Monday, June 26, 2006

Busy Weekend

On Saturday the girl (Mary) and I headed to NY for a wedding. My sister's step-daughter tied the knot! It was a beautiful ceremony and the food! Oh the food. Delicious and a lot of it!

Here we are:

We came home yesterday and brought my mother with us. She lives in Florida and we thought it would be nice for her to stay up north for a month or so. (She'll be helping with the kids so Cranky and I can have a little time away.)

Here are the cool boys modeling their sunglasses for Grandma:

Here's our dog Sally again. Her insulation bed is being used for it's intended purpose, insulating (our mudroom). She didn't even spend any energy to look at me for this picture -- just raised her ears! She's getting older (see her gray face?) but she's always been quite the coach potato:

Cranky got the "parts" motorcycle (the black one) running this weekend! I'm so excited -- it's for me!

That's all for now. Just too busy to write. Maybe later...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Rome Part 2

I just got home last night from another 7-day trip to Rome. I carry my camera with me all the time there because you never know what you might see! Here's a few things you won't find in the tourbooks.

This "dog parking" was outside a store on Via Veneto, right up the hill from our hotel. I've walked by this many many times and never noticed it. Just park the pooch and come on in!

Down the hill on the same street is this Lamborghini dealership. I only look in the window here because I'm certain they would laugh if I went in...

I took this picture because I noticed a disturbing trend of men wearing capri pants. Unless the style looks like extra long cargo shorts (this guy's didn't), they look like ladies pants and I don't like it. Just too gay for me.(Not that there's anything wrong with that...)As a bonus, this couple had just come from Trevi fountain, and the woman got her ass little wet. Duh!

When we fly to Rome, we leave the States in the evening and arrive in Rome the next morning. I take a short nap, then go walking (or touring) until it's time to meet for dinner. I needed a little caffeine so I went to this coffee shop near the Pantheon, which is awesome!

After a little coffee, I headed toward Piazza Navona, and saw this "city" horse at work. This picture is for Heidi -- I was thinking of her lucky horses that get to stand on grass and eat it too...

After passing through Piazza Navona, I reach La Botticella, the bar where all the crews meet to go to dinner. This is Giovanni, the owner, an Italian who grew up in Toronto. I have met crews from US Air, Continental and Air Canada here as well as the 3 or 4 other crews from my airline that fly to Rome each day.

I wanted to show you some pictures of Roman transportation. In this picture I want to point out that the scooter on the right is taller and almost as big as the car. (Or maybe the car is as SMALL as the scooter?)

This is a Smart car. They are wicked small.
These are BMW's. The black one is cool but I would just get a Smart car rather than the red covered scooter.

Look at what the cops drive! A Land Rover Defender. I would love to have one of these...

It should be noted that they also drive some little Fiats that aren't near as cool. (I think the younger cops had them)

This cop has a nice BMW...

Here's another picture for Heidi. I took this while we were taxiing out to the runway (in the foreground) They had a pretty good haying operation going here at the airport! (No barn is sight however.)

In other news: Our retarded (we say "retahded") dog kept sneaking into our partially-finished mudroom to lay on the insulation today.

Also, the motorcycles did not breed while I was out of town this time. They did however, get a killer sound system fed through our network from the music-only computer in the basement.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Girls Go Shopping

Yesterday Mary and I went on a shopping spree. It was justified by needing "wedding-wear" for cousin Corry's nuptials at the end of the month. We went to the "big city" as Mary called it, otherwise known as Concord NH. In a moment of weakness, I let Mary get her ears pierced. She has been bugging me for some time, and yesterday I shocked her by saying yes.

On the way home she mentioned future piercings, to which I replied, "I don't THINK so!" I followed up with a casual mention that one of my ears has 2 piercings. She was totally surprised (I don't wear earrings very often), which again shows me that she thinks I'm a very boring mom. What's up with that? After all, I was looking at the Social Distortion t-shirts as a Father's Day present for Cranky, but since they were only in youth sizes, she got one instead! (Interesting side note: We had been listening to Social D all afternoon.)

