Posts filed under ‘Bill C’

How Fast Can I Post About Mount Rogers?!?

Okay. Been busy. Been real busy. And I promise to be busy for the rest of this month. But, I do need to revel in how awesome Mount Rogers was. So let’s see how fast I can get through this.

Time: 9:25 PM.

Our Crew
This year, we had 5 people in our crew. Tony Airaghi and Paul Ely went up Friday night. Meanwhile, Bill C, PassionPhish and I (oh yeah and Jimmie) hiked up on Saturday.

Our crew – Bill, PassionPhish, Jimmie and Me. (Photo by PassionPhish)

Saturday afternoon, we joined up with Paul and Tony at the campsite.

Paul blows on the fire while PassionPhish and Bill watch

It seems I pick up a food souvenir from every hiking partner. When I pack an avocado, I think of Tony Airaghi. When I pack an orange, I think of Mike E. And now, whenever I pack a big block of extra sharp cheddar cheese, I’ll think of PassionPhish. That was by far the most addictive dish (and we had smores ingredients with us!!!!). I could not get enough of that cheese. And when it got warm… it looked nasty, but it was even MORE delicious.

We were a little early in the bloom cycle for the rhododendrons. But that was good news because it meant the Roanoke Outdoor and Social Club, who was hiking the following weekend, got to see the peak blooms!

As we hiked to camp via the Pine Mountain Trail, I said to my companions, “Well… maybe by tomorrow they’ll open up a little more.” I was just being optimistic. I didn’t really believe there would be much of a difference between Saturday and Sunday, but there was! We hiked the same trail back and lo and behold there was a stunning difference.

Second Day Blooms

Second Day Blooms

Baby ponies were as cute as usual.


Okay. Well, I just recently watched a recent Jessica Piscitelli story on YouTube where she describes the fear she felt one camping trip when she heard a “bear”.

I had a moment of my own at Mount Rogers. In the middle of the night I woke up and could hear a bunch of coyotes yelping around to each other. They seemed awfully loud, so in my mind they were pretty close. I never reached the point where my fear had me call out to my companions. But I definitely laid awake a while, wide-eyed, monitoring the situation. And actually, I was not afraid for me. I was worried this vicious pack of coyotes would decide that Jimmie was particularly appetizing. And what was my beloved dog doing during this imminent attack? He was curled up at my feet, sound asleep, oblivious of any danger. And perhaps the dog knew best because I never heard any more from the coyotes.

When we were on Wilburn Ridge, we walked single file southbound on the Appalachian Trail. Suddenly a giant buzzing cloud passed to our right. It was so substantial and so loud, it didn’t seem real.

“Was that–?” Thomas uttered.

I pointed and said, “Bees?”

The cloud continued its way south. Suddenly the swarm took an abrupt left turn, right in to a couple of northbound hikers who promptly started doing a skin-crawling jig and swatting session. Alas, the couple did get stung. In retrospect, I wish that I had yelled out something, but I was so dumbfounded at the bees, I really did not digest the danger.

The two northbound hikers, after their bee attack

Emetophobe No More
Saturday evening, Paul and I were chatting with the father of the next camp over. The father is a mountaineer. Last year he climbed McKinley and this year he will be climbing Siula Grande. His stories were just fascinating, but as he talked I did notice something peculiar behind him. One of his young sons fell ill by the campfire. At first, I thought the kid was just spitting. The second wretch, it became clear it was not saliva exiting his lips. And by the third bout I interrupted the father and pointed.

“Uh…. your boy is sick.”

That boy went to bed shortly after that and the next day he was up and at ’em, climbing rocks and looking cute. So all ended well.

Which would not have been the case 7 years ago. That incident would have easily sent me in a tailspin. I would have spent the rest of the weekend worrying and thinking about all the germs on my hands. I may have cried and wanted to go home immediately. Whereas now, I can sit around the same fire, listen to stories and cook smores. So all ended well.

See all better already! Nothing to worry about!

