Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Look at MEEEEE!

Okay. Here's a little more shameless promotion by me. But what the heck. Most of the cool things in life come by means of who you know and what they know.

Check out Get Out webzine for a picture of yours truly. Lori that is, Kent's mug hasn't graced the pages of Get Out yet. I didn't write the article, although I can attest to the subject matter. It's about training for a marathon, and includes some tips on accomplishing this huge endeavor. Of course a marathon seems huge to most, but it all starts with a walk around the block.

More about the site.

My friend Mary Reed has put together this webzine that focuses on the outdoor opportunities of the Ohio River Valley Region. She is based in Athens but the zine gets input from Pittsburgh to Kentucky. If you like to get out, this website if for you.

Sign up for monthly updates. It's free, of course.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I started the day off with my annual Easter Run.  Okay, I run almost everyday, so an easter run isn't that special.  I did sway from the usual bike path run, though.   With the roads being covered in ice, snow, and salt for the past 2 months, I usually run down hill to the bike path, where I do 90 percent of my miles, and then back up the hill to my house.  So minus the small hill down to the BP it's all flat.  Today, I took advantage of the low traffic roads of a Sunday morning and went up Second St to Columbia Ave with its gentle rolling hilliness of a ridge top. Felt good to do a few hills.  

It is sunny again today, so hopefully I can tackle a few outside projects.  Spring is coming fast, but the weather has still been cold and rainy, so motivation to hit the garden has been low.  I did visit White's Mill, my local garden store, on Friday and bought some cold hardy seeds.  Peas, spinach, lettuce.  I want to make a new garden bed too, which increases vegetable growing space and decreases lawn mowing space.  My dream is to have no lawn to cut, but a variety of food producing vegetation.  If only the leaves could rake themselves too.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Last weekend, Hillel had their annual fundraiser, Hillelapalooza, down at the Fur Peace Ranch. It was a rockin' good time with a great musical lineup. Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff started the night with their awesome talents on guitar and mandolin. Rob McNurlin joined them on the stage for a few old time country songs. Then the Royales kicked it up a notch with rock-n-roll music that everyone could dance too.

Most of the pictures that Kent took are vertical, and as you may know or not, I have a hard time getting those to look right in this blog. So I chose the easy pics that were already horizontal. Here is Jorma tuning between songs.

Pat Brown, lead singer of The Royales. I first saw these guys play at Halloween many years ago. They frickin' rock.
I love this picture. It captures the energy of the music. Kent is so gooood!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

FInancial Blog Plug

Here is a blog I recently found through planetgreen: simpe dollar.

I do pretty well with our finances, but it doesn't hurt to become more informed. This guy reviews books and other blogs. He also gives time to questions from the readers, and tips on living with less financial stress. Today he blogged with suggestions on how to fill out your NCAA Brackets. He is not a chance taker with suggesting you pick higher seeds to advance (and miss out on all those upsets?) and pick teams with more wins. I see the logic in that. I often pick an upset if a team has more wins than the higher seed. Even if Duke is seeded low they know how to win. (And the refs give them breaks, so remember that.)

In other basketball news, OU men beat Brown yesterday in some booty tournament that's below the NIT. But, whatever, now they can say they won 20 games in a season. Also, they may play Cincinnati if UC wins their game. OU hasn't played UC since Huggins left, so maybe they have a shot. Of course, once Thursday rolls around, I will likely forget OU exists. Bring on the madness.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How to stimulate the economy with your $600

Since I am on this financial kick, I'll keep it going. I came up with this list over the past month or so. Please put your two cents in the comment box.

Coming to a mailbox near you, $600 or more.

Sure it would be easy to take that money and go to Walmart/Target/any big box store, and spend, spend, spend, but what does that really do. Give money to big time CEO's that didn't get this incentive because they already make TOO MUCH MONEY. So keep it local. Spread it around. If you really want to help the economy, help your neighbors at the same time.

