Friday, December 29, 2006

Week 28 Begins

This morning marked the beginning of the 28th week of the pregnancy. Here is a link for Week 28. There are only twelve or so weeks to go and the wheels are now in motion to start work on the nursery. We will be out looking for furniture this weekend and will also be getting permission from our landlord to paint the room and remove the old vinyl flooring. Christmas was great and thankfully most of the presents were for Three, so I didn't have much stuff to put away once we got home. Some of the highlights include: a new BumbleRide Rocket stroller, the bedding set we registered for at Babies'R'Us, a new camcorder for filming every moment, an old cradle that has been in my family for over a century and assorted other goods.

Okay I have to get back to work. In other news I downloaded some new games to the Wii, Mario 64, Sonic the Hedgehog and the original Zelda. I am more than halfway through Mario 64 after only three days, perhaps it is time to slow down.


Monday, December 18, 2006

One More Week To Go

Here I sit in my living room with only one week before Christmas. The most recent weekend was quite busy, but very efficient and enjoyable. On Friday night, I went out with some State Street people for Marisa's last day. Yep its true she is leaving State Street and going back to New York. It was fun to see some old faces and to hear things haven't changed at all there. I also learned that the cube wall of fame is still there with the name plates of past employees.

On Saturday we went to see one of Jennifer's old dance students perform in the Nutcracker. It was a great show and flew right by. Afterwards we decided to battle the mall scene and after forty five minutes had finished 95% of our Christmas shopping. It's amazing sometimes just how fast we are able to make decisions together. We made it back from the mall and immediately hopped back in the car for a little Wii party over at Cara and Jeff's house. They were excited to try it out and I was excited to play on a giant flat panel television. It was a lot of fun, the Wii is the best.

Yesterday I pretty much stayed on the couch most of the day trying to catch up on the hours of shows I had accumulated over the past couple weeks. I know I should probably ration them out since most shows are now on hiatus until mid-January, but I just couldn't wait. In the afternoon I had made a big dent in my TiVo stockpile and decided it might be a good idea to get out of the house. We grabbed some wrapping paper and then did some major grocery shopping. You may or not know that Jennifer and I tend to keep the cupboards relatively bare, mostly because the store is a short walk away and because we never know when we will be eating at home. However, we basically ran out of nearly everything, which resulted in some major difficulties for my pregnant wife. So I decided that we were going to go crazy at the store. So $143 later and we have a bunch of food. Hopefully it will last and not too much will go to waste.

The last task of the weekend was to make some Christmas cookies. We originally planned on making a gingerbread house, but realized we just didn't have the time for it, so instead we made some sugar cookies. They turned out really well and might even be able to compete with my mom's classic cookies. Here are some photos: Christmas Cookie Making

We have another doctor's appointment today and should get a chance to hear the heartbeat. All very excited. Oh yeah and that may also be followed by a trip to visit Megan, who went into labor this morning. Only about 105 more days until Jennifer follows suit. Oh man it won't be long now.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Sorry I have been so bad about updating, but I think it is mostly due to a shitty keyboard on our home computer. The space bar and o key doesn't really work well, which is super frustrating. I have been searching far and wide for a good deal on a new MacBook, our budget will only cover the lower model, which has a small, 60 Gigabyte hard drive and it doesn't have a DVD-RW drive. The next model up would work a lot better, but it is a little out of our budget. Now the reason I want an Apple is because a) it looks cool 2) it handles media (movies, photos and music) d) I really think its a better product. Hopefully after the new year I will be able to find a good deal on eBay. This is among two other electronics I would like to have in place before Three arrives. The other two things are a camcorder and a new digital camera. A few weeks ago I did all of the research on camcorders and decided to go with a MiniDV format. While it is a bit more difficult and time consuming to get it on a computer, the quality is much higher than DVD or hard drive based systems. Besides the media at least versus the DVD is a lot cheaper. I am not quite sure about what brand of digital camera to get, but I think I am focusing on getting one with a bigger lens. Only 109 days to figure it all out.

Besides that I have been playing the Wii alot lately and have even had some people over for a little demo. I am thinking of starting a business where I bring a projection tv and the Wii to people's house for a Wii party. I have also moved on beyond Wii Sports and returned to the land of Hyrule to help Link save Princess Zelda. The new game is a bit time consuming, but not so complicated that I can't figure out most of the tasks in a reasonable amount of time. I only seem to have time to work on it over the weekends though, hopefully I won't forget over the course of the week.

Last weekend we picked up our Christmas tree, which measures in at around five feet. I actually prefer the shorter trees, not only because they are cheaper but because seven foot trees are just unnecessary. The tree seems to be holding up well and has acclimated to our house. It has been using up a ton of water, which has kept me very busy, but we have decided it is a good thing. The only other thing of note was our recent attendance at Cara and Jeff's annual Christmas party. The Yankee Swap was less lame than last year, but only a teensy bit due to the fact that there was only one swap, which involved me losing the U2 singles CD.

Oh yeah, I haven't written much about the pregnancy, but I have been very excited about it. Jennifer is really starting to show now and today she went to hug me and thought my gym bag had slid in between us, when in reality it was just her big pregnant belly getting in the way. It was a really cool moment. I have started a countdown on our chalkboard, only 109 days to go. Over the past weekend I was able to hear the heartbeat for the first time, which was really cool, Three doesn't really appreciate it much and shows its disapproval by kicking me in the head. Bottom line is that the whole miracle of life people talk about truly is a miracle and one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.

That's it for now, I need to get ready for BowlCaNO.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006


I only have a moment, but I can report that I was able to pick up a Wii on Sunday morning. I had to stand in line for three hours, but got number 25 out of 43. So far the system has been great. Jennifer and I played tennis, bowling and golf yesterday after I came home with a new controller.

In other news the Three is nearing the middle of Week 24. This week the final touches are being made on the lungs. Once the lungs are done, the only new developments left are on the brain. The baby has been moving around a lot and is around 8 or 9 inches long. Jennifer says it has been rotating around, and she can feel the entire length of it adjusting its position. I was also able to hear the heartbeat the other day, which was super cool.

This morning I was at the gym and a woman passed out and nailed her head on an elliptical machine. I only heard the thud and saw tons of people running over to help her. She finally got up after a lot of poking and prodding. Crazy!! btw I weighed myself this morning and I dropped below 170 for the first time, 169.5. Nice!!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh the Holidays

It's Sunday morning and I am sitting in O'Naturals cafe having almost completed my medium mocha and I have to say life is good. The weather outside is perfect, a chilly 40 degrees, clear skies and a bright Autumn sun. It looks like the temperature today in Boston will peak around 60 degrees which should allow for a nice relaxing afternoon walk outdoors. The only required task for the day is to pick up a crib from one of Jennifer's co-workers, but besides that the sky is the limit.

Yesterday we returned from our Thanksgiving visit to Riebe's in Connecticut. I had a really great time down there despite spending most of Thursday in front of my computer working. All the time I spent did pay off though and now I don't feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did on Monday morning. On Friday we went on the annual search for a Christmas tree and after an hour or so found this untapped part of the Christmas tree farm that had more than enough choices. Once there it only took another half hour to locate the official tree. I did take some videos and will hopefully put them together into a nicely packaged movie in the near future.

Once we made it back home we were on a mission to get rid of some of the clutter in the house and at the same time start thinking about the nursery and how it will be set up. First we removed Jennifer's desk from the back room and then moved a ton of storage bins into the front closet. Next we emptied out the media cabinet and put it into the basement. When all the dust settled we had removed two pieces of furniture from the living room and one from the back room. The next big thing to get rid of is the futon in the back room, luckily we found some mattress bags at Tag's which will help prevent the mattress and box spring from getting moldy in the basement. I will be posting a ton of stuff on craigslist in the near future, so check back here for lots of good deals.

The last thing I need to mention is about how excited I am about Three. It has been moving around so much lately and I with a little patience you can easily feel its little kicks through Jennifer's belly. The other morning we were lying in bed and Three kicked me in the head twice. It was really funny. Friday marked the beginning of Week 23, which puts us just over four months from the big delivery day. Time just keeps marching on at a crazy pace. As we get closer to April 1st I have been starting to read more about babies than about pregnancy, which led me to the concept of Baby Sign Language. Apparently, this was a big story over the past couple years, but I am only hearing about it now. What you can do is teach babies sign language starting around six months and it they should be able to learn a few signs which will allow them to communicate with you before they are able to talk. I still need to get a book on this, but I am really excited about this new technique.

