01.08.2006 Yeah, Yeah, I know, I'm not updating this much, and all sorts of things have been going on that no one is up to speed on. But things have been pretty busy over the last few months, so back off! Anyway, first things first. It turns out that Caitlin didn't just have a really bad case of gas, and on December 12th, Hadley Samantha Morris popped out. I have not actually sen her yet, so I am taking my family's word for it, but I am buying the 1969 Moon Landing, so I think this is probably real too. Plus there's pictures! We were thinking we would have seen her when we headed out to Colorado for our Thanksgiving of 4 dog insanity, but Hadley decided she was not ready yet. When we got back to AZ in from Thanksgiving, December turned into a pretty hectic month, apart from the few days we took off to head to Morgantown for some Christmas Eve Shenanigans and standard Morgantown family Christmas. Since Christmas I have been playing with my sweet new telephoto lens at places like Turf Paradise. To cap off the year, Grez came in to town for New Years Eve, some Fiesta Bowl tailgating action, and a Huge 'Eers win. I think that just about covers it, so consider yourselves up to speed. We're off on another busy stretch, with Trips to LA, Denver, and Atlanta in the next month, but I will try to keep this thing more up to date...
11.12.2005 - Novemberfest 5 Well, Novemberfest 5, as always, lived up to expectations. As with the Italy trip, it's going to take some time to assemble all of the goods into a suitable recap. Once again, we'll start with some pics, and build on that.Novemberfest 5 Recap | Discuss
11.12.2005 - Italy 2005: Oh man, where to start... We spent an amazing 9 days in Italy with my parents in October. I am just now getting through all the pictures, notes, etc. I have the pictures ready to deploy, and Choppers notes from the trip, so I guess we will start with those. I had planned on taking Chopper's notes, doing some research, and putting together a nice 20-30 page trip write-up. I was then going to pass that onto my Mom, so she could "professionalize" it, and we would have a fairly decent chapter for the Gile family travel memoirs. Well, I am still stalled on day 2 with absolutely zero research done. So until the man backs up on my work schedule, and I have some time for writing, we'll just have the raw materials: Pictures
08.28.2005: Coming into Los Angeles, bringing in a couple of keys... Car keys that is. We spent the last two weekends in LA, both on baseball-related journeys. The first weekend we stayed in Mookie's new pad just north of Hollywood Boulevard, overlooking West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We had a quick drink with Mookie, then we went our separate ways, Chopper and I to go get some sushi at Blowfish, and Mookie to a couple of semi-business related soiree's. We met up with Mookie again on Saturday morning for breakfast. Mookie was recovering from a big night of "business mingling," jumping fully clothed into a pool, making out with strange women and passing out in cabs. How did I miss that on the itinerary?
After breakfast, we headed out to Anaheim for the Red Sox / Angels game, which was a disappointing loss for the Sox, and a lot of sitting in traffic on the way there and back. After the game, we headed back to Mookie's, and then made a quick stop at Zankou for some fancy Chicken. We then headed down to Santa Monica for some drinks, and returned home via Diddy Reece near UCLA.
The next weekend, we met Chopper's parents at LAX on Friday, then met up with Mookie for some dinner at La Terza. Saturday we drove up Sunset to Laurel Canyon and took in some nice views of LA, then headed out to the Getty Center, for some more views and some great architecture and design. From the Getty we stopped at Sonny McLean's for a beer on our way to lunch at the Lobster on the Santa Monica pier. I then took a little dip in the Pacific, and we headed back to the hotel. In the evening we headed out to Chavez Ravine, using Mookie's double-special directions, bypassing all of the silly people stuck in traffic on the freeway. Albie had a good time at his first Dodger's game, and the Dodgers pounded on the Astros. The next day, we did some more drive-tourismm, then went down to Marina Del Rey to look at the boats on our way to LAX and home. Pictures
07.25.2005: We've taken a small hiatus from globetrotting, so Chopper can catch up with her aLi-g work - Check out her updated wedding portfolio here... We've been at the lake with the dogs a lot recently, so we've got some updated pictures of Schenley up now... Uploaded my Mom's CD to the archives... I just got word that Kiril is off on around-the-world adventure, so you can follow his travels here...
