2005 Rose Family Events Archives...
01/01/05: Happy New Year!
Well, here it is another year. Another opportunity to grow and prosper despite all the adversity. I plan on doing just that. My best wishes to you for a good year as well.

Took myself out to dinner for New Year's Eve - just to Applebee's but it was great fun. Then went to a movie. Rented some videos, went home and watched one of them for awhile then Colin came over. We chatted for awhile but he was really tired so after he left, I continued with my movie, watched the ball drop, then back to the movie and to bed around 1:30.

Movie day all day New Year's day and fixed Italian Green Beans and Tomatoes for dinner. It came out pretty good and I had a ball all day just hanging out. I spent Sunday writing and Monday is my last day off work from my 2004 allotment so I'll just catch up on some "stuff".

01/23/05: Huge Winter Storm Hits!
We got hit with a huge winter storm last night (Saturday). 2 feet of snow with howling wind just about shut us down for the day!

I had taken myself out to dinner to the Barn Tavern here in Dover last night just as the snow was getting started. Because of the storm warnings, they had quite a few dinner reservations cancel out, but a surprising number of folks braved it out anyway and came in stomping their boots off. Had a great meal - highly recommend the Chicken Saute - with a couple of decent glasses of their house Shiraz. Stopped by Cartellie's Bar and Grill on my way home and had another glass of Shiraz and chatted with the bartender Dean. I hadn't been into Cartellie's since Christmas Eve, so Dean and I traded Christmas Day cooking and movie watching stories.

By the time I got home, there was about 2 inches down, the wind was blowing pretty good, and I was glad to settle into the movie The Italian Job. I listened to the wind howl all night.

When I got up in the morning, it was spectacular. Check out a few pictures by clicking this link!

01/29/05: The Great 2005 Welcome In The New Year Backgammon Tournament And Italian Risotto coi Stuff Party!
It's time to get together again and have another backgammon party and welcome in the New Year. Check out the details by clicking this link!

02/04/05: Saw Tim Sample!
I had an opportunity to see Tim Sample at the Rochester Opera House. I had heard several cuts from albums he had done, but I had never seen him. He is a riot! Maine humor at its best. And my first time to the Rochester Opera House; it is a very cozy venue and we had a great time! Would go to see Sample again any time!

02/06/05: The Great 2005 Super Bowl Backgammon Tournament And Pizza Party!
I only watch football Thanksgiving, New Year's day, and the Super Bowl - sometimes. But I feel it my obligation to support the Patriots. So, I put the word out that if anyone was looking to play some backgammon, have some pizza and beer (or Coke), and watch the game, to come on over at 3:30 on Sunday 02/06/05 and let's do it! Check out more pictures!

02/13/05: Snowboarding At Gunstock!
I had promised Marissa that I would take her snowboarding up to Gunstock in Gilford, NH this winter. So Sunday 20/13 we did it as my Valentine's gift to her. Check out more pictures!

02/18/05: Saw Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap!
Had a really busy week at work and so I was really ready to see Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap playing at the Seacoast Repertory Theater in Portsmouth, NH. It had been years since I had seen this play, and I really enjoyed it. My kind of evening out! Then had a late dinner at Applebee's and wandered home about midnight. That's the way to start a weekend!

02/21/05: Trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL!
We just needed to get out of the snow and cold for awhile and what better place than Universal Studios in Oralndo, FL. We left in a blizzard and came back the day after a blizzard and in between had wonderful days in the low 80s. How much better could that be! Our last trip to Universal in 2003 was almost to the day we left this year. For more details and pictures click here!

03/12/05: Snowed In!
Friday when I left work at 4pm it was threatening of snow but clear. By the time I got South of Portland, ME, it was snowing pretty hard. The trip across through the Berwicks was really tough; almost blizzard conditions but beautiful. I loved it!

This was supposed to be the weekend for The Great 2005 St. Patricks Day Backgammon Tournament And Irish Feast, but I decided Friday to postpone it to next weekend because I just knew this was going to be a really tough storm. Good call because by the time it was over we had got probably over a foot! And it was a heavy dangerous snow to boot... Not good to drive in.

I got Marissa in the middle of the storm Saturday afternoon. Roads were pretty clear but filling up; trucks weren't really able to keep up with it. I drove her over to the high school parking lot and let her see how the car handles in broad slides, donuts, power turns, panic stops with wheels straight and hard over. She did pretty good and learned a lot.

Then we drove up to get some videos and pizza. When we got back to the house, I zapped up some popcorn and we watched the movie Marissa insisted on getting: Alien VS Preditor. She just loves that thing. It was just great with the backdrop of the snow storm raging outside.

Colin showed up about 5pm with his friend Isaac so we all watched the end of that and then as we ate pizza we watched Wing Commander. But Colin and Isaac wanted to go out into the storm and use Isaac's truck to do some plowing. Marissa and I finished that movie and then watched Flight of the Phonix - which turned out to be a pretty good flick. Before that started, I lit a fire and that was really nice as the snow just continued to fall.

When that movie was over, Marissa and I had a snack and then she wanted to watch Twister. Hey, I was up for that and the fire was still crackling away nicely. But Marissa only made it for about half the movie. She was pooped and headed off to bed. She finished it when she got up Sunday morning though!

Sunday, Marissa and I just lazed around in the morning after I read the paper and had a cup of coffee. After we watched the movie G.I. Jane on tv, we went shopping and just could not belive the huge mountains of snow piled up everywhere! Unbelievable! Winter in New England for sure!

03/19/05: The Great 2005 St. Patricks Day Backgammon Tournament And Irish Feast!
By popular demand, I'm hosting another backgammon tournament! This time, we are in celebration of St. Patrick's Day and we had an Irish feast of corned beef and cabbage and Killian's Irish Red! Is this great or what! Saturday March 12th from 3:00pm (or 2:30 for early birds…) until it's done - whenever that ends up being. Check it out!

03/26/05: Footloose on Friday night!
Went to the musical Ragtime at the Seacoast Repitory Theater in Portsmouth. I'm not much on musicals, but had been interested in seeing this. Was not disappointed. Nice dinner looking out over the Piscataqua River at the Sheraton Harborside before. Long musical, though: 3 hours so it did press my attention span...

