Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Morning in Baltimore

So I drastically overestimated the time it takes to get from Fairfax, VA to Baltimore for my meeting this morning. So much so that I had approximately 2 hours to kill. As a result, I decided to have breakfast at Baltimore's inner harbor. Makes me realize how much I love the water.

(This is one of those times when I really wish I had a camera phone. Damn Blackberry...)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I promised myself that I wouldn't post about the next mix I made until I finally got to the post office to mail some out. In about 30 minutes or less, I am headed to the post office on my way to the airport so I figure I am safe at this point...

1. You & Me * Dave Matthews Band
2. Last Time * The Jones Street Boys
3. Satellite * TV On The Radio
4. Daylight * Matt and Kim
5. The Runaway * The National
6. One Red Thread * Blind Pilot
7. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead * Stars
8. I'll Fight * Wilco
9. Don't Wanna Cry * Pete Yorn
10. Sanitarium * PT Walkley
11. A Lot of Moving * The Avett Brothers
12. Buildings & Mountains * Republic Tigers
13. Oh Night * The Jones Street Boys
14. Autumn Beds * Modest Mouse
15. So Far Around The Bend * The National
16. Nights Like These * Lucero
17. Quiet Little Voices * We Were Promised Jetpacks
18. Off I Go * Greg Laswell
19. Daydreaming * PT Walkley
20. Girl in the War (with String Quartet) * Josh Ritter
21. Hurt Feelings * Flight of the Conchords

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bumper Stickers

"I'll keep my money, my freedom, & my guns...and you can keep the 'Change.'"

Saw this bumper sticker on the back of a Hummer today. Funny to see money and guns as equally as high on the priority list as the freedom that our current administration is apparently stealing.

I think bumper stickers are a key factor in contributing to my road rage. My neighbor has this one on two of his cars:

"Annoy a liberal."


Saturday, July 25, 2009


I really like this photo taken of my wife in Paris. The expression on her face is one of her classics. And there is something about the tone/colors of the photo that I just really like as well.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Eating Out: Johnson's Boucanière

It occurs to me that getting out to eat lunch everyonce in a while is good for my sanity as a telecommuter. Thus, over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have started to build some time into my day for going out to grab some lunch food and take a mental break from the laptop. I have decided to combine this idea with my spirit of exploring and will be trying to get out to as many different local lunch places as possible to try them out.

Today's choice was Johnson's Boucanière. What is a boucanière? It is a cajun term for a smokehouse. Johnson's has been open for about a year in Lafayette and carries on the tradition of Johnson's Grocery which used to operate out of Eunice.

I just randomly picked this place out to go to today based on a quick search for plate lunches in town online. And it was a great find. First of all, the food was great. I had a pulled pork sandwich with two sides and a piece of bread pudding for desert. All for under $12 I think. Great homemade bbq sauce on the sandwhich and the service was super friendly.

I am not 100% sure how much the food was because as it turns out, Johnson's also carries CD's from local mucisions in town so I added that to my lunch tab. Picked up this disc from Linzay Young and Joel Savoy. You know you are in a local place when you grab the CD and the woman who serves you food says, Joel dropped off those copies himself!

I'll be headed back to Johnson's Boucanière in the future. The owner Lori tells me that throwing some smoked sausage on top of the pulled pork is to die for (still trying to figure out if I heard that right). Johnson's Boucanière is located at 1111 St. John's Street and is open from Tuesday-Friday 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M and Saturday 7:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Introducing myself to my new team in our first pre-season meeting....
Coach: Hello everyone! My name is Will and I am the coach of the team for this upcoming year. Let me tell you a little about myself. I am 35 years old...wait, is that right?
My Wife (shouting from the back of the room): You're 33!
Coach: Right. ...and I forget my age and am bad at math.
Talk about first impressions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

xkdc: Estimation

Love their disclaimer at the bottom of the website:
Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).


Me: So my ankle has been hurting to the point where I cannot play soccer lately.
Therapist: Ok. I'm going to check your lateral movement.
Me: Ok.
Therapist: Interesting. You don't have a lot of left to right movement in your ankle.
Me: In a good way or bad way?
Therapist: Well, most soccer players have good lateral movement. It helps their touch on the ball. Maybe you just aren't very good.

