2010 Rose Family Events Archives...
      For current events, go to the Rose family website page.
01/01/10: Happy New Year!
I had some vacation days to use up by the end of the year, so I've just been relaxing all week. Of course I had to stay up New Year's Eve and watch Dick Clark drop the ball in Times Square. No party or anything; just a quiet night watching movies until around 11:00pm when I switched over to the network channels.

New Year's Day I fixed a pot of coffee, watched the first half hour of the Citius Parade, did some programming and reading and then about an hour of the Rose Parade. I came back into the living room about 4:00pm and turned on the pre Rose Bowl stuff to let the game run while I fixed my New Year's Day dinner of The Great Hip Replacement Ordeal Three Bean Chili Wonder. Tradition rules, Football three times a year: New Years, Super Bowl, and Thanksgiving. That's it.

After dinner I watched a couple of movies. First, was the great Crimson Tide. But to lighten things up for the New Year, did All About Steve from my NetFlix queue. It was about as stupid as I had been told it would be, but it was light and an easy end to the day.

01/02/10: Movie Road Trip: Sherlock Holmes
There was a huge snow storm that began overnight and lasted all day long. But that didn't dissuade six of us from braving the elements and meeting up at TGI Friday's in Newington for dinner. We were so busy chatting it up at the restaurant, that no one even cracked their backgammon board open! That's a first! After dinner, we all headed over to meet another couple of friends at the theater to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie, which was really pretty good. The drive home was brutal; I passed two, three car pile-ups on the way. Just nice and slow does it.

Sunday I rolled out of bed really late and just eased into the day slowly. I spent the day programming until about 5:30pm when Marissa came by to visit. We chatted until about 7:00, I finished up my work, and went in to watch M. Night Shyamalan's Lady In The Water. What a wonderfully different movie. I'm not a big M. Night fan, but this was so well done, though you do need to let go of any sense of reality that you may have. Heck, it's a bedtime story he made up for his kids. But what a marvelous story! Of course I had to stay up past midnight and watch all of the special features as well; very interesting.

01/06/10: The Great Hip Replacement Ordeal
Since there's not much else I'm going to be able to do for the next month or so, I might as well bore you with The Great Hip Replacement Ordeal. The long and short of which is that I had my hip replaced Wednesday January 6th at the Portsmouth Regional Hospital by Dr. Thomas King.

It was a little tougher of an operation than had been expected, and so my recovery was slower than I might have liked. I just had to bear down, do the exercises the physical therapists gave me through the pain, and build up my strength. Current Picture

Not to infer lack of communication or anything from the doctors, but if you are going to have your hip replaced, or really any major surgery, you should talk with someone who has had it done on them to get the full picture of what the doctor and physical therapist are trying to convey to you.

It's not a really painful process, but it certainly is not painless, and it would be really helpful for your recovery to hear how it's going to go from someone who's laid on the table.

In particular, you can not possibly conceive of the total exhaustion you will experience as your body recovers from a surgery. You have no - as in NO - idea how debilitating an event like a surgery can create for you. I was in pretty good shape when I went into my surgery and figured I'd be back at work in a couple maybe three weeks tops. Sure.... I was out 8 weeks and still was easily run to the ground if I pushed too hard. 8 weeks....

03/03/10: Back To Work "...and Beyond!" (- Buzz Lightyear)
The short week I worked was so that I'd have this weekend to recover if I feel into the dirt from exhaustion. Wednesday and Thursday were pretty tough, but by Friday I was doing much better. So starting to get my body regulated pretty good, I guess. I had a chiropractor's appointment in North Hampton after work Friday, so after that I went over to Helen's in Rye. She had Chinese food delivered and we watched the 1980 George C. Scott movie The Changling.

Though Friday night was a late one, I was up feeling pretty good by 9:00am Saturday morning. Marissa stopped by early afternoon and we had a lovely long chat. Then Saturday evening, Helen came over to learn backgammon so she'd be ready for next week's party. She brought some Amstel with her, and I had pizza delivered. That's a whole food group in itself. Or, that's what I've been told....

Sunday I just took it real easy as I knew the following full week at work would be really challenging. And it was with two out patient physical therapy sessions followed by another chiropractor vist that Friday. After that, I just went home, watched a movie and went to bed!

03/13/10: The Great 2010 St Patricks Day Quadruple Event Backgammon Tournament And No Snow Stir Fry!
The Great 2010 St Patricks Day Quadruple Event Backgammon Tournament And No Snow Stir Fry was my first party since my surgery where I've cooked. I was a little concerned about standing on my feet for that long a period, but other than a little soreness, I was fine. Current Picture

I did a sherry, tamari, and cumin marinated pork stir fry with boc choi, marjoram seasoned bella mushrooms stir fried with scallions, and sweet red pepper.

To top it all off, I threw some mung beans in and then spread boc choi leaves over the top to steam.

Party went great, with lots of backgammon among the 8 of us. The vote for the movie of the night was U.S. Marshals with Tommy Lee Jones.

03/19/10: Friday Night Out to Play Our Town
After my chiropractor's appointment in North Hampton after work, I picked Helen up in Rye, NH and we did a quick dinner at Abercrombie & Finch. Then we were off to Portsmouth to the Seacoast Repertory Theater to see the play Our Town. I don't think I've missed but maybe two presentations in six years of Our Town in the surrounding area. Seacoast Rep did an excellent job.

03/20/10: Saturday - First Day of Spring!
Wow! Tough to believe that it's the first of spring now after the horrendous weather that we've had recently. But, here it is, regardless. I was pretty done in by the two physical therapy sessions and chiropractor this week so just slept in until about 10:00am. Got up and just had a slow, casual day, accomplishing little of significance.

03/21/10: Peter's Sunday Dinner Party For One
Well, because of the start of Spring and all, I was really cranked to cook up a storm today. Early on, I got a lot of programming done on my project so was in a marvelous mood to go shopping around 4:00pm.

It always takes longer than projected to do this stuff, and this week was complicated by the pleasant visit of my friends Nora and Sue who stopped by and helped me kill off the nice bottle of Spanish Rioja before I had a chance to over due it by drinking it all in a zeal by myself whilest cooking away and listening to my new CD of Beethoven's Andante favori in F major, played - er, rather that would be 'looped' - too many times and at a volume probably not conducive to building good neighbor relations.

I had tumbled onto an interesting recipe in Food and Wine magazine earlier in the week that I had decided on right then would be an excellent challenge for me. It was a spicy Thai recipe that I could not, of course, leave alone. And well that I didn't as it would not have been as good. Or so I think, anyway.

I marinated thin strips of sirloin in a sherry and herb mix while I cut up the vegetables and got the rice cooking - a great resulting Basmati in a broth of cumin, coriander, paprika, marjoram, and who knows what all else. After getting a good base of garlic and fresh ginger root going in the wok, I stir fried onion rings and sweet red pepper. Then I dumped in the sirloin with a can of peas and let that cook for just a minute or so before stirring in the rice. Then there was some sauce to pour in, and then the finale was to throw in almost a whole head of kale and let that steam together. Out standing!

03/23/10: My FAPIIS Work Project Finds Recognition
Several months prior to my surgery I was assigned by NSLC to design and build The Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System, or FAPIIS application. At the time I had no idea how much visibility this project had.

The project was rolled out to government and contractor participants this past Sunday, and today the business analyst that directed me through the project, Steve Eisenbrey, brought me a print out from the online site Government Executive that had a comprehensive article about the project. I told a friend of mine that I was going to frame that article and use it to impress the neighbor's dog. And if the link ever gets whacked, here's a copy.

But I'm really proud that it came out as well as it did and that it will be used extensively. They are already talking about some major enhancement work, and I hope I'm selected to continue on with it as it was a really interesting and challenging project.

03/23/10: After Effects of Physical Therapy
Though I'm feeling pretty good right now, I think I'll be going on an 'Advil drip' here pretty soon. This afternoon's PT session was exhausting, and the deep tissue massage really did me in, I think. But each day a little better. As the Silva Method teaches, "Each and every day, in each and every way, I get better, better, and better."

03/26/10: Dinner and Play Glengary Glen Ross
Back with Helen to Abercrombie & Finch for a quick dinner after a chiropractor's appointment, and then off to Portsmouth to the Player's Ring production of the play Glengary Glen Ross. This was my first time to the Player's Ring and it was really a neat experience; truly a wonderful small community theater experience.

03/27/10: Movie Night At The Garrison: The Shining
I had sent a note out inviting my friends over for a Movie Night At The Garrison: The Shining. Current Picture This was the first of three classic suspense thrillers that I'll host over the next couple of months.

I guess everyone wanted to get together, play some backgammon, chow down on pizza, and see this great movie because there were 8 of us. So, it sort of morphed into a somewhat major event.

03/28/10: Peter's Sunday Dinner Party For One
Well, I was so excited about preparing tonight's Peter's Sunday Dinner Party For One that I could barely stand it. As soon as I blew back in the door from shopping, I popped a bottle of Berringer Chardonnay and got down to chopping vegetables and other stuff, which there was a slew of: sweet potatoes, ginger root, garlic, jalapeno and harbanaro peppers, scallions, sweet red pepper, and kale.

