Friday, February 17, 2017

Good, then Bad, and then Good Again

The weather has been a little bit crazy lately, albeit in a good way. I.e., the net result is that we're happy with the way things have gone, but it's been challenging along the way. We've had some killer snowfall in the past couple of weeks, but it didn't start out this way. Last week it snowed a bit and then transitioned into freezing rain, which meant icy and dangerous conditions. What's a bummer is that we drove to the rink in the snow and it changed to freezing rain while were on the ice. This meant we came out to slippery conditions all the way home. It also meant that shoveling was going to be tough because the snow is like a sponge and when it gets wet it's a bear to move.

What's crazy, however, is what happened next. We were supposed to ski over at the Skiway the next day, and I figured the conditions would be terrible with all the ice. However, the weather warmed up to 45 degrees the next day, and by the time we hit the slopes, the snow was perfect. In fact, it was the best day of skiing we'd had, and we made the most of it. It just goes to show you, you just never know how things are going to turn out.

We've had a couple of big storms since then, so skiing conditions have amazing. Throw in a snow day at school and life is good.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to EP Scott for the pic.

Reflections on Valentine's Day

Several days after the fact, I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. Even though I'm a bit cynical about commercial holidays that they've created to put pressure on us to buy things and conform our lives a certain way, we celebrate V-Day and get out and do things as a family. It also happens to be our anniversary, so we can't ignore it, nor do we want to. We always have fun and usually do things together as a family.

This year it kind of crept up on us because life has been crazy with the weather, hockey for the kids and myself, and skiing. I've also been working more than I thought I would, so we're moving in many different directions on any given day. I think the fact that A is in school makes our lives a little busier, as well. Either way, we weren't sure what our plans were until a day or two before, but we decided that we'd have a celebratory dinner and then go see a movie. They just happened to be playing Casablanca at the college, and the kids agreed to sit through it with us. I sort felt bad because it's a slow movie, even by my old standards, and I was not impressed when I saw it way back when, but it is a classic, so I thought I'd give it another try.

N had hockey practice, as well, which we decided to forgo since it would complicate matters and I'm no longer enamored with his hockey program for reasons I'll explain at a later date. Mom and A also take an exercise class, which they wanted to attend. We were also toying with skiing, which we passed on because it was just too much stuff. So, after bringing A home from school, we chilled out for a bit and then headed out to the big city for dinner. We had killer Thai food at Kata, a new place downstairs where Bagel Basement used to be. I love that place, they have killer curry and the prices are very reasonable. It's no nonsense in terms of service and decor, but the food is awesome.

After supper we went to the theater and watched the movie, and I have to say that I enjoyed it more the second time around. I was "not young" when I saw it the first time, but maybe even the last few years have mellowed me out enough to appreciate it. Sure, it's sappy and campy and all that good stuff, but I liked it. The kids didn't complain one bit, though I'm guessing they won't be lining up to watch it again any time soon. The audience definitely leaned more toward the AARP spectrum, sort of like everything in this town.

All in all we had a nice Valentine's Day. We managed to surprise mom with flowers in the morning, and we ended it with a nice supper and movie. Best of all, we got to all hang out together. How can you beat that?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Vanessa Pike-Russell for the pic.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Miffed At Irving

I am a little miffed at Irving because of a recent interaction I had with them. We need to have our boiler cleaned, but there's also a problem with the heat. When I called them I indicated as much and figured if they were coming out to look at it, they might as well clean it. When the guy arrived he said he wasn't prepared to clean it but was just there on a service call. I was bummed because this meant I had make another service call to have it cleaned. I called Irving to complain and the story they gave me was that the person on the phone mistakenly indicated on the service order that I just needed service, even though I clearly said I wanted it cleaned. How do you argue your way out of this?

I told them how I felt and that it was kind of a screw-up on their part, but that's probably as far as I'll get with this. I had to make another appointment, which means another trip for the tech at $100/hour. Ouch!

Oh well, what are you going to do? If I could clean the thing myself I'd do it, but I don't think I'm man enough to go there. We can't all be the Amazing PR Man, can we?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Kennuth for the pic.

