SAVE THE DATE: 30 JUNE 2012!

On July 1st, 2012, Frank turns 42, which, as we all know from Douglas Adams' works, is "The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything". It only stands to reason, then, that he will *be* that answer starting on that date! And that, my friends, sounds like a reason to party!

Your presence is gift enough for me. Should you insist on not listening to me, I do have an Amazon wish list. http://amzn.com/w/20OQUAQ3JUVIB

(Besides, Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year, which makes it difficult for us to hold our annual Suburban Charred Meat Festival, so hey, combining the two works!)

Time and place are yet TBD (although it is Highly likely to be held in Maryland).

More info to follow! Save the date!
...and here I am, pounding my fingers on a keyboard and my head on my desk.

In other words, it's Monday. Hey, how the hell are ya?

So, it's been almost 2 weeks since I last blathered at ya. Been busy in that time. Between the getting ready for the holidays and putting in about 12 extra hours at work, I've been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. So then, a quick bullet list.
  • Me: Doing OK. Trying to not think about [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0's upcoming surgery. Yeah, I know, it's routine. They probably do tens of thousands of them a day. But still - it's surgery, and there's always a risk. So, I try not to think about it. Otherwise ok, if somewhat tired last week from putting in extra time to cover the time I'll be taking off for the surgery. Had a bit of a revelation last week...but more on that later.
  • Family: Doing well. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 is off some of her meds in preparation for the surgery. Everyone's been busy with schoolwork and holiday prep; it's sometimes hard to stay focused.
  • What we've been doing. Well, since the last real update...
    • Went to parent-teacher conferences
    • Went to [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo's and [livejournal.com profile] ginabeth's place for family, food, and football.
    • Did the Thanksgiving baking (4 loaves of pumpkin bread, 3 cornbread rounds, pumpkin pie, pear cranberry pecan pie, chocolate pie, thanksgiving sugar cookies)
    • Did the Thanksgiving cleaning (well, a lot of it, anyway)
    • Finished the Thanksgiving shopping
    • Did some Christmas shopping.
    Blearg.
  • Gaming: You may have noticed a lack of gaming listed. I think, though I'm not certain, that the lack of gaming, whether tabletop or electronic, is one of the reasons behind some of my depression of late. Gaming is far and away one of my favorite things to do, and I haven't really done any lately. No fault or blame here, just the way life has worked these last few months. Once I realized that, I tried to get myself to do something, even if it's just noodle around on WoW for a while. Haven't been able to. Too much to do. Must work on this.
  • Work: Still no word on the contract award. Still feel about 99% certain I'll have the same job come Jan 1, but about 85% likely that it'll be with a different company (in other words, I'll still be here, but someone else will be signing the checks). We shall see.
  • New Year's: Yes, we will be doing the Open House this year. Saturday and Sunday. official announcement and eVite to go out tonight, I hope.
  • Food Network shows: I liked Food Network Live this year. It gave me one or two ideass to work with. Also, the Swedish Chef made an appearance. What's not to like? Also appreciated the new Good Eats Thanksgiving special. Yum.
OK, I need to clean up and head for home. Got a 12 hour day tomorrow, and need to make some spiced pears and cranberry apple ginger chutney tonight.

Once again, I'd like to take a moment to remind all of you of why we do this. Yeah, the food is good and the pies better, but this is a time for family and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. In all the hustle and bustle, let us not lose sight of that.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.
Once again, it's that time of year, the time of year where we celebrate that most American of modern holidays: The Super Bowl (or, as my World History teacher, Mike Gould, called it, the Hyper Bowl).

(Side note: While I'm a big fan of tradition, the NFL needs to move the game to Saturday night so that people have Sunday to clean up and recover from the parties. )

Alas, my beloved Philadelphia Eagles will not be playing, but I'll still be watching. All I really hope for is a good game and a handful of humorous and/or innovative commercials. This year...I really don't know who will win. Nor do I have a favorite. Growing up in South Jersey, Pittsburgh was always the AFC team it was ok to root for, and I admit to a soft spot in my heart for the Packers (unless they're playing the Eagles, then they can all burn). I think that this is the "Dream Game" for the NFL - two storied franchises with large and passionate national fan bases. Should make for good ratings.

This year, we'll be at home. We'll do the Pathfinder game in the afternoon, and have chili and stuff for the game. If you wanna come by, you're welcome to do so, just lemme know.

