Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vows

1. To every day be true and faithful to you.
2. To never say anything that I can’t take back – even if sometimes we might not agree with one another, I will always do my best to be “excellent” to you!
3. To bring you roses and other presents as often as I can.
4. To hold you and make you feel beautiful (more beautiful than Princess Leia was to the childhood version of me) for all of your days.
5. To clean up after myself and to be helpful around the house, Debra.
6. To make your dream of having a house that is a home a reality.
7. To take you to places that fill you with wonder and excitement.
8. To take care of you when you’re sick and not feeling well (in good times and bad).
9. To always remember how much you inspire me with your strength and determination.
10. To spend lots of quality time with you.
11. To always cherish your meatball sandwiches!
12. To never feel like you owe me anything and to always be thankful for what you give me.
13. To encourage you to greatness and to always believe in my pookie bear.
14. To never stop acting goofy in my love for you.
15. To always find time to go on walks together.
16. To try not to snore and drive you crazy with my bodily functions!
17. To always let you know that we are a family in how I dedicate myself to the commitment that is this marriage.
18. To always get googly-eyed when I look back on the pictures of the great times that we’ve had.
19. To never stop daydreaming about how our life could have more great times and to make those great times a reality.
20. To never stop letting you know that someday I really would like a PSA10 Roger Maris rookie card – even if I know that I would never want you to spend all that money to buy it unless we win the lottery. In that case, I really do want it!
21. AND… to always realize that I have to work for the privilege and the special thing that we have together.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Red Sox phone in the season

Thanks, David Ortiz. The memories were great, but nobody believes your Saturday speech. When I sat hanging out with a friend and heard that you and Manny failed your drug test prior to the 2003 season, all I could mutter was that's so "sad."

You've gradually declined for a couple of years now. Bill Simmons hoped that it was non U.S. "baseball player aging" (i.e. lying on birth certificates to get a bigger contract - Miguel Tejada and Orlando Hernandez, for example). The truth was that the line of use and non-use had caught up to the big guy.

It's not that you're alone in this. Most players use (sadly, I believe Jose Canseco on this). It's just how bad this season got with people believing you could turn it around. Your batting average is a liability. You don't play a position. You're over the hill, and it hurts to say goodbye, but we must (wish someone would have done that for John Smoltz before the season started).

On top of this, Lowell is injury plagued. The offense was terrible this weekend in going 30+ innings without a run before the guy who will replace Varitek (Victor Martinez - bold move by the way) hit a homerun. Now, we have to face a future without Varitek's leadership (even if his offense is a liability). Daisuke has been injured and whining. Leadership chooses to believe in Bucholz even though he should have been jettisoned in any good pitching trade (why isn't Halladay pitching at Fenway?).

The only thing left to believe in is Youkilis, Beckett, Pedroia, Papelbon, Bay, and Lester. That's it.

Time to rebuild. This team has officially run its course.

RIP.

The songs of the wedding.

Well, it's 4 days until the big day and I feel like a 6-year old kid at Christmas. I can't wait to get this thing going. So many great things to do. The big reception with the rehearsal first. All the chairs and tables to set up. The last minute things to buy and prep for. The honeymoon is coming. And no, I didn't choose West Virginia... Ariel did.

And we've been busy doing things - that's why I haven't blogged. We went to Florida (I should blog all of that later) and we went a few places over the summer, but mostly, it was grading the 3 classes that I was teaching and unwinding. It's amazing how much time you can spend doing that. I don't think that we've been hiking since we did Raymondksill and 7 Tubs. Anyway, all of the pictures of those things (and everything else) is here while the videos are here.

But yeah... as the guy in charge of the music (with creative assistance from his wife to be), I put together the music for the wedding. On that note, the dance music is hers. I would have replaced those with more unruly stuff, but Ariel seems to feel people will want to dance (I did the classic rock / country mix in case they didn't).