I had seen this recipe in this month's Food & Wine (along with last week's dish) for Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Vegetable Curry. It also called for some stuff I either didn't have and couldn't find at the store (like Thai red curry paste; I made a concoction of my own and it was marvelous, though don't know if it was Thai or Indian or just me. But it was exceptional!), or stuff I didn't want to use (sour cream; I substituted a nice flavored yogurt instead). As a result, by the time I was on my second glass of wine, the recipe was just a suggestion and I was having a ball.

I started out with the vegetable chopping with a selection of Bach's keyboard partita's, but as the actual cooking started, I moved aggressively into t.A.T.u's 2002 CD 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane. And during dinner itself, Evanescence's 2003 Fallen. I finished off the eveing with the movie of the night, Love Happens. Why not....

04/03/10: Easter Weekend and Movie Road Trip: Clash of The Titans
Easter weekend started out smooth. I had a chiropractor's appointment in North Hampton after work Friday. Between my two physical therapy sessions this week and now this appointment, I can really feel my body changing. I still get tired easily, but the muscles in my leg and out of alignment hips and spine that I have been struggling with seem to be holding their positions longer after the adjustments. This makes my exercise and stretching work less painful and I feel more productive. I've got a long way to go, but I felt really good after the chiropractor visit.

I met a friend for dinner and went a little overboard by having a gooey desert; something I never do. But I was egged on with a "...what are you going to have?" So, once I got it into my head that it was desert time, there was no stopping things. Yeah, I paid for that one by tossing around trying to get to sleep for a couple hours Friday night.

But I pulled myself out of bed at 8:30 Saturday morning, brewed up a pot of coffee and got right to working on the section of code that I had left off with the weekend before. What a bear! I messed with that for hours last weekend and now found myself several hours later this Saturday morning with absolutely no solution. Samesame error, bat ju-ju and no Scotty to beam me up....

Reaching my limit of patience, I did what I always do when stuck on a code issue: I got up and took a walk. I went out to get the mail and found the weather to be really Spring like! It was much warmer outside than it was in the condo. Amazing. Great stuff! And when I went back to my code, I immediately saw the solution. In three minutes, I was onto the next issue. And the next thing I knew, it was 5:30pm and time to head out the door to meet Rick and Brian for dinner at T.G.I. Fridays in Newington.

I was the first there followed about two minutes later by Brian, and then in another five minutes, Rick showed up. I hadn't played Rick in Backgammon in a couple of weeks when he had kicked my ass 6 points a loser, so I think I was overcome with zeal to get him because I threw the cube at him way too soon. I also foolishly felt I was on a roll from Thursday night's set with Brian where I swooped him off the board all 3 games for a 6 point hit. So, I figured I could do the same against Rick and got carried off the field, getting stung for 2 points. That was the first and only game we played because dinner came 4 moves into the second game, and we just folded the board up.

Oh, and the movie? Awful. I should have had a third beer, and even then, I'm not sure it would have helped. For the wasted price of that movie ticket I could have had a couple more beers and lost more backgammon. And that would have been more enjoyable than that movie. Oh, it had some good special effects and there were some good action sequences. But despite the good actors, the dialog and direction were horrible and forced. I had opted not to go to the 3-D version because I had heard that they had shot the movie in regular 2D and then fooled with it after the fact by digitally pulling the foreground stuff forward to simulate 3-D. And I can't imagine not feeling woozy if I would have seen it in what I understand is a real 'in your face' 3-D as the camera was all over the place. No thanks.

Sunday morning, I was up at 9:00am and on the board throwing code and sipping my coffee. Marissa stopped by to see me late morning on her way to Gary's house and then on to her grandparent's house in York, ME. I had to get shopping early as the store closed at 3:00pm. After putting the stuff away, I finished up with the current programming issue I was dealing with so that I wouldn't have to pick up in the dark on it next weekend. I didn't make as much progress overall that I had hoped to, but at this stage of the complexity of the project even a little progress goes a long way to the overall solution.

Peter's Easter Sunday Dinner Party For One was the required Easter ham which I poured a nice sherry and herb marinate over. I baked a small acorn squash and had cumin, garlic, and seeet onion sauted peas as my second side. The wine of the night was a Australian Yellow Tail Chardonnay that had called out to me in the store as I had pranced by. It was fine, though the party lasted longer than usual and I probably (as in probably did) drank too much of that wine for my own good. Well, look: I had to also fix a scallion and garlic Alfredo sauce to go with another series of dinner meals that I was preparing to put down into stock. That sauce would be used with a ham and noodle casserole I plan on making sometime. But the whole thing took me two and a half hours to prepare and my hip and leg were really sore. But after dinner I pressed on for another hour of general stove and kitchen clean up. And then: collapsed on the sofa for some mindless movie....

04/08/10: 3 Month Post-Op Surgery Review
I had my 3 month post-surgery exam today, and I finally remembered to ask what my new hip was made of, and I've got titanium in my leg! The surgeon says I'm doing really good considering the severity of the operation overall. I asked him on a scale of 1 to 10 - with 10 being the most severe - how he would rate mine. He looked over at me and just replied, "You're an Eight." Welllllll, alright-NOW! If I'm gonna go through something like that, it might as well be of epic proportion! Go big or go home! I went B-I-G!

04/10/10: The Great 2010 Post April Fools Backgammon Tournament And Thai Turmeric Surprise
I thought it only fitting to host The Great 2010 Post April Fools Backgammon Tournament And Thai Turmeric Surprise particularly Current Picture in light of the fact that the weather has really been fooling around with us, going from nice to... well, not so nice.

Though there were only 5 of us, the others had a grand time playing backgammon and trash talking while I cooked up a marvelous tumeric (and other spiced) baked cauliflower dinner that I served over a bed of cumin and basil basmati rice.

We finished off the night with the great cake that the Nancarrow's brought with them and the movie of the night: the original Cape Fear. This was the second in our planned series of classic thrillers, and it was terrific.

04/17/10: Rainy Weekend With A Dash of Final Snow
Friday afternoon after getting home from work, I was heading out to get the mail and the rain that had been falling for a couple of Current Picture days turned into just the slightest of sleet and then just a pinch of snow.

My disciple Rick Downs came over Saturday night for some backgammon, spaghetti, and the silly movie Ninja Assassins and mentioned that he heard that Dixville Notch, way up in the Northern mountains of New Hampshire, got 9 inches of snow, and that even North Conway got around 4 inches.

Geeze, it's getting a little late in the season to be snowing around here. After all, the 15th was the start of boating season! Despite the start of the season, I haven't seen any boats out in the moorages yet anyway. But then the weather overall has been really fierce for weeks now.

Sunday, Colin (above picture) swung by around noon to pick me up so I could take him out for lunch. He wanted to do a lunch so that Marissa and Gary could join us, so chose Current Picture BG's Boathouse on the Sagamore Creek in Portsmouth.

The last time I was here was when the kids brought me here for lunch last Father's Day. It's a great spot right on the river, but not too busy today, probably because of the chill in the air.

Though overcast, it was a beautiful view out of the restaurant's windows overlooking the river. We opted to eat inside rather than out on the deck, even though the plastic sides were down. A few people braved it out there, though. It would have been okay, but it was pretty cozy inside looking out. We had a great time together; so good that we can all have fun and be relaxed and enjoy events like this.

After Colin dropped me off back home, I put together my shopping list for this week and tonight's dinner. I'm going to fix up quite a bit tonight as I ate everything I had in stock last week. The fridge is barren! Have to fix that!

As I am helping my friend Sue put together some sort of web site for her art work, we chatted about that as I fixed dinner for us. Now, Sue, all you have to do is keep on task and finish what you need to do so I can finish what I told you that I would do. Okay? Whew!

And speaking of dinner, because it was chilly out I decided to fix oven baked paprika chicken thighs in a white wine, onion, garlic, olive oil, Yukon gold potatoes, kale, and sweet peas extravaganza. I also fixed cumin, paprika, and tarragon steamed Brussels sprouts. Marvelous....

04/24/10: Thai Dinner Out and Movie Night At The Garrison: Psycho
Busy week at work so I just collapsed and decompressed Friday night (23rd). For dinner, I had one of last Sunday's meals for dinner. But the height of the night was the second in the Matrix trilogy. I did the first one about a month ago (for about the 15th time) and will get to the third one in the next couple of months. Once every couple years I have to run the whole series.

Up early Saturday morning, and hip and leg feeling pretty good, though lower back was stiff all day. Worked on my programming project and had a major break-through in the theoretical aspects of the foreign currency pricing analysis that I am doing. Very interesting, particularly as some of the results I am seeing programmatically bear up under propositions I determined almost 30 years ago when I started doing this kind of research.

I had to break away from that and meet some of my friends at Thai Cuisine in downtown Dover for dinner. And, of course, we stuffed ourselves, as in s-t-u-f-f-e-d, ourselves and even split a Thai desert between the 4 of us. Huge - and I mean big - plates of food. This is the fourth time, I think, I've had Thai and I actually prefer Indian. I'm not sure I really like all of the more fruity flavors of Thai food, and we had three distinct and very ethnic Thai dishes to sample from as well as the desert. Hey, the Thai beer was really good, though.

