What better way to celebrate the last free Tuesday before next semester begins (and our tradition of Tuesday-night movies is on hold for a few months) than to see Flash Gordon?

I'd never watched the campy film, riddled with Freddie Mercury's voice thanks to an all Queen soundtrack.  When I was little I had caught a piece of it when my dad was watching it and I spent a very long time thinking Flash Gordon and The Flash were the same (hey, the word flash and the color red were involved here people).

Needless to say I was set right tonight.  It was a crazy movie, and I'm glad I finally saw it - if only to finally get some popculture references.

Leki had a pretty rough day.  His feeding has been scaled back and he's not fully adjusted to the new 1/2c (total) diet.  He's kind of a pig with food and he'd started ramping up his eating to eating all of the 3/4c he was receiving so we adjusted the auto-feeder.

So Leki spent most of the evening terrorizing the both of us and then running over to the food dish quickly, to see if anything fell out.

Luckily he hasn't figure out how to break into the top food portion...yet.

Today was absolutely sweltering outside.  Any designs to spend more than a handful of minutes outside were abandoned when I hit the first wall of humidity and heat.  Still, we decided to swing by the Fulton Street Artisan Market and see what was going on.  Even with the heat there were a fair number of people out and we ran into one of Chris's old co-workers - who was very friendly and named Chris.

After a quick stroll through the market we bounced around to a few different stores and headed out to Celebration Cinema South for a movie.

Now, I'm ok with campy movies, and over the top cheesy horror flicks so I said ok to Piranha 3D.  The movie was alright, although since I was so sick from Avatar (since apparently you're NOT supposed to pan the scenery in 3D movies or risk feeling ill) I spent a big chunk of the movie a little paranoid and squeezing one eye shut.

I think Chris liked it more than I did.  I would have liked more Christopher Lloyd and Richard Dreyfus and less annoying teenage boy but then you're not really watching this type of movie for the plot.  Still, Jerry O'Connell was very good for the role he played.

Good weekend and I'm sad to see it go but I'm looking forward to a 3-day work week and then having 5 days off!

I got the whole apartment up very early.  I woke up around 4:30 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep.  So I spent several hours playing around on the computer, clearing up files and playing video games.

I took a nap briefly then set to getting some pizza ready for dinner.  I tried my hand at breadsticks as well with some left over dough, but they turned into a brick.   I should remember to check on them before the pizza is done next time...

Yesterday was also the last day for the little dragon to hang out in it's jar of water.  It got as big as it was ever going to get, and I even let it sit an extra day in the water.

Here's the whole slideshow, from 1.25" to 3.75".

I completely forgot it was Friday today.  I'm not sure why.  It feels like it should be the end of the week, but it came up to fast.  Which meant I completely forgot I had lunch plans with Lori!

Quickly we hashed out plans via email and decided to check out the Polish Festival, put on by the Polish Heritage Society, down at Rosa Park Circle.

On Lori's recommendation, I tried pirogies for the first time and they were delicious.  So much so I think I'll try to make some from scratch one of these weekends.

I wandered back over to the festival briefly after work while waiting on my ride and there were a lot more people. Some additional booths had opened up and they were even holding some sort of art event near the art museum.

Today is also dragon growth day 10.

In the morning Chris set up the crockpot for tasty pot roast that evening.  As usual, we always make more than we need, which means plenty of left overs for the next several days.

Unfortunately, we also scaled back Leki's feeding for his diet, which meant he was extra hungry that night.  He even tried to get at the roast.  Normally he ignores human food.

Today is also Dragon growth day 9.

Leki has always had a love affair with my necklace.  He loves any shiny necklace he can lay his eyes on, but this is the one he usually encounters from day to day.

Normally I take it off at night so I can sleep - otherwise he spends the night pulling at it and biting my skin trying to get a grip on it with his teeth.  Sometimes I toss it on the cat and let him wear it.  A few days ago I did this - and he wandered around aimlessly with it until it finally fell off.  Depending on where it falls off, it's usually pretty easy to find.

This last time he lost it somewhere good.  I spent two nights looking for it until I finally heard it slide down and thump against the floor when I lifted the mattresses.

Today is also Dragon Growth day 8.

Spent a little bit of time with Peppy - letting her run back and forth on the couch and in the living room a bit.

She's still got spunk but she's slowing down a little from her younger days.  Still, at 5 1/2 years old, she's doing good.

Also, today is Dragon Growth day 7.

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to spend time with either Dan or Sherry.  There have been a few times where we were going to meet but it just hasn't worked out.  But not today!  Chris and I headed out to Ken-O-Sha to meet up with Sherry and Emilie while Dan was at work.

I had a good time catching up with Sherry, but poor Emilie was not at all happy with new people or the trail.

Today is also day 6 of the Dragon Growth.