07.05.2005: It's officially summer in Arizona, which means three things: Blast Furnace Temperatures, Cheap Golf, and Corndogs. Goose and Bear stepped into town Fourth of July weekend to sample all three, and weren't disappointed. We kicked off the golfing on Sunday Morning at Troon North, with the First Annual Corndog Classic™. Some folks back east also held their own Corndog Classic™, although with more corndogs, and less golf. At any rate, Goose won the classic 10-8, but it was really never close, his Eagle on the Par 4 15th hole (he holed his 2nd shot from the fairway 120 yards out) sealed the victory, and an automatic exemption for the next 10 years. As soon as I can get someone to bronze a corndog, Goose will take possession of the traveling trophy. We also played another 18 holes Monday morning, and followed that with another 13 on Monday afternoon. In between all the golf, we lounged by the pool, ate lots of corndogs, and enjoyed fine happy hour specials prepared by our man Raul, who quit Sunday, forcing me to make the Mojitos... But that's another story. Here's the pictures.
06.19.2005: OK, so this is the first weekend since April sometime that I have had nothing going on, and it sure feels nice not to be in the Phoenix airport, the worst airport in the whole world. At any rate, I have got caught up on my interweb, so here comes your massive dump of what we've been up to for the last 6 weeks or so.
06.12.2005: On Sunday after the gradumacation, we drove up to Anthem to pick up Schenley the dog. The little fella was off to a great start, pooping in my car about 2 minutes into the ride home - and then stepping in it and decorating. When we got him home, inside of 2 minutes he jumped into the pool, then fell in 5 times after that. Fenway learned to play lifeguard though, even if he didn't appreciate getting pulled out of the pool by his ears. Anyways, here are some pictures of the little devil. I am sure there will be plenty more to come. While we are not so good of taking pictures at events anymore, we are really good at taking pictures of dogs. Yay Dogs!
06.11.2005: Last Thursday we once again took to the skies, and flew to Denver for Philippa's graduation. (Pictures) Joe & Caitlin also made the trip, so the whole family was in town for the big occasion. The graduation on Friday was moved from the lawn to under a tent, which was a good thing, because it rained and hailed like the dickens, stopping the ceremony for 5 minutes when it got too loud to continue. In the end, they gave Marl her diploma (Yay Marl!), and we headed home before it dumped on us again. Philippa had a nice graduation dinner at Strings, near the capitol, and we turned in for a big Saturday. Caitlin and Joe were out all day house-hunting with Geoff, and Mom, Dad & marl were headed to a few parties. It was Belmont day, so Chopper and I headed to the OTB to meet up with the Julepenator, drink some oat sodas, and bet the ponies. After the day of racing (where Lost in the Fog and Afleet Alex kicked ass), we headed to Coors field, for some more rain, oat sodas, and some baseball. Did you know you can heart pants in the club level? Amazing. Which reminds me, Where do I heart pants? Let me count the places. In a restaurant, in an airplane, at a graduation, at the OTB, at the ballgame. Wow. These pants are so versatile, you can heart them anywhere! Hooray Pants!
06.04.2005: Haney, Haney on the range, where James Neil and the Mariachis play. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word about tacos, and the skies are hot as balls all day. Haney's great big Texas-size wedding was our second trip in as many weeks. This time we flew into Oklahoma! City and drove down to Dallas. (Because that's how we roll - why fly into Louisville when you can fly into Indy and drive through the heartland to Louisville? And why fly into Dallas, when you can fly into OKC and drive through the flatlands for 3 hours? - and drive back with a wicked hangover). Anyway, the wedding was pretty sweet, with a big reception at the country club after, complete with build your own tacos, and singing Mariachis. Way to go Haneys! A lot of stuff went down, and a lot of pics were taken, but you're really going to have to head to Wook's place for most of that.
