Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it…kind of fake snow?

As winter brings the blistery cold, short days, and icy sidewalks there is one thing that both students and teachers alike look forward to; the snow day. Although only occurring on rare occasions, the mere hope for one single day of random freedom lingers on the minds of those within the school.

A few weeks ago, during a regular faculty meeting, our director announced the date of the “snow day” for the month of December. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… snow? In California?! Wait a second… I thought I came here to get away from that stuff. Luckily she went on to explain what exactly this “snow day” entailed. Apparently since it is still 65 and sunny here every single day (ahh yes be jealous) the school chips in to buy a truck-load of fake snow to be dumped right in the middle of the school parking lot for a day. This way all of the kids can have a chance to have their own snow day, just like the other kids in colder climates.

This past weekend, the snow day finally was here and all of the kids came decked out in their snow suits, snow boots, hats, gloves and mittens ready to brave the chilly snow. Ryan and I had to laugh when we saw the pile of “snow” mounded in the parking lot with a crowd of kids slipping and sliding on top. It certainly wasn’t like what they make back in good ol’ Indiana, but it served it’s purpose. We had a great time digging around, making snow angels, and tossing the occasional snow ball at some unsuspecting toddlers. I think the little ones took the cake however, we were certainly the prime targets of every snow ball that was thrown.

It’s safe to say that after one day of snow I have had my fill :) I’ll be good for awhile now until I have a slight craving for anymore, however, I think I might be forced to indulge on our trip back home to Indiana for Christmas. I hear it’s a little bit colder there than it has been here. All of this warm weather and sunshine has turned Ryan and I into some kind of wimps when it comes to cold weather. You know that when 55 seems frigid you’ve basically lost your ability to adapt to cold weather anymore. Hopefully we won’t be too shocked in a couple weeks. 😉

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Well…not really. At least not out here in Palo Alto it isn’t, and that is absolutely alright with me and Ryan. These past few months it has really started to sink in that moving out to California was truly a fabulous choice. There are many, many reasons why this is true, but one reason in particular is obviously the weather! The mere fact that as I type this, our friends and family back in Indiana are already battling the first few inches of snow this season is reason enough for me to shout for joy one more time tomorrow when I drive to work with the sunroof open and smile in the warmth of the sun :) I’m not bragging…no…I’ll get my fill of below freezing windchills and dirty slush when I’m home for Christmas in a few weeks.

Although it may not look like Christmas outside, it certainly looks like Christmas inside our cottage. I had been eagerly awaiting the day that Ryan and I went to pick out our lovely Christmas tree. We decided to go to the Palo Alto Kiwanis Club Christmas tree lot to find our beauty. On a beautiful sunny day, Ryan and I set out to find “the one”. It wasn’t long before we made out decision and brought home the lucky tree.

I decided to go with a red/silver/little bit of gold theme for the tree this year. Luckily Target supplied me with almost all of my decor and I think the tree turned out pretty nice this year if I do say so myself :) Ryan and I had a great time decorating it too. We turned up some of Pandora’s finest holiday music and spent the afternoon decorating and admiring our first Christmas tree together. It was pretty special and we’re looking forward to many, many more years of decorating our tree together.

So even though it may still be around 70 degrees and sunny outside, I haven’t lost one bit of my Christmas spirit! I absolutely love Christmas time and I’m even excited to go back to Indiana to have just a little bit of snow for Christmas…because I know that I’m coming back to sunshine when it’s over :)

Check out the video below or over on YouTube to see how our tree-hunting/decorating adventure went:

Help Hup choose his new glasses by voting now

Last week I headed over to the eye doctor, or the Optometrist as most people call them, so that I could get my eyes checked out. As many of you can imagine, I spend a majority of my time staring at computer screens and I hear that this practice isn’t exactly healthy for your eyesight. I figured that the damage wasn’t too bad since I don’t have any trouble reading and using a computer, but my ability to read anything from a distance(especially at night) has really gotten pretty bad here lately. During my appointment the optometrist told me that I definitely needed some glasses, although I don’t have that strong of a prescription(R -0.75 RS L -1.00-.050 e180 if anyone’s interested).

Today me and Stephanie decided to go and get our glasses shopping on so we headed to place here in Palo Alto called Peninsula Optical Co. A really cool guy named Greg helped us out and we had a lot of fun trying on a bunch of the frames that we thought might work. Probably a little too much fun if that’s possible.

