4/21/2008

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Zsa Zsa Gabor?

John gave me some grief about spending more then $40.00 a night on a hotel room. I got us a room with a whirlpool hot tub at a Holiday Inn… The hotel was actually nicer then I expected. Our room was roomy with a high ceiling, walk in shower and it was quiet. We don’t get the chance to take a bath very often, so it was really nice to soak in the whirlpool…

We got up at 6:30am on Saturday and made it to the hamfest in Stoughton, WI by 7:45am. Our friend Markus and his fiancee, Lois, were already there and waiting for us. The hamfest was all indoors, and a bit small, but we spent 90 minutes checking everything out. I ended up purchasing some books on packet radio, several old ham radio magazines from the 50′ & 60’s and a new book on VHF Digital communications. I used some restraint and did not purchase the boxes of Commodore 64 software, or the Apple II gs, or the Heathkit digital computer trainer…. John purchased a morse code key and some misc. connectors for antennas. It was really nice seeing Markus again – it has been awhile…..

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Mike!

After the hamfest we stopped at Perkins for breakfast and then headed back to the hotel for a bit, until Mike got done at work… I spent an hour reading part of one of the packet radio books and relaxing. We headed over to Mike’s place around 1:00pm…. His laptop computer was not booting properly, so I attempted to help. I managed to get Windows XP to boot into “Safe Mode” so he could connect an external USB drive and backup his files and documents before taking it in for repair.

We then headed over to the local Best Buy, dropped off his pc, and spent time browsing computer stuff, xbox 360 games and dvd… I did not have the spendies so didn’t get anything. This is partially due to the fact that I have a naughty little purchase being shipped to me. I’ve ordered the 3-DVD set of the first season of “The Love Boat” – in all it’s tacky 70’s glory. It should arrive sometime this week…. I’m sure John will be impressed 🙂

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State Street

After Best Buy we headed to downtown Madison and checked out State Street. The weather was in the mid-70’s – so it was really nice to spend time outside. State Street is an outdoors pedestrian mall with lots of ecletic little shops, restaurants and street artists/performers.

It was an interesting place for “people watching” – you see lots of college guys, families visiting their college aged kids and hear several different languages being spoken. We hung out for awhile and then headed back to the car – then decided to head back to Mike’s place so we could meet up with his boyfriend – Mike C.. Mike C. is a student at the U of W and was spending some time with his parents.

Once Mike C. arrived we decided to go out for supper at one of the local brew-pubs. We checked out the parking lot of several places and finally decided to go to the “Tilted Kilt“. This is a new restaurant that opened in the location of a former “Pepper Mill”. Mike J and Mike C had not been there before – so we decided to give it a try…. So we walked in and noticed a girl wearing a skimpy red tartan Catholic schoolgirl outfit – John just thought it was a “white trash chick” – until we noticed that all of the waitresses were dressed the same way… so we had just walked into a Irish themed Hooters-style restaurant… in all of it’s big boobs, big hair, big straight guys glory… sort of….

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Cover of the menu

Our waitress, Kelly, was a sight to behold – brown hair, big boobs and a paunchy tummy that waved to us when she walked. She was pleasant enough – and I think she quickly picked up on the fact that she had a table of homo’s….

Looking around the restaurant we noticed that there were familes with childern and older people – we assume that they also did not know what type of place this was, but decided to make the best of it. Their food was a bit odd… John had Shepherd’s Pie that was served in a small pot with a side of garlic bread. He described it as “cat food mixed with instant potatoes and carrots”. I had a “Sloppy Jane” – a BBQ sandwich with cole slow on top of it – it was ok…. John thinks that Gordon Ramsey would have a field day with the menu at this place… it just didn’t work…. While dining we checked out the different waitresses… a Asian girl with small boobs, a girl with wild hair, and so on…. By the time we left Mike C. had nick-names for each of them….. Before we left a large group of 18 year old guys came in and enjoyed the girls very much. It was fun watching straight guys in their natural environment. Needless to say, we giggled about our dining adventure all of the way home to Mike J.’s place.

We spent the rest of the evening watching Terminator 2 on TV and chatting…..

On Sunday morning we headed over to the Hanson’s home in DeForrest, WI. This is the first time we have been to their current home. They live on the outskirts of town in a nice subdivision with lots of large trees and large yards. Their home is very spacious with lots of windows overlooking the backyard with lots of trees and landscaping. Their daughter, Jackie, likes me better then “mean John” and showed me her scrap books, scrapbooking supplies and etc. We headed over to a local family restaurant for yummy breakfast. It was a bit busy, but we got a table in a decent amount of time and had good service.

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Derek, Jason and Stacey pushing Jackie and Thomas

After breakfast we headed back to the house and spent time outside. The weather was in the lower 70’s and sunny – so Jackie and Thomas enjoyed playing on their swing-set – especially when we pushed them:

Once again I think that Jason and John can talk for days and days and still have more to chat about…. But we knew that needed to get going so we would not get back to St. Louis really late.

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Jet playing with is water table toy....

On the way back we stopped and visited with my sister-in-law, Melinda, and nephew, Jet, and their dog, Kelly, for a bit. The weather was still really nice out, so we sat on the back patio chatting and playing with Jet. Jet was busy playing with his new “water table” and his favorite toy cars from the movie “Cars”:

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Jet and his favorite cars...

Deven was participating in a fishing tournament at the Mississippi River close to Thomson, IL and was not around. It was nice hanging out with them, but he had to get going back to St. Louis… so we only stayed for 90 minutes… before hitting the road once again…..

We then drove back to St. Louis, MO – stopping once to get some supper and once for gas. We made it home by 8:45pm and had the fun task of unpacking out clothes, putting everything away and getting organized for Monday. My Subaru gets around 26 MPG, but the round trip still cost us around $150.00 just for gas…. yuck!! But it was really nice to go on a trip, see friends and family and get out of St. Louis, MO for a bit… but I did miss dining out with Perry…

The RV was as we had left it and Prince was very happy to see us. He kept meowing and meowing – as if he was telling us all about his weekend and expressing his displeasure of being left home all alone. We made a point of giving him lots of attention, kitty-treats and playing with him..

Last night I slept like a rock – sleeping in my own bed felt really good. I didn’t want to wake up this morning…. The news reported that there was a mild “after-shock” earthquake early this morning after midnight, but I did not feel a thing. I did make it to work on time and had a decent day. I had a meeting to go over how one of my large projects will be moved into Production and how we will “go-live” with it in three weeks…. I have lots of little details to take care of before that happens – like deploying it to multiple production servers, setting up security, and adding redirections to the old application to direct users to the new one….. I wanted to work out after work, but I accidentally left my Nike’s at home – so I could not…. 🙁

John spent the day working at the RV park – Monday is his long 12 hour day…. I brought home some supper from Qdoba since he was not cooking and we really need to go grocery shopping…. Prince seems to be back to normal, just a bit clingy… We had a treat in the mail today – an advance copy “A Portable Tribe” – the documentary we were in. We got to watch it this evening…. John will post all about it tomorrow – this posting is getting long enough and I need to get to bed.. it is already 10:33pm – past my normal 10:00pm bed time….

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