Tag Archives: wizard

A Real Blog Post? HAVA at it!

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:

[GEEK TALK]
hava

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!)
[/GEEK TALK]

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!

NT/Buffalo Weekend

A couple weekend updates while watching Tampa lose to the Caps…

Since Tiff was off to NYC with Rebecca for the weekend, I decided to scoop up Wizard and shoot home to NT for the weekend and hang out with the family. Got home just in time for lunch (naturally!), and then I helped (read: got in the way) clean up the basement a bit. As mom and dad hit the Corvette Club meeting, I met Adam out for dinner at a place in Depew called Kentucky Greg’s Hickory Pit. Kinda like a Dinosaur BBQ or a Sticky Lips, but on a smaller scale. After some good eats, we made our way back closer to his neighborhood to watch the Sabres game at Gordon’s on Delaware Ave. So as we watched the Sabres lose, we were joined by a couple of Adam’s friends. We then transferred much closer to Adam’s place, ending up at Mr. Goodbar, where we were suddenly underdressed; the bar got overtaken by what we can only assume was some kind of frat/sorority mixer, as they all came in dressed up. Riiiiiiight. Nevertheless, I had a great time people watching, and just hanging out with Adam and his friend Dan.

Sunday was a slow day, chilling at home, watched the Bills lose (at least my fantasy team did okay!), we did some maintenance on the corvette site, messed around with the cable box, and then it was time to head to Grandma’s for dinner, as we celebrated my uncle’s birthday. Wizard came too, so he was quite the travelling kitty this weekend. We headed home in the rain, and thus ended my relaxing weekend with the fam…

PVR, Digsby, NIN, and More

Another full weekend! Tiff and I hit up some MacGregor’s Friday night for dinner, and then came back home and watched the Sabres lose. Bums. I also started fiddling with a piece of software called GB-PVR, which is an app that turns your computer into a DVR, and it also has channel guides, along with a bunch of other stuff. It also makes use of the Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) remote and IR receiver/emitter that I picked up a couple of months ago. Essentially, GB-PVR turns the computer into a Tivo, and does a couple of other nifty things. This pretty much consumed my entire weekend, seeing as Saturday, Tiff and Michaela went to see a movie in the afternoon, leaving me to my own devices. What took forever was not getting it to work, but getting the remote to interface with GB-PVR, and then using the IR emitter (or blaster, as its called) to correctly change the channels on the digital cable box. This was accomplished with an intermediate program called HIP. It took a good bit of playing with, but with perseverance, I did get it to work correctly. So the office room was a disaster area all weekend, which led to this:

Step 2: Put your Wizard in that box.

Wizard decided to take up residence in the lid of the box I keep all my coax and speaker wire in on Saturday, while I had a rats nest of cables going on in the office. Saturday evening Tiff and Michaela returned from their movie, we made quesadillas for dinner, and spent the rest of the evening playing games, watching TV, drinking, etc. Good times!

Sunday brought running errands, and a late dinner with Lisa and Jim. And another Sabres loss. Bums. They’re taking the Weekend at Bernier’s thing literally. NOT UNTIL JUNE, GUYS! At least Kaleta scored a goal. My man crush on PK is still strong 🙂

I’ve started using a new combined IM app called Digsby. I actually heard about it through the RIT alumni mailing list, as it was developed at a company that’s part of the RIT high-tech company incubator. They gave out beta test invite codes to everyone on the alumni mailing list, and I have to say, it’s pretty damn good. I had been using Pidgin (formerly Gaim) to combine AIM, Yahoo, and Gtalk logins into one list, but not only does Digsby just work and look better, it also checks email from POP, IMAP, and even the usual webmail providers (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.). Better yet, it also keeps tabs on Facebook and Myspace profiles, so you don’t have to visit the actual sites to get updates on your friends. I’m really impressed with what they did, and since it’s in beta, the developers are very receptive to suggestions and bug fixes. Good stuff.