Sunset and Smores
The seven-year old daughter of our mountaineer neighbor was not afflicted by her brother’s illness, so Tony, Paul and I spent a lot of time with her. We were the first people to expose her AND her mountaineer father to smores. I’m not sure if the father cared for the concoction or not, but the daughter asked for seconds! I think we may have also taught her another lesson. At dusk, Tony, Paul and I were heading to a rock on the Lewis Fork Trail to watch the sunset.

“Why would you want to watch a sunset?” the little girl asked.

So with permission from her parents, we took her with us.

Tony, Nikola and Paul wait for the sunset.

The colors and views were absolutely gorgeous. I can’t be certain, but I think she may understand the appeal now. ūüôā

Sunset at 8:42 PM EST

Sunset at 8:55 PM EST

This was the third June in a row where I’ve made a trip down to Mount Rogers. I don’t intend for the streak to break. It’s a great trip and I will look forward to next year!

More pictures of our Mount Rogers trip can be found on my Flickr set as well as PassionPhish’s Flickr set.

Time: 11:27 PM

June 24, 2008 at 10:28 pm 6 comments

The Birthday Orange

Last weekend, as we hiked Peters Mountain, Mike E celebrated a birthday. The wilderness doesn’t provide good shopping opportunities, but I was able to find a great gift for him from the inventory of my pack. An orange! And so, at our our second day campsite near Symms Gap, Mike ingested his birthday orange.

The Birthday Orange!!!

An orange may sound meager, but it was well-received. Over the last couple of years, oranges on hikes has become a little tradition of ours. Here’s an entry I found in my 2006 journals talking about the history of our hiking oranges.


Last year when Mike E and I hiked VA-779 to VA-311 [13.1 miles], Mike brought along an orange. When we reached Tinker Cliffs after a long, steady ascent, Mike shared a few wedges of his orange with me.

It was so very delicious on that hot day, that orange and its sweet rejuvenating juices were exactly what our bodies needed.

This year when we hiked 13.1 miles from VA-779 to VA-220, it was I who brought an orange. And… when our bodies were hot and fatiqued, shortly before Hay Rock, Mike and I sat down and split that fruit.

Again – it was DIVINE. Delicious and refreshing. Just what we craved.

The oranges are such a highlight of our hikes– that [on our hike] last week, Mike and I both brought 2 oranges each! That’s a total of 4 oranges!

Not only that– early in our own hike, maybe even mile one, we started anticipating the oranges – speculating when we’d stop and how good they’d taste.

It wasn’t a disappointment when we finally stopped and ingested our first orange.

So today, preparing for my hike with Bill— an orange was a no-brainer inclusion. It was a downright necessity.

BUT– once I got on the trail, the orange securely in my pack, I had a strange feeling come about. It was a twinge of guilt and regret. It almost felt– it almost felt like I was being adulterous to have an orange without Mike E. Like I was cheating on him by sharing our fledgling tradition with a stranger.

It turns out no one (Bill, Tony, Paul, Matt, Nancy) had the least bit interest in my orange. That only goes to show they were unworthy of the orange to begin with! ūüôā

Anyway– so no orange was had in Mike E’s absence.

This evening when I returned, Mike and I discussed today’s orange goings-on. Mike and I decided to have an “open relationship”… in regards to oranges. ūüôā

“I’m cool with you eating oranges with other people,” Mike said.

I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Likewise, I give you permission to share oranges with whoever you like.” I told Mike.

So we are both free to sow our orange seeds whereever or with whomever we desire. BUT– I suspect that having an orange on the trail without Mike E will just not be the same.

I will always think of my hiking buddy whenever an orange is ingested. Mike’s lasting legacy?

