Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy fathers day to all the dads out their. Especially to my dad and to Mike on the occasion of his first fathers day with a kid of his own.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Home and Birthdays

Happy birthday Mom!!! I raced home from Pittsburgh to wish you a happy birthday but when I got home no one was here so you will have to accept this. (Also sorry it is technically late but my ride was a little slow picking me up)

For the rest of the world I guess I will update my blog a little as I haven't blogged in a few weeks. I just got back from a trip visiting my sister and brother-in-law along with their kids. It is always fun getting to see my nephews. On the trip I played golf for the first time in my life. Hitting a little ball with a club is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I still say Robin Williams stand up on golf is the best explanation for the sport. But it is fun once you start understanding how to actual play.

Originally I was suppose to leave last Tuesday but when I got to the airport I found out my flight had been canceled. They promptly booked me on the next available flight which was the next evening. John was upset when he found out my flight was canceled that he wrote this sign.

It says "kom too da" which translate to "come home today." Not sure how the home works but its pretty close.

Dan and I also went and saw the Pirates play the Mets on Monday. I don't follow either team too much so I was surprised by all of the ex-Mariner players I saw.
First we have Jeremy Reed. For those who don't know baseball he is the guy at the plate right now.
Then there was Ramon Vazquez who came up and struck out with the bases loaded. Made me see that even though some players leave there is always a little Mariner left in them.
Former Mariner closer J.J. Putz. I didn't get any pictures of it, but he did come into the game later on in the 8th.

I got to hangout with my nephews which is always fun. One afternoon we walked to a little farm nearby that Kelly and Dan get their eggs from.
John and Finn looking for the little chicks. (they are under the coop if you can see them at all in this picture)

On the way back we stopped by this little bench for a breather.
It was hard to get a picture because Finn kept on running to the camera to see how the picture turned out.

We also stopped by a little pond on the way back to the house. John ran ahead of us and ran straight into the mud. When he ran out he was barefoot. So I got to go fishing and I came up with...
two crocs!
John and Finn carried the shoes back on sticks. John kinda looked like a little hobo with his stick over his shoulder and muddy feet.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy birthday Mike!

Today is my baby brother's birthday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Me - 1 Virus - 0

I first tried ignoring the virus. I figured the computer is pretty big, there is space for us to both exist and be happy but that didn't work. I then used software to kill the virus and that only angered the virus and made my computer become very moody. Recently the virus found a new trick. Every time I would try and install some sort of anti virus program the program would start to install and then just stop. I needed a new program because my current anti virus software can only find the 80 some trojans. Actually eliminating the threats was just not in the software's area of expertise. Glad I bought the 2 year plan with it. But after exhausting all options with my computer I finally just formatted the thing thereby getting rid of the virus. Some would consider this a failure. That losing all your information just gives into the virus but I don't. I figure it just sends a message to all other viruses out there, I am willing to do anything to get rid of any program on my computer I don't want.

Also, it is still technically the 29th so just wanted to say; Happy Birthday Finn!
Happy Anniversary Taylor and Anne!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Kelly!

Hope you got to have some fun today! I was going to post a picture of us but then I found out I really don't have any. Guess I will have to get one when I go visit.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Not sure how many people were told about my first and currently only traffic violation. I got a ticket because I was driving a car with expired tabs. I won't go into the whole story but I believed I wasn't completely in the wrong so I went to the judge to challenge the ticket and get the ticket reduced. I went to court and had my whole sob story all worked out, brought an onion so I could break out the tears if needed. The judge came in about 10 min late and then gave the entire room a 5 min speech about the need for everyone to turn off their cell phones. There were a few cases ahead of me and each one was being shot down by the judge so I started to get a little worried. When it came to my turn I told my story to the judge and she essentially called me and idiot. She was surprised that someone would be stupid enough to drive across the entire state with expired tabs. I am still not sure how this was endangering anyone but I guess she would know best. After she insulted me and treated me like an idiot she was kind enough to take off $7 from my ticket. The whole process left me a little bitter towards the justice system though. But yesterday Mike was reading through the news and he came across this story.

That is the judge from my case. It is nice to see that someone has taken notice of the way she treats the people in her court. I am not sure how much it will change her attitude though as it didn't seem to help before. Heres hoping it helps a little more I guess.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cell Phone Picutres

I decided to take a break from trying to fix my computer to post some of the pictures I took with my cell phone camera. The virus has given up some control on my computer and I can now start up windows on my computer just about every time I turn it on. The bad part is that the virus won't allow me to install any software on the computer. If only I knew of some computer science major who could help me. Oh well, I guess I am going to have to go virus hunting after this post.

These pictures are from Austria, Slovakia, and Hungry. Although I think the first picture is technically Poland.