After dinner, we beat it back to my condo and met up with another three friends that showed up to watch the next in our series of classic thrillers: Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Man, did I forget what a great movie that is; even today. But now, there are requests for 4 more classic thrillers so the madness will continue through the summer, I suspect. The Nancarrows again contributed a marvelous lemon and blueberry cake. Despite being stuffed, we made a pretty good dent in that, for sure.

04/25/10: Another Great Peter's Sunday Dinner Party For One
Up again early Sunday morning and back still pretty stiff. Got the coffee going and back on the boards throwing code like a crazy person until I couldn't take it anymore. Knocked that off about 4:30pm and went food shopping.

Tonight for Peter's Sunday Dinner Party For One I fixed a marvelous pork chops in a thyme and rosemary vegetable mix in a sauce of grilled onion, carrot and crushed tomatoes and basil. I started out the food prep listening to a CD one of my students, Brian Serven, brought over the other night for me to check out: Yann Tiersen's piano soundtrack to the movie Good Bye, Lenin!. As I emailed him: "Very nice. Somewhat similar in feel to Philip Glass, though where Glass is very haunting, this is a little more lyrical, though I'm not sure I care for some of the mix of voice and some of the variance in the overall feeling of the CD. Whereas I could listen to just about all of Glass's works, I'm not sure I would with this."

From there, I went on to the unbelievable Struggle from the Subway to the Charts by Nuttin But Stringz. Wow! is all I can say about that. Looking forward to doing that one again, for sure! Then, 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane by t.A.T.u. as I stirred the sauce and sipped a wonderful Lindeman's Bin 65 Chardonnay, having, "More fun than humans ought to have." as my 35 year disciple and friend David Landers says. Yeah, baby!.

Took it a little slower with dinner and listened to Bach: The 6 French Suites with Glenn Gould. And then the movie of the night was the 1954 classic Executive Suite with William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck. Nice....

04/30/10: Day Off!
Took the day off! Yup. I had my new tv scheduled for delivery in the morning, and then my former disciple Master Bruce Vinciguerra said he could come by late morning or early afternoon to do the set up. So, I just decided to take the day off from work and relax. Well, I began my next major rewrite of my Forex programming project now that most of the analysis algorithms are functioning as advertised.

The story behind the new tv is that my current 46" LCD tv screen displayed vertical lines several weeks ago, just as it did a year ago and had to be replaced. Well, seems Mitsubishi has had particular problems with the manufacturer of this model's panels that they extended their warranty, which I fell into. Rather than replace the panel a second time, they told me they would give me a new tv. So I asked them, how much to upgrade from a 46" to a 52". So, for $400: sold!

The delivery came about 9:00am and Bruce was here with one of his brothers around noon. It didn't take them long to do the basic setup. Bruce was going to come back later that evening to finish all of the fine tuning, so then I was left here with that tv calling out to me, "Peter.... Peter.... Come watch me...." It was all I could do to resist. But I had so much work to do, I just plowed into the programming until I couldn't stand it anymore.

I went in and slipped the Blu-ray of Crimson Tide into my PS3 and tried to figure out some of the setup functions. I'm an engineer and I just got so frustrated trying to figure out what to do that I threw instruction booklet down. These things are written by engineers, who are the worst people to have write an instruction book. It is just awful; like trying to teach someone English by handing them a dictionary. Great, just great...

Finally, Bruce and his wife Dawn showed up to save me. After Bruce worked through all of the fine tuning settings, we all went out to Cartellis Bar and Grill here in Dover for a marvelous dinner. It has been literally years since we have all gotten together. It was nice to revist an old friendship over great wine, dinner, and atmosphere.

05/01/10: Breaking In The New TV
It was all I could do to stay out of the living room to fiddle with the new tv. But I held out working on some programming until my disciple Rick Downs came over for some spaghetti and backgammon. Then the movie of the night was Tony Jaa in Ong-Bak 2: The Beginning, a totally useless martial arts movie that was just outstanding on a 52" LCD flat screen! I got my new tv fix totally satisfied!

Up around 9:00am Sunday, got the coffee brewing, and settled into some programming. Headed off to the store for food shopping around 3:00pm as wanted to get an early dinner this time so I could have a relaxing evening later with another movie, which turned out to be Night At The Musuem.

I had found an Indian recipe for Spiced Tofu, Cauliflower, and Spinach, but I don't see any use for tofu and I wasn't feeling it for spinach. On top of that, I had invited Sue over for dinner and so experimenting with this stuff was not something I wanted to get into. So, I got some nice lean pork and red leaf lettuce instead. I figured this was going to be a fairly quick fix, but I got behind sipping the wine, chopping stuff up, and doing all this prep work. It was fun, but a little more drawn out than I had planned. Great recipe with garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and scallions. I also fixed some rosemary steamed snow peas, but I'm not convinced that rosemary alone (and in that concentration) came out as good as I had hoped. Buyer beware....

05/05/10: Cinco de Mayo Dinner With Marissa
Marissa called me at work about 3:00pm. She had driven home from college as exams are going on and things there were pretty dead. She wanted to go out to dinner - "Hey! It's Cinco de Mayo! Let's go!"e; So, what was I to do but head out a little early?

She picked me up around 5:00pm at my house just as Colin was swinging by to exchange cars so he could do some work on mine. We went down to T.G.I. Friday's in Newington and had a terrific time and meal. Of course, I had to have Corona. And they came with the cuttest little multi colored poncho around the neck of the bottle. Nice.

05/07/10: Dinner Out
My disciple, 4th Degree Black Belt Yondan Russ Jones came down from Laconia, NH for some discussion. We decided to head over to Christopher's here in Dover. We had been there on one of his other trips down, and we both enjoy it. We had a great dinner, came back here to my condo, and sat and chatted over a final glass of wine until after 11:00pm. Sort of rough for him as he has an hour and a half or so drive back home.

05/08/10: The Great 2010 Cinco de Mayo Backgammon Tournament And Santa Fe Rice And Beans Border Feast!
What Cinco de Mayo would be complete without a backgammon dinner party? And so, Saturday May 8th I hosted The Great 2010 Cinco de Mayo Backgammon Tournament And Santa Fe Rice And Beans Border Feast. Current Picture This was my 56th backgammon dinner party since I moved in here to The Garrison in 2004!

I fixed Santa Fe Rice and Beans with garlic and Corona spiced and marinated chicken while everyone played backgammon and talked trash. It was a great time, and one of the largest gatherings in quite awhile: 12 of us enjoyed the evening together.

And I had a new camera to try out. The one I had was 4 years old and I just have not been happy with the quality of pictures that I have been getting out of it for the type of photography that I do. Marissa had suggested an Olympus 10X Stylus digital camera, and so I ordered that over the web. It came earlier in the week so we'll see how the new pictures come out. Current Picture The movie of the night was the just released James Cameron's Avatar in Blu-ray. It was, to say the least, spectacular!

Though I didn't get to bed until after midnight, I was up Sunday morning at 7:45am. Got the coffee going but had to shut the windows because it was so windy and actually cold out!

Had a relaxing day programming until Sue came by for dinner and to watch... yes, Avatar. She hadn't seen it yet, and I could watch it three more times so we had a nice evening. I fixed a really nice chicken and cauliflower with red leaf lettuce in what turned out to be marvelous garlic, ginger, cumin, scallion, coriander and turmeric mix.

05/13/10: Visit To Towson, MD!
I took a couple days off work from Thursday morning 05/13 and came back Sunday 05/16 to fly down to Towson, MD to visit with my brother Alan with the secondary goal of practicing The Fine Art of Southern Porch Sitting. Current Picture Also, to just go for once when the weather wouldn't be a hundred degrees in the shade. But the main reason was to celebrate with him for his upcoming 80th birthday June 13th.

June is fixing up to be a really busy month for me, and I suspect it will be for him as well. So, I thought I'd go down now!

Other than a quick, but massive, thunderstorm on Friday afternoon, the weather was just super, and I was able to get in a lot of training and direction by Alan in The Fine Art of Southern Porch Sitting. Yeah, baby!

05/21/10: Friday Night MNG: Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood: What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?
I warned everyone about this weeks ago, but it's time to celebrate Mr. Rogers debut on tv Current Picture on May 22, 1967 with the 60min episode: Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood: What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel? for a Friday night Movie Night At The Garrison.

I started the party at 6:00pm, and Tim House showed up not long after with a bottle of Charles Shaw Merlot. As we chatted, I got a big pot of spaghetti going that I just heated up a jar of Barilla sauce for. Also had some toasted garlic bread to take the edge off with.

As you can see from the picture, I've got the closest thing to a 'Mr. Rogers sweater' on as I could come up with. Nice.... I started the Mr. Rogers movie at 7:30pm and then at 8:30pm, the 1972 Robert Redford movie Jeremiah Johnson.

05/22/10: Saturday Movie Road Trip: Iron Man II
I kept hearing the terrific reviews that Iron Man II was getting but had resisted paying to see it at the theater. But, everyone was wanting to go, so, why not!

There were 6 of us that met up at T.G.I. Friday's in Newington, NH at 6:00pm for dinner. I was 4 points up on Rick from Thursday night's backgammon play, and he was looking to even out the score for the week. So we went at it over the board pretty tough for a couple of games. He was really getting the shots and pulled 2 points on me to come out just 2 down for the week. But Rick, you're still down...