Make it last with these ideas. $600 divided by 12 is $50/month. You could spend that each month on:

1. Farmer's Market.
2. Dinner at a restaurant.
3. Massage!
4. Haircut, pedicure, manicure.
5. Prolo therapy for your busted knee/elbow/shoulder.
6. Local music concert. (buy their cd if you like 'em.)
7. Local theatre production.
8. Tea from Herbal Sage Tea. (shameless plug, I know.)
9. Attend a high school sporting event.
10. Participate in a 5K run/walk.
11. Go to an Art Museum. If it is free, put some cash in the donation jar.
12. Go bowling.
13. Take ballroom dance classes.
14. Join a gym or hire a trainer.
15. Shop at the thrift store for some great buys.

The Big Splurge (not that these all cost $600, in that case, add them together):

1. Spend the night or weekend at a Bed and Breakfast.
2. Buy a bike and ride it.
3. Panniers, fenders, and helmet for your bike if you have one.
4. Buy a kayak or canoe and float down a river.
5. Stay at a cabin in Hocking Hills for the weekend.
6. Donate to a local Non-profit.
7. Build a new deck or patio (That's what we did the last time bush gave us money).
8. Ride your bike across Ohio. ( I may do this, feel free to join me.)
9. Buy a share of Community Supported Agriculture or CSA (you purchase a share of the harvest in the beginning of the season and each week, you receive fresh food from the farm.)
10. Buy an Amtrak 15 or 30 day Rail Pass and see the country.

As you can see, your $600 can go along way if you think about it. Of course, paying off debt, investing it, or putting it away in savings are all smart things too.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Night is Movie Night

I have a new habit for Monday nights.  While Kent is off at meetings making the world a better place.  I rent movies.  That I like.  Last week I watched Stardust because he didn't want to see it.  It was a clever tale and I enjoyed the acting and scenery. 

Today, I watched Maxed Out Hard times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders.  This was little less sweet than Stardust.  It basically said that America is in debt and we are going to fall as a civilization.  It didn't state that directly, but I can read between the lines.  

Kidding aside, bad credit, debt, and bankruptcy is serious business.  I have heard of at least three people in the last year or so who have committed suicide because of one or more of these issues.  These are friends of friends who had college degrees and lived a middle class lifestyle.  And it's happening all around us.  The movie presented all sides of the debate.  Those who signed loans they couldn't pay. Those who collect.  And the credit cards themselves.  They all put their spin on it and it's hard to decipher who is to blame.  I try not to place blame on anyone and recognize there is a problem.  I support taking personal responsibility, but I don't support creditors taking advantage of the disabled or those in duress.  (And being dishonest.)

One interviewee ran into a problem when she was trying to get a car loan at the dealership.  The dealer ran a report and the report said that she was dead.  (In fact, her daughter had died six years before.)  You would think that this would be an easy fix, but she went through 2 depositions of proving that she didn't falsely report this and that the credit bureau made the error.

If you, or someone you know, is in serious debt, and is looking for help, you can check out Americans for Fairness in Lending.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

OHIO props & kudos ?!?

Good Morning Bobcat Fans - KENT here to preach the gospel...

I did some thinking after reading a comment on our blog, from my old college roommate, Doc.  Here is what I got to thinking...  Living in Athens all these years has been a mixed bag of emotions, when it comes to cheering on our beloved Bobcats....and for those of you who consider yourself "a fan-of-sports" - perhaps you can understand my pain.

First of all, Ohio Athletics is not known to be a powerhouse.  At one time, back-in-the-day, OU probably could compete on any level with other schools in most sports.  Check out this link for a history of OU Wrestling, which had an impressive run in the 1970's, 7 MAC titles in a row, and boasts the real "Granddaddy of Collegiate Wrestling" - Thor Olson who brought college wrestling to OU and the USA in 1919.

But, contemporarily speaking (2008) now...OU has not managed to keep up with the big schools of Division I NCAA.   This is especially true of OU's "big Premiere sports" - Football and Basketball.

