Sunday, March 28, 2010

Paws in the Park 5K...

Had a great time yesterday at Independence Park running with Roma in the Paws in the Park 5K. It was a special treat for her, considering she was supposed to be recovering this weekend. (Her surgery was rescheduled for next week...)


We did well, running it in approximately 33 minutes. The chip time isn't posted yet and considering it was more of a "fun run" I didn't bring the Garmin along. Debbie did the 3K with her friends (and colleagues Kristine and Loi, with their Golden Retriever, Roxy).

It was a whole event down at the park. They had dock diving...as well as frisbee and lure courses, exhibitions, and tons and tons of dogs!

Plus the Pug Hearts of Houston. Support the pugs! They were telling me how their organization has saved over 400 pugs. The little black one had a cast on it's leg after getting hit by a car. They do a lot of good things for pugs... The lady was like "well she (Roma) has a curly tail, probably part pug." I definitely gravitated to their booth. I love pugs...just such cute little dogs!

But we are finally figuring out Roma's mix...Lab, of course...and Basenji. We saw two dogs that looked very similar to Roma. So we went up to the owner and he told us they were Basenji's. Check out this photo from online...definitely more convincing.

All in all, it was a great Saturday in the park with Deb and Roma, some friends, and a load of dog lovers!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saturday Golf...

It feels like it was so long ago when I was on the course...clear skies, perfect 70 degree weather, and a solid showing...

I played with Andy, Spicer, and Mintz at Clear Creek Golf Course in South Houston...and we were sure to start the wagers before we even teed off on #1. The bet was simple...$1 per hole. If there were a tie, the hole roles over and the winner of the next hole gets both, and so on. The last time we played, JR played instead of Mintz...we all felt hustled as we had a $5 bet on "closest to the hole" on two par-3's. He of course won them both and some well placed tie-breakers on others. He won over $60 that day!

This time around we all had an "agenda" not to lose it all and not to let another win big! On the first tee box all four of our tee shots were well placed and either hit or just missed the fairway...signs of a competitive morning of golf! The first three holes were tied, with Andy winning 4 holes when he got a birdie on #4. On hole #5 I managed a 315 yard tee shot...only to bogey the hole (darn!!). After the first 9 holes, Andy won 4, I won 3, and Mintz won 2. Spicer...unfortunately some unlucky breaks.

The back 9 started off a little rusty...blame it on the hot dogs we had at the turn perhaps. On hole #14 I knocked another 305 yard drive, but my long drive of the day came on #18...319 yards. That one I was proud of! Andy was able to win another 5 holes on the back, I won 3, and Mintz won 1. The 18th hole was a tie...so we all ended up on the putting green...on the second sudden death, my par on 18 held up to win the final hole!

It was a great day on the course all around. I didn't lose big, I had some great drives and putts, managed 4 pars (kind of low), but didn't do any worse than a double bogey (which meant I didn't collapse on any holes)...I was happy with my 91; a stroke above my former handicap of 18 but wouldn't know what it really is now...

Can't wait to make it out on the course again soon...I'm up for golf anytime, so drop me an email and I'm there!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Road trip game, "Yellow Car!!"

This morning, something got me thinking about the car game, "Yellow Car!" I was driving into work and saw a Toyota FJ Cruiser and it hit me...this car was the EXACT same color as a yellow car I once called out during the game. Debbie and I disagreed and it was left off my tally. We'll come back to this...

Upon further thought, I wasn't too sure if there really was a real car game called "Yellow Car!" so I googled it. Turns out there is a website specific for the game and rules! CLICK FOR LINK TO OFFICIAL RULES
Well, this is NOT the game that we play in the car...you punch someone when you see a yellow car...ha! I'm not sure how this would work in a car with Debbie, her sisters, and her dad! I would NOT be very welcome with my in-laws. :-)

Anyways, we don't play it this way, obviously. I first played the game in October 2008 when Debbie and I went out to Colorado for a family visit. Debbie's little sister, Madison, explained the game to me.

  • When you see a yellow car, yell "yellow car."
  • Taxi's and school buses, for instance don't count.
  • You get one point for each yellow car, and you lose one if you are wrong.

