Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 11 - Soy Latte

Still out of milk this morning, so no smoothie for breakfast.  Starbucks!  Walking in, I noticed one of the sure signs of autumn approaching: "Pumpkin Spice Lattes are Back."  Mm, hot foamy autumn goodness.  Tip from me, however: do not drink one of these out of the paper cup with plastic lid while using your notebook computer.  I had to ship mine back to Dell because of a related incident in which 20 ounces of the stuff dumped all over my notebook in the middle of class.  Thank goodness for accidental damage protection!

Anyway, I was standing in line contemplating whether I wanted to try a new syrup flavor but thinking that none of the ones I hadn't tried really appealed to my, when the guy ahead of me at the next register ordered a soy latte.  That's it!  Five minutes and one grande decaf soy latte later, I was walking out the door with today's new stuff in my hand.  Mmm, creamy.

Later in the office I nuked a brioche for 20 seconds and enjoyed it spread with mango peach jam.  My cube neighbors were impressed and rather envious.

One of my colleagues brought in a box of italian pastries this morning, which I managed to avoid until mid-afternoon when I went to the kitchen to wash out my jam container.  I made the mistake of peeking in the box, just to see, when I spotted a sfogliatelle - my favorite pastry!  I had to give in and have it.  I believe a short while later I may have appeared as if I had been doing blow in my cube, as the sfogliatelle is covered with powdered sugar, and are very crispy, so that when you bite into them it tends to whip up puffs of powdered sugar into your face.  So worth it, though.  I highly recommend Maria's Pastry in Boston's North End - they ship anywhere in the US!

I have to start thinking of some new things to do in Maine, where we are heading Wednesday night for the long weekend.  First thing I'll do is break with my decaf habit, as we're planning on starting our five hour drive around 7 pm.  We'll see what else comes our way.

Pre-First Away Mission Photos

I started mulling over trying new things during a recent away mission (aka business trip) that included four nights in Dallas/Fort Worth and then an overnight in West Palm Beach.  I used my new gear backpack, did a little evening sightseeing, and tried some new kinds of sushi.  If you're interested, click on the photo from the Fort Worth Stockyards to go to the full set.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 10 - Brioche and Sleeping In

Yesterday I noted that my various allergy symptoms were troubling me since I had run out of Allegra.  As I was getting ready for bed, I recalled that there was an old bottle of Benadryl in the medicine cabinet, so I took a couple of those.  This led to my first new thing of today: sleeping in.  Man, that stuff really knocks me out!  But I have to say, my stuffiness was much reduced this morning.  I took two more when I woke up and spent much of the rest of the morning feeling clear but fuzzy.  Julie was nice enough to pick up some non-drowsy stuff at CVS for me today, to tide me over until the Allegra refill arrives in the mail.

Once my brain cleared out the morning Benadryl, I took on my big new thing for the day: brioche!  The recipe for this is just a couple of pages over from the beignet recipe, and it had been on my list of things I should try for just as long.  As if brioche aren't rich enough, I discovered that we didn't have any milk.  We did, however, have plenty of half and half, so that went into the dough.  I contemplated one of the variants, where you hide chocolate or jam on the inside, but decided to go for the simple form first.  There's another option where you can fry up the dough and make little brioche donuts, but that seemed a little over the top.

They came out delicious!  Another item for my, "that wasn't so hard" list.

While the dough was rising or baking, I finally watched Dune, the 1984 version with Kyle MacLachlan and pretty much the rest of the acting world.  Trippy, trippy movie.  I'm glad I waited until the Benadryl wore off before approaching it.  Now I see that David Lynch directed - that really explains everything.  Perhaps I'll read the book sometime.  

Photos from Birmingham Trip

I've uploaded all my Birmingham pics, including the many, many from the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  Click on the picture to go to the full set.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 9 - Rainy Day, Tea, Kennedy and Movies

It was a quiet day at home today, with the tropical storm moving through and Senator Kennedy's services on the tv.  While Julie said I should take a day off each week from the new things, I still did try out a new tea rather than my usual earl grey (of course) or chai.  Today it was Tazo Organic Spicy Ginger.  It was a nice rainy day tea, but I think I'll stick with my usuals for most days.