03/27/05: Easter Happenings!
Happy Easter from the Rose's! I decided to celebrate all weekend so Saturday I had a small gathering over. We played some backgammon, feasted on pizza, and watched a movie. Then Sunday, Marissa and I cooked up a huge 7 pound ham that she had made me buy. Colin came over mid morning, and we played some backgammon and watched a movie. It was a great time and here are the pictures to prove it!

04/02/05: La Bottine Souriante!
Went to see La Bottine Souriante, a French Canadian band, at The Music Hall in Portsmouth after having a marvelous meal at Currents Bistro. The band performs a mix of classical, jazz, pop, and French Canadian traditional folk music. This 10 piece troupe was formed in 1976 in Quebec, and they were just terrific!

04/16/05: Everybody On Injured Reserve!
Well, this has been quite the week for us. I went to the emergency room Sunday morning after jamming my finger wrestling with Marissa Saturday night. I tore the tendon on my right ring finger and will be in a splint for the next 8 weeks. Then I got a call Tuesday from Colin that he had to take Pat into the ER for severe pain. She spent the day in ER and at various specialists until they identified what was wrong and sent her home to heal up. Then on Friday night when I got home from work, Marissa met me at the door and held up a very swollen right hand pinky finger caused at Lacrosse practice. Off to the ER we go and now she is all splinted up for 2 - 4 weeks! Almost the whole fam-damly is on injured reserve!

04/16/05: Out To Dinner For Colin's 18th Birthday!
Marissa and I took Colin out for an 18th brthday celebration to Uno's Bar and Grille here in Dover. He had his choice of anywhere, and this is where he wanted us to take him. He was busy with his first scuba diving class on Tuesday, so we had to postpone til tonight. It was a great time. We came home and watched the movie Cat Woman and then called it a night. Happy Birthday, Colin!

04/21/05: Marissa Plays In Lacrosse Game!
The x-ray report from the hospital showed a tiny fracture that needed to be splinted for a week. Marissa was so excited that she worked out with the team though of course didn't play in Monday's game. But she really wanted to play in the game Thursday against Somersworth. She was great and though her finger was sore after the game, she was fine. I'm really glad she had so much fun as she just loves to play. She will have to take it easy for another week or so, but she knows this. Good going Marissa!

04/22/05: Marissa and Colin Get Great Grades!
Progress reports came out and both Colin and Marissa got terrific grades. In fact, Marissa made the honor roll so I am very proud of her hard work. Other than English, Colin did really well too. Comment from his teacher summed it up pretty good: "Senioritis". Hey! You're not out yet, buddy. You gotta keep it locked down for another couple of months!

04/23/05: The Great 2005 Spring Fling Backgammon Tournament and Pizza Special!
It was way over due time for another backgammon party! So, I decided to hold a Spring Fling backgammon tournament! Check out more action on the page The Great 2005 Spring Fling Backgammon Tournament And Pizza Special.

04/28/05: Peter's Excellent Adventure In Portland!
Our development team at work was treated to a terrific dinner at The Street & Company restaurant in the Olde Port of Portland, ME by the contractors from ThoughtWorks. There were 10 of us at dinner, and it was a great time. If you go, try the Scallops In Penrod Cream sauce - outstanding. We enjoyed several different bottles of wine and a great desert selection.

From there, 7 of us went over to the Una Wine Bar & Lounge for an after dinner drink. The place was hoppin' and a great time. Then, Shyam, Aslak, Ramon and I decided to hit the Brian Boru club. I had an hour drive home, so just ordered a Pepsi but knew I was in trouble when the guys lined the Tequila shots up on the bar.

What was I to do but participate - particularly after they offered to put me up with them in one of the apartments right in Portland they were staying in. And if that wasn't enough, at some point further along in the night I recall (somewhat vaguely…) depth charges of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey in Guinness - a truly enlightening experience. I stayed in Portland that night. I did make my 8:30am meeting, though I was moving about half speed for most of the morning.

05/01/05: Saw Carrie Coltrane!
I saw an ad for Carrie Coltrane at the Stone Church in Newmarket, NH and thought that would be fun. Certianly a much more subdude activity than Thursday night's escapade in Portland. Had a nice dinner there, and thought the show was great - she did a "Tribute to Bonnie Raitt". I hadn't been to The Stone Church in over 20 years. What a great renovation job!

05/03/05: Pictures of Marissa's Lacrossse Home Game!
I was able to attend Marissa's Lacrosse game today because it was a home game. They won 9 to 6 with Marissa scorring 3 goals! It was a really exciting game. Both teams were really pushing it because with just 12 minutes to play the head Ref stopped the game and told everyone to lay the sticks down on the ground and take 5 to cool off. Here are some pictures from that game.

05/06/05: Marissa Battles It Out On The Lacrosse Field!
Marissa had a really great showing in her last Lacrosse game. Though Dover lost 7 to 5, Marissa scored 3 of the goals. It was an away game and so I wasn't able to make it, but she must have been all over the place! Good goin' Ris!

05/06/05: An Enjoyable Dinner Out!
On my way home from work, I stopped off in York, ME to visit the grand opening of my karate student JulieAnna Knoettner's new wine and cheese shop Trillium. I got to sample several different cheeses and had a glass of wine. Great way to kick off a Friday night!

It had been awhile since I had dinner at Cartellie's Bar and Grill here in Dover. It was Friday night, and I was looking forward to a relaxing dinner there. And I was not disappointed. There was a guitar duo playing in the bar and the place was quite busy. I had angel hair pasta with chicken in a pommadoro sauce that was spectacular.

After that, the evening was topped off with a wonderful glass of Merlot down in Portsmouth at The Oar House. Ceres Street, where the Oar House is and runs along the water, was teaming with folks out for a good time. Close to the Oar House is where the tugboats tie up. These tugs guide all of the large ships into and out of Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River. It's almost Summer; you can just feel the energy in the air! And I am r-e-a-d-y!

05/07/05: Some Saturday Night Backgammon!
One of my karate black belts, Rick Downs, came over tonight for some pizza and backgammon. He had brought some ice cream and fudge sauce over for Marissa. We had to restrain ourselves not to get into it in her absence as she was with some friends for the evening.