Okay, Jennifer isn't feeling well and we need to get back home. Talk to y'all soon.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Autumn Returns

After a warm spell in Boston temperatures seem to have returned to normal. Luckily before things cooled back down I was able to enjoy the warm weather. On Saturday morning, John and Steph picked me up in the morning and we drove down to the Blue Hills reservation south of the city. Here are some photos Hiking in the Blue Hills. Before Saturday I had only driven through on the way to a concert in Mansfield and only knew that there were some decent views of the city. We stopped in at the headquarters and grabbed a map before setting out. There were a ton of trails to choose from, but we ended up on the popular Skyline Trail. It was a nice place and a great change of pace. If you are ever in the area and want to get outside for some decent hiking you should check it out.

Yesterday, I woke up around seven and went over to Target in hopes of getting my hands on one of the new Nintendo Wii consoles. Unfortunately I was around fortieth in line and they only had 24 units available. So I went home empty handed, but hopefully in the next few weeks I will pick one up somewhere. Once I made it back home, Jennifer and I went to the store in preparation for the dinner we were having later in the day. We grabbed a turkey, and all of the other fixings and returned home to prepare. We cleaned up, set the table and were all ready within a few hours. The turkey was hard to judge and we ended up taking it out a couple times before finally letting it cool. We had a bit of an issue while I was carving the turkey. Jennifer came over next to me and we heard a dripping noise. Turns out I had put a hole in the baking pan and the turkey fat was leaking out of the hole, into the ridge around the cutting board and then onto the floor behind the stove. It was a real mess and threw a wrench in the gravy works. Fortunately after a little help from Ben, the gravy was saved. I ended up cooking it in a saucepan, but I think it turned out okay. We finally served the food, it might have been a bit cold, but nobody seemed to complain. The one cool thing about dinner was that we were able to use all but one of our place settings. The problem with that was all of the washing we had to do.

Everything else is going well. Three seems to be moving around more than ever, which I take as a good sign. Jennifer has been feeling really good, with the exception of the occasional pain here and there and a cough. We are now in the middle of Week 22. Only a couple more days and we head southward for the annual Riebe Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas tree hunt.

Have a good holiday,

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another Busy Weekend

Let's see where do I begin. Well Friday was the official halfway point of the pregnancy, we are now into Week 21. The baby is moving around a lot these days and even kept Jennifer awake the other morning around 4:30. I don't know if this is a sign of things to come once it is born, but I hope not.

After work on Friday I joined the BoCaNO crew for an evning at the movies. We went to see the Borat movie and I have to say it was pretty freaking hilarious. I laughed quite a bit although not quite as much as I did at Jackass Number Two. It did have a very Jackass feel to it except all of the clips were strung together in a relatively week plot line, but it did give some context to the bits which helps the average non ADD moviegoer. The next stop was the Kinsale for a bite to eat. I ate my first real burger in over a month and damn was it good.

Saturday morning we stayed in bed a little too long I suppose, but it sure was nice not having to rush off to the gym at 7:15. Since the weather was nice we decided to do something outside and ended up in Sutton MA. You may be wondering what in the world is in Sutton. A few months ago I read about Purgatory Chasm State Park on and knew I had to go there. Well it took a few months, but I finally made it there. It is basically a giant chasm in the middle of nowhere. There are enormous rocks and really tall cliffs on either side. Its not very big only about a half mile long in all, but was really cool to see. I think Jennifer and I are definitely into geologically significant attractions. We spent a few hours wandering around the park and on some other trails next to the chasm before heading back towards home. On the way back we had some trouble finding a place to eat and settled on the Papa Gino's in the rest area, which didn't seem to be serving official Papa Gino's pizza, the crust seemed way to thick. Finally after eating up and fueling up we drove over to my coworker Matt's house. We hung out there for a couple hours. It was amazing to see how much his twins have grown up since we last saw them six months ago. They were kind enough to give us some baby things, which we added to our recent stockpile in the back room. It is all very exciting. Purgatory Chasm Photos

Yesterday we started the day off at O'Naturals, which still seems to be open despite the workers recently saying they would be closing. I ordered some tickets to to the Body Worlds 2 exhibit at the Museum of Science and after breakfast we drove over to the museum. We got there a bit early and went up to the baby exhibit in the exhibit halls because I had been telling Jennifer all about it for weeks. It was amazing to see how big Three was getting. We then watched the birthing video, which Jennifer had never seen before. I think the biggest surprise was how the baby's head pops out and then the doctor just grabs it and pulls the rest of the body right out. Crazy!!!! We wandered around a little bit and then went over to Body Worlds. Now this is an exhibit where they have plastinated (put human bodies in a gelatnous goo that hardens and preserves them) several people and put them on display. The show all sorts of different body shapes, sizes and poses. Some of the bodies are just muscle mass, while others are just bone and some are even an assortment with different parts missing or opened up for easy viewing. I thought it was pretty amazing. They also had a mother and baby room where you could see fetuses of different ages and we could see once again just how big Three has gotten over the last 20 weeks. If you haven't seen it yet be sure and catch it before it leaves at the end of the year.

The final task for the weekend was to start registering for baby stuff. Similarly to registering for a wedding we were once again plopped down in the middle of a store with a laser gun in our hands and no idea about where to start. At first we went over to strollers, but there are so many different kinds for so many different purposes. We quickly became frustrated with the stroller thing and moved on to bedding something we were more familiar with. After finally getting something scanned in we felt a little better, but still didn't know exactly what to register for. How many crib sheets do you need to buy? How many receiving blankets? Should we get a bassinet or a cradle? Which baby monitor is a good one to get? How many onesies do you need to buy? How the heck are we supposed to know that when I have barely ever been around babies that are less than six months old? I would really like to keep a list of the things we actually do use and provide to any people that are expecting and saying, you know what we really only used a couple receiving blankets and the stroller thing we mostly just use the Baby Bjorn and never really bother with a stroller. I guess we will learn very shortly what we need and don't need. In the meantime here is the link to the registry Three's Baby Registry at Babies'R'Us

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


Apparently I never officially announced the big news, so now that I have a fully functioning keyboard, I will fill you all in on the details. As you may have seen from my previous entries, which included photos from a recent ultrasound, Jennifer is pregnant and the baby is due March 31st. Now I know you are all doing quick math in your head and wondering whether March 31st minus nine months is less than July 2nd. I can assure you the baby was conceived after the wedding, but at some point before we left for the honeymoon. We never thought it would happen on the first try, but I guess we are just lucky or I just have some damn good swimmers. The timing couldn't be more perfect because it will allow Jennifer to take the rest of the year off without taking more than a couple weeks without pay, so she will be lucky enough to stay with the baby for about five months before returning to work in September.

I have learned lots of things about pregnancy since we officially found out right after we returned from Newfoundland. One of the most interesting things is how much people who haven't had a kid don't really know the whole weeks thing. I was unaware of the complex system used for dates and stages of pregnancy. First of all the number of weeks pregnant is based not on conception, but the date of the last period. So by the time conception happens you are already at the end of Week 2 and by the time you get a successful pregnancy test you are already deep into Week 5. We are currently in Week 20, which ends on Thursday night and brings us to the halfway point.

The first half has been a crazy rollercoaster. It started off with a ton of excitement followed by nervousness about the health of the baby, somewhere around Week 10 you feel some relief as the chances of problems declines and you get to tell close friends. Immediately following this stage the morning sickness begins, which from what I can tell from my vantage point is not pleasant. Jennifer never actually threw up, but had a few close calls. It was always a balance between what to eat and when to eat it, every night there was a brief window where dinner was hard to decide on, but if not decided on by 7:30 things quickly went downhill. Finally at around Week 15 all of that craziness goes away and life essentially returns back to normal. The reality of the situation sinks in and you realize there is still quite a ways to go before the big day. Its a good chance to get back to being the couple you were before seeing the positive pregnancy test.

Over the last week or so we have moved into what appears to be the next phase, which is my favorite so far. It all started when Jennifer first felt Three moving around in her belly, which has only increased tenfold everyday. Just last week I was able to feel Three bump around while watching television. The ultrasound from Friday only strengthened the idea that another person is alive and getting bigger and bigger by the day. I can honestly say I don't think I have been this excited about anything before.

We have decided that we are going to be surprised by the gender of Three, because our parents have encouraged us. Of course there are some that want us to find out and think we are inconsiderate ;o) but its not everyday you get a surprise as huge as this one. I can't think of anything else at this point, but I wanted to share some of my thoughts and feelings from the last four months.


Sunday, November 5, 2006

A Big Day for Three

On Friday afternoon we went to Mount Auburn hospital for our first sonagram since back in early August. The baby has grown quite a bit from that teeny little circle we saw back then. Everything looked good according to the tech and the doctor, although it took a while to get the right hand to open to make sure it had formed correctly. Later in the day I was also able to feel Three move for the first time. Jennifer had been feeling some movement for about a week, but this was the first time anybody had felt it from the outside. I have to say it was pretty amazing.
Here are some of the photos from the ultrasound:

Profile of from the left side

Two little feet

A stubborn hand that didn't want to open

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Low Turnout

We had a very low turnout for Trick or Treat last night. I think the total was about ten. Now I can understand my dad getting only that many because of where he lives, but we are in the middle of the most densely populated city in New England. Oh well I guess that just means more candy for Jennifer and I. Its not very good for my diet though, which seems to be going well. My weight as of yesterday was 174, only about ten or twelve more pounds to go.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rainy Day

On Thursday I attended my fourth or fifth Amy Winnen pumpkin carving party. Here are some photos Pumpkin Party. I really liked one change this year which was some fresh Upper Crust pizza. Yummy, yummy, yummy! I carved a simple design this year, but it still looked pretty cool.

