Canada, Tom Brokaw style

I've got to admit that I enjoy the taped segments, like this one explaining Canada to Americans, that NBC puts together for the Olympics a little more than the Olympics themselves (but I am rooting for the USA. I mean, I'm not a god damn pinko bastard or anything).

[via The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century who is a real live Canadian! Who knew they had the Internet in Canada?).]


The brave new world of adult furniture

I recently celebrated my 33rd birthday with my usual gathering of friends and well-wishers (and made sure that party goers damn well drank all my beer) when I realized something: I'm too old to buy cheap furniture.

Sure, Ikea has served me well but darn it, I deserve more! And it doesn't hurt that I can actually afford some pricier pieces of furniture now (hey, don't hate me because I am mildly successful!).

Now, shopping for furniture as a single person is easy: just buy whatever the heck you like. For whatever reason I've always had a fond place in my heart for Stickley furniture, their Mission collection to be specific (Nerd Alert: My Adobe loving friends will be happy to see that the Stickley Web site runs on ColdFusion). Now, say what you will about Mission style furniture but one thing is certain: it ain't everyone's cup of tea.

Since I'm no longer single I can't just go out and buy furniture willy nilly. Nope, I have to consult with Marisa, which is fair I suppose. As luck would have it, we had been in the market for a new bookcase for awhile. Sadly, when I showed Marisa Stickley's catalogs she wasn't feeling it. It probably doesn't help that it is nearly impossible to find prices for new Stickley furniture on the Internet (always a sign that something is more expensive than you think).

I managed to find Sheffield Furniture in Malvern. They have a showroom full of Stickley stuff, in addition to a bunch of other furniture makers. Since it is only about a 40 minute drive from our house Marisa and I piled into the station wagon to check it out.

We wandered about the massive showroom for awhile checking out the furniture and nothing was doing it for us... but we hadn't made it to the Stickley section yet!

Venturing upstairs we entered a wonder land of wood and leather. As soon as Marisa saw the Stickley pieces she turned to me and said, "We should get one of each." Success!

One of the designers (that's what they call their salespeople) told us that we should keep an eye on their Web site since they have Stickley sales fairly often. We left furniture-less but with a plan in mind.

The weekend before last I noticed that Sheffield was having a 45% off sale on all Stickley stuff, so we made our way to Malvern and bought the bookcase you see to the right.

burlyworker.jpgSince this was the first piece of 'adult furniture' I've ever bought I wasn't prepared for what the salesperson said next, "OK, well we should have that in our warehouse in about 3 months." I was all like, "Huh?" She then kindly explained to me that the good people at Stickley (who I imagine all look like the burly fellow to the left) will start making the bookcase for us as soon as they get this order.

Think about that for a moment: the bookcase we bought didn't exist yet. Right now some craftsperson in New York is working on our bookcase. That's pretty darned cool.

We went home happily knowing that in 3 months we would be the proud owners of our very first Stickley piece.

roycroftchafeA few days later what should come in the mail but a notice for one of Sheffield's Stickley Truck sales. Basically, Stickley trucks in a few loads of furniture to one of Sheffield's warehouses and they slash the prices (OMG! A sale!).

Since I'm avoiding working on my book (don't tell my editor) I was up for a little jaunt to the warehouse just to browse... and I'm sure you can tell where this is going.

We had this crappy old cart near our kitchen which held a variety of bowls and such. I've never liked it, and Marisa wanted to replace it so we were on the lookout for something to replace it with. That's when we saw the Roycroft Chafing Dish Cabinet sitting there, just waiting for us to buy it. I don't know what a chafing dish is, but I liked this little cabinet so we bought it for 50% off (another bargain!).

The best part of the warehouse sale is that you get to take whatever you bought home with you right then and there. We loaded it into the station wagon and off we went with our prize.

And that's the story of how our second Stickley purchase has become the first Stickley object in our house! Now I'm plotting a plan to replace all the furniture in our apartment with Stickley stuff (but don't tell Marisa!).

Oh, and here is a picture of the new cabinet actually in our apartment:

Our new cabinet



Balloon boy

Balloons"Helpful" is not a word that many people would use to describe me. I generally try and stay out of the way when some sort of physical labor is required (I have soft man hands after all).

