Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Babies are cute. They're even cuter when they're your friends babies and not some random ones wandering down the street. Jude and Michelle brought their baby, Shiloh to visit the east coast this past week and it was an absolute blast to see them again. They arrived last week and decamped first to Washington DC where Paul and Mary now live. It was a Mac Scot Clan reunion of sorts and a definite bastion of Midwestern sensibility here in South Philly for the weekend.

Jude has just finished up his dissertation and is now a bonafide psychologist. They'll be moving back up nort', eventually to Duluth where he's going to be working for the VA Hospital. A large climatic and cultural change to be sure.

We tried our best to fill the weekend with fabulous activities, some influenced by the presence of the baby, some not. Friday we did the cheese steak/Italian market/water ice tour, then proceeded to make some fabulous pizzas in the oven at home. Saturday included a brief jaunt on public transit followed by a tour of some of Center City since the brewery tour that was in the original itinerary was a bit out of the way. Saturday evening we ended up going to West Chester PA for a bike race, just so happened to be MY bike race. I did the 3/4 race and ended up a solid 5th place, my best result of the season at perhaps my hardest race so far. I felt like crap for the first half, but ended up doing well so as not to let down my exceptional cheer squad. Mexican take out for dinner. I introduced our friends to the joys of the Torta Cubana. An exceptional sandwich for those interested in calories.

Sunday was our final day, but we made the most of it with a grand frisbee golf outing followed by home-made pulled pork sandwiches. I got up at 6 to start the smoker out back and slow roasted the shit out of a pork butt. It was awesome. I'm most definitely doing that one again! Then Jude, Michelle, Shiloh, Paul and Mary all piled into their little car and headed back to DC. Sad to see them go for sure, but it was great to have the guests. It was really cool to have a little kid crawling around in the house, but even better to be able to give her back to Michelle when she got cranky. We'll have to schedule a visit to Duluth next summer!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's easier to avoid falling asleep when wrenching on bikes than when sitting in a quiet (mostly) office. I've always suffered from post-meal doldrums and it seems as though that trend has not abated. I usually try to counteract that with caffeine, and since there's no coffee machine here, I had to make do with my patent Coffee Bean GORP. That's right, just chuck some coffee beans right into the trail mix and you have ready made, power up mix.