Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 4

We spent a good deal of today at the Lied Discovery Children's Museum.

The girl of course lost herself in the drama section...

while the boy set to work in the mining operation...

As always, our COSI membership got us in for free. This facility was very nice, slightly better some ways than COSI Toledo. It was also colocated with a good sized branch of the public library.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 3

On tuesday we drove to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Maybe it isn't exciting for people accustomed to the desert/mountain terrain, but growing up in NW Ohio it knocked my socks off. There are plenty of trails for all levels of expertise, including an interpretive trail that has kids in mind. I could tell these two were raring to go.

The park is set up as a one way driving loop with stops about every mile. Each stop has trailheads. The more adventerous can get a rock climbing permit and stray from the path. It really was beautiful out there. At first I was disapointed because I wanted to check out Death Valley, and the drive out there was too long. But there would be enough trails right in Red Rock Canyon to keep us busy for a long time.

Later in the evening we drove out to Henderson to visit my youngest brother Cain. We checked out his apartment and then headed over to Buffalo Wild Wings. Later that evening we went bowling at our hotel. The place is pretty amazing, upstairs it seemed as big or possibly even bigger than Imperial Lanes here in Toledo. I used Cain's ball pretty miserably until the 10th frame where I threw three legitamate strikes. The boy lobbed one into the alley next to least none came rolling back at us. A guy in the lane next to us was screwing around and ended up flat on his back out on the lane. His head was 3 feet beyond the fowl line heh heh.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 2

The first thing we did is venture out to explore some territory, off the strip. From Tropicana, we took Decatur road north to Trader Joe's. We stocked up on foods to have healthy breakfasts in our room for the rest of the week. We also stopped at a Borders to get a couple of good local maps. Later we stopped at a city park and let the kids play for a while. My son made friends almost instantly with a boy who was remote controlling some bizarre looking creature. It was called a Shell Shocker, and I have to say it was pretty cool. It put up with a lot of use and the battery life was amazing. The kids were ramping it off the play structure and it didn't skip a beat. Megan and I spoke with Adam's father while the kids all played for a while. Interestingly that its hard to find native Las Vegans, seems like almost everyone is a transplant.

When it was time to go, my son was telling Adam his address and inviting him to come on over some time (be sure to bring the shell shocker). Later he wrote Adam a letter that he expected us to mail...not quite understanding that we will probably never see the two of them again.

In the evening we drove over to the Premium Outlets at Las Vegas because I needed another pair of shoes. They have a Timberland outlet and its often hard to shoes of freakishly large proportion in regular stores.

There was this really cool building next door...

I'm such a geek for architecture. The center section is bowed with corrugated metal, and backlit. I guess this is considered the backside of the World Market Center.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Winter 2005 Vacation - Day 1

We flew out of Cleveland to Las Vegas with the kids. They weren't too bad on the flight, I can't imagine how wiggly they would have been without the new portable DVD player from the grandparents. The jet was nice (boeing 737, leather seats), but SWA truly is stingy when it comes to food and drink. The flight was a little over 4 hours and all we had was some crackers/fig newtons and cup of pop.

My son really wanted to ride a train, and we kept telling him "no, no trains on this trip". He only gloated a little as we stepped onto the McCarren Airport tram from our terminal to the baggage claim. We picked up the Chevy Cobalt rental and made our way to The Orleans at 8 pm, which was like midnight our time. I wanted to see my youngest brother on Christmas day since he was all alone, but we were totally whipped. We ate dinner and then slept like stones.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Life, the holidays, and everything...

The holidays have been terrific for us, and very busy. We had a solstice party and hosted some friends for some nice food, drink, and various fun things. We made some nice crafts, including a couple of ginger bread houses. Can you guess which ones the kids did? (yes, the creative one)

I stayed up till 4, but everyone else crashed, so I gave in. I will stay up the whole night again...eventually. Sam, Kevin, Fiona, and Miles, we had a great time and I'm so glad we met at Wildwood Metro this summer. It was so unlikely, that I was out and decided just for the heck of it to stop with Liam at the 'alternative' playground.

The next day some UU friends of ours came over because our long lost Laura Lago was in town (more food and drink at our place).

Friday we had a Christmas party at my brother's place. Megan made a great tieramisu cake. Christmas eve we spent totally at home preparing for our trip. Christmas morning we opened a few gifts that magically appeared overnight. Around noon we headed to Cleveland...let winter vacation 2005 begin.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Downtown Toledo pics

The riverfront near the steam plant a week before Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Downtown Toledo pics

It was a brisk day, but beautiful by the river as you can see.

Friday, December 09, 2005

what a difference a day makes...

I haven't broken my walking habit just because of a little fact I found a partner as of late. He was always out walking and sometimes we crossed paths. On Wednesday we went down to the river and it was not even close to freezing over. Today, see for yourself!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Toledo's PV Heroes

A while back Megan and I decided to check out the local United Church of Christ congregation in Sylvania. The congregants and service were nice, but thats not the point. After service, we met a guy named Al Compaan, who is a physics professor at UT. He was telling us about the solar electric system that he & his wife recently had installed in their new home.

I saw an article in the Blade so I emailed him for some more details. As you can see, Al and Mary have recieved the 2005 Ohio Governer's Award for Excellence in Energy (there, you see, Taft isn't all bad).

I drive past a new PV array on my daily commute to work down Dorr Street. I figured Al would be involved somehow, sure enough, he had the scoop on that project too.

Here are some resources that might get you thinking about your own project.