And the movie was just super! A lot better than the first one and terrific in its own right. And Robert Downey, Jr. was excellent. A nice, entertaining movie! And that's what it's all about, anyway.

05/23/10: Sunday Dinner Party
Marissa had badgered me a couple of days ago about having a dinner party sometime. She said Current Picture she would particularly like me to fix Cornish Game Hens.

She just loves the recipe and process James Haller from the old Blue Strawberry restaurant wrote about in one of his cook books he autographed for me a long, long time ago.

Even though I love fixing them, I wasn't too sure about that as it was really getting hot out, and to have the oven going at 475 degrees is just not something I was looking forward to. But, of course, she insisted and who am I to be a party-pooper? It was on!

05/29/10: Memorial Day Weekend
Up fairly early for a Saturday morning but I had some algorithm changes to my programming project I wanted to get started on. That worked out pretty good, but I ended up with more questions than I could answer. I called one of my students, Eleanne, who has a PhD in bio statistics, and begged for help. She said she could come over in the morning.

My disciple Rick Downs swung by around 5:00pm and we headed off to Castaways restaurant on the water here in Dover for some backgammon and dinner to bring in the Memorial Day weekend. I hadn't been to Castaway's since late last Fall, so it was nice to get back there. Very relaxing along the river, and we got a nice table outside. After dinner, we came back to my condo and Rick was all up to watch Avatar! Why not? Great movie, for sure.

Sunday I got up around 8:00am and got the coffee going. Eleanne came by around 11:00am after her Sunday morning karate class with Nidan Downs - he has held a class, sometimes with only himself outside along the bank of the Piscataqua River on Four Tree Island in Portsmouth for more years than I can think of. Anyway, I went over my theories with Eleanne, trying to explain what I was trying to accomplish. She was a big help in taking me through the clutter of my thinking. What was neat is that some of the points that I had programmed intuitively proved to be the best mathematical solution.

Sue came over around 6:00 after work just as I was finishing up the heavy lifting dinner chopping and prep work. A wonderful time to pop the bottle of Spanish red wine she brought with her. I fixed that Sauteed Baby Veal Chops with Herbed Bread Crumbs recipe that Alan and I had made while I was visiting him down in Towson, MD a few weeks back. Of course I couldn't leave the recipe totally alone. However, because it did represent a traditional Portuguese dish, I kept my changes pretty minimal; the biggest of which was first, that I didn't broil it (too hot out), and second, I threw several handfuls of red leaf lettuce on top just before it was done and steamed that. Marvelous, if I do say so myself.

Monday I was up early and onto the programming so I could fully implement the suggestions that Eleanne had made Sunday. I had planned to break off with that late morning or early afternoon, go park myself out on the deck, and catch up on some of my back reading. But you know what? It was just too windy and sort of chilly out. I was programmed out and had little desire to do anything serious so I flopped down on the sofa and watched the movie Titanic! As the young-ens might exclaim, "OMG!" Sue came over around 7:00pm to rescue me from that fate. We sipped some Chardonnay and went through some of her photography work that I had asked her to bring over.

06/04/10: Dinner At Riverworks
It's been awhile since I had been over to the Riverworks in Newmarket, so thought I'd take Sue over there for dinner Friday night. It was really relaxing to just kick back with a glass of wine after a pretty intense week at work. And the food was, as it always has been, outstanding.

06/05/10: Movie Road Trip: Robin Hood
I had reservations about going to see the 2010 Riddley Scott and Russel Crowe version of Robin Hood, but Rick and Linda insisted. Tim also met up with us for some premovie backgammon and dinner at T.G.I. Fridays in Newington Saturday evening. We went to the 6:45 show and it was packed. And a very well done movie. We all enjoyed it. A good night out.

06/06/10: Quiet Sunday Dinner
I was in the mood to fix a recipe I had made awhile ago. Sue came over after work, and we had a good time listening to a variety of music while I did my thing making pork cubes stewed in herbed Italian tomatoes, rosemary, and thyme with sides of sweet corn and paprika, cumin, and curry basmatti brown rice.

06/08/10: Back To Physical Therapy
Well, after taking about a month break from both physical therapy and my chiropractor, I went back on Tuesday for a PT session so see how I had done on my own. I mean, at some point you have to take responsibility for working your way through stuff and my break was to see how I had done. And I had done pretty good, though there are still muscular issues that continue to cause pain even 6 months after my surgery. So, I got some new exercises and will work on those and see how I do for the next two weeks until my next appointment.

06/09/10: Marissa's 21st Birthday!
I took Marissa, Gary, and Colin out Wednesday evening to Marissa's choice, T.G.I. Friday's, Current Picture for her 21st Birthday dinner. Just a little quite get together that I was so happy I could share with her on her very special day.

06/11/10: Back To Chiropractor
Again, in trying to establish where I'm at in my healing process, I went in to see Dr. Shulde in North Hampton after I got out of work Friday. Progress again has been good, but I really needed his expertise to help my body readjust and heal. Things are going good!

And Friday in the summertime is a great time to head out for an 'Explore', as Christopher Robin in Winnie-The-Pooh would say! I had been wanting to check out the newly renovated Chinese restaurant over in Durham, so Sue and I ambled over there and had a lovely meal. Man, they really did a nice job changing that place from a college cafeteria type style to a very warm and inviting asian environment. Nice job! And good food to boot. That's a 'go back', for sure.

06/12/10: The Great 2010 Six Years At The Garrison Backgammon Tournament And Spaghetti Bolognese Celebration
It's amazing, but yesterday, Friday, was my 6 year anniversary living here at The Garrison in Dover. Every year I have had a backgammon dinner party get together Current Picture to celebrate, and this year was no different. Party! Party!

And so on Saturday June 12th I had The Great 2010 Six Years At The Garrison Backgammon Tournament And Spaghetti Bolognese Celebration!

It's become a tradition that I fix Spaghetti Bolognese for everyone and then the movie of the night has always been Top Gun. It's a long process fixing the spaghetti sauce, and I wanted to get an early start on it because I wanted time while the sauce was simmering to play some backgammon for a change!

06/16/10: Combined Birthday Trip To Newport, R.I.
To combine the celebration of Marissa's 21st birthday and my 61st birthday, Current Picture I took Marissa, her fiance Gary, Colin, and two of Marissa's friends, Courtney and Erin, down to Newport, R.I. for a few days of relaxation and touring the mansions.

We left on Wednesday the 16th and came back Saturday the 19th late morning. The weather held perfect the whole time, and we all had a great time together.

We visited 8 of the mansions and still had time to shop along the waterfront and hit the pool in the afternoon every day. The Howard Johnson's that we stay in each time we go down has an indoor heated pool and a huge hot tub. That hot tub really tops off a day of tromping around Newport!

06/19/10: Dinner At Sue's
Since we got back from Newport early Saturday afternoon because Colin had a wedding and reception to go to, Current Picture Sue knew I'd be in no mood to shop or cook.

So, she had set it up before I had left to have me over for dinner to her place Saturday evening. After getting back, I had plenty of time to unpack and get squared away with snail mail and a few back emails - I had taken a laptop with me so I could at least stay ahead of that on the trip.

I got over there about 5:00, I think, and she had a nice bottle of wine ready to open. Now, that's something I can do, so we were all set on that deal.

She played a couple of great CDs of artists that Current Picture I hadn't heard before as she prepared great scallops in a mango and ginger root based sauce. I'm for sure going to bum that one off her as it's really interesting.

You know, I could really get used to this vacation stuff....

06/20/10: Father's Day Breakfast
Even though we just got back from our Newport trip, marissa insisted on her and Colin coming over late Sunday morning to fix a Father's Day breakfast Current Picture for me. It actually turned out to be more of a brunch because I wanted everyone to be able to sleep in and rest.

It was nice that Marissa wanted to include Sue, and so we were all into full party mode when they arrived at 10:00am. I had a wonderful visit with them; just a really nice, relaxing Father's Day.

They headed out around noon and I got together a shopping list for a nice Sunday dinner for Sue and I to have. She noticed that my latest NetFlix movie was The Blind Side, and since neither of us had seen it, we watched that and really enjoyed it.

06/24/10: Vist From My Disciple Carl Parker
My disciple, 3rd Degree Black Belt Sandan Carl Parker, from Albuquerque, NM was out to Boston on business and drove up to work out with us at Thursday's karate class. Sue had invited me over to her place for a mid week dinner, and I had leftovers from that Carl and I had for dinner.

After class, we all went up to Applebee's and had a nice visit. He spent the night at my place and then drove down Friday morning to Providence, RI to catch his flight back.

06/27/10: Dinner Out and Boz Scaggs Concert
I picked Sue up at 4:00pm Sunday and drove down to North Hampton for an early dinner at Renaldo's Italian restaurant. We stopped in the book outlet next door and trolled the shelves for 40 minutes or so, had dinner, and then drove down to the Hampton Beach Casino for an 8:00pm Boz Scaggs concert.

It was nice walking the boardwalk for awhile before going into the show. All the sand sculptures from the day's competition were displayed along the walkway and a band was playing in the outside concert shell.

And Boz Scaggs was just beyond what I had imagined. His voice has just gotten better and better over the years. What a marvelous time.