Marisa, being the nice woman that she is, offered to throw Angie a baby shower. What does this mean to me? It means, of course, that I have "volunteered" to help with some of the logistics. OK, so I didn't volunteer at all... and I wasn't all that helpful but I did have to run a couple of errands that day of the shower.

Errand number one (and the subject of this blog post): go to our local Hallmark store and purchase some balloons. This is the sort of task that I do not excel at. I require, in these situations, very clear instructions: number of balloons, required colors, and so on. Marisa armed me with one of the paper napkins that she bought for the shower and said, "Tell the person at the store that you want balloons that match this napkin."

Marisa didn't pin the napkin to my sleeve, but I could tell she wanted to.

I took myself over to the Hallmark store, waited for the nice lady to have a free moment, and pounced. I pulled the paper napkin out of my pocket and said, "I need 12 balloons that match this napkin."

She looked at me for a moment and replied, "A woman sent you here."


Fork You: Wines, PA Style

I'm not a big drinker (well, I supposed technically I'm a big drinker since I'm a large man... but I don't drink much so I guess I'm a big occasional drinker) but when the opportunity was presented to tour the Berks County Wine Trail (for free) we couldn't turn it down. Check out this episode of Fork You to find out about the wine the drank, the kitty we met, and meet some lovely PA winemakers. The wine that we drank was good, but I was really struck by the people making the wine. Each winery we visited was a family affair (even Clover Hill, by far the largest operation we stopped at, is a family business). It really inspired me to not give up on making a living doing what I love (of course since I pretty much make a living writing one could argue that I'm living the dream!). Anyway I had fun, and if you're in PA and into wine you really should check out the wineries that are in our backyard.

Buy a cookbook, help Haiti (and get some recipes from Marisa)

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As you all know, my lovely wife Marisa is far more talented than I. She's a better writer, a better photographer, and a better cook (check out her food blog called Food In Jars).

Anyway, she contributed a few recipes for a cookbook called 'Blog Aid - Recipes for Haiti.' As you might expect all the proceeds from the book will go to Haiti relief, and goodness knows the fine people of Haiti can use all the help they can get.

Buy a couple of copies, I hear they make great gifts!


In Praise of the Unitasker

Later today Apple is expected to announce a tablet computer that will CHANGE THE WORLD! It’ll play videos, it’ll play music, you’ll be able to read magazines on it. Plus it is going to save the publishing industry, the TV business, and maybe… just maybe… the human race.

I have no idea what Apple will or won’t announce today, but a lot of smart people who I respect are predicting an Apple tablet. And some of them think that tablet spells doom for Amazon’s Kindle (and one supposes Barnes and Noble’s nook, the Sony line of Readers, and the host of off brand eReaders announced at CES this year). Why? Because the Kindle, and its ilk, are examples of what geeky types call unitaskers.

What the heck is a unitasker? A device, or object, that is designed primarily to do one thing, and one thing alone, is a unitasker. Examples of common unitaskers include:

  • Books
  • Glasses
  • DVD Players (well, at least they used to be unitaskers)
  • Blackberries (come on, no one does anything on their Blackberry other than email)

Those are just a few I thought of off the top of my head. The tablet, and computers in general, are not unitaskers… they are Swiss Army Knives; one device that can do lots of stuff pretty well.

image from www.flickr.comI say the Kindle’s death knell isn’t upon us. Sure, the tablet (or whatever the heck it will be) is going to be able to do more than a Kindle (despite Amazon’s slightly odd SDK announcement). Keep in mind that I really like the Kindle. I wrote a book about them, I own three of them, and over the last year I’ve probably done about 85% of my book reading on an eReading device of one sort or another. I am not the typical user.

I am a typical reader (ok, that’s not true since I am pretty sure I read more than most folks… but I am a typical book lover. Read ‘em. Buy ‘em. Love ‘em.). I’m a voracious reader, and I am crazy about books. I’ve been reading for a long time (my mother tells me she taught me to read when I was around 4 years olds by reading the street signs to me as we drove around, and I haven’t stopped reading since) and what I really love about a good book (or even a bad book, frankly) is getting lost in the prose. The only thing I want to concentrate on when reading a book are the words on the page or, in this case, on the screen. I don’t want to know that I have a new email waiting, I don’t need a popup to tell me that my newsreader has been updated… I just want to READ.

When I’m reading on my Kindle the Kindle just sort of disappears. It fades into the background and allows the book to be the star.

