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September 15, 2001
a year ago
three years ago
four years ago

Four Outing Day

9:57 pm: A very, very busy day today and some of it far more unintentional than others bits. The beginning was very intentional. We went into Erie and went to the coffee shop and ate breakfast there. We did it eventhough the espresso machine was dead. It had 'blown up' before we got there, and the guy was fairly philosophical about that. He did what he could, and that included, for me, a nice plate of biscuits and gravy and a big cup of hot chai. The chai wasn't so hot, but they weren't adverse to me asking them to microwave it for a bit longer, as it was still lukewarm. They weren't used to the steamer.

John got a very nice chorizo croissant and a cup of coffee that turned into an ever-fill mug of Kona coffee. It was pretty good, so he actually bought a bag of coffee beans as well. Jet cheerfully sat in a high chair and watched us as we got stuff. While we were ordering the sky fell down in a really heavy downpour. It just poured hard and filled the street with water. It was really impressive, and we were very glad that we were inside.

Afterwards, John took us to the truck stop out on 52 and I-25, so he could check and fill all the tires on the Passat. One of them was getting low, still, and it was affecting how the whole car drove. It definitely felt better after John filled it, and it's been a while since we'd checked. Ever since that one tire was fixed, I hadn't even looked at the tires, as it gradually felt more secure. John was, however, keeping an eye on it all and he was great and did the check and refill.

A stop at home happened fairly soon after that and between the two of us we fed Jet both ways. Nursing and then solids and he ate happily. When he was done we left for Longmont as I'd gotten notice that the pictures I'd had taken of Jet last month were ready to be picked up. John did a little detour on the way there, as it was noon and he wanted to try out Swanky Frank's Coney Island Diner. We both thought it was a little hot dog stand as the store front doesn't seem like it could be bigger than thirty feet. The doorway was only five feet wide, including an entry way. So John went in and looked very bemused coming out with the menu. It turns out that it's a full service diner! Since I wasn't that hungry, yet, we decided to do our errand and then come back.

We got there while a little girl was having her pictures taken and after they'd done a pose, the lady photographer came and not only gave us our pictures, but also handed us two prints of every other pose Jet had done and said, "We have a special going, these prints plus two cardboard mattes for framing them, all for 19.95." This was much better than the $40-100 packages they'd been offering. So we bought the special, and it was good. They are a fair size, and I can assess them better for reprint value, and if I want reprints, I should be able to order them soonish.

I really liked the one of him with the paint cans, but that's mostly because I remember having to juggle those paint cans as Jet kept tossing them at the floor. The picture itself isn't all that good, but the memory, itself, is very clear. I may have to get a few reprints of that and the one with the star background.

We also did a fair amount of shopping while we were there. Just random stuff we had thought we'd have to pick up at an office supply or something else, but we ended up getting while we were there since Wal-Mart has everything and cheaply. There was once a time when I considered Wal-Mart the Anti-Christ, but now it's just convenient and cheap and it has things that are hard, usually, to find together.

Afterwards it was nearly 2, so we decided to have lunch. Swanky Frank's was an honest to gosh diner, with a surly teenage waitress who wasn't acting when she said that she thought John's peanut butter shake was disgusting, and then completely forgot to take our order. One of the more experienced waitresses came to our rescue, apologized nicely and our food was up as quickly as it was made. John ordered a hamburger, I did the obvious specialty and got a hot dog. John got onion rings that were big and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Really nice onion rings. I ordered chili cheese fries with my dog, and they were astonishing. Crisp, battered fries with loads of dense red chili on 'em and a mountain of grated cheese. They were pretty much a meal to themselves. The dog was supposedly their Swanky Frank, which had grilled vegetables on it and Ranch Dressing. I didn't really want the dressing, and the veggies were a bit sparse; however, the hot dog itself was obviously natural casing, had a good blend of meats and spices, and, best of all, it snapped when I bit into it.

The snap of an East Coast hot dog is one of the quality marks. The casing balanced with the filling has to be just right so that the casing will actually snap against the firmness of the meat when one bites into it. It was also really yummy. Though, after having had the chili cheese fries, I think I would have really loved a chili dog with cheese instead of the dubious vegetables. I'll know for next time.

No. I do not eat healthy foods in a diner. It would be a shame.

