Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It is here!


we may not have snow here in Ann Arbor yet, but that has not stopped us from jumping feet first into the holiday spirit!

The tree is up and the trimmings are making their way around the office as well! Expect a full write up on our pre-holiday adventures soon!


A Personalized Surprise

Since I had not been home in about two months I had a few things that had been dropped off by the mailman waiting in a big pile.

Mostly the usual; pre-approved credit cards, junk offers, magazine, newsletters and more junk.

However there was one large box chock-full-of-Racquetball gear! My E-Force order finally arrived! (I will tell you how I feel about the new stuff later)

There was also a smaller box, from my brother. It contained my birthday gift:
A beautiful Gerber pocket knife.

It is the Gerber Presto, and it features the FAST Blade assist technology. The blade flings open with little effort at all, a nice upgrade from my old flip-wrist model. The action is smooth and the size is just perfect to clip into a pocket without rendering the pocket useless.

A good pick by Zach I thought immediately upon opening the box; clean lines and styling made even more useful by the rubberized grips in the right places, This knife will stand the test of time that is for sure.

I am pleasantly surprised by all functional and aesthetics of the tool.

The blade is very sharp, and from what I have read elsewhere online, durable to match. From this side the knife looks great, but from the other side it is another story...

...From this side the Presto looks even better! Zach had my initials engraved! Very cool!

This is now my new daily knife. Look out anything that feels like getting in my way!

Great knife, great gift, definitely get it personalized, the receiver will love it.

Thank you Zach!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Beech-Hemlock Nature Trail

Every so often you run into a true gem that is not too far from you daily travels.

Such is the case of the Beech-Hemlock Nature Trail.

Going North on Lakeshore Drive, just off the beaten path of 31, the main drag back home, you will happen on the quaint sign above. The trail is on the East side of the road just across from Orchard Beach State Park.

I only discovered this trail a year or so ago.

This path is around a mile or so, and takes about 30 minutes at its longest point. The trail is heavily wooded with beech, maple, hemlock and other various needle-ed species. It is a refreshing mix.

The crew that built and maintain this trail did a great job marking it with interesting placards and information boards. It would be a great area to take children to aid them in their outdoor upbringing. TAKE YOUR KIDS OUTSIDE AND TEACH THEM!

Growing up in Northern Michigan I am very accustomed to the small prairies that are nestled between the forest groves. Until recently I have not noticed how much I enjoy these subtle prairies, luckily on this little jaunt I was afforded views of several:

On the last leg of the hike we stumbled upon some mushrooms that I cannot identify. Maybe Mungo could lend me a hand on this one:

If you are in the Manistee area be sure to check this quick trail out.


Oh what a nice day

We are home for the  turkey-fest holiday and we finally got a chance to make sure that the beach is still around.

It is still there that is for sure. The day was gray, but it was still beautiful. Chelsea told me that the poor lighting would ruin my shots; while I agree that these are not of the highest quality they shall serve as a visual reminder of home and the beauty of our birthplace.


More to come in a few.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mouthful of lake michigan does the trick everytime! Random indeed. Quick trip to the beach was great.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin pie; it's how we roll

We are at the Hart Motel, a first rate joint.

Tim, the owner even taught us how to make Pumpkin Pie from scratch, and boy oh boy do I mean scratch.

Step 1:
Warsh your pumpkin.

Step 2:
Pose for a quick American Gothic Shot

Step 3:
Whack it right in half.

Step 4:
Crack it in half and find a big spoon.
Step 5:
Get in there nice and deep like and scoop out the seeds and guts. (Hint: Save the seeds, they are great salted and baked!)

Step 6:
Cut the meat of the pumpkin up, add some of the rind, add to boiling water.
Add nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
Boil until meat is very soft.
Mix with brown sugar and a little flour.
Heat and stir until very thick.

Step 7:

Have your girlfriend make her special recipe crust, and pour your mixture into it.
Voila! Homemade pumpkin pie from scratch.