06/30/10: Road Trip: Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Harry Callahan Exhibit
As a photograpic artist, Sue had mentioned casually to me that she really enjoyed the work of the iconic American photographer Harry Callahan and wondered if I would be interested in a Road Trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. We drove down, parked in the Prudential garage, and hopped the Green Current Picture Line E train out to MFA.

It was a rare experience for me to have someone who understood photography and composition so that I could get a better feeling for what was artistically going on. Marvelous. After spending far longer than I would have ever imagined looking at a couple dozen photographs, we went on to roam the halls until about 5:00.

We had been there since 2:00, and were getting just a little hungry. So, we jumped back on the Green Line to the Prudential Center and browsed through the Barnes and Noble bookstore there before taking the elevators up to the 52nd floor to one of Boston's finest restaurants, The Top Of The Hub.

The view was just breathtaking. I hadn't been up there for... well, over 20 years anyway, I'd think. And the food was spectacular. It was tough to leave as it would have been very easy to just go park in the lounge, sip some more wine, and listen to the jazz ensemble. But Sue had to be up early for work, so we headed down the elevator at 8:00.

07/02/10: Seacoast Repertory Theater: Rent
Sue and a friend of hers, Gale, have season tickets to Portsmouth's Seacoast Repertory Theater, and since originally Gale hadn't planned on going, Sue asked if I'd like to go and see their current production of Rent. Yup, I'm ready for that. We went to The Oar House for dinner and had a nice, relaxing meal before walking up to the theater. Actually, we met Gale there as her other plans didn't come through and she had decided to join us.

07/03/10: The Great 2010 4th of July Backgammon Tournament And Chinese Stir Fry Fireworks!
Saturday 07/03/10 I held The Great 2010 4th of July Backgammon Tournament And Chinese Stir Fry Fireworks party at my condo. Current Picture It was a beautiful day, though hot enough for me to keep the air conditioner on.

Just a few of us as this is 4th of July holiday weekend with most having 'stuff' to do. That's okay. This is my 'stuff' to do!

By the time I got around to fixing the Chinese chicken and cashews stir fry with scallions in sherry and ginger root, the whole condo was nice and cool and held that through dinner and the movie of the night, Wolfman (2010). A great start to a relaxing 4th of July weekend.

07/04/10: 4th of July Weekend
Sunday I went over to Sue's for dinner and to watch the Dover fireworks from her balcony and Monday we just hung out on my deck reading and chatting. For dinner, I fixed chicken with creamy spinach and shallots. And then we watched the movie Alien, which Sue had never seen and I can't get enough of. I wish they would release this on Blu-ray... Next up will be Aliens. I'm sure she can hardly wait....

07/09/10: Dinner with karate disciple
I meet periodically with each of my karate disciples after they have completed several more books on their current reading list. Nidan Scott Williams invited me up to his house in North Berwick for a cook out and to discuss his latest readings and study. It was a marvelous evening out on his back deck sipping wine and chatting.

07/16/10: Weekend Trip to Pemaquid, Maine
I worked a pretty intense week so that I could get out early on Friday, pick up Sue at her place at 2:00pm, Current Picture and then drive north to Maine's Pemaquid region for the weekend.

We got up to the Sea Acres Motel & Cottages around 5:00pm and took a walk down to their dock and just sat and unwound for a little while before heading back up to our cottage.

We changed up and headed off to dinner at the beautiful Bradley Inn, a casual drive down Rt 130 to the tip of the Pemaquid peninsula close to the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Saturday morning we were hoping to catch a sail on the Sarah Meade with Sail Muscongus, but engine troubles prevented that.

So, we did some sightseeing, and after lunch, we wandered through the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site and finished off the day with a cooling swim in the Sea Acres pool. Dinner was at the beautiful Anchor Inn Restaurant on Round Pond Harbor. The sunset was spectacular, as was the food!

Sunday, we did a late morning brunch in New Harbor and then spent a couple of hours wandering through the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park before heading back.

07/24/10: Movie Road Trip: Inception
Saturday night in the summer time! A great time to saddle up and head out for a Movie Road Trip! Some of us had been wanting to see the new movie Inception, and I found that it was playing in Hookset at the IMAX theater there. So, Rick picked me and Sue, Linda, and Tim up at my place at 3:30 and we drove to Chantilley's restaurant just south of the theater for dinner. And what a great entertaining movie Inception was! A great time!

07/30/10: Pizza and Aliens
Er.... that would be pizza and the movie Aliens. Sue had never seen it, and had born up so well under the pressure July 4th weekend to watch Alien, that this was the next logical step, right? So... pizza and beer on the deck after work and then the movie! How much better could it get? Can't. Just can't. And this 'Alien' series is just something you have to do every three years or so....

07/31/10: Busy Summer Saturday: Prescott Park, Dinner, and a Play
Sue grabbed her camera and we headed off to Portsmouth's Prescott Park to walk through the gardens and take some pictures. Well, she took the pictures; I'm not competing with that! Parking was impossible, so I ended up way out on Pierce Island beyond the swimming pool. There was a great cooling breeze coming off of the river as we walked along a trail boardering the shoreline.

The park itself was packed for an outdoor concert, and the gardens were teeming with activity. Current Picture We spent about an hour and a half wandering around with Sue spotting shots all over the place.

I was kinda gimping along with Janis holding me up as my lower back was giving me fits from that hike up the Pemaquid Lighthouse stairs. Not that I am complaining! It's time to start pushing and finding where my weaknesses are so that I can further my recovery from my January hip replacement.

I took Sue to an early dinner at Blue Latitudes in Dover, and then we drove out to the Hackmatack Playhouse in Berwick, Me to see their presentation of Carousel, Rodgers and Hammerstein's story of the Maine coast. When we came out, the air was really crisp and more like late September. The summer has matured.

Sunday, I just slept in and kicked back with no major project work and enjoyed the day. The highlight of the day was off shopping for stuff for the week and for tonight's dinner, which I did a great dis with pork chops and basmatti rice.

08/03/10: Hampton Beach Casino for George Thorogood
Every year my disciple Rick Downs and I have gone down to the Hampton Beach to see George Thorogood. I met him at his house after work and we were on the beach by 6:00pm. Even though it was a Tuesday, I knew we had to be early to get a table for dinner at the Sea Ketch. Good thing, too, because when we came out the lines were all the way out to the street. The concert was terrific! We clapped so hard, he came back out for three encores. It was a late night....

08/06/10: Portsmouth Art Gallery Tour and Dinner
I picked Sue up after work and we headed down into Portsmouth to wander around to several of the art galleries that host open houses Friday nights in the summer. It's nice going to these things with an artist because I got such a greater appreciation of the different styles of presentation that I saw.

We poked into Brazo to see if they had a spot open for dinner, but they were packed. I hadn't been to Ristorante Massimo in a long time so without telling Sue, I just casually led her through the door. I heard the little gasp as she glanced around. The 'occasion'? It's Friday night in the summer time in the city! What better excuse do you need to go to one of Portsmouth's finest establishments? None. And it was a super meal, finished off with a glass of Courvoisier cognac. Nice.

08/07/10: Day Trip to Rollinsford and The Hamilton House
Sue took me over to Rollinsford for a tour of the mill buildings over there where there is a large developing colony of artists of different types. She then took me over to Current Picture South Berwick, ME to see The Hamilton House, an old sea captian's house. Unfortunately, we were too late to get a tour so she'll have to bring me back for that.

But we did wander through the gardens and took a meandering stroll through the woods. It's a beautiful place and I'll be looking forward to coming back to tour the house.

On the way to Rollinsford, we stopped at a farm stand that Sue knew and we got corn and some other vegitables for dinner. When we got back to the condo, I pulled last Sunday's saved dinners out of stock, steamed the corn, and we had a great meal. The movie of the night was Sue's pick to try: Shallow Hal.

08/08/10: Visit to Checkerberries in Northwood
She had wanted to see Chris and Jim Nancarrow's Checkerberries Quilt Shop in Northwood, NH so after she got off of work, we took a drive up. It had been awhile since I had visited, so we had a nice time poking around until we had to head out at 4:00pm.

On the way back, I stopped at the Hannaford food store to do the shopping for dinner and the week. I fixed what turned out to be an outstanding Chicken With Lemon and Garlic, and a whole lot more. Sue fixed a salad to go along with the sides of fresh corn (that we had scooped up at the farm the day before) boiled in thyme and parsley water, and basil, tarragon, and garlic basmatti rice mixed with sweet peas.

With dinner, we had a bottle of inexpensive Barefoot Riesling that was quite nice with the dinner. And to prepare Sue for the movie of the night, Crimson Tide, I routed all around the place and found an old, very old, bottle of Yugoslavian Kruskovac. Nice.... But just a teeney-tiny bit because of it's description: '...a type of rakija (hard liquor) made by distilling fermented pears, and has an alcohol content of around 25%. It is characterized by its sweet pear aroma and distinctive yellow color'. Not to be messed with....

08/14/10: Weekend Trip to Acton, ME
Sue's friend Gale offered us the use of her place in Acton, ME for the weekend as she was heading off on vacation for a week. So, Friday after work we drove up, Current Picture stopping over in Sanford, ME for an amazingly wonderful dinner at The Backstreet Grill.

