...and he's already checking out the computer. Can't bring anything "new" around him...

Squeezed in a stroll after dinner before the rain storms roll in later tonight.

I started marinating some strips of steak round late yesterday. Right before bed I tossed the meat into the dehydrator. In the morning I woke up to teriyaki jerky.

If I'm sick the next few days, you'll know I did something wrong.

I've always liked the large, soft pretzels sold at movie theaters and in malls, but I rarely buy them these days. That doesn't mean I don't miss them. So I woke up this morning and asked myself "why haven't I ever tried making them myself?"

I snagged a recipe from online that will work with my bread machine (saving me from having to knead, rise, knead) that does not require beer (since I dont have any on hand) and got mixing. A little less than two hours later I was twisting dough into pretzel shapes.

They came out pretty tasty, all in all, though I think I should have let the dough sit in the baking soda/hot water bath a little longer. I might have ended up with more browned pretzels.

Once the pretzels were done, Chris and I headed out to Palmer Park to enjoy the fantastic weather. The park is relatively quiet. I think a lot people either don't know it's there or avoid it because it can be a haven for mosquitoes.

There were no blood-sucking pests out and about, so we enjoyed a nice afternoon stretched out on the blanket reading. I really do love that Kindle. Easy to read in the sun and easy to flip to a new book when you finish an old one.

Horrocks in Kentwood always has an interesting assortment of items, including lots of fresh produce. They even have fresh dinosaur egg thingies! (I've never heard of them but they look tasty.)

The Polish Harvest Festival is this weekend downtown, starting on Friday. So that meant I could swing by on my lunch hour and check it out.

The festival is mostly Polish food (which I enjoyed) and Polish-themes music. These are a few stands selling various wares, but, at least on a Friday at noon, I think the main focus is to come out, enjoy music, and eat food.

Because there aren't enough on the Internet already...

Despite scarfing two doughnuts today in an attempt to turn around my mood, it's been a crappy one. I was ranty and snippy the ride home, and honestly have been that way for a few days.

So Chris was super awesome and made me a fancy dinner, just because. Hooray for him putting up with my moods. This marriage thing is cool.


There's a lot out on the net lately about taking the cheap HP touchpad and putting Android on it.

No. Don't. Yes, I understand people think since Android has more apps that its superior. No. It's not.

The best that can be hoped for is Froyo or Gingerbread to be ported. Honeycomb code hasn't been released-and that's the "tablet OS".

Ive used Android tablets. They're clunky, sort of like Android phones, but more annoying because the resolution is low and everything is huge. Yes, LCD density changer can fix that. But really, webOS on the Touchpad is designed for the table, multitasks well, and handles the basic functions most people use their tablets for - information consumption. News, social networking, etc.

I own an iPad-it was a gift. Lovely device (though the lack of an accessible file system is maddening). Yes, there is a difference between the Touchpad and the iPad. They also don't cost the same. Apples to oranges at this point.

For $99 and $149, The Touchpad is a steal and makes hacking a nook color to get a cheap tablet not worth it (unless you're doing it just because you can-which is awesome).

Not the greatest of photos but... There's a deer hanging out in the center, all camouflaged and stuff.

I see you!

On a whim Chris suggested heading out to Saugatuck because neither of us had been there before. I hesitantly agreed and then proceeded to spend the next hour or so stressed out that we didn't have an itinerary in place. I'm annoying like that. Eventually though, Chris found a nice park - Saugatuck Dunes State Park.
There is a beach, but neither of us are big into swimming or the water, so we walked down to it and then headed off to hike some trails.
There were some nice trails - some sandy some wooded, all of them full of interesting things to look at.
When everything was said and done, I'm glad we went (like I usually am when Chris suggests something spontaneous) and I'd be happy to go back again. I'm always better the second time around after I've gotten the lay of the land.
I should get better with spontaneous. But I suppose it defeats the purpose if you plan to become spontaneous.

HP bought Palm last year. Chris and I were hopeful that didn't mean the end of the webOS platform. Both of us really liked our palm pre phones.