An Apple tablet will offer me up infinite distractions from reading, and if you ask me that’s a bug, not a feature.


2009 in pictures (and video!)

Last year you got 2008 in pictures, and now you get 2009 in pictures (aren't you lucky!):

January 2009

I went to Macworld (I didn't know it at the time, but it might have been my last Macworld trip! Though who knows what the future will bring):

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I took a picture wearing bunny ears that I use for my Twitter picture:

I'm a hoppy bunny

I started my new job at Comcast and took a picture of the view from my office (I'm not in that office any more, so the view has changed):

View from my office

February

I bought some candy (must have had a slow February!).

Vanilla & Cherry Tootsie Fruit Rolls

March

Took my picture with the World Series trophy.

Scott with World Series Trophy

April

Saw the cherry blossoms in DC:

Crowds

Got my fancy new business cards:

My business card

Gruber admitted he has a man-crush on me (you have to read the Flickr comments to get this one):

Silver Daring Fireball shirt

May

Drank some Pepsi with real sugar in it:

Pepsi throwback

Went to Lancaster and visited Central Market:

Marisa in Central Market

Took this cool picture:

Diebold

June

Bought my wedding ring (Marisa's took a bit more effort):

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Visited a bunch of cool places in Philly:

Looking into the old room

July

I had a lovely 4th:

Lobsters went on vacation before I did:

Lobster vacation

August

Marisa bought me a nice keychain:

I like you

September

I saw a tiny frog:

Ahh, right, I got married:

The Happy Couple

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October

We went on our honeymoon:

The Inn

I had no cell service in Vermont (grr!):

No Service

I had lots of pancakes and maple syrup:

Maple Sugar and Vermont Spice

I had a cow (HAHAHAAHA):

Moo 2

We stayed at a fancy pants resort that Marisa really liked (against her hippy roots):

Huge cabin

We visited Albany and saw the Egg:

The Egg

We slept in an Airstream (wouldn't recommend it):

North to Alaska

We were super cute:

The Married Couple!

I went back to work and created this video:

November

I bought yet another camera and took this neat picture:

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I broke my iPhone and had to get a 3GS to replace it:

This is why I got an iPhone 3GS

Barcamp! W00t.

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I saw some 3D stuff:

About to enjoy the Comcast Holiday Spectactular in 3D

December

I enjoyed the Yulelog in HD:

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And got some geeky ornaments:

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Get a Kindle as a Christmas present? Buy my book!

kindlepocketguide.jpgYou know what makes the best accompaniment to that Kindle you just got for Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate)? That's right, the Kindle Pocket Guide. This book is chockfull of tips, tricks, and ways to get stuff you already own onto your Kindle, and load your Kindle up with lots of free content.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Scott, you only think this book is so great because you wrote it!" That might be true, but would I ever steer you wrong? And for only $10 what could possibly go wrong?

As a measure of good faith I'm going to share a couple of tips from the book with you in this post (for free!):

Kindle DX optimized books

If you found a Kindle DX (my current favorite eBook reader) under the tree you'll want to check out the Featured Books for Kindle DX section of the Kindle Store. All the books listed will work with the smaller Kindle, but the DX's bigger screen makes them shine.

Downloading books without a wireless connection

One of the whizbang features of the Kindle is that it is always connected to the cloud (that's geek for the servers that Amazon runs the Kindle Store on)... but what about when you're in a remote location and you can't get any wireless service? Are you stuck with whatever books are already loaded up on your Kindle? Nope!

If you point your browser to http://www.amazon.com/myk you'll be able to Manage Your Kindle on the web. On that webpage you have a number of options, but we're interested in the section called "Your Orders":

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As you can see this lists all the eBooks that you've purchased from the Kindle store. If you click on the little plus sign (plussign.jpg ) next to one of the books you'll see the following options:

kindlebookdetails.jpg

I think you can tell where this is going now. Click on the "Download to computer" button and you can save the .AZW file that is your eBook (in this case Jasper FForde's latest novel) onto your computer.

Once you have the .AZW saved onto your computer you need to attach your Kindle to the same computer using the included USB cable. This puts your Kindle into USB Drive mode (you can also charge your Kindle using this method). Now your computer thinks your Kindle is a removable USB drive onto which you can copy any sort of files you like. Hmm, I wonder what kind of file we should copy to the Kindle... ah, right! The .AZW you just downloaded!

