December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

I am sort of cheating on this prompt, as I was packing the night of the 9th to leave on a roadtrip the following morning to Baltimore for the weekend. I was pretty convinced that the Festivus party I would be attending down there would be vastly superior to any others I had over the year, so I put this post off until after my week of madness.

More »

Adrienne came up for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Nothing terribly eventful there. I was invited over to join Greg and his family for Thanksgiving, so we took them up on that offer. Food at both places was awesome! We consumed some 4Loko1 later on in the weekend while playing cribbage. We also checked out Cafe Capitano2 on Hertel Ave (just around the corner from my place), and I managed to steal a deal at Best Buy3 on Black Friday (shockingly4).

In other geek news, I’m loving my new and improved Android phone5! I have setup Victoria to compile the custom Android OS from the source code, and it does so in a blinding hurry6. Now I just need to figure out how to tweak the source files so I can get it to build the signed zip file with Swype and the associated library file intact7.

The pinot gris is about ready for one last racking before bottling. I should have ignored part of the last instruction set for this kit, but my OCD nature insisted I try to follow them to the T. Particular failure on my behalf! I’m debating offering a bottle each to my committee members (provided it still turns out okay), as I’m going to be inundated with a lot of bottles (roughly 30?). I’m taking requests for anyone interested in trying it!

My finances have been all over the place recently. I hunkered down and got MoneyDance running again and built a budget in it, so it’s time to see where the hell I’ve been putting (or wasting) all my residual income. A superficial glance says I should be recovering at least a few hundred a month, so it’s time to scrutinize what’s going on.

1The initial and continuing taste on the palette is just fine (at least for the grape), but the residual after-taste is a devil. Get rid of that part, and you’ve got a solid product on your hands Phusion Projects!
2Delicious little joint! Owned by a delightful older fellow, it has a cozy lil’ atmosphere going on inside. Drool-worthy stuffed peppers in there, and they have a fantastic tomato florentine soup, mmm!
3Seasons 1 through 5 of Weeds on BluRay for $10 each! Dayum!
4I loathe Black Friday. I hate crazy drivers and congested traffic to start with, so this day just starts out as an epic failure in my mind. Combine that with having to get up early (and fighting even worse traffic) to even acquire most of the good deals, you can pretty much count me out of the whole smorgasbord altogether!
5T-Mobile’s G2, a derivative of the HTC Vision. Solidly running CyanogenMod 6.1 release candidate 3, with the nightly (giving me legit FM radio reception now, too)!
6The half-hour’ish that it takes my laptop is left in the dust by the four to five minutes it takes the Mac Pro to compile everything and package it. *whistles*
7I have to manually re-install the packages after every CyanogenMod update. I suppose I could just write a script to install from a local copy on the microSD card, but wouldn’t it just be more fun to have it already packaged with the OS when it’s compiled?

I always keep talking about posting more, and I always keep failing at that. Less of a promise now, and more just a hope that I will. My weeks pan out to busier than they expect to be, and on the ones that I’m free, I’m too lazy to do anything with them. I could afford to mix it up a tad, or something. I’ll just add that to the never ending list of “notes to self.”

Last week wasn’t too bad, aside from the exhaustion part of it. Friday before last (7/23/2010) I participated in the Canalfest 4-mile Tim Frank Memorial run and added that to my growing repertoire of completed road races. I’m far from being able to jog/run an entire race, but a) my pace is slowly picking up with each road race, and b) I’m slowly making it farther at the initial run of the race before I have to take a walking break. With my latest road race last Wednesday (the Ronald McDonald House 5K, despite complications1), I finally slipped under the 12-min mile average pace, and I was pushing something along a 10’ish-minute mile for the entire first mile. I was rather pumped by this news! However, between the close temporal proximity of those two road races and the “fun run” practice run I did on Monday2, I really had no energy left for the week and my tibialis anterior was a little sore and tender from all the work.

Adrienne came up and crashed for the weekend, as we had pre-planned with Greg and Kelly to attend the Kings of Leon concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, showcasing the opening bands The Stills and Built to Spill. At $70 a ticket, the show was a bit pricy. I only caught half of The Stills on stage3, but they were great to see nonetheless. Built to Spill was much as I was expecting, considering their latest album There is No Enemy is what I’ve heard the most of from them. Kings of Leon was fairly good, but I’m not a huge listener of their music4, and their rock became somewhat predictable as I listened to their songs I was unfamiliar with. And as Adrienne said, the fireworks at the end were pretty paltry for a rock concert5. All in all, good show all around, but probably not worth the money shelled out for the tickets.

There’s more stuff I’d like to dip into, but my shitty sleeping repertoire lately is causing me to try to rectify that situation and become better rested so I can recover a little more effectively from this new attempt at a running habit. I think those other posts will just have to wait on an expectant attempt to post repeatedly this week as long as I can remember to!

1The sky darkened rather rapidly prior to the race with a heavily suggested chance of heavy rain and potentially strong thunderstorms. Not more than 5 minutes into the run, the rain started to come down, and kept raining substantially for roughly 30 minutes. First run in a drenching rain, ever. Best time ever, but also the most exhausting. Once my shoes were soaked through, I was concerned about the leaden lift with each stride of my legs, and mostly about the possibility of developing some evil blisters.
2I’m running on a bit of a “high on life” kick, and so when I got home and my roommate was busy using the kitchen to make herself some dinner, I decided to go off on my first practice run since I started running these road races. I also wasn’t intending to run a road race two days later, so I would have reconsidered that fun run had I planned things out a little further than two days. That pushed me up to something like ~11 miles within a week. I haven’t ran that much in even a two month period, let alone within a period of six days!
3Pre-gaming the concert had us coming into the venue a little late. I personally thought The Stills would’ve been the middle act of the three as I thought they were a bigger deal than Built to Spill, despite the fact that The Stills have only been around since 2000 with three albums, and Built to Spill has been around since 1992 with a lot more albums. Oops!
4I have really only heard their music on the radio and on XM radio, so I was familiar with only maybe five or six of their songs en totale. I like some of their songs, but they remind me too much of Nickelback after they left their good ol’ post-grunge music and went popular mainstream rock. Booo!
5Adrienne has been to far more mainstream venues than myself. Every venue I have been to to date has had a maximum capacity of no more than a couple thousand, whereas she’s been to some pretty big shows, including Green Day, Dropkick Murphys, and Weezer just to name a few!

I disappeared down to Baltimore, MD, just over a week ago on a completely short-notice lark. I’ll detail that more later with a beaming review of Art Brut‘s second to last concert of their tour. I’m falling behind on this blog, so I need to step it up a notch!

Lookit the pretty pictures! Okay, so *I* think they’re pretty. Go take a look if you’re curious. I took a few while I was in Cunningham Falls State Park before I left Maryland. Here’s one with Adrienne (my good friend from the Midwest, and delightful host for my stay) on our way back down the mountain.

Big Hunting Creek