2006 Rose Family Events Archives...
      For current events, go to the Rose family website page.
01/01/06: Happy New Year 2006!
New Year's Eve I fixed my cornish game hens for Colin and Marissa. After dinner we watched a movie until switching over to watch the ball drop on tv. Got about 2 inches of snow during the night. New Year's day just hung out and then took Marissa and her friend Rachel out to dinner at Uno's American Bar and Grill. And no Tournament of Roses Parade or bowl football games! Gee - I only watch football 3 times a year: Thanksgiving, New Year's, and Super Bowl. Outta luck this year... Check this link for a few pictures.

01/06/06: Picture Tour of Czech Republic!
Off tonight to see a picture tour of the Czech Republic from one of Tim House's karate students Tony. Tony had spent 3 weeks there several months ago and is returning in a couple of weeks to permanently work there. He shared with us many of the pictures he took while there and we all had a fun time quizzing him on anything we could think of that he might not know. We all had a shot of some very strong Czech liquor to cap the evening off.

01/07/06: Out To Dinner!
Saturday night and I was up for going out to dinner once again to the Crescent City Bistro in Dover, NH. It was surprising that not many folks were there. Maybe the Patriots game kept them all inside on this pretty chilly evening. And the Pat's took it 28 to 3! Yeah! Can you spell S-u-p-e-r B-o-w-l??? Had a relaxing time and some good conversation.

Then back home for the movie pick of the night. Though I had wanted to get to bed early, that just didn't happen. Slept in Sunday and Marissa fixed up some bacon and eggs around 10:30am. Then off shopping.

For dinner, I had the rest of a bottle of Shiraz I was working on and cooked up an on the fly risotto with broccoli, mushrooms and a really nice sweet red pepper in beef stock with some that Shiraz, a little Rosemary, Sage, and a dash of Thyme. Gee, come to think of it all I would have needed was some Parsley and I could have hummed along with the old Simon And Garfunkle song...

01/11/06: A Few Days Off!
I had some left-over vacation time from last year that I needed to take or I would lose the time so I took Wed, Thurs, and Fri this week off. I have been working on a rather involved Java programming project since early November. I didn't get as much done on it as I had hoped to over Christmas break. So I put about 30 hours into it and got it to the point where I can begin work on the next phase of the project.

01/14/06: The Great 2006 New Years Backgammon Tournament And 3 Fire Chili Party!
Well, I just have to have a backgammon party whether we really need one or not! And what better way to start off the New Year than to have a party? Since I couldn't think of a better way, I had a party! Check it out at The Great 2006 New Years Backgammon Tournament And 3 Fire Chili Party.

01/17/06: Another Luck Out Backgammon Session!
David Duquenne came over to play some backgammon after work tonight. He brought dinner from Kerra - 3 really thick lamb chops in a great vegetable mix. We had a little wine and chatted a bit before getting down to play.

I couldn't miss. David continuously pointed out judgement errors and mathematical inconsistencies that I was making but it didn't seem to matter: I was hot and hitting the board all over the place with the blast of death. I was up 8 to 2 until I got creamed in the last game with a gammon to end with an 8 to 4. I do tend to play too aggressively - assuming (not really "taking") risky situations that if I miss I don't get hurt too badly but if I get away with it, it puts me way ahead. And I just kept "getting away with it", as David would put it.

We not only have very different styles of play, but he keeps score by games won whereas I score by the points on the cube. He takes all the cubes I throw where I think in a money game I not only might not be throwing the cube but he probably wouldn't be taking either. So, there is sort of a disconnect in how each of us views the others play and the overall results of the game. But we'll keep hammering away at each other, yelling at each other and threatening all but bodily harm. It's all great fun.

02/03/06: The Great 2006 Super Bowl Backgammon Tournament And Endzone Pile Up Party!
I decided to have this backgammon party on a Friday night vs. the past on a Saturday night. David Shaw fixed a great beef stew and Scott Williams brought a huge bowl of salad, so we had a feast. Some pretty good backgammon as well! Check it out at The Great 2006 Super Bowl Backgammon Tournament And Endzone Pile Up Party.

02/13/06: Huge Nor'Easter Hits!
The weather folks had been predicting a big storm for Sunday, and man did they get that right! Just about shut New York city down with 27" of snow - the most I think they said in a century. That's a lot of snow. Boston got clobbered as well. And here in Dover we got 8" - 10". And the winds were 40 mph at times but pretty hard all day.

I just sat in the living room and watched it blast around; it was great. Most of the time I couldn't even see across the field in back of the condo the snow was coming down so hard and the wind blowing it all over the place. It was beautiful. Glad I didn't have to drive - but then I did venture out to get coffee and the paper. Couldn't resist...

02/17/06: Massive Wind Storm Knocks Out Power!
Preceded by torrential rains, a massive cold front driving winds of 60 mph blasted the entire New England region Friday. 40,000 lost power in New Hampshire alone.

When I got home around 5pm, the kitchen clock showed that I had lost power at 3:33pm. Marissa was out with a friend and called in to say they were coming home with Chinese food so that was dinner. Then off they went as the unit was pitch black - and though the really cold air didn't hit till late Saturday morning, it was uncomfortable.

So, I hopped in the car and went to the mall, then rummaged around at Barnes and Noble, and then went over to Paddy's American Grille at the Pease Tradeport. Had a tall one and watched World Series of Poker on one of their huge TVs in the lounge. Went home and bundled up for a long cold night.

Saturday was cold - the wind was really bringing the frigid temperature down to the teens. Early afternoon I ran into one of my neighbors who offered me a dozen pieces of fire wood just as I was headed over to pick some up. I got a fire going, brought the temperature in the living room up to over 55. I went out and got a large coffee and then just sat and read in the sunlight.

Finally around 3:30pm the power came back on! Amazing because when I had called PSNH earlier I was told power could be out another 24 hours because of the lack of crews able to respond. Anyway, I gave Rick Downs a call and he came over with sandwiches and more wood around 7pm. We played some killer backgammon and watched the movie Lord of War while a great fire in the fireplace warmed us up from the howling wind outside where the temperature with wind chill was well below zero.

02/20/06: President's Day Relaxing!
Ok, this is nice - an extra day to unwind. Spent it sipping coffee and writing. Also just relaxed in the living room looking out across the field and enjoying the calm.

Took some time to read a book on creative writing viewed from the standpoint of a major house editor. Very informative. I also got caught up responding to some past email and then wound up the night with a movie and a gentle fire in the fireplace.

03/11/06: The Great 2006 St. Patricks Day Backgammon Tournament And Irish Feast!
What better reason to have a get-together than to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! So, Saturday March 11th I held The Great 2006 St. Patricks Day Backgammon Tournament And Irish Feast!

Must have been a good time for everyone because there was an awful lot of yelling going on and we knocked down our fair share of Killian's Irish Red along with 5 pounds of corned beef! And there weren't that many of us!

03/18/06: Casual Get Together Turns Into Major Event!
I decided last week to have a small get together Saturday night 03/18/06. Sort of a pot luck thing to celebrate my leaving work. By the time things got going, however, it turned out to be worthy of the title The Great 2006 Unemployed Backgammon Tournament And Pot Luck Pity Party.