My parents, Jeff, Chris, and I all hung out for a few more hours in the morning before they left back for metro Detroit.

I spent a big chunk of the day starting drafts of blogs for another site and just general messing around.  It was a pretty lazy day - an excellent way to recover from a hot and sticky trip through the zoo the day before.

And all the while the dragon has been growing, slowly every day.

Saturday my parents a little brother came over to visit.  It was raining in the morning but by the time they arrived to Grand Rapids from metro Detroit it was sunny and hot.

We visited for awhile, then grabbed a quick lunch at Jimmy Johns and went off to John Ball Zoo.

Chris and I had been there earlier in the year, but now that it was the summer much more of the zoo was open and accessible to the public. 

My parents friends and genealogy buds were in town as well, so we had a great time at dinner catching up.

Jeff stayed the night with Chris and I - so that meant video games of course!

In other news: Dragon growth day 4

The advantage of having a friend who also works towntown means you can meet up quite frequently for lunch!

So Lori and I met up in front of a few restaurants on Monroe Center (where the dude twanging to his guitar plays everyday, as you can see) and tried out the Pita House.

It was pretty good food, and excellent company!

Plus - day three of the dragon growth.

Weather has been pretty decent instead of blazing hot, so Chris and I took a nice stroll after dinner down Kent trails.

After I was sure to negate the few miles of exercise with brownies and ice cream!

Plus - day two of the dragon growth.

That's right people - I'm growing my own dragon.

I love dragons. I have stuffed animals, pewter figurines, sketches, clothing, even tattoos of dragons.  So naturally when I saw this "Grow Your Own Dragon" item at the checkout a few weeks ago - I had to try it!

So today marks day one of a ten-day journey in  dragon-growing

Work was a little crazy for both of us so after we made sure to have a low key evening.  Booted up some Daily Show and then finished up season 4 of Doctor Who.

The weather lately has been pretty hot and humid in West Michigan.  So when this lovely Monday came around I had no choice but to enjoy being outdoors and have lunch in the park.

We headed to Heritage Park where there is a small path and a pond with lots of ducks.

True to duck nature, as we walked the path that encircles the pond they slid into the water and headed toward us in the hopes of food.

Originally Chris and I were going to visit my cousins Sherry and Dan at the cottage they'd rented on Fremont Lake.  Plans changed though and with nothing planned for Sunday I suggested heading out to Bertha Brock Park in Ionia.

There are some cute stone bridges and streams throughout and still a few flowers and wildlife to see.  I tried for awhile to take shots of water gliders on the water but they're fast moving little buggers and I'm not quite fast enough on manual-focus.  Still, you can see the guy in the upper left of the picture and his shadow cast on the bottom of the stream in the lower right.

After we arrived back home I set to finishing baking strawberry tarts.  I was inspired by a recipe post and gave it a go. The picture is a little grainy from my phone but they came out looking decent enough.  Not as tasty as the recipe but I'm looking forward to trying one after dinner.

Another Saturday, another trip to the laundromat!  I did some reading on the kindle while Chris shuffled the laundry back and forth from washer to dryer.  Laundry has definitely become a relaxing event for me - no more fear of ruining anything!

In the evening I helped out with an in-game events in Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO).  A Casual Stroll to Mordor, a fabulous LOTRO blog and podcast site, hosted an in-game anniversary event on the Landroval server. I've been writing guest posts for the blog for a little over a month and I was really excited to help out.  They even skyped me in and I participated in their live broadcast for episode 50 of the Casual Stroll To Mordor podcast.

Friday's been a pretty good day.  I had lunch with a friend in downtown Grand Rapids at the Big O Cafe (whose name kept making me think of the anime The Big O). We try to have lunch ever other week or so and I'm really enjoying having someone local and fun to dine with.

In the evening Chris and I ate out and then swung by Rivertown Crossing to see Scott Pilgrim. I'd rushed to read the comics prior to see the movie so I was excited to see it in live action form.  It's a good movie, though there is a lot more room for character development in the comics so I much prefer the comics.  Still, most of the characters are dead on and the the adaptation is pretty well done.  I definitely enjoyed it, especially the first half of the movie.

The semester is over and that means I can go back to reading more for leisure.  So on lunch I brought the Android tablet and the Kindle 2, not sure which would strike my fancy.

I opted for playing a bit on the Android tablet.  I'm having a really hard time caring what happens in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and rather than totally dump it I thought I'd play a bit with the settings and read a few comics on the tablet. I'd recently updated the firmware so some things needed to be set back.

I really do enjoy the tablet, but it's not really easy on the eyes out in the sunlight. It's very difficult to read since the screen gets washed out.  That, and the fact that it can only handle Android 1.6 (cupcake) means a few applications I'd like to use won't work on it.