When we weren't watching the Kennedy services, we also watched some Amazon downloads on Tivo: Valkyrie, 17 Again and New in Town.  All very good.  Tom Cruise looks good with that curly wave to his hair.  Julie felt that since we had never seen any of these, they should count as new things.  Somehow I just don't think I can count, "hung out and watched movies" as new stuff.

I also ordered a refill for my Allegra, which I've been taking daily and now realize that this is why I haven't been sick in over a year.  I've been out of them for several days, and now the various sinus symptoms including raging headache are back in full.  Ah well, the postman will bring the magic elixir of clearness in a few days and all will be right with the world.

On a side note, during 17 Again two of the characters were discovering the geekness of the other when Gandalf the White came up in conversation.  The other pointed out that he was Gandalf the Grey during Fellowship of the Ring and then returned in The Two Towers as Gandalf the White.  I had to pause the movie so I could reach to my side table and hold up the two books sitting there for Julie to see.  Yes, Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.  "Geek," she responded.  Some things will never change.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 8 - Espresso and Other Folks' New Stuff

Not a huge day today for new things, but I did get in my minimum.  Usually when I go to Starbucks I get a grande decaf nonfat latte.  I actually don't go to Starbucks as much as I used to since now I tend to make smoothies before work each day.  In the past, however, Starbucks was so much a part of my routine that just as with the sushi order, the barista knew what I wanted as soon as I walked in.  For a while I did mix it up a bit and went back and forth between the latte and the London Fog Latte.  One day the barista said I should come up with a hand signal so that as soon as I got out of my car in the parking lot (this was usually very early in the morning, and that Starbucks is at a big box plaza) I could alert them to which beverage I was getting.

But this morning we had no milk or soy milk, and no OJ, therefore no smoothie.  I drove off down my usual back roads I take, and pulled into the Starbucks along the route to get a latte.  Then it occurred to me that I had an opportunity here.  Trouble is, I've tried many of the beverages over the years.  Nonetheless, I perused the beverage board and there it was, the unknown hot foamy froth:  Espresso Truffle.  Since something likely that rich should be enjoyed full bore, I forewent the nonfat and got whole milk.  Crazy, I know!  I did opt to downsize to a tall rather than a grande to balance it out.

Yum.  Rich, hot, foamy, chocolaty goodness.  Just the thing to balance out driving with the car top down on a 59 degree fall-preview morning.  Cool breeze, hot coffee/chocolate and just a little bit further out of my comfort zone.  Felt pretty good.


In other news, my work walking friend and I were on a midmorning lap around the parking area when she mentioned that since I started the whole new things project, she has found herself trying new things as well, either intentionally or just because it worked out that way.  Often she goes for an hour-long walk in the morning before she gets her daughter ready for the day and herself ready for work, but today for a change the two of them went for a shorter walk to a nearby Panera for a couple of bagels and some morning mother-daughter time.  This is something they do sometimes on a weekend, but never on a work day, and she said it was a nice way to start the day before going to the office.

I encouraged her, as I encourage anyone else reading this, to come here and post comments sharing what new stuff you've tried.  You might give other people some ideas.  Like me - I'm going to need some ideas soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 7 - Scarf and T-Shirt

Continuing on from yesterday's first, wherein I purchased five pashmina style scarves, today I wore one to dress up the new Birmingham Botanical Gardens t-shirt I acquired earlier this week.  I chose the beige scarf, as it would match the lettering on the shirt, and spent a bit of the morning trying the scarf in various modes.  I finally went with draped around the back of the neck, then wrapped around the back, with one end wrapped back around the front and hanging down from my left shoulder.  I even broke out the Teva sport sandals rather than wearing the stand-by white Nikes.

I do believe it was a success, as I had several positive comments about it at work today, where I never get comments on my outfits.  Of course, my outfits are usually a polo shirt, shorts and sneakers, so there you go.  People even noticed the sandals.  

I did opt to leave the scarf in the office when I went out for the lunchtime walk at Horn Pond.  Speaking of which, we even varied our route and walked around the main pond rather than staying on the side trails.  Not for the first time, but the first time in quite a while.  