Not that we could have had any of it, though. We were both stuffed from all the pizza we had. And besides the pizza, awhile back Rich had brought me some garlic olive oil and a bottle of 4 different seasonings to mix with it. So, we mixed up 4 small dipping bowles of it and cut up and toasted the loaf of bread JulieAnna had sent me out the door of Trillium Friday night with and we went right to it! Marvelous! What fun!

Rick was able to take advantage of my 4th beer and give me some fits over the backgammon board. I was able to save myself, however, and come out 3 points ahead over the 6 games we played. Note to self: stay off the beer when throwing dice...

05/14/05: The Great 2005 Pre Memorial Day Backgammon Tournament And Chinese Wok-A-Thon!
I had an open house backgammon party Saturday May 14 from 5:15pm until it was done! I figured we'd get a jump on Memorial Day and the start of summer! As usual, we capped off the evening with a movie - National Treasure.

David Shaw from York had offered to assist in the cooking but turned out doing the whole thing. He had done a lot of the prep work the day before and after only about 45 minutes of heating and stir-frying presented us with a super meal.

The dice were in constant motion from 5:30 until 9:30 with just a brief interlude for dinner. Everyone had a chance to play everyone else - sometimes numerous grudge rematches. I could tell everyone was in the spirit by all the bad talk and yelling going on all night - even as people were going out the door at the end of the evening, they were making threats about "next time" and how the dice were going to crush them. Great fun!

More pictures on The Great 2005 Pre Memorial Day Backgammon Tournament And Chinese Wok-A-Thon page.

05/22/05: Marissa Spots A Deer!
I was working in the library 05/22/05 when Marissa came flying in all excited about two deer who had wandered out of the woods and into the field behind my condo. They paused briefly, and then disappeared back into the woods.

05/29/05: Marissa Finishes Bathroom Redecoration!
Marissa thought that Memorial Day weekend would be a great time to have her redecoration vision of the upstairs bathroom take place. The flash really throws things off and makes it look a little gaudy but these two shots give a general idea of what she did. Great job painting - and hardly a drop on her or the floor! Picture 1 and Picture 2.

05/30/05: Memorial Day Weekend Celebration!
It has been raining here literally for weeks and predictions were no better for this Memorial Day holiday weekend. We lucked out, however, with Friday only sprinkles, a gorgeous Saturday in the high 70's, an equally nice Sunday and Monday.

Friday heading home from work: Traffic going South on the Maine Turnpike from work on Friday wasn't as heavy as I expected so I made good time home. Marissa had just arrived home a half hour or so before I got there and so the two of us headed off to Home Depot to get painting supplies for her upstairs bathroom project. From there we stopped at the video store for a couple days supply of DVDs to watch and then to Subway to get Marissa dinner.

Saturday prom picture taking: Saturday I slept in till about 9, and then started doing some paperwork. I took Marissa over to the High School to catch a noon team bus for a Lacrosse outing to Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH. I had planned on going out to dinner later but the day was so great that I changed up and headed out around 4:30. I actually wanted to meet up with Colin and his date for his graduation prom to take pictures at Hilton Park at 5 anyway. You can see from all the squinting eyes that the sun was pretty bright! What a nice day! There are more pictures at this link.

Saturday around Portsmouth: Anyway, after getting the pictures, I headed off to Portsmouth to see what was up. Memorial Day was in full celebration swing in Portsmouth, that's for sure! I drove down to Prescott Park and wandered around looking at the river activity, and over to Pierce Island by the commercial fishing docks and public boat launches. There were people everywhere. The entire Strawberry Banke area and the South End were just teeming with folks out enjoying the warm sunny day.

And what a great time downtown Portsmouth was! Had to stop off at The Ferry Landing for a kick off beer. Then down Market and Congress Streets to take in all the activity. It's a really rare event that I have time to do this sort of thing, so I just acted like a tourist and went with the flow!

It was getting on in time, so I got back in the car and headed over to Paddy's American Grille at the Pease Tradeport for another beer in their great billiards lounge. The place was filling up and everyone was having a relaxing time. Met some folks and chatted for awhile. I do know enough, however, not to pick up a pool stick offered by a woman as that is a no win situation...

Saturday back to Dover: Well, it was pretty evident that was where the night was headed, so I begged off and headed up into Dover to find some food as it was after 8pm! Had a beer at the bar at the Crescent City Bistro and casually chatted with some folks. But I decided that a steak was in order, so I wandered over to The Chop Shop around 9:30, hung out there in the lounge for quite awhile, had Koz's Special Steak, and watched some tv on the big screen over the bar.

Unfortunately, that steak was pretty poor quality for The Chop Shop; very gristly - not tender at all. I've had better steaks at Applebee's, for cryin' out loud! And for half the price I paid there. I've had better at the Chop Shop too, so I just let it go and will give them another chance at some point down the road. I'm usually pretty uncompromising over less than excellent food when I am out, but why throw a rug over everyone's evening. Life is too short. Press on. Next.

Saturday back at home: It was late when I got home but Marissa was still up working in a frenzy on her painting job. There was no indication of stopping all the racket, so I flopped on the couch and watched one of the movies I had rented - Closer. Gad, what a waste of time that was. But then I was just looking for some mindless thing to do anyway.

After that, I just dimmed down all the lights, and stretched out on the couch listening to "The Blimp" out of Portland, ME. They are playing the top 500 rock songs through the weekend, and were down to the low 200's. It was great fun. It was well after midnight before Marissa finished up and asked me to come up and look at her work. What a terrific job! Would not have been my choice of color, but she really did a great job and the effect is just great. She went to bed, but I stayed up to listen to a live recording of "Forginer" on "The Blimp". Not real sure when that got over but is was pretty late when I tumbled into bed for the night.

Sunday Star Wars III: And though Sunday morning dawned brightly, I stayed in bed until 10. Got up and went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee for us. Marissa had left strict instructions not to wake her under any circumstances and what kind of coffee to get and all that. It was after 1pm before she rolled out of bed! But, hey! We're on va-ca-tion...

