Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Let's start this blog up again...

Gee, has it really been 7 months since I last posted??? Opps. The only thing I can say is this...

Things have just been crazy for me. I was moved to a different office a little over a year ago to help fill in for another employee that quit and it went down hill from there. It seemed like it was a constant battle with my co-workers on getting things done, communicating, etc... I would bust my butt from 7:30am till 4-4:30pm hardly seeing my desk for hours on end, and the others in my office would be back at theirs surfing the internet. All of this would result in me being totally exhausted when I got home and the last thing I wanted to do was to try and come up with creative and interesting blog entries. I just wanted to hop online and play a few rounds of BattleField 2 or 2142 and kill things. While I still want to kill things on the computer, a few weeks ago, I was again transferred to another office to fill in for another co-worked that left, and now that I'm settled in and the pace of this office is much more laid back and the customers are less demanding so it's like a working vacation for me. This means I might actually have time to start working on my blog entries.

Soooo, I'm going to once again try to get on here and start posting. I know in one of my last entries I said my sister was going to start posting, but I got lazy and we never did get her access to the blog setup, so I'm going to get that going as well.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Updates - coming soon,

I know it's been over 3 months since my last update. I'm sorry and I hope to have some updates up soon. Thanks to Google making some new changes, I'm able to add my other sister (not Biscuit Girl) as an author on this blog.

I've just been real busy with work, and have just not had the ambition to post. I've also had to start taking "on-call" support at work, and while it's not taking up all my time, it just seems that I got the short straw and have had to work around all of the Holidays since before Thanksgiving this year. It's not hard work, but it can lead to some sleepless night. I've either dreamed the pager went off and it startled you out of a sound sleep, or I toss and turn expecting it to go off. It really mucks up my weekends and I almost always get paged when I'm doing something good or decide to go out from the house to shop or take care of errands.

So, that and the fact that I've been lazy have lead to my blog going to the sidelines. But I do have lots of picutres from The Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Disney World, Thanksgiving, and Christmas that I've made a resolution to create atleast 2 blog entires every month in 2007.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Probably the longest two weeks of my life...

Well, with less than 2 weeks before Dough-girl and I head off to DisneyWorld, it seems like these are going to be the absolute two longest weeks of my life.

If you managed to read my last post...yes it was kind of long-winded and confusing, but it's not really that confusing, once you sort out the stuff you're not going to see or do. The biggest thing is to don't second guess your decisions. I've read so many threads on WDW related baords where people actually make 2-4 different dinner reservations for each night because they cannot make up thier mind and then a day or 2 before the reservation cancel the ones they are not going to use. This I feel is crazy, you're tying up seats that could've been reserved by others months ago, thus forcing us to either reserve at our 2nd or 3rd choice for dinner, and then we have to call within the 2 day window and hope we can get the reservations we wanted, and then cancel the ones we had made months ago...then we were tying up seats that others could've reserved.....AHHHHHH, the madness.....LOL

So, as my ever-so-kind over-planning sister commented about in my last thread... NO, I DID NOT PLAN THE BATHROOM BREAKS!!!??? OMG...I FORGOT TO PLAN BATHROOM BREAKS...PANIC TIME !!!!! I'll have to re-do all the plans, change reservations...... NOT!!! Our plans are not that detailed, nor are they that tight that we'll be stopping at a certain time to pee. Give me a break, I'm not as bad as Biscuit-Girl.

So, As I've been printing out iteneraries and sample park schedules (They're ONLY sample plans), this we can see if riding Space Mountian is better in the morning or afternoon as far as the lines and crowds are concerned. And since it's just the wife and myself, we can skip the kiddie rides and shows and move onto riding Dumbo a second time before we stop for lunch. And these sample schedules also tell you things like if the temperature is below 65 that morning, then you need to skip certain things at Animal Kingdom, since the "guests of honor" won't be out. Or if it's too hot many of them won't be very active. Other things include like not riding certain rides in the morning and getting a fast-pass to ride it later in the day. According the the "experts" they say two active adults can see everything in the Magic Kingdom in one day and still have time to relax and not fight the crowds or long lines.

