March 31, 2005


Well we sadly bid farewell to Mary at her send-off bash held at our place on March 19th. In attendance were Sian, Sally, Andrea, Barb, Laura and Duane, Christine and Craig, Whitney, Katrina, neighbor G, Kathy and J. We had a really good time and did an enormous amount of laughing. There were even select passages read from old (love?) letters Mary wrote to me. Excerpts are available for a $2 handling fee. Mary moved back to Buffalo on March 24th and was received in her home town by a ticker-tape parade, floats, the Orchard Park Fire Department Calendar Boys and the Silver Eagle Records Jubilee Singers. Good times, good times. Mary can be reached at

Mary, the main coquette. What's with the lip? Posted by Hello

Christine, always the coquette. Posted by Hello

Sally displays a unique characteristic of a former paramour. Yikes! Posted by Hello

Well, in my professional opinion, it would take days to catalog all of the sociopathic behavior I'm witnessing this evening. Posted by Hello

It's my cake. It's my party. It's all about me! Posted by Hello

The Partridge Family Reunion album cover. Posted by Hello

The usual suspects. Posted by Hello

March 22, 2005


I know, I know, bodanzarama has been neglected lately. Things at work are a little busier. And life has not been terribly interesting. I still have to post pictures from Mary's going away party. It was a very good time. Perhaps I can try to work on that while I am in Cleveland if I can use someone's computer. I leave later this evening for the Northcoast and arrive around 8 am. I checked WEWS news and was concerned to read that rain and ice are moving into northeast Ohio within the next 24 hours. In fact, the weather looks pretty bleak for the duration of my visit.

Concetta and Iva are picking me up from the airport and we are heading to Wild Oats, the natural food market on Chagrin Blvd. We are then meeting Diane for lunch at Corky & Lenny's. I haven’t been there since I was in college. I’m looking forward to a big bowl of matzo ball soup and a pickle. Speaking of food, if you’ve been reading today’s posts, you know that I am on the hunt for pho and bubble tea in Cleveland. I believe that Pho Hoa is the place for me. They also offer bahn mi. Though the article I read did not call it bahn mi, a Vietnamese sandwhich on a French baguette (fillings vary greatly, this article mentioned pate and roast pork) is bahn mi. Perhaps I can coax Concetta into driving down to 3030 Superior Ave.? I won’t hold my breath. Perhaps some of my more adventurous cohorts will come along. We’ll see.

So I bid farewell for now. If I get my hands on a computer while I’m in Cleveland I will certainly post an update.


Mrs. Aitch,

I read more of your blog and did discover that Pho Hoa offers bubble tea and it sounds like (from your 11/7/2004 entry) bahn mi. I will make a point of going now. Thanks.


To the blogger I left the comment/question for this morning: If you've come to this page to see if I'm some kind of weirdo, I understand. It's only after finding other bubble tea links that I've concluded that your mention of Madison was not Madison, OH. However, I still believe that your mention of Cleveland is Cleveland, OH, right? Regardless, I'm sorry to have troubled you. It's just that I got really excited when I thought that there was a chance of getting bubble tea anywhere in northeast OH. If you like bubble tea too, I'm sure you understand. Have a good day!

March 18, 2005

Friday at last and pay day too! A busy night awaits. After free wine tasting at Tarragona Wine & Food, J and I will be buzzing around the homestead making pepperoni bread, cooking beans for bean dip, boiling eggs for deviled eggs, thawing J's homemade Asian meatballs, cranking KEXP or KBCS and cleaning house. We are preparing for tomorrow's going away party for Mary. She is moving back to Buffalo next week. At her specific request, we are throwing her a party. But she's bringing her own cake.

The garden enjoyed the rain and there are bursts of green everywhere. By the time I return from my trip home I will probably harvest a little arugula. Neighbor G has decided that the holly tree has stood in his way to build an arbor for his patio. He has decided to remove the tree with our help. Stay tuned for pictures of that project. He gets his arbor and we get more southern exposure for the garden! It's a win-win.

J wants bubble tea. She just called to ask if I was also in the mood for an indulgence later. Sure, why not? It's been months since I've had a bubble tea. Something to look forward to after work.

March 17, 2005

The skies finally opened and the rain finally fell. At least until early afternoon. When I took a walk at around 2:15 the skies were only partly cloudy and there was a fair amount of sunshine making its way to the pavement. By the time I left work at 2:45 the sky looked like the photo below. By the time the bus dropped me at my stop, it was hailing. By the time I walked home, I’d been hailed harder than Caesar and had very wet pants (from the rain and hail, not from fear or incontinence). The weather changes on a dime here. I nabbed this photo from today’s edition of The Seattle Times.

