Friday, March 30, 2012

Ikea gift card spent!

I finally got out to Ikea to spend my Christmas Gift Card. It went a long way.

I got some drawer dividers, a napkin holder, some other drawer dividers, new dishes for the cats, a rack to hang things on, a new soap dispenser, a new bowl for the cats, a picture frame, two new lights for my desk, some fancy bed sheets and an Ikea bag to carry it all.

Thanks Linda!

New Games!

Our friend Joshin gave us a gift certificate to Bridgetown Games and here is what we spent it on:
Save Doctor Lucky is a game where you follow Doctor Lucky around the Titanic trying to save him before it goes down.  It's family friendly and about 30 minutes long.

10 Days in the USA we bought because the box said it takes 5 minutes to explain.  This is true, and despite the game's simplicity, it is still quite fun to play and involves shifting strategies.  You've got 10 days to craft a trip in the USA.  Collect the right combination of tiles to win.  For those of you who want to work on your world geography, there is also 10 days in:  Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. In fact, I've just discovered that if you have four different versions of the game you can play 20 Days Around the World.  Sounds fun.

The Hunger Games Jabber Jay Game (or, as I like to call it: "The Hunger Games Game") was a cheap movie tie-in I could not resist.  It has a two-player version and an up-to-12 player version.  I've heard the "more than seven" version is very fun, but I'm guessing I won't be playing that version any time soon.

Thanks Joshin for increasing our game shelf.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shamrock Run. Or: Holy cow!

Matt ran the Shamrock Run today and I'm just going to spoil the surprise to tell you that he did quite well.

Matt's been running with the Getting Edge-y Running Club at our gym, Edge Performance Fitness. He runs every Sunday morning. The Shamrock Run is a 15k run which is 9.32 miles. This is farther than he usually runs.
Saying hello to Jean, his future teammate in the Spartan Race
The starting line. Runs start early, but thankfully there was no rain. Or snow. We've been having a lot of snow flurries.
Taking off the layers in preparation for the race.
Ready to run.
Finding his pace group.
The Shamrock Run had a rolling start. The announcers would say, "Begin running," and people would begin running. Then they would say, "And now please stop. Please stop. Please stop."
And people would stop running.
And wait to go. They can do this rolling start because the runners all have chips on their shoes. Their time begins when they cross over those three blue mats.
The announcers would talk while they were waiting to let the runners go.
The announcers looking for the traffic light to change. Because Naito Parkway usually hosts cars, the announcers just used the traffic lights to put gaps in the runners.
After seeing Matt off, I found some shelter (it was still pretty cold, even if it wasn't raining) and sat down to read for a while. That's 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I knew I had at least an hour.
When the announcers let me know that the first runner was headed toward the finish line, I found a space along the rail and watched the first runners come in. It's amazing to see how fast they run.
I didn't have to wait long at all for Matt to appear. It took him only 1:10:41 to run the entire 9.32 miles. That's a pace of 7:35. Holy cow! He was really flying. Other stats: He finished 622 overall, he was 104/551 in his division and he finished 509/3042 of the men. Well done!
Matt is excited about his finish.
The prostrate guy in the background is clipping off an electronic shoe tag.
On the way to find food, he takes a picture of a family.
The chowder was great, but it was served in very tiny Dixie cups.
We found more food at the Park Bistro. And hot tea. I was freezing. Matt was hungry and worn out until later that day. It was a fun race for both of us.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Surprise potatoes

Digging for this year's crop of potatoes over at Stephanie's house, we found that we were not very thorough last fall when harvesting. They held up well over the winter and were good eating.

Friday, March 2, 2012

What is Urinetown?

If you've seen the musical, you know that Urinetown is a variety of things: the end, a tool, a lie, here, as well as your town if you're hopeless down and out. If you've seen the musical, you know that Urinetown is a smart, funny and subversive musical. However, you probably have not seen the musical because you can't get past the title. This makes me sad, as I think Urinetown was one of the best musicals of the first decade of the 21st century and it has the Tony awards to back up my claim. So I was quite happy that PSU's production gave me an opportunity for a great evening of theater. And Matt hadn't yet seen the play, so along we went.

The bathrooms had the "Urine Good Company" pay toilet signs. Luckily, Penelope Pennywise wasn't around to collect the fee.

Lincoln Hall (once upon a time Lincoln High School before the moved to a bigger location) was recently renovated by PSU and everything is shiny and new.

We weren't the only ones wanting to take our picture in front of the poster.

Someone volunteered to snap us, so no self-portrait necessary. Matt is sad because he would not do well in Urinetown.

Bios of the performers, as well as history of the play.

Corwin T. Bear really got into character.

Our tickets.

We attended the play on opening night, though there had been a preview night the day before. The production was plagued with sound problems. Often I found myself wondering if PSU could spend all the money refurbishing the building, why they couldn't pony up for a good microphone system. The cast handled the matter as best they could, but it was very distracting.

Other than that, it was a fabulous production, with great acting, dancing and singing. The man who played Officer Lockstock was particularly good, as was Hope Cladwell. I can't find my program to identify those actors by name. The best number was the Cop Song, which managed to be laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly creepy all in a few short minutes.

Future me can tell you that I went back on closing night and found they had resolved most (although not all) of their microphone issues.