Monday, March 10, 2014

The Blogger is Alive and Well...and Still in Jersey!

Yes, we are still in Jersey and totally freezing our butts off!  Everyone here says, "you picked one of the worst winters we can remember to move here".  Other say, "it is never like this."  I am starting to believe they just want me to feel better about the weather since it is probably one of the warmest winters on record in LA.  I heard you finally got some rain in LA, much needed, but then you have mud slides.

Here we cannot quite see the end of winter but I keep looking at the 10 day forecast for a warming trend.  Come on 40's!   They have actually extended the school year due to so many snow days and it looks like we might have a couple more before March ends.  However, overall it has not been that bad, but sure, there are stories.  Like this picture of the Delaware River - totally frozen due to the low temperatures.  I am sure this would have made life easier for General Washington...possibly.  Then there was the storm early last month where it took me a full 4 hours to get home from work due to all types of delays and full trains going through Secaucus.  When people started acting like this was the last train out and the pushing started, I finally saw the other side of the East Coast.  But of course, what did I do, I carved a new path - took a train the wrong direction to Hoboken because that is where the trains were leaving from and easily got a seat on the next train.

Then there was the storm a few weeks back where we got about 16 inches based on my crude measurement (it went to my knee and we almost lost Rachel!).  After about 2 hours shoveling, Beth and I still were only about 70% of the way through it. In walks our snow angel and neighbor Gary.  Gary is smart and has lived here for a while, he has a snow blower.  He finished us off in about 10 minutes and I had two thoughts.  First, it might be time to invest but know as soon as I do it will not snow (which might be worth $600-$1000).  Second, where were you about 2 hours ago!!

Natural History Museum
A few weeks back we headed to the city and went to Natural History Museum to check out some dinosaurs. We saw a really cool IMAX movie on Mysteries of the Unseen World - you can see a preview of it by clicking here.  Rachel went around telling us how there are all kinds of little things crawling on us all the time and there was some extra hand washing.  It was a cold day as you can see from the pictures, but with the lure of Dylan's Candy Bar on the other side of town, we walked almost 2 miles through Central Park, which was absolutely gorgeous with all the snow.  Amazing what a little candy will do!

Winter Sports
Well the page has turned and we have a whole new slate of sports - all indoors of course.  Rachel is playing basketball which has been great and now has a few baskets to her credit.  As for Ian, remember that Air Jordan commercial where Spike Lee says "it's got to be the shoes!", well ever since Ian turned an ankle and I bought him high tops, he has been on fire.  His team has only lost once; the game he turned his ankle and against my better judgement convinced me to play the 4th quarter where his team tied it with under a minute but lost on a charity whistle with no time left.  (Yes, Dad is into hoops!)  He is also playing Indoor Soccer, which is a great, fast paced game.  It is played inside a gym with a soccer ball that feels more like a tennis ball.  Ian has a streak of 5 games with at least 2 goals in each.  His team is doing really well overall.  He is also practicing for the Woodcliff Lake Travel Baseball Team.  Yes, he is busy and so is Beth making sure everyone gets where they need to be.

Google Comes to Dorchester Elementary
I had the unique opportunity to become a teacher for a day at Ian's school.  I was invited in by his class to teach them how to become better searchers.  I took over their computer class and showed them how Google take 60 Trillion web pages and organizes them so they get the most relevant results.  Then we did a fun hide and seek exercise and finished up with some of the great things Google is doing these days including Project Loon, Google Glass and the Google Art Project.  You can click on each of these Links if you are interested in learning more.  I am headed back to the school to teach the rest of the 4th graders at the end of March.

Sledding & Winter Fun
It has been a couple weeks now, but we had our inaugural sledding adventure to try out the kid's Hannukah gifts from their cousins.  We found a local hill and had a blast.  The old fashioned saucer we found there was actually the fastest ride of all - some times there is no improving on a great design.

Frozen Lake
Our little lake has changed yet again as you can see from the pictures below this is a frozen tundra look. This lake is literally how I can track the change of seasons as we have seen a beautiful Summer turn to Fall and now to the deep heart of Winter.  I cannot tell you how great it would be to send you a picture of these trees with leaves on them.  I not get the joy of Spring Training for Baseball as it signifies that the deep thaw is soon coming to a close and it might get into the 50's soon (this morning it was 7 degrees and felt like my face was melting).

Los Angeles - March 18th
As many of you know I get to LA from time to time for one of my clients.  I always feel bad that I don't see more of everyone, but I usually have a night here or a lunch there.  I am going to be back there on March 18th and had a cool idea and a way to maybe see a few of you - I hope.  I am going to be at Encino Little League watching some old friends teams play that night at 5pm on the Minors Field.  If you can make it out, I will be hanging out and would love to see you.

Vegans Unite
While this is not the most newsworthy thing, I figured I would share my latest THING.  I decided to try going Vegan (somewhat always been curious, but doing it for cholesterol reasons).  So if you see me eating some strange concoction, don't worry, it is just me being a bit more natural than I usually am.  For those that are Vegans, any recommendations or recipes are greatly appreciated.  The great news is working at Google makes this a lot easier as they have a great selection of Vegan options at every meal.  I get to reunite with my old friend - oatmeal and lunch is really the same, but I will be eating a veggie burger instead of a chicken breast.  Before I went off the deep end into VeganTown, there were a few cool desserts I saw a few weeks back.  Yes, Nutella Won Tons and PB and J FroYo!


  1. Mike - check out this cookbook for some great recipes: "The Sexy Vegan Cookbook". Food so good, you'll forget your eating vegan.

  2. Check out It's a weekly meal plan (5 dinners for four). They have a vegetarian/vegan plan.