Marissa wanted to keep with the routine and get the food shopping done today rather than wait until Monday. We were pretty pressed for time, though, because we didn't get out of the house until just before 3:00pm. I wanted to make the 5pm Star Wars III movie in Newington so we were a blur up and down those aisles! We did pretty good because we finished up shopping, dropped the groceries off at the condo and put what needed refrigeration away, and were buying the movie tickets at 4:40pm! I asked the guy if we could still get into the 4:30 show and as it was still in preview mode, we dashed down the hall and found seats in the back just a few minutes before the show started. Is that great timing or what!

The movie got out around 7pm and we were starved! We came back to Dover and both had an Uno Burger at Uno's Chicago Bar and Grill at the Weeks Circle (by the way, one of the women I work with husband's uncle I think owned all that area at one time; interesting connection...). After that, we dropped off the movies we had rented the night before and got a couple more! We went back to the condo and watched White Noise together. An appropriate night for a thriller like that as it was misty and dark with a whinning wind... It was after 11pm so I headed off to bed, but Marissa stayed up to watch The Anchorman. I started it with her but found it really stupid so left her to it. She didn't care for it either, so switched to Chronicles of Riddick enjoying the Surround Sound until the wee hours of the morning.

Monday Memorial Day movie marathon: We got up around 9:00am and headed over to Dunkin Donuts to start the day off. Marissa worked on finishing up some of the rest of the work on the upstairs bathroom and I did these foolish web page updates. Around 11:30 we headed out to Wal-Mart for some shopping and just as we were leaving, it did a Monsoon on us! Just an unbelievable downpour. I got soaked wedging a couple of chairs and small table I had bought for the deck into the back seat of my car.

Ok. Back to the movie store to rent more movies! I asked the girl how many we had rented in the last 30 days and it was 30! I guess they lost money on us with my $9.99 monthly membership club fee for unlimited rentals. We put the stuff away, and after Marissa finalized the cleanup of the upstairs bathroom she watched Hell Boy. Rick Downs came over around 4:00pm and we had a great afternoon chomping popcorn, watching movies, and playing backgammon.

06/09/05: Marissa Turns Sweet 16!
Marissa's Birthday was a normal school day although Colin and I went to celebrate with her at her Lacrosse team's annual awards banquet at the high school. She got a Certificate of Achedemic Achievment for having a B average, and she made a Varsity Star for her second year playing at the varsity level. Next year, she plays the coveted position of Center for the team! Go get 'em, Marissa!

Friday - tomorrow - Marissa is bringing a bunch of her friends down to the Cote Drive house for her birthday party. A couple of the girls are doing a sleep over, so doubt she'll be calling me to come get her anytime early Saturday morning [note: she didn't. She's hanging out with some friends and I will pick her up around 5. I'm taking her out for a birthday dinner celebration at Uno's Chicago Bar and Grille - her favorite]. Check out all the pictures!

06/11/05: Colin Completes Scuba Diving Certification!
Colin completed his last 2 dives today 06/11/05 for his 65 foot scuba diving certification. They did this dive off of York's famous Nubble Lighthouse. He said the water was really really cold...

06/11/05: One Year At The Garrison!
Amazing, but I have been here at my condo at The Garrison one year today. It's been a busy and fullfilling year with lots of fun, gatherings of friends, and quiet times of reflection. I thank all of my friends for being just that: friends. You have given me support and encouragement. You have been there for me and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

When I left the house a year ago, I received something like 60 emails of hope and encouragement. And all of those folks are still communicating with me. Life would be so hollow without the knowledge that there are friends out there with you on their mind. For this, I am grateful. I wish for all of you the same happiness out of life that I have experienced in this last year of readjustment.

Of greatest satisfaction as I look back over this year is how much closer I have become with both Colin and Marissa. My greatest desire is that at the end of my run, my friends can look back over my life and say that I was a good dad. The rest is all just conversation. I suppose all of this reflection comes about as Father's Day is coming up and my 56th birthday is next week. I have nothing to be sad about. It's all worked out just fine. And I've got the kids and the friends to prove it!

06/14/05: Colin Graduates From High School!
Well, this was a real mile-stone for us. Colin graduated from Dover High School tonight with 320 other Seniors. The gym was absolutly packed. The ceremony was supposed to be held outside, but the rain just would not quit. But it was grand time and so good to see Colin finish up as well as he did. I am so proud of him. Though the pictures didn't come out too good because of the distance and lighting, they will always remind me of that day.

06/16/05: Peter's 56th!
Oh, I'm fifty—six and I jus' don't care,
'cause I been round an' about, an' ya: I been there.
So don't be tryin' to tell me I'm an old "F.O.P",
'cause I can still kick the shit out of you an' also thee...

06/17/05: A Night Out In Portland, ME!
Based on my last adventure to Portland, ME, I just knew that this time with adult supervision I would be just fine. As a native of Portland, Joann suggested the Dogfish Cafe, and so that's where we ended up. What a great out of the way place. Though the neighborhood leaves a lot to be desired, once inside it was great. A very small place for sure, but the atmosphere and food more than make up for that. I had my first Jambalaya, and it was a spectacular mix of shrimp; not too spicy but just right considering it's Creole origins.

06/18/05: The Great 2005 One Year At The Garrison Backgammon Tournament And Spaghetti Bolognese Celebration!
My next open house backgammon party was held Saturday June 18, 2005. It started at 4:00pm and ended up around 11:30pm after the movie of the night U.S. Marshals finished. The party was to celebrate my 1 year anniversary here at my condo in The Garrison. And my birthday which was Thursday. You can check out all the pictures at The Great 2005 One Year At The Garrison Backgammon Tournament And Spaghetti Bolognese Celebration 06/18/05.

06/19/05: Father's Day!
I slept in today until well after 10am. When I got up, Marissa presented me with the most wonderful Father's Day gift I could imagine: a beautiful photo album of all of her and Colin's pictures growing up! I had forgotten that she was working on it because after we went shopping months ago and picked up some supplies for a picture album the topic never came up again. What a great suprise! She also gave me some gift coupons to Applebee's and took me out for brunch to Uno's Chigao Bar and Grille - had to have the "Uno Burger": the greatest 10oz of beef you could imagine!

