Sunday, April 30, 2006

Weekend in Maryland - More Pictures

These are pictures that didn't make it into the other two posts about our weekend in Maryland. This was one of the first things we saw when we arrived in Chesapeake City - the Chesapeake City Bridge:

In an earlier post, I included a photo of the exterior of the Inn at the Canal, where we stayed. Here's a photo of the dining room, where we ate two very delicious breakfasts:

And here's the kitchen:

For dinner on Friday, we checked out the Bohemia Cafe (it's located on Bohemia Avenue). Nothing fancy, just had sandwiches. We also folded a couple of paper cranes out of their paper napkin rings:

Right next to the canal was this cute little birdhouse and garden. On the opposite side of the canal is the north side of Chesapeake City, which is the more residential and less touristy side of town.

We also found this little mini lighthouse - so I took a picture of that for my mommy too. :)

This little gazebo-thingy is on the grounds of another inn that was a couple doors down from us. Earlier in the evening, somebody got married there. By the time we took this picture, everyone was already at a neighboring restaurant partying it up.

And this was Friday's sunset behind the bridge, as seen from the waterfront of the Chesapeake Delaware Canal:

We really lucked out this weekend - the Mariners won, and we had three beautiful days weather-wise.

To top things off, we had a nice lunch on our way home in a little New Jersey town called Moorsetown. Moorsetown is just outside of Philly, not far from the New Jersey Turnpike. The reason I chose there to stop this morning was I remembered that last year, Moorsetown won national acclaim as being the best town to live in in the United States. Indeed it is a very nice little town, with a tree-lined main street that sports nice shops and cafes. There seems to be a healthy art scene there, and we noticed that the Moorestown high school has acheived some national blue ribbon award for excellence. Plus, like Chesapeake City, Moorsetown also has a pretty birdhouse just hanging out on the side of the road. :)

Weekend in Maryland - Baseball!

Yep, so as I mentioned in my last post, the main objective of our trip to Maryland this weekend was to see the Mariners beat the Orioles. But the baseball part of our trip started long before we got to Maryland. Along our way to Maryland, we took a side trip through Pennsylvania, and drove through Philly on I-95. We didn't really feel like stopping, but Kenji managed to get this shot of Phillies Stadium (do they even call it that? I mean, shouldn't it be named for some corporation or something?). If you click on the photo, you can see the full-size image:

But that was Friday. The game we went to wasn't until Saturday afternoon, and it was in Baltimore. We left Chesapeake City probably around 10:00am, so we had plenty of time to kill along the way. We stopped in Havre de Grace, which is where Cal Ripken is from. My mommy likes lighthouses, so we took this picture for her benefit:

Originally we thought we would stay in Havre de Grace, but then the bed and breakfasts that we call there were already booked up. Serves us right for making plans at the last minute. But it worked out, as I think I liked Chesapeake City even better.

So anyway, back to baseball. We don't really know our way around Baltimore, and the map we had of Maryland was the "Scenic Byways of Maryland" map. What that means is all the roads we didn't need to know were on the map, and all the roads we did need weren't. In fact, the space where Baltimore should have been was covered by a big white square.

Fortunately, we managed to guess our way to Camden Yards pretty well, but parking was another story. To make a long story short, after missing the Camden Yards entrance on our first attemp to park, and then driving out of the stadium grounds by mistake in our second attempt, we decided to make use of off-site stadium parking. Which means we parked way on the other side of the Ravens' football stadium. You can see the football stadium on the left in the distance in this picture, taken from the top of the upper deck seats behind home plate in Camden Yards:

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a nice stadium. The end of Eutaw Street is pretty much part of the park, running alongside the stadium behind the outfield. Along Eutaw Street you can see little baseball-shaped plaques like these that indicate where home runs have been hit and by whom.
Saturday was also the day that they were giving away little cows to the first 10,000 fans to enter the park. We started off with just two cows, but then Kenji found another that was abandoned by someone else.

By the end of the game, we came across two more deserted cows. One we gave to our friends who showed up for the game in the second inning, and the other we kept so that we could make a barbershop cow quartet.

Of course, I had to have my picture taken with the biggest cow of them all!

Of course one of the cows wanted to have his picture taken with the ball field in the background.

