10/21/07 - October Roundup – It happens from time to time.  It is much like the wind or an OSU football victory (which the Pokes did defeat #25 Kansas State on Saturday).  Sometimes I neglect the blog.  I'm actually kind of surprised I haven't gotten any of the usual "haven't you guys done anything interesting lately" emails from Mary or Joe ;) - usually those get me in motion.   I do have a stack of things sitting next to my laptop, and I really want to get them out of the way - achieve a sense of accomplishment this morning.  As such, here goes...

Sep 23 - Jazzy - This was our first trip to the Fort Worth Jazz by the Boulevard festival - yet another free event that is essentially "main street arts festival" with a different name ;).  Nevertheless, it is always fun to peruse the art and listen to live music in the background.  Sometimes we find a neat item we cannot live without but today wasn't the day.

Sep 25 - Dancing the Night Away - Susan and I signed up for dance classes at the Lockheed Martin Recreational Center.  It is quite a convenient arrangement - Classes start at 7PM (right after Susan gets off work), and they offer classes Monday through Thursday that rotate every 6 weeks.  This means that we started off taking Rumba on Tuesday night, but we will be able to eventually cycle through all of the various dances without having to modify our schedule.  So far we have attended 2 Rumba and 2 Waltz classes; Samba starts next week.  The instructor is really talented, and it has been loads of fun thus far. 

Sep 30 - Oh The Horror - I must admit the long drive to Arlington (alright, it isn't that far...about 25 miles) is well worth the trip if you want to watch outstanding theatre.  There are several troupes in Fort Worth but none seem to offer, in my humble opinion, as interesting an assortment of shows as Theatre Arlington.  On this Sunday we made the trip to see The Little Shop of Horrors musical.  This is my second time (Susan and I watched a performance in Stillwater many moons ago) and probably Susan's third or more.  I always forget how morbid the underlying story really is =D; nevertheless, it is still an enjoyable show - FEED ME SEYMOUR!!

Oct 6 - Weekend Visit - Rick and Nina stopped by this weekend to partake of beer and Geoparty festivities.  The main event was the quarterly Geocaching Bash at our house; turnout was excellent, and we enjoyed a few party games and hanging out.  Chili was served for the main course and lots of our guests brought extra food.  We also took Susan's parents to Rahr Brewery, a local spot near downtown.  This is a really good place to take friends if they fancy beer.  For a mere pittance you can sample 4 pints of beer and you get a nice glass to go with your tasting.  In addition, if you return with the glass you get free beer on all subsequent visits - now doesn't that sound dangerous? ;).


On Sunday Rick graciously helped me install track lighting in the game room.  It is a project I had been thinking about ever since we acquired the professional kitty portraits.  Now there is an individual light shining down on each of our babies.

Oct 12 - Women's Murder Club - It isn't often Susan and I can find a show we agree on.  I'm into lots of Sci-Fi and Susan prefers Medical and Forensic Drama; however, we do occasionally find common ground.  We currently watch Heroes, Lost, and House.  We also added a new show, Women's Murder Club, last week.  This series is developed by one of Susan's favorite authors, James Patterson.  It is about a homicide detective, a medical examiner, a newspaper reporter and a young assistant district attorney working together to solve homicide investigations.  So far it has been pretty interesting so I thought I would share the news in case anyone reading is looking to pick up a new show this season (Jonathan - that was a tip for you!).

Oct 13 - Star Wars & Beyond - Joe joined us for our second symphony orchestra performance of the season at Bass Hall; this show was a performance of well-known compositions by John Williams.  The first part of the adventure was an accumulation of various pieces and the later half was a bunch of selections from all six Star Wars movies.  Even though I'm a fan of Star Wars I actually enjoyed the first part better.  Here are all of the pieces played by the orchestra during that segment and a few from the Star Wars segment:

Olympic Fanfare : clip

Main Title from Jaws : clip

Flying Theme from E.T. : clip

Theme from The Lost World : clip

Harry's Wondrous World from Harry Potter : clip

March from Superman : clip

Theme from Schindler's List : clip

Raider's March from Indiana Jones : clip

Star Wars Main Title : clip

Star Wars Imperial March : clip

Star Wars Dual of the Fates : clip

Star Wars Luke & Leia : clip

Star Wars Yoda's Theme : clip

Cowboys Overture : clip

Oct 17 - Jungle Fantasy - Our friends DeAnna and Sebastien were able to help us acquire tickets to the latest Cirque Dreams performance at Bass Hall.  This show could be described as a tame version of Cirque Du Soleil, but it is definitely worth seeing and you don't have to fly to Las Vegas to watch Cirque Dreams (bonus!).  Everything in this show had an animal theme - my favorites were the “balancing giraffe”, “strong men lions”, “frog jugglers”, “lizard contortionists”, and “flying owls trapeze”.  The costumes were really wild (pun intended) and the seats were top notch - Thanks DeAnna!