Wedding Songs Lists

Music to Set up the Chairs to (Bumble and the chair crew people)
1. Now by Everclear
2. Firecracker by Ryan Adams
3. More than a Feeling by Boston
4. Over and Over by Neil Young
5. Crash into Me by Dave Matthews Band
6. Franklin’s Tower by The Grateful Dead
7. Run Like an Antelope by Phish
8. When the Fool Becomes a King by Polyphonic Spree
9. Margaritaville (live) by Jimmy Buffett
10. Friends in Low Places (extra verse live) by Garth Brooks
11. Free Bird (live) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Wedding CD1(when people are getting there)
1. Do You Realize by Flaming Lips
2. Stand by Me by John Lennon
3. Baby I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney
4. Our House by Crosby Stills and Nash
5. Never Had Nobody But You by M Ward
6. Let’s Get it On by Marvin Gaye
7. Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe by Barry White
8. Let’s Stay Together by Al Green
9. Your Song by Elton John
10. Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel
11. All the Right Reasons by The Jayhawks
12. I Will by Allison Kraus
13. Hard Drive by Evan Dando
14. Living Life by The Eels
15. Northern Sky by Nick Drake
16. Anyone Else But You by Michael Cera and Ellen Page
17. 1,2,3,4 by The Plain White Ts
18. Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Callet
19. I’m Beginning to See the Light by Bobby Darin
20. Oh Look at Me Now by Frank Sinatra
21. Book of Love by Peter Gabriel
22. The Luckiest by Ben Folds
23. Theme From Married With Children
24. Grow Old With You by Adam Sandler
25. Question by Old 97s

Walking Down the Aisle
1. Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop Landon Pigg

Wedding CD 2(pictures and walking back the aisle the other way)
1. I’m With Her by Rhett Miller
2. Follow Through by Gavin Degraw
3. Endless Love by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
4. I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra
5. Crazy in Love by Beyonce
6. I’m Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
7. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police
8. Younger Yesterday by Polyphonic Spree
9. I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
10. Anyone Else but You by The Moldy Peaches
11. Never Tear Us Apart by INXS
12. Love Remains by Gavin Rossdale
13. Crush by David Archuletta
14. Head Over Feet by Alanis Morrissette
15. I’ve Got a Crush On You by Ella Fitzgerald
16. Somebody by Depeche Mode
17. Today by The Smashing Pumpkins
18. Crazy Love by Van Morrison and Bob Dylan
19. Follow You Follow Me by Redhouse Painters
20. Hesitating Beauty by Billy Bragg and Wilco
21. Lost in this Moment by Big and Rich

1st Wedding CD (getting the party started!) VERSION 2 – THE FINAL VERSION
1. Let’s Go Crazy by Prince
2. You’re The One That I Want by John Travlota and Olivia Newton John
3. Beautiful Day by U2
4. Candyman by Christina Aguilera
5. Can’t Feel My Soul by Teenage Fanclub
6. Mr. Wrong by Cracker
7. Like a Prayer by Madonna
8. Friday I’m In Love by The Cure
9. I Melt With You by Modern English
10. Is There Something I Should Know by Duran Duran
11. We’re Gonna Be Friends by Jack Johnson
12. Into Your Arms by The Lemonheads
13. What I Like About You by The Romantics
14. Take on Me by A-Ha
15. Modern Love by David Bowie
16. Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung
17. Hold Me Now by The Thompson Twins
18. Come on Eileen by Badly Drawn Boy
19. You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates
20. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler

The Fun CD
1. I’m All Right by Kenny Loggins
2. Be Good to Yourself by Journey
3. With Plenty of Money and You by Count Basie
4. Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone
5. Ants in My Pants by James Brown
6. ABC by The Jackson 5
7. Saturday in the Park by Chicago
8. I Get Around by The Beach Boys
9. I’m a Believer by The Monkees
10. I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles
11. It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones
12. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
13. Shout by The Isley Brothers
14. Gimme Some Lovin by The Spencer Davis Group
15. Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham and The Pharoads
16. Good Lovin by The Rascals
17. Soul Man by Sam and Dave
18. Nowhere to Run To by Martha and the Vandellas
19. Get Ready by Rare Earth
20. Burning Love by Elvis Presley
21. This Old Heart of Mine by the Isley Brothers
22. I Can’t Help Myself by The Four Tops
23. Baby I Need Your Loving by The Temptations
24. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
25. Carrie Anne by The Hollies
26. I’m Into Something Good by Herman’s Hermits
27. My Funny Valentine by Frank Sinatra
28. I’m Beginning to See the Light by Bobby Darin