Northwest weather. Posted by Hello

March 14, 2005


Because Regence BlueShield coughed up an incentive check this year, my co-workers and I decided we should spend it while we had it. We set off two blocks from the office to The Oceanaire Seafood Room, a tony eating spot that boasts of the freshest fish and the biggest flower arrangements.

The place is decked out like a 30's era ocean liner with music to match. If one was in the mood one could sink a veritable treasure at lunch. However, the lunch menu does provide selections that won't necessarily wash you up on shore in tatters. Still, The Oceanaire is the kind of place that is considered a special treat. Currently, the lunch menu is offering a chef's seasonal prix fixe, three course meal for $14.95. There is also soup and salad, simple fish and chips, Costa Rican dayboat mahi-mahi, Hawaiian wahoo, fish stew, and one of my favorites - fish tacos (it's fancier then it sounds). The food was fabulous and nobody needed a doggie bag. I think the next time we go at least half of us will be ordering the chicken salad which is served with apple wedges in half of a head of iceberg lettuce . We saw enough of these go past our table to whet our appetites for next time.

The only drawback to this whole affair is that it took three hours! Not sure why. Granted, we had nine people at our table. But other tables were almost as large and came and went before we even got dessert. You would think that it's kind of an unwritten rule that lunch crowds are on a bit of a schedule. Perhaps before we order next time we will mention that time is a concern. Below are a few shots I captured during lunch.

They'll let in anybody. Posted by Hello

They totally ripped off this idea from the Regence cafeteria. Posted by Hello

The coveted chicken and apple salad. Posted by Hello

Is this what they mean by "Go in style."? Posted by Hello

Did they pay their bill? Posted by Hello

March 10, 2005


Thank you Jennifer for admitting in an email to me that you read bodanzarama and also read the Northwest News! Thanks very much! There will be another issue (of what I'm not sure but in the newsletter genre) in April.

In the works are a second blog being created on I want to see what other free blog sites have to offer. is the latest guinea pig. As with most internet experiments, it's usually only a matter of minutes before some feature doesn't do what they claim it will do. Such is the case with So we shall see what the support people say in answer to my questions - if I receive answers at all. If the answers are to my liking, then I will continue. If not, then ciao to MyBlogSite. Any free blog site suggestions please let me know.

Hey, not-very-Anonymous-comment person, we had steer poop in the car. Need I say more?

Will it ever rain again? Washington is facing a serious drought situation. The government muckety-mucks are meeting on it very soon to discuss emergency options, particularly in eastern Washington. J and I are researching some water preservation techniques beyond the ones we already practice. We thought about getting a rain barrel but what would we put in it? Once we convert to "green" laundry detergent the option of "gray water" is available at least for the non-vegetable plants. We'll see what happens. I'm sure you're all dying to know.

March 08, 2005


We are experiencing another fabulous day in the Northwest. No rain, a fair amount of sun, but above all - warm temperatures. It's about 65 degrees and breezy. I wish, I wish, I wish I were at home in the garden digging in the dirt and wiping it on my clothes. Discovered a new pest on the garlic and the leeks. A scary, pointy inch-worm thing. Ate much of the greenery. Bastards! Will look into natural pest control this weekend. Will have to find my shorts and give them all a wash. And I suppose I will have to start shaving my legs more consistently. Damn. It's a pain but I guess it's worth it. Work is slow. It's time to go home soon. Hopefully I can duck out of here in about 10 minutes and walk to catch the #8 bus. This is all very interesting, I know. Stayed tuned for all the fabulous details of my life.

March 07, 2005


I'd read that one method to deter cats from getting into your garden was to distribute citrus peels in the area. Cats, supposedly, hate the smell. The female cat, Idgie, truly detests citrus and will wince and run away if she comes anywhere near it. Apparently, Henry, the Orange Wonder, has no aversion to citrus. Or to garlic. The lure of the warm straw was too great. With garlic and orange peels all around him, he snoozes blissfully. You can see the bulk of the garlic in the yellow bed and a row of it in the bed in which Henry is napping. You can also see the fresh, dark row of compost in which I recently sowed peas.

Henry enjoys the warm straw and the garlic. Posted by Hello


Another great NW weekend. Friday Julie fired up the grill and flame-broiled herself a steak, some turkey sausage for Mary and a great piece of talapia for me. We watched the movie "Sordid Lives." Pretty funny if you can stay awake for the whole thing, or at least 20 minutes. Apparently, I am the only one who can. Julie and Mary were snoozing shortly into the film. It's not a reflection of the film. It's clearly a reflection of each of them. And they know it.

