Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Highway MPG

The other day I was coming home from work while trying to keep the MPG as high as possible. I was really babying the gas pedal trying to keep the engine in 4 cylinder mode all the way.

27.8 miles per gallon on highway.My record of the day was 28.4 miles per gallon. Sadly as soon as you start doing some stop and go driving it all goes to hell. But nobody is surprised on this side of the keyboard. mrgreen

First stop and a record of 28.4 MPG. It went downhill from here.Of course this all is highly unscientific. teeth
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Dirty snow.Вчера мы легли спать в 8:30 вечера, и несмотря на то, что сейчас раннее утро я себя чувстую нормальным человеком — выспалась всласть! )

Сегодня нас ожидает холодный денёк: -8 градусов по Цельсию, которые чувствуются как -17 (по оценке www.weather.com). В понедельник выпал снег, и мне почему-то было очень приятно идти вечером домой белой дороге и вдыхать морозный свежий воздух (хоть я холод особо не люблю).

Моя семья в Минске дружно подключилась к нелёгкой задаче выбора имени для кота. Мне очень понравился вариант, предложенный моей мамой — Нафаня! И смешно, и со смыслом (домовёнок) и почти шипящий звук есть. ) Даньке и его родителям Нафаня тоже пришёлся по душе. ) Continue Reading
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Cycling

On one of the bridges along the Belt Pkwy bike route.This weekend we invited Alex to go cycling with us and spent about 3 hours on Saturday and 1.5 hours on Sunday. We covered over 20 miles on our Saturday Rockaway trip and 10 miles on a very windy Sunday ride along Belt Pkwy.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

New Hampshire — Day 0

Just checked into a hotel in Tilton, NH.It’s past 3am now and we have made it all the way to Tilton, NH. We’re staying in Hampton Inn, which we booked for our Hilton HHonors points.1 We didn’t want to stay here because they only had rooms with double Queen beds, but decided that it doesn’t matter much. However we got lucky — they gave us Kings bed room.

Tilton is less then 20 miles away from Concord — New Hampshire capital. This is our first visit to NH for both myself and Alena. Maybe we’ll post more tomorrow — or rather later today. )

  1. 20,000 points per night — as cheap as it gets. []
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Visiting Concord, NH

Hampton Inn. Our hotel for our trip to New Hampshire.It’s 4.30 p.m on St. Valentine’s Day. Danya and I just got to our hotel room, and we’re relaxing on that big soft bed and watching TV. Life is good! )

New Hampshire Capitol building in Concord.We woke up relatively early today, ate complimentary breakfast at the hotel, and then drove to Concord, the capital of New Hampshire. The weather is not so bad today — it is chili, but sunny out there. We walked through the main street of Concord, visited the Museum of New Hampshire History and took a couple of pictures in front of the state Capitol.

One of the central streets in Concord.Concord left an impression of a clean, quite town. The Capitol with its golden dome was shining under the sun. There is a Liberty Bell standing near the Capitol building, and we had to walk through some deep snow to get to it. There is also a statue of Daniel Webster — famous attorney, member of the Senate, and, apparently, a very good speaker. He ran for the president 3 times, but failed to get the desired post.

Rocket near the planetarium in Concord. Ready for launch.After the walk through Concord, we drove to the local planetarium. However, we did not watch the show since to do so would have required almost an hour of waiting, and we’ve decided to skip it.

After this we drove to the Gunstock park in order to gather the information on the cross-country skiing. We’ve been told that there are two group lessons every day — at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. — and that equipment renting, trail pass for the whole day and the lesson are $35. Not bad if you ask me. )

Our St. Valentine day dinner at "99".We had our “holiday” lunch at “99″ chain restaurant near the hotel. The food was OK, and we even got Danya’s steak for free since they managed to serve him a piece of charcoal first time around…
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Monday, February 16, 2009

New Hampshire

Us at the end of our XC skiing adventure.Our 2nd day was the most memorable for me I think. The reason is XC skiing. I was very lazy and was somewhat refusing to even try, but Alena wanted to go, so I reluctantly agreed.

