Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Random thoughts and photos

Fondu is Fun...just ask LORI!!!!!

Random thoughts....

Hello. Kent here.

Fondu is fun, yet quite strange. Lori and I had the good fortune of spending time with old college friends Angel and Ben and their children, while in Columbus recently. Fondu was on the menu for desert!!! How delightful! The anticipation and suspense is the best part....well, rather the 2nd best part. Thinking of the many different choices and options of edible food that can be "fondu'ed" is tantalizing. It is very American. So Manifest Destiny....

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The other day I went for a run on the bike trail in Athens, Ohio, where we live. It was fairly cold, probably mid 20's. During my run, I ran past the "Dog Park", which is a designated, fenced in area for pet owners to allow their dogs to run free and experience socialization with other dogs. (I have yet to see any cats playing in the dog park...)

As I ran past the dog park, I witnessed a sight that led me to laugh. All of the humans, or pet owners, were standing around in the frigin cold weather, while their dogs frolicked, played and danced around the silly humans. It cracked me up. The pet owners appeared cold and not moving, standing in packs of 2 or 3, about a dozen in all. Meanwhile, their dogs are lovin life. Who's in charge here?.....

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I saw a photo in the paper of a Boa-constricter snake that had been discovered frozen in a Cincinnati ? park. The snake appeared to be about 6-8 feet long. A park ranger was holding it up for the photo. I felt bad for the snake that wasnt smart enough to fly south for the winter. ... or at least to burrow into the ground deep enough to hybernate. Although, our weather in Ohio has been pretty goofy this winter....with days in the 50's & 60's during December and January. Poor snake thought that it was spring, along with our daffodils which started to sprout in January.

I felt bad for the fellow who found the snake as well. If I had come across an 8 foot long snake while "doing my rounds" at the park, I would have freaked. How do you know that the snake aint just playing dead, or taking a nap. That snake is going to be pissed off when he thaws out and finds himself in some stupid glass display, eating lab mice all the time.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's off to Columbus we go...

Once again, we went to Columbus to visit some friends and experience the big city. We travelled up to the capital on Sunday to take pictures at the Franklin Park Conservatory and visit Angel and Ben and family. Here are some photos that should encapsulate our visit.

This is part of the orchid exhibit at FPC.

Chihuly (a glass artist) has some work integrated into the plant life at FPC.

More Chihuly.

Here are some pics of Angel's gang. Maia's pretty face.

Malcolm is cooking it up in the kitchen!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Truck Love, from strangers!

Kent here, sharing with you about truck love.

Here in good-ol-Athens, Ohio, people have an infinite love for Trucks. New trucks, old trucks, shiny trucks, flat-beds, dooolys, trucks with performance dual pipes (straight out the back or straight up like a semi) trucks, 4 wheel drive, 2 wheel drive, 4-bangers, Diesel and big v-8s.

Growing up, in the sub-burbs of Cleveland, I wasn't very fond of the classic pick-up truck. I did not see much need for them. I preferred sports-cars, and station wagons....and old cars from previous generations. Never did I dream about trucks. One might call me a "hater" of trucks, back then. I did not see much use for a truck bed, let alone 4-wheel drive. Yeah, I know it snows in Cleveland, especially on the east-side, with that Lake effect snow. But I learned how to drive in the snow with old-fashioned rear-wheel drive and 200 lbs. in the trunk. (I am not a fan of front wheel drive, and find it very difficult to "peal-out / spin the tires" for dramatic entrances or leaving).

So, it was not until I spent some time in Athens, along with a few significant trips to my mom's side of the family near Hamilton, Ohio (where my uncle Sturlin and cousin Larry showed off their old 60's model Ford).....that I began to develop my appreciation for TRUCKS.

In Athens, everyone owns either a truck or a Subaru. Its that simple. They both have very utilitarian value. Lori and I own a 1984 Toyota 2 wheel drive, 4-banger, pickup truck. It originally belonged to her paternal grandfather, then her oldest brother Keith. Prior to the Toyota, I owned a Mazda B-2000....which got great gas mileage. I could drive that thing every day for 3 weeks before I needed to refuel. [Once the frame cracked, I sold it to a buddy and he bolted the bed and cab together...and drove it another year or two.]

Owning a 1984 Toyota is a matter of stubborn pride for me. The engines on these Toyotas run forever. In fact, one of the teenagers that I worked with once informed me that he drove the snot out of his. He was quoted as saying, "You cant blow those 'Yota's up, I've tried". One summer, Lori and I drove all over the USA in our truck, and put 11, 000 miles on it in 3 months. So, 170, 000+ miles later, we are still TRUCKIN with our 'Yota.

Our truck bed was a rusty mess. So I got up the gumption to replace it with a wooden one. The other day, on my way to work, two elderly retiree's - husband-and-wife, slowly pulled up next to me in traffic in their new chevy malibu. They were both grinnin from ear to ear. He was driving and wearing what appeared to be a John Deere hat...and his wife gave me the THUMBS-UP. TRUCK LOVE!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Athens Nightlife continues...

Last night I went to see the musical, Man of La Mancha with Carol. I didn't know much about the story so I did a little research ahead of time. I highly recommend this when attending any theatrical performance. I remember the days when the program would give a little info on what you were about to see, but now the program is full of advertising. So a little time on wikipedia can give you a ton of insight and help to follow the story.