Saturday there was grocery shopping, hardware hunting, backpack exploring and yardwork. At the grocery store we saved big time. The store ran their popular $10 coupon plus we had the $5 off coupon from the Entertainment book plus all the store deals plus a discount of $.03 for each bag we brought from home in which to pack the groceries. We always bring at least three canvas totes in which we pack our groceries. Please consider doing the same. Yesterday we used not one grocery store bag to pack up.

Our trip to Greenwood True Value hardware store was a success. Greenwood is not our neighborhood but we really like their hardware store. We want to shop locally and we try to avoid Lowe's if at all possible. The owner of the Greenwood store, Marty, is always helpful and takes the time to explain things. We purchased some new hardware for the kitchen sink and a new timer switch for the fan in the bathroom. He even let us borrow a special wrench for working on the parts under the sink. Julie then replaced the kitchen faucet and bathroom timer. That bathrrom remodelling class is really paying off. Plus, she got me a present - every girl's dream - a wheelbarrow! So I set to work in the yard. After the kitchen and bathroom repairs, we donned the backpacks and headed to the Madison Market. You can buy several kinds of oils in bulk and this is what we needed.

Yesterday we went to Luther Burbank Park with Sally. A pretty place, on Mercer Island and right along Lake Washington. Nice trails, a dog park, plenty of picnic spots. The weather was down right warm. The rest of the day I worked int he yard and then we cooked all sorts of yummy things and stuffed our freezer with lunches and dinners for the future.

Back to work today. Yuck. What a dull existence for these 8 hrs of the day.

March 04, 2005


Who remembers this toy from back in the day? I had Hugo and loved it. This link (click on MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES) will take you to a virtual Hugo. I've no intention of playing with Hugo virtually, but this is a good shot of the doll and the disguises.

March 03, 2005


Well, I received an email from Geocities, alerting me that my "website" has been neglected. If I don't update it soon, it will be deleted. So I went in and couldn't find my original stuff. I assumed that I'd have to start again so I created a new front page. It's ugly. I miss the original one with graphics and fun stuff. That page seems to be history and it ticks me off. But I found all the other files that I had created so I can still link to those pages. It's all a work in progress. When there is any kind of website to speak of, I will post the news.

A small victory was won when I learned how to change the color of the newly added links under "pay a visit." Yesterday's victory was learning how to add a link entitled something other than the web address. Chernabog received two crazy emails from me - sorry about that. I get wound up over this stuff.

Next hurdle, create more pages in Geocities and link the "website" to the "blog"!!!??? I have web pages saved in PageBuilder through Geocities. I want to access them and edit them but when I go to open a file I receive this error message: "The PageWizard will be converted to Yahoo!PageBuilder format. Once saved, you will not be able to reopen it with PageWizard." How concerned should I be? If these files are converted to Yahoo!PageBuilder, how will I access and edit in the future? Especially since PageWizard is the Geocities tool I need to build the pages? Oy, it's enough to make me plotz already. Not to mention that after I visit the website a couple of times, I'm denied access. It seems only a couple of viewings are permitted per day since I don't have enough bandwidth? Or something. Wonder if it's worth upgrading and actually spending money??? Share your thoughts if you have them. Or if you know of a more powerful, easy-to-use, and free way to create a site, PLEASE let me know.

March 01, 2005

The rain was short-lived. Today we have blue sky, bright sun and it’s 57 degrees.

Look for the first edition of the Northwest News in an e-mail box near you soon. This is the first edition created with a computer. It’s the beginning of a new era. Hope you can all open PDF files.

Speaking of cell phones, J has gently shoved me into the 21st century by bringing home one for me over the weekend. Now if I just remember to carry it with me and/or turn it on it might actually prove useful. But I make no promises. I reserve the right to retain any and all Luddite membership perks (Sally, thank you for reminding me of this wonderful word!). I’ll pass out the number by request only and only if I approve your request. Fill out your request in duplicate and send to me along with 2 identical photos (2 inches x 2 3/4 inches), and a jar of Adam’s All Natural Peanut Butter.

Just because I have a cell phone doesn’t mean I have changed my position on using the cell phone on the bus. I still firmly believe that the practice should be outlawed. Actually, the practice of talking at all on the bus should be a crime. Talking and listening to music. Both have got to go. The music is usually audible and usually stinks. The converstaions are torturous at best. And they go on and on. Let’s start with yesterday. The bus driver was overheard opining on the history of Mars, "Oh I thouroughly believe that Mars was scoured clean about thirty thousand years ago. I really do." Mind you, his mouth was right by the microphone so we all heard this and everything else he said about the Universe. Nevermind what he might have meant by this comment - just keep your comments to yourself. Dude, I have my theories too - but shut it.

OK, time to head to Kinko's and then catch a bus (hopefully a silent bus) that will take me part of the way home. Then a nice walk.