We had a great time! Played some backgammon, chatted about all sorts of stuff, and had an all around grand time. Then after a couple rounds of Jack Daniels (to ward off evil spirits and such...), we watched the movie Walk The Line about Johnny Cash - which was really good.

03/29/06: Mercy Oven Repair Success!
A few weeks ago, I came downstairs to the clock on the stove buzzing. Bad clock motor I figured, so I pulled the back off and pulled the likely wire. The buzzing stopped and the stove burners went on so I figured all was well and sealed everything back up.

Well look, I'm a software engineer not an appliance repair guy so wouldn't you know it: pulling that power wire off the clock unit disabled the oven. I pulled the back off again and messed around but after getting a nice white spitting spark, I replaced the back and started calling repair places.

So, today a technician from Sears came out and for $65 cut the correct wire and replaced the power wire. He looked up what a new clock unit would cost, but at $278 just for the unit plus install fees etc. that would have brought it to $348 I opted to do without the stupid clock; I can buy a brand new low end coil stove for less than $348! To heck with that!

04/01/06: Pizza Party To Celebrate Fixed Oven!
David and Suzie Shaw and Rick Downs came over for a sort of spur of the moment get together to celebrate my repaired oven. We had been without pizza for too long, so this presented a great excuse to have a get together! Suzie brought over some guacamole dip and chips and I had some nacho cheese chips and medium Pace's salsa, so we had plenty to snack on.

We had some rousing backgammon, stopping only long enough to put away almost 2 full pizzas. David enjoyed an Old Brown Dog beer that Josh had brought the week before, and I had a Killian's Irish Red. All a wonderful thing.

We watched the movie Elizabethtown which turned out to be a really cute movie; enjoyed it a lot. We wound things up early because the clocks were "springing" ahead so we were going to lose an hour's sleep. Well, I didn't get to bed until 1:00am (new time) but then I didn't get up until 9:30am either so I'm ok on that.

04/05/06: Inspiration Pops!
I have several book length manuscripts I have been writing over the last couple of years - just picking away at them as time permits. I enjoy the creative process of writing as it is a relaxing compliment to my software engineering work - of which I am also designing and writing a complex Forex currency pricing analysis model in Java with graphical display on an AWT Canvas object.

In any event, the current book I have been working on is an experiment in sort of a dramatic romance genre; very different than the two other latest books on backgammon and interior decorating that I have for the most part completed. I have really enjoyed exploring this different style of writing. I even sent part of it out to a published author and university creative writing instructor for review and got very encouraging feedback. Writing for more enjoyment than in an effort to get published, there is a lot of evident polishing and recasting that would have to be done, but I was quite pleased with the response I got based of just a storm of brain droppings and one editing sweep through.

So, as I was sitting at my desk late at night after (of all things) watching the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel, inspiration just hit me like a backhand slap across face. I was sitting at the computer doing a final check of email when I was compelled to start writing. The opening sentence came and I just belched forth 6 pages before dragging myself out of the chair and up the stairs to bed. I sent it off to my brother for his take and he made some interesting comments that I implemented. Though most of the changes involved removing a bunch of extra adjectives, those first opening sentences remain pretty much as they were originally vomited out - and the whole thing is pretty good.

Well, though it's all great fun, I don't know if this particular stream will play out any further. I have so much other stuff to do! Besides, I have ideas for another technical book on object oriented software architecture that I am considering to add to the other 3 major engineering manuscripts I have written (some of my thoughts on software applications development can be found at my Thoughts On Technology page). And then there's this silly website I keep adding to...

04/07/06: Quick Friday Night Dinner Out!
After a long hard week at school and lacrosse practices preparing for tomorrow's big multi school tournament, Marissa was ready for a big Uno's burger. And so was I - it had been literally months I think since I had one of those.

So, we headed out right after practice. Good thing, too, because they were already fairly busy. And the burgers were great! I needed that... Then off to the video store to see what we could find. A great evening of fun!

04/08/06: Revenge Backgammon!
Marissa had a babysitting gig, so Rick Downs came over for some revenge backgammon. We had just about closed up Applebee's Thursday night after karate workout playing backgammon. Rick had clobbered me good the first game with a double cube, but I came back and swamped him with an 8 cube the next game. It was all downhill for him from there. He mumbled something about getting even or something.

So, we decided that since Marissa would be out for the evening we would get together and see if he could even things out. We went over to Durham first to get take out Chinese food which I washed down with a cold Killian's before getting into the action.

But Rick was not to prevail! I scrubbed him red 10 - 5. He enjoyed the movie of the night much better. Maybe next time, Rick...

04/10/06: Marissa Scores 3 of 6 Goals In Fist Lacrosse Game of Season!
It was a cold Monday afternoon for Marissa's first Lacrosse game of the 2006 season, but she scored 3 of their 5 goals so she can be really proud of her accomplishment and skill.

04/14/06: Applebees For Quick Dinner!
After returning from a midday interview in Newburyport, I hit the computer to work on my project for a few hours as I was close to solving an issue that I had been wrestling with for the last couple of days. Successfully completing this, I decided that I owed myself a treat so I took myself out to dinner at Applebees at the Weeks Crossing here in Dover. Had a great Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad with a tall Coors Lite and life couldn't have been better.

The weather had been just great all day and it was still really nice out when I finished up with dinner. I spun by Hollywood Video and picked up a couple of DVDs to watch. Parked on the couch, had some tea, and just relaxed. Hit the rack about 11 and didn't get up until 8.

04/15/06: Pre Easter Dinner and Get Together!
Since the kids will be heading up to their grandparents for Easter Sunday, Marissa suggested that we go out to Uno's (her favorite) tonight. I gave Colin a call, but he was tied up with working late but Rick Downs was free and so he gladly came along.

We had a fun meal at Uno's (the one at Weeks Crossing here in Dover), rented a couple of movies, came back to the condo, played some backgammon, then watched one of the DVDs, and played some more backgammon. Worked a little on my programming project before heading off to bed around 1.

04/16/06: Quiet Easter Sunday!
This is the first time I have really had nothing going on for Easter Sunday. Colin swung by for about 40 minutes before he and Marissa headed up to York, ME to their grandparents. I hadn't seen much of him since his 19th birthday - told him that 19 was a good birthday because it meant he didn't do anything really stupid while he was 18. I think he got it.

Anyway, the rest of the day was spent just relaxing over coffee and doing some writing. For dinner, I concocted a great risotto with oregano and sage mushrooms and sweet red peppers that was so nice with my new bottle of Chardonnay (which was also added to the mix as it was cooking). I closed out the night with a movie and think I had a more than great time.

04/22/06: The Great 2006 Spring Into Spring Backgammon Tournament And Simple Spaghetti Blaze!
It was time to welcome in Spring of 2006 and what better way than with a backgammon tournament and dinner fest: The Great 2006 Spring Into Spring Backgammon Tournament And Simple Spaghetti Blaze!