Anyway, it's back to the planning (now where are the closest bathrooms to space mountain on the way to Main Street?). Oh, and If I think about it (or have time), I'll maybe post some day-to-day reports live from Disney....

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Wonderful World of Disney...

Besides work, work and more work, I've been busy working on planning and organizing a trip to Disney World for the wife and I. This is not the first time we've been to Disney World. We went a few years ago for a long weekend and went to Epcot, and another time just for MGM-Studios. We had a blast both time, but figues it was time to go all out and spend an entire week in the parks and just "blow 'em out".

We booked this trip almost a year ago, and over the months I've researched and talked to others on Disney-themed forums such as Allears.net, DIS Discussion board, and TourGuideMike.com. I've also ready through various books from BirnBaum, Passporters, and other authors. But the one site that helped me the most has been www.TourGuideMike.com. This guy used to be a tourguide for Walt Disney World, and people used to pay him (actually Disney) thousands of dollars a day to take them through the park and hit the rides at teh right time to avoid lines, take them to teh best restaraunts, the least crowded parks, and just have the optimal Disney experience as possible. Well, he's now sharing that information with those that come to his website and sign up for his service for a mere $21.95. What this gets you is all the information you can handle (sometime too much at one time) for the entire time before your vacation till 30 days after (so you can report back on your experiences to others).

Mike covers it all. From hotels, to transportation in Disney, to Dining (from snacks to elegant dinners), to where to stand for the best viewing for the parades and fireworks. But be warned, there is soo much information in this site that you can become overwhelmed very quickly.

While I cannot give out any of his proprietary information (Mike still has contacts within Disney that share information with him), I can tell you that if you are planning on going to Disney, you better start planning around 1 year in advance. While some of the information about "least crowded parks", Special events", Extra Magic Hours, etc.. don't get published till a few months before, you can use last years info for research and reference.

The wife and I are going during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, so I started there and figured out the dates we wanted to go. Then we picked our Hotel - the Carribean Beach Resort. After that we got the Disney Magic Your Way Park Hopper tickets, these allow us to go to different parks each day (park hopping). Then we added on the Disney Dining Plan, this is realy a good deal as each member of your party gets 1 Coutner Service meal, 1 Table service meal, and 1 snack per day for a set price. It cost about $38 per day per person, but you'll easily spend $50 if you buy the exact same things without the plan. One thing to note is that most restaraunts inside Disney get crowded quickly at meal time and you have to get Advance Dining Reservations (ADR's) well in advance. Most places have a 180 days policy, meaning you can book up to 180 days in advance. Some places fill up fast, others slowly. One example is Cinderella's Breakfast, it fills up in the first few days of the 180 day window. But others like Raglan Road, and Irish restaraunt, had plenty of opening for us at less than 45 days prior.

BUT, don;t make reservations just yet. You have to decide if you want to see the fireworks, parades, certain shows, etc... Each of those will determine if you eat dinner at 4:30, 5:00, or later. If you don't want to see the Wishes parade a Magic Kingdom, then eat at 4pm. If you don;t want to see the fireworks, then eat at 8pm.

Then you have to figure out what attractions, rides, shows you want to see as they will determin if you ride it as soon as the park opens or get a fast-pass and come back later in the day. Some rides are easy to ride at park opening, and late in the evening (before closing), and others are easy to get onto any time of day. If you go with children, you have to plan differently then my wife and I would, since we're not going on the smaller rides or children's shows we can skip portions of the park.

It seems like a lot of planning and would seem like you wouldn't have fun at the park because of "the schedule". While it is a lot of planning and decision making, you'll appreciate it when you show up for dinner, there are people waiting around all over the place, and you walk up and give your name and are seated within 10 minutes while the rest wait over an hour for a table. Also, walking up to a ride and getting on it within 20 minutes instead of 1-2 hours. All of this planning will result in you beign able to rind some rides multiple times easily, and even take a 2 hour break in the afternoon, go back to the hotel to freshen up, take a nap, and return to the park recharged and ready to go several more hours while those that were there all day have screaming, cranky, or unruley kids slowing them down.

Anyway...time to get back to my planning....Not really, I'm almost done. I only need to look at the rides for each park and cross off the ones we won't go to. Everything else is planned, reserved and ready to go......Now where did I put my sunscreen and hat????