05.27.2005: If you're going to Saaaaaan Fraaaaancisco! For our Memorial Day / Anniversary trip this year, we picked San Francisco, home of Fievel's super Memorial Day Party. We weren't going to just sit around and drink beers the whole time though. (But Hooray Beer!) Friday night we went out to dinner at Farallon, for our official anniversary dinner. Saturday we got up early, and caught the cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf. Our hotel, the Mosser, was right near Union Square, which is also right near the Cable Car turnaround. (Yay Cable Cars!) Once down at the wharf, we grabbed some coffees, watched the cold people swimming in the bay, then headed to Pier 41 for our ferry to Alcatraz. (The Rock is a tourist attraction?) Alcatraz was awesome, and we climbed all over the place like Sean Connery before heading back to the wharf to get some crabs, and some chocolate ice cream at Giardelli Square. We then caught the cable car back to the hotel, where we picked up the rental car so we could drive out to the zoo. The San Francisco Zoo was pretty disappointing, except for the reason we came - LEMURS! The Lemurs were awesome. After the Zoo, we headed over to Fievel's place for cookout and cocktails. The Fievel crew was pretty tired after their Friday night shenanigans, but managed to rally on Saturday. Sunday we had more big plans, and drove out to Sausalito to check out all the big fancy sailboats in the marina. Then we went to the ballgame at SBC Park. (The park was awesome, but there was no Barry Bonds to boo though, so that was somewhat disappointing) On the way back, we hit MoMA San Fran for an hour or so. I then got to crash for a bit before dinner with Adrienne and her mom at XYZ in the W Hotel. After dinner, it was time for Drinks with Xandor, and then beddy-bobos. Man, what a weekend. Pictures.
05.19.2005: Alrighty, I am way behind here, so let me try to remember what happened a few weekends ago... Ooooooo, that's right, Caitlin & Joe came to Arizona to see first hand just how hot it can get. Damn hot. Since it was so hot, we planned all sorts of fun outdoor activities, like going to the lake with the kayaks and the doggie for fun swimming. We also figured we would go watch the poor horseys running in 112 degree weather at Turf Paradise. Better them than Caitlin, who decided it was too hot in these rhinos, so had to go inside. Of course we also did some fun swimming
05.19.2005: Well Chopper and I picked out the new doggie on Tuesday. Is the suspense killing you? I bet. Well sorry, you're going to have to wait. Here's a hint; he's yellow, and he is named after a park in Pittsburgh. Ooooooooo! Anyway, pictures are here: Schenley's Chute. We have some more updates as well, including Fenway's photo album, and of course the MiniBooth, which is officially in use, with air conditioner running.
05.09.2005: This sure was a Derby for the books. Giacomo, a total bomb, came from off a very hot pace to catch Closing Argument and Afleet Alex in the deep stretch for the HUGE win. When Wally was a kid, his dad used to call him Giacomo. When Goose was in high school he worked at a restaurant called Giacomo's. Did either of these clowns bet on Giacomo, the 50-1 long shot? Nope. Even more disturbing was that the infield Julep stand RAN OUT OF BOURBON after the 7th race! Oh man! I am not sure if I will get around to doing a write-up for this weekend of races, but you can catch the highlights, including pictures of the Derby and Oaks in Kentucky Derby Past section.
05.01.2005: Last weekend we packed up our faithful Audi wagon, and hit the road to Flagstaff. We had lived in Arizona for 2 years, and had still not seen the Grand Canyon, and were feeling pretty, well pathetic. On Saturday we drove up to the canyon and did an 8 mile out-and-back on the west end of the Rim trail. Doggies you see are not allowed below the canyon rim. We had a nice hike, as most of the crowds were either on the more developed side of things, or riding the shuttle busses in lieu of getting some exercise. On Sunday, we headed back south to Sedona, to do a nice hike in Secret Canyon. Of course it was raining in Sedona, but the weather channel forecast had assured us that the worst of it would be over by 10:00. We picked up our red rocks pass at 9 when the ranger station opened, and then piloted Heidi the wagon through several miles of red mud to the trailhead. More >> ... and ... Pictures
04.13.2005: Fear and Miscalculation in Las Vegas Friday afternoon I slid out of work early, jumped on the bike, and headed northwest to the great land of promise and promiscuity, Las Vegas. Mark Haney had decided to have his bachelor party in Sin City (how original), and I was not going to miss this one, even if Haney was bent on spending a small fortune on food, drinks and cover charges. Vegas was pretty much the same as when I left her, and as usual, that dirty girl roped us in for a wild ride. More >>
04.04.2005: I tell you what. It is hard damn work putting up all these updates when it is so nice outside. In recent news, Fenway's little brother "Schenley" was born last week. There are no close up shots yet, but here's a picture of the whole gang with their mom, Zoey. Schenley will be ready to come home with us on June 12. | My parents just got back from the BVIs, where they took the new sailboat, "Liberty's Reach," out for a spin.
