Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter games, Munich style

This was a game that we saw at the bier hall in Munich over new years. It was a while back, but I'm finally getting around to posting about our adventures. It's been a hell of a month but first things first: winter is still here and nobody does winter quite as well as the Germans.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Behold, the Erfurt Slammer

In honor of my far away family, both over seas and in the middle of the prairies, I have created the Erfurt Slammer. It consists of equal parts bourbon and gin, half a part simple syrup, a twist of grapefruit and two dashes of bitters.
It is like a sweet pinecone smoking a corn cob pipe. Delicious.

Just sitting in my fainting chair

Jennifer has been huge into The National for the past two weeks or so. We've listened to all the albums, with a particular emphasis on Trouble Will Find Me. There is a song about three quarters through the album called "Pink Rabbits" in which the narrator describes a scene where he is "just sitting in my fainting chair, drinking pink rabbits."   Epicureans that we are, we endeavored to make this poetic drink. The internet lore has it that the drink is made with strawberry Nesquick, Kahlua, and tequila. I fancied it up with some frozen strawberries blended up with sugar and milk rather than the fake drink, and I went for name brand booze.

Then we gave it a shot.

Pink, with a bite from the tequila, and an oddly comforting coffee wang, they are not nearly as bad as you might think.  Jennifer prefers hers with rum, not tequila, however. We'll let her get away with a small deviation, it's her favorite band after all.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas orangeaments

Merry Christmas little house.

Guess what? Bike share!!

Bike share has been the question and answer to about six and a half out of seven days a week for me for the last, well, for the last year at least.  A few weeks back, the good folks at B-cycle were in town to do a test with their first run of the new stations.  This was a big deal for my office, and for me particularly, since I was responsible for helping them plan the demo.  They had two small stations brought from Colorado on the back of a truck, and then installed piece-by-piece in a set of locations about 2 miles south of our house, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  I was down there on a daily basis, running tours and showing off the equipment to City employees as well as friends and onlookers from our partner agencies.  The weather varied from about 60 degrees on the first day, to about 25 degrees overnight over the two weeks that they were in town.  Rain, snow, sleet and the buckets of winter crap that we expect each year greeted us and the stations.  Fortunately, bike share don't give a damn.  Thankfully, though not really surprisingly, everything went just fine.  No malfunctions, minor tweaks to be made before production, and hopefully smooth sailing.

The fun part was going over the details with the head of my department.  Rina is a bold woman, though not honestly so bold on a bicycle.  She's pledged to be ready to roll for next spring, and also pledged that I'd be fired if I took any pictures of her on a bicycle.  She rode like a champ though.  A rusty champ.

Let's see if she reads my blog.  

The Bike Share Family

Sunday, December 21, 2014

See, a good one

With enough practice, I may actually get some good photos of Jennifer out of the deal.

Sunday, December 07, 2014


As usual, it was good to be home for Thanksgiving. Ian and Natalie, Kelly and Nate, the parents and the pets. We learned a valuable lesson in traveling through Chicago Midway, pack a lunch. Not a health or tasty option to be had, though to be fair, we didn't give King Wah Chinese much of a chance. Jennifer packed a bento of rice and greens on the way out, and my mom provided us with some of her awesome enchiladas on the return trip.
The founder of the feast

Aside from the standard of beers, overeating and bb guns, we had a new kitten to play with, and fat bikes to ride. Howie the cat was about as lively and rambunctious as one could possibly hope for. Though he shredded everything in sight, it kind of made me (and to a lesser extent Jennifer) want a kitten.

Since it had snowed abut 4 inches Wednesday morning, my dad had the prescience to bring home two fat tire Charge Cooker bikes from the shop. Nothing quite as awesome as monster trucks mating with mountain bikes and making babies for us to ride on.
Natalie crushing it through the back yard
I also some time time breaking in the new camera.  We got an Olympus EM-1 last month in anticipation of our Christmas trip to Germany.  As Jennifer put it, it's the first camera we've had since our Canon F-1 where it's actually fun to take photos.  It's got great depth-of-field or 'bokeh' control. This involves a LOT of photos of my feet while sitting on the bed, but also a good number while roaming around Iowa.  There's nothing quite like the sunset over the prairies, and nothing quite like taking a gazillion pictures of it.