It’s a good thing we established an orange understanding. This summer at Apple Orchard Falls— I shared an orange with some Potomac Appalachian Trail Club members. Yup, members. I’m a slut. ūüôā

October 10, 2007 at 9:18 am 3 comments

Bill C, Birthday Hero

This morning I had¬†a very¬†nasty dream.¬† I was involved in a woman’s crew team (I think this is an hommage to my colleague, Kim Elliott) and for some reason¬†the team¬†had a dispute and I retired to a public ladies room.¬† There, I found an extremely clogged toilet, a “dirty potty” one may say.¬† Apparently I felt somewhat responsible for the toilet’s state because I started to plunge it (I doubt I would have taken the initiative otherwise).¬† The plunging effort was far from successful and quite messy.¬† The more I plunged, the more messy the situation became.¬† Water and poop was getting everywhere– it splashed on my pants.¬† It got all over my copy of Catch-22 (which I was reading before falling asleep) and it was even getting in my hair.¬† Suddenly, Bill knocked on the front door, the beagle started arooing and I woke up.¬†

I can not thank Bill enough for getting me out of that mess.  What a well-timed gift.

March 18, 2007 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Bill: Almost Assimilated

Well, I believe I can report that assimilation of Bill C to my hobbies is progressing.  Not only has he joined me on a few hikes this year (including Mt. Rogers and Butt Mountain), but tonight he returned from his three week vacation to Australia where he found his very first geocache! 

Not only that, he took the M-Memory travel bug all the way from Virginia¬†and dropped it off in¬†Australia.¬† That’s a lot of mileage for a humble little travel bug!¬† I can’t say I’ve progressed a travel bug that far (France is as far as I’ve gotten).¬† What a great first cache and travel bug experience!¬† Congrats to Bill!

As reward to Bill, I can advance his assimilation to the next phase…. Project Runway.¬† ūüėČ

All kidding aside, if you are interested in Bill’s Australia pictures, they are available on his Flickr site.

February 26, 2007 at 1:49 am 1 comment

Something the Thru-Hikers Miss

Each year over a thousand hikers embark on hiking the whole Appalachian Trail. I think there is roughly a 20-25% completion rate. These hikers, even the ones who don’t manage to finish, gather up memories of the trail that I, as a mere day-hiker, can only imagine. I certainly enjoy my showers and hot meals, but I do envy the unique experiences those hikers must have. Parting with all the daily obligations of their lives, all the views they see as they travel through fourteen states, the comradery they have with other hikers and finally, the fulfillment they must feel 2000 miles later when they have completed their challenge.

Yesterday, Bill and I made a trip down to the Butt Mountain Overlook. It was a quick trip– We headed that way, admired the view, took some pictures, watch Jimmie take three dumps and two hours later we were back home. Last night when I was looking at one of my pictures of the view, I recalled I had a similiar shot from a July trip with Mike E. It was neat to flip back and forth and look at the difference.

Then I was reminded… The thru-hikers who pass through this area each year certainly have a wealth of experiences that I do not have, but there is one thing I have one thing that they don’t. I get to see this area year-round. I get to see the same spots through different seasons and different weather conditions. I get to see the blooming rhododendrons in June and I get to see them all curled up in the winter, adding a green contrast to the white snow. I know that Angel’s Rest is best in the fall, the Cascades are the prettiest in the winter* and Wind Rocks is so very haunting in the fog. In the early spring and winter I get to see extra views before the leaves are on the trees that you would never notice in the warmer months (for example you can see only Mountain Lake from Bald Knob when there are no leaves) when the thru hikers are passing through. And then when the leaves are there in the summer, I get to marvel at the beauty of all the green along with all the other hikers.

I’d say the score is still about 1279 to 2 (I’m also counting “Sitting in Larry’s Hot Tub Afterwards” as a point for me). But for what it is worth, here are some samples from my hiking photos of similiar shots in different seasons (Note: Not all are Appalachian Trail hikes). Enjoy!

Butt Mountain



Bald Knob

Spring – You can see Mountain Lake in the upper right

Summer – No Lake Visible

Falls Ridge


Late Fall

McAfee’s Knob




Strong Winter

Mild Winter


Carvin’s Cove



Pearis Mountain (Past Angel’s Rest)

Spring (this was my 30th birthday hike!)


*The Thru-Hikers would certainly struggle to know Cascades is prettiest in winter seeing as how it isn’t on the AT.

January 29, 2007 at 1:26 am 13 comments

A Thank You to Good Friends

As I mentioned, Sean and I are getting hardwood floors installed next week and we have to move everything off the first floor. Last night Sean added a finger to his injury inventory. Between that and the broken foot, he isn’t quite a key contributer to the moving efforts. And there are some things that just one able-bodied person is not able to move.