03.29.2005: Easter weekend was loaded with excitement. On Friday I went hiking with Fenway, took the Sea Kayak out on Lake Pleasant for some action, and went on a little motorcycle ride with the Chopper. Saturday, we headed out to Albuquerque for the Mountaineers Elite Eight game. That's a full 13 hours of driving (2-ways) for a basketball game. Think that's crazy? You should learn about Alabama football. On Sunday it was time to get back to work on MiniBooth 2005. We're really in the home stretch for that now.
03.20.2005: Holy Cow. I hope you were watching the WVU vs. Wake Forest game on Saturday night, because that was the game of the tourney. Chopper's bracket got quite a lift with that one. Amazing. | After I recovered from that drama, it was time to put in some hours on the MiniBooth to meet the April 16 deadline. Today was full of sanding and staining, not exactly my favorite activities, but required none-the-less. You can read all about it on the MiniBooth 2005 page.
03.13.2005: Well, don't say I didn't warn you. But somehow you let your Hooters™ girls out to a Spring Training game, and yep, Mookie got 'em. Mook was in town on Saturday and Sunday, so we hit up the local spring training game. We knew we were in for a treat when we scored the Wally special: $14 seats right behind home plate for $5 a piece. We were sitting right behind a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, and right next to the players wives section. Mookie got some nice pictures in with the San Diego Padre, and of course, some girls. After all that excitement, it was time for some damn big hot dogs. Another fine Arizona spring day, complete with all the trimmings. Pictures
03.12.2005: It was Chopper's birthday on Saturday, and what better way to celebrate a birthday, than hitting the Alternative race day at Turf Paradise. It was a glorious day, made all the more glorious with the free t-shirts, sunshine, and hot donkey, camel, ostrich and pig racing. After the day at the races, we picked up Mookie at the airport, then headed out to McDuffy's Tempe for the 2nd half of the WVU / Syracuse game, then over to Ra for some sushi, and finally to Rula Bula for a final beer. We then headed home for Choppers special "Home on the Range" Birthday cake. HE-HAWesome.
03.11.2005: Well, it happened. Grez' 1981 Oldsmobile Delta 88 "Stanley" finally bit the dust in fine fashion and left this world in a blaze of glory. Before he went, the old beater tried to take a nearby Cadillac with him, sadly only managing to melt the front bumper. We all knew Grez' POS would die one day, and indeed Stanley has been on life support for at least the last 5 years. At least he went on his own terms, spontaneously combusting in the night. Those of us who knew Stanley, and even drove him, will fondly remember his stalling, foul exhaust, and tear-off rear bumper. Those of us who have
driven Grez home to fetch his spare keys will be glad to learn that he still has his 1993 Ford F-150 "Brutus" that he can lock his keys in. There will be no funeral, but a wake is scheduled for early April. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Mark Grzesiakowski Decent Car Relief Fund. RIP "Stanley" 1979 - 2005
03.05.2005: Jen and Garth made it official in Las Vegas on Saturday, capping off a fun-filled weekend in Sin City. I ran over a bit on the write-up, so you can find that in the Notepad section. Sufficed to say, the weekend was a rollicking good time, and I actually got a good amount of pictures and even a couple movies.
While we were in Vegas at the wedding, John & Kristin had their little baby girl, Julia Ann Romano. Way to go Romanos!
02.28.2005: The princess just turned one. Do you remember when you were one? Did your friends come over for a pool party? Did you get special treats and cake and fancy costumes? Well, not everyone is as pampered as Princess Fenway the First. She had quite the birthday celebration, and a rhinestone studded neckerchief. I tell you, dogs these days sure have it easy. Doggie Birthday!
02.26.2005: Well its almost March, and almost March is one damn fine month to be working outdoors in Arizona. And I think a man working on MiniBooth 2005 feels more like a man if he's got a bottle (or fresh keg) of suds. That's just my opinion sir. | You may also have noticed a small website change with the quick links on the left. In an effort to class up the interface here, I have added some easy to use links for some of the more popular features of Maxaltitude. We've had to soften the language a bit, but we thing the message still rings true.