Second of all,  I have wrestled with determining to which amount of support I should give and support OU Athletics.  The Green and White Club is a good support organization for OU Athletics, and I have been invited by a number of different members to join, thank you.  Perhaps some day I will.  I want to support OU Athletics, but not just football and men's basketball, which get most of the attention.  Similarly, I have never purchased season tickets.  

So, Here ya go, Check-it-out:

 From the OU Website - 

In her first year, Crawley led the Bobcats to an 18-12, 10-6 MAC record; doubling the amount of overall and conference wins from the year prior to her arrival. Crawley's 18-win debut was the most wins since the 1994-95 season and marked the third most wins in program history. It also is the best start that any Bobcat women's basketball coach has ever had. In addition, the Bobcats won their first game against a ranked opponent with a 70-67 win over No. 16/18 Bowling Green on its home court; snapping the Falcons' 39-game conference winning streak and 29-game home winning streak.

Which brings me to the main point of this blog....GO OHIO WOMEN.  OU Women athletics is where the real magic is located!  The OU Women's basketball team made it to the MAC trny finals, in only the second year that Coach Crawley has been at the helm.  Unfortunately, they lost to Miami.  OU was the 3rd seed in the East MAC division, and BGSU was the 1 seed.  OU defeated BGSU in the semis.  Here are some more good notes about the season for the ladies:

The Bobcats' 2007-08 season proved to be one for the record books as head coach Sylvia Crawley'ssquad pulled down more rebounds, scored more points and knocked down more 3-pointers than any other Ohio team in history.

Here is a quick reminder of recent OU Women's Athletics Accolades:

MAC Champs-

OU Volleyball (regular season champs, only one conference loss in 4 years)
OU Cross Country (repeat champs)
OU Swimming and Diving 2007-2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Funny Ad

I saw a funny ad today in the Athens Messenger (lovingly referred to as "The Mess").  It was advertising for a gravestone maker.  The ad stated "March Madness Sale".  I didn't know that memorial markers went on sale.  And, I wouldn't associate them with college basketball.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Here we go bobcats, here we go...

Or not.

The OU men's basketball team finished its season last night with a loss to Miami in the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament.    

I could say I am disappointed, but the truth is, I am becoming less and less an  OU men's bball fan as the years go by.  I see the same thing every year. Talented young men come to Ohio.  They show promise in their first year.  But I don't see improvement as the years go on.  I call this bad coaching.  

O'Shea has never impressed me.  I admit, it may be easy for me to judge watching from the sidelines, so I will try to refrain from making unfounded accusation.  But I will say that when I watch winning coaches on TV (because not many winning coaches come to the Convo) they show emotion.  They get behind their players.  I see one emotion from O'Shea, fear.  I think players can read that and don't perform when their coach looks worried all the time.  

Also, I have never seen OU run a good offense.  Too much standing, too many lazy passes.  And we haven't had a reliable shooter since Esterkamp.  Oh Estee, where art thou now? 

I will say that OU does play good defense.  It keeps them in games.  I like these young kids.  Tillman, Hester, Bert.  But again, will they get better? 

O'Shea's contract is up in two years.  We'll see if OU keeps with the status quo or not.  I know what I would do.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mid March

This past weekend, Ohio was hit by a late winter storm.  Athens only received about 4 inches of ice and snow, but the rest of Ohio 12-20 inches.  We didn't take pictures and I didn't blog about it here because I am sick of snow. It's mid march and I am ready for spring.  The crocuses...croci.. (what is the plural of crocus) are blooming in some warm spots, and the daffodils are on the edge of blooming.  Just waiting for that special day when the weather is warm enough. I even hear birds out there chirping away.  I know they are ready for spring. Bring it on.

I did participate in an interesting project on Sunday.  Making mushroom logs.  Now, I know you are thinking, southeast Ohio,   mushroom logs... heh heh heh.  But these were legit.  I joined my friend Molly and her permaculture club in making these logs.  This consisted of drilling holes in logs, stuffing the mushroom spawn down in the hole, and then sealing it with wax.  The process took a lot longer than we thought, and Molly and I spent six hours out in the country drilling, stuffing, and sealing.  It was fun, though.  I met some knew people and was reacquainted with some others.  These folks are all interested in sustainability, and there was some exchange of knowledge in that arena.  