In August, a few of us drove up to Moneta to help friends paint their house. We had a great time and teamwork allowed the task to be completed quickly. Today, was a very similiar experience. Only this time I was on the receiving end of the efforts! Ledman, Mike E, Larry, Lindsay and even little Penn Jones showed up to help move. Ann couldn’t help with the lifting, but she still found a way to contribute. She made a delicious chili (with mushrooms– I’m starting to believe mushrooms compliment everything– they are delicious little sponges that soak up the flavor of whatever dish they are in. A concentrated version of the meal in one chewy bite) and her trademark brownies and brought them over to feed all the volunteers.

Together, the first floor was vacated of large items in a little more than an hour. We finished up so quickly, in fact, by the time Bill C arrived– we were all done for the day!!! ūüôā

Without these people’s assistance, this would have been an impossible task. So, a lot of gratefulness is felt today. Sean and I are very lucky to have such good friends.

Now… we just need to manage to keep said friends for about another week or so. ūüėČ

January 28, 2007 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

Jasper “J.B.” Bowman

On Wednesday, Bill C and I traveled to Richmond to attend the funeral of Jasper, “J.B.” Bowman.¬†¬†¬† Some thoughts from our trip:

J.B. Fosters a Friendship
Although I only met him in person once,¬†it’s possible I¬†owe my entire friendship to Larry to this man.¬† (This musing is sort of a “lite”¬†version of Clint’s I Should Not Be Alive thoughts).¬† You see, Jasper Bowman was a pathfinder during WWII, including the D-Day invasion.¬† Pathfinders would typically drop before the rest of the paratroopers to set up lights and markers for the landing areas.¬† So Larry’s father actually landed in St. Mere Eglise (which Larry, Sean, Stacy and I visited in 2004) the night before D-Day, preparing the way for the paratroopers the next night.¬†

Larry’s Dad is two heads to the left of the black X.¬†

When Larry first started working at QualTrax, I didn’t really converse with him that much.¬† He was just this weird man who Mike Miller and I suspected had a crush on another co-worker of ours (turned out¬†Larry didn’t).¬† Then one day I found¬†about Larry’s father.¬† This was of great interest to me.¬† I was reading D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climatic Battle of WWII by Stephen Ambrose and I was full into my Saving Private Ryan craze.¬† Saving Private Ryan is the movie I’ve seen by far the most in the theatre (I believe I went 4-6 times).¬† It turns out Larry had not seen it.¬† I described that movie passionately and made a decision right then and there that Larry had to see it.¬† It was still playing at the dollar theatre, so he and I picked a date and went to see the film.¬†

If it weren’t for Larry’s father, I am not sure if Larry and I would have befriended each other.¬† It would be a shame, because we were destined to be great friends.¬† It would have taken a toll on my professional life as well.¬† It was listening to Larry on the phone that taught me how to converse with customers.¬† It was Larry’s encouragement that sent me to Michigan, Kentucky and Europe in 2001¬†to perform my first speaking engagements (QualTrax trainings).¬† Without Larry, I may not have developed the communication skills that differentiate me a bit from other programmers.¬†

J.B.’s Broad Influence
At the funeral, J.B.’s¬†“grandson” (his step-daughter’s step-son)¬†told a story that showed you didn’t have to meet J.B.¬†to be influenced by him.¬† The grandson was a history teacher and one year he videotaped J.B. recounting his WWII experiences and he’d show it each year to his students.¬†¬†The¬†grandson¬†just recently ran into a past student at a conference.¬† In high school, the student was a troublemaker and far from focused.¬† After high school the student’s life changed dramatically.¬† He joined the army, fought in Afghanistan, was honorably discharged and now…. now he’s a history teacher.¬† Although he never met him, the student cited J.B. as his inspiration for¬†how¬†he lives his¬†life.¬† He also requested a copy of the video tape of J.B.’s account to start to show his students.¬† Perhaps those students will also find influence in a man they’ve never met.