02.24.2005: Ninth Time's the Charm! Sweet Currency finally broke her maiden, around two turns in a mile and one sixteenth claiming race at Bay Meadows on Wednesday. She won going away in a time of 1:45.97 on a good track and paid even money. Looks like it's time to point the girl at a few allowance races.
02.21.05: My sneaky sister Caitlin dropped in for a surprise visit on Saturday. She was in town with Toni, and they stopped by in Toni's bitchin' purple Cadillac for a quick visit. We had some wine, and headed to our local wine bar, Jug-n-Barrel, for some more wine and more wine, and a nice light dinner. We then headed home, where Chopper made some dessert, and we had some more wine. Then they were back in the magical Caddy and back to Scottsdale. More Pics!
02.13.05: Nice Hooters. The owls I mean, they're wonderful. So I don't usually do the valentines day thing, but this year we went all out with Hooters wings and champagne. Now that's livin'. | Other stuff was going down this weekend, but not the Agua Fria River (which usually is a dry river bed). This weekend, the river was up. | In other news, Minibooth2005 is in full swing in week 3 | And oh daddy. What a fantastic weekend for the horseys. Several big boys took big hits on the Derby trail, and the racing was slow and sloppy at Turf Paradise for "Super Saturday". The rain did not keep us from our free t-shirts and hot Arizona racing action. In the TuP Derby, General John B came in on top, which I had in my Trifecta, unfortunately the 1 horse placed and jacked up my tri, but at least I picked the winner. On the day (for once), I cashed a couple of tickets, although Buzzards Bay, my money horse in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds turned out to be a donkey after all. At least the chalk didn't come in either. The chalk definitely didn't come in at Santa Anita on Sunday, when the least favored horse, Fusaichi Rock Star came in as the big winner, and the second least favored horse, Don't Get Mad, came in 2nd. Well, I didn't get mad, because I had that pair in the exacta, and cashed another ticket on the weekend. Now who's the Rock Star? This guy.
02.06.05: Well, it is February, and the smell of fresh cut lumber fills the air, along with small particles of foam insulation. Do you know what time it is? That's right, it's MiniBooth season! This year's MiniBooth committee has chosen the exciting theme: "Doggie Domiciles." Naturally, I will be putting forth the ol' "college try" with my entry: "Fenway's Super Sweet Siesta Shack." This state of the art canine condo will feature a hinged roof, front window with flower box, and of course, air conditioning. (It's Arizona!) Construction is underway, and I will be updating my progress as I go.
01.23.05: The Official Kentucky Derby Page may not be up yet, but I have this year's edition of my own up and running. Check it out for all the latest Road to the Roses activity. | Besides moving to Atlanta, Goose and Bear are also getting a new dog. Take a look at Kramer the Pug. | Sweet Currency will be racing in the first race on Jan 26 at Golden Gate Fields under leading jockey Russell "The Muscle" Baze.
01.03.05: Our annual New Years adventure took place in Austin, TX, which was also the site for the 2001/2002 New Years adventure. No moustache rides this time, but everyone's favorite Real Estate Baron/Environmentalist/Hippie/DJ, Mark Haney (v 3.0) and Zack Metzner were hosting a BBQ-gorging festival of epic proportions, which could not be missed. Since we had so much fish last year, we decided to target the cows this year. We had some "Q" at Rudy's on Friday, and at The Salt Lick on Saturday. I was hoping to get to Kreutz Market and Stubbs as well, but a boy can only eat so much brisket in one 72 hour stretch. For the New Years Eve festivities, we headed downtown - first to Haney's office, which overlooks the downtown area, where we started with a little bubbly in plastic cups around the conference table. Then we headed out to "Foundation," a trendy bar-type place, where we had our own little reserved area in the front. I say it was trendy because Andy Roddick was there, and in the absence of the Bush sisters, that is probably about as trendy as Austin gets. The night was pretty much a blur, with Wally, Haney and Wook parading around in their fashionable wristbands, and me struggling with the 7 oz Oban scotch (neat) that the waitress poured me as a consolation for being out of Knob Creek. The big night was wrapped up by a visit to "Taco Cabaņa" - oh man was THAT a mistake. The Great American New Years BBQ Adventure