To keep it simple, I just had a generic spaghetti sauce for dinner and Rick Downs brought the garlic bread. And even as straight forward as that process was, I still missed playing quite a few games because of: stir the sauce, stir the noodles, heat the oven, etc. tasks.

05/05/06: Marissa Scores 2 out of 10 Goals!
What a great day for Lacrosse! Not only Cinco de Mayo, but also because it was a beautiful very warm and sunny late Spring afternoon. The team played Spaulding out of Rochester and won 10-7 with Marissa scoring the 3rd and the last goal of the day. She was pumped!

05/06/06: The Great 2006 Cinco de Mayo Backgammon Tournament And Arroz Con Pollo Mexican Fiesta!
Cinco de Mayo! A great reason to have a backgammon tournament and dinner party: The Great 2006 Cinco de Mayo Backgammon Tournament And Arroz Con Pollo Mexican Fiesta! I fixed up a great Mexican baked Arroz Con Pollo - rice and chicken - dinner that turned out super; just enough cumin, oregano, and chili powder with some other ingredients to give it just a hint of that spicy South of the border taste.

05/10/06: Lacrosse In The Rain!
It has been raining off and on for a couple of days, but cleared enough Wednesday for a home game against Kingswood. I wore full sailing rain gear, and was glad I did as the stadium seats were really wet and mist was being blow around by a fairly brisk breeze.

Marissa took a hard hit and went down on the field. As she did, the other girl fell across her leg straining her knee and ankle. She took ten off field and then came back to finish the game. She's a real hard competitor, that's for sure! We got some ice on the injured areas and she took it easy for the next day.

05/12/06: Marissa Scores 1 out of 3 Goals!
Though this was an away game and I was not able to attend, Marissa came home late Friday night triumphant in scoring 1 out of 3 of the team's goals. She reported that she was in fine shape and that neither her knee or ankle had given her any trouble. But she was hungry!

She went and picked up her friend Ashley, and the two of them got take-out from BurgerKing and then came back to the house to watch a movie. Since it was late, Ashley did a sleep over and then the two of them headed off mid Saturday morning for parts unknown, leaving me to my projects and writing.

05/13/06: Saturday Night Calzones and Backgammon!
To help Marissa's Lacrosse team's fundraiser, I had bought a box of calzones a few weeks ago. It's been raining now for literally days, and so staying in and trying some of these sounded like a really good idea. So, I invited one of my 2nd Degree Black Belt level karate disciples, Rick Downs, over to sample them, play some backgammon, and catch a movie.

The rain just thundered against the condo windows all evening long, but we bore up under the pressure and had a grand time. I don't know how many games of backgammon we played, but right before quitting to watch the movie the score was tied 11-11. There was a lot of blood on the table.

The movie of the night was Hard Eight - which was very strange indeed and an appropriate way to end the battles over the board with. But when Rick asked what time it was, and it was only a little after 10pm, he said, "Gee, it's early enough that we should play for the tie-breaker, don't you think?" Well... why not!

Bad idea on Rick's part as I ripped him apart for most of the game - at one point putting about 6 of his checkers back - and winning a double game. Next time, Rick...

05/14/06: Drenching Rains Flood Many Areas!
I don't know how much rain this area has received in the last week or so, but it has been a lot. But in the last few days, it has really come down; I mean in torrents! The reports for this area vary between 10 and 15 inches! That's like monsoon season in Southeast Asia!

I went down to the local Store 24 which is right next to the Cochecco River for coffee and the Sunday paper this morning, and the water was just about to overflow the banks; I've never seen it that high or raging that ferociously. The girl at the counter said that a friend of hers who lived in a large apartment complex along the falls was being evacuated at that moment by the fire department - things were that severe.

05/16/06: A Sad But Fond Farewell
Sheena, Marissa's dog for the last 9 years died today. She had many things wrong with her, but her passing is still so hard to take. We as a family - but particularly Marissa - have been through so much with Sheena that it is hard to let her go. As I tried to console Marissa, though she may be gone her memory and the memories of all the great times that we had with her will always be with us.

I am so glad that I got a chance to see her one more time yesterday when I went over to the house to help with the water in the basement. Though I was busy, there was one time when I did get a chance to pet her as she lay on the floor and then a few times when she poked her head down the stairs to see what all the noise from the sump pumps was about. I will always remember those last rubs and pats and of the implied love and acceptance that I received from her.

It's not just about losing a pet, it's about losing part of a family experience - an experience that has enriched us all. Sheena with kids December 2000 and Sheena pulling up to docks June of 2003

05/17/06: Peter Takes Black Belt Exam In CaneMasters!
I have studied the cane as a self defense weapon now since 2003, and just took my black belt exam in CaneMasters International from CaneMaster Bruce Vinciguerra (who actually trained under me for about 19 years before transferring to Grandmaster Dusenbery's line and becoming a Master in his own right in the C&S Self Defense Association, Prowling Leopard Master Bruce Vinciguerra). Not bad for an almost 57 year old to be taking a two and a half hour martial arts exam, eh?

05/22/06: Marissa Scores 4 out of 9 Goals!
Unfortunately, I had another appointment and missed seeing Marissa score 4 out of the 9 goals in her Lacrosse game against Timberland. Great effort, Marissa!

05/24/06: Marissa Scores Again!
The Dover Lacrosse Green Wave rolled over Spaulding High School in a 16-5 victory with Marissa contributing 3 goals! She was so pumped up. It was a rough game, though: folks on both teams were getting knocked down and mauled. Everyone was playing for keeps, that's for sure. It made for a great game! Just a couple more games, and that will be it for the season.

05/26/06: Backgammon To Start Memorial Day Weekend!
I had was invited down to dinner at David and Kerra's in Rye tonight (Friday) and kicked David's ass 9-4 after Kerra kindly served us up a great pork loin dinner washed down with a nice Medoc. As I am particularly fond of the dry reds from either the American Cabernet or French Bordeaux varietal/regions, I was in fine form for battle over the board there. Besides, David's dice were so cold he had to wear gloves to throw...

05/27/06: The Dice Are Running Hot!
Rick Downs and I got together Saturday night for another backgammon marathon. He had beat me over all for 2 points last week from the games we played Thurs, Fri, and Sat., and was looking for more of the same to happen. Well, the blood flowed tonight! And my dice were HOT!

Rick didn't have to work so he came over around 5:30pm and we decided to go out to dinner. After all, it was Memorial Day weekend! So, up to Uno's at the Weeks Crossing we went. Had a nice chat with Sue who had served Marissa and I last weekend, and enjoyed a great dinner and primed up with a tall 20 oz cold Coors Lite draft - Sue had insisted; what was I to do??

Anyway, I had warned Rick that "I gots thunder in m'fists for you, cousin! Bring it on!" so we had such a great time yelling at each other and talking bad that it got pretty late before we wound things up - and that after a break in the games for a movie. Quite a night. But he left in defeat: 9-5. Maybe next time, Rick...