And a closeup of the cool scoreboard:

Of course I had to take a picture of the field with players on it...

And our new favorite catcher at bat - Kenji Johjima. We missed him the last time when we went to the Mariners/Red Sox game because he didn't play.

Anyway, we did accomplish what we set out to do, though it looked really grim for the first four innings. Before we knew it, the Mariners were down 4-0. But by the sixth inning it was a whole different ball game. The Orioles started to make a comeback, but the Mariners managed to stay on top and in the end they won 8-6.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Weekend in Maryland - Friday Afternoon

This weekend we are spending time in Maryland. Our objective is to see the Seattle Mariners beat the Baltimore Orioles. We are staying at a lovely bed and breakfast in Chesapeake City, Maryland, called Inn at the Canal.

Kenji has been getting up at 4:30am for work all week long, and last night he didn't get home from work until almost midnight. Therefore, upon our arrival at the inn, he's curled up and gone to get some shut-eye. I decided to take a stroll around Chesapeake City to check things out.

Once again, it is a glorious day, still the perfect temperature of warm. Chesapeake City is a quaint little tourist town, just across the state line from Delaware. It seems to be the perfect weekend to be here. Shops that were in hibernation during the winter months have just reopened, and there is only a tiny trickle of tourists.

First I wandered around the shops for a bit. I love how all the beautiful old buildings are packed together so closely, with their front porches right up alongside the sidewalk, giving Chesapeake City a very intimate feel. Someday I'd like a house like this one with a nice front porch to sit on and say hi to my neighbors as they walk by. So far, all the shopkeepers I've encountered today are genuinely warm and friendly - they are not pushy salespeople, and nor do they ignore you when you walk into their shops.

I also like how many of the houses here are painted in funky colors. I really liked this blue houses' pink windows with yellow trim:

And yes, the window is an image I doctored up a bit before adding to this post. I didn't like how the windows' reflections distracted from the colors of the paint, so I got rid of them.

Next I checked out the canal area of Chesapeake City. I was pleased to find a swing set in a little park that was just the right size for me. Since I was on my own, I took a picture of my swinging feet and my shadow, to prove that I indeed played on the swings today. Um, I added the motion-blur into the photo with Photoshop later on. ;)

Leaning back in the swing, looking straight up to the sky, I saw three hawks circling around. I think they must have been planning their dinner. ;)

It also pleased me to see that Chesapeake City has a little public horseshoe game area. Not that I play horseshoes, but I might if I lived here.

So now I'm making use of the back porch at our inn. I found this birdhouse the innkeepers have used to decorate the wicker coffee table. It tickles me to see that the bird must go inside the cat's belly to make use of this birdhouse. =)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Stop and Smell the Roses

Or in this case, the lilacs.

Kenji called at about six and said he would be home late, so I decided to go have a nice long walk before supper, and before it got dark. It was the perfect temperature of warm with a little bit of a breeze. And it sure was smelly outside, with all kinds of blossoms and fresh grass clippings!

My favorite of all the smells of course are the lilacs, so every time I encountered a lilac bush along the sidewalk, I stopped and took a nice, deep whiff. This of course brought me back to small kid time when we used to like to pick the lilac blossoms and bring them inside the house for Mommy.

Apparently taking a nice deep breath of lilac scent also triggers memories of bugs flying up my nose. Each time I stopped to smell the lilacs this evening, I fully expected to have a little black fly, hidden among the little flowers, get sucked right into my nostril. Fortunately none did.

And now for something completely different.

Just before I started this post, I noticed that so far I'd made a total of 99 posts to this blog. That means this is post #100! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cool Tools

I'm a member of Burt Lum's Bytemarks Yahoo group/mailing list. Lately there have been messages flying around about Ruby on Rails, an "open-source web framework that's optimized for programmer happiness" (and so on). I say it has to be good, if they use copy like this!

Anyway, one of the list members sent us a link for, which has a suite of productivity applications written in Ruby. I started playing around with Writeboard and Ta-da List this morning.

Writeboard is a collaborative writing tool you can use to compose documents as you would in applications such as Micro$oft Word, except it's free! And it saves all previous versions of your document for you! And you can send anyone a link to your Writeboard project and have them make edits or comments, and you don't have to get confused about which version is the latest version or combining one person's edits into another person's edits... and... it's free! This tool would have been oh so helpful that year when I got to be in charge of collecting everyone's revisions for my former employer's annual report - ha ha ha.

