Reason #79 to love Hot Shots: volleyball comes over the wall into bar area; entire place cheers as bartender tosses it back. On the 3rd try!
And aren’t they all? This one kinda deserved more than just a 140-character twitter post, however. After bowing out early at Volleyball playoffs on Thursday night, work on Friday came and went before we hosted a shindig at our place Friday night. But not just any shindig, we had weekend guests! Carlo and his girlfriend Sumner came up from Virginia for the weekend to hang out and enjoy themselves some Upstate New York. Matt, Lisa and Ian came over for dinner as well, so we had a deckful on a beautiful night. Good times catching up with friends, who in both cases we haven’t seen often enough!
Saturday was our road trip day, and we gave Sumner the “Upstate in a nutshell” tour: Breakfast at Tim Horton’s, a stop at the RIT bookstore, then a Seneca Lake Wine Tour! We drove down to Glenora and worked our way back up the lake, and had a blast in the process. Besides the winery, we also stopped at the only Finger Lakes “Weinery”, R.E.D.’s Hots, which was damn good. Not quite a garbage plate, but we got close! After Fox Run, our last stop, we chilled at home for a bit, and then hit our next classic Rochester destination, MacGregors. Same as it ever was, good beers, good food! (Pork Triple Threat Sandwich, thank you! Pulled pork, sliced ham, bacon, and BBQ sauce on a cibatta roll. DAY-UM.) We tooled around the city for a little bit after that, winding through downtown, East End, Park Ave, etc. just to show off the sights. A full day to be sure!
Sunday was an easy morning, and for lunch the last Rochester landmark, DiBella’s. Carlo hadn’t seen the new Italian Market on Jefferson, so we blew his mind with that 🙂 We then sent Carlo and Sumner off on their way back to DC after a full enough weekend, but I wasn’t done yet… Rockstar Uproar Tour at Darien Lake with Pete and Jerry! Disturbed, A7X, Stone Sour, Halestorm, Hellyeah and a couple others. That review will be up shortly, but we did some tailgating, rocked ourselves out, and I got pretty close to the front of the side stage for Hellyeah, and caught a drumstick from the legendary Vinnie Paul! Got some big props from Hellyeah’s Tom Maxwell for sporting an old-school Nothingface shirt also, which made my day.
This morning I got to deconstruct the tournament from yesterday at work, so no workout needed today!
As I write this, the whirlwind Christmas season has come to a close (can’t really say the holidays, as New Years is still ahead of us.), and what a season we had this year. Work ended on Tuesday night, followed up by volleyball. On Wednesday, we made the colossal Wegmans run, prepped the house for the ensuing visitors, and got a good night’s sleep. Woke up Thursday morning, got some last minute wrapping done, and we welcomed Mom and Dad S. to the house. We got them settled, then made another Weggie’s run to get the catering and some last-minute stuff. Came back home, and Tiff and her mom went to work in the kitchen getting food for dinner and Christmas Day ready. We had a very nice dinner and celebrated Tiff’s father’s birthday. Opened a couple stocking stuffers at night to get in the Christmas spirit, and called it a night rather early in anticipation of Christmas Day.
We got the house ready, Tiff and Mom got the food ready, and then the Bonus/Kowalenko caravan rolled in around 12:45. We got them unloaded and in, and commenced with the food, drink, and merriment! Tons of snacks, Amanda’s buffalo wing dip, some good beers, getting full even before dinner. We packed 15 people into the house, and that’s about our limit! We opened a couple gifts, then had Grandma’s perogies and Dad’s mushroom soup as appetizers. Gotta move some of the old traditions to our place! Opened a couple more gifts, and then it was time for the big dinner. Ham, squash, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. Excellent. After everyone digested and had their fill, we filled up even more with cookies and the cheesecake my aunt and uncle brought. It was awesome to have everyone up to our place, and thankfully the weather held out so driving for everyone wasn’t a factor. A wonderful Christmas, and for our first time hosting, it went really well.
What to do the day after Christmas? Why, go shopping of course! We hit a couple places in Henrietta, then after lunch at the Distillery and a quick detour to Beers of the World, we trucked out to Eastview to get our shop on. The mall was packed, even more so than any mall I saw before Christmas. A jaunt back to Barnes and Noble in Pittsford, then back home for a dinner of the best leftovers from the night before. Still tasted great. For the nightcap, Tiff and her parents watched the latest Harry Potter movie while I watched the Sabres lose.
