New York City

RKDeem Endorses: Grand Central Station in New York City.  It is such a shame that the vast majority of the millions of people who take the train into NYC are deposited into Manhattan’s Penn Station.  The real gem, one of my most favorite displays of architecture anywhere, is the smaller, but much more grand, Grand Central Station.  I’m entering this blog via email, so I can’t post a picture, but do yourself a favor and do a Google Image search of Grand Central Station and look at how beautiful it is.  You can still catch a train out of Grand Central, but largest volume has now been routed to the dingy and boring Penn Station.  Grand Central is gorgeous, but the appeal doesn’t stop there, you can find an incredible market and excellent restaurants with comfy, clean and open seating for you to enjoy.  I guess Grand Central couldn’t be so nice if it received the bulk of New York City’s traffic.  Honestly, if you’re going to be a tourist in NYC for a day, you must make this one of your stops.  Grab lunch from one of the many restaurants downstairs, they are reasonable, delicious, and there’s plenty to see.
Morning:  I had a meeting on my calendar for 6:30AM today, so when I walked out of my bedroom I saw my wife buried under the covers with just her hair poking out the covers.  Winston was snoring on an auxiliary mattress on the floor in the downward dog position (this is the only yoga term I know), and Dalia was screaming her crib in the other bedroom, so I laid her down next to her mother.  I covered Winston up, told the gang that I loved them, and crept out down the hallway.  What a crew.
New York was…:  Great!  What a perfect place to take a 3 year old.  Winston loved the cranes, planes, trains, tunnels, Times Square Hershey Chocolate Store, M&Ms World, Grand Central Station, going to the top of 30 Rockefeller (70 floors up!), and meeting up with friends Kristin & Kyle.  By the way, taking the elevator up to the top of 30 Rock (as they call it in the biz) is one of the craziest things I have ever done in my life.  The top of the elevator is somewhat see through, with a TV playing on the ceiling.  You can see through the TV on the ceiling of the elevator and see straight up the elevator shaft which is lit by 4 blue lights at every floor.  Once the elevator takes off, it is like flying through space in hyperdrive (I had to unveil my geekiness at some point!) with all the bright blue lights of every floor passing you by.  It is honestly so high up, you can’t see the top, although Dalia tried, I held her legs tight and she leaned back so far that she was completely perpendicular to my body and she just stared as we ascending through the building.  Once we were at the top of the building, we could see the entire island of Manhattan, probably quite a bit of all the surrounding boroughs too.  We were about level with the top of the Empire State Building and you have 360 degree views, another excellent thing to do while you’re in NYC.  You’re about level with the helicopters and Central Park looks like a postage stamp, pretty incredible. 
 On the horizon:  I’m turning 31 on October 7.  Pumpkin picking.  Burning more wood.  Local vinyards.

Knighthouse Review – Doylestown PA

RKDeem Endorses – My wife and I celebrated our anniversary this week at the Knighthouse in Doylestown.  The Knighthouse is always winning awards and I haven’t heard a bad thing about it, but it’s on the outskirts of town and we have never ate there before.  Tuesday night seemed like a perfect night to go, figured it would be a slow night and we’d have the place to ourselves, I was only half right.  The outside seating was packed and it looked like everyone was loose and having fun, we asked the host if he could get us a seat out there, but there wasn’t a table available.  He seated us in the inside dining area and we literally had the entire room to ourselves.  The inside of the place won’t knock you out with glitz and glam, it’s actually pretty basic.  We constantly had waiters and waitresses buzzing back and forth to make their way outdoors and patrons were barreling in to use the restrooms, but none of that was an issue because we had an incredible waitress who was one part courteous, one part happy, and one part on top of her game.  Everything was prompt and correct and a glass never went past half full (I’m an optimist!). 

The food was delicious, we started off with lobster mac n’cheese and there was plenty of lobster in every bite.  I had steak and Jac had the salmon, we both felt that the meal was top notch. 

