27 August 2008

Deep Fried Spam Curds

Yesterday, my friend Heather and I went to the MN State Fair. Wifey was sleeping off an injured foot and Adam was out of town. It was a great evening, with really nice weather and decent crowds. We ate our 'fair' share of food and even went on the big yellow slide. All in all, we had a fun time at the fair!

Every year I try to get something new. This year, it was two things - a Salted Nut Roll (not from Pearson's) and Deep Fried Spam Curds! Now, that was a real treat...Spam, Cheese, Crispy Batter, with BBQ and Ranch sauce for dipping. Yum!

Heather and I finished up the evening by sampling some of the Minnesota wines. I can't remember what it was called, but it tasted good - and the musicians were covering Journey. :)

24 August 2008

WinXP SP3 - Cumulative? Not!

Yesterday I was greeting by my trusty little yellow shield next to my clock. Upon examining the details, it said that SP3 was available and wrapped all of the updates into one neat & tidy package. So I installed it...and today, the yellow shield returned with another update.

I know Microsoft lies, but c'mon - one freakin' day? Not a chance in hell I'll buy Vista...

23 August 2008

Vroom Vroom!

My scooter is once again running! Quite well, in fact. All of that rust from the tank really did a number on performance. Some of the particles were so small and looked like really fine dust - that made its way through the filter screen on the carb and settled in various collection points. After trying to acid rinse the tank myself at the recommendation of a local cycle shop, I then took it to Tank Renu - a little outfit in Shakopee. They media blasted the tank and baked on a liner. Good as (or maybe even better than) new! And for $35 it was well worth it.

I also bought new fuel lines as the old ones were getting pretty dried out and I didn't want any cracks or leaks. Instead of going with original lines, I opted for standard hose from a local auto parts store. Another $4 investment well spent.

After putting everything together, I rode around the neighborhood adjusting and tweaking until it purrs like I remember from way back in 1982 (the first time I rode it at my grandparents' house).

The license plates are in the mail, so I'll be hitting the streets very soon!

22 August 2008

A Penny Sold is A Hundred Pennies Earned

My boss took my co-worker RaeAnn and I out for lunch today to celebrate RaeAnn's birthday. On the way there, we saw this guy and his really clever business model. I wonder how he's doing...

In case you can't see the writing, it says "LUCKY PENNY - $1$"

I didn't stop to ask him about the details, but I just might do that if he's still hanging around after happy hour. =)

11 August 2008

Door County

Like I said, I didn't want to worry about blogging while in scenic Door County. It was one of the most relaxing vacation spots I've been to - and the funny thing is that both Elizabeth and I are from Wisconsin and neither of us had been there before.

We got arrived at Sister Bay around 8pm on Thursday, checked into the resort and decided to pick up food and bring it back to our condo. This was a wise move as the Mexican restaurant was packed with a long wait...not something good for two toddlers. The food was excellent!

On Friday, we started off slow and went to breakfast at the infamous Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant and Butik. The servers were dressed up in Scandinavian traditional attire and the food was splendid - well worth the 1.5 hour wait. For the afternoon, we explored the 'thumb' of Wisconsin and went all the way to the tip...just to say we were there. ;) That evening, we went further south to Egg Harbor and ate at Shipwrecked, another fine establishment. Georgia, Brian, Elizabeth and I then played mini-golf at Pirate's Cove. I got a hole-in-one!!! =)

Saturday started off with my wife's marathon training, a 14-mile run around rural Door County starting shortly after 6am. I was the clock/water stop guy with the van. I have to hand it to my wife, she's got a lot of desire to be able to run like she does! I found a cool little series on YouTube that kept me occupied. Later on Saturday, we did toured a few wineries and found some great deals on some really good wine. We also stopped by a state park to hang out at the beach, which was a lot of fun for our niece & nephew - and the rest of us who got to watch as they got extremely wet and covered in sand. Unfortunately, Elizabeth started coming down with a nasty cold - but the rest of us went to Fish Creek for a 'fish boil' - my very first. The food was once again excellent.

Elizabeth and I decided that we'll definitely go back to Door County again. We had a great time and would have loved to spend more time exploring the little towns and finding more great experiences.