Of course, Chris's phone died and there were no webOS phones in sight so we both upgraded to Android phones. They're nice - but both Android and iOS have horrible notification systems in comparison to webOS.

Anyway, HP decided it was getting out of the webOS business. That means fire sale. The previously priced 399 and 499 HP Touchpad (which had only weeks before been 499 and 599) went down to 99 for the 16GB model and 149 for the 32GB model. Seriously - that's a steal. This thing may not have a Netflix app, but it does flash (unlike some other popular tablet I know) so that means you can watch Hulu. It has a Kindle app, Skype, RSS reader, etc. It has most of your staple tablet consumption applications. Plus, it comes with 50GB of storage on Box.net. Seriously. 50GB.
So all of this meant Chris woke up relatively early today and headed out at 6am to try to snag one. He came back a bit later with one on hold (until an employee's manager could confirm that the large price drop was, indeed, accurate) and some Marge's Doughnut Den Doughnuts. I ate 3 (they're so tasty!).
A little bit later, voila - in hand was a 32GB tablet. They were all out of the 16GB, which was our preference. Chris did some setup on it and gave it a home on top of the microwave. We now have what I've been wishing for - a tablet for the kitchen to pull up recipes (previously I've been printing them out, using my laptop, palm pre, ipod touch and so on).
I slapped Preware on it, which is the webOS homebrew catalog and away we went. I even put a nice twitter app on the device so Chris could monitor the Harvey Awards in real time to see how Adam and Comfort did.

They didn't win, but they were nominated. And seriously, that's a big deal. It's like the Oscars for comic books. They got to hang out in a room with Stan Lee and other huge comic names and have their work announced on stage. Super huge. Super awesome. I hope they're having a fantastic time at the Baltimore Comic Con.

It feels like it's been a long week and tonight I wanted nothing more than to curl up and read some comics. I'm nearing the end of The Sandman series and it's fantastic.

Unfortunately, someone had different plans. Sitting and reading? No. Get down here and play with me.

A bunch of Chris's work peeps had a goody-bye get together for a co-worker who is moving away. They had the shindig at Founders, which is pretty close to where I work, so Chris and I walked over after work to have a drink and hang for a bit.

I got to meet several of his co-workers, all of which were delightful and amusing. It was nice to finally put a faces to names for a chunk of people he works with.

Chris make chocolate chip cookies tonight. That's super awesome because that means we now have cookies, and I didn't have to do anything.

Now I'll admit, they look strange. But they really do taste like chocolate chip cookies!

We don't have a newspaper subscription, and I'm the only one who gets a printed magazine (quarterly) in our household.

We read nearly all of our news through tech, and thanks to the tablets acquired earlier this year, most of the consumption is done through them as opposed to the desktop.

Sometimes fading sunlight through the trees creates a nice enough visual to forget where you are (like surrounded by asphalt).

I bought the Humble Indie Bundle 3 earlier this week before it closed, and with the purchase came a free trial for Minecraft that ends today.

I've been aware of the game for awhile, but never really took much interest in it. So with the free trial I thought I'd better install it and give it a go before the day is up.

It's an interesting game and pretty open ended. You go around, collecting resources (from animals, plants, etc) and craft things in order to build things, etc.

After playing it for a few minutes I could see the mass appeal the game has. It reminds me a little of SimCity, in the respect that you are building your own world, essentially (not that this is anything like SimCity).

I had an amusing time playing it.

Today was a series of pit stops on a rainy day. We started out the day swinging by Marge's Doughnut Den (which is where we got our wedding cake) on our way to the post office to pick up a package.

Originally we had plans with our friends Dan and Angel to go out boating on a lake and, just in general, enjoy nature. But our plans were rained out, leaving us with wet afternoon to do errands and various things.
Peppy slept most of the afternoon away, as she usually does, while we went back out and window shopped. Neither of us really wanted to be cooped up all day in the apartment, but there wasn't much we wanted to do indoors (we didn't really feel like seeing a movie).
We got caught in a second wave of rain while out driving, which came on strong but left relatively quickly.

