Success! by stegaliu
April 22, 2008, 7:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So there are many out there that think that Prius owners are self-congratulatory people, always patting ourselves on the back for doing the green thing (see South Park episode where hybrid owners pollute the town with SMUG not SMOG). And it may be true that owning a hybrid car makes us feel good about ourselves and being able to do this tiny thing for the environment but what makes me feel even better is that we get to fill up our tanks less frequently and with gas at $3.45 a gallon in Westchester that makes a huge difference in our wallets.

Warm weather really affects the mileage we get because, as we all know from high school chemistry class, in the winter the air in the tires condenses thus making them a little less full and bringing down the mileage. It’s great having a screen in the car to constantly monitor your mileage because it really teaches you how to drive more efficiently. Example: not over accelerating just to get around the guy in front of you that is going the same speed as you but for some reason you MUST PASS or learning to coast down hills and pick up speed to get you up the next hill so you don’t have to accelerate as much and put unnecessary strain on the engine. I think all cars, not just hybrids, should have a screen like this. It would cut down on speeding and also gas usage.

Now since it’s gotten warmer Patrick and I have been in competition to get the mileage as high as possible. It leveled out at 49.8 mpg during the past week and we figured that that’s basically the limit of the car. UNTIL TODAY:



Bad Back… by stegaliu
April 20, 2008, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Since we’ve been out of town every weekend for the past 5 weekends the apartment had gone to the dogs…er, the cats.  It was a complete mess so I stayed in today to clean, clean, clean.  I got to every room but the bedroom (which really needs it) by lunch time and decided to reward myself with a nice lunch of dumplings.  After scrubbing the floors, vacuuming, doing dishes, dusting, all it took was leaning over to grab a pot out of a lower cabinet to push my lower back over the edge.  At this point the onset of the injury no longer causes me to scream like it used to.  I just freeze, groan silently at the idea of being laid up for hours/days and instead turn gingerly to the freezer to get out the ice (instead of my dumpling lunch) and walk slowly the the rug in the living room to lay down.  I’m writing this from there and hope to be up and walking again in time for dinner with Eli who is in town for the night.  Hopefully when Patrick gets home he can finish cleaning the bedroom.  I’m sure he’s racing home to do just that.  That and to help me get some lunch.

(Very) French Bread by stegall
April 16, 2008, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today I was off again, and I was trying to find a productive way to waste time before I start my new gig tomorrow.  So I made baguettes.  The Franco-phobe in me was going to do a funny post where I would refuse to call them baguettes, insisting instead upon Jumbo Doughy Freedom Bats, then it occurred to me that there was nothing more French than baking in my boxers (I don’t like flour coated clothes) while collecting unemployment benefits.  They came out a little misshapen, but perfectly brown, fragrant, and socialist

Mmmm…. I can just taste the taxpayer’s dollars!

So its back to work for a week and change tomorrow, but hopefully by the time I finish that job I’ll be ready to try my hand at . . . sourdough!

(That’s my starter, allow 8-10 days for a colony of yeast and bacteria to stop by)

(Oh and Kir, if you’re reading this, can I let a bowl of flour, sugar, and water grow bacteria in our kitchen for 8-10 days?  Thanks.)

Ye Olde Barn Trip by stegall
April 16, 2008, 8:53 am
Filed under: Family, PA

Here are a few carefully chosen, now-more-than-a-week-old pictures from our outing to a farm near the Liu’s house in PA. If I remember correctly the farm belongs to Kirstin’s grandfather’s cousin (Pop-Pop, not Yeh-Yeh). The incredible thing is that this 130-acre spread is now situated smack in the middle of the viral hot zone of reproductive humanity known as Delaware County. At this point the farm is largely ornamental and developers have been salivating over the open swaths of field and rolling hills that would suit a subdivision of McMansions so well. Not to worry, the owners aren’t even entertaining the notion of a multi-multi-million dollar sale (and there have been offers).

Without further ado, here are the pictures. I’m not commenting on each one this time because sometimes I think it gets redundant, “Here’s Kir on a wooden fence. Here’s a goat.” You have eyes. You can tell Kirstin on a wooden fence from a goat.