Finally, the new Nine Inch Nails album, Ghosts I-IV was up for purchase and legitimate download last night, and I grabbed it this morning. It’s a double-disc of 36 instrumental tracks, broken up into Ghosts I through Ghosts IV. As an incentive to sample the album, Trent made Ghosts I (the first 9 tracks) available for free. As in, he seeded those 9 tracks on The Pirate Bay himself. It could be bought physically in one of a couple different configurations (I went with the cheapo 2CD digipak for $10 plus shipping), or simply downloaded in either FLAC or 320k MP3’s for $5. If you bought one of the physical copies (which don’t get shipped to people or to stores until April), you get a download code for all 36 tracks, for free, immediately. If you can get the server to talk to you. Which I couldn’t. (The traffic to the site was unbelievable.) Or, you can do what I (and many others did), which was go to The Pirate Bay, and download the psuedo-legal 36 track torrent. Either way, they’re mp3’s I actually paid for, and the results, if you like NIN, are quite good. Imagine the instrumental tracks on Downward, The Fragile, Still, and Year Zero, and that’s the vein these are in. Cool stuff, innovative distribution, and since he’s not signed to a major label anymore, he can do pretty much whatever the hell he wants with his music going forward. Should be interesting to see how far this goes.

Busy Weekend

Well that was a hell of a weekend! Rebecca and Joel came up to visit, so we were in for an active couple of days. Friday night we made dinner at home, and then proceeded to sit around, imbibe, and attempt to play Catch Phrase Music Edition (Yes, Tiffany sold all of you out and bought it for my birthday). We partied a bit too hard, because it was a slow process Saturday morning getting ready and out of the house. Once we did, we hit up some Panera, trolled the thrift stores, and then Record Archive (as you can tell by the CD entries below). Back to the house, then met Dave and Michaela at Sticky Lips for waaaaay too much dinner. We literally rolled out of there, and back to the house, just in time to watch the Sabres lose. Matt and Adam (and Adam’s dog Pandora) came over, soon followed by Karl, Kelley and Karen. We also had pet-o-rama at the house, between Wizard, Fritz, and then Adam’s dog, but at least Wizard stayed in the basement. Woulda been even more of a zoo! Us guys again attempted Catch Phrase, before we wound down watching SNL. We also had pet-o-rama at the house, between Wizard, Fritz, and then Adam’s dog, but at least Wizard stayed in the basement. Woulda been even more of a zoo! We party like rockstars, let me tell you. We saw everyone off, including Rebecca and Joel the next morning, and Tiff and I did the errand run. It was quite fun seeing everyone, and doing our usual hanging out stuff.

Nothing going on this week, save for watching hockey, including the Sabres tonight, and the trade deadline is tomorrow afternoon. It will be curious to see who goes where, and who doesn’t. My money is on Brad Richards going to Vancouver, Sundin’s not going anywhere, and I think Soupy is gonna stay in Buffalo. Check back Wednesday to see how right I am.

Travelling Kitty, Laptop Downgrades, and… Faucets?

wizard

Here’s Wizard checking out Rebecca and Joel’s house, as we visited the newly renovated cabin down in Newfield (as in Ithaca). The two of them have set up home in the cabin, and Tiff and I (and Wizard!) came down to visit for the weekend. We had a blast, ate and drank well, saw the sights, and to make it an all-encompassing Ithaca trip, we met Karl and Kelley (and Joe!) out for lunch at The Nines. We had some excellent deep dish pizza, and tried something I’d never had before, and probably shouldn’t have again, Corn Nuggets. Deep fried balls of corn off the cob. Sinfully delicious. Walked around the commons, ran some errands, had some Moe’s for dinner, and fell asleep early! Sunday we detoured to Horseheads for lunch and to drop off Mom Swasta’s new laptop (and the carpet steamer!).

Ah, the laptop. It’s a very nice Toshiba, which is neither here nor there. All the new laptops ship with Vista pre-loaded as opposed to XP, and Mary wanted XP on it (I don’t blame her, I would too). Of course, MS wants you to run Vista, so downgrading wasn’t easy. Its not like the laptop vendors are going to make it easy to find XP drivers. But it can be done, and I got it done. With thanks to the internet community at large, and the Toshiba UK site, I cobbled the drivers together, and got XP to work. It involves slipstreaming the SATA drivers and the audio driver into the XP disc (along with SP2), and then loading the rest of them after the fact. A site called DriverGuide.com was mint when it came to finding these drivers! So that was most of last week, along with installing and setting up Windows Home Server on one of our computers, which I’ll get into in a post in the future.