Last night we went to the Lizard Lounge to watch some live music. I had never been there before, but it was a pretty cool place. We were the first people there, but eventually the placed filled up. We plan stay out of the rain as much as possible and try to clean up our house.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Little Update

UMaine Visit
NYC Wedding
2006 Head of the Charles

Above are some photos I have taken over the past few weeks. In that time I have been all over the place from back to my alma mater of UMaine all the way down to NYC. On Sunday we went to the Head of the Charles which was par for the course. We only spent a couple hours there which was nice, I am still not quite sure why I go back every year. A couple weeks ago we went up to Vermont for the weekend which involved a lot of dirt shoveling, a very chilly evening and a wonderful walk in the woods. I have been to a few AHS soccer games over the past month and they haven't won yet, but they continue to play better. It looks like it is going to be another winless season, but at least they tied three games.

Life has been pretty normal aside from the random weekend trips for weddings or visiting family. I did recently decide that I need to lose a little weight and started the Special K diet, which promises I can lose a dress size in just two weeks. All I have to do is eat Special K two times a day and then I can eat whatever I want for the third meal. Since our scale at home isn't very reliable I won't be able to accurately post my daily weight. However, my starting weight on the first day of my diet (2006.10.23) using the gym's scale was 178 pounds. So far I have stuck with the diet and my yesterday at the gym I tipped the scales at 174 pounds. My goal is to get down to around 160 pounds and then change my workout from cardio to weight lifting.

Okay I have to get to work, but I will try to keep you posted on the weight loss. Hopefully we will get a new scale this weekend and I will be able to post daily updates.


Thursday, October 5, 2006

Jackass Number 2 = Hilarious

Last night I met Scottie in Framingham to see the latest installation of the Jackass series and it was hilarious. I have a hard time remembering everything from the first movie, but I am going to have to say this topped, because I can't remember a time I have laughed so hard at a movie. Of course not many will agree with the humor and not find it funny, but they are really missing out if they don't go see this movie.

I have been completely engulfed in entertainment the last few weeks, since the new television season started. Once again I have to say the TiVo is an amazing device and is working better than I could have ever imagined. I have been able to see more shows than ever since I can now record two shows at a time. Of the new shows this year my favorites are Jericho (constantly keeps you wondering what happened to the US), Heroes (super powers are always cool) and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (witty dialogue West Wing style). The new shows I haven't enjoyed are Tuesday Night Lights (although I have only seen the pilot) and Six Degrees (why do I care about these people and what is happening to them). The returning shows haven't disappointed either, starting with a top notch premiere of Lost last night. The long unfolding dramas like Lost and Jericho are awesome, but get me so antsy for the next bit of information about the show. Its basically like watching a movie, but it is split up over 22 weeks.

Back to work.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Full Fall Weekend

Jennifer's birthday was Sunday, but to celebrate she set up an evening with some of friends on Friday night. We all met at the Rockbottom Brewery and enjoyed a nice dinner, despite the hard bread. It was a fun time and very relaxed just as Jennifer hoped. On Saturday we went to Elizabeth's wedding up in Ipswich. It was a rather rainy day, but didn't take away from the festivities. The reception was fantastic, as soon as we walked in we were offered the option of signing the guest book or a baseball. Next we grabbed our place card, which had a baseball card on the back directing us to the correct table. The baseball theme was evident throughout and gave a very playful feeling to the day.

After the wedding we came home and barely made it to nine o'clock before running off to bed. We woke up early this morning because I was impatiently waiting to give Jennifer her birthday gift. She seemed to enjoy the bracelet and necklace, which made my day. We stayed in bed for a couple more hours and then went to breakfast at O'Naturals. I ended up doing a little work at the cafe and then we drove up to Amesbury for a little apple picking before the rains came. The fun filled weekend didn't end there, we next moved on to my dad's house and then on to my mom's house. It was good to see the family although I was quickly fading.

We finally made it home at around six, when I realized I would be working for the evening. It was mostly busy work and it is all for a good cause, but I am exhausted right now.

Enjoy these photos.
AHS Soccer vs. Triton
Elizabeth's Wedding
Apple Picking

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Breaking News!!!!

I have completed the beta version of my new website, I am well aware that it isn't the prettiest site ever, but I will be working to add a much nicer facade in the near future. The site includes a page with links for all of my photos, a page for all of my google movies and most importantly a view of this LiveJournal. So now there is no need to go to just point your browser for, the place to go for all things Keegan.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another Lovely Weekend

Started the weekend at home with my lovely wife on Friday night. The next morning I woke up bright and early to go on a hike of Carter Dome with Mark & Kate. I drove up by myself and met them at the trail head at 10AM. It was the perfect day for hiking and the trail was great. There was the perfect mix of an easy start, followed by a cool lake in the Carter Notch, a nice steep climb followed by a gorgeous view of the Presidential Range from the top of Mt. Hight. The view from Carter Dome is a bit obscured by trees so we really had to wait a bit before getting some good photos. We made it back down to the car after about seven hours of hiking and I was exhausted. I hadn't been in the car more than five minutes before I started feeling nauseous. We met at the Red Fox restaurant and I went inside and placed my order, but immediately excused myself so I could get some fresh air. While outside I threw up in the bushes, but unfortunately didn't feel better. I told Mark and Kate that I had to take off and hopped in the car. Right away I started to get a fever and had to roll the windows, which was immediately followed by cold sweats. Kate then called me and told me Mark had the same symptoms and that they would also be going home. We agreed to caravan and made our way south. After about an hour I began feeling better and by the time I was back in Somerville, I was just tired, but didn't have any other issues. Mark felt the same way. It was very odd, but I wasn't about to complain for my good fortune.

On Sunday I hung around the house all morning and then walked down to JFK park in Harvard to read my book, Compass. I finished the book and came home to do laundry before Jennifer got back from Connecticut. Once she was back we went to Rudy's cafe for dinner. Yummy Mexican.

Yesterday I worked and then drove up to Amesbury to watch Zach's soccer game. I will admit I was a bit vocal, but I like to think it was in an inspirational way as opposed to criticizing them. I would encourage them to move up and kept telling Zach to cover different players. The lost the game, but seemed to make a comeback at the end.

That's it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Coming soon.....

I know I haven't been good about posting, but I guess documenting day to day life isn't too exciting. I suppose at one point I was posting that sort of stuff and it was relatively interesting. Hmmmm.... Anyway I have been thinking about getting a new domain name soon and moving the LJ to my own personal server so I can control the address and also make more of a web site with a page for photos. I am researching different software and hosts and I am leaning towards WordPress, which is a cool blogging software that is supported by several different hosting companies. The good news is that I should be able to migrate the all of the LJ entries to the new blog. I should have everything figured out over the next few days and get this party started.


Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Back To School

Cleaned up the basement this weekend and I have to say it is oddly clean and room like down there, well except for the lack of light, finished walls and ceilings. We bought a new mattress on Saturday, which will be arriving on Monday. Yesterday was spent at Maudslay State Park along the Merrimack River followed by a visit to my mom's house. Today Jennifer went back to school and I went to the gym bright and early.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Camden Trip

Jennifer and I went up to Camden, Maine for our third annual visit to the Nathaniel Hosmer Inn. We stayed in the Mary Wheeler room once again and it was as good as ever. It's really cool when you get to know the inn keepers and can chat about all sorts of things. We finally climbed Mount Battie and have now climbed all of the peaks in Camden Hills State Park. It was a short, but steep trail. Before we left I made sure to read up on the mountain and found a cool web page explaining its importance, geologically speaking. Here is the page Bedrock Geology of Mount Battie I was able to spot a few of the examples they mention, which was pretty cool.

We also tried something else new this year and went to the last day of the Union Fair. I know some people are sketched out by fairs and for good reason, but it seemed like something to do and it is always fun to see the animals. Unfortunately since it was the last day a lot of the animals had gone back home, but there were some pigs, sheep, cows and goats still hanging around. After exploring all of the areas we walked back towards the car and noticed a ton of people filling the grandstand. I asked Jennifer what was going on and she said the only thing she knew about was a demolition derby at seven. I thought it was odd since it was only six, but then realized we had to stay because if all of these people were lining up an hour early it must be a good show. Sure enough it didn't disappoint! We only stayed for three heats of the small foreign cars and left, but not before seeing some crazy crashes and even getting hit with a little exploding tire shrapnel. Overall it was a good time and we can now say we went to a demolition derby.

