Weekend wandering -- 12/18/11

I'm not scoring very well in the daily part of Holidailies... ah well... Maybe I will do better for the rest of the season...

Part of my lack of posting is from being away for part of the weekend. Well, Jeremy was over on Friday night for dinner and some pleasant relaxing in front of a nice fire in the fireplace. He was telling us about two new menu items he has added at Burger Shack. Nancy and I decided we would just have to stop by and try them on Sunday afternoon. (Details & photo later in this entry.)

Nancy's sister Clara and her husband Paul were planning a Christmas party for Saturday night. They live in northern Westchester County, so Nancy and I decided this would be a great opportunity to visit my brother and his wife where they live, further up the Hudson River, just outside of Kingston (which is where Charlie & I grew up). It took longer than we had expected because in the Danbury area (in Connecticut, not far from New York) traffic on I-84 slowed until it became stop and go (with a major amount of just plain stop in there) with traffic backed up from the exits to shopping centers. There certainly does not seem to be an economic slowdown in that area! (But then, of course, much of the Wall Street financial crowd lives in that area.) And by the time we got free of that mess and crossed over into New York State, we were so frazzled and sick of I-84, that we went up the Taconic Parkway and took the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge rather than crossing the Hudson on I-84 and then going up the NY Thruway. So we got to Kingston a bit later than planned, but Donna had a very tasty lunch prepared and we had a good visit. (And got to take some snapshots -- I'm the one with the beard.)

Then back across the Hudson and down the Taconic Parkway to find Clara and Paul and their daughter Kaitlyn and their son Karl and his wife and various friends and our niece Melissa... all busy setting up for the party.

I put together a small album of photographs from the party and posted it to Facebook so friends & family who who are interested can check it out. (I figured that those of you who are not related would not have much interest in seeing pictures of people you don't know standing around with food and drink...)

And here are the two new items from the Burger Shack menu:

We got one order of each, but then split them, so we had one half of each burger on our plates (plus, of course, fries). The one on the left is a French toast hamburger: slices of French toast made from sourdough bread (with maple syrup dripped on top) and a cheese and bacon topped hamburger. The one on the right (if it looks a bit jagged, that's because I had taken a couple of bites before I thought to take a picture) is a cheese-burger with bacon -- plus peanut butter. Yeah, I know, it sounds weird, but it was very tasty. Actually, both were very good. (Of course, Burger Shack is not a "fast-food" place -- it is a restaurant that specializes in burgers and uses high quality beef, etc.) They like to have interesting or amusing names (usually college-oriented because they have a lot of URI students as customers). The hamburger with peanut butter is called "The Nutty Professor" and the one on French toast is going to go on the menu either as "Freedom Burger" or "Freedom Toast." I suggested that it would make a great egg sandwich, but they are a burger restaurant (they do carry a veggie burger and a chicken sandwich) and he can't see putting eggs on the menu unless someday they decide to open for breakfast.

Who am I? I am a 68 year old computer geek who lives in Rhode Island with my wife, Nancy. She used to be a computer person as well (we got our MS degrees in Systems Sciences together) but she has since escaped from computers to become a middle school math teacher (and, this year, has moved from teaching math to teaching science). Eldest child lives in New York City with his wife and their two boys. Daughter is currently in Ottawa with her boy friend. Youngest is a restaurant manager here in R.I. The nest is empty. I work for a big computer company (you definitely know their initials) in their education and training department. I used to write courses and teach courses for them but a few years ago I got involved in helping to set up a quality assurance group and now I work from home doing editing and quality assurance checking on courses written by others.Hobbies & interests include photography (and video), running, reading, gardening, cooking, drawing, writing, and politics as a spectator sport. (No wonder I never seem to have free time.) And I've been babbling here on a semi-regular basis for more than fifteen years.

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