May 9, 2009: Introducing Dr. Tocco

Never trust the anecdotal evidence of stability from a system administrator who’s company has not existed as long as you have maintained uptime.

I got up around seven thirty this morning and got right to work to get as much done as possible before we needed to leave to get out to Albany.  I worked for several hours until about eleven when I quickly got ready so that we could get on to the road.  It is roughly an hour drive from Frankfort to Albany.

Oreo stayed at the house with his Uncle Dexter.  The two Bostons will hopefully keep each other under control while we are gone.  This is going to be a very long day for Oreo.  He has been really nervous about being alone since losing most of his eyesight.  He has been walking into things in broad daylight now and he is visibly beginning to act differently – more nervous and hesitant – all of the time.

The weather was good for the drive out to Albany.  We were running forty-five minutes early as we approached downtown so we decided to stop in at the very final rest stop on I90 eastbound going into Albany to grab some quick McDonald’s so that we would not be starving through the ceremony.  Dominica and Liesl stayed in the car while I dashed in and out with our food.  That was a really good idea because it was a bit less than ten minutes total lost on the entire venture.  If we take Liesl in even the quickest trip has timed around forty minutes.

The Albany College of Pharmacy ceremony is at The Egg in the Empire Plaza in Albany.  I have been to The Egg as a child with my parents on a trip to Albany long ago but have not been, I do not believe, inside of it previously.  I vividly remember dad and I walked around The Egg on the top of the plaza and wondering what it was as it looks like a giant sculpture and not a convention center.

Parking at the Empire Plaza was a bit of a disaster.  The first underground lot was full and the second was closed.  We were in a panic and decided to go into the East Lot which states that it is permit parking only but appears to be open, free parking on the weekends.  No information posted anywhere so we were really just taking our chances.  The parking garage was almost completely deserted which was really confusing as the other parking areas downtown were completely full.

The downside to parking in the East Garage was that we were physically far below the Empire Plaza and with Liesl in her stroller we had to somehow get up to the plaza’s level.  The East Garage is not, at all, handicap accessible, and we had many flights of outdoor stairs that had to climbed with baby and stroller and paraphernalia to get to The Egg.  We tried several options before deciding that the best thing was for me to carry the stroller in front of me with Liesl intact and sprint up the long flights of stairs while Dominica carried the diaper bag and anything else that we thought might fall from the stroller as I ran.  It didn’t work as badly as it sounds and the parking garage turned out to be pretty close to where we wanted to go other than for all of the stairs.  At least the trip back will be easy.

We arrived at the perfect time.  It was easy to get to our seats and to get situated but we had to wait almost no time at all of the graduation ceremony to begin.

The graduation ceremony took about two hours.  Liesl did very well.  She was very sociable with everyone that she met.  She did get sleepy about an hour in so I took her out into the lobby area and danced around with her until she fell asleep.

After Joe and Brittany officially became Doctors of Pharmacy (PharmD) we did some quick pictures in the lobby of The Egg and then headed out for dinner.  Dominica and I had much better parking than everyone else and were out of there in minutes which was amazing.  The walk back to the parking garage was all downhill so this was much easier than it seemed.

For dinner the entire graduation group, fifteen of us, went to Buca di Beppo.  Dominica, Liesl and I arrived about an hour ahead of everyone else as they ran and got some quick pictures taken before heading to the restaurant.

While we were waiting at the restaurant a massive rain storm arrived and we had torrential downpour.  It was really something.  The heaviest rain that I have seen in years.  I took Liesl and we stood under the awning enjoying the rain.  It was so much rain that the parking lot filled up with water six to eight inches deep and a giant fifteen food wide whirlpool formed around the storm drain and was still going twenty minutes after the rain had subsided.  Quite an impressive rain.  Liesl and I really enjoyed it.  Dominica stayed in the waiting area.  She is not into rain like Liesl and I are.

Dinner ended up being awesome.  No wonder this is Joe’s favourite restaurant.  The place was loud and the eating is family style which I do not necessarily like but the food itself was truly amazing.  We definitely had the best fried calamari that I have ever had and the apple walnut gorganzola salad was really something too.  Because there were so many of us we were able to get many different items and got to sample a large amount of the menu.  The pesto cream salmon was quite excellent and reminiscent of many salmon dishes that we experience in Walt Disney World on a regular basis.  Dinner was also surprisingly affordable considering how many people were there.  The per person price was excellent.

After dinner Dominica and I headed back to Frankfort as quickly as possible so that Oreo would not be stuck alone.  Joe rode back with us so that he could check out the new X3.  This was his first time riding in it.

Oreo did really well for being home “alone” with Dexter all day.  We thought that he would have been in a panic and would have had an accident but he did not.  At least not as far as we know.

I went back to work and worked for several hours before going to bed.

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