I won't go into details about the performance except that I highly enjoyed it and was glad I went. The singers were excellent and the music was live. (Instead of the actors singing to a recording there was a pit like the old days.) Everything was clear and I Carol's second row seats were awesome.

Tonight we'll be back at Mem Aud for a lecture. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Athens Nightlife!

Who says there is nothing to do in Athens?

Tonight we went to an art opening of some undergraduate work at OU. One of the frisbee kids, "Big" Keith, had a piece in the show. It is a juried show with painting, sculpture, photo, and ceramics. Does anyone out there remember Shawn Busse. He went to OU for grad school in ceramics. If you have ever seen the porcelain "Athens Block"s in our house, he did them. The reason I bring this up is because one of the other students had a similar piece to Busse's. Basically, ceramic blocks are going across some steel (Busse had a conveyor belt) and then they fall and break. What is it about watching things crash. It's like the smash up derby at the fair. It goes against most of my ecological principles (waste of gas, waste of cars, gratuitous expending of energy), but it still draws me in...

I digress.

Here's Keith and his painting.

Tonight is also barbershop night. Two other frisbee kids, Drew and Massey, came over for a hair cut. Kent is the coach as well as team barber. Convenient for all.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Snow FUN

Here are a few more shots of our fun-in-the-snow-weekend. Lori and I, accompanied by our neighbor and friend Tony Xenos, drove out to Duane's house to go sled-riding with his son (my Godson)Fisher. We had a blast. Fisher was great. He went trekking all over the place with us as we climbed up and down the big-hills on Duane's property. Tony brought his snowboards and seemed to carve out some good runs. Lori, Duane, Fisher and I all managed to survive some wild sled riding.

It Snowed!

It finally snowed. A real snow. Three inches (maybe). We went for a run in the morning and this is Kent's beard when we got back. It was a little tough trodding through the snow on the bike path. Like running in sand.

Later in the day we went sled riding out in the country. We'll print more photos of that later.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, aka, Cowtown, Clumpy, will-they-ever-be-done-with-I-270-town.

We went to the capital on Saturday to attend the 40th birthday party of our friend, Paul (aka Devo). I can't believe we have friends reaching this milestone in age. Criminy, Kent will be 37 this year, although, I shouldn't broadcast this, because of our age difference. I will be 29 (again). The party was a good chance to catch up with some Columbus frisbee folks, and then we spent the night at the Breglias.

After a great breakfast of waffles and omelets, the four of us headed downtown to the Columbus Museum of Art. Degas and Kehinde Wiley were the featured exhibits of interest. The Degas show was very crowded. It featured his landscape work, which isn't the stuff he is known for. Nevertheless, it's interesting to see the variety of work by a particular artist. He dabbled in many mediums; painting, printmaking, sculpture. He even picked up photography in his sixties. Apparently, though, Degas was a bit of a pompous ass and womanizer.

After the museum we went to the North Market to get lunch. ummmmmm. yummmy food abound. This very cool indoor market has a multitude of eating establishments to choose from. I went with the Middle Eastern place, since I've been on that kick for awile. Kent and Doug got Italian. Gina got a hotdog and popcorn. (She's preggers. Enough said.) Then the best part; ice cream!. There is a place called Jeni's, and they have crazy flavors: salty caramel, Thai Chili, butternut squash with pralines! But I went with an old favorite I found in Italy. Queen City Cayenne. Yep, dark chocolate with cayenne pepper. This is such a wonderful mix of flavors that I highly recommend it to anyone, even if you don't like hot foods. (I sure don't) As long as you like chocolate, you'll enjoy this. We left with some treats to take home and back to Athens we went.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

OU vs UC

For the New Years Weekend we drove to Cleveland to observe OU whoop-ass on the UC bearkittens. We got to spend a lot of time with family and friends but neglected to take any pictures. I mentioned this to my bro, and he promptly sent a few picts he had taken on his cell phone. So the quality isn't very good, but I thought I would post it anyway.

Thanks for the picture Jeff. And I'll try to remember to take more in the future.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I was out walking around today in 60 degree weather and I thought how nice it is to live in Athens. Yeah, the students drive me nuts sometimes, but at the same time, they have been my ultimate practice buddies for the past 12 years. Plus, OU provides some great athletic venues and decent art/theatre/music scene. The farmer's market is kick-ass and is open all year round. The people are top notch and the outdoor adventures are just minutes away. So if you've never been here, please visit. And if this makes you miss it, come on back.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Transtheoretical Model of Change

In my 16 credit hours of graduate studies, this is one of the few things I actually learned. TMC is a change process involving progress through a series of 5 steps.

Precontemplation-you have no intention to take action in the next 6 months.

Contemplation- you start to think about change and may start to take action in the next 6 months.

Preparation- you have a plan of action to make a change in the next month.

Action- modifications have been made in your behaviour and you are taking action not to relapse to old behaviour patterns.

Maintenance- you work to prevent relapse although temptations are not as hard.

This is obviously a scaled down version of a study conducted by some very smart people so it may be somewhat elementary. However, I felt this is a good time of year to relay this information to those who may have made New Year's resolution. Although, I don't see how this is going to help me find new friends with villas in the country.