We had no idea, in fact, I hope Jac doesn’t read this, but it turns out they run a special on weeknights.  If you buy one entree, you get the other half off.  This promotion ended up saving us $11 from the bill. 

The Knighthouse isn’t my favorite restaurant ever, I still love the Black Bass, Hamilton Grill, and Marsha Brown’s a tiny bit more, but I’d say the Knighthouse would fall in my top ten. 

Back to School – We had our first back to school night for Winston’s preschool.  We had to sit in their tiny preschool chairs, I felt like King Kong on a bar stool.  The teacher had no comments about individual students, but in the back of my mind, I keep waiting for the eventual moment when the teacher tells me my son is a wild thing. 

Sunglasses – Last night Winston was trying on sunglasses, he never wore hats or sunglasses before, but now he’s more open to dressing up.  He loves scaring people too, in fact, I think he’s going to get a real kick out of Halloween this year.  I think we’ll have to get a video of him scaring people. 

This Weekend – This weekend we’re going to try to make it to Times Square.  Its ambiteous, but I think the huge Toys R Us with the Ferris Wheel will literally blow Winston and Dalia’s mind.  There’s not many places that really make me stare in awe anymore, but New York City always impresses me with its size, I think the small island has an inferiority complex. 

Change of Format

RKDeem Endorses:  Tonelli’s Restaurant in Horsham.  Here’s what is awesome about Tonelli’s, you seat yourself at lunch and help yourself to free refills, their pizza is insanely good, and they have plenty of TVs to watch “the game”.  Here’s what is incredible about Tonelli’s, you can get six packs of beer through their drive through take out window.

Sports:  The Bulldogs moved up into a more competitive division and we won our first two games.  No thanks to me, I had one of my most horrible offensive performances that I can remember.  That’s what has been really fun about this season, when some folks aren’t getting it done, other teammates pick it up and shine. 

Entertainment:  I watched Apocalypto this weekend.  It definitely held my attention, but I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you love crazy tribal violence (according to my research, that’s 0.3% of my blog audience).  The movie is about two hours, the first hour is about hard times falling on a tribe, getting their huts burned, women raped, and children killed, the men were tied up and taken away to some crazy pyramid.  Second hour of the movie starts off with several beheadings, a solar eclipse, and then the hard luck tribe exacts revenge by killing everyone that messed with their village.  Moral of the story, don’t mess with indians, oh wait, America did it and we turned out alright. 

Weekend Activities:  We went to Jim Thorpe on Saturday and had a blast.  I’ve talked about Jim Thorpe before and I think the town is gorgeous.  The Lehigh River runs through town and it roars through the valley with enough current to make it popular with the kayakers and white water rafters.  It also has a bunch of hiking and biking trails and attracts a lot of the granola folks.  The town itself has fancy restaurants, a concert hall, and the reason we were there, a railroad that runs along the Lehigh River.  We knew Winston would love the train, but we all had a blast.  It was a lot more reasonable than the New Hope train and you go on a longer ride.  If you do happen to travel to Jim Thorpe, get there early because it gets very busy and traffic crawls through the main road during the height of the day.     

You Said What?:  If you can believe it, I have a parent teacher conference this Tuesday for Winston’s pre-school.  He’s only been there for one class, but it blows my mind that I’ll be meeting with a teacher about my son.  Seems way too grown up. 

It Is Starting To Look Like Fall

Not sure if everyone is updated on our home search, but the latest news is that the mortgage company either wants me to have a two year history of steady contractor work (right now I have 5 months) or get hired as an actual employee of a company.  I’m really hoping that I get hired some time this year so we can move into a nice home.

The Bulldogs have lost a couple key players for the Fall season and if you know someone who’d be a good addition, please let me know immediately.  The Fall season starts Sunday with a double header!

I think I am going to drag my family to an East game on Thursday night?  Anyone interested?  Winston loves the marching band.  Maybe Dalia will like the cheerleaders, or worse yet, the football players.