I was also struck by the admiration for J.B. in St. Mere Eglise during our visit in 2004.¬† When eating lunch, Larry, Sean, Stacy and I ran into some contemporary paratroopers.¬† They were in town for the¬†60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and they were going to do a drop of their own to commemorate the event.¬† When they found out Larry’s father was a pathfinder, word spread fast.¬† Soon every soldier in the building was lined up single file….for the honor of shaking Larry’s hand!¬† They all wanted to thank Larry for what his father had¬†done.

Blood Does Not Make a Family
J.B.’s “grandson” pointed out that he was J.B’s step-daughter’s step-son but “to J.B. you do not have to be blood to be family.¬† I was honored for him to call me ‘grandson’ and I was honored to call him my ‘grandfather'”¬† That sentiment struck home to me.¬†

I¬†subscribe to¬†Kurt Vonnegut’s claim that our society lacks in the support of a large extended family.¬†In this day in age with distances between us, we often don’t have the same connection with our relatives¬†as we would have¬†in the days where generation after generation¬†would remain in the same town.¬† As much as we love them, our extended family is typically not on the front lines and not our immediate support system.¬† But…. I look around and I do have the role of an extended family filled here in Blacksburg– a surrogate extended family (like the Daffodil-10’s in Vonnegut’s Slapstick).¬† These people¬†are not related¬†by blood, but through their caring and understanding, they are every bit of family to me.¬† And the Bowman/Jones clan are the backbone of my surrogate extended family.¬† It was neat to hear their patriarch¬†believed that you did not have to be blood to be family, that the closeness that I feel towards¬†his blood¬†would have been approved of.

How Great Thou Art
During the service an older gentleman performed a solo of “How Great Thou Art”.¬† This guy rocked the house (well as much as one could with a hymn).¬†¬† He was extremely talented and for a man whose body appeared to be feeble, he had such a strong and unwavering voice.¬† I was very moved by his rendition and the quality of his voice.¬†

I think that is one thing I am fond about with churchРthe ability for the local community to showcase their talents.  With a majority of our entertainment coming from national networks or world-renowed recording artists, the everyday performers have much to compete against to get an audience.  We miss out on knowing that Bob across the street can sing and Delores from down the road is a delightful dancer because we are too busy being tuned into American Idol. 

I think church provides a great forum for local performers.¬† These people may not have world-class talent, but they¬†still have gifts to share with others.¬†¬†The members of the choir can sing;¬†budding actors and actresses and wanna be directors can participate in Christmas pageants; the man with a solid, but not quite radio-worthy, speaking voice can read passages of the Old Testament; the painters can work on¬†scenery for plays or murals in the hallways; the athletes may never play professionally or get an athletic scholarship, but they can be crucial to the church’s team in the intramural league; the cooks can knock our socks off at pot-lucks; and finally the seamstresses¬†can work on seasonal sashes¬†or like my grandmother does, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls to sell at the church bazaar.¬†

That man at the funeral and his solid delivery of “How Great Thou Art” served as a reminder that there is talent in this world which does not involve best-selling novels, dominating ratings during sweeps week,¬†Grammys, Oscars or even a People’s Choice Award.¬† It’s a good reminder to get every once and a while.

Importance of Kids at the Funeral
Penn and Gwyn came along to attend their great-grandfather’s funeral.¬† At one point when I saw a frazzled Ann rush her two year old daughter with a soiled diaper to a Burger King bathroom, I wondered if it was “worth it” for Ann to have the children with her.¬†¬† I certainly knew the children’s presence was worth it for me– afterall, I got to see my buddy Penn with no strings attached.¬† But for Ann, she had to juggle her own grief and her own emotion of the day with keeping tabs on the kids and the constant threat of a bored child acting up at an inopportune time.¬† Would it had been easier for her to grieve if the children were home??

Well, later that day, my own question was answered.  Absolutely the children needed to attend the funeral.  Their presence was important.  After all the services were done, the family gathered outside and the finality of it all it continued to sink in.  But then you see the childrenРPenn, Gwyn and Baby Jack playing and running and laughing and singing and just looking so joyous.  And you see the adults looking on with amusement and a flicker of joy returns to their weary, red eyes.  Life will indeed continue on.  These children are the proof.