She had me stop off at Dunkin' Donuts to get an iced mocca latte for her and her friend Hanah who was coming over to the condo to play some tennis and hang out. After I dropped them off at the Cote Drive house, I continued on into Portsmouth, NH. I just wandered through the South End and around the beautiful gardens of Prescott Park. I stopped for awhile and just watched the river traffic and enjoyed the bright warm sun - though it was chilly in the on-shore breeze. It was a relaxing segway from my normal full court press.

On the way home, I stopped off at the NH liquor store at the I-95 traffic circle and bought myself a small bottle of Jack Daniels, took that home, and had a birthday/Father's Day celebratory drink! And yes, Muriel: I did "cover the rocks"! You bet-cha!

06/24/05: Screamin' Backgammon!
My friends and long time karate students David and Kerra invited me over for dinner and some backgammon to celebrate my birthday. It had been over a year since I had been to their house. At the time, it was totally torn up and under major reconstruction. It was really something to see how it all came out - just beautiful! And the stone and brick walking gardens that Kerra designed is really something to behold.

We had champaign with stuffed mushrooms and shrimp cocktail before David and I started in on each other over the backgammon board as I drank some of his Margaux. As the volumn of yelling increased, Kerra separated the combatants for a great dinner break of Sole Florentine, rice, and mixed greens and vegitable salad. Then back to the boards for more wine and play - and yelling.

After awhile, we took another break for Kerra's special chocolate moose with celantro washed down with a split of champaign that Daivd opened. But we couldn't get enough of it, so David and I returned to the backgammon again until we finally gave it up at midnight. Ok, David. To quote Arnold Schwartzeneger: "I'll be baaaaack"!

06/25/05: Marissa Gets First Job!
Marissa got her first job working in the kitchen of a local resturant and she is really excited. But that has caused a transportation issue to get there and back so she opted to move back to her mom's until at least after her driver's ed classes end as she has both that and the new job to balance and work is closer to Pat's than here.

So, it's pretty quite around here now. I took her out to dinner last night to celebrate her getting a job and then we wound things up with popcorn and 2 horror movies so we were both creeped out for the night.

06/26/05: Neal Comes To Dinner!
I invited my friend Neal, who lives aboard his 32' cateraman Ming to dinner tonight. Here he is arriving. Does he look ready to have fun or what? I was planning on fixing a large portion of Italian vegitables with a Tarragon base, and thought it would be nice to catch up with Neal. He had just pulled into port about a week ago. He spends the summers on a mooring here in Pomeroy Cove, and then sails South to Florida via the Intercoastal Waterway in the Fall.

While I chopped and cooked zucchini, mushrooms, red and yellow sweet peppers, garlic and onions in a red Bardolino wine sauce, Neal entertained me with stories of the trips in Ming over the last year. I hadn't seen him since about last May 2004, so it was nice to chat. We had a great time!

07/01/05: More Backgammon Battles!
Just can't seem to get enough. Went back over to David and Kerra's tonight for more backgammon. Traffic heading North on I95 was really heavey and steady for the 4th of July holiday weekend. But since I was going South, it didn't affect me. I imagine folks had quite a wait all the way from the Hampton, NH tolls up to almost Portland, ME - about 45 miles.

Anyway, David and I had some interesting and hard fought games with him constanlty taking delight in pointing out all my mistakes. Great, Dave. Just great... Maybe next time...

07/04/05: Happy 4th of July!
As I mentioned, I started out the holiday weekend with backgammon and dinner at David and Kerra's. I was more mature this time, however, in wrapping things up around 9pm.

I got a great night's sleep and was up around 9 Saturday morning. Hit the computer and got a lot of junk catch up work done. Also did some clean up work around the condo, and even found some time to park my butt in a chair out on the deck. The weather was great, too. Upper 80's for most of the day. Hot even! What a change from just a couple of weeks ago!

Went to 4pm Mass at St. Joseph and learned that both our Associate Pastors have been re-assigned to new parishes - one will become a pastor. They will be replaced at the end of the month by two new priests. Anyway, after Mass I headed up to the video store to pick up a supply of movies. Wandered down to the Portsmouth area just to see what was up but wasn't really up for the Portsmouth crowds. I stopped off around 8pm at Paddy's American Grill at the Pease Tradeport to catch a bite to eat, but they were closing at 8:30! On July 4th weekend!? Amazing... So, I just grabbed a quick bite in the lounge of the Asia for some Chinese food and headed home. Watched parts of two mind numbing stupid movies and finally gave up and went to bed around midnight.

Up around 9am Sunday morning, and headed out to grab coffee and the paper. Hit the computer to work on a book I am writing until around 1pm when I picked Marissa up at the house. On the way, we went by Great Bay Marine to check on Linnet's Wings. Then we thought we see if Neal was around. He had pulled his 32' cateraman Ming out of the water a week ago because he recently hit a shoal and tore up one of his hulls and knocked one of the rudders almost totally off the supporting posts. He's in the midst of fiberglass hell so we didn't linger long...

After that, we stopped off and grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then went food shopping. After dropping the food off at the condo, we went up to the video store to unload the dud movies and pick up new ones. Just loafed around the condo until about 5:00 when I decided it was time for a glass of wine while I chopped vegitables for my dinner - sort of a no frills stir fry deal of which Marissa wanted no part of.

We started the Spiderman 2 movie around 6:30 as Marissa wanted to get home early: she had an early work call in the morning and was tired. I got her home around 8:30 and so it was still early by the time I got back home. Watched one of the other movies I had rented and that was a flop. I fast forwarded through a lot of it hoping it would improve. It didn't. But that was ok as I got to bed around 11.

Had the day off today - Monday the 4th - so slept in until about 8:30am. Went down to the local convience store and treated myself to a big cup of coffee. Came back and worked on my writing all day, taking several pauses to enjoy the great weather out on the deck. But I had the library windows open, so even when I was inside it was almost like being outside. Just a great relaxing day. I could get used to this. In fact, next time there is a holiday like this: I'm taking a couple of extra days off. This is great!

So now the sun sets quietly over the yardarm and I'm finishing up my glass of Bardolino from dinner and winding down getting ready for tonight's movie of choice hoping it won't be a bust. Doesn't matter if it is because what's important is that I have been able to unwind and have a good time. I'm ready to hit it again tomorrow!