So my foray into fashion had good result.  I always wished I could be one of those people who could pull off a scarf as an accessory rather than just keeping the snow off my neck. Perhaps I'll try it again.   I do have four more scarves to go.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 6 - Scarves and Unintended Firsts

I'm back from Birmingham, and it was a long day.  I started off by unintentionally setting off an elevator alarm for the first time.  I had my hands full, so I reached out to press the lobby button with my knuckles, and it wasn't until after I retracted my hand that I noticed the Alarm button was just below the LL button.  Lo and behold, the "help is on its way" button was flashing.  I had my camera bag in my right hand, and it had bumped the alarm button.  It was rather comforting that within about ten seconds a voice came through the speaker asking if everything was okay in the elevator.

I was hoping to get to the airport nice and early as I always do, but it wasn't to be.  I arrived just in time to board, so no breakfast in Birmingham.  That's okay, because I had an hour between flights.  Until the first flight was delayed and we had to sit out on the runway for about a half hour.  Land in Atlanta, make my way from Concourse D to Concourse B and they were boarding the flight to Boston.  No breakfast in Atlanta.  This has the potential for disaster, as my sisters and I have very sensitive moods in relation to our blood glucose levels.  Julie calls it "being in that place."  That's her euphamistic way of referring to when I haven't eaten and lose my ability to make decisions or handle any kind of stress without bugging out completely.  I usually have some sort of Clif bar or other emergency snack with me for just such an occurrence, but not on this trip.  I thought about purchasing one of the in flight snacks, but after looking at them in the Sky Magazine, I decided that I'd rather go hungry than eat that crapola, so I stuck with the peanuts they handed out, and a cranapple.

This time the small children (I always seem to have small children sitting in my vicinity these days) were on the other side of the aisle, and I was in the window seat.  This is good, as it wasn't me who was assaulted by the flying police bear.  The guy sitting in the aisle seat of our three seat grouping was leaning over, reading a magazine he had opened up on the tray table, when all of a sudden this teddy bear in a police uniform came whizzing across the aisle, both landing on his magazine and smacking him in the face.  He managed to keep his cool, which was admirable, but the mom didn't apologize nearly enough, which was not admirable.  She gave him a passing little, "Heh, sorry," and seemed more concerned about getting back the damn bear.  If that had been me and I hadn't had the saving peanut protein, the bear might have gone back in pieces.

At last we landed in Boston.  I was exhausted, having not slept well last night, and hungry, having only had a handful of nuts and a few ounces of juice, so I was highly susceptible to the pretty things that caught my eye in the shop directly across from our arrival gate at Logan.  The bright colors drew me right over, where I was pleasantly surprised to find a varied assortment of pashmina style scarves/shawls.    I've been intrigued by these things for about a year, ever since I read several articles touting their versatility for travelers.  Last fall I did purchase a similar weight shawl in my family's tartan (internet purchase from a shop in Scotland - it's the Henderson MacKendrick tartan), thinking it would be stylish and oh so practical, but it just didn't look as good as it did in my head.  Perhaps a tartan isn't as versatile as I was shooting for.  But it did keep me warm on Thanksgiving.  Plus, it's provided Julie with endless hours of entertainment.


In my sleep-deprived, glucose-starved mind, these colorful items were just the thing, so I went ahead and got a varied selection at only ten bucks per shawl.  I do believe this was my first fashion-oriented impulse purchase, and they are definitely my first pashminas, so I've gotten in my firsts for the day.

Pashmina Shawls

Upon arrival back home, I talked on the phone with Julie and she recommended I get some sushi, to which I rapidly agreed.  I called it in, didn't give my name, but was nonetheless told, "Okay, see you in ten minutes, Julie."  Back in the comfort zone at last.


Oh, they always call me Julie because the first time we placed a phone order, Julie placed the call.  They took the phone number and her name, and now her name is forever associated with our number in their computer system.  But that's okay, as long as I get my usual order.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 5 - Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Fine Dining Solo

I spent the bulk of the day at a client site, while my rented PT Cruiser was parked in this interesting hospital parking garage that is built into the side of a rocky hill:


When the work stuff was done, however, I drove back to my hotel and changed into leisure wear more suitable to exploring Birmingham in 89 degree, humid weather.  Then off I went to my first new thing of the day, a visit to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  I haven't visited botanical gardens as an adult, and even as a child it was not voluntary.  But now I'm a homeowner and have dipped my toe into gardening, so I thought I'd give it a go.  Wow!  I wandered around from area to area and just found myself smiling while looking at this or that.  One minute I'm wandering through Alabama Woodlands, then I come around a turn in the path and am facing a Japanese Garden, complete with a raked sand garden and a large pond with many turtles and the largest koi I've ever seen! 