The weekend before all that saw me finally replacing the sometimes-leaky faucet in our bathroom, with something nicer (and washerless!) I’ll leave you with our new faucet (that I put in all by myself, yay, I’m so proud!):

faucet

Boston for a Recital, Halloween, and 3 Concerts in 2 nights (what?)

It’s been a while since I could… write out my posts straight. (Ok, I’ll quit now.) A lot has happened since the last time I’ve actually written something not a CD or concert review! Last weekend saw us taking Friday off to head to Boston to see Rebecca and Joel, and more specifically, watch Rebecca’s final recital for her Early Music Master’s voice studies at the Longy School of Music. We arrived Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel (which was literally within walking distance of their apartment), and headed to said apartment, where we promptly ran out with Becca to do some errands, and I made my maiden voyage into a Whole Foods. It’s like Wegmans, but all organic and natural foods (i.e. not really my kinda store). Anyway, we got back to their apartment, and about the same time, Joel rolled in with his parents from the airport. We had a blast with the Leistikow family, heading out to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Paparazzi’s, which is a smaller-numbered chain, but feels like a one-off. Our food and drink were excellent, as was the company! Joel’s parents are a riot to hang out with. After coming back from dinner, we had a game-night of sorts (yeah, we brought the games!) before turning in to bed. The next morning we were up and at ’em, and went out to breakfast at a place called “The Restaurant” in Woburn. It was cafeteria style, with the guys cooking your breakfast yelling at you, asking what you want. The portions were huge, the price was reasonable, and the food was great. I wish we had something like this in Rochester! From there, we hit up the Burlington Mall, which was right next to the hotel and the apartments, just to walk around and kill some time, before splitting off. The girls went to get Becca’s hair done, and us guys got the food for the recital reception. We came back, got changed, and it was off to Longy. While Rebecca was warming up and preparing to sing, the rest of us set up an adjacent room for a reception following the performance. We then settled in for an exceptional recital by Rebecca and her accompanists. The recital was well-attended, and the reception was a success, with plenty of food and drink for all. After we overstayed the closing of the school by a half-hour (the guard was in there eating and drinking too, so we were OK by him), we came back to the apartment, and after a bit of relaxation, hit the hay back at the hotel. Sunday morning saw breakfast at Panera, and we said our goodbyes and set sail for Rochester. We got home at a reasonable time, and started the work week.

Monday was uneventful, and then Tuesday saw Jerry and I hit up the Three Days Grace / Breaking Benjamin / Seether show at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (read the review below). Wednesday brought Halloween, and all 15 kids that came to the door while Tiff played volleyball. I really thought there’d be more kids in our neighborhood. More candy for us! Thursday had me moonlighting at Batavia to cover a day shift, and after pillaging the Batavia FYE of their used CD’s, came home and watched the Sabres lose.

Friday was two concerts in one night! I had planned the Hip show well in advance, and when I saw Sevendust was coming, I jumped on that ticket as well, not bothering to check what day the show was. As luck would have it, it was the same night. My only hope was that since the Sevendust show had four bands playing, and the doors were at 7:30, it’d go long, and Sevendust wouldn’t start until 11pm, leaving me time to see the Hip (which ended at 11) and then book over to Water Street. My plan actually came through for once, and worked like clockwork. I busted out of the Aud Theater, didn’t encounter any resistance in the parking lot, and the biggest miracle of them all, actually found a parking spot on Andrews. I ran down Water Street to the club, and only missed two songs of Sevendust’s set.

Saturday brought some clothes shopping, then dinner at Olive Garden with Matt, Lisa, Carlo and Alyssa, before coming back to our place for game night. The Swasta clan were up today, as Ozzie is shacking up with us for a week and a half while they go on vacation. We caught breakfast at Mykonos Cafe (we really gotta go to that place more!), hit Target, the Mall, and then home, where we had a fajita feast for an early dinner, while watching the Bills win. Tiff’s parents left, and then I did too, as I met Matt, Adam and Carlo at Tully’s to watch the Pats-Colts “Super Bowl 41 1/2” game. Much to the billing, the game was close right until the end. Much revelry was had, and now I’m home keeping the cat company in the basement (gotta keep Wizard and Ozzie segregated… Cats and Dogs, living together, MASS HYSTERIA!)

And now you’re all caught up. Congrats for reading this far. More boring crap next week!