05/28/06: Out To Dinner!
Not much going on for me Sunday, though I spent a very enjoyable and relaxing day writing - I'm currently exploring a novel; actually my third stub of a novel to try different flavors of style, except this one has grown to 90 pages and I keep getting ideas. Anyway, I enjoy the creative process. But by evening, I was beat and offered to take Marissa to dinner. So where did she want to go? Uno's, of course! So, off we go. I asked for Sue, but she had the night off. But Valerie took good care of us and I had more Coors Lite in memory of Sue's console...

05/29/06: Movie Night Out With Marissa!
I got a late lazy start to the day - Memorial Day - and just felt like continuing on with my writing. I had no big party or anything planned or to attend so went out to treat myself to coffee and then dove into the writing. Marissa - as most 16 year old teenage girls have a penchant for doing - slept in very late and then went off with a friend for the day but came back for Lacrosse practice at 4:30.

When she got back, I suggested we go see the new X-Men: The Last Stand movie. She wanted to go late, so after a few glasses of Chardonnay to loosen me up for this, we headed out to the 9:30pm show. It was great! I'm really just a kid at heart, and enjoy action movies of this kind which have great special effects.

06/01/06: Marissa's Lacrosse Team Awards Night!
Marissa's Lacrosse team held it's annual awards night at the Dover High School. She received MVP having accumulated 22 goals and 4 assists, a tremendous record. She was also named one of four captains for next year's team. Congratulations, Marissa! A great year and a lot of fun.

06/09/06: Marissa's Birthday!
It was a great day to move Marissa out of the 16 year old bracket and into the big times at 17! I snuck downstairs around 2:00am and laid out some of her gifts so she would be surprised in the morning before she headed off to school. She was, but unfortunately all I got were the night before pictures because I was up so late putting the gifts out I never came conscience until she was heading out the door to school.

06/10/06: The Great 2006 Two Years At The Garrison Backgammon Tournament And Spaghetti Bolognese Celebration!
It's hard to believe that I've been at The Garrison for 2 years now, but that's what it has been. So, what better way to celebrate than have a backgammon dinner party! Check out some pictures from the party!

06/12/06: To Laconia For Karate Workout!
Nidan Scott Williams drove Sandan Tim House and myself up to 4th degree black belt Yondan Russ Jones' martial arts club, Sachem School of Self Defense, in Laconia, NH for a workout. He had invited me up to teach class and to meet many of his new students.

I was a little concerned how traffic would be as this was "Bike Week" when motorcyclists from around the country descended upon Louden - just outside of Laconia - for the races and general partying. Literally tens of thousands of bikers and cars clog the highways during Race Week. But, it turned out to be fairly trouble free drive up as I had Scott take 11A past the Gunstock Ski Area rather than going further North and try to get through the Weirs Beach area; that would have been a real mess.

We had an enjoyable class and many of the students gathered at Russ's house after class ended at 9 for some socializing. We enjoyed ourselves so much, I didn't get to bed until almost 1:00am, but then I was hungry and just had to have a small pizza and a beer...

06/16/06: Peter Taken Out For Birthday Dinner By His Local Karate Disciples!
Marissa had a final exam early this morning and was out the door long before I got up. It was my birthday, so I slept in until about 8:30. I wandered downstairs not paying much attention to anything, poured some juice and took a shower. After I got dressed, I came back downstairs and walked into the dining room to find this enormous box on the table. I am talking enormous. It contained my birthday present from Colin and Marissa: a beautiful new leather armed massage high back desk chair. What a great gift! The only thing was that I had to put it together! So, that's how the rest of the morning was spent. I got it together and was siting in it doing some work in the library when Marissa came bounding through the door after her exam let out. She came flying in, wondering how I liked it and chatted up a storm. It was a great gift.

That evening, all of my local direct line disciples in the White Cobra took me out for a magnificent birthday dinner at the Three Chimney's Inn in Durham, NH. It had been a beautiful day, and the evening was equally up to that with a wonderful flower and grass scented New England Summer breeze.

06/17/06: Birthday Celebration Continues!
Well, Rick Downs was down 4 to 2 against me for the week in backgammon and was itching for another match so we got together Saturday night to continue with my birthday celebration. We decided to go out to dinner. Rick had never been to an Indian restaurant before and that was all I needed to hear so off we went to A Taste of India right here in Dover to get him right into it. Had a great meal - he just loved it - and then went and rented the new Neil Young movie of his concert Heart of Gold. If you like Neil Young, you would love this movie. If you don't like Neil Young, you will after seeing this concert; the guy is a genius story teller of life set to the most enchanting music you can imagine. Oh, and I sent Rick home in a box with a 9 to 6 overall beat for the week.

06/18/06: Father's Day!
Marissa shoed me out the door around 9:30am telling me not to come back "...for awhile" We had gone out for coffee at Dunkin Donuts earlier but I hadn't even had time to down that before I was shown the door. How's that for an opening line to a story? And, it's quite a story indeed. You can read all about it by selecting this link or just just look at the pretty picture...

06/24/06: Another Backgammon Series!
Rick Downs and I battled it out Thursday again after karate class, and I squeaked 2 points on him by shear luck. He came over tonight and we played to a 5-5 tie. Then we went out for Thai food - he never had that (we did Indian for his first time last weekend) - then we came back and played more backgammon.

Took a couple hour break to watch the movie Kingdom of Heaven - a great action flick, and then back on the boards for more battle. I twisted him up pretty good one game and got a gammon and then in the last game, I held him on the bar squealing through 8 passes and took him for another gammon to poke him for this weeks series 18-10. But sometimes, he just keeps throwing doubles and getting away from me. Not this time, though...

06/25/06: Chef Rose Wings It!
Well, I was in the mood for cooking tonight. You know, a nice meal, a soft Chardonnay: how much better could it be? The only issue was I had to cook it. But first I had to figure out what to cook! I didn't want any meat; just vegetables of some kind. And I was really not in the mood to leaf through recipes.

I was at first thinking of a stir fry, but then I had a sudden urge to have beans. But just plain old beans is not appealing, so I threw some tarragon, tamari sauce, garlic, and some chicken broth with just a hint of cumin into a bowl with 8 oz of sliced mushrooms to soak. I then cooked up some garlic and just before that turned, I tossed in the soaked mushrooms and fried them up.

I then added cut broccoli spears, a sweet red pepper chopped in small squares, a can of sliced water chestnuts, and about a cup of the sauce created by the soaked mushrooms. As that came to a boil, I added a 28 oz can of crushed Italian plum tomatoes, and mixed in a large can each of fava and cannelloni beans. I let it boil for awhile to make sure the fava beans were getting cooked and then turned the heat down to a medium simmer for about 45 minutes.

Not bad for a city boy all on the fly...

05/28/06: World Poker Tour Finals Get Together!
I kiddingly invited everyone to "Free yourself from your drab lives and join me this Wed evening June 28 at 9:00pm until 11:00 pm for the World Poker Tour's season championship on the Travel Channel where the winner walks with Four Million Plus! Two hours of pure joy at the expense of others. What better way to spend the evening! If anyone wants to come early say 7:00 on to play some backgammon before WPT, I'll be here!"