NERD BONUS: The landscape is so epic that I chose to crop all of these down to the classic “anamorphic” cinema aspect ratio of 2.4:1, aka Panavision or ‘Scope. Here is the wikipedia page just in case you really want to geek out over rectangles. The unabbreviated, uncropped, uncolor-corrected files are on our flickr site. Just click the column on the left side of our blog. You know, over there

<———— Flickr page

The Anniversary Party by stegall
April 6, 2008, 11:46 am
Filed under: Family, PA

On Friday night the Liu/McCusker clan (and friends) descended upon the Newtown Grill to celebrate 25 years of Evan and Donna Liu.

The Liu’s treated everyone to a fabulous dinner in the Newtown Grill’s chalet-inspired “wine cellar” space. The ceilings were just high enough for yours truly to stand upright.

Evan and Donna open their silver champagne flutes (for their silver anniversary), a gift from Kirstin, her sibs, and me.

As the youngest married couple at an anniversary party, Kir and I felt thoroughly doted-upon. Add to that the fact that we were still getting wedding gifts (Yay banana hanger! Yay bamboo over-the-sink cutting board!)

Father Hughes offers the seasoned couple his continued blessing.

Cutting the rug…

…and cutting the cake.

I know it isn’t really relevant to the rest of this post, but I love this picture of Kir too much not to share it.

Donna takes a moment to dance with old friend John Arco.

Evan finds time to dance with both daughters, Brenna…

…and Kirstin.

Finally, I have strategically added this picture of Chris and Katherine to the post hoping that people will start bugging them about marriage and stop bugging Kir and I about kids. Fingers crossed!

Jay’s Back! by stegall
April 6, 2008, 10:42 am
Filed under: Friends, NYC

Mr. Mims recently returned from a trip that included stops in Dublin, Venice, Bologna, Rome, and Amsterdam (long layover). Jay is always such a peppy and joyous person when he comes back from Europe. One can observe an actual spring in his step (something to do with jet lag?). Just give him a few days and he’ll be sleeping regularly and wallowing in the puddle cynical self-deprecation that is life as a New Yorker.

Arkansas Adventure! by stegall
April 2, 2008, 10:43 pm
Filed under: AR, Friends, Vacations

Kir, Nell, and I spent last weekend traveling the South. Needless to say the weather was not cooperating (missed connection in Cincinnati, drove to LR from Memphis, delayed on the trip home), but we still managed to give Nell an appropriately enlightening tour of the Natural State. Either that or she’s too polite to say otherwise. How Southern of her!


Many thanks to Nell for:A) All of the below.B) Taking many of these pictures.C) Coining the best dog-name in history (Princess Spiderman).D) Being “Cloris”, “Mama”, and an all-around trooper.E) Correcting our improper use of vocabulary (A long, winding road makes Nell nauseated, but a bowl of cheap pasta and sauce is nauseous. Right?)


We awoke Saturday to find it chilly and grey. It stayed that way for most of the trip. How to make the best of it…



And Dogs!


John has hooked a Goose! (His new bulldog’s name is Goose. And no. He was not actually hooked.)
Jake’s new puppy, Barak O’Dogma.
Princess Spiderman (w/ Nell)
From right: Princess Spiderman’s Older Brother (w/ Kirstin), Barak O’Dogma (w/ Melissa), (John)
A fleeting sign of Spring. Fleeting.
 Cloris and Cloris. Totes BFF.
Problem: Golf cart dead in open field, at bottom of big hill.
Solution: Dean Clift (who keeps a tow strap in his Four Runner—you know, just in case a golf cart should ever die somewhere).
Lack of problem. (Problem solved.)And that was pretty much that. We drove back to Little Rock on Sunday afternoon where Nell learned that God does not want you to drink beer in public on Sunday. But the Fountain does, and it wants you to play shuffleboard too.In the end we all had a splendid time.I thought the trip could only have been more enjoyable if either A) the weather had been much, much nicer or B) I went home with an outline of the state of Arkansas tattooed on my right forearm.And while I couldn’t control the weather…
I could hire Jud from Seventh Street Tattoo.Maximum enjoyment achieved!