Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cold Spell

It has been freezing this week. (Just in case you haven't seen enough Shelby pictures lately!)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Shelby vs. Playstation

Guitar Shelby 2:
Shelby is an amazing guitar player. She has mastered "Freebird" and "Sweet Child of Mine". I am worried that she is getting addicted because the rest of us were upstairs wondering where Shelby went, and I could hear her playing downstairs, feverishly, and late at night.

Shelby It Up
Shelby has a unique style of playing the dance game. At first I thought she wouldn't be any good, but having 4 legs makes her a formidable opponent. She has been known to sabotage other people dancing by getting excited and jumping on their pad. She will do anything to win.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Costa Rica in a few images

If you look closely to the bottom-right you can see someone standing near the falls to get an idea of how huge this thing was.

This is an active volcano, during the day you can see rocks tumble down the side, at night you can see them glow and breakup falling down the side of the volcano.

The rain forests are pretty amazing!

Pacific Ocean:
The Pacific Ocean made for great bogie boarding, the waves were so big that they really beat you up. If you fell off your board, you had a few seconds of being disoriented as to which way is up or down in the water.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cable Doesn't Do This

I came home and had a package waiting for me. Since I wasn't expecting one I was pretty excited to see what it would be. When I opened it I thought that maybe it was a late Christmas present I got for my nieces that accidentally came to me, especially when it said "Welcome Aboard - Enjoy your new spongebob skateboard!"

Notice the sheet of stickers so I can "Pimp my Nicktoons Ride"

I recently upgraded my DirecTV package paying $5 per month more for the Science channel. Apparently I got a bunch of nickelodeon channels too. Here's the letter:

"Thank you for your recent upgrade to the TOTAL CHOICE PLUS package. To show our appreciation, we would like to present you with the enclosed SpongeBob Skateboard, courtesy of Nicktoons Network. - Sincerely DirecTV Inc."

What a riot!

PS - I also heard that DirecTV and MLB are reaching a deal that would make DirecTV the exclusive provider of MLB Extra Innings, meaning the NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB would only be on DirecTV.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snow in Cincinnati

Today was the 1st official snow in Cincinnati this year - 2 inches that actually stayed on the ground. Shelby loves the snow and tore around the yard covered in snow. She likes to eat it and dig with her nose in it. I threw snowballs for her to chase and when they hit the ground she thought they disappeared.

Go Pats

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Finally: Costa Rica

Well, it's been long enough between updates (I want to set expectations low so I can over-deliver). We spent Christmas with the in-laws in Costa Rica, here's the blog.

Fun Facts:
Costa Rica does not have a military. It's true. When I really thought about this and let it set in, it's mind-boggling coming from a US perspective. I guess they don't have anyone to attack for oil :)

There is no income tax from what I could figure from being there and a show on the Bodog.com guy who lives there. There is a 13% sales tax, tips run 10%.

Obviously the weather is beautiful. It was funny to celebrate Christmas in such a warm area. The locals celebrate with red and green fireworks! Costa Rica is becoming a big tourist destination and for good reason. They have "micro-climates" and in a relatively small area you can visit the city, a rain forest, a volcano and hot springs and the beach. And we did it all.

Highlights would be seeing rocks tumble down the volcano during the day and then seeing them glowing red and breaking up as they fell down the mountain at night. The volcano also was making an eeeeerie "'whooshing" sound, like an engine, but it really can only be described as the "breath" of the mountain. Creepy, you sure do feel small next to this powerful thing.

We also visited the pacific ocean and did some serious boogie boarding. The water is beautiful and warm. I'd guess around 75+ degrees, almost on the verge of not refreshing (which I enjoyed because I could stay in all day). Even just the 3-4 foot waves were enough to really mess you up if you wiped out.

One last pro for this entry is that in the city of San Jose you can have anything delivered. If you want McDonald's, someone shows up on a moped with your burger. AWESOME! We also had pizza hut there and both were pretty close to the U.S. Don't' eat the beef there, it's not the same and it's not good. Eat chicken.

Besides the fact that I really do appreciate all that the U.S. has to offer, there were some things in Costa Rica that would be hard to get used to. One would be that people don't flush their toilet paper. It goes in a trash can next to the toilet. needless to say in the public restrooms you really have to hold your breath. Yikes!

Also the driving in Costa Rica is CRAZY! You really have to experience it for yourself, but basically the mountain roads have cliffs on the sides with no rails, and people are constantly trying to pass uphill. In the city there are pedestrians everywhere and there is too much to watch out for. Driving in the U.S. is a piece of cake, which is probably why we can multi-task with our beverages, cell phones, Garmins and DVD players. One other tid bit, most items in Costa Rica are 2x what they are here, so cars are really expensive, so are most electronic items etc.

Cultural Tidbit
Speaking of the crazy roads, in Costa Rica if there is a fatality on the road (most often a pedestrian being struck) they permanently paint a symbol in the road about the size of a car (the entire lane). It is a heart with a halo over it in a box, all yellow and to some degree you can get an idea for how dangerous an intersection is by the density of these symbols. If you spend some time thinking about this it is really an amazing statement of confidence and strength, here in the U.S. we would probably prefer to act like nothing has happened.

Funny Story
We went though the rainforest and saw some monkeys, poison frogs, snakes and spiders. But the best thing we saw was some large gentleman on a dirt bike peddling uphill with a desktop computer on his knee bouncing up and down.