Well, I really didn't expect anyone to come because it is the middle of the week. But I enjoyed a couple of beers and the tournament - one guy, the runner-up, won a million nine after getting into the tournament on a $25 satellite tournament and he played great. You just can't get enough of this stuff!

07/08/06: The Great 2006 4th of July Backgammon Tournament And Chinese Pork and Bamboo Shoots Stir Fry Fireworks!
Despite the fact that Summer is a busy time for everyone - including me - I still have to have a backgammon party to celebrate the 4th of July! We had to have a change in menu to take out pizza, but other than that, check out some pictures from the party and see that the few of us had a great time!

07/15/06: Saturday Night and It's All Right!
It's been so hot around here — finally, that I just stayed in and worked on a web site I am helping re-design and build for the Arizona Onstage Productions theater group. It will be great fun doing this and working with Dolly Spalding, who is involved with them. She is the wife of my former classical guitar teacher, Walter Spalding, who sadly passed away in 2004. We fell into contact after she found a reference to Walter several months ago here on my web site.

Interestingly, one of her daughters, Blake, and a partner created a restaurant in Boulder, Utah called Hell's Backbone Grill. Turns out that Boulder, UT is one of the most — if not the most — remote town in the country: something like a 4 hour drive through the wilderness from Salt Lake City. Located in the heart of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Boulder, Utah, was the last town in the nation to receive year-round mail by automobile. Today it has no stoplight, cell phone service, ATM, grocery store or medical facilities. But it has their Zagat-rated Hellís Backbone Grill!

Anyway, the two of them in collaboration with several others wrote a marvelous book about the restaurant and cooking called With a Measure of Grace — which is just an amazing story. As "payment" for my help, I asked for a copy. Dolly not only sent it to me, but she got it autographed as well! I'm reading it now.

08/03/06: A Sad Farewell To Linnet's Wings!
Arden and Keith from Long Island drove up today to look Linnet's Wings over. They must have fallen in love with her immediately as the deal was shaken over and sealed with little fanfare. It will be sad to let her go, but it is probably sadder for me to see her just sitting in her jack stands in the Great Bay Marine storage yard.

They had stumbled into Linnet's Wings for sale page I had posted on this site, and emailed me as to how soon they could come up and look at her.

It must have been over 100 degrees standing on the fore deck of Linnet's Wings as Arden gave her a thorough look over. I bought us all cold sandwiches at the marina's Blue Latitudes Grill, we drove over and picked up her engine, and then back to my condo to get all of the sails and other gear.

By 2:00pm it was done and I waved goodbye to them as they pulled out of the parking area filled to the car's gunnels with all the boat gear. They will be sending a boat hauler truck up early next week to pick her up.

I won't go back to see her again; I just want to remember her as she was when she was mine.

08/04/06: Dinner At The Barn Tavern!
Had a terrific dinner at The Barn Tavern here in Dover. We ate in the Alberto's Riverside enclosed deck area overlooking the Cocheco River. For once in the last several weeks it wasn't either blowing a downpour with high winds and hail or ninety degrees and sweltering humidity; a perfect night.

I had a nice 2005 J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay with the grilled scallop special - the big scallops; very tender and a great sauce with an interesting side patty of a Cuscus and corn combination. Hummmmm... but at $8.50 a glass for the Lohr, though smooth and with a nice flavor, I thought it was just a little on the thin side. Before dinner I had a glass of 2004 Simi Sonoma County Chardonnay at around $13 retail for the bottle that I found much richer and fuller. But then, what do I know. The Lohr was a nice pick with an interesting fruity bouquet and complemented the dinner.

08/05/06: Dinner And Some Backgammon!
David and Kerra had me down to their home in Rye, NH for dinner and some combat backgammon. Another great summer's night, though traffic was a little heavy going down because of this pause in some of the crummy weather we have been having; seems everybody was out and heading somewhere.

In fact, trees were down everywhere in Rye. A terrible storm had ripped something like 1000 tress down and closed off many roads for two days with many folks without power for two days. David and Kerra lost theirs for just a day, but had to park their car a quarter mile away because of all the downed trees and power lines all along their road.

Anyway, we shared a great bottle of 2000 Chateau Belon and Kerra fixed up herbed steaks, green beans and potato salad. While the steaks were finishing up, David and I played a few games of backgammon outside in the sun on the deck. After dinner we went back out and played a few more games. I made some really stupid tactical blunders and got swept away 8 to 2. How humiliating is that! A pet ferret could do better - in fact, their ferret Sir Bosley I'm sure thought he could do better.

Kerra had read the first hundred pages of a manuscript I am working on, and we spent some time going over some of her thoughts on how it was coming along, its overall flow, as well as character and plot development. She's an avid reader of popular fiction and has read some proofs of published author's works so she is a great sounding board for the work I am doing. She had some interesting observations that I will have to work on. Nice to get a dispassionate view as things are developing, though she was insistent that I "get on with it" so she could find out "what happens next". Soon, Kerra. Soon...

08/08/06: Pre Un-unemployment Celebration Dinner!
I had to meet with my property insurance agent who is in Hampton, NH and on the spur of the moment figured since I was down there I'd hop down to Hampton Beach. It's been about 3 years since I've been down there, so thought I'd check it out and maybe grab a bite to eat in celebration of starting my new job tomorrow.

I had a nice walk along the main drag but I really didn't feel like communing with the beach crowd; I'm not a real big beach fan anyway. In fact, I don't really like the beach, don't like sand, and try to stay out of the sun whenever I can. Just not "me".

I did, however, lean against the rail by the main beach across from the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom and listened as John Fogerty and his band warmed up for their sold out concert later that evening so that was fun.

But not wanting to hang around much more, I just came back to Portsmouth and went to Cafe Mediterraneo for Italian food. I hadn't been there in years and it used to be pretty good, but that didn't turn out to be the case this time. It was ok, but just ok. I had a veal dish - Veal Casablanca - with a side of marinara on penne.

The penne was under cooked and starchy and the marinara sauce was bland and pointless - not really marinara so much as just a lot of cooked tomatoes with some herbs. There was plenty of veal, probably too much, but the mushroom sauce had way too much of a red onion hit to it - way too much. And for plate garnishes: one crummy little green bean, two incredibly small slivers of cooked carrot, and a single and very lonely sprig of broccoli - quite a pathetic visual display for $17 and change, in my humble opinion. I will compliment them on a nice pour for a glass of wine as I enjoyed the $8.50 Banfi Chianti Classico - from an old Tuscany region family vintners. All in all though, for a total cost of just under $40 per person, I was not that impressed. Next.

08/09/06: Start New Job!
I started my new job with Wright Express in Portland, ME today - about an hour's drive so very reasonable. They have a Point of Sale system that processes vehicle fleet gas purchase credit cards. I'm on the web team that builds all the back office applications so the fleet manager can call up various statistics and metrics for his fleet, establish accounts, and all that.

Then the next day, there was almost an all day outdoors company picnic and quarterly meeting for all employees. That was a lot of fun and I got to meet quite a few very nice folks.