07/08/05: Continuing on Into Friday Night!
The 4th of July celebration continues! The local rock radio station WHEB 100.3 was hosting an after work party at Paddy's American Grill over at the Pease Tradeport, so I wandered over. Great music and the place was packed. But where are all the "older" folks? Whazamattergirls - rock running too fast and hard for you? Don't you remember the old days? I had a great time; stayed too long, but at least had the foresight to have dinner there with all my beer. But gee, there couldn't have been more than a dozen in there over 45. You all home sitting on heating pads, or what? Oh well, I had fun. Hope you all had fun filling your hot water bottles and sipping your brandy while watching re-runs of Oral Roberts...

07/15/05: Another Summer's Friday Night!
Tonight after work, I drove down to Newington to Paddy's at the Pease Tradeport again. Met one of my black belt students Scott Williams there for an after work beer. Had a nice chat and discussed some of the work he is doing as part of his karate training requirements.

Anyway, got out of there and then took myself to dinner up at The 99 Resturant at the Weeks Crossing area in Dover. Just sat at the bar and had a beer with a really nice meal watching the Red Sox get creamed by New York for awhile. Then home to watch a movie based on the Claus Von Bulow case. Some mindless relaxing entertainment is welcomed after a busy week.

07/16/05: The Great 2005 4th of July Backgammon Tournament And Mediterranean Vegetables Extravaganza!
Another successful backgammon party! Just a few of us were able to get together Saturday 07/16/05 because of everyone's busy Summer schedule. But to celebrate the 4th of July, I just had to have a party! Here are some pictures of The Great 2005 4th of July Backgammon Tournament And Mediterranean Vegetables Extravaganza!

Since Marissa stayed over Friday and Sat nights, I took her for special Sunday lunch at Uno's (also at the Weeks Crossing area in Dover) to celebrate her making honor roll again last semester at school. Then she just wanted to veg out and watch movies all afternoon. So, we went to the video store and she loaded herself up and is currently parked on the couch watching the 2nd Jurassic Park movie, with #3 to follow I'm sure...

07/19/05: Dinner With The Arlington's!
Had a great visit with Charlie and Cindy for a cookout at their home in Hampton. It was just over a year since we had been able to get together so was nice to catch up. Cindy had a great cold Chinese Boc Choy salad she gave me the recipie for. I'm going to attempt it for my upcoming Aug. backgammon party - dubbed the "Dog Days of Summer" party. Coming soon to a theater near you...

07/22/05: Great Dinner In Yarmouth!
Had an amazing dinner at the Royal River Grillhouse on Yarmouth Harbor. Rachel had recommended it and you have to listen to a local! It was every bit as good - if not better - than anything in Portland itself. Had a table right by the windows overlooking the docks. Huge storm rolled in and hit really hard for about half an hour. Thunder and lightening were great. And spectacular food. I'd go back there anytime.

07/23/05: Scott Williams Birthday Party!
Had a grand time visiting with everyone up in North Berwick at my long time student Scott Williams birthday party. Linda had hired a musician who set up and played in their large backyard well into the darkness. She went way out of the line of duty with an huge dinner spread that was just spectecular! I felt obligated to try to eat everything in sight. Thanks for the great party!

07/28/05: Mini-Vacation Time!
I decided to take a couple of days off from work so I could just unwind. I wanted to do a lot of writing and catch up on some reading that was stacking up. Nothing technical, though! Other than that, I enjoyed being transportation director for getting Marissa to and from her Lacrosse camp at the Portsmouth High School today and Friday.

07/29/05: Once Again To Varano's!
To celebrate my mini-vacation, I thought dinner at Varano's Italian Restaurant in Wells, ME would be a terrific choice. It's only about 35 minutes from the condo, so got there early to get a table. Good thing, too, because 20 minutes after I got seated, the place was full. There's a reason for that: the food is outstanding. Gee, I'm sounding more and more like one of those traveling undercover food critics here... Ya gotta love it!

08/02/05: Oil Change and Backgammon!
How much better can it get: I got my oil changed in the car and played some backgammon all in the same evening! I took off work early so I could get to the Honda Barn in Stratham, NH by 5:00. When Colin got off work, he pulled my car into one of the bays and changed my oil for me. Then I shot over to Rye, NH for dinner with David and Kerra and some rowdy backgammon. I got my ass kicked pretty good, though, losing 9 to 1. Great for my ego...

08/04/05: Maraissa Passes Driver's License Test!
Another hurdle of growing up was successfully completed today. Marissa went over to the nearby NH DMV and took and passed her driver's license tests. She got a 90% on the driving part, though after spending years driving around in a boat on the Piscataqua River area and all the driving she has done with me for the last 6 or 7 months I didn't think she'd have any problems with it. Good going Marissa!

08/11/05: Speaker Stands Finally Set Up!
Well, after karate class tonight, a couple of the guys came over to my condo instead of us going out to Applebee's. I threw a pizza in and we had a party there!

Actually, I had bought stands for my new speakers but had never put them together. My long time student and friend Jim Nancarrow - who was a Radio Shack manager for 27 years - had sold them to me so I just figured who better to set them up! So this was a grand excuse for a party! I'm so easily entertained…

Anyway, to test out the placement of these speakers the only rational thing to do was to put in a movie with some good music that would test how the new dolby digital amp that I bought from Jim now threw the sound from the new speaker positions. Our original test of the system when I first set it up was Top Gun, but we obviously needed a different movie for this test. Now, can you guess which movie we selected to perform the aforesaid mentioned test? Probably not. Coyote Ugly. I can hear the groan now.

08/12/05: Dinner Creation!
I decided to "wing it" in my cooking tonight. Though I'd done parts of this in several different recipies, I had never tried putting them together for a new and different slant on my (now famous!) Terragon Pork Chops And Mixed Vegitables. A spectacular success - if I do say so myself - and heightened by the wonderful 2000 Bogle Merlot Lynne brought along. I'm liking Merlots more and more. Generally, you have to spend a few extra dollars to get a nice one that has a little more body than the next step down. Otherwise, they're just a little thin for my liking. This was a really good wine, and really reasonably priced. I will add this one to my "I like it!" list...