Two of the pairs were definitely our favorites, but we thought that it would be fun to see what each of you think about them, too. So, we posted pics of the some of the glasses that I tried on so that you can tell us which pair you think looks the best, too. To let us know which one you think I should buy take a look at the 15 pics below and then cast your vote at the bottom of this post. Who knows, maybe your votes will make us change our minds about the ones that we’re set on. I’ll let you know the two pairs that we like in a later post after we get some votes in. Thanks for playing along and thanks for your vote! :)

#1 Small, Black and Feminine

#2 Child Molesters

#3 Red Hot, Hip and Euro

#4 Harry Caray Retro Specials

#5 Boxy, Square and Trendy

#6 Professor Specs

#7 Euro Flashy

#8 Black and Sophisticated

#9 Euro To The Max

#10 Classy And Educated

#11 Bifocals On Crack

#12 Grandma’s Special

#13 Circles Of Ridiculousness

#14 Animal Print Gone Bad

#15 Skinnny, Yet Trendy

Getting my demo on tomorrow night at the SiliconValley NewTech Meetup

Tomorrow night I get my second official chance to show the people of Silicon Valley what HubPages is all about. Me and two other web startups are going to do a 5-minute demo at the SiliconValley NewTech Meetup, which is a very popular event that introduces new web-based businesses to around 150-200 people right here in Palo Alto each month. My friend and fellow web-geek Vinnie Lauria hosts the event that, according to him, is going to have some special election-friendly additions to it such as real-time streams of the vote count during the presentations.

Wish me luck and I’ll keep you updated on how it goes. :)

You’re never too old to play on a trashcan

I just wanted to post this pic that Stephanie took of me and Sawyer, our friend Gordon’s son that lives here in Palo Alto. Stephanie and I were walking to Whole Foods for our weekly Saturday morning breakfast walk and we saw Gordon and Sawyer playing in a nearby park. After hanging out for a few minutes, Sawyer decided to play on top of a trashcan and I thought that it looked like fun, so I decided to join him. Gordon also thought that it was a great idea and I must admit, it was pretty fun hangin’ up there with Sawyer.

Ahhh…to be 3 again. :)

An awesome 4th of July and riding The Bull at Old Pro

With the 4th of July blessing us with an extended weekend, Stephanie and I packed in all kinds of stuff into what turned out to be an amazing few days out here in California. We hope that all of you had an amazing weekend as well – here’s a quick look at what all we got into:


Friday, July 4th:We headed to Seacliff State Beach in Aptos, CA for some 4th of July fun. Our friends who live down the street camped out there to make sure that they snagged a few tables for the 4th of July festivities. I think that they made it there at like 4am and just crashed there until the sun came up. Troopers, I know. We hung out on the beach, grilled up some tasty meat and saw an amazing sunset, which then led to the fireworks show. I love 4th of July.


Saturday, July 5th:On Saturday we headed to a friend’s cottage to hang out at the pool for the afternoon, which was amazing. A little bit of much needed relaxation and sun-soaking is just what the doctor ordered.

After that we cleaned up and headed out to a restaurant that we haven’t checked out yet here in Palo Alto called Mango Caribbean. It was delicious and there was a guy rocking out the steel drums to songs that ranged from Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry to Kansas’ Dust in the Wind.

Finally, for our grand finale, we headed over to a popular bar called Old Pro in Palo Alto, where we enjoyed some tasty brew from a BEERZOOKA and we FINALLY had a chance to ride the famous mechanical bull. All of us gave it a ride and you can check out how we handled the mechanical beast below or over here on YouTube. So, how was your weekend? :)

A one-win dynasty with the Janitorial Honeybees

So we have found some new friends. :)

New friends who not only throw amazing parties, but friends who also do other awesome stuff.

Awesome stuff like playing softball for teams that are named The Janitorial Honeybees.

Well, this past week our new friends had us join the team for their last game. The last game that would decide whether or not they would end the season as complete losers, or if they would finish with one final and only win of the season.

Stephanie and I joined up forces with the Honeybees for this final battle and helped them fight through 5 demanding innings that were filled with drama, action, heroics and letdowns.

After the dust cleared, the impossible had happened. The Janitorial Honeybees had came out on top for the first time all season. It wasn’t an easy win, but it was a team win and a win that will never be forgotten by me, Stephanie, the rest of the Honeybees and of course the random homeless guy who was drinking a Budweiser on the sidelines.

Yep, the Janitorial Honeybees ended the season with a solid 1-11 record and if you ask me, that’s a solid foundation for a future.

I can’t wait until next season – the dynasty begins.