In the meantime, here's a few polls for you to fill out if the mood so strikes you.

[Poll #1676143]
Well, it's that time again. Christmas cookie baking begins tonight. Cookies for us, cookies for work, cookies as gifts...lots of cookies to make! And us up to our eyeballs in flour, sugar, eggs, etc...

But that's ok. People like it when [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & I cook & bake. It may be the number one reason people come to the New Year's Open House! (ok, ok, I know it's not...)

This is your regular reminder that if you can read this, YOU ARE INVITED. Yes, I know some of you are across the country in such remote and inhospitable places like Chicago, Wisconsin, or California (or worse still: Florida). So? Come on out! Comment below with an email addy to get a copy of the "official" e-vite!

So, Christmas cookies. This year, I believe that the list includes:
  • Chocolate Chip (no holiday morsels, sadly)
  • Snickerdoodles (red & green, of course)
  • Sugar cookies
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter bars
  • Peanut Butter Tandy Takes ([livejournal.com profile] luvmomh's version of TastyKake's Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes)
  • Peanut Butter cookies (low to no sugar) (these are especially for my dad)
  • Oatmeal
  • Hungarian
  • Peanut Butter blossoms (peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's kiss on top)
  • Haystacks (think butterscotch chips, marshmallows, and chow mein noodles)
  • Thimble cookies
  • Butter press


Also need to do the Christmas Cards. And hey, if you'd like a card from us, please leave a comment here. If you're looking to send us one, the address is there as well.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.
Hey, how you doing?

Welcome to the start of the dog-days of summer. Don't know about your part of the world, but here in the DC area, we're looking at temperatures in the low 100s for the next few days. Given that DC was built on a swamp, this will not bode well for people like me (aka fat bastids). Especially for me, who prefers temps in the mid to low 60s. Fortunately, it will be in the low to mid 80s come Saturday, when we go to see the Bowie Baysox.

Anyway, we had our annual Independence Day Suburban Charred Meat Festival last Sunday, and I have to say it was a smashing success. Had about 25 people there, served up a lot o' food, and watched a lot of fireworks. I feel like I should be writing more about this, but really, there wasn't anything much happening there. People came and had fun, and really, that's what makes it a success in my eyes. I do want to thank everyone who came over, and especially those who kept the cook company as he worked the grill.

Not much else going on around these parts. As I mentioned last year, this is kinda a slow and vaguely depressed time for me. Yeah, we've got a few things we're doing with the kids this summer, but summer, especially August, isn't my favorite time of year. For starters, as I mentioned before, I don't like heat. It's also a bit of a slow time for me for sports, as I'm not much of a baseball fan. Yeah, I've only got about a month until training camp for the Philadelphia Eagles opens. One of those things, I guess.

Regardless, life is good. And any depressive thoughts that may come my way will eventually be blown away either by work, by the kids, by the wife, or by remembering that every day I wake up is, by definition, a good day.

So I want you to remember that as well. The very fact that you woke up today makes it a good day. And you've made my day a little brighter as well. Thank you.

Peas. Out.
So, it's that time of year again, the time of year where we celebrate that most American of modern holidays: The Super Bowl (or, as my World History teacher, Mike Gould, called it, the Hyper Bowl)

Alas, my beloved Philadelphia Eagles will not be playing, but I'll still be watching. All I really hope for is a good game and a handful of humorous and/or innovative commercials. I have to admit, I'd like to see the New Orleans Saints win this year, as they haven't done so before. Were I a betting man, however, my money would be on the Colts.

We're not 100% sure where we'll be this year. The current plan is to me at [livejournal.com profile] matt3485's for the annual "Kielbasa Cup Super Bowl Party", but weather may conspire against us - mainly because [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 may be required to stay near DC for work purposes.

In the meantime, here's a few polls for you to fill out if the mood so strikes you.

[Poll #1520255]
Well, it's that time again. Christmas cookie baking has begun. Cookies for us, cookies for work, cookies as gifts...lots of cookies to make! And us up to our eyeballs in flour, sugar, eggs, etc...

But that's ok. People like it when [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & I cook & bake. It may be the number one reason people come to the New Year's Open House! (ok, ok, I know it's not...)