On Sunday we did a little hike up to Maiden's Cliff, the hike Jennifer and I went on two years ago. It's a great hike with some amazing views. We then let the GPS guide us back to the highway and towards Freeport for a little shopping. Then it was back on the road to good old Somerville, where we tested the heat for the first time. I think summer is officially over, now its almost time to go apple picking and cider donut eating. YUMMY!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Second Place

Two pieces of news...

First last night for BoCaNO we went to the Kinsale for trivia and got second place in a tie breaker. The tie breaker question was "What is the population of Rhode Island?". We guessed 3.2 million and were the closest of the other two teams. As a result we won a 30 dollar gift certificate. Nice!!

The other news is that we will be staying in our current apartment for another year. Woohoo!!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

House Inspection

Do we start with the good news first or the bad news?

Okay I will go with the bad news. We are not going to buy the house, because the house inspection revealed several issues that we just can't afford to take care of at this point in the game. The good news is we aren't going to be buying a money pit. I won't go into detail about the issues, but it was going to be several thousand dollars worth of repairs. Now most people would say to negotiate the price down, but that still wouldn't give us the capital we need to go ahead with the repairs. So now we will begin the search for an apartment since we have given our notice already and want to find a place with cheaper rent.

If anything we did learn a whole lot about the house buying process so when we do decide to get back out there, we know exactly what we are getting ourselves into. Oddly enough Jennifer and I aren't too shaken up over the deal, which is strange and makes me wonder if we were doing the right thing. It all happened very quickly and the costs of closing and everything else kind of got out of control. Live and learn.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Nice Weekend

It was a relatively quiet weekend in Somerville. On Saturday morning we met with our landlord to discuss moving out October 1st. Knock on wood, we will go through the home purchasing process without any delay. After the meeting we went for a drive to find an outdoor place to walk. I originally intended to go to a state park I had been to in Georgetown, but after ten minutes of driving, I realized we were past the general area of the park. So we continued driving westward to find something to do. In Essex I spotted a used bookstore and we stopped to fulfill Jennifer's need for used books and rest my tired leg (gym + driving standard = sore leg). While in the store Jennifer ran into a teacher she used to work with in Lawrence, although she couldn't remember her name. Rachel, the name we later found out from Meghan, knew of a cool little walk only a few miles from the bookstore. We got directions from her husband and found the little parking lot next to Route 128 and started walking into the woods. After about twenty minutes we were standing atop this giant rock that overlooked all of Cape Ann. It was a bit cloudy so we couldn't see Boston, but the view was great and the wind up there was refreshing.

We climbed back down and hopped in the car and drove towards Gloucester. There was a little festival going on so we walked through the shops and enjoyed the sea air. It was such a beautiful afternoon and it was nice to be outside. Afterwards we stopped at the mall to look for stuff for Jennifer and came home and made some pasta.

Yesterday, Tom and Jeny came over for breakfast and hung out until about noon. After that we just sat around until the late afternoon, when we went for a walk all over Somerville. It was a relaxing Sunday and yet I was still exhausted at bed time and went right off to sleep.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sometimes You Gotta Jump Right In

If any of you are surprised by our jumping into the house thing, I can assure you we are just as surprised. We literally went from looking online last Wednesday to making an offer on the following Monday. Last night reality began to sink in as we reviewed several mortgage offers from a bunch of lenders. I suppose if we had done some research we would have learned that closing costs are a bit crazy. However, once we separated the deposit from the closing costs we were dealing with more friendly numbers and it all seemed a little more possible. While many of you might not care about this information I want to pass the word on since I wish somebody had provided this sort of info to me before I got here. Once again I have to thank Jennifer, because she really pulled it all together. This morning we woke up with a new focus and have now successfully sent an application for the mortgage, since we were required to this by Friday. Luckily Cara stopped by last night and let us in on the little secret that you can negotiate your interest rate with the lenders and so Jennifer was able to cut almost .5% off of our original quote, which over the course of the loan saves over $10,000. Nice!!!

Looking at the big picture it is really an easy process, but it when you don't know all of the steps it gets a little nervewracking. So the next step is the home inspection next week, followed by the signing of the purchase and sale agreement next Thursday. Then all we have left to do is wait for the closing at the end of September. It will all be done soon enough.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Moving On Up

It's the little one in the center with the wide driveway and two car garage.

We made an offer today and as of 7PM this evening it was accepted and we are one step closer to owning our own home. Next up is finding the financing, which shouldn't be a problem and then getting the home inspection before signing the bill of purchase and sales. I have to give tons of credit to my wonderful wife for driving up to Amesbury today and doing all of the paperwork and leg work for this deal. It's all happening so quickly, but I think we are both please with our purchase. The address of the house is 14 California Street. Here is a Google Maps link. The pointer seems to be a bit off, but from the photos above and the map you should figure it out. We own from the corner of California all along the California Extension.

I have to get back to work, but I wanted to put up some details.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Location, Location, Location

Well it really does come down to Location, Location, Location. After a string of open houses today our favorite house has now shifted a little bit. While the house from last night is still number 2 on the list, we found a place today with the same style, but in a much better location. The new house sits on a .3 acre lot and has a nice flat yard. It also has a two car garage and is in a very quiet neighborhood on a more or less dead end street. Now of course we are thinking in the back of our heads, how do we know that there isn't another house out there that is better, if we wait a little longer. While we tend to make these big decisions relatively quickly, I think we do use logic and try not to over analyze things. Yes we could look at house for the next three months, analyze trends with regards to location, sale price vs list price and see hundreds of houses, but what is that really going to save us in the long run. I think we have a good idea after only a couple days and over a dozen houses, about what the value of some of these places should be and what we should offer. The top two right now are far better than anything else within this price range and really fit us very well. We originally thought of maybe getting something that we could fix up, but we really don't have the capital to do that anytime soon, so we shifted to looking for something that we can move into and might need a few things done here and there, but no major renovations.

The plan for now is for Jennifer to go up to Amesbury tomorrow, talk to the planning office about a first time home buyer grant (apparently they have a few of these that they give out if you attend a couple seminars and of course buy in Amesbury, stop by the Provident bank to see what sort of interest rate she can get for first time buyers and then meet my mom and Jon at the two houses in question. At that point assuming everything goes well we will put in an offer. Its a big step, but at this point we have seen about half of the houses available in Amesbury within our price range and we are comfortable with the place. My how quickly things can change.

Keegan out!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back To The 'Bury??

I am sure this is going to come as shocking news to some reader, well to those few readers I have left, but Jennifer and I are really close to making an offer on a house in Amesbury. We decided on a whim to go check out a few houses this weekend and really fell in love with this one place. In our opinion it is a really amazing place, hopefully we are the only people that feel this way. It's relatively close to downtown, the only drawbacks seem to be that it is on a very busy street and the street the driveway is on is extremely steep. Besides that though we have had a hard time finding much wrong with it. The inside is amazing and was done over recently and wouldn't require much if any work at all. So what's next? Well we don't want to seem over anxious, although it would be a huge disappointment if somebody were to make an offer on it before we get the chance to. The plan is to talk our agent tomorrow to set up another showing on Monday, so my mom and Jon will get a chance to check it out. If they find it acceptable, I think we will be to quote another recent BoCaNO house buyer, "Pulling the trigger." What that means is that barring any other buyers trying to get in on the action or major disapproval from my mom and Jon, we will be one very giant step closer to moving out of Somerville and back home to Amesbury. For now we just have to hope that anybody interested in it was enjoying the tax free weekend, and not thinking about the house.

More positive updates soon, hopefully.

Friday, August 4, 2006

The Heat Subsides

Finally this afternoon, Boston's fever broke, and now the temperature has dropped below 70 degrees. At sometime between 2 and 3 some cold air overtook the area and tonight we have shut down the AC and opened the window for a change. We played our annual whiffle ball game for BoCaNO and then went to the Sweetwater Cafe. I passed on eating and drinking because I have already been out a couple times this week and we really need to start saving money. I am looking forward to the weekend and taking a break from code writing. Hopefully it won't be too hot and I will get a chance to go to the beach for the first time this summer. I really want to go swimming in the chilly ocean.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Another Weekend, Another Dave Matthews Show

On Friday afternoon my wife picked me up at work and we drove towards Hartford for a later than usual show at the "venue formerly known as the Meadows." Luckily on the way there we encountered some crazy thunderstorms north of the city. The further south we drove the darker it got before the rain started pouring out of the sky. A little known fact about me is that I love thunderstorms as long as I am in the safety and security of a car. Anyway I used the video camera on my phone to try and catch some of the lightning and I succeeded.