Bartender Dad

It's been a busy few weeks at the Inn, though I think things will slow to a trickle in the coming months because people just don't seem to get married in the winter. Whatever be the case, I worked several nights, some consecutively, and was even tossed into the mix of bartending. I was a bar-back for a couple of nights, and I've been told that it's often the first step toward becoming a bartender. I'm not sure if my goal is to be a bartender, but why not learn something new and acquire a new skill? I rather enjoy the high energy of doing banquets because it's fast and furious, making the night go more quickly. The bartenders tend to have more fun and don't have to run around as much, and they generate a majority of the cash tips, which for the record are distributed evenly amongst the crew.

I wasn't even aware that I was doing to be a bar-back, they just told me as I walked in the door. My job was basically to answer to the bartenders, which meant replenishing stocks of booze and glassware. It definitely gives you a bird's eye view of how much people drink. Afterward the manager asked me if I was interested in learning bartending. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure. I don't really think of the catering work as a career path, and as I mentioned, I like the energy of serving meals as well as the crew. Then again, just because I learn how to poor drinks doesn't mean that it's going to be all that I do. We have several trained bartenders who do a fine job, but I guess I could always be a backup or assist.

Always good to learn a new trick, right? We'll see where this one goes.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to jan peter for the pic.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Skiing Serendipity

Early in the week we had hockey practice and it just happened to coincide with a winter storm that came through. Normally this is not a huge deal but for whatever reason it snowed in the early part of the evening and then turned into freezing rain later that night. This is a bummer because it not only made driving precarious, but it was turning all the beautiful snow into ice. Getting home after practice took much longer than usual because paranoid dad tends to over-compensate under poor driving conditions.

The next morning when we were heading off to school, the conditions were icy but also slushy because the crazy weather was doing another about-face and warming up. By lunch time it was 40+ degrees outside, which actually bode well for us because we were going to hit the slopes that afternoon and I was hoping the warmer weather would break up the ice. I met mom to get N, picked up some lunch, and went and got A. By the time we got to the hill it was pretty toasty warm out there, and the snow was just right. The first time skiing soft snow can be a challenge, but I thought it was just right. We had a blast, and I would go as far as to say it was the best day of skiing all season, at least for me.

We just got his with another storm and I heard that we'll get even more this weekend. This could make for fun skiing next week, but it's best not to look too far into the future, because when it comes to weather in New England, you just never know what to expect.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to ewerdenigg for the pic.

Winter Blast

If you follow the news you know that the whole groundhog thing is a big deal, especially in the town of Punxsutawney... I had to look up how to spell that. Apparently he saw his shadow and we'll have an extended winter, which I'm fine with. Regardless of what you make of it, our winter has been disappointing thus far in terms of snow. However, yesterday we got a late winter storm and it dropped quite a bit of the white stuff, so maybe Phil knows what he's doing. I for one thought it was awesome, and the entire landscape is once again magically transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland. Sure, it was brutal shoveling because we woke up to it and then it just kept coming down, but it's a small price to pay to get some badly needed snow.

They predicted some sort of disastrous snowfall, so schools were closed and the propane guys, who were supposed to come and clean our boiler, had to cancel. I for one didn't think it snowed as much as they said it would, but it still snowed enough. I'm not complaining, even though that's my standard MO. I heard we might get even more this weekend so hats off to Punxsutawney Phil and keep up the good work.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to John Vohs for the pic.

Surfing Compadre

I never thought I'd bond with someone over surfing here in New England, but I've met several people who hit the waves, and one who actually shapes his own boards. Now I've met another who works with me at the Inn who is a diehard surfer, going into the water throughout the year, even in winter. I personally think this is crazy, but you have to give them credit for their fortitude.

There was a new woman working a wedding whom I learned was actually a veteran at the Inn who worked before my time and was returning. People kept asking her if she'd been surfing so naturally we started talking about it, and she told me she goes out whatever the weather. Now you can imagine what that water feels like in January or February, but that doesn't seem to bother her, or rather it probably bothers her but she doesn't let it discourage her. Good for her, because I'm definitely not man enough to handle it. She said she'd show me where she surfs and even take me, but I'd be fine just knowing where to go. I can then pack up the kids and hit the surf. We'll see how my surfing ambitions work out, but for now, I'm sort of stoked on it.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to saintmalojmgsports for the pic.