August 10, 2002

Today was our day to recover from vacation. Dominica and I drove to Annapolis from Topsail Island last night to keep from having to drive during the heat of the day with all of the vacationer’s traffic. The trip took less than six hours on mostly deserted roads.

Our project today was to sleep late and make a table top water fountain because I have always wanted one. So we spent a large amount of the day driving around to stores everywhere trying to find the parts that we needed to make a small fountain. It ended up taking an astronomic amount of time and effort but we finally had everything that we needed to build a basic starter fountain. Now we know where we are able to get the parts that we need so the next one will be a lot easier to do, I am sure. It was fun, though, and it works. It is right next to my computer now.

Dominica brought my little Aiwa stereo down here so that we would have something to listen to in this house. Until now there has been nothing at all. We don’t have many CD’s here. Mostly what is here is my Ken Burns Jazz Collection that I have just started building so there are only about three discs. Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. I think the neighbors think that we are pretty weird.

August 9, 2002

Day Six, our last day on Topsail Island. Dominica and I had to run up to Wilmington this morning to Western Union some rent money to Loopy. When we got back, we managed to head out to the beach for the first time since we made it down here. Between the two of us being sick and needing to run errands and going to see the USS North Carolina, we haven’t been able to get out there at all. It was cooler the last two days so the beach was nicer today as well. Everyone went out for dinner tonight for our last night on the island. Everyone else is getting up at 3am or so and heading out in the morning. It sure will be nice to be home at the same time that everyone else is pulling themselves out of bed!

By the time it was all said and done, everyone got the disentary except for Dominica who was on antibiotics that probably saved her. Rob is the only one who is still sick. Even the dog, Dexter, got it a little bit at the end.

Min and I did discover a nice, quaint North Carolina wine while we were down. Duplin Vineyards just north of Topsail Island. The wine is very sweet and is good for beginners but it wasn’t bad and we had two bottles during the vacation. We were hoping that we would have the opportunity to tour the winery before we left but we would have had to stay on Saturday for an extra half a day after everyone else had left to be able to do it so we decided to head back early rather than late since we wouldn’t have had any place to park the car or stay until we were ready to leave.

August 8, 2002

Day Five on Topsail Island. Neither Dominica or I are really sick today. Dominica still has a bit of her hives left but she isn’t so bad. This morning we headed out to Wilmington to tour the USS North Carolina. It is the 1941 battleship that saw itself engaged in every battle of the Pacific Theatre in World War II. The tour was really interesting. I have toured destroyers, missile cruisers and subs before but I think that this was my first time on a full scale battleship.

After touring the ship today, we went out to Gilligan’s just off the island and did some karaoke. No one sang but me but at least I had fun:) We didn’t stay real late but I managed to sing about five songs. I did one that I did for the first time a week ago at the Elk’s Club of Broadneck and I did a few new ones that I have never tried before.

August 7, 2002

Day four on Topsail Island. Dominica is feeling much better today. She still has hives but the swelling has gone down and she thinks that she will be able to do things today. We going to go to Audio Labs in Wilmington, NC to check out what they have.

Last night we watched Shallow Hal. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought that it would be. It was less funny and more cute than I expected. It wasn’t bad. Nothing outrageously exciting, but entertaining. Francesca loves it. She said that it is one of her all time favorite movies.

Tonight, Min and I went out to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was recommended to us by the owners of the Audio Lab in Wilmington. They said that it was really funny and they were right. We laughed so hard right there in the theatre and for an hour afterwards. We thought that it was exceptionally funny because the movie applied so much to us. It is a great family movie too!

Dominica and I took her cousin Rob to the Audio Lab in Wilmington, NC. He got a chance to listen to B+Ws, Innersound and Pinnacle speakers as well as some Conrad-Johnson and Rotel amps and equipment. He was very impressed. We were hoping that we would manage to spark his interest. Obviously we did. He left the Audio Lab with a pair of B+W 602 S3’s and stands. When he gets back to Phoenix he is going to be relistening to his entire CD collection. He is currently using a Yamaha receiver which he will be keeping for now and a mix of Bose and Infinity speakers.

On the way home from the Audio Lab, I got the pangs of the disentary that has been going around. We are pretty sure that we are getting it from the water. I spent the rest of the day being incredibly sick.

August 6, 2002

Day three on Topsail Island. This is really a long vacation for Dominica. I really wish that we had something better than a bad dial-up connection. It would be so much nicer here if there was someway to get online quickly. When I connect and try to look at Sheep Guarding Llama, it takes forever to load. I need to reduce the size of the site, I guess. I am spending some of my time down here working on a guide teaching HTML and XHTML. We are using a walkie talkie (a Motorola Walkabout) to communicate between the people at the beach and the people in the cottage. It is pretty funny. It is handy though. Otherwise once people head out to the beach, they are unreachable.

Last night, contrary to Loopy’s suggestions, we watched The Time Machine. It wasn’t as bad as Loopy had said but it wasn’t very good. The story really didn’t go anywhere and all of the “technical” stuff that they said didn’t make any sense. The effects weren’t too bad but they sure don’t make a movie. And it seemed really short. There was very little to the movie in general. It was more like an ABC Sunday Night special than it was a full blown Hollywood movie.

I am getting exhausted from lack of movement. I need to get out and do something. I have become too sedentary. I hope to make it out and do some bicycling today.

I forgot to mention that the other night I made it out with John, Rob and Trish to go so some karaoke at the Broadneck Elk’s Club in Annapolis. We were there for a long time on Friday night while we were waiting for Dominica to make it down from New York. She ended up taking a wrong turn and heading out to DC on i95 instead of coming straight down to Annapolis on i97. So we got an extra hour and managed to stay for the entire time that they were doing karaoke. Nate would have loved it. It was a small crowd but we had a really good time. I sang songs like Texas Tattoo (Gibson Miller Band), Tequila Talkin’ (Lonestar), Strong Enough (Blackhawk), Yes (Chad Brock) and I Wanna Talk About Me (Toby Keith.) Then the guy doing the karaoke asked me to also sing two duets with him (one of them was It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy and I can’t remember what the other one was) and he asked me to sing If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body by the Bellamy Brothers. I also sang Pirate at 40 with Rob and John. John and I never heard the song before. It was John’s first time ever doing karaoke. I also did a quintet of some song that I don’t remember. It was a lot of fun.

I am working on school work today. I have a ton of back work that needs to be done.