The Great Denver / GABF Recap

The wonderful Denver trip recap… here we go:

Wednesday – Uneventful flights from Rochester to Detroit (what a fantastic airport!) and Detroit to Denver, besides boarding the first flight up the tail of the plane (because the jetway was broken) and being seated in the very last row. Grabbed out bags, grabbed a shuttle to the hotel downtown. Checked in to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, chilled for a bit, and hauled outside for a fire alarm. Apparently someone did something stupid on Floor 17 (we were on 9). We met up with Karl and Kelley, plus Karl’s parents, and walked down the 16th Street Mall to find some dinner. Rock Bottom Brewery was our destination, and we met another old RIT grad, Karl’s friend Jonathan and his girfriend Chrissy. We ate, drank, made merry, and wandered back down the mall to the Denver Pavilions, and had $2 PBR’s at Coyote Ugly’s. Called it a night not soon after (8:30pm Denver time, we were wiped!). Got back to the hotel to try out the wireless connection, and found that only if I was on the edge of the bed did it work. I guess that’s what happens when your room is at the end of the building. Blah.

Thursday – Since the beer festival sessions didn’t start until 5:30, we had all day. Tiff and I walked back to 16th for breakfast at Einstein Brothers Bagels. Neat little place, even for a chain. We met up with everyone, and headed out a half-hour east to Golden, CO to see the Coors Brewery. Easily the biggest brewery I’ve ever toured, and I think it’s the biggest in the country. Pretty neat operation, even if they do produce the “regular” type beers. The sheer volume of everything involved is certainly impressive. Funny line of the day belonged to some other kid on the tour with us, as we watched Keystone Light get packaged, “A lot of bad decisions have been made off that line”. Ah, cheap college beer! The tasting room was very very nice, as were the 3 samples we got. We decided to stay in Golden for lunch, walked to the Golden City Brewing Company, which wasn’t that impressive, so we continued walking to the Old Capitol Grill. After walking back to the car, we headed back to Denver, chilled for a bit, Tiff got some soup from the Soup Man and then we hit the raison d’etre for the trip, the Great American Beer Festival. After waiting a relatively short time in line, we got into the lobby, saw the ribbon cutting, got our tasting glass (plastic!), and headed up the stairs to Graceland. What a sight! Much like any convention, there were tables, or booths if you will, with vendors. But all these vendors had beer! Free! (Well, sorta. Ticket price notwithstanding.) Most interesting beer of Day 1 was easily from America’s Brewing Company @ Walter Payton’s Roundhouse, a concoction called “No Such Thing As White Chocolate”, which, as the name implies, was a chocolate stout that smelled and tasted like white chocolate.Not something I’m buying a six-pack of, but certainly interesting. Since I wore my “Boy, could I go for a Genny now” shirt, I got a couple of comments, most along the lines of “They let you in here with that on??” The guys at the High Falls booth were amused, however! The session took us right up to 10pm, so we hit the hay as soon as we got out of there, and made our 1 1/2 block walk back to the hotel.

Friday – After all that beer, we had to do something somewhat healthy, so after breakfast, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park, but not before stopping in for lunch in Winter Park. After a number of switchbacks on US-40, we got to the park, and made our way to what we were told was the best way to see some moose, the Green Mountain Trail. A mostly-uphill 1.8 miles later, we came to Big Meadow, where, alas, there were no moose. Hell of a view though. Another, much eaiser 1.8 miles back down, we were back at the car where we saw a herd of elk off the side of the road. Of course, not more than 500 feet up the road, the elk were practically on the road. We could have pet them, we were that close, but we’re a bit smarter than that! We continued our journey up through the park, and I say up literally, as we ended up more than two miles above sea level by the time we got to the highest point. We passed the Continental Divide, and on the way out of the park, we stopped in Estes Park to check out some more elk on the local golf course. We trudged on into Boulder for dinner, looking for the Boulder Beer Company. Having no address, we consulted Google411, which dutifully came through for us. Finding the street was another matter. One stop later at a (strange things are afoot at the) Circle-K to consult a map, we found our destination. The brewery, and pub, are in the middle of an office park. We never would have found it otherwise! Thanfully, the beer and the food were delicious, and after stuffing ourselves, we got back home and passed out.