The Kitchen Project: The Scope

As some of you probably know, my wife and I have been talking about renovating our kitchen for the last 3 years. Well, we are finally breaking through our lack of momentum and moving forward. The project has turned into a much bigger deal then just the kitchen. Here is the defined scope at a high level:
  1. Tear down the wall between our kitchen and living room and leave a island (or peninsula) in its place. Essentially, this makes 2 rooms into one space and will open up half the house.
  2. Tear down all wood paneling in the kitchen and living room and float sheet rock.
  3. New cabinets.
  4. New kitchen floor.
  5. New counter top.
  6. Tray ceiling in the living room.
  7. New stove top and double oven.
  8. Redo the laundry closet - add laundry sink, new walls, new cabinets.
  9. New lighting all around.
  10. New molding, painting and lots of odd jobs throughout. I am thinking about trying to move our air conditioning unit to the attic since it is so loud.
I probably forgot something, but you get the gist. We are gutting two rooms and starting from scratch. It is a huge project. We have our contractor and cabinet maker picked out and are picking out materials for all of the pieces. Check back for updates!

Odd Habits

Jozy has started to adopt a few odd habits as she progresses through her teen years. For example:

1. New sleeping positions such as this one.

2. A more relaxed posture as she stares out the back window (previously she used to be fully alert).

Note the contrast to her pre-teen posture...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How to Choose a PK Shooter

Last night the US MNT beat Panama 2-1 in the Gold Cup Quarterfinals. We are fielding a team of younger players this tournament and they are facing a tough fight to get to the finals and they have risen to the occasion thus far. It has been fun to watch.

Last night's game went to overtime, during which the US was awarded a PK (finally) after Kenny Cooper was taken down in the box (see photo above). In general, I really struggled with the officiating in this game and noticed a lot of questionable calls.

As we were watching the PK unfold, my wife asked me how I thought the kicker of the PK was chosen at the level of play of a national team game. I had no idea and it is a great question. Turns out that one of the press asked the same question. Here is the exchange as quoted from the US Soccer website.
On who takes a penalty kick in a situation like tonight: Bob Bradley: "That's decided on the field. Obviously he's a player that has confidence and he's taken them for his club team. After the foul there was a discussion between Kenny and Brian and Kenny stepped up."
From the NY Daily News (of which I am not a regular reader at all):

Veteran Brian Ching was ready to take the penalty kick, but Cooper wanted it.

"Kenny was like, 'I got it.'" Ching said. "I said, 'OK, you're confident about it, go ahead and take it.' He buried it. Hats off to him."

That's pretty interesting. I would be curious to know how other coaches, at different levels let this decision play out. For me, at the U-18 level last season, I think I would have tapped the player I thought should take the kick...although there is a big part of me that would want the players to make the decision based on their confidence and feel during the game at the time. There have been a few occasions where I have let my players sort it out in the past. Interestingly enough, on those occasions, after the kicker is chosen on the field, they would inevitable turn to me and make sure that it is ok. This was definitely a function of the age level I was coaching.

I am thinking that the method used all depends on your individual team and the maturity level of the players that you coach, possibly even the mood and tone of the game in that minute. The biggest thing for me is that if I think it is important as a coach to pick the shooter, I just need to be sure to do so prior to my players going through self-selection. If not, all sorts of ego and confidence issues would result if I decide to change their direction after a shooter is chosen...for both the player who I choose and the player who is selected on the field, especially if they are two different players.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is it...

...cheesy to bring home unused hotel shampoo or soap to put in your guest bathroom in case anyone who stays with you needs it?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eskandarian and Donovan

Great goal from Alecko Eskandarian amidst all of the Donovan and Beckham hoopla that was crowding the LA Galaxy game yesterday.

The other highlight from that game that caught my eye was this quote from Landon Donovan in response to questions he received about flying in last minute on a red eye in order to play the game (he was busy accepting an ESPY award):

"I'm in a place now where it doesn't matter when I arrive or that the preparation is ideal," Donovan said after leading LA to a win vs. New York on Thursday, the same day he arrived via red-eye flight from Los Angeles.

"I know how I'm going to perform." via SBI

Hope the kids I coach don't read that. That is definitely not the kind of message I send my players!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oldelaf - le Café

I know nothing about this band but happened to catch this video the other day and it made me think that I need to drink more coffee...or wait...maybe less.

You can try to learn more about this band by checking out this poorly translated French wikipedia page, or by going to their website.