For those of you who were reading my blog I mentioned that the weather had turned for the better once we left Poland. I snapped this picture as we rode over to Vienna. It was the first time I saw the sun while in Eastern Europe.

I didn't take too many pictures of Vienna and I decided I wasn't going to post any at this time. This picture is in Bratislava instead. This is the little path we had to take to get to the hostel.

Again, another picture of the entrance to the hostel. Bratislava wasn't as bad as this picture makes it out to be though. But instead of clearing out these decrepit buildings they just built the buildings farther back and left the old ones standing.

And what was the name of the hostel I stayed at? Why it's the Patio Hostel of course. I took this picture for Elliott who is probably the only person who still calls me Patio. Although I think he spells it differently.

While in the grocery store I saw these chips and thought of Mike and my dad. Why bacon flavored chips haven't caught on in the states I will never know.

Here is Eric in front of the main building inside Bratislava's castle. As you can see it is still under construction. Pretty much all of the building inside the castle have been built recently. I thought it was just a cheap ploy to make another tourist attraction.

This bridge was dubbed the UFO Bridge. The flying saucer is a rotating restaurant. Also if you look in the distance behind the bridge you can see some architecture left over from the old communist days. They are the buildings that look like clones of each other.

From Bratislava we went to Budapest. I saw this statue in the castle grounds there. While going through Europe and seeing all of the different statues they have commemorating the different occasions I decided that this is the best way to mark significant events in someones life. I plan on giving giant statues as gifts next time something big happens.

I took this picture because of all of the satellites covering the roof there. It wasn't just this rook but most of the rooks in front of us all had a ton of satellites covering them.

One downside in going during the off season is that this is the time people take advantage of the low crowds and repair whatever is broken. So a lot of the places we saw were covered in scaffolding like this.

St. Stephen's Basilica. This was a beautiful church and a little interesting as it also had a relic. The relic was the uncorrupted right hand of King Stephen. No pictures of it though as they frown on photography and they don't allow you to shake the hand either. It was inside this church that I overheard a conversation in English. By this point I would listen to anything in English. They were talking about how much wealth was put into the building and whether or not this was a good or bad thing. Eric and I almost jumped in as we had talked about this before but they seemed to be doing alright so we let them be.

Another leftover from the communist days, some guy preaching to the citizens. They have little communist statues scattered across the city. This one was just a couple of blocks from the first hostel I stayed at in Budapest.

Another gift from American to the world. I rounded this corner and then there was the golden arches.

This picture was taken as part of a pair. Budapest was interesting because you can look one direction and see the above and then turn slightly to the left and...

see this. They seem to be in the midst of updating all of the buildings but it is a slow process. You get a lot of what looks like condemned buildings next to some really nice buildings.

Budapest was my last Eastern European city. From there I went over to Salzburg. Not sure how many people know this but the film Sound of Music was set in this city. So people are generally here for either Sound of Music tours or skiing/snowboarding. This mix of people makes Salzburg hostels an interesting place to stay. This picture is one of the mountains that overlooks the city.

This is one of the churches in Salzburg. The stone work inside this church really stood out to me. The picture really doesn't do it any justice but from all the places I had been to I think this church had some of the best stone work.

Some more of the stone work.

More Salzburg churches. This is a different church though.

This is a poster on the main church in Salzburg. I guess those are saints Pink and Rhianna and some guy. That or the church put up some really tacky adds.

They had a giant chess set out for people to use. I wanted to challenge the guy there to a game but they were in the middle of a game and I had places to go.

I went up to the castle and took a tour of the torture chamber. On the tour they give everyone a little player that gives you the tour in your own language. I just thought it was funny to see everyone milling about in the room and not talking. And just to note, this tour is called the torture chamber tour which is a complete lie. They do have a room for torture but the room was never actually used for that purpose. All the devices in the room have been brought here from other castles. I felt a little cheated.

This is taken from the top of one of the towers in the castle. From here I got a really good view of Salzburg.

Taken from the tower also. The building with the blue dome is the main church is Salzburg.

This was a display inside the castle. It is a lot cooler than the picture makes it out as. It's hard to see but one of the stick guy is dead in the back.

This bed was used inside the castle. It's hard to make out the dimensions but I can't fit on this bed. Just thought it was funny how small it is.

The castle in Salzburg was never taken by force and that is because of the barriers around it. A lot of the places that surround the castle are cliff faces like this.

While walking down from the castle I saw this. Quite possibly the most disturbing statue I saw (minus the statue of two guys wrestling). It's called the Coat of Peace but I just don't see it. I do think it would be a cool statue to just surprise someone with though.

I just thought these were really cool wood carvings. I didn't have enough room for them in my pack though. Otherwise I would have had to get one for my nephews.