Today I'm off to Home Depot with Bob. (Heidi, do you like his shirt?)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Like Rabbits

Last week while I was on a 7-day trip, look what happened in my garage:

It looks like Cranky's '78 Honda CB550 (with the yellow tank) decided to have a couple of friends join him in the garage. He tells me the red one runs great and the black one is for parts....

The two latest toys are a couple of '84 Honda CB650SC Nighthawks. Cranky is hoping to get the black one running so we can each have one. The '78 is getting the boot.

I'm leaving again on another 7-day trip on Wednesday. There really isn't any room in the garage for more. Maybe I need to fly shorter trips...

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Rome Tour Part 1

I've been neglecting my blog lately, but I was gone 10 of the last 11 days. I just got home from a 7-day Rome trip, which had 4 ocean crossings. This is normally a 6-day trip but since it is an "extra" seasonal flight to Rome, our first layover is 2 days long. Bad deal to be away from my family, but a wonderful opportunity to see more of my favorite European city. I thought I'd share the highlights of this trip with you.

I was flying to Rome on Friday night and saw this beautiful sky.

A USAir pilot was sharing some interesting facts about these clouds on a radio frequency we monitor while crossing the ocean. They are called noctilucent clouds, and are 85km above the earth. We could see them clearly for about 30 minutes. That is the first time I have heard of them and I thought it was pretty neat. More info can be found HERE

In Rome, the bus ride from the airport to the hotel is long, but scenic. There are a lot of cool things to see.

The Coliseum: I toured this on my first visit to Rome. It's amazing the things they did here to entertain.

The Forum: lots of old stuff.

Circus Maximus: I want to run down there some day for a few laps.

If nobody on my crew wants to play tourist, I will go walking by myself unless the weather is crummy. Here are a few of the sights I always see:

Piazza Bernini: I found a large internet cafe in this square. I also asked a fellow tourist to take my picture.

Trevi fountain: In the summer it's always packed with people. I overheard a tourist the other day saying she liked this better than many of the churches.

The Pantheon: If I have my camera, I almost always take a picture of this. It's amazing how big it is!

Vittorio Emmanuelle monument: Nicknamed the wedding cake building.

It's not as old as the other sights (it was built between 1885-1911). It is also the resting place of the unknown soldier and has an eternal flame guarded by soldiers (I took this by zooming in at sunset so it's a little dark):

Piazza Navona: This is very crowded also. There are all sorts of vendors here and a large number of artists selling their work.

This big fountain is in Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

I took a picture of myself in front of the fountain.

Another fountain in Piazza Navona:

This also seems to be a favorite spot for, shall I say, "stationary posers" . (Fancy beggars?) Here are a couple:

The Spanish Steps:

Not my favorite sight. It's a whole lotta people sitting on steps. The fountain at the bottom is okay and the obelisk at the top is interesting (in this picture it is surrounded by scaffolding for repair work). There are a lot of "mobile" vendors here. They keep their wares on blankets to fold and stuff in their big duffel bag at a moments notice. If you get what I mean...

I also went to the Catacombs of St. Sebastian on this trip. These are outside the city walls and were not very easy to find. I took the tour in some of the 7 miles of tunnels , but I wasn't allowed to take pictures. (I was going to sneak a couple but the young priest in the back of the group made me feel guilty, so I didn't.) Here's the church that's above the catacombs:

Here's a close-up of the ceiling that was carved out of wood by a Dutch artist. The guy in the center is St. Sebastian.

This is St. Sebastian's tomb. He was originally buried in the catacombs below, but was moved into the church when it was built.

You may have noticed St. Sebastian has arrows sticking out of him. In 286, Emperor Diocletian ordered him executed by arrows for preaching Christianity. He survived. He returned to preach to Diocletian so he was tied to a tree again and beaten to death. I don't know if it was the tour guide's accent or choice of words or what, but when I heard this story I questioned St. Sebastian's judgment.

I think that's enough for now. I'll post again soon with some more scoop on Rome...