That's the simple way. On one day this Christmas while we were in Colorado, we played during our drive out to the tubing hill in the mountains. It got intense! Rules were changed, teams were formed, and it came down to a TIE at the end. There was a disputed call and a subsequent investigation. The investigation, you might ask, well we pulled off the road and drove through the parking lot and found the car. This car is STILL in question. The game later ended at a tie, no joke! That was one of the most fun games we have played to date.

So back to the story behind this blog post, back in January we were driving up to Fort Worth to see Deb's sister, Christine, when the "in question" FJ Cruiser was spotted. It was disputed, like I was saying earlier. "Who paints an FJ Cruiser light yellow?" "That was more tan than yellow?" And so on. Funny thing is neither of us could find the color online. This was more concrete evidence for Deb's argument...I was left without any sort of backing...until today.(It was and IS all in good fun, by the way.) Well I snapped this photo this morning in the car:


Is this the same FJ Cruiser? Is it actually yellow? We don't need the show, The Marriage Ref, to decide whether this is a yellow car or not...but what do you all think?

Oh and if you have never played before, give it a shot...it is a load of fun and very addictive...even when you find yourself alone in the car and see one, you may not shout it, but you definitely find yourself thinking or saying, "Yellow Car!"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kitty is one of the Penguins, Roma as "Donkey"

From all the comments I get via email about the blog (trust me, they roll in quite slowly), the question has been asked about how kitty is doing. I can understand the question considering we do blog about traveling, Roma, food, and baseball (oh there'll be more baseball posts, don't worry!) but haven't said much about kitty. She's doing just fine.

The funny thing here is I was going through pictures on my phone and was going to pass this off as a recent picture of kitty, but I can't. It was within the past two months most certainly...but pre-Roma. See...we don't leave shoes out like this at all...we don't even give Roma a chance to eat them. This is probably a sad realization for kitty because she used to practically bathe in our dirty shoes or sneakers. It was quite gross honestly. The more "worn" they were, the more she loved them! (I will reserve comment about those red shoes of Deb's...) All I can say is those and my running shoes were/are her favorites!

Let me run through a standard day...kitty sleeps in. She doesn't even bother getting up when I get up with Roma or with Deb later on. By the time she starts roaming, Roma is tucked into her kennel for the day. Who knows what shenanigans happens when we're away. There have been a few nights we've woken up to Roma barking because kitty was teasing her in front of the kennel door. Anyways, by the time we get home she wanders around surveying the situation and Roma. She is sizing her up. I made the joke that she reminds me of the penguins in the Madagascar movies...trying to outsmart everyone. Roma, the opponent, is more like Donkey in the Shrek films, kind of happy-go-lucky...running around all nuts! Eventually when Roma starts sleeping on the couch with us, kitty will come out and practically walk on us to stare Roma down! It's so funny. But she's not as smart as she thinks...because letting out a faint "meow" doesn't go unnoticed. It usually results in a chase under the bed, and a quick yell of "ROMA!" Too bad we really need to be yelling at her antagonist, kitty! But what can I say, I remember when I was like that with my brother and sister. Roma and kitty are just starting to figure out the rivalries and loves we share with our siblings...

Kind of like my sister needing to see a picture of her eggplant parmagiano. Here you go sister. For the purpose of this post, you are the donkey! :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Terence's 2010 MLB Preview...well, my "thoughts" at least

Baseball's back baby!!! I will spare everyone this year and limit my baseball blogs. I tried last year to start my own blog, the short-lived "Terence Babbles Baseball." Just like Speed 2, it was well-hyped but not a success. (In my personal opinion my blog and Speed 2 were GOLD!) Anyways, spring training is ongoing, the free agent class is thinning, and opening day seats are all set (for the Astros...4th year in a row, not my World Series favorite, Cleveland)!

Yes, my pick for the World Series is the Cleveland Indians. Granted I'm probably one of the few people that would say this...but as they are my favorite and most loved team, what kind of fan would I be if I didn't say the Indians?? I have been following the website mlbtraderumors.com since last year when my friend Owen sent it to me...and I was instantly hooked! It doesn't only cover the rumors, but all the transactions too! For me, it's the best. They did a spread on the Indians offseason moves last month...Cleveland's Offseason in Review. Not sure things like "the Indians' winter hammered home the fact that they're in full rebuilding mode" or "the Indians' veteran sell-off began last summer and should continue in 2010" really look promising for my prediction, but I'm holding to it!