Ann’s aunt said it the best.¬† She was chasing after Baby Jack (her grandson) amoung the pews and playing games.

“It’s hard to be sad,” she said, “When he is so happy.”

I do hope when I have children, I’ll remember this lesson.¬† That despite the inconveniences of travel¬†and the promise of¬†added stress, I realize– kids¬†add value to funerals.

Additional Links
Full J.B. Bowman Obituary in Richmond Times-Dispatch

January 21, 2007 at 6:29 pm 3 comments

Price of Nonconformance and Fence Building

Yesterday, Sean and I spent the day at Bill’s to help him build his new fence.¬† I got a really fun job.¬† Bill already had the posts in the backside of his fence and he had already affixed three horizontal¬†boards between each post.¬† My job was to attach verticle planks to that framework via a nail gun.¬†

Early on, I had some quality issues with the nail gun.  At one point, I loaded the ammunition in backwards. I shot a plank only to discover in horror the nail was forced into the board head first, leaving the sharp point sticking out towards the yard, just waiting for a clumsy person to fall on it.  That was easy to take care of.  Bill retrained me on loading the nail gun and I was able to extract the misguided nail and replace it with one whose pointy end got embedded in the wood where it belonged. 

¬†As¬† I continued to work, I had a few more accidents.¬† I’m guessing I moved the nail gun as it shot– because I would get a nail halfway embedded into the fence and then slanted at an angle.¬† This especially caused me some concern when I messed up three boards in a row.¬† When I had messed up a total of seven nails, I lamented to Sean.¬†¬† I was concerned my efforts were going to cause too much rework for Bill, that any gain he would have gotten from me helping would be overridden by fixing all these nails.

It’s safe to say, Sean was not impressed by my worries.¬† He gave me a funny look.¬†¬† He grabbed a hammer, walked over to the fence and in probably about 20 seconds removed all my bad nails.¬† I refired them and the fence was¬†back to good quality!

Sean and Bill went off to drill holes and later they made a run to Lowes.  Meanwhile I continued to make progress nailing planks.  The entire rest of the day, I only misfired one more nail!  That struck me as odd.  In my company, we calculate and communicate the Price of Nonconformance.  We want to show everyone the gain of doing things right the first time and just how much it costs if there is a mistake (rework labor, extra materials, etc).   Knowing the Price of Nonconformance is a good motivation to keep improving your processes and your efforts, allowing you to get better and better at doing things right. 

But in my case– knowing how simple¬†it was to correct a bad nail (and not how expensive it was), liberated me.¬† It took no time to fix at all, so I wasn’t worried about that mistake.¬† And by not worrying about messing up the nails, my performance was significantly better.

Well, I thought a lot about the Price of Nonconformance as I continued my way down the fence.  As I fired perfect nail after perfect nail, I marveled at my improvement.  What in the world was the moral of this story?  How does not worrying about a mistake make the mistake less likely?  How does this scenario relate to an organization???

Near dusk I took a break and I stepped back from the fence to fetch some water.¬† It was then I noticed I had been concentrating too much on the details of the nails.¬† When I looked at the bigger picture, I discovered the most recent planks were making an unnatural and very drastic dip…and not because of the terrain.¬† Right at that moment, Sean and Bill returned and promptly noticed the obvious mishap.¬†

At that point, I got to witness a real Price of Nonconformance.  Sean and Bill had to fetch a crowbar and pry the last seven planks out of the fence.  One plank even cracked.

So I guess now, the moral is a little more clear.¬† One really shouldn’t monopolize their time analyzing¬†problems that are established to be non-issues.¬† That focus is much better placed on preventing the¬†items that still promise to be an expense to the project.

Luckily, Bill doesn’t seem to be detered by my performance.¬† In fact, today he invited me over to help with the fence again!¬† That’s good news–I thoroughly enjoyed helping with that fence.¬† Not only did¬†I find the act of shooting the nail gun to be cathartic,¬†I found¬†the act of building a physical product of that scale fulfilling.¬† Plus it was amazing exercise!¬† My thighs are more sore from the squatting and standing required to shoot all nails than they are after a 13 mile hike!