Whew...I didn't realize I had accumulated that many notes of things I needed to add to the blog.

- Nathan

10/26/07 - Walking with Dinosaurs – I'm not sure I will do this topic justice, so I encourage everyone to watch the video link below.  On Friday I took the train to Dallas with several coworkers for a new show, Walking with Dinosaurs.  Susan had to work (and wasn't really very thrilled about dinosaurs) and went out for a night on the town with Nancy (so don't feel bad for her ;).  This show is a live performance of animatronics and puppeteering, but certainly on a grandiose scale.  Imagine being about to be on the set of Jurassic Park and nothing was digitally enhanced - that is what this show was about.  The dinosaurs were "life size" with some towering up to 40 feet high - others were small and actually had actors in the costumes.  Their bodies moved with grace, albeit slowly, and they each had unique facial expressions.  The mouths moved, the eyes blinked, the skin/scales looked real - even the roars from the enormous beasts came from the mouths and not from overhead speakers.  The effect was certainly visually pleasing. The only thing distracting was the tiny camouflage car between the legs of the dinosaurs that would assist in creature movement.


The highlights were brachiosaurus, tyrannosaurus, stegosaurus, ankylosaurus, and ornithocheirus.  None of my pictures really turned out (they were nearly all blurry), so I suggest checking out the website.  Here is also a link to a video that pretty much shows exactly what I was able to see (but in a much condensed version).

- Nathan

10/28/07 - Czech Mix – We attended a Sunday performance this afternoon with music by Dvorak and Bartok.  I personally enjoyed the two Dvorak pieces (Husitská Overture, Op. 67 & Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88) and thought the Bartok piece (Viola Concerto, BB 128) was simply too technical - it looked very difficult but it wasn't pleasing to my ears.  In the first Dvorak piece the violins and violas were working so hard I thought for sure they were about to saw their instruments in half ;).

- Nathan

10/31/07 - Halloween – As usual I had a blast over the few days leading up to Halloween night.  I don't really remember having much fun on the holiday when I was a kid - certainly not as much fun as I do nowadays :).


We met up with Carey and Matt at Hangman's House of Horrors on the 30th.  Hangman's is one of the premier haunted houses in the metroplex and their profits go to charity (oh, and their main house takes almost 30 minutes to go through - way cool).  In addition to the regular haunted house with lots of scary things on the inside they also had a "redneck" haunted house (even more scary in Texas), a 3D funhouse (required 3D glasses and the objects inside were painted to give it that 3D effect - the spider webs were a neat effect), and a catacomb maze (which our group made through in record time - I believe there were some people still suck in this maze from last year).

The annual costume party at work was cancelled this year - bummer - but that didn't stop the dedicated few of us from dressing up this year.  Deborah, Mary, and I decided to cooperate this year and dress up as the blue man group.  It was a lot of fun, the makeup was really impressive, and we even had some working PVC instruments (no, they didn't work very well ;).  That being said, I quickly admitted to never wanting to dress up as a blue man again - the blue makeup spread EVERYWHERE!  I'm still finding little blue fingerprints around the office.

As for trick-or-treating, I think the entire city of White Settlement dropped their kids off in our neighborhood.  I would actually wager good money on having at least 100 kids come to our door - possibly more.  In fact, we ran out of candy in the first hour and Susan had to make a quick run down the street to get more - next year we will plan a little better.  I have enclosed a few snapshots below of the more creative and cute costumes (except for the last one - I just threw it in there for fun).



Cats and Faeries

Another Princess Bumblebee

Our Rockin' Neighbor - Larry

Donna made this hat for me

Oh, and the day after Halloween was a blast too - I stopped by Wal-Mart and picked up tons of decorations at 50% off or more.  We should have a decked-out house next year ;).

- Nathan