More to come soon. It has been a good weekend.

Hope you are all enjoying your time responsibly,


Thursday, November 18, 2010

I have been here, and I have been there...

In the past few days it seems like I have been everywhere, in Michigan that is.

After what seemed like forever in the darkness, the trip from Ann Arbor, we awoke and darted further North to Traverse City. I delightfully gloomy day indeed was in front of us as we dropped mother off at the MRI joint and moseyed downtown TC to find a drink.

We stopped at Espresso Bay, a locally owned and operated cafe where the staff was more than accommodating and friendly, the barista even offered to put ice in the tea and gave us tips on cooling it quickly. Delightful indeed.

After a quick stroll downtown we stopped for a quick photo-op at one of C. Bromley's favorites: The State Theater:

All in all, a great day, got a few Christmas presents picked out, picked up a new watch and a cover for my Kindle.

Enjoy this day,


In the next post look for a super cool Birthday present that my little brother got me! It will blow your mind!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Morning

Pals, gals and animals of all shapes and sizes, we are here, in the North Country and it feels good to be home.

The trip was long, since it got dark at about 5:30 pm, however I had a savior of the audio form. I am listening to The Brethren by John Grisham. Pretty good book so far. I am still reading The economist book, Why Popcorn costs so much at the movies, which is pretty good, but I really want to start The Living Great Lakes book. 

How splendid that will be.

Well it is off to Traverse, jetsetting as I do.

Hope you have a great day,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Working on doing some new things for the blog! New adventures to come by the end of the week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Barton Damn/ Pond

Last week Chels and I took a short trip over to the Barton Damn area.

The area has a trail system and a few spots that look to be pretty decent to fish from, in warmer weather, as this river does not have a real run of any sort, due to its poor management.

I snapped a few shots while we were there. Take a look. We plan on a longer walk when we are more prepared for the weather!

Enjoy, let me know what you think.
(pssst click on the photos, they get bigger to show detail!)

Have a great day,


Heeeeeeere's Pepper! (and Calvin too)

It is friday, fridays are very silly around here.

Case in point, today. Today is Cat Day at Random Stream!

In honor of cat day we will be showcasing pics of the felines that call our headquarters home; Pepper and Calvin.

As you all know, Cat Day is better represented by pics and not words, so let these do the talking, Happy Cat Day!

Pepper enjoys breakfast in her bling.

Random Earl shot

"dad, why would you put a pumpkin here?"

Pepper is integral to the RSOC team, as you can see, she in on top of things.

I am speechless...
surprising hey?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Arbor Brewing Co.

Saturdays are for enjoying the company of those close to you, what better way to do this than by exploring?

Last Saturday Chels and I decided to enjoy each other's company while re-exploring downtown Ann Arbor. We took a nice long walk, past the Stadium, through the law quad, hit up Border's #1, Moosejaw, Starbuck's and then settled down in one of the highback booths at Arbor Brewing Co.

This was our second trip to Arbor Brewing, so I feel that now I am able to make a fair judgement of this establishment.

After being seated we perused the menu. The menu is chock full of dishes crafted with locally grown and produced ingredients, such a huge breath of fresh air in a culture where the average hamburger contains trace pieces of more than 9 different cows. Keeping the cuisine local definitely appears to be important to the folks at Arbor Brewing.

Chelsea quickly spotted a hand-crafted black bean burger on a whole wheat bun. She thoroughly enjoyed her selection. She found packed with flavor and not too salty.

Naturally I was at a pub, so I chose the burger. The menu said that it was from grassfed beef, so I knew that it would be real meat. When I ordered a side of fries I was delighted to find that there were multiple options for flavored fries! I chose garlic, as did Chelsea, because, who eats regular fries anymore?

After a bit of searching the beer menu I came across what I was looking for, their IPA. The Sacred Cow, as they call it there, came in the house pint glass at just the right temperature. Sacred Cow was both tangy and crisp as the menu suggests. It is a pretty solid IPA, full of hoppy goodness. I suggest it to anyone who enjoys IPA's, or since it is rather tame, to anyone who is looking to get into the IPA tasting game.

