Big City’s Christmas Dinner

By Mark at 8:30 pm on Saturday, December 13, 2008

This year we took everyone out to a place owned by Jose Garces, a friend of a friend.  Mercat a la Planxa is one of the best reviewed new restaurants in the US right now, it’s a well deserved honor.  The food was delicous, the drink was never empty and the atmosphere was nearly perfect.

(Read on …)

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The Beaches of North Carolina

By Mark at 11:47 am on Saturday, November 29, 2008

We spent our Thangsgiving break in North Carolina with the better half’s half of the family. (Read on …)

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Just Checking In

By Mark at 8:46 pm on Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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Obama – Biden 2008

By Mark at 3:00 pm on Saturday, August 23, 2008

Barack Obama

Obama announced his running mate this morning and held a kickoff rally at the Old State Capital building in downtown Springfield.

(Read on …)

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Passat Repairs

By Mark at 11:06 am on Saturday, August 9, 2008

The VW Passat

1. Brake Light Switch

2. Moon Roof Pinch Sensor (twice)

3. Moon Roof Air Spoiler (it just went missing one day)

4. Seat Heater Computer

5. Seat Heating Element

6. Fuel Lines, Heat Plates

7. Right Rear Window Gears (stripped)

8. Mystery Fuse For Rear 12V Socket

Car age: 4 years.  All repairs were done at the dealership under warranty.  To VW’s credit service has steadily improved since I’ve owned the car.

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Moab Trip 2008

By Mark at 10:28 am on Friday, June 20, 2008

Porcupine Pine Rim Viewpoint

Four years have passed since we all were here.  It seems that Moab changed a bit more than we did.
(Read on …)

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Edinburgh Castle

By Mark at 12:26 pm on Monday, May 26, 2008

Leslie and the Lion The most prominent feature in Edinburgh is the castle, which sits atop a volcanic core.  The core is all that remains after glaciers stripped away the rest of the mountain.  It’s a naturally fortified position, which made it that much more difficult for the Scots to retake after the English took it over. (Read on …)

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Landed in Scotland

By Mark at 12:04 pm on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Old Scottish Flag

We landed in Scotland on Sunday.  Leslie managed to sleep a bit on the plane while I caught up on all the movies I had missed from the last six months.  Having not slept, or not much anyway, we decided to hit the town immediately. (Read on …)

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Earthquake Illinois

By Mark at 4:37 am on Friday, April 18, 2008

Leslie was up in Toronto, I had just arrived home that evening from San Francisco.  I had trouble sleeping with the jet lag and an empty house.  But I did manage to nod off around 2am only to be roused by the shaking and the noise at 4:37.

This was not my first rumbler.  In 1993 I was similarly jolted out of bed by a more violent quake.  This one was only a dozen miles away did more bouncing than shaking.  The ’93 quake condemned the main building of my high school and extended my spring break by a few days.  I was too shocked to take in the entire experience of this event.

The Illinois quake had extensive aftershocks, one in particular stands out because I was in the office.  My office is on the fifth floor of and old masonry building.  It started at 10:14 and lasted what seemed like minutes.

During these quakes I was careful to pay attention to everything I could, the noise, the movement of the ground beneath my feet and of the rattling of the buildings.

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Sea Turtle

By Mark at 11:00 am on Monday, March 3, 2008

Sea Turtle Cozumel

Another dive, another sea turtle. He’s probably thinking something similar about me. I spotted this one near the Playancar Deep reef off the shore of Cozumel, Mexico.

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