Alena on skis at Gunstock park.The whole deal was extremely cheap first of all. We paid $35 per person for a ticket to the trail, 1 hour lesson with instructor and all the equipment rental. I think we spent a little over 2 hours on the trails — training and then putting our “skill” to use.

It all started with us getting some help from people “in the know” for putting our skis on. Right after that I saw Alena slowly, but steadily leave me, sliding down the slope. I tried to go catch her, but couldn’t move and couldn’t get out of my skis either. I just kept yelling: “Brake, brake!” ) She managed to ask some nice people on her way though how to stop and they were nice enough to help her. )

Skiing through the forest on an XC skiing trail at Gunstock.I actually managed not to fall a single time, which can’t be said of the rest of the trainees. Poor Alena was doing pretty well, but at one point while we were waiting for the rest of the group to catch up just lost balance while standing still and fell on her back. I felt so bad, but yet again was unable to free myself from the skis. She cried a little from the pain, but after a bit of consideration decided to continue.

The snow wasn’t great, but overall it was pretty fun. I think we might try it again some day on some fresh snow.


Last day of our weekend consisted mostly of driving home. We made 2 small detours on our way thought.

Lowell, MA. Historic city that leaves a dual impression.First one was a stop at a town called Lowell in Massachusetts. It’s designated as a National Historic area, so we went to get our stamps (which we did). The city used to be the beginning of American industrialization at the end of 19th century. However everything fell apart in the beginning of 20th and that’s pretty much how it went through the rest of the century. They say it was reborn, but it really doesn’t seem to be the case.

Waiting to place an order at California Pizza Kitchen at Foxwoods. She's clearly VERY hungry.After that we decided that Foxwoods Resort Casino wasn’t too far off our way and we decided to go there for dinner. Inside Foxwoods Resort Casino.Last time we really loved the food at California Pizza Kitchen (a chain restaurant of all things). We found another one at Scottsdale during our southwest trip.

Today was as great as before. We ordered one Greek Pizza and Chicken Piccata. Really really delicious stuff. And all that for $30. We enjoyed it.

Then we spent $5 on slot machines and went home.

We left for the trip at about 8pm on Friday and got home at about 8pm on Monday. It was a great weekend that I spent with my best friend — my awesome wife and I loved all of it.
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Fruity Chicken Salad

Fruity chicken salad.Tonight we had an easy-to-cook chicken salad for dinner, which is based on the Fruited Curry Chicken Salad recipe from allrecipes.com. It came out not bad, and I want to post it here for the future reference.

I used:
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 celery stocks
  • 2 green onions stocks (leeks)
  • 1.5 cup of seedless grapes
  • 1/4 cup of roasted pecans
  • 1/4 lb of Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 of an apple
  • 3.5 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 3.5 tablespoons of plain yogurt + 2 tbs for brushing the chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Photo Library

New photo library feature of the blog.Photo library is a feature that I have been meaning to add to the blog for quite some time now. It required a bit of a format change the would be labor intensive, so I never got around to doing it. Until now that is.

The purpose of this is for me to have a way to publish some of my best (in my opinion) photographs. Majority of them have already been posted on this blog, but there will be new ones as well.

I’ll start with 2 previously seen HDRs of mine. Move your mouse over the image itself once you’re on the photo page to navigate the library.
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Which Arrow?

Which?There is a bit of dilemma now — too many ideas from Geoff, Alex and myself resulted in a humongous number of “Photo Post” arrows. Seven to be exact.

Question is — which one do I pick? Click on the image to see a full list and leave your vote in the comment. Please do it before reading what I like myself in the last paragraph. Your input is much appreciated.

I myself seem to be leaning towards number 4 the most. And maybe 5 and 6 after that.
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