Double click the new drive called 'Kindle' that appears either on your desktop or in 'My Computer' and you'll see four folders listed: Audible, Documents, Music, and System. The Documents folder is where all the, well, documents are stored on your Kindle, including books. Drag the .AZW file into the documents folder and you've just placed a new book onto your Kindle without a wireless connection (this method can also be used to add PDFs and other e-book files onto your Kindle, but remember that the Kindle can only display PDFs, AZW files (Amazon's file format), plain text files (TXT), and unprotected MOBI/PRCs.

That's all you get for free

You'll find all that information, and more, in the book. So why not buy it right now? And remember you don't need to own a Kindle to buy/read books from the Kindle store. You can read Kindle books using the Kindle app for the iPhone/iPod touch and the Kindle for PC app.


Red and black 993s

I'm a New Balance man. The only sneakers that I wear are New Balances (I started with the 991s, and then the 992's and now the 993's are the new hotness). Since I'm going to be running again (and I think come spring time I might sign up for another 5K, shocking I know) I decided that today was the day to buy a new pair of sneakers.

My current 993's aren't really good for running at this point (I assume since I'm a heavy guy the sneaker cushioning just doesn't last long with all the pounding I give it) so a new pair had to be acquired. I scoped out what City Sports had in stock and I saw the red/black pair above. I was going to nab 'em but they were $140! I was pretty sure I could find 'em for cheaper and Amazon did not let me down. $104 later, I'll have a swanky new pair of running shoes by the end of the week (Amazon Prime wasn't available for this particular pair because Amazon was selling them directly).

Who's excited?


You need a good work out.

Needsagoodworkout

Loyal readers of Blankbaby will know that over the last couple of years I've had an on again, off again relationship with the gym. It is on again (and I'm shedding pounds left and right), which is a very good thing.

I'm lucky enough to have a gym that I can use both where I work (in the lovely Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia) and where I live (also in Center City, Philadelphia). As of late I've been using the gym at home which requires me to take the elevator down to the 5th floor dressed in my gym clothes, and then back up to the 20th floor after my work-out (and I'm drenched in sweat at this point).

Yesterday I got on the elevator wearing my gym shorts and an Iconfactory t-shirt. I was happy to find the elevator empty, sadly it stopped on the 11th floor and a young person who lives in my building (which is a rarity... Marisa and I are amongst the youngsters in the building!) got on with her parents who I assume were visiting. The mother turned to me, looked me up and down and said, "Are you going to the gym?"

I thought for a moment and responded, "Yes, yes I am."

"Oh, I only ask because my daughter is trying to get them to buy new treadmills."

That is a worth endeavor, and one which I support, so I replied, "Keep up the good fight!" and got off the elevator.

40 minutes later I was done with my work-out (I generally do 35 minutes on the elliptical and I'm slowly adding on some treadmill time... 5 minutes is my starting point and I'll work my way back to were I was several months ago) and I was dripping with sweat (as a fat man should be after he works out).

I pressed the up button so I could get home and hop in the shower. The elevator arrives and two little old ladies are standing there. I nod to them and get on.

After a moment one of the little old ladies turns to me and says, "Did you have a good workout?"

"Yes, I did!"

She smiled and looked away. That's when I noticed the other little old lady was giving me the once over. It looked like she wanted to say something to me, and sure enough she did.

Quote little old lady number two, "You need a good work out!"

This is, of course, the truth and yet I have been working under the assumption that we, as people, operate with a certain social contract. When you see an ugly person you don't go up to them and say, "Geez, what's up with your ugly face?" and then you're riding the elevator with a fat guy (like, oh, say me) who is covered in sweat you don't point out that he needs to work out. It is assumed that the sweaty fat guy, who JUST WORKED OUT, knows that he needs to continue working out.

Now little old lady number two was staring at me, waiting for a reply. I quickly glanced up and saw we were at the 14th floor. Too many floors to go without responding... but what could I do? The first thing I thought of saying was, "You need to shut up!" but I rejected that.

I ended up saying the only thing that I could. I chuckled and said, "That's true!" and spent the rest of the elevator ride avoiding eye contact with either of them.

Is it any wonder that I'm a hermit?


Who says I have an eReader problem?

5ereaders

I can stop buying them at any time, honest!