This is your regular reminder that if you can read this, YOU ARE INVITED. Yes, I know some of you are across the country in such remote and inhospitable places like Chicago, Wisconsin, or California (or worse still: Florida). So? Come on out! Comment below with an email addy to get a copy of the "official" e-vite!

So, Christmas cookies. This year, I believe that the list includes:
  • Chocolate Chip (no holiday morsels, sadly)
  • Snickerdoodles (red & green, of course)
  • Sugar cookies
  • Russian Tea Cookies
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter bars
  • Peanut Butter Tandy Takes ([livejournal.com profile] luvmomh's version of TastyKake's Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes)
  • Peanut Butter cookies (low to no sugar) (these are especially for my dad)
  • Oatmeal
  • Hungarian
  • Peanut Butter blossoms (peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's kiss on top)
  • Haystacks (think butterscotch chips, marshmallows, and chow mein noodles)
  • Thimble cookies
  • Almond Crescents
  • Pinwheels


Also need to do the Christmas Cards. And hey, if you'd like a card from us, please leave a comment here. If you're looking to send us one, the address is there as well.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.
Pray for me, my friends, pray for me.

Tonight is the second dance at B's middle school. And once again, I will be there demoing games. On the list for tonight are:
  • Fluxx
  • Aquarius
  • Kung Fu Fighting
  • 10 Days in the USA
  • Lord of the Fries
  • Plague & Pestilence

There's one or two others, but they're in my car and I don't remember

Tomorrow, [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 and F will be headed off to a friends birthday bash, while B & I host a "going away" party for a friend of hers (her dad got a new job in Wisconsin, they're moving over the holidays). This will involve pizza, snacks, drinks, and (Goddess help me) Twilight.

I will likely decamp to the dining room again, armed with Nerf, and playing WoW.
Good afternoon, dear friends. Welcome to the latest installation of my ramblings, wherein I set down some thoughts about where I am and what I will be doing in the near future, and perhaps about what I done did.

Or some crap like that.

First, need to get some administrivia out of the way: Welcome to [livejournal.com profile] hai_kah_uhk & [livejournal.com profile] shaharazad, two lovely people whom I met last weekend (details on this to follow). Pull up a chair and rest a bit. Hope I don't bore you! I generally suggest that people read this post if they want to know more about me.

I think a bullet list is in order:
  • Me: Still doing well. Seem to be dropping more weight, as the pants seem to be looser and more prone to be affected by gravity.
  • Family: Also doing well. Kids enjoying summer camp. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 still doing well with her job. The summer progresses... ;-)
  • Work: Did very well on my 90 day review, so I am no longer on my probationary period. Moved cubes earlier this week in an effort to insulate the engineering & sysadmin staff from the userbase.
  • Last weekend: The big event last weekend was the wedding of [livejournal.com profile] pleasantlyevil and [livejournal.com profile] deceptiverose. They were kind enough to invite the 4 of us to the wedding, and so on Friday, we drove to my parents house in NJ, where we spent the night. Got up the next morning, got ourselves together, and headed out to the site of the wedding. We made one stop en route to consult maps, as the directions we had from Google Maps became slightly confusing. (This is what prompted the question regarding GPS devices earlier this week) Got there just in time. Sat behind [livejournal.com profile] servergirl and family. The hawaiian shirts the groomsmen were wearing were the same ones that we wore for [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo's first wedding - this brought a lump to my throat. The wedding went well, with the only issue being the wind not allowing the candles to be lit. The reception was a lot of fun as well, with the couple having the good sense to sit [livejournal.com profile] blackpaladin & [livejournal.com profile] cassildra at the same table us (which also then precludes inflicting us on the other guests), as well as [livejournal.com profile] hai_kah_uhk & [livejournal.com profile] shaharazad, two more good peoples cut from the same cloth. Yes I snarked and made ribald comments, and yes, I did get my traditional dance with the groom in. As they say, a good time was had by all.

    We stopped on the way back to my folks at a Stewarts for some root beer floats. Yum. Spent Sunday vegging out at my folks place, then headed home.
  • What's coming up: Taking my Technician's class Amateur Radio License test on Sat Morning. Got a Barking Mad Staph meeting on Saturday afternoon. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & B are, I believe, going to MSD HQ for the monthly game. Sunday will be some well deserved quiet time and cleaning. Next weekend will be a Baysox game.
  • Gaming: Finally got a copy of Carcassonne, or rather, the Big Box "2", in a package that came with the Tower and Catapult expansions as well. Looking forward to introducing the kids.
  • WoW: Well, I was invited to my first 25 man Ulduar raid last night. Despite my misgivings at possibly being undergeared, things seemed to go decently. Died more than I would have liked, but am still unsure how one of the deaths came about. Whatever. If they'll have me back tonight, I'll be happy to continue.