Happy Thursday! It looks like it will be another sunny one!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

End of an era

If you ever visited Kent and I, you had to have met Rick. He lived with us for ten years. He started out with us when we rented on North Congress and then moved with us to Second Street. He finally left the nest last year. Another chapter has closed. Rick finally finished his masters degree. He came here in 1994 (I think) to pursue a masters, but got hired by OU to be the official photographer of the university. This full time job (and then some) took up too much time for Rick to complete the degree. Plus, he had a job he loved, doing what he wanted to do.

A couple of years ago, he decided to finish the darn thing, and now that hard work has paid off. A masters thesis for photography consists of a thesis show. Rick chose for his subject, his mother, who had Huntington's Disease. This disease finally took her life just a few weeks ago. This show was a beautiful portrait of a strong women put together by a strong love.

Kent and Ricky at the show.

These stunning portraits are on display in the upstairs of the Dairy Barn. Not sure how long it will be up, though.

Miss Nogrady enjoying the art.

You can see more work by Rick Fatica at

p.s. He shoots a good wedding, too!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Baby wrestling


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Little Shindig at the Breglias

We were in Delaware, Ohio this weekend, catching up with some good friends. It was a grand ol' time, though we missed Mahoney, the Kleins, JR and a few others who couldn't make the trip. Maybe next year. We don't have a lot of photos from the weekend, though I will post a few. If you have an awesome snapshot, or video (like baby wrestling), send it to us, and we will try to get in on.

The Tweedles: Dave, Brooks and Chandra

Doug and Owen - the happy hosts.

Jack in the box. Little Andjreczyck had some fun in the kiddie castle.

Sorry, I couldn't flip this photo. Sometimes computers annoy me. But seriously folks, I know a lot of you have fun photos, so send them to

Jax and big sister Stacey

Daddy Phil and Zach.

It was great to see everyone who was able to make the trip. Davenport and Adrienne won the award for greatest distance traveled (with D-port flying in from Bean-town and Adrienne bounding in from Wilmington, NC). Big Andy and was able to share openly and unabashedly...and had a number of us in stitches. Massey made a surprise guest appearance, and a few brave souls shared a few jello-shots with him.

Funny...Drew Mikita called earlier in the night, from we crank-called him back. We were simultaneously watching the OU v Miami bball game on tv. He was watching the game in CO....and we watched them get their butts kicked....terrible...pathetic 32-14 half-time score. The MAC is goofy. Kent State was ranked 24th in the country and managed to lose to Bowling Green this weekend....a team that OU spanked at home last weekend.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

On the Bongos... Phil Prudich

Last night, Kent and I went to a Jazz Concert at OU. The first group to play was a percussion ensemble that consisted of about ten students playing xylophone, drums, piano, bongos etc. There were four xylophonists (?) and one looked dead on Phil Prudich. He's tall, lanky, wears glasses and has the same hairline. Even his posture and nuances were Phil. Let me say now, that we were in the fifth row of the balcony, but still, in my mind it was Phil.

So the percussion ensemble plays their four songs or so and they leave. Then the Jazz Ensemble II come out to play. This is a more traditional band, with sax, trumpet, trombone, and bass. On their second song, Phil joins in on bongos! He only played that one song with them and no more.

By this time, that person on stage is Phil Prudich. When he comes out again with Jazz Ensemble I to play drums, I can't even think of this kid as anyone but Phil. I try to talk myself out of the concept, that this is just some college kid, blah blah blah, but I can't. No matter what I do, it's Phil. Phil is the master drummer. He's kind of the leader of the band, calling out "one, two, a one, two three four". It's crazy. The whole time he was out there it was Phil, in my mind. So, I guess the lesson here, is that Phil can play the drums.