Archive for May, 2007

Heaven is …

… peanut butter and chocolate. 

On the weekend I made this Peanut Butter-Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from the Kraft What’s Cooking magazine.  It was easy to make and everyone loved it. 

Remember that early survivor season where the two girls took their tops off for pb and chocolate?  Yeah?  Well I would be seriously tempted to do the same … no desert island and starvation required!   

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On a scale of 1 to 10 …

… how big of a geek am I if I’m excited to be racking a new Dell ML6000 backup unit this afternoon?  (We won’t even talk about the new SAN that’s on order… oh wait… <shudder> … sorry, those were chills going down my back). 

On the same scale, how big of a sheep am I for finally signing up for facebook? 

And finally, on the same scale but on an unrelated topic:  How much do people actually care that Rosie O’Donnell left the view early? 

My answers:  12, 27, and -963

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Instead of planting my garden like I should have last night, a few beers on the deck while sitting in the sun translated to heading to the lake for a paddle.  Brian paddled and I took pictures of our friends’ flower gardens that are just starting to bloom.  Here are a few of my favorite ones… the rest are here http://www.sendspace.com/file/ecfasj along with a few kayaking pictures. 

img_4861-blog.jpg  img_4934-blog.jpg  img_4980-blog.jpg  img_4974-blog.jpg  Pink Tulip

The highlight of the evening was the potato gun, something I’ve heard of before but never witnessed.  It’s amazing what a spark and some hairspray will do!  Here are a few pics.  There rest are here  http://www.sendspace.com/file/2e65gx, including a 7-photo sequence where you can see the flight of the potato! 

img_5094-blog.jpg  img_5084-blog.jpg  img_5082-blog.jpg  img_5020-blog.jpg  img_5079-blog.jpg 

Joe, we definitely  need to get this out when you come home this summer!  We already plan to incorporate some sort of potato gun fun into the “Jugs on the Lake” celebration later in July. 

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Happy Birthday to Brian… Happy Birthday to Brian… Happy Birthday to Brian … Happy Birthday to Brian! 


Off to Presque Isle tonight for a good meal at Gram Russo’s (because it’s always good).  It’s an unassuming place in the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center that makes homemade ravioli and other yummy Italian dishes.  It’s the best Italian food anywhere near here.  Then it’s off to see if we can spend our now-near-equivalent Canadian dollars on some US merchandise made in China or Japan or Malaysia. 

What’s the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten, you ask?  Strega Ristorante in Boston.  I was there alone on training and stumbled across this restaurant boasting that the cast of the Sopranos had visited there recently.  It was fate!  I had Caprese to start (homemade mozzarella … oh god) and the Casarecci Di Marina for an entree (fusilli, sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant, and more fresh mozzarella … oh god).  It was all amazing.  The restaurant definitely has a mafia feel to it.  I was sure the valet was mobbed up 🙂  And on one wall of the restaurant is a bank of flat screen tvs playing several different mobster movies at the same time (goodfellas, godfather, etc).  Very cool.  If you’re heading to Boston, seek it out! 

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Ali’s big day!

Ali is officially a university graduate! 

We were in Saint John for the ceremony on Friday, May 18th.  She graduated from University of New Brunswick in Saint John with a Bachelor of Arts degree, specializing in Sport and Exercise Psychology.  It was a rainy and cold day but a beautiful day.  The ceremony was really nice and a lot quicker than I imagined after hearing that 500+ people would cross the stage. 

Here are a few pictures of my beautiful grad-ee-ated sis! 

img_4784-resized.jpg   img_4782-resized-ii.jpg   img_4763-resized.jpg   Big smiles

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Come on Down!

Bob Barker’s last show airs June 15th.  The guy amazes me. 

He is 83 and still going to work every day.  It’s a posh job with people constantly falling over you, sure, but I have certainly never met an 83-year-old that can move around like he does… even if he does cower from excited contestants a little more in the last few years.

Everyone knows about the Happy Gilmore appearance… but who knew that he played himself in two Family Guy episodes and a Futurama episode?  Not me!  I’ll be sure to downlo… er, watch for them.

He had no children… what a shame!  How cool would it be to hang around the set of the Price is Right as a kid!  You could play Plinko all day long! 

Sure, he’s had a healthy share of harrassment suits over the years … but there’s two sides to every story.  I’m not saying he’s innocent but it’s never tainted my image of him and I’m sure millions of people feel the same way. 

Since I can remember, he’s been a grandfather-type that excites people with games and prizes … is there any other person on this earth that is closer to Santa Claus? 