Swarm honeybees! Bzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Introducing the first Hup and Steph Quickie: Rock, Paper, Scissors

After Stephanie and I had an amazing time at a house party here in Palo Alto, CA and after realizing that I had taken a couple amazing clips of the fun, I have decided to come up with a way for you all to see these clips that might not necessarily make it into a full-fledged Hup and Steph video.

I have used my amazing creativity and marketing wizardry and have decided to call these new videos ‘Hup and Steph Quickies‘. Nothing like a good, old fashioned play on words, right? If Bart(Stephanie’s dad) is reading this allow me to emphasize, it’s just a play on words. :)

So, here is the first official Hup and Steph Quickie, which was taken last night when a questionable call during beer pong was settled by some rock, paper and scissors action. Please remember two things while you watch this video:

1. We are screaming that loud outside on a balcony
2. The cops were called on us and showed up about 15 minutes after this video was recorded. Coincidence? I think not.

Check out the video below or over here on YouTube and be sure to let us know what you think about the new Hup and Steph Quickies!

Teacher Stephanie graduates her class of 2008

Last weekend, Stephanie officially graduated her first class of California preschoolers here in Palo Alto. It was my first time seeing her school, meeting her fellow teachers and of course seeing all of the crazy kids that she deals with every day of the week.

Let me simply say that I have a whole new respect for her and for what she does each day while teaching at that preschool. The kids are awesome and hilarious, but it takes a special type of person to teach them every single day. Isn’t she awesome?

Of course I couldn’t miss out on getting some video of the sweet graduation action. Check out the video below or over here on YouTube when you get a chance and be sure to leave a comment and tell Stephanie congratulations!

Bikes rule the roads in Palo Alto

If you all think hard enough, I’m sure that all of you can remember the days when your only mode of efficient transportation to any place outside of your neighborhood was to hop on your bike and pedal your ass off. I mean, pedal your ass off ALL day long and not even care about it. We were young, we wanted freedom and it’s way better than having your mom drop you off.

I can honestly say that I haven’t consistently ridden a bike since back in the day when I was fifteen years old and had acne that even Proactiv would be scared of. Back in the day when I would dream about being behind the wheel of a new ride as I rode my bike to Drivers Ed each morning at 6am. Man, those were good times, but the days of peddling, peddling and peddling some more have been long gone up until I moved out here to Palo Alto. Now the bike is back and it’s back in a BIG way. Old people ride bikes, young people ride bikes, girls ride bikes, guys ride bikes and this one guy even rides one of these bikes and I have no idea why.

After becoming part of the biking community I came up with a few reasons of why so many people around here choose the bike as their main mode of transportation around town:

– It’s safe and very bike-friendly: There is a bike lane on EVERY road out here besides interstates. There’s even a Bike Boulevard that runs through the middle of the city and cars are only allowed to travel on a very small portion of it.

– Palo Alto is a VERY environmentally friendly place: It’s amazing how much people care about the environment out here on the West Coast. The only reason why I can think of why they’re so far ahead in the ‘going green’ game is that out here in California you have the most beautiful landscapes that you could ever imagine, which everyone loves and appreciates. When you have mountains, oceans, bays, amazing forests and everything else I think that you tend to want to protect it.

– Healthy and fit is the way to go: I rarely ever see anyone who is overweight out here in Palo Alto and I still have yet to eat any fast food at all. The amount of health-conscience people out here is amazing, which explains why people don’t mind taking the bike to work, etc. My landlord rides his bike 30 minutes away to work every single day and doesn’t think twice about doing it. Amazing.

Anyways, as you can plainly see, the bike definitely rules the road here in Palo Alto and even I ride the Brown Beast (my loaned bike) about two miles to work each morning, which I have totally grown to enjoy over the past few weeks or so. It gets you moving, it’s always amazing outside and burning a few calories in the a.m. never hurts, right?

I will try my best to give you updates on all of our biking adventures and I’ll keep trying to add a few photos like the ones below as well. Enjoy!

UPDATE: I was just reading the Palo Alto website and it appears that we are only one of four cities who have been designated with a ‘Gold Level’ designation. Sweet!

In May 2003, Palo Alto was designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. This three-year designation ranks Palo Alto with only three other “Gold Level” communities (Portland OR, Corvallis, OR and Boulder, CO). The award is only presented to communities with remarkable commitments to bicycling. The League cited Palo Alto’s strong commitment to education efforts and model policies in their commendation.

Stephanie cruisin’ on a beautiful day

The beautiful Brown Beast

Me and Stephanie trying to ride the Brown Beast at the same time….very, very tricky

This way seemed to work better…but, still very tricky and very, very dangerous

Abdo has his bike up in a tree, but not real sure why

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