Other areas included the Southern Living garden, ferns, bog (didn't spend long there - it featured mosquitos, apparently), herbs and vegetables, roses, formal areas and woodsy areas, rainforest (in a greenhouse), and lots and lots of paths on which to wander.  They also have various gazebos with benches, as well as hanging bench swings throughout, on which you can sit back and enjoy the surroundings.  I took tons of pictures on the Canon Rebel - I'll load these up when I return home.  For now, here's an iPhone shot of a very large bunny I came across in the herb garden:


And to top it all off, admission is completely free!  The are open until sunset, and you can just wander in and out as you please.  They also host events, and a wedding party was just arriving as I was departing.  The bride was lovely.  She looked totally out of place in the Nissan beater from which she emerged, but that's neither here nor there.  Once out of the car and into the gardens, it was perfect.

It's probably a good thing I don't live here, as I could easily fall into another habit.  I can picture myself coming here every day at lunch or after work.  As I've mentioned, once I find something I like it becomes part of my routine.  Just ask my facebook friends who are sick of seeing my lunchtime Runkeeper post and map link of my walk around Horn Pond in Woburn.

Usually when I'm on a work trip by myself, I end up getting some fast food crapfest and taking it back to my room.  If I'm with colleagues, I'm all over TripAdvisor and Urban Spoon, finding the coolest, most hip and best-reviewed restaurant for us to try.  Not by myself, though.  So tonight, while relaxing on one of the many benches scattered throughout the gardens, I pulled out the iPhone, fired up the LocalPicks app from TripAdvisor, and checked out nearby eats.  I selected Veranda on Highland, a Cajun-Creole, local foods, fine dining kind o'place.  I rang them up, and was on my way in with a reservation for a tavola per uno, armed with Julie and Julia for reading.  When dining alone, it's important to have something to read so that it's not obvious that you're spending much of your time observing the other diners and doing "the restaurant thing," as my wife calls it, which involves unobtrusively overhearing bits of conversations from other tables. I highly recommend this book, but not for dining.  It's hard to be unobtrusive when you're actually laughing out loud.  It wasn't a guffaw, but it was a very noticable giggle. 

As for the food, I considered the turtle soup since the server highly recommended it.  Then I recalled all the wonderful turtles that had been sunning themselves in the pond at the Japanese garden, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Instead I had the Crispy Appalachacola Oysters with Grilled Sweet Corn Vinaigrette, Basil Oil and Corn Relish for my appetizer, and the Creole Seasoned Gulf Fish on Sweet Corn Succotash Drizzled with Lemon Herb Oil (today's catch was red grouper) for the entree.  Oh my god, I was on the verge of picking up my plates to lick off the remaining sauce.  Now, these choices were also new things for me.  I like oysters, but I like my oysters raw.  Preferably plucked out of Welfleet harbor within minutes of serving.  These were batter dipped and fried up, but not heavy-greasy fried up.  Just crispy coated and light.  And the corn relish was light and bright and fabulous.  As for the entree - I pretty much never order fish in a restaurant.  I don't think Julie (wife) has ever seen me order fish, and we've been together for over ten years.  And I've never had grouper anywhere.  The mere mention of succotash brings back childhood memories of this canned combination of corn, peas and lima beans heated up into a hot mushy substance that vaguely resembled vegetables.  Veranda did not serve my mother's succotash.  The veggies were fresh and slightly crisp, each with their own distinct flavor but that all blended together so very nicely.

To wrap it up, I made an effort at caving to an old habit by ordering the creme brulee, but the restaurant saved me by being out of it.  So my final new thing for the evening was key lime pie.  Up in New England, at least wherever I've seen it, key lime pie is akin to jello pie.  It's this whipped nothingness that is face puckeringly over-tart, and once it's cleared into your stomach it doesn't really leave anything pleasant behind on your taste buds.  You may imagine that with these kinds of associations in my head, I don't order it.  But tonight I did.  I have to say, it's still not one of my favorites, but it was a lot better down here in the south than what we yankees can get at home.  It was creamy, slightly tart but not overbearingly so, and rolled around nicely on the tastebuds.