Saturday – We met K&K at their room, and walked down 16th again for breakfast, this time at a place called The Corner Bakery Cafe. Another chain, but a different spin than the Starbucks of the world, more like a Panera-type place. We decided to tour downtown a bit, so we continued down the mall past Rock Bottom, and after poking in a little chocolate shop, walked through a little courtyard to get to one of the cross-streets. As we’re walking, there’s a gentleman sitting at one of the tables on his cell phone. I glance once, kinda keep walking, when the man says, “Ah, a Sabres fan!” (I was wearing my Sabres hoodie and hat). I glance again, and I quickly recognize the man as Danny Gare. Yes, Buffalo Sabres star, two-time 50 goal scorer, number 18 retired Danny Gare! COOL! After the inital shock, it dawned on me that the Blue Jackets were in town to play the Avalanche that night, and Gare is the Jackets color commentator on their TV broadcasts. I walked over and shook his hand, told him I watched him on Center Ice occasionally, and he asked what we were in town for. After telling him the beer fest, he said something to the effect of have fun, I told him it was a pleasure to meet him, and that was pretty much it. But damn, I just met Danny freakin Gare in Downtown Denver, randomly! COOL! What was even funnier was that Karl and Kelley are all looking at me like, “Who the hell was that old guy and how do you know him???” It’s okay guys, it’s only a hockey legend! Karl remarked that Gare was probably as happy to be recognized as I was to recognize him. Still a thrill!

So after the giddiness, we walked past Coors Field (the Rockies were on the road while we were there, beating the snot out of the D-Backs in Phoenix), around downtown a bit more, and then back to the hotel, as our afternoon session was at 12:30. This session was special, as for a couple more bucks, we got glass tasting glasses, and the brewers themselves were on hand, as the awards were doled out in each of the 60+ categories. We didn’t quite get in line as soon this time, and we were halfway around the building in line. Thankfully, it moved quite fast, and we were in the building in 20 minutes or so. More beer, the stuff we didn’t see last time, the awards ceremony, and the stuff we liked were the focus this time. We all bought shirts from the giant merch booth. We regrouped back at the hotel, and started our walk to Great Divide Brewing Company for dinner. Except that it A) took us practically into the ghetto, and B) they don’t serve food. Whoops. Fortunately, we knew Wynkoop Brewing Company *did* have food, so we walked there. After being told of an hour wait, we headed upstairs to play some darts, only to get buzzed and come back down. Except they hit our pager by accident and we didn’t have a table yet. Ok, cool, whatever. Except in the process of walking past the hostess stand, I got all but groped by some drunk guy who was flailing all over the place, kinda feeling like he was going for my wallet. I’m guessing he wasn’t, he just wasn’t terribly stable, but still. A couple of choice words later, and him and his posse slinked upstairs, and all was well again. We were seated, ate some good food, and a server (not ours) stopped over and commented on my Sabres hat, said he was originally from Buffalo, and chatted with us for a bit. We finally piled out, and walked to Rock Bottom for a nightcap. This time we hit the “back bar”, which was literally buried behind the restaurant, but was quite a large space, with more tables, TV’s, etc. We get there, order our beers, get carded, the usual. Tiff didn’t want any more beer, so she ordered a Sprite. Which lead to this exchange between her and the waitress:

Tiff: I’d like a Sprite with lime, please.
Waitress: Can I see some ID?
Tiff: I asked for a Sprite with lime.
Waitress: I need to see some ID.
Tiff: Um, I’m not asking for alcohol in it, I’d just like a Sprite.
Waitress: I still need to see some ID.
Tiff: For a Sprite?
Waitress: You need to be over 21 to be in the back bar area.
Tiff: Um, Ok?!?!

That would have been handy information had it been explained to us when we walked through the doors to the back bar in the first place! Mind readers we’re not. Not that it matters, but it’s like, why are you carding her for a Sprite? Apparently soft drinks are too much for the under 21 set to handle in Denver! We hung out for a while, said our goodbyes, and Tiff and I cut out early, as we had to pack and get ready for our early flight out the next morning.