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I need to be taken out back and flogged

Ok, so I've been bad and forgettful and neglected my blog yet again !!!! I'm sorry, I should be taken out back and flogged with a .....er, nevermind. I don't need to go there...

Anyway, once again things got busy, and I wasn't very creative with my cooking, unless you consider scrambled eggs and bacon fancy cookin'.

Well, since the last update my wifes grandmother (guess that makes her my grandmother-in-law) passed away. She was in the hospital and we found out she had terminal colon and liver cancer....yea, not very good news. Well, upon further investigation we found that all treatments had been stopped and they were trying to get her into a hospice or other facility. A few days later she was put into a Rehabilition Facility (I guess it was the only one to take her insurance and volume of O2 she required). About a week and a half later we were called to say she passed away. So the last few weeks have been a mad dash to go throught her home and sort out the good stuff from the garbage.

Now that her place is cleared out, the junk hauled away, the trash piled into dumpsters, and the important papers and valuable furniture hauled to our home we have started on sorting through boxes and boxes of cancelled checks, and bank statements from the 1950's to current; notes scribbled down on nakpins and envelopes; to saved newspapers from landing on the moon, to the 1982 World's Fair, and the Blizzard of 1998. If anyone needs toilet paper, just let me know because we have enought TP to last us till the next iceage.

All of that aside, I'm still taking my mini-vacation to D.C. to see my sis and enjoy Sushi till I grow gills, and attend a cooking class at Galileo this Saturday. It's a 5 course meal featuring lobster. YUMMMMMM. I'll be sure to take pictures and post them when I get home.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A tasty opportunity...

My sister and I have been talking over the last few weeks about taking some cooking classes (Yea, like we need cooking lessons!!). For those that read Biscuit Girl's blog (http://yougonnaeatallthat.blogspot.com/), you know that she lives around the Washington D.C. area. That area has probably the highest amount of culinary choices/experiences anyone could imagine. Many of the restaraunts in the area offer cooking classes, or demonstrations that include hands-on preparation, cooking, and plating, as well as wine pairings/tastings.

Biscuit Girl sent me a pretty large listing of restaraunts that offer cooking classes. There were so many to choose from...Lebanese, Italian, French, Asian, you name it.... The prices of these courses ranged from $40-$250 per class and last about 4 hours. While I could not come to a decision on the course I wanted to take, nor the time I wanted to take it, Biscuit Girl made the decision for me. We are going to take a course at Galileo working with lobster !!! YUMMMMM. It was a tough decision for me, especially not living in te area (I live in East Tennessee), so I'll have to fly up there and airfares are not cheap right now. Luckily I found a decently cheap flight, just over $200 round-trip. At least I'll be able to fly into Reagan National Airport, hop on the Metro, go a few stops and be at Biscuit Girl's home in no time.

One of the hardest parts of taking this class is I'll have to leave my wife, Dough-girl, at home. She really, really, wants to go back to D.C. to hit a few of the touristy spots that we were forced to miss due to 9/11. But she's not able to take the time off from work right now. I really hate doing this, but she'll have our two cats (Mini and Skittles) to comfort some. THANK YOU HONEY, I LOVE YOU !!!

I'll definitely post more on this when we take the class at the end of July.....Stay tuned...

Loosing track of time...

Wow, I cannot believe how long it's been since I last posted. It's been 7 weeks since my last post and I can only say....D'oh....

I've been reminded several time by my sister, Biscuit Girl, that I haven't updated my blog in a while. Each time I'm reminded, I have all good intention of writing up something and getting it in there, but little things distract me and I would forget about the blog.

I do have a few pictures of meals I've made, and I hope to post them up this week. While I have not looked at the pictures in quite a while, I have no idea of what I'll be writing up....LOL. I know it'll be good, I just can't recall what meal I did take pictures of and what I missed.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

And now for the pizza

Ok, I know it's over a week late, but here is the much anticipated pizza entry.

#1 - mozzarella and diced roma tomatoes

#2 - carmelized onions and prosciutto

#3 - carmelized onions, prosciutto, and roma tomatoes