Funny People Trailer

What's funnier than watching Edtv at midnight? The trailer to Funny People. Both are keeping me up a little too long tonight.

Mark: When my grandfather died, there was one candle next to his bed. And the candle started flickering. We all thought it was him going to Heaven, you know?

Leo: You don't pass through fire to get to Heaven. I think he went to Hell.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Grocery Shopping

My Wife: So we are having portobella mushrooms, so we need a big side dish.
Me: Yup. Definitely need a big side dish.
My Wife: So what do you want for a side?
Me: Steak.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Florence + The Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)

This is a gift, it comes with a price
Who is the lamb and who is the knife?
Midas is king and he holds me so tight
And turns me to gold in the sunlight

Cool chorus. Not 100% sure about all of the song, but the chorus is awesome.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Musée de l'Orangerie & the Nympheas

One of the many highlights of our trip to Paris that I have yet to mention was our visit to the Musée de l'Orangerie. This is a relatively small museum located in the Tuileries Garden. On display there (in addition ot a number of great paintings by other artisits) are two oval rooms completely dedicated to Monet's Water Lily (Nympheas) paintings. These paintings were the main focus of Monet's career for the last 30 years of his life. These specific examples of this work are displayed in all oval rooms with pure natural lighting. The photo above is a snippet of one of the 8 massive panels that make up this display. The photo below is of one of the rooms (with my wife in the foreground).

Here is a photo of the two of us in front of one of my favorite panels.

And here is a small replica that shows you what the layout of the museum is like on the floor where the Water Lily paintings are displayed. Note the two oval rooms. In general, if you are looking for unique sights in the city, this museum is not to be missed. You can explore the two rooms virtually if you got to the this page on the the museum's website.

An Empty Balcony

We successfully made it home last night and thanks to our friend Mark, were able to watch the US pound Grenada in their opening game of the Gold Cup, 4-0.

In the meantime, somewhere in Paris, the small balcony on the outside of our hotel room sits empty and sad...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fast Forward

Eating a meal in a Newark airport restaurant is like eating a meal in France on fast forward.

Headed Home

Well, today we head back home. Charles de Gaulle to Newark to Houston to Lafayette. Sounds easy.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Paris Scenes: Jardin du Luxembourg, les Bateau

Parisian children running their model sail boats in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

5 Years

5 years ago today, I proposed to my wife in Grasmere, England and I was lucky enough to have her say yes. Tonight, we waited what seemed like 5 years to get dinner at a French restaurant, but the company was more than worth the wait.

Paris Scenes: Jardin du Luxembourg

Parisians getting their sun in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Paris Scenes: La Tour Eiffel

Les Mots de Paris

Me: L'eaux s'il vous plait.
Man at Counter: Eh?
Me: L'eaux?
Man at Counter: 2:30
Me: Non. Water please?
Man at Counter: Ah! Just speak to me in English. We are the next generation in France. We know we are a tourist country.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Paris Scenes: Berthillon

Paris Scenes: Vins

Paris Scenes: Subway Ad

Just in case you were wondering what Britney was up to this summer, she is touring with a circus in Paris.

Paris Scenes: Mona Lisa

Last night we went to the Louvre but waited until it was evening. In the end, we probably did not give ourselves enough time...but then again, is there ever enough? I think it was our friend Molly who recommended going during one of the late evenings (open until 10 pm), because the crowds are less. We owe her one. I hear that sometimes the crowd in front of the Mona Lisa makes the room hard to get into. When we walked in there were less than 15 people. Thanks Molly!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Paris Scenes: Eiffel Tower

Couldn't leave these out. The Eiffel Tower is pretty amazing, derided by early naysayers as a "metal asparagus," but memorialized by the photos of thousands of kisses.

Paris Scenes: Monument de la place de la République

Paris Scenes: Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers

Paris Scenes: Le Louvre Sculpture Garden


The mystery of the Vélib is solved! Turns out you don't need a credit/bank card with a chip, an American Express card works just as well. As a result, we are headed out on some bikes today and giving our calves a rest from all of the walking. Now we just need to make sure that we find a path through the streets of the city where we don't get run over or crash into fellow tourists. Hopefully we avoid this guy....

Les Mots de Paris

Me: How was your frappuccino?
My Wife: You can only blog about me going to Starbucks if you mention that we have been here three days and have not gone once.