Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chef Jackie

Jackie is really enjoying her new pots and pans, along with all her other wonderful Christmas gifts. Let's watch her play...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Santa brought Jackie a new chair that matches the living room furniture. Jackie is practicing her best daddy impression by lounging about and playing with her new remote control courtesy of Uncle Joe.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


A little elf snuck into our house last night. She loves cookies.

 A Terrible guard dog... letting these elves in and what not.

Friday, December 23, 2011

McIlhenny's Gold

More free swag from Tabasco today! I recieved in the mail, an early Christmas gift of liquid gold. The 2011 family reserve. This bottle retails in their webstore for $25 bucks, and they shipped me one for making a few clicks on facebook. What nice people!

By the end of the weekend I'll have earned my free gallon. I will of course make another post bragging of this when it arrives.

Nerd Christmas

I haven't seen Jackie awake in like four days because of a fast track project in Paterson I'm working on. Overtime all week, but we got everything done, and now I'm looking forward to a relaxing week at home together as a family.

Last night I got home around 10 PM, and I sort of forced Alison into helping me get the tree set up. It's been in the house about a week, but we haven't really had the chance to decorate it since I've been so busy. I didn't think we'd get the chance tonight because we have a family gathering at her sisters house, and tomorrow is Christmas Eve... so I had to strike while the iron was hot. Alison strung up the lights, I unwrapped ornaments, and then we both got to work on the tree... it was not the most pleasant tree trimming experience of my life, we wrapped up around 1 AM, and I was just totally exhausted. I tried to come to the office early today but just couldn't get out of bed it's been a rough week.

While we were trimming, I noticed (as I notice each year) the extreme quantity of nerdy ornaments that I've accrued over the past 20 years or so. Mostly Star Wars centric, I also have a ton of NASA themed ornaments that do the various light up/noise tricks when plugged in. This year we didn't plug any in, but they are all on the tree.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jackie and Santa

Here is the annual Santa photo with Jacqueline, I can't believe how much she's grown since last year...

She looks like a little baby doll compared to how big she has grown.


Alison and I made the trek out to Giants MetLife Stadium, we were very much looking forward to attending what we thought would be an easy victory for our beloved Giants as they try to make the playoffs this year.

We ended up having to park in a lot that seems to be closer to my parents house than the stadium.

When we finally got into the game, after our long trek to the gate, and having to avoid a redskins fan in the line, that had a little too much holiday cheer before entering the game, we were treated to several hours of sitting in meat locker. At least the bathrooms were warm, I've never seen so many people actually hanging out in a public restroom at a sporting event. Had the Giants played a good game, it would have been tolerable, but the lackluster effort on the field, the poor officiating, the inability of the Giants receivers to actually catch the football, made for an excruciating afternoon.We stayed to the bitter end hoping for a miracle, but Eli Manning didn't have any fourth quarter magic for us today. 

On a side note, the ladies at the beer stand near our seats seem to know my name now, which I can't decide is a good thing or a bad thing. We probably won't be back to the stadium this year, I wonder if it will be the same two ladies serving up cheese steaks and plastic bottles of Miller Lite next year. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Car Trouble!

After a fun weekend visiting with friends and celebrating Charlotte's birthday, we had planned on spending the day with some of Alison's family at one of her cousin's birthday parties.

Three kids being less than cooperative

No More Pictures!
Jackie Playing Rock Band
Everything was going according to plan until... wub wub wub wub wub wub wub wub... (you get the idea) while traveling up 287. What could this be we thought? It sounded like a truck was braking, or perhaps it was some strange road noise as a result of the recent repaving of parts of the highway? Why does the car seem so draggy on the left side?

Luckily we hadn't gone too far from home, and we were coming up on an exit, so we jumped of to Route 206, pulled into the shoulder to reconnoiter the situation... the verdict was a smoking, disintegrating, flat tire.

At least one of these readings is accurate!

Now... having changed a flat on the side of the highway before, this is something I absolutely dread and fear to some extent. I still feel the vibrations of trucks passing what seemed like mere inches from my skull while changing a destroyed tire on I-78 in Pennsylvania, can be a truly terrifying experience if the tire is on the wrong side, the shoulder is narrow (or missing entirely), and the high way is busy.

