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August 19, 2010

Busy, busy, busy! We've still been doing things to the house, here and there. We also made a trip to Ohio to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday and my parent's 40th anniversary Evil Mom Beast and the Old Man in new window (Mrs. splorp!'s aunt house-sat and watched Dart, while Harley went to my father-in-law's houseDeadz-Zone in new window). While there, I decided to test out my new phone in the pool for an hour while playing with a nephew. Oops. Pool 1, Samsung Rogue 0. I got the replacement a few days later (thankfully, we hadn't cancelled the insurance, yet).

We got to spend time not just with my parents, but also with my good friend Rob and his wife Melissa LissaBelle Catering in Gahanna, Ohio in new window. We out to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse with Rob, Melissa, my sister Lizard and her husband, Aaron. Oh, and some other couple at the same table (the cook at the table kind of Japanese steakhouse).

While the flight to Ohio was fine, the flight back... sucked. Well, not the flight, exactly, but the wait at the airport. The plane was supposed to take off at 6:25PM, so we got there about 4:30PM. So, we saw that the flight was delayed to 7:40PM. Meh, that's not so bad. Then, the time went to 8:30PM. Then, 10:45PM. Then, 11:30PM. Apparently, our plane was coming from Atlanta where it was stormy. We finally took off at around 12:50AM Eastern time. The plane landed around 2:30AM Pacific time and Mrs. splorp!'s aunt drove us home (another hour). I had to take a sick day, the next day. I also got a new driver's license (since the current one was expiring) on Friday, which was my birthday!

We celebrated my birthday with a night out to Sutter’s Mill. Sutter’s Mill in new window They have a 10-12 ounce Australian lobster tail. Yeah, it's as awesome as it sounds.

My in-laws started a kitchen remodel about the same time (demo started on July 12th) and it's just about finishing up, now. During the demo, they discovered a crack in the foundation that added another almost 30% to the cost of the remodel. They had to dig trenches (and even dig under the house) to replace drain pipes. They also ran the new water pipes up to the attic. This scares me about a kitchen remodel in the future.

As for the house, Mrs. splorp! and I started weeding the, well... "lawn" on July 19th. We finished the front yard. The next night, I did almost the entire back yard while she took Dart to the dog park. 2 hours, eight 2.5 gallon buckets of weeds, a sore arm and a blister on my hand later.... it's still not done. Weeks later... it's still not done. ::sigh:: We did pick up 3 circular drip lines that go around the trees (under the pseudo-mulch). Did you know they don't carry regular 25 foot hoses at either Home Depot or Lowe’s? I had to buy a 50 foot hose and 2 new end pieces (one male, one female). It was actually easier than I expected to do. I cut the hose in half and used compression type hose repair pieces (Gilmour brand, purchased at Lowe’s) and they didn't leak at all.

On July 24, I tried something new on the grill: a whole tri-tip roast. It took between 30 and 40 minutes but turned out great. The last 10 minutes, I spritzed the roast and poured dry onion soup mix on it, then spritzed some more to keep the dry mix on the meat. I did it again when my parents were in town and they liked it a lot, too. We also picked up some new drapes living room drapes in new window for the living room and curtains for the guest room curtains for the guest room in new window. I had to re-hang the curtains in the guest room because they were too low. They ran the risk of being yanked down by someone in the bed.

On August 3, Evil Mom Beast and dad flew into town to visit with us and see our house, bird and dog. Oh, and us, too. Neither Mrs. splorp! or I have a lot of vacation time, so she worked the day they arrived and I drove to LAX to pick them up. Last time they were in town, they stopped at Venice Beach and enjoyed it, so I took them there, again. We ate lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Express, sitting on the second floor patio and waving off the birds attempting to steal our food. After we left Venice, we took the 1 down the coast and stopped by the in-law's house so the ’rents could see the work being done on the kitchen. Then, we drove to Oxnard (Port Hueneme, Channel Island's Blvd) to get live crabs for dinner. By the time we got back to the house, Mrs. splorp! had the water on its way to boiling. I threw some tri-tip steaks on the grill and we feasted. Some serious NOM NOM NOM occurred.

On Friday, we drove to Santa Barbara mostly so the ’rents could do some wine tasting. To show how little Mrs. splorp! and I pay attention to local matters, it turns out that the weekend we went up was the Old Spanish Days Festival. We saw a parade (with plenty of horse poop along the parade route). Mom and dad enjoyed several wine tastings and maybe found a couple new favorites.

On Saturday, we went out for breakfast, and then went to BevMo (a local store that has tons ’o alcohol). Mom and dad did another wine tasting and we bought some cheap vodka and we made this stuff that night: Skittle vodka Skittle vodka in new window.

On Sunday (8/8/10), we drove down to Hollywood and saw the Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive and then topped it off with dinner at The Stinking Rose: A Garlic Restaurant cThe Stinking Rose in new window in Beverly Hills. As the name implies, they specialize in garlic dishes. A lot of garlic. No, seriously, a LOT of garlic. Like, one of the dishes is called "Forty Clove Garlic Chicken". Their slogan is "We season our garlic with food". They put it in ice cream. Yeah, they're nutty about garlic. It was a lot of fun and the food was excellent, if pricey.

On Monday, we drove down to Main Street in Ventura and then we met up with the in-laws and ate dinner at a local BBQ place in Camarillo (Bandits).

Below is Harley Quinn, our Green-Cheeked Conure

Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn in November 2005

Below is D'Artagnan (Dart for short), our Chihuahua mix. He was Mrs. splorp!'s Valentine's Day gift this year. He's about a year and a half old and weighs in at a massive 7 pounds of tail-wagging fury.


Drusilla, the Vampire Parakeet To the left, you’ll see Drusilla,
the Vampire Parakeet, named after
a character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
because she bit like a vampire.
She passed away on 12/20/04.

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