So all in all, a good day of firsts.  On the way back to the hotel I caught sight of the illuminated Vulcan, the largest cast iron statue in the world.  I'll have to go to Vulcan Park on my return trip this fall.  In case you haven't followed the links, it's Vulcan the Roman god, not the live long and prosper type.  Although I would not hesitate to see a 56-foot cast iron Spock.  T'Pol would be even better.

Tomorrow, it's back to Boston.  I haven't thought of what my new thing will be, so I'll have to keep my eyes open for opportunities.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 4 - Birmingham, Cajun Dog

Today has brought me to a new city and state - Birmingham, Alabama.  I've never been to the state before, so that's my big new thing for the day.  En route I had two additional new things, one inadvertant and one deliberate.

The flight from Boston to Atlanta was a full boat, and things were looking grim when the young family with several children roughly seven years old and younger, slowly maneuvered their way into the row directly behind me.  However, once we were underway I couldn't hear a peep from any of them due to the ambient noise level of the plane.  It wasn't until we were nearing Atlanta that I happened to glance out the window behind me that I discovered the reason - I was seated about four feet away from one of the engines.  I've never had such a clear view of one, and it looked very cozy.  Seemingly still, smooth, round and roomy.  Looked like a nice place for a snooze, like a riveted metal hammock.  Of course I know better, having seen the pilot episode of Lost.  Not to mention that Firefly episode.

So, sitting next to the engine: inadvertent new thing.

After this morning's complete failure to vary from my Starbucks routine, I determined that such would not be the case at lunch.  After walking for a bit and exploring the food options, I decided to hit the Oscar Mayer Hot Dog Zone for the enticing Cajun hot dog.  It had cajun-spiced cheese sauce, onions and relish, and it was a gooey, spicy, yummy mess!  And I ate the whole thing.  My mouth tingled all the way to Birmingham, and unfortunately my stomach was starting to tingle a bit as well.  Just a tingle, though.  Nothing major.  Although as I was waiting in line at the Enterprise car rental counter I was beginning to think perhaps it was a caffeine hot dog, as I felt like I had caffeine jitters.

Once I dropped off my stuff at the hotel and checked my work email, I went out for a walk around downtown Birmingham, which is quite nice.  The restaurants are all geared towards business, and are only open for lunch, so that was a downer.  I did get some nice pictures of the library (view from my hotel room) and park across the street, and also of the Museum of Art.  Most are on the SLR, which I'll upload after I'm back home, and I'll update this post.  For now, here's the view from the room:

Usually my hotel views are of parking lots, fast food joints and strip malls, so this is a nice change.  Now if only there were a nice restaurant in walking distance!

Tomorrow, after wrapping up my site visit: Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

New Destination, No Preflight Change

I'm awaiting boarding for the flight to Atlanta, where I'll connect to Birmingham. I've never been to Birmingham, or even Alabama, so that's new. What's not new: my airport Starbucks breakfast of a decaf nonfat latte and a cinnamon scone. I did get a tall, rather than a grande, though.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 3 - Beignets to Make and Eat

Last fall we took a week's vacation and went on a road trip to Kitty Hawk, NC. We both tried hang-gliding and loved it. What we didn't get to try were the beignets at The Left Bank in Duck, NC. While they were listed on the menu and described in mouth-watering detail, something was wrong with their frying equipment and they were unable to comply with our order.

After we had returned, I was looking through the bread machine cookbook and noticed a recipe for beignets. Since then, I've pondered giving it a go, but was a little intimidating. Its been almost a year of not trying it, do this year of new stuff seemed like a good time to jump in. Turns out it wasn't so tough, and yummy too!

Day 2 - App, eggs, Bruce

I started off the day by trying the BlogPress app for posting. Okay, I really started with Farmtown and Smiley, but right after that I tried something new. I've been using Shozu, but I figured what better time to explore my options? Glad I did, as I like this one much better.

Poached eggs were the next new thing. I've made them before, but thanks to Julie and Julia I now know that I wasn't doing them quite right. I always used a shallow pan, and the yolk wouldn't be covered. Today they went into a saucepan in water over their heads, and wouldn't you know they were much better!