On Saturday, Sue took me on a tour of the area she had grown up in and then over to the Bemis Farm in South Tamworth, NH where she worked for 23 years and is very close to the family there. From there, we drove over to Broad Bay off of Ossipee Lake to her brother Alan's summer cottage. We had lunch there and a wonderful time looking out over the water and chatting. I got to meet Sue's mom and one of Alan's daughters and grandkids, so it was a really nice time.

Sunday, Sue took me over to Tamworth where she was born for a tour. Then, we came back to Dover, did some food shopping, and I fixed up a marvelous off the cuff chicken, sweet potato, and broccoli curry spiced dinner.

08/17/10: NSLC 2010 Goals Celebration at the Eliot Boat Basin
The NSLC office where I work on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard held it's annual Goals Celebration over at the Eliot Boat Basin. Everyone got a couple hours comp time, so it was a great picnic. Our new Captain, who had come up to see the facility, came and played softball with one of the teams. And the weather couldn't have been better.

08/19/10: Karate Green Belt Exams
Two of my students, Eleanne Solorzano and Steve Shackford, took and passed their Green Belt Exams at Thursday night's karate class. Sue had wanted to practice photographing action scenes, so she brought her camera and grabbed some nice shots, Current Picture despite the poor lighting conditions.

Here's a nice shot of Eleanne taking care of business!

08/20/10: Another Weekend Trip to Pemaquid, Maine
When Sue and I went up for our first visit to Maine's Pemaquid region in July, the Sarah Meade we were going to go sailing on had engine trouble and didn't sail. So, I booked this weekend for us to try again for another weekend trip to Pemaquid, Maine.

We headed up Friday afternoon and were at the Sea Acres cottages around 6:00pm. We went down to their docks again before heading Current Picture off to dinner at The Damarascotta Grill in Damarascotta, ME.

Up early Saturday morning for a coffee pit stop at King Ro Market in Round Pond on the way up to Muscongus Harbor for our sail. Great weather and nice breeze! After the sail and a quick lunch, we just drove the area enjoying doing nothing.

After dinner Saturday night at the Anchor Inn Restaurant, I took the long road home and headed back along the eastern shore road all the way down to Pemaquid Lighthouse before winding our way back to Sea Acres.

Sunday we had a late morning breakfast at The Cupboard Cafe and then headed back to Dover. I dropped Sue off so she could get some stuff done before coming over at 4:30 to go food shopping for Sunday night's dinner party for two.

08/27/10: Friday Dinner At Riverworks
It had been a really tough, busy week for me as I worked to complete the latest requirements for the FAPIIS project. I was ready to unwind, so took Sue out to dinner to The Riverworks Tavern in Newmarket. This was actually the first place I had taken her out to dinner to, so a nice re-visit and wonderful meal and bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon blanc. Hummmmm... someone should tell the staff (well, I did...) that not only shouldn't white wine be chilled (yeah, I know, some people don't understand this) but that it absolutely shouldn't be cold as it just kills the flavor. It took about 40 minutes for the wine to unfold. It was okay, but a little on the sharp side for me. But then, maybe it had been totally killed with the cold; I'll never know.

08/28/10: MNG: To Live And Die In LA
Saturday night and a great time for pizza, beer, and Movie Night At The Garrison (MNG) to see To Live And Die In LA. Though made in 1985, this is a classic with music by Wang Chun and it moves along so fast; Current Picture just a great entertaining movie.

I had put a couple of backgammon boards out, and there was some pre movie action between Tim House and Rick Downs. Not sure how the score came out, but they seemed to have fun trash-talking each other.

Halfway through the movie, we paused and dug into a marvelous cake that the Nancarrow's had brought with them. Nice... Very, very nice....

08/29/10: Back To Hamilton House
Sunday, I fixed a pot of coffee and Sue and I sat out on the deck for awhile before heading out to South Berwick, ME for a tour of the Hamilton House. We had missed the tour the last time we had been, Current Picture and there weren't going to be many more weekends I would be able to see it.

On the way over, we stopped at a farm stand for corn and other things for the evening's dinner. The tour was about an hour and was really good as the house has a lot of interesting history.

From there, we stopped at a small community park by the Salmon Falls Bridge on our way back to Dover. We just sat in one of the benches and listened to the water cascading over the dam; you could even smell the earthy scent to the water as the spray blew across to us through the light breeze.

When we got over to the Hannaford's on Rt. 108 to do the food shopping, we stopped in the parking lot and looked out over the trees Current Picture toward the east. The Blue Angels performing for the crowds that had gathered over at Pease International Tradeport - a former Air Force SAC base that is now commercialized.

It must have been in the 90's where we were, and we couldn't imagine how hot it must have been over on that airport tarmac. We were very happy to be there in the Hannaford's parking lot!

For dinner, I fixed a Peruvian Pork In Spicy Corn Sauce from a recipe book Sue's son Lucas had given to her. I was just dying to try some of these, and this came out soooooo good, it's almost more than I could handle. It was that good; no kiddin'. I vowed that I'd try other recipes from that book for sure!

09/03/10: Labor Day Weekend
Friday evening under the threat of a possible hard hit by the enormous hurricane Earl, and Sue having had to get up at 4:30am for work, we just decided to heat up some dinners that I had in stock, and watch the movie Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Fortunately, it just rained really hard for about 10 minutes and that was the extent of it. We were really lucky as at one point it was a catagory 4 storm the size of California!

Sue had to work Saturday, so I spent the day updating this foolish website.... I sorta-kinda got way behind, but Sue takes so many damn pictures for some of these trips and events that it takes hours to wade thorugh them, and to select just a few (out of sometimes hundreds of shots) that I think are representative of what's going on - hoping that she won't throw a rod that I just picked the 'tourist shot' rather than the more artistic one that she will ultimately pull.

She didn't make it over until almost 8:00pm, though she called ahead so I could order take-out Chinese and drive over to Durham to pick it up. It was a 'wind down' sort of evening, so we just watched the timeless 1972 Robert Redford movie Jeremiah Johnson.

Sue had to work Sunday morning so I used the time to finish catching up with this site work, clean the water fountain, do laundry, and figure on a menu for tonight's Peter's Sunday Dinner Party. I ended up fixing a Peruvian Marinated Port Stew over a bed of basil and curry Basmati rice. We finished up the evening with the movie of the night: Taken.

Monday we both had the day off so Sue brought eggs and bacon and 'stuff', and fixed breakfast that we then ate out on the deck as the weather was so nice. For dinner, Sue had brought over all the fixin's for an American Chop Suey dish so we chopped all that up and downed a nice bottle of white wine she had also brought with her.

And today, Marissa headed back to college for her senior year. Wow!

09/08/10: Dinner In Saugus, MA
Because Sue's flight out to Lima, Peru for her son Lucas's wedding next Thursday requires her to be at Boston's Logan airport at Five-O'Dark-Thirty-In-The-AM on Thursday the 9th, I took her down the night before or she would have had to get up at 2:00am to get there on time. I had heard that Donatello's had great Italian cuisine, so I took her there for an early dinner. Wow! Was the food great, or what!

Fortunately, that great dinner balanced the fact that it was an early 4:00am wake-up call to get ready so that I could take her down to catch the 5:00am shuttle over to Logan. Gad.... I was done for the day, and it was only 5:05am when I staggered back up to the room.

I just slept in for a couple hours, dragged myself down to the hotel's open breakfast, and then - with hot coffee in hand - drove up to work at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME. What a fun day that was. And... and, after work I had karate class to teach and then out to Applebee's for some backgammon and a tall - a very tall - glass of beer.

But when I got home at 10:00pm, I was too wound up to go to sleep. So, rather doing the mature thing and just going to bed - of course not - I stayed up and watched a recorded episode of the latest Top Chef. This is what happens when I have no adult female supervision to quash such foolish whims.... But, I was up by 7:30am Friday for a hot shower and another day in paradise throwing code.

09/11/10: Dinner and Movie Party At The Nancarrow's In Northwood
Friday night I just unwound from a busy week at work and taking Sue off to the airport for her great adventure. Just heated up one of the dinners I had put down into stock and then watched the movie The Road. What a dark and foreboding film, very well captured from the feeling of the book. And Viggo Mortensen's performance was beyond spectacular.

After seeing the movie, I knew that as good as the book is, I just could not put myself into that frame of mind to read it. I think the following quote sums up the desperation that Cormac McCarthy conveys: "The nights were blinding cold and casket black and the long reach of the morning had a terrible silence to it."

But Saturday night, Rick, Tim, Linda, and I headed up to Northwood to the Nancarrow's for a great lasagna feed that Chris put on and then a movie with more beer. Nice time seeing everyone and sharing a quiet evening.

09/13/10: Visit With Marissa In Henniker
I hadn't been up to see Marissa at school since I deposited her up there as a Freshman; she comes home every weekend. But because of her outstanding grades, she was just allowed to set up shop out of the dorms and into a student apartment off campus.

I drove up after work Monday to check it out and take her to dinner in Concord as there are slim pickings in Henniker. We had a great visit. I'm so proud of the hard work that she is applying to her school and all the neat things that she is learning. Good going, Marissa!