When I Paint My Masterpiece

My salmon is naturally the biggest, it is the salmon under the “T” in Tom.  Mark’s salmon was pretty big too, his salmon is in between the Tom and Ewing.  We had a great day salmon fishing in early September.  Our chart boat captain, Tom Ewing, managed to hook us up with over a dozen salmon, we bungled half of them, but that is why they call it fishing and not catching.  To guage the size of the fish, just know that I’m the biggest guy of the group and am approximately 6’1″ tall, these fish were about 3 feet long and 3 biggest were well over 20lbs. 

The Bulldogs won the softball championships!  We won the first two games of a best of three championships and it was an awesome time.  We’re going to move up and play harder opponents in the Fall, but the team continues to improve and play better each year.

My car had a major malfunction.  My 2003 Honda Accord’s transmission died.  I am told that this will cost me approximately $3,000-$5,000.  This is exciting news, but I love my car and was nearly done paying for it, so I am getting it repaired. 

Jac and I went on an impromtu date last night.  Every place in Doylestown was a mob scene due to the art festival.  Jac and I left the center of town and went to Ooka’s fashionable bar.  The bar is sleek, modern, industrial, with plenty of American spirits.  We weren’t that hungry so we split a couple rolls and she had Pinot Noir and I had a Sapporo beer and a rum & coke.  They introduced me to a sweet great tasting Navy Rum with a hula dancer on the bottle.  I loved it. 

That’s all I have for now.  Have a great week, if you happen to run into me, just call me “The Champ”.

Rising Tide

Howdy my friends!  It has been too long since I posted an entry.  The past couple weeks have been insane.  Kids haven’t been sleeping, work has been demanding 12-15 hour days, and a very long vacation have kept me from puttering around on the internet. 

I’ll skip over the boring work stuff, but one thing that was fairly exciting was that I ran a booth at an Eagles preseason game talking to all fans about our pharma product.  Had a great time talking to people about how they can save money on their meds and providing them with information that I helped create and that they found useful.  At the end of the night, I kicked back and rooted on Michael Vick in his debut feeling like I did some good work.

Vacation was awesome, I was gone from August 30 to September 7, I was in upstate NY, even spent 5 minutes in Canada and a couple days in Ithaca too.  I was everywhere and we crammed a ton into every day.  I’ll keep it short and let the pictures do most of the talking.

In the Thousand Islands, we stayed at a house on the Saint Lawrence River.  Boldt Castle, behind us in the pic below was in perfect view from our back porch.  If you every vacation in the Thousand Islands, rent a boat, you need to see the beautiful homes, islands, and boats from the water, if you don’t you’re missing a lot.

This is the power station that was built in the early 1920’s for Boldt Castle, very small portion of a magnificent estate.  Boldt Castle is now a public park and you can tour the castle and the entire island, a must see.

Houses are on almost every island, this island has just enough room for the house on it.  Within 100 yards of this island, the water is over 100 feet deep.

Temps in early September were in the 70’s by day, low 40’s at night.  We all managed to get some great swimming in though.

We stayed on Wellesley Island and Jac and I purchased matching sweatshirts to help us deal with the cold mornings.  Jac is rocking the nautical look.

Just a cute pic of Dalia Deem with a sweet Phillies dress

Dalia on the move

There were some random antlers lying around our vacation house, Winston put them on his head to resemble a big buck deer.

At Matt & Shanna’s new house, Winston got amazingly close to a big buck – look in the background

The buck got startled and we all hid behind the car

Just a funny pic from the garage party

The women and kids visited a massive farm/petting zoo called Old McDonald’s Farm in Sackett’s Harbor, this video is hilarious with sound

I need to grab some pics off my dad’s camera, but I managed to catch a 26lb King Salmon, I’ll post once I track down the photo.

Thanks for your patience, hope you enjoyed.  It’s great to be back puttering on the internet.