There's been plenty of Cinderella stories throughout sports...why not Cleveland? It's been a long 62 years since their last championship! Prediction 91-71, 1st Place in AL Central. Toppling the Wild Card Yankees (bunch of dbags) in the Division Series, the Angels in the Championship Series, and the Cardinals in the World Series. Odds of going down like this...12,000 to 1! HA! If it does, I'm buying a lotto ticket!

As for my other teams I like to follow...the Astros and Cardinals. The Astros did nothing of substance. With a healthy team, they could be moderately successful, a few games above 0.500 or so, but I wouldn't hold my breath. They are going to be 77-85. The Cardinals did well signing Holliday long term. I'll bet they continue to succeed and see them going 90-72 this year...heading to a frustrating loss in the World Series to the Indians.

Oh that was fun...can't wait for the season to start! Baseball is back and I'm ready for it!!

Like Mother, Like Son

I am going to steal a page from Debbie and blog about cooking/baking. I have always loved cooking and used to love watching my mom cook, bake, and such. I, unlike Debbie, am not a fan of recipes though. See, I would rather throw a little of "this" and a little of "that" and come up with some sort of awesome dish. Unfortunately things don't always come out the way I want or intend. Sometimes I find myself failing miserabley (i.e. homemade butternut squash stuffed tortellini) but stumbling upon a gold mine (i.e. butternut squash stuffed chicken). Things even out really...

However, this is not one of those blogs...it's a success story in following one of my mom's family recipes. I love her cooking and baking, as any child would, especially her turkey casserole, potato salad, beef stew, and stuffed cabbage. The last is what I tackled last night...finally!

Overall it was a little intimidating because as I thought more and more about it...it is one dish I never helped her make, never watched her make, or knew really how to make! I found her old email from a few months back and went to work.

Coring, steaming, and peeling the cabbage, cooking the meat and mixing with the rice, seasoning, and herbs. Finding a way to peel off the soft cabbage leaves without breaking them. And subsequently stuffing and rolling them effectively without falling apart in the pot!

It was a challenge, but it was one of those things that got easier with time. I'm not going to post her recipe because I can't imagine it'd be one that many people would want (more of a cultural dish). Debbie had never had it before and thought it was good, but I think she was just being a great wife (which she is of course!) and saying it. We got to talking about where the food came from, it's origin, and such. We speculated a lot, so I went on a quick search and found an informative blurb, yes it's Wikipedia but it seemed to sum things up nicely for the blog! So it looks like my mom's eastern european roots come out in this dish (Ukraine, Slovakia, Croatia).

Of course it went with saurkraut and mashed potatoes!

Not sure what dish I'll attack next but I'm enjoying trying new things. Perhaps making homemade potato pancakes...bringing in my Polish roots?

Props to my sister (or the "annonymous" person who keeps leaving comments!) on a great eggplant recipe. We've cooked that one twice. But this post is for mom!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Puppy Playtime and the Vet

ROMA update!

I know you all are probably getting sick of Roma updates, but she is such a cute pup we have to document it! We recently decided to sign her up for doggie day care once a week. Since Terence and I both work so far from home and occasionally like to go out during the week, she is in a kennel a lot more than we wish. We thought it would be a good idea to let her release her energy somehow and socialize her a little bit. Maybe she'll stop chasing her little curly tail...

video

The day of my wisdom teeth surgery we dropped her off at Rover Oaks for her puppy playtime and social evaluation. They check all the dogs to make sure they aren't aggressive and what not, and she passed! It was Texas Independence Day, obviously a made up holiday for Texans :-), so they made her a little bandana with her name on it. How cute! Roma was exhausted all weekend, but she did make it back to the dog park.


My sister came to visit this weekend, and oh man did the pup bond with the her. Roma was so sad when Christine left, she moaped around the house for a while. Terence and I went to the store and after taking her for her walk when we returned we noticed Roma's face was all puffy! It looked like she swallowed a baseball her snout was all puffy and her cheek looked like it had a tumor (it's not a tuma). So like any new worried parents we headed to the emergency vet, poor little girl. The vet believes she was bit by something (bee, mosquito, etc.) and had an allergic reaction. One shot of Benadryl and one shot of steroids and we were back home.


Poor little girl is still pretty sad today, the steroid shot makes her drink a lot and therefore go to the bathroom a lot! Hopefully she will be back to her playful self by tomorrow!