Anyway, so there's Writeboard, and then the other thing I started to play with too is Ta-da List. Basically it's a tool you use to make and store to-do lists that you can keep all to yourself, or share them with other people. Oh yeah, and this one is free too.

So I'm using Writeboard now to create and store the copy I plan to use on (coming soon) (how soon, I'm not sure, but for now just enjoy the little people jumping around and winking and blinking at you), and Ta-da List to create lists to keep all my Writeboard links organized and easily accessible to me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Little Hike with Daddy :)

After the baseball game on Saturday, Kenji and I drove out to stay with my parents in central Massachusetts. On Easter, my dad and I took a nice walk along one of the old defunct rail road beds that are nearby. Here's some of what we saw...

The first two pictures are of a little dam that gave out after all the rains they had last fall. It didn't seem to me that the dam break had that big of an effect on things though, since the beavers took care of building their own dam just a little upstream of this one.

I don't think this is the beaver dam I was referring to earlier. It's just one of the many beaver dams that we saw along our way.

This is my friend Sankey. If you click on the picture, you will get to see a little movie of Snakey attacking me (and rightfully so, because I was bothering him, trying to get him to stick his tongue out at me for the movie!). If you watch carefully, you'll see that Sankey does stick his tongue out at me after he finishes his mighty lunge. :)

Yep, another beaver dam. This one is slightly upstream of a little footbridge that also got washed out in the rains in the fall. As you can see, the footbridge was replaced by a dead tree (I think chopped down by the beavers), and a nice little lenth of rope for a handrail. :)

Play Ball!

This weekend, Kenji and I drove up to Boston to see the Mariners play against the Red Sox. The last six times that Kenji has gone to see the Mariners play, they've lost. They also lost three of the four games they played against Boston on this road trip. But fortunately for us, the Mariners won the game we went to. :)

Some pictures from the trip... starting with Kenji and me sitting on a Red line train awaiting departure from the Alewife T station:

Once at Fenway, we wandered around for a bit to the souvenier shops:

We also wandered over to where all the players drive up to park their cars before the game. We saw David Ortiz zoom into the parking area driving his shiny red sports car. Dunno what it was, he was going too fast, plus there were other people obstructing our view. We think this Hummer might belong to Alex Gonzales, since it has Florida plates on it, and apparently he came to Boston from Florida.

The obligatory photo in front of the Fenway sign...

This trip was also a chance for us to see our friend Jen, whom we know from Hawaii. A month or so after we left the islands, she also left, and followed us to the east coast, except instead of NJ, she went to Boston. Jen, along with her friend, Susan, joined us for lunch and for the game.

Our seats were behind the Red Sox bullpen in right field, so of course we had to take a picture or three of the sign behind center field, especially because it was tax day (sort of) (ok, it wasn't really tax day on the 15th this year, but people always associate April 15th with tax day!). I suppose I would have only taken one shot of the sign if I'd gotten the rotating Red Sox logo right the first time...

And of course, Kenji and I in front of the sign...

I just noticed that Jerry Remy's name is on the sign behind us. He's one of the players I can name on the Red Sox lineup from 1978. That was some of the knowledge I used to impress Kenji way back before we first started dating - naming the 1978 Red Sox lineup of players and which positions they played. :P

And our favorite right fielder...

And of course, a photo of us with the Green Monster. :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Snoozie Cats

Spammy likes to sit up when he sleeps. He wobbles back and forth just a little bit when he does that. It's cute.

When Musubi sleeps, she just sleeps. Sometimes she opens her eyes a little bit to see if anyone's taking a picture of her.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Olives mo' bettah

We went to Wegman's this evening. I nearly forgot about my plan to try a different kind of olive each time we go there, and walked right past the olive bar. When we got to the hot dogs, we realized that we needed to get hot dog rolls, which fortunately were back in the same direction as the olive bar.