First Dance CD VERSION 2 – THE FINAL VERSION
1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatrat
2. Kiss the Girl by Samuel Wright
3. Book of Love by Magnetic Fields
4. Light and Day (orchestral) by Polyphonic Spree
5. All You Need is Love by The Beatles
6. Question by Rhett Miller
7. Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg
8. Grow Old With You by Adam Sandler
9. Anyone Else but You by The Moldy Peaches
10. The Luckiest by Ben Folds
11. Everything by Alanis Morrissette
12. Northern Sky by Nick Drake
13. 1,2,3,4 by Plain White Ts
14. Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Callet
15. Follow You Follow Me by Redhouse Painters
16. Love Remains by Gavin Rossdale
17. Follow Through by Gavin Degraw
18. Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
19. Everybody Loves Somebody by Dean Martin
20. Here’s to the Night by Eve 6
21. At My Most Beautiful by REM
22. Somebody by Depeche Mode
23. True by Spandau Ballet

2nd Wedding CD
1. Right Here Right Now by Jesus Jones
2. This is the Day by The The
3. Waking Up In Vegas by Katy Perry
4. The Show by Lenka
5. Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer
6. Fields of Gold by Sting
7. Your Love is the Place Where I Come From by Teenage Fanclub
8. Moon Dance by Van Moorison
9. Dance All Night by Ryan Adams
10. Wouldn’t It Be Nice by the Beach Boys
11. I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles by The Proclaimers
12. The Climb by Miley Cyrus
13. Head Over Heels by The Go Gos
14. That’s What You Get by Paramore
15. Untouched by The Veronicas
16. Such Great Heights by The Postal Service
17. Energy by Apples in Stereo
18. Young Americans by David Bowie
19. Little Green Bag by The George Baker Selection
20. I’m Amazed by My Morning Jacket
21. Can’t Get Enough of You Baby by Smashmouth
22. Our Song by Taylor Swift

The Fun CD 2
1. It Came Out of the Sky by Credence Clearwater Revival
2. I Should Have Known Better by The Beatles
3. Walk Don’t Run by the Ventures
4. I Only Want to Be With You by The Bay City Rollers
5. Dancing Queen by Abba
6. Fun, Fun, Fun by The Beach Boys
7. Happy Together by The Turtles
8. Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones
9. Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye
10. Got to Get You Off My Mind by Solomon Burke
11. Na Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye by Steam
12. RESPECT by Aretha Franklin
13. Soul Power (live) by James Brown
14. Bop Gun by Parliament
15. Maceo Parker
16. Double Shot of My Baby’s Love by The Swinging Medallions
17. Shotgun by The All Stars
18. Rave On by Buddy Holly
19. At the Hop by Danny and the Junions
20. Chantilly Lace by The Big Bopper
21. Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochran
22. Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis
23. Tequilla by The Champs
24. Run on by Elvis Presley
25. Ain’t Too Proud to Beg by The Temptations
26. I’ve Got the World on a String by Frank Sinatra

Final CD Before Dance Music VERSION 2 – THE FINAL VERSION
1. Eight Days a Week by Ted’s Band (Scrubs)
2. Theme from the Loveboat
3. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
4. Let My Love Open the Door by Pete Townsend
5. Girl from Ipanema by Some Latin Jazz Dude
6. My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
7. Don’t Trust Me by 3OH!3
8. That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings
9. I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
10. Love Shack by The B52s
11. Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order
12. Groove is in the Heart by Dee Lite
13. Superfreak by Rick James
14. Like a Virgin by Madonna
15. Get Right Back by Maxine Nightengale
16. Summertime by Will Smith
17. Love Sex Magic by Ciara and Justin Timberlake
18. Clumsy by Fergie
19. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
20. Umbrella by Rhianna
21. Drop it Like it’s Hot by Snoop Dogg

Dance 1
1. Let’s Get Retarded by The Black Eyed Peas
2. Baby Got Back by Sir Mixalot
3. Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer
4. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
5. Push It by Salt N Pepa
6. Single Ladies by Beyonce
7. Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira
8. Don’t Stop the Music by Rhianna
9. Get Your Freak On by Missy Eliot
10. Milkshake by Kelis
11. Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado
12. Rock Your Body by Justin Timberlake
13. Hey Ya by Outkast
14. In Da Club by 50 Cent
15. Blame It by Jamie Foxx
16. Hot in Here by Nelly
17. California Love by Tupac
18. Dirt Off Your Shoulder by Jay Z
19. Yeah by Usher, Ludacris, and Little Jon
20. Tipsy by J Kwon

Dance 2
1. Get the Party Started by Pink
2. Crazy in Love by Beyonce
3. Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child
4. Can’t Get You Out of My Head by Kylie Minogue
5. American Boy by Estelle and Kanye West
6. Dirrty by Christina Aguilera
7. I Like To Move It by Reel 2 Reel
8. Right Round by Flo Rida
9. This Is How We Do It by Montell JOrdan
10. Belly Dancer (remix) by Akon
11. Flap Your Wings by Nelly
12. Stronger by Kanye West
13. Shake Your Tailfeather by Nelly, P Diddy, and Murphy Lee
14. Stand Up by Ludacris
15. Boom Boom Pow by The Black Eyed Peas
16. London Bridge by Fergie
17. Turn This Mutha Out by MC Hammer
18. Don’t Cha by Pussycat Dolls
19. Work It by Missy Eliot
20. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It by Will Smith

Dance 3
1. Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool
2. Up in Here by DMX
3. You Can Do It by Ice Cube
4. Get Low by Little Jon
5. The Way I Are by Timbaland
6. Lollipop by Little Wayne
7. Da Butt by EU
8. Gold Digger by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx
9. Hey Mama by Black Eyed Peas
10. Candy Shop by 50 Cent
11. Temperature by Sean Paul
12. Get Your Freak On by Missy Eliot
13. Buttons by Pussycat Dolls
14. Independent Woman 1 by Destiny’s Child
15. Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
16. Run It by Chris Brown
17. Back That Azz Up by Juvenile
18. No Diggity by Blackstreet
19. Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake
20. Gonna Make You Sweat by C+C Music Factory

Dance Music 4
1. I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas
2. Turn this Mutha Out by LL Cool J
3. Bust a Move by Young MC
4. Bring the Noise by Public Enemy
5. New Jack Hustler by Ice T
6. 99 Problems by Jay Z
7. Magic Stick by 50 Cent and Lil Kim
8. Drop it Like it’s Hot by Snoop Dogg
9. Touch the Sky by Kanye West
10. I’m Real by Jennifer Lopez
11. Ain’t No Other Man by Christina Aguilera
12. Umbrella by Rhianna
13. Whenever Forever by Shakira
14. Independent Woman Part 1 by Destiny’s Child
15. Groove is in the Heart by Dee Lite
16. Get Off by Prince
17. Nothing but a G Thing by Dr. Dre
18. The Humpty Dance by Digital Undeground

Classic Rock CD
1. Suite Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby Stills and Nash
2. Tiny Dancer by Elton John
3. Piano Man by Billy Joel
4. Dear Prudence by The Beatles
5. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
6. Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meat Loaf
7. I Want You to Want Me (live) by Cheap Trick
8. Magic Bus by The Who
9. Dream On by Aerosmith
10. Light My Fire by The Doors
11. Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix
12. You Shook Me All Night Long by ACDC
13. Let’s Spend the Night Together by The Rolling Stones
14. Lola (live) by the Kinks
15. Hotel California by the Eagles

Classic Southern Country
1. Changes by David Bowie
2. Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed
3. America by Simon and Garfunkel
4. Box of Rain by The Grateful Dead
5. American Pie by Don Mclean
6. Free Fallin by Tom Petty
7. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
8. Tell Me by The Rolling Stones
9. Margaritaville (live) by Jimmy Buffet
10. Ramble On by Led Zeppelin
11. Rock and Roll All Night by Kiss
12. All Summer Long by Kid Rock
13. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
14. Family Tradition by Hank Jr.
15. Nothing I Can Do About It Now by Willie Nelson
16. Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich
17. As Good as I Once Was by Toby Keith
18. I’ve Always Been Crazy by Waylon Jennings
19. I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash

Driving Off into the Sunset
1. Question by The Old 97s
2. Celebration by Kool and the Gang
3. I’m Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
4. Rock and Roll Part 2 by Gary Glitter
5. Be Good To Yourself by Journey
6. Gimme Some Lovin’ by Spencer Davis Group
7. Running Away by The Polyphonic Spree
8. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
9. Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
10. I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
11. Independent Room by Fugazichild
12. Hey Ya by Lorene Drive
13. Umbrella by All Time Low
14. California Love by My American Heart
15. Gin and Juice by The Gourds
16. Why Don’t We Get Drunk by Jimmy Buffett
17. If I had a Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies
18. Desert Rose by Sting
19. Beautiful by The Lemonheads

Monday, June 15, 2009

Five thoughts in my life.

So here we are at (1) 2 months until the wedding and 31 days until Florida vacation, and we're thinking about the (2) big house purchase. It's a lot of thoughts, but that's good. Here's to the future in that.

And as we think about that, it's nice to think back to a Saturday where we (3) tagged Lower Raymondskill, going through the creek to get to this scene. Even with the residual bug bites, it was the most beautiful waterfall I've seen (and challenging too!!).

So as the sun rises, we look forward to so many things - like evening walks as the (4) lightning bugs / fireflies have returned. Yep.

So please tell me - why do I have to go back to work already? This (5) weekend can't be over yet, can it?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Disney UP Review.

Best movie of the year.

You'll cry. You'll laugh. You'll cry some more. You'll feel inspired to live your dreams. You'll look at your life and say that while you went 1 way and ended up another, it "made all the difference."

I don't know if this is a movie for kids so much as the kid in adults. The beginning is heavy. At one point, Ariel asked me if Ellie was going to die and I nodded because I already knew what was coming. How else does Carl end up alone? But nevertheless, the heavy stuff isn't so much in the death (sitting alone at the front of a church), but in the cracking of the savings jar every time a calamity arises or going to the obstetrician's office and seeing him point at the womb and realizing she's barren. Perhaps even more powerful is the frustration of Carl as he's being forced out of his house by an evil builder that looks like something malicious out of the Matrix only to be told that he doesn't seem like a menace to society when he's given 1 night to gather his belongings and be ditched in the old folks home.

But then comes the balloons and life goes UP!! And it does get positive, but...

For all the kids in the audience, they weren't doing the fun Madagascar 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens thing that we saw them getting into when we saw those movies at the theater (Amish Paradise gets a lot of first run family films and charges $5 a person to see them).

The animation was spectacular. Paradise Falls did seem an ultimate destination for a waterfall aficionado like myself, and things did seem realistic. Russell as the lost little kid without a male role model (a younger Carl) was also really fun and played well in the pictures of the New Adventure Book. Charles Muntz is positively evil and his dogs run between amusing and evil, which makes them the perfect villains for an old guy, a young boy, a talking dog, and a rare bird to have to run away from.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Congratulations, Randy Johnson!!

In a week where fellow lefthander and 300 game winner Tom Glavine was released, Randy Johnson won his 300th game. Sure, the Big Ugly did tarnish his reputation as the pitcher that killed the Yankees (with a little help from Luis Gonzalez) by joining the Yankees, but as an afterthought in his 40s for the Giants, he shut down the Nationals for the win.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So busy lapping in the spring and summer greens!

See here for the videos that we've been making of our journeys (to include Bullfrog Love Orgy).

We've been so busy for so long... it's kind of hard to figure out all the places that we've gone and done, but here are some of them.

The most recent place is the final part of the trail at Glen Onoko. We went there last year, but after doing Bushkill falls, Ariel stopped at the first falls (Chameleon Falls). This year, we did all 3 falls, but I wrecked my back on this part of the rocks that we descended (as it was the easy way down - really) while Ariel wrecked her foot, and since then (Saturday), we've been kind of mopey and gimpy.

One can argue the worth of a hike that we take ourselves out on, but views of the Lehigh Gorge that look like this make it all worthwhile.





We like to refer to this picture as a new standard of toughness since it represents the hike that we did to make it to Hidden Sweet, which was through the "trail" that is located in the picture after it. In all honesty, I've never gone off the map like that (through stream, trees, and all kinds of other obstacles to get to some semblance of a rock and boulder path) to get where I was going. It felt like being Lewis and Clark.

The picture of the 2 of us standing is a shot taken from the top of Hidden Sweet, which despite having no view of anything represents the culmination of ascent on our hike that day.

This is a view from the 2nd falls (Onoko) and a view of the top of the 2nd falls.













This next picture is what Onoko Falls looks like after a night of rain. I have to say that it was so much more vibrant and gushing than when I made it to this point last year.







This is a picture of the first falls (Chameleon Falls), which is quite beautiful and difficult to get to on its own.











This is the first of many nameless falls on the trails. In all honesty, with the steepness, it's kind of hard to tell where falls begin and end.









When our day was over on Saturday, we ended up at Beltzville Lake for a Subway picnic. Sure, it's a manmade lake and over-trafficed, but it was a fun day.

The following pictures were taken at Ricketts Glen. I've elaborated on this park many times, so I don't really think I have to do too much for this, but I will say the top picture at Harrison Wright was one of the few pictures that actually didn't get botched by the white light of the waterfalls and the intense sunlight peering through the trees on the mountainside. On another note, that's our friends Steph and Nic in the picture with us. She finally got to see Ricketts properly, and he saw it for the first time.

































This next picture was the cherry tree blossoms at the school that I teach at. We missed out on the cherry blossoms at DC (ending up at Mount Vernon instead when we were stuck in traffic way too long).


The following 2 pictures were taken of a very hot day at Mount Vernon that was really neat (save the 2 hours waiting in line to get in the mansion in a herd formation) - even if it wasn't Jefferson's Monticello (so much cooler, but then again, TJ was so much better than GW).
















These next 2 pictures were taken at Long's Park in Lancaster. I was really digging the pink cherry blossoms in nature poses this season. Check out the duck in shadows behind them.




















The next 2 pictures are the Ephrata Cloister. The people who run the place want $9 to get in, but you can get in the museum for free. You can also shoot pictures over the fence for free after you wander around the graveyard for free. Frankly, spending money to look at several hundred year old recreated houses that belonged to one of the endless cults of no sex in America isn't what either of us wanted to do, so even though it's about 5 blocks or so from our current abode doesn't mean that we've actually truly seen it. And no... Ariel isn't Amish or Mennonite.


















The pictures of cherry blossoms here are from down our street. Beau-tee-full!!









The following pictures were taken at Knife's Edge and Bear Rocks just off the Appalachian Trail in eastern PA (outside of Allentown by a little ways).






























The following 2 snake pictures (as taken on that trail) are a garter snake and an eastern hognose snake.





The following pictures are from the mountain that is above Cabelas in Hamburg (the biggest Cabelas in the world!). If you look at my pictures throughout all of my hikes, you might be convinced that there is never a day without fog on that mountain. You'd most likely be right. Either that or I have bad luck.










































The next pictures were taken on our hike to the Pinnacle, which is located near Hawk Mountain, but is not actually a part of that place. It's about a 9 mile hike that gives 2 excellent views of the surrounding farms and valleys.















This is what I like to refer to as bullfrog love orgy. Cue Marvin Gaye, Barry White, or Slayer... whatever you play, love is in the air!! Actually, there were 8 bullfrogs in the mud puddle - of which 6 were "gettin' it on!"























The following 4 pictures were taken on my 20 miles around Blue Marsh to prove that I could still do it (also, to celebrate the 19th anniversary of my first day in the Air Force) hike. I did it, and I walked the next day, but I wasn't doing well as the sweat stuck to my chest, and I burned a hell of a lot more calories than I took in. It took about a week to feel normal again, but I did it!!

I must say that the green fields was the best nature image of the day - although the sky above where I took the self picture (while listening to Polyphonic Spree) ranked a very close 2nd! A much better way to spend a work day than actually working!!!!








The final 2 pictures are a hike that Ariel and I took along the Tulpehocken Creek where they built a brand new trail that is very well manicured. Not many views, but it does link that 8 mile back and forth trail to Blue Marsh for about a 40 mile total jaunt- if a person is up for it!

Note the fish in the stream. We were contemplating telling the fishermen of their location, but alas, we let them swim another day.