A slow start -- 01/08/07

Well, I sure got off to a slow start this year.

Blame the cold / sore throat / upper respiratory thing I had last week. I'm not quite sure what it was, although it seemed to me to be just about an exact rerun of what I had back in October and again in early November. On Tuesday back-to-work morning I felt really horrible so I went down to my doctor's office as a walk-in patient (the idea being to get there before they open the office, otherwise that can mean sitting in the waiting room all morning, waiting...) and when they opened for business things were a bit confused as their two receptionists had both called in sick and one of the back-office workers plus a temp were trying to handle things... but I got seen in what seemed to me to be a reasonable amount of time (just sat and read and tried to keep from falling asleep while sitting there). This bug was referred to as something that is "going around" and I said it has been going around long enough that somebody should give it a name. Hmmm, come to think of it, John Bailey commented back in November that they were calling it the 100 day cough in England... so if it first hit me in October, I am getting close to 100 days, so I should soon be immune to any further problems.

But there went my plans to hit the new year running... and biking and weight-lifting, etc. As I mentioned last time, I passed up going for a New Year's Day swim. Guess I'll have to wait until January 1, 2008 for that. It's been frustrating all week to have such mild weather while feeling too sick to go out and run.

Nancy and I went out Saturday night -- we had theatre tickets for the Trinity Rep production of
Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol -- and went up to Providence early so we could have enough time for Nancy to poke around in some of the after-Christmas final clearance sales and to still have enough time for dinner before the play. We parked in a parking garage near the theatre and then walked over to Providence Place Mall (it's only a few blocks away).

The plan had been to eat just before the play at Trinity Brewhouse (which is just a block from the theatre -- we often eat there before plays at Trinity Rep -- pub atmosphere, decent food and good beer -- their slogan is "We Sell Heaven by the Pint") but as we entered the mall about 5:30 we realized that we had both skipped lunch and were feeling a bit hungry so we decided to eat at one of the restaurants in the mall complex. On those rare occasions when we are in that area -- about once a year or twice a year -- we tend to eat at Pizzeria Uno's Chicago Grill (yes, I do like places that have Guinness on tap) but it's been a long time since I've had barbecue -- probably not since I was in the Dallas/Fort Worth area about four years ago -- and I've been wondering about the Smoky Bones Barbecue & Grill, so we decided to eat there. Nancy picked onion rings as an appetizer for us to share (she knows I love onion rings) and the platter of onion rings our waitress brought was the largest platter of rings I've ever seen (and they were pretty good too -- made with a nice crunchy beer batter and served with a tangy honey mustard dipping sauce). I ordered the barbecue 50/50 rib special: a half rack of smoked St. Louis ribs and a half rack of babyback ribs. You get a choice of two side dishes with that so I picked broccoli and French fries. The broccoli was actual steamed fresh broccoli with some crunch still left in it and enough fried potatoes for three people (far more than I could possibly eat). I did manage to eat all of the barbecue, thus satisfying my barbecue jones for a while. I do wish, however, that Texas Steakhouse & Saloon would open up a restaurant in Rhode Island. Every time business travel took me down to the Research Triangle Park area in North Carolina I would eat in their Morrisville restaurant at least twice during each stay. The Smokey Bones barbecue was okay -- juicy and tender but with too liberal a use of Liquid Smoke, not just on the smoked St. Louis ribs but on the babyback ribs as well. Yeah, okay, consider the restaurant's name, I suppose, but even so it seemed a bit heavy-handed to me... nevertheless, there was nothing left but bones when I finished. And they do have Guinness on tap and those beer-battered onion rings were good.

Gee, this entry turned into a restaurant review... Anyway, we then wandered through Macy's and Nordstrom's and two or three other stores -- and Nancy almost found various excellent bargains in women's clothing but never found anything that she just had to buy -- but I found a sale on pots and pans in Macy's and ended up buying two frying pans. They weren't the kind of high end pan I would lust for, but they seemed of usable quality and I couldn't resist the price (half price and then an extra ten percent off that day only). Not that I normally go around buying pairs of frying pans just because they are on sale, but the two that get frequent use in our kitchen have seen better days and are ready to be retired. (One of them is an answer to that question "How do they make teflon stick to the pan?" The answer is, sometimes it stops sticking to the pan.)

Oh... the play was good. The lead was William Petersen -- noted for staring as Gil Grissom in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- since I've never watched that program, that meant nothing to me, but apparently it helped sell out almost all of the entire run of Dublin Carol before it even opened. I have no idea if he is good or not on his TV show, but he did a nice job in the play

I was exhausted by the time we got back home. Sunday I spent a long leisurely morning reading the Sunday paper and drinking coffee, then went out grocery shopping and such... Made roast chicken breast (with gravy and dressing and mashed butternut squash and steamed broccoli (yeah, even though I'd had broccoli just the night before)... and then actually came into the den and worked. I had hoped to write up a journal entry but work took more time than I had anticipated (it always does, though, doesn't it) and so no journal entry until now. And now I've got to go fix dinner (which mostly means heating up last night's leftovers and maybe making a salad) and let this sit on the computer by itself for an hour or so before I'll come back after dinner to FTP into place. Maybe while it sits here any spelling mistakes will heal themselves.

And in the meanwhile, I've yet to really start working out this year...

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