Here they are, starting with the silver one in front:

  • Sony PRS-505 - This is the first eBook reader I bought (at Borders!). I bought a week before the Kindle was announced. Thanks, Amazon.
  • Kindle 1: I ordered this the moment it was available to order, and once I got it I promptly stopped using my Sony Reader.
  • nook: My newest eBook reader, from Barnes and Noble. I gave serious thought to putting this one up on eBay, making a quick buck, and then buying one later... but I'm too lazy.
  • Kindle 2: I ordered this one as soon as it was available as well. It is so much better than the Kindle 1 it ain't funny.
  • Kindle DX: I was intrigued by the Kindle DX (basically a larger version of the Kindle 2) but I wasn't going to buy one, that is until I ended up writing a book about the Kindle. Then I HAD to buy it (yeah, that's the ticket). You can feel free to buy my Kindle book and read it on your Kindle.

Clearly, I really like eBook readers... and I'll never recoup all the money I've spent on them but life is too short NOT to have 5 eBook readers (we actually have 6 in the house since Marisa has a Kindle 2 of her own).


321.8

Weigh #2

I'm almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule for my Lose It or Lose It challenge. Not too shabby, sadly, getting ahead doesn't really help with Lose it or Lose It because I still have to lose another 3 pounds this week (and it just so happens to be Thanksgiving!).

I'm pretty sure I can knock off a few pounds this week, even with Turkey day. I'll be going to the gym tomorrow, perhaps Wednesday morning, and definitely Saturday and Sunday so it should be too much of a bother.


330

330.jpgYou may recall that before I got married I realized that I needed to get back on the bandwagon and shed some weight. The good news is that I did, in fact, lose some weight (enough to look good in my wedding photos) but the bad news is that we had lots of great food during the honeymoon.

That, in and of itself, wouldn't have been a problem if I had gone back to the gym after returning home. I didn't. I also didn't stop eating like a mad man, and now I've gained all the weight I lost before the wedding back (and then some!).

loseitorloseit.jpgWhat is a fat guy to do? Why, turn to a webapp that a smart Philly area developer just launched called Lose It or Lose It. The idea is simple: you decide on a goal (mine is to lose 30 pounds in 10 weeks) and the app lets you decide how much money you're willing to lose should you not meet that goal ($200 in my case). You weigh in every week, and if you don't hit your goal you are penalized a small bit. At the end of the 10 week period you get back all the money you put up if you meet your goal. If you don't meet your goal you get back the money you put up minus any penalties.

Fairly simple, I think. Check out my profile here. I'm certain that by mid-January I will be at least 30 pounds lighter (and I'll fit into more of my Hawaiian shirts!).


Wedding/Honeymoon pictures

Marisa and I got married a couple of months ago and I haven't put up any pictures! We took a bunch both at the wedding itself and during our honeymoon. I've collected some of the pics I like best in this post, but if you want to see them all they are on Flickr:

Here are the ones that I thought I would highlight on the blog:

The Wedding

First, we'll start with the wedding pictures. Most of these were taken by our good friend, and great photographer, Albert Yee (I'll point out which ones weren't!).

Marisa snaps a pic of me

This first picture was taken by yours truly. Marisa thought that perhaps she would have enough time to take her own wedding pictures.

Some random dogs showed up

While Marisa and I were exchanging vows I thought I saw a random dog walk past. But I knew that no one had brought a dog with them. Turns out the neighbor's dogs stopped by to wish us well (this pic was snapped by David Kirpan).

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Ah, the pro pictures begin!

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Marisa has a very large family.

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I don't. Behind me are my brother and mother. Behind Marisa are her parents and her sister.

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Raina played a song before we said our vows.

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About to take the plunge.

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Different people. Different shoes.

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Kissing! In public! Shocking.

Hands, touching hands

My good friend David Kirpan manned my camera during the ceremony and managed to get this picture. Good job, Dave!

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Marisa, being Marisa, made all of our wedding cakes herself. Here you see a destroyed flourless chocolate cake (which we made on Fork You once, video and recipe here).

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My relatives made the trek out to Philadelphia to attend (ain't they nice!).

My mom, her brother Robert, and her sister Maryellen

My mom, her brother, and her sister.

The Honeymoon

Bennington Pottery sign

The whole honeymoon plan was founded on visiting Bennington Potters (for Marisa), and so that was our first stop.

The Goodwill Store

Marisa also loves thrift stores, so we had to go here.