Connecticut Thunderstorm Video (Requires Quicktime)

Eventually the rain subsided and we made it safely to Hartford. The show was pretty good, but nothing that really stands out against the rest of the shows. The band did play Sleep To Dream Her for the first time in over three years, which was pretty cool. Besides that there weren't any other real stand outs from the show.

Afterwards we drove down to the Riebe's for the night. The next day we went to KettleTown State Park, where we had a nice picnic and did some kayaking. The water was kind of nasty in the little cove we were in and there was a done of goose poo all over the place. However, after getting in the kayak and paddling around the corner and out into the open lake I was able to find a nice spot to go swimming and boy did it feel good. I will say though the condition of the water in the lake made me appreciate Long Pond that much more. We stayed at the Riebe's again on Saturday night and came back to Somerville on Sunday morning just in time to catch the latest Pirate movie at Assembly Square. The movie was okay, but nothing to write home about, I am sure I will end up seeing the third installment next summer though. After the movie I slept for about two hours and then upon waking up decided we should go to Newbury for a hike at the Old Town Hill.

We made it to the Old Town Hill at about 6PM and quickly realized we needed bug spray, but didn't have any. We quickly made our way through the trail system with our arms flailing like crazy people to keep the bugs off of us. We didn't see much, but it was nice to be outside in the unusually cool air, the calm before the heat wave. We capped off the trip to the north with a visit to my mom's house to get Red Sox tickets for Monday's game against the Indians.

Oh yeah I almost forgot, before we went back home we went to dinner at Skip's. For those of you not in the know, Skip's is a local classic, it is an old school restaurant that is only open in the summer. They serve greasy burgers, but their trademark is the Curly Q fries which are to die for. We ran into my old friend Bonnie at Skip's and I introduced her to my wife, which seemed to surprise her. Of course we made a quick stop at Hodgie's before leaving town.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Somerville Rain Storm

Somerville Rain Photos
Here is a random album with photos from a deluge we experienced in front of our house on Friday afternoon. It rained so fast the sewers just couldn't keep up.

Rest of the Honeymoon

We made it back safely from the honeymoon and without further avail here are the photos.
St. John's and Terra Nova National Park
Trinity East and Skerwink Trail
Western Brook Pond (Fjord)
The Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park
Bay of Fundy

Now for the written details of the rest of our amazing tour of Newfoundland. First of all I need to clear up the pronounciation of the word Newfoundland. The locals pronounce it like New - foond - Land, with a stress on the word land. When I first got there I wouldn't give the land part its full glory and instead say it as if it was missing an a (lnd), sort of like how we say New England like New Englnd. So if you run into me and I stress the land part of Newfoundland I am just trying to spread it the way the locals say it.

So when I last left off we were in St. John's and preparing for our journey into the most rural parts of the island. The next morning we woke up and drove up to Terra Nova National Park for some hiking. As soon as we got on the Trans-Canada Highway we noticed that my car was not behaving correctly and it would make a weird noise if I turned towards the right. We dealt with the noise all the way up to the park. Once there we walked on a nice trail along the coast with some amazing views. Unfortunately, I heard some guy talking about black bears, so the entire time we were super concerned that about bears. Apparently they aren't a big deal, but it didn't stop me from making extra noise while I walked. We got back to the car and the noise was worse than ever. I was starting to get nervous, luckily we did have a couple days of staying in the same time so we figured that would work out okay. We continued to deal with the noise and stopped at the first garage we saw. I got out of the car and walked up to these two guys standing in the door and told them about the noise. They quickly replied in a very rough British-Irish accent, "We're not the mechanic we are just a couple of stand-ups, we will get him for you." I think they literally just stand up all day. They got the mechanic and he put the car up on the lift and quickly found the problem, one of the wheels had loosened up. We lowered the car and tightened the lug nuts and the problem was solved. I thanked the mechanic and despite his offer for it to be free because it was our honeymoon, I still gave him some money.

Very much relieved we drove another hour or so to our destination of Trinity East and the Fisher's Loft Inn. Jennifer had found this place a while ago and couldn't wait to stay there. Apparently it was the place the cast of the Shipping News stayed at including Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore and Dame Judi Dench.

Oh boy I am out of time for now. I will update more later. Enjoy the photos.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back In Beantown

Here is a quick entry to say two things: we are back in town and we got the official wedding photos.

Click on the link below. You will have to register your name and email first and then on the next screen enter the event code 4866. Once through that annoyance you can view and buy the photos.
The Official Wedding Photos (Event Code 4866)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quick Honeymoon Update

Here is a photo of Jennifer and I at the Easternmost point in all of North America.

More photos that were originally at the bottom of this, but I figured people might miss them.

Nova Scotia Part One
14 Hour Ferry Ride to Newfoundland
Puffins, Whales and Gulls
Cape Spear (Easternmost point in North America)

I only have a minute since, well, it is my honeymoon and I shouldn't be on the computer. However I had to upload some photos, mostly so I don't have to do it later. Right now I am sitting in our room in St. John's, Newfoundland. The inn we are staying in tonight is unbelievable it looks like an old mansion from the movies. The lobby is enormous with all sorts of fancy looking things. The room itself is nice although the toilet isn't really separated from the rest of the room by a door, so its kind of weird. I guess we are married so all that shouldn't matter. There is also a giant jacuzzi tub, but it is too hot to use. Enough about right now, since it is one of the more boring parts of the trip so far. I will instead start at the beginning.

Saturday morning we drove up to Portland and got on the CAT for a six hour ferry ride to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The trip over was great, the boat had tons of things to do and before we knew it we docked in Yarmouth. The first thing we did was test out all of our satellite technologies, Sirius and GPS, and both worked perfectly. I have to hand it to the satellite radio industry, they have something great. I can be driving in a completely different country and still have the same channel line up as I had at home. Even in the most rural areas where there aren't any radio stations, I know that if I want to listen to 90's music I can turn to channel 9, The Pulse, or if I want some acoustic music just turn to channel 30, The Coffee House. Enough promotion of satellite radio for now. We drove about an hour to hour bed and breakfast for the night and the GPS nailed the location.

We woke up in the morning, had breakfast and started our long trip across Nova Scotia. We stopped at a couple scenic spots along the way and even got to walk in the Bay of Fundy, although we won't see it at low tide until next week. We also went to a winery to help break the trip up. After seven hours of driving we arrived at our next B&B, in North Sydney, the home of the ferry to Newfoundland. We had an okay dinner at a local restaurant, where I ordered spaghetti and they gave me a plate that seemed to be filled with an entire box of spaghetti.

Monday morning we woke up early (4AM) and went to the ferry. We departed from North Sydney at 6AM, and thankfully were given a cabin so we had a home base and a couple bunks to sleep in should we get tired. I had been nervous about the 14 hour trip to Newfoundland, but it seemed to fly by. The weather outside was so nice we just spent most of the day on deck reading and laying in the sun. Finally, at about 8:30 Newfoundland time, 7:00 Eastern time, we arrived in Newfoundland. Our first views of the place were breath taking. The mountains seemed to have formed right out of the ocean. We were actually greeted by a Bald Eagle that flew across the bay. It was amazing.

Once ashore we had to drive about 45 minutes to the next B&B. Unfortunately the fastest way there involved driving down a dirt road for about 15 miles. It was brutal. At one point a moose was blocking the road and we had to wait about five minutes before he ran off. We did make it to the B&B, where we passed out after a long long day at sea.

Now this morning we had our breakfast and then drove to Bay Bulls for a puffin and whale watch. It started raining before the trip, but as soon as we were out on the water it cleared right up. First we saw a huge colony of puffins, birds were flying all over the place. The puffins are fun to watch when they are in the water, because sometimes they can barely get off the water and often times crash back into the water. After seeing all of the birds we set out for some nearby whales. We saw a couple dolphins and a humpback whale, but they quickly took off for more interesting things. There was another boat within a few clicks, so we went over and saw that they had a whale swimming right next to it. We spent about forty five minutes watching the whale swim around our boat. You can see from the photos that he was really close and I got some fantastic shots.

After the whale watch we went out to Cape Spear, the Easternmost point in North America. It was a beautiful spot that we could have spent many hours at, but since we were getting hungry we drove in to St. John's. After checking in we went to a yummy dinner and walked around the downtown area for a bit. After a few hours we wandered back to the room and I logged on the internet for a little while to update this journal.

Tomorrow we are going to Terra Nova National Park for hiking and then ending up in Trinity where we will be spending two nights (finally a chance to rest). Then we will drive across to Gros Morne National Park and stay there for a night, I am really looking forward to that place. The next day we catch an overnight ferry back to Nova Scotia, where we will spend a night. Finally, we return to the states on Monday night in Bar Harbor where we will stay with the Riebe's for a night. An action packed week ahead. Hopefully I will get another chance to upload.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

The Honeymoon Begins

Last night Jennifer and I kicked off our honeymoon with a Dave Matthews Band show at Fenway Park. We arrived at the park around 5:30 and made our way to the third row seats I received from the Warehouse. The seats were unbelievable. We were on the field about halfway between where Manny Ramirez and Coco Crisp position themselves. The show was pretty great although the setlist was a bit strange and quiet for a stadium show.

