Hi All,

Hope all of you are doing well!  I am amazed each time with the response we get to this email, thank you all for keeping in touch!

Fortune cookie say … a book about anti-gravity is impossible to put down.

In the “think about what you say topic” .

We spent too short of a weekend in NH near the 4th with a couple, friends from Virginia.  They traveled with us to the Live Free or Die State and one of the activities we did was to spend a day to seeing some of the top notch water falls in the area.  One set of falls we went to see is located in a state park, after parking, we walked up to the gate where there were rangers telling everyone they could not go in.  “The waterfalls are closed, the power is out” is what they were telling everyone.  My immediate reaction was “Huh?!?”  Apparently what they really meant was even though it is the 4th of July weekend, since they could not charge us to get in, it was decided to just turn everyone away.  Luckily we did go see 3 other very good falls that day, and the ones we missed were lesser rated falls.

On the drive up to NH for that weekend, we of course passed under many overpasses.  On that very bright sunny day there was one odd event.  As we passed under one overpass doing 70-ish mph, in the highly contrasted shade we noticed there was something in the road.  Kara and I both thought it to be a live bird standing in the very middle of the lane.  While there was not a line of cars, there were others in front of us, indicating the bird was either very lucky or was not attempting to “cross the road”.  We could see at least one car behind also pass over the living critter.  Regretfully I don’t have any sort of conclusion to this story.  Just odd!

You may recall 3 years ago Aug. we bought a fancy schmancy SUV which has been great for all the traveling we have done … as intended.  Well it had a 3 year bumper to bumper warranty.  We brought it into the dealership asking them to look a several minor things before the warranty expired, one of which was the automatic wipers.  The vehicle is too fancy to have intermittent wipers, it has a sensor that adjusts wiper speed, if you select that setting.  When the wipers quit working on that setting, I narrowed it down to the problem must be with the sensor, which is located on the inside of the windshield near the rear view mirror.  The dealership looked at it and determined that the sensor had come unstuck from the inside of the windshield so was no longer sensing rain but otherwise functional.  So, you’d think they would take it off, put new sticky on it, then stick it back on.  Nope.  They replaced the entire windshield because the sensor mount is build directly into the windshield.  Boy are we glad that was covered!

Some of you know Kara has been making flavored cheesecakes for years now.  They are always quite popular though not overly healthy.  One recent flavor she developed was salted caramel with a pretzel crust.  It was an instant success.  She made her own salted caramel sauce to drizzle on the top, has a caramel flavored cheesecake and used similar flavored pretzels for the crust.  Other future flavors will likely include milk dud inspired flavorings, White Chocolate Blueberry, Maple Praline, Cinnamon Caramel Pecan and Caramelized White Chocolate (inspired by a Cook’s Illustrated dessert).  There are enough people that ask for the list of flavors that we created a very simple website to refer to.  In case you are interested, check it out at http://karascheesecakes.com

Kara’s wine story – don’t let your wines age that weren’t designed to age:  So last time Dave and I came back from NH, we brought back some wine we had left there (for many years) in the basement.  Turns out either we didn’t store it correctly or it didn’t age well at all.  Most of them were from 2005 ish.  Dave’s tasting comments ranged from vinegar to paint thinner to engine degreaser.  Best part is we did this on Jan 1 to go with a Prime Rib we roasted.  The recycle trash guys later that week should be impressed as we had 8 bottles in the trash.  It probably just looked like we had a really big party on new years eve.

Kara’s new hobby – for some of you in NH, you know that while Dave and I lived there, every once in awhile we would get together with a group of friends and play board games.  When I say board games, I don’t mean monopoly, or life, or chutes and ladders.  There is a growing hobby in the US (well, actually around the world) of modern board games that use game theory and skilled developers to create fun “board” games.  Some games don’t actually have a board, some use tiles, or just cards, but the hobby in general is called Board Games. Anyway, about a year and a half ago, I returned to the hobby, this time researching games that mostly Dave and I could play together (designed for 2 players), but I also found several games to play with groups of people as well.  I found some to play with parents, some to play with non-geek friends, and of course several to play with fellow nerdy friends too.  It gave us something to do this summer while it was too hot to go outside.  The best part is, Dave and I have been renting a town house on base here in VA for 3 years now.  It’s not a huge place so for that entire time, we have not had a dining table.  That is, until this summer – we actually purchased a table – not to eat on of course, but to play games.

Quotes of interest:

A History Channel show covered making damascus steel knifes – Dave “why can’t we get one of these?  It’s only $700 on sale?”  Kara “because it can’t do everything my iPhone can”

The 4th of July trip to NH had a host of excellent pictures to choose from and it was tough to pick just one.  The below is of Ripley falls in the White Mountains.  It was quite a hike to get there but very worth it even though it had been dry for quite some time (low water flow).  A side note, I found an enhanced Google maps site that lets you place pins with lots of extra info tied to those pins, just incase one of you have interest see our site at http://www.communitywalk.com/to_do__see/map/1938106 which has this waterfall as #38


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