Finally, we went to see Bruce Springsteen at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. I've never seen him before, and it was a great show. His audience isn't aging - they're all my age. Oh, wait. Yes, we were a middle aged mob pumping our fists and shouting, "Tramps like us, baby we were born to run!". Then everyone went back to their midsize sedans out in the parking lot. Or Mini Cooper, in our case. Oh yeah, born to run.

An unexpected new experience was going to an outdoor concert with a tropical storm waiting in the wings.  We came prepared for bivouac, but lucked out.  The downpours held off until we were on the road home.  We did try some new roads in the Mansfield/Wrentham area when we ended up in the wrong lane and got off the highway for about 20 minutes.  Unfortunately, this was when the downpours were upon us, so that wasn't such a great new thing.  But the rest of the day was fabulous!

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Concert Experiences

Planned portion: my first Bruce Springsteen concert. We're at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA, in an area with assigned seats but open air.

Unplanned portion: Open air seating under threat of Tropical Storm Bill. The stage and some of the sections are covered, so the show will go on. We are prepared, with rain coats and rain pants in our bags.

-- Post From My iPhone

Missed Starbucks Opportunity

We stopped into Starbucks for hot foamy beverages on the way to the Comcast Center, as is our custom. Before I thought about it, I had ordered my usual decaf grande nonfat latte instead of trying something new. Next time.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 1 - Photos, Sushi and Clockwise Walking

I'm a creature of habit. I get into routines, I find something I like and I stick with it. To the point that the last time I changed my Friday night sushi order and the new person took my phone order, they thought she had screwed it up and they made my usual order anyway. Recently I called and said, "Order to go..." and they greeted me by name and told me it would be about ten minutes.

I found a nice back route to work, so every morning I get up, play FarmTown and Save the Planet on Facebook (Smiley is my game), shower, make a smoothie (part in the travel cup, part in the thermos for later) and head off on the back road. Every day at lunch I go for a walk, usually around a particular pond near the office, and I upload the route and other stats to Twitter and Facebook. Just an excuse to use the iPhone app.

This week my wife Julie and I went to see Harry Potter in Imax (we see each HP at the Imax theater), then did a double header and went to the nearby theater for Julie and Julia. I came out of that really missing my old blog, which got me through law school but which kind of sputtered out since then. I realized then that it was because I didn't have a theme. The Julie of the movie had her "year with Julia" for her blog, and I had had my travails of law school for mine. Once I passed the bar and was sworn in, it became a rambling collection of whatever.

I needed a new theme. So here it is - I'm going to get out of my routines every day. Maybe small, maybe large, but it will be something. At least one new thing per day for a year. If you'd like to join in, feel free to leave a comment about what new thing you did today.

Day 1, new thing 1: Morning photography at Wayside Inn. On my way to work, I detoured to the Wayside Inn and pulled out my good camera rather than the iPhone, and walked around the old grist mill taking a series of photos at the request of a dear friend who moved away from this area when we were kids. It was pleasant being out there in the early morning, and I really enjoyed indulging my inner shutterbug. Click on the photo below to go to the full set:

Day 1, new thing 2: Sushi variant. In the face of overwhelming heat and humidity, my walking friend Tammy and I opted to eat out rather than walking. Okay, we walked to the restaurant (Ginger Pad), but then sat inside in the AC. I then broke out of my sushi routine and ordered something totally new for me: the Hoppin' Jalapeno roll and the Spider Roll. Usually I get the Phoenix roll. Totally yummy. Tammy decided to hop on the new stuff bandwagon and tried the rolls. Liked the Spider Roll, not so much the jalapeno. Click on the picture for a larger view:

Spider roll and Hoppin' Jalapeno roll from Ginger Pad.

Day 1, unintended new thing: going to lunch with no means of paying. As we were waiting for the check, I realized I had left my wallet at my desk. Tammy didn't have quite enough cash for the whole bill, so I got to throw in a mid-lunch fast paced walk back over to our office building to retrieve said wallet and rush back to pay the check while Tammy stayed at the table drinking more iced tea. At least it was a break with routine.

Day 1, new thing 3: For our afternoon break walk, I suggested we walk around the office park parking lot clockwise instead of our usual counterclockwise. Crazy, I know. Tammy at this point declared that my new stuff kick is going to kill her. We'll see.