Friday, December 31, 2010

11:15pm, Paul and Oliver just came in from a short snowmobile ride. Oliver was wearing pajamas with winter coat and winter boots. Paul was wearing t-shirt and jeans. 40 degrees with light rain.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy birthday to Michael!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Some post Christmas day photos.

Following our 1st annual Christmas Awareness Dinner, we passed around a questionnaire to help our guests self reflect on Christmas. The form was created by the wonderful (Wonderful, not crazy).

Original Form

Here are the results of Christmas:

*Brackets denote editorial commentary


a. What worked this holiday season?

Tim-Dad: Most everything

Cyndy-Mom: Everything

Donnie: Honey, have nothing to say I had a wonderful time +

Tim: Nothing!

Kate: Family time was great.

Elliot: Scribble Scribble

Noah: Christmas meat.

Paul: Chinese food, Edamame Salad, Chruch

Cyndy: I think most everything worked.

Peter: Good Food, family together-ness.

b. What changes did you make to create simpler, less stressful celebrations?

Tim-Dad: A transporter machine like on Star Trek. None

Cyndy-Mom: Nothing

Tim: Lock dad in a cage. [?]

Kate: It was nice to spend time with Paul and Cyndy during dinner prep.

Elliot: Scribble

Noah: Eat Christmas meat in pajamas.

Cameron: Wake up earlier.

Cyndy: Paul made me do more cooking.

Peter: Sleeping cots for naps. [I must have missed that]

2. What was the worst aspect of preparing for the holidays this year? How can you avoid the problem in the future?

Tim-Dad: Thinking of gifts to get. STOP Thinking.

Cyndy-Mom: Watching the weather – can't do anything about the weather.

Donnie: Must do cards sooner. Will not schedule dental work on Dec. 23rd.

Tim: Driving to NY. Kidnap Cyndy, lock her in cage.

Kate: Filling out this form with Elliot has been a challenge.

Elliot: Scribble SCRIBBLE

Noah: Waiting for the car coming back from the body shop. Christmas shopping in a Chevy Cobalt. Avoid Deer.

Paul: Meat over cooked, no dry firewood.

Cameron: Getting a Christmas tree. Get it from another place.

Cyndy: Grocery shopping. Pay attention!

Peter: Traveling too far waiting for UPS and FedEx deliveries.

3. Were you satisfied with your family's level of giving and/or spiritual observances? How could next year's holidays more closely reflect your family's values?

Tim-Dad: Yes

Cyndy-Mom: Yes

Donnie: My family is wonderful.

Tim: Nope. Beating each other with sticks.

Elliot: Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble.

Kate: Thank you Paul and Cyndy for the thoughtful gifts and patience with our little rascals.

Noah: Raw pork chops... end of comments

Paul: Yes

Cameron: Yes

Cyndy: Yes. I don't know.

Peter: Attend Church together.

4. How well did your household function this year? Were you calm and cozy, or stressed and strung out? What improvements could be made for next year?

Tim-Dad: Very good. Yes.

Cyndy-Mom: Best year ever for family fun. Yes calm and cozy.

Donnie: Fine

Tim: Terrible. We were all calm and cozy, except dad. Lock Dad in cage.

Elliot: Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble.

Noah: They were all calm and cozy. I was stressed and strung out because of them.

Paul: Toilet was messed up.

Cameron: OK. I was crazy and excited. I could be calm.

Cyndy: Functioned well. Calm. Cozy. More eggnog? Cornelia very strung out, needs more catnip?

Peter: Calm, cozy, and warm. Bonus Heat

5. Honesty Time: how did your holidays go? Did you experience the magic, expectancy, the sparkle of the season? If not, what changes could you make to recapture the joy of the next season?

Tim-Dad: Very good, Very good.

Cyndy-Mom: Wonderful. Yes.

Donnie: Lots of criticism from Noah. Will let him watch PeeWee anyway.

Tim: Please lock dad in cage! I experienced Super Duper magic. Jesus told me “Your [sic] awesome.” Lock dad in cage, hit with stick.

Kate: Lots of magic, lots of family. Thank you for having us.

Elliot: Scribble Scribble Scribble Scribble

Noah: They are not over yet. Revisit this question in mid January. What? What? [Are you saying Joel could still ruin Christmas, after Christmas?]

Paul: Too much sparkle.

Cameron: Ok. Yes.

Cyndy: Sparkle... always need more sparkle. More Kate Spade, less yelling about asking for Kate Spade from Paul.

Peter: Start with dentist toothache. Skip dentist false teeth.

Yay Christmas! Cornelia before it all went wrong.

Tim with Cyndy's weirdo camera lens.

Mother talking of her fabulous lunch at Colonie Manor. She's almost ready to move in.


Peter absorbing the powerful healing powers of the crystal at the center of Mt. Shasta.

Preparing to probe the Christmas Meat.

Cyndy with her new plate.

Dominic the Donkey hour with Tim.

Cornelia after peace and order had been restored.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Paul and Cyndy's Christmas spread.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For my masters thesis I am doing a series of field and laboratory experiments on local weeds. Over the break I started a germination experiment that measures germination over time at several different temperatures. These are some pictures of the seeds and seedlings. The photo above is one of the more successful pertri dishes. The photo below is the dish where I put the germinated seedlings once they are counted.