08/14/05: Boat Trip To Glocester, MA!
Just got back from going to sea with Roger and Colin on Roger's 42' Duffy. We were on the boat at 10:30 and droped the mooring line by 11:00 and were off for Glocester, MA. It took about 40 minutes to get from Roger's mooring to the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor. The seas were calm and the sun was out. Beautiful day. Roger just kept the throtles for a calm 17 knots speed so we arrived at the mouth of the Annisquam River on North side of Cape Ann around 12:30 or so. Then it was another 30 minutes navigating the river until we got almost to Glocester harbor when Roger spotted 2 other Duffys tied up to the docks at the Cape Ann Marina.

Roger had met Jake Tibbetts up in Booth Bay Harbor, ME several years ago when he was on a trip. The Tibbetts family runs all of the tugboats out of Boston Harbor so he had some interesting things to say. He graciously brought us aboard his boat and showed us around. He and Roger jawed about engines and generators and valves and all sorts of technical things while I amazed myself by watching the busy water traffic going by outside.

Of course, Jake then had to come and crawl around on Roger's boat - and I mean crawl around as the first thing he did was pop the engine room hatch and scramble down the ladder to have a look-see. This could have gone on far longer, except that Roger noticed the fog rolling in. A recent update in the weather was warning of severe thunder storms later in the day.

We slipped the dock lines and shoved off about 4:30. We thought we'd outrace the storm but about 6pm or so we started to get some slight chop and sprinkles. We could see spectacular flashes of lightening off in the far distance to the West followed by deep rolling thunder. Before the rain really started to splatter against the plastic windows on the fly bridge, we caught a brief glimpse of a whale several hundred feet ahead. That's a pretty cool sight.

We made the 2KR bouy outside of Portsmouth Harbor about 6:00 and Colin was fishing for Roger's mooring line with the extended boathook about 7:15. The rain had even lifted by then so we didn't get too wet coming back to the dock in the dingy. Just a great trip. Loved every minute of it.

08/20/05: The Great 2005 Dog Days of Summer Backgammon Tournament And Boc Choy Cold Salad Fest !
This party was to celebrate the Dog Days of Summer - an end of a great Summer celebration. Friday night, I fixed up a cold Chinese boc choy salad recepie Cindy Arlington made for dinner a few weeks ago when I visited her and Charlie. Took me 2 hours of wine sipping, food chopping, wine sipping... You know how it can get complicated. Anyway, it was a fun party and good so many could come over in the middle of everyone's busy Summer. You can check out some pictures from the party on The Great 2005 Dog Days of Summer Backgammon Tournament And Boc Choy Cold Salad Fest page.

08/21/05: End of Summer Party At The House's
Marissa and I went over to Tim and Cindy House's in Portsmouth for a back yard get together to celebrate the end of Summer. Tim had a big mosquetto net sided tent set up which was nice because it was really hot - for a change! Had a nice visit with everyone and enjoyed the time just relaxing with a couple of beers and a hamburger.

08/23/05: Dinner Out At The Royal River Grillhouse!
Had another terrific dinner at the Royal River Grillhouse in Yarmouth, ME. Weather was so nice, got a table out on their covered deck right against the rail facing out into Yarmouth Harbor. Got a little chilly when the sun went down o'er t'yard arm, it did, and so went inside and sat at the bar and had another glass of wine before heading home. Very relaxing after a pretty intense day at work. You can't beat the view or the food at the Royal River.

09/04/05: Meat Loaf In Concert!
Wow! After having a wonderful meal at the beautiful Acorns Resturant at the New England Center in Durham, NH, went to see Meat Loaf in concert at the Whittemore Center. I figured it would be packed but guess because it was Labor Day weekend a lot of folks were traveling. But man, can he put on a show! The music was great - and loud - so it was just like being a kid again! How much better can it get? Don't know. Meat Loaf is still gettin' it done after all these years. Great time.

09/12/05: New Fountain Completes The Look!
Well, for over a year I have thougth that an old world fountian would look great in my entryway hall. I had found one a few months ago but it was pretty expensive. But I checked back at the website a week ago and it was on sale! How could I not get it! It arrived Friday 09/09. It's a real old world villa now!

09/13/05: Dinner With David And Kerra!
Went by the Honda Barn in Stratham, NH after work and Colin changed my oil and messed around with fluids and stuff and then washed the Winter road grit off. Then I headed over to Rye, NH to have dinner with my friends David and Kerra and played backgammon with David for awhile until I couldn't take the pain anymore: down 2/6 and the blood was oozing from every orfice. Enough...

09/17/05: The Great 2005 Post Labor Day Get Off The Beach Backgammon Tournament And Pasta With Herbed Scallops Finale!
Time for another backgammon party to get everyone together after the long Summer! I thought we should celebrate the passing of Labor Day and the official end of Summer. And a party to get off the beach and have some fun out of the sun! Because this was a "get off the beach" theme, I told everyone that they needed to wear casual beach goin' clothes and to bring sunglasses and a beach towel. There are some great pictures at The Great 2005 Post Labor Day Get Off The Beach Backgammon Tournament And Pasta With Herbed Scallops Finale.

10/02/05: Vist To Portsmouth Prescott Park!
Gosh, what a great Sunday it was! Such a typical early Fall day - the sun was out but there was just the hint of a chill in the air. The leaves have not started to turn yet, but that is coming soon for sure! It was such a great day that there will be few like this so - on the spur of the moment - I decided that a trip into Portsmouth's great waterfront was in order as it wouldn't be long before all of the waterfront gardens at Prescott Park would be turned over for Winter.

10/14/05: Annual Karate Disciple Retreat A Success!
Each year, my direct disciples from all across the country gather together for 3 days with me. It is a time of reflection and grounding. A time to come together and discuss progress on assignments from the last year. A time to exchange ideas and techniques with each other so that we can all grow. Despite the constant rain and wind, we had an enjoyable time. We stayed at the beautiful Whitney Inn in Jackson, NH. There are some pictures on the Rose School of Karate October 2005 Disciple Retreat page.