Home again, home again, jig a de jig. And another marathon feeding session for Jet. Then I got out my circular blade and cutting board and went at the pictures. I think that the cheap package, half the cost savings is in cutting the pictures, or not cutting the pictures apart. I started having a hard time with a steel straightedge because I was pressing too hard against the edge. Eventually, I got it right. What was harder was deciding if I really wanted a white border around the pictures or not. With the wallet sized ones there was a lot to practice on, so I did some of both.

I got much better using the straightedge. I kind of practiced on the small ones and when I got to the larger ones it got easier and easier. Whew. I finally got a completely even border on all the really large pictures, and felt pretty pleased with myself.

Joan, Alex and Haley were leaving tomorrow for three weeks. Joan said, the last time she had some time away from Jet, that she'd missed him, so we wanted to give her some pictures before she left. So we went on over and they were there, all packed and Alex was so ready to go he kept telling his mom that the next time Haley got changed it was time to go. They kept trying to tell him that it wasn't going to be until tomorrow; and it would stick for a while.

Joan loved the pictures. I was glad. He's going to be a whole notch bigger, faster, and more coordinated when she's back. She said that it's be likely that he'd be crawling by the time she got back. We'll have to see how quickly that actually progresses. It was really comfortable to just sit with Ray, Joan, Alex and Haley and just talk with them about all kinds of stuff. I was thinking about it and realized it was much more comfortable being there, in part because their house really is kid-proofed for their kids. If we'd been at our house there would have been some watchfulness going on by everyone as to what Haley or Alex was getting into that we'd left out for them because Jet couldn't get there, yet. Plus Haley and Alex had their own toys and stuff to interest them, which they wouldn't have had at our house, either. So it was pretty cool to just be where it all just worked out through use.

We'll see how the Goodell's get through security and how their flight goes and that'll probably give Paul some indication as to how it will be for him.

Jet got hungry, eventually, and we went home to feed him. I nursed him, and while I nursed him I checked on the VCR on more time. So... I missed recording Good Eats last Wednesday, mistakenly recorded a half hour on Saturday instead of Sunday which was when this particular episode was on again, so I'd missed recording True Brew 2: Mr. Tea twice already. I didn't want to miss it this time, today at 7. It was 6, so I thought if there's any mess up I'll have plenty of time to fix it in an hour. So I got the remote while Jet was nursing, and while I was getting a grip on it, I accidentally hit 'Eject'. And the VCR tried to eject the tape.

Since I was stuck to the couch, I asked John to put the tape back into the VCR for me. He went over, tried to push it back and an it wouldn't go. He peered, the tape wasn't coming all the way out. So, being an ex-technician in an electronics repair shop, he found the screwdriver, took out the screws and popped the top. He reached in and pushed the tape out from the inside. The label had gotten loose and made the tape stick to the inside of the tape bay. He straightened that out, popped it back in and that worked beautifully.

Then we tried to play the tape. Instead of playing, it would fast forward for a section, and then stop as if trying to change heads, and then fast forward for a few more minutes. It just cycled through those things and ignored any input from the remote, the front keys, or any control on the box. Eek. We tried it a few times and pretty much determined that it was dead.


I wasn't going to get my recording at 7.

It was on again at 10 pm.

We looked at each other. John nodded and we piled into the Baby Buggy and made a bee line for Sound Track. They were having a sale on everything in the store, including near-obsolete VCRs. We managed to find a nice Sony VCR for under $100, and on paying for it found that the fee for simply looking at a VCR was $129, so we did pretty well. Jet had fun making faces at the sales guy, who had fun making them back and the two of them played quite happily while John and I got to look at stuff. John also got some information on dishes, but the cost to performance ratio still isn't quite there yet. It was very nice simply being that decisive about getting the new VCR. No crying over the milk already spilt, we just got what we came for and went home and John put everything together while I made spaghetti sauce from a bunch of Joan's tomatoes. No one else in her family eats tomatoes and she planted plenty for us as well as herself.

I had fun putting it all together, and it was good that we'd had a late lunch, as our dinner was pretty late. Jet passed right out when he finished eating. John and I peered mildly at the VCR when 10 rolled around and it went on like clockwork. We watched the episode, just to break the jinx that way around, too, and, sure enough, when the episode was done, it was captured clearly on tape as well. Whew.

So Jet had four trips out today, one unintentional, but all in all, he did great. I think the feeding breaks at home helped a lot. We'll have to see how he does tonight.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.