December 18, 2006 at 12:13 am 4 comments

Memories of Meredith – Still Going Strong

In June, my friend Meredith moved from nearby Christiansburg, all the way to California. Here’s a journal excerpt about her going away party. It’s from my June 25, 2006.

When we first arrived – Bill and I walked over to a large grounp standing outside watching one of their friends swinging wildly at a pinata.

I realized I had forgotten the card for Meredith — so I made a trip back to my car. As I walked down the gravel driveway in the dark dusk, I could hear Meredith’s voice above all the others. It made me smile– at her party and her moment, she was shining. However, as I got further and further away from the party and closer to my car, her voice started to fade away. My smile dropped, realizing the same thing may happen to my memories of her. They are loud and clear now and prevalent above the others — but eventually they may fade away.

Well, five months has past and so far so good. My memory of Meredith is still going strong, especially this past week! It seems all week I had little brushes with a Meredith Memory:

  • Friday
    Phifer organized a surprise birthday dinner for Bret. So at 10 PM, Bill, Andy, Phifer, Bret, Larry, Lindsay, Sean and I convened on Kabuki for the traditional gorging on high sodium foods. Kabuki did make me think of Meredith as I accompanied her there often and I believe we had two seperate going away feasts there.
  • Saturday
    Saturday was the tailgate, so I had some wine– a cabernet sauvignon. It was Meredith who helped fuel my love of wine– taking me to Villa Appalachia and inviting me to wine tasting parties at her house. Plus I learned I liked cabernet sauvignon by copying Meredith. At restaurants I would cheat and just order whatever she ordered! ūüôā
  • Monday
    Monday on a whim, I took off early and spent the afternoon hiking with Mike E. Daylight is scarce nowadays. Luckily I was able to expose Mike to a nearby gem– the Falls Ridge Nature Preserve in Ellett Valley. Meredith’s memory is strong there. She was the one who first introduced me to the spot. She and I visited on a number of occassions– including the day before my wedding (it proved to be a great way to relax before nuptials)! Frequently while Mike and I explored yesterday, I’d mention Meredith. “Meredith and I once climbed to that rock!”, “Meredith and I walked down that way.”, etc.
  • Tuesday
    Today, Mike E, Tony Airaghi and I tried out Sushi Factory. It’s a new sushi place in University Mall. Once again, I thought briefly of Meredith. She was there when I first tried sushi and she organized a number of the subsequent sushi gatherings I attended.

So perhaps if I keep on eating, drinking wine and hiking– Meredith’s memory will never fade away.

Unless, of course, I take the wine drinking part of the equation a little too seriously. ūüôā

November 14, 2006 at 8:35 pm 2 comments

Indirect Kisses

Here’s something for the gossip fans–¬† Last night, Bill kissed me…..indirectly.

Young Gwyn Jones was running around in her diaper and pink pajamas when her mother (Ann)¬†instructed her, “Give Vicky a kiss goodnight.”

The¬†toddler looked at me and I blew her a kiss.¬†¬† Apparently she was unsatisfied because she started to walk towards me.¬†¬† So I leaned close to her face and said, “Moooah!” as I kissed the air.¬† But the child continued to approach me!

“Yeah…she’s going to want to kiss your lips,”¬†Ann said.¬† Her eyebrows took on an apologetic scrunch and she added, “Sorry.”

So what could I do?  I leaned in and let little Gwyn kiss me.   

Immediately afterwards, Gwyn went over to Bill and gave him his kiss goodnight!¬† So, via Gwyn, Bill indirectly kissed… me!

The “Indirect Kiss” logic is¬†not¬†as amusing¬†when I think about the dogs.¬† Courtesy of Jimmie, I probably indirectly kiss my own toilet bowl multiple times a day!

So from Toilet Bowl->Jimmie->Me->Gwyn->Bill.   I think that means in a very microscopic, miniscule wayРBill Kissed My Toilet Bowl!


October 30, 2006 at 12:22 am 1 comment

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