed to get me a pound of gourmet chocolates and a HUGE drink at the Ocean Deck.

It was nice, quiet and low pressure. Perfect, even. The cherry on top was the dozens of birthday wishes on Facebook. Sometimes, the quirks of FB tick me off, but today, it brought many, many smiles from friends I've had forever or just a short time, nearby and half a world away.

I may not be Rockefeller or Warren Buffett, but I'm definitely rich when it comes to the people in my life and today reminded me of that.

Monday, July 25, 2011


My boss asked everyone to take their vacations before August began. When I broached the subject to Ed, he said he'd rather wait until fall. Then, a couple of weeks ago, he changed his mind and wanted to go.

After running around and handling other people's things for so long, he wanted a week to relax and not do very much. So here we are:

Before he and I were a couple, he'd vacationed here several times. We stayed here on our honeymoon and after our first Disney vacation after a sleepless night with a not-quite two year old with a double ear infection. It's probably one of the few towns he's never lived in that he knows very, very, well. Relaxation is very easy for him to accomplish here.

And the rest of us are only too happy to comply.

Good thing I'm loaded up with sunscreen!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

The semester is over and this song sums up our plans for the week:

Pictures of our adventures will give you an idea of our 'Fun in the Sun.'

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nails Sans Shellac

Due to the needs of work, I canceled my Thursday nail appointment.

Down three nails since. Bummer.

Oh well, we'll start back with it soon enough. In the meantime, I'm taking the suggested biotin and using OPI's Nail Envy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The App I Thought Was Pointless...But It Isn't.


When the commercials came on last year for the iPhone 4 and the 'cool new app,' I wanted to gag. The wife, obviously in the bathroom, Face timing her husband about that 'project we've been working on' and getting this goofy look on her face? She does all but show him the HPT in the commercial.

We had some fun around here picking on the cheesiness of the commercial. Apparently, we weren't alone in thinking they were lame, because You Tube is filled with parodies that are a little more risqué than I'd prefer to post. I didn't realize it at the time, but MacBook 1.0 (a/k/a Mi Manzana) was outfitted with the program, as was MacBook 2.0.

At work, many of the staffers were given iPads a few weeks ago. As a contractor, I didn't get one, but I have Apple savvy that my coworkers have called upon a lot since the devices were distributed. A few days ago, my boss calls me and asked if I had my laptop with me, then if it had the app. Yes to one, no (I thought) to the other. She asked me to gather the rest of the team and have one of them FaceTime her when we had everyone (until today, we were scattered all over.)

So we did and wow, what a cool way to get a message out quickly to the team (our little meeting was about a new hire.) I liked it and promptly went to the App store to see if it was available for the MacBook. I went to purchase it and iTunes informed me I have it.

So I FaceTimed the coworker, who laughed her ass off at my personal email address. Meanwhile, she was making funny faces on the thing during our whole conversation, so I was laughing hysterically and finding it hard to answer why my email addy is a Disney character's name and how the heck I don't have a six digit number after it. (Beta tester, baby, back when Gmail only allowed you to invite 5 people at a time.)

In a few days, we've rapidly switched from me calling someone to tell them their appointment has arrived, or emailing about something I was working on, and not getting answered to FaceTiming and after you get rejected by the person as 'not available,' the email gets answered. More often than not, its going to be answered with some sort of facial expression designed to make the caller laugh their butt off to the point that they forget why they called in the first place.

In fact, the boss was out of the office, we're moving into new offices where our phones and computers were not hooked up, but we were able to keep in touch because of that cheesy app. Then tonight, I tried 'calling' Ed's iPad-and he wanted to know what was ringing. Once he realized, he answered the thing and proved it must be universal to make faces into the thing.

Those commercials are still cheesy, but I think it would have been more accurate if the people featured in them were making blowfish faces.

I need to figure out if the app is less of a battery hog on the iPad...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Cool Video From Yesterday

Doesn't want to load! I'll add it back in tomorrow. In the meantime,

Hibachi style!

Some pictures of the food. I probably ate a pound of zucchini, because I love it grilled or sauteed and the menfolk don't. So good!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


When you have kids, it seems like time passes so fast. For instance, it was just yesterday that I was holding this little guy:

To this not-so-little guy, who actually is the same height as his older brother:

Happy Birthday, Chef!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Perspective Altered

As an empathetic sort, I've traveled through life putting myself in the other person's shoes. It is a trait that was especially prevalent when talking with teachers, whether they were educating my own, friends or employees. To me, these are the people who have one of the most important jobs there is-preparing the young for their futures.

It's part of the reason why, when asked what my major is, I say "Hero Support." Those familiar with the movie "Sky High" will get the reference, but to others, I explain that those in my intended field lasso technology and bring it into the classroom for the teachers in whatever way works best. For some schools, it's extensive, in that whatever you experience in the classroom is readily available online. In others, it's supplemental material that there isn't time to cover in class. No matter what, the Instructional Technologist is well versed in the programming languages used in education (PLE for short) and utilize them in the way the instructor sees fit.

Like I said, hero support. I never really looked upon myself as an educator, just one who supported the educators.

This semester, though, has brought about a major change in the way I perceive myself. I now consider myself an educator, or more accurately, an educator-in-training. The two courses I took this summer were not technology based at all. They provided a groundwork for all educators in our college, and after ten weeks, I have been changed in ways I don't even know.

At 18, when I was deciding between a communications or English major, my Dad suggested Music. I pooh poohed the idea, saying "Dad, all I can do with a music degree is teach." Here I am, nearly 30 years later and the path I choose to take is in teaching at the college level.

Once again, Dad, you were right. I just needed a little time to get used to the idea.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another One Down

Another semester, that is.

I turned in a 19 page research proposal and took a final this evening. Other than some mini quizzes in one class and a discussion board post in the other, I am done.

I learned:
1. That three classes and a part time job is a recipe for disaster.
2. That in one year, there has been no more empirical research in the topic that is the closest to my planned research, which means that I can argue that I need to do this research.
3. That reading all ten research studies again puts me in a good position to do the literature review legwork now will make it easier to just refine things when the time comes.
4. That I need a vacation.

I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, because I don't need to be to work until the afternoon. Yay!