10 August 2008

Chicago Trip: Day 4

Okay, so this is a wee bit delayed - but I just didn't feel like going on the Internet all that much from our resort in Door County.

On the last day of our trip to Chicago, we ate breakfast at the Hilton on Michigan Avenue. It was a really good spread of different breakfast buffet items and was quite delicious. Afterward, we went into a few shops to see some of the local touristy fare.

We then walked back to our hotel (one last time) and packed up. On the way out of town, we stopped by the American Girl Doll store at the request of the ladies - my 3-year-old niece was more interested in riding the escalator. ;) Us guys just drove around soaking in the town one more time before heading up north.

06 August 2008

Chicago Trip: Day 3

Today we started out slow as we were still recovering from yesterday. The wife and I slept in while her parents and sister went running out to Navy Pier and back. We then ate breakfast on Route 66 at Lou Mitchell's - which was a little cash-only diner not far from our hotel.

Afterward we walked over to the Sears Tower and went all the way up to the Skydeck to see what we could see - and we could see just about everything! It was a great view.

Next up was the Museum of Science and Industry, which I thought would be a lot more historical but ended up being very family & kid-friendly. I wasn't disappointed, though. We still had a great time. Especially because we took the bus there & back, with only limited walking necessary.

Tomorrow we leave this windy city of Chicago, but I look forward to our next visit - whenever that might be.

Chicago Invasion: Day 2

Today I realized that I never updated my blog with yesterday's madness, so here's the quick & dirty version. We started off the day at the Chicago Institute of Art, which had some really cool exhibits and well-known pieces like 'that one in Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and 'that one with the farmer & his wife." *grin* I know their real names and artists, but it's a lot more fun to say it in the format of Friends episodes! =)

After that, we had lunch and walked through Millennium Park - and then down to the Adler Planetarium along Lake Michigan's shoreline. Did you happen to notice that the weather was damned hot on Tuesday? It was in Chicago as well - and we pretty much withered away once all moisture evaporated from our bodies.

It was kind of late for dinner, so we tried to get in at a local pizza place - but didn't want to wait an additional 50 minutes for a table. Us guys stayed in the bar waiting for take-out while the gals & kiddies went back to the hotel. We ate (not as much as we ordered) and went straight to bed...we were completely exhausted!

04 August 2008

Invasion of Chicago

After a fun-filled day at the farm, we trekked south of the Wisconsin border into Illinois and arrived at our hotel in Chicago at around 7:30pm. It must have been a while since my last visit, as the tolls were exorbenant compared to the $.40 I remember...$1.60 for the first one and then another $.80 for the next two into town! Once at the hotel, we had dinner at the in-house pizzeria - the food was phenomenal! The service, however, was probably the worst ever...it took us 45 minutes to get our check. Another couple waited 30 minutes at their table only to find out from the staff that the place was closed - and they couldn't order. Wow!

Today we went to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. Both I had been to before, but it had been awhile so it was nice to revisit them. For dinner, we went to a really cool Irish Pub called Poag Mahone's that was really good. Their Monday night special was their signature 9oz burger for $2.50! Then the tornado sirens sounded and it poured cats & dogs (they evacuated Wrigley Field - poor Cubs fans!) so we hung out for awhile - and I bought a shot of Red Breast Irish Whiskey for Brian & I. Good stuff!

03 August 2008

Vacation Begins!

We began our vacation officially yesterday, packing up our things and loading the car with various items that we'll use (or might use) on our trip.

First, we traveled to my parents farm - which is always a scenic and relaxing time. We arrived just in time to go to Monroe for dinner. We ate at a little Chinese restaurant called Chopsticks *grin* and it was pretty good overall.

I spent the morning washing my classic '72 Charger and then Dad helped so I would help him with his '55 Ford pickup. After getting all the dust off, we of course had to take them for a drive around the countryside.

Today my extended family (aka "The Outlaws") will also come to the farm. My niece and nephew haven't been on a real farm yet, so it should be a good time for all. Then we'll leave for the other extreme - the Windy City of Chicago.