09/14/10: Dinner With Colin
Tuesday evening, Colin swung by my place after work for dinner. It had been awhile since just the two of us had gotten together, so it was a really special night for me.

09/15/10: Advanced Training With Disciple Yondan Tim House
My disciple 4th Degree Black Belt Yondan Tim House came over after dinner on Wednesday so I could work with him on some of his current advanced studies. It had been awhile since we had gotten together like that, so it was also nice just to catch up with things in his life as we prepare for my annual disciple retreat in a couple of weeks.

09/18/10: Boston Logan Airport For 'The Great Drive-by Scoop Up'
I drove down to Boston's Logan airport Saturday morning to pick Sue up who was returning from her trip to Lima, Peru and her son Lucas's wedding. I call it 'The Great Drive-by Scoop Up' because she had been up for most of the last 24 hours traveling and was in disparate need of being scooped up as there just wasn't a lot of energy there to move it forward much.

Before we even got on the main road, I stopped off at a service station that had a Dunkin' Donuts and we got coffee. She needed that, I think. I helped her up to her place with the bags, jerking my lower back out in the process, and left her to unpack and hopefully get some rest.

Sunday, she came over late morning and we sat out on the deck, sipped coffee and just had a relaxing time. She had brought me back not only a beautiful Alpaca blanket but also a great Peruvian cookbook

09/24/10: Dinner And Seacoast Rep Play: Rooms
Got home from work Friday and did a marvelous turnaround by 5:30 when Sue came by to go out. I took her to Portsmouth's Brazo restaurant for dinner; a Spanish flavor place with great food, but, unfortunately, way overpriced wine. But it was a fun night. From there, we were of to Seacoast Repertory Theater for the play Rooms. And then, to celebrate the first day of Fall, I took her over to The Spring Hill Tavern at The Dolphin Striker restaurant for a Brandy Alexander.

09/25/10: The Great 2010 Talk Like A Pirate Backgammon Tournament And Bilge Swill Stew Grub!
I usually blank a couple of months during the hottest period of the summer for parties, so figured this Saturday so late in September would be cool enough to cook and have The Great 2010 Talk Like A Pirate Backgammon Tournament And Bilge Swill Stew Grub.

But: surprise! It was actually hot out. I had all the windows open and by early evening a cool breeze made sitting out on the deck and sipping Current Picture some pre dinner beers made it really nice. I almost turned on the air conditioner, but refrained.

I had gone shopping at 3:00pm so I could start prep work by 4:00pm. But with all the chit-chat and beer tipping, I didn't finish with all of that until about 5:30; just the prep work. Gad....

I had decided to make that same Peruvian Beef Stew that Sue and I had made last week because it was so good. Well, I tweaked it a little so that it would be different; came out just super.

The movie of the night was Batman: The Dark Knight which I didn't get started until later than I wanted because some folks just kept banging away at backgammon. So, movie didn't get over until a little after 11:00pm. Whew! Great time! Thanks all!

09/26/10: Dinner And Garrison Players Play: The Odd Couple
Whew! What a weekend this has been, but a grand way to start the Fall season! Or... is that ending the Summer season? I dunnomeyou. But what I do know is that Sue and I had a grand time going over to the 3:00pm show of The Odd Couple at the Garrison Playhouse in Rollinsford, NH Sunday afternoon. From there, we came over to my place and just played some backgammon and sipped a bottle of wine while I fixed a pizza for dinner. We did an early movie of the night, WALL·E which Sue hadn't seen. But it was an early close up for her as she had a 5:00am get up and get going to work Monday.

10/01/10: 2010 Rose School of Karate Disciple Retreat
On Friday October 10th I began my 2010 Rose School of Karate Disciple Retreat Current Picture here at my condo in Dover, NH.

Everyone met at my home Friday morning at 7:30am for coffee and donuts, and I bagan my opening remarks by 8:30am.

We took about a half hour break around noon for delivered Chinese food, and worked straight through until about 7:00pm for dinner, though I had some cinnamon spiced hot apple cider with cheese and turkey kielbassa again during the mid-afternoon sessions.

10/09/10: Dinner and Rochester Opera House
Sue wanted to see well known Boston comic Paul D'Angelo at the Rochester Opera House on Saturday Oct. 10th, so I thought dinner at The Governor's Inn, just down the street, would be nice as she hadn't been there before. We had a great meal with a nice bottle of Ravenswood Zinfandel, and then walked back to the Opera House where I had parked earlier, though the walk back was a little chilly as the night air had turned fall crisp.

10/10/10: Sunday Picture Excursion To Wagon Hill Park
After a casual breakfast out on the deck, Sue and I headed over to Wagon Hill Park on Rt. 4 for a little hike through the woods and along the river. She took a bunch of shots Current Picture and I'll pop just a few of those onto the 10/11 page that I thought were particularly nice.

It was an interesting test of how well my leg and back have healed from my surgery as after it was all over, I was feeling pretty good. Oh, a little sore. But nothing major.

The movie of the night was the James Bond flick Casino Royale (2006). I had particularly wanted Sue to see that as one of the main characters was named Vesper Lynd and wore an Algerian Love Knot. I had plans....

10/11/10: Annual U.N.H. Walkabout
Monday, Columbus Day, I took Sue on my Annual U.N.H. Walkabout. She brought her super Nikon D90 with her and got some spectacular shots. Current Picture It was a beautiful Fall day, though the leaves had not as yet quite peaked.

10/16/10: NH White Mountains Fall Foliage Trip
Sort of on the spur of the moment, I took Sue up to New Hampshire's White Mountains 10/16 to catch the end of the Fall foliage season. Current Picture We drove up early Saturday morning, had lunch at The Eagle Mountain House, and then headed off to Sawyer Road off of Rt. 16 in the Crawford Notch area.

After hiking around there for awhile, we headed back to the Eagle Mountain House to check in, grab some hot cider, and sit out on the huge wrap around deck. Though crisp, it was nice sitting out there, playing some backgammon, and just smelling the freshness in the air.

I had made dinner reservations for us at The 1785 Inn, and Charles and Alan took great care of us for a very memorable experience. Sunday after breakfast at the hotel, I took Sue down to see Diana's Baths, and then we stopped at Echo Lake for about an hour while Sue snapped a bunch of pictures. Great fun! And, a great trip!

10/22/10: Trip To My Brother Alan's In Towson, MD
On Friday 10/22 Sue and I flew down to visit my brother Alan in Towson, MD. I had been wanting to go down for awhile and had been telling Sue about Current Picture how nice Baltimore's Inner Harbor area was. So, I thought I'd take her down for her birthday to meet Alan and Abbie and do the waterfront tour.

Saturday morning, Alan drove us down to Fell's Point and dropped us off to play. We wandered around the shops for an hour or so, grabbed a light lunch at Jimmy's Diner on the square, and then hopped onto one of the Water Taxies to the Inner Harbor area. We peaked into a bunch of the shopes and then I took Sue over to the National Aquarium as I thought she would enjoy that. I guess... she must have taken 200 pictures!

Alan drove us down to BWI Sunday morning for our flight back. A great trip!

10/29/10: Halloween Weekend
After work on Friday, I drove down to Hampton, NH for a chiropractor appointment and then met Sue and her friend Gale (whose home we had stayed at in Acton, ME 08/14/10) up in Somersworth, NH for dinner at The 99 Restaurant. After dinner, Sue and Gale headed off to see Gay Bride of Frankenstein at the Seacoast Repertory Theater in Portsmouth. They have season passes, so they go to anything, but this just didn't sound like my kind of deal. So, I left them to a 'girl's night out' and headed home to watch Into The Storm (a wonderful portrayal of Winston Churchill during World War I).

Saturday, Sue wanted to go over to the Dover Public Library annual book sale. She now knows what happens when I get around books.... Gad, what a load I got! Great fun. From there, we were off to the Post Office to pick up the package of some of her photographs that she had ordered to be blown up into large size prints. Then coffee! at Shaw's food market where we picked up a few other things for dinner at my place while we did Halloween night. I ran some scary movies all evening just to keep in tone for the 'party'.

11/05/10: Ready to unwind!
Been a busy week at work finishing up the bulk of one project and restarting up my next one. So, by the end of the day I was ready to just relax. I took Sue over to Dante's Pasta and Vino for a casual dinner and nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Saturday we went over Eliot, ME to a health, wellness, and craft fair so she could drop off some cards for sale at a friend of hers booth.

Sunday, Sue had gotten tickets to see the 3:00pm performance of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Verizon Wireless Center over in Manchester, NH. We parked quite a distance from the center and had a really brisk walk both ways so I could push my leg; did fine. But what a show! It was my first time to see them, and all I can do is recommend the experience. Those folks entertained us for close to 3 hours straight! Awesome! We got out around 6:30pm and back-tracked to Epping, NH to have dinner at The Holy Grail restaurant, a converted 1885 church.

11/11/10: Plum Island Hike
I had Veteran's Day off so spent the morning clearing some of the clutter work that I had. Sue picked me up at 2:00pm and we drove down to Current Picture the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, MA for a little hiking and casual picture taking.

The surf was up and the waves were frothing ashore unbelievable. We had a nice walk along the beach with Sue busy doing her thing taking picutres.