Sunday – We get checked out of the room, and get on an already crowded shuttle van at 5am back to the airport, leaving one seat left in the van. We make one more stop at the Adam’s Mark, where the one person that made a reservation gets on, and there’s another couple also needing a ride. Apparently, they didnt make a reservation, and here’s the kicker: we heard the woman say “But we need to get on this van, our flight leaves at 7am!” All of us actually in the van look at each other like, “Your flight is at 7 and you’re trying to get on a non-reserved shuttle at 5:15? Poor planning on your part possibly?” Needless to say, they didn’t get on our shuttle. We got to the airport with no problems, our plane was fine, and we got into Newark on time for our 2 hour layover. Plenty of time to eat at the nice food court in our terminal. And there was, but not if the employees at said food court could help it. I realize that we were in New Jersey, and “Jersey Sucks”(tm), but damn. I’ve seen some apathetic fast-food workers in my time, but these took the cake. I had a Nathan’s philly steak, and thankfully it was good, because it took forever to get it. Tiff’s turkey burger from the other place not only took her forever and a day to get, but didn’t resemble turkey at all. Off to Dunkin for her! We chilled at our gate for awhile, and after a short delay, we got airborne and into Rochester.

We had a great time in Denver, and big thanks to Carlo and Alyssa for watching the house and the Wizard while we were gone!

A (Matthew) Good October(fest) Weekend

We had a hell of a weekend this time out, which pretty much started Thursday night. Wizard started acting weird, almost drunk. He couldn’t walk straight, was laying down a lot, and was really lethargic. He didn’t look too good, and we figured he had low blood sugar, so we fed him some Karo syrup-laced treats to get his sugar up. He seemed to pick up a bit, so we figured he’d be okay and we went to bed. Friday morning, he’s all lethargic and drunkish again, and was really weak. Turns out his blood sugar was now high (from the Karo syrup, meaning that wasn’t the problem), so we fed him, gave him his insulin, and took him to the vet hospital on East Henrietta Rd (across from MCC). He started snapping out of whatever it was while we were at the vet, and after all the tests, he’s in perfect health! (Da Beetus notwithstanding). So what was wrong with him? Um, we don’t know. We surmise he got into something and ate something he shouldn’t have, and whatever it was knocked him on his butt for a day. Tiff ended up working from home, and by dinner time he was back to his old self. By now he’s completely normal, so thankfully whatever it was has passed, and we’re being a little more vigilant with what we leave laying around.

The Wiz was doing just fine by the time I was getting out of work, so I continued on to Buffalo for the Matthew Good solo acoustic show at Club Infinity. I even got to grab some DiBella’s for dinner because the Transit location was on the way! The show was quite good (see the review), and I caught up with one of my Harrison Co-op friends and her husband. I hadn’t seen Christine and Matt since the Co-Op reunion a couple years ago (August of ’04), so getting caught up with them was quite nice. After the show, I met Adam out at his place, and we journeyed with some friends of his to a fun little bar in Buffalo called Founding Fathers (on Edward St, just off Delaware). As expected, the walls were lined with photgraphs and momentos of Presidents and other American leaders from the Revolutionary War up to the present day. Neat little place! After we dropped his friends off, we hit up the old standby, Cole’s, to cap off the night.

Saturday morning, after heading back home, we cleaned up the house, did a little shopping, and then made our way to RIT for the Brick City festival. There was a tent set up at the back of S-Lot with Uncle Plum playing, and beer/food stands, kinda like East End Fest. Unlike East End Fest, and much like everything else at RIT, hardly anyone came. It could have been really cool, but I think the location, coupled with the fact that they ran it from 3pm-6pm, coupled with the fact that it was only for “recent alumni” and not everyone, didn’t help. I think we stayed for an hour and a half, and left just as the rain started. We got back and prepped the house to host our main party, that being Matt’s fundraiser for his breast cancer walk. Naturally, we don’t do just any fundraiser, we did an Oktoberfest beer tasting event! Matt and I grabbed six different seasonal beers from Beers Of The World, and we did a blind taste-test. Adam then showed up with his homemade brew, and everyone sampled that also. (Adam, it was great! Well, my two and a half pints were, anyway!). It was a beautiful night to be out on the deck, our chimnea thingy saw its fair share of use, and we ate ourselves silly as Ahmad made a ton of authentic german foods to go along with our Oktoberfest theme. All this fun, and we raised money for Matt’s walk at the same time!

Sunday Tiff and I pretty much just bummed around all day, did some cleanup, a little shopping, took a walk, etc. We’re only working two days before the big Denver trip. Great American Beer Festival here we come!!