Hours later at home we lost power for awhile. The power outage didn't make much of a difference to me - I was already spending the evening reading The Sandman comic series. But it must have been a great inconvenience to others; when the power came back on a section of the apartment complex I live in erupted in cheers and excitement.

All week we kept forgetting to swing by the post office and pick up a package. So today we made an effort. It just so happened that for whatever reason the route we took had a backup.

We were so close. Missed the post office closing by about 5 minutes. Oh well. There's always tomorrow.

Who can say no to a little ice cream pick-me-up on lunch?

The weather is much cooler today and hovering around the mid-70s. So after work Chris and I headed out to Palmer Park to enjoy some dining and relaxing.

I can definitely say that inspite of the very hungry mosquitoes, it was a relaxing way to spend a few hours in the evening.

The sky over the freeway was a reminiscent Darkshore this morning.
Sans pier, of course.

There's a concert going on, apparently, the next few days. I was vaguely aware that Rock The Rapid was going on, but I honestly thought it was next weekend, not this entire week.

So anyway, this big 'ole stage was plopped down in the parking lot near where I work and during the day they were doing sound checks. Made for interesting (though muffled) sounds throughout the afternoon.

Today is the last day on the last weekend for the Silver Leaf Renaissance Faire in Battle Creek. I've know about the faire for a few years but never seemed to make it down there to check it out. So we decided to check it out today, since there was a low chance of rain.
We walked through the vendor shops and down to a fork in the road where a show was going to begin at one of the stages. So we sat down to watch the Rogue Blades (who also perform at the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly). Chris was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be coerced into participating in the act.
They put on an amusing show, despite the rain and thunderstorm that rolled in and an over-eager participant in the audience (aka heckler).
We walked around a little in the rain after the show, hoping it would let up. We even ran into my cousin Nate and Amanda, oddly enough.
Since the rain didn't seem like it was going to subside, and my new SLR camera bag does not have a rainproof pouch to cover it with, we headed back to the car and decided to head over to Kalamazoo and check out Fanfare.It's a pretty nice size comic store, with some collectible card trading and table top gaming as well. It may not be as hipster as The Vault of Midnight, but it's definitely a substantial store. Nicer laid out than anything I've been to in Grand Rapids.
Comics browsed, we wandered a bit more around Kalamzoo until we stumbled across D'Nicios Parlour. A nice restaurant where Chris was able to get a coney loose.

All in all it was a short but pleasant trip out and about today. A nice contrast to the all day reading and gaming marathon of Saturday where I didn't leave the apartment once.

Today was full of reading, sleeping, video games, and general laziness for me. Since I didn't do anything to terribly exciting, I present you with this: a photo of Leki getting frustrated that the ferret is hiding in her maze of cardboard boxes.

It's been awhile since I've been out at the bar enjoying tasty Oberon. I was supposed to go Wednesday night and meet up with a bunch of old co-workers but things changed. But Melissa (one of the original peeps from Wed) was free tonight as well so out we went.
We met at the Blue Water Grill, which I'd never been to before but have heard good things about. I ordered some fancy lobster & avacado pizza. Once I picked off the avacado, it was tasty.
They had a band playing, which did a range of covers from Green Day to the Flaming Lips. It was...odd.

Anyway, I had a good time. We got to catch up on things, enjoy the nice weather, and enjoy tasty Oberon.

This week has not been the most stress-free at work, and today was particularly trying.

In an attempt to lift change my mood (and because there was no way I was cooking anything tonight) we ate out at a local Chinese food restaurant. Well, I ate. That whole spread? That's all mine.

Hooray for leftovers!

So. Close.


Maybe I didn't blanch them long enough.

Walked away from the family reunion this past weekend with an abundance of of grapes. So tonight, I'm going to try to make some raisins in the dehydrator.

Right now they've been in there for about 5 hours and they're only just barely shriveled. I anticipate waking up to raisins in the morning.