Another moose

All around Bennington they had these painted Moose. This one is the covered bridge moose which features a picture of the bed & breakfast we stayed at painted on its flank (I thought that was pretty cool).

No Service

My iPhone (and Blackberry and wireless data card) got no service for most of the trip, which was actually quite nice.

Steeple

A nice steeple. I just like the way this picture came out.

The Inn

The first place we stayed at in Vermont was the Inn On Covered Bridge Green, which was just lovely. Norman Rockwell used to own this house... though we didn't actually stay in the house proper. There is a little honeymoon cottage in the back (which used to be called the 'corn crib') that we stayed in. I'm certain that Marisa and I will be back to this place again.

Postcard material

This is what was painted on that moose.

Brownies

We left Vermont and went to Lake Placid, New York and stayed at the White Face Lodge, which was very nice indeed. They had brownies waiting for us in our room. You can't beat that!

Lake Placid

I thought this was a picture of Lake Placid, but I'm pretty sure it is actually Lake Mirror... either way it is pretty.

Free bubbly

Since I booked the Honeymoon package we also received some free champagne. It was pretty good.

Marisa with an armful of jars

Of course Marisa bought some jars.

Flag and cannon

And I demanded we visit some historical sites! This is Fort Ticonderoga.

We're cute!

Us being cute.

I assume this is Hurbert

A cannon.

Can you find Marisa?

The Kings Garden which is right next to the Fort. We actually happened to visit when some sort of farmers' market was going on so we managed to buy some vegetables.

Stickers

We also hit the Billings Farm & Museum which is neat (and I only heard about it because I was listening in on someone else's conversation at the Vermont Country Store).

Moo

This was outside of some tourist trap that we ventured into (and where we bought some rare Cabot cheeses that aren't available in these parts).

The Egg

The Egg in Albany, NY. Since we were driving through Albany I thought it would be fun to take the Capitol Building tour.

Library

The Library in the New York State Capitol.

Lights on the Airstream

A string of lights on our Airstream trailer.

North to Alaska

We stayed in an airstream (the one pictured above) at Kate's Lazy Meadow, which is surrounded by beauty. Marisa and I were both glad we only booked one night, however, since the trailer was tiny!

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I thought this was a cool picture.

The Married Couple!

And there we are being cute again!


A honeymoon in food

As we sat down to our first real meal of the honeymoon I thought it would be a great idea to snap an iPhone picture of each meal I ate during the trip. I always have my iPhone with me, and I'm always taking crappy pictures of my food with it so clearly this idea was meant to be.

Sadly, I would often be so hungry that I would either: start eating before I remembered to take a picture OR finish eating before remembering to take a picture. I did, however, manage to snap pics of 22 meals over the course of 8 days. Here they are, in order consumed from the earliest to the latest:

Bennington, VT

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I'm not sure who thought putting the insides of a chicken pot pie into a bread bowl was a good idea, but they were absolutely correct. This was our first real meal of the honeymoon and we had it at the Perfect Wife. Very good, and the prices were reasonable.

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One of the great things about staying at a bed and breakfast is that you get both a bed AND breakfast (genius!). We were the only guests at breakfast our first morning, so I couldn't refuse the big bowl of fruit (not a fan of fruit). I covered it up with yogurt and only ate the cantaloupe.

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After the disappointing fruit (which was only disappointing because I don't like fruit, mind you) the good innkeeper at The Inn on the Covered Bridge Green made up for it with some delicious eggs benedict.

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Our lunch stop was the Blue Benn Diner. If you're ever in Bennington, VT you have got to stop at this tiny diner (it is one of those dinners in a train car). The hot chocolate was great, as was the...

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Eggplant thing that I got. I asked the waitress what she would recommend, since the menu is huge, and she said the stuffed eggplant was the way to go. She didn't steer me wrong.

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Not having enough colonial experiences in Philadelphia we decided to have dinner at Ye Olde Tavern. The pictures aren't great because that place is dark. I mean, seriously dark. These were some cranberry fritters that we got whilst waiting for our meal. Pretty good.

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The cheese plate was the highlight of the meal for both Marisa and myself.

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I ordered the tournedos of filet mignon, which is filet mignon topped with lobster served with béarnaise. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't mind blowing either.