After I stepped into a puddle up to my mid chins and sloshing around for awhile, we came back to my place for a quick bite to eat, and then watched the movie Wall Street.

11/13/10: The Great 2010 Thanksgiving Backgammon Tournament And Growling Chicken Bake Substitute!
I got out of work later on Friday than I had wanted to, so Sue and I just ate some of the dinners in stock and then watched the movie Star Trek (2008). Current Picture Saturday night 11/13 I held the The Great 2010 Thanksgiving Backgammon Tournament And Growling Chicken Bake Substitute!. This was the 60th backgammon get together party that I have had since being here at The Garrison in 2004.

Sue took me out to for a walk kicking through the leaves over at Kingman Farm before coming back by way of Hannaford's market on Rt. 108 to shop for the party. I wanted to get an early start on food prep so that I could play some backgammon for once!

And what a great party it was! There were 14 of us, and lots of backgammon. I fixed chicken thighs baked on a bed of kayle, Yukon Gold potatoes, onions, and sweet red peppers served with a cranberry and yogurt salad that Sue had made for the event. Everything came out great!

The movie of the night was Brian's selection, The Fountain, which we broke about half way through for a special fruit desert that Brian and Tara had brought and prepared.

Sunday I visited Unity of The Seacoast with Sue and met some of her friends from there before heading over to my place to work on some of her photography that she is framing, wash the windows, and get some reading time in.

11/20/10: To Rollinsford For Artists Mill Open House
Saturday, Sue took me over to Rollinsford to the mill buildings as they were having open house for all of the artists there. We not only saw some great works, but met some wonderful folks as well. We had lunch there and then drove down to Dover's One Washington mill building complex to see if jewlery designers and makers John and Barbara were there as we had seen their work at one of the shows a few weeks back. Wonderful folks who invited Sue to place a few of her photography works for viewing.

Though only around 5:00pm, we swung by Christopher's in downtown Dover for an early dinner. After that we came back to my place and watched the first of the Bourne series, The Bourne Identity.

Sunday morning, I went with Sue over to Unity in Rollinsford, and then we went down to the mall in Newington to see what one of the shops had to offer as far as making large reprints of some of Sue's photography.

Back to my place to split a can of soup and some crackers for lunch and then working on getting the prints ready for Sue to take over to John and Barbara. While Sue took a walk, I worked on clearing the decks of some stuff, went shopping, and then popped a bottle of wine when Sue came over. We chatted as I fixed dinner: chicken in creamy spinnach and shallots.

11/23/10: To Portsmouth For Author's Reading
Sue wanted to hear the author Bodhipaksa read from his book Living As a River Tuesday eveining at the River Run bookstore in Portsmouth. Before heading over there, we stopped off and had a nice dinner at The Olive Garden in Newington first. He's quite the compelling speaker, and I really enjoyed his presentation. It was interesting to compare his thoughts with what I do as much of the truths of Nature and of our relationshipt to life is what I have taught from a martial arts standpoint.

11/25/10: Happy Thanksgiving!
I got out of work early Wednesday so I could stop off at my friend Bruce's for a haircut as I was getting a little questionable looking. Sue met me at the condo for dinner and a bottle of wine and just relaxing into the weekend. We decided to ease into the night with the second in the Bourne series, The Bourne Supremacy (2004). Marissa came by with her friend Sarah for a short visit and to have me sign some papers and then they were off in a rush to make last call for coffee at Aroma Joes.

Up early Thursday morning for Thanksgiving and prep to pick Sue up at 10:30am to head North to her niece Tracy's home in Tamworth. We got back around 7:30 and decided to watch the movie Young Victoria and just sort of eased through the evening.

Friday I took off from work and worked on some projects while Sue hosted her daughter Jill for lunch over at her place.

12/04/10: Nora Comes For Dinner
Saturday, Sue and I invited our friend and neighbor Nora to dinner. I fixed dinner while we drank a couple of Current Picture bottles of wine had great conversation that meant absolutely nothing and accomplished nothing but was great fun just the same!

12/05/10: Tree Decorating and Dinner At Gale's
Sunday, Sue and I headed up to Gale's in Acton, ME to have dinner and then help her set up and decorate her Christmas tree. Great visit and what a tree Gale got!

12/10/10: Friday Cooking for Sue and Gale
When Sue and I were up in Acton, ME at Gale's, she offered to give me a terrific antique dresser and back mirror that she had no room for.

So, on her and Sue's way back from a Portland, ME outting, Current Picture she brought it by in her truck and stayed for dinner.

I fixed a great Italian Tuscan Chicken with Oragano, onions, garlic, passata with a taste of thyme served with a side of curry powder and cumin steamed broccoli.

As you can see from the pictures, we had a marvelous time!

12/11/10: Dinner and Movie Night At Nancarrows
Chris and Jim Nancarrow invited several of us up for dinner and a movie. The choice had been either a Christmas movie or 'zombie'. I voted for zombie, and we all had a great time watching Zombieland (2009).

12/12/10: Christmas Tree Decorating and Family Dinner Party
Colin, Ren, Marissa and Gary came over Sunday afternoon and all of us headed over to the tree place on Rt. 9 Current Picture to get our Christmas tree. Sue got a few shots of the activity but was pretty busy stringing lights and hanging some ornaments with me while the others kibitzed and watched It's A Wonderful Life.

It would have been a great success, but just as everyone was heading out the door, the tree, which was just too big for the stand I had, did a face plant onto the floor. What a mess. Marissa headed out to get a larger stand while Colin went down in the basement and got the wet vac up for me as Sue dabbed at the water with towels. But, we survived....

12/16/10: To Laconia For Brown Belt Exams
My disciple Russ Jones held a 3rd degree brown belt exam for 2 of his students in Laconia Thursday night. Almost all of our local karate group went up. It was Sue's first time at such an event, so she and Brian's friend Tara were given the blow by blow description by Eleanne as we put the guys through their paces.

The interesting part about this test is that over an hour of it is outside in the dark in the back lot where we do all of the unarmed, armed, and multiple attack self defense evaluations. Fortunately, no one got injured too badly and the evening was a success for the students.

12/18/10: Nutcracker Music Hall Portsmouth
Sue had never seen the Nutcracker, so I got tickets for the Saturday 3:00pm show at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. And then Saturday evening, we went to my disciple Scott Williams and his wife Linda's Holiday Christmas Party at their home in North Berwick, ME. That's always such a wonderful time; look forward to that party and reconnecting with all of the great folks that come by.

12/22/10: Off Work Until January!
Wednesday was my first day off of work until after the New Year so Sue and I took advantage of the day by going Christmas shopping, grabbing an early dinner at Ruby Tuesday's in Newington, and ended off with the movie of the night, Eat, Pray, Love (2010). Thursday, food shopping, and dinner from stock as Sue was cooking tomorrow for Christmas Eve.

12/24/10: Christmas Eve
Went to Unity of the Seacoast for their candlelit evening ceremony and then had Sue's Marvelous Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Mushroom Turnovers, had a glass of Sue's home brew version of Bailey's Irish Cream, and finished off the evening with the movie The Holiday (2006).

12/25/10: Christmas Day
Merry Christmas! Colin and Marissa over in the morning Saturday for Christmas. Sue fixed bacon and eggs and eggnog bread. After opening presents and visiting, the kids headed off to other family festivities. Sue and I went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, and then watched the first two hours of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice (1995). Nora came by to wish us well and to exchange gifts with Sue. I got a late start on fixing my mom's recipe of Beef Stronogof which was marvelous. Movie of the night was Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps (2010)

12/26/10: Busy But Relaxing Week Between Christmas and New Years
Sunday 12/26: Just a very relaxing, do nothing, sort of day. A good 'hang out day'.

Monday 12/27: The Big Storm of 2010 which ended up dumping 8" or so of snow and also knocked my power out about 4:00am. We went over to Sue's where they had service for a couple of hours and caught up on some reading. She wanted to get some pictures of the ocean at high tide around 3:30pm, so we drove up to the Nubble Light House in York, ME. The wind was fierce and was driving some huge waves against the rocks, spray shooting way into the air. Spectacular. On the way back, we stopped off at Hannaford's so Sue could do some food shopping. By the time we got back to my place around 5:00pm the lights and heat were back on. Sue fixed tacos which we quashed down with some beer and then settled into the night with the great action movie Knight and Day (2010).

Tuesday 12/28: Drove to Putnam, CT to meet Sue's daughter Jill at the Jade Garden; about 2 hours each way.

Wednesday 12/29: Up to Tamworth, NH to Sue's niece Tracy's to babysit for the kids and to celebrate Sue's mom's birthday with a lunch she made up of tomatoe basil soup and grilled ham and cheese panini.

Thursday 12/30: Quiet day, finishing off with the 4th episode of Pride and Predjuice.

Friday 12/31: New Year's Eve! Went food shopping late afternoon and then opened a bottle of Chardonay to go along with the cooking event. I did a Chinese stir fry chicken, brocolli, and cashews in ginger and herbs that I made up, to which we enjoyed with a bottle of Champaign that I had bought. Movie of the night was Avatar, but we turned in right after that eneded about 10:30 because both of us had colds that had really worn us down. So, missed Dick Clark's show and all that, but man it was nice to get a long night's sleep.

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