And, that, as they say, is that.


Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
TCEP 16: 51 Days!
Early bird pre-reg ends at the end of the month!
Welcome to Monday, you wonderful wacky weirdos! Another bright and brilliant start to a week!

Oh relax, my enthusiasm will wane. The whole thing won't be so...exuberant.

But here we are and there you are and isn't life grand?

So, an update!

::checks archives to see when last post was::

Me: Doing well. Didn't sleep as much as I should have for most of the weekend (exception: Saturday night/Sunday AM). Still, doing good and feeling good. Trying to get back on vitamin and St. Johns Wort regimen.

Family: Also doing well. Kids are enjoying camp. B. is taller than some of the camp counselors. I think that F being in a different camp than B. is good for him. Only real issue anywhere is that F got sick on Sat night and didn't make it to the bathroom, so we had to strip the bed at midnight. Fun. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 is enjoying her job so far - but the person she replaced had essentially stopped doing much of anything at the beginning of the year after she announced the retirement, so [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 has had to hit the ground running and deal with crap that should have been dealt with months ago.

Car: Yeah, so as I may or may not have related elsewhere, the Mazda died two weeks ago tomorrow when I was leaving work. Now, it's got 110k miles or so on it, needs a new exhaust system, a new belt, and the windshield has a crack in it. Yeah, I could replace everything, but it would cost a bit. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law was getting rid of one of her cars. So, we figured to sell the Mazda, give her the money and take over on her car. Of course, two weeks before we were going to set everything in motion, my car decides to throw me an $800 repair bill for a distributor system. But, as I tweeted, we had the money to take care of it without having to not pay other bills. So now the Mazda is at home and I'm driving the new one.

The 4th: The Suburban Charred Meat Festival went off beautifully. 'Twas our pleasure to play host to Necros (from TSC) and his kids, [livejournal.com profile] allura, Sean, Drew, [livejournal.com profile] byronczimmer, [livejournal.com profile] principiacoh, my sis-in-law, [livejournal.com profile] aylinn & [livejournal.com profile] tth. It was a nice enough day that we were, for the most part, able to sit around outside and chat. Plenty of good food was shared (the kielbasa I grilled disappeared so fast it made my head spin), and many laughs were had. We caught the DC, NYC, and Boston fireworks, and [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & I finally got to play Dominion (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] byronczimmer & [livejournal.com profile] principiacoh). I enjoyed it greatly - [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 did as well. This one we will be buying.

I tried a recipe for roasted potato salad - I'll post it later.

What's coming up: Well, next weekend is the wedding of [livejournal.com profile] pleasantlyevil and [livejournal.com profile] deceptiverose, and the plan is still to be there for that. Maybe Sat night we'll get together with some old friends. The weekend after that is a Barking Mad meeting.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
TCEP 16: 60 Days!
Early bird pre-reg ends at the end of the month!
Top o' the morning to y'all!

Well, here we are at the beginning of the work week again. Just where we don't wanna be.

Or, maybe we *do* want to be there. The alternative...is not so pleasant.

Whatever.