So this time I picked green Cerignola olives. They are more difficult to eat than the Australian Blood olives, because it's harder to get the meat off the pit. However, Cerignola olives are very yummy. It turns out that Spammy loves olives too. I put one of my olive pits on the floor for him, and he tried to snarf it right up. I had to take it away from him before he choked on it.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Ok, so last night I took the train into NYC to meet up with Vivian, who is in town this week for her grandfather's funeral. The only time we were able to meet up while she is here was at the Frim Fram dance last night. I had a really good time - lots of really good dancers, and they seemed more friendly than the last time I went to this dance, which was about six months ago.

Anyway, the highlight of the evening was while I was dancing with a complete beginner, I managed to get myself punched in the nose by someone else's lead! Ouch!! It was really kind of funny - just one of those things when you are in the wrong spot at the wrong moment. Anyway, I actually came away with a little bit of a bloody nose... well... it wasn't quite my nose that was bleeding, but there was a little bit of blood from a small cut right below my right nostril that was a result of getting hit in the face. :P The poor guy I was dancing with felt so bad and guilty about my getting hit in the face that he bought me a coke while I was in the bathroom checking out my wound. Wasn't his fault though - the other guy was flailing his arms around just a bit too much for such a crowded dance floor. But I don't really fault him either, since I've done the same before (except I hit the other person by accident in the throat)(ouch!).

Eh, stuff happens. Plus, it was fun afterwards to tell people that I got punched in the nose! ;)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

April Showers Bring... Snow??

So this is a picture taken looking out our back window... today... which as noted above is APRIL 5th!!!

Well, actually that picture was taken at around 11 a.m. Now the sun is out and you never would know that snow was coming down like crazy just a few hours ago!

Monday, April 03, 2006


One of our favorite games that the kitties and I like to play is Sneak-Attack. That's when I sort of hide around a corner, and peek my head out every few seconds so they can see me. Then they "sneak up" on me till they are ready to come in for the kill. Except they aren't very sneaky. And they don't really kill me.

In this little movie, Spammy sneaks up on me from the bottom of the stairs, and then Musubi attacks me from inside the guest room. I removed the sound from Spammy's clip because he didn't have anything interesting to say, and so why make the filesize bigger. But Musubi did her cute little Musubi squeak-meow, so I left her sound in. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Jersey Shore

Today Kenji and I took our frist trip down to the Jersey shore. We didn't know where we should go exactly, so we decided to go visit a haunted museum called Spy House Museum, in Port Monmouth. But since we couldn't find too much info on it on the web, we weren't really sure whether it was still in operation. But we just needed a destination, so it didn't matter to us whether it was open or not.

As we approached it from town, Kenji got a creepy feeling that he'd seen the house in a dream he has just a couple nights ago!

So it turned out that the museum is undergoing restoration, which you can read about if you click on the sign I took a picture of below. As you can see, the building had been renamed from Spy House Museum to Seabrook Wilson House. Restoration won't begin till later this year.

Maybe we weren't able to get inside the building, but we at least got to peek in the windows!

Some pretty purple flowers in the front of the house... Needs a paint job, but I think it looks kind of nice and rustic with chipped paint.

Near the Seabrook Wilson House is a pier, and on such a nice day, lots of folks were out fishing.

After leaving the Seabrook Wilson House, we just wandered down the coast a little bit towards a little strip of land called Sandy Hook. We found a scenic overlook, so there's Sandy Hook right there in the distance.

The overlook also offers a view of New York City. But the visibility was not so good today, so no photo of a distant NYC skyline here. However, because of the ability to see NYC from this overlook on other days, the folks in Monmouth County erected a 911 memorial. As part of the memorial, there is a walkway which is a timeline of the events of that fateful morning, and the timeline begins with the plaque below.

Here are some folks walking along the timeline - each of the black lines in between the stones represents a different significant moment of that morning, such as when the planes hit, when the buildings fell, etc.

At the end of the walkway is statue of a bald eagle, and in its claws is, what I assume is, a twisted piece of the World Trade Center wreckage.

After leaving the overlook, we continued on our way to Sandy Hook. The weather suddenly took a turn for the worse - the wind picked up and the rain came down. Sand was blowing across the road, and people were scurrying to their cars.

We wanted to get a picture of the Twin Lighthouse that looms above Sandy Hook, but unfortunately this was the best we could do with the weather that was going on outside: