Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Little Road Trip: Glens Falls and the Adirondacks

Next stop in this year's little road trip was the original reason for the trip, a visit back home to Glens Falls, NY, to attend my cousin Matthew's wedding to the lovely Tatiana Zarnowski. Believe it or not, it was so busy that we forgot to pull out the big camera all that weekend. So I present to you a fairly random assortment of smart-phone snaps that turned out okay.

Saturday morning I drove around Glens Falls with my Dad, who came down to Glens Falls to buy his new truck:

By "new" I mean of course, "just a tick under 200,000 miles" or as Dad likes to call it, "barely broken in." With four-wheel drive, a new wooden flatbed, and -- luxury of luxuries for a work truck! -- air conditioning, he reckons it should be a pretty good ride for him. Initial reports after two weeks are that it's running strong and looking like a bargain.

Fortunately, my Dad was able to wrap up his business quickly because we all had to head North for my Matthew and Tatiana's wedding at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves on Trout Brook in Pottersville, NY. We didn't do the bridge and cave hike since we were busy attending a wedding, but Monique took a few pictures of the very scenic wedding site:

Trout Brook.

Me and my cousin Marcus, the best man.

Elena, Dad, and me. After the wedding it was on to the reception!

Cousin Paul, Uncle Tom, Aunt Carol.

My Aunt Nadine and one of the younger attendees.

Dancing, dancing, dancing!

Bride and groom dance.

And that's about it for wedding photos. Much fun was had and it was great to see a lot of assorted Magees again. I'm sure we'll come up with a good reason to all get together again soon.

The next day I hauled Malcolm and Henry up for a little drive around the Adirondacks and then back to Lake George for a swim and a stroll around the village.

See how happy they look. That's because this is before I dragged them across the street and thumped them at mini golf at "18 Holes Around the World" despite their vastly superior European knowledge. Woe betide the unwary teenager who goes up against a fat middle-aged man in mini-golf.

After the swim and the mini-golfing, we stopped to pick up a bit of seafood on the way home. While Malcolm, Henry, and I had been galavanting about the mountains, Monique had made herself genuinely useful and rustled up the preparations for a seafood feast as a bit of a surprise for my stepfather Dick, who's spent too much of the summer housebound because of a bad hip. The seafood feast included shrimp cocktail, steamed clams, and two enormous lobsters.

They were so big we had troubles getting them into the oversized pot. The usual lobster-cracking tools and picks wouldn't work, so I had to root around the basement to fetch some giant pliers and a ball-peen hammer so that we could crack their shells.

It was yummy.

And that's about it for this post. As I said at the top, a bit of a random assortment of cell-phone photos from a fun, but very busy, weekend back in Hometown, USA.

Next stop? New York City.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

21st Century Office Décor

Sharing a little snippet from an email conversation today in which I described the decorating theme of the meeting room at work that I use for most of my conference calls:

Scandinavian Despair – Featuring a palate of whites and greys reminiscent of twilight at the Arctic Circle, this mandatory office decor theme evokes the soul-crushing existential despair of an Ingmar Bergman movie. Navy blue chairs provide minimal respite from the bleak color scheme. The optional black-and-white Snoopy mug adds a touch a whimsy. Hooded Death action figure and scythe not included.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Little Road Trip: Niagara Falls

The was no Big Road Trip on this summer's schedule, but we did take a Little Road Trip. Monique and I were headed back to Glens Falls for an August wedding, so we decided to pack Malcolm and Henry along with us to look at some of New York, both upstate and the city.

The vacationing started with a nighttime arrival on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

The next morning saw us breakfasting poolside on donuts at the luxurious Falcon Inn in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Then it was off to the Falls.

Gosh, that boat looked like it was having a good time. We decided to take a little ride.

Alas, it was a bit damp under the Falls, so we don't really have any pictures of our ride on the Hornblower Cruise, the Canadian equivalent of the famed "Maid of the Mist." You'll have to take our word for it that it was spectacular and lots of fun.

After our ride under the Falls? Flowers!

Then we took the funicular up the hill for a little lunch.

Then back in the Jag and off to the USA. Farewell, Niagara Falls. We're moving on to the Adirondacks!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dream Cruise 2015

Monique and I took the FUN MG for a pass through the 2015 Dream Cruise today. Everybody in Detroit knows about the Dream Cruise, of course, but for those who don't know, it's the world's largest annual automotive event: a loosely organized cruise up and down Woodward Avenue just north of Detroit. In theory it's a one-day event, but the cruising is pretty heavy for days and weeks beforehand, and Dream Cruise week features a wide variety of events.

What I like the most about the Dream Cruise is it's free-for-all format. There are no restrictions or requirements. All you have to do is have a car and a desire to drive around and look at other cars. Sure, that brings more than a few beat-up old minivans into the mix, but there are more than enough classics, oddities, exotics, and just plain cool cars to make up the difference. All the cars create a lot of stop-and-go traffic in the heart of the cruise, but that gives you plenty of time to look around you at the madness.

This year we just took a single pass through the cruise, south from Long Lake Rd. down to 8-Mile -- about ten miles that took us more than an hour in the creeping traffic. Then we turned around, puttered a couple miles back up to I-696, and headed home. It was plenty hot on the pavement: high 80s with bright sunshine beating down everywhere. Today's photographer is Monique, who captured a fairly random and fun assortment of things that caught our eye as I drove. Rather than try to whittle it down to a few pictures I decided to post a ton of the ones that turned out well in what's probably a futile attempt to capture the scale of the thing. But it's still less than 1% of the cars we saw.

Last note before the pictures: oddly enough in our world of selfies we forgot to take a pictures of ourselves! Oh well, there's always next year.

1963 Ford Galaxie convertible.

Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

Ford F150, Chevy Nova, Corvette.

VW Beetle.


Citroën 2CV.

Mid-60s Chevy Corvette convertible.

VW Camper Van.

This might be a Studebaker, but I'm going to have to check it out a bit more closely.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Ford F150.

Ford Thunderbird.

Covette Stingray in front of one of the Channel 7 TV Coverage tents.

Mercedes 560SL convertible.

Radical SR3 Supersport.

Mercedes 230SL convertible.

VW Camper Van.

VW Karmann Ghia.

Chevrolet Corvette.

Oldsmobile 442.

2015 Ford Mustang.

Chevrolet Impala.


Ford Mustang.

Chevrolet Corvette.

Ford F250.

Yet another DeLorean! Good God there were a lot of them about. Who knew?!

Ford Econoline pickup.

Chevrolet Camaro.

It's a Mopar Super Bee of some sort.

I believe this is a '59 Cadillac.

Triumph TR3.

And that was our little slice of the Dream Cruise.