Archive for July, 2007

links for 2007-07-19

July 19, 2007 at 12:25 pm 3 comments

links for 2007-07-17

July 17, 2007 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Henry’s New Toy

Every now and then Henry finds an object he¬†finds desireable, so he sits next to it and guards it.¬† Usually those items are of no interest to anyone else.¬† Nonetheless, in Henry’s mind, he believes¬†all other animals¬†(aka Jimmie and Stench)¬†are after his precious find.¬† Unfortunately, Henry gives no indication that he is on high alert until he is already making a ruckus.

Last week, we were all sitting peacefully in the living room when Jimmie had the nerve to come in and take a seat on the ottoman.  Our nice, calm evening erupted in chaos.  Henry jumped off the couch (on the other side of the room, mind you) and growled and howled and chased Jimmie, a dog that has 25 pounds on him, out of the room.

Once the threat was removed, Henry ran back and grabbed his possession for safe keeping.¬† What got Henry so heated?¬† An empty roll of toilet paper!¬† Who amoung us wouldn’t be defensive over that?

Henry relaxing with his new toy

Looks like Henry found a use for a toilet paper roll that is even more glamorous than our temporary toothbrush holder.

July 16, 2007 at 10:39 pm 3 comments

BLOG: 100,000 Views Reached

This afternoon, this blog passed 100,000 views.  Like Clint, the second 50,000 went significantly faster than the first 50,000.  It took 14 months to get the first 50,000 views and less than 3 months to get the second 50,000.

I have my mother to thank for that…. and your mother… and all other mothers for that matter.¬† A lot of these last 50,000 hits were from people searching for Mother’s Day Cards.¬† Mother’s Day alone, I got 8,208 views.¬† Interestingly enough, I still had very heavy traffic the day after Mother’s Day.¬† Those slackers!¬† ūüėȬ† It was nice to see a more positive source to a spike (My previous high had been from the Virginia Tech Shooting).

And speaking of mothers, my mother is coming to visit me this week!  She arrives on Wednesday and will probably be staying through the weekend.  The primary purpose of the visit is to get some painting done, but I bet we sneak in a quick hike and a visit to El Guadeloupes.  Should be fun.

July 16, 2007 at 9:41 pm 3 comments

links for 2007-07-16

July 16, 2007 at 12:19 pm 5 comments

Hairnets for All!

And in case you are pondering the age-old question of “What does Sean look like in a hairnet?”, you’re in luck.¬† I have the answer for you:


If you are wondering about lurchers (dogs who are part sight-hound):


Or say you are curious about beagles in hairnets:


Yup, it’s a hopping Sunday down here in ole Blacksburg.

July 15, 2007 at 9:15 pm 2 comments

Patriotic Hairnets

The dairy plant wasn’t the only facility we got to tour last week!¬†¬†Our host took us over to the nearby bakery facility (where Larry and I got to eat fresh chocolate muffins) and later we met some colleagues and got to tour another plant that made soup, salads, sandwiches, wraps and frozen pizza.¬† The soup operation was pretty fascinating.¬† The vats were so huge, I could have easily been an ingredient in the soup.¬† Our tour guide said a Volkswagon Beetle would fit inside in each soup vat.

I only had permission to take pictures at the dairy plant, so I have nothing to share on that front.¬† BUT– I can share pictures of my non-proprietary hairnets.¬†¬† That’s just as good, right?¬† ūüėČ

Each plant we visited, I got issued a new hairnet.

Dairy – Red
Bakery – White
Pizza/Soup – Blue

At the end of the day, looking at my collection of hairnets, I realized I was quite the patroit. 

Does that mean the terrorists don’t win?

July 15, 2007 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Dairy Plant and the Best Ice Cream Ever

My trip to Wisconsin went great!  It was very productive.  We got a lot of work done and we got a lot of eating done as well!  As I mentioned, the dairy plant happens to have an ice cream line.  And what luck, they were producing chocolate ice cream the day we were there.  Our host took a bucket just as it finished off the line.

“It’ll ruin your taste for all other ice cream,” she told us, “It tastes much different before it’s frozen.”

She was right– so soft and creamy¬†(but far superior to soft serve).¬† I’m pretty sure I’ll still eat ice cream in the future, but that ice cream was¬†definitely better than anything I’ve ever purchased.

The best ice cream in the world

The milk operation was very interesting as well.¬† Everything was automated– pulling the raw milk from the silos, pasteurizing, filling the bottles, affixing the cap, labeling, stamping the “Sell By” date and even putting the gallon jugs into crates for storage and transportation.¬† An amazingly intricate network of pipes and electronic valves all over the plant enabled the smooth flow of product.¬†

Some of the many pipes throughout the plant

Milk getting filled and capped on the line

Milk getting labelled

This machine is loading full gallons into crates

Warehouse full of milk!!!

I very much enjoyed my visit to the plant.¬† It looks like I’ll be going back up there as our work continues.¬† That’s fine with me….as long as the ice cream line is running.¬† ūüėČ

July 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm 3 comments

Mountain Lake News (From the Roanoke Times)

Believe it or not, Virginia only has two natural freshwater lakes.  Mountain Lake on Salt Pond Mountain (about 20 minutes from me) is one of them.  Mountain Lake has a lot of things to be proud about (Wind Rocks, Bald Knob, War Spur and other splendid hikes are there), but the item they tend to embrace the most is this one:

“Dirty Dancing was filmed here.”

Welp in the coming weeks they’ll have another, though related,¬†claim to fame.¬† A reality show (for the U.K.) based on the film Dirty Dancing is going to be filmed at the lake.

July 15, 2007 at 1:10 pm 1 comment

Hiking News from Roanoke Times

The Roanoke Times had two articles that were of interest to my hiking hobby.  Thought I would pass them on.

Timing is Everything
This article is about catching the rhododendron blooms on the local mountains.¬† The article is aptly named.¬† There had been a couple of occassions where I’ve climbed a mountain to see rhododendrons and I’ve been too early or too late.¬† This year, Bill and¬†I had it perfectly timed for the blooms at Rhododendron Gap.¬†¬† Of course, there is an easy solution– just hike every weekend in June.¬† You’ll be bound to see something!¬† ūüėČ

Crews Attempt to Contain Forest Fire
Last Monday a forest fire started off the Blue Ridge Parkway.¬† They had to close a number of trails, including¬†ten miles of the¬†Appalachian Trail starting at Petite’s Gap (I hiked there just last May).¬†¬† According to, the Forest Service did a shuttle service for the thru-hikers.¬†

That news of the shuttle kinda ruined the picture I had in my head.¬† I could see a thru-hiker finally passing the 800 mile mark to find the trail closed.¬† The disappointment of this ficticious hiker was very much like that of the Griswolds¬†when they drove across the country to find Walley World closed.¬† I’m sure there are some purists who’ll regret missing 10 miles of trail, but I suspect the experience was no where near as¬†interesting as the blatent rip-off of National Lampoon’s Vacation I was playing in my head.

P.S. The trail is back open now

July 15, 2007 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

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