I have decided that they should ban all electronic devices from shows including cell phones, blackberrys and cameras. At least 25% of the people there seem to care less about the show and more about calling their friend from the show or taking eight million mobile phone photos. One guy in front of us was such a tool and he kept snapping shots of everything and constantly looking at the crow with a complete disregard for the show on stage. He was driving me crazy. The only other major event was when some girl behind us passed out from drinking so much and then refused to get treated. She was a real mess.

Afterwards we met up with Andy and Amy at Game On before catching the T back home. Conveniently the red line is doing bus replacement between Park Street and Kendall Square which tacked on an addition 15-20 minutes to our ride home. Oh well, it was a great show on a beautiful night and was the perfect way to start off our honeymoon.

So in two short hours we pack the car and drive up to Portland to catch the CAT to Nova Scotia where we will be spending the night. After that its off to Newfoundland for about five days before returning to Nova Scotia and then finally returning to the states in Bar Harbor. I'll try to keep you all posted when I get a chance.


Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Wedding Photos

I will hopefully update a personal account of the wedding day on here shortly. However in the meantime I wanted to provide links to all of the photos either I have taken, or other people have sent me. I will be adding links as I get them, so if you have some photos upload them to kodakgallery or shutterfly and send me a link.

The Official Wedding Photos (Event Code 4866)

My Photos

Rich Sweet's Photos

Lan Le's Photos

My Dad's Photos

Carol Riebe's Wedding Photos

Carol Riebe's Wedding Rehearsal Photos

Carol Riebe's Rehearsal Dinner Photos

Carol Riebe's Morning at Salem Willows Photos

Melissa Riebe's Wedding Photos

Britt's Photos

Disposable Camera Photos

Sibley's Wedding Photos

Cara's Photos

Edgar's Photos

Ben's Photos

Sunday, July 2, 2006

The Night Before

You may be wondering why on this night before on of the biggest days of my life I am making an entry in my LiveJournal. Well there are many reasons, including the fact that I need to capture and record this moment to remember always and because my bride, due to some old tradition is not allowed to spend the night with me. Today was truly an emotional roller coaster. I woke up this morning and was frustrated because I had failed miserably at writing vows the night before. Luckily at somepoint between 6 and 7 I had a breakthrough and it all came together. It actually came together a little too well and the next thing I knew tears were streaming down my face. It had been quite a while since I had last cried, probably over a year, and I couldn't control myself. After working so hard in the logical world of computers over the last few weeks, my emotional side finally got its turn to speak and apparently it had a lot to say. For the next few minutes I just held Jen and let it all out. I finally gained my composure and sat down to finish the rest of the vows and was finally ready to print it.

After coming back from the gym I hopped in the car and went to pick up my tuxedo in Amesbury. The tux fit perfectly and I dropped it off at my mother's house. I washed the car because it is going to be in the lime light tomorrow and also helped Zack fix his BMX bike. On the drive home my emotions began to get the best of me and I was on the verge of tears again. I did make it home without shedding one, and ate a nice big sandwich, which really helped calm my nerves.

We finally set off for the hotel Jen and all of her relatives are staying in tonight. Upon arriving I was whisked away on a Magical Mystery Tour of relatives rooms. We wandered the halls of nearly every floor to meet an uncle from here and a cousin from there. It was crazy. A little later than I hoped we left for the rehearsal and when we got there most of the people were already there. We quickly walked through the ceremony and jetted for our dinner at Hard Cover.

There was a bit of an issue with tables at first, but it was quickly resolved and we all sat down for a nice dinner. It was great to see everyone and it seemed like a good time was had by all. I actually got up and played the guitar for everybody and felt I did fairly well. I did get a little teary in the middle of one of the songs, but managed to pull through and finish. After I performed Brendan showed the slideshow he put together and I lost it. Some of the photos just brought crocodile tears to my eyes. It was really hard seeing photos of me with people who have passed on. Hopefully I have taken things from them and their legacy lives on today through me. So basically I was a mess through most of it, but I think its good to let out that raw emotion. It helps make you feel human.

Things wrapped up after the slideshow, so Jennifer and I had to part ways until 1PM tomorrow, when she will emerge from the farm house and my eyes will fall upon my beautiful bride. Its all very exciting and a bit nervewracking, although I do blame most of the nervousness on things that are beyond my control, like the cake, the DJ or the weather. I want all of these things to go smoothly and without flaw. Certainly everything will work out and people will walk away with some story to tell, whether it be the wedding where they saw the heaviest down pour of rain ever or the wedding where the bride and groom were so lost in their new found marriage that they looked as if they didn't have a care in the world. I am hoping for the second one, but either way it will certainly be a memorable wedding for me.

May the rain come, but only after we are finished with the ceremony.

Yours truly,
Keegan (The Groom)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Five More Days

I am sitting at home right now attempting to do some work and looking out at the clear blue sky. It seems a bit strange since, the sun has been so hidden over the last week or so. Last weekend I was out of my mind because I had been stuck inside all weekend and didn't get a chance to enjoy the outdoors. Now two days into the work week and it is gorgeous outside, what's the deal.

Preparations for the wedding are nearly complete and even if they don't all get done, it will all be done in five days. I think at this point I am more stressed about getting all of my work done before the honeymoon than I am about the wedding. It just seems that the stuff I have left to do for work is never ending. In a couple weeks I can forget it all and disappear to Canada for a week with no thoughts of CaseNET. Perhaps I should have taken a couple days off before or after the wedding to settle down before the day. It's hard to pull myself away from work although I am sure I will be settled down for the wedding. The tough part will be finding time to clear my head for writing my vows and also finding enough time to practice my guitar playing before the rehearsal dinner.

Well I have to get going for now. Hopefully I will have at least one more entry before the big day.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Bachelor Party & 50th Dave Matthews Show

It was a busy weekend for me. On Friday, I stopped working early and picked Andy up for a drive out to Saratoga Springs, NY for my 49th Dave Matthews concert. Yes I know its crazy, but it is one of those things I just can't get enough of in life. The first show was fantastic. We got to see the 2006 debut of a few old songs (Don't Drink The Water, What You Are and Typical Situation) and I heard two of the new songs which I really enjoy. The cool thing about SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) is that it is an amphitheater in the middle of a beautiful state park. It is a great place to see a show and beats hanging out in the dusty parking lots of the Tweeter Center. One place in the middle of the park was a disaster with drunk college kids everywhere wandering around looking for the show. It was nice entertainment for our walk to the show. We were stuck in heavy traffic on the way out and after about an hour we made it out to the main road.

Saturday morning we woke up late and were able to catch the end of the continental breakfast. After breakfast we went over to the park and found the perfect picnic spot next to a river. We grabbed two picnic tables and sat there waiting for the rest of the BoCaNO crew to show up. A few hours later the big white rental van showed up and out jumped Kate, Mark, Jen Thomas, Kelly, Dr. Mark, Noelle and Amy. We unpacked the van and then Rich showed up with the rest of the supplies. Now that everybody was there, Andy presented me with plastic ball and chain I was required to wear for the night. I obliged and did wear it for the entire night including the three hours of the concert out on the lawn. I'm getting ahead of myself though. At the picnic area we did some grilling, played a little whiffle ball and also played a few rounds of celebrity. The police were a constant presence and stopped many people from playing Beer Pong and drinking out of cans. We also got to see a big old cat fight, which was broken up by police on horse back. Late in the afternoon Brendan and Brittany showed up and I found them up near the concert and brought them back to the party. We all hung out for a couple more hours before filing into the show. Once inside Andy made an expedition down the lawn to a great spot in the center of the lawn. Slowly we all migrated down to the spot and by the middle of the show everybody had regrouped, except Rich who was lost in the shuffle. It was another great show with tons of old songs as well as two of the brand new songs I was really looking forward to hearing. After the show we walked back to the car and drove up to Rich's mom's house north of Saratoga Springs. We all settled into the house and went to sleep.

The next morning we woke up and Kate made us a super yummy breakfast of pancakes, bacon and tater tots. We hung around for a few hours before packing up the cars and driving back home. It was a very memorable weekend. It was great standing at my 50th show surrounded by all of my friends. I felt like somebody who had just finished a marathon or a trip around the country and was lucky enough to have a bunch of people there supporing my quest. Thanks you guys!!!