Arbor Brewing makes some quality beer, that is for sure. There were so many subtle things going in that beer that I am going to have to go back again for a second opinion!

Our food came in just the right amount of time to be enjoyed with the last bit of my beer.

The Burger with the bacon and gorgonzola was excellent, and the garlic fries were out of this world as well. One other noteworthy aspect of the meal was the portion sizes, to label them generous is an understatement, they were borderline huge.

I recommend you give this place a shot, if you are not already familiar with it. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and hopefully you are lucky enough to get a seat near the windows with the brewing equipment.

With its friendly staff, extensive list of not only their own beer, but also those from across the state, and its seasonal decorations this may turn into your little place around the corner.

I know that I will be making a return trip soon. Maybe I will try something else on the menu. Who am I kidding, I will have the burger.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

What a grand day! + a lot of reading and learning to come

Today started with a great meal, prepared by me; cake and leftover pizza with coffee, it was just awesome.

After some cleaning Chels and I walked into town. We walked around, hit up the local Moosejaw for their anniversary sale, where unfortunately we didn't find anything!

After grabbing some coffee and a Peppermint Mocha we strolled over to Border's. I was originally going to get Ode, some publication regarding progressive ideas that I actually found to be mildly interesting.

With the mag in hand I took a trip upstairs to the nature and sports section. I hit the jackpot up there!

Found this awesome book! It tells, in-depth how the Great Lakes were formed, their evolution and future.

I am quite excited to start it. It should be a quick read. Expect periodic reviews within the coming weeks.

I found two other things at Border's that I have been looking for for a while now:
Essentials: Guides to Mushrooms and Edible Wild Plants!

These will come in handy in the coming spring and summer when I make my first attempt at foraging and possibly some bushcraft!

The trip was finished up with a trip to Arbor Brewing Co. (Review Coming soon) and a brisk walk to the car!

Forgot to tell you all, this beauty came in the mail the other day:

Score! Time to devour it, and see what I need to buy next.

Such a night for blogging,


Whoa, slow down... List Time

Six days into November and I have not posted yet? Wow, I am truly slipping.

But I have been a little busy, work has picked up, which is a good thing at this point, since work will be nonexistent during law school. Aaaand with work I can afford to go on more trips and write more fun and fascinating stories for you!

To start November I think that I will do a little list of things that I am looking forward to doing and or seeing while I travel North during this month.

Won't you give them a look and tell me what you think;

1. THE Lake:
Hopefully we get out there on another day like this! High seas on the Great Lakes are the best.
The breeze/ wind from the lake is so refreshing that it often puts a little extra pep in one's step.

2. Family.

3. Hunting:
This was two years ago, but I am still riding on that high.

4. Kayaking:

Over break I am going to solo a portion of the Manistee. Who knows I may even bring the fishing pole.
Me and Nature.

5. Black nights:
     The kind that you can walk in and not have to worry about getting mugged.

6. Hiking:
The hiking in Northern Michigan offers some of the most dynamic experiences around.
It is best done when shared with someone though.

7. The feeling of familiarity.
The kind of place where everybody knows your name. While sometimes they know too much, it is still nice to have people know who you are. 

8. A genuine Big Al's Pizza:
Holy cow, Awesomeness in a circle.

No trip to the beach, movies, football game, basketball game, fishing, hunting, hiking, casino, kmart or Dunham's is complete without a Big Al's finale pizza.

Absent from the list is thanksgiving, however there is nothing much to say about it except: loads of turkey, mountains of potatoes, rivers of gravy, generous helpings of dressing and coleslaw. Consume, pass-out, move on to the next house, repeat, move to the final house, repeat, roll on the floor, nap, watch a little National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation/ Indiana Jones and then sink into bed for the weekend.

Time to feed the cats and chill some Coke.