As of yesterday, there has been 80% germination in the top performing petri dish. So I am off to the lab to see if it will be higher today....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

warm friends

Went to Carmel this weekend. Santa Claus stopped by The Meyer house and handed out candy canes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ice and snow

Snow and cold

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy birthday to Doug!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy birthday to Chris!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We just returned home to 5 inches of snow. It is the 1st of this year and really beautiful.

Skaneatilis and the Dickens Christmas was charming and fun. Carol's party was great.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I added a link to the links column: Bar-RPB with information concerning next August. It is still being developed, so there is limited information at this point.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Next up...Christmas! The family holiday name raffle is as follows:

CHRIS gives to PHIL
KATE gives to CHRIS
NOAH gives to CYNDY
RACHEL gives to NOAH
PHIL gives to KATE
JOEL gives to PAUL
CYNDY gives to JOEL


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy birthday to Patrick!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The USA version of the Fiat 500 was unveiled today at the LA auto show. They also announced the list of 130 dealers. Armory Chrysler/Jeep is going to be our local Fiat dealer. The base price will be $15,500. Fiat wants to compete directly with the Mini.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Does this mean Cory will give Rachel and Phil two hogs?
Happy birthday to Cameron!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It was a fantastic birthday weekend at the farm where Cory (my brother) works! The weather was beautiful, the animals were happy to see us, and it was very relaxing. Cory is now raising 4 pigs which you can see in the photo.
These are the egg chickens (there are also some broilers- not shown here). Philip found about a dozen eggs this morning, so we had egg salad sandwiches for lunch.
Philip and I stayed on Cory's house/sea container- lovingly named the "Hertz Castle" since it is a Hertz container. There are three windows, a fold-up bed and very little furniture. It is surprisingly cozy and the sunrise and sunset views from the top of the hill are amazing!
The sea container from a distance.
I got some awesome birthday presents: a beautiful Christmas quilt; a four course (x2) duck dinner, and computer speakers.

What can I say? Retirement has caused me to lose track of the days of the week. Happy Birthday to Rachel, yesterday, the 13th!

Your duck dinner sounds fabulous.

Friday, November 12, 2010

We went to the Duck Duel Duex, aka Great Duck-Off, aka Fowl Mouth Dinner at the Grange Restaurant last night in Sacramento. This was a rematch of a friendly cooking competition between Hank Shaw, a food blogger, and Michael Tuohy, the chef at the Grange.

The menu was appetizing:

We skipped the wine pairings. One chef did the first item listed for each course and the other chef did the second item for each course. Otherwise, we didn't know which chef was first and which was second.

The way it worked was that we were served both items for each course and we voted on which we liked better on a little card that we then turned in at the end of the evening. At the end, there was also a selection for which we liked better overall.

Amuse Bouche: Little Egg v. Duck Tartare
Both Rachel and I voted for the little egg. The duck tartare was very good, but the little egg was exceptional. This was early when we hadn't figured out how to take decent pictures yet (it was quite dark).

First: Duck Consomme v. Duck Liver Tortelloni
Both Rachel and I voted for the duck consomme. It just may be too hard to put regular duck liver [not that there was anything particularly "regular" about it. It was still good] up against foie gras.

Next: Duck Confit v. Duck Leg
Rachel and I split on this one, although we both liked both. I went for the duck leg and Rachel went with the duck confit.

Main: Spice Scented Duck Breast v. Duck Breast Roulade
Rachel and I both really liked the duck breast roulade. The spice scented duck breast seemed to have too much sweet going on, although that may just be a matter of personal preference.

For the overall judging, Rachel voted for the first chef (little egg, duck consomme, duck confit, and spice scented duck breast) as the best overall and I voted for the second (duck tartare, duck liver tortelloni, duck leg, and duck breast roulade).

Desert was a non-competition item, mincemeat strudel, that used copious amounts of duck fat as a substitute for some of the butter. We both like savory things over sweet desserts, so this was also a big thumbs up.

No word yet on the compilation of all of the voting from the other guests.

A portion of the receipts from the evening went to the California Waterfowl Association.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The token halloween photo. Zombie Bride, Frog, Robot. Also the 2010 NY-Penn League championship trophy. Tri-City Valleycats won this year. The new Ferry Rd. bridge is now open. Photos this weekend possibly.
Happy birthday Tracy!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandmother Steates!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kate and I attended Cliff Bard's wedding tonight at The Stockade Inn in Schenectady. It was very nice. We had the pleasure of sitting with Mike Stiles. I warned Kate during the cocktail hour that He was crazy. She was surprised by his behavior, I however was not. Mike handed out the attached bumper sticker to EVERYONE at the wedding.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The American Girl Collection
Cyndy made me aware that says I should have started my Christmas 2010 planning last weekend. This week has been dedicated to organizing for the Christmas season as part of a six week plan to be completed by the first week of December. An important part of "get organized week" is reflecting on our family's Christmas Values. Please take the time to fill out the attached sheet and return it to me so I can prepare a memorable and sparkling Christmas for all.

Christmas Planner Pre-Season Values Worksheet

Sunday, October 24, 2010

People protesting against some guy named Frack in downtown Oneonta. It looks like this Frack guy is friends with Andrew Cuomo.