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This was our last breakfast at the good old Inn on the Covered Bridge Green and it consisted of lemon and blueberry pancakes. They were good, sadly I had a childhood trauma involving blueberry pancakes (watch me tell the story of my trauma and eat some blueberry jam!) so I didn't really enjoy them (though I soaked them through and through with maple syrup, which seemed to help). The bacon was very good.

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We spent a lot of time in random stores during the honeymoon and the Vermont Country Store has got to be the most random of them all. However, the Bryant House Restaurant that is next to their location in Weston, Vermont is very good. I had the Yankee Pot Roast open face sandwich. I wish they could FedEx one to me tomorrow. Very tasty.

Rutland, VT

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I thought the Mountain Top Inn and Resort was a little more rustic and secluded than it actually was, but they make a mean french dip!

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Maple Sugar and Vermont Spice makes the best pancakes I have ever had in my life. Above you see an order of their sugar and spice pancakes. After we finished our breakfast I turned to Marisa and said, "We have to have breakfast here again tomorrow." Read on to see if we did! (Spoiler alert: we did, and it was just as good).

Hanover, New Hampshire

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We somehow found ourselves in New Hampshire where we saw Fame (don't ask). I was craving some Asian food so we stopped at Yama II. This soup was tasty but super hot.

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The pad thai was very good, indeed. The place really had a 'college town eatery' vibe that I dug.

Rutland, VT

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I told you we went back! This time I had the breakfast sampler with pancakes, two eggs, two pieces of bacon, and two sausage links. And a maple syrup chaser.

Lake Placid, NY

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Kanu is the restaurant inside the Whiteface Lodge, and it is very good. Not pictured were two appetizers that we shared: a mac and cheese to die for and some very good grilled scallops. My entree was the pulled pork which was porktastic. Sadly, the baked beans weren't cooked all the way through so I didn't eat them. The cornbread was good though.

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Breakfast was included in our rate at the Whiteface Lodge, so you can bet your bippy that we had breakfast there. Best of all it was a breakfast buffet (and a very good one at that). I must have eaten seven of those cinnamon roll things.

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At this point Marisa decided that we hadn't been eating enough vegetables ("Wait, bacon ISN'T a vegetable?!") so we had some raw veggies and hummus for lunch.

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Milano North is responsible for this, and it was much better tasting than it looks in this picture (it kind of looks like gagh, which you might know as Klingon Blood Worms). Marisa wasn't a fan of her dinner, but they did give us a free dessert (which I devoured before my iPhone could snap a pic).

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One bagel, two toppings. Madness!

Mt. Tremper, NY

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I did not have high hopes for Brios, but my chicken parm was very good. There were a few too many screaming children here for my taste, but that isn't the restaurant's fault.

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When we saw that the menu featured four different types of multigrain pancakes we knew we had found the right place for Marisa (damn, hippy). The omelet was very good, and the toast was fantastic (they bake their own bread). Sweet Sue's is worth a stop if you ever find yourself in Phoenicia, NY.


The Kindle Pocket Guide

kindlepocketguide.jpgI'll level with you, I was pretty sure my first book was a fluke. I mean, really, who wants to read a book I wrote? Well, it would seem more than a few people bought my WordPress book (I just got my second royalty statement which included a nice check, which is pretty darned good since most folks don't earn back their advance) so maybe I know a thing or two about writing them thar books.

I've not been shy expressing my love of Amazon's Kindle 2 . I really think that Kindle, for the moment, is the best eBook reader money can buy (the Sony Reader looks nicer, but getting a book onto the damned thing sucks). That's why Cliff, my editor at PeachPit Press, thought of me when they wanted a book about the Kindle.

I found out that my Kindle book, The Kindle Pocket Guide, was available for purchase on September 26th. I was a little busy getting married at the time, and then I was off on honeymoon, and so I am just getting a chance to write about it.

This book is interesting in that it is only available as an eBook (I know this was a risk, but I thought it was appropriate) so we'll see how many people out there with Kindles are interested in learning some tips and tricks about the device (both the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX are covered... Amazon was nice enough to announce the DX while I was in the midst of finishing up the first draft of the book, so that was fun updating it!).

If you have a Kindle (or the Kindle iPhone app!), want to know a little bit more about it, and like my writing style you should download a copy.

Oh, and since my mom (hi, mom!) won't be buying this book any time soon here is a screenshot of the dedication:

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And the acknowledgements:

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