May 24, 2008

Airplanes, Sand, Sunsets!

National Naval Aviation Museum
In the year that I have been down on the Gulf, not once have I actually been to the Gulf. Crazy I know...So that is why RAC and I packed up Calie and headed east to Florida for the day. Nice LONG day of driving, sightseeing, relaxing and driving some more.

We headed to Pensacola, Florida because they had the free National Naval Air History Museum and I highly recommend. Its a great way to spend a day learning about some of our greatest aircraft the Navy ever flew. The exhibits are well laid out, easy to read, informative and inspiring. My favorite exhibit was an exhibit depicting two submerged aircraft that were retrieved from the bottom of Lake Michigan and resorted back to their former glory. Lake Michigan was the site of a training station where new naval aviators honed their skills landing on aircraft carriers. Many planes went down at the hands of these inexperience pilots. Very interesting and I would love to go back and finish up reading about some of the planes that I missed. I had to get to the beach!

Sunset at the beach

Sand Dunes at Sunset...yes they are sand dunes, and not snow :-D

May 23, 2008

Clutchs, Crystal Skulls, and Crab Cakes

Indiana Jones
Today I got to hang out with RAC some more courtesy of the ability to work from home for a few hours and a good accumulation of hours from earlier in the week. I love my job! Anyways, it was mostly relaxation for the first part of the day. We did occasionally play a game of Wii for awhile. RAC is trying to get Mario Cart Wii down pat so she can race me.

Kmewalt and K&A Wags, RAC and I decided that for the evening we were going to have dinner and go see the new Indiana Jones movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But first, the fun...teaching RAC to drive Calie...WAHOO

RAC had driven a manual transmission only a couple of times (one of those was on a 4-wheeler) and so she was a little nervous. I was not worried at all...the cars still under warranty :-) Anyways there is a small stretch of road just down the ways from my apartment that was perfect. Though in RAC's opinion it was only long enough to get it into 3rd gear before you had to turn around. After several loops and a few kills later she was driving like a pro. I'm a good teacher...hehe:-)

After the driving lessons we headed over to meet K&A Wags at their place and ride with them to dinner at Portebello's. Dinner was fantastic, good food and good people. RAC had the crab cakes, said they were yummy and I had the chicken fingers...yum yum. It was then off to the theater to catch the newest installment of the Indiana Jones legacy. It did not disappoint, though there was some moments that were, I don't like that, but for the most part it was a fun movie. I recommend it! Off to Florida tomorrow!

May 22, 2008

Taco Thursdays

800's, Margarita's, and Taco's!
Working long hours this week I accumulated enough time to leave early today (yes a Thursday) and head back to the apartment to hang out with RAC. With her triathlon fast approaching, she wanted to get in a run or two while she was down. So I offered up my running club that I attend as tonight was an unusual occurrence. PARTY TIME.

One of our runners, Meg, is leaving to go to bigger and greener pastures, so the club gave her a little going away party...and RAC wanted to be apart of the festivities.

The festivities began with a nice moderate 5 mile workout that included 4x800m intervals with a minutes rest in between each interval. It was a good workout, just a little humid though there were some storms in the area to help cool down the air some. RAC held up just fine, go her!

We finished up at Zippy's Mexican restaurant for some burritos and margarita's! I had never been and it was a lot of fun. Its a converted gas station with a large outdoor bar area for games and hanging out when its nice out. All in all it was a good time and we even got some good storms out of the deal! Wahooo..

May 21, 2008

RAC is Back

RAC comes back today, I need to clean the no blog for today. Check back for our recap of our week though!


May 20, 2008

Brita Makin a Splash

Filter For Good
Brita has teamed up with Nalgene to launch a new campaign aimed at reducing the number of disposable plastic bottles that make it into the waste stream every day. The picture at left is one of the marketing campaigns photo depicting a woman with 'oil' running out of her mouth. It is meant to symbolize the amount of oil that is 'consumed' in these plastic water bottles.

Though kind of graphic, its a good campaign and the website is pleasant and provides good information. Not sure about the running pledge total scrolling across the top, but interesting nonetheless. I am all for reducing the need for these wasteful products. Granted, in times of emergency they are useful and can save lives, but there are several alternatives out there for everyday use. I have detailed the plastic bottle issue in a few posts before (here, here and here) and have myself purchased a Sigg bottle and love it. It travels everywhere with me! So I say check it out, it even has a 'fun' google map app tracking how many bottles have been saved by each state. Hope you have an enjoyable Tuesday!


May 19, 2008

Monday Mocha Update

Logo Switcharoo
Thought I would do a little Starbuckian update as the last update since the reins of the company have gone back to CEO Howard Schultz was back in February. So here is your java update...riveting I know!

I have been behind the times and have not actually been in a Starbucks for quiet some time, but since April a retro version of the original Starbucks logo has been appearing on the company's ubiquitous white cups. The 'retro' logo is UPS-esque with its all brown design and a more revealing mermaid. This of course has not gone without any controversy, especially in the US's hyper-sensitive ultra conservatives.

One such group has been calling for a nationwide ban on Slutbucks, I mean Starbucks, due to the 'graphic' nature of the mermaid. The Christian group, The Resistance, based in San Diego, says that the new cup "has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute." Last time I checked mermaids didn't have legs, but it does beg the question, what exactly is a two tailed mermaid doing on a coffee cup. I think this group is a little overboard and will probably drive more sales at the stores because people will want to see what all the fuss is about...keep it up guys!

The reason for the change, as CEO Howard Schultz stated, was to generate conversation help revitalize the brand. It appears that the new logo will stick around for a little while longer on the cups, but will ultimately live on in Starbucks new coffee line of Pike Place coffee. Swim on Starbucks, Swim ON!

Ceramic and Starbucks?
Along with the brand revitalization, Starbucks is trying to be more eco-friendly by reducing its ecological footprint. One such measure was announced that would bring back the old ceramic cups of yester-year for in store purchases. This would help reduce some of the trash, but how many of us who go to Starbucks actually sit and hang out. It used to be a that third place between work and home but is not really so, at least what I have seen.

Starbucks also plans to slash energy consumption in its stores by 25% by 2010 and purchase enough clean energy certificates to offset 50% of its electrical requirements. Good steps to improving their efficiency and bottom line, but what about all of that double cupping that goes on and those wasteful plastic drink cups? Good steps in the right direction, but still a long way to go. It is a company after all, and a company based on nothing else than consumption of materials. Though they do make a mean Frapachino....I may just go get me one :-D

May 18, 2008

SkyMall Sunday's

Who Buys this stuff?
Ah...SkyMall, that wonderful seat back pocket time suck that is a staple of most airline flights. Its one of the few pleasures of flying, if you're having a bad day, you can flip to page 130 and find a pair of 'stylish' golf ball finding shades staring back up at you. Today I flew back from spending the later half of the week at home and this trip was MUCH smoother than on Wednesday. As I was trying to come up with something for today's blog I noticed that wonderful little magazine staring back up at me...ah ha pay dirt.

There are to many crazy, useless, and ridiculous products to pick a top prize. I did however find myself staring at this for awhile, with that "huh, I wonder how that works" look on my face. The "Upside-down Tomato Garden. Supposedly it grows 'better' tomatoes because they are suspended in air rather than sitting on the ground where they can rot. Seriously, do you know of anyone who has bough this, or ANYTHING out of SkyMall. Sure there are a couple of good things, but not anything worthwile to purchase. Anyways, hope your weekends were good...alas another work week aways.