Still, it's a cheap device and does a lot of great things. I'd love to use it or something like it as a primary kitchen recipe device.

Tonight I took my final exam for the semester.  Since I'm going part time, that's only two exams most semesters, but it's still a lot of pressure when you have 100% of your grade riding on one test at the end of the semester.

So three-ish hours later of multiple choice and three long essays, I'm done for the semester.

Now to enjoy a few weeks break before the next one begins in September.

Tuesday after reviewing my jumbled and confused Evidence notes for Wednesday's final I decided it was time to relax.  That means enjoying some Doctor Who on the couch with ice cream and a curios kitty!

Another semester comes to a close so another round of finals are in the mix.  Tonight is intellectual property.  So what did i do on lunch today?  Reviewed the section on patents again.

Intellectual property was definitely my favorite this semester over evidence.  Still, I'm looking forward for the two week break after my last final on Wednesday.

Ada has a pretty nice covered bridge so after the rains let up Chris and I headed over there so I could take some photographs.  My intent was to get a cache of photos to use for random projects I have going on at the moment. 

What I ended up with were some decent shots of the bridge that need to be tweaked and a bunch of more interesting shots up on the railroad tracks nearby.

From a photography standpoint, I prefer to take macro shots, and indeed would love to have an expensive fixed macro lens and all the time in the world to learn to use is properly.  So I was happy to catch this little guy while he was sitting on the tracks. 

There are more photos of the trip on flickr here (and more to be uploaded throughout the week after my finals are over).  Chris also has a short video of part of the area

This morning I met the ladies at Red Geranium Restaurant in Kentwood for a Girl's Breakfast Out.  As you can see, the group keeps growing and growing (L to R is: Val, Wendy, Paola, Shelly, Tammy, Carol).  Breakfast was tasty and not unlike what you'd find at a Dennys or IHOP - but cheaper.

Since I was in the neighborhood I swung by and picked up my new glasses after breakfast.

The afternoon went by quickly with running errands, studying for finals next week, and taking a peaceful nap with Leki.

Normally I pack my lunch and walk to Rosa Park Circle or occasionally have lunch with an old co-worker who works downtown as well.  Today, however, Chris swung by and we had lunch together.

His work is pretty close.  In fact my work is on the way to his, which is why we carpool.

So we headed down to Wealthy Street Bakery.  It's an adorable shop that is mostly bakery with a coffee bar, lunch and dinner menu sprinkled in.

And lunch was, of course tasty.  And so was the massive brownie we split.

I look forward to going back!

Chris and I had dinner in the park after work today.  It's been at least a week since we'd really gone out and enjoyed the local parks and trails.  It's been so humid lately that the only interest I've had in being outside is the mile or so trek I make on lunch every day.

So with the humidity down and the weather cooler we walked snagged some Jimmy Johns and strolled around Palmer Park a bit.  They recently repaved a section of their trails, as well as pulled out the numerous speed bumps throughout the park (save one).

It was a nice dinner, despite the numerous blood-thirsty mosquitoes that swarmed us on the trails.

Wednesday has been a cloudy, humid day.  With a humidity at nearly 90%, it's almost too much to sit outside.  Still, I insisted on doing just that to get out of the office and enjoy the day.  It was pretty overcast today, but it didn't end up raining on my lunch or my trek over to class.

Lunch was good, and after taking a brief break to read Scott Pilgrim and finish up Trigun, I'm back on track with 20,000 Leagues.

So the semester at school is winding down and that means it's time to start selling back the semesters text books.

I've purchased and sold books through online retailers since I was in undergraduate in the early 2000's.  You can usually find the book cheaper online when you first buy it and sell it back for more when you're done than using any school bookstore.

So this evening after work I prepped some books for shipping tomorrow.  Two books sold, one to go.

I've purchased a lot of Square (and now Square Enix) games over the years.  At one point I owned ever copy of every game I could get my hands on, including remakes for new systems. I've even purchased Final Fantasy XI three separate times, each time trying to convince myself the MMO won't suck as bad as it does.

Apparently they've started a "rewards" program for those people who register their games.  Now I was never in the habit of registering games.  In fact, the only reason I even registered Final Fantasy XIII was for a chance to get into the beta for Final Fantasy XIV (no such luck). I also ignored all the emails about the membership levels and prizes.

So imagine my surprise when I actually received some postcards in the mail today. Guess postcards were the default.  They're cute, and are working to remind me I've yet to try Star Ocean and have left Final Fantasy XIII in it's case for the more impressive Dragon Age.

Sunday afternoon we decided to trek to a local ice cream shop.  There are a few around us, the nearest of which is just over a mile away. This one, the Burlingame Dairy Dip, is about a 4 1/2 mile round trip walk.

It was a hot afternoon, which made getting ice cream all that more refreshing.