We got up early the next morning, and grabbed a really good breakfast at Peppermints on W. Henrietta Rd. Yum. We saw Tiff’s parents off, cleaned up the house a bit, then Pat and Jodi came over. We did our little gift exchange, and went out for a big late lunch at Sticky Lips. One BBQ platter later, we rolled out of there and came back to the house and visited for a little bit. We saw Pat and Jodi off, and then I saw myself off to Buffalo to meet Adam and hit up the Every Time I Die Christmas show at Mohawk Place. Since that didn’t start ’til 9, we grabbed some dinner and pre-gamed a bit at the Thirsty Buffalo on Elmwood. Had a good time there, watched the Jets prevent the Colts from going undefeated, and watched the Sabres beat the Blues. We trekked down to Mohawk, met my buddy Art, and had a great time hanging out at the show. Thankfully, I only had to drive back to NT, not Rochester, and Dad was still up to greet me!
Slept in a bit, putzed around in the morning, and then Dad and I grabbed some lunch at Ted’s (mmm, Char-Broiled hotdogs!) before I bounced back to Rochester and Dad took off for the office. Got back home, lounged a bit, made a Weggie’s run, and after dinner I organized the basement, watched some hockey, I’m still watching some football, and barring some disaster, I’ll win my second straight fantasy football title! Not looking forward to getting ready to head back to work tomorrow, but I do have volleyball tomorrow night though, so that oughta be the usual rip-roaring good time! Working Wednesday and Thursday also, and then New Years Eve festivities…
A fine night of volleyball last night, and looking forward to heading out for some fun tonight… who’s doing what where?
It’s only been forever. I’m trying to get back into this habit as opposed to just syndicating Twitter/FB Status updates. Trying.
So from Thursday night on, I’ve been shuffling computers and AV equipment around a bit, as I picked up a HAVA Titanium HD streamer. This little box sits between my cable box and my router/cable modem, simplified my entire computer/TV/Media Center setup, and eliminated a power-hungry always-on PC in the basement (gotta be green!). If you’re interested in the technical details, read on:
After doing all the research, and considering I’ve been lusting after a SlingBox for awhile now while fighting with my current setup, I HAVA what? The Titanium won out over a Sling for a couple of reasons. It was cheaper, for one. Buying a factory-direct refurb unit took about 60% off of their price, and about 30% off of anyone else’s online price. It can serve multiple clients at once (obviously only watching the same channel), so you can run the player on multiple PC’s at the same time. In addition to their proprietary player, it also acts like a virtual tuner in Windows Media Center for any PC on the local network (changes the channels on the digital box and everything). Like Sling, it too has a dedicated iPhone app (and also like Sling, wi-fi only, but thanks to 3G Unrestrictor (jailbreak!) it works anywhere). Compared to my prior setup, this is much more streamlined, and now I don’t need to dedicate an always-on PC just to stream TV. I had been using Orb in conjunction with Vista Media Center on a box, and while it worked okay, changing channels on the phone was sometimes a chore, and more importantly, Orb was chained to Vista, as they still don’t have full Win7 support. I eliminated a whole PC, added a virtual remote (changing channels on the phone is way easier now), and now have a legit $30 academic copy of Win7 on the tower (which runs way better than it ever did with a sketchy copy of Vista). This bumped the O.G. Media Center box (the small form factor HP) down into the living room TV cabinet, where it’s now paired with the wireless keyboard so we can surf/watch YouTube/do whatever on a giant 42″ monitor. And now neither of those PC’s are on 24/7 anymore (yay power savings!)
Other than that? Let’s see…
After our long Cleveland weekend last weekend, the work week, interrupted by volleyball on Tuesday, came and went, which brought us to Friday. Another big Amerks game against the Crunch, in which we had a great time up in our usual section 221 haunt. Jon and Laura were even in town and came and sat with us! Naturally, the night never ends after the game, and it was off to East and Alexander for Mike’s birthday, where we did our usual up and down the street trek, this time with Pete joining us! It culminated in a half-dead A-Pub/Daisy Dukes where the cover band wasn’t half bad. Saturday had me doing computer tinkering, and while Tiff went and saw New Moon, I puttered around town “shopping”, if you can call it that. An early night back home to watch the Sabres lose, and more computer stuff.
Sunday was living room upheaval day, also known as setting up the Christmas tree. We re-arranged the whole room, got the tree up, threw some decorations on it, watched the Bills snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and finally ventured out of the house for a bit. Groceries and the like, more decorations, the usual. Came back and finished putting ornaments on, and cleaned up the place. Needless to say, Wizard has a new favorite spot, behind the tree on the nice new tree skirt. Thank God for rollers.
Long weekend holiday madness coming up this week!
Apparently switching to Genny Light at volleyball didn’t spur any winning… 1-3 tonight. Hey, at least Dick Jauron doesn’t play with us.
A legit 3-0 at volleyball tonight, and good times at Damian’s!
Another session of volleyball is upon us!
Volleyball was a disaster, but @ home kitty is doing well, my Mets won again, and now I’m watching baseball & enjoying an Edmund Fitzgerald!
Off to volleyball at Hot Shots… fun fun.