And the contestants… now these are people that anyone can relate to.  From the marine in uniform to the big-boobed college girl jumping up and down to the country hick in the plaid shirt to the woman in a cowboy-style fringed leather jacket to the tiny wrinkled lady that needs help onto the stage.  There’s something for everyone! 

Let’s talk replacements.  Rumor is it is down to three:  Mark Steines from ET, Todd Newton from the Vegas version of PIR, and George Hamilton.  George Hamilton?!  Really?  REALLY?? 

Personally, I think they should just quit.  They will never find someone to replace Bob.  They would be smarter to just let it be for 10 years or so and then reintroduce it to a new generation. 

Either way, it really is the end of an era. 

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Last night Brian and I went kayaking with our buddies Randy, Keith, and Dave.  We put in on the Presque Isle Stream just above the Tracey Mills bridge.  Within 12.46 seconds I was wet.  There is a rock right under the bridge that channels the water directly into one of its posts … at the last moment, I was swept into the post and went over.  The darkest part of the bruise on my ego came from just having given Randy pointers on how to get through it.  It was not a difficult spot to maneuver .  <sigh> 

Presque Isle Stream 1 – Candice 0

 The only other time I’ve upset in fast water was last summer on the Nashwaak.  After 4-5 days of rain we decided to tackle it:  Keith in his kayak and Brian and I in a canoe along with Nelly.  I’ve never been in water so fast or so white.  The Nashwaak has some tough rapids but we put in below the toughest of those so that statement is only indicative of my experience level.  The stretches of rapids were incessant, one after the other, but we were doing well to handle them. 

Halfway through this particular set of rapids, I look ahead to see Keith pulling his kayak to shore.  Just as I informed Brian of Keith’s troubles, we hit a rapid and took in a lot of water on the right side.  Whether or not it made a difference, Nelly picked that exact moment to lean to the same side of the boat and over we went.  Now THAT was fast and cold water, immediately taking my breath away.  I remember grabbing onto the side of the canoe at the same time that Nelly grabbed onto me:  a paw on each of my shoulders, holding on for dear life. 

To complete the story, Nelly swam to shore just fine.  Keith and I ended up on what would have been an island in lower water and managed to empty his kayak standing in a foot of water.  Brian emptied our canoe on the shore and then drug it upriver so he could get to the island and give us a hand. 

As we were composing ourselves and our gear, Keith checked his GPS and said, “Folks, we’ve just passed through Hell’s Gates”, a noteworthy set of rapids and the toughest one on our stretch.  Those seven words managed to take some of the sting out of the kick the river had just planted firmly on our asses. 

Nashwaak 1 – Candice 0

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Ali and I just spent a week in the dominican … wow! 

We had a great week snorkeling, parasailing, tanning, and eating.  The resort we stayed at, the Caribe Club Princess, was just breathtaking and a paradise for sure.  The grounds were beautiful, our room was perfect, the food was excellent (even for the vegetarian), and the workers were constantly working to keep it that way. 

I will say that anyone who tells you that leaving the resort is not safe… are wrong.  It may be different in a big city but they town nearby our resort felt perfectly safe during the day.  In fact, I would recommend a venture to the outside because what you see on the resort is like a different country altogether than the real Dominican Republic.  The drive from the airport through towns will show you litter-filled ditches and shacks serving as houses:  true poverty.  It’s like you warp to a different world when you get into the resort area where buildings are large and spectacular, lawns are perfectly manicured, and stone walkways maze through the property. 

I could not have imagined how perfect the beach was.  You walk to the water on pure, soft, white sand and it just stretches into the ocean… no seaweed to step and swim through.  The water was warm but still refreshing.  The sun was hot hot hot.  I read that their temperature highs go from 28-32 deg. celsius all year long but it definitely felt hotter.  The sun just feels so much hotter there.  Oh, and it’s not very friendly on a hangover. 

We met a lot of great people, including the crew of employees responsible for running the activities all day long.  They are a really fun bunch and deserve awards for keeping constant smiles on their faces.   

I read a lot of resort reviews before the trip.  Now that I have visited the resort and the island, I can confirm my suspicions that the people writing negative reviews are just the types that aren’t satisfied with anything or were at resorts that were in a completely different class than ours.  Ali and I had absolutely no complaints but we are open-minded people that don’t get upset at the small stuff. 

I would go back in a heartbeat.  To viktor (banana), santo, geraldo (papaya), daniel … manzana and fresa say ‘Ola!’

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