08/09/06: To Laconia, NH!
My first day of work and I had requested to leave early so that I could go up to Laconia, NH to my disciple 4th Degree Black Belt Yondan Russ Jones' club Sachem School of Self Defense to sit on the testing board for three of his students who were taking the very difficult and demanding exams for their 3rd Degree Brown Belt. All passed and no one got too banged up.

Joining me in traveling up to Laconia was 3rd Degree Black Belt James Nancarrow of the Northwood School of Self Defense, 3rd Degree Black Belt Tim House of the Tai Chien Dojo in Portsmouth, 2nd Degree Black Belt Scott Williams of the Red Leaf Karate Club in North Berwick, 2nd Degree Black Belt Rick Downs from Kittery, ME, a new student of mine Yellow Belt Wayne Demarco of Stratham, and a former student of mine, 5th Degree Black Belt Master David Shaw of York, ME.

It was great that so many could join me up there and to see everyone. Unfortunately, though we had wanted to stay, all had early calls the next day so we left right after the testing was completed.

08/18/06: George Thorogood in Concert!
Went down to the Hampton Beach Casino and Ballroom to see George Thorogood in concert - if you haven't heard of him, he's like a rock version of Billy Joel on steroids; totally sold out show just surging into the night.

I left work early to have dinner on the beach. We got a great almost rail side table on the second floor outside deck of the Sea Ketch restaurant overlooking Hampton Beach, had a marvelous broiled scallop dinner with a medley of vegetables and too much beer. I was primed up for the show, but when George burst onto the stage with "If anybody's gonna get arrested for rock an' roll, then it might as well be me!" and launched into a boiling Gear Jammer the whole place went up for grabs and the night was on. More beer and too much music! Oh, ya!

08/22/06: Had to Have a Steak!
I've been promising Colin a steak for months now but he has been so busy with either school or work that we just have never been able to get together. But tonight we made it happen! Off to Bugaboo Creek Steak House in Newington for a great (and I mean great) 12oz Black Magic Steak. So stuffed was the 19 year old that the old man had to snatch the last piece off the plate as our waiter Justin was clearing the table. And can I have an A-men!

08/27/06: Sunday Party For One!
Those of you invited to my next open house backgammon party are going to want to come if for no other reason than the food: Scallops With Summer Squash. Deciding on what to cook for the next party the other day made my mouth water when I was reading over the recipe. I couldn't resist and when I went shopping today, I got all the ingredients for it for my dinner tonight and for the week.

Well, I could hardly wait to get a start on things and break open the bottle of Cabernet that I had bought for the night. What celebration - whether warranted or not - would be complete without a nice bottle of wine!

So, about 5:45 I peeled off the metal seal of the wine bottle, popped the cork, and started cutting up the summer squash and zucchini. However, even before pouring myself the first glass of wine, I had prepared my own soaking sauce (not part of the recipe, by the way...), and rolled the scallops around in it and set it aside to marinate.

After cutting up the squash, I got the prosciutto and the herb sauce ready. Cooking time was really quick and I had to jump quickly between stove and counter as I got a huge spinach salad ready. Oh, and a splash of wine here and there necessitated refilling my glass a few times as well!

Life is good! And so was the meal; actually, probably one of my best efforts. So, if you are coming to the party you are in for a real treat! Just remember the rules though: if you come you play and if you play you gotta yell and get passionate about your game!

08/30/06: New Car For Colin!
Time to sell "The Hatchie" that Colin had been driving for the last year or so as he gets ready to start the daily trek back to Nashua, NH for his last year of his Associates in Automotive Technology. A friend of his from work needed to sell his 1998 Integra and Colin thought it would be perfect for his needs. Lookin' good in his new ride!

09/04/06: Labor Day Weekend!
Well, Thursday night after karate sitting at Applebee's playing backgammon I realized that it was Labor Day weekend and I hadn't planned anything. Rick Downs was game for that - as well as coming over Saturday night as he was ending the night down 4 to 2 against me.

So when I got home, I sent a note out that if folks had nothing to do Sunday from 2:00pm on "...until the last dog has barked..." that they could come over. Better yet I figured, we'd have Terminator marathon - all three movies and then have pizza delivered. How much fun could that be!

Rick came over Saturday night and after we banged heads for awhile over the board, we took Marissa out for Chinese food. The late effects of hurricane Ernesto was beginning to sweep across the area with dark swirling gray clouds and a bit of a chill to the rather strong breeze that had been blowing most of the day.

After dinner, we all played a few games and then Rick and I watched some really stupid old karate movie China O'Brien with 70s forms champ Cynthia Rothrock. Ohmygod... I was about 3 beers short for that one. Ended the night 12 to 5 over Rick who had started to babble about the bad dice and how he was going to make a comeback Sunday. Sure you are, Rick. Sure you are...

09/14/06: Off To See Chicago At Hampton Beach!
I had great seats for Chicago at the Hampton Beach Ballroom Casino tonight. I left work early thinking dinner somewhere on the beach would be nice, but gee - the place was like a ghost town with most of the businesses boarded up and few people walking around.

What a difference from just a few weeks ago when we were here for the George Thorogood concert when the beach was packed with traffic and people everywhere and we were lucky to get a good seat in the restaurant.

But there was little action going on this time. And it was overcast, windy, and raining. I like this kind of weather and so just pulled the car into a spot by the seawall and watched the waves crashing along the shore. Didn't bother me a bit. But, there was still the issue of getting something to eat so I thought the view from Saunders on Rye Harbor would be nice. So I just drove up there and had pub grub in the lounge.

Chicago came on and rocked the house apart! They played a few songs from their newest album - their 30th! - and those were really nice; very much in the classic smooth Chicago style. But every song they played I recognized and were all hits through the years. What a great night out!

09/15/06: A Little Ditty At One Month!
Well, I've been here at Wright Express for a month now and they keep sending me a check so things must be going smooth. I submitted the following little ditty to the group in honor of the occasion:
Yo, yo, yo and I gots a story to say
on this end of the week on a Friday.
Ya see, itís this one month I been here so far
Driviní down the highway in mícar.
But now I been here for this one month time
and wants you ta know that I be doiní... jusí fine.

09/15/06: Backgammon Defeat!
Played 3 games of backgammon with David after dinner at their home in Rye and went down in fiery defeat all three games - all of which he doubled me out of. I just couldn't take the cube any time because I was so far behind in point count and still can't figure out exactly how that happened... Not good. Not good at all...

09/16/06: The Great 2006 Labor Day Backgammon Tournament And Sea Scallops With Summer Squash Summer Kick Off!
It's been a crummy summer with all the rain and coolness; just a few weeks of really nice weather. So, here we find ourselves at the end of the summer that wasn't: Labor Day 2006 and I thought, well we should have a backgammon party! Current Picture

So, I did! I held The Great 2006 Labor Day Backgammon Tournament And Sea Scallops With Summer Squash Summer Kick Off on a Friday night and we had a ball!

We had some amazing games - lots of blood across the boards. The dice were wild and so were the players. Well, that's the way it would probably appear to someone not familiar with us because we just really get into things and have a good time of it. Though we try to keep score, there's just too much bad talk going on between games it seems for anyone to remember to keep their score cards up. And of course, that just creates more opportunity for harassing each other. All in good fun, though!.