Friday Night Show Details
Saturday Night Show Details

Sunday, June 11, 2006

21 Days To Go

In a short three weeks from right now I will in a seaside room at an inn overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Rockport with Mrs. Keegan Sands. Hmmm.... that is just crazy stuff. All the wedding planning is in the final stages, we made a list of the things left to do and it totals to about a dozen relatively easy errands that we will easily accomplish in time for the big day. Overall the process has been less stressful than expected, of course it hasn't been a little more stressful for Jennifer, but she has done an excellent job planning. We didn't get this far without a few tears and more than a few compromises, but thats what its all about. As far as how our relationship is holding up despite the planning, I am glad to report that things are better than ever with us. I have heard horror stories about how the wedding can push couples to the edge with all the decisions, finances and the like, but no horror stories to report here. We are still waiting on a bunch of RSVP's, but most of mine are back so that makes me happy (I do have the home field advantage). The number of attendees looks to be dropping below 140 by the end of the week based on our estimations, which is really good considering we invited over 150 people and the wedding is on a holiday weekend, which has made people take little vacations to Massachusetts.

The wedding gifts have begun to pile up in our back bedroom. Apparently its bad luck and bad taste to use anything before the "You may kiss the bride" thing so we have refrained from using the new Waffle maker, serving containers and flatware. I am not quite sure where we are going to put all of this stuff when all is said and done. I still need to work on some honeymoon stuff, Jennifer booked all of the ferries and hotels in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, but now it is my turn to plan the day to daily itinerary. No big deal though, as long as I have my new wife, my old car and my satellite radio, I will be a honeymooner.

Now on to the past weekend and what I have been up to. I can sum it up in two words, "Not Much". I was super tired from working until 3:30 in the morning Friday and spent most of the evening napping and playing with our new TiVo. Saturday we stayed out of the rain, went to the gym and went to see one of Jen's students perform in a ballet recital. Afterwards her student's parents took us out for crepes in Harvard Square, we shared a mango strawberry and dark chocolate one and it was fantastic.

Today we woke up and went over to the cafe for breakfast and then returned home to work on wedding things. I backed up all of my music and burned cd's for the DJ. We went to the gym in the afternoon and then came back home and watched the BoSox game. Now I am sitting on the couch updating this journal. Unfortunately, I seem to be coming down with a cold and haven't felt well all afternoon, hopefully it will pass though.

See you all real soon.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Quick Quick

Poison ivy is nearly gone.
Shopped and saw the Breakup on Saturday.
Fifth day of the gym in a row today.
Worked at home yesterday.
Jennifer made a fantastic stir fry last night in the wok.
Dishes are all done.
Damn its been cold and rainy lately.
Back at work this morning and the office is freeeeezzzzing!!!
Ballet two nights this week (Tuesday and Saturday)
DMB next week (Show #49 & #50)
Less than four weeks to the wedding.

That's all folks!!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Poison Ivy

Not only did I get good photos from the canoe trip, but I also picked up a nice poison ivy rash. It's only really bad on my hand, but is also sprinkled throughout my body. Now typically I would just let it be, but when I woke up this morning a part of the rash on my hand had turned black so I will be visiting some sort of medical facility today. I'll keep you posted on the situation.
Poison Ivy Slideshow

Monday, May 29, 2006

Another Year Another Canoe Trip

It's that time of year again for us to gather in Plymouth and canoe/kayak down the Agawam River. We extended the trip on both ends this year, starting in Halfway Pond and ending in Wareham Harbor. From start to finish it took us about seven hours, but it flew along and seemed to take less time than in past years despite the shorter distance. Thanks to the recent rainfall the water level was very high and made the trip smoother. Enjoy the photos sorry I am at a loss for words, which may be caused from my insane level of fatigue.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Another Busy Weekend

It was another busy weekend in my world. On Friday night we took it easy and just stayed in watching the top 20 America's Funniest Home Videos of all time. Saturday morning I went to the gym and then Andy came over to go over the Wedding ceremony. After Andy left Jen went to the gym and I had lunch in Davis square. We then got all dressed up for Amy's birthday dinner at Tapeo in the Back Bay. We all made it there and were seated. Mark had a bit of trouble after he asked the waitress what he could order that didn't have garlic in it, the waiter told him he couldn't eat anything, because it all comes in close contact to garlic. The tapas were good although the price of tapas and sangria can get a little bit out of control. Afterwards we went to the bar that used to be Bar Code.

Sunday morning Jennifer and I woke up and puttered around the house before making a trip to the North End for coffee. You see yesterday was Jennifer's bridal shower and while she knew the date, she wasn't aware of the location of the shower. My job was to get her out of the house, dressed for the shower and to return her to the house for the shower a few hours later. While it may sound like an easy task its not exactly easy to surprise somebody when you are basically saying we have to leave so people can set things up here. I was able to surprise a little bit, I suppose if it is the one time I am allowed to lie, I might as well make it good. We did make it back for the shower and it was a success. I stayed in the back room watching television most of the time, but did reappear at the end to say hello and to help clean up.

It was an exhausting day!!!

Bridal Shower Photos
More Bridal Shower Photos

Monday, May 15, 2006

Busy Few Days

The last few days have been rather busy in my little life.

On Friday afternoon I left work and picked Jennifer up at school and we drove up to Manchester airport. We flew down to Orlando to visit her grandparents for a day or so. While there I took these Florida photos. Saturday down there was gorgeous with only a few clouds in the sky. Early on Sunday morning we packed up and flew out and back to the rainy north at seven AM. In total we were on the ground in Florida for 32 hours.

Once back in New England we drove down to Amesbury and checked out the high water all over the town. I took these Amesbury Flooding photos. All of the photos were from downtown, but we did see many other flooding in the typical Amesbury spots. Afterwards we went to my mom's house and hung out there for a while. We ended up giving Britt and Carol a ride to the DoubleTree hotel where they were staying for the night leading up to Britt's graduation.

Now this morning I got all dressed up and commuted into the city to go to Britt's commencement. I met Carol at the hotel and we walked over to the Wang Center for the commencement where I took these Emerson Commencement Photos. It was a long ceremony, but I did get to here Senator John Kerry speak. His speech while it sounded more like a late night talk show monologue was really good and very funny at times. My favorite joke was when he criticized the president for wanting people to leave the country that don't speak English when he in fact can barely speak correct English himself. We found Britt and the Morins after the commencement and I then came back to Somerville to do some work.

It was a crazy and wet few days, but I think a lot was accomplished despite my exhaustion.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Mother's Day

Thanks to my aunt Carol I have made it onto another Boston website.

Got to BostonChannel Mother's Day Tribute. You can see a photo of my mom and I at the Red Sox game a couple weeks ago.

Have a great weekend. Jen and I are headed to Orlando tonight, but will return early on Sunday.


Monday, May 8, 2006

Honeymoons Are Annoying

Okay well I have recently learned something new about this whole getting married thing. If it wasn't enough that planning the wedding is sometimes stressful, annoying, frustrating and once in a while fun, we are now finding out that planning a honeymoon has moved in to a solid second. Originally as many of you know we had planned on going to Norway, but the thought of spending over $1000 just to get one of us over there, not to mention the costs of traveling over there for a week quickly sent us looking to another part of the globe. Next stop Alaska, hopefully you are all more knowledgable of the world than my hair cutter at SuperCuts, and can see the theme we were trying for. That being glaciers, cool weather in July and extended daylight hours. Well we aren't finding it much cheaper on the other side of the world either. Between the base cost of the cruise and the flights to Vancouver and from Anchorage, our original plan may be cheaper. At this point I think we would be better off renting a mansion in the mountains of northern NH since it would cost about the same price.

All kidding aside thought it is really difficult to find a "once in a lifetime" vacation that doesn't exhaust your savings. I know everybody is all up in our grill about making it special and apparently spending the little life savings we have, but I don't know about that. I guess I am being childish, but to me a down payment on a house just seems a lot more important to me than a vacation. The older and wiser generation will probably have something to say about it, but those are my thoughts.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Google Video Success

I was recently looking at my logs on Google Video and was amazed by all of the hits my movies have had since I uploaded them. Here is the breakdown:
BoCaNO Ski Movie - 109
First Snow Christmas Tree Hunt - 7
Mark On 3-D - 25
Road Trip to Tarpon Springs Florida - 56
Ski Film 1 - 7

I was very excited and added a new film last night from the videos I took up at Tuckerman's Ravine a couple weeks ago. I think this will be a big success because of all the people crashing and getting destroyed. It should be showing up soon, look for it at BoCaNO Films on Google Video.

Thanks for spreading the news!!

Monday, May 1, 2006

Invitations In The Mail

I just dropped off the invitations at the post office, so you should be expecting one in the mail in the coming week or so. I was a bit frustrated there and had to hold off on four that still required postage. I walk into the West Somerville post office and there was a line, which seems typical of most post offices. I stand in line and notice this guy at the counter with a stack of thirty or so envelopes. He is having the postman weigh them one at a time. I wanted to go over and punch the guy in the face, or at least buy him a book of stamps and tell him to just do it like everybody else. So since it was now approaching eleven, I ran over to the slot in the wall where you can put mail and deposited all 80 invitations two at a time into the wall. I quickly filled up the bin on the other side before taking off. I do think I accidentally dropped in one that I was supposed to hand deliver, it doesn't have a return address, but hopefully they will put two and two together and figure out the return address.