10/22/05: Annual Walkabout At UNH!
Every Fall since I got out here in New England in 1972 I have enjoyed a casual walk through the beautiful University of New Hampshire campus. I just walk the campus kicking through the leaves and enjoying the Fall season. I knew I would not have time to make it over next weekend and the leaves are usually down by November so today seemed to be the only day although on a full court press with many other things to do. But, I was driving in the area with Marissa and so we took a spin around campus. We were going to stop and get out, but traffic and parking were impossible due to a football game. So, we just "toured". But, I at least made it over there so it counts! Might give it another try in a few weeks - but might be kicking through snow at that point instead of leaves! We'll see...

10/24/05: Attended Italian Cooking Class!
I took advantage of another Italian cooking class offered through the Dover activities department. It was given at the home of a local resident. Billed as Feste Italiano, it was a great time, my third experience actually. I had the honor (blame) of preparing the Chicken Pomodoro. We also had Chicken Piccata, Penne with Pistachios, Asparagus and Cream, a great salad - Maria's Special Salad (with greens, grape tomatoes, cranberries, walnuts, cheeze, oil, etc), Cantaloupe Salad, and Ricotta Filled Pears With Hot Chocolate Sauce. Quite an impressive meal! Great fun to fix; even better fun sitting around the table getting to know the other folks who came and eating the food!

10/29/05: The Great 2005 Halloween Backgammon Tournament And Italian Rigatoni With Meat Sauce Scare-A-Thon!
What better time for a backgammon party than Halloween! So on Saturday night Oct. 29th I hosted The Great 2005 Halloween Backgammon Tournament And Italian Rigatoni With Meat Sauce Scare-A-Thon! How great is that? Check out the picture gallery!

11/05/05: Marissa Ready For The Slopes!
I took Marissa out shopping for new snowboard gear that she needs for this winter. Here she is, all set to go but no snow quite yet...

11/19/05: The Great 2005 Thanksgiving Backgammon Tournament And Gobbler Bragging Rights!
Saturday night Nov. 19th I hosted The Great 2005 Thanksgiving Backgammon Tournament And Gobbler Bragging Rights! Knowing that the holiday season for the next few months is going to have everyone busy, there were just a few of us to celebrate. We had a lot of fun, but we played so much backgammon that some of the participants were "backgammoned out"!

11/24/05: Happy Thanksgiving!
Marissa insisted that I make a turkey for Thanksgiving, so last week's shopping event included the smallest one I could find - a 10 pounder. Which looked like - and turned out to be - a lot of turkey. I was up fairly early to get the prep work going. I made a basting sauce of melted butter, merlot, tamari, marjoram, and thyme and rubbed that bird down really well. Stuck it in the oven uncovered for about an hour to sear, then reduced the heat to around 400 and let it cook really good for an hour and a half. Then just shut the oven down and let it sit until late afternoon. Around 4 I fired the oven back up to about 400 and let her cook another hour while I peeled a bag of potatoes and about 8 parsnips and cooked them up. Made some gravey with the jucies in the pan and fixed up some quick premade stuffing and we had a nice meal. We also had our first snowfall of the season. Not much; just a dusting - but it was beautiful. I took a few pictures, though it was prettier, of course, than a picture can show.

The whole weeked was very relaxing for me and I got a chance to really unwind. Friday, Marissa hung out with one of her friends, so Friday night a friend came over and we had - gee, guess what: left over turkey. We played some casual backgammon, watched a movie, and just basically relaxed. Saturday, it snowed lightly most of the day and it was nice just sitting in the living room reading and watching it come down. Saturday night, I took Marissa out for Subway sandwiches and then we went to see the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. And Sunday we just relaxed!

12/02/05: Out to Dinner!
Well, it was a tough week and so getting out for an informal dinner with a friend here in Dover after the trek home was relaxing. But man was it getting cold! From the time we went in to eat until we came out just an hour or so later the temperature must have dropped 8 degrees. It was really cold! I think winter just decided to show up...

12/02/05: New Place Tried For Dinner!
Met a friend for dinner at the new Pepperland Cafe in South Berwick. I had heard that someone had bought out the old Cafe Brio (which I had tried once). Much more reasonably priced and the food was considerably better as well! Thanks, Kendra! Had a great Australian Shiraz and chatted away for almost 3 hours. That's relaxed dinning. Well, for me anyway!

12/09/05: Huge Snowstorm Hits!
It wasn't supposed to start snowing until after noon and we were only supposed to get 4" - 5". When I rolled out of bed at 5:30, it was snowing already with a light coating everywhere. By the time I got on the road about 6:15, it was coming down pretty good and starting to pile up. It was slippery all the way to Freeport, but just spectacularly beautiful. But, by 11:00 it was looking pretty bad. Marissa called me and said it was very heavy in Dover and that I'd better get on the road; which I did. I didn't get home until about 2pm! One of the toughest storms I have driven in. It was brutal. I had to stop 3 times to get the ice off the wipers and just clear the windows. By the time I got to Dover, there was at least 8" on the ground; probably more. And it kept up pretty much most of the night. Seemed like a good night for Chinese food and backgammon so I called Rick Downs up and invited him over after work. But when he got home there was over a foot of snow all over the place so he was on shovel and clean up detail and didn't make it over.

12/10/05: Marissa Gets Her First Car!
December 10th and Marissa gets her first car! It's a 1997 Nissan Altima 4 door with 152,000 miles and seems to run just great. Check this link for a few pictures.

12/12/05: Good-by Lunch For Aslak!
I took Aslak Helesoy from ThoughtWorks out for a send off lunch. He has been a contractor at L.L. Bean for the last 10 months. I've been able to pair program with him numerous times and have enjoyed and respected his knowledge and skill. I'll miss having him to yell at.

12/19/05: Guest Instructor!
C&S Self Defense Association 3rd Degree Black Belt Tim House of the Tai Chin Dojo in Portsmouth asked me if I would be a guest instructor at his club. We had participation from many of the local C&S clubs in the area and had a great workout. Then, most of us headed out to Applebee's after class for some tall tales, food, and even a little backgammon! Great time. Thank you, Sandan House, for the invitation!

12/25/05: Merry Christmas!
I had a comfortable Christmas with Colin and Marissa. It was a time to relax and enjoy the day with little of the normal rushing around that this time of year usually brings. Just kept it a low key celebration. Check this link for a few pictures.

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