09/23/06: First Day of Fall!
The first day of fall and it has been feeling like it now for a few days - just a hint of chill in the air and even some of the leaves have begun to glow a little. Not sure I'm ready for the warmer weather to pass and certainly not ready to have to wake up in the dark...

09/23/06: New Technical Paper Published!
For anyone who cares, I just posted my latest technical paper to the site: Basics of Test First Using Junit and Jmock.

09/26/06: Movie Night Out!
Had a great time out with some of my karate friends and students. We met in Portsmouth for dinner and primer beers at The Scoreboard in anticipation of a miserably bad karate movie, Fearless which is Jet Li's newest movie. We thought we just had to do it - any excuse, really to get out and have some fun. Surpisingly though, it was a pretty good movie. Even a plot! And Jet Li's spectacular talent was not made silly by too many outrageous moves.

09/29/06: Beer Tasting!
Sarah and friends had spent the last few weeks brewing up what they billed as sure to be an excellent batch of home brew beer. And it was! Very smooth. Lots of great munchies and conversation. Oh, and there was this great bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey...

10/06/06: Beautiful Columbus Day Weekend!
The weather was just spectacular for the whole weekend - leaves just beginning to turn and that great crispness to the air. This is the way it's supposed to be!

I hadn't taken Marissa out to dinner in awhile and so Friday night we decided what better time than the start of the Columbus Day holiday weekend. She loves Uno's so off we went. We asked to be seated at one of Sue's stations and had a great dinner. Things were pretty busy, but our wait was only fifteen minutes. Let the weekend begin!

Then Saturday night, she had a couple of friends over to watch the movie Kingdom of Heaven for some research for school. Said she liked it but was going to have to watch it again to make sure she understood everything it was she was supposed to learn from it. Maybe tomorrow...

Sunday morning I tried to kill myself slicing my lip open while shaving so I had to wait for the bleeding to stop so I could go down and get my Sunday coffee. How inconvenient is that! Sat down at the computer and did some writing on my novel and had a marvelous time relaxing and looking out the window at the beauty of the leaves which are just beginning to turn color this weekend. Can't get much better than that!

Rick came over this afternoon. He was 2 points up on me from the week's tournament play (actually Thursday at Applebee's) and had visions of carrying the victory forward.

We watched the end of the Patriots/Dolphins game and then some of the NASCAR race and battled it out until we got hungry. Marissa had returned from her babysitting job and so we all just piled into Rick's truck and got Chinese take out.

After we ate, Rick and I played more backgammon until around 8:00p and then we Kingdom of Heaven - the third time for Rick and I, but who cares? It's a holiday weekend and we're up for anything. Marissa and her friend Courtney, however, opted to watch another movie up in her room.

Monday was another beautiful day. After taking a shower I went down to get a holiday coffee and came back for some writing and gazing out at the leaves on the trees outside my library windows. Then a relaxing stir fry dinner of chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms with slices of fresh tomato washed down with a couple of glasses of Shiraz. Just doesn't get much better than all this!

10/13/06: Rose School of Karate October 2006 Disciple Retreat!
I can't resist holding my annual disciple retreat (2006 Disciple Retreat, Jackson, NH) up in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire in mid to late October - sometime after Columbus Day. Current Picture That is when the leaves are at or just past their peak and all the crowds are gone but the beauty of Nature still radiates from everywhere, the air is crisp and fresh, and there is little to distract us from the difficult tasks we are there to work through.

Of course, we have fun too! Walks in the woods, or along cold mountain streams, or hiking part way up the side of the mountain at one of the ski resorts. There are spirited backgammon games in the late afternoon when we get back from a busy day of work in the inn's lounge where hot apple cider, cookies, and cheese and crackers await us. And we go out of our way to dine in style each night.

But the point of the retreat is for us to all gather and reflect on the past year, to discuss issues that have come up in our clubs and in our lives, and to cover new topics of interest. And there are the early morning workouts by the pond to get us going before we even have breakfast!

10/27/06: The Great 2006 Halloween Backgammon Tournament And Friday Night Thriller!
I figured Halloween is a great excuse to have a backgammon party! And why not? So eight of us battled it out over the boards at The Great 2006 Halloween Backgammon Tournament And Friday Night Thriller. Current Picture We watched horror movies the whole night, had great pizza delivered from Kendall Pond, and vented the weeks frustrations at each other over the bad rolls and beats we all had.

Since it was a Friday night and everyone would be coming from work, we decided not to do a costume thing; we found out last year that it was a little difficult seeing the board through masks.

Fortunately, the big wind and rain storm that hit the area held off until Saturday - something like 100,000 people throughout New England lost power. I was lucky as the lights just dimmed a few times here, but losing it during such an important tournament would have provided too many people (myself included, no thanks to Sherrie) with excuses as to bad results!

11/03/06: A Great Fall Weekend!
Friday - Backgammon With David And Sort Of A Win!
I was invited over for backgammon and dinner to David and Kerra's in Rye, and found myself 16 points up on David after the cube got flipped to 4 on two matching come out dice. Then he flipped it at me to 8, and after a few more rolls, I threw it back at him to 16. Right after that, I got him caught on the bar where he couldn't get off for the longest time, and just killed him.

Of course, in the next two games he roughed me over for 10 points because of quite a few errors. So to him, he's a winner because he only counts games won. Thus, he looks at it as him up 2 to 1. Nope. Not the way I see it: it's 16 to 10 on points on my side of the board, bud, and I'll see you next time...

Saturday - Dinner Out!
Marissa joined Rick and me for dinner and some backgammon at Applebee's at the Weeks Crossing in Dover. Pretty busy as early as we got over there, too. Had a great meal, played a few games, and then came back to the house. Marissa went up to watch a movie she had rented as Rick and I played a few more games. Then we watched a great action flick, Fast And Furious - Yokyo Drift. Now that was a good movie!

Sunday - UNH Walkabout and Some Downtime Relaxing! Current Picture
I really slept in so when I finally dragged myself out of bed, I just got caught up on some minor stuff I had to do. But who wants to work on a beautiful day!

Becasue the weather was so nice, I decided this was the day to take my annual UNH Walkabout where I drive over to Durham and just kick through the leaves on campus. The pictures tell it all, I think.

It was really pretty walking around, though my torn up inner thigh muscle and scar tissue really gave me problems. Probably be a year working through Shiatsu massage and chiropractic before I can regain any type of general mobility with the thing, but I pressed around despite it all. But traveling slow has its benefits as I didn't miss much and even smelled the musty breath of leaves and brush as I walked around. It doesn't get much better than that, believe me! Current Picture

From Durham, I drove down to Newington and went food shopping for the week and got a bunch of stuff at Wal-Mart. You can always find something at Wal-Mart; even when you're not looking for anything - it's there... Forty bucks of stuff...

When I got home, I finished up some of the work I had been doing and then around three I just poured myself a glass of wine and went into the living room to relax and just sit there and look out the windows at the final browning of the leaves remaining after the big wind storm of a week or so ago.

