Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pandora

If you like listening to music, you should check out Pandora.com when you get a chance. All you have to do is sign up for a free account, and then you tell it what artists and/or songs you enjoy listening to. The more information you provide, the better. For example, the artists I selected range from Radiohead to Metallica to The Beatles to The Supremes and even Fiona Apple (plus Iron Maiden, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Elton John) . But you can also pick individual songs, too. Pandora then throws all of that into its "mixer" and determines what it is that you like about these artists and songs. It analyzes the tempos and keys of the songs you picked and then starts playing similar songs on your "station." The audio quality is superb, and you can even listen to your station on select AT&T and Sprint mobile phones now (or most Windows Mobile-based phones). I'm out of luck there since my phone is a Blackberry Curve.

I was surprised to hear many of the artists that I had selected, too. Pandora isn't just trying to get you to listen to bands you've never heard of before, it will play you the artists you've chosen, too. Within the past 20 minutes, I've heard Sleater-Kinney, Elastica, Lush, Radiohead, The Strokes and The Killers.

Here's a link to my station if you want to take a listen:

Ham Radio

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Weekend Recap

We had a very nice time over the past weekend. On Saturday we went to visit friends (Matt & Pam) in Berlin, NJ, so all of the kids got to play together. We brought Dillon & Jason (5) and Adrian (1.5), while Adam & Cherise brought their twin girls (2) and their newborn (5 weeks). Everyone got to play with Ryan (5) and Sean (2.5) and the adults got to engage in some nice conversation and run around outside with the kids. The weather was nice, but it got pretty cold as the afternoon wore on (down to about 25 degrees by 5pm). We had Subway foot longs for lunch (while the kids munched on pigs-in-a-blanket and little pizzas), and then we had pizza for dinner. We had planned on going over for a lunch-time play date, but we went into extra innings and ended up staying through dinner, leaving around 7pm. Everyone had a great time.

On Sunday Angie went to a baby shower for her cousin Mark's wife, Jackie. She had a blast and got a break from the kids from about 10:30am until about 6pm or so. I made breakfast for everyone in the morning (pancakes, scrambled eggs, toast and bacon), then Angie left and the rest of us watched "Wall-E" again. We ate lunch together and then I got all the kids ready to go over to my parents' house because Uncle Ryan wanted to do something with the kids. We decided we'd take them over to Discovery Museum for the afternoon. Unfortunately for Adrian, he zonked out just as we pulled into my parents' driveway, so we decided to let him take his nap at mom mom's house. Ryan, Dillon, Jason and I piled into the van and spent the late afternoon at the Discovery Museum climbing the big tree house, playing hockey, running around the big castle and serving up food in the diner. It was really fun, and the twins each got a little gift from the gift shop from their uncle, so they were very happy about that! Dillon got a "bendy" Pink Panther and Jason got a "stretchy" frog. We left around 5:15pm, picked up Adrian, and came home for dinner.

Now it's back to the regular grind...

=Mark=

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Decorations are down

We spent the better part of yesterday taking down all the holiday decorations. No more Christmas tree, no more outdoor lights, no more garland, wreaths, etc. We packed everything up and found places to store it all (some went in the garage, some went into the basement storage room).

The kids helped out when possible, but we also got them set up with their big Play-Doh set at the kitchen table which kept them occupied for quite a while. Adrian still naps in the afternoon, so we just had to keep the twins busy while we straightened up and cleaned everything after the decorations were down. Then I sat with them and helped make some cool Play-Doh creations.

Today we're looking forward to the Eagles vs. Giants game at 1pm! We're hoping for a really good game (read: the Eagles win).

E-A-G-L-E-S
EAGLES!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year, everybody!

We had some friends & family over on New Year's Eve, and it was a lot of fun. Our kids spent the night at my parents' house, so Angie and I were free to mingle and engage in some adult conversation. But we also balanced the adult conversation with some Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero competition (courtesy of Paul, who brought all the instruments, the games, and his Xbox 360)! After midnight, Angie decided to start up some Texas Hold' Em in the dining room and broke even by the end of the party. Can't complain about that!

Steve brought some fireworks to launch after midnight, which was a "blast" even though it was freezing and very windy outside. All the trees are still standing and no forest fires were started. ;-)

We had lots of snacks & cookies, along with Cyndi's baked ziti and about 200 Chick-Fil-A nuggets that Angie and I picked up before the party. And of course we had plenty of alcoholic beverages to ring in the new year.

Here are some pictures taken during the night:
New Year's Eve Pics

Enjoy,


Mark