21 February 2010

Where are the Kennedy's?

A lively guessing game is evolving on Twitter and I know that some
Blog followers are not up to tweet speed. Where are the Kennedy's?
Use the picture below as a hint.

14 February 2010

Valentine's Day

I wanted to post quite a few things today as the whole family was out and about. I have become very adept at posting from the iPhone, but we made quite a few quick stops, so I was resigned to waiting until I got home. I apologize in advance as this will be a busy post because it should probably me more than one.

We exchanged some nice candy and gifts in bed this morning before getting up to have some great breakfast with eggs and some of the bread from Yahala chased by a nice french press coffee. We lounged about with some recorded shows on travel and got ready to run some errands. Ana needed some more Speedball screen printing paint for the swim meets ahead and we found Art Systems (http://www.artsystemsfl.com) on the internet. Not far from the house, in Winter Park, Art Systems is a great local art supply store. As we so often do in any store, we found lots of things that we wanted to try. Shannon and I were inspired to start a sketchbook journal. We got a couple pencils and erasers to get us started. Ana had her paint and we were off.

With a quick, unexpected detour at Starbucks, all four of us had room to get into the comfy furniture and relax. We sat for just a few minutes and enjoyed our drinks while discussing various topics. If you do not have a Starbucks Rewards card that is registered, the you are just letting the best things in life pass you by.

We decided to add a stop at Barnes & Noble in order to get a Moleskine sketchbook rather than settle for another. We quickly found them in stock, but decided to look at other art books and see what we might find. After exploring the racks, we found some interesting books on an end cap. "Wreck This Journal" by Keri Smith (http://www.kerismith.com) was more than what we were looking for and exactly what we needed. At her website, she has an insightful blog and a lot of inspiring and thought provoking content. Shannon decided to give this book a try and see where the exercise takes her.

Final stop, we decided on running into Cavallari to grab some burgers and salad. If you have not been to Cavallari yet, do not eat another meal without visiting them. They are a staple in our grocery shopping and have terrific meals and ingredients. The people there are awesome, too, and very helpful as you plan a special meal or just an afternoon cookout.

Home to cook, eat and watch the Olympics. Ana and the kids do not have school tomorrow, so we can stay up late and cheer on the athletes. Happy Valentine's Day!

13 February 2010

Sweet Traditions

After not getting our late lunch in Germany, we headed to France.

Sweet Traditions French Bakery & Cafe was our choice in Winter
Garden. Ana had been there before and had wanted to take us all back
for some time. We had great sandwiches, soups and turkey pot pie. I
had a glass of wine, but we were all too full to try a dessert or
crepes, but we already have a bag of goodies from Yalaha in the
truck. We grabbed a couple hot chocolates and coffees for a walk
around historic Winter Garden in mid-40 degree temperatures.

We saw a few places that will make sure we returned and were treated
to a warm welcome at Wheel Works Bike Shop. We're heading home to
catch up on our recordings of today's Olympic competitions.


Yalaha Bakery

Yalaha Bakery in Yalaha, Florida is an authentic German Bakery that
seems to have been transported from the German countryside directly to
rural Florida. We loaded up on breads and desserts. The pretzels are
amazing. We missed by just a matter of minutes the end of the
sandwich making so we are bagging our goodies for later and heading
off to find lunch.

Winter Olympiad

Well, I was wrong about my prediction for the Super Bowl. Hopefully, the Saints winning the Super Bowl will remind both the owners and the players association during their negotiations what makes the NFL the best sports league in the US is its parity.

The Opening Ceremonies of the 21st Winter Olympics was last night in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. Watching the national delegations march in is always moving, but never as moving as watching the team from Georgia walk in with their flag lowered and one member not with them having died in training earlier that same day. They were beautiful and insightful into what makes Canada great. My favorite parts were probably the bear constellation segue into the whales swimming across the arena or the slam poet talking about the genteel nature and realized dreams of all Canadians. I did not enjoy K.D. Lang adding her stylings to "Hallelujah", but Ana rightly said that they should have used the Canadian Tenors or even Celine Dion. It is my firm belief that K.D. Lang's singing is what made the cauldron malfunction and cause the "Great One" Wayne Gretzky to wait 5 minutes to light the torch.

As during every Olympics Opening Ceremony, I am reminded that I really want to learn how to speak French. Of course, by the time the next two weeks have passed, I will also want to learn to ski, ice skate, play hockey, snowboard, play curling and half a dozen other activities or skills that I have yet to accomplish. If I have not already said, I love huge athletic events that stretch over a period of time. Whether it's a 5- or 7-game series or the NCAA tournament, I love the bracket and the whittling down to a final matchup. College World Series or NFL Playoffs, the win or go home pressure of the tournament is awesome. I love the Ryder Cup and the America's Cup. I get excited for the Olympics because the international dynamic takes the weeks long competition to another level. Of course, the World Cup is my absolute favorite, but I will have to wait just four more months for that particular event.

Stay tuned today for Ski Jumping, Women's Hockey, Speed Skating, Women's Biathlon, Women's Freestyle Moguls, and runs 1 and 2 of Luge should be emotional and challenging. Alpine skiing events and training have been postponed for today.

07 February 2010

Super Sunday

When you work Monday through Friday, every Sunday is super. This Super Sunday is no exception. I am sitting in my favorite spot on the back porch. I have a beef brisket cooking. I have my Sunday paper. The sun is out and the temperature is in the low 60s. I can see quite a few birds playing out by the lake and up in the trees. Ana went to the store and returned with more beer. Life is pretty good.

All the work that I need to do and bills that need paid can wait until tomorrow. The US economy should be one day closer to eventual ressurection when I get back to it.

Who will when tonights game? Well, all week long I have been saying that I really do not care as long as I get a good game and that remains true. As the game approaches it seems like a bit of a cop out to not pick somebody. When pressed for an answer in the last two weeks, I have said that I would take the team with the best players. For me, that is the Colts. So there you have it. The brain says Colts and the heart says Saints. Are you confused? Me too. I want to make a pick but seem to have Analysis Paralysis.

If the Saints don't win this year, it could be a problem as they have lots of free agents going into an uncapped year. However, the Colts are expected to be here again and again. There core is very young and they will make Peyton a $20M man this off season.

Here it is: Saints 35, Colts 45

Reggie Wayne is your MVP.

Wouldn't it be a story if Pierre Garçon got the MVP just three weeks after the earthquake in Haiti?

The Saints are no longer the Aints, but will have to try again because as we know the Saints only win about 30% of their games win a Manning is on the field. Sorry, Archie.

06 February 2010

Red Relief

Long morning at a swim meet and home to clean house. I will continue
working through last night's Merlot in order to take the edge off of a
Saturday that is getting away from me. When this wine was bottled, we
lived in the Keys and the kids were 5 and 3. Now, we live in Orlando
and one of them is about to start high school. I may need a second