Actually, I began reading a Danielle Steel novel that had been recommended to me for how she does character development - Toxic Bachelors. Not bad. I read pretty fast so I got about 215 pages into it - which is about the current length of the novel I am working on - and found it an enjoyable read; so much so that I'll probably even finish it. Maybe next weekend...

11/11/06: One More Time With Flawless!
Just enjoyed the really nice warm weather we're currently having; beautiful day. Supposed to rain tomorrow, but that's ok. Soon we'll be shoveling snow. Anyway, went up this evening to visit Linda Williams who was showing some of her art work with two others in North Berwick, ME. Then we decided to go to Cartelli's for dinner in Dover. Another great meal there.

But the crowning achievement of the night - perhaps even the week - was watching (for I don't know how many times now) Flawless. I like Robert De Niro, but am fascinated with the artistry of Phillip Seymour Hoffman who is laugh out loud spectacular in this. We couldn't help but roar through the whole thing.

11/12/06: Classic Fall Sunday!
As promised, Sunday was overcast and rainy - a downpour at one point. But that provided a marvelous backdrop to just lounging in the living room and finishing Toxic Bachelors. It was so cozy in my warm surroundings looking out at the chilling drizzle. A real Fall afternoon that was made even more charming by having the water fountain running and the Patriots playing on the tv, though I had the sound off so I could concentrate on my studying. After all, I'm not reading a friggin' Danielle Steel novel for any romantic voyeurism; strictly business - but a good read none-the-less.

I took a break mid afternoon to run out to do the shopping - in a torrent of wind and rain, of course. So after I got back I returned to the living room to finish my book, put on some Vivaldi, and poured myself a nice glass of merlot - an excellent 2003 Beringer that I had found on sale for just under ten dollars.

It absolutly kills me to spend more than that for a bottle of wine for just sipping around the house. Actually, I'd go broke quickly if I didn't control myself. And though I generally perfer a dry Cabernet Sauvignon or Medoc, I just don't find any that are really very good in that price range; you generally have to go up to the seventeen to twenty dollar level for those to get any sense of the distinct flavors of the varietal. But you can get a nicely flavored merlot with a soft bouquet in that range; you just have to look.

Anyway, after I finished the book, I poured myself another glass of wine, and charged into the kitchen and - off the top of my head - fixed up a marvelous zucchini, yellow squash, mushroom, and mixed bean tarragon, thyme, and turmeric dish while I listend to the first three of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. I guess I'm ready for tomorrow... But first: the movie of the night!

11/17/06: The Great 2006 Thanksgiving Backgammon Tournament And Headless Turkey Trot!
Well, I decided to hold one more backgammon get together for the year. Because of the upcoming busy season I really didn't expect anyone to want to do anything. Even Marissa and Colin were off doing stuff so just a few of us got to eat all the snacks, woof down pizza, and trash talk each other.

11/18/06: Beer And Borat!
Couldn't help myself - had to see the movie Borat. I know, I know: infantile and moronic... But after meeting up at the new Ruby Tuesday's in Newington for a few needed pre-show beers over dinner we were all set; I was all set, anyway. But it was a good time, so I make no excuses for saying that I liked the movie because what else are you going to say after almost pissing your pants laughing so hard. Maybe someday I'll grow up...

11/19/06: Marissa Scores 11 of 14 Points In Lacrosse Game!
Marissa signed up for the Seacoast United indoor winter Lacrosse league. Current Picture I went down Sunday 11/19 to check it out, and she scored 11 out of her team's 14 goals. I got some great pictures of the game; check it out.

11/22/06: Let The Holidays Begin!
Well, it's Wednesday of Thanksgiving weekend and after I get out of work I've got four days off! I had the responsibility of doing the testing environment application builds at work today as almost everyone else had taken the week off. I've been doing most of the builds lately as well as preparing the documentation and release notes for QA so as soon as I got in I started on the notes.

We had a defect review meeting at 9:30 and after that I started the build. But I ran into some problems and had to redo it, which cost me about an hour. And then when I delivered the build to QA for testing, all of the tests in one of the environments failed. Great. It turned out to be something they had forgotten to do on their side, but again everything else went on hold until we knew that things were ok.

After being assured that all was well, I headed out about 2:30. Stopped off at Hollywood Video on the way through upper Dover. I cleaned up a little and then headed out to dinner with a friend; just a casual thing at the Dover Applebee's to sort of kick start the weekend. Must have been the thought on quite a few people's minds as it was fairly busy, though we didn't have to wait for a table. It was a nice start to the holidays.

11/23/06: A Rainy and Smokey Thanksgiving Day!
It was a rainy and chilly Thanksgiving Day that greeted me as I ambled downstairs around nine am after rolling out of bed.

I had turkey to cook, so couldn't start that without some coffee. Current Picture Unfortunately, my cream had gone bad and I had to run out to the local Store 24 for a replacement.

That accomplished, I watched parts of the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV while picking away at some editing on a manuscript I am working on. Just a relaxing day despite the rain.

There were some tense moments wondering if the fire alarms would get set off by all the smoke from the oven as I had to open pan sear it for forty-five minutes before the long cooking process. They didn't, so that's good!

I cooked from about 11:30 to 6:00 and I've got to say that the turkey turned out pretty damn good for a city boy on his own. Marvelous!

12/09/06: Happy Feet!
Marissa and I couldn't resist it - we just had to go see the movie Happy Feet. What a great flick! We both liked it - I wasn't sure the seventeen year old daughter would buy into an annimated film about singing and dancing penguins... but it was a hit all around!

Of course we had to go to dinner at Uno's Chicago Bar and Grill at the Dover Crossing. And to top off the night, well we stopped off at the video store on the way home and rented the new Pink Panther movie and sat up and watched that as well.

I thought this would be a nice way of congratulating Marissa for getting as good a score as she did on her S.A.T. exams and really digging into the college search process. Good going, Marissa!

12/14/06: Company Holiday Parties!
Our software development group at Wright Express decided to have our team holiday lunch at one of the engineer's homes and then go into Portland for the IT department's full gathering celebration for the afternoon.

It was a bright and relatively warm day for Christmas holiday celebration, but that didn't slow us down much. It was a good time and nice to get everyone together for tall tales and a Yankee Swap - I ended up with a 2004 bottle of Ravenswood Cabernet!

12/16/06: Off To Williams Christmas Party!
It was another great holiday party at Scott and Linda Williams home in North Berwick. They had some great food and to go with it all: a sax and piano player for music and entertainment!

12/25/06: A Too Sunny Christmas Day!
It's been really mild for this time of year. Busines at the ski areas is really down and not much prospect for snow at all! Current Picture Christmas day was more like I used to spend with my parents in Oceanside, CA after they retired from Chicago.

Well, maybe not quite that nice!

Colin and Marissa came over to spend the morning with me and we had a great visit. It's so special to spend that time with them.

Though I got constant grief about taking Christmas Day pictures, I persevered over that and got a few.

We had great morning get together, despite there was no snow to make it seem like Christmas in New England.

For current events, go to the Rose Family Website page.