Lucky for us, there was this strange State Property/Verizon thing a few feet from where we pulled away.

Taking advantage of all the surcharges over the years... take that Verizon!
We were able to pull in and take care of business, and with a speed that would make a NASCAR pit crew envious, I got the offending tire off and went to work installing the new donut.

Holey Moley!

It's not a DYFS facility... so fun in the trunk it is!

I have eaten donuts bigger than this!

A job well done
So... no Birthday Party for us that day, we hit the road and made it back to the house on our pathetic donut tire, I sure do miss having a full sized spare.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Project

Well this website seems to be up and running, and the new website also seems to be up and running.

Here is the link, for anyone watching.

USMMA - Class of 2002

Free Stuff

There has been this little Tabasco Sauce application that I've been running on facebook promising coupons, and free sauce. They have delivered on the first promised sauce reward. I just received a six pack of mini bottles, and today I earned a bottle of the limited edition McIlhenny family reserve sauce... next prize will be a gallon jug of tabasco... can't wait.


So I broke the website while I was playing with the setting for a new website project that I am undertaking with Tim. I'll get it fixed as soon as I can, It's going to involve adjusting a few settings, should be back up and running in a day or so once all the settings take.

The settings seem to work, the setting do not work.

The new project is part of the homecoming undertaking Tim and I decided to let ourselves get roped in to. I am the party planning chairman for our Kings Point 10th Reunion, Tim is the Finanance Chairman organizing our class gift fundraising. We have a lot of work ahead of us to make a great event, but I am confident we will do a great job.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Relaxing Weekend

We had a pretty relaxing weekend around here for a change. We spent most of the day Saturday lounging around, we spent a good amount of time getting the attic organized, and continued getting decorations out for Christmas. Alison made a trip over to the dump to drop off some yard clippings from last weekend. I can't really go over there anymore, since every time I drop stuff off some crazy dude with a stick starts yelling at me and waving his stick menacingly... i don't know what the deal is. Today was a perfect day to hang lights and we did just that, after returning to church as a family for the first time in a while. Since our parish is undergoing some renovations, Mass is being held in the school gym and we figured if Jackie started getting noisy we could take her away and let her run around a bit. I ended up doing just that, she was sitting good as gold, until Mass started then proceed to start banging things and making cute noises at a high volume. So she and I spent most of our time in the main entrance foyer walking around and exploring while Mommy got to learn the new mass... I'm not a fan of the changes so far, but then again I fear all change...we'll see about this. So I hung most of the lights, we'll probably do a bit more in the next week, here is the evidence...
We also spent some time clearing the shed of our accumulated cardboard...always an exciting yet daunting task. We made sauce out of my summer tomoatos that I had frozen it came out pretty good, watched the Giants game, here is Jackie doing her touch down dance, a bit blurry, and we didn't tell her they ended up losing.
We ended the night watching the last two Harry Potter movies back to back... I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series, some day I'll have to read the books. So a relaxing, yet productive weekend, I even got a few hours of work work in. I'm leading the charge in designing the MEP systems for a new charter school in Paterson, we have three weeks to turn around a substantial complete design, with a budget that will not allow us to make any mistakes. This will be a challenge for sure, I don't know if I'm up for it, but we'll see!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mitt Romney

I have Mitt Romney ads on the site, I apologize for this...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Alison's Zip Line Adventure

My wife is very brave, I have known this, she will often be challenged with different things, and handle them with grace and courage. But she generally avoids stupid risks... so when Lupita mentioned the zip line at the falls we visited in Chiapas, and Alison said she would do it with her, I was pretty shocked and amazed.

We were set for disappointment at first when the practice zip line was closed as we walked up the falls, we figured maybe it was closed for the season or something. But once we got to the top, and saw that is was open, we broke out 300 pesos and the ladies were on their way.

Now as the ladies would tell the story, Tim and James are too scared to take the zip line... but the reality is that Tim and James are TOO FAT to take the zip line... and most other men are too. The weight limit on the zip line is 70 Kg, so even at my peak of physical fitness my junior year at Kings Point, I still would have probably been just over the limit, so it has absolutely nothing to do with 10 years of sloth and gluttony... at least that's my story.

So without any further delay... here is Alison's Zip Line adventure.