Hey, how ya doin? Let's try for a quick update...in convenient bullet point format!
  • Me: Doing pretty well, actually. Spent wayyyy too much time in the car yesterday. DE was a parking lot. Looking forward to the short workweek.
  • Family: Also doing well. Kids start camp today. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 finishes her "Engineering and Management" course tonight. Spending part of the week figuring out which bins are going into storage, part of it cleaning.
  • What we've been doing: Well, the short version is that a week ago last Wednesday, the kids went to NJ to stay with my folks. We visited the weekend before last, then again this weekend. The longer version is...
    • Wed: Met folks at Maryland House on I-95 to exchange kids. Got drivers license renewed. Rented storage space. Hit Barnes & Noble for Fantasy football mags, Coraline, Lankhmar Book 1: Swords And Deviltry, & Lankhmar Book 2: Swords Against Death. Met [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 at Panera and showed her the storage space. Had dinner and relaxed.
    • Thursday: Worked. Played some WoW. Rested.
    • Friday: Drove up to NJ.
    • Saturday: Hung out. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, Mom, and the kids went out shopping. Cheesesteaks for dinner. Took the kids out for ice cream.
    • Sunday: Hung out. Played Father's Day. Gave Dad more Eagles grill stuff. Got Godzilla movies, Hellboy 2, and Ghostbusters for the Wii. Headed for home.
    • Monday: See Thursday.
    • Tuesday: Car died. Much cursing and grumpiness.
    • Wednesday - Friday: See Monday
    • Saturday: Picked up Angel Food order. Drove back to NJ.
    • Sunday: Drove home.
  • What's coming up: Gotta get things ready for the Independence Day Suburban Charred Meat Festival. Then gotta get ready for the wedding of [livejournal.com profile] pleasantlyevil & [livejournal.com profile] deceptiverose the next weekend. The weekend after that is the last big meeting for TCEP 16: Craig & Tad Against the World Crime League. *whew*
  • WOW notes: I have most of the accomplishments completed for the Midsummer event. Need to still do the juggling one and the ice lord one. Continuing to join Naxx25 raids - getting about 1 upgrade a week. Got Grim Toll this last week. This brings me to just under 2000 gear rating on WoW Heroes. Still no Tier 7.5 gear, but working on it.
  • Future plans. We're almost definitely going to do the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge in September and are seriously considering doing the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge in October. The idea behind each is that you visit a number of the lighthouses along in each state over a given weekend. You can visit as few or as many of the participating lighthouses as you want. We're kinda looking forward to it.

That's about it for now. One or two more posts to follow, though.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
TCEP 16: 67 Days!
So, hi there. How are ya? Didja get through this weekend relatively unscathed? No mushroom clouds over your grill? No relatives served up as BBQ?

Sounds like you're doing something wrong. LOL
And now, the bullet list of DOOOOOM! )
Short version: A good weekend, all around.
Longer version behind cut )
OK, that's about it for now.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.
So, after some discussion amongst ourselves, we (that would be [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, the kids & I) have decided to go ahead and revive our "Independence Day Suburban Charred Meat Festival".

We used to do that every year - and really, all it is is me cooking things on the grill, combined with good people and a bit of fun! Oh, and SchoolHouse Rock and maybe ID4.

Thing is, this year, the 4th falls on a Saturday, which means that a lot of people will have off on Friday, July 3rd as well (I know I will)

So, the poll then:

[Poll #1388645]

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments
In less than 36 hours, my living space will be infested by 5 pre-teen girls.

Yes, B. is having a sleepover for her birthday.

I KAN HAS EERPLUGZ NAO?

I dunno. I mean, these are generally good kids. But the more of them you get together, the more high pitched screeching and giggling you get. And it increases in geometric proportion per child added.

I have already told B. that her brother is off limits. They are to leave him alone.

I have already told F. that the girls are off limits. He is to leave them alone, especially since they will outnumber him 5-to-1. And, I have something for him if he complies.

I will be in the dining room. I will have the laptop, headphones, and several Nerf guns at the ready. I'm thinking the 10 shot automatics, the longshot, the firefly & one or two of the shotguns. From there, I can see all and dispense Rapid-Fire Hot Nerf Death (tm) on offenders.

Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the (Nerf) gun. hehe

Pizza for dinner. Waffles for breakfast. World of Warcraft for me. Pre-teen super-sappy schlock Disney creations for the girls (including, most likely, [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0). Maybe some Wii.

I think everyone's going to behave; not really worried about that. My greatest fear right now has less to do with the sleepover than with work tomorrow. I don't want to have a craptacular day and come home cranky. That will not be fun for anyone.
Yes, it's 03/03/09!

Happy SQUARE DAY!!!

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Hey y'all. Welcome to Monday of Thanksgiving week, and hopefully the first day of a short work week. And if it isn't for you (as it is for my non-US-based readers), then, well, here's hoping it's a good week anyway!
Click if you wish... )
I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.
Well, something like that.

Y'all seem to be quiet today. What, y'all hung over from the weekend? If so, good on ya. My weekend wasn't nearly as cool as that. But it was good nonetheless.
Friday night )
Saturday )
Sunday )
And now, it's Monday. 4 days, 4 hrs and 44 minutes until a weekend. WOO!

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

Peas. Out.

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Frank N. Huminski

February 2014

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