Things are rolling along with the wedding planning and getting the invitations out will remove a huge burden. Only two months from tomorrow and this will all be done and life will return to normal, well more or less.


Monday, April 17, 2006


On Friday night it was an evening at the old ballpark. I met mom at the Common and we walked to Fenway Park for the BoSox-Mariners game. After a little confusion we met Jennifer and Melissa on the way to the game. We took some photos outside the green monster and then we parted ways for our seats. Mom and I sat in right field right under the over hang, so when the rain came we stayed relatively dry. I was excited about the game because I had decided to keep score, so I was glad to get there early and get situated with my score card and my pen. I have developed my own system and while I did miss a couple pitches here and there I was able to record most of the game. It got tricky after the rain started, but I was able to keep the score card dry. The next morning I totaled up all of the statistics and my box score was correct. Tomorrow night Jennifer and I are going back to Fenway and once again I will be keeping score.

Here are my score cards from Friday's game. Click to zoom.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The New Table

Here is a photo of our new table and the chairs we bought at K-Mart for $25, there not the best chairs ever, but they match the table and I think they will last us a few years at least. I also uploaded some photos from Bust 'n' Burn a few weeks ago. I didn't get many, but here they are Rainy Bust 'n' Burn weekend

Monday, April 10, 2006

Google Videos Take Off

I know I never update and that is just something I have to accept for the time being. However I wanted to thank you all for the recent surge in viewings of my videos on Google Video. I have had 66 total views of my three movies. Its cool that people are actually going online and looking at those things. It is all the inspiration I need to do some more.

While I am here I will let you know what I have been up to lately. On Friday night I joined Mark, Kate and Amy at Jennie's Art Exhibition. It was a good time and there was a huge Su Doku bulletin board of countries which we managed to finish the puzzle. The next morning Jennifer and I woke up and drove down to Connecticut. Saturday night we went to Jennifer's 10 year reunion and had a fantastic time. Unlike my reunion, where Jennifer didn't know any of my classmates, I knew a whole bunch of her friends and their boyfriends so it was great.

Yesterday we went to a flea market in the morning and then drove home in the afternoon. I did get the chance to clean my car, which looks fantastic right about now. We bought a new table last week, which is huge, but unfortunately the chairs we had don't match the table so we went and bought some cheap chairs at KMart. So I had the fun job of putting the four chairs together and they look really great.

Okay until next time.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Two Things

I was just reading about the protests currently going on in France and wondered if Americans are happy with our situation and if we weren't would we still be able to create a gathering of so many people. Personally I feel like the whole protesting thing doesn't get much accomplished and is more of a nuisance. Is it possible that if enough people came out in protest of the war, we would actually get the troops out of Iraq? In this day and age I doubt it.

The other thing I have to announce is a new addition to my recent submissions to Google video. A couple years ago Brittany and I drove to Florida and brought along the video camera. Since we forgot to record while we were down there I ended up doing about a 25 minute narrative of our trip. I recently came across the video and decided to upload it to google video.
So here it is:
2003 Florida Trip Narrative Video

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

BoCaNO Ski Movie

Last night I pulled together a few movie clips and put them into some software, edited the videos, added an audio track and cut it as a 3 minute movie. So here is the link to my first officially rleased film, Ski Movie

I hope you enjoy it, I also have a higher resolution copy, but it was too big to upload to the internet. I can't wait to get started on my next film, oh yeah and this weekend I will be bringing my video camera up to Sunday River.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Great weekend, but where is Spring?!?!

Jennifer and I had a fantastic weekend, despite the chilly temps. On Friday night we went to the Paradise Lounge to check out a live show of Jeff Tuohy (the DJ for our wedding) and Percy Hill. We did the long T ride over there and had an okay dinner at the lounge and a couple hours later the show started. Right before the show started, Pants and Britt showed up and stayed for quite a while before jetting to another happening club. We finally got back to Somerville around one in the morning and went right to sleep.

The next morning we woke up too early, which left me tired for most of the day. Most of the day was spent indoors since it was cloudy and cold outside. Eventually we did venture out and walked to Whole Foods, I couldn't believe how cold it was so late in March. Saturday night was a lot more low key than Friday night.

Yesterday we were up relatively early and the sun was actually shining on Somerville. We strolled down to the cafe and ate our typical Sunday morning breakfast. Upon returning home we set out on a mission to clean up the house and let me just say "Mission Accomplished". It was intense cleaning, I moved furniture around, removed things from shelves and polished every wood surface. We did a little furniture movement and put the dining room table into the entry way in anticipation of buying a new table later in the day. Unfortunately when we got to the store the table was a little to big to fit in my car and now we have a dining room with four chairs, but no table. So now I have to figure out how to get a 7ft by 3 1/2 foot, 150 pound table from Everett to Somerville.

Now the week is beginning and I have a big project I need to work on, can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Hello all. I have two photo albums for you to enjoy.
Rockport Photos
Sunday River Photos

Enjoy and Happy Spring!! Despite the 20 degree temperatures.

Monday, March 13, 2006

All For One Pass Time Again

I received my annual mailing from the American Skiing Company telling me all about why I need to buy a season pass for NEXT winter. That's right I have until May 2nd to buy a season pass for the winter of 2006/2007. Last year was the first year they moved the deadline up from the standard August to May and this year they pushed it ahead another week. The other new things this year are that they are going to make even less passes available in order to "improve the experience of passholders" and the price will go up even more than it did last year after the deadline. So I have decided once again to hold out and not buy the pass until October again and if they run out of passes I guess I won't ski next year. I could understand the earlier deadline last year because the conditions were good and there had been an okay amount of snow, but this year the conditions are just, IMHO, horrible. I mean seriously they are just opening trails for the sake of opening them and not because they are worth opening. 90% of the trails are covered with thick ice sheets, that aren't exactly fun to ski on. The other recent development is the state of the bathroom's up there, I was in the White Cap bathroom and every stall was a mess, I won't go in to detail. Maybe they should take all of this extra capital and do something new with the mountain or keep things clean. Ahhhhh I am so annoyed.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Another Open Mike Night

This evening I took a walk down to my local pub and took in another open mike night. To my surprise I didn't see anybody peform from last week, so it was fresh and new. The first guy to perform was right of the boat from Japan. He barely spoke a word of english, but could play the guitar really well. He sang two songs in japanese and the other was in english. The round of applause this guy got was amazing and I am hoping he will return again in the future. Another change this week was that a woman got up and played a set. She was really good and had a great sense of humor, which really made for a great set. I might not be good enough to play at the open mike, but I sure do enjoy going to watch it.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Ski Weekend

A last minute change of plans sent me packing the car on Saturday morning and driving northbound towards Bethel. I have worked out a really good system that lets me spend time with Jennifer on Friday night and Saturday morning as well as get in some skiing on Saturday and a full day on Sunday. I used my tele skis on Saturday and had a nice afternoon, on Sunday I switched back to my alpines so I could keep up with the group. I have to say I have a lot more fun on the alpine skis then I do on the tele. The tele skis would be great if I went up more often and my body had a chance to strenghten the correct muscles, but this skiing once every doesn't allow for a very enjoyable tele experience. I am still on the fence for what I will use the rest of the season, but I am leaning towards the alpines especially if I want to compete in the Bust 'n' Burn competition. I did hit the bumps a little bit today and it felt good, although my legs aren't strong enough to complete an entire course.

Thanks again to Kate, Kelly and Mark for letting me crash at their house. I can't seem to get enough of sleeping on the couch in my sleeping bag. It might not be the couch though, and may actually just be the sleeping bag. You see my sleeping bag and I go way back, I somehow inherited it about 15 years ago when I lived in my mom's little ranch on Woodlawn street in Amesbury. You see back in those day I used to sleep on the pull out couch in the maroon sleeping bag. I used it a few times camping along the way. A couple years ago I brought it on a hike up Mt. Madison with Mark and Kate, at the time I wasn't too happy with it because it made the hike extremely difficult. You see I never had one of those carrying bags that really compresses the sleeping bag to a nice hiking friendly size so I had it attached to my backpack in an awkward uncomfortable way. Just picture me climbing up a trail with my head tilted over at a 45 degree angle with a giant marshmallow shape on my shoulder. Talk about a sore neck!!! Anyway I recently took the sleeping bag out of storage and have been keeping it in my trunk (I read that you are supposed to do that in case you get trapped in your car). Oh maroon sleeping bag I want to thank you for keeping me so warm and cozy over the last fifteen years, without you I would have frozen on one of these cold New England nights.